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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

NEWS: Updates from EOS Books, Solaris Books, John Jarrold and more...

~In celebration of their 10-year anniversary, EOS Books is giving away FREE e-books every two months for the entire year of 2008! Kicking off this excellent promotion is a free download HERE of Robin Hobb’sShaman’s Crossing.”

EOS Books is also looking for TEN advance readers for Adam Troy-Castro’s debut novel “Emissaries from the Dead” (February 26, 2008). All you have to do is send an email HERE with your name + address. Personally, this book sounds great and I can’t wait to check it out:

Hiding her own dark secrets, Diplomatic Corps investigator Andrea Cort is sent to an artificial world, One One One, to investigate an odd series of murders. But the artificial planet’s artificial intelligence has its own secrets as well…ones that could lead into the terror and tragedy of Andrea’s past as she fights to uncover the murderer and keep the peace between human and alien. “This is the one we’ve been waiting for…Adam-Troy Castro’s Emissaries from the Dead is SF at its best…Silence of the Lambs as Larry Niven might have written it. A clever, thought-provoking page-turner. Bravo!”
Robert J. Sawyer

~In other news,
Solaris Books recently announced the acquisition of further novels in two of their bestselling fantasy series. First, books three and four have been purchased in Gail Z. Martin’s highly successful Chronicles of the Necromancer series (The Summoner/The Blood King). The sequels, the first of which is called “Dark Haven”, will develop a new story arc in the Winter Kingdoms that will delight her ever-growing fanbase. In the meantime, “The Blood King” which completes the story arc that began in “The Summoner” (Reviewed HERE), is due out January 29, 2008. I should have a review up for the novel soon and hopefully an interview with Ms. Martin :)

The second acquisition is a third book in
James Maxey’s Dragon Age series, which continues the stunning twist on dragon-based fantasy that was established in “Bitterwood” (Reviewed HERE) and will continue in “Dragonforge”, published in June 2008.

Commissioning Editor Christian Dunn said: “Both these authors played a huge part in the great success of
Solaris’s debut year. Gail has developed a legion of fans of high fantasy, and James has shown popularity with his reinvention of dragon novels. I’m very happy to be publishing more of their fine work.”

And to get a better feel of what
Solaris Books has in store for its readers this year, they’ve just listed their 2008 line-up HERE.

~Checking up on
John Jarrold, the literary agent remains busy. Here are his latest announcements:

1) New UK genre novelist Tim Wood, recently taken on by the
John Jarrold Literary Agency, has completed an innovative trilogy. The first novel, “Tepesch Drakul”, is set in the present day and, in the author’s words: “reveals the true history and ecology of the vampire. Where they originated, their grand design, how they work and who they really are.”

The stories are centered around a legendary demon slayer, Finn Angmon, and draws on the legends of Fionn mac Cumaill. The novels pay tribute to the dark eroticism of Bram Stoker's Dracula, whilst entering the world of science fiction, taking the narrative to Vasudha, the home planet of the vampire kind. In the fourth novel of the Finn Angmon series, Vasudha becomes a battle ground when it is invaded by the Zilon, and humans must join forces with their enemy to save the planet.

John Jarrold said: "I have looked at Tim's work over some time and with this series I feel he has really hit his stride. Vampires abound at the moment, but Tim has looked deep into their being, while telling a terrific, fast-moving story with thrills and characters who involve the reader. He has a great future." I love vampires and this looks pretty interesting. It sounds like it could have shades of Brian Lumley’s Necromancer in it, which is a great series…

2) One of the first horror authors being published by
Virgin UK/Random House is the doyen of British supernatural fiction, Ramsey Campbell.

Winner of many World Fantasy Awards, British Fantasy Awards and Lifetime Achievement Awards—amongst others—Campbell was designated as “Britain's most respected living horror writer” by the Oxford Companion to English Literature.

His new novel, “The Grin of the Dark” (Published May 2008), involves a search for a silent film comedian, Tubby Thackeray, whose career seemed to disappear overnight, and its effects on the investigator, film journalist Simon Lester. Both chilling and funny, it's Campbell at the top of his form. I’m always in the mood for some good horror, so I hope this delivers…

3) UK novelist Rod Rees, newly signed to the
John Jarrold Literary Agency, has delivered a novel in “Dark Charismatic” that is a reworking of the classic Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde story. This time, it’s told through the eyes of Henry Jekyll’s cold, aloof and religious wife Margaret. Rees has also created a new order of humanity, taking his lead from Stevenson's novel but expanding its ideas socially, sexually, and in other areas. Although the main thrust of the book explores the propensity for evil that exists in everyone, it does so in a way that is authentic to the era (London 1878) and captures the black humour which sustained the working-class during those difficult times. However it remains a book about evil: as Hyde says, “there is no good in Man, just a deficiency of courage to embrace wickedness.”

Rod Rees has written one other novel and numerous short stories under a nom-de-plume (which he will keep to himself until his children are older!), but “Dark Charismatic” is his first book under his own name.

Rod's novel is a true tour de force,” said
John Jarrold. “In terms of the way he conjures nineteenth-century London, builds his characters and tells his story—as well as his invention—it's gripping from beginning to end.”

Lastly, just a few tidbits:

Christopher Barzak’s debut novel “One For Sorrow” won the William J. Crawford Fantasy Award for a First Fantasy Book and will be presented at the IAFA in March. For a wonderful new analysis of “One For Sorrow”, check out OF Blog of the Fallen.

~The prologue to
Iain M. Bank’s forthcoming new Culture novel “Matter” has been posted HERE, which is due out February 7, 2007 for UK readers (Preorder HERE) and February 27, 2008 for US residents (Preorder HERE).

~In comic book news, the marketing campaign for “Kick-Ass”—an upcoming creator-owned miniseries written by
Mark Millar (Civil War, The Ultimates, Wanted) and illustrated by John Romita Jr. (World War Hulk, Daredevil, The Punisher)—is really starting to take off. Besides a “Kick-AssMyspace Page which even includes a soundtrack and music videos, there’s also a promotional video, and recently, an innovative contest for retailers. You can get the full scoop HERE + HERE. As far as the actual comic book, “Kick-Ass” is set to hit shelves February 20, 2008 (Order HERE) and is described by Millar as thus to Newsarama:

It's about a sixteen year old kid who is so into comics that he just makes himself a costume, paints up a baseball bat and goes out looking for trouble. He decides to become our world's first superhero. On the face of it, it sounds ridiculous, but the notion of an ordinary, non-powered human being going out and trying to help people has been done in everything from the original Atom to Batman. In many ways, it's my favorite kind of superhero story because the potential for drama is enormous. This guy hasn't been injected with super-soldier serum or rocketed from a dying world. He just does 100 press-ups every night and maybe takes karate lessons and tries to eat healthily and so he's massively, massively vulnerable. It's really the most incredibly obvious idea and I'm amazed nobody has ever done this before, but the book just feels so unlike any superhero comic I've seen before. I don’t play it for laughs at all. It's too easy to take the piss out of something like this. I just play it absolutely straight and use this as a starting point in the story... imagine this kid going out there with his mask and his baseball bat. What would happen next? The obvious answer, of course, is incredible violence and that's where the fun begins.”


RobB said...

Regarding the Miller/Romita book, Miller tends to write the hype for his comics better than the actual comics. However, I will be giving his FANTASTIC FOUR run a try.

As for Romita, I'm in the minorty about his art. I simply don't get it - his art was the reason I dropped Spider Man and didn't touch World War Hulk. It looks amateurish.

Raven said...

One for Sorrow sounds like it could be good reading (I was going to say fun reading, but that makes it sound lighthearted, and I get the impression it's pretty dark).

I've blogrolled you, btw. :)

Chris, The Book Swede said...

From what I've seen, John Jarrold is the business! I've just posted my interview with Robert VS Redick as it happens :D


Robert said...

Rob, I find Millar's mainstream work to be a bit complacent--although I loved the Ultimates :)--but when he gets a chance to cut loose like in Wanted, he can be pretty damn impressive. Fortunately "Kick-Ass" is supposed to be explicit material, so I'm really excited to see what he comes up with. Regarding the art, I've never really been a fan of Romita Jr. either, but the two have worked together before so I guess they have a camaraderie ;)

Raven, I've been looking forward to reading "One For Sorrow" for a while now. Just have to pick up a copy and find some time ;) Also, thanks for adding me. I'll be sure to add your blog as well!

Chris, I appreciate the update :) Just checked out the interview. Great stuff! I'll be sure to link it when I complete my review of "The Red Wolf Conspiracy"...

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