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Thursday, August 21, 2008

OVERLOOKED TITLES: The Affinity Bridge, The Grift, Son Of Man, etc...

The Affinity Bridge” by George Mann. UK Release Date: July 1, 2008. Welcome to the bizarre and dangerous world of Victorian London, a city teetering on the edge of revolution. Its people are ushering in a new era of technology, dazzled each day by new inventions. Airships soar in the skies over the city, whilst ground trains rumble through the streets and clockwork automatons are programmed to carry out menial tasks in the offices of lawyers, policemen and journalists. But beneath this shiny veneer of progress lurks a sinister side. For this is also a world where lycanthropy is a rampant disease that plagues the dirty whorehouses of Whitechapel, where poltergeist infestations create havoc in old country seats, where cadavers can rise from the dead and where nobody ever goes near the Natural History Museum

About George Mann:

George Mann is the Consultant Editor of Solaris Books, the major SF/Fantasy imprint of BL Publishing/Games Workshop. He is the editor of The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction and The Solaris Book of New Fantasy anthologies and the author of The Mammoth Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (Constable Robinson), The Human Abstract (Telos), The Severed Man (Telos) and The Child of Time (Telos, with David J. Howe). His short stories have appeared or are due to appear in venues such as Black Sails, Apex Digest, Triquorum and an anthology of Doctor Who stories. He regularly attends the major science fiction and fantasy conventions in both the UK and the US.

An enormous pile of awesome” —
Chris Roberson, World Fantasy Award finalist and Sidewise Award Winner
Official George Mann Blog
Order “The Affinity BridgeHERE (Hardcover) + HERE (Paperback-September 1, 2008)
Read Reviews via
SF Signal, Strange Horizons
NOTE: George Mann’sThe Affinity Bridge” was brought to my attention thanks to Liviu C. Suciu, and since I believe it strongly deserves a look, I decided to write up this little showcase. Additionally, included below are some other titles that I overlooked or recently received in the mail. Unfortunately, I end up overlooking a few titles every month, so I’ll probably start posting these showcases periodically…

The Grift” by Debra Ginsberg. Release Date: August 12, 2008. What happens when a pseudo psychic suddenly gets the real gift?

Marina Marks has been on the grift as a psychic since she was a child, forced into the business by a junkie mother who was always desperate for her next fix—and willing to use her solemn dark-haired daughter to peddle an extra buck. As an adult, Marina has earned a handsome living preying on the dreams and fears of her clients. She doesn’t believe there is such a thing as psychic ability, but she does believe in intuition. Her gift is the ability to gain the trust of her clients and subtly raise her fees as they become more attached to her and her readings.

But when Marina moves her “intuitive counseling” business out of muggy, cloying Florida to the milder environs of southern California, her past follows her. As she takes on new clients—a trophy wife desperate to bear a child, a gay man involved with a closeted psychiatrist, and a philandering businessman who’s smitten with her—a former client resurfaces in an eerie way. Suddenly, Marina is in love for the first time, but it is a romance whose roots lie deep in her past and threaten her efforts to reinvent herself. As Marina’s life gets more and more entangled with those of her clients, she makes a startling discovery: she suddenly has the actual ability to see the future. After predicting a murder exactly as it happens, she becomes the sole suspect. Now she’s the desperate one—desperate to clear her name and to discover the meaning behind her visions…


Memoirist and novelist Ginsberg mixes supernatural and film noir elements in this mystery about a woman whose living as a psychic falls apart when her psychic powers become too real .... Marina is a richly drawn, deeply involving heroine ....” —
Ginsberg's second novel is an entertaining whodunit and an invigorating tale about a damaged young storefront psychic who learns how to live truthfully….Ginsberg thoroughly exploits her clever premise, and Marina's handling of her troubles–romantic, professional, mystical–ring true through to the redemptive end.” —Publisher’s Weekly
Ginsberg…has created an interesting cast of characters to explore a world that is embraced by some and viewed by many with deep skepticism. The story flows along, and readers looking for a different twist on the psychological novel will enjoy the trip.” —Library Journal
Official Debra Ginsberg Website
Order “The GriftHERE
Read An Excerpt HERE
NOTE: An Australian edition (see inset) of "The Grift" will be released September 1, 2008 via Allen & Unwin Books.

The Minutes of the Lazarus Club” by Tony Pollard. UK Release Date: August 7, 2008. London, 1857 — the Lazarus Club. Some of the finest, most-unconventional minds in Victorian Britain—including Charles Darwin, Charles Babbage and Isambard Kingdom Brunel—are members of this illustrious brotherhood. Their meetings take place behind closed doors, their discussions are revolutionary and their conclusions sometimes forbidden...

Knowing nothing of this secret society, Dr George Phillips, a young and ambitious surgeon, is intrigued to encounter Brunel over a well-used cadaver in the gory pit of his dissection theatre. It soon becomes apparent that the great engineer has mysterious plans for the good doctor. And so Phillips becomes embroiled in the enigmatic machinations of the Lazarus Club, unaware that in the midst of their unorthodox club, a black conspiracy lurks. Not only is his own life in jeopardy, but as the first mutilated body is washed up on the banks of the Thames, so the very foundations of Victorian society are set to be rocked to their core...

About Tony Pollard:

Dr. Tony Pollard is an internationally renowned archaeologist and Director of the Centre for Battlefield Archaeology at
Glasgow University. He has carried out pioneering investigations of battlefields in South and North Africa, South America and Europe and as a Forensic Archaeologist has worked with police forces throughout Britain. He has written numerous papers and articles on archaeology and history and is co-editor of the Journal of Conflict Archaeology. He was the co-presenter of two series of BBC2's archaeological documentary series Two Men in a Trench. “The Minutes of the Lazarus Club” is his first novel.
Order “The Minutes of the Lazarus Club
Read An Excerpt HERE
Read Reviews via The Independent
NOTE: This was another title brought to my attention thanks to Liviu and I personally think it sounds like a fabulous Victorian gothic mystery :) I haven’t been able to find out anything about a US publisher, but I hope it finds a home here stateside.

Son of Man” by Robert Silverberg. Release Date: June 2008. Originally published in 1971, Robert Silverberg’s classic science fiction novel “Son of Man” is back in print thanks to
Pyr Books and is worth the cover price just for the stunning John Picacio cover art. Synopsis below:

IN THE BEGINNING...there was no Brooklyn, no St. Louis, no Shakespeare, no moon, no hunger, no death...

IN THE BEGINNING...there were no real men, no real women, nothing but dispassionately passionate ambisexuals of the lowest and highest order...

IN THE BEGINNING...the heavens, the seas and the Earth belonged to more intelligent species than a man called Clay could ever have dreamed possible in his own time.

But his own time as a man had passed, and now his time as the son of man had come!

Clay is a man from the 20th Century who is somehow caught up in a time-flux and transported into a distant future. The earth and the life on it have changed beyond recognition. Even the human race has evolved into many different forms, now coexisting on the planet. The seemingly omnipotent Skimmers, the tyrannosaur-like Eaters, the sedentary Awaiters, the squid-like Breathers, the Interceders, the Destroyers—all of these are “Sons of Man”. Befriended and besexed by the Skimmers, Clay goes on a journey which takes him around the future earth and into the depths of his own soul. He is human, but what does that mean?

About Robert Silverberg:

Robert Silverberg has been writing science fiction for fifty years. Among his many notable titles are such novels as Dying Inside, Lord Valentine’s Castle, The Book of Skulls, and Nightwings, and he has more than five hundred short stories published as well. He is a five-time winner of both the Nebula Award and the Hugo Award. In 2004, Robert was awarded the Grand Master Nebula of the Science Fiction Writers of America, science fiction’s highest honor.
Robert Silverberg @ Wikipedia
Order “Son of ManHERE
Read An Interview with Robert Silverberg HERE

Just One Bite” by Kimberly Raye. Release Date: July 29, 2008. “Just One Bite” is the fourth Dead-End Dating paranormal romance series after “Dead End Dating”, “Dead and Dateless” and “Your Coffin or Mine?” Synopsis below…

The stakes have never been higher…

Lil Marchette, vampire extraordinaire and owner of Manhattan’s hottest hook-up service, is an expert at matching up the lonely and desperate (and sometimes dead). And thanks to the popular local reality dating show, Manhattan’s Most Wanted, Lil has plenty of fresh blood to add to the mix–including the biggest, baddest vampire in the Big Apple. Vinnie Balducci, Brooklyn representative for the Snipers of Otherworldly Beings, is making Lil an offer she can’t refuse: find him the perfect woman or she’s going to be swimming with the fishes.

But Lil may not be the only one taking the plunge. The three hunky demon Prince brothers are poking around Lil’s office–hot on the trail of a rogue spirit trying to escape the land down under (not Australia) by possessing some poor, clueless human soul. Then Lil makes a startling discovery: The oblivious human vessel is none other than her loyal assistant, Evie. Between saving Evie from eternal damnation and saving herself from Vinnie’s lethal ultimatum, Lil is sure to be in for the most hellish ride of her afterlife.

Lil is a likable mix of Bridget Jones, Carrie Bradshaw and Dracula–charming, sweet, stylish, with just a hint of fang.” –
Parkersburg News and Sentinel

About Kimberly Raye:

Kimberly Raye is the USA Today-bestselling author of more than thirty novels and has been nominated for several
Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Awards, as well as two RITA Awards. Her books have been featured in several major magazines, including Better Homes & Gardens and Glamour, and her novel Sometimes Naughty, Sometimes Nice was a Cosmopolitan magazine book club pick.
Official Kimberly Raye Website
Order “Just One BiteHERE
Read An Excerpt HERE

The Book Stops Here” by Ian Sansom. Release Date: August 12, 2008. Ever since the publication of “The Case of the Missing Books”, first in The Mobile Library series, Irish writer Ian Sansom has garnered critical acclaim and a devoted readership for his “formidable reserves of insight and humor” (
New York Times Book Review) and his “emphatically unpretentious…portrayal of the ordinary lives of ordinary folk and [the] gentle humor [that] buoys their humdrum lives” (Newsday). Now Israel Armstrong, one of literature’s most unlikely detectives, returns for more crime solving adventure in Sansom’sThe Book Stops Here”, the hilarious third novel from The Mobile Library series after “Mr. Dixon Disappears”…

Disgruntled, disheveled, fish-out-of-water mobile librarian Israel Armstrong is finally going home to London, rattling along with his irascible companion Ted Carson in their rust bucket book van en route to the Mobile Meet. The annual library convention gives Israel the opportunity to catch up with his family, eat paprika chicken and baklava, and drink good coffee. But they've barely found parking when the unimaginable occurs: their library-on-wheels is stolen!

Who on earth would want to take a thirty-year-old traveling disaster with the words "The Book Stops Here" painted across the back? Israel and Ted are determined to find out. But their search is leading them on a very twisty trail through the countryside in pursuit of a suspicious convoy of New Age travelers. And the hunt is raising numerous troubling questions—such as where exactly is Israel's high-flying girlfriend, Gloria? And is Ted really making a move on Israel's widowed mother?

About Ian Sansom:

Ian Sansom is a former Fellow of
Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and currently the Writer in Residence at the Heaney Centre. He is the author of The Case of the Missing Books, Mr. Dixon Disappears, The Truth About Babies, and The Impartial Recorder. Ian is also a regular contributor to The Guardian and the London Review of Books.
Official Ian Sansom Website
Order “The Book Stops HereHERE
Read An Excerpt HERE


ediFanoB said...

Hi Robert,

I want to thank you and Liviu for information about "The Affinity Bridge" and "The Minutes of the Lazaurs Club".
I'm always in search of books like these.

Robert said...

ediFanoB, you're more than welcome :) Personally, I'm most excited about "The Affinity Bridge." I believe the book has a US publisher, but that UK cover is quite beautiful :D

Anonymous said...

Thanks for doing these Robert! The Affinity Bridge is right up my alley so I would almost certainly have overlooked it if not for this post. I was rather pleased by the reviews and some of the praise in the comments from Lou Anders and such. So I'll be grabbing this one as soon as it hits paperback.

The Minutes of the Lazarus Club also sounds like it has potential.

Liviu said...

I have both (Affinity, Lazarus) on their way from the UK bought from Book Depository and due end of this week/early next week

I intend to read them on arrival, so I will post my thoughts/mini-review on sffworld and do the full review for Robert asap.

Robert said...

You're welcome kmgrey :) The Affinity Bridge is right up my alley too!

Liviu, can't wait to see your thoughts on both titles! I'd love to buy a copy of The Affinity Bridge, but not sure if I can afford it at this point. We'll see...

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this (came over from Enter the Octopus). I always appreciate being tipped with authors I don't know.

Robert said...

Frumiousb, welcome! And I'm glad you enjoyed the article :)


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