Booktopia SF & Fantasy Buzz
November 2013 | Edition 10
Welcome to the November Science-Fiction & Fantasy Buzz
For those of you who are waiting (myself included), R. Scott Bakker has completed The Unholy Consult, the 3rd book in his Aspect-Emperor trilogy and sixth book in the Second Apocalypse series. Unfortunately there is no publication date yet.

In more exciting news Robin Hobb has admitted that she is, finally, working on a new 'Fitz & Fool' novel. Squeeeeeeee ! There is no word as to whether this is the start of a new trilogy, or if it's just a one-off, and she is deliberately being closed mouthed about it because, in her words: For me, writing is like working on a long complicated math equation. If someone in the room is reciting phone numbers or saying the times table out loud, everything gets scrambled. So I'm going to insulate myself.

So we will just have to wait - but I'm excited.

Now, on with the Buzz!  

Kind regards

Mark Timmony
Supreme Overlord of Science Fiction and Fantasy


Follow me on Twitter: @MarkTimmony
Book of the Month
Click here for more details or to order THE WIT & WISDOM OF TYRION LANNISTER
by George R.R. Martin

How could anyone go past this? It's the perfect gift for fans of George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire novels (and HBO's Game of Thrones): a collection of wicked one-liners from the incomparable Imp of Casterly Rock, fully illustrated by Jonty Clark!
" My mind is my weapon. My brother has his sword, King Robert has his warhammer, and I have my mind . . . and a mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone if it is to keep its edge."
The jealous masses of the Seven Kingdoms may call him Halfman, but none have ever accused Tyrion Lannister of being a halfwit. His golden tongue has saved his skin slightly more often than it has landed him in mortal peril. Now, this special illustrated volume preserves his most essential knowledge for future generations, featuring time-tested guidance on such varied subjects as . . .
The art of persuasion
"The best lies are seasoned with a bit of truth."
Fine dining
"A little honest loathing can be refreshing, like a tart wine after too much sweet."
The fair sex
"The young ones smell much better, but the old ones know more tricks."
Royal politics
"Crowns do queer things to the heads beneath them."
Common ailments
"A sword through the bowels. A sure cure for constipation."
At once charming, insightful, and ruthlessly irreverent, The Wit & Wisdom of Tyrion Lannister is short on pretense and overflowing with finely crafted gems-just like the man himself.

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Iain M. Banks' last written Culture novel takes the number one spot this month as it moves down in format, given the way my Sci-Fi reading is taking off I am definitely going to have to get back in his works. Kim Stanley Robinson takes us 30,000 years into the past with his latest blockbuster, while Aussie wondkerkin Jay Kristoff leads us on a steampunk-fantasy adventure in the second instalment of his Lotus War Chronicles and the ever-awesome Jim Butcher's most recent Dresden Files novel breaks back into the list as it comes down in format to paperback.

by Iain M. Banks

by Kim Stanley Robinson
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The Scavenger species are circling. It is, truly, the End Days for the Gzilt civilisation.

An ancient people, organised on military principles and yet almost perversely peaceful, the Gzilt helped set up the Culture ten thousand years earlier and were very nearly one of its founding societies, deciding not to join only at the last moment read more

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An award-winning and bestselling SF writer, Kim Stanley Robinson is widely acknowledged as one of the most exciting and visionary writers in the field.

His latest novel, 2312, imagined how we would be living 300 years from now. Now, with his new novel, he turns from our future to our past - to the Palaeolithic era, and read more

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by Jay Kristoff

by Jim Butcher
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Shogun Yoritomo has been assassinated by the Stormdancer Yukiko, and the threat of civil war looms over the Shima Imperium. The Lotus Guild conspires to renew the nation's broken dynasty and crush the growing rebellion by endorsing a new Shogun who desires nothing more than to see Yukiko dead.

Yukiko and the mighty thunder tiger Buruu have been cast in the role of heroes by the Kagé rebellion. But Yukiko herself is blinded by rage over her father's death, and her ability to hear read more

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Australian author
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You can't keep a good wizard down - even when he wants to stay that way.

For years, Harry Dresden has been Chicago's only professional wizard, but a bargain made in desperation with the Queen of Air and Darkness has forced him into a new job: professional killer.

Mab, the mother of wicked faeries, has restored the mostly-dead wizard to health, and dispatches him upon his first mission - to bring death to read more


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What I've Just Read: Nova War by Gary Gibson. So, I am hooked on this Shoal Sequence . After many years of selling Gary's work I have finally gotten around to reading this epic space opera. I am very glad I did - it is awesome!

What I am Reading: Empire of Light by Gary Gibson. Book 3 of the Shoal Sequence...Did I mention I am hooked?

What I am Reading Next: I've been eyeing a new epic fantasy on the horizon. The Emperor's Blades by Brian Staveley is being described as George R.R. Martin meets Douglas Hulick and is due in January. Sounds like it's just my thing!

Click here for more details or to order LAST TO RISE
by Francis Knight

From the depths of a valley rises the city of Mahala. It's a city built upwards not across-where streets are built upon streets, buildings upon buildings, A city that the Ministry rules from the sunlit summit and where the forsaken lurk in the darkness of Under.

These fast-paced, dark-toned books of Knight's have been gathering a following and this November sees the release of number three in this combination fantasy/dystopian trilogy.

An anti-hero takes on dark magic and corruption in this compelling fantasy adventure - the third novel set in the vertigo-inducing city of Mahala.

The towering vertical city of Mahala is on the brink of war with its neighbouring countries. It might be his worst nightmare, but Rojan and the few remaining pain-mages have been drafted in to help. The city needs power in whatever form they can get it - and fast. With alchemists readying a prototype electricity generator, and factories producing guns faster than ever, the city's best advantage is still the mages. Leading the alchemists is Rojan's sister, with a risky plan to help tap the mages' strength and overcome the armies marching towards them. With food in the city running out, and a battle approaching that no one is ready for, risky is the best they've got...

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Click here for more details or to order THE PRINCESS BRIDE: AN ILLUSTRATED EDITION
by William Goldman

You've seen the movie right? Because if you haven't, I think we need to stop talking until you correct this grave lapse in your genre credibility!

In the meantime, go get this amazingly awesome illustrated edition which needs to be in your collection now!

Here William Goldman's beloved story of Buttercup, Westley, and their fellow adventurers finally receives a beautiful illustrated treatment.

A tale of true love and high adventure, pirates, princesses, giants, miracles, fencing, and a frightening assortment of wild beasts-The Princess Bride is a modern storytelling classic.

As Florin and Guilder teeter on the verge of war, the reluctant Princess Buttercup is devastated by the loss of her true love, kidnapped by a mercenary and his henchman, rescued by a pirate, forced to marry Prince Humperdinck, and rescued once again by the very crew who absconded with her in the first place. In the course of this dazzling adventure, she'll meet Vizzini-the criminal philosopher who'll do anything for a bag of gold; Fezzik-the gentle giant; Inigo-the Spaniard whose steel thirsts for revenge; and Count Rugen-the evil mastermind behind it all. Foiling all their plans and jumping into their stories is Westley, Princess Buttercup's one true love and a very good friend of a very dangerous pirate.

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Click here for more details or to order MIDKEMIA: THE CHRONICLES OF PUG
by Raymond E. Feist and Stephen Abrams

Magician is one of my favourite novels and one of the first genre novels I ever read. It still holds a special place in my heart, and on my bookshelf. Naturally this means that Pug is one of my favourite characters - go figure - ergo I am very excited about this book!
"In the first year of the reign of King Lyam conDoin, I, Pug of Crydee, magician to the royal court and cousin to the King by adoption, do take quill in hand and set forth this writ, that all may benefit from the knowledge I have gained..." - Pug of Stardock

So begins the narrative account of Feist′s best-selling character, Pug of Stardock, for Midkemia Atlas. Part travel log/journal and part atlas, this visual compendium brings with world of Midkemia to vivid, illustrative life, and gives readers a completely new look at the creative genius of Raymond E. Feist.

Designed and illustrated by the same creative team that brought us the Harry Potter books (Film Wizardy and Page to Screen), Midkemia Atlas is divided into five sections and transports readers - via maps, blueprints, floor plans, and journal text - to the outer reaches of the Midkemia world and into its cities.

Starting at the Far Coast, the Pug, the hero of The Chaoswar Trilody, recounts his childhood, before he embarks on a journey that takes him to the Grey Towers, Sorcerer′s Isle, and Krondor. Pug also encounters several favorite characters and people along the way - including Jimmy and Locky, the Sauur, and Erik and Roo in Ravernburg.

Beautiful hand-drawn maps illustrate the changes in Midkemia′s geography as war ravages the land and physically alters the landscape; dedicated readers and fans can literally trace the changes made by each battle.

Unlike anything else in the Feist oeuvre, this book is totally immersive look into the world of Midkemia, as never experienced before. 

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Click here for more details or to orderTHE SILVERED
by Tanya Huff

Another author whose work I've been selling for years (no I am not going to tell you how many), is Tanya Huff. She has always sold consistently and been on the bestseller lists in the US - a lot. But not all of her books have been available in the UK and our local AU market - most of her sales that I see come from imported titles. Luckily, as with the Blood books, this seems to be changing and UK publishers are starting to bring her work to a wider market.

The Silvered is a heady mix of steampunk, epic fantasy, and paranormal romance, and a great place to start if you are new to Huff's work. Or an awesome new title to add to your collection if you are a longtime fan!

From the author of the bestselling Blood books, a brilliant new tale of shape-changers, mages, soothsayers,and a power-mad emperor.

The Empire has declared war on the small, were-ruled kingdom of Aydori, capturing five women of the Mage-Pack, including the wife of the were Pack-leader. With the Pack off defending the border, it falls to Mirian Maylin and Tomas Hagen-she a low-level mage, he younger brother to the Pack-leader-to save them. Together the two set out on the kidnappers' trail, racing into the heart of enemy territory. But with every step the odds against their survival, let alone their success, grow steeper...

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As we get ever closer to the next instalment of Tolkien's The Hobbit on the big screen, this classic grandfather of fantasy is getting a makeover!

The Hobbit is getting a new movie tie-in cover, being boxed up with The Lord of the Rings and being printed in a handy pocket-sized hardback edition. These are the perfect gifts for Christmas, or even if you are a die-hard fan and just need to add these to your collection.
by J.R.R. Tolkein
by J.R.R. Tolkien
by J.R.R. Tolkien
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Click here for more details or to order ANDROMEDA'S FALL
by William C. Dietz

Dietz has been engaging fans of Military SF since the mid eighties with no sign of slowing as he embarks on the prequel to his bestselling Legion of the Damned series.

Dietz has the knack of writing stories that hook you from the get-go with strong narration, and this novel is no different but has the added bonus of a female lead who stands shoulder to shoulder with the likes of David Webber's Honor Harrington and Mike Shepherd's Kris Longknife.

How can you go past a kick-ass heroine who will stop at nothing to get revenge and a 'Foreign Legion' of humans-turned- robots?

Hundreds of years in the future, much has changed. Advances in medicine, technology, and science abound. Humanity has gone to the stars, found alien life, and established an empire. But some things never change...
All her life, Lady Catherine Carletto-Cat-has lived for the next party, the next lover, the next expensive toy. Until, in a bloodthirsty power grab, Imperial Princess Ophelia and her cadre of synth assassins murder her brother, the emperor, and go on to purge the galaxy of his friends and allies-including Cat's family.

Now Cat is on the run. And, like countless others before her, she finds sanctuary among the most dangerous of society's misfits-the Legion. Cat becomes Andromeda McKee: a woman with a mission-to bring down Empress Ophelia-or die trying. 

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Click here for more details or to orderTHE BROKEN WHEEL
by David Wingrove

Re-written, redesigned and re-released, this epic work is one of the few previously out of print series I would get asked about by fans or people who had heard of it, every month for years.

November sees the publication of book seven in this century-spanning Space Opera of empire, political machinations, subjugation and rebellion. Wingrove masterfully builds on and expands his original work with gripping intensity and fierce attention to detail. If you haven't come across this series before and you want to take a look, start the ride with Son of Heaven .

The seventh installment in a masterpiece of a series, perfect for fans of George R. R. Martin and Frank Herbert.

The year is 2207 and Chung Kuo's perfect stasis is falling apart. The Seven's dominance is threatened by a series of terrorist attacks as the War of Two Directions intensifies.

Howard DeVore, the Seven's greatest enemy, is masterminding the atrocities-but how can they hunt down a man who seems to be invulnerable?

Kim Ward, the Clay-born scientific genius, is attacked by a group of deadly assassins, bent on destroying his work.

And a group of rich young American rebels intend to create change-at any price. 

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Click here for more details or to order FORTUNE'S PAWN
by Rachel Bach

From the mind that gave us the The Legend Of Eli Monpress comes the first book in the Paradox series, filled with as much action and panache as the books she wrote under the name Rachel Aaron.

Why the name change? Well I'll let Rachel tell you herself:

Because the Paradox Series is 1) science fiction rather than fantasy, and 2) much more R-rated than my Eli books (cursing and KISSING).

This new series is full of adventure, space battles, intrigue and romance in a warp speed ride of awesomeness

When professional mercenary Deviana Morris took the security guard job aboard the "Glorious Fool," all she wanted was a fast route into the Devastators - the elite league of armored fighters entrusted with the most important duty on her home planet of Paradox.

But this security job isn't just twelve-hour patrols, armor-polishing, and whiskey.

The supposedly-cursed Captain Caldswell keeps sending Devi and her partner into unimaginably dangerous situations.

Ren, the captain's daughter, is a kind of weird that Devi has never experienced before.

And to top it off, there's the insufferably sexy cook, Rupert Chekov, who is far more than what he seems - possibly even far more than human.

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Click here for more details or to order STARHAWK
by Jack McDevitt

There are lots of great titles that are released each month within Science Ficiton and Fantasy; and most of them are part of a series so it's not always easy for me to point to a book and say 'Hey! You want to try this author? Start here!' without sending you all the way back to a 3 or 9 book long saga.

But this month Jack McDevitt publishes the first book in what is a prequel series to his 6 book blockbuster Engines of God sequence. So, if you think you might like to give this maestro of SF's work a go look no further than: Starhawk!

Interstellar pilot Priscilla 'Hutch' Hutchins has seen a lot of action. But now, multi award-winning science-fiction master Jack McDevitt gives us the thrilling, edge-of-your-seat tale of how it all began ...

Hutch has finally realised her dream: she's completed a nerve-bending qualification flight for a pilot's licence. Her timing is far from optimal, however. Faster-than-light travel has only recently become a reality and the World Space Authority is still learning how to manage long-range missions safely. To make matters worse, efforts to prepare two planets for colonization are killing off native life forms, outraging people on Earth.

So interstellar pilots are not exactly in demand. Although Hutch fears her career may be over before it has begun, her ambition won't be denied and soon she is on the bridge of an interstellar ship, working for the corporation that is responsible for the terraforming.

Her working conditions include bomb threats, sabotage, clashes with her employers ...and a mission to a world adrift between the stars which harbours a life form unlike anything humanity has ever seen.

Ultimately, she will be part of a life and death struggle which will test not just her capabilities, but also her character. 

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Jennifer Fallon 1. To begin with why don't you tell us a little bit about yourself - where were you born? Raised? Schooled?

Born in Melbourne. Schooled in - Kildara College (Left 'cause I got beaten to pulp by a nun named Mother Columbia), Star of the Sea, Gardenvale, (Left 'cause of bullying), St Anthony's, (left to move to Canberra), St Michael's (Left to go to High School), Catholic Girls High School, Braddon (left to join the real world) - notice the theme here? A good catholic education is what every atheist needs to make an informed decision.

2. What did you want to be when you were twelve, eighteen and thirty? And why?

A writer, a writer, a writer. Why... because I'm a writer...

3. What strongly held belief did you have at eighteen that you do not have now?

That the publishing industry treated their writers like precious commodities who were real people worth consideration and respect.

4. What were three works of art - book or painting or piece of music, etc - you can now say, had a great effect on you and influenced your own development as a writer?

Any book published by Mills and Boon (If they can get published, so can I)

Wilbur Smith's Eye of the Tiger (OMG! He sank the boat!)

David Edding's Pawn of Prophecy (Hang on... I could make up my own worlds, too, and then I can write whatever I want!!!)

5. Considering the innumerable artistic avenues open to you, why did you choose to write a novel?

Because I'm a writer. Have you seen me draw?

6. Please tell us about your latest novel 'Reunion'Click here for more details or to order

The theme of the whole series is destiny. I get annoyed when writers have prophesies that are absolutely accurate right up until they realize that their hero might have to die to fulfill it. If you're going to have a prophecy, then you're stuck with it and you can't change the rules halfway through the story just because you think the readers might not like it. My heroes are psychic, they have a vision they don't like and they keep trying to avoid it. This book is about how that really just makes things worse.

7. What do you hope people take away with them after reading your work?

The mad urge to buy multiple copies of everything I have ever written.

8. Whom do you most admire in the realm of writing and why?

Click here for more details or to order Trudi Canavan. She's the only writer I know who's been treated like a human being by the publishing industry.

9. Many artists set themselves very ambitious goals. What are yours?

I want to rule the world. Things would be much easier for all of us, if everyone would just do things my way.

10. What advice do you give aspiring writers?

The biggest difference between a published and an unpublished author is that the published author finished something.
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In This Issue

Book of the Month


What I've Been Reading

Epic Fantasy

J.R.R. Tolkien

Space Opera

Ten Terrifying Questions
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