Booktopia SF & Fantasy Buzz
May 2014 | Edition 16
Welcome to the May Sci-Fi Fantasy Buzz
So. Big news, hot off the press - this November we will be able to get our hands on a new story from Patrick Rothfuss! The Slow Regard of Silent Things. Cool title huh? Rothfuss certainly has a way with words.

Unfortunately, it's not the third book in the Kingkiller Chronicles, instead, it's actually a novella that 'focuses on one of the most popular and intriguing characters from this world.' That character is Auri!

Hopefully this is not an indication Rothfuss is beginning to take on a GRRM vibe and getting sidetracked from finishing the next book in his series. But at least we have something new coming from one of the best writers in the genre this year. I'm kinda excited.

I've mentioned this previously, but it is now official, SyFy has greenlit a 10 episode TV series based on The Expanse novels by James S.A. Corey. If you haven't read The Expanse you need to. Now.

And in more exciting news, Tad Williams has confimred that his next epic fantasy will be a direct sequel to the Memory, Sorrow and Thorn sequence that launched his career back in 1988.

So many things on the horizon, it feels like Christmas. Don't forget to check out this month's interview, the amazing Anne Bishop answers our Ten Terrifying Questions below!

Kind regards

Mark Timmony
Booktopia Science Fiction + Fantasy Buzz

Australia's largest owned and operated online bookstore.

Follow me on Twitter: @MarkTimmony
Book of the Month
Click here for more details or to order THIEF'S MAGIC
by Trudi Canavan

Mark says: Bestselling Aussie Trudi Canavan is back this month with the first book in a brand new trilogy. Best known for her Black Magician books and their sequel series Canavan stretches her wings and builds a whole new world to play in.

The story starts out slowly but don't let that fool you, before long the pace increases and pages are flying by. Populated with compelling characters Canavan builds her tale around a society fuelled by magic, and the ways it is used and misused is a running theme that paints the individual story arcs.

Thief's Magic is a perfect example of why Canavan holds the crown as one of Australia's highest fantasy authors.

Blurb: In a world where an industrial revolution is powered by magic, Tyen, a student of archaeology, discovers a sentient book in an ancient tomb.

Vella was once a young sorcerer-maker, until she was transformed into a useful tool by one of the greatest sorcerers of history. Since then she has been gathering information, including a vital clue to the disaster more...

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Mr Sanderson claims the number one position on the Bestsellers list with Words of Radiance. Next comes the magical Laini Taylor with the concluding volume in her epic urban fantasy/fairy tale hybrid, followed closely by the newest entry in the Dune Universe and book four in Ms Hobb's Rain Wild Chronicles (there's a new Fitz and Fool trilogy on the horizon people so stay tuned!).
By Brandon Sanderson

By Laini Taylor
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Return to a planet swept by apocalyptic storms, a world tipping into war as aristocratic families move to control the shard blades and shard plates, ancient artifacts from a past civilisation that can win wars.

As the world tips into a war for more

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By way of a staggering deception, Karou has taken control of the chimaera rebellion and is intent on steering its course away from dead-end vengeance. The future rests on her - if there can even be a future for the chimaera in war-ravaged more

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By Brian Herbert & 
Kevin J. Anderson

By Robin Hobb
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Gilbertus Albans has founded the Mentat School, a place where humans can learn the efficient techniques of thinking machines. But Gilbertus walks an uneasy line between his own convictions and compromises in order to survive the Butlerian fanatics, led by the madman more
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Dragon blood and scales, dragon liver and eyes and teeth. All required ingredients for medicines with near-miraculous healing powers. The legendary blue dragon Tintaglia is dying of wounds inflicted by hunters sent by the Duke of Chalced, who meanwhile more

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What I've Been Reading: I've completed a 'catch up' in my Ilona Andrews reading, finishing off Gunmetal Magic and Magic Rises. These are awesome Urban Fantasy romps with a strong paranormal romance vibe. They are light and totally readable, and a bit of a 'guilty' pleasure for me. (Shhhh don't tell anyone!)

What I am Reading Now: The Prince of Fools by Mark Lawrence . The Book Gods have heard my prayers (or my whinging) and gifted me with an advance of this awesome new book by one of my favorite authors. Squeeeeeee!

What I am Reading Next: It's a toss up between Half A King by Joe Abercrombie or Clariel by Garth Nix, the long awaited prequel to his bestselling Old Kingdom trilogy. Decision, decisions.
Click here for more details or to order THE CRIMSON CAMPAIGN
By Brian McClellan

Mark says: Those of you who have been waiting patiently for the follow-up to 2013's blockbuster debut Promise of Blood need wait no longer... only a couple of weeks.

Powder mages with flintlock pistols battle against white-glowed Privileged sorcerers for the fate of a kingdom. Gunpowder and magic is a potent combination and McClellan lights the fuse of tense action, memorable characters and a very unique magic system to give us an explosive story. Not your normal epic fantasy, this is perfect for those who are looking for something a little different to the norm.

Blurb: 'The hounds at our heels will soon know we are lions.'

Tamas's invasion of Kez ends in disaster when a Kez counter-offensive leaves him cut off behind enemy lines with only a fraction of his army, no supplies and no hope of reinforcements. Drastically outnumbered and pursued by the enemy's best, he must lead his men on a reckless march through more...

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Click here for more details or to order CROWN OF RENEWAL
By Elizabeth Moon

Mark says: The mysterious reappearance of magery throughout the land has been met with suspicion, fear, and violence.  In the kingdom of Lyonya, Kieri, the half-elven, half-human king, struggles to balance the competing demands of his heritage while fighting a deadly threat to his rule: dark elves linked in some way to the rebirth of magic.

Meanwhile, in the neighbouring kingdom of Tsaia, a set of ancient artefacts recovered by the former mercenary Dorrin Verrakai may hold the answer to the riddle of magery's return. Thus Dorrin embarks on a dangerous quest to return these relics of a bygone age to their all-but-mythical place of origin. What she encounters there will change her in unimaginable ways - and spell doom or salvation for the entire world.

Elizabeth Moon spins gripping, richly imagined epic fantasy novels that have earned comparisons to the work of such authors as Robin Hobb and Lois McMaster Bujold. She has been a firm favourite of mine since I read The Deed of Paksenarrion many years ago. For many years Moon focused on writing military SF, and fended off numerous requests to return to the world of Paksenarrion. In 2010 she finally relented  with the release of Oath of Fealty . Now in this volume, Moon's brilliant fantasy master-work reaches its triumphant conclusion.

Blurb: Eight kingdoms in danger, an enemy that cannot die...

Count Jeddrin has received a grisly message. His son, Filis, is dead, brutally killed by Alured the Black - the first move in his plan to take the eight kingdoms.

But Filis managed to send his own message, telling of the dark forces that more...

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Click here for more details or to order MIRROR SIGHT
By Kristen Britain

Mark says: In the previous volume of this epic saga, Blackviel, King Zachary sent our hero Karigan and a contingent of Sacoridians beyond the edges of his nation, into the mysterious Blackveil Forest, which has been tainted with dark magic by a twisted immortal spirit named Mornhavon the Black.

At the end of Blackveil, in a magical confrontation against Mornhavon, Karigan is jolted out of Blackveil Forest and wakes in darkness.

If you haven't read any of Britain's epic Green Rider series yet you are in for a treat. If you have, then I am sure you have been hanging out for this book just like me.

Full of romance, adventure, humor, time travel, dark magic, drama, ghosts and prophetic visions, this is one of those standout fantasy series that is epic and yet easily accessible to those readers who have never tried epic fantasy before. Kristen Britian is very good.

Blurb: Karigan G'ladheon is a Green Rider - a seasoned member of the royal messenger corps whose loyalty and her bravery have already been tested many times. And her final, explosive magical confrontation with Mornhavon the Black should have more...

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Click here for more details or to order NORTH STAR GUIDE ME HOME
By Jo Spurrier

Mark says: I can remember the first time I saw a listing for Spurrier's debut novel 'Winter Be My Shield'. I can't quite believe that it's been two years since that day and now the final book of one of the best local fantasy debuts is finally here.

Spurrier has crafted a thrilling read in a winter kingdom, a setting that is as vibrant a character as those who people her tale. The search for forgottten magics and the struggle between slavery, freedom and the ties of duty to family, clan and nation are woven together in a magnificent tapestry that reaches a dramatic conclusion in the final book in the Children of the Black Sun trilogy.

Jo Spurrier is one of the most exciting voices in Australian fantasy fiction - don't miss out!

Blurb: Some things are broken beyond mending ...

Grievously wounded in battle, Isidro's life hangs in the balance - but the only person who can help him is the man he can never trust.

Sierra is desperate to rebuild shattered bonds with her old friends, but with Isidro incontrovertibly changed and her own wounds still fresh, things can never more...

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Australian Author
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Click here for more details or to order THE KLINGON ART OF WAR
by Keith R. A. DeCandido

Klingons fight, but they do not merely fight.

For Klingons, battle is a dance, a way of living with dignity and purpose.

This is central to the concept at the heart of the warrior culture: honour. The Klingon Art of War lays out the principles of the Klingon code that animates their entire culture.

Each chapter introduces another part of the Klingon ethic and explores the ways it informs Klingon life, behaviour, and history. Each chapter also celebrates famous Klingons, warships, and battles, and the role they've played in advancing the Klingon Empire.

Passed down from the time of Kahless, ten precepts have shaped Klingon culture and indoctrinated Klingons in the Way of the Warrior.

With this new translation, people more...

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Click here for more details or to order DEFENDERS
By Will McIntosh

Mark says: This one has been on my radar now for a while.

McIntosh's novels often deal with confronting scenarios and he bends genre tropes in such a ways as to make you think. Hard. In Defenders he has brought together a classic "coming home" story with alien invasion and the very real moral issues revolving around genetic engineering and what it might mean to have been engineered for one purpose.

McIntosh writes much more than just science fiction and the stories he explores are often messy and in-your-face. As well as being utterly compelling.

Blurb: When Earth is invaded by telepathic aliens, humanity responds by creating the defenders.

They are the perfect warriors - seventeen feet tall, knowing and loving nothing but war, their minds closed to the aliens. The question is, what do you more...

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Click here for more details or to order THE FOREVER WATCH
By David Ramirez

Mark says: All that is left of humanity is on a thousand-year journey to a new planet aboard one ship, The Noah, which is also carrying a dangerous serial killer.

As a City Planner on the Noah, Hana Dempsey is a gifted psychic, economist, hacker and bureaucrat and is considered "mission critical." She is non-replaceable, important, essential, but after serving her mandatory Breeding Duty, the impregnation and birthing that all women are obligated to undergo, her life loses purpose as she privately mourns the child she will never be permitted to know.

When Policeman Leonard Barrens enlists her and her hacking skills in the unofficial investigation of his mentor's violent death, Dempsey finds herself increasingly captivated by both the case and Barrens himself.

According to Information Security, the missing man has simply "Retired," nothing unusual. Together they follow the trail left by the mutilated remains. Their investigation takes them through lost dataspaces and deep into the uninhabited regions of the ship, where they discover that the answer may not be as simple as a serial killer after all.

What they do with that answer will determine the fate of all humanity in this thrilling page turner of a debut. This is dark SF at its best.

Blurb: The truth is only the beginning.

When a man is murdered on the Noah, a city-sized spaceship that is half-way through an eight-hundred-year voyage to another planet, his body is so ruined that his identity must be established from more...

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Click here for more details or to order BEYOND THE FRONTIER: STEADFAST
By Jack Campbell

Mark says: Jack Campbell's action-packed Lost Fleet series has propelled readers from deep space to the very edge of their seats. Now Admiral John "Black Jack" Geary embarks on a thrilling new adventure to defend the Alliance and safeguard the future.

This is one of those epic Military SF series that I just have to read whenever a new one comes out. If you are into space battles then don't go past this series. Campbell stands shoulder to shoulder with the likes of David Weber and writes one of the best military science fiction series around today.
Blurb: Geary and the crew of the Dauntless have managed to safely escort important alien representatives to Earth.

But before they can make tracks for home, two of Geary's key lieutenants vanish. The search for his missing men leads Geary on a far-flung chase, ultimately ending at the one spot in space from which all humans have been more...

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Click here for more details or to order PEACEMAKER
By Marianne De Pierres

Mark says: Returning to her roots, so to speak, Australia's queen of SF brings us a new novel set in the world of (or at least really similar to) her most beloved heroine, Parrish Plessis.

Brand new characters await us in this sci-fi western, and de Pierres works her unique magic once again melding cyberpunk and shamanism into a thrilling and vivid landscape that is so close to being 'real' it's uncanny.

Think Mad Max, crossed with Dark Angel and add a dash of Firefly and you come close to the exciting adventure that awaits you.

If you haven't read de Pierres before you are missing out. 

Blurb: Virgin Jackson is the senior ranger in Birrimun Park - the world's last natural landscape, overshadowed though it is by a sprawling coastal megacity.

She maintains public safety and order in the park, but her bosses have brought out a hotshot cowboy to help her catch some drug runners who are affecting tourism. She senses the more...

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Australian Author
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Anne Bishop1. To begin with why don't you tell us a little bit about yourself - where were you born? Raised? Schooled?

The answer to all three questions is the western half of New York State in the United States.

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

A writer because a writer doesn't have to choose. She can learn about bits of anything and everything, and she can explore all the possibilities the imagination can hold.

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

That I couldn't make a sufficient living as a writer.

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?

Not specific books but the work of a few people. Rod Serling showed me the wondrous and macabre through the Twilight Zone. Andre Norton introduced me to worlds and races beyond Earth. And Jane Austen exposed me to the romance genre.

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

Years ago, I invited the Muse to dance. That was the choice. Why tell stories with words instead of paints or music? Because that's the form that feels natural to me, the form that I can shape to match most closely what I see in my head. Why a novel? I don't choose the stories; the stories choose me. I tell the story and stop when it's done. Most of them turn out to be novels.

Click here for more details or to order6. Please tell us about your latest novel 'Murder of Crows'

Murder of Crows is the second book in the Others series, which is set in a re-imagined Earth. The terra indigene, also known as earth natives or Others, are the dominant predators throughout the world, and humans are lesser predators...and prey. In this story, the Others are trying to discover the source of two addictive drugs that are harming humans and Others alike--and Meg Corbyn, the blood prophet who was taken in by the Others in the Lakeside Courtyard, might have the answers. Which probably doesn't tell you much about the story, but I'm rubbish when it comes to writing summaries.

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

I hope my stories give people a chance to escape from their worries for a little while, to be entertained. I hope they find characters who will make them laugh and cry. And maybe if I tell the story right, they'll look at our own world a little differently.

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

I admire all the storytellers because they enrich our lives.

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

To write to the best of my ability every day.

Click here for more details or to order10. What advice do you give aspiring writers?

Don't write because you want to get published. Write for the love of telling a story. Getting published is a dream all writers share, but it doesn't always happen, and even when it does, it takes years to hone your craft to reach that point. So you should write because you want to write, because you want to tell a story, and you would spend that time and effort whether the story was published or not.

Write because puzzling over the lives of imaginary people is just something you do. Write because giving a story form is your idea of fun. That will give you the best chance of getting published someday.

Anne, thank you for playing.

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In This Issue

Book of the Month


What I've Been Reading

Epic Fantasy

Star Trek

Science Fiction

Ten Terrifying Questions

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