Booktopia SF &
 Fantasy Buzz
May 2009 | Edition One
 
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WELCOME TO THE SF & FANTASY BUZZ
The wait is over! A newsletter especially put together for all lovers of science fiction and fantasy writing, and we know there are legions of you out there.

Every month I see so many great new titles in these genres, very few of which actually make it into Booktopia Buzz. Well, from now on, you can get to see all the details of those great new titles, breaking news and terrific deals relating  to  these two popular genres. I am very excited to introduce you to the SF & Fantasy Buzz, and I am just as excited to introduce you to Richard Bilkey who is one serious SF and fantasy fan.
Do enjoy his first newsletter.

Toni Whitmont
Managing Editor
Booktopia Buzz

Booktopia's first SF & Fantasy Buzz features an unearthed Tolkien, zombie slaying Bennett sisters, a support group for reformed vampires and much, much more!

Welcome to Booktopia's first newsletter dedicated entirely to the vast realms of science fiction and fantasy. Whether you're into Space Operas or Mythic Sagas, Droids or Dragons, Vulcans or Vampires, there will be something in this newsletter to capture your imagination. I have combed through all the upcoming new releases to ensure that you don't miss out on the latest book in you favourite series or the debut novel from an exciting new author. You'll even hear about hot new overseas titles that won't  be stocked in Australian bookshops.

Make sure you check out the fantastic Space Opera Competition as well as our interview with Catherine Jinks on her subversive new young adult novel The Reformed Vampire Support Group
GOLLANCZ SPACE OPERA COMPETITION

 
Gollancz, one of the world's premier publishers of quality science fiction, is releasing a  collection of must-have classic Space Opera novels with stunning new jackets from some of the masters of the genre.

To celebrate the release of Booktopia's first SF and Fantasy Buzz we are offering the chance to win a complete set of the GOLLANCZ SPACE OPERA SERIES to  anyone who purchases two or more books featured in this newsletter.

How to Enter

To be eligible for entry all you need to do is purchase two or more books mentioned in this edition of the SF and Fantasy Buzz. Once you have completed your purchase you will be given an order number. To enter the competition you must send an email to marketing@booktopia.com.au with your order number in the body of the email. The winner will be drawn on June 1 and notified by email.

The GOLLANCZ SPACE OPERA SERIES will be released in June but you can pre-order them (and go into the draw to win the complete set) by clicking on the titles below.

RENDEZVOUS WITH RAMA by Arthur C. Clark
ETERNAL LIGHT by Paul Mcauley 
CENTAURI DEVICE by M. John Harrison
ILIUM by Dan Simmons
CENTURY RAIN by Alastair Reynolds
TAU ZERO by Poul Anderson
EON by Greg Bear
STONE by Adam Roberts
RINGWORLD by Larry Niven
LAST MAN STANDING by Olaf Stapledon

         

RICHARD'S SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY BOOKS OF THE MONTH
FANTASY BOOK OF THE MONTH

THE LEGEND OF SIGURD AND GUDRUN
by J.R.R Tolkien

More than 35 years after his death, a previously unknown work by J.R.R. Tolkien has been discovered. The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun, which was written before The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, is a re-telling of two ancient Norse epics. Tolkien fans will know of his interest in Norse mythology and the influence these stories had on his later writing. Indeed the Norse legend he based this book upon has clear similarities with The Children of Hurin, a seminal story for the Silmarillion and other tragedies played out in Middle Earth.

The new book is composed of two separate legends. The first, The Lay of the Völsungs, is the tragic story of the great hero Sigurd, slayer of Fáfnir, most celebrated of dragons. At the centre of the story is Sigurd's love affair with the Valkyrie  Brynhild, whom he awakens from her enchanted sleep surrounded by a wall of fire. Sigurd enters into blood-brotherhood with powerful princes called the Niflungs but is later betrayed and murdered following the dark interventions of the Niflungs' enchantress mother. The second story, The Lay of Gudrun, details the revenge of Sigurd’s sister Gudrun for the murder of her brother.

This is not a book for the faint-hearted or occasional fantasy reader. The verse complies, as strictly as possible in English, to the rhythms and alliteration of the ancient Norse poetry from which these stories originate. If, like me however, you are fascinated by the evolution of Tolkien’s writing or if you share a love of traditional mythologies and story-telling, this is an absolute must-have book.

Click here to order The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun


SCIENCE FICTION BOOK OF THE MONTH

ZIMA BLUE AND OTHER STORIES by Alastair Reynolds

The title of this collection of short stories might already be familiar to dedicated disciples of Alastair Reynolds. A previous edition of this book was released in the USA in 2006 but was not available directly in Australia. This updated edition contains all of the original stories with the addition of Minla's Flowers, the third (and best, in my opinion) in a trilogy of far-future space operas featuring the enigmatic Merlin. The  three Merlin stories are the closest in feel to Reynold's best known Revelation Space Series, although none of the stories in Zima Blue take place in that universe.

Reynolds revels in the freedom of the short story format, exploring a range of themes and styles. In two near-future stories, Signal Noise and Cardiff Afterlife, he plays with the potential of technology communicate with other worlds and its effect on our perceptions of mortality. In the title story, Zima Blue, Reynolds takes a common sci-fi idea of a robot who far surpasses its original role and turns it into something utterly original and quite magical. But the highlight of the collection for me is Understanding Space and Time, a high concept rumination on the mysteries of the universe, told across a vast time-scale and featuring, somehow reassuringly, Elton John on Mars. Who could ask for more?

This edition also features illuminating commentary from the author after each story, adding a lot to the reading experience.

*This book is in very low stock with the publisher and there may be a delay  of up to one or two weeks on delivery. Booktopia will make every effort to supply copies as soon as they are available and we thank our customers for their understanding.*

Click here to buy Zima Blue and Other Stories

Click here to browse other books by Alastair Reynolds

ABSOLUTELY NOT TO BE MISSED!

Sometimes there are books that come along and just do things differently. These are the books that every new author is going to be influenced by next year and every publisher is unashamedly going to try to copy.

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES
  THE ASK AND THE ANSWER
The classic regency romance now with ultra-violent zombie mayhem!

Seth Grahame-Smith & Jane Austen

IN STOCK

And about time too!

Borrowing the term from the music industry, P&P&Z is being hailed around the world as the first major literary mash-up. The fact that there is so much literary buzz about this book gives some indication that there is a little more this book than merely a fun idea and a clever title.

The book itself consists mostly of the original Austen text, with  only 15% (by word count) being the addition of author Seth Grahame-Smith, who admits that he was surprised how easy it was to insert a flesh-eating plague of zombies into the world of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy. The sharp tongued, independent Elizabeth was particularly well suited to the role of Zombie-slayer and Darcy fans can only have more to swoon over as the most loved romantic hero in all of literature displays his hitherto unknown martial arts skills to despatch legions of the un-dead.

Plenty of authors in recent times have tried to re-write Austen and while this is easily the most unorthodox diversion from the cannon, the result is entirely entertaining and far more respectful to the original than I could ever have believed possible.

Keep you eye out for more literary mash-ups in the near future too. I'm looking forward to a rumoured re-working of George Eliot's The Mill on the Floss  powered by human sacrifice.

*This book is in very low stock with the publisher and there may be a delay  two weeks or more on delivery. Booktopia will make every effort to supply copies as soon as they are available and we thank our customers for their understanding*

Click here to buy this book
  Patrick Ness

The eagerly awaited second volume in the astounding and revolutionary Chaos Walking Series.

From its very first sentence, The Knife of Never Letting Go draws you into a rough frontier world distinguished by 'The Noise' - each man can hear every other man's thoughts. Even animals' thoughts are audible, though rarely worth paying attention to. One of the triumphs of the book was how cleverly and imaginatively Ness explores every implication of the Noise and integrated them into the plot.

After fleeing  from Prentisstown and being hunted at every turn, Todd and Viola find themselves delivered back into his hands of their nemesis Mayor Prentiss. The spackle town that Todd sought safety in has surrendered to the Mayor's army and is well on its way to becoming New Prentisstown. Separated from Viola, Tom has little choice but to do the Mayor's bidding in return for an assurance that Viola will be looked after. But separated they see different sides of this brutal new order, threatening the bond and unity of purpose that was so strong when they were together.

Expectations for this book are extremely high but Patrick Ness has done succeeded in producing a thrilling yet extremely subtle dystopian novel that extends the themes and plot of the previous book in new ways you could never predict. The Noise provides complicated layers of honesty and dishonesty that makes it hard to distinguish truth from propaganda. The love story between Todd and Viola is beautifully pure but heartbreakingly precarious under the extreme pressure of their situation.

Categorised as young adult, don't let that put you off - Chaos Walking is one of the most exciting new series of the decade.

Click here to buy this book
NEW SCIENCE FICTION
THIS IS NOT A GAME
  THE GRAND CONJUNCTION: ASTROPOLIS BOOK 3
  THE SELECTED WORKS OF T.S. SPIVET
Walter Jon Williams

Alternate Reality Gaming is a growing phenomenon that allows players to interact as characters in a story that takes place in real time and evolves based on the players' real world responses and actions. The goal of ARG is to approach reality as much as possible in all aspects of the game, blurring the boundaries between the game and real life.

But what happens when the players themselves don't know where those boundaries lie? Are they players or are they being played? 

Set in the near future, in the multi-million dollar ARG industry, this is a lively techno-thriller that mixes high stake  action with some  serious questions about  the future of online social networking and gaming.

Dagmar Shaw is a producer and writer for an ARG company run by her old college gaming partner Charlie. When another one of their old gaming circle is found dead, are drawn into an international terrorist plot that could spark a very real global financial meltdown. They have a huge network of online gamers to call on for help but no one knows who the puppet master might be or what endgame they have in mind. 

Click here to buy this book
  Sean Williams

The third and final volume in the  Astropolis trilogy, one of the boldest and most original space operas you will ever get your brain around.

In Saturn Returns we were introduced to Imre Bergamasc, a former mercenary reconstructed from genetic data with an incomplete memory and, more surprisingly, as a woman. He is reborn at a time when the pinnacle of human civilisation, the galactic Continuum, is in decline in the wake of the 'Slow Wave'.

A few hundred thousand years later and Imre has been busy. In Earth Ascendant he is now effectively ruler of the galaxy as leader of the Returned Continuum.  But not only is he facing opposition from powerful factions, he has a rogue other self who is determined to do him in.

The Grand Conjunction ties up this hugely ambitious series in a wholly satisfying way. More than two million years into our future the nature of the battle has changed and Imre must face Himself and uncover the secret of his own past and that of an ancient conspiracy to secure humanity's future.

This is exhilarating, high concept stuff with  a compelling mystery on a massive scale, mind twisting alien artefacts and more moral ambiguity than you can throw a galactic-force information bomb at!

Click here to buy this book
  Reif Larson

This is not your typical SF novel and most people would argue with me for including it here. I don't care - this is quite simply one of the most incredible novels you will ever read about science and the limits to which a rational and categorical approach can chart the often chaotic emotional landscapes of love, grief, adolescence and family life.

T.S. Spivet is a 12 year-old genius map maker, compelled to draw and document everything in the world around him. When the Smithsonian, unaware of his age, award him the Baird Fellowship for some of his work, T.S. resolves to run away from his Montana family and trek across America to accept his award in Washington DC. But the reality that awaits him in America's greatest scientific institution is not what he expected. And neither, he discovers, was life at home in Montana precisely as he had always understood it to be.

Filled with his marvellous maps and illustrations, The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet is set to be an immediate cult classic and is already my most treasured discovery of the year.

Also make sure you check out the beautifully designed Spivet website:

www.tsspivet.com

Click here to buy this book


NEW FANTASY
FALL OF THANES: THE GODLESS WORLD BOOK 3
  KING ARTHUR: DRAGON'S CHILD
  THE ADAMANTINE PALACE
Brian Ruckley

This is the final instalment in the highland fantasy trilogy The Godless World.

Set in a medieval realm abandoned by the Gods after two races joined forces to wipe out a third, this series is richly plotted with a dark emotional intensity that has seen it receive strong comparisons to George R.R. Martin.

Winterbirth, the first book in the series introduced a faction-divided land  under siege from religious fanatics and other  supernatural enemies. The second volume,  Bloodheir, did suffer a little from the awkward middle book syndrome but it has set up a tremendous finale where only huge personal sacrifice can cut through the tangle of ancient feuding and end the chaos of war.

With some compelling allegories to recent historical events, The Godless World trilogy is a refreshing read for serious fantasy fans who like to see the stereotypes broken now and then.

Click here to buy this book
  M.K. Hume

A new take on the Arthurian Legend, Dragon's Child imagines with striking authenticity the early life of Artorex, the man destined to become King Arthur.

Growing up in the household of Lord Ector, young Artorex is trained as a warrior. He is a new husband and father when he rides to defend Londinium from the Saxons but in his absence his wife and child are murdered. He channels his grief into his campaign and earns the loyalty and respect of all.

Artorex is soon hailed as the most worthy successor to the dying king, Uther Pendragon, but Uther cannot accept him and hides his sword and crown to thwart his rise.

This is an impressive historical fantasy with a keen eye for the human details within the Arthurian legend. It revisits myth with an authority born from painstaking research into the world from which the story first arose.

Click here to buy this book
  Stephen Deas

Is it just me or have dragons become less scary recently? Sure, they still spout flame and are ferocious in combat but what's with these syrupy soul-mate, dragon and rider love-fests these days? Where can you find a good old reptilian killing machine when you need one?

Fortunately for fans of REAL dragons Stephen Deas restores a bit of mongrel into the cannon of dragon-lore. In his world, dragons once ruled over humans with predatory superiority. But an alchemical method was discovered to subdue the dragons who now serve only as ornaments of human power and status.

But the human empire is grown fat and, caught up in their own corrupt politics, the men in the Adamantine Palace are blind to the danger when a single dragon goes missing. Liberated from the mind-dulling alchemy and awake to its full fury, the dragon is a threat to the entire empire.

Prince Jehal makes for a fascinating anti-hero at the centre of the story but the dragons are the real stars.

Click here to buy this book
NEW URBAN FANTASY

Urban Fantasy is one of the fastest growing sub-genres in fantasy today and broadly includes any stories that take place in a modern urban setting. This month I have a selection of three gritty crime novels.

HELL'S HORIZON
  THICKER THAN WATER: FELIX CASTOR BOOK 4
  EVERY LAST DROP: JOE PITT BOOK 4
D.B. Shan

Book 2 in The City Trilogy, a gritty urban fantasy series for adults by the author  also known as Darren Shan.

Based in an unnamed city run by the enigmatic, all-powerful Cardinal, Hell's Horizon is at heart a noirish murder mystery furnished with shady, near-mythic underworld characters. Animated by links to the City's ancient Incan ancestors and filled with Shan's trademark supernatural horror.

The legion of fans of Darren Shan's teenage horror won't be disappointed. I also highly recommend the first book in The City Trilogy - The Procession of the Dead

Click here to buy Hell's Horizon
  Mike Carey

Felix Castor is the best freelance exorcist in the business, but that doesn't mean he doesn't make mistakes from time to time. And when an exorcist screws things up there's usually hell to pay.

Thicker Than Water
sees Felix head back to his home town of Liverpool where he finds himself dealing with a council estate that's quite literally gone to hell. But worse than this is the unavoidable ordeal of catching up with his own family.

Reminiscent of  John Constantine in the Hellblazer series, Felix Castor is one of the sharpest, funniest and most entertaining characters in modern fantasy.

Click here to buy this book
  Charlie Huston

Book four in the Joe Pitt Chronicles based in the vampire-run underworld of New York City, Every Last Drop is a tight blend of street crime and vampire fiction.

Joe Pitt is a go-between for the three vampire clans competing for supremacy in NYC. The gangs operate by guaranteeing a supply of blood to  members in return for their allegiance.

When Joe discovers that one clan is researching a cure to the Vyrus, the infection that causes vampirism, he realises that clan war is imminent and his days as a neutral outsider are limited.

The Joe Pitt novels are a smart, well realised new take on the urban vampire and are best read in order:


Click here to buy Every last Drop
ROMANCE, ACTION AND ADVENTURE

Let's face it, you girls read (and write) much more than us guys. So it's no surprise that we are seeing more and more high-class SF and fantasy centred around strong female lead characters. And is it just me, or do these girls seem to get more action than Captain Kirk?

STORM GLASS: GLASS BOOK ONE
  GLADIATRIX

Maria V. Snyder

A new trilogy set in the same world as her beautifully imagined Study Series. Storm Glass focuses on Opal Cowen,  apprentice magician and glass-blower with the unusual ability to insert her magic into her glass creations.

As she begins to master her unique powers, her confidence and sassy personality blossom - a fact which does not go unnoticed by many handsome young men she meets on her travels. But when she is sent to the aid of the Stormdancer clan she leaves the safety of the Citadel behind and may face again many horrors from her past.

With plenty of action, romance and ingenuity, Storm Glass is a classic coming-of-age story. But it can go to some pretty dark places so it's definitely recommended for older teens and adults. You will also do well to read the Study Series first or risk getting lost on the swirl of characters.

Click here to buy this book
  Rhonda Roberts

Kannon Jarret was left for dead at the age of two in a Blue Mountains, west of Sydney. Twenty years later and she still has no idea about her real identity until she discovers that her mother might be the US Time Marshall Victoria Dupree.

Kannon is determined to discover the truth about her past, even if she has to go deep into ancient history to find out. She follows Victoria back in time to Ancient Rome where she is investigating the mysterious leader of the Isis cult. In order to learn more about her mother, Kannon embeds herself as a gladiatrix but it's a dangerous undercover identity and she may not be able to avoid a fight for her life.

Rhonda Roberts has written a thrilling time twisting adventure that has a lot of fun with the concept of time travel. I love the idea of San Francisco with a pyramid in Union Square.

Click here to buy this book
AT THE MOVIES ...
THE WOLVERINE FILES

Mike W. Barr

A comprehensive and faithful compendium of everything Wolverine. It extensively chronicles all his comic book appearances (including such off-beat gems as What if Wolverine became Lord of the Vampires?) and gives detailed information and analysis on everything from his allies and enemies to his various costumes over time. There has been a lot of attention paid to the design of this book as well, with lush, full colour pages bound in well produced hardcover and set in a solid slipcase, complete with Wolverine slashes.

Great fun for Wolverine enthusiasts who will enjoy rediscovering classic Wolverine material, it is also a great starting point for fans of the new film who may want to learn more about the life and times of world's favourite Adamantium-enhanced superhero.

Click here to buy this book

STAR TREK: MOVIE NOVELIZATION

Alan Dean Foster

With an absolutely stellar cast, the Star Trek 'reboot' movie is one of the most anticipated films of the year. Personally, I can't wait to see Simon Pegg as Scotty - he must be right chuffed at landing that role! For the first time we will get an insight into the early lives of Kirk and Spock and all the original Enterprise crew. For those of you who want an even more detailed account of Kirk's rise to Starship Captain or Spock's difficult mixed race childhood on Vulcan, then you need the movie novelisation. Alan Dean Foster has worked with script writer J.J. Abrams to put together the definitive story and perfect companion to the film.

Click here to buy this book


STAR TREK: COUNTDOWN

J.J. Abrams et al.

This is actually a four-part comic series that is intended as a prequel to the new Star Trek movie. The art provided by David Messina is excellent, particularly by the standards of other Star Trek comics. The plot introduces us to the Romulan character Nero and actually takes place in the Next Generation era, almost a century after movie. It explores the set of events that led Nero to go back in time and seek vengeance for the destruction of his planet. Countdown is a graphic novel for the more dedicated fans as it relies upon a good understanding of the Star Trek characters and timeline. For the real trekkies out there though, it's compulsory reading before you line up for the movie tickets.

Click here to buy this book

THE ART OF TERMINATOR SALVATION

Tara Bennett

The Art of Terminator Salvation is a stunning visual chronicling of the making of the movie, comprising of exclusive designs, storyboards and stills revealing the depth of creativity that has gone into creating the brand-new Terminator movie.

The official Terminator Salvation Movie Novelisation is also available as well as  the surprisingly good Terminator Salvation Prequel, which fills in those years after the rise of Skynet, as John and Kate Connor assemble their Resistance. Written by Hugo Award winning author Timothy Zahn, this is a great SF read in its own right and a nice bonus as we wait for the movie release on May 22.

Click here to buy The Art of Terminator Salvation

Click here to buy the Terminator Salvation Movie Novelisation


Click here to buy the Terminator Salvation Prequel


THE BEST NEW YOUNG ADULT SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY

Without doubt some of the most exciting new SF and fantasy writing is coming out of the young adult section. YA is a relatively new concept in publishing (where would you put To Kill a Mocking Bird if it was written today?) and while a lot of people don't like the arbitrariness of the distinction, there is no doubt that by writing for a teenage audience an author has to work harder to keep the reader engaged. This shouldn't mean dumbing down the work but tightening it up so that the reader is completely immersed in the story the whole way through. If you have been avoiding the YA section for fear of losing literary cred, then you are missing out on some of the most inventive, intelligent and moving literature being produced today.

THE REFORMED VAMPIRE SUPPORT GROUP
  THE ARRIVAL: THE STRANGERS OF PARAGOR BOOK ONE
Catherine Jinks

You can't swing a metaphorical cat in a book store these days in fear of hitting yet another sexy new vampire fantasy full of glamorous fanged vigilantes.

Even Nina is in on the act. She spends her boring, lonely nights penning the bestselling adventures of superhuman, super suave Zadia Bloodstone.

But Nina knows how much of a fantasy vampires like Zadia actually are. That's because Nina is a REAL vampire and her life definitely ain't no Stephenie Meyer novel. In fact, being a real vampire is more like having a killer flu, all night, every night, forever. Nina and the other members of the Reformed Vampire Support Group have sworn off ever drinking human blood to ensure they don't pass on their infection to any other humans. Unfortunately the substitute diet of guinea pig blood leaves them tired and sickly and in need of constant emotional support. Seriously, the only good thing to happen since Nina was bitten back in 1971 was the advent of online shopping!

But when one of Nina's friends is found with a stake through his heart they realise there is a slayer on the lose. Their only chance is to find the killer before he finds them. And then what? Reason with him? But what else can reformed vampire do?

Wonderfully subversive, filled with brilliant comic dialogue and not without its fair share of vampire romance either, The Reformed Vampire Support Group is far more interesting and satisfying than any of the stereotyped fang-lit clogging the bookshelves today.

Click here to buy this book

Click here to watch my interview with Catherine Jinks about her new book

  Charlotte McConaghy

Young Sydney-based author Charlotte  McConaghy finished writing The Arrival when she was only 16, writing it every day after school. for two years. Her author profile tells us that she writes the sort of books that she wants to read - exciting romantic adventure novels. She certainly not alone in her choice of reading material and her debut novel is a stand-out fantasy adventure that teenage girls in particular are sure to enjoy.

When I first pick up a book written by a teenager my first thought (other than "Damn you and your precocious talent!") is for the quality of the writing. Many teenagers are able to write imaginative and engaging stories, but very few have the maturity and discipline to construct a full length novel with a consistent plot, compelling themes and realistic characterisation. Fortunately The Arrival passes all of these tests. It is a sweeping, good versus evil saga that is told with a lot of passion and tenderness for it's characters.

Book One in the Strangers of Paragor Trilogy begins when six friends all experience the same recurring dream. Together they decide to act on their shared dream and pass through a portal into the fantastic landscape of Paragor. As soon as the strangers enter Paragor, however, they are separated and forced to discover the world and survive in it on their own. As they struggle to find each other and form allegiances with the people of Paragor, a tyrannical threat looms ever closer and a prophecy predicting the arrival of the six friends also warns of sacrifices that must be made if they are to escape oppression.

This is a gripping and exciting first instalment that will have readers eagerly hanging out for book 2.

Click here to buy this book

FEVER CRUMB
  WORLDSHAKER
Philip Reeve

Hands up all of you who have read the Mortal Engines Quartet? Right, well, like me you are no doubt dizzy with excitement at the mere thought of another addition to one of the best young adult SF series of all time. And the rest of you? Where have you been? Philip Reeve is right up there with Philip Pullman as one of the most brilliant YA writers in the world today. The Mortal Engines Quartet takes pride of place in my bookcase and remains one of my most cherished reading experiences.

Yes, it really is that good!

For the uninitiated, Mortal Engines IN STOCK is a far-future adventure set on an Earth scorched after the Sixty Minute War and no longer to support the population it once did. In response great traction cities were built to roam across the dead landscape and prey upon each other in a piratical system known as Municipal Darwinism. The greatest of these is London and it is here that the fates of young, naive Tom and vengeful Hester are thrown together - two teenagers who will play an integral part in the looming war against the Anti-Traction League.

Fever Crumb is a prequel, set thousands of years in Tom and Hester's past, in the days before London became a traction city and provides an enlightening pre-history  to their world.

Fans of the Stalker Shrike will be particularly excited about some of the revelations it makes.

Click here to read an extract of Fever Crumb

Click here to buy this book
  Richard Harland

It's no mistake that I have placed this new steam punk adventure next to Fever Crumb. Harland was obviously inspired by Mortal Engines when he sat down to write Worldshaker. I can't blame him - my own writing borrows heavily from Philip Reeve too!

Col Porpentine lives a privileged life in the upper decks of the Worldshaker, the great Juggernaut (Harland's answer to the traction cities of Mortal Engines). He is destined to succeed his grandfather as Supreme Commander and is the centre of attention at the most elite social events. But when a 'filthy' escapes from below decks and hides out in his bedroom, Col's safe and comfortable life is turned upside down.

Brought up to believe that the filthies (who are forced to run the engines that drive the monstrous city) were subhuman savages. But Riff, the girl hiding in his cabin, is quick and smart and even, though he is ashamed to admit it, beautiful. As he continues his education to become Supreme Commander he can't help but notice the contradictions between what he is told and what he learnt from meeting  Riff. Sooner or later he will have to confront these contradictions, especially as the first stirrings of rebellion are beginning in steam filled underbelly of Worldshaker.

Set in an alternate Victorian-age industrial world, Worldshaker is a clever, richly detailed book that is perfect for 12+ teens and fans of steam punk.

Click here to buy this book

FOR THE TREKKIES AND JEDI KNIGHTS
STAR TREK VOYAGER: FULL CIRCLE
  STAR WARS FATE OF THE JEDI: OUTCAST
Kirsten Beyer

When the U.S.S. Voyager is dispatched on an urgent mission to the planet Kerovi, Captain Chakotay must choose between following their orders and saving the lives of two of those dearest to them. B'Elanna Torres and her daughter Miral are both missing in the wake of a brutal attack on the Klingon world of Boreth. With the aid of their former captain, Admiral Kathryn Janeway, Voyager's crew must unravel an ancient mystery, placing themselves between two warrior sects battling for the soul of the Klingon people, while the life of Miral hangs in the balance.

But these events and their repercussions are merely the prelude to even darker days to come as Voyager is drawn into a desperate struggle to prevent the annihilation of the Federation.

Click here to buy this book
  Aaron Allston

The first volume in a new, nine book series launches a huge story arc featuring Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa Solo and their surviving children.

The Galactic Alliance is in crisis. In a shocking move, Chief of State, Natasi Daala, orders the arrest of Luke Skywalker for failing to prevent Jacen Solo's turn to the dark side. Facing conviction, Luke must strike a bargain with the calculating Daala - his freedom in exchange for his exile from Coruscant and from the Jedi Order.

Though forbidden to intervene in Jedi affairs, Luke is determined to keep history from being repeated. With his son, Ben, at his side, Luke sets out to unravel the shocking truth behind Jacen Solo's corruption and downfall.

Click here to buy this book
STAR TREK NEW FRONTIER: TREASON
  STAR WARS: MILLENNIUM FALCON
Peter David

Three years after the events of Missing in Action, it is a time of political upheaval and uncertainty in New Thallon. After the assassination of her husband, Si Cwan, Robin Lefler is the appointed Prime Minister in his place. Her newborn son faces growing danger, however, as heir to the noble line of Cwan. Robin has no choice but to flee New Thallon with her child and seek refuge with Captain Mackenzie Calhoun on the U.S.S. Excalibur, creating a major diplomatic crisis in Sector 221-G.

But an enigmatic alien race is also determined to seize the infant Cwan for its own mysterious purposes. And nothing could possibly prepare Calhoun for the shocking betrayal from within - an act of treachery to aid and abet this alien race - forever altering the lives of the Excalibur crew.

Click here to buy this book

  James Luceno

In an exciting, action-packed adventure spanning the time from The Phantom Menace to the end of the Legacy of the Force series, Han and Leia go an adventure to search for clues to the Millennium Falcon's past.

Shortly after the events of the Legacy of the Force series, Han and Leia encounter something hidden on the Millennium Falcon that dates back to the years before Han won the ship from Lando Calrissian in a game of Sabaac. In an effort to unravel the mystery, they follow the clues of the Millennium Falcon's history back to its very construction, and discover an elaborate but ultimately doomed plot to overthrow the Emperor.

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LITERARY SF AT ITS GREATEST
THE BEST OF MICHAEL MOORCOCK

Michael Moorcock and John Davey (Ed.)

A long overdue collection of one of the absolute giants of science fiction and fantasy. As editor of the magazine New Worlds, Michael Moorcock was one of the chief instigators of the experimental and controversial New Wave science fiction movement that challenged the mainstream genre traditions and broadened the range of themes and styles acceptable in genre SF. The New Wave actively moved away from the futuristic outer space pulp of the 50's and 60's and broke down strict rules about scientific accuracy in favour of more people centred, allegorical works. Moorcock himself produced work encompassing the full spectrum of SF and Fantasy and it is partly through his efforts that we often link the two genres together today.

Moorcock's most popular creation are the Elric of Melniboné sagas, the adventures of the anti-hero Elric and his soul-stealing sword Stormbringer. Elric was a character created in direct opposition to the clichéd heroes rife in post-Tolkien fantasy and he is represented in this collection in the short story A Portrait in Ivory.

Other classic works contained in this collection include the Nebula Award-winning novela Behold the Man, a recent tale of the androgynous secret agent Jerry Cornelius called The Visible Men and the trilogy My Experiences in the Third World War where a Russian agent in an alternate Cambodia is powerless to prevent an inevitable march toward nuclear disaster. There are also three previously uncollected stories and a never before published short story to excite the die-hard fans.

No true disciple of science fiction or fantasy can ignore the impact the Michael Moorcock has had on both genres and in this carefully selected compilation we can clearly see the breadth and depth of his ability. The Best of Michael Moorcock is the perfect place to start if you are unfamiliar with his work and an absolute treat for long-time fans.

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IN THIS ISSUE

Gollancz Space Opera Competition

Richard's SF and Fantasy Books of the Month

Abolutely Not to be Missed

New Science Fiction

New Fantasy

New Urban Fantasy

Romance, Action and Adventure

At the Movies

Best New Young Adult SF & Fantasy

For the Trekkies and Jedi Knights

Literary SF at its Best
BESTSELLERS
Stephenie Meyer has been dominating the bestseller charts for months now and it's no surprise that the Twilight series is still selling outrageously well. So here is a Top Ten without a certain Vampire series:
PRIDE & PREJUDICE & ZOMBIES
Seth Grahame-Smith
CITY OF GLASS: MORTAL INSTRUMENTS 3
Cassandra Clare
IN STOCK
CHOSEN: HOUSE OF NIGHT BOOK 3
P.C. Cast & Kirsten Cast
THE GRAVEYARD BOOK
Neil Gaiman
THE FOREST OF HAND AND TEETH
Carrie Ryan
DREAM CHASER: DREAM HUNTER BK 4
Sherrilyn Kenyon
MATTER: CULTURE BOOK 7
Iain M. Banks
SATURN RETURNS: ASTROPOLIS BOOK 1
Sean Williams
JOURNEY INTO SPACE
Toby Litt
MAGICIAN'S APPRENTICE
Trudi Canavan

FINAL VOLUME OF THE WHEEL OF TIME ANNOUNCED
FINALLY! The concluding chapter of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time Series will be divided into a three volume series called The Memory of Light. The first volume, The Gathering Storm, will be released on November 3. Keep your eye on future editions of The SF & Fantasy Buzz for more information about pre-ordering your copy.
COMING UP IN JUNE
Kevin J. Anderson branches out with a new naval fantasy, Russell Kirkpatrick delivers the third book in the Husk Trilogy, Greer Gilman delights with an masterpiece of literary fantasy as well as the next instalments in two hugely popular vamp-lit series.

Just some of the highlights to look forward to in the June Edition of The SF & Fantasy Buzz.

Can't wait? Then pre-order by clicking on the titles below.
EDGE OF THE WORLD
Kevin J. Anderson
BEYOND THE WALL OF TIME
Russell Kirkpatrick
CLOUD & ASHES: THREE WINTER TALES
Greer Gilman
DEAD AND GONE: SOOKIE STACKHOUSE BOOK 9
Charlaine Harris
SKIN TRADE: ANITA BLAKE VAMPIRE HUNTER BOOK 17
Laurell K. Hamilton
THE SORCERESS
Michael Scott
THE EMPRESS OF MARS
Kage Barker
AWARD ROUND-UP
This year's Nebula Award awarded on the 25th April to Ursula K. Le Guin for her novel POWERS.

The Hugo Award just announced their 2009 shortlist:

ANATHEM
Neal Stephenson

THE GRAVEYARD BOOK
Neil Gaiman

LITTLE BROTHER
Cory Doctorow

SATURN'S CHILDREN
Charles Stross

ZOE'S TALE
John Scalzi

CLASSIC BOOKS:
DUAL HUGO AND NEBULA AWARD WINNERS
The Hugo Award and the Nebula Award are the two most prestigious SF & Fantasy prizes in the world. Only 19 books have been strong enough to win both awards. Here is my personal selection of the ten best Dual Hugo and Nebula Award Winners.
THE YIDDISH POLICEMAN'S UNION
Michael Chabon
AMERICAN GODS
Neil Gaiman
ENDERS GAME
Orson Scott Card
NEUROMANCER
William Gibson
THE FOREVER WAR
Joe Haldeman
GATEWAY
Frederik Pohl
THE DISPOSSESSED
Ursula K. Le Guin
THE GODS THEMSELVES
Isaac Asimov
THE LEFT HAND OF DARKNESS
Ursula K. Le Guin
DUNE
Frank Herbert

NEW INTO PAPERBACK
Some of the best books from 2008 have recently been released in paperback format including the latest addition to the Dune series, Arthur C. Clarke's final novel and the highly acclaimed debut novel by Patrick Rothfuss.

Click on the titles below to order the new paperback editions
PAUL OF DUNE
Frank Herbert
THE SINGING
Alison Croggon
THE TWISTED CITADEL
Sara Douglass
THE LAST ARGUMENT OF KINGS: THE FIRST LAW BOOK 3
Joe Abercrombie
MAGE-GUARD OF HAMOR
L.E. Modesitt Jr
THE NAME OF THE WIND: KINGKILLER CHRONICLES DAY 1
Patrick Rothfuss
HOUSE OF SUNS
Alastair Reynolds

 
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