Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Awards round-up

Another week-end with plenty of awards announcements has passed. Let’s start with the winners of the 2010 BSFA Awards announced at the 62nd Eastercon convetion:

Best Novel: “The Dervish House” by Ian McDonald (Gollancz)

Best Short Fiction: “The Shipmaker” by Aliette de Bodard (Interzone #231)

Best Non-Fiction: “Blogging the Hugos: Decline” by Paul Kincaid (Big Other)

Best Artwork: Joey Hi-Fi for the cover of “Zoo City”

Congratulations to all the winners!

2011 Ditmar Awards

The 2011 Ditmar Awards winners have been announced at Swancon36, the 36th Annual Western Australian Science Fiction & Fantasy Convention:

Best Novel: “Power and Majesty” by Tansy Rayner Roberts (Voyager)

Best Novella or Novelette: “The Company Articles of Edward Teach” by Thoraiya Dyer (Twelfth Planet Press)

Best Short Story: “All the Love in the World” by Cat Sparks (Sprawl, Twelfth Planet Press)

“She Said” by Kirstyn McDermott (Scenes From the Second Storey, Morrigan Books)

Best Collected Work: “Sprawl” edited by Alisa Krasnostein (Twelfth Planet Press)

Best Artwork: Short film – “The Lost Thing” (Passion Pictures) - Andrew Ruhemann and Shaun Tan

Best Fan Writer: Alexandra Pierce for body of work including reviews at Australian Speculative Fiction in Focus

Best Fan Artist: Amanda Rainey for Swancon 36 logo

Best Fan Publication in Any Medium: “Galactic Suburbia” podcast - Alisa Krasnostein, Tansy Rayner Roberts and Alex Pierce

Best Achievement: Alisa Krasnostein, Kathryn Linge, Rachel Holkner, Alexandra Pierce, Tansy Rayner Roberts and Tehani Wessely - Snapshot 2010

Best New Talent: Thoraiya Dyer

William Atheling Jr Award for Criticism or Review: Tansy Rayner Roberts for “A Modern Woman’s Guide to Classic Who”

Congratulations to all the winners!

2010 Philip K. Dick Award

The winner of the 2010 Philip K. Dick Award was announced at Norwescon 34, the Pacific Northwest’s Premier Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention:

2010 Philip K. Dick Award: “The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack” by Mark Hodder (Pyr)

2010 Special Citation: “Harmony” by Project Itoh, translated by Alexander O. Smith (Haikasoru)


2011 Hugo Awards nominees

The nominees for the 2011 Hugo Awards and for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer have been announced. The winners will be announced on 20th August, at the Hugo Awards Ceremony held at Renovation, the 69th World Science Fiction Convention, held in Reno, Nevada.

Best Novel:
“Blackout/All Clear” by Connie Willis (Ballantine Spectra)
“Cryoburn” by Lois McMaster Bujold (Baen)
“The Dervish House” by Ian McDonald (Gollancz / Pyr)
“Feed” by Mira Grant (Orbit)
“The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms” by N.K. Jemisin (Orbit)

Best Novella:
“The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers beneath the Queen’s Window” by Rachel Swirsky (Subterranean Magazine, Summer 2010)
“The Lifecycle of Software Objects” by Ted Chiang (Subterranean)
“The Maiden Flight of McCauley’s Bellerophon” by Elizabeth Hand (Stories: All New Tales, William Morrow)
“The Sultan of the Clouds” by Geoffrey A. Landis (Asimov’s, September 2010)
“Troika” by Alastair Reynolds (Godlike Machines, Science Fiction Book Club)

Best Novelette:
“Eight Miles” by Sean McMullen (Analog, September 2010)
“The Emperor of Mars” by Allen M. Steele (Asimov’s, June 2010)
“The Jaguar House, in Shadow” by Aliette de Bodard (Asimov’s, July 2010)
“Plus or Minus” by James Patrick Kelly (Asimov’s, December 2010)
“That Leviathan, Whom Thou Hast Made” by Eric James Stone (Analog, September 2010)

Best Short Story:
“Amaryllis” by Carrie Vaughn (Lightspeed, June 2010)
“For Want of a Nail” by Mary Robinette Kowal (Asimov’s, September 2010)
“Ponies” by Kij Johnson (Tor.com, November 17, 2010)
“The Things” by Peter Watts (Clarkesworld, January 2010)

Best Related Work:
“Bearings: Reviews 1997-2001” by Gary K. Wolfe (Beccon)
“The Business of Science Fiction: Two Insiders Discuss Writing and Publishing” by Mike Resnick and Barry N. Malzberg
“Chicks Dig Time Lords: A Celebration of Doctor Who by the Women Who Love It” edited by Lynne M. Thomas and Tara O’Shea (Mad Norwegian)
“Robert A. Heinlein: In Dialogue with His Century, Volume 1: (1907–1948): Learning Curve” by William H. Patterson, Jr. (Tor)
“Writing Excuses, Season 4” by Brandon Sanderson, Jordan Sanderson, Howard Tayler, Dan Wells

Best Graphic Story:
“Fables: Witches” written by Bill Willingham; illustrated by Mark Buckingham
“Girl Genius, Volume 10: Agatha Heterodyne and the Guardian Muse” written by Phil and Kaja Foglio; art by Phil Foglio; colors by Cheyenne Wright (Airship Entertainment)
“Grandville Mon Amour” by Bryan Talbot (Dark Horse)
“Schlock Mercenary: Massively Parallel” written and illustrated by Howard Tayler; colors by Howard Tayler and Travis Walton (Hypernode)
“The Unwritten, Volume 2: Inside Man” written by Mike Carey; illustrated by Peter Gross (Vertigo)

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form:“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1” screenplay by Steve Kloves; directed by David Yates (Warner)
“How to Train Your Dragon” screenplay by William Davies, Dean DeBlois & Chris Sanders; directed by Dean DeBlois & Chris Sanders (DreamWorks)
“Inception” written and directed by Christopher Nolan (Warner)
“Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” screenplay by Michael Bacall & Edgar Wright; directed by Edgar Wright (Universal)
“Toy Story 3” screenplay by Michael Arndt; story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton & Lee Unkrich; directed by Lee Unkrich (Pixar/Disney)

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form:
Doctor Who: “A Christmas Carol” written by Steven Moffat; directed by Toby Haynes (BBC Wales)
Doctor Who: “The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang” written by Steven Moffat; directed by Toby Haynes (BBC Wales)
Doctor Who: “Vincent and the Doctor” written by Richard Curtis; directed by Jonny Campbell (BBC Wales)
“Fuck Me, Ray Bradbury” written by Rachel Bloom; directed by Paul Briganti
“The Lost Thing written by Shaun Tan; directed by Andrew Ruhemann and Shaun Tan
(Passion Pictures)

Best Editor, Short Form:
John Joseph Adams
Stanley Schmidt
Jonathan Strahan
Gordon Van Gelder
Sheila Williams

Best Editor, Long Form:
Lou Anders
Ginjer Buchanan
Moshe Feder
Liz Gorinsky
Nick Mamatas
Beth Meacham
Juliet Ulman

Best Professional Artist:
Daniel Dos Santos
Bob Eggleton
Stephan Martiniere
John Picacio
Shaun Tan

Best Semiprozine:
“Clarkesworld” edited by Neil Clarke, Cheryl Morgan, Sean Wallace; podcast directed by Kate Baker
“Interzone” edited by Andy Cox
“Lightspeed” edited by John Joseph Adams
“Locus” edited by Liza Groen Trombi and Kirsten Gong-Wong
“Weird Tales” edited by Ann VanderMeer and Stephen H. Segal

Best Fanzine:
“Banana Wings” edited by Claire Brialey and Mark Plummer
“Challenger” edited by Guy H. Lillian III
“The Drink Tank” edited by Christopher J Garcia and James Bacon
“File 770” edited by Mike Glyer
“StarShipSofa” edited by Tony C. Smith

Best Fan Writer:
James Bacon
Claire Brialey
Christopher J Garcia
James Nicoll
Steven H Silver

Best Fan Artist:
Brad W. Foster
Randall Munroe
Maurine Starkey
Steve Stiles
Taral Wayne

John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer:
Saladin Ahmed
Lauren Beukes
Larry Correia
Lev Grossman
Dan Wells

Congratulations and good luck to all the nominees!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Cover art - "11/22/63" by Stephen King

It seems that this is a week of covers. This time, however, it is the moment of the King himself, because yesterday on Stephen King’s official message board the hardcover dust jacket of the Scribner edition of the anticipated “11/22/63” was revealed. The design is created by Rex Bonomelli and looks marvelous. A perfect companion for one of the novels I am eagerly looking forward to read this year. Stephen King’s “11/22/63” is another massive volume, close to 1000 pages, but there are plenty of reasons for me to put his novel on My Most Wanted list of books. To be brief and not to enumerate all the reasons why I am waiting for 8th of November, the release date of Stephen King’s “11/22/63”, I show you only two of them, the one you see above and the one I post below :)

On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed. What if you could change it back? Stephen King's heart-stoppingly dramatic new novel is about a man who travels back in time to prevent the JFK assassination - a thousand page tour de force.

Following his massively successful novel Under the Dome, King sweeps readers back in time to another moment - a real life moment - when everything went wrong: the JFK assassination. And he introduces readers to a character who has the power to change the course of history.

Jake Epping is a thirty-five-year-old high school English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine, who makes extra money teaching adults in the GED program. He receives an essay from one of the students - a gruesome, harrowing first person story about the night 50 years ago when Harry Dunning's father came home and killed his mother, his sister, and his brother with a hammer. Harry escaped with a smashed leg, as evidenced by his crooked walk.

Not much later, Jake's friend Al, who runs the local diner, divulges a secret: his storeroom is a portal to 1958. He enlists Jake on an insane - and insanely possible - mission to try to prevent the Kennedy assassination. So begins Jake's new life as George Amberson and his new world of Elvis and JFK, of big American cars and sock hops, of a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald and a beautiful high school librarian named Sadie Dunhill, who becomes the love of Jake's life - a life that transgresses all the normal rules of time.

A tribute to a simpler era and a devastating exercise in escalating suspense, 11/22/63 is Stephen King at his epic best.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Cover art - "Servant of the Underworld" by Aliette de Bodard (French edition)

As much as I would like to bring my reviews back on track the truth is I am a bit behind with them. Still, the good news is that two of them are already half written, David Wingrove’s “Son of Heaven” and Aliette de Bodard’s “Servant of the Underworld”. I am especially happy about “Servant of the Underworld”, because yesterday I saw on Aliette de Bodard’s blog an awesome cover for the French (which else?) edition of her debut novel. I did like the cover of the English edition of “Servant of the Underworld” published by Angry Robot Books, simple, symbolic and efficient. But the cover of the French edition, “D’Obsidienne et de Sang”, looks wonderful and equally efficient. It is hard for me to choose between the covers of Aliette de Bodard’s “Servant of the Underworld”, because I like both of them a lot, but I do love the approach taken by Eclipse, the publisher of the French edition, too. Not only that this cover would make me pick the book if I see it on a bookshop shelves, but since I read and enjoyed the novel I find the artwork made by Larry Rostant, the master of photographic covers, suitable for “Servant of the Underworld”. And since Aliette de Bodard indicates on her blog post that Larry Rostant will create the covers for the rest of her trilogy I am looking forward to see with what the artist comes up next.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Cover art - "Them or Us" by David Moody (US edition)

I had many pleasant surprises because of my blog and among them there is the discovery of David Moody. I loved his novels in the “Hater” trilogy, the first novel of the series, “Hater”, a bit more than the second, “Dog Blood”. But both of them were very interesting and with plenty of good things to be found, especially Danny McCoyne, who is a strong character. The conclusion of David Moody’s trilogy, “Them or Us”, is due to be released in the US on November by Thomas Dunne Books and in the UK on December by Gollancz. It is one of the novels that I am eagerly looking forward to read this year and find the conclusion of this fine trilogy. Although there is plenty of time until then we can admire the cover art of the US edition of David Moody’s “Them or Us”. It steps away from the line of the first two covers, but I have to say that it looks good. The conflict and its fatality found in the novel’s title, “Them or Us”, is projected on the artwork of the cover, in the two groups facing each other, the colors of the lettering and of the cover. I find it very appropriate. David Moody has a blurb for “Them or Us” on his website, but I would not recommend it for those unfamiliar with the series, because it contains some spoilers.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Awards round-up

2010 Australian Shadows Awards

The winners of the 2010 Australian Shadows Awards have been announced:

“Under Stones” by Bob Franklin (Affirm Press)

“Macabre: A Journey Through Australia’s Darkest Fears” edited by Angela Challis & Marty Young (Brimstone Press)

“She Said” by Kirstyn McDermott (Scenes from the Second Storey, Morrigan Books)

Congratulations to all the winners!

2010 Galileo Awards nominees

The list of nominees for the first edition of the Galileo Awards has been announced. From today the list of nominees will be voted in the Australian system, with one title eliminated from the list at each stage and with the winners due to be announced at the National Book Fair, Bookfest, on 28th of May.

Oliviu Crâznic – “…și la sfîrșit a mai rămas coșmarul” (…and at the end remained the nightmare) (Vremea)
Michael Haulică – “Povestiri fantastice” (Fantastic Stories) (Millennium)
Mircea Opriţă – “Povestiri de duminică” (Sunday Stories) (Millennium)
Liviu Radu – “Modificatorii” (The Modifiers) (Millennium)
Cristian-Mihail Teodorescu – “S.F. Doi” (S.F. Two) (Bastion)

Ștefana Cristina Czeller – “Slujesc Zeului-Cîine” (I Serve the Dog-God) (Galileo 2)
Costi Gurgu – “Îngeri și molii” (Angels and Moths) (Galileo 2)
Michael Haulică – “Microtexte” (Microtexts) (Povestiri fantastice, Millennium, 2010)
Florin Pîtea – “Vînătoarea de sfincși” (The Hunt of Sphinxes) (Galileo 2)
Marian Truță – “Cumania 2010” (Cumania 2010) (Galileo 2)

Congratulations and good luck to all the nominees!

2010 Shirley Jackson Awards nominees

The nominees for the 2010 Shirley Jackson Awards have been announced. The winners will be announced at Readercon 22, which will be held between July 14th and 17th at Burlington Marriott, Burlington, Massachusetts.

“Dark Matter” by Michelle Paver (Orion)
“A Dark Matter” by Peter Straub (Doubleday)
“Feed” by Mira Grant (Orbit)
“Mr. Shivers” by Robert Jackson Bennett (Orbit)
“The Reapers Are the Angels” by Alden Bell (Holt)
“The Silent Land” by Graham Joyce (Gollancz)

“The Broken Man” by Michael Byers (PS Publishing)
“Chasing the Dragon” by Nicholas Kaufmann (Chizine Publications)
“Mysterium Tremendum” by Laird Barron (Occultation, Night Shade)
“One Bloody Thing After Another” by Joey Comeau (ECW Press)
“Subtle Bodies” by Peter Dubé (Lethe Press)
“The Thief of Broken Toys” by Tim Lebbon (Chizine Publications)

“--30—“ by Laird Barron (Occultation, Night Shade)
“The Broadsword” by Laird Barron (Black Wings, PS Publishing)
“Holderhaven” by Richard Butner (Crimewave 11: Ghosts)
“The Redfield Girls” by Laird Barron (Haunted Legends, Tor)
“Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains” by Neil Gaiman (Stories: All New Tales, William Morrow)

“As Red as Red” by Caitlin R. Kiernan (Haunted Legends, Tor)
“Booth's Ghost” by Karen Joy Fowler (What I Didn't See, Small Beer Press)
“The Foxes” by Lily Hoang (Haunted Legends, Tor)
“six six six” by Laird Barron (Occultation, Night Shade)
“The Things” by Peter Watts (Clarkesworld, Issue 40)

“Occultation” by Laird Barron (Night Shade)
“The Ones That Got Away” by Stephen Graham Jones (Prime Books)
“The Third Bear” by Jeff Vandermeer (Tachyon)
“What I Didn't See” by Karen Joy Fowler (Small Beer Press)
“What Will Come After” by Scott Edelman (PS Publishing)

“Black Wings: Tales of Lovecraftian Horror” edited by S. T. Joshi (PS Publications)
“Haunted Legends” edited by Ellen Datlow and Nick Mamatas (Tor)
“My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me: Forty New Fairy Tales” edited by Kate Bernheimer (Penguin)
“Stories: All New Tales” edited by Neil Gaiman and Al Sarrantonio (William Morrow)
“Swords and Dark Magic: The New Sword and Sorcery” edited by Jonathan Strahan and Lou Anders (Eos)

Congratulations and good luck to all the nominees!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Cover art - "La Colère" (King's Wrath) by Fiona McIntosh

I find myself in the impossibility of talking about Marc Simonetti’s artworks anymore. Not because I don’t like the art pieces Marc Simonetti creates, but because the constant high standard of his works leaves me speechless. He is always surprising and with each art piece he seems to achieve something more. We’ve seen before how Marc Simonetti enriched the French editions of various fantasy novels by creating some wonderful cover artworks; I’ve spotlighted a few of them, such as George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire”, Patrick Rothfuss’ “The Name of the Wind” or Ken Scholes’ “Lamentation” & “Canticle”, here on my blog too. Now we can see another excellent one. The French editions of Fiona McIntosh’s trilogy, “Valisar”, published by Bragelonne, reached the third novel, “King’s Wrath”, and as we can see, “La Colère” as is the French title, has a stunning cover artwork, signed Marc Simonetti. As I said at the beginning I found myself without words, but I still have a wish: some day to see Marc Simonetti’s works on the cover of English editions too.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Title spotlight - "New Cthulhu: The Recent Weird" edited by Paula Guran

I didn’t set many resolutions at the beginning of this year since lately I mostly failed to achieve them. However, one in particular started well so far and promises to be fulfilled, even over passed. It is my desire to read more short fiction this year and I already did, although the time didn’t allow me to review what I read yet. It is mostly online short fiction, but I also read two anthologies, that hopefully I will be able to review soon. Also, I already spotlighted a few more upcoming wonderful anthologies here on my blog and at the end of the year will make a review of all of them and see what I managed to achieve with them.

Until then, here is another anthology that looks very well and I put on my wish list for 2011. “New Cthulhu: The Recent Weird” edited by Paula Guran sounds really well, more so because H.P. Lovecraft is one of my loves when it comes to reading. I love H.P. Lovecraft’s works and seeing what “New Cthulhu: The Recent Weird” has in store it only makes me to eagerly look forward to Paula Guran’s new anthology. “New Cthulhu: The Recent Weird” will be released by Prime Books on November and joins a list of excellent looking anthologies due to be released by the same Prime Books in 2011.

Here is the description of “New Cthulhu: The Recent Weird” edited by Paula Guran and the impressive line-up of stories and authors posted by Sean Wallace on his blog:

“That is not dead which can eternal lie, yet with stranger aeons, even Death may die.”
For more than eighty years H.P. Lovecraft has inspired writers of supernatural fiction, artists, musicians, filmmakers, and gaming. His themes of cosmic indifference, the utter insignificance of humankind, minds invaded by the alien, and the horrors of history — written with a pervasive atmosphere of unexplainable dread — today remain not only viable motifs, but are more relevant than ever as we explore the mysteries of a universe in which our planet is infinitesimal and climatic change is overwhelming it.
In the first decade of the twenty-first century the best supernatural writers no longer imitate Lovecraft, but they are profoundly influenced by the genre and the mythos he created. New Cthulhu: The Recent Weird presents some of the best of this new Lovecraftian fiction — bizarre, subtle, atmospheric, metaphysical, psychological, filled with strange creatures and stranger characters — eldritch, unsettling, evocative, and darkly appealing . . .

“The Crevasse” by Dale Bailey & Nathan Ballingrud
“Old Virginia” by Laird Barron
“Shoggoths in Bloom” by Elizabeth Bear
“Mongoose” by Elizabeth Bear & Sarah Monette
“The Oram County Whoosit” by Steve Duffy
“Study in Emerald” by Neil Gaiman
“Grinding Rock” by Cody Goodfellow
“Pickman’s Other Model (1929)” by Caitlin Kiernan
“The Disciple” by David Barr Kirtley
“The Vicar of R'lyeh” by Marc Laidlaw
“Mr Gaunt” by John Langan
“Take Me to the River” by Paul McAuley
“The Dude Who Collected Lovecraft” by Nick Mamatas & Tim Pratt
“Details” by China Mieville
“Bringing Helena Back” by Sarah Monette
“Another Fish Story” by Kim Newman
“Lesser Demons” by Norm Partridge
“Cold Water Survival” by Holly Phillips
“Head Music” by Lon Prater
“Bad Sushi” by Cherie Priest
“The Fungal Stain” by W.H. Pugmire
“Tsathoggua” by Michael Shea
“Buried in the Sky” by John Shirley
“Fair Exchange” by Michael Marshall Smith
“The Essayist in the Wilderness” by William Browning Spencer
“A Colder War” by Charles Stross
“The Great White Bed” by Don Webb

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Cover art & blurb - "The Third Section" by Jasper Kent

Looking over the past year I see that I have to catch up on a few things. Among them, my readings fell heavily behind, with a few titles that I really wished to read at their release time, but due to some reason or another I failed to do so. One of such titles is Jasper Kent’s “Thirteen Years Later”, the second novel in his “Danilov Quintet”, because I loved “Twelve”, the novel with which Jasper Kent kicks off his series. I really hope that I will manage to get back on track with my readings, “Thirteen Years Later” one of the priorities, especially since Bantam Press will release Jasper Kent’s third novel, “The Third Section”, on August. Now, we can see the cover of “The Third Section”, one that I am pleased to find that follows the line imposed by the first two covers. I like when a series follows a similar line on the covers, it gives it a sense of completeness and solidity. This is the case with all the Jasper Kent’s novels in the “Danilov Quintet” so far, three covers in a similar fashion, with a mix of historical and supernatural feelings that can be discovered between the covers as well. It is a series of covers that appeals highly to me.

Here is a blurb for Jasper Kent’s “The Third Section”, another motive for me to be anxious in catching up on the “Danilov Quintet”. Also, if these are not enough, on Jasper Kent’s website we can read the prologue of “The Third Section”.

Russia 1855. After forty years of peace in Europe, war rages. In the Crimea, the city of Sevastopol is besieged. In the north, Saint Petersburg is blockaded. But in Moscow there is one who needs only to sit and wait – wait for the death of an aging tsar, and for the curse upon his blood to be passed to a new generation.
As their country grows weaker, a man and a woman - unaware of the hidden ties that bind them - must come to terms with their shared legacy. In Moscow, Tamara Valentinovna Komarova uncovers a brutal murder and discovers that it not the first in a sequence of similar crimes, merely the latest, carried out by a killer who has stalked the city since 1812.
And in Sevastopol, Dmitry Alekseevich Danilov faces not only the guns of the combined armies of Britain and France, but must also make a stand against creatures that his father had thought buried beneath the earth, thirty years before.

Monday, April 11, 2011

China Miéville competition

China Miéville is easily one of the writers who made a clear impact on my reading experience lately and became one of my favorite authors. Therefore one of my most anticipated releases of 2011 is his latest novel, “Embassytown”. The novel will be released by Pan Macmillan on 6th of May and with this occasion the publishers will also release new editions of China Miéville’s books with re-designed covers to match the one of “Embassytown”. I do find the new covers very appealing and I really like the effort Pan Macmillan put behind these series of covers.

Now, I should not reveal this information, because it will decrease my chances of winning, but I don’t believe it is much of a secret. I am only joking, but not about the competition. On the Book Depository there is competition that runs until the publication date of “Embassytown”, 6th of May, in which we can win a print of the cover of our choice, from the new designed ones, signed by China Miéville and the artist. If the prize sounds appetizing all you need to do is answer 5 questions about China Miéville for a chance to win it. I already did :D You can find full details of the competition and the questions on this Book Depository page. Good luck to all!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

In the mailbox

Three new arrivals lately in my mailbox. Adam Nevill’s “The Ritual” sounds very appealing and it is one of the novels I am looking forward to read. Now is my chance, but not before tackling the other two novels of Adam Nevill which I have in my personal library, “Banquet for the Damned” and “Apartment 16”. Hopefully I will manage it before the publication date of “The Ritual” or around it. Steven Erikson’s series still lies unread on my bookshelves, with the exception “Gardens of the Moon”. My plans of reading “Malazan Book of the Fallen” series failed miserly. But with the arrival of “The Crippled God” I hope that I will get my final push for reading the entire Steven Erikson’s series. I am keeping my fingers crossed. Norman J. Lafave’s “Nanomagica” comes with an interesting concept and although I am a bit reluctant lately towards small press titles, due to a recent series of unfortunate encounters, I hope to give “Nanomagica” its deserved chance.

- “The Ritual” by Adam Nevill (through the courtesy of Pan Macmillan)

And on the third day things did not get better. The rain fell hard and cold, the white sun never broke through the low grey cloud, and they were lost. But it was the dead thing they found hanging from a tree that changed the trip beyond recognition.

When four old University friends set off into the Scandinavian wilderness of the Arctic Circle, they aim to briefly escape the problems of their lives and reconnect with one another. But when Luke, the only man still single and living a precarious existence, finds he has little left in common with his well-heeled friends, tensions rise.

With limited fitness and experience between them, a shortcut meant to ease their hike turns into a nightmare scenario that could cost them their lives. Lost, hungry, and surrounded by forest untouched for millennia, Luke figures things couldn’t possibly get any worse.

But then they stumble across an old habitation. Ancient artefacts decorate the walls and there are bones scattered upon the dry floors. The residue of old rites and pagan sacrifice for something that still exists in the forest. Something responsible for the bestial presence that follows their every step. And as the four friends stagger in the direction of salvation, they learn that death doesn’t come easy among these ancient trees . . .

- “The Crippled God” by Steven Erikson (through the courtesy of Tor Books)

Savaged by the K’Chain Nah’Ruk, the Bonehunters march for Kolanse, where waits an unknown fate. Tormented by questions, the army totters on the edge of mutiny, but Adjunct Tavore will not relent. One final act remains, if it is in her power, if she can hold her army together, if the shaky allegiances she has forged can survive all that is to come. A woman with no gifts of magic, deemed plain, unprepossessing, displaying nothing to instill loyalty or confidence, Tavore Paran of House Paran means to challenge the gods – if her own troops don’t kill her first.

Awaiting Tavore and her allies are the Forkrul Assail, the final arbiters of humanity. Drawing upon an alien power terrible in its magnitude, they seek to cleanse the world, to annihilate every human, every civilization, in order to begin anew. They welcome the coming conflagration of slaughter, for it shall be of their own devising, and it pleases them to know that, in the midst of the enemies gathering against them, there shall be betrayal.

In the realm of Kurald Galain, home to the long lost city of Kharkanas, a mass of refugees stand upon the First Shore. Commanded by Yedan Derryg, the Watch, they await the breaching of Lightfall, and the coming of the Tiste Liosan. This is a war they cannot win, and they will die in the name of an empty city and a queen with no subjects.

Elsewhere, the three Elder Gods, Kilmandaros, Errastas and Sechul Lath, work to shatter the chains binding Korabas, the Otataral Dragon, from her eternal prison. Once freed, she will rise as a force of devastation, and against her no mortal can stand. At the Gates of Starvald Demelain, the Azath House sealing the portal is dying. Soon will come the Eleint, and once more, there will be dragons in the world.

- “Nanomagica” by Norman J. Lafave (through the courtesy of Trapdoor Books)

By 2088, genetic engineering and nanotechnology have merged to create a near Elysian existence. Mankind is on the brink of immortality – disease, famine and pollution have been eradicated using this new technology – with seemingly magical results.

Behind this perfect mask, however, lurks a hidden threat – revealed by puzzling, apparently random tragedies. Chicago Police Inspector Robert Nazio and the brilliant Greg Gilroy, an anarchist and master hacker, find themselves thrown together at the center of an international crisis filled with twists, turns and technology gone awry.

Assembling a super team of intelligence experts, the investigation quickly evolves into a race to save the Earth from a diabolical threat that seems to be everywhere at once – infiltrating governments, corporations and research laboratories seemingly at will. Nazio and Gilroy’s only hope seems to lie in two Renaissance Festival throwbacks - illusionists who have magic of their own.

With paradise collapsing, who will win the battle - technology or magic?

Thank you all very much!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Title spotlight - "Creatures! Thirty Years of Monster Stories" edited by John Langan & Paul Tremblay

After finding out about one anthology dedicated to monsters, Christopher Golden’s “The Monster’s Corner”, I recently discovered yet another very interesting one, “Creatures! Thirty Years of Monster Stories”. In my almost daily wanders around the Internet I found that John Langan and Paul Tremblay edited a new anthology featuring monster fiction and due to be released by Prime Books in November this year. I have to say that not only that the John Langan and Paul Tremblay’s anthology sounds interesting, but also the authors line-up looks very appealing, with some of the heavy names of speculative fiction present with stories on “Creatures! Thirty Years of Monster Stories”. With such a strong Table of Contents November seems so far away, but until then we can keep up to date by visiting the blog dedicated to the anthology edited by John Langan and Paul Tremblay.

“Godzilla’s Twelve-Step Program” by Joe R. Lansdale
“The Creature from the Black Lagoon” by Jim Shepard
“After Moreau” by Jeffrey Ford
“Among Their Bright Eyes” by Alaya Dawn Johnson
“Under Cover of Night” by Christopher Golden
“The Kraken” by Michael Kelly
“Underneath Me, Steady Air” by Carrie Laben
“Rawhead Rex” by Clive Barker
“Wishbones” by Cherie Priest
“The Hollow Man” by Norm Partridge
“Not from Around Here” by David J. Schow
“The Ropy Thing” by Al Sarrantonio
“The Third Bear” by Jeff Vandermeer
“Monster” by Kelly Link
“Keep Calm and Carillon” by Genevieve Valentine
“The Deep End” by Robert R. McCammon
“The Serpent and the Hatchet Gang” by F. Brett Cox
“Blood Makes Noise” by Gemma Files
“The Machine Is Perfect, the Engineer Is Nobody” by Brett Alexander Savory
“Proboscis” by Laird Barron
“Familiar” by China Miéville
“Replacements” by Lisa Tuttle
“Little Monsters” by Stephen Graham Jones
“The Changeling” by Sarah Langan
“The Monsters of Heaven” by Nathan Ballingrud
“Absolute Zero” by Nadia Bulkin

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Cover art - "The Alloy of Law" by Brandon Sanderson

Some of the most interesting cover artworks I’ve seen are featured on Brandon Sanderson’s novels. And although I am not exactly a fan of the covers for the paperback editions of his “Mistborn” novels released by Tor Books, the ones on the hardback editions are very interesting. However, seeing on Aidan’s A Dribble of Ink and Adam’s The Wertzone blogs the UK cover for the upcoming “The Alloy of Law”, it got me thinking at the series of covers for the Gollancz editions of Brandon Sanderson’s novels. Looking simple compared with the US editions, but equally efficient, these strokes of brush and bare touch of color work very well for me. It proves that a minimalist concept can work wonders on a cover of a novel as well. Brandon Sanderson’s “The Alloy of Law” will be released in the US on 8th November by Tor Books and in the Uk on 17th November by Gollancz.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Galileo Awards 2011, The Long List

Galileo Magazine, which was born in the spring of 2010, makes wonderful efforts to promote the Romanian science fiction and fantasy, either through its printed edition or the electronic one. The magazine will release soon its third printed issue, with a wonderful cover, featuring the artwork of one of my top favorite artists, Raymond Swanland, and with an interesting content, dedicated mostly to Robert Silverberg. Besides this however, Galileo Magazine announces the first edition of the Galileo Awards, intended to reward annually the works of Romanian speculative fiction. This first edition will have two categories, The Best Volume and The Best Short Fiction, awarded to the author’s works, novels and collection of stories published for the first time and respectively to the short stories, novelettes or novellas published for the first time in personal or collective anthologies, magazines or fanzines, all of them released during 2010. The Galileo Awards winners will be announced on 28th May at the National Book Fair, Bookfest and the preliminary list of nominees looks like this:

The Best Volume:

Adrian Buzdugan – “Capela excomunicaților” (The Excommunicated Chapel) (Humanitas)
Oliviu Crâznic – “…și la sfîrșit a mai rămas coșmarul” (…and at the end remained the nightmare) (Vremea)
Michael Haulică – “Povestiri fantastice” (Fantastic Stories) (Millennium)
Snowdon King – “Uezen și alte povestiri” (Uezen and other stories) (Fides)
Victor Martin – “Monede de sticlă” (Coins of Glass) (Autograf MJM)
Mircea Opriţă – “Povestiri de duminică” (Sunday Stories) (Millennium)
Liviu Radu – “Modificatorii” (The Modifiers) (Millennium)
Liviu Radu – “Ghicit de seară” (Evening Fortune Telling) (Tritonic)
Liviu Radu – “Lumea lui Waldemar” (Waldemar’s World) (Tritonic)
Oana Stoica-Mujea – “Regina arkudă și amuletele puterii” (The Arkud Queen and the Amulets of Power) (Tritonic)
Cristian-Mihail Teodorescu – “S.F. Doi” (S.F. Two) (Bastion)

The Best Short Fiction:

Costel Baboș – “Maratonul paltoanelor” (The Overcoat Marathon) (Pangaia SRSFF, 2010)
Ciprian Ionuţ Baciu – “Contele” (The Count) (Helion 1-2, February-April 2010)
Balin Feri – “Crima necesară” (The Necessary Crime) (Helion 1-2, February-April 2010)
Balin Feri – “Consolarea” (The Consolation) (Nautilus 32, September 2010)
Balin Feri – “Descoperirea secolului” (The Discovery of the Century) (Nautilus 35, December 2010)
Aron Biro – “Homo Hermeticum” (Homo Hermeticum) (Nautilus 33, October 2010)
Aron Biro – “Paradisul pierdut” (The Lost Paradise) (Nautilus 35, December 2010)
Bogdan-Tudor Bucheru – “Între Lacuri” (Among Lakes) (Nautilus 25, February 2010)
Adrian Buzdugan – “Frigul” (The Cold) (Helion 1-2, February-April 2010)
Aurel Cărăşel – “Explozia verde” (The Green Explosion) (Nautilus 30, July 2010)
Aurel Cărăşel – “Mitologii creştine. Anatema” (The Christian Mythologies. Anathema) (Nautilus 25, February 2010)
Aurel Cărăşel – “Destinatarul” (The Recipient) (Nautilus 32, September 2010)
Aurel Cărăşel – “Libreville – secolul XIX” (Libreville – XIXth Century) (Nautilus 34, November 2010)
Laura Ceica – “De ce să nu crezi în Moş Crăciun!” (Why not to believe in Santa Claus!) (Helion 1-2, February-April 2010)
Adrian Chifu – “Răsăritul mai mic al domnişoarei Erica” (The Smaller Sunrise of Miss Erica) (Helion 1-2, February-April 2010)
Catalin Cofaru – “Fortăreaţa” (The Fortress) (Nautilus 34, November 2010)
Mircea Coman – “Ultimele clipe sînt extrem de scumpe” (The Last Moments are Extremely Precious) (Nautilus 25, February 2010)
Mircea Coman – “Dad” (Dad) (Nautilus 28, May 2010)
Mircea Coman – “Grădina Yasminei” (Yasmine’s Garden) (Nautilus 35, December 2010)
Sebastian A. Corn – “Vonu” (Vonu) (Galileo 1)
Ștefana Cristina Czeller – “Răzbunarea” (The Revenge) (Pangaia, SRSFF, 2010)
Ștefana Cristina Czeller – “Slujesc Zeului-Cîine” (I Serve the Dog-God) (Galileo 2)
Stefana Cristina Czeller – “Trîmbiţele Apocalipsei sunat-au” (The Trumpets of Apocalypse Have Sounded) (Nautilus 24, January 2010)
Stefana Cristina Czeller – “Gîngăniile” (The Bugs) (Nautilus 26, March 2010)
Stefana Cristina Czeller – “Atinge-ma, Sara!” (Touch Me, Sara!) (Nautilus 27, April 2010)
Stefana Cristina Czeller – “Angelo Plămădeală şi Frontul revoluţionar” (Angelo Leaven and the Revolutionary Front) (Nautilus 29, June 2010)
Stefana Cristina Czeller – “Noaptea extratereştrilor” (Night of the Aliens) (Nautilus 30, July 2010)
Stefana Cristina Czeller – “Spovedania” (The Confession) (Nautilus 30, July 2010)
Stefana Cristina Czeller – “Târgul” (The Bargain) (Nautilus 33, October 2010)
Stefana Cristina Czeller – “Interviul” (The Interview) (Nautilus 35, December 2010)
Ştefana Cristina Czeller – “Nopţile stranii ale lui Vasile Cotineaţă” (The Strange Nights of Vasile Costineață) (Helion 1-2, February-April 2010)
Liliana David – “Virus” (Virus) (Nautilus 35, December 2010)
Alexandru Ioan Despina – “17 Octombrie” (17th October) (Nautilus 35, December 2010)
Andrei Gaceff – “Strivirea buburuzei de la staţia lui 135” (The Squash of the Ladybug from the Station of 135) (Helion 1-2, February-April 2010)
Antuza Genescu – “Prizonieri în anotimpuri” (Prisoners in Seasons) (Pangaia, SRSFF, 2010)
Silviu Genescu – “Cetățeanul Welles” (Citizen Welles) (Pangaia, SRSFF, 2010)
Costi Gurgu – “Îngeri și molii” (Angels and Moths) (Galileo 2)
Michael Haulică – “Microtexte” (Microtexts) (Povestiri fantastice, Millennium, 2010)
Rares Iordache – “Disfuncționalitate conștientă: nu vreau să mă copiez!” (Conscious Dysfunction: I Don’t Want to Copy Myself!) (Nautilus 31, August 2010)
George Lazăr – “Viitorul mass media” (The Mass Media Future) (Pangaia, SRSFF, 2010)
Ciprian Mitoceanu – “Resurse nelimitate” (Unlimited Resources) (Nautilus 24, January 2010)
Ciprian Mitoceanu – “O experienţă stranie” (A Strange Experience) (Nautilus 26, March 2010)
Ciprian Mitoceanu – “Triunghi mortal” (Deadly Triangle) (Nautilus 29, June 2010)
Ciprian Mitoceanu – “O poveste perversă” (A Perverse Story) (Nautilus 31, August 2010)
Dan Ninoiu – “Cum ne-a salvat Vasile de la invazia extraterestră” (How Vasile Saved Us from the Alien Invasion) (Nautilus 35, December 2010)
Mircea Opriță – “Lucy” (Lucy) (Povestiri de duminică, Millennium, 2010)
Mircea Opriță – “Interviul” (The Interview) (Povestiri de duminică, Millennium, 2010)
Mircea Opriță – “Inginerii electronice” (Electronic Engineering) (Povestiri de duminică, Millennium, 2010)
Mircea Opriță – “Caliban, du-te la bibliotecă!” (Caliban, Go to the Library!) (Povestiri de duminică, Millennium, 2010)
Dario Pecarov – “Zeificatorii” (The Divinifiers) (Nautilus 26, March 2010)
Florin Pîtea – “Selecţie” (Selection) (Helion 1-2, February-April 2010)
Florin Pîtea – “Vînătoarea de sfincși” (The Hunt of Sphinxes) (Galileo 2)
Liviu Radu – “Loteria” (The Lottery) (Nautilus 29, June 2010)
Liviu Radu – “Maniere, mahmureală şi molii” (Manners, Hangover and Moths) (Nautilus 24, January 2010)
Liviu Radu – “Doi bătrîni, pe o bancă” (Two Old Men, On a Bench) (Galileo 1)
Liviu Radu – “Lumina trebuie să vină dinspre răsărit” (The Light Must Come from the East) (Modificatorii, Millennium Books, 2010)
Liviu Radu – “Dosarul „Hannibal ante portas“” (“Hannibal ante portas” Dossier) (Modificatorii, Millennium Books, 2010)
Liviu Radu – “Mestecenii” (The Birches) (Modificatorii, Millennium Books, 2010)
Liviu Radu – “Allez la France” (Allez la France) (Modificatorii, Millennium Books, 2010)
Liviu Radu – “Vînzoleli nocturne” (Nocturnal Fidgets) (Lumea lui Waldemar, Tritonic)
Liviu Radu – “Veți vedea, dacă ochi voștri…” (You’ll See, If Your Eyes…) (Pangaia, SRSFF, 2010)
Lucian Sava – “Ziua-celui-care-plânge-că-trăieşte” (The-Day-of-One-Who-Cries-Because-He-Lives) (Helion 1-2, February-April 2010)
Costin Constantin Simon & Reimund Schild-Kirer – “Nu e pentru ochii noştri să vadă” (It is Not For Our Eyes to See) (Helion1-2, February-April 2010)
Cristian Mihail Teodorescu – “Electronii sînt mai deștepți decît noi” (The Electrons are Smarter Than Us) (Nautilus 30, July 2010)
Cristian Mihail Teodorescu – “Orașul din ceață” (The City From the Mist) (SF2, Bastion, 2010)
Cristian Mihail Teodorescu – “Maestru Imperial” (Imperial Master) (SF2, Bastion, 2010)
Cristian Mihail Teodorescu – “Electro-magneto muza” (Electro-Magneto Muse) (SF2, Bastion, 2010)
Marian Truță – “Cumania 2010” (Cumania 2010) (Galileo 2)
Ioana Vişan – “La distanta de un lift” (One Elevator Distance) (Nautilus 27, April 2010)
Ioana Vişan – “Simfonie de gloanţe şi sânge” (Symphony of Bullets and Blood) (Nautilus 32, September 2010)
Ioana Vişan – “Din lipsă de Timp” (Because Of Lack of Time) (Nautilus 34, November 2010)

Congratulations and good luck to all the initial nominees!