Sunday 11 July 2010

Books I Adopted This Week

Okay, I am not going to list all the books I received from Simon & Schuster at their amazing bloggers event, but, besides that, I still had eight books through the post - and one of them is unbelievably exciting!

This first one had me jumping up and down and making unattractive 'squeee!' noises.

The Evolutionary Void by Peter F Hamilton

Peter F. Hamilton's startling perspectives on tomorrow's technological and cultural trends span vast tracts of space and time, his stories are as compelling as they are epic in scope, and yet they are always grounded in characters - human, alien and other - who, for all their strangeness, still touch our hearts and fire our imaginations. Now, in "The Evolutionary Void", Hamilton concludes the highly acclaimed Commonwealth saga that has unfolded in "The Dreaming Void" and "The Temporal Void".

This is exciting to me on many, many levels. The first is that I love the Peter F Hamilton books in his Commonwealth saga I have read so far (Pandora's Star and Judas Unchained). The second is that I own the first two books in the Void series and I have been waiting for the third to come out so that I can read all three. The third is that Mark Chitty of Walker of Worlds and I are discussing an interesting idea about a potential re-read. The fourth is that I have a SIGNED, NUMBERED really LIMITED EDITION proof, which brought on the main 'squeeee!' noises! I do love getting limited editions. This may be the first book I receive where I actually buy another copy just for reading purposes, so that this one can stay on display.

Published by PanMacmillan on 10th September 2010

The Nemesis List by R.J. Frith

I can't find any cover art for this one!

Humanity has expanded into the stars but at the price of its freedom... An autocratic and overbearing Government now rigidly controls every technical and scientific advancement. Deviation is punishable by death. Out on the edges of space, criminals thwart the law, making money out of illegal tech, their ships jumping from galaxy to galaxy to avoid detection. Ex-soldier Frank Pak doesn't care about politics or breaking the law, he just wants to keep his ship running. When he's offered a contract to escort a runaway back home to his loving family - he doesn't ask questions. But his cargo is more dangerous than he realizes. Jeven Jones is no ordinary passenger. A result of illegal human experimentation, he's a fast-tracked evolutionary leap into future. Thanks to his ability for perfect recall and a series of mental skills that he has no control over, Jones is a wanted man. The Government wants him dead. A fledgling revolution want to use him to unlock every advancement the Government has ever denied them. If Jones lives he'll start a war. If he dies the entire future of humanity dies with him...

This one is intriguing - and has the potential to rival Hannu Rajaniemi's The Quantum Thief. R J Frith has won accolades for his writing, and the premise sounds excellent. But you do have to wait a little while for the book to come out.

Published by Tor UK on 5th November 2010

Fear the Alien - edited by Christian Dunn

The Imperium of Man has many enemies among the stars, but none are reviled so much as the alien. Dangerous races seek to destroy humanity wherever they turn - the brutish orks, the ravening hordes of the tyranid, the unrelenting necrons and the mysterious forces of the tau and the eldar. Across the universe, humanity and their defenders, the Space Marines, seek to eradicate these xenos threats. Yet all they can hope for is another day of survival - for to stand against the alien is to enter an unending war...Featuring stories by Dan Abnett, Aaron Dembski-Bowden, Nick Kyme, Juliet McKenna, C.L. Werner and many more, Fear the Alien is an unmissable collection for fans of Warhammer 40,000 and military science-fiction.

In all honesty, I'm a bit 'meh' about this one. I like me a Black Library book every now and then, but short stories are not my favourite medium. I do intend to dip in every now and again, but I don't have a pressing urge to read this one - oh, except for the short from the viewpoint of the orks. That one could be interesting, just to see how it is handled!

Published by Black Library on 2nd September 2010

Solo by Rana Dasgupta

'Solo' recounts the life and daydreams of a reclusive one-hundred-year-old man from Bulgaria. Before the man lost his sight, he read this story in a magazine: a group of explorers came upon a community of parrots speaking the language of a society that had been wiped out in a recent catastrophe. Astonished by their discovery, they put the parrots in cages and sent them home so that linguists could record what remained of the lost language. But the parrots, already traumatised by the devastation they had recently witnessed, died on the way. Wondering if, unlike the hapless parrots, he has any wisdom to leave to the world, Ulrich embarks on an epic armchair journey through a century of violent politics, forbidden music, lost love and failed chemistry, finding his way eventually to an astonishing epiphany of tenderness and enlightenment.

I was sent this one by WHSmith as part of their reviewers programme - they thought I might like something a little different and out of my usual comfort zone to read. The fact it involves a guy from Bulgaria makes me smile, thanks to our adorable Harry Markov. I am required to provide a review of this one as part of the programme, so I'll definitely be reading it sooner rather than later.

Published by Fourth Estate on 1st April 2010

Blood and Iron by Tony Ballantyne

Appointed Commander of the Emperor's Army of Sangrel, Wa-Ka-Mo-Do of Ko tries to establish relations between the existing robot population and the humans who have recently arrived on Yukawa. On the continent of Shull, Kavan forms the Uncertain Army and is marching to Artemis City. Upon discovery that the city's generals have made an alliance with the humans, he retreats to Stark where he plans the eventual overthrow of Artemis and the humans. Meanwhile, Karel is heading South, hoping to be reunited with Susan, his wife. As he walks, he hears more of the stories of the robots, and begins to understand something about his place on the world of Penrose. But with limited resources and tensions growing between robot and human it's only a matter of time before problems arise. And it's becoming more and more apparent that the humans are a lot more powerful than the robots first expected...

WOW! The cover for this one is just AMAZING! But I do need the first book in the series before I can embark on this one - so I'll be waiting a few months and adding it to my wishlist ready for when my embargo on book buying ends.

Published by Tor UK on 18th June 2010

Temple of the Serpent by C. L. Werner

After a series of failures, Grey Seer Thanquol is offered a chance to redeem himself by going to the island of Lustria to kill the Prophet of Sotek. Dogged by assassins and stranded in a foreign land of giant lizards, temple cities and endless jungle, Thanquol must use all of his cunning and magic if he is to come out alive.

To me it is a tiny bit odd to see a story written from the point of view of the Skaven which sounds like Thanquol is the hero of the piece. To me, Skaven have always been one of the evil races in the Warhammer Empire, but I am willing to be persuaded differently.

Published by Black Library on 2nd September 2010

Empire of Light by Gary Gibson

The nova war has begun to spread as the Emissaries wage a fierce and reckless campaign, encroaching on the area of space occupied by humanity and forcing the Shoal into a desperate retreat. While Dakota goes in search of the entity responsible for creating the Maker caches, Corso, left in charge of a fleet of human-piloted Magi ships, finds his authority crumbling in the face of assassination attempts and politically-motivated sabotage. If any hope exists at all, it lies in an abandoned asteroid a thousand light-years beyond the Consortium's borders, and with Ty Whitecloud, the only man alive with the skill to decipher the messages left behind by an ancient race of star travellers. Unfortunately Whitecloud is locked in a prison cell aboard a dying coreship adrift in space, awaiting execution for war crimes against Corso's own people. But if humanity has any hope of survival, Corso is going to have to find some way to keep him alive - and that's only if Dakota doesn't kill him first...

Another swoonsome cover from Tor UK - they are really pulling out the stops for their science fiction issues (and the fantasy ones, come to that). Again, the second in an ongoing series - someone needs to let me know whether it is essential to read the first before I get onto this one, otherwise I have a whole lot of extra books I need to buy!

Published by Tor UK on 2nd July 2010

Hunt for Voldorius by Andy Hoare

A warleader of the renegade Alpha Legion, the demon prince Kernax Voldorius's reign of terror has bled across the stars, leaving billions dead. Captain Kor'sarro Khan of the White Scars Chapter is petitioned to hunt down and destroy Voldorius. Tracking the beast doggedly for over a decade, Kor'sarro Khan finally drags Voldorius to battle on Quintus, a world that has totally fallen to the Alpha Legion. Now together with their Raven Guard allies, the White Scars must combat an entire planet if they are to slay the daemon prince.

And here we have the third book in a series! Sometimes I feel as though I have so many books to catch up with before I even get to my review copies... Le sigh. The White Scars are one of those Marine Chapters that I have the least interest in but I do like Warhammer 40,000 novels in general so I have absolutely no doubt I will get to it in good time.

Published by Black Library on 2nd September 2010

So those were my books this week! What is of interest? What did you get out of these and are most looking forward to reading?


  1. I guess this shows that our reading taste is a little different, because I am most excited about Solo by Rana Dasgupta. It looks like you have a lot of fun reading to look forward to :)

  2. @Iris - this is what I love about visitors to my blog! They keep telling me all the books I *should* be reading, and highlighting the ace books that might pass me by otherwise :-)

    @Kate - wow, those are some great books you have as well, and I do love the way you present them in that snazzy slideshow method!

  3. Lots of Warhammer stuff in there. Might have to check out the Commonwealth saga stuff, last sci-fi series I read was the Saga of the Seven Suns stuff.

  4. I love my Black Library packages - they are always very exciting!

    You should *definitely* check out the Peter F Hamilton Commonwealth saga - so rewarding, amazing writing, can't recommend it enough.

  5. What an interesting bunch of books! I hope you enjoy them all. My mailboxes are here and here. Happy reading!

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  7. I liked "Grey Seer" a lot and Thanquol is a fun character to follow. And I have to admit that the Skaven proved to be more interesting than other races, at least for me. I am looking forward to see where Thanquol will be taken in his adventures in the "Temple of the Serpent" ;)

  8. @Kathy - Those are some great books you have as well! I am really intrigued by the Carrie Vaughn on your second blog :-)

    @Mihai - oh, did Thanquol have a previous book to this one then? Are I didn't know you enjoyed the Black Library stuff! :-D