Dream London by Tony Ballantyne
The earlier books by Tony Ballantyne, particularly the robot centric series that started with the book Twisted Metal has been on my to read list quite a while and this one is likely to jump it in line. Dream London sounds like it will have some similarities to one of my favorite nineties movie, Dark City; our hero is a lawman of some sort and is investigating in a city that changes as people dream. Personally I'm hoping for a story that will take my preconceptions and run wild with them and go somewhere unexpected with it. You can go check the Solaris website here for yourself and for your edification here is the synopsis....
Captain Jim Wedderburn has looks, style and courage by the bucketful. He’s adored by women, respected by men and feared by his enemies. He’s the man to find out who has twisted London into this strange new world, and he knows it.
But in Dream London the city changes a little every night and the people change a little every day. the towers are growing taller, the parks have hidden themselves away and the streets form themselves into strange new patterns. there are people sailing in from new lands down the river, new criminals emerging in the east end and a path spiralling down to another world.
Everyone is changing, no one is who they seem to be.
Eidolon by Libby McGugan
So going from one Solaris book to another we change from possible urban fantasy to near future techno thriller with Libby McGugan's first novel The Eidolon. This is the first novel in what is a projected trilogy and that springs out of something that the main character does at the LHC... Here is the synopsis and if you want to read a bit of a cool interview with the author go here...
When physicist Robert Strong loses his job at the Dark Matter research lab and his relationship falls apart, he returns home to Scotland. then the dead start appearing to him, and Robert begins to question his own sanity.
Victor Amos, an enigmatic businessman, arrives and recruits Robert to sabotage CERN’S large Hadron Collider, convincing him the next step in the collider’s research will bring about disaster. everything Robert once understood about reality, and the boundaries between life and death, is about to change forever. and the biggest change will be to Robert himself...
Mixing science, philosophy and espionage, Libby McGugan’s stunning debut is a thriller like no other.
Parasite Mira Grant
Mira Grant's Zombie series was one of those that I did not get on board with till late in the series and I had some of the twists and turns got spoiled for me so I won't be missing out this time. Mira, who is also the wonderful Seanan McGuire, is one of the the most entertaining writers to read these days and is also one of the best people who see in person squee about her and others work. If you like survival horror with a distinctly dark sense of humor Mira's books are totally your thing...so without further adieu some links to Orbit Books site a bit of synopsis and the obligatory link to Seanan/Mira.... And here to see I to he world of the novel itself....
We owe our good health to a humble parasite - a genetically engineered tapeworm developed by the pioneering SymboGen Corporation. When implanted, the Intestinal Bodyguard worm protects us from illness, boosts our immune system - even secretes designer drugs. It's been successful beyond the scientists' wildest dreams. Now, years on, almost every human being has a SymboGen tapeworm living within them.
But these parasites are getting restless. They want their own lives . . . and will do anything to get them.
You can go here for a taste of this epic fantasy story and I can only say it is sad from the standpoint of a bookseller that the earlier books in this series are hard to get. Getting the mass market version of the first volume of Beth's series is at best a trip to a used book shop with a hope to find it... this is where I think ebooks are a godsend. I like the tone and the feeling of this and am so sad that I have yet to read Beth's work. This is the third in the series that began with Passion Play and continued with Queen's Hunt. Here is the synopsis...
King Leos of Károví, the tyrannical despot whose magic made him near immortal and who controlled a tattered empire for centuries through fear and intimidation, is finally dead. Ilse Zhalina watched as the magical jewels that gave him such power reunited into a single essence, a manifestly God-like creature who then disappeared into the cosmic void. Ilse is now free to fulfill her promise to Valara Baussay, the rogue Queen of Morennioù, who wants to return to her kingdom and claim her throne.
Ilse will do all in her power to help Valara if only as a means to get to her home. Home to her lover, Raul Kosenmark, who is gathering forces in their homeland of Veraene now that Leos is dead in order to save them from an ill-advised war. Pulled by duty and honor, Ilse makes this long journey back to where her story began, to complete the journey she attempted lives and centuries before and bring peace between the kingdoms. Along the way she learns some hard truths and finally comes to a crossroads of power and magic. She must decide if duty is stronger than a love that she has sought through countless lifetimes.
Will Isle give up her heart’s desire so that her nation can finally know lasting peace?
Allegiance is the thrilling conclusion to Beth Bernobich's River of Souls trilogy.
Heartwood by Freya Robertson
So this will seem a theme so let's embrace it... women write some truly awesome epic fantasy and science fiction and Heartwood from Angry Robot Books looks to be a continuation of the tradition that includes NK Jemisin, RA MacAvoy, Kate Elliot and Orbit Books Karen Miller. This looks to be more great second world fantasy from a new author to be watched... Here is a link to an excerpt and a synopsis from Angry Robot Books....
Prince Of Lies by Anne Lyle
Borrowing from the name of Loki and Lucifer is a dangerous thing but not here because Anne Lyle is telling a old English fantasy tale worth the possible blasphemy. I have tasted a bit of her storytelling and I know this is a book that is well worth the words of Mike Shevdon on the cover, Anne can really tell a good tale. Set solidly in an old English world we think we know this should appeal to fans of the historical fantasies of Mark Chadbourn and the urban fantasy penned by Shevdon and Aaronovitch; language and characterization shine in her stories... I can't wait for this and I've only dipped my toe in volume one... Here is a synopsis and a link to Angry Robot Books for more information...
A Study in Darkness by Emma Jane Holloway
Though we slide forward in time but we keep the same theme with the feminine author voice and protagonist. I do not recall if I spotlighted A Study in Silks which introduced her feminine Holmes but I have to say I much want this book to grace my shelves. Emma has been praised by urban fantasy authors like Kevin Hearne and epic writers like Jacqueline Carey for her portrayal of the niece of the great detective. Here is the synopsis fromRandon House books and a link to their site.... Here also is a link to Emma's web presence
When a bomb goes off at 221B Baker Street, Evelina Cooper is thrown into her uncle Sherlock’s world of mystery and murder. But just when she thought it was safe to return to the ballroom, old, new, and even dead enemies are clamoring for a place on her dance card.
Before Evelina’s even unpacked her gowns for a country house party, an indiscretion puts her in the power of the ruthless Gold King, who recruits her as his spy. He knows her disreputable past and exiles her to the rank alleyways of Whitechapel with orders to unmask his foe.
As danger mounts, Evelina struggles between hiding her illegal magic and succumbing to the darker aspects of her power. One path keeps her secure; the other keeps her alive. For rebellion is brewing, a sorcerer wants her soul, and no one can protect her in the hunting grounds of Jack the Ripper.
Dead Set by Richard Kadrey
So we return to the staffed authors but keep the same kind of heroine here. Richard is known for this hard boiled urban fantasy tales that come under the umbrella of Sandman Slim. Here we get a built of a less verbally profane dark adventure but one I know I must read; along with Joe Abercrombie going YA it will be a bit out of place to see Mr Kadrey on the younger shelf but I know I will be recommending this book a lot. Here comes a bit of synopsis and the obligatory link to Random House.....
After her father's funeral, Zoe moved to the big city with her mother to start over. But change always brings trials, and life in the city is not so easy. Money is tight, and Zoe's only escape, as has always been the case, is in her dreams—a world apart from her troubled real life where she can spend time with her closest companion: her lost brother, Valentine.
But something or someone has entered their dreamworld uninvited. And a chance encounter at a used record store, where the vinyl holds not music but lost souls, has opened up a portal to the world of the restless dead. It's here that the shop's strange proprietor offers Zoe the chance to commune with her dead father. The price? A lock of hair. Then a tooth. Then . . .
Two Serpent Rise by Max Gladstone
First off here is a link to an excerpt from Tor.com. My favorite podcast the SFSqueecast mentioned Max's first books Three Parts Dead around the time of the Hugo's and I have been waiting for it to be in paperback to grab a copy, can't get everything on hardcover... Well can't get much in hardcover. To me it sounds like a great mix of second world and urban fantasy since an earth with demons and magic will be a decidedly second world kind of setting. Here is a link to Max's site... And here comes a synopsis to hook you all too...
In Two Serpents Rise by Max Gladstone, shadow demons plague the city reservoir, and Red King Consolidated has sent in Caleb Altemoc—casual gambler and professional risk manager—to cleanse the water for the sixteen million people of Dresediel Lex. At the scene of the crime, Caleb finds an alluring and clever cliff runner, Crazy Mal, who easily outpaces him.
But Caleb has more than the demon infestation, Mal, or job security to worry about when he discovers that his father—the last priest of the old gods and leader of the True Quechal terrorists—has broken into his home and is wanted in connection to the attacks on the water supply.
From the beginning, Caleb and Mal are bound by lust, Craft, and chance, as both play a dangerous game where gods and people are pawns. They sleep on water, they dance in fire...and all the while the Twin Serpents slumbering beneath the earth are stirring, and they are hungry.
So I have more to spotlight but this week has been a monetary killer and totally awesome all round.... Let me know what you think....