This week is pretty big for speculative fiction readers across the spectrum of sub genres. So in the words of the Joker from the Dark Knight here we go....
Wolfhound Century by Peter Higgins
Wolfhound Century is one of the books I expect to be on many award lists next year. Comparisons to the weird fiction of China Mieville and Jeff Vandermeer are very apt; Peter Higgins novel of and alternate Stalinist Russia is dense with the weird of Slavic folklore, paranoia and intrigue. It is honestly a hard novel to pigeonhole as any one thing genre wise. The setting is the kind of thing Phillip K Dick would love, dark, moody often gloomy and raining and the range of characters too are akin to those of Dick. This is one that is worth getting in its hard cover version, don't wait a year for the trade version. Curious you can go here to see the moody book trailer and read a bit of this weird thriller police procedural.
Prior to its March 26th release check back for my full review... I got lucky enough to get an ARC to read...
The Good The Bad and The Infernal by Guy Adams
I may have posted about this book last month with all my weird western enthusiasm and it is still right up my interest alley so I'll mention it again. I've known about Guy Adams for a while since I check out what Solaris Books puts out pretty regularly but up till now I have not checked out his work, guess this is the one that has hooked me. I grew up watching The Wild Wild West and really dug the Adventures of Brisco County so when I head the title say the cover, shallow me, and read this I was on board this train. Chek out the blurb for the book and see if its something. You need too.
One day every hundred years, a town appears, its location and character different every time. The town’s name is Wormwood and it is a gateway to heaven itself.
Guy Adams has conjured up a remarkable Steampunk Wild West replete with gunslingers, soldiers of fortune, mechanical menaces and monstrous animals in his first book for Solaris. In The Good, The Bad, and the Infernal, only the brave and resourceful will survive...
Wormwood is due to appear on the 21st September 1889, somewhere in the American Midwest, and travelling preacher Obeisance Hicks and his simple messiah hope to greet Wormwood’s arrival. But so do Henry and Harmonium Jones and their freak show pack of outlaws, the Brothers of the Order of Ruth and their sponsor Lord Forset (inventor of the Forset Thunderpack and other incendiary modes of personal transport), and an aging gunslinger with a dark history.
The Marching Dead by Lee Battersby
This is the sequel to the novel The Corpse of the Rat King. It sounded pretty good in a gritty Joe Abercrombie, Richard Morgan kind of way, you know the blending of sword and sorcery sensibilities with epic fantasy world building. I do like fantasies that lean this way and I'm going to have to backtrack to the first volume sometime but as Angry Robot has the second volume just about out I just might dive in here and hope to find my water wings. Here is the cover copy....
Find the dead a King, save himself, win the love of his life, live happily ever after. No wonder Marius dos Helles is bored. But now something has stopped the dead from, well, dying.
It’s up to Marius, Gerd, and Gerd’s not-dead-enough Granny to journey across the continent and put the dead back in the afterlife where they belong.
The Extinction Machine by Jonathan Mayberry
Several years back I read a great contempory thriller that pitted Joe Ledger against a "zombie plague" version of terrorism and it was pretty excellent all told. The characters were beautifully messed up individuals and the book both made me laugh and creeped me out. Now I've missed the intervening adventures of this paramilitary group but I still like the whole idea and Jonathan Mayberry is a very cool writer so I hope to catch up with old friends with this one. Please go check Jonathn's work out at his website here and he has a piece of short fiction in the first issue of the online horror magazine Nightmare... It's cool and remiscent of IT by King in a very good way.
Solaris Rising 2 edited by Ian Whates
Solaris publishing has been publishing these original short fiction collections since they started in the book making game. The editors choose a great stable of authors to pull from and a good number of the stories either are award winners like Mary Robinette Kowal's Evil Robot Monkey or end up being in one if not more of the years best collections that grace the shelves every year. Ian Whates looks to have again chosen great writers to spotlight both recent favorites and classic among this group. Go take a peek at the great stuff coming from this small publisher, they have never failed to make me feel I got more then my money's worth....
Looking at the few authors spotlighted on the cover; with the likes of Paul Cornell, James Lovegrove, Allen Steele, and epic fantasy author Adrian Tchaikovsky I know this will be good ride.
Black Feathers by Joseph D'Lacey
This novel from Angry Robot has the endorsement of Stephen King so I'm intrigued enough to take a look and black feathers to me calls to mind crows and I like those avian scavengers. Apparently this novel promises to be an modern apocalyptic fable filled with menace and magic. If that and the use of the name King has you intrigued here is the blurb that will tell you a bit more.
The Atomic Age by Adam Christopher
Lastly this week I've got another sequel from the people at Angry Robot Books. A little over a year back Adam Christopher's pulp era hero novel Empire State came out, he tagged it with a Creative Commons license to allow people to play in his universe. Now he returns witha second volume. Ill let his blurb sell it but I will say I have a soft spot for both pulp and superhero stories....
The Empire State is dying. The Fissure connecting the pocket universe to New York has vanished, plunging the city into a deep freeze and the populace are demanding a return to Prohibition and rationing as energy supplies dwindle.
Meanwhile, in 1954 New York, the political dynamic has changed and Nimrod finds his department subsumed by a new group, Atoms For Peace, led by the mysterious Evelyn McHale.
As Rad uncovers a new threat to his city, Atoms For Peace prepare their army for a transdimensional invasion. Their goal: total conquest – or destruction – of the Empire State.
I've got some books I mind to spotlight next week... A mix of old and new... Tell me does that appeal to you or should I stick to what will be on the shelves on the Tuesday following the dispatch....