Smoking Poppy (GOLLANCZ S.F.)

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Fallen Dragon follows similar lines in terms of size though for this author, pages is almost modest! It is a very impressive and compulsively readable story though, in spite of its daunting size and we'll certainly be hearing much about this release in the next few weeks.

The mass market version of Hamilton's The Confederation Handbook , an essential guide to his aforementioned Night's Dawn Trilogy, is simultaneously issued in paperback this month by Pan. Macmillan also release the new novel by the highly acclaimed young British writer Justina Robson.

Smoking Poppy

My other featured review this month is of Graham Joyce's Smoking Poppy. I have given it a well deserved rave - it really is a wonderful achievement by one of the UK's best writers - and I was glad to see my opinions backed up by Jonathan Strahan in the latest edition of LOCUS.

Gollancz has a lot on offer this October, much of it classic reprints, but oh what classics! The Collected Stories of Arthur C.

The Tooth Fairy - Graham Joyce - Google книги

As if that wasn't enough to keep us going, also from Gollancz this month comes the mass market paperback edition of Dark Terror's 5, the latest installment in the wonderful and truly scary anthologies put together by Stephen Jones and David Sutton. There are some superb stories in this current collection including original works by such big hitters as Michael Marshall Smith, Kim Newman, Peter Straub, Ramsey Campbell, Graham Masterson and many others. Miss it at your peril! Green's Shadows Fall.

All this is crowned by the release of a brand new Terry Pratchett work. The Last Hero is a 40, word Discworld novella and is released in a lavish coffee table edition beautifully illustrated by Paul Kidby. The smart blue jacketed Voyager Classic imprint issues three further titles this month.

Very Good, Smoking Poppy (GOLLANCZ S.F.), Joyce, Graham, Book

This is HarperCollins's answer to the successful Gollancz Masterworks series and it certainly has some titles that challenge that impressive list. Lewis double bill, Out of the Silent Planet and Perelandra.

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The setting is the same multi-layered, subterranean world, and many of the original characters reappear. What ultimately tires is one of Meaney's strengths pushed too far.

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Not the weird words for ordinary objects nor the over-familiar SF motifs, but an obsession with martial arts training that sees the hero spend much of the book running himself into a state of zen-like exhaustion. That said, there are a couple of throw-away ideas good enough to leave other SF writers standing. Anticipation of Victory, the last of the Shaa, is dying, holed up in the Great Refuge, a huge building carved out of the granite plateau of the High City.

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And when Anticipation of Victory dies, the race that has ruled the universe with ruthless efficiency for 10, years will be no more. With this novel Walter John Williams has been compared to writers as diverse as Patrick O'Brian and Jane Austen; both comparisons, bizarrely, make sense. Society is hierarchically structured, with class supposedly more important than species, so that the lords who rule the empire owe allegiance first to the law, then to the Shaa, then their families, and only then to the cities and worlds that they rule. On land, elegant families jostle for social position and advantageous marriages, while in deep space, cadets, lords lieutenant and lords lieutenant-captains fight for promotion, better ships, adequate supplies and trustworthy patrons.

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This is classic space opera, elegantly written and beautifully plotted. Peter Hamilton is known for his vast galaxy-crossing sagas in which characters come and go and internal logic is sometimes sacrificed for plot purposes, but no one really minds. He has a huge following, which, presumably, is why Macmillan allowed him to publish Misspent Youth.


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Three or four decades from now, the EU has become an all-encompassing power, ruthlessly enforcing its laws across Europe. The aged Jeff Baker, scientist extraordinaire and a man stuck in a sexless marriage with a much younger model, gets a chance to regain his youth, the result of trillions of euros spent on genetic research. Jeff proceeds to sleep with his model wife, his son's teenage girlfriend, his son's girlfriend's best friend and then with both son's girlfriend and girlfriend's best friend at once.