A new China Miéville short story will appear in the anthology Dead Letters

stampNot huge news, this, but worth mentioning. As if 28 stories weren’t enough for us, there’s another one by China Miéville coming out next year in the anthology Dead Letters, edited by the horror writer Conrad Williams. It seems to be a collection of letter-themed (and probably mostly epistolary) speculative/horror fiction stories.

Miéville’s story is actually a collaboration with the American author Maria Dahvana Headley, and it’s called “Ledge Bants”. That’s probably a reference to UK slang (“ledge” = “legendary”, “bants” = “banter”), but I could be way off the mark there.

I’ll check out the anthology when it’s released and perhaps review the story. If you want to see the book’s whole table of contents, check it out here!

Dead Letters is out from Titan Books in April 2016.

15 fantasy novels I’ve bought that I probably should read

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I feel like I need to make posts like this every once in a while (see also my 2015 reading resolutions) to remind myself of all the fantastic looking books I’ve actually paid for, but which are just sitting around, waiting to be read. Revisiting reviews and plot descriptions, and remembering why I bought them in the first place, might encourage me to devote more time to reading instead of the hours of aimless internet browsing I do most days.

So I’ve spent a little time looking over my bookshelves (in reality and on Goodreads), and came up with a small list books of each genre that I really should make time to read. These lists don’t even begin to scratch the surface of the hundreds of unread books I own, but they’re a start. I don’t know whether I’ll read them this year, or the next, or later than that, but at least I’ll be able to look back at this post for some motivation.

First up, 15 intriguing looking fantasy books, listed by author. The only rule I’ve imposed on myself is to focus on books by authors I’ve never read. Some of the following are standalones, and others are the beginnings of series. There’s a theme common to many of them of non-human protagonists (probably my favourite trope in all of genre fiction). Let’s hope they’re all as good as they sound!

fantasy_etchedcityThe Etched City by KJ Bishop

I think this is the book that I’ve owned the longest on this list. I sought it out almost 10 years ago, when I was looking for other work similar to China Miéville. This book has been compared particularly to Iron Council, in that it also meshes western and New Weird genres. There’s a gunslinger, a surreal city on the edge of a wasteland, and melancholic and literary prose. Sounds pretty nifty. It’s a shame that Bishop hasn’t written a novel since.

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BBC’s The City & the City miniseries confirmed!

cityskullJust a quick update: BBC have issued a press release confirming that they are going ahead with making a four-hour miniseries based on China Miéville’s The City & the City. Exciting! I talked a little more about my thoughts on the project when I first caught wind of it back in February. Check out the press release and my older post for more info.

It will come to BBC Two in the near future… fingers crossed for next year. Maybe next we’ll hear some casting news, which will be exciting! I’ll bring all the updates as the project continues.

The 2016 Alastair Reynolds forecast — two new novels and more!

areynoldsThis year has been good for Alastair Reynolds’ fans, with the trilogy-concluding novel Poseidon’s Wake and the standalone novella Slow Bullets coming out in quick succession. There’s also the possibility that Subterranean Press’s upcoming collection The Best of Alastair Reynolds will reach us by November, although considering that there hasn’t been any kind of proper announcement yet, it may be pushed back to 2016. More on that book later in this post.

Anyway, I want to take a quick look at what’s coming out in 2016 from Reynolds. It looks like it will be just as exciting a year for new work as this year was!

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US cover and extract from This Census-Taker by China Miéville

Today io9 has our first sneak peek at This Census-Taker, the upcoming novella by China Miéville. It’s due out on January 5th, 2016 from Penguin Random House in the US, and February 25th from Macmillan in the UK.

(Edit: it’s actually coming out in the UK via Macmillan’s imprint, Picador, who generally publish more literary fiction. From this I assume the story will be fairly light on the SFF/weird content, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing!)

Here’s the cover:

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Like the US cover for Three Moments, it’s a little boring. But if you go over to io9 you can read a small extract which is much more intriguing. That poor boy…

To be honest, since I heard this was a novella (~200 pages) and since the announcement of a full-length novel coming later in 2016, I’m much less excited for this. But, it could end up being excellent. Who knows? Also, much like Alastair Reynolds’ recent Slow Bullets, expect to pay full novel price for this novella. It had better be worth it.

More info: US/UK

Poll: Choose your 3 favourite China Miéville books!

For a bit of fun, I thought it would be cool to poll the readers of this blog about their favourite China Miéville books. So, if you want, pick three of the ones below! Feel free to argue about it in the comments afterwards. I’ll let the poll run indefinitely so the numbers can build up.

For the record, my favourites are The Scar, Iron Council and Embassytown. That might change in the future, though.

The Last Days of New Paris — China Miéville’s other new 2016 novel!

tumblr_m7hrygIhxd1qdl9q3o1_500Tor.com dropped a bomb quite subtly in the last paragraph of their Three Moments of an Explosion review. It turns out This Census Taker won’t be Miéville’s only work released next year. There’s also a whole other novel, called The Last Days of New Paris!

I did some googling and I found a Chinese literary agency with further details:

THE LAST DAYS OF NEW PARIS is an intense and gripping tale set in an alternative universe: June 1940 following Paris’ fall to the Germans, the villa of Air-Bel in Marsailles, is filled with Trotskyists, anti-fascists, exiled artists, and surrealists. One Air-Bel dissident decides the best way to fight the Nazis is to construct a surrealist bomb. When the bomb is accidentally detonated, surrealist Cataclysm sweeps Paris and transforms it according to a violent, weaponized dream logic.

Wow. We really are blessed with so much new material in such a short time! I’ll update when other details are known.

UPDATE: Check out a new, longer description here!

Three Moments of an Explosion: Stories by China Miéville — My thoughts on every story (Part 3)

threemoments_storybystory3AKA: The post with the actual book review in it! Skip to the bottom if you just want to read that.

I’ve polished off the final 9 stories of Three Moments of an Explosion sooner than I thought I would. The creativity on display throughout this collection has kept me coming back for more. So now it’s time of the final part of my story-by-story thoughts, and at the end of the post, my overall review of the collection. Be sure you’ve read parts one and two before you delve into these last stories!

Read on for short descriptions and thoughts about each individual story. Don’t worry, I won’t spoil any endings. (NB: page counts are for the UK hardback edition)

“Keep”

(39 pages) This lengthy story concerns a curious kind of apocalypse: circular moats begin to appear spontaneously around people who stay still too long. Even stranger, there are reports of sounds from within the moats. It makes for gripping reading, following the crumble of civilisation due to the moats. There may also be a metaphor somewhere in there about the human need to distance oneself from others. Once again though, Miéville chooses to end the tale on a premature climax, favouring a poignant-but-perplexing final image over an actual resolution. It’s beginning to become a problem with stories in this book.

“A Second Slice Manifesto”

(4 pages) This is an exceptionally clever little piece, which describes a strange new art movement just plausible enough to exist. Artists take existing paintings and produce new works that act as “slices” through the scene: producing anatomical cross-sections of the people therein, in the manner of CT scans (search for such scans in Google Images and you’ll immediately know what I mean). Not satisfied, Miéville takes this concept and adds a really creepy twist. I won’t be able to look at certain paintings in the same way again.

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Three Moments of an Explosion: Stories by China Miéville — My thoughts on every story (Part 2)

threemoments_storybystory2And now here’s the second part of my story-by-story thoughts on Three Moments of an Explosion: Stories! If you haven’t yet, read part one first.

For this post I’m tackling the next 9 stories of the book, which will just leave 9 more for the final part of this series. I hope people are getting some enjoyment out of reading my thoughts while they wait for the official release of this book! Or, perhaps people are coming here after they’ve read the book themselves, to see what other people thought.

Read on for short descriptions and thoughts about each individual story. Don’t worry, I won’t spoil any endings. (NB: page counts are for the UK hardback edition)

“Säcken”

(31 pages) Jesus christ. A terrifying horror story, up there with the creepiest work by Laird Barron, with notes of Koji Suzuki’s Ring as well. Two women go on a retreat to a lake-house in rural Germany, where a piece of local history comes back to haunt one of the women. It’s shit-your-pants scary! I still feel uneasy just thinking about it. This story is probably the most horrific thing Miéville has ever written — the slow build-up of dread, the imagery, everything is crafted to make sure you don’t sleep after you read it.

“Syllabus”

(3 pages) A much needed bit of humour following the last story, this is an absurdist work which takes the form of the outline for a three-week university course. There’s no real point beyond a playful poke at academia and a bunch of jokes strung together, including some funny riffs on time travel, alien visitation, and government privatisation.

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Three Moments of an Explosion: Stories by China Miéville — My thoughts on every story (Part 1)

threemoments_storybystory1Presenting the first part of my story-by-story thoughts on China Miéville’s brand new collection, Three Moments of an Explosion!

This post will focus on the first 10 stories of the collection. Check back soon for two more posts, covering the rest of the stories in the book. There are 28 stories in total, making this a very meaty collection!

At the end of the third post I’ll give an overall verdict about the book, and which stories I liked the best. After that, I may go back and revisit Miéville’s first collection, Looking for Jake. And there are a handful of uncollected stories I could always track down and review as well!

Read on for short descriptions and thoughts about each individual story. Don’t worry, I won’t spoil any endings. (NB: page counts are for the UK hardback edition)

“Three Moments of an Explosion”

(2 pages) This is a cool little piece of flash fiction using three speculative fiction ideas to explore the relatively mundane scenario of a building demolition. I like the way Miéville combines satirical SF in the vein of his earlier short story “‘Tis the Season”, with interesting counterculture, oddball physics, and supernatural elements. A crazy idea that shows off the author’s incredible mind. As for why the story is used as the title of the entire collection — who knows? It’s just a cool, evocative title I guess.

“Polynia”

(21 pages) That “icebergs over London” story which most Miéville fans have probably read online by now. A simple weird fiction premise, mixed with some elegiac musings on climate change, that Miéville does a lot with. It’s fantastically written, told from an interesting perspective (a pre-teen hooligan), has beautiful imagery, and it creeps me out just thinking about it. While it ends without explaining very much, preserving the weirdness makes the story all the more indelible in my mind.

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It arrived today!

fxWsMeUThis is just a short post I had to make because I can’t contain my excitement. Three Moments arrived today! I ordered it from Book Depository, which shipped copies early for whatever reason, and today it was on my doorstep! That makes it more than two weeks early. I couldn’t be happier.

My plan is to post three story-by-story impressions posts as I read the collection. The first post will cover the first 10 stories, while the second and third will cover 9 more stories each. Length-wise it works out, as each group of stories divided that way runs about 145 pages. At the end of the third post I’ll give my overall impressions about the book as well.

Before I begin though, here’s some info about the book from the table of contents, which might be of interest to Miéville fans who are chomping at the bit for their copy to arrive. All of the info below is based on the UK hardcover edition, published by Pan Macmillan.

  • Exact book length: 431 pages.
  • Longest stories: “In the Slopes” and “Keep”, each 39 pages.
  • Shortest stories: “Three Moments of an Explosion” and “Four Final Orpheuses”, each 2 pages.
  • Number of stories shorter than 10 pages: 11
  • Number of stories longer than 20 pages: 8
  • Average story length: 15.4 pages
  • Finally, there’s a dedication, some acknowledgements, and an epigraph at the start of the book; but there aren’t any notes on the stories included throughout, or at the end.

The full list of stories in the collection can be found here. Now, time to start reading!

My 2015 reading, part two… More reviews and thoughts!

2015_2Now that we’re at the year’s halfway point, once again it’s about time I collect my thoughts and mini-reviews about all the books I’ve read recently. Here’s the first of my 2015 posts. In this post and all future ones I’ll exclude the books that aren’t directly genre-related (which in this case is just one, the entertaining but pulpy World War II thriller, Where Eagles Dare by Alistair MacLean).

So, it’s been half a year and my reading rate has been absolutely atrocious. I won’t go into reasons, but it’s partly things out of my control, and partly being too easily consumed by video games and TV shows when I do get free time.

My goal for 2015 was to read at least 40 books, and so far I’m just on 13 ones finished (with a few in progress). I think I might revise my goal down to 30 and really try to prioritise ones I’ve owned and wanted to read for a long time, instead of getting sucked in by new releases.

Some of the reviews below are more just collections of thoughts about the book rather than coherent reviews, and often I’m cribbing from what I wrote on Goodreads when I finished each book. But I think I give an impression of what appealed to me about each book.

So read on for books featuring fantasy (of the dark, comedic, and “cozy” flavours), futures both optimistic and pessimistic, human-alien relationships, and more!

FINISHED IN FEBRUARY

20007633The Gunslinger by Stephen King – ★★★★½

I think this is my third time reading The Gunslinger, but I’ve never made it all the way through the whole Dark Tower septology before. This time I want to complete the series.

I forgot to write a review when I finished this back in February, and now I don’t have much to say about it, other than it’s a great first book broken into a handful of novellas, each weirder and unveiling more about the world than the last. I particularly love the journey Roland takes through the mountains with Jake, and the remnants of long-dead civilisation that they find there. Haunting.

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Review: The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

25201920I haven’t done a book review for a while here, and I was planning my next post to be a round up of a number of books I’ve read lately, like the last one. But I just finished a book that was so good that I felt it deserved its own review.

First, here’s the jacket copy of The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Amazon link) by Becky Chambers:

When Rosemary Harper joins the crew of the Wayfarer, she isn’t expecting much. The Wayfarer, a patched-up ship that’s seen better days, offers her everything she could possibly want: a small, quiet spot to call home for a while, adventure in far-off corners of the galaxy, and distance from her troubled past.

But Rosemary gets more than she bargained for with the Wayfarer. The crew is a mishmash of species and personalities, from Sissix, the friendly reptillian pilot, to Kizzy and Jenks, the constantly sparring engineers who keep the ship running. Life on board is chaotic, but more or less peaceful – exactly what Rosemary wants.

Until the crew are offered the job of a lifetime: the chance to build a hyperspace tunnel to a distant planet. They’ll earn enough money to live comfortably for years… if they survive the long trip through war-torn interstellar space without endangering any of the fragile alliances that keep the galaxy peaceful.

But Rosemary isn’t the only person on board with secrets to hide, and the crew will soon discover that space may be vast, but spaceships are very small indeed.

This is the kind of book I’ve been waiting to read for years. It’s a slice-of-life space opera set on board a working class ship with a varied and well-drawn crew. The stakes aren’t very high, which is to say the plot isn’t anything galaxy shattering. It’s more just a number of small adventures as the Wayfarer‘s crew travels towards the galaxy’s centre on a job. To compare this book to one of its probable inspirations, this is more like a collection of Firefly episodes than the movie Serenity. Each little sub-story (usually taking up one or two chapters) allows a different character to have their moment in the spotlight, and we learn a great deal about the characters’ stories and motivations along the way. By the end of the book I felt at home with the crew as I did with the Serenity or Normandy‘s crew. I look forward to reading many more stories about the Wayfarer and its people.

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The limited edition cover art for Three Moments of an Explosion is stunning

Check out the absolutely gorgeous and haunting cover art by the one and only Dave McKean, for Subterranean Press’s limited edition of Three Moments of an Explosion:

Three_Moments_of_an_Explosion_by_China_Mieville

That’s just… beyond words. Too bad it’s completely sold out. I’ve never wanted a limited edition of a Miéville book so much before!

Am I the only one getting a slight Stanley Donwood vibe from it as well?

(In one more bit of Miéville news, Kirkus Reviews has their review of the new collection up now. It’s a hugely positive review and it gives some info on a handful of the new stories!)

The Magicians TV series: the first trailer and some quick thoughts

Here’s the first trailer for SyFy’s The Magicians TV series, which has been picked up for a full season and will air in 2016! These books are some of my favourites of all time, and in the past I’ve talked about some of the approaches I hope SyFy takes for the show. It’s all just my wishful thinking, mind.

Anyway, the trailer looks very stylish, although I still don’t really like the ageing up of all the characters. I suppose I’ll get used to it quickly if the actors are good in their roles — and I have no reason to suspect they’re not!

Now let me talk about a few of the things I noticed…

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This Census Taker — the next novel by China Miéville!

cmRandom House is listing a new China Miéville novel for January 2016, titled This Census Taker. What a weird title! There’s nearly no information about this book, other than the fact that it’s somewhere in the range of 208 pages (early page counts are never exact), and that it apparently comes under the genres “contemporary fantasy” and “literary fiction”.

I guess for now we can all try to guess what the book might be about. Perhaps a census taker who discovers something out of this world during his/her rounds?

UPDATE: There’s now jacket copy on the Penguin Random House website! It reads as follows:

For readers of George Saunders, Kelly Link, and Karen Russell, This Census Taker is the poignant and uncanny new novella from award-winning and bestselling author China Miéville. After witnessing a profoundly traumatic event, a boy is left alone in a remote house on a hilltop with his increasingly deranged parent. When a stranger knocks on his door, the boy senses that his days of isolation are over—but by what authority does this man keep the meticulous records he carries? Is he the boy’s friend? His enemy? Or something altogether other?

UPDATE 2: Pan Macmillan has it too, for UK/Commonwealth publication in February 2016. Also, the Random House product page (linked at the top of this post) has a more expanded jacket description now.

UPDATE 3: Check out the US cover art!

Three Tidbits of an Explosion

threemomentsJust a few tidbits about the steadily approaching new collection from China Miéville, Three Moments of an Explosion:

  • Publisher’s Weekly has a good, short review! Check it out for some tantalising descriptions of some of the new stories. “In the Slopes” sounds absolutely fascinating.
  • The Scrying Orb has a longer review, which praises the book for its heftiness, variety, black humour, and writing style. However, they say that some of the stories feel a bit samey, and some lack resolution to their weird mysteries. Nonetheless, I remain as excited as always!
  • The always excellent Subterranean Press is doing a limited edition version of the collection with cover art by the one and only Dave McKean! Pre-order it here. I’d be doing so myself if money wasn’t so tight right now.

And now I’ll get back to reading Poseidon’s Wake by Alastair Reynolds, which I got the other day. I might put up a review of it in a couple of weeks, along with some of the other books I’ve read recently. Oh, and I suppose I should also be doing something about that money situation…

Contents and US cover art for Three Moments of an Explosion!

3-Moments-comps-31Barnes and Noble had the exclusive reveal today of the US cover art and the FULL CONTENTS LIST of the new China Miéville collection! Maybe my blog will get an exclusive like that one day… But let’s freak out over all the new info!

Okay, so it’s not the most inspiring of cover art. In fact it’s downright dull. But I’ve never liked the US covers of China’s books compared to the excellent UK work by Crush Creative. Their cover for the new book is exciting and evocative. So putting the crummy US cover art aside, here’s the full story list, with never-before-published stories bearing an asterisk:

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A second jacket description for Three Moments of an Explosion: Stories

cmThe jacket description for the US edition of China Miéville’s new collection, Three Moments of an Explosion: Stories, is now up on the publisher’s website. It’s different to the UK description, and reveals a little more about the upcoming book!

The fiction of multiple award–winning author China Miéville is powered by intelligence and imagination. Like George Saunders, Karen Russell, and David Mitchell, he pulls from a variety of genres with equal facility, employing the fantastic not to escape from reality but instead to interrogate it in provocative, unexpected ways.

London awakes one morning to find itself besieged by a sky full of floating icebergs. Destroyed oil rigs, mysteriously reborn, clamber from the sea and onto the land, driven by an obscure but violent purpose. An anatomy student cuts open a cadaver to discover impossibly intricate designs carved into a corpse’s bones—designs clearly present from birth, bearing mute testimony to . . . what?

Of such concepts and unforgettable images are made the twenty-eight stories in this collection—many published here for the first time. By turns speculative, satirical, and heart-wrenching, fresh in form and language, and featuring a cast of damaged yet hopeful seekers who come face-to-face with the deep weirdness of the world—and at times the deeper weirdness of themselves—Three Moments of an Explosion is a fitting showcase for one of our most original voices.

The stories mentioned in the second paragraph are, in order, “Polynia”, “Covehithe”, and “The Design”. Nothing new or revelatory there. But the third paragraph contains the most exciting news: this book will have 28 stories! That’s immense. It’s twice as many as China’s first collection, Looking For Jake, had. If the previous reports that only seven of the stories would be previously published ones are true, then that’s 21 never-before-seen stories. Clearly Miéville has been busy in the three-year wait since Railsea! This seems like it will be a very meaty collection, and I am totally stoked.

Now, as for the matter of new Bas-Lag content… We’ve now seen the official marketing descriptions written by both publishers, and there’s no mention of Bas-Lag. Considering the popularity of those books, I would assume that if there was a new story set in that world, then it would be fairly prominent in the description. It would be big news! Alas, I think that now we can pretty much count it out.

But there’s still so much to celebrate with 28 stories coming our way this July (or August in the US)!

The City & the City may become a four-part BBC drama

mieville01_bIn tentative, but potentially exciting, news, it’s been revealed that screenwriter Tony Grisoni is adapting China Miéville’s novel The City & the City for the BBC as a four-part drama. This news comes from a recent article on Screen Daily — I went a step further and dug up Grisoni’s keynote, in which he announces the project, on Youtube. He only mentions it right at the end, and doesn’t actually say anything further about it, but the video is worth watching anyway if you’re interested in television drama.

Grisoni is probably best known as the screenwriter for Terry Gilliam’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, as well as a handful of other Gilliam projects. I’m not very familiar with his work, but hearing him talk about writing for TV in that video reassures me that the story will be in good hands.

If this goes forward, it won’t be the first adaptation of the novel; in 2013 it was staged as a play at the Lifeline Theatre in Chicago. I would have killed to see this play! Hopefully there’ll be renewed interest at some point, and some other production company will stage it in the future.

Kim_BodniaI’m keeping all fingers crossed that the TV production becomes a real thing! It will be fascinating to see how they visually represent the “seeing” of the separate cities. I’m hoping for a kind of dark, moody adaptation, rather like the excellent Swedish/Danish crime drama Bron/Broen (AKA The Bridge). Talking of which, wouldn’t Kim Bodnia (who played Martin in that show) be perfect as Tyador Borlú? I’m picturing it now, and I like it.

Hopefully I’ll be bringing further news and updates on this project in the future. So keep on reading Out There Books!

My 2015 reading, so far… Reviews and mid-book thoughts!

I don’t get around to writing many full-length book reviews for this blog. But this year, I’ve decided that I’m at least going to write semi-regularly about what I’m reading, and what I’ve read so far.

My pace was abysmal in 2014, and it’s slightly better in the first month and a bit of 2015 — but I still catch my attention wandering a lot whenever I sit down to read almost anything. I’m sure I have some kind of attention span issue, and the fact that I’m currently reading 5 books simultaneously is testament to that possibility. I’ll list those books shortly, but first I’ll talk about what I’ve successfully finished since the year began.

(Note: I thought about listing comics and graphic novels in this post as well, but I might save them for separate posts.)

BOOKS I’VE FINISHED

pandoras-star-by-peter-f-hamiltonPandora’s Star by Peter F Hamilton – ★★★★

First up this year I finished this absolute monster of a tome. I actually started it in October last year, and it took me that long to get through the 1100+ pages. But it was pretty good! The real star of the book was the incredibly detailed world, which Hamilton attended to with the eye of a documentarian. It’s a fundamentally fantastical future universe (what with FTL and wormholes, not to mention the magic elf-like aliens) but thanks to Hamilton’s skill it feels plausible, and that’s an amazing achievement.

There were tons of characters too, and I can’t honestly say I was equally enthralled in all the different plotlines. When some characters showed up and took center stage for 50 pages or more, I could barely scrape through to the next chapter. But other characters’ stories were absolutely compelling, and I tore through those sections. I’ve seen a lot of dislike out there for Ozzie’s chapters, but his adventures were some of the best parts for me.

I’m really looking forward to Judas Unchained and the end of the saga, but before I begin that journey, I need to get some shorter SF novels under my belt.

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New jacket description for Three Moments of an Explosion: Stories

threemomentsToday on Amazon.co.uk I found the final jacket description for China Miéville’s new short story collection, Three Moments of an Explosion: Stories:

A highly anticipated collection of short fiction listed in the Guardian’s ‘Essential Literary Calendar’ for 2015 from one of the most exciting and original authors writing today.

The multi-award-winning China Miéville has been called ‘the equal of David Mitchell or Zadie Smith’ (Scotland on Sunday), whose ‘inventiveness and precision is awesome’ (Independent), and who writes with ‘an imagination of immense power’ (Guardian). In this extraordinary series of stories, defying definitions and literary stereotyping, he once again proves why he ‘is one of the most interesting and promising writers to appear in the last few years in any genre’ (Carlos Ruiz Zafon).

In these stories, glistening icebergs float above urban horizons; a burning stag runs wild through the city; the ruins of industry emerge unsteadily from the sea; and the abandoned generations in a decayed space-elevator look not up at the stars but down at the Earth. Ranging from portraits of childhood to chilling ghost stories, from dystopian visions to poignant evocations of uncanny love, with beautiful prose and melancholy wit, this breath-taking collection poses searching questions of what it is to be human in an unquiet world. It is a humane and unsentimental investigation of our society, our world, and ourselves.

There’s a bit to dissect there, so let’s dig on in! (more…)

Cover art for Poseidon’s Wake by Alastair Reynolds

Here’s the cover artwork for the UK edition of Alastair Reynolds’ new novel Poseidon’s Wake, the third in the Poseidon’s Children trilogy (sequel to Blue Remembered Earth and On The Steel Breeze).

pwake

It fits well into the new look for this trilogy, but unfortunately for my own collection (and for many others, I’m sure) it doesn’t match the original 1st Edition design for books 1 and 2. Compare the new and the old below:

poseidon

poschild

Don’t you hate it when a publisher switches designs like that? I actually prefer the busier look of the original covers. They somehow made the book seem more epic. A lot of cover art these days seems to be going for the minimalist look, however. Oh well, it’s what’s inside that counts. The book is out in April, so get excited!

A small excerpt from Alastair Reynolds’ new novella Slow Bullets is available

tumblr_inline_n8gc9oZ9fk1s0669xFans of Alastair Reynolds eagerly awaiting this years’ novella Slow Bullets, published by Tachyon Press, should check out the short excerpt (1666 words long, to be exact) available on Tachyon’s website here. Click on the “Excerpt” tab and enjoy! The book will be out in paperback and ebook formats on June 9th.

2015 is going to be an awesome year for Reynolds fans.

Cover art for China Miéville’s new collection

A quick post to say that the cover art for China Miéville’s new collection, Three Moments of an Explosion: Stories, has been released on the UK Tor blog! Feast your eyes on it:

threemoments

Love it! It fits so perfectly with the current design of his back catalogue. The antlers are most likely a reference to the story “The Estate”, so that’ll probably be in the contents. Other stories almost certain to be included (according to the Tor blog post) are “Covehithe”, “Polynia”, and “The Rope is the World”. Check out my thoughts on what other stories will be included here.

I cannot wait to add this to my book shelf!