UK January 2002 Releases by John Berlyne
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Happy New Year! In terms of genre releases it seems that here in the UK 2002 begins much the way the outgoing year ended - modestly! With publishers gearing up to their big name releases in the coming months (and there are some crackers in the pipeline, I assure you) this year generally seems to start more with a whimper than a bang. Much of this month's output consists of reprints and mass market releases. This of course, is no bad thing in itself, but many readers - myself included - are chomping at the bit to get their hands on the new novels by China Miéville, Alastair Reynolds and the like. Oh well - patience is a virtue, as they say.

HarperCollins / Voyager start their year with a brace (if that is the correct collective noun) of reprints. Megan Lindholm's (aka Robin Hobb) Harpy's Flight is released in paperback at £5.99, as is Robert Silverberg's The King of Dreams (priced at £6.99). Raymond E. Feist and William Forstchen's novel Honoured Enemy, the latest in their Legends of the Riftwar series is published as a large format trade paperback, priced at £11.99. Voyager's most noteworthy releases this month though have to be two books by New Zealand writer Juliette Marillier. Daughter of the Forest and its sequel Son of Shadows receive their mass market UK release, both priced at £6.99. These Celtic fantasy stories are top quality and well worth a look. No releases in the Voyager Classic series this month, but what's to come in February more than makes up for it. Watch this space!

Orbit provide what could be termed their standard "mixed bag" output this month. Top of the list is a comic SF novel by the hugely (and deservedly) popular Tom Holt. Falling Sideways - which concerns "Frogs that rule the universe" is released in hardcover at £16.99. Holt's previous release Nothing But Blue Skies is published in mass market paperback at £5.99. The third and final book in Chaz Brenchley's Outremer series, Hand of the King's Evil is released as a paperback original, priced at £7.99. At nearly 800 pages, this should more than satisfy this under-rated author's devoted fans. Also from Orbit comes Spirit of the Stone, the second in the Shadowleague series by Maggie Fury. This is a mass market release priced at £7.99. Finally from Orbit comes the mass market release of Kim Hunter's Knight's Dawn - previously reviewed here - this edition is priced at £6.99. The sequel, Wizard's Funeral is due out soon.

Even Orion/Gollancz, usually publishing the majority of titles here in the UK, are having a quiet month, it seems. Look out for the mass market paperbacks of Alastair Reynolds's excellent Chasm City (see my review) - priced at £6.99, and of Stephen Baxter's Deep Future, a collection of essays and speculative writing by one of Britain's leading SF writers. This edition is priced at £6.99. From Mercedes Lackey comes Black Swan, "... a beautiful retelling of the classic story of Swan Lake". This MM paperback is priced at £6.99. The Fantasy Masterworks series continues with excellent Voice of Our Shadow by Jonathan Carroll, price £6.99. Finally comes Destiny, the third novel in the acclaimed fantasy series by Elizabeth Haydon. This is released in both hard cover (£17.99) and trade paperback(£12.99).

Pan Macmillan offer a superb near future thriller by Ray Hammond. This is the debut novel by Hammond - "one of Europe's leading futurologists and the UK's most demanded technology speaker on the international corporate circuit". Previously given a tiny hard cover release, Emergence, now available in paperback at £6.99, is to my mind, the pick of this month's releases. (note: cover shown is from the hardcover release, the paperback may differ)

Simon & Schuster's Earthlight imprint kicks off the new year positively with the mass market release of three fantasy titles. Look out for The Dark Remains - The Last Rune : Book Three by Mark Anthony (£7.99), Wizardborn, book three of The Runelords by David Farland (£6.99) and finally Celtika by Robert Holdstock (£6.99). The latter title has been chosen as the W.H.Smith's fantasy book of the month for January.

So as you can see, it's a short column this month, reflecting the mainstream genre output over here. Things are set to improve though - so hang in there.

More next month.

John Berlyne

© 2002 Ernest Lilley / SFRevu                                                    sa 01.19.02