© 2002 Ernest Lilley / SFRevu
UK July 2002 Releases by Iain Emsley
August has continued being a quiet month in UK publishing with a few big titles coming through to wind the season into the normal September and October frenzy.
The Voyager Classics continue to come through with Megan Lindholm’s Cloven Hooves (Voyager, £8.99), a brilliant story of magic in everyday life from a fantasy writer whose early work is being the light that it deserves. The slightly surprising, but in no fashion unworthy, release is Doris Lessing’s Shikasta (Voyager, £8.99). Lessing is well know for her mainstream writing but this series deserves to come back into the light and be considered in within her oeuvre. The other two releases are The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury (Voyager, £8.99), reportedly an influence upon the Books of Blood by Barker, and the Sapphire Rose by David Eddings (Voyager, £8.99). The other Voyager hardback publications are Phase Space by Stephen Baxter (Voyager, £17.99), a collection of Stephen Baxter’s short fiction that stretches through his entire corpus as well as his final book for Harper Collins before he goes to Gollancz in entirety. David and Leigh Eddings have returned to the thriller genre with Regina’s Song (Harper Collins, £17.99). Published in the main list is Michael Marshall Smith’s new novel, The Straw Men (Harper Collins, £9.99), a psychological thriller advertised as in the tradition of Thomas Harris.
Orion’s paperback list has produced the second half of the Infinities hardback collection, a bind up in Ace back-to-back fashion of Reality Dust (Stephen Baxter) and Making History (Paul McAuley) (Orion, £4.99). Forests of the Heart by Charles de Lint (Orion, 6.99) tells the tale of the Gentry from Ireland who have followed the settlers to America. Also published is The Onion Girl (Orion, £16.99 and 9.99), his new Newford novel featuring Jilly Coppercorn.
Debt of Bones (Orion, £4.99) by Terry Goodkind is a prequel of sorts to his ‘Sword of Truth’ series but ultimately fails to deliver the impact he hopes that it will. The other major new release is Kim Wilkins’ Falling Angel (Orion, 6.99) which is another magical horrific romp in seventeenth century London.
Simon and Schuster have come up with two gems this month. Robert Holdstock’s Iron Grail (Earthlight, £16.99) is the follow up to Celtika and re-affirms his place as one of Britain’s most exciting fantasts. Christopher Priest has come up with the goods in The Separation (Scribner, £10.99), a triumphant novel which explores how the choices of men can change the course of history. A welcome return to this much underrated author outside of the genre.
Occasionally there is a small press which brings to our attention a complete oddball. Creation have published Blood Electric (Creation, £9.95) by Kenji Siratori which takes cyber-punk into the arena of language and imagery. Steve Aylett meets William Burroughs via The Devil’s Dictionary? A difficult one to encapsulate.
Neil Gaiman’s Coraline (Bloomsbury, £9.99) has just been published in the UK. Unfortunately this edition does not carry the fabulously creepy Dave McKean illustrations found in the US edition. However it remains a fantastic read and is a must for all fans of dark, contemporary or children’s fantasy or those in search a fine read.
The Marriage of Figaro plays at The New Victoria Theatre, Newcastle-Under-Lyme from August 2nd to August 24th and at The Stephen Jospeh Theatre, Scarborough from 10th to 28th September. Anyone approaching John after the show in the bar stating that they came to see the show specifically due to this flagrant plug will be bought a drink by our erstwhile actor/correspondent!