Gollancz March 2015 Paperbacks

Gollancz has a number of treats this month with their releases in paperback.

Paperback of the month is volume one and two of the Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson. The Words of Radiance is the latest novel in Sanderson's epic series The Stormlight Archive and follows on from The Way of Kings. Set on a planet constantly ravaged by fierce storms and with a unique magic system, if The Way of Kings is anything to go by, Words of Radiance should be something quite special.

Words of Radiance

The ever expanding SF Masterworks and Fantasy Masterworks series sees two new additions. First up is the Hugo Award Winning story The Word for World Is Forest by Ursula K Le Guin which won the Hugo in Novella form in 1973 after appearing in Harlan Ellisons seminal anthology Again, Dangerous Vision. It's also unofficially the same story the inspiration for James Cameron's Adult Smurfs film Avatar (seriously see the film then read the book it even has the same power crazy, native slaughtering military type character).  The film however pales in comparison to the book. It's like someone who tries to recreate something they don't really understand — where Le Guin masterfully underplays the environmental messages, Cameron throws money and big explosions and crying blue smurfs into the mix. Anyway, read the book then tell me I'm right.

For the fantasy readers the new addition comes in the form of the first volume of the classic, much under appreciated Gene Wolfe series The Book of the new Sun. Volume one is Shadow and Claw and has been described by George RR Martin as

One of the Great science fantasy epics of all time

and by Le Guin as:

A Masterpiece. Totally original, new, incomparable; the beginning of something great.

It's an epic story set a million years in the future where the world faces a dying sun and our present is no longer even a distant memory. This Fantasy Masterworks version has an introduction by the eloquent Alastair Reynolds.

SF MasterWorks

Next up is the first volume in a new Steampunk series (Far Called Trilogy) by the master of the genre, Stephen Hunt. In Dark Service examines the lives of the Carnehan family as Carter is kidnapped and Jacob the pacifist must choose the path of violence to reclaim his son. Both SFX and Scifi Now have given the book rave reviews, a promising book in a often miss-understood genre.

Queen of the Dark Things by C. Robert Cargill follows on from contemporary urban fantasy novel Dreams and Shadows which we reviewed back in 2013. The first book had a great back-story and description of the Fae which combined well with a dark edge. Reviews suggest that Queen of the Dark Things is a deserving follow-up.

If you like Dragons then you need to read Stephen Deas, his Dragons are the real deal — fire breathing, scaly scary creatures that are beautiful and glorious in all their terrible majesty. The authors latest novel featuring such beasts is The Splintered Gods — the sixth book in the Memory of Flames series.

Lastly, if you like fiction of a more historical nature, Mike, Linda and Louise Carey have written The House of War and Witness, set in Europe, 1740. As the continent teeters on the brink of war a company of Austrian soldiers is sent to the village of Narutsin to defend the border with Prussia. What should be a routine posting is quickly revealed to be anything but and lieutenant Klaes is ordered to investigate just what the people of Narutsin are up to.