Carabas April 2016 New Book Recommends!

Carabas - New Book Recommends CB - Apr - Mother of Eden CG - Ti - Apr Rivers of London Body Work CBJJ16 - HZ - Apr - Conjuror CB - Apr - London Overground CB - Orbit - Apr - Fellside

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Text here is from us, a little taster on the book in question, and you can find full biblio details, extract links, and publisher title description by clicking the link to our Jan-Jun 16 page for the publisher or subject (some still in progress) or the shop link and heading to their online store.

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So read on and see the many wonders in print coming your way in April…

 

 

FANTASTIC FICTION IN APRIL

CB - Orbit - Apr - Fellside
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Orbit bring their A-game in April. First up: Mike Carey’s FELLSIDE.
CB - Or - Apr - Burned
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Mike’s been on our radar for many years for his sterling comics work, then for his Felix Castor Urban Fantasy series. As M.R. Carey Mike received round acclaim for The Girl with all the Gifts in 2014, a post-apocalyptic emotionally charged zombie thriller with enough base-touching descriptive couplets to land a film deal (named for the film-viewing public as She Who Brings Gifts, due out this year). In Fellside Mike puts down the corporeal ‘undead’ and turns to the non-corporeal with something truly disturbing: a woman is incarcerated as a child-killer, a crime she has no memory of, in the titular maximum security prison – only to be visited by the ghost of the dead child in question who needs her help…
Complete title info on this and other great titles from the publisher
Meanwhile there’s no lack of Urban Fantasy from Orbit, April bringing us the latest instalment of Benedict Jacka’s fine London-set Alex Verus series. This is one of those hidden gems that really deserves wider attention – fans of Ben Aaronovitch couldn’t help but get on board if only they knew about it, and premier Urban Fantasist Jim Butcher hold’s the series in high regard. Right now Alex has been marked as a traitor to the British Mage’s Council which means he’s got his hands full looking after his friends who are indicted by association while covering his own arcane backside.
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CB - HZ - Jul - The First Confessor
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Anyone heard of Terry Goodkind? We have. And publisher Head of Zeus managed to snaffle the prequel and finale of his epic Sword of Truth series. This month it’s the prequel, THE FIRST CONFESSOR, which narrates the forging of the sword of this grand work.
CBJJ16 - HZ - Apr - Death's End reduced
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HoZ also cannily picked up Cixin Liu’s Remembrance of Earth’s Past trilogy, translated by Ken Liu. Having already garnered awards and acclaim in his native China the first volume of the trilogy, the Three-Body Problem, grabbed the 2015 Hugo award (click here for info on the sequel, The Dark Forest in HB). April brings DEATH’S END, book 3 in Hardback.
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CB - Oct - After Alice
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You may have heard of Gregory Maguire, or at least be aware of Wicked and his work riffing off and reinterpreting the realm and denizens of the land of (The Wizard of) Oz. Now he comes to Wonderland, telling of Alice’s friend Ada – mentioned in the AiW – and how she followed Alice to rescue her from the surreal and dangerous world of Wonderland. NB. Jacket of the hardback – paperback jacket to be confirmed.
CBJJ16 - Go - Apr - Tales from the Kingdoms
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In a similar vein in April Gollancz collect three fairytale-based novellas by Sarah Pinborough: TALES FROM THE KINGDOMS compiles Poison, Charm and the award-winning beauty, based respectively on Snow White, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. Seeking beyond the naiveties of the more innocent ‘plot-holes’ Sarah P conjures adult tales based on more complex motivations of an evil queen, a fairy godmother and a prince.
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CB - Apr - The Lion of Mistra
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While we love our SF and Fantasy at Carabas to us it’s more about noteworthy wonderful and imaginative writing on a much broader level. In April Heron Books serve up the third part of the Mistra Chronicles, THE LION OF MISTRA from James Heneage, something of a legend in the book trade as the founder of the Ottakars chain. The series  sits at a poignant crossroads of what we’re about: straightforwardly an alternate history where the Roman Empire continued in Byzantium while otherwise being absent of anything fantastical. It promises intrigue and wars of civilisations in the fifteenth century – sounds to us like something that many readers of a certain George R.R. Martin might well be interested in aside from anything else.
CBJJ16 - Ti -Apr - Dead Letters reduced
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What a great idea for an anthology from Titan, and what an amazing list of contributors: we couldn’t put it better ourselves…
“The Dead Letters Office: the final repository of the undelivered. Love missives unread, gifts unreceived, lost in postal limbo. Dead Letters Anthology features new stories from the masters of horror, fantasy and speculative fiction, each inspired by an inhabitant of the Dead Letters Office.”
Includes tales from Michael Marshall Smith, Nicholas Royle, Ramsey Campbell, Pat Cadigan, Nina Allan, Angela Slatter, Alison Moore, Kirsten Kaschock, Maria Headley, Steven Hall, Lisa Tuttle, Muriel Gray, Claire Dean, Christopher Fowler, Adam Nevill, Conrad Williams, Joanne Harris, China Miéville
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CB - Apr - The Bricks that built the Houses
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We hadn’t heard of award-winning poet and rapper Kate Tempest previously but chancing upon her prose debut from Bloomsbury it just demanded inclusion. THE BRICKS THAT BUILT THE HOUSES brings to life present day south-east London and the inner lives of ordinary people – but just why are young Becky, Harry and Leon fleeing the Big City with a suitcase of money?
CB - Apr - The Trees
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Also from Bloomsbury and of a more fantastical nature is Ali Shaw’s TREES in which, um, trees spontaneously burst up from the ground and transform every urban area into dark forest. The characters explore the depths of this place finding enemies and unexpected allies and the darkness within themselves. Update – now publishing 10th March…
CB - Apr - Sleeping Giants
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We can’t be entirely sure but Sylvain Neuvel’s SLEEPING GIANTS hints at being about giant robots – there’s at least a giant metal hand at the start anyway and Rose Franklin, the girl who fell into it, has grown up and is leading a top-secret team to unearth its secrets and what it means. Publishers Michael Joseph (Penguin) are a general imprint who (we imagine) see this as having broader appeal. There may be a lack of pitched robot battles but we’re no less intrigued as to what it’s all about.
CB - Nov - The Flicker Men reduced
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Then from Penguin general comes the paperback of Ted Kosmatka’s THE FLICKER MEN, one of those bold, human-level high-concept SF thrillers, also with mainstream appeal. Quantum Physicist Eric Argus finds scientific proof of the existence of the human soul – something perhaps best left undiscovered…
CB - Apr - Mother of Eden
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We round off for now with a last couple of ‘now in paperbacks’, two book two’s of particular note. Chris Beckett’s MOTHER OF EDEN is the sequel to Dark Eden (also the name of the series) which won the 2013 Arthur C Clarke Award which concerns a member of a lost colony of man that has degenerated into ignorance and inbreeding challenging the status quo. In book 2 the colony is now split between two male-dominated factions, one progressive, the other conservative: it’s Starlight Brooking’s turn to be faced with hard choices with consequences that will affect the whole world…
CB - Apr - A Dream of Ice
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And then there’s book 2 of Gillian Anderson and Jeff Rovin’s EarthEnd saga, a paranormal thriller with political dimensions featuring single mum child psychologist Caitlin O’Hara. Following on from A Vision of Fire, in which O’Hara has discovered the secrets of the ancient civilisation of Galderkhaan and developed strange powers, in A DREAM OF ICE she learns more of these abilities while being hunted by a mysterious faction.
Oh and yes, that Gillian Anderson, who has just returned to the screens of the world in a certain well known series beginning with X…

 

LATE ADDITIONS

CB - Tor - Apr - Children of Time
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Announced late but we absolutely had to include, especially because it’s just been shortlisted for a Clarke Award(!) Adrian Tchaikovsky’s Children of Time is the story of the star-flung descendants of humanity returning to find a revitalised Earth has not remained unoccupied…
CB - Apr - The Tale of Tales
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Complete title information on this and other great titles from the publisher
Credited by the Grimms with recording the first national collection of fairy tales, Italian poet Giambattista Basile compiled the Tale of Tales with a 1001 Nights-esque framing story of a cursed Princess unable to laugh trying to win back her fiance via a storytelling marathon. The Tale of Tales includes ones related / early versions of such stories as Cinderella, Rapunzel, Puss in Boots, Sleeping Beauty, and Hansel and Gretel and was published posthumously by his sister. It was adapted into a feature film of the same name in 2015, though is also known as Pentamerone (Greek for ‘five days’) and there’s some wonderful background to read should you care to take a look on Wikipedia. Fabulous stuff from Penguin…

 

APRIL NON-FICTION

CB - Apr - The Great Divide
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First up on the non-fiction front we thought we best let you know about the latest from leading ‘popular economist’ Joseph Stiglitz. THE GREAT DIVIDE is a collection of essays and articles on how political corruption and irresponsible Neoliberalism from the Reagan era onwards has caused the divide not just in wealth but the possibility of social mobility in America and Western Europe. While warning that even the possibility is receding, Stiglitz offers real solutions to this serious and significant social ill. Important stuff.
CB - Apr - The British Witch
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On the history front we’ve plucked out PG Maxwell-Stuart’s THE BRITISH WITCH, a ‘monumental new history’ of the same, male and female, throughout five centuries, from the healing and small magics of the local wise person to, interestingly, a malefic campaign of occult attacks on British monarchs.
CB - Apr - London Overground
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Next up film-maker, writer and noted psychogeographer Mr Iain Sinclair is back shining a new light on aspects of urban London. Iain’s been firmly on our radar since 1997’s SLOW CHOCOLATE AUTOPSY, a fictional work illustrated by the fabulous Dave McKean in which one Andrew Norton is confined to the wide boundary of London’s space but not time (a rather Sinclair-esque Norton appears in his friend Alan Moore’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Volume 3: Century). For LONDON OVERGROUND Iain created and completed a circular tour of 33 stations over 35 miles around the capital and he narrates the journey and surrounding urban environment through the book itself.
CB - NF - Mar - Firefly The Gorramn Shiniest Dictionary and Phrasebook in the Verse
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And Shun-SHENG duh gao-WAHN: It’s only Monica Valentinelli’s THE GORRAMN SHINIEST LANGUAGE GUIDE AND DICTIONARY IN THE ‘VERSE of FIREFLY! No need to explain further surely – just put on your browncoat and get on down and buy!

 

YA / CHILDREN’S PICK

CB - C - Apr - Desolation
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We’ve yet to read book one in Derek Landy’s Demon Road trilogy, but his fantastic Skullduggery Pleasant series is enough for book 2 to get a mention regardless. Amber and Milo are being chased by demonic bikers the Hounds of Hell and need to get to a town suffused with supernatural darkness for the secret it holds before they catch up…
CBJJ16 - HZ - Apr - Conjuror
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Then the brother and sister team of John & Carole E Barrowman (and yes it’s that John Barrowman) serve up book 2 of The Orion Chronicles, a series that, along with John Owen Theobald’s THESE DARK WINGS and others, marks publishers Head of Zeus’ foray into supernatural YA fiction. In THE CONJUROR the Animare twins, with the power to enter visual art and bring it to life, are sent to Edinburgh to deal with a boy whose music can alter reality…
CB - C - Apr - Chasing the Stars
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Then a special shout out to Children’s Laureate (2013-15), the fabulous Malorie Blackman who returns with two books in the same month! Inspired by Othello, in CHASING THE STARS 18 year old Olivia is piloting a starship back to earth with her twin brother when they take on planetary refugees, including Nathan with whom Olivia forms an instant connection; but everyone has secrets, from which emerges a tale of mystery and intrigue… with space battles. The Bookseller’s Children’s Book of the Month (as May, late announcement)
CB - C - Apr - Peace Maker
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Then she’s teamed up with illustrator Matthew Griffiths for PEACEMAKER from Barrington Stoke, who get top writers to create short novels of around a hundred pages for ‘struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers’. In a world of technologically enforced non-aggression, a bit more emotional range might be necessary for disaster to be avoided…
CB - C - Apr - Knights of the Borrowed Dark
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Puffin offer Dave Rudden’s KNIGHTS OF THE BORROWED DARK in April. In this supernatural fantasy Denizen discovers that he’s a member of the titular organization who protect the world from shadowy paranormal nasties with magic based on light and darkness.
CB - C - Apr - Riverkeep
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Like many, Martin Stewart’s debut has been compared to Gaiman, Le Guin & Pullman. Perhaps F.E. Higgins might be a little more useful a comparison, with her wonderful and carefully macabre The Black Book of Secrets and sequels in Tales from the Sinister City. Wulliam is understandably not looking forward to taking on the titular family mantle and fishing corpses from the river; but that’s the least of his problems when his Pappa becomes possessed and a journey downstream is required to save him. Bookseller’s Teen / YA Editor’s choice (as May, late announcement)

 

GRAPHIC NOVELS

On the Graphic Novel front April belongs in large part to Marvel. On the one the hand line-wide ‘bold new beginning’ – slash – series-renumbering – slash – perfect-jumping-on-point – is so endemic to Marvel and DC as to have become business as usual. On the other the completion of the reality reworking SECRET WARS marks a proper new beginning, aligning creative direction with wider company interests, taking on board aspects of the movie-verse and bringing the most popular character properties from other universe/lines to the mainstream.

April brings the release of the first ‘all-new’ Marvel Universe collections: there’s far too many to dwell on many for long here, so we’ll just highlighting those of particular note in this text and the flanking cover images… Here goes.

CG - Ma - Apr - All-New All-Different Avengers Volume 1
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Mark Waid is a veteran comics writer who could probably have written the flagship team of the Avengers before if he’d wanted to. He always brings out something really different and yet wholly true to the characters he writes and unfailingly delivers a great read. ALL-NEW, ALL-DIFFERENT AVENGERS then is noteworthy on both commercial and creative fronts. It’s not quite A-N, A-D, but brings next generation of heroes into a team alongside established ones. It brings the Ultimate Universe (Latin American) Spider-Man into the fold along with G. Willow Wilson’s wonderful young Muslim hero Ms Marvel; there’s also Sam Wilson as Captain America and the female Thor, making this a truly diverse team. It’s somewhat hard to understand how a team like this would actually come together, but if anyone can make it make sense it’s Mark Waid – but the chances are you’ll be too engaged to care either way, partly because he writes so well, also because Adam Kubert and Mahmud Asrar are bringing the art.
CG - Ma - Apr - New Avengers
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A shout out also to Britain’s Al Ewing – with Gerardo Sandoval on art duties – who’s got the reins of the other big Avengers title, NEW AVENGERS. His emphasis is on bringing in slightly younger characters and others who deserve their chance in the big league, with old-school Avenger Hawkeye giving the team ‘legitimacy’… Al’s got some wild ideas to play with here, and you’re invited.
CG - Ma - Apr - Invincible Iron Man
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Then there’s two books we highlighted when first announced as comics, both because the creative teams were just so apt for the character in question. First up is Brian Michael Bendis and David Marquez’ INVINCIBLE IRON MAN. Bendis has been Marvel’s go-to guy and lead writer for years; to our minds some of his work with a team or character has been spot on, others less to our taste. But Iron Man is just the perfect book and character for him – and just check out Marquez’ visuals…
CA - ANAD Marvel Dr Strange
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Meanwhile Jason Aaron is in the Grant Morrison tier of bringing in the wildest concepts in a relatable narrative, so his run on the surreal world and adventures of Marvel’s Sorcerer Supreme DR STRANGE (film due November 2016 starring Benedict Cumberbatch) is likely to be defining, especially as artist Chris Bachalo stylised art is entirely apt as well.
CG - Ma - Apr - Karnak
“My curse is that I see the flaw in all things. Systems. Philosophies. Structures. People. Everything. Never forget who I am. I am Karnak of the Inhumans.” KARNAK is by Warren Ellis and Gerardo Zaffino: Ellis tends to do short runs on select Marvel characters but he’s an excellent writer and always does something interesting with them. Doubtless a worthy recommend and very much looking forward to reading. *** Update: now due in June ***
CG - Ma - Apr - Ms Marvel V2 (2nd Series)
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Lastly and never leastly is the latest hardback of MS MARVEL. Aside from just a wonderfully written character and story which has reminded us why we loved superhero comics in the first place, we thought we’d best include here as the publishing can be somewhat confusing. Ms Marvel is collected first by Marvel as a paperback of some 6 issues, the 5th paperback volume being due in July. Then they bring a double volume collection for those who like a nice hardback on their shelves – so although this collection is HB volume 2, it collects the material of PB volume 3 and volume 4. All clear?
CG - Im - Mar - The Walking Dead
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Next up, two books from Image. Anyone heard of THE WALKING DEAD? Don’t think we need to say anything beyond the latest volume – number 25! – is out this month.
CG - Im - Mar - Ody-C V2
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There’s also ODY-C volume 2 by Matt Fraction, and artist Christian Ward who we interviewed recently at LSCC 2016. It’s wild futuristic SF with a switch of gender roles, this arc moving from the establishing mythology of the Odyssey to the Tales of 1001 Nights…
CG - Ti - Apr Rivers of London Body Work
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Then Titan Comics bring two smash hit titles in April. Andrew Cartmel and Lee Sullivan are scripting and drawing the canonical comic stories of Ben Aaronovitch’s Rivers of London urban fantasy based on plots by Ben. Like the books this is damn fine stuff with a lovely mix of London history, folklore and magic – check out our preview page here!
CG - Ti - Apr - Death Sentence London reduced
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Complete title information on this and other great graphic novel collections from the publisher
And there’s more fantasy in the big city with Martin Simmons and Monty Nero’s follow up to Death Sentence: DEATH SENTENCE LONDON! (Series profile / preview page) It’s an offbeat riff on the superhero genre where a virus gives people powers but leaves them with 6 months to live… We’ve been thoroughly enjoying this and the series comes with serious praise by one Mark Millar; speaking of whom…
Complete title information on this and other great graphic novel collections from the publisher
CG - Ma - Apr - The Flash
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With THE FLASH racing onto and across our screens it’s always worth keeping an eye out for particular collections: In April DC collect the combined output of industry legends Grant Morrison and Mark Millar – if there’s any Flash stories that can be recommended you can’t go wrong with stories by there A-list creators!
CG - Jan - Curb Stomp
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Meanwhile Ryan Ferrier and Devaki Neogi’s CURB STOMP from Boom! Studios (delayed from Jan) looks to be a punked gander into what you might do to protect your own in a bad part of town. Protagonists all-girl gang The Fever – Derby Girl, Bloody Mary, Daisy Chain, and Violet Volt, led by Machete Betty – are doing just that: we’re expecting something vibrant, poignant and a hell of a lot of fun – something comics lend themselves especially well to.

 

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Check out our portal page to discover more great books publishing January to June 2016 here!

Or click one of the below for our top fantastical adults & kids YA, graphic novels and non-fiction…

JANUARY FEBRUARY MARCH APRIL MAY JUNE

 

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