Carabas June 2016 New Book Recommends!

Carabas - New Book Recommends CB - C - Jun - Six of Crows CB - Jun - The Many Selves of Katherine North CB - Jun - The Long Cosmos CG - DH - Jun - Neil Gaiman's How to Talk to Girls at Parties CB - NF - Jun - I Swear I Was There

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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.

NB. We believe in supporting bricks and mortar stores whether online or in person and a tiny snippet of any purchase comes our way to go towards site upkeep so any and all support very much appreciated! We hope to have further options to buy from independents up soon as well.

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

 

FANTASTIC FICTION IN JUNE

CB - AR - June - The Bookman
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Lavie Tidhar (see our Author Profile here) has, with his most recent work A Man Lies Dreaming, pulled off some kind of authorial hat-trick, simultaneously hitting his SF and literary audience – then grabbing himself a crime writing award to boot! So we just had to include Angry Robot’s reissue of his debut novel THE BOOKMAN, a steampunk adventure moving from the catacombs of London to a mysterious island where secrets will emerge. Sequels Camera Obscura and The Great Game come in July and August, also with new covers by artist Sarah Anne Langton.
CB - Jun - The Many Selves of Katherine North
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Title info and more great books by the publisher on our dedicated page here…
Bloomsbury bring us Emma Green’s speculative debut THE MANY SELVES OF KATHERINE NORTH in which the protagonist, who’s been projecting her mind into lab animals, accidentally ends up in an urban fox and discovers the people she’s working for don’t have her best interests at heart… (Katherine North: we just can’t help but speculate – not a reference to the wonderful multi-pseudonymed Kate Griffin / Catherine Webb / Claire North by any chance?)
CB - Jun - Seveneves
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Harpercollin’s Borough Press have the latest Neil Stephenson! 5 millennia after refugees left Earth their descendents, now seven distinct races, return to a much-changed planet of origin. We know little more but can’t wait to read regardless…
May - isbn9781473606616-detail
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More great books from HC imprint Harper Voyager on our dedicated page here…
Hodder’s reissue of THE VORHH was particularly on our radar’s from the endorsement by comics legend Alan Moore: ‘In The Vorrh we have one of the most original and stunning works of fantasy that has ever been my privilege to read.’  As to what it’s about… Well here’s some much abridged publisher copy: ‘The Vorrh is literary dark fantasy which wilfully ignores boundaries, crossing over into surrealism, magic-realism, horror and steampunk’. Click the link for more – the description alone is mind-blowing…
More great books by the publisher on our dedicated page here…
LE - Jun - Arcadia
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Then more cross-market SFF, this time from Iain Pears who left us jaw-dropped with his breakout 1997 literary historical mystery An Instance of the Fingerpost. ARCADIA, coming in paperback in June, is the emotive story of three interlocking worlds and a reflection on time and reality. But Faber had us at ‘Iain Pears’ and ‘speculative’. (HB jacket depicted).
CBJJ16 - DR - Jun - The Secrets of Time and Fate Fm
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Rebecca Alexander is on similar concepts with THE SECRETS OF TIME AND FATE, book three in her Secrets series from Del Rey. It takes place in the 16th Century with the exploits of John Dee and Edward Kelley, and the present day where a possessed Jackdaw is living rough on London’s streets with whole periods missing from her memory…
Title info and more great books by the publisher on our dedicated page here…
CBJJ16 - DR - May - End of the World Running Club Fm
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 Adrian Walker’s THE END OF THE WORLD RUNNING CLUB just kept appearing on our radar. A post-apocalyptic thriller of an overweight reluctant father who has 550 miles to run – not to mention the hazardous landscape to overcome – in order to reach his family. Sounds like a human-level SF drama in the vein of Mike Carey’s The Girl with all the Gifts sans zombies and the Martian (see also Joe Hill below); in which case perfect for the general reader… and a film adaptation? Surely we’ll get this from Iron Maiden as the montage track if so… Either way you can check out Adrian Walker’s musical inspirations for The End of the World Running Club on Carabas here!
CB - Jun - The Long Utopia
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CB - Jun - The Long Cosmos
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Title info and more great books by the publisher on our dedicated page here…
When we were talking about people ‘owning June’ we partly had Terry Pratchett in mind. He may be gone but lives on in his work and everyone he entertained and inspired: this month Transworld serve up three Pratchett works. There’s the paperback of THE SHEPHERD’S CROWN, the final Discworld novel (see Childrens / YA selections below) and also the paperback and hardback respectively of book 4 and 5 of his Long Earth saga with co-writer Stephen Baxter. Co-created or otherwise it strikes us that the LONG COSMOS, the concluding part, might just be a final word from the great man to his readers and the world generally, expressing his wider sense of the world we live in rather as he did in his beautiful standalone YA novel Nation. Catch up if you haven’t already in other words.
CB - Go - May - Mother London
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CB - Go - Jun - London Bone
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But if any author owns June might it not also be Michael Moorcock? Gollancz acquired his backlist and the then forthcoming hardback of his latest and in June they re-release his three phantasmagorical London books from yesteryear, MOTHER LONDON, KING OF THE CITY and LONDON BONE – alongside which comes the paperback of the Londoner-by-birth’s latest and a ‘mercurial’ thematic sequel to the same: THE WHISPERING SWARM. Perhaps comparable to Neil Gaiman’s Ocean at the End of the Lane, it’s both a biographical work in which the author features and a fantastical tale in a fantastical London with highwaymen, musketeers and magicians…
CB - Go - Jun - King of the City
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CB - Go - Jul - The Whispering Swarm
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Title info and more great books from Gollancz on our page here…
CB - Go - Nov - The Hanging Tree
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*** Update: Delayed until October 2016 *** Staying in London we get the delayed latest from Mr Ben Aaronovitch’s Peter Grant / Rivers of London series, THE HANGING TREE. To the genre fan it’s Urban Fantasy and all the more appealing to the general reader, only Ben A has pulled off the trick of pulling in the crime market as well. This one centres around Marble Arch, former site of the Tyburn gallows, and the magical, bloody business of Mayfair’s super-rich. TV series optioned and pending…
Title info and more great books from Gollancz on our page here…
CB - Go - May - The Fireman
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Now Joe Hill is a name that just kept cropping up and we just had a similar moment as to when we realised that Luc Besson directed that and that… oh and those as well! It turns out that he writes under Joe Hill to achieve on his own merits rather than by association with his particularly famous horror-writing father. Still we knew his work on the film-adapted Horn’s, Heart Shaped Box (admittedly because it’s titled the same as our favourite Nirvana song), and the hit comic series Locke & Key. But the release of THE FIREMAN might just be his break-out hit – The Bookseller seems to agree, having made it one of their June ‘One’s to Watch’. It’s a ‘post-disaster’ novel like The Girl with all the Gifts: less zombies, more spontaneously combusting plague victims. And for the protagonist the challenge is to survive to see her baby born…
CB - Go - May - Rig
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Title info and more great books from Gollancz on our page here…
Also from Gollancz is the concluding instalment of Jon Wallace’s filmic Kenstibec trilogy RIG. Don’t want to give too much away as you probably ought to read it from the start, but it’s the story of an antiheroic artificial man, a genetically engineered superhuman of a race that fought against their human creators and lost. Kenstibec is a cab driver, ferrying his fellow ficials across a post-apocalyptic Britain to safety for a price. Now he’s out to secure a future for his kind from the man who created them… Extract / Preview of Book 2 Steeple here…
You get the idea…
CB - HV - Jun - The City of Woven Streets
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Harper Voyager have the second novel by award-winner Emmi Itaranta (Memory of Water), THE CITY OF WOVEN STREETS. It’s a dark fantasy in a drowning city where those who don’t have a craft are considered tainted; and while young Eliana has a role as a weaver she knows she doesn’t belong because of her tainting birth defect… But we might Eliana stands a chance of discovering the secrets behind the city and disrupting the status quo.
CB - HZ - Dec - The Grace of Kings
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More from Harper Voyager Jan-Jun 2016 here…
Then upstart indie Head of Zeus serve up the first novel by award-winning short story writer and translator (of Cixin Liu’s Three Body Problem) Ken Liu in paperback. THE GRACE OF KINGS is a character-driven fantasy of two men leading their rebellions against a despotic empire on the verge of collapse, with airship combat and restless shape-changing gods. Sounds delicious.
Our Head of Zeus SFF round-up inc more from Ken Liu…
CB - HZ - Jun - Stiletto
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But they’ve also got Daniel O’Malley’s STILETTO. We’re pretty sure it’s contemporary urban fantasy though more in the vein of Charles Stross’ Laundry Files (see below) than Ben Aaronovitch; Checquy operator Rook Mfanwy Thomas has to partner one from that organisation’s ancient institutional enemies so they can get back on with the business of fighting one another. Positive reviews across the media spectrum and apparently a TV series is in the works!
CB - Jun - Fen
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Our Head of Zeus SFF round-up…
Returning to the literary, Jonathan Cape are publishing Daisy Johnson’s FEN, the land in which the book is set where human-reality is entirely entwined with the supernatural and sexual desire and other drives can lead to unusual couplings and births and transformations: “So here a teenager may starve herself into the shape of an eel. A house might fall in love with a girl. A woman might give birth to a – well what?” *** Check out Daisy’s soundtrack for Fen on Carabas here! ***
CB - Or - Jun - Resistance is Futile
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Then Orbit bring us the paperback of Jenny Colgan’s RESISTANCE IS FUTILE, a humorous contemporary SF romance where red-headed maths progeny Connie is recruited by the even more unusual Luke on a top secret code-breaking project. One of The Bookseller magazines paperback ‘Ones to Watch’.
CPP - CS - The Annihilation Score
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Title info and more great books from Orbit here…
Then they’ve got the paperback and hardback or books 6 and 7 of Charles Stross’ wonderful Laundry Files, THE ANNIHILATION SCORE and THE NIGHTMARE STACKS. With Stross having established the world of the Files in his collected short stories, novellas and novels with operator computer programmer Bob Howard as protagonist, new characters feature in these latest titles. In the first intelligence agent Dr Mo O’Brien is faced with members of the public developing supernatural powers, the mysterious (and doubtless villainous) Dr Freudstein and police bureaucracy.
Title info and more great books from Orbit here…
CB - Or - Jun - The Nightmare Stacks
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Meanwhile in the latest new vampire Alex Schwartz has been pressed into service and sent straight back to his home town of Leeds, parental disapproval, and an unspecified occult menace. Yes, we’ve had more than enough of vampires – in fact we tend to steer away from them. But it’s Charles Stross and he’s amongst those writers who always brings something new to whatever he’s chosen to play with…
CBP - Jun - Three Moments of an Explosion
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Title info and more great books from Orbit here…
And New Weird illuminatus China Mieville has the paperback of his short story collection THREE MOMENTS OF AN EXPLOSION coming in June. Mieville’s work is so wildly imaginative while being utterly coherent it’s as if he’s taken a wrecking ball to boundaries of the literary scene that eschews SF as a genre at seemingly all costs, or at least tries to claim that of which it approves as its own. There’s been wide acclaim for this collection – we’re particularly aware of Ben Aaronovitch (above) praising their incredible economy while capturing the wild ideas for which Mieville’s so well known.
More from Pan Macmillan / Tor including China Melville’s This Census Taker…
CB - Jun - Slade House
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And nearly lastly another paperback, this time from Hodder imprint Sceptre and an author to whom Mieville has been compared: David Mitchell. SLADE ALLEY is one of those liminal places that are entirely beguiling and completely irresistible in expert hands. We know from the cover copy that the story begins in 1979 and concludes (turbulently) on Halloween 2015, and that Slade House summons a ‘guest’ every 9 years, a guest who initially doesn’t wish to leave and later realises they can’t, the answers lying (of course!) in the long attic. Selected as a Bookseller Editor’s choice in the June paperback selection (an editor who professed to being more than a little creeped out…)
CB - Go - Jun - Stranger of Tempest
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Late Announcement: Finally Tom Lloyd’s got a new series out, The God Fragments, beginning this month with Stranger of Tempest. It concerns a now unretired mercenary with a “mage-gun” looking to rescue a young girl by essentially doing – you guessed it – one last job…

 

YA / CHILDREN’S PICKS

CB - Aug - The Shepherd's Crown
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Of course we love our YA fiction but it’s great to be able to recommend some middle-grade titles that adults will doubtless enjoy as much as kids. First up, the third of three final titles by the great Terry Pratchett, the final Discworld title for children or adults, THE SHEPHERD’S CROWN. Tiffany Aching needs to assemble her fellow witches to protect the land from a fairy incursion. Of course is rather matters less what it’s about than who wrote it because you just know you’ll enjoy a Terry Pratchett book regardless. You should do anyway.
CB - C - Jun - The Crooked Sixpence
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We love the sound of Jennifer Ball’s THE CROOKED SIXPENCE, book one in her The Uncommoners series from Young Corgi. Ivy and Seb Sparrow’s family have a strange and shameful secret and when her grandmother goes into hospital they find themselves on the run from a toilet-brush wielding policeman – and entering a very strange land where everyday objects have fantastical powers… We know there’s a London connection here, and this other world of Lundinor rather strikes us as being something along lines of China Mieville’s UnLunDun – great fun in other words. The author is a London-based children’s bookseller, previously of Foyles, now of children’s specialist Tales on Moon Lane, and her debut book was highlighted by The Bookseller Magazine as one of their 9-12 ‘Ones to Watch’.
CB - C - Jun - Remade
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MacMillan Children’s offer up another brother and sister adventure, the new YA thriller from Alex Scarrow (Time Riders). Leon and Grace have just moved to London from New York (nice bit of pan-Atlantic touchstoning) when a virus that liquidises people(!) hits the world – an intelligent virus from space we gather. Well it sounds like it might just be building a body for itself, but even that isn’t the only threat the siblings are facing… One of the Bookseller’s YA One’s to Watch for June.
CB - C - Jun - Six of Crows
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Orion Children’s meanwhile have the SIX OF CROWS by NYT #1 Bestseller Leigh Bardugo. Set in the magical world she created for The Grisha trilogy, young master criminal Kaz assembles an odd crew for the biggest of jobs. Guns, spies, magic and thievery – sounds rather like our kind of thing…

 

JUNE NON-FICTION

CB - NF - Jun - London A Travel Guide through Time
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First up on the Non-Fiction front, we’re pretty excited by Matthew Green’s LONDON: A TRAVEL GUIDE THROUGH TIME which brings the city to life in 6 periods of history, from the medieval city through Shakespeare’s London, the plague, coffee houses, the Victorian period (naturally!) and the Blitz. Looking forward to reading this.
CB NF - Jul - Postcapitalism
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Then kicking off Current Affairs titles in June is the paperback of award-winning Channel 4 presenter Paul Mason’s POSTCAPITALISM which investigates how we can bring about a more equal and just society and sustainable economy from the capitalist system. According to Mason this is possible and can happen through and due to the revolution of information technology, but he also looks at changing consumer behaviour, new forms of ownership, alternative currencies and cooperatives. Great stuff.
CB - NF - Jun - Saving Capitalism
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Robert B Reich is not dissimilarly of the mind of SAVING CAPITALISM, coming from fab Indie publisher Icon Books also in June. Reich has served in three US administrations and has noted how, since the 50’s, the middle class have become ever less financially capable. In this he critiques modern capitalism while offering practical ways things can change for the better.
CB - NF - Jun - The Stupidity Paradox
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We took one look at this next title and all but yelled ‘Hell yes!’ The most ridiculous things happen in the world of work and under the watch, if not caused, by intelligent people. From what we’ve read it sounds like much of this is levelled at the tendency towards short-term thinking and cohesion as opposed to questioning and addressing the more nonsensical practices of a given business. Sounds obvious enough to us, but maybe Spicer and Alvesson’s book might get the message properly out there. Always something worthwhile from Profile Books.
CB - NF - Jun - Bluff
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Then a couple from Oneworld. During the financial crash bankers were placed quite rightly in the spotlight. But Anjum Hoda now turns it also rightly to the Central Banks to hold them to account, for flawed policy leading to debt and boom-and-bust in BLUFF: THE GAME THAT GLOBAL BANKS PLAY AND HOW IT LEADS TO CRISIS.
CB - NF - Jun - Shadow State
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Meanwhile Alan White seeks to hold the corporations to whom the government outsources public contracts to account – and the government itself – in SHADOW STATE. Operating in the shadows without transparency, with profit as the only motive, much can and does go wrong. It’s time to bring this into the light.
CB - NF - Jun - Anarchy in the Year Zero
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Onto music and alternative culture, and two on punk to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the Sex Pistols historic gig in Manchester’s Lesser Free Trade Hall in 1976. First up is music biographer Clinton Heylin’s ANARCHY IN THE YEAR ZERO: THE SEX PISTOLS, THE CLASH AND THE CLASS OF ’76, a brand new work which charts the birth of punk from eye-witness accounts, including the author himself. It goes on to track its rise and fall and, of course, relates Punk’s impact and lasting relevance. From indie Route Publishing.
CB - NF - Jun - I Swear I Was There
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Then a reissue from Music Press both on / from the historic gig in question. Apparently thousands of people claimed to be in the audience though only a handful were, hence the title of music journalist David Nolan’s offering I SWEAR I WAS THERE, being Nolan’s account of him setting out to solve the mystery by trying to track down and vet the whole audience! And some of those who were actually present happened to go on to form bands like The Smiths, Buzzcocks, Joy Division, New Order and The Fall! More than a few stories there then… Now (naturally) with new material.
CB - NF - Jun - Seasick Steve Tales of a Travellin Man
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Two other picks from Music Press (John Blake) this month. Steven Gene Wold, better known as Seasick Steve was a 65 year old blues musician hobo until he played on Jools Holland on New Year’s Eve 2006. This guy would have to have one hell of a story and it’s finally being told by Matthew Wright. The publisher copy is pretty jaw dropping for a start so do click the shop link to SEASICK STEVE: TALES OF A TRAVELLIN’ MAN for more…
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And we round off (though see the graphic novel / biography of Robert Johnson in the next section below) with something particularly off the wall from Music Press, Chris Slater’s MY BEATLES BLACKOUT: AROUND THE WORLD ON A HUNGOVER MYSTERY TOUR. Jacket to come and no official copy just yet but we were able to dig up some background from the author’s blurb for a talk he did on this last year at the Cavern Club. We just had to share it in full:
After 3 years of spiralling into a world of alcohol abuse, endless parties, police raids and chaotic events I realised that running pubs in West London was probably not my calling in life. The final nails in that career’s coffin came when I single-handedly ruined my friend, and infamous punk rocker, Donnie Tourette’s wedding and watched helplessly as my long term girlfriend (and most of my staff) walked out on me.
Some would call it a mid-life crisis, some may say nervous breakdown but I knew that I needed a grander project than applying for full time jobs. After failing in my attempts to launch a portable floating recording studio on a riverboat and a new musical-themed chain of fitness centres called Muscle Shoals, the answer came to me in the form of a text message. It read:
DID YOU KNOW THAT THERE’S A BEATLES STATUE IN KAZAKHSTAN?
I didn’t know this but a quick Google search confirmed that there was. On further investigation, I found another statue in Mongolia, then Siberia, then Cuba, then Peru and then Iceland. The list seemed endless. I started asking Beatles authorities such as Bill Heckle, who owns the Cavern in Liverpool, and various experts, all of whom were also surprised by the amount of these monuments. It was generally agreed that nobody had conclusively documented them all together, and certainly nobody had been stupid enough to visit them all.
Armed with a fake BBC journalist’s pass, a dodgy second hand Dictaphone, a scruffy old green ruck sack and more front than Blackpool, I sold my pubs and headed off around the world to document the Beatles in the most unexpected places.

 

GRAPHIC NOVELS

CG - DH - Jun - Neil Gaiman's How to Talk to Girls at Parties
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Kicking off, Dark Horse have NEIL GAIMAN’S HOW TO TALK TO GIRLS AT PARTIES for you in June, the story of shy young Enn who finally gets chatting to three girls who happen to be from another planet, adapted by artists Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba. Originally an award-nominated (Hugo) and winning (Locus) short story by Mr Gaiman in 2006, a film featuring amongst others Nicole Kidman and Matt Lucas(!) is in production – no better time for a graphic novel then. And Moon and Ba have established themselves on the likes of Mike Mignola’s BPRD (Hellboy) and Matt Fraction’s Casanova – applause for this has already been forthcoming from Kelly Sue DeConnick, Margaret Attwood and Audrey Niffenegger…
CG - NB - Jun - How to Survive in the North - R
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There’s another HOW TO from fab UK indie Nobrow in June, Luke Healy’s HOW TO SURVIVE IN THE NORTH which we imagine will have interest from the literary crowd. Healy entwines three emotive stories of survival in the Arctic, the first two – set in 1913 and 1926 – being based on true events / accounts, the third being fictional and set in the present day.
CG - Jun - Hole in the Heart
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A special mention now to Brighton’s Myriad Editions and London author-artist Henny Beaumont for graphic memoir HOLE IN THE HEART. This is Henny’s account of the life so far of her third child who was born with Down Syndrome. I’d interviewed Karrie Fransman and Leah Moore (to come) at the London Book Fair last year and the subject of the sequential form being excellent in communicating difficult subject matter came up with both of them. Henny commented in the Guardian how she was pleased to be joining other female comic creators in a traditionally male industry in telling more domestic stories, noting that creating this graphic novel has given her the opportunity to express the feelings and thoughts she’d hidden next to those she expressed at the time. A worthy title and definitely ‘one to watch’…
CG - Im - Jun - Limbo
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Then we’ve got two graphic novel collections from Image: first up is Dan Watters and Caspar Wijngaard’s LIMBO. We’ve been following this from the start and it really is a brilliant read. We got the kind of feeling we had all those years back when Vertigo first got going – that feeling of not knowing quite what the hell was going on but enjoying being too dazzled by the wonderful crazed ideas visualised therein to care, safe in the knowledge all would become (somewhat) apparent by the end of the ride. From Image Comics: A detective with no memory, no identity, and no manners. A femme fatale seeking escape from a powerful crime lord. A voodoo queen with a penchant for mixtapes and hi-tops. A goat-eating TV… A surreal neon-noir fusing hardboiled pulp with an 80s VHS visual aesthetic, dripping with neon and static. The creators had worked already on TPub’s Tortured Life – now with their Image debut they’re breaking into the big world of comics. Don’t miss out.
CG - Im - Jun - Mythic
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And Phil Hester and John McCrea (check out our interview with John on this and more here!) deliver their first collected instalment of Mythic. It’s a global-scale mythology mash-up, cannily exploiting lesser known myth. If ancient swearing shamans, Celtic giants, undead cyborg monsters of legend, occult automata and giant native elementals hopping on the good foot and doing the bad thing isn’t your scene then run for the hills my friend. On the other hand…
CG - Jun - Love in Vain
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Thought we’d best include this: J M Dupont and Mezzo’s graphic biog of Robert Johnson, LOVE IN VAIN. A short life of women and alcohol and legendary blues, it’s ripe material for a comic and was ‘hailed as album of the year by French comic shops in 2015’ (Broken Frontier). Johnson’s story is related by a mysterious narrator which may well just be riffing on a certain crossroads meeting he was meant to have had. Translated and brought to you in the UK by Faber Books. [UPDATE 23/06: slipped to October 2016]
CG - SMH - Jun - The Shadow Over Innsmouth
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A young man visits a creepy seaport in America to find its populace a little… amphibian looking. And, it transpires, there’s connections between his family and the town in question… Self Made Hero offer up the latest of INJ Culbard’s Lovecraft adaptations, THE SHADOW OVER INNSMOUTH.
CB - SMH - Jun - Stardust Nation
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They also have another adaptation, of STARDUST NATION, a short story by Deborah Levy taken from her 2013 collection Black Vodka with artist Andrzej Klimowski bringing it to sequential life. Nikos Gazidis is sent to a psychiatric institution after he starts experiencing the memories of his employer who suffered abuse as a child. Humorous as well as philosophical Self Made Hero promise. [UPDATE: Slipped to September 2016]

 

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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…

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