Comic Preview: Blade Runner 2019 by Michael Green, Mike Johnson and Andres Guinaldo!


2019: The year in which Rick Deckard was tasked with hunting down the Nexus-6 replicants in the original Blade Runner. This year Titan Comics published – and have now collected –Blade Runner 2019.

We’re the more selective in the tie-ins we cover next to entirely original works. But then this is co-created by Blade Runner 2049 screenwriter Michael Green along a writer who’s no stranger either to high profile adaptations having written more Star Trek comics than anyone else – Mike Johnson with whom Michael collaborated on Superman / Batman. And that’s not forgetting artist Andres (Justice League Dark, Captain America) Guinaldo!

Here’s what we thought of it – followed by preview pages of the first issues and more below…

Read the rest of this entry »

YA & Children’s Book Recommends Jul-Dec 2019

Car YA & Childrens with text As we all know, anyone who thinks they’re too old for Children’s Books has a lot of growing up to do. So for those of us who know better, here are our picks of the vibrant and fantastical Middle Grade and Young Adult (YA) titles publishing July to December 2019!

Read the rest of this entry »

Extract / Preview – Cage of Souls by Adrian Tchaikovsky

In April of this year Head of Zeus published the hardback of the Clarke Award winner author of Children of Time’s Cage of Souls. Now just released in paperback, HoZ have been good enough to give us the first chapter of Adrian Tchaikovsky’s far-future dying Earth adventure to share.

You can see more on Cage of Souls on our October book highlights (and on Children of Time here) or get straight on and read the extract below… Enjoy!

Read the rest of this entry »

YA & Children’s Book Recommends Jan-Jun 2019

Car YA & Childrens with text As we all know, anyone who thinks they’re too old for Children’s Books has a lot of growing up to do. So for those of us who know better, here are our picks of the vibrant and fantastical Middle Grade and Young Adult (YA) titles publishing January to June 2019!

Read the rest of this entry »

November and December 2019 Book Highlights

Carabas - New Book Recommends

Here’s our round-up of fantastic and fantastical reading for November and December (we tend to combine these, both being smaller months in publishing output).

We take in Adult Fiction, fantastical and general, creative and socially minded Non-Fiction, Children’s and YA and Graphic Novels. Whether you’re a general or genre reader or a bookshop looking to make sure your customers aren’t missing out we try to balance an inclusion of the biggest titles with slipstream / crossover hits and those hidden gems for all concerned. Selections are by Tim Bayley and are drawn from publisher submissions, The Bookseller magazine’s own monthly highlights, Buyer’s Guides and more. (NB. Publication dates may change)

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! Hyperlinks lead on to Waterstone’s.

So relax and browse on and check out the great reads in print coming your way in November and December.


Tim Bayley


Fantastic & Fantastical Fiction



SKEIN ISLAND * Aliya Whiteley * 9781789091526 * PB * £8.99 * Titan

Skein Island lies in turbulent waters. Few receive the invitation to stay. If you are chosen, you must pay for your stay with a story from your past; a Declaration for the Island’s vast library. What happens to your Declaration after is none of your concern. From the monsters of Ancient Greece to the atrocities of World War II, from heroes to villains with their seers and sidekicks, Skein Island looks through the roles we play, and how they form and divide us. It is a story over which the characters will fight for control – until they realise the true enemy is the story itself. This new edition features a brand new novelette. MORE / BUY

BROKEN STARS * Ken Liu * 9781788548120 * PB * £8.99 * Head of Zeus

Sixteen short stories from China’s groundbreaking SFF writers, edited and translated by award-winning author Ken Liu. In Liu Cixin’s ‘Moonlight’, a man is contacted by three future versions of himself, each trying to save their world. Hao Jingfang’s ‘The New Year Train’ sees 1,500 passengers go missing on a train that vanishes into space. In the title story by Tang Fei, a young girl is shown how the stars can reveal the future. In addition, three essays explore the history and rise of Chinese SFF publishing and fandom. MORE / BUY

THE AGE OF ANXIETY: A NOVEL * Pete Townshend * 9781473622937 * HB * £20.00 * Coronet

The debut novel by Pete Townshend The Age of Anxiety is a great rock novel, but that is one of the less important things about it. First conceived as an opera it captures the craziness of the music business and displays Pete Townshend’s sly sense of humour and sharp ear for dialogue. The Age of Anxiety deals with mythic and operatic themes including a maze, divine madness and long-lost children. Hallucinations and soundscapes haunt this novel, which on one level is an extended meditation on manic genius and the dark art of creativity. MORE / BUY

MADE THINGS * Adrian Tchaikovsky * 9781250232991 * HB * £11.92 *
Welcome to Fountains Parish, a cesspit of trade and crime, where ambition curls up to die and desperation grows on its cobbled streets like mould on week-old bread. Coppelia has something other thieves don’t: tiny puppet-like companions of wood or metal. They don’t entirely trust her, and she doesn’t entirely understand them, but their partnership mostly works. After a surprising discovery shakes their world, Coppelia and her friends must re-examine everything they thought they knew, while attempting to save their city from a seemingly impossible threat. [LINK TO COME]

THE PURSUIT OF WILLIAM ABBEY * Claire North * 9780356507415 * HB * £18.99 * Orbit

South Africa, 1884. A young and naive English doctor by the name of William Abbey witnesses the lynching of a local boy by white colonists. He’s guilt-struck, but too cowardly to stand up against this horrific act. And as the child dies, his mother curses William. The shadow of the dead boy starts following him across the world. It never stops, never rests. And if it catches him, the person he loves most in the world will die… MORE / BUY


SEVEN BLADES IN BLACK * Sam Sykes * 9781473218246 * PB * £12.99 * Gollancz * New Series * 1

Brand-new epic fantasy introducing an unforgettable outcast magician caught between two warring empires. Among humans, none have power like mages. And among mages, none have will like Sal the Cacophony. Now vagrant, she walks a wasteland scarred by generations of magical warfare.
The Scar is where rogue mages go to disappear, disgraced soldiers go to die and Sal went with a blade, a gun and a list of names she intended to use both on. Betrayed, her magic torn from her and awaiting execution, Sal has one last tale to tell before they take her head. All she has left is her name, her story and the weapon she used to carved both. MORE / BUY

REALM OF ASH * Tasha Suri * 9780356512013 * PB * £8.99 * Orbit * The Books of Ambha * 2

Widowed by the infamous, unnatural massacre at Darez Fort, Arwa was saved only by the strangeness of her blood. With a disgraced, illegitimate prince who has turned to forbidden occult arts she seeks answers in the realm of ash where mortals can seek the echoes of their ancestors’ dreams. To save the Empire they must walk through the realm and into the desert, where the cause of the Empire’s suffering – and its only chance of salvation – lie in wait. But what they find there calls into question everything they’ve ever valued… and whether they want to save the Empire at all. MORE / BUY

THE LIGHTS GO OUT IN LYCHFORD * Paul Cornell * 9781250249470 * PB * £11.97 * * Witches of Lychford * 4

Paul Cornell’s The Lights Go Out in Lychford continues the award-nominated Witches of Lychford series. The borders of Lychford are crumbling. Other realities threaten to seep into the otherwise quiet village, and the resident wise woman is struggling to remain wise. The local magic shop owner and the local priest are having troubles of their own.
And a mysterious stranger is on hand to offer a solution to everyone’s problems. No cost, no strings (she says). But as everyone knows, free wishes from strangers rarely come without a price… [LINK TO COME]

THE SECRET CHAPTER * Genevieve Cogman * 9781529000573 * PB * £8.99 * Tor / Pan * The Invisible Library * 6

As Irene tries to manage a fraught Fae–dragon truce and her overbearing parents, she’s given a hot new mission. The only book that can save the world is held by Mr Nemo, secretive Fae villain and antique dealer, so Irene and Kai travel to his Caribbean retreat to strike a deal. They must steal a painting from twenty-first-century Vienna, joining a team of dragons, Fae gamblers and thieves, so their greatest challenge may be one another. And some will kill to protect this painting, which hides an extraordinary secret from a past age. MORE / BUY

FALSE VALUE * Ben Aaronovitch * 9781473207851 * HB * £18.99 * Gollancz * Rivers of London * 8

Peter Grant is facing fatherhood, and an uncertain future, with equal amounts of panic and enthusiasm. He takes a job with Silicon Valley genius Terrence Skinner’s new London start up – the Serious Cybernetics Company in Old Street’s famous ‘silicon roundabout’. Compared to his last job, Peter thinks it should be a doddle. But magic is not finished with Mama Grant’s favourite son. Because Terrence Skinner has a secret hidden in the bowels of the SCC. A technology that stretches back to Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage, and forward to the future of artificial intelligence. A secret that is just as magical as it technological – and just as dangerous. MORE / BUY

*** See Graphic Novels below for the latest Rivers of London collection by Ben Aaronovitch and co! ***



THE LIGHT OF ALL THAT FALLS * James Islington * 9780356507842 * HB * £18.99 * Orbit * The Licanius Trilogy * 3

James Islington’s bestselling debut The Shadow of What Was Lost began an epic tale of three friends who embraced forbidden powers to confront an ancient evil. The adventure continued in An Echo of Things to Come as armies clashed and magic collided. Now the final battle – and the fate of the world – is at hand in The Light of All That Falls, the gripping final volume in the Licanius trilogy. MORE / BUY




Flea, the iconic bassist and co-founder of the immortal Red Hot Chili Peppers, finally tells his origin story. Little Michael Balzary moved from Oz with his very conservative family to Westchester, New York, where his parents split up. He and his sister moved into the home of his mother’s free-wheeling, jazz musician boyfriend – trading in rules, stability, and barbecues for bohemian values, wildness, and Sunday afternoon jazz parties where booze, weed, and music flowed. When Michael’s family moved to LA he sought a sense of belonging partying, playing basketball, and committing petty crimes. At school he met another social outcast, Anthony Kiedis: soon came the night when Anthony, excited after catching a Grandmaster Flash concert, suggested they start their own band… MORE / BUY

WHY BOWIE MATTERS * Will Brooker * 9780008313722 * HB * £12.99 * Harpercollins (William Collins)

To many of us, Bowie was so much more than a pop idol. But why?
In Why Bowie Matters, Professor Will Brooker answers that question persuasively, as both a fan and an academic. In this original and illuminating book, Professor Brooker approaches Bowie from various angles, re-tracing his childhood on the streets of Bromley, taking us through his record collection and bookshelves, and deciphering the symbols and codes of his final work, Blackstar to piece together how an ordinary suburban teenager turned himself into a legend. He shows us that while David Robert Jones died, David Bowie will live on forever. MORE / BUY

JOIN THE FUTURE: BLEEP TECHNO AND THE BIRTH OF BRITISH BASS MUSIC * Matt Anniss * 9781913231002 * PB * £14.99 * Velocity Press

Publishing December. Since the dawn of the 1990s, British dance music has been in thrall to the seductive power of weighty sub-bass. It is a key ingredient in a string of British-pioneered genres, including hardcore, jungle, drum & bass, dubstep, UK garage and grime. In the Join The Future book, dance music journalist Matt Anniss (Resident Advisor, DJ Magazine, Red Bull Music Academy) traces the roots, origins, development and legacy of the sound that started it all: the first distinctively British form of electronic dance music, bleep techno. Based on five years of research and hundreds of hours of new interviews, the book is a radical alternative history of the rise of British dance music during the late 80s and early 90s. MORE / BUY (On the Velocity Press website – advance copies in November)

STRANGER THINGS AND PHILOSOPHY * Jeffrey A. Ewing, Andrew M. Winters * 9780812694703 * PB * £14.99 * Open Court

From the deepest recesses of the Upside Down, its tunnels snaking beneath the local bookstores of Hawkins, Indiana and who knows where else, this collection of philosophical musings on the world of Stranger Things promises to enlighten readers. This volume considers many of the philosophically related ideas that that come up in the show such as: What are the moral implications of secret government projects? What is the nature of friendship? Does scientific research need to be concerned with ethics? What might it be like to experience the world from the perspective of the Mind Flayer? Is it possible to understand the metaphysics of the Upside Down? MORE / BUY

A MARVELOUS LIFE: THE AMAZING STORY OF STAN LEE * Danny Fingeroth * 9781471185748 * HB * £20.00 * Simon & Schuster UK

With behind-the-scenes stories and interviews with Stan’s brother Larry Lieber and other industry legends, The Marvelous Life has insights that only an insider like Fingeroth can offer. Fingeroth – himself a longtime writer and editor at Marvel Comics, now a lauded pop culture critic and historian – knew and worked with Stan Lee for over three decades. Due to this connection, Fingeroth is able to put Lee’s life and work in a context that makes events and actions come to life as no other writer could. MORE / BUY


WHY COMICS?: FROM UNDERGROUND TO EVERYWHERE * Hillary Chute * 9780062957788 * PB * £14.99 * Harpercollins

Focusing on ten major themes—disaster, superheroes, sex, the suburbs, cities, punk, illness and disability, girls, war, and queerness—Chute explains how comics get their messages across more effectively than any other form. “Why Disaster?” explores how comics are uniquely suited to convey the scale and disorientation of calamity, from Art Spiegelman’s representation of the Holocaust and 9/11 to Keiji Nakazawa’s focus on Hiroshima. “Why the Suburbs?” examines how the work of Chris Ware and Charles Burns illustrates the quiet joys and struggles of suburban existence; and “Why Punk?” delves into how comics inspire and reflect the punk movement’s DIY aesthetics. Why Comics? is an indispensable guide that offers a deep understanding of this influential art form and its masters. MORE / BUY

MAKING COMICS: A PRACTICAL GUIDE * Dave Gibbons (Author), Tim Pilcher (Author) * 9780785837374 * PB * £9.99 * Chartwell Books

In the Eisner–nominated Making Comics Dave Gibbons and Tim Pilcher offer a class in creating comic books. The artist behind juggernauts like Watchmen and The Green Lantern, Dave Gibbons, is here to teach you scriptwriting, page layouts, lettering, cover designs, and more. Making Comics covers both Gibbons’ hand-drawn and digital design techniques in depth. You’ll learn how he layers text for editing, creates effects such as flares and neon glows, and prepares artwork for print and online. Making Comics is everything you need to know to get started creating great comic books. MORE / BUY

MAKING COMICS * Lynda Barry * 9781770463691 * PB * £16.99 * Drawn & Quarterly

For more than five years cartoonist Lynda Barry has been teaching students from all majors, graduate and undergraduate, how to make comics, how to be creative, how to not think. Doodling is enthusiastically encouraged. Making Comics is the follow-up to Barry’s bestselling Syllabus and this time she shares all of her comics-making exercises in a new hand drawn syllabus detailing her creative curriculum. At the core of Making Comics is her certainty that creativity is vital to processing the world. MORE / BUY

COMICS AND POP CULTURE * Barry Keith Grant, Scott Henderson * 9781477319390 * PB * £26.99 * University of Texas Press

Representing diverse academic fields, including technoculture, film studies, theatre, feminist studies, popular culture, and queer studies, Comics and Pop Culture examines current debates and the questions raised by comics adaptations – authorship, style, and textual fidelity. The contributors consider the topic from an array of approaches that take into account representation as well as concepts of world-building and cultural appropriation in comics from Modesty Blaise to Black Panther. MORE / BUY


Children’s and Young Adult


THE FOWL TWINS * Eoin Colfer * 9780008324810 * HB * £14.99 * Harpercollins * Artemis Fowl – Spinoff Series * 1

*** First in a spin-off series from the super-selling Artemis Fowl! ***

Myles and Beckett Fowl are twins but wildly different. Beckett is blonde, messy and sulks whenever he has to wear clothes. Myles is impeccably neat, has an IQ of 170, and 3D prints a fresh suit every day – just like his older brother, Artemis. A week after their eleventh birthday the twins are left in the care of house security system, NANNI, for a single night. In that time, they befriend a troll on the run from a nefarious nobleman and an interrogating nun, both of whom need the magical creature for their own gain… MORE / BUY


Graphic Novels


A PUFF OF SMOKE * Sarah Lippett * 9781911214861 * HB * £18.99 * Jonathan Cape

When the headaches started, Sarah Lippett would stand alone on a different side of the playground from the other children. When she started to drag one of her legs visits to many different bewildered doctors began. When Sarah went back to school she was placed with the struggling kids, and still so often ill, she felt even more alone. But Sarah’s parents never showed despair and she grew up in the midst of a boisterous, loving family. Finally, when Sarah turned sixteen, she was admitted to Great Ormond Street Hospital where the doctors diagnosed her with the rare disease, Moyamoya… MORE / BUY

THUMBS * Sean Lewis, Hayden Sherman * 9781534313590 * PB * £17.99 * Image Comics

Imagine Mark Zuckerburg created his own army of tech obsessed teens and directed them to take on the government. Welcome to the world of THUMBS! Adrian Camus is a rock star tech designer who’s recruited kids like THUMBS to turn their experience playing his video games into real life warfare. Opposing them, is the Power, a group of politicians and advocates wanting to take tech away and return to simpler times. Heartfelt, action packed and forward thinking it is the next hit from the team that brought you the smash hit THE FEW. Collects THUMBS issues 1 through 5. MORE / BUY

SHARKEY THE BOUNTY HUNTER VOL 1 * Mark Millar, Simone Bianchi * 9781534313668 * PB * £17.99 * Image Comics

Set in a brilliant new sci-fi universe, Sharkey is a blue-collar bounty hunter tracking criminals across the galaxy in his converted, rocket-powered ice-cream truck. Aided and abetted by his ten-year-old partner, he’s out for the biggest bounty of his career. Collects SHARKEY THE BOUNTY HUNTER 1-6. NB. Netflix’s latest live-action project from Mark Millar – read the comic before you see the movie! MORE / BUY

INVISIBLE KINGDOM VOL 1 * G. Willow Wilson, Christian Ward * 9781506712277 * PB * £16.99 * Berger Books

Hugo and World Fantasy Award-winning author G. Willow Wilson (Ms. Marvel) and Eisner winning artist Christian Ward (Black Bolt) team up for this epic new sci-fi saga. In a small solar system in a far-flung galaxy, two women – one a young religious acolyte and the other, a hard-bitten freighter pilot – uncover a conspiracy between the leaders of the most dominant religion and an all-consuming mega-corporation. On the run from reprisals on both sides, this unlikely pair must decide where their loyalties lie… and risk plunging the world into anarchy if they reveal the truth. MORE / BUY

GIFTS OF THE NIGHT * Paul Chadwick (Author), John Bolton (Illustrator) * 9781506710747 * HB * £16.99 * Berger Books

Never before collected into a single volume, Gifts of the Night is a timeless fable of family, power, sex, and betrayal by two masters of comics storytelling. When a simpleton prince has a vision that his father, the King, turns into military strategy, he is hailed as a seer. But no one realizes that his visions are merely poetic retellings of history lessons learned from his timid tutor, who becomes a reckless manipulator of the boy’s visions.
Magdin soon becomes a helpless pawn in a game of savage political intrigue. When his prophecies become more and more ominous, no one is safe as desperation and murder thunders throughout the kingdom. MORE / BUY


PUNK MAMBO * Cullen Bunn, Adam Gorham * 9781682153307 * PB * £13.99 * Valiant

Punk Mambo is a hard-living voodoo priestess who grew up in London, then relocated to Louisiana’s Bayou Country. Now, she’s a mystical mercenary for hire. In her first-ever solo series, Punk Mambo investigates a series of abductions in the New Orleans gutter punk scene, stumbling upon a deadlier mystery that takes her to the haunted shores of Haiti. From writer Cullen Bunn (Venom) and artist Adam Gorham (New Mutants: Dead Souls) comes this hilariously horrifying breakout adventure for Valiant’s fan-favorite mystic malcontent. Collecting the five-issue limited series, along with PUNK MAMBO #0 from writer Peter Milligan and artist Robert Gill. MORE / BUY

SPIDER-MAN: LIFE STORY * Chip Zdarsky (Author), Mark Bagley (Author) * 9781302917333 * PB * £20.99 * Marvel

In 1962’s Amazing Fantasy #15, fifteen-year-old Peter Parker was bitten by a radioactive spider and became the Amazing Spider-Man! 57 years have passed in the real world since that event – so what would have happened if the same amount of time passed for Peter as well? To celebrate Marvel’s 80th anniversary, Chip Zdarsky and Spider-Man legend Mark Bagley unite to spin a unique Spidey tale – telling an entire history of Spider-Man from beginning to end, set against the key events of the decades through which he lived! Prepare to watch Peter Parker age through 57 years of groundbreaking history – and find out what happens to him, and those he loves the most! Collecting: Spider-Man: Life Story 1-6 MORE / BUY

BLADE RUNNER 2019 VOLUME 1 * Michael Green (Author), Mike Johnson (Author), Andres Guinaldo (Illustrator) * 9781787731615 * PB * £12.99 * Titan Comics

Welcome to the rain soaked world of Los Angeles 2019 – a dystopic world of Replicants, Spinners and hardboiled future noir. There’s a new Blade Runner in town, and she’s out for blood. Replicant blood. This officially sanctioned sequel comic to the original Blade Runner film is written by Michael Green, the screenwriter of Blade Runner 2049. MORE / BUY

RIVERS OF LONDON VOLUME 7: ACTION AT A DISTANCE * Ben Aaronovitch (Author), Andrew Cartmel (Author), Brian Williamson (Illustrator) * 9781785865466 * PB * £13.99 * Titan Comics

*** See above for the latest Rivers of London Novel from Ben Aaronovitch ***

Uncover the secret World War II history of Peter Grant’s mentor, the mysterious Nightingale! October, 1957. A serial killer terrorising the women of Cumbria has moved to the streets of London, with Constable Angus Strallen hot on his heels. But this murderer has special abilities, and Strallen soon realises he needs the help of an old friend from the front lines who can match this madman’s power – London’s own wizarding police officer, Thomas Nightingale. As the pair move in closer, it quickly becomes clear that murder is not this man’s only intent. Tying directly into the continuity of the Rivers of London novels and revealing secrets about Nightingale’s past that readers have long-hoped to find out! Collects Rivers of London: Action at a Distance #1-4. MORE / BUY



If you’d like us to keep you in the loop on more Book, Music, Film and Alternative Culture greatness and more please just enter your details below to subscribe to our (upcoming) weekly newsletter!

Extract / Preview – Song of the Sycamore by Edward Cox

Chapter One

The city of Old Castle rose from the wasteland like an abscess swelling on the festering skin of a diseased world. Across its neighbourhoods and districts a siren called, lifting and falling with an ominous wail that sent citizens scurrying for their homes. Hiding like monsters in burrows, they prayed that this latest threat from the wastes would pass the city by, while fearing that this time, judgement had come to demand penance for their crimes. The people of Old Castle were rank with guilt. The city was populated by murderers.

And it was my home.

Through the chill of evening shadows, I made my way to the outskirts of Old Castle. No breeze disturbed the air, no sound accompanied the siren’s wail; light from a setting red sun did little to warm a tense ambience. Beyond the last of the buildings, I began crossing a stretch of open ground, heading towards the city wall. But it wasn’t me walking, not really, not any more. I could see through my eyes, hear through my ears, smell the stench of the city, but I had no control over my direction. My footsteps weren’t made of my own volition.

Read the rest of this entry »

Extract / Preview – End of the World Survivors Club by Adrian Walker

[Extract kindly provided by Del Rey, from around the middle of chapter one. See below for links to Adrian’s first book The End of the World Survivor’s club, his musical influences for it and more…] 

I know I wasn’t really alone. I had a husband. I had Ed.

I should have been happy when he turned up at the boat. He’d made it after all. Christ knows how and he looked like hell, but he’d actually bloody made it. He’d plumbed the depths of his spirit, broken through his barriers and by God he’d found us.

Good man. Well done.

But what did that change?

Read the rest of this entry »

Extract / Preview – Earwig by Brian Catling

Mr Brian Catling (sculptor, poet, novelist, film maker and performance artist) has been on our radar since the beginning of his literary fantasy the Vorrh Trilogy and the appreciation it received from the likes of Alan Moore. September sees the publication of his latest, a standalone novel Earwig of which publisher Coronet notes: “Not since Edgar Allan Poe and the Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita has there been such a masterly tale of feline evil.” 


It’s a smart comparison as anyone who’s read The Master and Margarita won’t be able to help having a deeper look, and more than apt given there’s more than a little of that smart weirdness in Catling’s work as you can read in our extract – kindly provided by Coronet – below…

Read the rest of this entry »

Extract / Preview: Our Child of the Stars by Stephen Cox


There seemed to be no end of love for Stephen Cox’s Our Child of the Stars when the hardback hit the shelves in January, nor since. With the paperback due in September Jo Fletcher Books were good enough to offer us a taster to share… 

Read the rest of this entry »

Graphic Novel Preview: Skip by Molly Mendoza!


Always interesting to see what’s coming out from NoBrow and just had to include this – SKIP – from Molly Mendoza on our July highlights. It’s an original graphic novel beginning quietly on a post-apocalyptic Earth, segueing to an abstract second world, then two young people – one from each – begin a journey through surreal realms…


NoBrow were good enough to offer us some pages to share and those below capture a little of the background, and the styles to be found within, the art moving between the serene and dynamic, the grounded and surreal, and through palettes of colour. They’re a great taster of what you can look forward to in the book itself; but, as anyone who knows NoBrow knows, the production values of their titles are truly stunning and elevate – or reveal – the real quality of the work they’ve chosen to publish. All round a really lovely piece of work.

That’s enough from us – check out the pages below followed by a bit more from NoBrow… Read the rest of this entry »

October 2019 Book Highlights

Carabas - New Book Recommends

Here’s our round-up of fantastic and fantastical reading for October.

We take in Adult Fiction, fantastical and general, creative and socially minded Non-Fiction, Children’s and YA and Graphic Novels. Whether you’re a general or genre reader or a bookshop looking to make sure your customers aren’t missing out we try to balance an inclusion of the biggest titles with slipstream / crossover hits and those hidden gems for all concerned. FYI we tend to be a little more concise but October is a big month as publishers roll out their big titles ready for that time of year, so rather more to shout about this time round. Read the rest of this entry »

September 2019 Book Highlights

Carabas - New Book Recommends


Here’s our round-up of fantastic and fantastical reading for September.

We take in Adult Fiction, fantastical and general, creative and socially minded Non-Fiction, Children’s and YA and Graphic Novels. Whether you’re a general or genre reader or a bookshop looking to make sure your customers aren’t missing out we try to balance an inclusion of the biggest titles with slipstream / crossover hits and those hidden gems for all concerned.

Selections are by Tim Bayley and are drawn from publisher submissions, The Bookseller magazine’s own monthly highlights, Buyer’s Guides and more. 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! Hyperlinks lead on to Waterstone’s.

So relax and browse on and check out the great reads in print coming your way in September.


Tim Bayley

Fantastic & Fantastical Fiction



OUR CHILD OF THE STARS * Stephen Cox * 9781786489968 * PB * £8.99 * Jo Fletcher Books

*** Read an Extract / Preview on Carabas here ***

Molly and Gene Myers were happy, until tragedy blighted their hopes of children. Then the Meteor crashes into Amber Grove changing their lives for ever. Molly, a nurse, caught up in the thick of the disaster, is given care of a desperately ill patient rescued from the wreckage: a sick boy with a remarkable appearance, an orphan who needs a mother. And soon the whole world will be looking for him. Cory’s arrival has changed everything. And the Myers will do anything to keep him safe. MORE / BUY

THE GURKHA AND THE LORD OF TUESDAY * Saad Z Hossain * 9781250209115 * PB * £11.99 *

When the djinn king Melek Ahmar wakes up after millennia of imprisoned slumber, he comes down the mountain expecting an easy conquest to discover the wealthy city state of Kathmandu, ruled by the all-seeing tyrant AI Karma, a cut-price paradise where even the dregs of society are distinctly unwilling to revolt. Everyone seems happy, except for the old Gurkha Bhan Gurung: knife saint, recidivist, and mass murderer. Prodded by Gurung, Melek Ahmer finds himself in ever deeper conflicts, until they face off against Karma and her forces – then old crimes will come to light and the city itself will be forced to change. [MORE / BUY – link to come]

THE TESTAMENTS (THE HANDMAID’S TALE) * Margaret Attwood * 9781784742324 * HB * £20.00 * Chatto & Windus * The Handmaids Tale

And so I step up, into the darkness within; or else the light. When the van door slammed on Offred’s future at the end of The Handmaid’s Tale, readers had no way of telling what lay ahead. The wait is over. Margaret Atwood’s sequel picks up the story 15 years after Offred stepped into the unknown, with the explosive testaments of three female narrators from Gilead. ‘Dear Readers: Everything you’ve ever asked me about Gilead and its inner workings is the inspiration for this book. Well, almost everything! The other inspiration is the world we’ve been living in.’ Margaret Atwood.  ‘THE LITERARY EVENT OF THE YEAR’ The Guardian. MORE / BUY

EARWIG * Brian Catling * 9781473687103 * HB * £20.00 * Coronet

*** Read an Extract / Preview on Carabas here ***

Earwig is employed to look after a strange little girl, never touching her except when he is required to is to make teeth of ice and insert them in her gums. Earwig takes a rare day off and is drawn into conversation with the sinister Tyre and accidentally maims a waitress. He understands on some level Tyre meant this to happen. Shortly afterwards a black cat is delivered to the flat. Travelling across country by train, transporting the girl and her black cat, Earwig is increasingly caught up in a web of unfortunate and increasingly violent coincidences. Not since Edgar Allan Poe and the Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita has there been such a masterly tale of feline evil. MORE / BUY

THE RETURN OF THE INCREDIBLE EXPLODING MAN * Dave Hutchinson * 9781781085844 * PB * £7.99 * Solaris

When journalist Alex Dolan is hired by multibillionaire Stanislaw Clayton to write a book about the Sioux Crossing Supercollider, the world’s first privately funded high-energy physics facility, this is a dream job. For Dolan’s wife, it’s less of a dream. She’s been uprooted from her home and job in New England and dumped in this shabby little town in the middle of nowhere, and eventually she begins an affair with one of the scientists. Then something goes wrong at the site. Very wrong. After the accident, Dolan finds himself changed, and the only one who can stop the disaster from destroying us all. MORE / BUY

MISSING PERSON * Sarah Lotz * 9781473624627 * HB * £18.99 * Hodder comprises a group of misfit sleuths. When Ellie Caine starts investigating the corpse known as the Boy in the Dress, the Boy’s killer decides to join the group. The Boy was Teddy Ryan. He was meant to have been killed in a car crash in the west of Ireland in 1989 but was writing letters from New York a year after he supposedly died. Teddy’s nephew Shaun joins forces with the disparate members of Missing-linc to solve the thirty-year-old mystery. But the killer will be with them every step of the way… MORE / BUY

THE IMAGINARY CORPSE * Tyler Hayes * 9780857668318 * PB * £9.99 * Angry Robot

Most ideas fade when we’re done with them. Some we love enough to become Real. But what about the ones we love, and walk away from? Tippy the triceratops was a little girl’s imaginary friend, but when her father died, Tippy fell into the underbelly of the Imagination, where discarded ideas go when they’re too Real to disappear. Now, he passes time doing detective work for other unwanted ideas – until Tippy runs into the Teatime Man, a nightmare monster who can kill an idea permanently. Now Tippy must overcome his own trauma and solve the case, before there’s nothing left but imaginary corpses. MORE / BUY

THE BONE SHIPS * RJ Barker * 9780356511832 * PB * £8.99 * Orbit * The Tide Child Trilogy * 1

TWO NATIONS AT WAR. A PRIZE BEYOND COMPARE. For generations, the Hundred Isles have built their ships from the bones of ancient dragons to fight an endless war. When the first dragon in centuries is spotted in far-off waters, both sides see a chance to shift the balance of power in their favour. Because whoever catches it will win not only glory, but the war. A brilliantly imagined saga of honour, glory, and warfare, The Bone Ships starts an epic new trilogy from David Gemmell Award-nominated RJ Barker. ‘Excellent . . . one of the most interesting and original fantasy worlds I’ve seen in years’ Adrian Tchaikovsky. ‘A viciously exciting adventure. I loved every second of it’ Tasha Suri, author of Empire of Sand. ‘I can’t recommend it enough’ Peter McLean, author of Priest of Bones. MORE / BUY

A LITTLE HATRED * Joe Abercrombie * 9780575095861 * HB * £18.99 * Gollancz * The Age of Madness * 1

The start of a brand new trilogy set in the world of the First Law… On the blood-soaked borders of Angland, Leo dan Brock struggles to defeat the marauding armies of Stour Nightfall. Savine dan Glokta – socialite, investor, and daughter of the most feared man in the Union – plans to claw her way to the top of the slag-heap of society by any means necessary. The age of the machine dawns, but the age of magic refuses to die. With the help of the mad hillwoman Isern-i-Phail, Rikke struggles to control the blessing, or the curse, of the Long Eye. Glimpsing the future is one thing, but with the guiding hand of the First of the Magi still pulling the strings, changing it will be quite another… MORE / BUY

THE END OF THE WORLD SURVIVORS CLUB * Adrian J Walker * 9781785035739 * PB * £8.99 * Del Rey * End of the World Running Club – Sequel

In THE END OF THE WORLD RUNNING CLUB Edgar Hill ran 550 miles after an apocalypse to try and find his family. He had it easy. This is his wife’s story. Beth Hill has survived the apocalypse with a baby and toddler in tow. And what’s more she’s done it alone – without her husband’s help. The new world might be very different: no government, no law, no infrastructure and a whole lot more ocean than there used to be. But one thing hasn’t changed – the lengths a mother will go to save her family… MORE / BUY

DARKDAWN * Jay Kristoff * 9780008180089 * HB * £14.99 * HarperVoyager * The Nevernight Chronicle * 3

Mia Corvere, gladiatii, escaped slave and infamous assassin, is on the run, pursued by Blades of the Red Church and soldiers of the Luminatii legion. Her mentor Mercurio is in the clutches of her enemies. Her own family wishes her dead. And her nemesis, Consul Julius Scaeva, stands but a breath from total dominance over the Republic. But beneath the city, a dark secret awaits. With her lover Ashlinn, brother Jonnen and a mysterious benefactor returned from beyond the veil of death, she must undertake a perilous journey across the Republic, seeking the final answer to the riddle of her life. MORE / BUY

BLOODCHILD * Anna Stephens * 9780008215996 * HB * £14.99 * HarperVoyager * The Godblind Trilogy * 3

Rilporin has fallen and Corvus, King of the Mireces, reigns over an occupied land. The raiders have conquered, but victory came at a terrible price – the death of a god – and sparks of resistance glimmer. In the south, Mace gathers the survivors of Rilpor’s armies. Crys and Dom search for allies and the truth of what binds them to the Gods of Light. Tara – once a soldier, now a slave – hopes to ignite a rebellion. But time is against them. A child will soon be born with the power to return the Dark Lady from death, and the long-prophesied final battle for the future of Rilpor and Mireces, of humans and gods, is near. MORE / BUY


THE SHEERGLAM CONSPIRACY * Steve MacManus * 9781077821507 * PB * £9.99 * Independent

London,1973. For forty years, rival publishers Goodenough Publications and Tartan Editions have been the beating heart of British comics. But pulses are raised and blood begins to boil when a shock suicide sparks a bitter circulation war, forcing each proprietor to plot the downfall of the other, igniting a sequence of events that lead inexorably to a murderous and blazing climax!

The SheerGlam Conspiracy is a novelistic companion to the author’s autobiography The Mighty One: My Life Inside the Nerve Centre, and the first short satire of the comic industry by 2000 AD’s editor of its ‘golden period’ – apparently with the SheerGlam succession on its way in the future… MORE / BUY (Amazon)




In the 50s, with television broadcasts being advertised as unsuitable for children and the X certificate in the cinema barring anyone under the age of sixteen, John Wade had only the radio to fall back on – but for him today’s science fiction films pale beside the radio, early TV and B-picture films about people who built rockets in their back gardens and flew them to lost planets, or of aliens who wanted to take over. This book is a personal account of his fascination with the genre across all the media in which it appeared, that he revelled in as a young boy and still enjoys today. MORE / BUY

THE GOTHIC WORLD (ROUTLEDGE WORLDS) * Glennis Byron, Dale Townshend * 9781138488274 * PB * £39.99 * Routledge

The Gothic World offers an overview of this popular field whilst extending critical debate in exciting new directions such as film, politics, fashion, architecture, fine art and cyberculture. Structured around the principles of time, space and practice, it looks at: Gothic Histories, Gothic Spaces, Gothic Readers and Writers, Gothic Spectacle, Contemporary Impulses. The Gothic World seeks to account for the Gothic as a multi-faceted force, as a style, an aesthetic experience and a mode of cultural expression that traverses genres, forms, media, disciplines and national boundaries and creates, indeed, its own ‘World’. MORE / BUY

MONSTER, SHE WROTE: THE WOMEN WHO PIONEERED HORROR AND SPECULATIVE FICTION * Lisa Kroeger, Melanie Anderson * 9781683691389 * HB * £15.99 * Quirk Books

Everyone knows about Mary Shelley, creator of Frankenstein; but have you heard of Margaret Cavendish, who wrote a science-fiction epic 150 years earlier? Have you read the psychological hauntings of Violet Paget, who was openly involved in long-term romantic relationships with women in the Victorian era? Or Gertrude Barrows Bennett, whose writing influenced H.P. Lovecraft? Monster, She Wrote shares the stories of women past and present who invented horror, speculative, and weird fiction and made it great. You’ll meet celebrated icons (Ann Radcliffe, V.C. Andrews), forgotten wordsmiths (Eli Coltor, Ruby Jean Jensen), and today’s vanguard (Helen Oyeyemi). And each profile includes a curated reading list so you can seek out the spine-chilling tales that interest you the most. MORE / BUY


In The Day It Finally Happens, Mike Pearl games out many of the scenarios we’ve all speculated about, assigning a probability rating, and taking us through how it would unfold. He explores what would likely occur in dozens of possible scenarios – the final failure of antibiotics, the loss of the world’s marine life, the abolition of the British monarchy, and even the arrival of aliens – and reports back from the future, providing a clear picture on how the world would look, feel, and even smell in each of these instances. Thankfully, the odds of humanity pulling through look pretty good. MORE / BUY


Featuring an introduction by Neil Gaiman! The acclaimed writer behind Babylon 5, Sense8, Clint Eastwood’s Changeling and Marvel’s Thor reveals how the power of creativity and imagination enabled him to overcome the horrors of his youth. To survive his abusive environment Joe found refuge in his beloved comics and his dreams. But even as he found success, he could not escape a dark and shocking secret that hung over his family’s past, a violent truth that he uncovered over the course of decades involving mass murder. This is a story of creation and darkness, hope and success, a larger-than-life villain and a little boy who became the hero of his own life. MORE / BUY


ON FIRE: THE BURNING CASE FOR A GREEN NEW DEAL * Naomi Klein * 9780241410721 * HB * £17.99 * Allen Lane

For more than twenty years Naomi Klein’s books have defined our era, chronicling the exploitation of people and the planet and demanding justice. On Fire gathers more than a decade of her impassioned writing from the frontline of climate breakdown, and pairs it with new material on the staggeringly high stakes of what we choose to do next. With dispatches from the ghostly Great Barrier Reef, the smoke-choked skies of the Pacific Northwest, post-hurricane Puerto Rico and a Vatican attempting an unprecedented ‘ecological conversion,’ Klein makes the case that we will rise to the existential challenge of climate change only if we are willing to transform the systems that produced this crisis. MORE / BUY


The nineties was the decade when British culture reclaimed its position at the artistic centre of the world. Don’t Look Back In Anger chronicles the Cool Britannia age when the country united through a resurgence of patriotism and a celebration of all things British. But it was also an era of false promises and misplaced trust, when the weight of substance was based on the airlessness of branding, spin and the first stirrings of celebrity culture. Through sixty-eight voices that epitomise the decade – including Tony Blair, John Major, Noel Gallagher, Damon Albarn, Tracey Emin, Keith Allen, Meera Syal, David Baddiel, Irvine Welsh and Steve Coogan – we re-live the epic highs and crashing lows of one of the most eventful periods in British history. MORE / BUY

YEAR OF THE MONKEY * Patti Smith * 9781526614759 * HB * £12.99 * Bloomsbury

Following a run of New Year’s concerts, Patti Smith finds herself tramping the coast of Santa Cruz, about to embark on a year of solitary wandering. She draws us into her private wonderland, with no design yet heeding signs, including a talking sign that looms above her, prodding and sparring like the Cheshire Cat. In a stranger’s words, “Anything is possible: after all, it’s the year of the monkey.” Smith melds the Western landscape with her own dreamscape. The unexpected happens; grief and disillusionment. But as Patti Smith heads toward a new decade in her own life, she offers this balm to the reader: her wisdom, wit, gimlet eye, and above all, a rugged hope of a better world. MORE / BUY

Children’s and Young Adult


THE GIRL WHO SPEAKS BEAR * Sophie Anderson * 9781474940672 * PB * £6.99 * Usborne

Found abandoned in a bear cave as a baby, Yanka has always wondered about where she is from. She tries to ignore the strange whispers and looks from the villagers, wishing she was as strong on the inside as she is on the outside. But, when she has to flee her house, looking for answers about who she really is, a journey far beyond one that she ever imagined begins: from icy rivers to smouldering mountains meeting an ever-growing herd of extraordinary friends along the way. Interwoven with traditional stories of bears, princesses and dragons, Yanka’s journey is a gorgeously lyrical adventure from the best-selling author of The House With Chicken Legs. MORE / BUY

UKI AND THE OUTCASTS * Kieran Larwood * 9780571342792 * HB * £12.99 * Faber * The Five Realms / Podkin One-Ear

From the Ice Wastes beyond the Cinder Wall emerges an unlikely hero. Rejected by his village and left to die, young Uki is given life and unique powers by a long-buried spirit from the time of the Ancients… and a life or death mission. Joined by two other outcasts – a trained assassin who refuses to kill people and a very short rabbit who rides the fastest jerboa on the plains – Uki must capture Valkus, the Spirit of War, before rabbitkind destroys itself in conflict. A thrilling new book set in the Five Realms of Podkin One-Ear. MORE / BUY

GUARDIANS OF MAGIC * Chris Riddell * 9781447277972 * HB * £12.99 * Pan MacMillan

In Guardians of Magic the award-winning, 2015-2017 UK Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell weaves together a stunningly illustrated magical quest in which three ordinary children, with extraordinary gifts, come together to defeat the enemies who threaten the mysterious cloud horses. The Kingdom of Thrynne is a place where fairy tales don’t behave, and magic can be found in unexpected places. But magic brings danger to Zam, Phoebe and Bathsheba, because it is forbidden. Now, the future of magic itself is under threat from powerful enemies: those who fear it and, worse, those who want to use it for their own ends. What can three ordinary children do to protect it? MORE / BUY

Graphic Novels


I GO QUIET * David Ouimet * 9781786897404 * HB * £12.99 * Canongate

I Go Quiet is the exquisite story of an introverted girl, struggling to find her place in a noisy world. Through the power of books, creativity and imagination, she begins to see possibilities for herself beyond the present, to a future where her voice will finally be heard. ‘Astonishingly beautiful… I wish this book had been around when I was a child: I would not have felt quite as alone.’ NEIL GAIMAN ‘David Ouimet understands that to comfort means to strengthen, not to coddle. I want to send it back in time to my seven-year-old-self.’ STEPHEN FRY ‘A powerful book, about the intensity that can live behind silence; about the power of books and how they give us strength and knowledge to deal with the world in which we find ourselves.’ MATT HAIG. ‘Completely original. Unique, in fact.’ PHILIP PULLMAN. MORE / BUY

RUSTY BROWN * Chris Ware * 9780224078139 * HB * £25.00 * Vintage

‘The week after I finished the last page of Jimmy Corrigan I immediately started a new long story based on characters who had originated as parodies, but whom now I wanted to humanize… amidst a setting of memories of my Omaha childhood and Nebraska upbringing.’ Chris Ware, Monograph. Now, twenty years later, Ware is publishing Rusty Brown in book form. It is, he says, ‘a fully interactive, full-colour articulation of the time-space interrelationships of six complete consciousnesses on a single Midwestern American day and the tiny piece of human grit about which they involuntarily orbit.’ The six characters are Rusty Brown himself, a shy schoolkid obsessed with superheroes, his father `Woody’ Brown, an eccentric teacher at Rusty’s school, Chalky White, another schoolboy, Alison White, Chalky’s sister, Jason Lint, an older boy who bullies Rusty and Chalky and fancies Alison, and the boys’ teacher, Joanne Cole. Ware tells each of their stories in minute detail, producing another masterwork of the comics form that is at once achingly beautiful, heartbreakingly sad and painfully funny. MORE / BUY

INFERNO * Various * 9781302919702 * PB * £29.50 * Marvel * X-Men Milestones

Strike the match… fan the flames… and light the Inferno. Limbo’s demon-lords corrupt two of the X-Men’s nearest and dearest Colossus’ sister Illyana and Cyclops’ wife Madelyne Pryor and use them to bring a horde of demons raining down on New York City. But as Illyana battles to regain her soul, Madelyne threatens to cast a spell that will merge Earth and Limbo permanently… And when Mr. Sinister brings his own agenda into the mix, secrets are revealed that rock Cyclops to the core. Collecting: X-Terminators 1-4, Uncanny X-Men (1981) 239-243, X-Factor (1986) 35-39, New Mutants (1983) 71-73. MORE / BUY




If you’d like us to keep you in the loop on more Book, Music, Film and Alternative Culture greatness and more please just enter your details below to subscribe to our (upcoming) weekly newsletter!

Extract / Preview: Priest of Lies by Peter McLean

The sequel to Peter McLean’s much praised Priest of Bones which hit the shelves in paperback in May, Priest of Lies is just out in Hardback. Check out our extract from Jo Fletcher Books below…

* Read the rest of this entry »

August 2019 Book Highlights

Carabas - New Book Recommends

Here’s our round-up of fantastic and fantastical reading for August.

We take in Adult Fiction, fantastical and general, creative and socially minded Non-Fiction, Children’s and YA and Graphic Novels. Whether you’re a general or genre reader or a bookshop looking to make sure your customers aren’t missing out we try to balance an inclusion of the biggest titles with slipstream / crossover hits and those hidden gems for all concerned. Read the rest of this entry »

Nobody does it Better: Book vs Film – Fight! Panel at the MCM London Comic Con 2019 – with Tasha Suri, Claire North, RJ Barker, Jen Williams and Adrian Tchaikovsky!


Okay, so you invite a panel of authors to discuss this modern age-old question – we could probably guess their answer right? In what fantastical reality are some of the top talents of the speculative-fantasy genre going to place the televisual medium over their own?

We’re back at the MCM Comic Con with SFF authors Tasha Suri and RJ Barker (earlier in the Representation in Fantasy Panel – perhaps Zen Cho is in the audience?) now joined by Claire North, Jen Williams and Adrian Tchaikovsky, with Tasha having her first go at moderating. There’s a levity amongst the panel: this is going to be fun… Read the rest of this entry »

July 2019 Book Highlights

Carabas - New Book Recommends


Here’s our round-up of fantastic and fantastical reading for July.

We take in Adult Fiction, fantastical and general, creative and socially minded Non-Fiction, Children’s and YA and Graphic Novels. Whether you’re a general or genre reader or a bookshop looking to make sure your customers aren’t missing out we try to balance an inclusion of the biggest titles with slipstream / crossover hits and those hidden gems for all concerned. Read the rest of this entry »