February 2018 Book Highlights

Carabas - New Book Recommends


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

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. There’s a brief line or two from us with links (Waterstone’s on books, Forbidden Planet on Graphic Novels) onward for full information.

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!

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


Tim Bayley


Fantastic & Fantastical Fiction


FROM DARKEST SKIES * Sam Peters * 9781473214767 * PB * £9.99 * Gollancz

Superb SF interplanetary murder mystery a la Altered Carbon. If even slightly tempted, give in…

PARIS ADRIFT * EJ Swift * 9781781085936 * PB * £10.99 * Rebellion

Time travel human-level drama with eclectic cast set in Paris. Stunning cover – we do love Solaris’ covers… Check out our guest article by EJ on her first series here and our author profile here…

FRANKENSTEIN IN BAGHDAD * Ahmed Saadawi (Author),‎ Jonathan Wright (Translator) * 9781786070609 * PB * £12.99 * Oneworld

Indie highlight: blackly humorous horror, winner of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction. Bravo Oneworld – and Ahmed Saaawi of course…

THE WANDERERS * Meg Howrey * 9781471146688 * PB * £8.99 * Scribner

Centring around training for a mission to Mars, Meg Howrey’s the Wanderer’s will have great cross-market appeal – expect sensible comparisons to the Martian…

HANNAH GREEN AND HER UNSPEAKABLY MUNDANE EXISTENCE * Michael Marshall Smith * 9780008237943 * PB * £8.99 * HarperVoyager

Michael Marshall Smith’s long awaited return to (weird, liminal) fiction: whimsically styled adult fairy tale of the Devil’s clockmaker friend and his granddaughter…


THE LAST DAYS OF NEW PARIS * China Mieville * 9781447296553 * PB * £7.99 * Picador

Historical surreality from the master and lead proponent of ‘New Weird’ fiction…

SPARE AND FOUND PARTS * Sarah Maria Griffin * 9781785657054 * PB * £8.99 * Titan

We’ve read numerous short copy on this and still don’t quite understand what it’s about, just that it’s being touted as a major debut and is much admired…

THE SMOKE * Simon Ings * 9780575120075 * TPB * £16.99 * Gollancz

Human-centred London-based SF on ‘love, loss and loneliness in an incomprehensible world’… We’ve only read Ings’ Headlong but that was stunning

CARNIVALESQUE * Neil Jordan * 9781408881354 * PB * £8.99 * Bloomsbury

Folkloric coming of age tale by an Oscar-winning director…


THE COURT OF BROKEN KNIVES * Anna Smith Spark * 9780008204181 * PB * £8.99 * HarperVoyager

New series and debut for grimdark afficionados…



PLANETFALL * Emma Newman * 9781473223851 * PB * £9.99 * Gollancz * Planetfall * 1

Self-contained colonial SF mystery, setting the stage for subsequent novels in the same universe. Very intrigued by these…

EMBERS OF WAR * Gareth L Powell * 9781785655180 * PB * £7.99 * Titan

Kicking off a new military SF trilogy by the BSFA awarding-winning creator of leftfield fan favourite Ack-Ack Macaque!


THE BOY ON THE BRIDGE * MR Carey * 9780356503561 * PB * £7.99 * Orbit

Post apocalyptic sequel to Carey’s book and film The Girl with All the Gifts…

CITY OF MIRACLES * Robert Jackson Bennett * 9780857053596 * PB * £8.99 * Jo Fletcher * Divine Cities * 3

Conclusion to Jackson’s leftfield fantasy series…


ALTERED CARBON Netflix Series Tie-In Edition * Richard K Morgan * 9781473223677 * PB * £8.99 * Orion

The Philip K Dick Award winning book has just hit Netflix in a gloriously visual series…


Children’s & YA Choice



NEVERMOOR: THE TRIALS OF MORRIGAN CROW * Jessica Townsend * 9781510103825 * PB * £6.99 * Orion

Much love from fellow Children’s authors for this debut – a young girl is chosen to join the fabulous society of Nevermoor for a talent she doesn’t have…

TIN * Padraig Kenny * 9781911077657 * PB * £6.99 * Chicken House

Smashing steampunk-esque read set in a world with sentient robots…

HERO AT THE FALL * Alwyn Hamilton * 9780571325436 * PB * £7.99 * Faber

Conclusion to Alwyn Hamilton’s highly regarded Middle Eastern fantasy saga…

THE HAZEL WOOD * Melissa Albert * 9780141388663 * PB * £7.99 * Penguin

Described as a bewitching and highly addictive fantasy thriller. Film rights already snapped up.


MR MEN DR WHO: Adam Hargreaves * PB * £4.99 * BBC Children’s

Concluding the first twelve of probably our favourite mash-up in the history of mash-ups, Mr Men Dr Who!

DR THIRD * 9781405930130

DR FIFTH * 9781405930147

DR SIXTH * 9781405930154

DR TENTH * 9781405930161


Non-Fiction Highlights


UTOPIA FOR REALISTS: AND HOW WE CAN GET THERE * Rutger Bregman * 9781408893210 * PB * £8.99 * Bloomsbury

This could be a real game-changer: argues that the progressive dreams of society are perfectly achievable – our present levels of social justice once being dismissed as fantasy – and explains how we can get moving in that direction…

TRUST ME I’M LYING: CONFESSIONS OF A MEDIA MANIPULATOR * Ryan Holiday * 9781788160063 * PB * £9.99 * Profile

A repented pro media-manipulator spills the beans so we can identify their presence and (hopefully) prevent their antisocial influence…

BRIT(ISH): ON RACE, IDENTITY AND BELONGING * Afua Hirsch * 9781911214281 * HB * £16.99 * Cape

The search for identity of non-white British people in a society, many elements of which don’t understand them as citizens, native or otherwise…

THE ENEMY WITHIN: A TALE OF MUSLIM BRITAIN * Sayeedi Warsi * 9780241276037 * PB * £9.99 * Penguin

“The UK’s first Muslim Cabinet minister, to explore questions of cultural difference, terrorism, surveillance, social justice, religious freedom, integration and the meaning of ‘British values’.”

EQUAL POWER: AND HOW YOU CAN MAKE IT HAPPEN * Jo Swinson * 9781786491879 * HB * £16.99 * Atlantic

“Deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats and former Government Minister for Women Jo Swinson outlines the steps we can all take, small and large, to make our society truly gender equal.”


WOMEN’S LONDON: A TOUR GUIDE TO GREAT LIVES * Rachel Kolsky * 9781504800822 * PB * £14.99 * IMM Lifestyle

Given we’re London based and also keep an eye out for those titles promoting gender awareness we just had to spotlight this…

HUNTER S. THOMPSON: THE LAST INTERVIEW * Hunter S Thompson with‎ David Streitfeld * 9781612196930 * PB * £12.99 * Melville House

Melville House offer up the latest in their Last (and other) Interviews series, this month with the legendary semi-autobiographical gonzo journalist author of the psychedelic counter-culture novel Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas…


Surely destined to be one of those ultimate counterculture (auto)biographies. Also wins the subtitle of the decade award.

UNDEAD APOCALYPSE: VAMPIRES AND ZOMBIES IN THE 21ST CENTURY * Stacey Abbott * 9781474438377 * PB * £19.99 * Edinburgh Uni Press

Breaking down the archetypes of the undead with academic cred…


One of our very top Popular Science authors futurist Michio Kaku returns, once more relating the science fact of science fiction and the future we might achieve or get…


Graphic Novels




KICK-ASS: THE DAVE LIZEWSKI YEARS – VOLUMES 1 to 4 * Mark Millar, John Romita Jr * PB * £14.99 * Image

10th anniversary editions of Millar and Romita Jr’s breakout ‘real world superhero’ Kick-Ass, now from Image with the new series debuting the same month! Happy Anniversary guys and Dave “Kick-Ass” Lizewski!

VOLUME 1 * 9781534307193

VOLUME 2 * 9781534307209

VOLUME 3 * 9781534307216

VOLUME 4 * 9781534307223



AMERICAN GODS GRAPHIC NOVEL * Neil Gaiman (Author),‎ P. Craig Russell (Author),‎ Scott Hampton (Illustrator) * 9781472251367 * HB * £20.00 * Headline

Graphic Novel adaptation of the already TV adapted book by Neil Gaiman, volume one of three…

SAUCER STATE * Paul Cornell (Author),‎ Ryan Kelly (Artist)  * 9781684051274 * PB * £17.99 * IDW

Conclusion to Saucer Country, Cornell and Kelly’s series combining American politics and UFOlogy from its new home at IDW…

TWISTED DARK V6 * Neil Gibson (Author),‎ Caspar Wijngaard (Artist),‎ Marc Olvent (Artist),‎ Leonardo Gonzalez (Artist),‎ Jim Terry (Artist),‎ Jan Wijngaard (Artist) * 9781943276455 * PB * £14.99 * T Pub

Indie publisher and scripter Neil Gibson concludes his Twisted Dark sequence of interconnected psychological thrillers with volume 6. Not yet a mainstream hit but well established with a solid following…

CARTHAGO * Christophe Bec, Eric Henninot, Milan Jovanovic * 9781594654640 * PB * £19.99 * Humanoids

Jurassic Park meets Jaws, with the return and attack of a megalodon. Sharkpunk action from Humanoids, now in paperback. And what a cover…




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