March 2018 Book Highlights

Carabas - New Book Recommends


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

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. Title hyperlinks direct to Waterstones online for full information, Forbidden Planet for Graphic Novels, and  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 March.


Tim Bayley


Fantastic & Fantastical Fiction


2023: A TRILOGY * The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu * 9780571340729 * PB * £8.99 * Faber
The subversive duo known variously as the KLF, The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu and Bill Drummond / Jimmy Cauty returned in January 2017 with the hardback of 2023 coming later that year, their latest avant garde project rooted in the themes of the Illuminatus Trilogy that informed them as a creative duo in their earlier incarnations…

STRANGE THE DREAMER * Laini Taylor * 9781444788952 * PB * £7.99 * Hodder

Liminal fantasy for young and older adults by the author of Daughter of Smoke and Bone…

THE CITY OF BRASS * SA Chakraborty * 9780008239398 * PB * £12.99 * HarperVoyager

Meanwhile Laini roundly endorses SA Chakraborty’s The City of Brass, ‘An extravagant feast of a book – spicy and bloody, dizzyingly magical, and still, somehow, utterly believable’, a magical tale set in 18th century Cairo…

AUTONOMOUS * Annalee Newitz * 9780356511221 * PB * £8.99 * Orbit

Razor-keen biopunk from the co-founder of Io9: resoundingly positive reviews from such folk as Ann Leckie, Neal Stephenson and William Gibson!

NORSE MYTHOLOGY * Neil Gaiman * 9781408891957 * PB * £8.99 * Bloomsbury

Anyone who’s read Gaiman’s stunning earlier folkloric fantasies will know he has a particular love of norse myth: now his huge selling masterwork of that same mythos hits the shelves…



OTHERWORLD * Jason Segel, Kirsten Miller * 9781786074232 * PB * £7.99 * Rock the Boat / Oneworld

Not the otherworld of folklore, but a virtual reality that works through all human senses – and the participants are being played. It’s by – with Kirtsen Miller – Jason Segel, Marshall Eriksen in How I Met Your Mother, who is producing a film version. We kind of missed the HB (Oct 17) but are pretty intrigued by a read of the paperback… YA as well as adult market

RELICS – THE FOLDED LAND * Tim Lebbon * 9781785650314 * PB * £7.99 * Titan * Relics * 2

There was more than a little buzz around Lebbon’s Urban Fantasy Relics. Now characters from the first book return to investigate an American village where the inhabitants went insane and something dark is stirring…

ASSASSIN’S FATE * Robin Hobb * 9780007444281 * PB * £8.99 * HarperVoyager * Fitz and the Fool * 3

Fantasy legend Robin Hobb concludes the trilogy that returned to the world and characters that stamped her indelibly onto the fantasy scene, with plenty of long awaited revelations…

THE FURTHEST STATION * Ben Aaronovitch * 9781473222434 * PB * £7.99 * Gollancz * PC Grant * Novella

Urban Fantasy maestro Ben A serves up a Peter Grant novella (now in paperback) while you’re waiting for your next full length read of London’s police wizards…

THE BLACK ELFSTONE * Terry Brooks * 9780356510163 * PB * £8.99 * Orbit * The Fall of Shannara * 1

With a genuinely excellent TV adaptation out there (even with its future in doubt) there’s doubtless additional interest in Terry Brooks latest Shannara offering, set not in a fantasy second world but in post-apocalyptic America with his own take on fantasy races and tropes…



THE ERSTWHILE * Brian Catling * 9781473636408 * PB * £8.99 * Coronet * The Vorrh Trilogy * 2

Second volume to the series that has won fans across the spectrum including Alan Moore, Mike Carey and Terry Gilliam!

THE SONG RISING * Samantha Shannon * 9781408877838 * PB * £7.99 * Bloomsbury * The Bone Season * 3

The clairvoyant ruler of London’s criminal element is under threat… Massive buzz about this series…

THE SUN’S DOMAIN * Rebecca Levine * 9781444753783 * PB * £8.99 * Hodder * The Hollow Gods * 3

Rebecca Levene concludes her leftfield fantasy trilogy with a wild mix of characters and towns drawn by mammoths (yes you read that right!)

THE LADY OF THE LAKE * Andrzej Sapkowski, tr David French * 9781473211605 * PB * £8.99 * Gollancz

The super-selling fantasy pentalogy (?) concludes in paperback…

ARM OF THE SPHINX * Josiah Bancroft * 9780356510835 * PB * £8.99 * Orbit * The Books of Babel * 2

Just two months after Bancroft’s Books of Babel debut Senlin Ascends, Orbit serve up the sequel to this steampunk-esque Fantasy of Manners… Highly recommended and should find appeal amongst literary and mainsteam readers as well as genre fans…


Children’s & YA Choice



CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE * Tomi Adeyemi * 9781509871353 * PB * £7.99 * Pan Mac

Debut’s hardly come with more pre-recommendation and clout than this. A tome at over 500 pages, only the very best new YA works are taken seriously by editors at this size, besides which development of the film is already underway! It’s a West African inspired magical tale of rebellion and retribution. Also the Bookseller magazine’s Children’s / YA Pick of the Month…

BRIGHTSTORM * Vashti Hardy * 9781407181707 * PB * £6.99 * Scholastic

Alternative world steampunk-esque Middle Grade adventure in which twins join the crew of a flying ship to restore their father’s reputation and solve the mystery of his death…

THE INVASION * Peadar O’Guilin * 9781910989630 * HB * £10.99 * David Fickling

Follow up to Peadar O’Guilin’s highly original The Call, set in a world where teens are trained to survive for when they’re unwillingly and sponteneously dragged into a lethal Celtic Otherworld…

THE CITY OF SECRET RIVERS * Jacob Sager Weinstein * 9781406378382 * PB * £6.99 * Walker Books

London-based fantasy with a wild and hilarious supporting cast…


Non-Fiction Highlights


A HISTORY OF HEAVY METAL * Andrew O’Neill * 9781472241450 * PB * £9.99 * Headline

Absolutely hilarious’ – Neil Gaiman’ * ‘One of the funniest musical commentators that you will ever read . . . loud and thoroughly engrossing’ – Alan Moore * With endorsements like those this has to be one of those books that steps way beyond its genre in terms of appeal. Solid entertainment that just happens to be about Heavy Metal. Of course if you like Heavy Metal you must be chomping at the bit…

RAW: MY JOURNEY INTO THE WU-TANG * Lamont U-God Hawkins * 9780571342419 * PB * £14.99 * Faber

Autobiography of the Wu-Tang Clan’s Lamont U-God Hawkins and the story of their rise from poverty to international stardom…

CLASS OF 88 * Wayne Anthony * 9780753552124 * PB * £8.99 * Virgin Books

Subculture / Counterculture Highlight: Wayne Anthony’s memoir of rave culture and his time as an illegal party promoter. High times and brutal lows with unsavoury characters and violence so that everyone can have an almighty party…

COAL BLACK MORNINGS * Brett Anderson * 9781408710500 * HB * £16.99 * Little Brown

From the grotty streets of Haywards Heath in the 70s to 90s stardom in Suede, the band’s frontman has a story to tell…

SELF & I * Matthew De Abaitua * 9781785630644 * HB * £14.99 * Eye Books

A Bookseller magazine Spring Non-Fiction Highlight… Angry Robot’s de Abaitua’s account of his time as then infant terrible Will Self’s assistant in a Sussex cottage in the 90s. Promised to appeal to fans of Withnail & I. Reach for your bowl of coffee, rub yourself down with deep heat and start reading…




MARVEL’S MUTANTS * Miles Booy * 9781788311526 * PB * £12.99 * IB Tauris

Special Fact behind the Fiction Highlight. Surprising that this hasn’t been properly written in before: Chris Claremont took on one of Marvel’s least valuable properties and turned it into their bestselling line, spawning eventually the X-Men movies you know and love. During his unique achievement of a seventeen year run on a Marvel comic Claremont created the most diverse, relatable and memorable characters and told some of the greatest stories in the medium. Miles Booy serves up the inside story…

AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!: CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES ON THE MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE * Terence McSweeney * 9780231186254 * PB * £24.95 * Columbia University Press

Fact behind the Fiction: the deeper cultural context of the growing Marvel Cinematic Universe

ECONOMIC SCIENCE FICTIONS * Will Davies (Ed) * 9781906897680 * HB * £24.95 * Goldsmiths

Interesting one from Goldsmiths. Collection of essays on how SF can lead economic thinking to a better society…

FREE WOMEN, FREE MEN * Camille Paglia * 9781786892188 * PB * £9.99 * Canongate

While other books we highlight rightly centre on women’s issues and rights in a still unequal world, the author of Sexual Personae offers a “brilliant, urgent essay collection that both celebrates modern feminism and affirms the power of men and women and what we can accomplish together”.

DEAR IJEAWELE, OR A FEMINIST MANIFESTO IN FIFTEEN SUGGESTIONS * Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie * 9780008275709 * PB * £5.00 * Fourth Estate

Adiche is an absolutely massive author: this short read is a response to a friend’s request on how to bring their daughter up as a feminist…




OF WOMEN: IN THE 21ST CENTURY * Shami Chakrabarti * 9780141985350 * PB * £9.99 * Penguin

One of our leading Human Rights campaigners Shami Chakrabarti (On Liberty, 2015) focuses in on global gender inequality and proposes radical change as to how we can begin to address it…

WHY I’M NO LONGER TALKING TO WHITE PEOPLE ABOUT RACE * Reni Eddo-Lodge * 9781408870587 * PB * £8.99 * Bloomsbury

Award-winning journalist Eddo-Lodge expressed her frustrations at how discussions of race and racism were led by those who weren’t affected with a blog post of the same name. With the huge response this provoked she decided to dig deeper. This massive selling title, now in paperback, is the result…

THE ART OF SWORDSMANSHIP * Hans Leckuchner / Jeffrey L Forgeng (Trans) * 9781783272914 * PB * £19.99 * Boydell

Illustrated guide to medieval swordfighting: does anyone not want to know how


Graphic Novels


WORMWOOD, GENTLEMAN CORPSE: MR. WORMWOOD GOES TO WASHINGTON * Ben Templesmith * 9781684050376 * HB * £14.50 * IDW

Templesmith’s undead protagonist rises again for another blackly humerous escapade…

WALKING DEAD V29 * Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard et al * 9781534304970 * PB * £14.99 * Image

Meanwhile Kirkman and Adlard’s Dead are still Walking, now in volume 29…

M.A.C.H. 1: THE JOHN PROBE MISSION FILES * Pat Mills, Enio… * 9781781086131 * PB * £16.99 * 2000 AD

Nostalgia pick! Not 2000 AD’s most subversive or original character given the creators overtly set out to capitalise on the late 70s love of the Six Million Dollar Man and Marvel’s Deathlok, but certainly dark and demonstrating a notable degree of political sophistication in these super-spy adventures…

MEAN GIRLS CLUB: PINK DAWN * Ryan Heshka * 9781910620229 * HB * £14.99 * NoBrow * (NB. Waterstones link; not yet on FP)

Ryan Heshka’s graphic short Mean Girls was one of our very first highlights and if the number of hits our art preview still gets is anything to go by there’s a great deal of love for the anarchic ladies bearing comparisons to Tank Girl… And this month NoBrow serve up the sequel!

VIOLENT CASES – 30TH ANNIVERSARY COLLECTOR’S EDITION * Neil Gaiman, Dave McKean * 9781785658648 * HB * £14.99 * Titan

Before The Sandman came Gaiman’s Violent Cases, a superb child’s eye tale of a boy being treated by an osteopath who used to treat Al Capone. A superb work, notable also for being Gaiman’s frequent collaborater Dave McKean’s first sequential work. Introductions by Alan Moore, Paul Gravett, and Neil Gaiman himself!




INKING WOMAN, THE 250 YEARS OF BRITISH WOMEN CARTOON AND COMIC ARTISTS * Nicola Streeten, Cath Tate * 9780995590083 * HB * £24.95 * Myriad Editions

Based on the Cartoon Museum’s exhibition of last year, Streeten and Tate serve up two and a half centuries of women’s achievements in comics. A Non-Fiction Highlight in the Bookseller’s Buyer’s Guide.

BIZARRE ROMANCE * Audrey Niffenegger and Eddie Campbell * 9781911214236 * HB * £16.99 * Jonathan Cape * (NB. Waterstones link; not yet on FP)

The super-selling author of The Time Traveller’s Wife teams up with her husband and veteran comic creator Eddie Campbell to celebrate and satirise love…




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