October 2016 Book Highlights

Carabas - New Book Recommends
CB - Ho - Oct 16 - A Closed and Common Orbit
CN - Oct - Bit Rot
CB - Ho - Oct - A City Dreaming
CC - Oct - Podkin One-Ear
CG - DH - Oct - Black Dog

*

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.

Selections are and text here is by Tim Bayley (London flagship bookstore buyer for over 6 years, central trade buying committee, sales rep for one of the UK’s largest publishers, then created this website here). These highlights are drawn from publisher submissions next to The Bookseller’s own monthly highlights, their Buyer’s Guides and more.

NB. You can find full biblio details and publisher copy via the online shop link. 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! Some products still being uploaded to the retailers sites – links to come.

So read on and see the many wonders in print coming your way in October.

Enjoy!

 

Fiction

CB - Ho - Oct - A City Dreaming
A CITY DREAMING
Daniel Polansky
9781473634251
HB
18.99
Hodder & Stoughton
We certainly shouted about Daniel Polansky’s debut titles which are best understood somewhere between historical urban fantasy and procedural urban grimdark. A City of Dreaming is more straightforward contemporary urban fantasy – only broad enough to encompass pocket steampunk universes alongside stylised gods, werewolves and hipster zombies. So Mr Polanksy refuses easy categorisation once more in other words! Regardless this sounds very much like our kind of thing with late rising, beer drinking protagonist M being an unwilling participant in a battle that could send New York ‘the way of Atlantis’, with the whimsical humour common to UF alongside more cannily observed urban culture of a darker nature. Added to which while there’s doubtless been urban fantasy set in the Big Apple, we’re not aware of anything of broader mainstream appeal outside of paranormal romance: could well be where Polansky hits the bigger time and a title to watch closely…
Buy from Waterstones
CB - Ho - Oct -Replica
REPLICA
Lauren Oliver
9781473614956
HB
14.99
Hodder & Stoughton
Many writers must have had this idea but due respect to Lauren Oliver who’s gone ahead and done it: Replica is two books in one, the interconnected stories of two girls which begin at either end of the book turned over and meet in the middle. Being SF by genre it’s not surprising that the young ladies in question are clones, Lyra’s story beginning in the cloning facility and with the escape from it, the other in a domestic setting where Gemma realises there are secrets in her past to uncover. An excellent read we gather, and doubtless will get interest given the resonance with a certain highly successful TV series called Orphan Black…
Buy from Waterstones
CB - Re - Oct - Savant
SAVANT
Nik Abnett
9781781084564
PB
£7.99
Solaris
Special shout out for Nik Abnett (one writing half of Twitter entity @vincentabnett alongside comic-mainstay husband Dan) who has Savant coming this month from Rebellion publisher Solaris. Metoo is assistant to Tobe, an ‘Active’ who’s mind helps maintain the global shield that protects the Earth from alien invasion – until he’s caught in a probability loop that is now spreading to other Actives. It sounds like humanity is prepared to sacrifice one Active for the sake of their own defence – only they’re likely to unwittingly destroy it in the process. Hopefully Metoo can save Tobe so that he can protect the human race from an extraterrestrial threat and themselves…
Buy from Waterstones
CB - HZ - Nov - Warheart
WARHEART
Terry Goodkind
9781784972059
PB
£9.99
Head of Zeus
Sword of Truth
16
And we must just mention Terry Goodkind’s Warheart, his epic finale to the 16 volume Sword of Truth series that began with Wizard’s First Rule some 20 years ago. It’s a noteworthy release, aside from the author and series being a major seller, for the fact that the author decided he liked what still-young publisher Head of Zeus was doing enough to choose them for the prequel and this concluding volume, now in paperback (came in hardback November 2015). The two leads have a fight on their hands, Richard in the underworld, Kahlan to keep him from dying entirely – after all his mortal body is lying on a funeral bier. And if he dies the ‘world of life’ itself will end…
Buy from Waterstones
CB - Go - Nov - The Promise of the Child
THE PROMISE OF THE CHILD
Toner, Tom
9781473211377
PB
£8.99
Gollancz
Also coming this month (debuting in original Trade paperback in Nov 15) is Tom Toner’s The Promise of the Child: “The most important debut SF novel in five years – the arrival of an astonishing young talent” publishers Gollancz said, emphasising its playful take on hard science and wider commercial potential. A far future diversified posthuman, post-scarcity setting of the nature of the universe of Dune only more whimsical. When the rule of the emperor of this galactic civilisation threatened buried secrets of humanity’s history threaten to emerge and change everything…
Buy from Waterstones
CB - Go - Oct 16 - Waking Hell
WAKING HELL
Al Robertson
9781473203433
TPB
£16.99
Gollancz
2
Also from Gollancz and just in time for Halloween – being likewise of a science fictional nature though delightfully freakish and apt enough in its setting aside from its title to warrant being so noted – is Al Robertson’s follow up to Crashing Heaven, Waking Hell. We return to Station, the dystopian space… station where Jack Forster was faced with investigating the death of old friends before the freaky wooden puppet AI that was grown in his head takes over his mind as a result of unbending corporate law. This is a manufactured world of corporate gods and the digital ghosts (fetches) formed of the memories of dead humans. The sequel appears to be similarly investigative in style, and similarly high concept cyberpunk in tone, a young woman aiming to solve a murder which necessitates a journey into the artificial hell-realm where non-haunting ghosts are stored…
Buy from Waterstones
CB - Ho - Oct - The Book of Lost Things
THE BOOK OF LOST THINGS
John Connolly
9780340899465
HB
16.99
Hodder & Stoughton
There’s always so many reissues that we generally concern ourselves with brand new titles, but there’s always the odd one we have to give a shout out about. Bestselling author of crime and YA John Connolly has the 10th anniversary of the evocatively name The Book of Lost Things coming up and Hodder are re-releasing an anniversary hardback edition of it with accompanying illustrations. It’s a modern folk tale with gothic elements: 12 year old orphan David is drawn into a fairytale fantasy world of heroes, wolves, ‘worse-than-wolves’ and the Crooked Man, and begins a quest to acquire the titular artefact, created by a fading king…
Buy from Waterstones
CB - Ho - Oct 16 - A Closed and Common Orbit
A CLOSED AND COMMON ORBIT
Becky Chambers
9781473621442
HB
16.99
Hodder & Stoughton
Sometimes it’s hard to know which are a publisher’s biggest titles but when we caught up with Hodder Editor Anne Perry at the London Book Fair and asked her directly, alongside Paul Crilley’s Poison City (Sep 16) it was Becky Chambers follow up to The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet. There was a lot of love for this Firefly-eque debut and, as Anne might reassure those readers, the quality of writing ‘was not a fluke’. Refreshingly in a long era of trilogies and sequences, it’s a standalone follow-up in which a ship’s AI finds herself incarnated in human form with some degree of amnesia… Less Ann Leckie perhaps, though should appeal to her readers, than the first female-led SF buddy feature novel – something like that anyway. Given the first volume apparently went through 7 printings(!) by April 2016 it sounds like this is going to be an instant hit with readers established and new.
Buy from Waterstones
CBJJ16 - HS - Feb - The Reaction Fm
THE REACTION
Helena Coggan
9781444794724
PB
6.99
Hodder Paperbacks
2
It’s hard to take anyone seriously when they claim an author to be the ‘next JK Rowling’ but at least it’s not the publishers of Helena Coggan who are making so bold a claim (it’s the USA’s Today Programme). We’re assured it’s very good indeed though, sitting as a kind of post-Potter Urban Fantasy and The Reaction is the consequential follow-up to book one, The Catalyst. 15 year old Rose Elmsworth is caught in a conflict of magical factions, but her own identity and her father’s secret past are bringing more than enough complications – and intrigue for the reader – themselves…
Buy from Waterstones
CB - Or - Oct - The Tourist
THE TOURIST
Robert Dickinson
9780356508153
HB
12.99
Orbit
Well it sounds like Helena has tapped nicely into the general market and we’ve got a little hunch that Orbit author Robert Dickinson might do the same with ‘The Tourist’: sounds quite the sort of thing that film studios will be sniffing around if they’re not already. It’s a twisting time-travel conspiracy thriller in which a time tourist disappears from the tour in question sending temporal consequences from this point of ‘impact’, not least because the future records show she didn’t go missing in the first place. Another one to watch closely…
Buy from Waterstones
Carabas Cover Image to Come width 180
THE WHITE CITY
Morden, Simon
9781473211483
TPB
£14.99
Gollancz
Then Simon Morden returns with White City, his follow up to Down Station which saw London commuters step into a fearsome magical version of the Big Smoke. Now furnished with maps to guide them to the White City and the answers they seek, Mary and Dalip are on their way there, a frightening enough proposition even without the fact that they’ve no choice but to rely on someone who’s already repeatedly betrayed them. From what Gollancz are saying this series is not just a fantastical adventure but communicates deeper ideas about ourselves through it…
Buy from Waterstones
CB - Oct - The Power
THE POWER
Naomi Alderman
9780670919987
HB
£16.99
Viking
Lastly for now on the adult fiction front Penguin-Viking have picked up Naomi Alderman’s The Power. In the almost immediate future women gain the non-physical power to inflict grievous injury and even death, a less literal empowerment to male physical strength, but through which the power dynamic of our gender-based world can be looked at in a new light. Literary interest and genre interest too. A Bookseller Buyer’s Guide Fiction Highlight.
Buy from Waterstones

Late additions…

cb-oct-iraq100
IRAQ+100: STORIES FROM ANOTHER IRAQ (PAPERBACK)
Dhiaa Al Jibaly, Hassan Abdulrazzak, Ibrahim Al-Marashi, Nasra Jadwe, Kaki Khaled, Jalal Naim Hasan, Ahmed Sadaawi, Ali Bader, Hassan Blasim
9781905583669
PB
£9.99
Comma Press
We chanced upon this while checking out the Southbank Centre’s London Literature Festival and found the editor’s panel on Iraqi Sci-fi. Arabic SF has been particularly on our radar since attending an amazing talk organised by Sindbad Sci-fi back when we’d just got Carabas going so naturally it peaked our interest. We figure we’ll let publishers Comma Press fill you in on the rest: “Iraq + 100 poses a question to ten Iraqi writers: what might your country look like in the year 2103 – a century after the disastrous American- and British-led invasion, and 87 years down the line from its current, nightmarish battle for survival? How might the effects of that one intervention reach across a century of repercussions, and shape the lives of ordinary Iraqi citizens, or influence its economy, culture, or politics? Might Iraq have finally escaped the cycle of invasion and violence trigged by 2003 and, if so, what would a new, free Iraq look like? Covering a range of approaches – from science fiction, to allegory, to magic realism – these stories use the blank canvas of the future to explore the nation’s hopes and fears in equal measure. Along the way a new aesthetic for the ‘Iraqi fantastical’ begins to emerge: thus we meet time-travelling angels, technophobic dictators, talking statues, macabre museum-worlds, even hovering tiger-droids, and all the time buoyed by a dark, inventive humour that, in itself, offers hope.”
Buy from Waterstones
cb-jf-oct-the-hidden-people
THE HIDDEN PEOPLE
Alison Littlewood
9781848669901
HB
£14.99
Jo Fletcher
This was a Bookseller Magazine Editor’s Choice for October so we took note – and it turns out that the author found favour with Richard & Judy’s book club with The Cold Season: one of those genre pieces that steps out and brings in a wider audience in other words, and the Hidden People, also a folkloric chiller, we have no doubt will have very much the same appeal. Set in the 19th century (the period no doubt contributing to the haunting atmosphere also), Londoner Albie Willis sets out to secluded Halfoak to investigate the death of Lizzie Higgs, a cousin he hardly knew but doubts was a changeling as her husband insists…
Buy from Waterstones
cb-oct-hag-seed
HAG-SEED
Margaret Atwood
9781781090220
HB
£16.99
Hogarth
And it’s hardly a surprise to find Margaret Atwood (whose whimsical graphic novel Angel Catbird debuts the month before) joining Alison in the Bookseller Editor’s Choice for October. Hag-Seed is the fourth in Hogarth Press’s commissioned retellings of Shakespeare and is a reworking of Atwood’s favourite The Tempest. Not that any book has to be fantastical in nature for inclusion in our highlights but it’s hard to tell how much – if any – supernatural elements are actually present, Prospero’s place being taken by a disgruntled theatre director who seeks to produce a version of The Tempest itself with inmate-actors of a prison as a way of getting revenge on his former theatrical associates. We’re just intrigued to know ahead. Either way readers can look forward to indulging themselves in an enthralling tale: the author’s name is basically a guarantee.
Buy from Waterstones

 

 

Non-Fiction

CN - Oct - Street Art World
STREET ART WORLD
Alison Young
9781780236704
PB
£25.00
Reaktion Books
We continued our round-up of the latest street art titles with Alison Young’s Street Art World in October based on 20 years research, and it could hardly have a better home than with publishers Reaktion who started as an art publisher before branching out and getting a reputation for cultural titles amongst many other areas. Alison examines such questions as are street art and graffiti the same thing, or do they have different histories, meanings and practitioners? Can it be exhibited in a gallery or must it be located on the street? Why have museums started collecting street art? It examines the worldwide market for street art while naturally treating us to a curated gallery of the best of it.
Buy from Waterstones
CN - Oct - Goth
GOTH
Emma Baxter-Wright, Chris Roberts and Hywel Livingstone
9781780978864
PB
£14.99
Carlton Books
On to another subculture and authors Baxter-Wright, Roberts and Livingstone are taking us on a tour of Goth, to the ‘dark heart of the ever-adaptable subculture’ through the lens of film, art, music, fiction, even ecclesiastical architecture… and fashion of course. Don’t be surprised if you encounter Dracula, HP Lovecraft, Poe and The Cure. Something for everyone then, quite aside from those who so identify…
Buy from Waterstones
CN - Oct - Bit Rot
BIT ROT
Douglas Coupland
9781785151026
HB
£20
Heinemann
We figure we’ll let Heinemann explain this one: ‘Bit rot’ is a term used in digital archiving to describe the way digital files can spontaneously and quickly decompose. As Coupland writes, ‘Bit rot also describes the way my brain has been feeling since 2000, as I shed older and weaker neurons and connections and enhance new and unexpected ones’. Bit Rot the book – through Essays and Short Stories – explores the ways humanity tries to make sense of our shifting consciousness. Douglas Coupland’s a smart guy and plenty of people beyond his hardcore fans, pricy as it is, will be keen to read his latest commentary on our cultural state. Published to coincide with the 20th Anniversary of Generation X.
Buy from Waterstones
CN - Oct - The Princess Diarist
THE PRINCESS DIARIST
Carrie Fisher
9780593077566
HB
£16.99
Bantam
In prior memoirs Carrie Fisher has told of being a single mother, battling addiction, manic depression and… well much beggars belief but involves the likes of Elizabeth Taylor (brief stepmother to Carrie) and Paul Simon, then Michael Jackson and Ted Kennedy. There’s no official copy just yet but it’s hard to imagine this won’t be a wild ride in its own right and, unsurprisingly, it was a Non-Fiction Highlight in the Bookseller’s Buyer’s Guide. Just thought you might like to know about it in case you didn’t already. You’re welcome.
Buy from Waterstones
CN - Oct - Dances with Limeys
DANCES WITH LIMEYS
Reginald D Hunter
9781844038862
HB
£20.00
Cassell – Octopus?
We do like Mr Reginald D Hunter although trying to define his style of comedy is probably like the much loved American comedian trying to define Britishness – which is, more or less, what he tries to do here. As his sister told him ‘they’re suspicious of optimism’ (quite right and quite right too) but despite falling at the first hurdle (being cheerful and talking to people on the Tube) and disliking our weather our Mr Hunter has stuck with us for the long term. Try and tell us you’re not intrigued as to what he has to say about us…
Buy from Waterstones
CN - Oct - A Portrait of Bowie
A PORTRAIT OF BOWIE
Brian Hiatt
9781844039272
HB
£25
Cassell – Octopus?
September and October are the months of the year when publishers bring out their big guns for the season of big spending. So it’s no surprise there’s rather a lot to recommend, or indeed that there’s more than a few Bowie books. First up this month is A Portrait of Bowie, edited by Rolling Stone magazine’s Brian Hiatt which collects text tributes to the mercurial genius alongside photographs and art of the same. A big spend but plenty to treasure. A Bookseller Buyer’s Guide Highlight.
Buy from Waterstones
CN - Oct - Spider from Mars
SPIDER FROM MARS: MY LIFE WITH BOWIE
Woody Woodmansey
9780283072727
HB
£18.99
Sidgwick
Then you can hardly get a more intimate biography of Bowie than an autobiography by a musician – the drummer in this case – in the Spiders of Mars on his four seminal albums. Woodmansey relates their mutual story and that of the people around them. A big lead from Sidgwick and also a Bookseller Buyer’s Guide Highlight.
Buy from Waterstones
CN - Oct - More Brilliant Than The Sun
MORE BRILLIANT THAN THE SUN
Kodwo Eshun
9781784786724
PB
£12.99
Verso
And staying with music (while crossing back to the periphery of much of our preferred fiction) Verso are reissuing an updated version of Kodwo Eshun’s More Brilliant than the Sun. On a personal note, having run a large music books department, I was always pleased with how well this sold, not least because it was so wonderfully eclectic. Again it’s a hard enough one to frame so here’s the slightly abridged copy from Verso: “Part manifesto for a militant posthumanism, part journey through the unacknowledged traditions of diasporic science fiction, this book finds the future shock in Afrofuturist sounds from jazz, dub and techno to funk, hip hop and jungle. By exploring the music of such musical luminaries as Sun Ra, Alice Coltrane, Lee Perry, Dr Octagon, Parliament and Underground Resistance, theorist and artist Kodwo Eshun mobilises their concepts in order to open the possibilities of sonic fiction: the hitherto unexplored intersections between science fiction and organised sound.”
Buy from Waterstones
CN - Oct - Time Travel
TIME TRAVEL
James Gleick
9780007544431
HB
£16.99
Fourth Estate
Gleick’s a name in popular science and then some, but we’d just have to include a book on Time Travel regardless. This seems more of a cultural history than super-hard science and, while you can expect a little of that, this is very much one for the layperson and interested fans of SF apart from anyone else. From the first work of one HG Wells to Dr Who and works literary, engineered and philosophical between them, Gleick goes on to examine our contemporary ‘instantaneous wired world’ which, in terms of human consciousness, inhabits a larger present and diminishing future – which makes the title of our next highlight somewhat ironic…
Buy from Waterstones
CN - Oct - How Long is Now
HOW LONG IS NOW? AND 101 OTHER QUESTIONS YOU NEVER THOUGHT TO ASK
New Scientist
9781473628595
PB
£7.99
John Murray
Nearly mistook this for a book on the Smiths but it’s the latest collection of New Scientist answers to questions readers have asked. The titular question is answered with regards to human consciousness and neuroscience – and reference to meditation – in terms how now is apprehended by the human mind. It’s full of other Q’s from the mundane to the cosmic though the A’s can be equally as bizarre and entertaining. Examples? ‘Why are dog noses wet?’ and ‘what happens when one black hole swallows another?’(!)
Buy from Waterstones
CN - Oct - The Penguin Book of the Undead
THE PENGUIN BOOK OF THE UNDEAD
Scott G Bruce (Ed)
9780143107682
PB
£11.99
Penguin
And we round off Non-Fiction with a pair of titles that are certainly apt for the last day of the month (or any day of the year for many of us, especially if we happen to be picking up that Goth title we touted earlier). First up Penguin – their Classics department to be specific – are unleashing their latest compilation which happens to be on the undead, taking on ghosts and corporeal revenants from the Levant to Northernmost Europe there’s a truly macabre treat for those who choose to open these pages.
Buy from Waterstones
CN - Oct - Zombies Run
ZOMBIES, RUN! KEEPING FIT AND LIVING WELL IN THE CURRENT ZOMBIE EMERGENCY
Naomi Alderman
9780241256442
PB
£14.99
Penguin
And then it’s Naomi Alderman’s Zombie’s Run! from Penguin general, based on the bestselling app of the same name which she co-created. I confess the app and her name are new to me (enjoying SFF / creating websites and being a card-carrying late-adopting luddite are, it might surprise you, in no respect mutually exclusive). But aside from ZR! the app she’s an Orange Prize winner, Professor of Creative Writing and, amongst other books, has a Dr Who novel under her belt. Actually what she and London-based indie games developer Six to Start have done here and are doing with this and their other games is really pretty cool. It’s a narrative app which, from your selection of a number of genres, frames your exercise in a mission or task. In other words a business based in encouraging health through entertainment – brilliant stuff. Perhaps unsurprisingly in this era of zombie fandom ZR! is the world’s most successful smartphone fitness game ever and the book will readily find a readership in this era and from this accolade. Still this luddite is rather intrigued by their apps (no promises mind), the next of which, The Walk, is a thriller to appeal to a wider audience which has been funded by the UK Department of Health and designed with and for the NHS. Again, brilliant stuff guys…
Buy from Waterstones

 

 

Young Adult & Middle Grade (9-12ish)

CBJJ16 - HZ - Apr - Conjuror
THE CONJUROR
John and Carole Barrowman
9781781856390
PB
£6.99
Head of Zeus
 
2
First up is the paperback of Book 2 of The Orion Chronicles from the Barrowman brother and sister team of John & Carole (yes that John Barrowman). In THE CONJUROR the Animare twins, with the power to enter visual art and bring it to life, are sent to Edinburgh to deal with a boy whose music can alter reality… Using their powers to travel in time through brutal periods of human history they’re on a quest to uncover the truth of the murder of Remy’s parents, but it’s a race against time as dark forces are on the rise regardless of where they are in the past…
Buy from Waterstones
CC - Oct - Saint Death
SAINT DEATH
Marcus Sedgwick
9781444000528
HB
£10.99
Orion
 
 
Marcus Sedgwick is back in October as ever proving you never know what to expect next from him. Faustino lives in a poor and dangerous neighbourhood on the Mexican/US border who wishes to escape the gang he works for by crossing it. Watched over by Saint Death he’s on the run with 36 hours to replace money he’s borrowed. It’s hard to tell if this steps more into the supernatural genre or if this ‘folk saint, a rebel angel, a sinister guardian’ is less an active participant than objective narrator. Either way this promises to be a cracking read which could hardly be more poignant right now. One of the Bookseller’s Editor’s Choice titles for October.
Buy from Waterstones
CC - Oct - Podkin One-Ear
PODKIN ONE-EAR
Kieran Larwood, David Wyatt (Ill)
9780571328406
HB
£9.99
Faber
 
 
Praise be to Faber and Kieran Larwood for bringing us what sounds like Watership Down meets Game of Thrones. We said it – mainly because we couldn’t resist it and wanted to get in there first beyond the natural comparisons of Podkin One-Ear to Redwall. A rabbit clan receives a bard at their warren and are treated to the adventures of a mighty rabbit warrior… Great stuff and definitely one to watch.
Buy from Waterstones
CC - Oct - Goldenhand
GOLDENHAND
Garth Nix
9781471404443
HB
£14.99
Hot Key
The Old Kingdom
5
And then a huge lead for Hot Key Books. Garth Nix’s Old Kingdom books occupy, to my mind, that enviable lofty plateau just below His Dark Materials and Mr Potter, but with such YA series as those from Philip Reeve, Derek Landy and Jonathan Stroud. This is book 5 and Lirael is facing undead creatures and Free Magic entities – and ‘the Witch with No Face’. Doubtless sleepless nights for some having simply read the back copy, but everyone else will be getting stuck in to the latest evocative volume and their latest fix of Nix.
Buy from Waterstones
CC - Oct - Black Light Express
BLACK LIGHT EXPRESS
Philip Reeve
9780192744784
HB
£9.99
OUP
 
2
And Mr Philip Reeve has a sequel as well with the follow-up to Railhead (August highlight in PB, Warner Bros have snapped up the rights) which is set in a universe of sentient space-tunnelling trains. Thief Zen and Nova the android girl take a journey beyond the universe to see what’s there… I don’t think we need say more than that. Actually we probably didn’t need to say more than ‘Philip Reeve’.
Buy from Waterstones

 

 

Graphic Novels

Delayed from August:

CG - Aug - Scotland Yardie
SCOTLAND YARDIE
Joseph, Bobby & Samuels, Joseph
9780861662517
PB
£9.99
KNOCKABOUT
We always love to see what independent legend Knockabout have coming for us and this month it’s just classic Knockabout. Scotland Yardie is Jamaica’s most feared policeman, brought onto the force to meet the ethnic quota, smoke the herb, defeat racist police and solve the mysteries of assassinated cats and… addictive blue chicken? Scotland Yardie’s coming to Brixton – we’re off to catch the tube to go and watch! *** Update: Now coming January 2017 ***
Buy from Forbidden Planet

***

CG - DH - Oct - Black Dog
BLACK DOG: THE DREAMS OF PAUL NASH
McKean, Dave
9781506701080
PB
£18.99
DARK HORSE
9781506701097
HB
£60.00
Tate Britain have a major exhibition running from 26th October to the 5th March 2017 on surrealist painter, war artist and photographer Paul Nash – who better than to create a graphic novel on his life than the legendary cover artist of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman and filmmaker Dave McKean? Well he had an interest in Nash anyway but 1418 Now commissioned him to do so as part of the UK’s WW1 centenary commemorations. October sees the gorgeous, haunting result (see the Guardian’s article here). Highly recommended. https://www.theguardian.com/books/gallery/2016/may/27/black-dog-the-dreams-of-paul-nash-dave-mckean
Buy from Forbidden Planet
Buy from Forbidden Planet
CG - Oct - Attack on Titan Anthology (from FP)
ATTACK ON TITAN ANTHOLOGY
Scott Snyder, Michael Avon Oeming, Faith Erin Hicks, Brenden Fletcher, Cameron Stewart, and Babs Tarr, Gail Simone, Evan Dorkin, Genevieve Valentine, Afua Richardson, Asaf Hanuka, Tomer Hanuka, Paolo Rivera, Phil Jimenez, Damion Scott, Ronald Wimberly, Kevin Wada, Simon Spurrier, Rhianna Pratchett, Jody Houser, Emi Lenox
9781632362582
PB
£18.99
KODANSHA COMICS
The Manga invasion of the west shows no signs of abating. It’s a cultural style within the comics medium course and there’s plenty of nonsense to avoid as well as the gems to find. Well Attack on Titan is as idiosyncratic as anything from any scene. On the one hand it’s pure post-apocalyptic SF action with as much viscera as any average manga gore-fest. On the other the design, stylings and development are utterly original. Humanity is faced with utter destruction – and consumption – by slobbering imbecile giants… though there’re some even more sinister ones that seem to be intelligent. Our main protection is the Survey Corps, basically fantasy rangers who swing through forest and town – and up and around the Titan’s – by means of spike-ended gas-propelled swing-lines. The resulting scenes are just so staggeringly kinetic that you’re too busy gawping for any conscious willing suspension of disbelief to be in any respect required.
Well it’s a massive hit East and West and now top western comic creators – fans themselves – get to reinterpret the series. We really can’t wait to see what Scott Snyder, Gail Simone, Faith Erin Hicks, Michael Avon Oeming, Paolo Rivera, Cameron Stewart, Babs Tarr et al have done with it – and a lot of readers will be twice as keen and then some. Really a title for shops to give some thought to…
Buy from Forbidden Planet
Carabas Cover Image to Come width 180
MARVEL’S DOCTOR STRANGE PRELUDE
Vaughan, Brian K.; Aaron, Jason & Lee, Stan
9781302901097
PB
£12.99
Marvel
You may be aware that superhero films are rather popular right now – plenty of graphic novel collections to buy and sell off the back of them.  November sees the debut of one Benedict Cumberbatch as Marvel’s Dr Strange on the big screen. There are more than a few titles to choose from but Marvel have rightly compiled some key stories from the last 60+ years along with an official prelude comic as a… Prelude collection. Biblio didn’t come with a list of artists but the 3 writers mentioned are Stan Lee, Jason Aaron and Brian K Vaughan – an instant inclusion for us in other words.
Buy from Forbidden Planet
CG - Oct - Insufferable V2
INSUFFERABLE VOLUME 2: ON THE ROAD
Mark Waid, Peter Krause
9781631407345
PB
£14.99
IDW Publishing / Thrillbent
Mark Waid is also one of those names in comics we always keep an eye out for though (for shame) we missed the debut volume of his and artist Peter Krause’s Insufferable series so we definitely wanted to shout about volume 2 here. It’s Waid’s modern take on the superhero trope and, like Kurt Busiek and others, is playing with his own analogues of A-list characters – Batman and Robin to be specific. Here it seems the crimefighting partnership were actually father and son but went their separate ways, the former devoting his life to his masked identity, the latter to being a millionaire playboy. Now they’re bankrupt and have partnered up once more to find the murderer who caused this and survive the collective assault of all their old enemies…
CG - V - Oct - The Dark and The Bloody
DARK &  BLOODY TP VOL 1
Shawn Aldridge, Scott Godlewski
9781401264598
PB
£10.99
Vertigo
We’re paying attention to the new wave of Vertigo titles coming through so here’s a highlight for October: Shawn Aldridge and Scott Godlewski’s The Dark & Bloody. A war vet turns to running illegal liquor to support his family which means he can hardly turn to the police when a cursed Iraqi girl comes after him in this supernatural horror. Fortunately it seems that he’s not the prime culprit in the crime committed against her – unfortunately for him and his family that might not matter at all…
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CBLDF PRESENTS: SHE CHANGED COMICS
Betsy Gomez, various…
9781632159298
PB
£10.99
Image Comics
Image have been doing a great thing with their socially minded anthologies in partnership with the CBLDF (Comic Book Legal Defence Fund), Liberty in August championing the freedom to read and, of course, to write. Their latest profiles women who’ve changed comics and highlights those female creators who’ve had their books banned in the U.S. and been threatened or imprisoned elsewhere in the world. Respect to all concerned. *** Profile such luminaries as: Machiko Hasegawa, Karen Berger, Dorothy Woolfolk, Francoise Mouly, Diana Schutz, Jenette Kahn, Fiona Staples, Noelle Stevenson, Jill Thompson, G. Willow Wilson, Gail Simone, Rumiko Takahashi, Moto Hagio, Jessica Abel, Kate Beaton, Roz Chast, Colleen Doran, Posy Simmonds, Louise Simonson, Grace Drayton and Margaret Gebbie Hays, Ramona Fradon, Hilda Terry, Marie Severin, Lyn Chevely, Joyce Farmer, Diane Noomin, Barbara Hall, Ethel Hays, Rose O’Neill, Dale Messick *** More on the project here
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GHOST STORIES OF AN ANTIQUARY (VOLUME 1)
Leah Moore, John Reppio, Dan Lockwood (Ed), Alisdair Wood, Aneke, Kit Buss, Fouad Mezher. Cover by Francesco Francavilla.
9781910593189
PB
£9.99
Self Made Hero
And then just another for the last day of the month if not before / the rest of the year, ie. a last Halloween offering. Husband and Wife team John Reppion and Leah Moore have adapted four of MR James works for this first haunting volume: Canon Alberic’s Scrapbook, Lost Hearts, The Mezzotint, and The Ash Tree. One of those titles that should appeal to non-traditional comics readers…
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Late Additions

* Author ISBN Bind RRP Pub
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THE DISCIPLINE VOLUME 1
Pete Milligan, Leandro Fernandez
9781632159229
PB
£8.99
Image Comics
We’ve just spotted, in addition to She Changed Comics above, a few more gems from Image Comics. It’s always worth checking out what Pete Milligan and insert-artistic-collaborator are up to and, in October and with Leandro Fernandez, it’s The Discipline. The publisher description is a little sparse but we’re clearly back in early Milligan / Vertigo territory with a starting point not a million miles from his Ted McKeever limited series The Extremist. A mysterious stranger, a mysterious society, sex and personal transformation; yep that sounds like The Extremist to us. Still that was a blast and we’re all the more intrigued as to where now-comics-veteran-Milligan is going from his classic set-up. *** Signing at Forbidden Planet on Wednesday 5th October: see here for this and more London Events! ***
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THOUGHT BUBBLE ANTHOLOGY COLLECTION: 10 YEARS OF COMICS
See below
9781534300675
PB
£8.99
Image Comics
Of all the Cons we haven’t been able to go to Leeds’ Thought Bubble is probably the one we most ought to – it’s the 10th Anniversary as well this year! To celebrate whole bunch of creators of all levels (see below) have contributed to this brilliant anthology, the proceeds of which go to children’s charity Barnardo’s. Great work all: CHARLIE ADLARD, GABRIEL BAUTISTA, GABRIEL BÁ, KATE BEATON, JORDIE BELLAIRE, IVAN BRANDON, JEFFERY BROWN, MARK BUCKINGHAM, CLARK BURSCOUGH, ADAM CADWELL, MIKE CAREY, EMILY CARROLL, CLIFF CHIANG, BECKY CLOONAN, BOO COOK, FAREL DALRYMPLE, RUFUS DAYGLO, ANDY DIGGLE, D’ISRAELI, MARC ELLERBY, MING DOYLE, WARREN ELLIS, GARY ERSKINE, CARLOS EZQUERRA, RAY FAWKES, DUNCAN FEGREDO, ROBIN FURTH, LEIGH GALLAGHER, STUART GORDON, BRANDON GRAHAM, NICHOLAS GUREWITCH, TONY HARRIS, WILL MORRIS, ANTONY JOHNSTON, BARRY KITSON, ALES KOT, EMI LENOX, TULA LOTAY, SARAH MCINTYRE, FABIO MOON, STEPHEN MOONEY, RAMON PEREZ, SEAN PHILLIPS, RICK REMENDER, EMMA RÍOS, TIM SALE, FIONA STAPLES, CAMERON STEWART, RICHARD STARKINGS, BABS TARR, EMMA VIECELI, ANNIE WU & SKOTTIE YOUNG.
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DC UNIVERSE BY NEIL GAIMAN HC
Neil Gaiman, various artists
9781401264888
HB
£26.99
DC Comics
Then for your pleasure DC have trawled their vaults for the first of two collections of Mr Neil Gaiman. Next month it’s a compilation of his work from the early days of Vertigo which his legendary Sandman sequence was part, along with the paperback collection of Gaiman’s ‘post-ending’ return to that series. October brings a volume collecting his stories of DC’s main and mainstream characters: numerous Batman shorts featuring classic villains and a Superman / Green Lantern team-up! You’re very welcome…
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CG - DC - Oct - Convergence
CONVERGENCE TP
Writers: Jeff King, Scott Lobdell, Dan Jurgens. Artists: Carlo Pagulayan, Stephen Segovia, Andy Kubert, Ethan Van Sciver
9781401264871
PB
£22.99
DC Comics
Now anyone who knows DC at all knows they’ve repeatedly, essentially obsessively, reinvented, retconned and rebooted the universe their characters share, and the make-up and nature of the multiverse alongside it until few readers really know what’s going on. And even if many don’t care what’s going on as a result it’s a business and creative decision and does tend to sell comics – added to which the collections are at least relatively self contained enough for the non-specialist reader to jump in for a blast of reality-warping fun with character they know well and more besides. So, some time after the hardback collection, comes the New York Times bestselling Convergence, where Brainiac has assembled various realities onto a planet outside the Multiverse for superheroic action and drama before another reboot. It’s not a million miles itself from Marvel’s Secret Wars (slightly later in comics form, slightly earlier in paperback) in approach and consequence. See also Grant Morrison’s Multiversity in paperback in November…
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JIM BUTCHER’S DRESDEN FILES: WILD CARD
Mark Powers, Jim Butcher, Carlos Gomez
9781524100988
HB
£22.99
Dynamite Entertainment
Jim Butcher’s bestselling Dresden Files debuted some years back in graphic novel form. Jim may have passed on the scripting duties, but it’s still in-continuity and canon, so he’s at least on editorial and arcane seal-of-approval stamping duties. Set between White Night and Down Town a weird double murder escalates into a triple-faction conflict that threatens all of Chicago. Enter Harry Dresden, PI, wizard and urban fantasy sensation.
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Tim Bayley

@timbayley1

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Hope some or all of that’s of interest / help! Do also check out our highlights of previous and forthcoming months this year via the links below…

JULY AUGUST SEPTEMBER OCTOBER NOVEMBER & DECEMBER

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