Rebellion – Solaris & Abaddon Books – publishing Jan-Jun 2016!

CPP - Rebellion Publishing
Here’s a look at what Rebellion Publishing have coming for you over the period January to June 2016!
Due to a slightly smaller output from Abaddon Books we’ve combined their titles into a shared article with Solaris; all titles are Solaris unless otherwise indicated.
We’ll be bringing you our particular recommends of all publishers including Rebellion together by month of publication. 
Note: Publication dates are liable to change and some jackets are still to come…
Additional: Titles from Rebellion’s YA & children’s imprint Raven Stone can be found on their site. Rebellion also own the UK’s and the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic 2000AD, and you can discover the fantastic graphic novels / collections coming from Jan-Jun on our page for them here [to come]

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Series Profile: DEATH SENTENCE! (Updated)

CS - Death Sentence V1
First on our radar from Mark Millar’s rave recommend on his site on publication, Monty Nero’s and Mike Dowling’s apocalyptic superhuman romp grabbed critical acclaim and rave reviews. Now, with artist Martin Simmonds, Death Sentence is back and zooming in on London (as if it hadn’t been f***ed up enough already ;)) C - Death Sentence London Cover_A
Mind there’s always that concern of that ‘awkward second album’, especially with a change of band-member – not to worry here though: Martin Simmonds is knocking it out of every park in the big city!

Anyway, while we tend to focus on graphic novels / collected editions of comics, we are particularly keen to see crazy stuff happening to the city of our residence; so here’s our profile of what’s here, coming and been in the world of Death Sentence and Death Sentence: London!

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Extract / Preview: If/Then by Matthew de Abaitua

CB - AR - Aug - If-Then 1
Whatever he was, he was not quite a man. The bailiff found the soldier hanging off a coiled bank of barbed wire running through the heart of Blackcap farmhouse. The soldier did not seem to feel pain and struggled in silence to free his arms and chest from the metal thorns. Though his features were well-defined – a blade of a nose and dark brows – the eyes were mindless, the mouth loose and undirected. No, not quite a man.
The soldier bucked urgently against the new, coarse-cut wire, opening up a bloodless wound: his skin parted along a seam on his forearm, revealing pulpy flesh threaded with spokes of tightly-packed crimson seeds like a pomegranate. The bailiff grasped the hard pale sheen of the soldier’s wrist, just above the wound. The soldier’s uniform – overcoat and pack, a light khaki tunic with two breast-pockets, woollen trousers with a safety pin through the waistband, puttees and hob-nailed boots – smelt of damp earth and the chemical cleansers of the assembly line. He wore an armlet marked with two red letters: SB.


The bailiff knelt down and stroked the soldier’s close-cropped hair as if calming a child crying in the night.

“My name is James,” said the bailiff. Read the rest of this entry »

Extract / Preview: The Martian by Andy Weir

CB - Dr - Oct - The Martian CHAPTER 1
I’m pretty much fucked.
That’s my considered opinion. Fucked.
Six days into what should be the greatest two months of my life, and it’s turned into a nightmare.
I don’t even know who’ll read this. I guess someone will find it eventually. Maybe a hundred years from now.
For the record . . . I didn’t die on Sol 6. Certainly the rest of the crew thought I did, and I can’t blame them. Maybe there’ll be a day of national mourning for me, and my Wikipedia page will say, “Mark Watney is the only human being to have died on Mars.”

And it’ll be right, probably. ’Cause I’ll surely die here. Just not on Sol 6 when everyone thinks I did.

Let’s see . . . where do I begin? Read the rest of this entry »

Extract / Preview: The Moon and the Sun by Vonda McIntyre

CBP - Jul - The Moon & the Sun


Midsummer Day’s sun blazed white in the centre of the sky. The sky burned blue to the horizon. The flagship of the King crossed abruptly from the limpid green of shallow water to the dark indigo of limitless depths.
The galleon’s captain shouted orders; the sailors hurried to obey. Canvas flapped, then filled; the immense square sails snapped taut in the wind. The ship creaked and groaned and leaned into its turn. The flag of Louis XIV fluttered, writing Nec Pluribus Impar, the King’s motto, across the sky. The emblem of Louis XIV, a golden sunburst, shone from the galleon’s foretopsail.
Free of the treacherous shoals, the galleon plunged ahead. Water rushed against the ship’s sides. The gilt figurehead stretched its arms into sunlight and spray. Rainbows shimmered from its claws and from the flukes of its double tail. The carven sea monster flung coloured light before it, for the glory of the King.

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Cyber Realm by Wren McDonald: Preview!

CG - Jul - Cyber Realm When we spotted a title that sounded like full-on SF in Nobrow’s forthcoming list we were really intrigued; because if it’s Nobrow and it sounds like straight SF it isn’t going to be! So what is Cyber Realm? Well the best words we can find is that it’s kind of Tin-Tin meets Robocop / I, Robot. Beyond that check it out for yourself – preview pages below and title info at the bottom!


CE - Cyber Realm 1 Read the rest of this entry »

ODY-C by Matt Fraction & Christian Ward: Preview!

CGP - Jun - Ody-C
From Image: New York Times bestselling writer Matt Fraction (SEX CRIMINALS, Hawkeye) teams up with Christian Ward (INFINITE VACATION, Olympus) for an expansive, immersive, retelling of Homer’s classic epic in ODY-C. The first five issues of the series are collected into trade paperback on the 23rd June. An epic 26 centuries in the making, ODY-C, VOL. 1 is set in the aftermath of a galactic war a hundred years long. ODY-C Vol 1 P1 ODY-C Vol 1 P2

Odyssia the Clever Champion and her compatriots begin their longest, strangest trip yet: the one home. ODY-C—the gender-bent, eye-popping, psychedelic, science fiction odyssey—begins here.

Art preview, reviews and title information below!

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URBAN FANTASY (and choice associated fictions) publishing Jan-Jun 15!

Car - Urban Fantasy The Urban Fantasy sub-genre is a personal favourite of mine, not to mention very apt for this here site and having great general / mainstream appeal and potential. I’d always planned, along with our Steampunk page, to put up a seasons listing here.
And, having just last night had the pleasure and fortune of interviewing the urbanly fantastical JIM BUTCHER (! – article imminent!), it struck me as just the right time to do it…

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The Hunter – Joe Sparrow: PREVIEW!

CBP - NB - The Hunter We’re lucky to have some interior art to share from Joe Sparrow’s THE HUNTER coming from NoBrow Press in May – check it out below!
Full title details, description and author information can be found beneath and you can see the same and more fabulous May titles in our May Graphic Novel Recommends and more Jan-Jun titles from NoBrow here.

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LonCon3 – The Steampunk Literature Panel

A packed room greets us late arrivals with people already having ignored the ‘No Seats, No Entry’ notice, sprawled and stood at the back and sides like Victorian underclass. The panel is made up of Girl Genius creator Kaja Foglio, East Midland author Kim Lakin-Smith, Germany’s Oliver Plaschka and Spain’s Marian Womack, all chaired by Gollancz’s Gillian Redfearn and is in full flow.

The discussion is inexorably heading toward the big ‘what is steampunk‘ question though that, and perhaps some answers, are repeatedly touched on along the way. Aesthetic is the key word, and the love of the genre being ‘playful’; other defining elements or aspects are noted as being the culture of the time: fashion, politics, manners and multiculturalism, and technology and its implications, whether or not treated with a second world twist. As the chair later wryly queries ‘Do you have to do more than stick a gear on it to make it steampunk?’

Kim Lakin-Smith

Kim Lakin-Smith

(Which reminds of the joke of: Q –  ‘How many steampunks does it take to change the light bulb?’ A – ‘Two; one to change the lightbulb and the other to put the unnecessary cog on it.’)

More questions: Are steampunk and Victoriana the same, is one a subset of the other? The panel seem happy that Victoriana, perhaps the more general love of the style of the period and it’s history, has been around for a lot longer. Though now, especially with the modern Steampunk / goth ‘tribe’, there’s a new sense of Victoriana spilling out from steampunk literature.

Steampunk Cos-play Either way, the Victorian period is the era of colonialism and imperialism. The panel debates briefly on whether they’re inseparable from the Steampunk genre – it sounds they’re happy creatively to not confirm they are, though it seems likely they will usually play a part. More interestingly the discussion moves to characters, ethnicity and nationality, how even foreign steampunk authors can be prone to locate their work in the classically British if not London locale. Gillian Redfearn also warns of the danger of unexamined steampunk, in which in the glorifying of the period the issues of race and exploitation are lost; also how less accessible steampunk works may be to non-white readers, given the colonial backdrop and societal if not racial superiority of the British of the times.
And how often are the main or strong characters therein non-British? (It’s a fair point and gets the mind working as to what new ground an author might break by building on the notion.)  On a more upbeat note a number of the panel are emphatic in their appreciation of Steamfunk, in which the African and postcolonial experience and culture is combined with steampunk; that was a new one on me and something to investigate…

Alongside that, later period offshoots of Victorian era steampunk are raised – Dieselpunk, being of the 20’s and (if I heard this right) Dustpunk of the 30’s, each with their own aesthetic, style and view of the world, partly understood through the entertainments of the time.

Oliver Plaschka alludes to the relationship of cyberpunk and steampunk and that the former was of the 80’s, representing the fears and technological developments of that decade (which makes me wonder what the future retropunk of that era might be – NewRomanticpunk? Postpunkpunk?) Then Kaja Foglio expresses her love of and interest in the pre-Victoriana period and it’s potential for similar science fictional interpretation (Enlightenpunk anyone?)

Kaja (and Phil) Foglio

Kaja (and Phil) Foglio

As we move toward the big question, which of course was never going to be categorically answered, Foglio is clear that she won’t ascribe her work a category, Steampunk or otherwise. If you give it a category, she notes, someone is just going to tell you you’re not doing it right. If she has an idea and likes it then it goes in, she says.

Besides, as a friend of hers pointed out, ‘It’s not very ‘punk’ to let people tell you how to do it.’

No arguments here.


LonCon3! – Arrival at Excel, 5pm

A few days ago I was confirmed as having a press pass and, after recovering from a ‘Carabas presents: ALTERNATIVE DRINKS‘ night have made my way down to the great LonCon3!

Staff have been absolutely fabulous – a wonderful and busy few days ahead.

Here’s a few shots of the first hall which is half devoted to already campaigning for which country / city will host a future LonCon – and this one’s only just started! On arrival...
Particularly liked Beijing / China’s display with these banners of the Transformer’s leaders rendered in traditional Chinese art… Apparently you bring the banners together for their protective influence:Like would you really mess with a teamed-up Optimus Prime and Megatron coming at you with Cybertronian kung-fu?

Love it.

Back soon with more…