Hi there,

Here's the new index of book reviews and interviews I've done since the creation of this blog. Looking back, I can't quite believe I did all this. . . One thing's for sure, though. It's cool to have you guys along for the ride!;-)




- The Book of Words (J. V. Jones)
- Children of Amarid (David B. Coe)
- The Outlanders (David B. Coe)
- Eagle-Sage (David B. Coe)


- Shadowmarch (Tad Williams)
- Ship of Magic (Robin Hobb)
- Mad Ship (Robin Hobb)
- Ship of Destiny (Robin Hobb)


- The Runes of the Earth (Stephen R. Donaldson)
- David B. Coe interview
- Tad Williams interview
- The Silences of Home (Caitlin Sweet)
- Quicksilver (Neal Stephenson)


- L. E. Modesitt, jr. interview
- Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith (Matthew Stover)
- The Confusion (Neal Stephenson)
- The System of the World (Neal Stephenson)


- The Darkness that Comes Before (R. Scott Bakker)
- The Warrior-Prophet (R. Scott Bakker)
- Fool's Errand (Robin Hobb)
- Golden Fool (Robin Hobb)


- Fool's Fate (Robin Hobb)
- It's Only Temporary (Eric Shapiro)
- In the King's Service (Katherine Kurtz)
- The Curse of Chalion (Lois McMaster Bujold)
- Paladin of Souls (Lois McMaster Bujold)


- Robin Hobb interview
- The Years of Rice and Salt (Kim Stanley Robinson)
- Neverwhere (Neil Gaiman)


- The Golden Compass (Philip Pullman)
- The Subtle Knife (Philip Pullman)
- The Amber Spyglass (Philip Pullman)
- Dune: The Butlerian Jihad (Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson)


- Dune: The Machine Crusade (Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson)
- Dune: The Battle of Corrin (Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson)
- Shaman's Crossing (Robin Hobb)


- One Palestine, Complete (Tom Segev)
- Anansi Boys (Neil Gaiman)
- Knife of Dreams (Robert Jordan)
- Legacies (L. E. Modesitt, jr.)
- Bloodline of the Holy Grail (Laurence Gardner)


- Darknesses (L. E. Modesitt, jr.)
- Scepters (L. E. Modesitt, jr.)
- Thud! (Terry Pratchett)
- Kitty and the Midnight Hour (Carrie Vaughn)


- The Thousandfold Thought (R. Scott Bakker)
- The Radioactive Redhead (John Zakour and Lawrence Ganem)
- Giants of the Frost (Kim Wilkins)
- Elantris (Brandon Sanderson)
- R. Scott Bakker interview
- Lord of Snow and Shadows (Sarah Ash)



- Steven Erikson interview
- Prisoner of the Ironsea Tower (Sarah Ash)
- Children of the Serpent Gate (Sarah Ash)
- The Amber Wizard (David Forbes)


- Steven Erikson interview
- Gardens of the Moon (Steven Erikson)
- Naomi Novik interview
- The Rule of Four (Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason)
- Brandon Sanderson interview
- Talon of the Silver Hawk (Raymond E. Feist)
- David Eddings interview
- Deadhouse Gates (Steven Erikson)
- King of Foxes (Raymond E. Feist)


- Paul Kearney interview
- His Majesty's Dragon / Temeraire (Naomi Novik)
- Memories of Ice (Steven Erikson)
- In the Eye of Heaven (David Keck)
- David Keck interview


- Exile's Return (Raymond E. Feist)
- House of Chains (Steven Erikson)
- Throne of Jade (Naomi Novik)
- Caitlin Sweet interview


- George R. R. Martin interview
- Ian Cameron Esslemont interview
- City of Saints and Madmen (Jeff Vandermeer)
- Tracy and Laura Hickman interview
- Jacqueline Carey interview
- Midnight Tides (Steven Erikson)
- Black Powder War (Naomi Novik)
- The Lies of Locke Lamora (Scott Lynch)
- Robin Hobb interview


- Ian Cameron Esslemont interview
- Vellum (Hal Duncan)
- Scott Lynch interview
- Zodiac (Neal Stephenson)
- Kitty goes to Washington (Carrie Vaughn)


- Carrie Vaughn interview
- Twilight Falling (Paul S. Kemp)
- The Bonehunters (Steven Erikson)
- Dawn of Night (Paul S. Kemp)
- Forest Mage (Robin Hobb)


- Midnight's Mask (Paul S. Kemp)
- Mistborn: The Final Empire (Brandon Sanderson)
- The Mark of Ran (Paul Kearney)
- This Forsaken Earth (Paul Kearney)
- Night of Knives (Ian Cameron Esslemont)
- Lonely Planet Bluelist


- Flight of the Nighthawks (Raymond E. Feist)
- A Game of Thrones (George R. R. Martin)
- Melanie Rawn interview
- Into a Dark Realm (Raymond E. Feist)
- Joel Shepherd interview
- Good Omens (Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman)


- Fragile Things (Neil Gaiman)
- Crossover (Joel Shepherd)
- River of Gods (Ian McDonald)


- Spellbinder (Melanie Rawn)
- Ian McDonald interview
- A Clash of Kings (George R. R. Martin)
- The Blade Itself (Joe Abercrombie)


- Winterbirth (Brian Ruckley)
- Joe Abercrombie interview
- The Crooked Letter (Sean Williams)
- Orson Scott Card interview
- Brian Ruckley interview
- Peter Watts interview
- Blindsight (Peter Watts)



- Guy Gavriel Kay interview
- The Name of the Wind (Patrick Rothfuss)
- Ysabel (Guy Gavriel Kay)
- Dan Simmons interview
- Ink (Hal Duncan)
- China Miéville interview


- Unclean (Richard Lee Byars)
- Tad Williams interview
- The Terror (Dan Simmons)
- Keeping it Real (Justina Robson)


- C. S. Friedman interview
- Before They Are Hanged (Joe Abercrombie)
- Hal Duncan interview
- Joe Abercrombie interview
- Reaper's Gale (Steven Erikson)
- Patrick Rothfuss interview
- Kitty Takes a Holiday (Carrie Vaughn)


- Shadowplay (Tad Williams)
- Ian Cameron Esslemont interview
- Jacqueline Carey interview
- Breakaway (Joel Shepherd)
- Richard Morgan interview


- Brasyl (Ian McDonald)
- Red Seas under Red Skies (Scott Lynch)
- Black Man/Thirteen (Richard Morgan)
- Ian McDonald interview
- The Lees of Laughter's End (Steven Erikson)

The Lees of Laughter's End

I just finished Steven Erikson's newest novella, the third volume in A Tale of Beauchelain and Korbal Broach. In terms of chronology, The Lees of Laughter's End occurs in between Blood Follows (Canada, USA, Europe) and The Healthy Dead (Canada, USA, Europe), but I'm told that each reads as a stand-alone.

This was my first experience with Erikson's short fiction, and this novella proved to be an hilarious Malazan interlude. We follow the misadventures of the two necromancers introduced in Memories of Ice (Canada, USA, Europe), as well as those of their poor manservant Emancipor Reese, along with the rest of the hapless crew aboard the Suncurl.

Although the author drops a few hints pertaining to the Malazan series, this novella is, for the most part, an entertaining episode taking place before Beauchelain and Korbal Broach's arrival on Genabackis. This work demonstrates just how funny Steven Erikson can be when he's working outside of the parameters associated with the main sequence.

Given the fact that the Malazan world is so vast, I found it interesting to have the action taking place in a locale we haven't seen before. Information about Lamentable Moll, Toll's City and the rest of the continent of Stratem, as well as the temporary presence of the Crimson Guard, was sort of neat. Hints pertaining to the Jhorligg appear to confirm new information regarding the K'Chain Che'Malle from Reaper's Gale (Canada, USA, Europe).

All in all, an extremely fun read that should get more than a few chuckles out of you. If you're a big fan of the Malazan saga, you will not be disappointed.

The final verdict: 7.5/10

For more info about this title: or amazon.

Malazan limited editions!:-)

Subterranean Press are about to announce that they have purchased the rights to publish limited editions for the first two volumes of The Malazan Book of the Fallen, Gardens of the Moon and Deadhouse Gates.

If the sales are good, they are planning to do the same with the subsequent volumes of the series. More information should be forthcoming on

I will also pass along whatever info I get from Bill, so stay tuned for more!;-)
Here's what Bill had to say:
Thanks to everyone who weighed in to our recent post about a fantasy series we’re going to be publishing. I’ve just been given permission by Tor — who’ve been great to work with on this — to announce that we’ve reached agreement to publish the first two volumes of Steven Erikson’s The Malazan Book of the Fallen. If sales of those two books (500 numbered copies and 52 lettered copies) are up to expectation, look for us to sign on the rest of the series. Steve and we have chosen Michael Komarck to provide 8-10 full color illustrations for each volume, as well as a chapter head motif to be repeated. We’ll have more details soon, but at this point it looks as though the lettered editions will feature a dust jacket different from the numbered, be housed in a custom traycase, and also have an exclusive gatefold pull out illustration.

This week's New York Times Bestsellers (May 29th)

In hardcover:

J. R. R. Tolkien's The Children of Húrin is down two positions, ending its fifth week on the charts at number 6. For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe.

Charlaine Harris' All Together Dead is down three spots, finishing its third week on the bestseller list at number 16. For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe.

Kelley Armstrong's No Humans Involved is down six positions, ending its third week on the NYT list at number 30. For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe.

Haruki Murakami's After Dark is down eleven spots, finishing its second week on the prestigious list at number 33. For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe.

In paperback:

Cormac McCarthy's The Road maintains its position at number 3. This marks the novel's seventh week on the NYT bestseller list. For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe.

Robin Hobb's RENEGADE'S MAGIC UK cover art

As always, another beautiful cover for Hobb's latest.

I was hoping to review this one before its pub date, but it seems that the page proofs were lost in the mail. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the package will soon show up.:-)
For more info about this title: Europe.

My upcoming interview with Steven Erikson

Many of you have been inquiring about this Q&A, wondering when it will be posted.

Erikson's computer crashed recently, which is why you guys are still waiting. Have no fear, I will post it as soon as I get the author's email!;-) The length of the interview is also an issue, I think. What was supposed to be a chat about Reaper's Gale (much like my recent chat with Ian McDonald) grew into a full-length Q&A by the time I was done selecting the questions. Then came the US cover art for The Bonehunters, and we knew we had to address that as well, so you get the picture.

Show a little patience, my friends. The interview is coming up!

P. S. I told Steven that the folks at would probably castrate me if he didn't tell us exactly how tall is Karsa Orlong, so hopefully you guys will have your answer!;-)

Win a copy of the limited edition of Cherie Priest's DREADFUL SKIN

Collectors rejoice!:-)

Here is another giveaway in collaboration with Subterranean Press, this time for a copy of the limited edition of Cherie Priest's Dreadful Skin. For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe, or check out

Here's the blurb:

Jack Gabert went to India to serve his Queen. He returned to London a violently changed man, infected with an unnatural sickness that altered his body and warped his mind.

Eileen Callaghan left an Irish convent with a revolver and a secret. She knows everything and nothing about Jack's curse, but she cannot rest until he's caught. His soul cannot be saved. It can only be returned to God.

In the years following the American Civil War, the nun and unnatural creature stalk one another across the United States. Their dangerous game of cat and mouse leads them along great rivers, across dusty plains, and into the no man's land of the unmarked western territories.

Here are three tales of the hunt.

Reader, take this volume and follow these tormented souls. Learn what you can from their struggle—against each other, against God, and against themselves.

The rules are the same as usual. First off, you need to send an email at reviews@(no-spam) with the header "SKIN." Remember to remove the "no spam" thingy.

Second, your email must contain your full mailing address (that's snail mail!), otherwise your message will be deleted.

Lastly, multiple entries will disqualify whoever sends them. And please include your screen name and the message boards that you frequent using it, if you do hang out on a particular MB.

Good luck to all the participants!

P. S. In related news, the limited edition of Scott Lynch's The Lies of Locke Lamora is sold out. But check in my list of links, because Clarkesworld Books still has a number of copies!;-)

You can still get your hands on the beautiful limited edition of Gordon Dahlquist's The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters, however. For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe, or

Here's to hoping that Subpress and I will have the opportunity to do more giveaways in the future!

Joe Abercrombie's THE BLADE ITSELF US cover art

As you can see, Pyr only did a few subtle changes. Which is quite all right, for the original Gollancz cover is gorgeous!

For those of you who can't wait till next fall but can't afford the international shipping charges, you can get a galley of The Blade Itself at Book Expo America, next weekend in New York. Sort of a sneak peek of Abercrombie's debut! Check Pyr's blog for more info.

Ian McDonald chats about BRASYL

Hi guys!

Here's a litte Q&A with Ian McDonald, author of the excellent scifi novel Brasyl (Canada, USA, Europe). If you haven't picked this one up already, I encourage you to do so!;-)


- Without giving anything away, what can you tell potential readers about Brasyl?

Oh, nothing except, that like the country, Brasyl sidles up to you, shakes its ass, gets you to buy it a drink and in the morning you wake up with an STD, your wallet gone and a kidney missing but the memory of a hell of a ride. A hell of a ride.

- India was the setting for River of Gods, and you used Brasil as a backdrop for your latest novel. What prompted you to set your story in that country?

Brasil is big, Brasil is sexy, Brasil is cool and scary and powerful and a major player and considers itself a superpower in waiting. Like India (which I used in River of Gods) it also fails to appear on the US mental radar, which endears it to me automatically. It has an alternative black culture to the US's, one that is as vibrant and significant but expresses itself in a different cultural language. It has an appalling history, yet somehow has built the most ethnically diverse nation on earth. The Brasilian attitude to skin colour interests me, because it seems like the reverse of ours in the North --if you're not white, you have to be black. In Brasil, if you're not black, you're white. 'One drop of milk...' as they say. I dislike the 'BRIC' expression (Brasil, Russia. India, China) because it sounds like econono-speak and I certainly don't give it any credence --it's already outdated and by and large I find popular economists lag pretty far behind the curve-- it struck me as the least likely one of that quartet of fast-track nations and the most interesting from a writing point of view. China doesn't interest me, it's too obvious and too well known. India, when I was researching it, was the short sharp shock, it was all there, out on display, take it or leave it or make of it what you will. Brasil charms, Brasil seduces and it creeps under your skin so that months later, impressions and people are still unpacking. For God's sake, it's got airports with cinemas in them! What's not to love?

- What extensive research did the writing of Brasyl entail?
A book seems to take me three years now. I'm filled with admiration at writers who can put out two books a year --I can't work that way. I'm slow --damn slow-- and lazy. I read a lot. I make my record collection tax deductible. I subscribe to online newspapers. I talk to people and try to learn a bit of the language and, in the course of this book, became a bit of an expert on Brasilian football (that's the real football, not the one where you throw rather than kick: futebol). That's two years or so. Then I start to write. Two pages a day. I've got a day job, (confession time: I'm a factual television developer and producer: I am Marcelina) that's enough, that works for me. That's another year or so, given human frailties. And of course, the being there...

- As was the case with River of Gods, how much of a challenge was it to get every little detail "right" in Brasyl?

No one gets every little detail right. In a sense, all knowledge is local, there are people five miles up the road know things I don't about the place they live. I hope I can get the voice and the feel and the way of thinking right. Eighty percent of your research is never used , thrown away, gone. You only use twenty percent at the very most, but you have to do it to know which twenty.

- What was the spark that generated the idea which drove you to write Brasyl in the first place?

I didn't want to do a River of Gods 2, and I wanted to steer clear of obvious places like China and Indonesia. And I'm a long-term Brasilophile. I liked the idea of SF in a country that thinks of itself as the Nation of the Future --Brasilia is one of the most SF-nal cities you can imagine --in the old-skool '2001: Space odyssey' sense: Sao Paulo is equally sfnal, in the Bladerunner sense. You can see how all this falls together in my head. The whole thing of shifting realities, which gave rise to the conceit of e-waste, the the next step in e-waste: q-waste: what spills over and gets put out in the trash when quantum computing becomes widely accessible. These things fall together.

- What was the inspiration that compelled you to make a Jesuit missionary from the 18th century the central character of a science fiction novel?

I love 18th century stuff --I always think of it very much as the century that shaped the modern western world --intellectually and politically-- the Victorians complete the technological and economic transformation. That we seem to be willing to hand back Enlightenment thinking hand over fist saddens me. Luis Quinn was one of the last characters I thought of --I was well into my research and had the 2006 and 2032 sections worked out before it struck me that the story needed a third cord in the rope, and it seemed a nice piece of chutzpah to make SF out of eithteenth century Brasil. This was a wild time --the Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch and French were all battling for control of the Amazon basin and the coast. It's impossible to write about that era without involving the Jesuits --in the Guarani Missions along the Parana river they created the only completely literate society on earth, before they were destroyed by Portugese slave entradas. These were fighting priests --a lot of them didn't go as gently as Jeremy Irons in The Mission. Never pass up a chance to swash-buckle.

A lot of that section is factual --or perhaps, historically inspired. Dr Robert Falcon isn't real, but his brother Jean-Baptiste was and he did invent the programmable loom years before Jacquard. There were rival expeditions to South America to measure the sphericity of the earth, and there was a floating basilica on the Rio Negro. Knowing all this, how could I not use it?
- How arduous was it to weave together the stories of Edson, Marcelina and Father Luis across time, space and reality? Making everything come together the way you did was an ambitious endeavor.

That's the trick of being a writer. It also helps to have the whole thing outlined before I write a word. I also wrote each of the strands complete before starting another, then adjusted them so the beat-points matched up.

- You mentioned in our last interview that you always try to twist or break the conventions of the genre when you set out to write something new. So which perceived scifi conventions did you attempt to twist or break in Brasyl?

I wanted to play with the conventions of parallel worlds SF: much of the trick seems to come from the sense of estrangement of a parallel world that looks like ours but is very very different: Hitler wins, the South win, Rome never falls, Magick works... I liked the idea of parallel worlds where the differences are minute --minuscule, and that the reader may have to look outside the novel to find that much-vaunted 'PoD'.

- How did you came up with the Q-blade concept? I have to say that this must be the first time a laser blade cannot be construed as a Star Wars rip-off.

Nicked the idea from Norman Spinrad in 'The Men in the Jungle' where they have what he calls 'snip-guns' --the perfect guerrilla weapon, which is totally silent and breaks atomic bonds. Like a giant invisible knife. A Brasilian take seemed to me to be much more up close and personal, hence the knife. Swords seemed a bit --well-- poncey.

- With Brazil as the setting for this book, there was no way you could produce anything that didn't include soccer/football, right!?!

Absolutely! One of the great joys of researching the book was visiting the Maracana in Rio, the sacred turf and the whole huge bowl --it doesn't't hold anything like the 200,00 it used to-- and the lobby where the footprints of all the greats are impressed in concrete: Pele, Socrates, Zizinho, Ronaldo: it was genuinely moving. And up the Amazon, miles from anywhere, our boat rounded a sandspit and there on the sand were two sets of goalposts... In Brasil, to quote the great Bill Shankley 'football's not a matter of life and death; it's more important than that.'

- Some readers were a bit put off by the ending, which leaves a lot of things up in the air. And yet, in a novel in which storylines shift across time and reality itself, would it have been possible to come up with an ending that offered resolution for every plotline? I doubt it. . .

You're right. It's game-on at the end of the book. The team is assembled. I didn't want to get into SFnal things like overthrowing the universal order and all that --after all, they're a priest, a TV producer and a two-bit impressario --much less some ridiculous Bad Guy behind it all. What is important for them is that they're on the side of the angels now.

- Brasyl marks your return with Gollancz in the UK. What prompted that decision? In the USA, you remain one of Pyr's headliners. How satisfied are you with the way they've been marketing you in North America?

Good to be back with Gollancz again: I wasn't goign to get the marketing push from S&S for this one that I had with River of Gods, so my agent suggested a move. In the US, Lou Anders is a marketing powerhouse and that's pretty close to everything. You can have the greatest book since the Bible, but if people don't know about it... Lou is in there slugging away for every book in his line. And it's paying off: vis his Longform editor Hugo nomination.

- Your next book, The Dervish House, is set in 2027 Turkey. What can you tell us about this new project?

Istanbul about 2027, after Turkey joins the EU and Europe now runs from the Aramn Islands to Ararat. Takes place over five days, six main characters. Greater Istanbul already has ten million people...

- Like me, you appear to be an avid traveler. Do you believe that the old traveling adage "the journey is more important than the destination" applies to you when the time comes to write a new novel?

Much as I Love the act of journeying (I've never grown out of the thrill of flying, though budget airlines are doing their best to disabuse me): no destination, no book.

- In our last interview, you praised David Louis Edelman's Infoquake. Are there any new titles you feel we should keep an eye on?

Er.. I'm not reading any SF at the moment, but I have a sneak preview of Chris Roberson's next from Pyr and you will like it. You will like it a lot.

Black Man/Thirteen

Though I had heard countless positive things about Richard K. Morgan, I had yet to sample some of his work. But with Altered Carbon (Canada, USA, Europe) winning the Philip K. Dick Award and Market Forces (Canada, USA, Europe) winning the John W. Campbell Award, I was aware that I needed to discover what the buzz was all about. His latest, Black Man/Thirteen, being a stand-alone, it proved to be just what I needed. For those of you who are a bit confused, Black Man is the title for the UK edition, while Thirteen is the US title. You can probably guess the reason why. . .

Carl Marsalis is a variant Thirteen -- one of the genetically engineered subjects of a failed government/military program to create the deadliest of soldiers. He is now a hit man with a UN mandate to find and dispatch rogue Thirteens. The problem is that Carl has lost the will to kill. When a job takes a turn for the worse and he's arrested in Miami, Carl believes that he can now leave his troubled past behind him. Unbeknownst to him, what appears to be a mentally unstable Thirteen returns from Mars and crashes the ship he's on in the Pacific, only to reappear later and leave a trail of corpses in his wake for no apparent reason. Soon afterward, government officials show up to bail Carl out of jail. In exchange, they want his expertise to help them deal what those seemingly random murders. Unfortunately, it won't take long for him to realize that there is much more to this than meets the eye.

Morgan's writing style and his fine eye for details make the narrative leap off the pages. The author truly knows how to make the story come alive, and I found the imagery quite compelling.

The worldbuilding is interesting, though Morgan doesn't delve too much on how it all came to pass. The USA have imploded and the country has split into three separate States: the Pacific Rim, the North Atlantic Union, and the Republic, also known as Jesusland. China is now a superpower and the rest of the world appears hard-pressed to keep up with them. It is a fascinating backdrop, to be sure, and it's too bad Richard Morgan didn't spend a bit more time explaining how it all unfolded.

The characterizations are well-done, the dialogues gritty. The author knows how to keep the readers interested by allowing us to learn more about the characters by increments. The Carl Marsalis/Sevgi Ertekin tandem provides a nice balance between the Thirteen and the COLIN agent. The supporting cast is comprised of a good bunch of characters, including the Norton brothers and Carmen Ren.

The pace is great -- Black Man/Thirteen is a veritable page-turner! However, the storytelling is at times a bit uneven. Nothing that really takes anything away from the novel, mind you. But Morgan sometimes takes the "easy" route, and Marsalis' hunches prove to be on target, though they're coming from way out of left field. With such a absorbing and convoluted plot, I felt decidedly short-changed when that happened.

My only true complaint in what is an otherwise nearly flawless work of science fiction lies in Morgan's depiction of Jesusland. I am well aware that the southern States of the USA are a land of contradictions, not easily understood by outsiders. But to portray the majority of their inhabitants as God-fearing, Bible-waving, racist dumbasses is quite a stretch, in my humble opinion. As I mentioned, Richard Morgan's backdrop is an interesting extrapolation of a possible future for the United States of America. Yet his depiction of the Republic goes a bit too far -- as if there's not a single soul in those States with a single shred of common sense and judgement. I mean, when it comes to human rights, they have as much moral celirity as countries like Libya. Again, that's pushing the envelope a bit too far. Honestly, there is a lot more to those States and their citizens, and the differences between the north and the south are a bit more complex than that. Hence, although most people likely will not even notice this (it doesn't particularly have much of an impact on the tale), it made me grit my teeth on more than one occasion. I guess I'm just tired of what has become a somewhat Western European misconception about the southern States, namely that religious fundamentalism is the norm everywhere. Heck, not everyone born there is a traditionalist right-wing inbred hillbilly fuckwit! I figure it irked me to such an extent because everything else is so well-crafted that it appears that Morgan let his Leftist side take over for just that facet of his creation. As I said, this doesn't affect the overall quality of this novel, but it left something to be desired.

Black Man/Thirteen is a high-octane, action-packed and violent book. It is also an intelligent and thought-provoking thriller, one that will even satisfy readers from outside the genre.

Like Ian McDonald's Brasyl, Morgan's latest is a sure nomination for a Hugo Award. Moreover, despite its flaws, Black Man/Thirteen might well be the book of the year!:-) I commend this one to your attention, as it is one of the books to read in 2007.

The final verdict: 9.5/10

For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe

Shameless Plug: The Deathgate Cycle

Some of you have been asking me what my next shameless plug would be, so here it is!;-) And with wonderful cover art of Fire Sea by Keith Parkinson to boot! You can see more at

After Guy Gavriel Kay, R. Scott Bakker and Steven Erikson, this time I elected to go with the authors which made me fall in love with the fantasy genre. Many people from my generation were introduced to the genre by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman's Dragonlance novels. I was only 12 years old at that time, and we could say that I never looked back!

Like many boys and girls my age, we followed Weis and Hickman through the Dragonlance Chronicles and Legends, and then onto the Tales and beyond. When they signed with Bantam Spectra, most of us continued to buy their books, of course. After two trilogies, Weis and Hickman came up with the most ambitious project on the market at that point: a 7-book cycle.

The Deathgate Cycle remains to this day one of my favorite fantasy series of all time. Without the shadow of a doubt, this was Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman at their peak. Ambitious, fun, entertaining, thought-provoking -- it's one hell of a series. For those of you looking for something special, something you don't have to wait for the next volume, something you can get in paperback and thus good for every budget, you can't go wrong with The Deathgate Cycle. Check it out! You won't be disappointed!:-)

- Dragonwing (Canada, USA, Europe)
- Elven Star (Canada, USA, Europe)
- Fire Sea (Canada, USA, Europe)
- Serpent Mage (Canada, USA, Europe)
- The Hand of Chaos (Canada, USA, Europe)
- Into the Labyrinth (Canada, USA, Europe)
- The Seventh Gate (Canada, USA, Europe)

Join Haplo and his dog, the assassin Hugh the Hand, Alfred, and the rest of this nice cast of disparate characters in one of the most entertaining series I've ever read!

Win a copy of Richard Morgan's BLACK MAN/THIRTEEN

Hi guys!

I'm about 2/3 into this one, and let me tell you that Richard Morgan's Black Man/Thirteen (Canada, USA, Europe) could well be the book of the year! I didn't think that another scifi novel could beat Ian McDonald's Brasyl (Canada, USA, Europe), but I was wrong.

And now, one lucky winner will receive a copy of this great work of science fiction, compliments of Del Rey Books.

The rules are the same as usual. First off, you need to send an email at reviews@(no-spam) with the header "13" Remember to remove the "no spam" thingy.

Second, your email must contain your full mailing address (that's snail mail!), otherwise your message will be deleted.

Lastly, multiple entries will disqualify whoever sends them. And please include your screen name and the message boards that you frequent using it, if you do hang out on a particular MB.

Good luck to all the participants!

This week's New York Times Bestsellers (May 22nd)

In hardcover:

J. R. R. Tolkien's The Children of Húrin is down one position, ending its fourth week on the charts at number 4. For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe.

Charlaine Harris' All Together Dead is down seven spots, finishing its second week on the bestseller list at number 13. For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe.

Haruki Murakami's After Dark debuts at number 22. For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe.

Kelley Armstrong's No Humans Involved is down ten positions, ending its second week on the NYT list at number 24. For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe.

In paperback:

Cormac McCarthy's The Road is down two spots, finishing its sixth week on the bestseller list at number 3. For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe.

KUSHIEL'S JUSTICE contest winners!

Well, this giveaway has been the most popular in the history of this blog. With 595 registrations (thanks in large part to the author's newsletter), it beat George R. R. Martin, our previous record-holder. In fairness, the blog today is much more popular than when I held the Martin contest. With an increase of nearly ten times the amount of traffic, I knew that we'd have a new champion at some point. Let's see how long she can hold on to this title!;-)

Thanks to the kind folks at Warner Books, five lucky gals will now get their hands on an autographed copy of Jacqueline Carey's latest, Kushiel's Justice (Canada, USA, Europe).

The winners are:

- Ashley Gooder, from Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada

- Naomi Levin, from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

- Megan Black, from Atlanta, Georgia, USA

- Martha Dumas, from Portland, Connecticut, USA

- Kelly Kelley, from Laguna Beach, California, USA

Thanks to all the participants and stay tuned for more!;-)

Upcoming giveaways will include Richard Morgan's Thirteen, Robin Hobb's Renegade's Magic and David Bilsborough's The Wanderer's Tale. With more to follow!:-)

Scott Lynch news from Subpress

Hi guys!

Bill from Subterranean Press just emailed me this news:

Since its publication less than a week ago, we’ve seen stock on Scott Lynch’s The Lies of Locke Lamora go from 150 copies left to fewer than 60. At this rate, we expect it to sell out in the next couple of weeks, so if you want to get in on the ground floor of one of the best fantasy series currenty running — and we’ve already secured rights to the sequel, Red Seas Under Red Skies — get your order in now.

So for you fans and collectors out there, you better hurry if you want to get your hands on this limited edition!:-) Check out for more information, or click on these links: Canada, USA, Europe.

In addition, I was told that I would receive an ARC of the limited edition of Red Seas under Red Skies, and that there would be a giveaway for this one as well!;-) How cool is that!?!

Also, though it's not a done deal yet, Bill is trying to acquire the rights for another set of limited editions that would please a LOT of people who hang around here, myself included! I'll let you know when it becomes a reality!

Red Seas under Red Skies

I'm well aware that many of you have been eagerly awaiting this book review. As was the case with me, I'm persuaded that most of you are curious to see if this one lives up to the expectations generated by its predecessor, The Lies of Locke Lamora. Hence, let me put your mind at ease. With Red Seas under Red Skies, Scott Lynch lives up to readers' high expectations!

And by that I mean that if you enjoyed Lynch's debut, you'll undoubtedly like this second volume in The Gentleman Bastard sequence. To me, Lynch's books are like summer blockbuster movies. They're big productions with plenty of action, all in all quite the roller-coaster ride. They'll never win an Oscar, but in terms of fun and entertainment they pack a sure KO punch! If you're looking for a grand fantasy epic, don't bother. But if another imaginative and convoluted caper is your cup of tea, then buckle up and enjoy the ride! Think of it as an original cross between Ocean's Eleven and Pirates of the Carribean.

Locke and Jean's newest set of misadventures are sure to thrill fans of The Lies of Locke Lamora. Having screwed up things as bad as humanly possible in Camorr, both were forced to flee and eventually settled in Tal Verrar. Interestingly enough, that's where the Sinspire, the most exclusive and notorious gambling house, can be found. Orchestrating their most perfect crime, Locke has his sight set on the Sinspire's fortune. Unfortunately, Locke's plans have a tendency to go awry, and both he and Jean somehow find themselves among pirates on the Sea of Brass. Mix the Gentlemen Bastards and piracy on the high seas, and you find yourself with a recipe for one fun-filled adventure!

As was the case with the author's debut, worldbuilding doesn't play much of a role in Red Seas under Red Skies. Even less so than in The Lies of Locke Lamora, truth be told. Although the action was more or less restricted to the city of Camorr in the first volume, Lynch created a veritable living and breathing locale as the backdrop for his story. Camorr sort of became a character in and of itself. The imagery wasn't quite the same with Tal Verrar, Port Prodigal and the other locations where the action takes place in this sequel.

The aspect which elevates this novel to another level is the characterization. Red Seas under Red Skies is a character-driven book, and Locke is once again the heart and soul of the tale (though Jean ups his game considerably in this one). The relationship between both characters is further fleshed out, making them even more endearing. Although he can craft an exciting, action-packed story, with witty dialogues throughout, I feel the characterizations remain Scott Lynch's bread and butter. He truly excels in that department. Which is why, I believe, I was a bit disappointed by the supporting cast. There are too many clichéd "tough chicks" for my taste, and what feels like an inordinate amount of female pirates (ferocious, every last one of them, of course). Somehow, that rang a little false. I'm all for strong female characters, but other than Ezri Delmastro I found the rest too clichéd in comparison.

The pace is brisk for the better part of the novel, though the rhythm becomes a bit sluggish in certain instances while the boys are at sea.

Kudos go out to Lynch for closing the show in unexpected fashion! Once more, Red Seas under Red Skies is an extremely entertaining adventure. Conventional wisdom says that the author will likely not be able to maintain this level of interest with a different caper in every volume of this seven-book cycle. And yet, conventional wisdom said that the James Bond franchise couldn't last. Still, Lynch's style ensures that this tale remains fresh in a genre that is too often known for its stagnancy. In any event, there are some hints of an overall and more ambitious story arc, so I'm curious to see what Lynch has in store for us in the forthcoming Republic of Thieves.

You can safely pre-order this one!:-) Red Seas under Red Skies may not be the best fantasy novel you'll read this year, but I doubt you'll have more fun reading anything else!

The final verdict: 8/10

For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe

Sean Williams contest winners!

Thanks to Pyr, three lucky people will get a complimentary copy of Sean Williams' The Hanging Mountains (Canada, USA, Europe), sequel to The Crooked Letter and The Blood Debt.

The winners are:

- April Vrugtman, from Kissimmee, Florida, USA (amberdrake on

- Joy Isley, from Mesa, Arizona, USA

- Michele DeCrow, from Santa Barbara, California, USA

Thanks to all the participants!;-)

Raymond E. Feist news

Just received this press release from HarperCollins UK:


HarperCollins are delighted to announce the acquisition of world rights in six new epic fantasy novels by international bestselling author Raymond E. Feist. Publishing Director Jane Johnson concluded the multi-million dollar deal with Abner Stein which will see HarperCollins publishing Feist globally throughout its sister companies and controlling his foreign language sales, which will be co-ordinated by Rights Director LucyVanderbilt working with Senior Rights Manager Airlie Lawson and Rights Executive Rachel Clements, as well as entering into the digital market with at least one exclusive project.

Johnson says, 'Raymond Feist is one of the true greats of modern fantasy. MAGICIAN was chosen by the public as part of the BBC TV The Big Read, and I am thrilled that Ray will be continuing his 22-year association with us, since we have published him from the very start of his career. This new deal represents a true partnership between author and publisher and we all expect great things from it. It's a very exciting move.'

Feist says, ‘I’m delighted to sign this new contract with HarperCollins. I have nothing but respect for the entire team and the continued support, belief, and enthusiasm they have collectively shown for my work. It is that belief and enthusiasm that made it vital for me to continue this relationship and endeavour to build on past success.’

Another new Jacqueline Carey Q&A

Hi guys,

Robert at just posted a new interview with the author. You can read it here.

En joy!:-)

Quote of the day

Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe.


Ian Cameron Esslemont contest winners!

Hi there!

The names of our five winners have been drawn. Each of them will receive a copy of Ian Cameron Esslemont's Night of Knives (Canada, USA, Europe), compliments of Transworld.

The winners are:

- Marcel de Graaff, from Amsterdam, the Netherlands

- Nik Whitbread, from Regents Park, Australia (Alrin on

- Gustav Nylund, from Åkarp, Sweden (sadface on

- Kesera Elangasinghe, from Mt Pleasant, Australia (Paran on

- Gearoid O'Sullivan, from Dunedin, New Zealand (Binder of demons on

Thanks to all the participants and stay tuned for much more!;-)

This really sucks. . .:-(

I was meaning to post about this last week, but those dreaded final Bar exams got in the way.

Sadly, this is bad news to Paul Kearney and his fans. Considering the amount of shit available on the shelves of the fantasy/science fiction sections in bookstores around the world, it defies comprehension that a talented author such as Kearney now finds himself without a publisher on both sides of the Atlantic.

This is a message he posted on his website a few days back. You can read it and the readers' replies here:

I've been pretty remiss about visiting the site of late, for which I apologise heartily to you all. Things have been rather busy as regards the future of the Sea Beggars series. I'm sorry to say that sales of both books have not been brilliant, both in the UK and the US, and so both the UK and US publishers have decided to pull the plug on the series. In the conventional sense, there will be no more books...

I'm completely gutted by this decision, as are both my editors, but these days the bean counters have the final say. Both books got excellent reviews everywhere, and Forsaken garnered me the best reviews of my life - but good reviews do not put money in the pockets of the publisher.

That said, my US agent is still in discussions with a different publisher about bringing out the last two books in the series, though it's a long shot. I'm considering publishing the third book for free, here on the site, chapter by chapter - just to get it out there. I'd very much like to hear any input from you guys on the matter. I'd hate to see the series just disappear down a hole.

Having said that, I am (hardly surprisingly!) somewhat disgusted with the whole publishing business at the moment, and will almost certainly take a complete break from writing for a while - perhaps for good. I have had an idea for a reality/fantasy novel set in postwar Europe which my old editor would be keen to publish, but I'm thinking it might just be best to make a clean break and set up in some other kind of work. It doesn't come easy - I've been a professional writer for sixteen years now - but it says much for my sheer disgust as the business of publishing as it is conducted these days.

I'd like to thank everyone who has turned up on this site and made an input - I greatly appreciate them all, and thank you all for your kind words.

Best of luck to you, Paul. I'm sure that another publisher will pick up The Sea Beggars.

Win a book a month for a year from Orbit!

Most Europeans readers are well acquainted with Orbit, probably the most popular SFF imprint in the UK. The good news is that Orbit is crossing the pond and will be launching here in North America next fall. Part of the Hachette Book Group USA, the first American editions of Orbit titles will see the light in September. One of the main titles part of this inaugural launching will be Brian Ruckley's Winterbirth, which made my Top 10 of 2006. Pretty nifty cover, by the way!;-)

To promote the coming of this new imprint in the USA, the folks at Orbit came up with a very cool contest. One lucky winner will receive a book a month for an entire year! For more information, check out

The contest is open to US residents only, and all you need to do is fill out this form.

As the date of the official launching approaches, I'll have more news for you. Needless to say, I'll be working in collaboration with Alex and the rest of the Orbit crew to help them spread the word about new authors and titles. So expect to hear more about this new fantasy and science fiction publisher!:-)