Archive for the 'Meme' Category

Frühlingsbücher 6: Chloe Healy, TOR UK

Der letzte Beitrag in Sachen phantastischer Frühjahrsliteratur kommt von Chloe Healy, Sprecherin von TOR UK:

city-and-the-city-fc„Spring 2009 is a hugely exciting time for Tor UK. The team here is relatively new; Editorial, Marketing and Publicity changed hands in 2008. We’ve brought lots of new energy and ideas to the table and plans are coming to fruition. We’ve just announced a partnership with one of the leading UK SF magazines, SciFiNow, to find the next Tor author. We’ll be asking UK-based readers to submit a full synopsis and the first three chapters of their Science Fiction or Fantasy novel and the judging panel will announce the winner of a publishing contract with Tor in November.

In other news, six Tor authors were dominating the literature events programme at this year’s Sci-Fi-London festival (29 April – 4 May). China Miéville, Tony Ballantyne, Adrian Tchaikovsky, Liz Williams, Mark Charan Newton and Charles Stross all have been discussing their latest works alongside SF luminaries Stephen Hunt, Joe Abercrombie, Nick Harkaway and Stephen Deas. Look out for video footage of the events on Sci-Fi-London.com and SciFiNow.co.uk.

We’re also celebrating John Scalzi’s Hugo award nomination for Zoe’s Tale and the acquisition of three more books in Adrian Tchaikovsky’s brilliant ‘Shadows of the Apt’ series.

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Spring publishing highlights include the much anticipated new novel from China Miéville, The City & The City (May 2009). It’s a bold new direction for China; a speculative fantasy novel within the structure of a police procedural crime mystery. Early review coverage deems it ‘head and shoulders above most of its peers in the genre‘. It will doubtless be one of the very best speculative fiction titles of 2009’ Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist.

June sees the publication of a stunning debut, Nights of Villjamur, from a promising name to watch in British fantasy: Mark Charan Newton. And in July we’ll be celebrating a new novel from Alan Campbell, God of Clocks, volume three of the Deepgate Codex.

Further treats to look forward to later in the year include new novels from Adrian Tchaikovsky, Neal Asher and Gary Gibson. You can keep up to date with goings in Spring and beyond at panmacmillan.com.“

Frühlingsbücher 5: Marc Gascoigne, Angry Robot Books

Heute schreibt Marc Gascoigne, Publishing Director bei Angry Robot, dem neuen HarperCollins-Ableger, über das erste Programm des jungen Verlages:

greyred_on_black_10cm_72dp„As Spring rapidly threatens to turn into Summer, a pesky voice in the Angry Robot office keeps counting down just how long it is till we launch. The voice belongs to Lee Harris, AR’s inimitable assistant editor, and today he said the terrifying words, „Nine weeks!“ In that short time, our first titles will hit the stores in the UK (September in the US) and our mission to create a new imprint devoted to best in SF, F and WTF?! will be unveiled. Which means that, after months of passionate discussion and sinister plotting, we can unveil these beauties to the world at last:

MoxylandLauren Beukes
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One of the premises behind Angry Robot is that we want to find books for what, for want of a better phrase, we’re calling „Post-YA“ readers. This near-future thriller is very much
in the mould of recent books by Cory Doctorow and Charles Stross. It features a bunch of digital native young folks who don’t realise how much their lives depend upon being connected – to credit, communications, personal ID – until they find themselves disconnected. Very smart writing from a new South African writer who’s now spending her free time in refugee camps researching her next AR novel, about a shaman who will arise a few years from now to promise freedom to the stateless.

slights-72dpi-actual-187x300SlightsKaaron Warren
Everyone asks the question: Kaaron, you look like a perfectly pleasant mother and wife, so how the hell do you come out with these incredibly disturbing tales of everyday terror? We don’t know either, but we’re delighted and amazed that she does. From her temporary home in Fiji, Australian native Kaaron’s been attracting attention and awards in equal measure for her short fiction, but the incredible power of her writing in her debut novel is almost overwhelming. Using the now-familiar structure of a „misery memoir“, she explores life after death, the violence of grief and just what you’re meant to do when you realise that not only was your father a serial killer, you might be turning into one as well. The atmosphere of isolation and life out of kilter, of the rituals that her heroine Stevie creates to try to make sense of her life, has only one comparison point, that of The Wasp Factory. I think this book is more than worthy of standing next to that landmark. And dare I add, it’s just the first of three from Kaaron that we’re publishing.

Kell’s LegendAndy Remic
We’re releasing two books a month from our launch in July, so there are already close on a dozen Angry Robot babies I should be boosting to you here, but press me for just one more, and it’s got to be this explosive fantasy. Andy Remic has a reputation as the hardman of military SF thrillers, but when I discovered his first love was the epic heroic fantasy of David Gemmell it was obvious we had to help him explore that side of his writing further. Kell, the eponymous protagonist, is a fabulous creation, far from the hero he’s asked to be. And the bad guys? Let’s just say two words: clockwork vampires. Immense stuff, with great characters and incredible battle scenes. A fantasy trilogy with everything turned up to 11.

That’s just a taster of what’s wearing us out right now. But damn, this is such fun, and to be honest we keep chuckling maniacally as we contemplate all the reactions we’re going to get when our range hits the streets. If you’re interested, see angryrobotbooks.com for more. Must dash now. Got more nefarious plots to hatch.“

Frühlingsbücher 4: Philip Palmer

Memesis Virtualis today proudly presents:

Three books, by Philip Palmer

philip-palmer-author-of-debatable-space„Three strange worlds that have enchanted me recently are:  the eerie haunted Duma Key, in Florida; the murder-torn Jewish enclave of Alaska; and the far-future worlds of the Universe where humans once upon a time vanquished the Stargazer alien.

There are huge distances between these worlds, in terms of time, and place, and genre. That for me is one of the joys of reading; to enter a parallel universe conjured up in an author’s fevered mind.

The world of Duma Key, by Stephen King, is on the face of it, a real world. It’s a fictional location, but modelled on real places on Florida’s west coast. And the novel tells the story of a bluecollar millionaire Edgar Freemantle, who retires to Duma Key after an accident that has cost him an arm. But whilst there, Edgar is haunted by noises, and visions, a phantom ship, and some very scary ghosts. It’s a chilling novel with one foot in the world, one foot in nightmare, and one phantom fist in the reader’s face. King is a writer who is master of the thrilling evocation of people and place and period, and this 2008 bestseller shows no slackening of his storytelling skills.

And the book contains a shocking, thoughtful, painfully candid portrait of a man maimed in a vehicle accident – in a clear echo of King’s own experiences after a terrible car crash that left him seriously injured. From this shard of truth – a universe of mad imagining is created.

Michael Chabon’s The Yiddish Policeman’s Union is also astonishingly evocative. It conjures up the bizarre world of Jewish Alaska, where Yiddish is a second language and for many a first language,  and where shiksas and goyims are rare, and mensches do what mensches have to do. It is an uncanny, confident recreation of a world that never was, but which feels more real than reality.

In one parallel universe – ours! –  the Jews after World War II settled in Palestine, with sobering and long-lasting consequences for the Arab denizens. But in this different parallel universe, the Jews settled in Alaska – this was a real historical possibility, it just never happened – and although the Palestinians were thus spared a world of grief, these Jews of Alaska find that anti-Semitism will always deny them a homeland.

This bizarre, rich, funny, crazy novel is a rather good detective story; and a wonderful rich novel; and a truly great piece of alternative-history writing. I found myself inwardly raging,  ‘This is what so easily could have happened.’ And so the book packs a political punch, but  you have to think and mull a little before the punch lands.

In exhilarating contrast to this mainstream-novel-with-an-SF-conceit, Peter F. Hamilton’s The Dreaming Void is science fiction at its most science-fictiony. It’s a grand space opera, with amazing technology, ultradrive spaceships, post-life human beings living like angels in a computer hard drive, and a vast cast of characters. Hamilton nonchalantly picks up the strands of the story he concluded in his epic Commonwealth saga (Pandora’s Star and Judas Unchained) and starts all over again with a brand new tale. Paula Myo features as a character! The Stargazer wars are referenced lovingly. And many loose story-ends are carefully tied up, with the true obsessive’s attention to detail.

And this new story takes us into a world where psychic dreamers are leading their people into a black hole (or is it a trans-dimensional reality?) called the Void – even though this may spell the end of the Universe. This is not a synopsis, it’s just a nod in the direction of the story. But it seems to me that Hamilton, one of the finest and cleverest writers in modern SF, does something magnificent here. He interweaves a host of rich and engrossing stories into a dense tapestry of tale that is closer to fantasy than science fiction in its tone and feel. And yet his mastery of SF concepts and far future technology is exhilarating, and persuasive.

Hamilton’s novel  – the first in a trilogy that will surely make his previous vast epics look like footnotes – blazes a brave trail in modern SFF. It is what I like to call ‘ampersand’ fiction – not SF/F but SF & F.  And his bold concepts, like the Silfen (able to walk between worlds) and the Void, and the Dreamer, and his wonderful evocation of the Void world where telepathy and ‘third hands’ are a matter of course, make his novel into a rich blend of myth, yarn, and rattling good tale.

I hope and pray the story’s eventual third book conclusion is as perfect and heart-stopping as the final page of this, Hamilton’s first in the epic series.“

Mehr Frühlingsbücher

img_2359Halbzeit bei den Frühlingsbüchern.

Nach Lou Anders, Jim C. Hines und John DeNardo geht es morgen weiter mit Philip Palmer. Sein Debütroman „Debatable Space“ erschien im Januar 2008 bei Orbit und schon im November desselben Jahres legte Heyne mit „Zone“ die deutsche Ausgabe vor. Palmers zweiter Roman „Red Claw“ kommt im Herbst in die Buchläden. Morgen schreibt der britische Autor, der hartnäckig über sein Alter schweigt, hier über die Bücher, die ihn in diesem Frühling beschäftigen.

Danach wird Marc Gascoigne, Verleger des neu gegründeten HarperCollins-Imprints Angry Robot, neue Bücher des eigenen Hauses empfehlen, gefolgt von Chloe Healy, die uns die neuesten SF- und Fantasytitel von TOR UK näherbringt.

Stay tuned.

Frühlingsbücher 3: John DeNardo

n1275050202_84481Heute: John DeNardo, in seinen eigenen Worten „…one of the rabid cage-monkeys at SF Signal, a group blog that covers science fiction (and sometimes fantasy and horror) in all formats.  It’s a one-stop site for seeing what’s going on around the sf blogosphere, offering daily tidbits, book reviews, and a regular Mind Meld interview feature that provides a cross-section of viewpoints on a variety of genre-related topics.“

Seine Favoriten heißen:

The Repossession Mambo by Eric Garcia
It takes place in a bleak future where artificial organs are prohibitively expensive and people take out huge loans to pay for them. When they miss a payment, the Credit Union sends a Bio-repo Man after you to take back the merchandise, even it means leaving you with your insides spilling out. The narrator of the story is a Bio-repo Man, himself on the run.  Garcia’s stylish and fast-moving prose will hook you from the first page and take you for a ride.

The Walls of the Universe by Paul Melko
The basis for this novel was a Hugo- and Nebula-nominated novella and the novel is equally enjoyable. It’s a compelling treatment of the Many Worlds theory in which the protagonist, John Rayburn, meets the John Rayburn from another universe. The story explores how one might profit from such technology. Melko’s ideas are the stuff of wonder and there’s never a moment where you don’t want to find out what happens next.

Three Unbroken by Chris Roberson
Roberson’s Celestial Empire stories and novels (of which this is the latest) are not to be missed. It posits an alternate future history in which Imperial China has become a superpower and wages war with their frequent enemy, the Mexic Dominion. Here, the battle is taken to the Red Planet (Mars) and follows three separate players of the Dragon Throne. Roberson’s story never once falters as it serves up a tasty combination of world building, military strategy and characterization.“

Frühlingsbücher 2: Jim C. Hines

jimUS-Autor Jim C. Hines (Die Goblins) hat in diesem Frühjahr drei sehr unterschiedliche Favoriten:

Midnight Never Come by Marie Brennan. Set in the late 16th century, Midnight Never Come tells the tale of Elizabeth the Virgin Queen and Invidiana, faerie ruler of the Onyx Court below London. This is a book that invites you to slow down and savor, with rich worldbuilding and a story you can truly immerse yourself in.

Sly Mongoose by Tobias Buckell. Space zombies. Floating cities. And a kick-ass soldier leaping out of a spaceship and riding a heatshield down to the planet below, without a parachute. This is Buckell’s third novel, and his best so far. Plenty of action, fascinating cultures, and tension that holds you until the very last page then leaves you wanting more.

WebMage by Kelly McCullough. This is an older book I only recently picked up. It’s not deep, life-changing literature, but I loved it … not just because the main character, Ravirn, has a magical webgoblin named Melchior who changes into a laptop. (Though goblins do make everything better.) The book blends Greek mythology and modern-day computer hacking for a shamelessly fun ride.“

Frühlingsbücher 1: Lou Anders, PYR

Wie angekündigt hier Teil 1 der englischsprachigen Buchempfehlungen. Heute: Lou Anders, Cheflektor von PYR Books, USA.

„It’s really hard to pick between my children, as it were, but we have three books coming out that I’d love to bring to your attention. The first:

240x371_bloodofambroseThis month (April) sees the debut of James Enge’s Blood of Ambrose, a swords & sorcery fantasy that is very much  in the tradition of such greats as Fritz Leiber, Robert E. Howard, and Michael Moorcock, but with a modern slant. Enge mixes dark humor with gritty action in a similar vein to our author Joe Abercrombie. He has the same darkly humorous tone, the ability to move between comedy and very grim reality, only Blood of Ambrose is self-contained, and perhaps ends in a happier place than Joe’s trilogy. It’s also a step closer to the Fritz Leiber tradition, a bit like Scott Lynch in that regard, and like Lynch’s Gentleman Bastard books, the character continues in planned future books (This Crooked Way, The Wolf Age) even if Blood of Ambrose itself has real resolution.

In the words of New York Times best seller Greg Keyes, “James Enge writes with great intelligence and wit. His stories take twisty paths to unexpected places you absolutely want to go. This isn’t the same old thing; this is delightful fantasy written for smart readers.”We’ve had great reviews in Publishers Weekly and the Romantic Times, and everyone I’ve personally given it to to read have all told me that it’s something really special. But I already knew that! If you want to see for yourself, the first three chapters are up at the Pyr Sample Chapters blog as are two full short stories starring the same character, one original to the site.

midwinterweb1Last month, we released Matthew Sturges‘ Midwinter, a fantasy that stands out by being set entirely in the realm of the fae. It’s about a disgraced member of Titania’s royal forces, who is serving out a life sentence when he’s offered a chance at redemption, but only if he’ll lead a suicide mission into the Uncontested Lands between the forces of Queen Titania and Queen Mab.

Sturges himself is pretty big over here, as the writer of a number of very popular comic books for DC/Vertigo, including the Eisner-nominated Jack of Fables (co-authored with Bill Willingham), as well as Shadow Pact, Blue Beatle, House of Mystery and Justice Society of America. For me, Midwinter hews close enough to traditional fantasy to have broad appeal, but the things he does with Faerie (and the fact that the Fae realm does intersect with our realm, and in ways you might not at first expect), make this book surprisingly refreshing and different. We’ve signed him up for a sequel, The Office of Shadow, which will be an espionage tale, again in another realm. Again, there are sample chapters up at pyrsamples.blogspot.com.

Finally, June is going to see our first mass market paperbacks, as we are bringing Joel Shepherd’s Cassandra Kresnov series out in this format, beginning with book one, Crossover, and continuing with Breakaway and Killswitch. Joel is the first science fiction writer I have encountered who really internalized Masamune Shiro’s brilliant Ghost in the Shell and responded to it.

cassandratrilogy-7227601

There are plenty of books and movies out there about a the android that wants to be human, but very few about an android who knows she’s human that really explore the ramifications of both the similarities and the differences. Joel writes effortlessly about what it would mean to have your mind wireless enabled, and he does so in a world that is startlingly realized. He’s adroit at the nuances of socio-political situations, whether its interpersonal office tensions, interdepartmetal politics, the rivalry between security branches of the same government, or the rivalry between planets. Whenever I emerge from a Shepherd novel, he makes everyone else seem niave in their grasp on „how it really is.“ We’ve already had great success with Cassandra Kresnov, but I’m thrilled that the mass market format will let us reach even more readers. Again, sample chapters at pyrsamples.blogspot com.“


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