It’s getting to that time of year, once again, where Autumn is in the air. You know what I mean, you can smell it can’t you? Not only that, the weather is starting to turn and you find yourself looking for the winter coat that you shoved in a cupboard just before Easter. What’s particularly galling about this change in the weather is that August hasn’t even finished yet! What’s that all about? Where’s my Summer gone...? And breathe... :o)
There’s no escaping it though, we may not be on it just yet but we are looking at the home straight that will take us through to the end of the year. What should we be reading in the meantime? Here are a couple of reads that I’m looking forward to, feel free to add your suggestions in the comments below.
House of Fear: An Anthology of Haunted House Stories (Solaris)
The tread on the landing outside the door, when you know you are the only one in the house. The wind whistling through the eves, carrying the voices of the dead. The figure glimpsed briefly through the cracked window of a derelict house. Editor Jonathan Oliver brings horror home with a collection of haunted house stories by some of the finest writers working in the horror genre, including Joe R. Lansdale, Sarah Pinborough, Lisa Tuttle, Christopher Priest, Adam L. G. Nevill, Nicholas Royle, Chaz Brenchley, Christopher Fowler, Gary Kilworth, Weston Ochse, Eric Brown, Tim Lebbon, Nina Allan, Stephen Volk, Paul Meloy and more.
Jonathan Oliver did some sterling work in editing his last collection (‘The End of the Line’, reviewed Here) and I’ve got no reason to suspect anything different this time round, especially as a bunch of authors who contributed last time round are returning to contribute some more. This has the potential to be a really spooky read for when the nights really start to draw in (which will probably be tonight the way the weather is right now...) Look out for this book around the end of September/beginning of October.
‘Fated’ – S.G. Browne (Piatkus)
Over the past few thousand years, Fabio has come to hate his job. As Fate, he's in charge of assigning the fortunes and misfortunes that befall most of the human race - the 83 per cent who keep screwing things up. And with the steady rise in population since the first Neanderthal set himself on fire, he can't exactly take a vacation. Frustrated with his endless parade of drug addicts and career politicians, it doesn't help watching Destiny guide her people to Nobel Peace Prizes. To make matters worse, he has a five-hundred-year-old feud with Death, and his best friends are Sloth and Gluttony. And worst of all? He's just fallen in love with a human. Sara Griffen might be on Destiny's path, but Fabio keeps bumping into her - by accident at first, and then on purpose. Getting involved with her breaks Rule No. 1 - and about ten others - setting off some cosmic-sized repercussions that could strip him of his immortality...or lead to a fate worse than death.
Ok, this isn’t the kind of thing that you will normally see me reading here but you might well have done last year if my US review copy had arrived...! In the meantime I read S.G. Browne’s ‘Breathers’ instead (review Here) and the man himself was kind enough to stop by the blog and talk about the inspirations and influences that got him writing in the first place and culminated in ‘Fated’ (you can read that over Here). All of this piqued my interest in ‘Fated’ and I was lucky enough to finally receive a copy (from Piatkus this time) which I will definitely be reading. There are hints of Terry Pratchett’s ‘Mort’ here but if ‘Fated’ is anywhere near as good then that shouldn’t be too much of a big deal. ‘Fated’ should be on the shelves towards the end of next week, you might see a review then but the smart money is on that review appearing a little later than that.
‘The Outcast Dead’ – Graham McNeill (Black Library)
Has there been a bad ‘Horus Heresy’ novel? Actually, yes there has (I’m looking at you ‘Descent of Angels’...) but the good in this series outweighs the bad by, well... a lot! :o) Graham McNeill is one of the big name writers in the series and I know for a fact that he hasn’t written a bad ‘Horus Heresy’ book, I’m hoping for more of the same from ‘The Outcast Dead’. Look out for this one in November (that will give those of you who haven’t been reading the series plenty of time ot catch up!)
‘The Republic of Thieves’ – Scott Lynch (Gollancz)
After their adventures on the high seas, Locke and Jean are brought back to earth with a thump. Jean is mourning the loss of his lover and Locke must live with the fallout of crossing the all-powerful magical assassins the Bonds Magi. It is a fall-out that will pit both men against Locke's own long lost love. Sabetha is Locke's childhood sweetheart, the love of Locke's life and now it is time for them to meet again. Employed on different sides of a vicious dispute between factions of the Bonds Sabetha has just one goal - to destroy Locke for ever.
Here’s a tricky one... The Gollancz catalogue tells us we can expect to see ‘Republic’ sometime in November but Amazon disagrees and reckons it won’t be available until March next year. I make a point of not trusting Amazon release dates but I would have thought there would be Advance Copies flying around kind of now-ish if the November date was accurate. Oh well, I guess I’m just going to have to be all excited about it until I find out otherwise ;o) If the last two books are anything to go by then ‘Republic of Thieves’ will certainly make for a great ‘rainy afternoon’ read.
That’s me for now (otherwise I will go on forever) but what about you? What books are you looking forward to getting your hands on between now and the end of the year? Comments in the usual place please! :o)