Related to: 'Julianna Baggott'

Headline Review

Six Tudor Queens: Anne Boleyn: A King's Obsession

Alison Weir
Authors:
Alison Weir
Tinder Press

A Place Called Winter

Patrick Gale
Authors:
Patrick Gale

** Shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award 2015 **If you've never read a Patrick Gale, stop now and pick up the Sunday Times Top Ten hardback and paperback bestseller, A PLACE CALLED WINTER - picked for the BBC Radio 2 Simon Mayo Book Club and the Waterstones Book Club.To find yourself, sometimes you must lose everything.A shy but privileged elder son, Harry Cane has followed convention at every step. Even the beginnings of an illicit, dangerous affair do little to shake the foundations of his muted existence - until the shock of discovery and the threat of arrest force him to abandon his wife and child and sign up for emigration to Canada.Remote and unforgiving, his allotted homestead in a place called Winter is a world away from the golden suburbs of turn-of-the-century Edwardian England. And yet it is here, isolated in a seemingly harsh landscape, under the threat of war and madness that the fight for survival will reveal in Harry an inner strength and capacity for love beyond anything he has ever known before.

Headline

Near Enemy

Adam Sternbergh
Authors:
Adam Sternbergh

The sequel to the Edgar-nominated SHOVEL READY, featuring kill-for-hire antihero Spademan. Perfect for fans of INCEPTION, LOOPER and Hugh Howie.'Anyone who still lives in Manhattan and has anything of real value to protect does it with a shotgun, not a deadbolt. So the problem isn't getting in, it's getting out.'When New York was hit by a dirty bomb, the city became a burnt-out shell and only the wealthy were able to escape, to a virtual reality quite different from the world around them. Former garbage man, Spademan, lost his wife and his livelihood - in a city comprised entirely of garbage, there's little one man can do. So he became a hit man, clearing up in a whole new way.But now the virtual world is under threat from elite terrorists operating from somewhere in New York and Spademan is tasked with tracking them down. He's not used to having enemies - his foes usually end up dead pretty quickly - but he's about to find out just how close they are, and how dangerous they can be...

Headline

Burn

Julianna Baggott
Authors:
Julianna Baggott

An epic tale for fans of Justin Cronin, THE HUNGER GAMES and Cormac McCarthy. The final part in the PURE trilogy.Partridge has escaped the safety of his father's empire and left the Dome, where his people - the Pures - have sheltered for so long. He has ventured into the destroyed world inhabited by the Wretches, who live crippled by their injuries. Pressia, a Wretch, is desperate to decode the secrets of the past and, together with Partridge, she must seek out the answers that will save all their futures. But Partridge's actions will not be forgiven. As the Dome unleashes horrifying vengeance upon the Wretches, Partridge has no choice but to return to face the darkness that lies there, leaving Pressia to continue searching for the truth that will change the fate of the world for all time.

Headline

The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Neil Gaiman
Authors:
Neil Gaiman

WINNER OF THE SPECSAVERS NATIONAL BOOK AWARDS 2013 BOOK OF THE YEAR The Ocean at the End of the Lane is the bestselling magical novel from Neil Gaiman, one of the most brilliant storytellers of our generation and author of the epic novel American Gods, and the much-loved Sandman series. 'Possibly Gaiman's most lyrical, scary and beautiful work yet. It's a tale of childhood for grown-ups, a fantasy rooted in the darkest corners of reality' (Independent on Sunday). If you loved the mesmerising world of Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus or were drawn into J.K. Rowling's magical universe, this book is for you. It began for our narrator forty years ago when the family lodger stole their car and committed suicide in it, stirring up ancient powers best left undisturbed. Dark creatures from beyond this world are on the loose, and it will take everything our narrator has just to stay alive: there is primal horror here, and menace unleashed - within his family and from the forces that have gathered to destroy it. His only defence is three women, on a farm at the end of the lane. The youngest of them claims that her duckpond is an ocean. The oldest can remember the Big Bang.The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a fable that reshapes modern fantasy: moving, terrifying and elegiac - as pure as a dream, as delicate as a butterfly's wing, as dangerous as a knife in the dark.

Headline

Fuse

Julianna Baggott
Authors:
Julianna Baggott

The next part in the epic PURE trilogy, for fans of Cormac McCarthy, Justin Cronin and Suzanne Collins. Partridge has escaped the safety of his father's empire and left the Dome, where his people - the Pures - have sheltered for so long. He has ventured into the destroyed world inhabited by the Wretches, who live crippled by their injuries. Pressia, a Wretch, is desperate to decode the secrets of the past and, together with Partridge, she must seek out the answers that will save all their futures. But Partridge's actions will not be forgiven. As the Dome unleashes horrifying vengeance upon the Wretches, Partridge has no choice but to return to face the darkness that lies there, leaving Pressia to continue searching for the truth that will change the fate of the world for all time.

Headline Review

Playing Away

Adele Parks
Authors:
Adele Parks
Headline Review

Tell Me Something

Adele Parks
Authors:
Adele Parks

When Elizabeth and her Italian husband Roberto decide to leave London for romantic Italy and his family business, Elizabeth hopes the change in lifestyle might help boost her chances of conceiving their longed for child. But the idyll shatters as her wily mother-in-law seems bent on destroying her marriage, and Roberto's beautiful, significant ex is a constant unwanted presence. Unwanted by Elizabeth, at least. Is Elizabeth's ferocious hunger for a baby enough to hold a marriage together or is it ripping it apart? And what about the gorgeous American stranger who's suddenly walked into her life?

Headline Review

Husbands

Adele Parks
Authors:
Adele Parks

A witty and insightful look at relationships and whether you can ever escape your past from Adele Parks, the bestselling author of ABOUT LAST NIGHT.Love triangles are always complex but in Bella's case things are particularly so as she is married to both men in her triangle. She plans never to reveal her first marriage to husband number two Phillip - after all, Stevie is no longer part of her life. That is until, inconveniently, her best friend introduces her new man to Bella and it's none other than husband number one. Could things get more complicated? Well, only if Bella and Stevie fall for one another again... *Includes bonus material*

Headline

Pure

Julianna Baggott
Authors:
Julianna Baggott

We know you are here, our brothers and sisters. We will, one day, emerge from the Dome to join you in peace. For now, we watch from afar, benevolently.Pressia Belze has lived outside of the Dome ever since the detonations. Struggling for survival she dreams of life inside the safety of the Dome with the 'Pure'.Partridge, himself a Pure, knows that life inside the Dome, under the strict control of the leaders' regime, isn't as perfect as others think. Bound by a history that neither can clearly remember, Pressia and Partridge are destined to forge a new world.(P)2012 Headline Digital

Headline

Sadie Walker is Stranded

Madeleine Roux
Authors:
Madeleine Roux
Posted by Leah Woodburn, Editorial

Blog: Staff Hot Picks For 2012

The fairy lights have been packed away, it’s relentlessly gloomy outside, your rail ticket has gone up, there’s still Christmas cheese in the fridge. As months go, January isn’t the best. Perhaps that’s why we spend most of it looking forward – for it’s the month, is it not, where we peer into the year ahead and contemplate what it has in store for us.

October Book of the Month

A steamy excerpt from The Chalet

A steamy excerpt from The Chalet, an e-novella in Tara Sue Me’s tantalising Submissive series. The Chalet is out on 21st October 2014.

CHAPTER SAMPLER

eBook of Month

Evil will follow you… Wherever you go. Can you find a way to hide? If you like Karen Rose, Katia Lief or Mary Burton you’ll love Debra Webb’s bestselling Faces of Evil series. Click below to read the first chapter of the third instalment, POWER, published for the first time in the UK this month.

POWER by Debra Webb

eBook of the month

Evil will follow you… Wherever you go. Can you find a way to hide? If you like Karen Rose, Katia Lief or Mary Burton you’ll love Debra Webb’s bestselling Faces of Evil series. Click below to read the first chapter of the third instalment, POWER, published for the first time in the UK this month.

Stirred, not shaken...

Blog: Book Slam with Bond

In a year that’s included Budapest’s European First Novel Festival, Fowey Festival in the heart of Daphne du Maurier country, and the Edinburgh International Book Festival, it was my last event of 2013 that turned out to be my favourite of all. The other Sunday I took part in Book Slam at The Tabernacle in Notting Hill, along with William Boyd, musician Ana Silvera, and poet and playwright Inua Ellams. Yes, I did say William Boyd. He of the latest Bond novel, Solo. He of Any Human Heart, which is only one of my favourite books of all time. Fine company, indeed. Book Slam was founded around ten years ago by award-winning writer Patrick Neate. The Guardian’s Robert McCrum says ‘Book Slam describes itself as “London’s leading literary shindig” and it is’. Meanwhile Simon Armitage reckons it’s ‘music hall meets night club meets book club’. There are a ton of live literature events out there these days, a very different landscape to when Book Slam started out, and many have their own distinctive qualities. All to the good, I say. There’s still something brilliantly pure about the simple act of being read to - it’s how most of us first experienced stories, after all. Among the Book Slam crowd something of a campfire spirit prevails, rapt faces listening in the dark, creating an experience that’s both solitary and intimately shared. Then a musician comes on, then a poet, a comedian. It’s this combination that makes Book Slam unique. The floor rips up with laughter. The appreciation is raucous. These nights have always attracted a band of stellar supporters, the likes of Dave Eggers, Zadie Smith, David Nicholls, Hari Kunzru. Earlier this year Caitlin Moran and Hadley Freeman shared a stage, and later this month you can catch Chuck Palahniuk. Then there are the newer faces, which Team Book Slam are always keen to champion too. That’s how I found myself at The Tabernacle with William Boyd last week. Trying not to be too sycophantic I told William how happy and slightly amazed I was to be sharing a billing with him, and he twinkled (he did!) and said ‘that’s Book Slam’. So last week then, 007 and me. The tables are laid out cabaret-style, and the drinks are flowing. I’ve done a few events by now and I’m starting to grow sort of used to a formula. Only the set-up here is a little bit different. No panel, no Q&A, no other author sitting reassuringly alongside… just you, a microphone and a spotlight – quite an exposing combination, which probably adds to the allure for the audience. The last time I was faced with a similar sort of thing, at an Amnesty event in Edinburgh, I couldn’t read for crying, but that’s another story (one you can read here, if you really want to). Anyway, I took a breath and pictured the audience naked, and let me tell you, the Notting Hill crowd that night were a fine-looking bunch. I read two passages from A Heart Bent Out of Shape and told the story that led to the writing of one of them, involving a disastrous haircut, an elderly man, and une tarte magnifique. All in all, I had a ball, and the best part was that when I was through, I got to sit back and enjoy the rest of the show – Ana Silvera’s haunting rhythms and amazing musicality, William Boyd radiating inimitable venerability as he told us about his special recipe for salad dressing, and Inua Ellam’s impeccable hosting, rounding off the night with three of his poems to massive applause. This very month, five years ago, I took a course with the Arvon Foundation, and was lucky enough to have Book Slam’s founding father Patrick as one of my tutors. As Inua said, ‘feels like you’ve come full circle’, and it did. I’m a sentimental thing at the best of times, but this knowledge definitely added to my pleasure in taking part. So… thank you, Patrick, and to Book Slam cohort Elliott Jack, too. It was a real treat. If all this has tickled your fancy, it happens roughly monthly, at places like The Tabernacle, The Clapham Grand, and The Flyover, and even sometimes here in Brizzle, with Nikesh Shukla at the helm. There’s a brilliant podcast, a YouTube channel, and two volumes of short story collections, published in the last two years. They’re also branching into ventures of the culinary variety, with School Dinners, which sounds immeasurably more nourishing (mind and body) than any school dinner I’ve ever had. Book Slam’s original philosophy was to ‘promote the diversity of contemporary literature, support writers, and break down the boundaries between ‘literary’ and ‘popular’ culture’. I think ‘make it fun’ was probably in there somewhere too. Are they still living up to it? In the spirit of Bond, I’ll defer to Carly Simon…. “Nobody Does It Better…”

The Headliners' Verdict...

Blog: The Man Booker Prize 2012

Bringing Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel It was love at first sight. Our romance started this summer in Wolf Hall, where Thomas Cromwell and I were first acquainted. At first I was unsure of him: he grew up on the wrong side of the tracks, had a penchant for loose women and was quick to swing a sword around. However, after a brief spell abroad Cromwell reinvented himself, and I swiftly fell head over heels for the most complex fictional character I have ever come across. He is man of contradictions, conflicting passions and sometimes less than altruistic motives. In Bringing Up the Bodies, we see a darker side of Cromwell but he is just as compelling to watch in action. He has achieved the ultimate position of power, but at what price, and how long will he sit at Henry VIII’s side? Mantel’s series is dazzling, noisy, crowded, rich, bloody and brilliant. The fact that my review has basically consisted of me banging on about her main character as if he were a real person is testament to her skill as a storyteller – and her ability to breathe new life into a historical period which has been much represented. I will be cheering on for her and Cromwell come Booker Night. Bring it! Sam Eades, Publicity Umbrella by Will Self Will Self’s first novel is a paragraph-free stream-of-consciousness affair, with a perplexing smattering of italics. Challenging – yes. And I like a challenge. The problem is – and perhaps this is some self-indulgent weakness on my part as a reader – I’m the sort that likes to be rewarded for it, too. I love Ulysses. Perhaps I didn’t discover this until I read it through for the second time, when I began to appreciate its rhythms, its many personalities, its celebration of the complex, surreal, heterogeneous nature of human experience. And I loved it because of its audaciousness: breaking new literary ground, becoming, of course, a byword for Modernist experimentation in form. And I think that was my beef with Umbrella. I hesitate to say that all fiction must have a point, but, in a sense, perhaps it should. It should, in some way, contribute to or challenge our understanding of ourselves and of the world in which we live. And I’m afraid I didn’t feel that Umbrella was making any such contribution. It felt, instead, like a kind of literary historical re-enactment. Joyce was smashing preconceptions of what a novel should be, putting up two fingers to the form that had, in one way of another, persisted for several centuries. Will Self, meanwhile, is aping Joyce – a writer who did the same thing, only far better, almost a century ago. Lucy Foley, Editorial Swimming Home by Deborah Levy Coming in at under 200 pages, this is the skinniest book on the shortlist, but one that packs a significant punch. It’s the story of some family friends whose villa holiday in the South of France is disturbed when they find a naked woman swimming in the pool. It turns out to be an unstable young woman called Kitty, who believes she has a special connection to a member of the party, Joe, a famous poet. Levy is brilliant on atmosphere and from the moment Kitty emerges from that pool, you sense that any equilibrium that existed between the characters assembled at this villa has been irreversibly disturbed, to be replaced by an uneasiness that pervades the entire novel. Levy’s writing is super sharp and taut; every sentence is charged and every scene is loaded. The end result is massively compelling and hugely unsettling; this is a novel that leaves a strange taste in your mouth, in the very best way. Leah Woodburn, Editorial The Lighthouse by Alison Moore ‘The Honeymoon was dreadful – they had delayed fights and lost luggage, twin beds and upset stomachs, bad weather and arguments.’ A bleak tale of a man’s continual attempts to explain the tragedy of his past – from his mother’s abandonment to his wife leaving him after yet another betrayal. The protagonist, Futh, leaves for Germany in an attempt to escape his demons. But by stumbling into the paths of an unhappily married couple running the hotel in Hallhaus, his fate is sealed as soon as he unwittingly adds to their misery. Alison Moore’s skill is to keep the tension high in what is an otherwise immensely depressing story. Richard Roper, Editorial The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng This novel was a pleasure to read. Tan Twan Eng’s writing style is so calming, despite at times describing the horrors of life in a slave labour camp for our protagonist, Teoh Yun Ling. She is a fascinating character, soul survivor of a prisoner-of-war camp who becomes a judge, prosecuting war criminals and terrorists both to seek justice for the tortures she endured and to find out more information about the camp. The novel is split between the present day, where she has recently retired and is reconnecting with old friends in Malaya and 1951, when she first starts out as prosecutor and is forced to face her demons and seek out Aritomo, ‘a man who had been the gardener of the Emperor of Japan’ to ask him to build a garden for her sister who did not survive the camp. Both characters are unapologetic of their feelings and beliefs regarding the hostilities but Aritomo agrees to teach Yun Ling the art of Japanese gardening so she can build the garden herself. It is full of cultural and historical complexities that do echo other books that I’ve read but there are some fascinating concepts unearthed, which I absolutely relished. Laura Skerritt, Creative and Marketing Narcopolis by Jeet Thayil I’d heard good things about this unusual, opium-soaked tome, and was pleased to find it as eccentric, vibrant and narcotically stimulating as I’d been led to expect. I’ve always been intrigued by portraits of drug addiction (Melvin Burgess’ Junk, anyone?!), and Thayil paints a disturbing but charged portrait of a group of people enslaved by opium, and their slow descent into hallucinatory madness. And through the opium smoke is an evocation of the chaotic city of Bombay and the quirky, diverse people who populate it. I’d recommend this for anyone who wants something different – or a reading experience which is the literary equivalent to meandering through an opium-induced dreamworld. Emily Kitchin, Editorial

Posted by Frankie Gray, Editorial

Blog: Far From Utopia: The Love Of Dystopia

It cannot have escaped anyone’s notice that Hunger-Games fever – and a love of all things dystopian – has gripped the nation. If you’re not faced with the sight of books baring the all-too-familiar grey tie, it’s more than likely that your tube journey will be populated with numerous commuters reading The Hunger Games. The love of the dystopian is by no means new. In fact, it is over 60 years since the publication of George Orwell’s seminal 1984 and it is as widely read and studied today as ever. But why has the genre seen such overwhelming growth in popularity now? Why has The Hunger Games trilogy so captured the imagination of young readers and adults alike?

Posted by Myke Cole, author

Blog: Reflections on New York Comic Con

You might want to sit down for this one, it’s going to come as a bit of a shock. I hate to be the guy who pulls the rug out from under you, who shatters the tender illusion under which you’ve lived your entire life until now. The Internet didn’t always exist. No, I’m serious. There was a time when people didn’t have the means to communicate instantly, to answer nearly any question, to check in on the hilarious antics of anyone’s cat, at any time, anywhere in the world. It was a dark time. Marriages collapsed as the lack of Wikipedia meant that couples couldn’t resolve arguments with the click of a mouse. People starved to death, lost on unfamiliar roads, without their iPhone’s maps feature to guide them to civilization. Cats rode Roombas, dashed into paper bags, cuddled up beside dogs without anyone to witness their heart-breakingly cute hilarity. I’ve been called a tough guy because I’ve been to war, but I think the real testament to my durability was that I lived through this Dark Age. It was especially tough on nerds. We thrive on minutiae, esoteric cultural touchstones that are precious to us precisely because they are so rare. It’s hard to find a guy who can identify all the different types of Storm Trooper armor (and yes, that includes the Emperor’s Royal Guard) at a glance, who can tell you the THAC0 for a 3rd level Thief without having to look it up. When we meet those who can, we bond with them, reveling in a sense of cultural identity which I am assuming is the cousin to how Masai feel when they celebrate a warrior killing yet another lion. With a spear. By himself. Anyway, with no Internet, it was harder to find one another, especially when reaching out to the wrong person could get you mercilessly teased, or worse, smacked around and stuffed in a locker. To facilitate the location and bonding process, we nerds were drawn to gatherings known as “cons.” (And no, they didn’t involve tricking kindly old ladies out of their life savings). Generally held in hotels, these gatherings allowed a few hundred of us to bond in safety, reveling in our tribal songs (filking) and interpretive dances (LARPing). It also doubled as pretty much the only place on earth any of us would ever have a chance in hell of kissing a member of the opposite sex. I lived for cons. My life was one interminable stretch of time between them, each a crucible I had to get through until the next long weekend among my own. They all had cool names playing on their root word: Lunacon, Balticon, Confusion, Boskone. Okay, so that last one kind of fell down on the job, but you get the idea. They were always put on by fans, run by volunteers, usually operating at a loss. Science Fiction and Fantasy is one of the few genres where the majority of the pros come up through fandom, and cons were peppered liberally with authors, editors and literary agents, all doing their business networking in a morass of joy that gave them a uniform expression of I-can’t-believe-I-make-money-doing-this. It was at cons that my burgeoning interest in the genre became a professional ambition. I met my agent at Philcon, sat in the lobby until 3AM talking about everything other than writing. I first met my editor and her assistant at a con. Fast forward a-number-of-years-I-am-uncomortable-stating-because-I-am-really-really-old. A perfect storm of genre successes in popular culture (a string of outstanding superhero flicks, Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings movies, a surge in adult acceptance of video games, which are almost always SF/F based), and some literary successes (Harry Potter, Twilight, Eragon) helped propel Science Fiction and Fantasy into the mainstream. At the same time, the pervasiveness of the Internet began to erode the old fan-run con culture. When you can find thousands of like-minded people at the click of a mouse, why bother traveling hundreds of miles to spend a weekend at an expensive hotel? The shared vocabulary was online. Everything, from role-playing games to fan-fiction, was available in an instant. Those who accuse Internet addicts of isolation are fools. The Internet is a fundamentally social phenomenon. It is a new way that people form bonds. Cons began to gray. The panels became repetitive, the programming staff focusing more and more on holding on to their salad days, while the genre moved on without them. I don’t know when it first happened, but somewhere along the way, someone perked up and noticed that the con culture was still being applied to a small subsection of society, but revolved around a genre that was now immensely popular. The appeal was broad enough that people were willing to spend a lot of money for their articles of faith: action figures, specialized t-shirts, special edition DVDs, oceans and oceans of books. Boom. The for-profit con was born. There are comic cons all over the country now. It seems like every major city has one. While the old fan-run cons attract hundreds, these pull in tens of thousands, packing the largest venues of major cities so full that it takes an attendee 20 minutes to walk 20 feet. They transcend genre now, have become pop culture celebrations, pulling in film, television and gaming executives hawking wares from straight comedy to mainstream drama, with nary a superhero in sight. And there’s still more money to be made, with venue after venue springing up to meet demand. Wizard World, Dragon Con, the Sci-Fi Weekender. There’s a tribal petulance for those of us who were there first, who saw the birth of the con and grew up in the bosom of its larval state. This new age of mega cons makes us want to shake our fists and call the beautiful people thronging the halls of the Javitts Center Johnny-Come-Latelys (and if one more model unilaterally declares herself “Queen of the Nerds,” I will go ballistic). They are, after all, the people who took our lunch money, who wouldn’t date us. Walk through Williamsburg, Brooklyn and you’re bound to see a guy who has never played D&D in his life sporting a “THIS IS HOW I ROLL” T-shirt, emblazoned with a 20-sided die. But we go, of course. Comic Con is a focal point of my year, the happiest long weekend of the annual cycle. And that’s because I remembered something from my early days as a writer. When my best friend hit it huge as a professional genre writer before I did, I made the conscious decision not to be jealous. A rising tide lifts all boats, I told myself, and it was true. His success didn’t hinder mine in the least. In fact, it helped me when my turn came. The same is true here. I was drawn to cons of hundreds for the same reason folks are drawn to cons of hundreds of thousands: Because the genre is amazing, because a thing shared is so much more wonderful than a thing enjoyed privately. Because nothing in life can beat the simple animal pleasure of turning to a stranger and saying “That is so awesome!” and having them smile knowingly and say “it really is!” It is a brief moment where we are not alone. As I walk through New York Comic Con (or rather, as I ride the shoulders of my enormous colleague Sam Sykes to avoid getting trampled by the horde), I see the legions of fans thronging the aisles. In junior high school, most of these people likely wouldn’t have been my friends. But they are now. A rising tide lifts all boats. Man, it just keeps going up and up, year after year. And the view from here is glorious.

Posted by John Wordsworth, Editorial

Blog: The 'What If' Genre

The genre has always had its core fans, but it seems to me that more and more people are embracing their inner geek these days. Readers who previously would not have been seen dead in the Sci-Fi section of their local bookshop are picking up novels like RIVERS OF LONDON, NEVER LET ME GO and A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES. There are various theories as to why this is happening: during the downturn, we’re all looking for a bit of healthy escapism; films and TV programmes like The Lord of the Rings, Inception, True Blood and Game of Thrones have brought the genre back into the mainstream; the Harry Potter and Twilight series have converted an entire generation; genre publishers are moving away from the kind of covers that were, frankly, a bit embarrassing to be seen with on the Tube. In truth, it’s probably a combination of all of these. But whatever the reason, I’m happy. If you’re someone who still thinks that the genre is all one-dimensional characters, goblins, unicorns and Star Trek rip-offs, I urge you to reconsider. After all, fiction is always speculative, so why not go beyond reading about invented characters and start reading about invented worlds? It is the limitless scope that is what I’ve always loved about sci-fi, fantasy and horror. It asks questions and pushes boundaries. Instead of a straight coming-of-age story, for example, what if a son discovered that he was a clone of his ‘father’? What if a severely disabled child could plug in and become the brain of a vast and complex machine? What if there were dragons during the Napoleonic Wars? What if we were the ‘freaks’ and the undead feared us? What if a virus wiped out 99% of the world’s population? What if? I’m happy to say that we’ve just acquired the first two trilogies for our list. It will, I’m afraid, be some time before the books are available, but I think you’ll find they are well worth waiting for. The SHADOW OPS trilogy is a modern military fantasy: X-Men meets Black Hawk Down… I mean, come on, what’s not to like about that? Bestselling Lost Fleet author Jack Campbell has described the first book, CONTROL POINT, as a ‘mile-a-minute story of someone trying to find purpose in a war he never asked for’. The author, Myke Cole, has served three tours in Iraq and that experience really shows in his writing. The first book in the other series is provisionally titled STEELHAVEN, and is by the British author Richard Ford. It’s set in a vast metropolis teetering on the brink of destruction, and it’s about as bloody, honest and edgy as any fantasy as I’ve ever read. I can hardly wait to help unleash this monster. Remember the name! Intrigued, but don’t know where to begin? There are plenty of excellent ‘Top 100’ lists on various blogs. From the Headline list, I can heartily recommend A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES by Deborah Harkness; PURE by Julianna Baggott , which is out in February; and, of course, Neil Gaiman’s mind-blowingly brilliant road trip, AMERICAN GODS. On Twitter Headline: @headlinepg John Wordsworth: @theworrierpoet Myke Cole: @mykecole Richard Ford: @rich4ord