Arthur Herzog III passes away
We start this week with the sad news that Arthur Herzog III has passed away, taking some true literary genius with him. He died from complications from a stroke on the 26th May 2010 and was best known for his debut novel The Swarm (1974), about killer bees. For a full obituary, see July’s edition of Locus magazine.
J.G. Ballard’s Secret Archives discovered
On a slightly happier note, it was revealed recently that the man who claimed “I never keep letters, reviews, research materials. Every page is a fresh start” was (luckily for us) a bit of a fibber, and has had his secret archive of manuscripts, rough drafts and magazine articles donated to the British Library by his daughters. Ballard, who passed away from prostate cancer in 2009, also kept letters of correspondence with such notable figures as Michael Moorcock, Iain Sinclair and Will Self. All of which will hopefully be open and accessible to the public by the summer of 2011.
Veteran by Gavin G. Smith
“All things considered I’d rather be back at home deep in a whiskey bottle.”
This is probably the sentence you’d utter too if you were woken up and instructed to go destroy an alien killing machine that not only murdered your old squad, but is now hanging around your home town, looking a little unhinged. And this is exactly what ex-special forces bad-ass Jakob Douglas said when faced with this situation. So, he did what anyone would do. He hooked up with a teenager who’s bored of prostitution and went after some aliens.
Blood Feud by Alyxandra Harvey
Okay, enough space stuff now. Let’s get back to vampires. Mixing love, history and a penchant for drinking the red stuff, Blood Feud is the second instalment in the Drake Chronicles.
Since surviving the French Revolution, Isabeau St. Croix has been waiting for a chance to flout her truly awesome name and confront the man who left her for dead all those years ago, when she truly needed his help.
Trouble is, she does keep getting distracted by a delicious man vampire on the way. Told from the perspective of both hero and heroine, this book could be a slightly different take on the vampire love stories we’ve been seeing of late. If it lives up to the feedback from the first book, we’re in for a treat.
Mogworld 16 by Yahtzee Croshaw
Now, this is a very exciting development for me. Yazhtee Crowshaw, otherwise known as the fast-talking, sarcastic games reviewer for Escapist magazine, has thrown away the shackles of videogame reviewing fame and decided to dip his literary toe into the world of story telling.
Mogworld is the end product of all this, and is due out at the end of August. But if you want a sneak preview of the content, just head on over to the Escapist website below, where a pretty sizeable chunk is up for a gander. If you like stories about zombies walking the earth, wishing for eternal slumber but being thwarted all the time, you might want to invest in a full copy.
Release Date: 31st August
Live Free Or Die: 1 by John Ringo
Ok, so the first aliens humankind made contact with were friendly. Just because the first people you bump into in your neighbourhood are nice, doesn’t mean there aren’t serial killers next door.
I’m not trying to turn you against your neighbours, merely setting up the premise for the first of a space-based trilogy about aliens beating up humankind. So when aliens are dropping rocks onto major cities and Earth’s governments are sticking their fingers in their ears and singing “La la la, I can’t hear you”, it’s a good thing we have Bruce Willis types like hero Tyler Vernon out there to defend us. Not only will he defend humanity, he might try and go further than that!
Release Date: 26th October
The Alchemist In The Shadows by Pierre Pevel
Finally this week, a new book from celebrated author Pierre Pevel waits in the wings. Wings being the operative word, as his novel mixes dragons with secret societies for a heady mix of fantasy tales combined with realistic political alliances.
Set in Paris 1633, The Alchemist In The Shadows has a plot summary so twisted that I can’t sum it up smoothly here. However, as the winner Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire in 2002 and the Prix Imaginales in 2005, both for best novel, Pevel will probably produce quite a worthy read for fans, if only they can wait till September.
Release Date: 16th September (original French version pictured)