Hannah’s Book Round-up

Hannah's fortnightly delve into the world of geeky books stars Terry Pratchett, Philip K Dick, Paul Cornell and a new Artemis Fowl adventure...

Book News

Terry Pratchett to be guest editor for SFX

If you’re going to read a magazine this month, why not check out the May issue of SFX and see what a magazine would look like if Terry Prachett was the editor? Prachett will be guest editing the magazine as part of the magazine’s “Summer of SF Reading” campaign.

Included in the issue will be his thoughts on the scientific inaccuracies in our beloved Doctor Who and how much they actually hurt the programme. Prachett vs. a Time Lord – could you want for anything else?

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Philip K. Dick’s Journals to be published

Now this is a news story I can’t wait to see happen. Famous author Philip K. Dick, is well known for such fantastically surreal works as Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep and The Man In The High Castle.

So, the decision by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt to be publish the author’s journals is one I am doggedly behind.

Sadly, Dick died in 1982, aged 53 but, hopefully, when the journals are published next autumn, under the title The Exegesis, we will be able to see a little glimpse into the mind of a genius. Unless it’s endless lists of his crushes and favourite superheroes, which would also be good.

Paul Cornell to return to DC Comics

Lex Luthor will soon be given a new lease of life, thanks to Paul Cornell and DC comics. Author and TV writer Cornell, is returning to DC to become a writer for Action Comics, the original series that launched Superman. Cornell replaces Marc Guggenheim who has left to work on a different project for DC and the Superman Group. Pete Woods will be the artist.

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Out Now

Dragon Age: Calling by David Gaider

Another prequel to Bioware’s massively popular role playing videogame, Dragon Age: Origins has hit the bookstands. Dragon Age: Calling, begins when King Maric allows the Grey Wardens to end their 200 year exile and return to Fereden. Once back, they discover one of their own has fled and joined forces with their enemy, the darkspawn.

Lead by Maric, the Grey Wardens try to battle this evil foe, but a deadly secret threatens to wipe out the Wardens and the entire kingdom they know.

Author David Gaider is not only the lead writer for the videogame, Dragon Age: Origins, but also previously worked on Baldur’s Gate 2: Shadows Of Amn, Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic, and Neverwinter Nights. So you know this one’s going to be good.

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New Model Army by Adam Roberts

Now we take a look at New Model Army, which, if you want to picture Britain torn apart by civil war in a not too distant future, is just the read for you.

In Adam Robert’s skilfully written tale, Britain’s established army is challenged by a new, truly democratic army, which uses superior technology and a hunger for power to take on the powers that be.

Elements of a war novel, a sci-fi outlook and a philosophical examination of war and democracy all combine to make a new and exciting read.

Mortlock: Death Is Not The End by Jon Mayhew

Now this is one of those aimed at children, read by adults, must have reads. Described as “lighthanded, scary fun, with some sibling bickering thrown in” by SFX and “Mortlock is a thrilling adventure from start to finish” by SciFi Now, Mortlock is Jon Mayhew’s debut novel and it seems to have gone down a storm.

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It tells the story of an orphaned brother and sister duo, who know nothing of each other’s existence but are forced to find each other rather soon after being entrusted with a riddled message of great importance. Can they work out the meaning before evil relatives steal the secret and finish them off in the process?

Tome Of The Undergates by Sam Sykes

Well respected publisher Gollancz has signed up some new talent, in the shape of Sam Sykes and Tome Of The Undergates is his first soiree into official sci-fi authorship.

Things are always tricky when you’re transporting a fabled artefact across the oceans. Even more tricky when you’re leading a band of adventurers made up of several different species all trying to kill each other. But things become perhaps insurmountably tricky when you’re then attacked by pirates and an invincible demon.

It’s rather unsurprisingly, therefore, that leader Lenk is troubled when said pirates and demon manage to steal the artefact in his care, as the Tome of the Undergates has the power to open up the gates to hell and let out a whole load of trouble. Demons too. It’ll also let out some demons.

Coming Soon

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Artemis Fowl And The Atlantis Complex by Eoin Colfer

It’ll soon be time for the seventh instalment in the Artemis Fowl series and so time for more suspenseful comedy writing from author Eoin Colfer.

This book sees Artemis Fowl use his immense intellect to save Atlantis from an army of space fairies. Not much more detail at this stage, but it’s got the fans excited. Roll on July!

Release Date:  1st July (Paperback) 20th July (Hardback)



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Old Classics

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury sounds a bit like Ray Cadbury, which is why he has always appealed to me. But there’s more to this classic writer than a chocolate-y, gooey, delicious sounding name.

Fahrenheit 451 echoes what, I think, is the sci-fi writer’s greatest fear. The idea that one day, people will stop reading books. In this version of that nightmare, Guy Montag is a fireman who is specifically trained in the art of starting fires, not eliminating them, in order to burn and destroy all of humanity’s books.

In this world, trivial information is happiness and knowledge or thinking makes people sad. Guy goes along this until one day he meets Clarisse, a young girl who challenges these ideas, simply by being curious. Guy is smitten with her version of the world, so much so, that even after she disappears, he continues her work and starts hoarding rather than destroying the books.

But what happens when a fire fighter is called to his own house to destroy his own secret stash of knowledge? Where on earth does he go from here?

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