Category Archives: Book News

Coming Soon: Black Library June – August

As you may no doubt have noticed on the blog recently, I’ve been picking up the threads of my Black Library reading, first with the Beast Arises series and then with some other stuff the reviews for which will be going up in the coming days. Back in the day, sometime around 2014, I was very much immersed in the publisher’s output, having been a fan for eleven-plus years at that point, but then I dropped off and my reading was rather fragmentary. Now, the ride back has been pretty awesome and intense, and all the upcoming material for the next three months that we’ve been shown has gotten me excited all over again.

Check after the break to see what novels and short stories and audio dramas and more Black Library has coming up in the next few months! This is a curated list of products that I can very well see myself picking up and going through.

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News: Dawn of War III Tie-ins From Black Library and Titan Comics Announced

Remember the golden year of 2005 when Relic Entertainment unleashed the phenomenon that was Dawn of War? I do! As a fan of the comics and novels for several years, Dawn of War was the perfect game for me for a number of reasons: I love RTS games, I love Warhammer 40,000, and their love-child was definitely going to be great. That was my working theory when I started playing Dawn of War and I was floored. Everything about the game, whether cutscenes or story or mechanics or gameplay or design or whatever, it was all top-notch. One of the most cathartic gaming experiences of my life. The games that followed, especially Dawn of War II: Dark Crusade just improved on that and I couldn’t be happier really. If there was any sore spot at all however, the tie-in novels from writer C. S. Goto were the anomaly. Tortorous and convoluted stories that seemed to do strange things with the lore, they are among the most unpopular of novels published by Black Library to date. But that’s all going to change, and here’s why.

Exactly five months to the day, Relic Entertainment announced that it was working on Dawn of War III and released the above trailer to the masses, causing a storm in the video game circles everywhere. The previous games are regarded highly, are considered among the best of their genre, and are tied to a fairly well-liked setting. And just in the last couple days we have received some more news about the game, namely that Black Library has hired author Robbie MacNiven to write the tie-in novel, and that Titan Comics will be doing the same for the comics medium. Cue more excitement and gushing and fangasming. Check after the break for the official announcements.

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Upcoming: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: The Missing by Una McCormack

This year I got back into Star Trek full-time with last year’s latest release, the 5-part The Fall series which tells a crossover story about the murder of the Federation President and the ripple effects that this has on the Alpha and Beta Quadrants, and touches on across all the major Star Trek characters still alive, and also the Cardassians, the Bajorans, the Andorians, and others. One of the best novels in this new series was Una McCormack’s The Crimson Shadow (review), the second novel in the series, which dealt with the Cardassians in a post-Borg invasion galaxy as they deal with their crumbling society and culture.

I credit Una for really getting me back into Star Trek this year, and in a few short weeks (December actually!) we will see the release of Deep Space Nine: The Missing, which follows on from the events of The Fall, specifically Dayton Ward’s final novel in the series, Peaceable Kingdoms. I’m very excited about this one actually, given all the changes that happened in Peaceable Kingdoms, and also because Una McCormack has become one of my favourite new authors this year.

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Upcoming: The Labyrinth of Flame by Courtney Schafer

One of my favourite reads of 2012 was Courtney Schafer’s debut novel The Whitefire Crossing (review). One of the unique things about it was how a significant portion of the novel focused on mountain-climbing and mountain-trekking, borne out of Courtney’s own fondness and hobby of such. Then again last year, when I read The Tainted City (review), I was similarly impressed. Courtney built upon the characters and the setting in a really nice way and she made both novels a worthy experience. For that reason she is one of my favourite authors in fantasy.

With Night Shade Books going under last year, the fate of her third novel, The Labyrinth of Flame was totally up in the air, since there was no word if the third novel would even be published. But it looks now that Courtney finally has her strategy ready, and next year will see the launch of a kickstarter for the novel, which I am very excited about.

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Upcoming: Pretty Little Dead Girls

Formed a while ago by my author friends Tim Marquitz and Joe Martin, Ragnarok Publications has been going all-out this year, releasing books after books. It also helps in a big way that their Publicity Coordinator, Melanie Meadors, is an extremely upbeat and energetic person. One of the authors that Tim and Joe have signed up this year is Mercedes M. Yardley and her second book with Ragnarok is coming very soon, on 29th September, just under two weeks away. I haven’t read anything from Mercedes as yet, but I’m rather curious about this new release so we shall see!

Here’s the press release for the novel.

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News: Shotguns & Sorcery RPG!

Back in 2012, it was sort of a Matt Forbeck year for me, given how many of his novels, and even comics, I read that year. Matt quickly became one of my favourite authors, and even a writing inspiration given how much of a workload he took on that year in terms of novel-writing, and the end results as well. And over the two and a half years since I read his Vampires/Titanic mash-up novel from Angry Robot, Carpathia, he has also become a good friend. There has never been a work of his that I didn’t like, and his Shotguns & Sorcery trilogy last year was among my favourite reads of the year.

The setting itself was something that he had created almost a decade before as d20 RPG and licensed it out to a publisher. Then came the novels for his bonkers-crazy-but-successful 12-for-12 project, and now finally we come to the big news he revealed earlier this week: that he struck a deal with Outland Entertainment to publish enhanced eBooks of the trilogy and also work out a new and improved RPG for the setting as well. It is amazing news because I love the trilogy itself and have wanted to read more about and in the setting since.I for one am really excited about this and I hope I get a chance to try this out on release!

Here’s the link to Matt’s original post, and below is the press release for the news.

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Excerpt & Giveaway: Glaze by Kim Curran

First, a note. This post was actually supposed to go up last Thursday, and so is a week late. For that, my apologies to author Kim Curran and to Faye at A Daydreamer’s Thoughts who put the whole book tour together for Glaze. I haven’t been punctual about guest posts of late, and I do have quite a back log of things that need to get done. Something I’m working on correcting!

Second, having read the premise of Glaze and having followed up on all the excerpts that have been posted in various places as part of this book tour, I’m very excited about the novel. I haven’t read anything by Kim as yet, though I do have copies of her two YA novels from Strange Chemistry that I need to get through, but reading these excerpts, I’m sure that the books are gonna be great. Strange Chemistry has had a fairly good track record since their launch, as far as I’m concerned, and Kim seems to be one of their top authors and Glaze has been getting a lot of good publicity. Hopefully I will be reading it soon. In the meantime, enjoy the excerpt below.

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Cover Art: Incarnate by Anton Strout (Ace Books)

Anton Strout is a name that comes up often when I’m moving through urban fantasy blogs at random every few days, looking for new authors to read and new books to try out. And the same goes for social media as well since I’ve seen his name crop up in certain circles every now and then. His Spellmason trilogy sounded interesting, especially since it was still in progress with a third book to come out later this year. Imagine my surprise then, when I was contacted by a publicist friend who was working with Anton and told me that she had a cover reveal to share with me for the third book itself!

Having gone through the covers for all three of the novels, I can definitely say that the cover for the new novel is definitely the best one, and I like the simplicity of the cover. The protagonist Alexandra Belarus is shown off rather nicely, without any sexualisation which is all too rare in the urban fantasy cover industry since most publishers and cover artists conflate urban fantasy with paranormal romance and that bleeds over into this final product. So nice to see that this is not the case with Incarnate, the third book. Given that the book comes out in late September, I now have some motivation to finally start reading this series, which I’ll hopefully be able to do soon. In the meantime, enjoy the cover, and enjoy the giveaway that follows as well!

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Best of 2013 Part 2a: Books

Since 2013 is now over, its time to do my second “Best of the Best” list, for the second half of the year from July-December. There were some really good reads in this period, and as always, picking the best has been a chore. I always try to keep these lists as diverse as I can and hopefully you agree.

You can check out my top-of-the-month lists on my Reading Awards page and this list is both an extension, and a continuation of what goes on there.

Let’s see what makes the cut and which comes close then! Read the rest of this entry

The Cover Art Mega-Post Part 3

So this is the third such post I have done for the blog. I took a 2-month break in between posts so that I could have some more material to showcase here, and it certainly has helped. There were a lot more books I wanted to cover, but I chose to stick withe magic number 17, the number of books I’ve covered previously.

A lot of the books on this list are next year’s releases, and just as before, they all sound great, even some of the ones that are second or third (or else) in their respective series. I’m not sure if I can put aside the time to catch up to them any time soon but I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to get around to some of them at least. We’ll see how that works out.

In the meantime, enjoy all these great covers and these books! Hope you liked the previous posts and that you’ll like this one as well.

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The Kaiju Are Rising Hard And Fast

Almost three weeks ago, three of my friends started a Kickstarter campaign to fund an original fiction anthology featuring the hot monsters of the year: kaiju. Reviewer and blogger Nick Sharps, and authors Tim Marquitz and J. M. Martin put together this project, bringing together a really great group of authors to contribute to this anthology, Kaiju Rising: Age of Monsters. I had a small contribution to the project in its early stages and I’m really great that its come together so, so well. The project got its target funding in short order and it is now at the 130% funding stage and has just achieved its fourth stretch goal at $13,000.

Now, here’s Nick Sharps, the man behind the entire idea, to talk more about the project and what the next stretch goal, at $14,000, holds for backers. I think its a fantastic idea and I already can’t wait to read this anthology when it eventually comes out through Ragnarok Publications. So off we go!

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Publishing and Marketing 08: The Black Library Marketing Maze

I’ve been a fan of Black Library for a long time, going on about 11 years now, roughly. It all started with a copy of William King’s third Space Wolf novel, Grey Hunter, and was soon continued on with the first six novels in Dan Abnett’s Gaunt’s Ghosts series. Since then, I’ve read a lot of the novels, and the short stories, and the anthologies, in all the different formats that have been put out. I took a long break in the middle, around late 2008 however, and didn’t get back into the swing of things until later 2010, by when there had been some big changes to everything, new series, new authors, new formats even (the Hammer and Bolter eZine). It was an exciting time

Right up until late 2012 that is. For someone just getting back into BL fiction, those two years were well-spent, catching up on a lot of the stuff that had been put out in the intervening years, and during that period. I repeated often last year and the year before that, that BL was enjoying very much a golden year since the Horus Heresy series continued to gain more recognition, with each book going on the New York Times Bestsellers List, with lots of new authors coming in, some truly amazing artwork from a whole new generation of artists and so on and so forth. BL had even embraced digital publishing wholeheartedly and were making some great inroads.

But then, they started dropping the ball with their marketing. Curious, inexplicable decisions were being made. And a lot of it was coming together at the same time. And it baffled me. Still does. Which is why I’m writing this post at this time, and not before. Because by now I’ve seen a lot of the fall-out from all the decisions that they’ve made in the last year or so.

So read on, and enjoy. And if not, I welcome any opinion that differs from mine. Also, authors are welcome. Any time. You can find all previous Publishing and Marketing posts here.

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