Thursday, 31 December 2009

Ender in Exile by Orson Scott Card

I've spent the last week reading Ender in Exile by Orson Scott Card.

I "discovered" card 20 years ago (!) when I bought his novel of James Cameron's move The Abyss. It was far from the run-of-the-mill novelisations and was a good novel in it's own right. I was an instant fan and hunted out anything else he had written.

Of course Card's "must read" novel is Ender's Game, featuring kids being sent to Battle School in order to learn how to defeat aliens that mankind is waging war with. A strong thread though the book and it's sequels is the humanity that Ender retains despite all that is done to him and all that he does.

Ender's Game was followed up by the Speaker for the Dead trilogy dealing with the character later in life as an adult. Later Card would also write the Ender's Shadow Quartet as a sort of "sidequel". Ender in Exile is the first true sequel to Ender's game and if you are a fan of the earlier books it's well worth a look.

My Ian Fleming/James Bond Website

I've spent much of the last day working on my sadly neglected Ian Fleming/James Bond website. I've had this site on the go since at least 1999 and it was high time for an update.

The site mainly features the paperback cover art from the various UK editions of the books. It's by no means a complete set of covers but a lot of my favourites are there and I'll add more as time goes on.

I've also changed the font to Century Gothic as it's the one used on the Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace movie posters. We'll see how long it takes for me to grow tired of it.

I've also scanned in a selection of my Ian Fleming paperback collection and here are a few covers.

You can find the new, improved, lovely site at the following link:

I'm trying out that new host. Hopefully it will work ok and the advertising will not be too obtrusive. Feedback is always gratefully received!

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Some books for 2010

First of all, it's almost 2010. How did that happen! I remember reading Arthur C Clarke's novel 2010 Odyssey Two back in 1985 and thinking how far off that future was and how much older I'd be...

Anyway here are a few books due out in 2010 that have caught my eye.

Hitler's War by Harry Turtledove due out in paperback on 21 Jan 2010. I read all ten volumes of turtledove's alternate history following the Great War and WW2 fought between the USA and Confederates. Hitler's War starts a new series asking what would have happened if Neville Chamberlain had gone to war with Germany a year early in 1938.

Eye of the Red Tsar caught my eye as I like thrillers set in Russia. It deals with a policeman released from the gulags in order to find out what happened to the Tsar's treasure. It's due out on 21 Jan 2010.

Here's three new books by Clive Cussler. Actually they are written by other authors in collaboration with Cussler. Spartan Gold (7 Jan 2010) is part of a new "Fargo" series, The Silent Sea (4 March 2010) is part of the "Oregon" series and of biggest interest to me The Spy (June 2010) is the third Issac Bell novel and is written by Justin Scott. That one does not have a UK cover yet so I have included the US cover that shows an early model German submarine in what I assume is New York. The Issac Bell novels are set in the first decade of the 1900s so that intrigues me.

Two new novels by Stephen Leather. I first read his book The Chinaman in 1993 and bought his new books as they came out over the following years. Lately he has been concentrating on his Dan Shepard character (who has the very unfortunate nickname "Spider") and Rough Justice is the latest of these (due out 22 July 2010). The other novel Nightfall marks a bit of a departure for the author as it is a thriller with a supernatural twist (due out 21 Jan 2010).

I've mentioned before how much I have enjoyed some of Stephen Hunt's alternative steampunk-style adventures. His fourth, Secrets of the Fire Sea, is due out on 4 Feb 2010.

I ready my first Stephen Coonts novel, Final Flight, 20 years ago. I read a lot of his books since but not the most recent ones. The Disciple has caught my eye due to it's eye-catching action-packed cover. (I didn't know they did these covers any more. Lately some of the UK editions of his novels have had Da Vinci Code style "arches" for some reason.) Anyway, this one features Tommy Carmellini and Jake Grafton investigating Iran's covert nuclear programme. Topical! it's due out on 4 Feb 2010.

Able One (2 Feb 2010) is a thriller by SF author Ben Bova about a is a modified 747 fitted with a high-powered laser to knock out missiles in flight. A training flight with a skeleton crew becomes the real thing when they have to try to stop missiles launched by North Korea. Most of Bova's books deal with exploration of the solar system so that is an interesting change of material.

Saturday, 19 December 2009

The Collaborator paperback news

Amazon UK have put up a cover for the paperback edition of Gerald Seymour's new novel, The Collaborator. It's due for publication by Hodder paperbacks on 29 April 2010. The cover is similar to the hardback design with the main changes being a large black area below the title and the addition of colour to the figures at the top. Indeed they have added (I assume) Immacolata Borelli to the picture.

No word yet on his next book or if Hodder will be reprinting the back catalog.