Saturday, 10 July 2010

New books for July

Here are a few books that I bought last Thursday and am looking forward to reading over the next few weeks.

First of all Gerald Seymour's new novel The Dealer and the Dead has just been published in hardback in the UK. I've been reading Seymour since 1987 and he's my favourite author currently writing, so his new novel is always something I look forward to.

This new book deals with a hit-man being sent after an arms dealer who never delivered weapons to a Croatian village that was under siege during the civil war in the 1990s.

Next up is the new Robert Harris paperback, Lustrum. As with a previous novel, Imperium, the book is set in ancient Rome and takes the form of a fictional biography of Cicero. Put like that it sounds quite boring but Harris can make anything exciting and is great at describing his characters.

Finally there's the new 800 page plus door-stopper from Stephen King, Under the Dome. This books deals with a mysterious barrier appearing around a small town that cuts it off from the outside world. (I know at least one other novel that dealt with a similar set-up, All Flesh is Grasss by Clifford D Simak.)

The UK publisher has the gimmick of a "limited edition" set of different covers, four of which are shown below. I think there is at least one other that I have not seen online yet. I went for the "young woman" cover oddly enough, although the "old man" cover is growing on me!

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Inverted World by Christopher Priest

Thanks to Gollancz for reprinting another of Christopher Priest's early novels. Priest is an author I knew nothing about until I saw the movie of his 1995 book The Prestige. I've gradually been gathering up his back catalog as they become available.

This edition of Inverted World is published as part of Gollancz's SF Masterworks and has the new "yellow" themed cover.

Inverted World features a strange society of humans who have to keep their city moving on railway tracks. They are trying to keep the city as close to its "optimum" position as they can, however optimum keeps moving. If they fall too far behind then a strange phenomena will destroy the city.

But as with Priest's other works, not everything is as it seems.

I enjoyed the book very much and will be looking forward to reading his others.

Arthur C Clarke's Childhood's End

Today I spotted the new Gollancz "SF Masterworks" edition of Arthur C Clarke's Childhood's End in Waterstones. What's interesting is that it has a hardback cover rather than the usual paperback that most of the other books in the series have. I assume this is because another publisher has the rights to the paperback.

Gollancz has done something similar with their editions of Frank Herbert's Dune and Philip K Dick's The Man in the High Castle. Currently they also have a hardback of H.G. Well's The Island of Doctor Moreau.

As with the other books in the series it has been given what I can only describe as a "yellow" makeover. Compare and contrast the actual cover with the original artwork (the first image).

Childhood's End deals with the arrival of an advanced alien race who seem to have some knowledge about mankind's ultimate destiny. It's been a while since I read the book so I may treat myself to the new edition.