The Speculative Fiction Thread - science fiction, fantasy, horror,post-apocalyptic fiction etc.

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This thread is about all kinds of Speculative Fiction ,specifically science fiction, fantasy,[color=rgb(0,0,0);font-family:sans-serif;font-size:13px;] [/color]mythology,horror, weird fiction, utopian and dystopian fiction, apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction, alternate history,comics/graphic novels etc.
List and discuss books that you like from the genres stated above and what books you're currently reading/looking forward to reading. :Read:
A few of my favourite books/series:
1. A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin (Epic Fantasy)
2. The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson (Epic Fantasy)
3. The Warlord Chronicles by Bernard Cornwell (Arthurian mythology/historical/epic saga)
4. The Long Price series by Daniel Abraham (Epic Fantasy)
5. The Dagger and the Coin series by Daniel Abraham (Epic Fantasy)
6. The Gentleman Bastard series by Scott Lynch (Epic Fantasy)
7. The Mars trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson (Science fiction)
8. The Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson (Alternate History)
9. The Revelation Space series by Alastair Reynolds (Science fiction)
10 Perdido Street Station by China Mieville (Fantasy/Steampunk)
11 The City & the City by China Mieville (Fantasy/Weird fiction/Police procedural)
12 On Stranger Tides by Tim Powers (Historical fantasy)
13 Declare by Tim Powers (Fantasy/Espionage Thriller)
14 Fairyland by Paul McAuley (post-cyberpunk/thriller)
15 The Culture series by Iain M. Banks (Science fiction)
16 Salt by Adam Roberts (Science fiction)
17 Takeshi Kovacs series by Richard Morgan (Science fiction/cyberpunk/detective fiction)
18 Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny (Fantasy/Science Fiction/Buddhist-Hindu Mythology)
19 River of Gods by Ian McDonald (Science fiction/Cyberpunk/futuristic India)
20 The Road by Cormac McCarthy (post-apocalyptic)
21 The Etched City K. J. Bishop (Fantasy)
22 Imajica by Clive Barker (Horror/Dark Fantasy)
23 Weaveworld by Clive Barker (Horror/Dark Fantasy)
24 The First Law series by Joe Abercrombie (Epic Fantasy)
25 The Dark Tower series by Stephen King (Fantasy/horror/western)
26 The Company by K. J. Parker (Fantasy)
27 The Folding Knife by K. J. Parker (Fantasy)
28 The Hammer by K. J. Parker (Fantasy)
29 Malazan Book of the Fallen series by Steven Erikson (Epic Fantasy)
30 The Dreamblood series by N. K. Jemisin (Epic Fantasy)
31 The Sarantine Mosaic series by Guy Gavriel Kay (Historical fantasy)
32 The Cemetery of Forgotten Books series by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (Fantasy/Gothic/Mystery)
33 Raven's Shadow series by Anthony Ryan (Epic Fantasy)
34 The Red Knight by Miles Cameron (Epic Fantasy)
35 The Broken Empire series by Mark Lawrence (Epic Fantasy)
36 The Macht series by Paul Kearney (Military/Epic Fantasy)
37 The Joe Pitt Casebooks series by Charlie Huston (Supernatural noir thriller/Urban Fantasy)
38 The Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss (Epic Fantasy)


Lots of SFF books being released in April,i'm looking forward to reading the following -





Herald of the Storm by Richard Ford

Publication Date: April 25, 2013

Book One of the Steelhaven Trilogy

Under the reign of King Cael the Uniter, this vast cityport on the southern coast has for years been a symbol of strength, maintaining an uneasy peace throughout the Free States.

But now a long shadow hangs over the city, in the form of the dread Elharim warlord, Amon Tugha. When his herald infiltrates the city, looking to exploit its dangerous criminal underworld, and a terrible dark magick that has long been buried once again begins to rise, it could be the beginning of the end. Salvation can only be found in the darkest corners of the city… and in the most unlikely company imaginable.




Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan

Publication Date: April 16, 2013


The Age of Kings is dead. And I have killed it.'

Field Marshal Tamas's coup against his king sends corrupt aristocrats to the guillotine and brings bread to the starving. But it also provokes war in the Nine Nations, internal attacks by royalist fanatics and greedy scrambling for money and power by Tamas's supposed allies: the Church, workers' unions and mercenary forces.

Stretched to his limit, Tamas relies heavily on his few remaining powder mages, including the embittered Taniel, a brilliant marksman who also happens to be Tamas's estranged son, and Adamat, a retired police inspector whose loyalty will be tested to its limit.

Now, amid the chaos, a whispered rumour is spreading. A rumour about omens of death and destruction. Just old peasant legends about the gods returning to walk the earth. No modern educated man believes that sort of thing . . .

But perhaps they should.




Titus Awakes by Maeve Gilmore & Mervyn Peake

Release date: April 2, 2013


Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast novels are widely acknowledged to be classic works of high fantasy, on par with Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy. In this series, Peake created the vividly detailed world -- at once gothic and surreal -- of Castle Gormenghast. When Peake died in 1968, he left behind the tantalizing pages and clues for the fourth and concluding book in the series.

Maeve Gilmore, Mervyn Peake's widow, wrote Titus Awakes, based on those pages left behind by Peake. Fans of the Gormenghast novels will relish this continuation of the world Peake created and of the lives of unforgettable characters from the original novels, including the scheming Steerpike, Titus's sister Fuchsia, and the long-serving Dr. Prunesquallor. Published a century after Peake's birth, this strikingly imaginative novel provides a moving coda to Peake's masterwork.


Praise for Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast novels:

"A gorgeous, volcanic eruption . . . a work of extraordinary imagination." --The New Yorker

"A very, very great work . . . a classic of our age." --Robertson Davies, author of Fifth Business

"A fancy of such freshness, variety, and visionary power . . . Mervyn Peake liberates and elevates as well as charms." --The New York Times




River of Stars by Guy Gavriel Kay

Release date: April 2, 2013


In his critically acclaimed novel Under Heaven, Guy Gavriel Kay told a vivid and powerful story inspired by China’s Tang Dynasty. Now, the international bestselling and multiple award-winning author revisits that invented setting four centuries later with an epic of prideful emperors, battling courtiers, bandits and soldiers, nomadic invasions, and a woman battling in her own way, to find a new place for women in the world – a world inspired this time by the glittering, decadent Song Dynasty.

Ren Daiyan was still just a boy when he took the lives of seven men while guarding an imperial magistrate of Kitai. That moment on a lonely road changed his life—in entirely unexpected ways, sending him into the forests of Kitai among the outlaws. From there he emerges years later—and his life changes again, dramatically, as he circles towards the court and emperor, while war approaches Kitai from the north.

Lin Shan is the daughter of a scholar, his beloved only child. Educated by him in ways young women never are, gifted as a songwriter and calligrapher, she finds herself living a life suspended between two worlds. Her intelligence captivates an emperor—and alienates women at the court. But when her father’s life is endangered by the savage politics of the day, Shan must act in ways no woman ever has.

In an empire divided by bitter factions circling an exquisitely cultured emperor who loves his gardens and his art far more than the burdens of governing, dramatic events on the northern steppe alter the balance of power in the world, leading to events no one could have foretold, under the river of stars.



A Stranger in Olondria by Sofia Samatar

Release Date: Apr 9th, 2013


Jevick, the pepper merchant's son, has been raised on stories of Olondria, a distant land where books are as common as they are rare in his home. When his father dies and Jevick takes his place on the yearly selling trip to Olondria, Jevick's life is as close to perfect as he can imagine. But just as he revels in Olondria's Rabelaisian Feast of Birds, he is pulled drastically off course and becomes haunted by the ghost of an illiterate young girl.

In desperation, Jevick seeks the aid of Olondrian priests and quickly becomes a pawn in the struggle between the empire's two most powerful cults. Yet even as the country shimmers on the cusp of war, he must face his ghost and learn her story before he has any chance of becoming free by setting her free: an ordeal that challenges his understanding of art and life, home and exile, and the limits of that seductive necromancy, reading.

"Thoroughly engaging and thoroughly original. A story of ghosts and books, treachery and mystery, ingeniously conceived and beautifully written. One of the best fantasy novels I've read in recent years."—Jeffrey Ford, author of The Girl in the Glass

"Mesmerizing—a sustained and dreamy enchantment. A Stranger in Olondria reminds both Samatar's characters and her readers of the way stories make us long for far-away, even imaginary, places and how they also bring us home again."—Karen Joy Fowler, New York Times bestselling author of The Jane Austen Book Club

"Gorgeous writing, beautiful and sensual and so precise—a Proustian ghost story."—Paul Witcover, author of Tumbling After

"Let the world take note of this dazzling and accomplished fantasy. Sofia Samatar's debut novel is both exhilarating epic adventure and loving invocation of what it means to live through story, poetry, language. She writes like the heir of Ursula K. Le Guin and Gene Wolfe."—Kelly Link, author of Magic for Beginners


Sofia Samatar is an American of Somali and Swiss German Mennonite background. She wrote A Stranger in Olondria in Yambio, south Sudan, where she worked as an English teacher. She has worked in Egypt and is pursuing a PhD in African languages and literature at the University of Madison, Wisconsin.




Necessary Evil: The Milkweed Triptych Book 3 by Ian Tregillis

Release date: April 30, 2013

Necessary Evil[color=rgb(0,0,0);font-family:verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif;font-size:small;] is the third title in Ian Tregillis's alternate history series, the first of which, [/color]Bitter Seeds[color=rgb(0,0,0);font-family:verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif;font-size:small;], was highly praised. Tregillis lives near Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he works as a physicist at Los Alamos Laboratory. In addition, he is a member of the George R. R. Martin [/color]Wild Cards[color=rgb(0,0,0);font-family:verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif;font-size:small;] writing collective.[/color]

The history of the Twentieth Century has been shaped by a secret conflict between technology and magic. When a twisted Nazi scientist devised a way to imbue ordinary humans with supernatural abilities - to walk through walls, throw fire and see the future - his work became the prized possession of first the Third Reich, then the Soviet Army. Only Britain's warlocks, and the dark magics they yield, have successfully countered the threat posed by these superhuman armies.

But for decades, this conflict has been manipulated by Gretel, the mad seer. And now her long plan has come to fruition. And with it, a danger vastly greater than anything the world has known. Now British Intelligence officer Raybould Marsh must make a last-ditch effort to change the course of history - if his nation, and those he loves, are to survive.

12 May 1940. Westminster, London, England: the early days of World War II.

Again.

Raybould Marsh, one of “our” Britain’s best spies, has travelled to another Earth in a desperate attempt to save at least one timeline from the Cthulhu-like monsters who have been observing our species from space and have already destroyed Marsh’s timeline. In order to accomplish this, he must remove all traces of the supermen that were created by the Nazi war machine and caused the specters from outer space to notice our planet in the first place.

His biggest challenge is the mad seer Greta, one of the most powerful of the Nazi creations, who has sent a version of herself to this timeline to thwart Marsh. Why would she stand in his way? Because she has seen that in all the timelines she dies and she is determined to stop that from happening, even if it means destroying most of humanity in the process. And Marsh is the only man who can stop her.

Necessary Evil is the stunning conclusion to Ian Tregillis’s Milkweed series.





London Falling by Paul Cornell

Release date: April 16, 2013


The dark is rising . . . Detective Inspector James Quill is about to complete the drugs bust of his career. Then his prize suspect Rob Toshack is murdered in custody. Furious, Quill pursues the investigation, co-opting intelligence analyst Lisa Ross and undercover cops Costain and Sefton. But nothing about Toshack’s murder is normal.

Toshack had struck a bargain with a vindictive entity, whose occult powers kept Toshack one step ahead of the law – until his luck ran out. Now, the team must find a 'suspect' who can bend space and time and alter memory itself. And they will kill again.

As the group starts to see London’s sinister magic for themselves, they have two choices: panic or use their new abilities. Then they must hunt a terrifying supernatural force the only way they know how: using police methods, equipment and tactics. But they must all learn the rules of this new game - and quickly. More than their lives will depend on it.

Praise for London Falling

‘Start this book early in the day people, because you ain’t going to get no sleep until it’s done’ – Ben Aaronovitch, Rivers of London

‘The Sweeney to Aaronovitch's The Bill… which shows Cornell to be a master of yet another discipline’ – Independent

‘Grittier and harder-edged than Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere, more coherent and less estoric than China Miéville’s Kraken, less pedestrian and harder-hitting than Ben Aaronvitch’s Rivers of London’ – SFX magazine

‘A very enjoyable book, highly recommended for a long winter night!’ – Fantasy Book Critic



Etruscans by Morgan Llywelyn and Michael Scott

Release date: April 30, 2013


Bestselling historical novelist Morgan Lylwelyn teams up with Irish fantasy writer Michael Scott to write an epic fantasy based on the mythology of ancient Rome.

As the Romans expand their rule from their newly founded capital city, the civilization of their elegant forerunners, the Etruscans, is waning. Into this era of flux and change strides a young figure destined to become one of the classical world's greatest mythic heroes.

When Vesi, a young Etruscan noblewoman, is raped by a supernatural being who was once human, a child is conceived. Outcast from Etruria, Vesi bears a son she calls Horatrim: a child who is dangerous both to the Etruscans and to his own father, he is gifted with arcane knowledge and supernaternatural abilities, but has a human heart. Separated from his mother, he travels to Rome and is adopted by a businessman who changes his name to Horatius--a name that will ring down the ages. More than glory awaits the young man, however: his demon sire is pursuing Horatrim to kill him.

This is fantasy of the highest order. Into a bold and colorful weave of action and adventure, Lylwelyn and Scott skillfully incorporate the classical themes underlying imaginative fiction.



NOS4A2 by Joe Hill (Joseph Hillstrom King,son of author [color=#0000cd;]Stephen King[/color] )

Release date: April 30, 2013


Joe Hill, the acclaimed, award-winning author of the New York Times bestsellers Heart-Shaped Box and Horns, plunges you into the dark side of imagination with a thrilling novel of supernatural suspense that will have you flinching at shadows and checking the rearview mirror again and again. . . .

Victoria McQueen has an uncanny knack for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. When she rides her bicycle over the rickety old covered bridge in the woods near her house, she always emerges in the places she needs to be. Vic doesn't tell anyone about her unusual ability, because she knows no one will believe her. She has trouble understanding it herself.

Charles Talent Manx has a gift of his own. He likes to take children for rides in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with the vanity plate NOS4A2. In the Wraith, he and his innocent guests can slip out of the everyday world and onto hidden roads that lead to an astonishing playground of amusements he calls Christmasland. Mile by mile, the journey across the highway of Charlie's twisted imagination transforms his precious passengers, leaving them as terrifying and unstoppable as their benefactor.

And then comes the day when Vic goes looking for trouble . . . and finds her way, inevitably, to Charlie.

That was a lifetime ago. Now, the only kid ever to escape Charlie's unmitigated evil is all grown up and desperate to forget.

But Charlie Manx hasn't stopped thinking about the exceptional Victoria McQueen. On the road again, he won't slow down until he's taken his revenge. He's after something very special—something Vic can never replace.

As a life-and-death battle of wills builds—her magic pitted against his—Vic McQueen prepares to destroy Charlie once and for all . . . or die trying. . . .



The Age of Scorpio by Gavin Smith

Publication Date: 18 April 2013


A fast moving SciFi thriller set in a uniquely dark future from a new voice in the tradition of Peter F. Hamilton and Richard Morgan.

Praised by Stephen Baxter and Adam Roberts, reviewed ecstatically by SFX magazine Gavin Smith's first novel VETERAN announced an exciting new voice on the SF scene. WAR IN HEAVEN, set in the same universe followed. Now comes a new stand-alone SF thriller.

Of all the captains based out of Arclight only Eldon Sloper was desperate enough to agree to a salvage job in Red Space. And now he and his crew are living to regret his desperation.

In Red Space the rules are different. Some things work, others don't. Best to stick close to the Church beacons. Don't get lost.

Because there's something wrong about Red Space. Something beyond rational. Something vampyric . . .

Long after The Loss mankind is different. We touch the world via neunonics. We are machines, we are animals, we are hybrids. But some things never change. A Killer is paid to kill, a Thief will steal countless lives. A Clone will find insanity, an Innocent a new horror. The Church knows we have kept our sins.

Gavin Smith's new SF novel is an epic slam-bang ride through a terrifyingly different future.



The City by Stella Gemmell

Release date: April 25, 2013


In her debut solo novel, Stella Gemmell, coauthor of the “powerful” conclusion to David Gemmell’s Troy series, weaves a dark epic fantasy about a war-torn civilization and the immortal emperor who has it clutched in his evil grasp.

Built up over the millennia, layer upon layer, The City is ancient and vast. Over the centuries, it has sprawled beyond its walls, the cause of constant war with neighbouring peoples and kingdoms, laying waste to what was once green and fertile.

And at the heart of The City resides the emperor. Few have ever seen him. Those who have remember a man in his prime and yet he should be very old. Some speculate that he is no longer human, others wonder if indeed he ever truly was. And a small number have come to a desperate conclusion: that the only way to stop the ceaseless slaughter is to end the emperor's unnaturally long life.

From the rotting, flood-ruined catacombs beneath The City where the poor struggle to stay alive to the blood-soaked fields of battle where so few heroes survive, these rebels pin their hopes on one man. A man who was once the emperor's foremost general. A man, a revered soldier, who could lead an uprising and unite the City. But a man who was betrayed, imprisoned, tortured and is now believed to be dead..