It’s Independence Day, and because I don’t have Bill Pullman on hand to make a rousing speech, or Will Smith to punch out any alien interlopers, instead I’m having a wee celebration of independent and small publishers. Support the small presses and see if any of these take your fancy!
‘A roistering romp, with darker undercurrents… Intriguing characters in a setting both familiar and different’ Francis Knight, author of ‘Fade to Black’, Orbit publishing
‘…another excellent addition to Joanne Hall’s rapidly growing collection of published works.’ Robert Harkess, author of ‘Aphrodite’s Dawn’, Salt Publishing.
‘With characters real enough to touch and a storyline that tugs on the heartstrings . . . a tale that will linger long after the pages close.’ Fantasy Faction
A young boy leaves his village to become a cavalryman with the famous King’s Third regiment; in doing so he discovers both his past and his destiny. Gifted and cursed with a unique memory, the foundling son of a notorious traitor, Rhodri joins an elite cavalry unit stationed in the harbour town of Northpoint. His training reveals his talents and brings him friendship, love and loss, and sexual awakening; struggling with his memories of his father who once ruled there, he begins to discover a sense of belonging. That is, until a face from the past reveals a secret that will change not only Rhodri’s life but the fate of a nation. Then, on his first campaign, he is forced to face the extremes of war and his own nature. This, the first part of The Art of Forgetting, is a gripping story about belonging and identity, set in a superbly imagined and complex world that is both harsh and beautiful.
Raven knew nobody wanted her: Her own mother abandoned her as baby for a wyvern sacrifice. Saved by a local witch to a hard life of labor, she fears a wyvern coming to hunt her. And when one does he takes her to the mountain aerie of Darkspire Reaches, where she encounters the mighty Drakken lord. Apart from being handsome and powerful, Connor is the most arrogant, self-centered, difficult man Raven has ever encountered.
See the trailer. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWTaDpBORsY
Shea Kelly had a brilliant career in technology, but after refusing to implant an invasive government device in her body she was sent to a modern day reservation: a Non-Compliance Sector, a lawless community run by thugs and organized crime. She’s made a life for herself as a resourceful barkeep, and hacks for goods on the black market with her best friend Wynne, a computer genius and part-time stripper. Life is pretty quiet under the reigning Boss, apart from run-ins with his right hand man, the mighty Quinn: until Danny Rose threatens to take over the sector. Pushed to the edge, Shea decides to fight back …
See the trailer. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eURdzs6_VUI
When the newly-promoted Sergeant Crystal Lewis and her military team loops to a parallel world, they discover a London very different to those their agency have investigated elsewhere. Steam powered ships fill the sky, metal creatures scurry through the streets, and the Great Library is now nothing more than a burnt out shell; the history, knowledge and literature of the world has been destroyed. Crystal’s investigations discover the records of the Scriptorians: elite explorers, scientists and chroniclers, chosen for their wordsmith abilities, their tenacious belief in uncovering the truth, their passion for the bizarre and baffling. There is some evidence that these mysterious adventurers, fighters and writers also discovered the technology to loop and visit other parallel worlds. Here are some of their tales…
Zoë Harris offers us a vision of feminism taken to extremes, while Ken Dawson has the epitome of the pushy parent at the heart of his story; Jake Finlay’s and Ross Kitson’s stories are concerned with moral dilemmas in research and medicine and both consider the nature of immortality; Steven J. Guscott gives a novel twist to the Frankenstein story; David Muir’s central character is an apparently immortal warrior; on lighter note, Paul Freeman gives us a hero easily swayed by a pretty face and adventure, and Robert Peett shows a world of strange invasions, infections and mutations, and at the end, Sammy H.K Smith shows how it all began with the daring Lady Pippa Raven – the first true Scriptorian.
The trailer. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWfKpEef-9M
For Llew to heal, something must die.
For Llew, a young pickpocket who lives as a boy on the streets of a Wild-West mining town, the real problems begin when she survives the gallows. Forced to run, she persuades a group of fighters escorting a young girl to her wedding to let her travel with them across the badlands. On the journey Llew faces hostile tribesmen, desperate bandits and, the enmity of her own companions should they find out who and what she is: a girl, a fugitive, and a feared Healer. One of the fighters, Jonas, possesses superhuman prowess as a warrior, and carries the knife able to ‘kill the unkillable’; the knife that can kill Llew. Despite being of races at war for centuries, they are drawn to one another.
During the journey, they encounter Braph the magician, Jonas’ half-brother and potential nemesis. He pursues them as they journey across the sea to the continent of Phyos and at the moment Llew finally feels safe, he abducts her. He begins to take what is most precious to him: her blood.
On the harsh world of Evion, a wild place of storms and earthquakes, Numak Teorenn, a young telepath is sent to study at the Tarei Waystation in the mountains of Suli. All Numak wants, aside from becoming one of the revered Dragonriders, is to find answers regarding the mysterious death of his twin sister.
But he soon learns that his life has a greater purpose, for which nothing has prepared him, and his understanding of reality and of his own being is transformed. When he discovers the truth of his destiny should he fight it or embrace it? Will he have any choice at all?
Say hello to Robin and Joe—contestants in 2034’s “Space Games,” a new, high-stakes reality TV show set aboard next-generation space station, ISS 2. On slate: an alluring battle of the sexes, where the winner takes home a multimillion-dollar jackpot and a chance at stardom, while the loser faces the ultimate in public humiliation. Only former NASA astronaut VINCE DAVIS, acting as the station’s commander and the games’ sole referee, can separate sexy spitfire and martial artist, ROBIN MILLER, from her brutal opponent, “BIG JOE” O’DONNELL, as the pair compete inside the cramped zero-g environs. Overcome by the physical and psychological strains of ‘space,’ the two contestants quickly abandon the show’s sanctioned events to engage in a lawless game of kill-or-be-killed as millions watch helplessly from Earth. With the station orbiting 220 miles above Earth, rescue by shuttle two days away, and Vince dangling by a tether outside, the reality show rapidly de-evolves into a horrifying study of primal man versus woman, squaring off in a deadly, live experiment.
Darkness lies in Alan Abrams heart, a poisoned shadow born of the injuries he inflicted on his brother Jimmy during a violent, childhood outburst. Seeking to make recompense for his actions, he is about to discover the universe is a far darker place than he imagined.
A redundant Deepship pilot, Alan yearns to fly missions again. His nano-augmented body craves connection with the ships he once flew. He also needs financial security, to satisfy a powerful obligation to care for his mentally disabled brother.
Torn between his responsibility and his need to fly, he wanders from one unfulfilling job to another. Worried, and with bleak prospects, he is delighted to land a job for a prestigious museum. However, the hospice Jimmy resides in wants to evict, and Alan is devastated when the job he has secured falls through.
When a mysterious coalition headed by a man of great wealth and influence offers Alan a dubious commission, he becomes suspicious. They need a pilot to help find the lost Deepship, the Joshua Peterson. With nowhere to turn, and a growing conviction that someone is manipulating his options, Alan accepts.
Far from home, in the darkness between galactic arms, as Alan seeks to determine the lost starship’s fate, he discovers an answer to one of the greatest unsolved mysteries. The secrets he unearths lead him and the crew to believe that a resolution of the Fermi Paradox may be at hand.
In those empty reaches, Alan will face the ultimate choice – one that may not only provide the care Jimmy needs, but that will redefine humanity’s understanding of the universe and its place in it.
Unbound Brothers is a fast-paced, emotionally charged adventure, set against the backdrop of a dark, malevolent universe.
For generations prophets have foreseen the birth of the Shadow Seer, the oracle of dark visions and fallen kingdoms. But by the time of Sorron, King of Carnia, their warnings have mostly been forgotten and his name is known only to a handful of scholars. When Sorron’s grandson, Prince Candale, falls deathly ill, the Seer’s legends are brought to light once again by his saviour, a witch named Mayrila. She believes that Candale is the fulfilment of those long forgotten prophecies. She believes that he is the Shadow Seer…
They whisper that he’s dangerous.
Dangerous is only the half of it.
Something has gone missing from the libraries of Arfell. Something very old, and something very powerful. Five scholars are now dead, a country is once again on the brink of war, and the magick council is running out of time and options.
Entangled in a web of lies and politics and dragged halfway across icy Emaneska and back, Farden must unearth a secret even he doesn’t want to know, a secret that will shake the foundations of his world. Dragons, drugs, magick, death, and the deepest of betrayals await.
Breathtakingly vast, chillingly dark, brooding and dangerous, The Written will leave you impatiently waiting for the next adventure…
Welcome to Emaneska.
The LINK–an interactive, implanted computer network–transformed society. Then came the angels–cybernetic manifestations that claimed to be the working of God’s will. And if angels exist, surely God does too. The only question is, which candidate does He favor?
Deidre McMannus used to work for the NYPD. Then her partner assassinated the Pope. Deirdre has been kicked out of the force and had her LINK implant removed. An Irish catholic with a brother who is a priest, she has never believed in the angels. All that will change when a handsome young police officer named Michael Angelucci appears at her door and gives Deidre the chance to right the wrongs that have been done to her–and to the entire world….
The first volume of Lyda Morehouse’s acclaimed debut series, AngeLINK, is available in ebook form for the first time.
On it’s first release in 2001 the book won Best Original Paperback P.I. novel at the Shamus Awards given by the Private Eye Writers of America to honor excellent work in the Private Eye genre.
Here are some reviews:
“Morehouse’s highly descriptive version of 2075 Earth is almost as interesting as the novel’s plot. A great first novel!” — Paul Goat Allen, Barnes & Noble Explorations
“…[Morehouse’s] world is intriguing, and there are enough surprises to keep things moving, and the mix of SF and religion works surprisingly well. An impressive first novel.” — Carolyn Cushman, Locus
“This is an excellent first novel from a writer who’s definitely worth keeping an eye on.” — Mike Levy, SFRA Review
“A brilliant first novel with fast-paced action, vivid characters and flawless execution. Ms. Morehouse serves up a futuristic thrill with a twist.” — Kelly Rae Cooper, Romantic Times
“What Morehouse has created for us is an instant classic of SF. McMannus is one of the strongest, most complex investigators in a long, long time. The rest of the characters are vividly drawn, fascinating beings. The technology seems so tantalisingly close — frightening possible. The image of a future society and government is chilling. The combination is miraculous; one of the best novels in memory.” – Lisa Du Mond, SF Site
“Ms. Morehouse has created a cast of wonderfully believable and fascinating characters, complete with goals and dreams, but also flaws — the most important feature assigned to realistic characters. They don’t always have the answers and they don’t always make the best decisions. Their feelings often get in the way of altruism and orders, and in the end it is the things that make them most human that have the greatest impact.” SN Arly, Strange Horizons