Guy Gavriel Kay awarded the Order of Canada

Here's the press release:

June 30, 2014 (Toronto) – Penguin Canada is pleased to announce that Guy Gavriel Kay has been named a Member of the Order of Canada for his outstanding contributions to the field of speculative fiction as an internationally celebrated author.

Kay is the bestselling author of twelve novels and a book of poetry. He has been called “one of the most gifted storytellers of our time” by The Globe and Mail, and his works have been translated into more than 25 languages, with sales approaching three million copies worldwide.

In the 1970s, he was retained by the Estate of J.R.R. Tolkien to assist in the editorial construction of Tolkien's posthumously published The Silmarillion. In 1984, Kay's first novel, The Summer Tree, the first volume of The Fionavar Tapestry, was published to considerable acclaim in Canada, and internationally. In 1990, Penguin Canada's edition of his novel Tigana reached the national bestseller list, and his next book, A Song for Arbonne, debuted in the number-one position. Kay has been a bestseller with each novel since. The Sunday Times called his most recent novel, River of Stars, “a work to savour” and the Washington Post called it a “major accomplishment, the work of a master novelist in full command of his subject.”

Kay was born in Weyburn, Saskatchewan, and raised in Winnipeg. He received a law degree from the University of Toronto and was called to the bar in Ontario. Kay became principal writer and associate producer for the CBC Radio series, The Scales of Justice, which dramatized major criminal trials in Canadian history. He has written social and political commentary in Canada for the National Post and The Globe and Mail, and for The Guardian in England.

Kay has toured and read on behalf of his publishers and at literary events across Canada, the United States, and internationally. He was awarded the International Goliardos Prize for his contributions to the literature of the fantastic, is a two-time winner of the Aurora Award, won the World Fantasy Award for Ysabel in 2008, and won the Sunburst Prize for best Canadian speculative fiction novel for Under Heaven in 2011. Kay is currently at work on his next novel, due to be published in 2016.

About the Order of Canada

Established in 1967 by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the Order of Canada is the cornerstone of the Canadian Honours System, and recognizes outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation. The Order recognizes people in all sectors of Canadian society. Their contributions are varied, yet they have all enriched the lives of others and made a difference to this country.

For more information about the most recent appointments to the Order of Canada, please visit:

What a great honor!

Ian Cameron Esslemont's ASSAIL is pushed back to mid-August

Malazan fans will have to wait a little bit longer before getting their hands on Ian Cameron Esslemont's Assail. Indeed, the novel's release date has been pushed back to mid-August. For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe.

Here's the blurb:

Tens of thousands of years of ice is melting, and the land of Assail, long a byword for menace and inaccessibility, is at last yielding its secrets. Tales of gold discovered in the region’s north circulate in every waterfront dive and sailor’s tavern and now countless adventurers and fortune-seekers have set sail in search of riches. All these adventurers have to guide them are legends and garbled tales of the dangers that lie in wait - hostile coasts, fields of ice, impassable barriers and strange, terrifying creatures. But all accounts concur that the people of the north meet all trespassers with the sword. And beyond are rumoured to lurk Elder monsters out of history’s very beginnings.

Into this turmoil ventures the mercenary company, the Crimson Guard. Not drawn by contract, but by the promise of answers: answers that Shimmer, second in command, feels should not be sought. Also heading north, as part of an uneasy alliance of Malazan fortune-hunters and Letherii soldiery, comes the bard Fisher kel Tath. With him is a Tiste Andii who was found washed ashore and cannot remember his past and yet commands far more power than he really should. It is also rumoured that a warrior, bearer of a sword that slays gods and who once fought for the Malazans, is also journeying that way. But far to the south, a woman patiently guards the shore. She awaits both allies and enemies. She is Silverfox, newly incarnate Summoner of the undying army of the T’lan Imass, and she will do anything to stop the renewal of an ages-old crusade that could lay waste to the entire continent and beyond. Casting light on mysteries spanning the Malazan empire, and offering a glimpse of the storied and epic history that shaped it, Assail brings the epic story of the Empire of Malaz to a thrilling close.

More inexpensive ebook goodies!

You can now download Paul Kearney's excellent A Different Kingdom, one of the best fantasy books I've read this year, for only 0.99$ here!

Here's the blurb:

Michael Fay is a normal boy, living with his grandparents on their family farm in rural Ireland. In the woods—once thought safe and well-explored—there are wolves; and other, stranger things. He keeps them from his family, even his Aunt Rose, his closest friend, until the day he finds himself in the Other Place. There are wild people, and terrible monsters, and a girl called Cat.

When the wolves follow him from the Other Place to his family’s doorstep, Michael must choose between locking the doors and looking away—or following Cat on an adventure that may take an entire lifetime in the Other Place. He will become a man, and a warrior, and confront the Devil himself: the terrible Dark Horseman...

New video interview with Robin Hobb

Warning: There are a few Fool's Assassin spoilers. . .

More inexpensive ebook goodies!

For a limited time only, you can download Helene Wecker's The Golem and the Jinni for only 1.99$ here!

Here's the blurb:

Helene Wecker's dazzling debut novel tells the story of two supernatural creatures who appear mysteriously in 1899 New York. Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life by a strange man who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic. When her master dies at sea on the voyage from Poland, she is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York Harbor. Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire, born in the ancient Syrian Desert. Trapped in an old copper flask by a Bedouin wizard centuries ago, he is released accidentally by a tinsmith in a Lower Manhattan shop.

Struggling to make their way in this strange new place, the Golem and the Jinni try to fit in with their neighbors while masking their true natures. Surrounding them is a community of immigrants: the coffeehouse owner Maryam Faddoul, a pillar of wisdom and support for her Syrian neighbors; the solitary ice cream maker Saleh, a damaged man cursed by tragedy; the kind and caring Rabbi Meyer and his beleaguered nephew, Michael, whose Sheltering House receives newly arrived Jewish men; the adventurous young socialite Sophia Winston; and the enigmatic Joseph Schall, a dangerous man driven by ferocious ambition and esoteric wisdom.

Meeting by chance, the two creatures become unlikely friends whose tenuous attachment challenges their opposing natures, until the night a terrifying incident drives them back into their separate worlds. But a powerful menace will soon bring the Golem and the Jinni together again, threatening their existence and forcing them to make a fateful choice.

Marvelous and compulsively readable, The Golem and the Jinni weaves strands of folk mythology, historical fiction, and magical fable into a wondrously inventive and unforgettable tale.

You can also get your hands on Neil Gaiman's American Gods: The Tenth Anniversary Edition for only 1.99$ here.

Here's the blurb:

First published in 2001, American Gods became an instant classic—an intellectual and artistic benchmark from the multiple-award-winning master of innovative fiction, Neil Gaiman. Now discover the mystery and magic of American Gods in this tenth anniversary edition. Newly updated and expanded with the author’s preferred text, this commemorative volume is a true celebration of a modern masterpiece by the one, the only, Neil Gaiman.

A storm is coming . . .

Locked behind bars for three years, Shadow did his time, quietly waiting for the magic day when he could return to Eagle Point, Indiana. A man no longer scared of what tomorrow might bring, all he wanted was to be with Laura, the wife he deeply loved, and start a new life.

But just days before his release, Laura and Shadow’s best friend are killed in an accident. With his life in pieces and nothing to keep him tethered, Shadow accepts a job from a beguiling stranger he meets on the way home, an enigmatic man who calls himself Mr. Wednesday. A trickster and rogue, Wednesday seems to know more about Shadow than Shadow does himself.

Life as Wednesday’s bodyguard, driver, and errand boy is far more interesting and dangerous than Shadow ever imagined—it is a job that takes him on a dark and strange road trip and introduces him to a host of eccentric characters whose fates are mysteriously intertwined with his own. Along the way Shadow will learn that the past never dies; that everyone, including his beloved Laura, harbors secrets; and that dreams, totems, legends, and myths are more real than we know. Ultimately, he will discover that beneath the placid surface of everyday life a storm is brewing—an epic war for the very soul of America—and that he is standing squarely in its path.

Relevant and prescient, American Gods has been lauded for its brilliant synthesis of “mystery, satire, sex, horror, and poetic prose” (Michael Dirda, Washington Post Book World) and as a modern phantasmagoria that “distills the essence of America” (Seattle Post-Intelligencer). It is, quite simply, an outstanding work of literary imagination that will endure for generations.

This week's New York Times Bestsellers (June 23rd)

In hardcover:

Diana Gabaldon's Written in My Own Heart’s Blood debuts at number 1.

Stephen King's Mr. Mercedes is down one spot, finishing the week at number 2.

Jim Butcher's Skin Game is down six positions, ending the week at number 8. For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe.

Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston's Earth Awakens debuts at number 19.

Laurell K. Hamilton's A Shiver of Light is down sixteen spots, finishing the week at number 21.

In paperback:

George R. R. Martin's A Game of Thrones is up one spot, finishing the week at number 1.

George R. R. Martin's A Dance With Dragons is up four positions, ending the week at number 2.

Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game is up nine positions, ending the week at number 6.

Neil Gaiman's The Ocean at the End of the Lane is up one position, ending the week at number 7 (trade paperback).

George R. R. Martin's A Clash of Kings is up four spots, finishing the week at number 7.

George R. R. Martin's A Storm of Swords is up sixteen positions, ending the week at number 9.

George R. R. Martin's A Game of Thrones is up one spot, finishing the week at number 10 (trade paperback).

Stephen King's Doctor Sleep debuts at number 12 (trade paperback).

George R. R. Martin's A Feast for Crows returns at number 13 (trade paperback).

Stephen King's Joyland is down two spots, finishing the week at number 18.

More inexpensive ebook goodies!

Until midnight tonight, The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, an anthology edited by John Joseph Adams, is on sale for only 1.99$ here.

Here's the blurb:

The game is afoot! Night Shade Books is proud to present the fantastic adventures of the world's greatest detective — mystery, fantasy, science fiction, horror, no genre can escape the esteemed detective's needle-sharp intellect and intuition.

This reprint anthology showcases the best Holmes short fiction from the last 25 years, featuring stories by such visionaries as Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, Laura King, and many others.

Provisional Speculative Fiction Top 5 of 2014

Time flies and we've already reached the halfway point of the year! Here are the top 5 speculative fiction novels published in 2014 I've read so far! =) Click on each title to read my review. . .

1- Shadow Ops: Breach Zone by Myke Cole (Canada, USA, Europe)

Here's the blurb:

The Great Reawakening did not come quietly. Across the country and in every nation, people began “coming up Latent,” developing terrifying powers—summoning storms, raising the dead, and setting everything they touch ablaze. Those who Manifest must choose: become a sheepdog who protects the flock or a wolf who devours it.…

In the wake of a bloody battle at Forward Operating Base Frontier and a scandalous presidential impeachment, Lieutenant Colonel Jan Thorsson, call sign “Harlequin,” becomes a national hero and a pariah to the military that is the only family he’s ever known.

In the fight for Latent equality, Oscar Britton is positioned to lead a rebellion in exile, but a powerful rival beats him to the punch: Scylla, a walking weapon who will stop at nothing to end the human-sanctioned apartheid against her kind.

When Scylla’s inhuman forces invade New York City, the Supernatural Operations Corps are the only soldiers equipped to prevent a massacre. In order to redeem himself with the military, Harlequin will be forced to face off with this havoc-wreaking woman from his past, warped by her power into something evil….

2- Fool's Assassin by Robin Hobb (Canada, USA, Europe)

Here's the blurb:

Nearly twenty years ago, Robin Hobb burst upon the fantasy scene with the first of her acclaimed Farseer novels, Assassin’s Apprentice, which introduced the characters of FitzChivalry Farseer and his uncanny friend the Fool. A watershed moment in modern fantasy, this novel—and those that followed—broke exciting new ground in a beloved genre. Together with George R. R. Martin, Robin Hobb helped pave the way for such talented new voices as Scott Lynch, Brandon Sanderson, and Naomi Novik.

Over the years, Hobb’s imagination has soared throughout the mythic lands of the Six Duchies in such bestselling series as the Liveship Traders Trilogy and the Rain Wilds Chronicles. But no matter how far she roamed, her heart always remained with Fitz. And now, at last, she has come home, with an astonishing new novel that opens a dark and gripping chapter in the Farseer saga.

FitzChivalry—royal bastard and former king’s assassin—has left his life of intrigue behind. As far as the rest of the world knows, FitzChivalry Farseer is dead and buried. Masquerading as Tom Badgerlock, Fitz is now married to his childhood sweetheart, Molly, and leading the quiet life of a country squire.

Though Fitz is haunted by the disappearance of the Fool, who did so much to shape Fitz into the man he has become, such private hurts are put aside in the business of daily life, at least until the appearance of menacing, pale-skinned strangers casts a sinister shadow over Fitz’s past . . . and his future.

Now, to protect his new life, the former assassin must once again take up his old one. . .

3- Prince of Fools by Mark Lawrence (Canada, USA, Europe)

Here's the blurb:

The Red Queen is old but the kings of the Broken Empire dread her like no other. For all her reign, she has fought the long war, contested in secret, against the powers that stand behind nations, for higher stakes than land or gold. Her greatest weapon is The Silent Sister—unseen by most and unspoken of by all.

The Red Queen’s grandson, Prince Jalan Kendeth—drinker, gambler, seducer of women—is one who can see The Silent Sister. Tenth in line for the throne and content with his role as a minor royal, he pretends that the hideous crone is not there. But war is coming. Witnesses claim an undead army is on the march, and the Red Queen has called on her family to defend the realm. Jal thinks it’s all a rumor—nothing that will affect him—but he is wrong.

After escaping a death trap set by the Silent Sister, Jal finds his fate magically intertwined with a fierce Norse warrior. As the two undertake a journey across the Empire to undo the spell, encountering grave dangers, willing women, and an upstart prince named Jorg Ancrath along the way, Jalan gradually catches a glimmer of the truth: he and the Norseman are but pieces in a game, part of a series of moves in the long war—and the Red Queen controls the board.

4- Operation Shield by Joel Shepherd (Canada, USA, Europe)

Here's the blurb:

Part military SF, part cyberpunk, part grand-scale space opera, and part techno-psychological thriller, the Cassandra Kresnov novels transcend the recently narrow segmentation of the science fiction genre.

In 23 Years on Fire, Cassandra discovered that the technology that created her has been misused in her former home and now threatens all humanity with catastrophe. Returning home to Callay, she finds that Federation member worlds, exhausted by the previous thirty-year-war against the League, are unwilling to risk the confrontation that a solution may require. Some of these forces will go to any lengths to avoid a new conflict, including taking a sledgehammer to the Federation Constitution and threatening the removal by force of Cassandra's own branch of the Federal Security Agency.

More frighteningly for Sandy, she has brought back to Callay three young children, whom she met on the mean streets of Droze, discovering maternal feelings she had not known she possessed. Can she reconcile her duty as a soldier, including what she must do as a tactician, with the dangers that those decisions will place upon her family-the one thing that has come to mean more to her than any cause she now believes in?

5- Cyador's Heirs by L. E. Modesitt, jr. (Canada, USA, Europe)

Here's the blurb:

Decades after the fall of Cyador, its survivors have re-established themselves in Cigoerne, a fertile country coveted by hostile neighbors in less hospitable lands. Young Lerial, the second son of Duke Kiedron, lives in the shadow of his older brother Lephi, the heir to their father's realm. Lerial's future seems preordained: He will one day command his brother's forces in defence of Cigoerne, serving at his older sibling's pleasure, and no more.

But when Lerial is sent abroad to be fostered by Major Altyrn to learn the skills and wisdom he will need to fulfil his future duties, he begins a journey into a much larger world that brings out his true potential. Lerial has talents that few, as yet, suspect: He is one of those rare beings who can harness both Order and Chaos, the competing natural forces that shape the world and define the magic that exists within it. And as war finally engulfs the fringes of Cigoerne, Lerial's growing mastery of Order and Chaos is tested to its limits, and his own.

More inexpensive ebook goodies!

You can now download Jo Walton's Farthing for only 2.99$ here.

Here's the blurb:

One summer weekend in 1949--but not our 1949--the well-connected "Farthing set", a group of upper-crust English families, enjoy a country retreat. Lucy is a minor daughter in one of those families; her parents were both leading figures in the group that overthrew Churchill and negotiated peace with Herr Hitler eight years before.

Despite her parents' evident disapproval, Lucy is married--happily--to a London Jew. It was therefore quite a surprise to Lucy when she and her husband David found themselves invited to the retreat. It's even more startling when, on the retreat's first night, a major politician of the Farthing set is found gruesomely murdered, with abundant signs that the killing was ritualistic.

It quickly becomes clear to Lucy that she and David were brought to the retreat in order to pin the murder on him. Major political machinations are at stake, including an initiative in Parliament, supported by the Farthing set, to limit the right to vote to university graduates. But whoever's behind the murder, and the frame-up, didn't reckon on the principal investigator from Scotland Yard being a man with very private reasons for sympathizing with outcasts…and looking beyond the obvious.

As the trap slowly shuts on Lucy and David, they begin to see a way out--a way fraught with peril in a darkening world.

At the publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied.

New Joe Abercrombie podcast

There is a new podcast with bestselling author Joe Abercrombie, whose Half a King will soon hit the shelves, at

In this episode of Rocket Talk, Justin Landon invites Joe Abercrombie on at 6 AM to discuss his new book, Half a King. The conversation goes far afield touching the World Cup, onomatopoeia, the First Law Trilogy, and whether or not Justin is creeping out the author with his reread. Abercrombie also tells Justin he is wrong on the Internet. This is not a surprise.

Follow this link to listen to the interview. . .

Fool's Assassin

It's been almost a decade since Robin Hobb published Fool's Fate. Nearly a decade since we last read about Fitz and the Fool. And every time the author released a new work, fans were keeping their fingers crossed that it would be a new adventure featuring Hobb's beloved characters. But it was not to be. . .

Until last fall, that is, when a video showing Hobb's latest manuscript was "leaked" and it was announced that Fool's Assassin would be the first installment in a new trilogy featuring both Fitz and the Fool. Like many, I jumped for joy and counted the days until I could get my hands on this book. After spending a month in the Middle East, I returned home to about twenty packages waiting for me at the post office. And when I discovered that one of them contained an ARC of Fool's Assassin, I shamelessly did a little happy dance! The wait was finally over!

Here's the blurb:

Nearly twenty years ago, Robin Hobb burst upon the fantasy scene with the first of her acclaimed Farseer novels, Assassin’s Apprentice, which introduced the characters of FitzChivalry Farseer and his uncanny friend the Fool. A watershed moment in modern fantasy, this novel—and those that followed—broke exciting new ground in a beloved genre. Together with George R. R. Martin, Robin Hobb helped pave the way for such talented new voices as Scott Lynch, Brandon Sanderson, and Naomi Novik.

Over the years, Hobb’s imagination has soared throughout the mythic lands of the Six Duchies in such bestselling series as the Liveship Traders Trilogy and the Rain Wilds Chronicles. But no matter how far she roamed, her heart always remained with Fitz. And now, at last, she has come home, with an astonishing new novel that opens a dark and gripping chapter in the Farseer saga.

FitzChivalry—royal bastard and former king’s assassin—has left his life of intrigue behind. As far as the rest of the world knows, FitzChivalry Farseer is dead and buried. Masquerading as Tom Badgerlock, Fitz is now married to his childhood sweetheart, Molly, and leading the quiet life of a country squire.

Though Fitz is haunted by the disappearance of the Fool, who did so much to shape Fitz into the man he has become, such private hurts are put aside in the business of daily life, at least until the appearance of menacing, pale-skinned strangers casts a sinister shadow over Fitz’s past . . . and his future.

Now, to protect his new life, the former assassin must once again take up his old one. . .

I can't possibly put into words just how special and wonderful it was to be reunited with Fitz and all the other old characters making appearances in Fool's Assassin again. But that could have become a problem, as my expectations were extremely high. Fans have been eagerly awaiting this novel for about a decade, so understandably it has lofty expectations to meet. And for the most part, though the pace will likely be an issue for some readers, Fool's Assassin delivers on all fronts.

It is a somewhat vast introduction that sets the stage and paves the way for many things to come. More so than any other first volume ever written by Robin Hobb, methinks. Other reviewers opined/complained that nothing much happens during a big portion of the book. And yet, the way everything comes together at the end made me realize that the pace needed to be what it was in order for Hobb to get the ball rolling and for the important scenes and the finale to have any sort of emotional impact. One would think that Fitz, now a fifty-something man trying to avoid the court intrigue of Buckkeep, has earned a bit of respite and some much-deserved happiness. But knowing Robin Hobb, we all knew it wasn't meant to be. . .

The better part of Fool's Assassin takes place in and around Withywoods, where Fitz, posing as a Holder, is now living his twilight years with his wife Molly. I know that it's not everyone's cup of tea, but for me getting another chance to read Fitz's first-person narrative was great. One of the things I love the most about Robin Hobb is that her characters always remain true to themselves. Hence, in his late forties at the beginning of the novel, Fitz grew up and became exactly the kind of middle-aged man that a person with his background and traumatic experiences should be. Finally, he lives happily with the woman who was his first love. But all is not peaches and cream. Due to the Skill-healing he underwent as a younger man, Fitz doesn't age as rapidly as regular people. Though he approaches the age of fifty, he looks like a man in his mid-thirties. And looking at his beloved Molly growing older, though it kills him, he is aware that she will one day die and he'll find himself all alone again. As nice as it is to be reunited with Fitz and Molly again, it was with equal pleasure that I read about Chade, Patience, Kettricken, Nettle, Dutiful, and Riddle. And as much as Fitz wants to leave his old life behind, as a Farseer he will always be called upon if there is need. And when a strange messenger reaches Withywoods and delivers the news that the Fool might be in mortal danger, duty demands that Fitz try to help his old companion, even if he doesn't even know where to begin his search.

This is an advance review and I want it to remain spoiler-free, so there is not much I can reveal as far as the storylines are concerned. There are a number of unexpected surprises in Fool's Assassin. The biggest has to do with the addition of a new POV protagonist, and no it's not the Fool. The appearance of this new character will turn everything upside down. This could well be the most shocking surprise so far in the Farseer saga. And to have, down the line, a new first-person narrative featuring that person creates a brand new vibe and tone. Used to witness events only through Fitz's eyes, the addition of a point of view creates a new balance in the plotlines in the second portion of the novel. The unanticipated appearance of this new character will raise even more questions (there are hints that a fan-favorite character may not be as dead as we believed), and it will be interesting to see if we'll have those two POVs for the entire series. The manner in which Fool's Assassin is brought to a close appears to indicate that this will be the case.

As mentioned, the pace is extremely slow. While it is true that not much occurs in the first half of the novel, it was nevertheless a joy to be reunited with Fitz and the others. Felt kind of like being reunited with old friends or relatives you haven't seen in a long, long time. And as I explained above, though the rhythm moves at a snail's pace for about 75% of the book, I doubt that long-time fans will mind a whole lot. Especially since everything pretty much serves to pave the way for what will take place in the two upcoming sequels. Poor Fitz. . . You'd think that he has earned some happiness, that fate can't possibly get worse for him. But no. He suffered a lot in the first two series and he suffers again in Fool's Assassin. You have to wonder if the poor guy will ever be happy and live a normal life this side of death. And although he has been hoping that his life as an assassin was left behind when he and the Fool parted ways over a decade before, by the end of the book Fitz realizes that the darkest time of his life has just begun.

One thing that even long-time fans might find off-putting is the fact that the novel ends in a major cliffhanger. I'm talking about a Jon Snow in GRRM's A Dance With Dragons kind of cliffhanger. To have Fool's Assassin end on such a note was kind of frustrating, no question. And yet, it's the sort of cliffhanger that will have everyone lining up to get their hands on volume 2 as soon as it becomes available. Today, I'm happy that Robin Hobb has been able to maintain a rhythm of a book a year throughout most of her career, because I can't wait to discover what will happen next. God knows that both The Farseer and The Tawny Man series were often dark tales, and it seems that this new trilogy will be darker still.

I don't think that there is another SFF author writing today which possesses Hobb's deft human touch. She can still make you laugh and cry at will, sometimes in the same chapter. Once more, she makes Fitz go through hell and you can't help but root for the guy. Some scenes have such a powerful emotional impact that they are gut-wrenching. All in all, more or less the same as with the first two Farseer trilogies. We first met Fitz as a youngster and now we follow him as a middle-aged man. And still, though he means well and is not always the sharpest tool in the shed, his tale captures our hearts and we are swept along.

I know it's not breaking news, but Robin Hobb is brilliant! Fool's Assassin's is definitely one of the fantasy novels to read this year.

The final verdict: 8/10

For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe

More inexpensive ebook goodies!

You can now download the excellent Blindsight by Peter Watts for only 2.99$ here.

Here's the blurb:

Two months since the stars fell...

Two months since sixty-five thousand alien objects clenched around the Earth like a luminous fist, screaming to the heavens as the atmosphere burned them to ash. Two months since that moment of brief, bright surveillance by agents unknown.

Two months of silence, while a world holds its breath.

Now some half-derelict space probe, sparking fitfully past Neptune's orbit, hears a whisper from the edge of the solar system: a faint signal sweeping the cosmos like a lighthouse beam. Whatever's out there isn't talking to us. It's talking to some distant star, perhaps. Or perhaps to something closer, something en route.

So who do you send to force introductions on an intelligence with motives unknown, maybe unknowable? Who do you send to meet the alien when the alien doesn't want to meet?

You send a linguist with multiple personalities, her brain surgically partitioned into separate, sentient processing cores. You send a biologist so radically interfaced with machinery that he sees x-rays and tastes ultrasound, so compromised by grafts and splices he no longer feels his own flesh. You send a pacifist warrior in the faint hope she won't be needed, and the fainter one she'll do any good if she is. You send a monster to command them all, an extinct hominid predator once called vampire, recalled from the grave with the voodoo of recombinant genetics and the blood of sociopaths. And you send a synthesist—an informational topologist with half his mind gone—as an interface between here and there, a conduit through which the Dead Center might hope to understand the Bleeding Edge.

You send them all to the edge of interstellar space, praying you can trust such freaks and retrofits with the fate of a world. You fear they may be more alien than the thing they've been sent to find.

But you'd give anything for that to be true, if you only knew what was waiting for them...

At the publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied.

You can also download Robert Charles Wilson's Spin for only 2.99$ here.

Here's the blurb:

One night in October when he was ten years old, Tyler Dupree stood in his back yard and watched the stars go out. They all flared into brilliance at once, then disappeared, replaced by a flat, empty black barrier. He and his best friends, Jason and Diane Lawton, had seen what became known as the Big Blackout. It would shape their lives.

The effect is worldwide. The sun is now a featureless disk--a heat source, rather than an astronomical object. The moon is gone, but tides remain. Not only have the world's artificial satellites fallen out of orbit, their recovered remains are pitted and aged, as though they'd been in space far longer than their known lifespans. As Tyler, Jason, and Diane grow up, space probe reveals a bizarre truth: The barrier is artificial, generated by huge alien artifacts. Time is passing faster outside the barrier than inside--more than a hundred million years per day on Earth. At this rate, the death throes of the sun are only about forty years in our future.

Jason, now a promising young scientist, devotes his life to working against this slow-moving apocalypse. Diane throws herself into hedonism, marrying a sinister cult leader who's forged a new religion out of the fears of the masses.

Earth sends terraforming machines to Mars to let the onrush of time do its work, turning the planet green. Next they send humans...and immediately get back an emissary with thousands of years of stories to tell about the settling of Mars. Then Earth's probes reveal that an identical barrier has appeared around Mars. Jason, desperate, seeds near space with self-replicating machines that will scatter copies of themselves outward from the sun--and report back on what they find.

Life on Earth is about to get much, much stranger.

At the publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied.

Chinese cover art for Guy Gavriel Kay's UNDER HEAVEN

Guy Gavriel Kay recently wrote a post about cover art for the international editions of his novels. Here's an excerpt:

Book covers are such chancy, variable things. Over all these years and books, I’ve been delighted and, well, aghast at different times. It gets even more uncertain when it comes to foreign-language editions. As a rule, by now, I have ‘cover consultation’ for all such sales of rights, but in practice this really can mean nothing.

Sometimes a publisher forgets. The contracts person doesn’t remind the art department or editor they have to check with the author. Or the rush to get the book finalized (there is alays a rush!) causes a very simple overlooking of that detail. Sometimes they do send the cover image to you – but too late to have input to effect any meaningful change. Screaming ‘Oh, my God, no!’ at this juncture may be a therapeutic release of extreme emotion, but achieves little else.

One can double down on the technical breach of contract, but this just means the book cannot be released as planned, it must be shelved for up to a year while a new cover is devised, and – in the real world – this is a bad course of action if the idea is an ongoing, working cordial relationship to everyone’s theoretical betterment. I have closed my eyes, swallowed hard (often swallowing a drink hard) and accepted some covers I hate.


All of which is a prelude to this: I am happy to now share what might be my favourite cover for any of my books anywhere. Chongqing Publishing in China is releasing Under Heaven in July. I saw a rough of this a month ago, after waiting with some anxiety as they promised I would see it (with me having no idea at all what it would be). The rough was gorgeous, the finished is even more so. I flat-out love this.

Not only is it beautiful as a design, and profoundly suited to the book, it is original and inventive and subtle. What you need to know (it may not be evident in the jpeg) is that the cloud cover overlay is just that: an overlay! It flips back if you open it up from the jacket flap, revealing the entire painting, as if clouds had parted. Truly imaginative, and unique in its effect. (And, not incidentally in this business, really expensive design work.)

Then there is the chosen painting itself. It is a celebrated Tang Dynasty work by Li Zhaodao called ‘Ming Huang’s Journey to Shu’ about the emperor journeying to the far west, framed small against a magnificent landscape. And anyone who knows the novel (inspired by the Tang) will recognize how wonderfully well this suits the story.

Follow this link to read the whole piece. . .

I have to agree that it's a beautiful cover and it suits Under Heaven perfectly! =)

Win a copy of REACH FOR INFINITY, edited by Jonathan Strahan

I have three copies of Reach for Infinity, a new science fiction anthology edited by Jonathan Strahan, up for grabs, courtesy of the folks at Solaris. For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe.

Here's the blurb:

What happens when humanity reaches out into the vastness of space?

The brightest names in SF contribute new original fiction to this amazing anthology from master editor Jonathan Strahan.

Including new work by Alistair Reynolds, Greg Egan, Ian McDonald, Ken Macleod, Pat Cadigan, Karl Schroeder, Hannu Rajaniemi, Karern Lord, Adam Roberts, Kathleen Ann Goonan, Aliette de Bodard, Peter Watts, and others!

The rules are the same as usual. You need to send an email at reviews@(no-spam) with the header "INFINITY." Remember to remove the "no spam" thingy.

Second, your email must contain your full mailing address (that's snail mail!), otherwise your message will be deleted.

Lastly, multiple entries will disqualify whoever sends them. And please include your screen name and the message boards that you frequent using it, if you do hang out on a particular MB.

Good luck to all the participants!

More inexpensive ebook goodies!

For a limited time only, you can download Joe Abercrombie's Half A King at 62% off for only £5.00 here.

Here's the blurb:

“I swore an oath to avenge the death of my father. I may be half a man, but I swore a whole oath.”

Prince Yarvi has vowed to regain a throne he never wanted. But first he must survive cruelty, chains, and the bitter waters of the Shattered Sea. And he must do it all with only one good hand.

The deceived will become the deceiver.

Born a weakling in the eyes of his father, Yarvi is alone in a world where a strong arm and a cold heart rule. He cannot grip a shield or swing an axe, so he must sharpen his mind to a deadly edge.

The betrayed will become the betrayer.

Gathering a strange fellowship of the outcast and the lost, he finds they can do more to help him become the man he needs to be than any court of nobles could.

Will the usurped become the usurper?

But even with loyal friends at his side, Yarvi finds his path may end as it began—in twists, and traps, and tragedy.

Game of Thrones - Main Theme (80's Version)


More inexpensive ebook goodies!

You can download Kull of Atlantis, And Other Stories:17 Short Stories by Robert E. Howard for only 0.99$ here.

Here's the blurb:

Kull of Atlantis, And Other Stories is the original short stories about fantasy stories of Kull of Atlantis And Other Stories written by Robert E. Howard in 1925-1952. In this book contains 17 stories of Kull of Atlantis, Black Vulmea story, James Allison story, Wild Bill Clanton story, and Other Fantasy stories :

1.The Shadow Kingdom (First Published in Weird Tales, August 1929)
2.The Mirrors of Tuzun Thune (First published in Weird Tales, September 1929)
3.Black Vulmea's Vengeance (First published in Golden Fleece, November 1938)
4.Black Canaan (First published in Weird Tales, June 1936)
5.People of the Dark (First published in Strange Tales, June 1932)
6.Spear and Fang (First published in Weird Tales, July 1925)
7. The House of Arabu (First published in Avon Fantasy Reader, 1952. Alternative title: Witch from Hell's Kitchen)
8.The Voice of El-Lil (First published in Oriental Stories, November 1930. Alternative title: Temptress of the Tower of Torture and Sin)
9.The Cairn on the Headland (First published in Strange Tales, January 1933)
10.The Dream Snake (First published in Weird Tales, February 1928.)
11.The Fearsome Touch of Death (Published in Weird Tales, February 1930)
12.The Hyena (First published in Weird Tales, March 1928)
13.The Garden of Fear (First published in Marvel Tales, July-August 1934)
14.The Treasure of Tartary (Published in Thrilling Adventures, January 1935. A Kirby O'Donnell story)
15.The Valley of the Worm (First published in Weird Tales, February 1934)
16.She Devil (First published in Spicy Adventure Stories, April 1936. A Wild Bill Clanton story)
17.The Purple Heart of Erlik (First published in Spicy Adventure Stories, November 1936) A Wild Bill Clanton story

ROGUES contest winners!

Thanks to the generosity of the folks at Bantam, our three winners will receive a complimentary copy of Rogues, a new anthology edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois! For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe.

The winners are:

- Guillaume Bergeron, from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

- Eric Mazza, from Long Beach, New York, USA

- Jonathan Williamson, from Keller, Texas, USA

Many thanks to all the participants!

This week's New York Times Bestsellers (June 16th)

In hardcover:

Stephen King's Mr. Mercedes debuts at number 1.

Jim Butcher's Skin Game is down one position, ending the week at number 2. For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe.

Laurell K. Hamilton's A Shiver of Light debuts at number 5.

In paperback:

George R. R. Martin's A Game of Thrones is up two spots, finishing the week at number 2.

George R. R. Martin's A Dance With Dragons is up two positions, ending the week at number 6.

Neil Gaiman's The Ocean at the End of the Lane debuts at number 8 (trade paperback).

George R. R. Martin's A Game of Thrones is up one spot, finishing the week at number 11 (trade paperback).

George R. R. Martin's A Clash of Kings is up five spots, finishing the week at number 11.

Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game is down five positions, ending the week at number 15.

Stephen King's Joyland is up six spots, finishing the week at number 16.

George R. R. Martin's A Storm of Swords is down one position, ending the week at number 25.

More inexpensive ebook goodies!

You can now download Adam Nevill's Last Days for only 2.99$ here.

Here's the blurb:

Last Days (winner of the British Fantasy Award for Best Horror Novel of the Year) by Adam Nevill is a Blair Witch style novel in which a documentary film-maker undertakes the investigation of a dangerous cult—with creepy consequences.

When guerrilla documentary maker, Kyle Freeman, is asked to shoot a film on the notorious cult known as the Temple of the Last Days, it appears his prayers have been answered. The cult became a worldwide phenomenon in 1975 when there was a massacre including the death of its infamous leader, Sister Katherine. Kyle’s brief is to explore the paranormal myths surrounding an organization that became a testament to paranoia, murderous rage, and occult rituals. The shoot’s locations take him to the cult’s first temple in London, an abandoned farm in France, and a derelict copper mine in the Arizonan desert where The Temple of the Last Days met its bloody end. But when he interviews those involved in the case, those who haven’t broken silence in decades, a series of uncanny events plague the shoots. Troubling out-of-body experiences, nocturnal visitations, the sudden demise of their interviewees and the discovery of ghastly artifacts in their room make Kyle question what exactly it is the cult managed to awaken – and what is its interest in him?

The Iron King

Like many SFF readers, I first heard of Maurice Druon's The Accursed Kings series when George R. R. Martin claimed that it was the original Game of Thrones. I wasted no time and got my hands on the first two installments and promised myself to read the first volume as soon as possible. So it's really no surprise that The Iron King ended up in my suitcase when I flew to the Middle East. The foreword of this latest edition was written by Martin and it appears that readers have a lot to look forward to:

The Accursed Kings has it all. Iron kings and strangled queens, battles and betrayals, lies and lust, deception, family rivalries, the curse of the Templars, babies switched at birth, she-wolves, sin, and swords, the doom of a great dynasty. . . and all of it (well, most of it) straight from the pages of history. And believe me, the Starks and the Lannisters have nothing on the Capets and the Plantagenets.

Whether you're a history buff or a fantasy fan, Druon's epic will keep you turning pages. This was the original game of thrones. If you like A Song of Ice and Fire, you will love The Accursed Kings.

Here's the blurb:

‘This is the original game of thrones’ George R.R. Martin

From the publishers that brought you A Game of Thrones comes the series that inspired George R.R. Martin’s epic work.

France became a great nation under Philip the Fair – but it was a greatness achieved at the expense of her people, for his was a reign characterised by violence, the scandalous adulteries of his daughters-in-law, and the triumph of royal authority.

The backdrop of this tale is France under the rule of the Iron King, Philip the Fair. Cold and handsome, he governs his kingdom with an iron hand. And yet, for all of his power and brilliance, for all that he is the most important monarch in Europe and the king who controls the Pope like a puppet, Philip cannot rule his own family. His sons are fairly weak and their wives adulterous, and his only daughter is married to an English king who prefers the company of men over his wife. The story begins with Philip the Fair at the height of his power. For the last few years, the Iron King has persecuted the wealthy and influential Knights Templar in order to confiscate their lands and riches. But when he sentences the Grand Master of the Order and his closest advisors to be burned at the stake, Philip the Fair will draw upon himself a curse that will destroy his dynasty. Maurice Druon has an eye for historical details, and the narrative truly comes alive as you read along.

The translation is very good, though it is sometimes literal and that creates an odd turn of phrase here and there. Instead of relying on massive info-dumps, the author opted for footnotes. Hence, instead of having long paragraphs of information bogging down the narrative, one just needs to go to the back of the book to learn more about those historical notes. This helps maintain a very fluid pace throughout the novel. And since The Iron King weighs in at a little more than 300 pages, this is the kind of book you'll get through in just a few sittings.

The structure of the novel revolves around a number of disparate POVs which allows readers to witness what is taking place through the eyes of a variety of protagonists. This generates more emotional impact, as you see the web of scandal and intrigue which gradually weaves itself around Philip the Fair from both sides of the conflict. And although this is essentially a dark tale of betrayal, the often amusing POV of young Lombard Guccio Baglioni helps create a bit of a balance with the darker and uncompromising elements of the story arc.

There are indeed a lot of resemblances between The Iron King and GRRM's A Song of Ice and Fire. The family rivalries, the politicking, the betrayals and back-stabbings; it's all there. Although there are some mysticism and magic to a certain extent, this is probably the biggest difference between Druon's The Accursed Kings and Martin's magnum opus. Still, The Iron King reads almost like a fantasy novel, with definite shades of grimdark throughout. And considering this work was first published in 1955, I must admit that it has aged rather well and is as easy to read as any contemporary novels on the shelves today.

For all you people looking for something similar to GRRM's A Song of Ice and Fire in style and tone, if not in scope or vision, Maurice Druon's The Iron King is definitely for you! Even better, the digital edition of the book, at least in North America, can still be downloaded for only 1.99$ here.

The final verdict: 8/10

For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe

New book trailer for Joe Abercrombie's HALF A KING

Here's the new book trailer for Joe Abercrombie's Half a King! For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe.

Mark Lawrence contest winners!

These lucky winners will receive a copy of Mark Lawrence's Prince of Fools, compliments of the folks at Ace. For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe

The winners:

- Henry Stokes, from Austin, Texas, USA

- James Strand, from Calgary, Alberta, Canada

- Hannah Babbini, from South Bend, Indiana, USA

Many thanks to all the participants!

More inexpensive ebook goodies!

All three volumes of Ian Irvine's The Well of Echoes series are available for only 3.99$ each.

- Geomancer
- Tetrarch
- Scrutator

Here's the blurb for Geomancer:

TWO HUNDRED YEARS AFTER THE FORBIDDING WAS BROKEN, Santhenar is locked in war with the lyrinx - intelligent, winged predators from the void who will do anything to gain their own world. Despite the development of battle clankers and mastery of the crystals that power them, humanity is losing. The enemy is destroying their nodes of power, one by one.

Tiaan, a lonely crystal worker in a clanker manufactory, is experimenting with an entirely new kind of crystal when she begins to have extraordinary visions. The crystal has woken her latent talent for geomancy, the most powerful of all the Secret Arts, and the most perilous. Geomancy is likely to kill her before she masters it. It is a talent that allies and enemies alike are desperate to control.

Falsely accused of sabotage by her rival, Irisis, Tiaan flees for her life. She is also hunted by the lyrinx, Ryll, who plans to use her in his dreadful flesh-forming experiments. Only geomancy can save her. Struggling to control her talent, Tiaan follows her visions all the way to Tirthrax, greatest peak on all the Three Worlds, where a nightmare awaits her ...

Teaser extract from Jacqueline Carey's POISON FRUIT

The latest installment in the Agent of Hel series will hit the shelves this fall, but Jacqueline Carey provided this teaser excerpt from Poison Fruit to whet everyone's appetite! For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe.

Here's the blurb:

The hot-as-Hel series with the “Sookie Stackhouse type of vibe” (Paranormal Horizon) is back—but this time the paranormal Midwestern town of Pemkowet is feeling a frost in the air and the residents are frozen in fear...

The Pemkowet Visitors Bureau has always promoted paranormal tourism—even if it has downplayed the risks (hobgoblins are unpredictable). It helps that the town is presided over by Daisy Johanssen, who as Hel’s liaison is authorized by the Norse goddess of the dead to keep Pemkowet under control. Normally, that’s easier to do in the winter, when bracing temperatures keep folks indoors.

But a new predator is on the prowl, and this one thrives on nightmares. Daisy is on her trail and working intimately with her partner and sometime lover from the Pemkowet PD, sexy yet unavailable werewolf Cody Fairfax. But even as the creature is racking up innocent victims, a greater danger looms on Pewkowet’s horizon.

As a result of a recent ghost uprising, an unknown adversary—represented by a hell-spawn lawyer with fiery powers of persuasion—has instigated a lawsuit against the town. If Pemkowet loses, Hel’s sovereignty will be jeopardized, and the fate of the eldritch community will be at stake. The only one who can prevent it is Daisy—but she’s going to have to confront her own worst nightmare to do it.


Halfway up the incline, Cody held out one arm. “Hold on,” he said, nostrils working. “I smell something.”

“Bogle?” I asked.

He glanced at me, phosphorescent green flashing behind his eyes. “I’m guessing yes. Smells like moldy old leather and bracken.”

“Sounds like a bogle to me,” I said. “But what do I know?”

Cody grinned. “Let’s check it out.”

The wind picked up as we climbed higher, the sound of waves growing louder. All around us, trees creaked and groaned, branches scraping against one another. It was all very Blair Witch Project. I wrapped my arms around myself against the cold, trying not to think about the fact that that movie scared the crap out of me.

Atop the incline, the woods gave way to another clearing surrounded by outlying buildings. In the center was a jungle gym made of plastic timbers and wide tubes that looked surprisingly sinister in the darkness. Anything could be lurking in those seemingly innocuous tubes. With my right hand, I reassured myself that dauda-dagr was secure in the sheath I wore belted around my waist.

Standing in the clearing, Cody turned his head this way and that, testing the air. “It’s been here,” he said. “A lot. But I can’t tell which scent trail is fresh.” He gave me an apologetic look. “I’m going to have to shift to track it, Daisy.”

“A wolf’s gotta do what a wolf’s gotta do,” I said. “Just try to remember that if you plunge into the woods, I’m going to have a hard time following you.”

“I’ll try.” He shrugged out of his tan Carhartt jacket and handed it to me. “Here, put this on. You might as well stay warm. Be careful, the keys to the truck are in the right-hand pocket.”

“Duly noted,” I said. “And thanks.”

Cody’s jacket retained the warmth of his body and a trace of his scent, pine and musk and Polo. Engulfed in it, I watched him undress with unselfconscious efficiency, removing his off-duty shoulder holster and his Timberland boots, folding his clothing, and setting it alongside the flashlight on a rough-hewn wooden bench the Presbyterians had thoughtfully provided in the vicinity of the jungle gym.

For a moment, his naked human body was pale and luminous in my night vision, his skin stippled with gooseflesh.

Then he shifted.

It happened in the blink of an eye, one form flowing into another. Cody’s wolf form was long-limbed and rangy with tawny gray fur and alert amber eyes filled with inhuman intelligence. I’m not saying it was animal intelligence, not exactly, but it definitely wasn’t human. Cody-the-human and Cody-the-wolf overlapped, but they weren’t the same beings.

“You know, you’re the reason we can’t be together,” I said to the wolf. It cocked its head at me, ears pricked. “No offense. I know it’s not your fault. I’m just saying.”

The wolf merely continued to regard me.

I sighed. “Go on. Go hunt the bogle.”

It turned and trotted into the darkness, muzzle low to the ground.

Let me tell you, it is not easy to follow a hunting wolf, night vision or not. I did my best, stumbling after the Cody-wolf on the frozen ground he seemed to glide over with effortless ease, trying to ignore the ominous creaking trees as the wolf made a circuit of this particular area of the camp.

I caught up with the wolf on the verge of a dense thicket of woods where he’d paused to stare into the darkness. I was sure he was about to go where I’d have a hell of a time following, but to my surprise, he sniffed the ground, then turned and headed back toward the camp at that deceptively speedy trot.

The wolf made a beeline for a building with a wooden sign in the front reading “Mess Hall,” halting in front of the door.

“You’re sure about that?” I said dubiously. “Ellie said the bogle’s haunt was in the woods.”

Raising one paw, the wolf scratched at the door.

“Okay, okay.” I turned the doorknob and found it locked. “Looks like a pretty old door,” I said to the wolf. “Let’s try the credit card trick.”

I didn’t have a credit card on me, but I had my police I.D. card. The Cody-wolf obligingly got out of my way, sitting on its haunches on the cold ground behind me, panting softly and watching with its tongue lolling while I slid my I.D. card between the door and the frame and wiggled it in an effort to jimmy the lock. I was so focused on the task at hand, I forgot to be apprehensive about what I might find on the other side.

“I think I’ve almost—“

With a jerk, the door swung abruptly inward.

I let out a shriek as a tall, black figure with eyes like molten lava, pointy misshapen features and hands the size of bony catcher’s mitts lunged at me, teeth bared. I flung up a shield at the same time I hurled myself backward, tripping over the wolf and falling hard on my back on the frozen earth, knocking the wind out of me.

The Cody-wolf growled and launched itself at the figure, which staggered backward into the mess hall under the impact.

Oh, crap.

I got to my hands and knees, lungs working in a futile effort to draw breath. The sounds of battle inside the mess hall didn’t bode well. Concentrating, I willed my diaphragm to un-spasm.

It worked well enough that I was able to get to my feet and stumble into the mess hall after the wolf and the bogle. Sure enough, they were locked in combat. The bogle was on its back, long-fingered hands with too many knuckles and sharp black nails clamped around the wolf’s throat. The wolf snarled and snapped, its muzzle inches from the bogle’s face.

“Cody!” I wheezed. “Down, boy! We need to question him!”

The wolf ignored me, continuing in its efforts to lunge forward and tear out the bogle’s throat.

On the floor of the mess hall, the bogle rolled its molten-lava eyes at me. “You brought a werewolf?” he said. “Dude, that’s a little extreme.”

More inexpensive ebook goodies!

Just discovered that you can still download The Robert E. Howard Omnibus: 99 Collected Stories (Halcyon Classics) for only 1.99$ here. That's 2032 pages for less than 2$!!

Here's the blurb:

This Halcyon Classics ebook contains 99 short stories and novellas by 1930s pulp writer Robert Ervin Howard. Howard (1906-1936) is best known today for creating the sword-and-sorcery hero Conan, subject of two movies and dozens of books. However, during his short life Howard also published stories in a number of other genres.

In addition to fantasy, Howard wrote boxing stories, westerns, detective stories, horror, and created an number of compelling characters such as Solomon Kane, Bran Mak Morn, El Borak, Steve Costigan, Pike Bearfield, King Kull, and Conan the Cimmerian.

This ebook is DRM free and includes an active table of contents for easy navigation.

Conan Stories

Gods of the North
Queen of the Black Coast
Shadows in the Moonlight
A Witch Shall be Born
Shadows in Zamboula
The Devil in Iron
The People of the Black Circle
Red Nails
Jewels of Gwahlur
Beyond the Black River
The Hour of the Dragon
The Hyborian Age

Boxing Stories

Alleys of Peril
Blow the Chinks Down!
Breed of Battle
Champ of the Forecastle
Circus Fists
Cupid vs. Pollux
Dark Shanghai
Fist and Fang
General Ironfist
Night of Battle
Sailors’ Grudge
Sluggers on the Beach
Texas Fists
The Bull Dog Breed
The Iron Man
The Pit of the Serpent
The Sign of the Snake
The Slugger’s Game
The TNT Punch
Vikings of the Gloves
Waterfront Fists
Winner Take All
Alleys of Darkness
Apparition in the Prize Ring

Detective Stories

Graveyard Rats
Fangs of Gold
Names in the Black Book
The Tomb’s Secret
Aha! or The Mystery of the Queen's Necklace
Halt! Who Goes There?
Unhand Me, Villain!

Fantasy Adventure Stories

Almuric The Treasures of Tartary
The Voice of El-Lil
The Valley of the Worm
The Garden of Fear
Witch from Hell's Kitchen

Kull Stories

The Shadow Kingdom
The Mirrors of Tuzun Thune

Bran Mak Morn Stories

The Lost Race

Cormac Fitzgeoffrey Stories

Hawks of Outremer
The Blood of Belshazzar

Wild Bill Clanton Stories

She Devil
The Purple Heart of Erlik

Historical Adventure Stories

Lord of Samarcand
Gates of Empire
The Lion of Tiberias
The Shadow of the Vulture
The Sowers of the Thunder
Red Blades of Black Cathay

Horror Stories

People of the Dark
Black Canaan
Moon of Zambebwei
Black Talons
Black Vulmea’s Revenge
The Cairn on the Headland
The Fearsome Touch of Death
The Haunter of the Ring
The Hyena
The Fire of Asshurbanipal

Solomon Kane Stories

Solomon Kane
Skulls in the Stars
Rattle of Bones

Western Stories

A Gent from Bear Creek
Cupid from Bear Creek
Evil Deeds at Red Cougar
Guns of the Mountains
High Horse Rampage
No Cowherders Wanted
Pilgrims to the Pecos
Pistol Politics
Sharp’s Gun Serenade
Texas John Alden
The Apache Mountain War
The Conquerin’ Hero of the Humbolts
The Feud Buster
The Haunted Mountain
The Riot at Cougar Paw
The Road to Bear Creek
The Scalp Hunter
War on Bear Creek
The Vultures of Whapeton
While Smoke Rolled
Boot-Hill Payoff
"Golden Hope" Christmas
Mountain Man

Win a copy of Gail Z. Martin's DEADLY CURIOSITIES

I have a copy of Gail Z. Martin's upcoming urban fantasy novel, Deadly Curiosities, for you to win, courtesy of the folks at Solaris Books. For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe.

Here's the blurb:

Welcome to Trifles and Folly, and antique and curio shop with a dark secret. Proprietor Cassidy Kincaide continues a family tradition begun in 1670 - acquiring and neutralizing dangerous supernatural items. It's the perfect job for Cassidy, whose psychic gift lets her touch an object and know its history.

Together with her business partner Soren, a 500-year-old vampire and former jewel thief, Cassidy makes it her business to get infernal objects off the market. When mundane antiques suddenly become magically malicious, it's time for Cassidy and Soren to get rid of these Deadly Curiosities before the bodies start piling up.

The rules are the same as usual. You need to send an email at reviews@(no-spam) with the header "CURIOSITIES." Remember to remove the "no spam" thingy.

Second, your email must contain your full mailing address (that's snail mail!), otherwise your message will be deleted.

Lastly, multiple entries will disqualify whoever sends them. And please include your screen name and the message boards that you frequent using it, if you do hang out on a particular MB.

Good luck to all the participants!