Bishop, Michael :
A Reverie for Mister Ray
(UK: PS Publishing 1-902880-87-0, £50, 28+611pp, hardcover, May 2005, cover by Jamie Bishop)
Nonfiction collection of 69 essays, reviews, manifestos, humor pieces, even one short story ("The Contributors to Plenum Four" from 1975), first published from the mid-1970s to present, edited and with a preface by Michael H. Hutchins. There's also an introduction by Jeff VanderMeer and an Author's Apologia. The title essay is about Ray Bradbury; other reviews and essays concern Wolfe, Benford, Ballard, Dick, Disch, Tiptree, Morrow, Swift, Sturgeon, and many others. Specific titles include "Oh, to Be a Blurber!", "104 Really Cool Works of Twentieth-Century Fiction in English", and "Writing Science Fiction As If It Mattered".
The publisher's site has this description -- "Bishop ranges wide and far in this astonishing compendium, and he does so with unflinching, often self-critical honesty. ..."
Includes a 20-page index.
Selected as a Locus Magazine New and Notable Book for August.
Anthology of critical essays about the works of Christopher Priest, published in commemoration of his Guest of Honor appearance at this year's World SF Convention in Glasgow.
Contributors include Graham Sleight, Andy Sawyer, Paul Kincaid, and Andrew M. Butler, and there's a 2005 interview with Priest by Gilles Dumay. The book includes a primary and secondary bibliography of Priest, notes on contributors, and an index.
The SF Foundation's site has this description with ordering information.
Cowie, Jonathan, & Tony Chester :
Essential SF: A Concise Guide
(UK: Porcupine Press 0-9549149-0-2, £8.9, 269pp, trade paperback, April 2005)
Reference book designed for the novice SF reader, consisting mostly of alphabetical entries describing specific authors, books, films, and terms. There are several brief introductions, and appendices of 'collector's core checklists' of books, films, and TV series. Selection criteria tend toward fan/reader awards, including the Hugos and Locus Awards (but not the Nebula Awards). There are occasional misspellings ('Frederick' Pohl) and questionable checklist selections (every one of James Blish's Star Trek volumes and of Richard Matheson's Shock! collections?), but overall seems to be a reasonable overview for the intended audience.
The Porcupine Press site has this description.
The editors are associated with SF fact and fiction site Concatenation, which publishes news and columns about the SF scene in Britain.
Green Man Review has posted this review
Langford, David :
The SEX Column and other misprints
(Cosmos Books 1-930997-78-7, $17.95, 243pp, trade paperback, July 2005, cover design Garry Nurrish)
Nonfiction collection of columns written for SFX, the glossy British magazine about (mostly media) science fiction, whose cover designs often obscured a certain letter in the title, as suggested by the title of this book.
Columns were first published from mid-1995 ("The Book on the Edge of Forever") through early 2005. The book has an introduction and an index.
Langford's site has this page with publication information and blurb & jacket quotes.
Wildside's page has much the same.
McAuley, Paul :
(UK: PS Publishing 1-902880-94-3, £35, 9+328pp, hardcover, 2005, cover art Chesley Bonestell)
Collection of 17 stories -- including "17", "The Two Dicks", "Alien TV", "All Tomorrow's Parties", and "Cross Roads Blues" (which has been rewritten for this collection) -- with an introduction by Greg Bear.
An afterword by the author has some brief notes about the origin of each story.
The publisher's site has this description -- "In the seventeen polished, ingenious and often darkly humorous stories collected here, multiple award-winning author Paul McAuley takes a fresh look at staple genre themes spanning science fiction, horror, and alternate history."
Online reviews include this one by Mark Watson at Best SF.
McAuley, Paul :
(UK: Simon & Schuster UK 0-7432-3887-7, £12.99, 422pp, hardcover, September 2005)
SF technothriller about a man whose glimpse of a strange piece of graffiti (or glyph) in a London restaurant leads to the discovery of secret societies and ancient Middle Eastern secrets.
The Amazon UK page has the book flap description; the same description is on the Simon & Schuster UK page.
Nick Gevers reviews it in the August issue of Locus Magazine: "The real pleasures of the novel lie in its accomplished science-fictional and human touches. The science behind the glyphs, drawn from studies of prehistory, shamanism, and psychedelia, is admirably constructed (no mere maguffin-magic, but a reflection of the functioning of the human eye, of phosphenes and form constants); there's intriguing anthropological argument, relating to primitivism and modernity, the integrity of insular cultures; and McAuley's depiction of landscapes, both the intricate urban wilderness of London and the desolate reaches of Northern Iraq, has all the evocativeness and sensual detail of the finest science-fictional world-building." Gary K. Wolfe's review will appear in the September issue.
Robinson, Kim Stanley :
Fifty Degrees Below
(UK: HarperCollins UK 0-00-714889-5, £18.99, 520pp, hardcover, September 2005, jacket illustration Dominic Harman)
SF novel, second book in the "Science in the Capital" trilogy following Forty Signs of Rain (2004), in which a global-warming triggered flood engulfed Washington DC. In this book scientist Frank Vanderwal joins an international effort to restabilize Earth's climate, and an Ice Age-like winter descends on the capital.
The publisher's site has this description.
The US edition from Bantam is due in October.
Nick Gevers reviews the book in the upcoming September issue of Locus Magazine -- "For all its earnestness of theme, Fifty Degrees Below has its gonzo aspects; it is truly one of the most surprising and exhilarating SF books in years." -- while Gary K. Wolfe's review is slated for the October issue: "Robinson's Washington trilogy may end up as the most significant and impressive work of political science fiction in recent decades, and I for one am ready to read the third novel right now."
Williamson, Neil, & Andrew J. Wilson, eds. :
Nova Scotia: New Scottish Speculative Fiction
(UK: Crescent Books 1-84183-086-0, £9.99, 287pp, trade paperback, August 2005)
Anthology of 21 original stories, and 1 poem, by Scottish writers, including Charles Stross, Ken MacLeod, Jane Yolen, Hal Duncan, John Grant, and Jack Deighton, published to coincide with the World SF Convention held earlier this month in Glasgow.
David Pringle provides an introduction.
Available from Amazon UK (click title or cover image here) or from the publisher's site, which has a brief description -- "Some stories are very funny, some are moving, others are thought-provoking, but all of them, are a tribute to the Scottish imagination."
Nick Gevers reviews the book in the upcoming September issue of Locus Magazine, who says "The major highlights are striking stories by Charles Stross and Ken MacLeod..."
Collection of reviews published in Locus Magazine from 1992, Wolfe's first full year as a reviewer for the magazine, through 1996 -- though not complete, Wolfe indicates in his introduction; a few reviews 'of specialized interest' are left out.
The table of contents indicates the books reviewed in each installment, and there's also an index of titles at the end.
Cheryl Morgan interviewed Beccon Publications owner Roger Robinson, but the company does not yet have a website, nor is this book listed by Amazon or Amazon UK. To order, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.