Voice of War by Zack Argyle – SPFBO #6 Finals Review

Voice of War by Zack Argyle

SPFBO #6 Finals Review

This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone

This Is How You Lose the Time War

Novella Review

The Girl and the Mountain by Mark Lawrence

The Girl and the Mountain

New Release Review


Small Press Fantasy Titles On Our Radar: April 2016 Edition

Welcome to the second edition of the Small Press version of Fantasy-Faction’s popular ON OUR RADAR feature. This is the post in which we show readers all the Small Press books they should be looking out for during the course of the coming month. Savvy readers will notice this post is running a little bit later this month and that’s because the vast majority of the books had a mid-month release date, so we thought it would work better to feature around the same time.

That’s about all you need to know… Here are the Small Press titles you should be looking out for in April 2016:

Broken Eye Books

Royden Poole’s Field Guide to the 25th Hour
Clinton J. Boomer


Another bad day for Royden Poole…

Join the King of Jangladesh, angry and foulmouthed, as he finds himself in the oddest of bars, the seediest ofDescription:
massage parlors, and the airport. Oh, and he takes a spin through the staggering insanity of the farthest shores of the Sideways.

These short stories pull back the curtain and spill the secrets of the 25th Hour, that strange world of gods and monsters, of wonder and horror. This is a darkly comic tour through the twisted underbelly of the reality you thought you knew.

With a little luck, Royden won’t get you killed.

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Evil Girlfriend Media

Women In Practical Armor,
edited by Gabrielle Harbour and Ed Greenwood


Over the last decade, the gaming and fantasy fiction communities have engaged in a heated debate over the appropriate attire for women warriors. Some groups even suggest that women should shut up and be grateful that female warrior characters are even a part of games and fantasy books at all, regardless of how they are portrayed. But, women warriors are here to stay, and not just the finding-their-power ingenues or the bikini-clad vixens. The seasoned female warrior’s time has come, and Evil Girlfriend Media is excited to be part of the shift towards this new mythology.

Eighteen stories of seasoned women warriors fighting in practical armor.

Steve Bornstein – “Serendipity”
Cassandra Rose Clarke – “A Night in New Verashtin”
Erik Scott de Bie – “King’s Shield”
Kristy Griffin Green – “The Family Business”
Amy Griswold – “The Raven and the Swans”
Sarah Hendrix – “Hero of Ithar”
Crystal Lynn Hilbert – “Stone Woken”
Chris A. Jackson – “First Command”
Mary Robinette Kowal – “The Bound Man”
Eric Landreneau – “Pride and Joy”
Wunji Lau – “No Better Armor, No Heavier Burden”
Todd McCaffrey – “Golden”
Rhonda Parrish – “Sharp as a Griffin’s Claw”
Anya Penfold – “The Lioness”
Mary Pletsch – “The Blood Axe”
Alex C. Renwick – “Ravenblack”
David Szarzynski – “Armor the Color of War”
Judith Tarr – “Attrition”

Fox Spirit Books

The Office of Lost and Found
by Vincent Holland-Keen


Thomas Locke can find anything. You know the hurricane that hit a while back? Word is he found the butterfly that started it. So, when a desperate Veronica Drysdale hires Locke to find her missing husband, it makes perfect sense.

Except the world of Thomas Locke doesn’t make sense. It puts monsters under the bed, makes stars fall from the sky and leads little children to worship the marvels of road-works.

This world also hides from Veronica a past far darker and stranger than she could ever have imagined. To learn the truth, Veronica is going to have to lose everything.

And that’s where Locke’s shadowy business partner Lafarge comes in…

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Grimbold Books

Fight Like a Girl
Edited by Roz Clarke & Joanne Hall


What do you get when some of the best women writers of genre fiction come together to tell tales of female strength? A powerful collection of science fiction and fantasy ranging from space operas and near-future factional conflict to medieval warfare and urban fantasy. These are not pinup girls fighting in heels; these warriors mean business. Whether keen combatants or reluctant fighters, each and every one of these characters was born and bred to Fight Like A Girl.

Featuring stories by Roz Clarke, Kelda Erich, K T Davies, Dolly Garland, K R Green, Joanne Hall, Julia Knight, Kim Lakin-Smith, Juliet McKenna, Lou Morgan, Gaie Sebold, Sophie E Tallis, Fran Terminiello, Danie Ware and Nadine West.

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Azanian Bridges
Nick Wood


“I read Bridges with much pleasure… Chilling and fascinating.” – Ursula K. Le Guin

In a modern day South Africa where Apartheid still holds sway, Sibusiso Mchunu, a young amaZulu man, finds himself the unwitting focus of momentous events when he falls foul of the system and comes into possession of a secret that may just offer hope to his entire people. Pursued by the ANC on one side and Special Branch agents on the other, Sibusiso has little choice but to run.

Azanian Bridges is a truly ground-breaking book from South African-born author Nick Wood. This, his debut novel, is a socially acute fast-paced thriller that propels the reader into a world of intrigue and threat, leading to possibilities that examine the conscience of a nation.

“A very good novel indeed; the emotional intelligence is as high as its political insightfulness – the whole is compelling and moving.” – Adam Roberts

“A deeply-felt examination of Apartheid and its lingering effects through the lens of speculative fiction… challenging and thought-provoking.” – Lavie Tidhar

“This is a gut-puncher of a novel; original, brilliantly written, and a page-turner of note.” – Sarah Lotz

“Vivid, pacy, quietly furious, beautifully observed, with an ending that liberates and lacerates in equal measure.” – Stephanie Saulter

“Politically acute and powerful… in many ways a ‘text book’ story because it’s so well done.” – Ian Watson

The 1000 Year Reich
Ian Watson


Ian Watson, author of the very first novels in the Warhammer 40K universe, makes a long-anticipated return to military SF with “In Golden Armour”, one of three original stories in this fabulous new collection from the man who wrote the screen story to AI: Artificial Intelligence for Stanley Kubrick (later filmed by Steven Spielberg).

The 1000 Year Reich boasts eighteen stories that showcase the multiple award-winning author at his best. Brimming with ingenuity and invention, the content varies from fast-paced action to thought-provoking conjecture, from wicked humour to chilling possibility, from the sublime to the outrageous.

“The brilliant Ian Watson remains the most stimulating and the least comfortable science fiction writer working today. Reading his short fiction reminds us why he is one of the genre’s unassailable greats.”

– Adam Roberts

Splinters of Truth
Storm Constantine

Splinters cover

“Storm Constantine is a myth-making Gothic queen, whose lush tales are compulsive reading. Her stories are poetic, involving, delightful and depraved. I wouldn’t swap her for a dozen Anne Rices.” – Neil Gaiman

Storm Constantine is one of our finest writers of genre fiction. This new collection, Splinters of Truth, features fifteen stories, four of them original to this volume, that transport the reader to richly imagined realms one moment and shine a light on our own world’s darkest corners the next. A writer of rare passion, Storm delivers here some of her most accomplished work to date.

“Storm Constantine… is a daring romantic sensualist, as well as a fine storyteller.” – Poppy Z Brite

“Storm Constantine is a literary fantasist of outstanding power and originality. Her work is rich, idiosyncratic and completely engaging. Her themes have much in common with Philip K Dick – the nature of identify, the nature of reality, the creative power of the human imagination – while her sensibility reminds me of Angela Carter at her most inventive.” – Michael Moorcock

The paperback and eBook editions of all three titles will be widely available in all the usual stores, including Amazon. The signed limited edition hardbacks will only be available from the NewCon Press website and a few selected outlets.

PS Publishing

by Matthew Hughes


Seeing no threat, he looked back to the young woman and said, “What did you say?”

She was thin, though not frail, and though she was dressed in a manner by no means too outré for Olkney, the details of her costume said she had acquired it on some other world. Depending from a chain around her neck was a yellow stone carved roughly in the semblance of a human face.

She swallowed and looked straight at him with wide-set, pale eyes. “I said I need your help.” She swallowed again and added, “Uncle Luff.”

More Info:


Medusa’s Web
by Tim Powers
April 30, 2016


The last will of their suicide aunt requires that Scott and Madeline Madden return to Caveat, the vast old Hollywood Hills house they grew up in—and they soon learn that what they had thought was a shared childhood nightmare twenty years ago is in fact all too real.

Their strange, reclusive cousins, Claimayne and Ariel, are deeply involved in using a form of the Medusa—living two-dimensional psychoactive patterns known as “spiders”—to prolong their own lives and even hijack the lives of others…

Scott and Madeline are tumbled into the Medusa’s web, and find themselves struggling in a tangle of lives and deaths extending back to the earliest days of Hollywood, fracturing timelines in the past and fleeing from predators in the present, inexorably bound for a showdown with the voracious ghost of their aunt and the entity which is the oldest and most powerful of the spiders.

The Subterranean Press edition of Medusa’s Web is oversize, with a dust jacket and number of illustrations by J.K. Potter, housed in a custom slipcase.

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Leviathan Wakes
by James S. A. Corey


“It’s been too long since we’ve had a really kickass space opera. LEVIATHAN WAKES is interplanetary adventure the way it ought to be written.”—- George R.R. Martin

“This is the future the way it was supposed to be.”—- The Wall Street Journal

“As close as you’ll get to a Hollywood blockbuster in book form.”—- io9.com

“An excellent space operatic debut in the grand tradition of Peter F. Hamilton.”—- Charlie Stross

The signed limited edition of one of today’s most popular space operas. Dust jacket by Daniel Dociu; this is sold out on publication.

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The Days of Tao
by Wes Chu


Cameron Tan wouldn’t have even been in Greece if he hadn’t gotten a ‘D’ in Art History.

Instead of spending the summer after college completing his training as a Prophus operative, he’s doing a study abroad program in Greece, enjoying a normal life – spending time with friends and getting teased about his crush on a classmate.

Then the emergency notification comes in: a Prophus agent with vital information needs immediate extraction, and Cameron is the only agent on the ground, responsible for getting the other agent and data out of the country. The Prophus are relying on him to uncomplicate things.


Easy, except the rival Genjix have declared all-out war against the Prophus, which means Greece is about to be a very dangerous place. And the agent isn’t the only person relying on Cameron to get them safely out of the country – his friends from the study abroad program are, too. Cameron knows a good agent would leave them to fend for themselves. He also knows a good person wouldn’t. Suddenly, things aren’t easy at all.

The Days of Tao is the latest in the popular Tao series from award-winning author, Wesley Chu. Following after The Rebirths of Tao, this novella carries on the fast-moving and fun tone of the series.

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by Martin Owton


Aron of Darien, raised in exile after his homeland is conquered by a treacherous warlord, makes his way in the world on the strength of his wits and skill with a sword. Both are sorely tested when he is impressed into the service of the Earl of Nandor to rescue his heir from captivity in the fortress of Sarazan. The rescue goes awry. Aron and his companions are betrayed and must flee for their lives. Pursued by steel and magic, they find new friends and old enemies on the road that leads, after many turns, to the city of the High King. There Aron must face his father’s murderer before risking everything in a fight to the death with the deadliest swordsman in the kingdom.

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The Adventures of Sir Edric
by Thaddeus White


Two fabulous adventures.

Sir Edric’s Temple:

When Sir Edric Greenlock, the Hero of Hornska, is summoned to attend the King in the dead of night he fears imminent execution. The King, however, has something else in mind. Priceless royal seals have been stolen, and the King dispatches Sir Edric to retrieve
them in a mission that could optimistically be described as suicidal.

Along the way he’ll battle rockheaded golems, terrible sorcery and the Ursk: a race of brutal slavers who consider humans to be a sort of edible currency.

Accompanied by his pathologically loyal manservant Dog, the prudish elf Lysandra, and a man called Colin, he must travel to the Unholy Temple to retrieve the royal seals from a mysterious thief.

Sir Edric’ Treasure:

It isn’t always nice to be wanted, as Sir Edric discovers when an enormous bounty on his head attracts bounty hunters to him like dung attracts flies. To escape near certain capture, he embarks on a daring quest to pay off his bounty by winning the inheritance of the dying, and obscenely wealthy, Archibald Thrift.

Accompanied by his trusty manservant Dog, Raella the librarian and Belinda, a ten foot nun, he must find the Eye of Wisdom to win Archie’s wealth. But he’ll need all his cunning to best his rivals for Archie’s legacy, and the bounty hunters won’t give up their prey easily…

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Betrayal’s Shadow
by Dave de Burgh


Betrayal casts long shadows – none know this better than Brice Serholm.

As a decorated general in the kingdom’s elite Blade Knights, Brice had to overcome the taint of treason and betrayal to attain his rank. When Brice and a force of Knights are sent on a mission to investigate claims of rebellion in one of Avidar’s provinces, their ship is magically attacked, and the resulting investigation tests every oath Brice swore before his king.

Meanwhile, an inhuman infant escapes the capital’s Slave-Hold, the king’s mistress comes into possession of a unique dagger, and Del’Ahrid, the king’s most trusted First Advisor, begins to question everything he built his honour and life upon.
Events are in motion that will test every man, woman and child – and a conflict is coming that will shake the kingdom to its very foundations.

So begins the Mahaelian Chronicle.

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  1. Avatar Steven Poore says:

    April might well break my bank account….

  2. Avatar Dave says:

    Seriously cool selection of books, and I’m honoured that Betrayal’s Shadow is included. 🙂 The Overlord is kind, indeed… 😉

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