STEAMPUNK HAS A NEW HERO. GAIL Z. MARTIN AND LARRY MARTIN’S NEW NOVEL ‘IRON & BLOOD.’

Iron-and-Blood

IRON & BLOOD by Gail Z. Martin & Larry Martin

Solaris (July 2, 2015)

Paperback: 432 pages

  • ISBN-10: 1781083118
  • ISBN-13:  978-1781083116

Kindle Length: 383 pages

STORYLINE

New Pittsburgh in 1898, a crucible of invention and intrigue, the hub of American industry at the height of its steam-driven power. Born from the ashes of devastating fire, flood and earthquake, New Pittsburgh is ruled by the shadow government of The Oligarchy.

In the abandoned mine tunnels beneath the city, supernatural creatures hide from the light, emerging to feed in the smoky city known as ‘hell with the lid off.’ Jake Desmet and Rick Brand, heirs to the Brand & Desmet Import Company, travel the world to secure treasures and unusual items for the collections of wealthy patrons, accompanied by Jake’s cousin, Veronique ‘Nicki’ LeClercq .

Smuggling a small package as a favor for a Polish witch should have been easy. But when hired killers come after Jake and a Ripper-style killer leaves the city awash in blood, Jake, Rick and Nicki realize that dark magic, vampire power struggles and industrial sabotage are just a prelude to a bigger plot that threatens New Pittsburgh and the world. Stopping that plot will require every ounce of Jake’s courage, every bit of Rick’s cunning, every scintilla of Nicki’s bravura and all the steam-powered innovation imaginable.

Gail Z. Martin returns to Solaris Books for the start of a brand new, epic adventure set in the alternative universe of the Victorian streets of New Pittsburgh.  Writing for the first time with her husband Larry N. Martin, the two combine Gail Z. Martin’s epic world building and intricate character development, with a high-octane dose of steam fuelled adventure.

Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Gail Z. Martin has turned her flair for invention on the landscape of her hometown, raising the iconic sites and reinventing the historic stories of the areas to create a fun, new start to a series that combines fantastical steampunk innovation with the supernatural. In Iron & Blood the Martins tackle the scope of human nature, from political power struggles to family feuds in a rip-roaring adventure that stamps through the original setting of New Pittsburgh and flies straight off the page. Fans of Gail Z. Martin’s fantasy and those looking for a new steampunk adventure will not want to miss this fantastic new series.

http://www.amazon.com/Iron-Blood-Jack-Desmet-Adventure/dp/1781083118/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=1-1&qid=1437192439http://

Gail & Larry

OTHER WORKS BY GAIL Z MARTIN.

Gail3The Dread (The Falling Kings Cycle #2) (2012)

http://www.amazon.com/The-Dread-Fallen-Kings-Cycle/dp/0316093610/ref=pd_sim_14_3?ie=UTF8&refRID=0XMAG3YD2M8KMQ27VVYF

  book1Ice Forged (The Ascendant Kingdoms Saga) (2013)

http://www.amazon.com/Ice-Forged-Ascendant-Kingdoms-Saga/dp/0316093580/ref=pd_sim_14_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=1TMR8NAMCZQVFYVND1BS

gail2Deadly Curiosities (2014)

http://www.amazon.com/Deadly-Curiosities-Gail-Z-Martin/dp/1781082332/ref=pd_sim_14_8?ie=UTF8&refRID=0XMAG3YD2M8KMQ27VVYF

 

JIM BUTCHER’S NEW STEAMPUNK WORLD SETTING REALISED: THE CINDER SPIRES: THE AERONAUT’S WINDLASS

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THE CINDER SPIRES: THE AERONAUT’S WINDLASS

by Jim Butcher

Released: September 29, 2015

Publisher: Roc

ISBN: 9780356504681

Since time immemorial, the Spires have sheltered humanity, towering for miles over the mist-shrouded surface of the world. Within their halls, aristocratic houses have ruled for generations, developing scientific marvels, fostering trade alliances, and building fleets of airships to keep the peace.

Captain Grimm commands the merchant ship, Predator. Fiercely loyal to Spire Albion, he has taken their side in the cold war with Spire Aurora, disrupting the enemy’s shipping lines by attacking their cargo vessels. But when the Predator is severely damaged in combat, leaving captain and crew grounded, Grimm is offered a proposition from the Spirearch of Albion-to join a team of agents on a vital mission in exchange for fully restoring Predator to its fighting glory.

And even as Grimm undertakes this dangerous task, he will learn that the conflict between the Spires is merely a premonition of things to come. Humanity’s ancient enemy, silent for more than ten thousand years, has begun to stir once more. And death will follow in its wake.

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A FEW THOUGHTS REGARDING ‘THE AERONAUT’S WINDLASS.’

Excuse me while I hysterically wax away in fanboy elocution. I admit it. I’m a BIG Harry Dresden fan as well as more than a passing purveyor of Steampunk literature. So you can imagine me seeing for the first time the cover of Jim Butcher’s new series and almost creaming myself (I did say I was getting hysterical didn’t I…?). Seeing Jim’s name associated with the title ‘The Aeronaut’s Windlass’ was just too much. I love the characters that inhabit Mr Butcher’s fertile imagination, especially when he craftfully sets such images to storyline in the already 15 published Dresden File novels. Putting a highly regarded author in a Steampunk frame of mind is, well… surreal. What’s not to like?

Ships sailing the skies is a tried and true romantic notion made famous by Jules Verne back in 1886 with ‘Robur the Conqueror’ and perfected over the years by authors in various Science Fiction and Fantasy subgenres such as Planetary Romances (Edgar Rice Burroughs with the ‘Barsoom’ series and Lin Carter with his ‘Callisto’ series and would also include in his Sword & Sorcery series, ‘Thongor of Lemurua’). Michael Moorcock is no slouch when it comes to airships either. His 1971 Alternative History novel ‘ The Warlord of the Air’  employs a backdrop of a fleet or two of airships in fine proto-Steam Punk fashion. Moving on to 1986 and James P Blaylock‘s ‘Homunculus’ sees a ‘dirigible’ floating above London  and the main eclectic characters attempting to get on board before it crashes. And that’s what makes Steam Punk so exciting and interesting. Taking Victorian/Edwardian settings and values and more importantly filling that alternative world with interesting and engaging characters. If you’ve read Jim Butcher’s novels before you just KNOW you’re in for a wonderful treat.

The prologue starts in midstream of a heated discussion at Spire Albion, Habble Morning, House Lancaster where one of the privileged, Gwendolyn Margaret Elizabeth Lancaster is adamant that she will not be following her mother’s wishes to attending Lady Hadshaw’s Finishing Academy. I won’t give the scene away any further other than to say you just know that Gwendolyn Margaret Elizabeth Lancaster is going to be more than a handful in the following story about to be revealed. Great!

Jim Butcher has taken the standard Steam Punk tropes and turned it on its wonderful head with an epic tale filled with cats with opposable thumbs (Oh, did I mention they can talk as well? The cats that is, not the thumbs), amazing air battles you won’t believe, goggles galore and “Ethric” crystal powered cannons to name but a few. Here we have tapestries filled with brass and etherealists and towers so high it makes your nose bleed reading about them.

As for pacing, don’t expect the same in regards to the Dresden Files. This is full on, high-spirited adventures that make the 640 pages pass by in no time at all. If it’s action you want, then look no further. In fact I would suggest this story is more your action-driven tale rather than character-driven. Having said that, Mr Butcher knows how to create the type of people you get to like and enjoy being around, and this one is no different. High stakes bring high risks and I think you’ll find Captain Grim and entourage are up for the task at hand. Can’t wait for the movie!

 

MORE GRUNT, MORE ACTION. WESTON OCHSE’S NEW NOVEL IN THE TASK FORCE OMBRA SERIES, ‘GRUNT TRAITOR.’

grunt1GRUNT TRAITOR (A TASK FORCE OMBRA NOVEL) WESTON OCHSE released July 28 2015 Publisher: Solaris PAPERBACK: 432 Pages ISBN-13: 978-1781083581 ISBN-10: 1781083584 STORYLINE: The breakout military SF series continues! Their spies were among us for years. They mapped our electrical infrastructure, learned our weaknesses, until finally they flipped the switch and threw us back into the Dark Ages. Only OMBRA and its battalions around the world seem capable of defending Earth from the next wave of attack—terraforming. But at what price can we gain our freedom from these yet to be identified aliens? They’re pushing the human race to the edge of extinction if we can’t find a way to change things. But what will we have to change? What will we humans become to survive this threat. Benjamin Carter Mason will be asked this question over and over as he dives deep into the nasty heart of an alien transformed Los Angeles. And in the end, he might be the last person on Earth defending not just our lives, but our humanity. This is a time for heroes. For killers. For Grunts.

A must read for those whose Military SF fix with the first book in the series, GRUNT LIFE is on the wane. Fear not, Book Two, GRUNT LIFE is about to put you not only in a happier place, but an exciting one as well.  Same with the main protagonists in this followup novel. They combat hard and ready against the Cray and other assorted alien invaders, and when Task force Omra is not pushing back the way they know best  they’re also dealing with a lot of internal stuff such as PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).

This is what I like about the author’s writing in that he adds more depth to his characters as the stakes are raised. Some of men and women are truly broken but against all that is thrown at them they’re our best hope against such horrific adversity. It doesn’t hurt Weston namedropping some of my favourites SF reads in the storyline either.  They’ve also found out WHY these aliens  are here and I’ll just say that it’s good to know the stakes are high for the invaders as well. It’s something our main character, Benjamin Carter Mason, and his team are contemplating on how to stop the global infection. This is Invasion of The Body Snatchers on high octane, and then some.

WESTONOWeston Ochse is an American author of 25 books and an educator. He has won the Bram Stoker Award for Best First Novel and been nominated for the Pushcart Prize for his short fiction. His novel SEAL Team 666 is currently under development by MGM Films. Its sequel Age of Blood, was praised as ‘required reading’ by the New York Post  and USA Today placed it on their ‘New and Notable Lists.’ He is a military veteran with 30 years of military service. weston3

GRUNT LIFE (A TASK FORCE OMBRA NOVEL) #1 (2014)   http://www.amazon.com/Grunt-Life-Force-Ombra-Novel/dp/1781082014/ref=pd_sim_14_4?ie=UTF8&refRID=005BKMDSQ3N0H6A1PSKS

weston2

SEAL TEAM 666. #1 (2012)

http://www.amazon.com/SEAL-Team-666-A-Novel/dp/B00DF05HWI/ref=pd_sim_14_3?ie=UTF8&refRID=11SYYE9TYBH1WBBF3TPX

WESTON4

AGE OF BLOOD (A SEAL TEAM 666 NOVEL) #2 (2013)

http://www.amazon.com/Age-Blood-SEAL-Team-Novel/dp/1250036623/ref=pd_sim_14_1?

ie=UTF8&refRID=005BKMDSQ3N0H6A1PSKS

A GREAT WAY TO LET OFF STEAM. ANDY REMIC’S NEW NOVEL ‘THE DRAGON ENGINE.’

the dragon engine

The Dragon Engine (The Blood Dragon Empire) September 1, 2015

by Andy Remick

Publisher: Angry Robot

ISBN-10: 0857664549

ISBN-13: 978-0857664549

http://www.amazon.com/Dragon-Engine-Blood-Empire/dp/0857664549/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1437208583&sr=1-1&keywords=the+dragon+engine

STORYLINE

Five noble war heroes of Vagandrak get drunk one night and sign a contract – to journey to the Karamakkos in search of the Five Havens. There, it is written, there lies untold, abandoned wealth and, more importantly, the three Dragon Heads, legendary jewels claimed to give unspeakable power and everlasting life to those who wield them.

But the Dragon Heads aren’t what the adventurers think they are, and the world has not encountered their like in many, many generations!

andy remic“My first novel for Orbit Books was Spiral, published 2003. The blurb runs: “In a future where nuclear warheads can be hidden in a suitcase … In a world where designer plagues are held suspended in a teardrop … Prepare for chaos. Where conventional armies are powerless to defend against a single assassin, the secret organisation known as SPIRAL exists to fight a shadow war against fanatics and rogue states of every faith and political persuasion. Remorseless, unstoppable, of every country and of none, SPIRAL’s agents conduct their covert operations throughout the world in a never-ending battle for civilisation’s survival. But now SPIRAL itself is under attack. And if SPIRAL falls, the world falls with it …”
 
My official biography  blurb runs like this: Andy Remic lives in Lincoln, UK, although his heart and viking soul belong to the Scottish mountains. Married with two children, Andy has a variety of esoteric and sometimes contrasting loves, including sword fighting, climbing, mountain biking, kick-boxing, Ducati motorcycles and retro-gaming.
 
He writes SF/ fantasy/ horror/ thrillers, and some people quite like his books.”

remic1

THE IRON WOLVES (2013)

http://www.amazon.com/Iron-Wolves-Rage-Kings/dp/0857663542/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=&qid=

Andy 2

THE CLOCKWORK VAMPIRE (2012)

http://www.amazon.com/Clockwork-Vampire-Chronicles-Omnibus-Angry/dp/085766204X/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=&qid=

ANDY3

HARDCORE (2011)

http://www.amazon.com/Hardcore-Combat-K-Andy-Remic/dp/1844167933/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=&qid=

NOTHING SLOW ABOUT THIS ONE. ALASTAIR REYNOLDS’ NEW NOVEL ‘SLOW BULLETS’ TRAVELS AT FTL

slow bullets 1SLOW BULLETS by ALASTAIR REYNOLDS

Tachyon Publications (2015)

Paperback: 192 Pages

ISBN-10: 1616961937

ISBN-13: 978-1616961930

http://www.amazon.com/Slow-Bullets-Alastair-Reynolds/dp/1616961937

STORYLINE

From the author of the Revelation Space series comes an interstellar adventure of war, identity, betrayal, and the preservation of civilization itself.

A vast conflict, one that has encompassed hundreds of worlds and solar systems, appears to be finally at an end. A conscripted soldier is beginning to consider her life after the war and the family she has left behind. But for Scur—and for humanity—peace is not to be.

On the brink of the ceasefire, Scur is captured by a renegade war criminal, and left for dead in the ruins of a bunker. She revives aboard a prisoner transport vessel. Something has gone terribly wrong with the ship.

Passengers—combatants from both sides of the war—are waking up from hibernation far too soon. Their memories, embedded in bullets, are the only links to a world which is no longer recognizable. And Scur will be reacquainted with her old enemy, but with much higher stakes than just her own life.

burbank_bw_small.jpg.w300h483“I’m the author of eleven science fiction novels – twelve if you include my recent Doctor Who novel – and more than fifty pieces of shorter fiction, ranging in length from vignettes of a few hundred words to works that are almost short novels in their own right. I have published three collection of shorter work, as well as a few chapbooks containing one or two novella-length stories. My work is widely translated and republished. Professionally, I was a scientist before I became a full-time writer, although the two professions overlapped for a good few years. My research area was astronomy and astrophysics, and I spent a long period of time working in and around the European Space Agency’s main research establishment in the Netherlands. Perhaps unsurprisingly, my fiction is strongly informed by my time as a scientist – I try to make my invented universes and futures make some sort of sense with regards to physics and biology – but I hope I am not too slavish about it. More than anything, what attracted me to SF – and continues to do so – is the scope offered for almost infinite creative possibility. SF is a toolkit with a billion applications.”

OTHER WORKS BY ALASTAIR REYNOLDS

1

ON THE STEEL BREEZE (2015)

http://www.amazon.com/On-Steel-Breeze-Alastair-Reynolds/dp/0425256332/ref=pd_sim_14_3?ie=UTF8&refRID=1VA27WWD0X5F92EPK9Y3

2BLUE REMEMBERED EARTH (POSEIDON’S CHILDREN) (2013)

http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Remembered-Earth-Poseidons-Children/dp/0425256162/ref=pd_sim_14_2?ie=UTF8&refRID=0DS466FQVPSQG1WN4HVA

3

DIAMOND DOGS, TURQUOISE DAYS (2005)

http://www.amazon.com/Diamond-Dogs-Turquoise-Revelation-Space/dp/0441012787/ref=pd_sim_14_14?ie=UTF8&refRID=1MGB8K3RGRWC9T8P3MRX