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Jurassic, Jurassic, Jurassic...

Somehow I went an entire week without a single new book turning up. Fortunately, a few things to flag up in other places, 'cause, well, if you're nice enough to host my gibbering, you deserve a thank you.

I interviewed the enigmatic Den Patrick in his subterranean lair for Fantasy Faction. Den's ORC WAR MANUAL came out this week from Gollancz and is a blast to read. Disclaimer: We're really good friends. Double-disclaimer: despite that, we manage to act like adults for a thousand-or-so words. Well, most of them. Thanks to Jenni and Marc at FF for hosting!

Meanwhile, over at the Ranting Dragon, the ambitious Dragoners (Ranters?) are off on a quest to find The Great Fantasy Novel. There have been some really good selections (also some quirky ones) (and a few that are a bit suspect), but, you know, we Pornokitschim play to win, so I busted out the big guns. This was a lot of fun, and I'm really glad they let me take part. Thanks, Dragoners!

[Edited to add: Fantasy Faction again! The book club chose The Folding Knife for their September read, so I asked FF if I could add a personal plea to potential readers. Everyone should read the book, and here's why.]

Meanwhile, Jurassic London stuff... lots of news and reviews:

First and foremost - in case you missed it, we're open to submissions for two new books - Irregularity and The Rite of SpringAll the details are here.

stories of the smokeStories of the Smoke went on a bit of a tear through Gardner Dozois' The Best Science Fiction of the Year: Volume 30. As someone that grew up on these volumes, it was pretty fantastic to see Jurassic (and, oddly, Pornokitsch) mentioned in the introduction - even in passing. Mr. Dozois singled out four stories as Honorable Mentions:

  • Aliette de Bodard's "A Dance of Life and Dust"
  • Sarah Lotz's "Inspector Bucket Investigates"
  • Adam Roberts' "Martin Citywit"
  • Lavie Tidhar's "A Brief History of the Great Pubs of London"

Mr. Roberts' An account of a voyage from world to world... also received a separate Honorable Mention, as well as a note in the introduction as being one of the best novellas of the year. ("A voyage" was only printed in a 26-copy limited edition in 2012, so this is actually a bit cruel of Mr. Dozois. It has since been edited, brushed-up and added to The Lowest Heaven.)

Smoke picked up two further nods from The Year's Best Australian Fantasy and Horror, with editors Liz Gryzb and Talie Helen including Kaaron Warren's "The Pickwick Syndrome" and  Michelle Goldsmith's "The Hound of Henry Hortinger" in their Recommendations.

The Riverside Bookshop says The Lowest Heaven is: "a rich assortment of contemporary SF set in our little corner of the universe. The Lowest Heaven ranges in style and subject from space colonising and voyaging to more psychological and fantastical treatments.... makes you want to seek out more of [the authors'] work."

The Lowest Heaven is also in Locus,  although the review is limited to subscribers only. The reviewer (Mr. Dozois again!) "would have liked to have seen more core science fiction used, since many of the stories here are fantasy, some are slipstream, and some are straight mainstream" - which is very true indeed! He also singling out several stories for praise, including those by Alastair Reynolds, Lavie Tidhar, E.J. Swift, Adam Roberts, Jon Courtenay Grimwood, Kameron Hurley, Simon Morden and Matt Jones.

the lowest heavenPlus there's a tantilizing mention on Strange Horizons that flags up out E.J. Swift's "Saga's Children" as kind of awesome.

A review of 1853 from Graeme Flory which ends in the very agreeable conclusion that everyone "should just give it a read".

Attendees at Nine Worlds all received free downloads of Speculative Fiction 2012. According to our friends at the independent bookseller, quite a few folks took advantage of this offer. Folks at WorldCon may soon stumble upon a similar perk... (We've also sent a crate of books to this party. Enjoy!)

Amazingly, a brilliant review for Stories of the Apocalypse (!) from Violin in a Void, one of those fantastic efforts that touches on every story. The reviewer concludes that "Pandemonium is a strong collection; I wished I’d read it earlier so I could review it while it was still in print." (Us too!)

Finally, Kirkus flagged up both The Lowest Heaven and The Book of the Dead as "must reads" for the second half of 2013

The Book of the Dead has been laid out and the print proofs are being prodded by the various contributors. It should be off to the printer soon, which is... both nerve-wracking and wonderful. If all goes well, we'll be taking pre-orders at the end of the month. Now's probably a good time to mention our mailing list

We've also briefed the contributors for the 2013 Stocking Stuffer. The theme? Regency romance. There's another twist, too: all the contributors will be writing under pen names. Because... because.

And, one final 2013 anthology that's not actually from Jurassic at all - The Kraken Rises is anthology put together by Angry Robot and the Bristol Festival of Literature. This October, there will be a day long creative hootenanny, mentored by authors like Jonathan Howard and Gaie Sebold. Angry Robot will then select the winning stories and, in record time, turn them around into a brand new anthology. It should be a lot of fun, and I urge everyone to join in with the tentacular mayhem.