Archive for the ‘Science Fiction & Fantasy’ Category

Diana Gabaldon On OUTLANDER

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

A preview for the upcoming Outlander series for Starz, based on the books by Diana Gabaldon, features the author as well as an answer to the eternal question — what do men wear under their kilts?

The series begins on Aug. 9. UPDATE: Starz announced that the first episode will be available free  online beginning on Aug. 2.

Official Web Site:



Outlander (Starz Tie-in Edition)
Diana Gabaldon

RH/Bantam: July 1, 2014
9780553393705, 0553393707
Trade paperback
$18.00 USD

RH/Dell: July 1, 2014
9780553393699, 0553393693
Mass market paperback
$9.99 USD

Outlander TV Series Arrives Aug 9

Friday, May 9th, 2014

The STARZ channel has just announced Saturday, Aug 9 as the premiere date for the 16-episode series adapted from Diana Gabaldon’s best-selling Outlander books.

Official Web Site:



Outlander (Starz Tie-in Edition)
Diana Gabaldon

RH/Bantam: July 1, 2014
9780553393705, 0553393707
Trade paperback (US)
$18.00 USD

Outlander (Starz Tie-in Edition)
Diana Gabaldon
RH/Dell: July 1, 2014
9780553393699, 0553393693
Mass market (rack) paperback
$9.99 USD

GAME OF THRONES Has A “Massive Problem”

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

Vanity Fair Games of Thrones HBO’s Game of Thrones cast and crew get the Annie Liebovitz treatment in the April issue of Vanity Fair.

The cover story has been setting the internet afire by declaring that, with season four  beginning on April 6, the show has a “massive problem on the horizon,” in that it is catching up to the books.

This is not a new concern, however. It was anticipated, even before the HBO series began. As Time magazine’s TV critic says, the “answer generally was, Martin will hurry up with the last two books, or HBO will take a while with the series or–look, a raven!”  That appears to still be the answer.

The executive producers tell Vanity Fair that they’d like to wrap up the show after “seven or eight seasons.” To that end, they have met with Martin (who is also a producer on the show), to find out how the various plot lines will end, so they have a road map (for more details on the books, a longer version of VF‘s conversation with Martin is available online. Sorry, he doesn’t reveal what he told the executive producers).

The pressure from the show is nothing compared to what Martin, who is five volumes in to the planned seven-book series, has already endured from fans to get on with it (as the New Yorker wrote  on the eve of the 2011 publication of Book 5, A Dance with Dragons, they can be pretty unforgiving).

HBO’s Season 4 covers roughly the second half of A Storm of Swords, the third in the book series. To add a little confusion for casual observers, Book Four, A Feast for Crows, will be released as a tie-in edition.

As Time‘s critic advises, it’s best just to relax and enjoy each series for their unique pleasures.

A Feast For Crows, Tie-inA Feast for Crows (HBO Tie-in Edition): A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Four
George R.R. Martin
RH/Bantam, 4/1/14
Trade paperback; 9780553390575, 0553390570
$18.00 USD / $21.00 CAD
Mass market paperback; 9780553390568, 0553390562
$9.99 USD / $11.99 CAD


Thursday, March 13th, 2014

Annihilation   Authority   Acceptance

Here’s your chance to read the SECOND book in a trilogy, just as excitement begins to build for the first.

The books in Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy are arriving in such quick succession that the galley for the second book, Authority, (Macmillan/FSG, May 6), is available now (if you’re at PLA, Talia Sherer from Macmillan says they have it at their booth; it’s also available as an e-galley on Edelweiss). The publishing schedule is so accelerated, that it was the springboard for a NYT publishing story.

The first in the trilogy, Annihilation, (Macmillan/FSG, Feb 4), gets a remarkable review in the new issue of Entertainment Weekly. While the reviewer only gives it a B+, he is clearly captivated beyond that rating, saying it’s “one of the weirdest books” he’s ever read and that, “Like all the great weird books, Annihilation will scare you and move you, and you might never know why.” The Washington Post reviewer echoes that sentiment, “Annihilation is successfully creepy, an old-style gothic horror novel set in a not-too-distant future. The best bits turn your mind inside out.” For more on what inspired the author, read his interview in Wired.

It’s also received buzz from librarians on GalleyChat, as Robin Beerbower reported earlier this week.

The third in the series, Acceptance, is set to arrive in Sept. Happily, the series are in trade paperback, lowering the risk to try them. Several libraries we checked are showing holds.

GALLEYCHATTER: Eight Titles To Top Your TBR Pile

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

Editor’s Note: We’re delighted to welcome Robin Beerbower as the regular “GalleyChatter” columnist for EarlyWord. Robin’s day job is as the  readers’ advisor and homebound services coordinator for the Salem [OR] Public Library. She has been a supporter of GalleyChat from its inception, calling those discussions “pure gold for selectors and readers advisors.” She’s enthusiastic about the importance (and fun) of reading books ahead of publication and tirelessly tracks down galleys, making her the local authority on new books. She is also very active on the Edelwiss Community Board, using it to spot titles and gauge developing buzz among librarians (you can join in; just register on Edelweiss and “friend” Robin). She plans to write regular roundups on the titles she discovers through the monthly GalleyChats, with regular updates on books to watch for.

From Robin:
Thanks to everyone on GalleyChat for their warm reception about my contributions to EarlyWord, and thanks to Nora for giving me this opportunity. The chats are  fast and furious with tweets flying everywhere. I’ll do my best to summarize each chat (for a full transcript, check our board on Storify).

GalleyChats are held on Twitter the first Tuesday of each month. The next one is on April 1. Please join us (details here).

Below are the titles that rose to the top of the TBR lists as we chatted last week. If you haven’t received print galleys of these titles, check for e-galleys on NetGalley and Edelweiss.

All The Light We Cannot See   9781616203214_95fa2

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (Scribner, May 2014; Audio exclusive from MidWest Tape), a historical novel set in occupied France during WWII, received high praise from a couple of chatters including Susan Balla, who called it “A once-in-a-lifetime book.” The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin (Algonquin, April 2014), a moving novel set in a small island bookstore, also received an outpouring of love from multiple chatters. Vicki Nesting said she wanted to reread it as soon as she finished, and it has received “Much Love” from 47 peers on Edelweiss. Scroll through those reviews; you’ll be convinced (UPDATE: it’s the #1 title on the just released April LibraryReads list). Selectors, stock up on this one.

Bees Kristi Chadwick said the intriguing novel set in a beehive, The Bees by Laline Paull (HC/Ecco, May 2014), was amazing, and during the January chat, Wilda Williams from Library Journal called it “a Watership Down for insects.”

authorityTwo science fiction/fantasy books received several mentions. The e-galley of Jeff VanderMeer’s second book in the Southern Reach trilogy, Authority (Macmillan/FSG, May 2014), was well received by Megan McArdle, who loved the first book,  Annihilation. The Macmillan rep reported the good news that the third book, Acceptance, will be released next September. Katherine Addison’s The Goblin Emperor (Tor, April 2014) was mentioned by multiple members with Jane Jorgenson saying it was the best fantasy she’s read in years. Addison also writes the Doctrine of Labyrinth series as Sarah Monnette.

Suspense thrillers were popular during the exchange with the third in the Keye Street series, Don’t Talk to Strangers by Amanda Kyle Williams (RH/Bantam, July, 2014), at the top of the list. Jane Jorgenson said  “It’s got good, claustrophobic, small-town feel – kind of reminds me of the mood of  True Detective (love).”  This has been a popular readalike series for Karin Slaughter and Lisa Gardner fans. Chevy Stevens’That Night and Chelsea Cain’s departure from the Sheridan/Lowell series, One Kick,(Simon & Schuster, August 2014) received nods from fans of their earlier books.

life drawing

My personal favorite of the past month was Robin Black’s Life Drawing (RH, July 2014), a gorgeously written suspenseful study of marriage and betrayal. Not exactly a Gone Girl readalike but just as compelling.

If you read any of these mentioned books, please let us know what you enjoyed by either entering your comments below or in Edelweiss.

Happy Reading!

Closer to Screen: JONATHAN STRANGE

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

Jonathan StrangePhotos from the set of the BBC production of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, based on Susanna Clarke’s 2004 best seller, are available via The Daily Mail.

The 7-part series, which Time magazine’s critic calls “Possibly my most-anticipated new TV show of the year” will air in the U.S. on BBC America, but no dates have been announced.

In its day, the book was also eagerly anticipated, as Michael Dirda’s Washington Post review makes clear. Although Clarke said in a 2004 interview that she plans to continue the story, the only book she has published since is a collection of short stories, The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories, (Macmillan/Bloomsbury, 2006).

The book is still in print. Media tie-in editions have not yet been announced.

OUTLANDER First Trailer

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

The first trailer for the STARZ adaptation of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series is now available, with the tagline: “What if Your Future Was Your Past?”

There’s no specific release date yet, beyond “Summer 2014.”

Entertainment Weekly interviewed the director Ron Moore recently, asking a crucial question; “how much sex will the show have?” Moore responded, “There is a fair amount. We don’t really have to add very much; there’s a lot of sex in the book.”

Asked if the success of Game of Thrones has influenced him, Moore said, “It’s definitely opened that door and showed that fantasy and genre material has a strong audience on premium cable. They also showed you can take an existing readership and turn it into an audience and then broaden that audience.”

No tie-ins have been announced yet.

GAME 4 Trailer

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

Game of Thrones, 2005The release of the trailer for the new season of HBO’s Game of Thrones has been watched on YouTube nearly 10 million times since it was released on Sunday (it will probably break that number by the time we finish this post). Time magazine offers a handy run down of the new characters glimpsed in the footage.

This season, which begins on April 5, is based on the fourth in George R.R. Martin’s series of books, titled A Feast for Crows. [Note; Thanks to an alert from a reader’s comment, we have learned that season 4 is actually based on the second half of book 3. delves in to how the TV series differs from the books).

Tie-ins are listed below (covers have not yet been released; the one above is for the 2005 first edition):

A Feast for Crows (HBO Tie-in Edition): A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Four
George R.R. Martin
RH/Bantam; On Sale Date: April 1, 2014
9780553390568, 0553390562
Mass market (rack) paperback
$9.99 US / $11.99 Can.

A Feast for Crows (HBO Tie-in Edition): A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Four
George R.R. Martin
RH/Bantam; On Sale Date: April 1, 2014
9780553390575, 0553390570
Trade paperback
$18.00 US / $21.00 Can.


Saturday, December 28th, 2013

There’s no news yet on exactly when the STARZ series will begin, but the cast of Outlander, based on the first title in Diana Gabaldon’s novels, is preparing fans with videos on how to “Speak Outlander.”

Below is Lesson One. Lesson Two and several other videos are available on the official web site,

It’s appropriate that Lesson One teaches the pronunciation of Sassenach, an English person or an outsider. The lead character Claire Randall is an English World War II combat nurse who time travels back to Scotland in 1743 where she meets a handsome Scottish warrior, Jamie Fraser played by Sam Heughan, (the guy in the hoodie).

Written in My Own Heart's BloodA “fan gathering” with the cast and crew, including author Diana Gabaldon, will be held in Los Angeles on Jan. 11. Fans can also find set photos on Instagram and more on the show’s Facebook page.

The publication of the 8th title in the series, Written in My Own Heart’s Blood, (RH/Delacorte) was moved from its original December date to March 25, 2014 to tie in with the publicity for the STARZ series. [UPDATE: On her blog, Gabaldon recently announced that the date has been moved again, to June 10 -- perhaps hinting that the series will begin this summer].


Thursday, December 12th, 2013

Sword_of_shannara_hardcoverThe book that was hailed as the next big thing in fantasy after The Lord of the Rings back in the ’70′s,  The Sword of Shannara, by Terry Brooks, (RH/Del Rey; 1977) is now being seen as the next Game of Thrones, by MTV which has announced plans to adapt the entire 25-book saga (via The Hollywood Reporter).

The producers have secured a straight-to-series commitment (translated, if the network honchos like the script, they will get right to work on the series, bypassing the pilot stage).

978-0-345-52353-2   9780345540706   9780345540799_3efe0

The most recent title in the series, Witch Wraith (RH/Del Rey; RH Audio) was published in July. The first book in the Defenders of Shannara trilogy, supposedly the final books of the saga, The High Druid’s Blade is scheduled for publication in  March 2014. It will be followed in August by The Darkling Child (RH/Del Rey; RH Audio).

HOBBIT 2: New Trailer

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

A new, much longer trailer for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, the second in the film trilogy based on J.R.R. Tolkein’s novel, was revealed at a fan event Monday night.

The film arrives on Dec. 13. The third in the trilogy, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, will be released on Dec. 17, 2014.

Fans at the event also saw 20 minutes of “never before seen footage” from the film (IGN breaks it down here).


Thursday, October 31st, 2013

Jonathan StrangeIt’s a good time to bring out your copies of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell and put them on display. Entertainment news sites are abuzz with the story that production has begun on a seven-part BBC series based on the 2004 debut bestseller by Susanna Clarke.

The novel made news when it was acquired by Bloomsbury, U.K. for £1 million, with the Guardian trumpeting, “Watch and learn, Harry Potter, and stand by for some serious magic. The company that championed the schoolboy wizard is about to launch one of the biggest marketing campaigns in publishing history for its new international blockbuster – but this time it’s magic for grown-ups.”

It fulfilled expectations. The 800-page epic set during the Napoleonic wars reached #3 on the New York Times best-seller list. Longlisted for the 2004 Man Booker Prize, it won the 2005 Hugo Award for Best Novel, was Time Magazine’s #1 Book of the Year and was reviewed widely.

At the time of acquisition, Bloomsbury editor-in-chief Alexandra Pringle described it as, “funny in a sly Jane Austen way and very literary with elements of fantasy – Jane Austen meets Philip Pullman is a fair way to describe it.” She also noted, “There is definitely a film in it and we’ve already had a lot of interest in the film rights.”

Rights were acquired, but have since lapsed, clearing the way for what may become the next BBC Obsession, set to air some time in 2014.

John Scalzi Wins Hugo Award

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

9780765334794Oh, to be in the U.K., where people seem to care about book awards. There, they actually bet on the longlist for the Booker Prize and the recent Hugo Awards caused The Guardian to assert that, “there are few things as entertaining as the ruck that follows the announcement of literary awards, and the Hugos … are no exception.”

The winner for best novel was John Scalzi for Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas (Macmillan/Tor; Brilliance Audio), described as a “sort of a Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead for the SF crowd” because it “deconstructs the Star Trek mythos with a nudge-nudge-wink-wink” by focusing on “the ubiquitous disposable crewmen from USS Enterprise on the TV show, usually the first to die on any given mission.”

The controversy appears to be whether the Hugos should be give any credence, since, unlike the Clarkes or the Kitschies, they are voted on by the public (or, at least, those who attend the annual WorldCon); the Guardian thinks there should be room for populism.


Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

Scottish actor Sam Heughan has  officially been cast as Jamie Fraser, the male lead in the upcoming Outlander series on cable network STARZ, based on Diana Gabaldon’s novels. The news was leaked via Twitter last week.

Written in My Own Heart's Blood

Outlander begins shooting this fall in Scotland and is expected to debut on STARZ next spring, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The next title in the series, Written in My Own Heart’s Blood, has been moved from a December publication date to March 25, 2014, when it will tie in to the publicity for the STARZ series.

ENDER’S GAME Gets A Trailer

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

The first trailer for the adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s Sci Fi novel, Ender’s Game, debuted online today. The movie debuts on Nov. 1 and stars:

Harrison Ford … Colonel Hyrum Graff
Abigail Breslin …Valentine Wiggin
Ben Kingsley … Mazer Rackham
Asa Butterfield … Ender Wiggin
Han Soto … Colonel Graff’s aide
Hailee Steinfeld … Petra Arkanian
Viola Davis … Major Gwen Anderson

The tie-ins are  releasing today:

Ender’s Game MTI (Ender Wiggins Quartet)
Orson Scott Card
Retail Price: $9.99
Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Tor Teen – (2013-05-07)
ISBN / EAN: 0765337541 / 9780765337542

Other Available Formats:

Audio ISBN: 9781427205261

Audio ISBN: 9781593974749

Audio ISBN: 9781427235398

Trade Paperback ISBN: 9780765337320