A brand new David Gemmell

A brand new, never before seen, novel from the late David Gemmell

David Gemmell

For me this announcement has two fold levels of excitement, because ever since the great man passed away i could not bring myself to read the rest of the Troy series, i never wanted to be left without a new Gemmell. I also drifted away from fantasy for a few years. I am now fully back in the fantasy fold, and this i feel will break my self imposed block on reading that final Troy novel. For me Gemmell is “The Writer” you must read, i can read any of his books again and again, Lion of Macedon is my all time fav book, and if asked to reccomend a book, it wil always be a Gemmell i think of first.

White Knight Black Swan is no different, released under Ross Harding it is a wonderful heart warming story, one that really should see the light of day again and be more widely read rather that a rare curiosity. 

Gollancz who are always coming up with the goods with new authors have really made my day with this announcement… well done.

Gollancz, an imprint of the Orion Publishing Group, is thrilled to announce the acquisition of a never before seen novel from bestselling author David Gemmell recovered from his archives. RHYMING RINGS is a crime novel that long lay forgotten amongst the author’s personal effects until it was recently rediscovered by his widow, Stella Gemmell.

RHYMING RINGS tells the story of an ambidextrous killer who is murdering women in London, leaving virtually no evidence behind. Struggling local journalist Jeremy Miller wishes he was covering the case, but instead he’s stuck with heart-warming local stories about paraplegic teenagers and elderly, psychic ladies. When his news stories and the murder case start to converge no one is more surprised than Jeremy, or – it turns out – more at risk. Sure to delight Gemmell’s many ardent fans, RHYMING RINGS promises to be a thrilling new work in the crime genre, hitting shelves for the first time in May 2017.

Gollancz Commissioning Editor, Marcus Gipps, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights including audio from Howard Morhaim of the Morhaim Literary Agency through Caspian Dennis at Abner Stein.

Gollancz will also be supporting the publication of RHYMING RINGS by returning to print for the first time in 25 years the long-forgotten WHITE KNIGHT, BLACK SWAN, a crime novel originally published by David Gemmell under the pseudonym Ross Harding. WHITE KNIGHT, BLACK SWAN will be published September 2017.

Marcus Gipps said: “We’re delighted to be presenting David’s legions of fans with both a brand new, completely unpublished book and a reprint of a very hard to find one. We’ve worked closely with Stella Gemmell, and although these books may be set in a different genre to that which made his name, the core of what made David such a popular author shines clearly through. Both are crime novels with a supernatural tinge, and draw heavily on David’s life as a reporter in 80s London. They display his trademark deftness with character – especially damaged heroes –  with a sense of pace and flair for action, and will be snapped up by his devoted fanbase.”

About David Gemmell: David Gemmell was one of the UK’s number one fantasy and historical novelists, penning more than 30 novels before his death in 2006. The author of the ground-breaking LEGEND as well as the Drenai novels, the Rigante series, the Troy sequence and the hit Jon Shannow sequence; he was one of the most influential novelists in the fantasy genre. The prestigious David Gemmell awards are named in his honour.

About Gollancz: Gollancz is the oldest specialist SF & Fantasy publisher in the UK. Founded in 1927 and with a continuous SF publishing programme dating back to 1961, the imprint of the Orion Publishing Group is home to a galaxy of award-winning and bestselling authors. Through our long-running SF and Fantasy Masterworks programme, and major digital initiative the SF Gateway, Gollancz have one of the largest ranges of SF and Fantasy of any publisher in the world.



Hardback £14.99 | eBook £7.99 | Audio £19.99



Hardback £14.99 | eBook £7.99 | Audio £19.99

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Writing Fantasy: How much fantasy?

With Pen and Sword

Plague oif swords

In a few days (October 25th, 2016) Plague of Swords will be out.

First, a word from the author.  Many of you probably know this already, but when a book comes out, the author wrote it between twelve and eighteen months earlier. (Maybe more or less depending on various things.  But with me, twelve to eighteen months).  In fact, I completed Plague of Swords on August 4th of 2015.  Then it went though an edit, a copy edit, page proofs, and a final read of the PDF of the final copy.  There were covers to approve, and other goodies.

But really, yes, you could have read it a year ago in August.  In fact, that’s when my Beta-readers saw it.  And of course, I’m writing the last book in the series now; Fall of Dragons.  Of course, that’s a working title, and it may not survive contact with the publisher…

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David Gibbins: Testament (Review)

David Gibbins

Image result
Canada (1962 – )

David Gibbins has worked in underwater archaeology all his professional life. After taking a PhD from Cambridge University he taught archaeology in Britain and abroad, and is a world authority on ancient shipwrecks and sunken cities. He has led numerous expeditions to investigate underwater sites in the Mediterranean and around the world. He currently divides his time between fieldwork, England and Canada.

Author Website

Testament  (2016)
(The ninth book in the Jack Howard series)

Released 29 Dec 2016

Testament (Jack Howard 9) by [Gibbins, David]

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664 BC: An adventurer named Hanno returns, near death, to his home city of Carthage on the Mediterranean with an incredible story to tell. With him he brings the flayed skin of a terrifying creature he calls a gorilla, and on it he has written an account of his adventure. The skin is nailed to a pillar in Carthage for all to read, but Hanno’s greatest secret he tells only his brother Hamilcar. When Hamilcar disappears during a doomed voyage to the Tin Islands, and Hanno dies having resolved to tell nobody else, the secret is apparently lost for all time.

Present day: Jack Howard and his international team are excavating one of the greatest prizes of Jack’s career – a Phoenician shipwreck off the coast of Cornwall and evidence for the earliest Mediterranean contact with Britain. What Jack finds is incredible – an amphora shard with an inscription in the Punic language of Carthage, apparently written hastily by someone who knew shipwreck was imminent. When the inscription is translated its message beggars belief. Jack realises it could lead to one of the greatest lost treasure of antiquity, and set him on one of his greatest adventures ever…


David Gibbins is one of those authors who lives his books, in many ways he is Jack Howard, and because of this the books brim with passion and experience for the subject.

Jack Howard’s world has moved on from the catastrophic events  in Pharaoh and Pyramid, No longer able to access Egypt he and his people continue to search for the next great discovery, mapping their discoveries and searching for the truth behind them and the great people of the past involved, where the ghosts of the past meet the present. One of the greatest successes of this series for me is how the author creates links between ancient nations and the modern world, showing how none of them existed in isolation, how they traded, lived and expended their borders, how they interacted and lived and worshiped and how those echos live on today.

By this book (9) in the series Jack Howard has created a support team to cover all possible needs, be they translations of manuscripts, to engineering to diving and weapons expertise. All of this the author manages to portray in a totally believable scenario, however fantastic the discovery may seem, the level of detail coupled with the keen eye for reality and research make for a book unlike others of its type and genre, it feels real.

Blending 4 time periods and time slipping to each gives a sense of immediacy and intimacy to each period and really makes the reader part of each moment of the tale and its importance in the over all story arc. The part of the tale from ancient Carthage lends the story an epic and yet  melancholy quality, but the determined approach from Jack Howard gives the reader the edge of the seat desire to see their achievements reach the light of day.

While its not my favorite book in the series (That’s still gods of Atlantis) its still a brilliantly written thriller that remains in the believable and yet rides the edge of the fantastical, the boundaries of exploration and breathless pace and expectation. I remain a huge fan of this series.




Jack Howard
1. Atlantis (2005)
2. Crusader Gold (2006)
3. The Last Gospel (2008)
aka The Lost Tomb
4. The Tiger Warrior (2009)
5. The Mask of Troy (2010)
6. The Gods of Atlantis (2011)
aka Atlantis God
7. Pharaoh (2013)
8. Pyramid (2014)
9. Testament (2016)
The Atlantis Collection (omnibus) (2014)


Total War Rome
1. Destroy Carthage (2013)
2. The Sword of Attila(2015)

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Stephen Lloyd Jones The Disciple (Blog Tour) Guest Post

Stephen Lloyd Jones  UK (1973 – )

Stephen Lloyd Jones's picture
Stephen Lloyd Jones and grew up in Chandlers Ford, Hampshire.
He studied at Royal Holloway College, University of London, and now lives in Surrey with his wife, three young sons and far too many books.

Playing catch-upa short piece about why, at the start of a new book, I like to drop readers into the middle of unfolding events, with little explanation as to what has gone before.

Like everyone else, I’ve got a hundred different things demanding my attention. As my third son starts school this term, life seems to be speeding up, not slowing down. Amidst the happy chaos, getting lost in a good book keeps me sane and offers a little breathing space. I used to pride myself on finishing every novel I started, but I can’t say that anymore: my reading time is too precious, and there are too many amazing books waiting to be devoured.

The faster I’m immersed in a new storyline, the greater the chance I will dump everything else to spend more time in the author’s fictional world. During a book’s opening pages, nothing pulls me into the narrative faster than the sense that the story has started without me – that bad things have already happened, and are still happening – and unless I nail it all down pretty fast, it’ll leap ahead of me and escape.

Knowing this about my own tastes, I guess it’s not surprising that it’s reflected in my work. The String Diaries, my debut novel, opens with a young family fleeing through the night. The mother is driving; the husband is bleeding out from injuries sustained earlier that evening. We don’t know anything about them, or what has happened, and it’s quite some time before we find out.

The Disciple, published this month by Headline, opens in similar fashion. Edward Schwinn, a barely-functioning recluse, is returning home one winter evening when he happens across a five-vehicle pile-up. Investigating the wreckage, he discovers the sole survivor: a woman, heavily pregnant, whose impact on his life will be profound.

When Edward enters that scene, he’s playing catch-up to an incident that started without him, and so are we. And while we’re trying to get a handle on Edward’s eccentric personality, we’re simultaneously attempting to understand the situation into which he’s been thrust – a situation that rapidly spirals beyond his control.

When I wrote The Disciple’s opening pages, I didn’t know much at all about Edward Schwinn, nor the particular dangers he would face. I was a passenger, riding beside him, steadily pulled into his narrative. It seems that I like playing catch-up not just when I read, but also when I write.

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book cover of The Disciple

They are coming…

On a storm-battered road at the edge of the Devil’s Kitchen, a woman survives a fatal accident and gives birth to a girl who should never have lived.

The child’s protection lies in the hands of Edward Schwinn – a loner who must draw himself out of darkness to keep her safe – and her arrival will trigger a chain of terrifying events that no one can explain.

She is a child like no other, being hunted by an evil beyond measure.

For if the potential within her is realised, nothing will be the same. Not for Edward. Not for any who live to see it.


String Diaries
1. The String Diaries (2013)
2. Written in the Blood (2014)
The Disciple (2016)

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Elizabeth Norton: The Lives of Tudor Women (Guest Blog)

Elizabeth Norton

Elizabeth Norton is a historian of the queens of England and the Tudor period. She is the author of biographies of Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleaves and Catherine Parr, and of England’s Queens: The Biography


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The turbulent Tudor age never fails to capture the imagination. But what was it actually like to be a woman during this period? This was a time when death in infancy or during childbirth was rife; when marriage was usually a legal contract, not a matter for love, and the education of women was minimal at best. Yet the Tudor century was also dominated by powerful and characterful women in a way that no era had been before.

Elizabeth Norton explores the seven ages of the Tudor woman, from childhood to old age, through the diverging examples of women such as Elizabeth Tudor, Henry VIII’s sister who died in infancy; Cecily Burbage, Elizabeth’s wet nurse; Mary Howard, widowed but influential at court; Elizabeth Boleyn, mother of a controversial queen; and Elizabeth Barton, a peasant girl who would be lauded as a prophetess. Their stories are interwoven with studies of topics ranging from Tudor toys to contraception to witchcraft, painting a portrait of the lives of queens and serving maids, nuns and harlots, widows and chaperones.

The Lives of Tudor Women – Extract: The Manifold Number of Scolding Women

Tudor society generally looked askance at women who spoke out of turn, and when it was deemed to have gone beyond what was acceptable – action was taken.

Visitors to the parish church in Leominster in Herefordshire are often struck by a wooden see-saw like device, with wheels at one end and a seat perched at the other. This is a cucking, or ducking, stool and was one of the last used in England. It was finally retired in 1809, following the punishment of one Jenny Pipes for using abusive language. In the Tudor period, cucking stools were features of most towns and villages – and they were contraptions used almost entirely on women.

Vocal women were often seen as a threat in the local community. And women’s gossip, and its ability make or break reputations, was regarded as challenge to the social order, which could undermine the power of the authorities. ‘Scolds’ were accordingly seen as turbulent, subversive individuals and their verbal abuse of their families and neighbours as a disturbance to the peace. ‘Scolding’ was regarded, almost exclusively, as a female crime.

The punishment for scolding became noticeably more severe after 1550. Previously, penance or a fine had been the usual method of dealing with such women. By the mid-sixteenth century, however, cucking had become the favoured punishment. A number of popular legal handbooks, including John Kitchin’s Court Leet, et Court Baron of 1580, considered that every manor had a duty to keep a cucking stool.

One popular early seventeenth-century text, The Cucking of the Scold, outlined just what the punishment entailed. In this fiction, it was to be meted out on a woman who ‘lacked no tongue’ and would ‘scold with anyone’. This ‘little devil, with her unquiet tongue’ scolded all her neighbours and made a ‘brawl’ against the constable, before she was apprehended. After being sentenced by a justice of the peace, she was taken, under the guard of a hundred armed men, and carried in a wheel barrow. She was stripped down to her smock, ‘Then fast within the chair/ she was most finely bound,/ which made her scold excessively,/ and said she should be drowned’. She was ducked repeatedly into the cold and muddy water, appearing like ‘a drowned rat’ to observers. It was not a punishment to be taken lightly.

The local cucking stool could get considerable use. By 1579, the one in the town ditch in Southampton had broken, which was deemed ‘a great lack’ because of its usefulness for ‘the punishment and terror of harlots, scolds and other malefactors’. It urgently required fixing, but then it broke again in 1601, thanks to being left ‘standing abroad’ in the salty sea air. Repairs were again somewhat makeshift, and the wooden device broke again two years later. This time, it could not be mended. A replacement was quickly required, considered the town authorities, ‘to punish the manifold number of scolding women that be in this town and other evil living women’. They took the opportunity to order an improved model, equipped with wheels so that the scold could be collected from the door of her house. She could then be paraded through the streets during the journey to the town ditch, all the while receiving the jeers of her neighbours. It should be made quickly, it was decided, since the mayor was ‘daily troubled with such brawls’.

Cucking was not the only punishment meted out to a scolding woman. The well-known scold’s bridle, or brank, consisted of a metal frame attached to scold’s head, with a clamp to hold down her tongue. It was first recorded in Scotland, and also made its appearance in the sixteenth century. After the Tudor period, it became a popular method of punishment in England and Scotland.

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Christian Cameron: Rage of Ares (review)

Christian Cameron USA (1962 – )
aka Miles Cameron, Gordon Kent


Christian Cameron was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1962. He grew up in Rockport, Massachusetts, Iowa City, Iowa, and Rochester, New York, where he attended McQuaid Jesuit High School and later graduated from the University of Rochester with a degree in history.

After the longest undergraduate degree on record (1980-87), he joined the United States Navy, where he served as an intelligence officer and as a backseater in S-3 Vikings in the First Gulf War, in Somalia, and elsewhere. After a dozen years of service, he became a full time writer in 2000. He lives in Toronto, Canada with his wife Sarah and their daughter Beatrice.

book cover of Rage of Ares


Rage of Ares  (2016)
(The sixth book in the Long War series)
Arimnestos of Plataea was one of the heroes of the Battle of Marathon, in which the heroic Greeks halted the invading Persians in their tracks, and fought in the equally celebrated naval battle at Salamis.
But even these stunning victories only served to buy the Greeks time, as the Persians gathered a new army, returning with overwhelming force to strike the final killing blow.
For the Greeks, divided and outnumbered, there was only one possible strategy: attack. And so, in the blazing summer of 479 BC, Arimnestos took up his spear one final time at the Battle of Plataea.


I could apologise in advance for any fan boy nature that may follow in the rest of this review….. but i wont, the book is just excellent, so it deserves it.

This is the sixth and (for now) final book in the Long War series. The book is about the build up to the battle at Plataea, and also near Lade, but more it is about the people of Greece and how their way of life survived by the skin of its teeth. As always Christian provides a careful educational and entertaining approach to the battle, mixing daily life and frustrations with the machinations of power and the repeated points of near disaster for the Greeks. Highlighting just how balanced the whole war was, as he often states, the war is won by the side who makes the least mistakes.

Rage of Ares is in many ways not just the culmination of the Long war but also of the character Arimenestos. Throughout the series he has grown as a character, his trials have taught him and hardened him, they have given him a depth of character and personality, shaped his prowess on the battlefield and formed his friendships and social status, provided the core of the small Plataean fleet and the backbone of its taxeis. So that in time for the last battle, he is the trusted go between for the key nations (Athens and Sparta), allowing him to provide that roving view of the battle field, to be at both battles, and to also take part and provide an intimate view of the scale and feel of the battles. It feels like a perfectly spun story arc that has finally come to fruition.

By the end of the book the emotions are pulled as taut as possible, i have to admit to having become invested in Ari as a character over the last 6 years, but i still didn’t expect that the final book would hit so hard, this i have to credit to the authors concept of writing style, making you the reader one of the audience at his family get together, it reads like a fireside tale because its told that way, a great epic tale of life and history told at the feet of the man himself. Woven into this style is the author himself, having been lucky enough to sit and chat with him you can see the nuances of his style of speech and mannerisms in the book and in Arimenestos. A book filled with battles, blood, action, politics, family, friendship, comradeship, craftsmanship, statesmanship… the list of areas used to entertain and educate is just breathtaking.

What we have in this book and this series is a powerfully emotional story told in a way that is not only imaginative and entertaining but it also manages to fully educate the reader in the politics and people of ancient Greece. It is one of the best series i have read and should not be missed, it transcends genre because i truly believe there is something for everyone in this series.




1. Tyrant (2008)
2. Storm of Arrows (2009)
3. Funeral Games (2010)
4. King of the Bosporus (2011)
5. Destroyer of Cities (2013)
6. Force of Kings (2014)

Long War
1. Killer of Men (2010)
2. Marathon (2011)
3. Poseiden’s Spear (2012)
4. The Great King (2014)
5. Salamis (2015)
6. Rage of Ares (2016)

Tom Swan and the Head of St George
1. Castillon (2012)
2. Venice (2012)
3. Constantinople (2012)
4. Rome (2013)
5. Rhodes (2013)
6. Chios (2013)

1. The Ill-Made Knight (2013)
2. The Long Sword (2014)
3. The Green Count (2017)
Tom Swan and the Siege of Belgrade
1. Tom Swan and the Siege of Belgrade: Part One (2014)
2.Tom Swan and the Siege of Belgrade: Part Two (2014)
3. Tom Swan and the Siege of Belgrade: Part Three (2014)
4. Tom Swan and the Siege of Belgrade: Part Four (2015)
5. Tom Swan and the Siege of Belgrade: Part Five (2015)
6. Tom Swan and the Siege of Belgrade: Part Six (2015)
7. Tom Swan and the Siege of Belgrade: Part Seven(2015)

Tom Swan and the Last Spartans
1. Tom Swan and the Last Spartans: Part One (2016)
2. Tom Swan and the Last Spartans: Part Two (2016)
3. Tom Swan and the Last Spartans: Part Three (2017)
Washington and Caesar (2001)
God of War (2012)
A Song of War (2016) (with Libby Hawker, Kate Quinn,Vicky Alvear Shecter, Stephanie Thornton, S J A Turneyand Russell Whitfield)
Tudor Knight (2018)
Traitor Son Cycle
1. The Red Knight (2012)
2. The Fell Sword (2014)
3. Dread Wyrm(2014)
4. A Plague of Swords (2016)
5. The Fall of Dragons (2017)
 Masters & Mages
1. The Master (2017)
Alan Craik
1. Night Trap (1998)
aka Rules of Engagement
2. Peace Maker (2000)
3. Top Hook (2002)
4. Hostile Contact (2003)
5. Force Protection (2004)
6. Damage Control (2005)
7. The Spoils of War (2006)

Cauldron of Violence (2000)
The Falconer’s Tale (2007)

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Liu Cixin : Book Tour Details

Liu Cixin's picture

Liu Cixin China (1963 – )

Liu Cixin, born in June 1963, is a representative of the new generation of Chinese science fiction authors and recognized as a leading voice in Chinese science fiction. His works have received wide acclaim on account of their powerful atmosphere and brilliant imagination. Liu Cixin’s stories successfully combine the exceedingly ephemeral with hard reality, all the while focussing on revealing the essence and aesthetics of science. He has endeavoured to create a distinctly Chinese style of science fiction. Liu Cixin is a member of the China Science Writers’ Association and the Shanxi Writers’ Association. He was awarded the China Galaxy Science Fiction Award for eight consecutive years, from 1999 to 2006 and again in 2010. He received the Nebula (Xingyun) Award in both 2010 and 2011.


Cixin Liu, author of The Three-Body Problem series will be in the UK this week as part of his European tour. Commencing in Glasgow tomorrow, Thursday 13th October until Sunday 16th October Cixin will be taking part in events in both Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Book Signing
Waterstones, Glasgow Sauchiehall Street
1-2pm Thursday 13th October 2016

153-157 Sauchiehall St, Glasgow G2 3EW

Book Signing
Forbidden Planet

6-7pm Friday 14th October 2016
179 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, WC2H 8JR

Book Signing
Waterstones Piccadilly
11-12am Saturday 15th October 2016

203 – 206 Piccadilly, London W1J 9HD

These events are open to the public,  You can also follow the tour by following @HoZ_Books on Twitter where Head of Zeus will be tweeting throughout his visit.

Three-Body Trilogy
1. The Three-body Problem (2014)
2. The Dark Forest (2015)
3. Death’s End (2016)
The Weight of Memories (2016)
Ball Lightning (2017)
The Wandering Earth (2012)
Devourer (2012)
The Micro-Age (2012)
Sun of China (2012)
Mountain (2012)
Of Ants and Dinosaurs (2012)
Taking Care of Gods (2012)
The Longest Fall (2012)
With Her Eyes (2012)
Curse 5.0 (2013)
The Wages of Humanity (2013)

Hugo Best Book nominee (2015) : The Three-body Problem
John W Campbell Memorial Award Best Novel nominee (2015) : The Three-body Problem
Nebula Awards Best Novel nominee (2015) : The Three-body Problem
Prometheus Award Best Book nominee (2015) : The Three-body Problem

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