I have a fair little mix of fantasy, sci-fi and historical fiction in the coming weeks gracing my eyes and ears courtesy of my kindle and my audiobook app. Here’s a little list of what’s coming my way … and yours seeing as how I’ll post everything I encounter.
Up first; the books:
The Falcon of Sparta by Conn Iggulden
In the Ancient World, one army was feared above all others.
401 BC. The Persian king Artaxerxes rules an empire stretching from the Aegean to northern India.
As many as fifty million people are his subjects.
His rule is absolute.
Though the sons of Sparta are eager to play the game of thrones . . .
Yet battles can be won – or lost – with a single blow. Princes fall. And when the dust of civil war settles, the Spartans are left stranded in the heart of an enemy’s empire, without support, without food and without water.
Far from home, surrounded by foes, it falls to the young soldier Xenophon to lead the survivors against Artaxerxes’ legendary Persian warriors.
Based on one of history’s most epic stories of adventure The Falcon of Sparta masterfully depicts the ferocity, heroism, and savage bloodshed that was the Ancient World.
Winter’s Fire by Giles Kristian
Norway, AD 785 – a vow of vengeance must be kept . . .
Sigurd Haraldarson has proved himself a great warrior . . . and a dangerous enemy.
He has gone a long way towards avenging the murder of his family. And yet the oath-breaker King Gorm, who betrayed Sigurd’s father, still lives. And so long as he draws breath, the scales remain unbalanced.
The sacred vow to avenge his family burns in Sigurd’s veins, but he must be patient and bide his time. He knows that he and his band of warriors are not yet strong enough to confront the treacherous king. They need silver, they need more spear-brothers to rally to the young Viking’s banner – but more than these, they need to win fame upon the battlefield.
And so the fellowship venture west, to Sweden, to fight as mercenaries. And it is there – in the face of betrayal and bloodshed, on a journey that will take him all too close to the halls of Valhalla – that Sigurd’s destiny will be forged. There, in the inferno of winter’s fire . . .
The Vikings return in this thrilling, thunderous sequel to Giles Kristian’s bestselling God of Vengeance.
Androdigm Park 2067 by JMJ Williamson
This is a gritty noir, sci-fi thriller, set in the near future, where the large global corporations that dominate the cyber-tech, media, and entertainment industries hold the levers of political power. It’s a hedonistic, secular world struggling to deal with the introduction of a new generation of android workers, which threaten the livelihoods of their human counterparts.
Just weeks before the opening of AndroDigm Park, the CEO of AndroDigm, the world’s largest android manufacturer, is brutally murdered at an Action Against Androids demonstration.
Now Marshal Shelby, a modern-day bounty hunter, sponsored by the CEO’s daughter, must track down her assassins and find out who was behind the attack. His investigation takes him into the world of the super rich, where using cybernetics, cloning and human augmentation makes almost anything possible.
At the centre of the investigation is AndroDigm Park, a fantasy park, where the super rich can indulge their wildest fantasies in a world populated with android characters and fantasy creatures. They can travel back in time to Camelot, ride a dragon, defeat monsters, fight pirates, or simply indulge in any kind of debauchery they desire. It is a fantasy park where dreams become reality.
Critical Failures 2 (Fail Harder) by Robert Bevan
Finding themselves permanently stuck in this strange new world, the gang tries to make the best of it by finding the nearest tavern and getting shitfaced. The plan goes just fine until they lose Katherine and Chaz. They soon discover that they aren’t the first players Mordred has sent to this world.
Critical Failures 3 (A Storm of S-Words) by Robert Bevan
Going back home was not exactly what Tim and the C&C gang expected. Trouble continues to follow them back to Gulf Coast Mississippi. Trouble… and a gnome… and an undead midget.
And now for the Audiobooks:
Blood of Assassins by RJ Barker:
To save a king, kill a king….
The assassin Girton Club-foot and his master have returned to Maniyadoc in hope of finding sanctuary, but death, as always, dogs Girton’s heels. The place he knew no longer exists. War rages across Maniyadoc, with three kings claiming the same crown – and one of them is Girton’s old friend Rufra.
Girton finds himself hurrying to uncover a plot to murder Rufra on what should be the day of the king’s greatest victory. But while Girton deals with threats inside and outside Rufra’s war encampment, he can’t help wondering if his greatest enemy hides beneath his own skin.
Alien: Sea of Sorrows (Audio Drama) by James A Moore
Set 300 years after the events of Alien: Out of the Shadows and Alien: River of Pain, Alien: Sea of Sorrows deals with the rediscovery of dormant Xenomorphs (Aliens) in the abandoned mines of LV-178, the planetoid from Alien: Out of the Shadows, which has now been terraformed and renamed New Galveston.
The Weyland-Yutani Corporation, reformed after the collapse of the United Systems Military, continue their unceasing efforts to weaponise the creatures, eliciting the help of Alan Decker, who is forced to join a team of mercenaries sent to investigate an ancient excavation lurking deep beneath the planet’s toxic desert, dubbed the Sea of Sorrows.
Somewhere in that long-forgotten dig lies the thing the company wants most in the universe – a living Xenomorph. Decker doesn’t understand why the company needs him until his genetic heritage comes back to haunt him. Centuries ago one of his ancestors fought the Aliens, launching a bloody vendetta that was never satisfied. That was when the creatures swore revenge on his forbear, ‘the Destroyer’, Ellen Ripley…and all her descendants.
This terrifying, cinematic multicast dramatisation – directed by the multiaward-winning Dirk Maggs, best known for his adaptations of Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere for the BBC – is the sequel to Audible Originals’ Alien: Out of the Shadows (nominated for Best Audio Drama at the 2017 Audies) and Alien: River of Pain.