Sunday, 11 September 2011

Publisher Review: Gollancz

I thought it was time for another look at a publisher. My first one covered Angry Robot Books and in that one I focused on already published books. Now, Gollancz, having been around longer, is a very different fish. They have published so many great books over the years and I would struggle to find my favourite five books. It would be difficult enough to just pick five favorite authors. First, I was not sure what to do, but yesterday I had a look at their coming books. Big, costly mistake! At least I found the focus for this post, my Amazon shopping basket!

Let's start with a little background on Gollancz, which I borrowed from Wikipedia.

In 1927 Victor Gollancz founded his own publishing company aptly named Victor Gollancz Ltd. They published high quality books, non-fiction, popular fiction including science fiction. In 1967, Victor Gollancz passed away and left his company in the hands of his daughter Livia. The publisher traded ownership a couple of times, until it in 1998 ended up in the hands of Orion Publishing Group as part of their acquisition of Cassell & Co. Gollancz was turned into the science fiction and fantasy imprint of Orion Publishing Group. During its time, Gollancz has published the works of many a great writer. From George Orwell to Terry Pratchett.

Thank you Wikipedia. Now, what about my shopping list?

My list of give grew into a list of six. Luckily they have not all been published yet. I can spread out the cost over the rest of the year. Happy reader and happy wallet.

Feel free to leave a comment if you think I have missed a great book by Gollancz in my list.

By Light Alone - Adam Roberts
This bad boy is getting some very nice reviews at the moment. Sounds like a cool book. Set far in the future where hunger is something you choose. Genetic engineering allows us to survive on light. Other hungers remain... Sounds rather ominous doesn’t it? I might be the only person that has not read it yet. Time to change that.

The Iron Jackal - Chris Wooding
Another book about the crew of the Ketty Jay. It’s the third one and the other two books were good fun. A rather dysfunctional crew, who does not have have anywhere to go, except the Ketty Jay. Find this hard to believe, but the blurb says that things are looking good for the crew for once. I bet that does not last long.

The first time was to clear his name. The second time was for money. This time, Frey’s in a race against the clock for the ultimate prize: to save his own life.

I’m in!

The Cold Commands - Richard Morgan
Time for a really big hitter. I’m a big fan of Richard Morgan. The Takeshi Kovacs novels are some of my favorite SF books. Almost ten years since Altered Carbon was released now and I still remember where I was when I started reading it. The Cold Commands is the second book in the A Land Fit for Heroes series. Very excited about this one.

The Mechanical Messiah and Other Marvels of the Modern Age - Robert Rankin
It’s been ages since I read a Robert Rankin book. The once I have read have all been really funny, quirky in a mad kind of way. I hope Elvis turns up in this one to kick some ass. According to the blurb I’m in for a treat. Steam powered action, adventure and a murder mystery. Sold!

The Clockwork Rocket - Greg Egan
As the threat of imminent annihilation hangs over the world, so Yalda sets off on a historic rescue mission - one that will take millenia...
That’s what I call long term planning. Greg Egan is the only author on my Gollancz shopping list that I have not read anything of. The Clockwork Rocket sounds interesting. The universe in which the book takes place has different laws of physics. Light has mass. Space travel takes a long time, while almost none passes at home. Yalda’s world is threatened, hence the rescue mission.

Sounds fun.

Blue Remembered Earth - Alastair Reynolds
Saved the best for last, I did! Alastair Reynolds appeared on the SF scene in 2000 with his debut novel Revelation Space. His gothic space opera made a huge impact on me, and I know consider him my top SF author. I'm such a huge fan boy that I normally don't even read the blurb for his books, I just buy them straight away. Worked well so far.


  1. I love alastair reynold's work! He has a mind-boggling sense of novel and space opera. Thanks. I do love your blog