Science fiction book news in the UK

News: January - June 2002

Heinlein's Methuseluah's Children, for those who missed it the first time around, is re-issued by Robert Hale publishers in January.

Orson Scott Card's third offering in the Ender 'shadow' series is published in February by Orbit with Shadow Puppets. As reviewed elsewhere on the Concatenation site, the first in this series was particularly good, while the second was so-so.

Elric returns after many years in February in Michael Moorcock's The Dreamthief's Daughter. Courtesy of the publishers at Earthlight. Yes, I know we rarely dip into fantasy but old Moorcock fans will go for this one and if it attracts new younger readers then expect the previous Elric tales to be re-released.

February also sees a new SF writer's debut, Richard Morgan's far future epic Altered Carbon published by Gollancz. We will definitely be checking this one out.

Lost in Space: Geographies of Science Fiction is a non-fiction book to be published by Continuum (distributed by Orca) in February which looks a geographies of cinema and literature. This has the potential to be excellent but could too easily be superficial. We will see.

John Clute's Appleseed is out in paperback in April. Touted by the Bookseller as a mass market paperback, as opposed to SF, Orbit clearly expect it to do well, though comments on the hardback have been mixed. One for those who are clearly of the literati.

Brian Aldiss' Super-State is published by Orbit in May and considers life in a not-to-distant future European Union. Aldiss' recent White Mars was all right if a bit on the preachy side (though one can hardly complain about its message). If, in Super-State he places telling the story first then this could be a good 'un'

Terry Pratchett hardly needs a plug for Thief of Time, the 26th Discworld yarn to be published by Corgi in June.

Harry Harrison's Stars and Stripes Triumphantis published by Hodder in June. It continues his alternate history series.

Sheri Tepper's The Visitor is published in paperback by Gollancz in June.

What and who sold the most in SF in the UK in 2001
The Bookseller -- the UK book trade magazine -- has published its first ever 'Pocket Yearbook'. It reveals that SF and fantasy together occupy 4.6% of 'buying', and horror 2.4%. Within genre fiction _hardback_ sales SF is second most popular genre with 3.7m worth of UK sales in 2001 after crime and mystery. Fantasy sold a further 1.1m worth of hardbacks in 2001. Of the UK paperback fiction market, SF accounted for some 6.1% with fantasy accounting for a further 3.5%. Again for paperbacks, crime fiction was the most popular specialist genre accounting for 17.4% of the paperback fiction market. As for the top UK fiction writers (all genres), John Grisham was number one in 2001 with over half a million sales valued at 3.3m (cover price), Terry Pratchett came third, again with just over half a million copies sold valued at nearly 2.8 million. The other genre notable was Stephen King who came 7th with just over 2.5 million cover value sold.

More news (if this page's hits count warrant it) in the late summer covering the second half of 2002.

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Concatenation staff 2003 at Christmas
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