08 February 2007


Solaris is the new kid in British speculative fiction and from what I’ve seen so far they are set to become a major player in the market. Their first books should be in the bookshops this month and include The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction as a kind of calling card.

I’ve been fortunate enough to get a preview of some of the other books on their schedule. Being a copy-editor does have its compensations – and editing for Solaris is an ideal combination of work and pleasure. So far, I have worked on:

Deadstock by Jeffrey Thomas (due March 2007) is an edgy mixture of cyberpunk, noir thriller and Lovecraftian horror leavened with nice touches of irony and self-referential humour. You can read the first chapter here.

Splinter by Adam Roberts (due September 2007) is a carefully crafted piece of literary science fiction taking Jules Verne’s Off on a Comet as its inspiration. Its three sections are written in past, present and future tenses respectively. I know it sounds unpromising, perhaps even too pretentious for its own good, but Roberts has produced a masterpiece.

Infinity Plus: The Anthology (due August 2007) is a collection of stories chosen by major contributors to the infinity plus website including Stephen Baxter, Mary Gentle, Ian McDonald, Michael Moorcock, Kim Newman, Kim Stanley Robinson, Lucius Shepard, Charles Stross, Michael Swanwick and Jeff VanderMeer. I particularly enjoyed Paul Macauley’s ‘The Rift’ and Charlie Stross’s ‘The Bear Trap’ but there is something for everyone here.

Helix by Eric Brown (due June 2007) is a gripping space opera, which begins on an Earth facing runaway global warming and ends on a spiral of interconnected planetoids about 500 light-years away. In their search for a new home the crew of the Lovelock encounter a number of alien species and, on one of the planetoids, find themselves drawn into a confrontation between an oppressive church and individuals seeking rational enlightenment.

1 comment:

Jim Steel said...

I picked up a copy of The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction myself a couple of days ago, but I haven't had a chance to look at it yet. Still, it's important to support what will hopefull turn into a regular market. I'm also looking forward to the Infinity Plus anthology as I'm still not a big fan of reading fiction on screen. I guess it's something to do with being of a generation that was told not to sit too close to the television.