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There are to new pieces of cover art that have been making the rounds online of late. The first of these you can see on the right, is the US (publication in Spring 2011) cover art for Hannu Rajaniemi's The Quantum Thief (my review here). This arresting artwork is by Kekai Kotaki, who's work has also recently appeared on the cover of the forthcoming, The Unremembered by Peter Orullian. I appreciated the cover that Gollancz had released for the UK edition of Rajaniemi's book, but I think this one is even better though it doesn't quite highlight the intelligence of the book like the other did. There is a lot more action depicted here and emphasis on the characters (though some might think that is bad) which for me makes this a much more grabbing cover.

The Half-Made World is the first of Felix Gilman’s work I’ve had the pleasure to read, though to be fair, it is only his third, Thunderer and Gears of the City being his others. From this single experience though I can safely say that Gilman is one talented writer with plenty of story to tell. This first part in a steampunk-esque/weird West duology is as delightful a display of originality, strong prose and solid characters as you are ever likely to encounter.

If there is one book this year that has been pointed to and proclaimed as the science fiction debut of the year then it is this one, Hannu Rajaniemi’s The Quantum Thief. And to be fair, a hard SF novel written by a guy with a Phd in string theory is bound to have some weight to it going in, but this novel’s strength goes much beyond its author’s qualifications as a scientist. Yes, it’s smart, but it also is darkly comic, complex and exhilarating in its action and characters. So yes, The Quantum Thief lives up to the hype every little bit.

The early draft of this cover made the rounds a couple of weeks back, Mark Charan Newton even going as far as to ask the preference of those online concerning the artwork for his next book, The Book of Transformations. However, I restrained from posting about it then, hoping for a more final version of what was posted and here it is. Sort of. This is not, I believe, the final draft yet but after popular consent, the figure which originally featured in front of the cityscape was removed, allowing for the cover to look something like what you see above. I, for one, am much more inclined towards this version of the cover, though I remain attentive to see the absolutely final version of the cover when it is released. For those interested, the full cover with back cover and spine is available here. Also, I've included below the blurb that Mr. Newton has provided on his own blog.

The cover art for Blake Charlton's second novel, Spellbound, sequel to his 2010 debut Spellwright, has just been released over at Tor.com. This beautiful piece of art by master artist Todd Lockwood is easily the equal of Spellwright's, if not even better. Lockwood blends in some fabulous colors and an illustration that portrays an older, more mature Nicodemus and - lo and behold - an incredibly striking dragon. With such a scene on the cover what, I wonder, can Charlton have in store for us?

Col Buchanan’s Farlander is one of the 2010 debuts that I was most looking forward to, but when it was released back in March I never quite got around to it. Now, with the build to its US release in January it managed to grab my attention once more and I finally decided to give it a go. Though not the best of reads, in Farlander Buchanan creates - if nothing else - a fun new take on the fantasy assassin story. One thing is for sure: despite its flaws this debut shows great promise for the series, The Heart of the World, it begins.

The Psalms of Isaak is truly one of the best ongoing series of the moment, and I’m sure that even when it is done readers will look fondly back at it. As such, I was delighted when writer Ken Scholes agreed to answer a few questions for the blog. Scholes through his books Lamentation, Canticle and Antiphon (reviews here, here and here respectively) as well as his short fiction has garnered quite a bit of praise which makes him an author well-worth checking out. The relatively large result of our exchange can be found below and it is certainly one of the better Q&As I have conducted so far. So scroll down or click-through to read it. Enjoy.

Things are moving fast in The Psalms of Isaak. Antiphon is the third book in this engaging series and its arrival means that we are officially over the half-way point towards the fifth and final volume of the series. If Lamentation (review here) and Canticle (review here) had left you any doubt about Ken Scholes’ talent then Antiphon will surely dispel all uncertainties. This gripping volume takes the Named Lands and the characters who people it further down familiar paths and in many cases down new ones, resulting in a very strong continuation of what has surely become one of the best ongoing fantasy series of the day.

On the surface, The Reapers Are the Angels is a beautiful journey across a post-apocalyptic America, venturing from the small resistant pockets of civilization to scenes of eerily entrancing desolation. This is a book about a girl, zombies, and a man chasing this girl. At face value, this is already the makings of a pretty great read. But why stick to only a pretty great read? After all this is far from being the first zombie story ever told. Well Alden Bell has taken it further and The Reapers Are the Angels is the entrancing result.