2014: The Conclusions

We’re still celebrating the new year at Gollancz, and all the glorious books we have coming in 2014. Today we’re talking about some favourite Gollancz series that are concluding, in fabulous, gripping and sometimes heart-breaking style this year. 

Ultima, by the wonderful Stephen Baxter, concludes the space-exploration dulogy he began with Proxima. Our galaxy is dying and humanity has taken on the unforgiving task of colonising a new planet: Proxima IV. Addressing real issues and challenges of such colonisation, Proxima was a gripping and powerful story. Now, in Ultima, Baxter takes us a step further – to look at our relationship with the universe itself.

The Causal Angel by Hannu Ranjaniemi. This SF trilogy, beginning with The Quantum Thief and The Fractal Prince, has been an extraordinary success. Loved by the critics and readers alike, these fast-paced adventure stories take place against a world of real science, often dealing with cutting-edge discoveries and scientific theories. The trilogy ends with a bang, with The Causal Angel, which is mind-bendingly brilliant.

The Dark Defiles concludes the fantasy trilogy penned by SF bestsellers Richard Morgan. If you like your fantasy dark, bitingly cynical and offering an original take on some traditional ideas, this is absolutely the series for you. Beginning with The Steel Remains and The Cold Commands, Morgan sets up a vicious world, superb characters and a story which will have you on the edge of your seat, which making some sharp overstating about the real world too.

The Dread Wyrm is something a little bit different, from the talented Miles Cameron. A skilled reinactor, weapons specialist and a history expert, this author knows what it’s like to pick up a weapon and get his hands dirty . . . And my goodness does that come across! His debut fantasy, The Red Knight, showed us what it might really be like, as a knight, to go up against fearsome beasts of myth and legend, and he followed up with the gripping The Fell Sword, published this month. It’s an epic battle story, realistic and bloody, political and brilliant – and the conclusion (with some epic jousting to look forward to) in The Dread Wyrm promises to be absolutely jaw-dropping. One to look forward to!

The Dragon House concludes a series which is a personal favourite of mine. Storming on to the scene with The Songs of the Earth, followed by Trinity Moon and The Raven’s Shadow, Elspeth Cooper’s series showcases an imagination which is genuinely as rich, deep and epic in scope as Tolkien’s. Brought to life by some tough, determined characters and an awesome story, this is a compelling series and I’m torn between wanting to return to the adventure as soon as possible, and never wanting it to end.

Tithe of the Saviours by A. J. Dalton concludes a smart, original fantasy trilogy which takes the world as we think we know it, and turns it upside down. Beginning with Empire of the Saviours, and then Gateway of the Saviours, a young protagonist explores the concept that power corrupts – and just because someone is called a Saint, doesn’t mean they genuinely are one. Written with a light touch, deft characterisation and clever emotional juxtapositions, we are heading for an epic showdown!