China Miéville wins unprecedented Arthur C Clarke award triple

by Alison Flood at the Guardian
His first venture into crime fiction – albeit with a fantastical edge – has won China Miéville the UK’s most prestigious science fiction prize, the Arthur C Clarke award, for an unprecedented third time.

The novel won the British Science Fiction Association prize for best novel earlier this month, when BSFA journal editor Niall Harrison predicted it was set to take a slew of further prizes. Miéville pronounced himself “absolutely gobsmacked” and “incredibly honoured” to win the Arthur C Clarke, an award originally established by Clarke himself to help promote science fiction in Britain. “It’s very different from most of my other books,” said Miéville, who has previously won the Arthur C Clarke with more traditional fantasy novels Perdido Street Station and Iron Council.

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‘The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ’ by Philip Pullman

By Tim Rutten at the Los Angeles Times
“The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ” was commissioned by its publisher, Canongate, as part of a series in which the world’s great myths “are retold in a contemporary and memorable way.” This one comes up decidedly short of the mark. In part, that’s because of Pullman’s wholly unexpected ambivalence toward his subject. He’s apparently fond — even admiring — of Jesus the defender of the poor and scourge of hypocrites. On the other hand, he loathes what Jesus’ followers and the generations that came after them made of his teachings in the form of an institutional church.

Fair enough, but you’d expect a writer of Pullman’s abilities to make something fruitful of the tension between his affection and his revulsion; instead, he falls back on the hoariest of conceits: the evil twin. In this version Mary bears twin sons. One is a healthy, rather impish boy who grows up to be a man’s man and a fearless teacher, Jesus. The other, Mary’s favorite, is sickish, bookish, reclusive and inclined to suck up to authority. She calls him Christ.

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Del Rey Announces Transformers Origins Story Novel

Del Rey, an imprint of Ballantine Books at the Random House Publishing Group, announced today that Del Rey Books will publish Transformers: Exodus. Telling one of the most important stories in the Transformers canon, this novel explores and expands upon the origins of the supervillain Megatron, leader of the evil Decepticons, and the rise of Optimus Prime to leadership of the heroic Autobots. Transformers: Exodus will be written by Alex Irvine and will release in Summer 2010.

In an exciting year for the telling of this important origins moment in the Transformers story, Transformers: Exodus takes fans deep into the secret lore of the Transformers universe, charting the creation of the Decepticons and the Autobots—and chronicling the civil war that divided them

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George Mann’s THE AFFINITY BRIDGE: A Steampunk Reincarnation of THE X-FILES?

by Heather Massey at The Galaxy Express
For the past year or so, it seemed I couldn’t visit John DeNardo’s SFSignal without encountering a post about or related to THE AFFINITY BRIDGE, a newish steampunk mystery series by George Mann. Given that the book was a) steampunk and b) John seemed especially obsessed enthused about this series, I figured I really better read this book and see what all his the fuss was about.

The two series are wildly different, yet the commonalities I detected had me in constant squee mode since I still miss the THE X-FILES “experience.” THE AFFINITY BRIDGE is a classic example of how an idea can be reinvented in a totally fresh way. Like THE X-FILES, the story begins at the beginning of a case and Newbury and Hobbes are brought together for the first time. I won’t go into spoilers, but the usual suspects abound such as the shadowy government conspiracies, paranormal/speculative phenomena, and of course, the promise of a romance.

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Solaris Acquire New Science Fiction Novel By Eric Brown

via Book Trade

Jonathan Oliver, commissioning editor of Solaris Books, has acquired a new Science Fiction novel from Eric Brown, KINGS OF ETERNITY. The agent is John Jarrold, and the deal is for UK/US rights. The book is due for publication in the spring of 2011.

“Eric has been one of the world’s most consistent – and consistently enjoyable – SF novelists for over two decades,” said John Jarrold. “He has a very happy home with Solaris and this marks his eighth book with them.”

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I’ve been wanting to read The Affinity Bridge, but I think I’ll have to go get it now. I’ve read the first chapter and it definitely gets your attention. As for a steampunk style X-Files tv show, isn’t that kind of what Sanctuary is? Less crime investigation, but definitely as much mystery.

Have you read the Affinity Bridge? What about The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ? Are you going to read the Transformers origin story?