April Publications

Ramsey Campbell fans who can't wait for the regular trade edition of the British horror master's latest novel, The Darkest Part of the Wood, will welcome this special limited edition, which includes an introduction by Peter Straub. All 500 copies will be signed by Campbell, while the 200-copy slip-cased edition will be signed by Campbell, Straub and artist Edward Miller. (PS [www.pspublishing.co.uk], $55 348p ISBN 1-902880-38-2; $80 slip-cased -39-0)

Tighe lives in a hardscrabble village on the side of a great wall that stretches as far up and down as the eye can see—-until one day, he falls off (gravity operates parallel to the ground) and down into a world he never could have imagined existed. Adam Roberts's (Salt) On tells the tale of how the young stranger comes to terms with life in a foreign land during wartime, when soldiers, travelers, monsters and oracles engage in bloody battles and the secret of the "worldwall" is waiting to be discovered. (Gollancz [Sterling, dist.], $14.95 paper 400p ISBN 0-575-07177-X)

Blood, sex and magic dance (sort of awkwardly) to a Terry Brooks tune in the pages of James Barclay's sprawling epic Dawnthief, the first book in his Chronicles of the Raven series. When members of the mercenary gang The Raven (motto: "Kill But Never Murder") agree to accompany a Xeteskian mage on his journey, little do they know that he will hold their destinies—and the fate of the world—in his hands, as he struggles to destroy the Wytch Lords, command the Dawnthief spell and live long enough to be a father to his unborn child. (Gollancz [Sterling, dist.]. $14.95 paper 544p ISBN 1-85798-594-X)

Steven Erikson serves up the third installment in his Malazan Book of the Fallen series with Memories of Ice, a doorstopper of a tome in which a huge cast of characters—mercenaries, army men, priests, warlords, wolves and bonecasters—fight to free the continent of Genabackis from the evil Pannion Domin empire. Certain names from Garden of the Moon will be familiar to readers, as will Erikson's particular combination of lush description, sharp dialogue and fantastical, grand imagination. (Bantam UK [Trafalgar Square, dist.], $19.95 898p ISBN 0593-046242)

Real estate development unleashes a bloodthirsty supernatural force in James Viscosi's dark—and at times, disgusting—debut, A Flock of Crows Is Called a Murder. (A gang of bears, by the way, is called a sleuth; the town herein could have used a good one.) Quentin Farmer has his eyes set on an abandoned church as the site for his new shopping mall, but inside lurks an evil presence; pretty soon, all around Selden Falls, people are dying, getting pecked at by vampiric crows, and even turning into nasty birds themselves. (DarkTales Publications [www.darktales.com], $19.99 paper 264p ISBN 1-930997-12-4)

In a hot, future world decimated by tropical diseases and biological weapons (over seven billion people died in a matter of years), George Custer is the "landlord and proprietary Governor" of what used to be northern New Jersey. Life rolls along about as well as can be expected, until his double-crossing lover gets him involved in a struggle between what remains of the French and American populations; after that, there's no going back home in Richard Bellush Jr.'s oddball, pop-culture saturated Slog. (Robert D. Reed [www.rdrpublishers.com], $24.95 248p ISBN 1-931741-09-3)