This month, Titan has published Further Encounters of Sherlock Holmes edited by George Mann, a brand-new collection of Sherlock Holmes stories exciting voices in modern horror and steampunk.

Here’s an excerpt from one of the stories from that anthology: “The Snowtorn Terror” by Justin Richards…
Read the rest of this entry

[EXCERPT] Sherlock Holmes: The Will of the Dead by George Mann

Settle in, dear reader. We have for you today an excerpt from George Mann’s new novel, Sherlock Holmes: The Will of the Dead.

Here’s the book description:

A young man named Peter Maugram appears at the front door of Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson’s Baker Street lodgings. Maugram’s uncle is dead and his will has disappeared, leaving the man afraid that he will be left penniless. Holmes agrees to take the case and he and Watson dig deep into the murky past of this complex family.

A brand-new Sherlock Holmes novel from the acclaimed author of the Newbury & Hobbes series.

Read on for an excerpt…
Read the rest of this entry


George Mann is the author of the Newbury and Hobbes and The Ghost series of novels, as well as numerous short stories, novellas and audiobooks. He has written fiction and audio scripts for the BBC’s Doctor Who and Sherlock Holmes. He is also a respected anthologist and has edited The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction and The Solaris Book of New Fantasy. His latest book is a collection of Newbury and Hobbes short stories titled The Casebook of Newbury & Hobbes, out now from Titan Books.

We had the opportunity to ask George about Newbury and Hobbes, his influences and the treatment of women in Victorian times and what’s next for the series.


SF SIGNAL: Hi George. For folks who do not know what the Newbury & Hobbes stories are about: give us the elevator pitch.

GEORGE MANN: Oh, blimey! I tend to think of them as ‘fantastic Victoriana’. Mystery novels with a supernatural or occult twist, furnished with the trappings of the steampunk genre. How’s that?
Read the rest of this entry

Series Spotlight: George Mann’s “Newbury and Hobbes” Series

It’s not a secret that I like George Mann’s Newbury and Hobbes series.

So perhaps it’s also not a surprise that at the Kirkus Reviews Blog today, I shine the Series Spotlight on Newbury and Hobbes.

Check it out.

REVIEW SUMMARY: One of the best in the Newbury & Hobbes series.

MY RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Newbury and Hobbes investigate a series of grisly murders in which the victims have their hearts removed.

MY REVIEW:
PROS: Excellent storytelling; intriguing mystery; well-drawn antagonist; progresses longer story arcs; characters undergo changes; un-put-downable final chapters; serves as a fine standalone novel.
CONS: For the first parts of the novel, there’s never a feeling that the heroes are ever really in any danger – but that changes dramatically in the last several chapters.
BOTTOM LINE: One of the best in the series.
Read the rest of this entry

It’s no secret I like George Mann’s Newbury & Hobbes stories, so I’m thrilled to see that Amazon has the cover and synopsis of Mann’s The Casebook of Newbury & Hobbes, a collection of short fiction featuring the pair of steampunk-era detectives.

Here’s the official synopsis:
Read the rest of this entry

Here is the cover art and synopsis of the U.S. version of the upcoming novel The Executioner’s Heart by George Mann.
Read the rest of this entry

George Mann has posted the UK cover art and synopsis of his upcoming Newbury & Hobbes novel The Executioners Heart. I’m excited about this one, as I’ve read the other stories and enjoyed them very much.

Here’s the synopsis:

A serial killer is loose on the streets of London, murdering apparently random members of the gentry with violent abandon. The corpses are each found with their chest cavities cracked open and their hearts removed. Charles Bainbridge, Chief Inspector of Scotland Yard, suspects an occult significance to the crimes and brings Newbury and Veronica in to investigate.

Book info as per Amazon UK:

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Titan Books (28 Jun 2013)
  • ISBN-10: 1781160058
  • ISBN-13: 978-1781160053

REVIEW: Ghosts of War by George Mann

REVIEW SUMMARY: Ghosts of War is as much fun as a retro-sf story should be.

MY RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: The Ghost, a masked vigilante in a steampunk-based alternate 1920s New York City, attempts to uncover the secret of the “raptors”, winged mechanical creatures that abduct citizens off the streets for some nefarious purpose.

MY REVIEW:
PROS: Exciting adventure; straightforward delivery; wonderfully captured retro feel.
CONS: Stage setting delays the main thrust of the book; the character of Ginny feels extraneous.
BOTTOM LINE: A palatable blend of action, retro sf and steampunk.
Read the rest of this entry

REVIEW SUMMARY: A terrific addition to a consistently wonderful series.

MY RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Newbury and Hobbes investigate a string of robberies that bear the signature of a thief who has already been found dead.

MY REVIEW:
PROS: Palatable blend of steampunk and the supernatural; good characterizations; intriguing mystery; advancement of longer story arcs.
CONS: Some of the police procedural aspects seemed to affect pacing in the earlier parts of the book.
BOTTOM LINE: A series that shows no signs of slowing down.
Read the rest of this entry

George Mann, author of the enjoyable steampunk series Newbury & Hobbes that began with The Affinity Bridge, is offering another free short story set in that world.

It’s called “What Lies Beneath” and it sits between The Osiris Ritual (the 2nd book in the series) and the upcoming third book in the series, The Immorality Engine . But then, you’d know that if you consulted the handy Newbury & Hobbes Timeline like I just did. :)

And for those who missed out on the previous free stories, check out “The Hambleton Affair” and “The Shattered Teacup“, both of which take place between The Affinity Bridge and The Osiris Ritual.

If you’re not familiar with George Mann’s Newbury and Hobbes stories, you should be. They combine the mystery of Sherlock Holmes and the flavor of steampunk. The first novel in which Sir Maurice Newbury (Special Agent to Queen Victoria and specialist in the occult sciences) and Victoria Hobbes (his able assistant) were introduced was The Affinity Bridge (reviewed here), an excellent book that threw in zombies for good measure. They returned in the novel The Osiris Ritual, recently reviewed here.

Along the way, Mann wrote some short stories featuring Sir Maurice Newbury. We already told you about “The Shattered Teacup“. Now, thanks to the author and the kind folks at Snowbooks, SF Signal is pleased to be able to bring you another short story featuring Sir Maurice Newbury…previously available in the UK hardcover version of The Affinity Bridge

It’s called “The Hambleton Affair” and you can read it right here. (© Copyright George Mann 2008)

I’ve read it, and it’s a fine and proper British mystery, with a dash of science fiction as well.

Enjoy!

REVIEW SUMMARY: Another satisfying outing for Newbury and Hobbes.

MY RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Newbury and Hobbes take on cases involving bizarre murders, rogue agents and disappearing women.

MY REVIEW:
PROS: Well-conceived mysteries; no-nonsense writing style; combines several elements (supernatural/steampunk/mystery) that yield a palatable flavor.
CONS: The advertised supernatural element is a MacGuffin.
BOTTOM LINE: This is a thoroughly enjoyable mystery that will appeal to both Sherlock Holmes fans and steampunk fans.
Read the rest of this entry

Short fiction anthologies come in many flavors: some contain original fiction and some are comprised of reprints; they can be themed or non-themed; they may restrict themselves to a certain sub-genre of speculative fiction… But one thing they all have in common is that it’s Editors that put them together.

Continuing from Part 1 and Part 2, we asked a handful of Editors the following question:

Q: Can you describe what goes on behind the scenes – from conception to publication — when creating a short fiction anthology?

Read on to see their illuminating responses…

Rich Horton
Rich Horton is the editor of a best of the year anthology series from Prime Books: The Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy; and also a collection of the best online fiction, from Wyrm Publishing, Unplugged. His reviews and essays appear in Locus, Black Gate, Fantasy Magazine, SF Site, and many other publications.

My experience to date in anthology editing is rather thinner than that of most of my colleagues, as I have edited only “Best of the Year” collections. That makes my job easier on several grounds. Compared to an original anthologist, I don’t have to commission stories, nor wade through slush, nor work with authors to improve their submissions (either by line editing or by suggesting more dramatic changes). Compared to many reprint anthologists, I don’t have to look through nearly as many stories, and the authors I reprint are likely to be pretty accessible. (I have heard some harrowing stories about difficulties with finding out who controls the estate of dead authors, and also of difficulties working with authors’ heirs with unusual ideas of the market potential for reprinting old short stories.

The story of the conception of my books is simple enough. For many years, as an offshoot of my reviewing work for Locus (and prior to that, Tangent Online), I have prepared a list of the best stories of the year, organizing them (on occasion) as “virtual” best of the year books. A few years ago I had the thought that one market segment that was underrepresented in anthologies of this sort was online fiction. I suggested to Sean Wallace at Prime Books an anthology of the best online fiction of the year. Sean was unsure of the sales potential of such a book, but shortly later he suggested that we simply do a pair of more traditional Best of the Year anthologies: one for Science Fiction, one for Fantasy. (As of this year, those two books have been combined into one – and, happily, I am finally doing a Best Online short fiction book, Unplugged, for Wyrm Publishing.)

Read the rest of this entry

REVIEW SUMMARY: An engrossing steampunk/Sherlock Holmes story. With zombies.

MY RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Maurice Newbury and Victoria Hobbes investigate an airship disaster while victims of a revenant plague make the streets of Victorian London unsafe.

MY REVIEW:
PROS: Excellent world building; captures the Sherlock Holmes feel; never a boring passage.
CONS: The prologue led me to believe the “zombies” played a more central role than they did.
BOTTOM LINE: A hugely entertaining book.
Read the rest of this entry