Transreal Fiction

Scotland’s sf & fantasy bookstore

Lucius Shepard

I was surprised and saddened this morning to learn that Lucius Shepard had died.
He first gained recognition back in the mid-1980s with Green Eyes, one of the re-launched Ace Specials that also promoted the careers of William Gibson and Kim Stanley Robinson among others… Then followed Life During Wartime and The Jaguar Hunter collection, both set in future Central America. Also The Scalehunter’s Beautiful Daughter, the first of several connected slightly more traditional fantasies.
More recently I read Dog-Eared Paperback of My Life, a novella-length piece in the anthology Other Earths, which was excellent.

More personally, I had the great good fortune to end up hanging out with Lucius a couple of times years ago at a big London convention we were both attending. We ended up chatting and drinking long into the night and he came across as a really interesting character with loads of stories to tell… somewhere I have a photo!
Anyway, quite a brief friendship, but one I’ve remembered for decades.
I’ll miss him.






March 20, 2014 Posted by | Announcements, Author News, Shop News & Chat | Leave a comment

New Titles – w/e 8th March 2014

in hardback :

Ken MacLeodDescent government surveillance and cover-ups! Signed copies available

Brandon SandersonWords of Radiance 1000+ page sequel to The Way of Kings. The Stormlight Archive #2

Sebastien De CastellTraitor’s Blade conspiracy in the most corrupt city in the world. Following the death of the king, three ex-magistrates have ended up in dead-end bodyguard jobs… Part 1 of The Greatcoats
Ramsey CampbellThe Pretence the day after a dire prediction failed to come true, everything should now be alright… shouldn’t it?

large format:

Andrzej SapkowskiBaptism of Fire the 4th in the fantasy series that began with The Last Wish. Translated from Polish by David French
Mark SmylieThe Barrow epic adventure in the world of Artesia
Nigel EdwardsBadger’s Waddle surreal story set in a minor English village. Giant rabbits, exploding tourists, shaved gibbons…
Barrington J. BaileyGateway Omnibus containing novels  The Soul of the Robot and The Fall of Chronopolis with the collection The Knights of the Limits

Mur LaffertyGhost Train to New Orleans Zoe writes travel guides to tourist spots for the undead…

Andy McDermottThe Valhalla Prophecy the 9th adventure with Nina Wilde & Eddie Chase

in ‘B’ format:

Jim C. HinesLibriomancer Isaac is in a secret guild which can draw forth objects mentioned in books…
David MunroThe Time Jigsaw fleeing trouble, James returns to Scotland but discovers he is time-slipping to different periods…

in paperback:

Julie E. CzernedaA Turn of the Light part 1 of Marrowdell; Jenn has grown up in a small valley on the edge of the magical realms…
Seanan McGuireHalf-Off Ragnarok the 3rd InCryptid adventure…
Anne BishopWritten in Red the 1st novel of The Others. Meg gets a Human Liason job despite being on the run and having to hide her foretelling ability
Marion Zimmer Bradley & Deborah J. RossThe Children of Kings a Darkover novel, which seems to follow on from The Alton Gift and Hastur Lord

Clive Cussler & Justin ScottThe Striker their 5th co-written Isaac Bell adventure; the 6th altogether.

art, etc:

John Ferguson, Tone Julskjaer & Gary WelshSaltire Scottish graphic novel set in Roman times… Full colour, published by Diamondsteel Comics

March 6, 2014 Posted by | Author News, Transreal New Titles | Leave a comment

Signed Copies of Descent by Ken MacLeod

As with previous books, Ken has agreed to sign copies of his new hardcover for me.
Options include a plain signature, or with the date, location or a brief greeting added.

The book is due out from Orbit in early March and will cost £19.99
Postage within the UK will add £2.61, making the total £22.60 altogether.
Postage to the rest of Europe will be £7.85 or £27.84 in total.
Postage to further afield (e.g. U.S. & Canada) will be £12.60 or £32.59 in total and to Australia/NZ £13.25 or £33.24 altogether.

To order, just e-mail me saying where you live and what you’d like and I’ll issue a PayPal Invoice which will detail your request and also ask for your full address…


HOW FAR WOULD YOU GO FOR THE TRUTH? Ball lightning. Weather balloons. Secret military aircraft.

Ryan knows all the justifications for UFO sightings. But when something falls out of the sky on the hills near his small Scottish town, he finds his cynicism can’t identify or explain the phenomenon. And in a future where nothing is a secret, where everything is recorded on CCTV or reported online, why can he find no evidence of the UFO, nor anything to shed light on what occurred? Is it the political revolutionaries, is it the government or is it aliens themselves who are creating the cover-up? Or does the very idea of a cover-up hide the biggest secret of all?






February 25, 2014 Posted by | Announcements, Author News, Shop News & Chat, Signed Books | Leave a comment

Frederik Pohl 1919 – 2013

The last of a great generation of sf authors has died, aged 93.

Over the decades he wrote some great fiction, but his parallel career in editing was very influential as well and helped transform the field. He also wrote non-fiction, not least his auto-biographical books and latterly his website reminiscences about all sorts of corners and little-remembered niches of genre publishing.

I don’t know when I first read him but it was almost certainly back in the late 1960s. Either something he co-wrote, like The Space Merchants (with C. M. Kornbluth), or more likely various short stories.
I do know the first book of his I actually bought was the collection Gold at the Starbow’s End in 1972, which included a story I liked a lot called The Merchants of Venus (groan!) which 15 years on I recognised was the original story Gateway and it’s sequels sprang from!
The first novel I bought was Gladiator-at-Law a couple of years later in 1974 and I continued to read most of his new work, and dip into more of his back catalogue including his classic collaborations with C. M. Kornbluth and Jack Williamson.

I’ve not read it, but his final novel, two years ago, was All the Lives He Led, which seems like a fitting note to end on for a man with such an influential career in so many ways.

September 3, 2013 Posted by | Author News | Leave a comment

Richard Matheson 1926 – 2013

Another of the greats of imaginative literature dies.

Richard Matheson was probably best known for writing I am Legend, which has been filmed several times with varying results. But he also wrote hundreds of other short stories, novels, etc. many of which were adapted for tv and film. The original Duel story, which launched the career of Spielberg, Star Trek episodes, Twilight Zone episodes, all sorts of work.
My own favourite was the novel The Shrinking Man (filmed as The Incredible Shrinking Man in 1957). Both the original short novel and the classic film still feel fresh today; I watched the film again about a month ago and was again impressed by the shrinking effects.

He’ll be missed, but he leaves a great body of work to remember him by.

June 25, 2013 Posted by | Author News | Leave a comment

Neptune’s Brood – Charles Stross signed copies

Charlie’s new hardback is out in about three weeks in early July.

It’s called Neptune’s Brood and the UK edition costs £16.99
Signed & personalised copies will be availabe as in the past; I’ll be e-mailing previous customers about this, but feel free to contact me and tell me what you’d like.

Plain signature, date, location, brief greeting, etc. should be possible, but no first lines, I’m afraid.

The postage within the UK will be £1.90 or £18.89 in total
Within Europe: £6.00 or £22.99 altogether
Most of the rest of the world: £10.40 or £27.39 altogether
Australia & NZ, etc: £10.80 or £27.79 altogether

If you want more than one copy, I’ll check and let you know the postage.


“My friend has discovered faster-than-light travel! If we get in now, we can make it rich! Just send us your bank details today…” Krina Alizond-114 is a metahuman in a universe where the last natural humans went extinct five thousand years ago. When a letter from her sister goes missing Krina embarks on a dangerous journey across the star systems to find her, along the way getting caught up in an elegant and unprecedented financial scam that involves the mystery of the missing space colony – Atlantis.

June 13, 2013 Posted by | Announcements, Author News, Signed Books, Transreal New Titles | Leave a comment

Iain M. Banks

Very sad to hear the news that my friend Iain Banks has passed away.

We all thought he had several months at least before the inevitable end but it was not to be.
I heard the news on the BBC News at 22.00 and was impessed by Ian Rankin’s interview about him and what he has meant to his friends and readers.
And now I’m just back from our local pub, where we went and raised a glass of malt to his memory. I had 10 y.o. Lagavulin and my partner Madeleine had a 10 y.o. Caol Ila, both from Islay. Cheers, Iain, you shan’t be forgotten!


June 9, 2013 Posted by | Author News, Shop News & Chat | 1 Comment

Jack Vance: The sun has guttered and finally gone out

I woke up this morning to the sad news that my favourite author had died at the weekend, aged 96. I’ve been reading Jack Vance since the late 1960s – 45 years! -  and although he stopped writing some time ago, it’s still a great loss.

Locus have a brief piece here.

And I like what Battered, Tattered, Yellowed & Creased said as well.

I first came across his work when I bought The Eyes of the Overworld back in about 1967 or so, possibly a bit later, but still 45 years ago! I used to go to a local newsagent whenever I had enough pocketmoney to buy one of the import sf titles they had on a spinner and one time that’s what I risked my money on! It probably cost me 10d, maybe 1/-


By the mid 70s I was picking up his books as   they were (re)released by Mayflower and in the late 70s I bought my first hardback (the outsize Underwood Miller edition of Morreion)! Since then I’ve got hold of most of what he’s written, from almost all his 1st appearances in old pulp magazines, though paperbacks, hardbacks and more!

In 1992 he was Guest of Honor at Worldcon in Orlando and I made the trip there to see him. It was great fun and I ended up chatting to him and Norma and their son Jack, jr. and helping with one of the official signing events he had. Even then his sight was failing and I sat beside him opening all the books to the right page, lining them up so he could sign without needing to adjust his wrist and telling him what the titles were… I felt quite honoured.
To keep my luggage weight under control I only took one book of my own to get signed – The Blue World h/c from Putnam

IMG_2330  I’ve accumulated many    other signed editions, but  that’s the only personalised one.

He’s written too many books for me to name a favourite but The Killing Machine, Trullion, Pao, The Miracle Workers, The Blue World are all up there, with many more! One or two clunkers, I admit, especially in his early short fiction but nothing I haven’t felt worth re-reading at some point! Over the years his books have been a constant, the centre-point of my reading, around which everything else has revolved.

But, at last, like the Dying Earth’s sun, his light is finally eclipsed.

Fare thee well, Jack.


Jack Vance 1916 – 2013

My Flickr set has my comments on some of his books, etc.



May 30, 2013 Posted by | Announcements, Author News | | Leave a comment

Signed Eric Brown Books

Please note that signed copies of Eric’s two new paperback books, Starship Seasons and The Serene Invasion, will be available from Wednesday 15th May.

Starship Seasons is published by DIP (an imprint of PS Publishing) and consists of 4 linked novellas, Starship Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring.
The Serene Invasion is a new novel about the peaceful invasion of earth, and of those who oppose it and is published by Solaris.

The books are both £7.99 each, plus £1.00 per book for postage within the UK. Some other signed titles of Eric’s are also available.


In other related news, also available signed (and numbered) is The Boolian Gate by Walter Jon Williams, a limited edition hardcover novella from Subterranean Press. Price is £25 plus £2.00 posteage in the UK.



May 13, 2013 Posted by | Announcements, Author News, Signed Books | Leave a comment

Boris Strugatski (1933 – 2012)

Sadly, Boris Strugatski has passed away.

With his brother Arcadi (1925 – 1991) they wrote a string of interesting, usually banned sf novels in the USSR from the late 1950s through to the late 80s.
My first encounter with their work was a novella in the Vortex collection of Soviet SF which was called The Second Invasion From Mars. In a small town on the steppe, news of an alien landing is more like gossip and facts are hard to come by. I really enjoyed it and have read it several times. There’s also another translation of it called The Second Martian Invasion.
Their best known work was the novel Roadside Picnic, later filmed by Andrei Tarkovsky as Stalker, which was also the title of the computer game also later developed. In it, there are several quarantined sites around the world at which aliens have landed briefly and left behind various inexplicable items, much as humans might leave rubbish behind after a picnic…

Books by the Strugatskis

Other novels, like the others pictured here, tend towards the fantastical as they portray weird convoluted bureaucracies that varied scientists have to negotiate to achieve anything.
The last major work of theirs I read was The Snail on the Slope, which was apparently published as two separate stories and only when it was published as a book with their chapters alternating did people realise it was a single piece! It’s probably my favourite of the dozen or so novels of theirs I’ve read.

Arkadi died over 20 years ago; now Boris. Oh, well, maybe I’ll go re-read 2nd Martian Invasion.

November 21, 2012 Posted by | Announcements, Author News | Leave a comment


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