New Treasures: London Falling by Paul Cornell

New Treasures: London Falling by Paul Cornell

London Falling-smallBoy, Tor publishes intriguing books. I keep trying to save a few bucks by waiting until they arrive in paperback, but there are some books that just demand to be read right now.

I admit I was attracted to London Falling first by the great cover. Covers are important to me — ultimately I have time to read less than a third of what I buy, so at least I want my purchases to look good on my shelves. But the book description, which promises an enticing mix of police procedural and supernatural mystery, really sealed the deal.

Police officers Quill, Costain, Sefton, and Ross know the worst of London — or they think they do. While investigating a mobster’s mysterious death, they come into contact with a strange artifact and accidentally develop the Sight. Suddenly they can see the true evil haunting London’s streets.

Armed with police instincts and procedures, the four officers take on the otherworldly creatures secretly prowling London. Football lore and the tragic history of a Tudor queen become entwined in their pursuit of an age-old witch with a penchant for child sacrifice. But when London’s monsters become aware of their meddling, the officers must decide what they are willing to sacrifice to clean up their city.

Paul Cornell’s first novels were a series of highly regarded Doctor Who tie-ins, and the SF novels Something More (2002) and British Summertime (2007). This is his first fantasy novel, but he’s no stranger to the genre. He wrote three Doctor Who episodes for the BBC, and his comics work includes Batman & Robin, Action Comics, Saucer Country, Demon Knights, and Young Avengers. He’s also an acclaimed short story writer and one of only two people to be nominated for the Hugo Award for fiction, comics and television (bonus points if you can name the other one).

London Falling was published by Tor Books on April 16, 2013. It is 403 pages, priced at $24.99 in hardcover, and $11.99 for the digital edition. The sequel, The Severed Streets, is scheduled to be published by Tor on May 20.

See all of our recent New Treasures here.

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Robert Mammone

Actually, this isn’t Cornell’s first novel. He wrote a number of extremely well regarded Doctor Who novels during the 90s before moving into original fiction this century with a book titled Something More.

Picked this book up second hand over the weekend and hope to have a read of it soon.


Sounds a bit reminiscent of Akroyd’s Hawksmoor. There’s one that should be better known.


AS Robert said above, its not Paul’s first original novel, but it looks that way, given his publishing history.

This novel is solid, though and worth a read by anyone, especially those looking for something new in Urban Fantasy.

James McGlothlin

“(And how does everybody manage to get to this stuff before I do?)”

Good question John. I’m supposed to be getting Jeff Vandermeer’s newest novel Annihilation tomorrow, which “officially” debuts then, but I note that there are already a number of reviews of it already on Amazon–wth?

Really just joking–I’m happy for people who have access to ARCs.


That other Hugo nominee — gotta be Harlan Ellison.


John – I came across Hawksmoor through David Pringle; he chose it as one of the 100 best fantasy novels. I’m glad to hear it’s still in print. Be alerted – it’s VERY dark.

Sarah Avery

Every time you like a book’s jacket copy enough to post it, I get a much-needed exercise in figuring out what makes great jacket copy great. This is an especially strong specimen. Thanks!

Robert Mammone

I wonder if there’s an interesting article looking at the pre-professional writing of authors? I say this because Cornell got his start writing fiction (as I understand it) with Doctor Who fanzines (I own several of these and the writing is sold) in the late 80s and early 90s, which helped him get his first professional Doctor Who writing credit with a novel titled Timewyrm: Revelation.

I’m sure lots of well regarded writers from the early years of SF/fantasy in the 20th C started out the same way?

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x