Pick of the paperbacks this month is GUNS OF THE DAWN ( , 19 November, Pan), the first in a new fantasy series by Adrian Tchaikovsky. It centres on a woman drafted into a civil war, who swaps her big old house and the unwanted attentions of a bureaucrat for slow-firing muskets and mysterious warlocks – think Mr Darcy with fireballs. We said: “Slow to ignite, more plodding Pride And Prejudice at first than Sharpe. But once the musket balls start to fly, Tchaikovsky keeps you hooked with breathless battle scenes and well-drawn characters”. The latest by Sarah Pinborough, THE DEATH HOUSE ( ,12 November, Gollancz), downplays its SF elements as it follows the lives of a bunch of kids with a rare genetic defect which could erupt at any time with deadly results, living in an isolated school/ prison on an island. We said: “Not a book for lovers of plot. Instead, it’s focused on character and the theme of living with your own mortality… it’s heavy stuff, but handled deftly. Impressive and moving.” Finally, former The Tube presenter Muriel Gray’s tersely written horror debut THE TRICKSTER (3 December, Harper Voyager) is getting a 20th anniversary reissue, with a new foreword by Mark Millar. The titular character is a shapeshifting demon from Native Canadian mythology that’s butchering people at a ski resort. Brace yourself for full-blooded gore. Gray’s Furnace and The Ancient are also getting another run out.