Daily Archives: August 2, 2008

Book Haul 8/2/08

I’m a little bit behind in showing all y’all what books have come into the Scalzi Compound, so this book haul is so big that it requires two pictures. Let’s do the hardcovers first:

Quick notes on these:

* Greg Bear, City at the End of Time: I had the honor of being on a SFWA committee with Greg Bear recently, and I will tell you it’s interesting to talk about weighty SFWA issues as a peer with someone you would totally geek out about otherwise. In this case, the title of the book isn’t just a clever marketing angle: there really is a city at the end of time. And it has a Starbucks! Or did, until that recent mass closing. Stupid economy. This book hits next Tuesday.

* Kat Richardson, Underground: The latest installment in the Greywalker series, which features a PI whose been having to deal with the paranormal ever since she died and came back. See, that’s why I plan on not dying. Out Tuesday? You bet.

* C.F. Bentley, Harmony: A caste-riddled civilization faces internal and external dangers. Can one young woman save an entire world from collapse? Oh, probably. Also out Tuesday.

* Michael Brooks, 13 Things That Don’t Make Sense: This is actually a science book, not a science fiction book, and Brooks looks at, you guessed it, 13 things that are just plain weird, from a science point of view, like the the Pioneer anomaly and sex. Hey, look, weird or not, I like sex, and I’m going to keep having it, so there. This book is based on an article that was swapped around on the Internet a couple of years ago. Someone selling a book because of something they wrote on the Internet? Wacky! I’m actually supposed to be sending Brooks questions for an interview that will post on Tor.Com, which I will do, uh, soon. This comes out August 12.

* Arthur C. Clarke and Frederik Pohl, The Last Theorem: The reviews I’ve seen on this book so far have been respectful, which is a way of saying “not as good as their best work, but it’s the last thing Clarke wrote and probably the last thing Pohl will have published, and I would rather eat a live toad than say anything bad about it.” I think this is a perfectly reasonable way of going about things, and I know I would have probably have bought it simply as a salute to two of the masters. Skimming through the book a bit, however, it reads just fine, thanks, so it’s worth picking up for its own qualities as well. This is out next Tuesday, too.

* Brenda Cooper, Reading the Wind: The sequel to The Silver Ship and the Sea, which featured a world in which the genetically altered were hated and feared. Isn’t that always the way. Out now.

* Kim Wilkins, The Veil of Gold: The PR sheet for this book assures me that Kim Wilkins is one of Australia’s bestselling fantasy writers, which is just like being big in Japan, plus kangaroos (work with me on this). This book takes place in a Russia bifurcated between the real world and a “world of story,” which you may expect has all the really cool creatures and stuff, while we have, like, nothing. Except iPods. Take that, world of story! This book got starred reviews in Kirkus and in Publishers Weekly, which is not a bad achievement. It’s out now.

* Elizabeth Bear, Hell and Earth: Also out next Tuesday, and the latest installment in the Promethean Age saga. This makes, oh, let’s see, 18,000 books Elizabeth Bear has published this year alone. I am totally in awe of her, and you know, I’m not exactly slacking on the “crank out the books” end of things. But I am a mere mortal, while eBear seems to be fueled by the angels themselves. Stupid angels. This is a trade paperback, incidentally, not a hardcover.

* Subterranean Tales of Dark Fantasy: This anthology came out just a couple of days ago and features stories by Patrick Rothfuss, Poppy Z. Brite, Kage Baker, Tim Powers and the ever-proverbial more, and features a cover by Dave McKean I find outright spooklicious. Right next to it, incidentally, is another Subterranean book, Ray Bradbury’s screenplay to the John Huston-directed film version of Moby Dick, which is very cool; I read a pre-press version of that and I think it’s a must-have for both film and Ray Bradbury fans. It’s also just out and available for order.

* Mike Resnick, Stalking the Unicorn and Stalking the Vampire: Tales of an alternate Manhattan, in which crusty gumshoe John Justin Mallory tracks down, you guessed it, unicorns and vampires and such like. Pyr is reissuing Unicorn, which was originally published a couple of decades ago, and pairs it up with Vampire, which is a brand-new installment. I’m kind of hoping the next installment is Stalking the Nerd’s Girlfriend from Canada, speaking of fabulous mythical creatures. Amazon informs me both are available now.

And now, paperbacks, ARCs and everything else:

More notes:

* Flight, Volume Five: a graphic novel anthology, very pretty, makes me wonder how I missed the first four installments. Out now.

* Gregory Frost, Lord Tophet: The follow-on to Shadowbridge, so if you’re a fan of the first, get on it. It’s out now, too.

* Frank J. Tipler, The Physics of Christianity: Finally, a science book to make PZ Myers shoot blood from his ears! Can’t wait to see that. Tipler looks at the various miracles of Christianity and attempts to find a rational, scientific basis for them. I have to say that my first reaction on seeing the book was, “oh, this is just like those ‘Science of Star Trek’ books, with God instead of the USS Enterprise.” Which means, of course, that I’m destined for Hell. This one manifests on August 19.

* Tom Lloyd, The Stormcaller: Lloyd sent this to me all the way from the UK, so I wanted to make sure it got a shoutout. I’m flipping through it and it looks like a suitably twisty and violent dark fantasy novel, the sort that inspires entire albums from Scandanavian metal bands, and you know, I can’t think of a single thing wrong with that. Thanks, Tom! You rock. The books is available in the UK and Canada, but Amazon tells me USians can get it too, if they can handle a couple weeks for shipping.

* S.L. Viehl, Omega Games: Hey! This is the first time one of Viehl’s novels has been sent my way. Online readers will know her as Paperback Writer, who has been blogging for about as long as I have. This is the latest installment in her Stardoc series, and it’s out Tuesday.

* Rachel Caine, Gale Force: I know at least a couple of folks who can’t get enough of the “Weather Warden” series, so the arrival of this book next Tuesday will fill them full of squee. And who doesn’t like squee? No one doesn’t like squee, that’s who.

* Enchantment Place: This one’s a little difficult to read in the picture, so I thought I’d mention it: short stories about a mall catering to those of a supernatural bent. I personally thought that was taken care of by Hot Topic and Spencer’s Gifts, but that shows what I know. A nice line-up of authors, in any event: Mary Jo Puteny, Jody Lynn Nye, Laura Resnick, Diane Duane and Kristine Kathryn Rusch among them. Also in there: My pal Melanie Fletcher. Hi, Melanie! Out Tuesday.

* Iain M. Banks, Use of Weapons: I heart Orbit Books for re-releasing all the Culture novels. Heart them so much. That is all.

* Neal Stephenson, Anathem: I’m working through this one so I can’t say too much about it, except to say: folks, you’re really going to have to work for this one, since Stephenson’s built a world from the ground up and doesn’t seem to particularly care if you’re not keeping pace. And it’s 900 pages long, so, you know, you’ll be at it for a while. But I suppose The Baroque Cycle acted to thin out the ranks of the not sufficiently motivated, didn’t it, so whoever’s left with probably explode with joy. This is due September 9.

* Jason Pinter, The Stolen: A missing kid is found after several years, with a big gaping hole in his memory, and it’s up to Pinter protagonist Henry Parker to figure out what’s going on. I’m not going to say too much about this book right now because Pinter’s writing me a Big Idea piece that’s coming soon, but I will say this book comes out on Tuesday.

* Electric Velocipede: Hi, John! This edition (#14) includes work by Karen Joy Fowler, Leslie What, Sonya Taafe, Sandra McDonald, Lisa Mantchev and lots of others. Excellent. This came to me bundled with a chapbook from Robert Freeman Wexler called Psychological Methods to Sell Should Be Destroyed, which sounds to me like an album title from one of those 80s California punk bands. And maybe it was. I’ll have to check.

So that’s the haul. Your thoughts on the books here?