I’ve been traveling so much this month that I’ve had books come in and stack up, so instead of the usual one of these posts I do every couple of weeks or so, I’ll be doing three of them: One today, one tomorrow and one Thursday, at which point I’m sure I’ll have even more new books in, but then I’ll be on my way to Lexington and Atlanta. It never ends. In this group, however, are some recent and upcoming hardcovers. What have we got?
Pirate Sun, Karl Schroeder: Karl’s Virga series keeps getting bigger and better, and this latest book is even more hot space opera goodness. As most of you know, I had a chance to work with Karl directly recently with our upcoming Metatropolis audio anthology, and I’ll tell you what: The man can spin out ideas like the rest of us breathe. If you haven’t been reading Karl’s stuff, you need to start, and if you have read Karl’s stuff, you need to get Pirate Sun. It came out a couple of weeks ago.
The Sacred Book of the Werewolf, Victor Pelevin: What? Another book about urban werewolves? What’s this one got that the others don’t? Well, in this case, the urban area is Moscow and the werewolf in question is actually a millennia-old seductive werefox from ancient China. Which, you know, is not the usual thing. Author Pelevin is apparently a big seller in Russia (this book sold a quarter of a million copies there), so Viking’s hoping lightning strikes twice. Well, see. Superhot ancient werefoxes seems like a good way to do it. This book comes out September 4 (i.e., next week).
The Bell at Sealey Head, Patricia A. McKillip: This light fantastical mystery, aside from its own qualities as a story, also has a jacket that’s in the running for the prettiest book cover of 2008. And there’s nothing bad about that. This book arrives on September 2.
The Scourge of God, S.M. Stirling: The followup to The Sunrise Lands, one of the “Books of the Change,” in which ordinary mechanical physics was shown the door and magic brought in to take its place — damned inconvenient if you spend most of your time on the Internet, I suspect. I actually saw S.M. Stirling a couple of times at Worldcon and meant to go over and say hello, but each time someone else crossed my path before I could get to him. I will track him down eventually. And now having said that I realize how much like stalking that sounds like. Really, it’s not like that. This is also with a September 2 arrival date.
Riders of the Storm, Julie E. Czerneda: The sequel to Reap the Wild Wind, which is in itself a prequel to Czerneda’s Trade Pact Universe trilogy, which I suppose goes to show that a sequel to a prequel does not, in fact, always get you back to where you originally started. Not cracked this one open yet, but I’ve enjoyed other stuff from Czerneda that I’ve read, so I’m looking forward to this. Also comes out September 2.
Mars Life, Ben Bova: Bova returns to the world of Mars and Return to Mars (that world being, uh, well, Mars) for a story that pits the explorers of the ruins of an ancient Martian civilization against an increasingly fundamentalist US government. Fundamentalists! They never go away. I finally got the chance to meet Bova in Denver; he was going out of a panel while I was coming in for another one. We had 45 seconds of polite pleasantries. Hopefully I’ll meet him again. This time maybe for a minute and a half! This one’s already out.
Throne of Jade, Naomi Novik: This is the Subterranean Press signed limited edition of the book, complete with ginchy inside illustrations. It is very, very pretty (which it should be, because it’s a $125 book). If you’re a Temeraire fan, you can begin your lusting now — there do seem to be some copies still available.
Starlady/Fast-Friend, George RR Martin : Another SubPress offering, this one involving two 70s-era novellas from Martin, arranged “Ace Double Novel”-style. Yes, it will take you back, my friends. Available now.
Ubik: The Screenplay, Philip K. Dick: PKD is famously the go-to guy for Hollywood science fiction, but what many people don’t know is that he tried his hand at screenplays himself. This edition puts Dick’s Ubik screenplay back into circulation after a couple of decades; the screenplay, as noted by Tim Powers in his introduction, is more than just a rearrangement of the story into the film medium — it offers some insight into the characters that only Dick would have been in a position to provide. Now what would be cool would be to have this screenplay see the light of a projection bulb one day. Also available now, from Subterranean Press.
Your thoughts on any of these?