Just Arrived, 10/19/10

Mmmm… more books in the mail. What’s up today:

* The Broken Kingdoms, N.K. Jemisin (Orbit): You’ll recall that N.K. Jemisin was a recent guest poster here, but rather more importantly, she writes pretty damn awesome fantasy novels, and this one is the second in her Inheritance Trilogy, which you really should be reading. In this one, someone’s killing gods, and of course the book’s heroine is caught up in the mess. This will be out November 3, which gives you time to check out the first book in the series, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. Hint, hint.

* Surface Detail, Iain M. Banks (Orbit): Yay! New Culture novel! Banks is one of those writers who makes me feel smarter for reading him, which is probably more pressure on him than he needs, but like that’s my problem. Also, the cover to the book features a person with Mandelbrot set pupils in their eyes, which is an unintentionally nice memorial to Benoit Mandelbrot, who passed away a couple of days ago. This is already out in the UK, as I understand, and will be out on the 28th in the US.

* Zoo City, Lauren Beukes (Angry Robot): Beukes imagines an alternate reality where the phrase “a monkey on your back” isn’t just a figure of speech, and our non-too-perfect heroine finds herself enmeshed in a missing persons case. The book’s gotten itself a starred review from Publishers Weekly, and the US version will be out in December (the UK version is already out). Beukes will be doing a Big Idea piece around the time of her US release as well.

* Celebrity Chekhov, Ben Greenman (Harper Perennial): A new variation of the “adapting older works” craze, this one redoes Chekov stories by replacing Chekov’s characters with current celebrities. This will inevitably lead to other such things, and with the inevitable “Mel Gibson awoke one morning to find he had been transformed into a dung beetle.” At which point the world will implode. I’m just saying. Out now.

* Selected Shorts and Other Methods of Time Travel, David Goldberg (Blue World Publications): 37 short stories about the perils of commercial time travel. Problems with luggage handling are the least of it, apparently. This book did a little bit of time travel itself to get to me, since it won’t be out until February.

* The Dark Griffin, K.J. Taylor (Ace): The first book in a new fantasy series involving griffins and those who ride them. The three books in the series will be published one month apart, and this one comes out in January.

* The Human Blend, Alan Dean Foster (Del Rey): OH NOES STARBUCKS HAS GONE ONE COFFEE FLAVOR TOO FAR. Oh, wait, that’s not what the title refers to at all. Forget I mentioned it. More accurately, this is the start of a new series by Foster, in a future in which human body modification doesn’t just mean tattoos or scarification. This first book will be out in late November.

27 thoughts on “Just Arrived, 10/19/10

  1. John,

    I think the flavor you’re thinking of at Starbucks is actually named a Soy Lent Green Tea.

  2. I read an excerpt from the Chekhov book online somewhere (USA Today?) and it was pretty great, actually. So weird. Though Mel Gibson probably will be turned into a dung beetle.

  3. Is Alan Dean Foster an actual hive mind or conglomeration of people? He’s written so many books (started reading animated Star Trek novelizations back in mid ’70′s), I just don’t see how it can be one person.

  4. Broken Kingdoms is awesome, and everyone should get it, and get the previous book if they’ve not gotten that one already. Likewise for Zoo City, which is a very different sort of genre fiction, and has a nice feel to it, as it’s written by someone from South Africa.

  5. Hrm. Wish you could link to Amazon (or somewhere) for books with pages so I don’t have to go google them all independently now. >.>

  6. @Jess

    Wish you could link to Amazon (or somewhere) for books with pages so I don’t have to go google them all independently now.

    I notice that Scalzi, in keeping with his ad-free website, doesn’t have one of those ubiquitous “Click through to our bookstore and this website’s owner gets a finder’s fee on your purchases” buttons. And, of course, if he did link to a retailer he’d be playing favorites – and he may have no strong preference, or may not prefer to voice one while he’s the SFWA President. Or his preference may be for local bookstores rather than online shippers of books.

    Still, assuming Scalzi simply doesn’t want to sully this site with revenue (or deal with the reporting of same), I wonder whether it’s possible to install such a “finder’s fee” button which is linked to some charity or other. After all, I’m guessing that most visitors here buy a lot of books, someplace or other.

  7. While Broken Kingdoms is officially published in November, I received my pre-order copy from Amazon yesterday.

    The first half has been a compelling read, and I look forward to finishing it this week.

  8. This will be out November 3, which gives you time to check out the first book in the series, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. Hint, hint.

    AAAHHHHHGGGH! Time, time, time!

  9. Gilmoure @4: I think Foster is actually a Thranx collective. ;)

    I love his stuff, though. It can be pulpy, but entertainingly so. Been reading him since I was a wee little geekling 30 years ago.

  10. I pre-ordered the new Iain M. Banks novel from Amazon. I received an email that the publication date in the US had been moved up to 10/20. Go get ‘em!

  11. I got my copy of Broken Kingdoms from Amazon today. *bwahahahahahaha*

    *dashes off to put on tea and pull up to a book*

  12. the inevitable “Mel Gibson awoke one morning to find he had been transformed into a dung beetle.”

    Except that would be recent history, not fantasy, right?

  13. Georgmi: ha. I have not read the new Ben Greenman book but I read his book of stories from this summer, What He’s Poised To Do, and they were really excellent.

  14. Had not heard about Mandelbrot. Now I think I need to go listen to some Jonathan Coulton. Yes, _that_ song.

  15. I knew I was going to pick up any new Iain M. Banks book, I just thought it might wait until a trade paperback. Nope! Saw it at the book shop today and the Mandelbrot set eyes (and interior) meant I had to have it now.

    Not sure how the release dates work, but it was available today in at least one US bookstore. :)

  16. I just read The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms! And then went and immediately ordered the second book on Amazon. They say it shipped yesterday…

  17. Surface Detail>
    yes, it’s out in the UK. mwahahahaha (I’ve read it, and I think it’s excellent, in an “if you liked the other Culture novels you’ll probably like this one too” way)

    Amazon UK appeared to believe in the official release date, perhaps subsequent release dates in other countries are less well enforced (given that people dedicated to having it NOW could just import a copy themselves anyway).

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