Today’s Books, 4/22/13

Just walked through the door of the house, and what is the first thing I do? Take a picture of the books that have come in so you can see what’s new and upcoming. Because that’s how much I care about you. Yes I do.

Tell what catches your eye, down below in the comments.

63 thoughts on “Today’s Books, 4/22/13

  1. Hi John,

    is “Hope Reborn” a re-release of older books or a new novel? From the Amazon description i would guess a re-release but there has already been an omnibus release under a different name. I am confused ;-).

    Thanks, Martin

  2. I do love me some S.M. Stirling for story-telling and concept in his alt history Emberverse stuff, although his female characters could use some additional layers. they are pretty 2-D, either goddessy priestess, wicked queen or warrior princess.

  3. Not trying to be funny, but is Eric Flint a nom de plume for about 47 different people? Because if not, I cannot imagine how he finds time to feed, bathe or toilet himself with his copious output. Granted, quite a large proportion is “co-written”, but that would just mean more time on emails, so no help there either.

  4. “Off to be the Wizard” is the sort of title that always grabs my eye. The description on Amazon sounds like great fun.

  5. The Lives of Tao, Ex-Patriots, and Off to Be the Wizard are all on my to read list. I listened to the audiobook of Ex-Heroes and really enjoyed it. Off to Be the Wizard sounds good, but I think The Lives of Tao will be the best of the bunch.

  6. “Off to be the Wizard” was a lot of fun. If you at all like the tone of Meyer’s BASIC INSTRUCTIONS comic you’ll like it. The price on Kindle was exceedingly reasonable too.

  7. Ex-Patriots is a great book, I’d say better than Ex-Heroes, which was not all that bad either :)

  8. I can’t wait to pick up a copy of Ex-Patriots. I loved the first book (albeit a little late) and think the reprint covers are fantastic!

  9. @Dennis: No, he’s the editorial director at Baen and thus has a hand in quite a lot of what they put out. (Particularly anthologies and shared-universe stuff.) I confess I’m not fond of seeing his name that often even in those circumstances – it’s kind of like the bad Hollywood habit of tacking the story editor’s or producer’s name onto the writing credits – but I suspect it’s a useful marketing tool. (Some of us around Scalzi’s age still remember when Tor SF books all carried the strapline “James Baen Presents: A Tom Doherty Book.”)

    In my case, if I came home to that stack the entire pile would go flying so I could get at the one on the bottom, Primates. I’ve been reading Jim Ottaviani’s popular (i.e. plain English) science graphic novels for over a decade, and they’re never less than brilliant whether he’s working with one artist or multiples. (Going back to a previous discussion here: every girl geek – and every guy geek, for that matter – should possess a copy of Ottaviani et al’s Dignifying Science.)

  10. Ah, A. Bertram Chandler and Commodore John Grimes of the Rim Worlds! One of my very favorite science fiction adventures writers. Only met him once, at a convention in Louisville in ’79, but his space operas really hit home for me, before and ever since. I recommend them to anyone who loves space opera and/or has a reasonably warped sense of humor. And now, I must go spit on the mat and call the cat a bastard!

  11. I love A Bertram Chandler – he’s been out of print for a while, but it’s good to see him back.

    Typical Space Opera, but with a bit of emphasis on character – at least more than was normal at the time. He got me through a lot of high school and most of college.

  12. “Because that’s how much I care about you. Yes I do.”
    Ranks right up there with “I’m with the government and am here to help”

    The lives of Tao sounds interesting – The Genjix made me do it. :)

  13. @1 (Martin): Drake’s Site says, “Hope Reborn collects in omnitrade format the first two books in the series: The Forge (1991) and The Hammer (1992).”

    @4 (Dennis): 163x series is a ‘shared universe’ in which Eric is the creator… In the case of this particular book, it’s written by Paula and Gorg, with Eric doing Editor duty. (Paula is an editor for Grantville Gazette, the official “fanzine” of the series.)

  14. @David Gustafson: As a sometime merchant mariner, I have a soft spot for Chandler, though his Grimes stories definitely belong to an earlier age.

    I do find it ironic that his stuff’s now gone over to Baen, as it was a mainstay of DAW Books (which Baen modeled his own line on) for some years in my youth.

  15. Entirely by coincidence, I was in the mood for some classic space opera, and just got Galactic Courier through my library. Also looking forward to Ex-Patriots.

  16. I really enjoyed Ex-Patriots. I was actually really surprised when I heard that it was being released shortly because I bought it for my Kindle in October 2011. I guess it was only available in e-book form then and I never noticed before.

  17. I was in your neck of the woods this weekend – the forsythia, bradford pears and ornamental cherries are all in bloom with the daffodils and the tulips. I was sorry you were missing it, but it’s good you’re home to enjoy it.

  18. Off to be the wizard looked like it could be interesting, I checked it out on goodreads and it looks excellent I think I’m going to read it.

  19. The Drake/Stirling was interesting until I realized it was yet another reprint. I love that series but they keep reprinting them.

  20. I love ‘Dog and Dragon’ by Dave Freer. It’s a fantastic sequel to ‘Dragon’s Ring’, and I’m hopeful that there will be more books in the series.

  21. Spine design:

    First (much to my surprise): Off To Be The Wizard
    Second: The Barbed Crown
    Third: none

    Interesting: Awakening

    Coulda been, shoulda been, and disappointing: Ex-Patriots (Way too much weight to the author’s name.)

    Big Losers
    1636: The Kremlin Games
    Hope Reborn

    The Lives of Tao was in a recent batch. Disqualified for multiple submission.

  22. If you got the next books in Weber’s Safehold series and the Emberverse at the same time, my family would hold you responsible for the envy-based spontaneous combustion.

  23. Looking forward to 1636 Kremlin Games, I’m a huge fan of the Ring Of Fire books and Eric Flint in general so anything he does is worth reading by me.

  24. I really want a copy of “Off To Be The Wizard”. Meyers web comic “Basic Instructions” may be the best comic on the Internet. Consistently smart and funny often insightful. If he can write a story like he does a 4 panel set of jokes that should be a gem

  25. How is the 1632 series? I’ve seen it before, but never picked it up. I’ve been on a real kick for pre-modern times recently though, reading Thieftaker by D.B. Jackson.

  26. Yay, a new ‘ring of fire’ book! I want.
    “Off to be a Wizard” – I thought that was from Diane Duane, but not. Oh well, I’ll read it anyhow.
    Lives of TAO – That sounds really good, but the picture is weird. Never judge a book by the cover…S. M. Stirling – I want a new ‘Dies the Fire’ book, not a re-run of a book I didn’t like in the first place :(
    ‘The Barbed Crown’ – I wouldn’t want to wear it, but I think I’ll read it.

    Thanks for the book-awareness picture!
    And thanks for all the ‘Big Idea’ posts, I meet a lot of new books that way.

  27. “Off to be the Wizard” awesome title.
    S.M. Stirling and Eric Flint in the same pile!

    Good thing summer is coming because my first thought was – I’ll never get anything done.

  28. Ex-Patriots was really a good read. I’m eagerly awaiting Ex-Communication. Also, if you haven’t read Peter Clines’ 14, that should go on your list.

  29. Don’t bother with HOPE REBORN, anybody – it’s just another repackaging of the first two books Drake’s and Stirling’s THE GENERAL series.

  30. “Galactic Courier” catches the eye but only because of how Augustus (nee Octavian) organized his “Pony Express” during the Principate. Augustus much preferred his couriers to ride the entire path instead of just handing off the dispatch bag at the next station. This allowed him to question the courier as a “man on the spot” with all the impressions that brings rather than just relying on sealed letters. Efficiency was clearly not the over-riding concern of this early Roman Pony Express…

  31. Hmm, a 9.3 x 6.1 inch Eggleton print graffiti-d with “Dave Freer Dog and
    Dragon.” Sounds like a good deal. ;p
    Chandler? Oh, Commodore Grimes, good to be reminded.

    Almost mildly interesting: Pictured above: ‘Awakening’ by Karen Sandler.
    Over on the couch: ‘When We Wake’ by Karen Healey.

  32. Off to be a Wizard was a great read. I often wish those piles of books showed up at my house :)

  33. Gotta say, this is the first stack in a while where nothing has particularly caught my eye. Aside from a couple I know I’m not interested in, most of it is both unknown to me and doesn’t really speak to me. The exception is Chandler, which is a name I remember from my childhood, but I can’t remember any particular works. And, unlike a lot of people my age, I think SF is better than it’s ever been, and don’t have a lot of nostalgia for the “golden age”. Still, that’s the one I’d probably give a second glance, but it doesn’t set my heart beating or anything.

    That said, some of the comments here have made me interested in a couple of the others, but that’s because of the comments, not the spines.

  34. Off to Be the Wizard caught my eye first. It sounds like fun. Then I noticed Dog and Dragon, which I read and enjoyed despite not having read the first book. Then I looked again at the Lives of Tao partly because the shape of the words reminded me of the Languages of Pao.

  35. Chandler’s work was always good, if a little dated, for the technology in the story. Talks his way around things, and has more normal relationships with other people. Feels like a crew, rather than a StudMuffin[TM] and various entourage.

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