One thing about having been away from home for a while is that I’m behind noting what new and interesting books have come into the Scalzi Compound. To illustrate why catching up is sometimes easier said than done, here’s the pile of the books which came in just today: 14 books in 15 volumes (Heaven’s Shadow is represented twice, once in the US version and once in the UK version) and that doesn’t count the box of the latest printing of the mass market paperback edition of Old Man’s War that Tor was kind enough to ship to me.
That said, today was a particularly interesting haul, with new work from Charles Stross, Alastair Reynolds, Neal Asher and Mark Charon Newton, the paperback edition of Charles Yu’s critically acclaimed novel, and an anthology edited by Peter Beagle and Joe Lansdale, among other fine books. I was particularly amused to receive the Asher book because just today I was over at the Amazon UK site and saw it and said to myself “oh, hey, a new Neal Asher book, I’d like to get that one.” And then ten minutes later it was dropped off at the house. Would that everything I wished for were delivered with such alacrity.
(Note that the Newton, the Col Buchanan and the Asher books are all from Tor UK — I don’t know when they’ll be available in the States. But I have them, at least.)
Also pleased to get the new MaryJanice Davidson; she and I share an agent and it’s nice to see an agentmate doing well.
I will be catching up on the rest of my backlog soon I SWEAR, but in the meantime feel free to admire this stack ‘o reading goodness.
Catching up on what’s come to the Scalzi Compound:
* The Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier: Dreadnaught, Jack Campbell (Ace): Campbell’s very popular space opera series featuring Captain john “Black Jack” Geary jumps into hardcover for the first time with this installment, which start a new story arc for Geary, now promoted to admiral, as he would be, and taking a fleet to meet a mysterious new race. Out April 26.
* Department Nineteen, Will Hill (Razorbill): Hey, did you know that a little-known department of the government has been fighting vampires for more than a century? Neither did teen Jamie Carpenter, but when his mom is kidnapped by the fanged bastards, he learns all about it. This is out now.
* WWW: Wonder, Robert J. Sawyer (Ace): The conclusion of of Sawyer’s “WWW” trilogy has the newly-awakened Webmind changing nearly every aspect of the world — and that doesn’t sit well with some, who are thinking of ways to bring the Webmind down. Also out now.
* The Alchemist in the Shadows, Pierre Pevel (Pyr): Cardinal Richlieu fights dragons! Well, not him directly. He’s, like, a cardinal. He’s got people to do that stuff for him. Namely, the Cardinal’s Blades, a team of swordfighting badasses to do his bidding. And bid them he does. Out April 26.
* The President’s Vampire, Christopher Farnsworth (Putnam): Hey, if Richlieu can have dragon fighters, surely the president can have his own vampire, right? It’s the most secret of secret services. In this book, vampire Nathaniel Cade looks into a Blackwater-like contractor whose own secrets are possibly of the supernatural sort. Damn private contractors. This one hits April 28.
* The Amazon Legion, Tom Kratman (Baen): This latest sequel to A Desert Called Peace follows the exploits of women warriors called to defend their nation of Balboa. Out now.
* The Ritual, Adam Nevill (Pan Macmillan): Four old university friends try to reconnect on a Scandinavian outing, but then a presumed shortcut leads them into a darkness which their friendships — and they themselves — may not survive. That’s why I stay out of the Scandinavian woods, man. This will be out in the UK on May 6.
* Deathbird Stories, Harlan Ellison (Subterranean Press): Ellison’s classic collection gets an expanded edition, put together with typical SubPress flair, with three additional stories and a new afterward exclusive to this edition. Not cheap (prices range from $45 for the trade edition to $500 for the limited lettered edition) but very pretty. You’ll need to go to the SubPress store to get this one.
Look! Books! Here’s some of what’s been sent to me recently:
* The Physics of the Future, by Michio Kaku (Doubleday): The subtitle to this pop science book proclaims “How science will shape human destiny and our daily lives by 2100.” Finally! Someone will tell me when I get my flying car! No, really, there’s a flying car on the cover. There had to be. It’s like, a law. Out now.
* Crucified Dreams: Tales of Urban Horror, edited by Joe R. Lansdale (Tachyon): Urban horror anthology featuring stories by Harlan Ellison, Jonathan Letham, Ellen Klages, Charlie Huston and some dude named Stephen King. I think he’ll be big. Out now.
* The Demon Left Behind, by Marie Jakober (Edge): Demons studying humans have to let a mortal into their ranks when one of their own goes missing. Interesting idea, I think. Book is out in May.
* Minding Frankie, by Maeve Binchy (Knopf): A ne’er-do-well tries to walk the straight and narrow when he discovers that he’s about to be a father, and the mom-to-be is, alas, terminally ill. Yes, I get sent Maeve Binchy books. I like it when that happens. So there. Out now.
* A Kingdom Besieged, by Raymond E. Feist (Harper Voyager): Hey, Riftwar fans, you have a new Riftwar — the Chaoswar! — and this book is the first in the series detailing it, throwing the wizard Pug right back into the middle of all sorts of magic mess. Dig it, friends. Out on April 12.
* Betrayer, by C.J. Cherryh (DAW): The latest book in the Foreigner series (this is number 12, I believe) has our human heroes in the middle of a alien siege — and possibly being used as pawns in a power struggle. Out in April.
* The Dragon’s Path, by Daniel Abraham (Orbit): Abraham starts a new epic fantasy series with this book, in which several characters from all walks of life get swept up into a war that promises to shatter the world. The book got a starred review in Publishers Weekly and is out on April 7.
* Soft Apocalypse, by Will McIntosh (Night Shade Books): McIntosh won a Hugo last year for short fiction and branches into novel territory with this tale of survival when the world… just sort of runs down. Yeah, you’re thinking about gas prices now, aren’t you? This one’s out next week.
* Okay For Now, by Gary D. Schmidt (Clarion Books): Schmidt follows up his Newberry Honor book The Wednesday Wars with the continuing adventures of Doug Sweiteck, growing up in 1968 and the days of Vietnam and the Apollo missions. Out April 5.
* Touch of a Thief, by Mia Marlowe (Brava): This story about a talented jewel thief becomes complicated by the fact that her bare skin touching the jewels sends terrifying visions into her brain — and by the fact that she’s been caught by a man who a very special mission for her. Personally, when I touch jewels, they speak to me, mostly the words “you can’t afford me.” sigh. This book is out April 26.
Catching up on some of the books that have come to my door recently:
* Pale Demon, Kim Harrison (Harper Voyager): Witch Rachel Morgan has to get all the way across the country in order to appear at a witches convention to defend her life, in three days, without flying, supernaturally or otherwise. Needless to say, this will not be an uneventful road trip. The same thing happened to me the last time I took Greyhound. This one is out on February 22nd.
* The Girl Who Became a Beatle, Greg Taylor (Feiwel and Friends): A girl becomes a Beatle. No, for reals, y’all. It’s totally all there in the title. It’s not false advertising. This one hits February 15, and author Taylor will be here to do a Big Idea piece on it then.
* Mad Skills, Walter Greatshell (Ace): A woman recovering from a traumatic brain injury discovers that the technology placed in her head to aid in her rehabilitation has another purpose as well. A sinister purpose, you ask? As if there is any other kind! This is out now.
* Welcome to the Greenhouse, edited by Gordon Van Gelder (O/R Books): This science fiction anthology has climate change as its theme and has original stories by Bruce Sterling, Greg Benford, Judith Moffet and M.J. Locke, among others. And for all of you about to snark “What? A Greenhouse book while we’re encased in snow?!?” there’s a difference between weather and climate. Don’t make me smack you, yo. Available 2/21.
* The King of Crags, Stephen Deas (Roc): The second book in Deas’ “Memory of Flames” series packs in prophecy, political maneuvering and more dragons than you can shake a stick at. Go ahead, try. You’ll shake that stick, and then dragons will be all, “really? That’s all you got?” And then they’ll eat you. That’s what you get for annoying a dragon, fool. This arrives next Tuesday.
* Death Cloud, Andrew Lane (Farrar Straus Giroux): It’s Sherlock Holmes! In teenage form! Solving mysteries, as he does. This book has been authorized and endorsed by the Doyle estate, so there you have it. Also, Lane will be here next Tuesday to get into the details in a Big Idea post. Which is also the day the book comes out. Count the days! Count them!
* Napier’s Bones, Derryl Murphy (ChiZine Publications): A man who uses numbers to make magic finds himself on the run across two continents, on a journey where not making it out alive will be the least of his problems. Your pocket calculator will not avail you! This one is slated for the first day of Spring, i.e., March 21.
* Golden Reflections, Fred Saberhagen (Baen): This is kind of interesting: This book features a classic novel by Saberhagen (Mask of the Sun) followed by seven stories in the Saberhagens’ Inca/Aztec-dominated universe, from David Weber, Daniel Abraham, Jane Linskold and others. Not a bad way to reissue an old work to new audiences. Out Tuesday.
It’s the last Just Arrived of the year! In order of me grabbing them from the pile:
*Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love, Andrew Shaffer (Harper Perennial): A slim nonfiction book which assures you that all the great philosophers couldn’t get dates, either — or, in the case of Rousseau, got off on flashing women in alleyways. Oh, Rousseau. So nasty, brutish and short, you are. This one is out on January 4.
* Counterfeit Magic, Kelley Armstrong (Subterranean Press): A new novella set in the world of Armstrong’s popular books Dime Store Magic and Industrial Magic. It involves a supernatural “fight club” scenario. I am Jack’s lycanthropy! Out now.
* The Running Dream, Wendelin Van Draanen (Knopf): A teenager track star has to reassess her life when an accident causes her to lose a leg. This YA is out on January 11, and Van Draanen will be contributing a Big Idea piece around the same time.
* Ghost Country, Patrick Lee (Harper): Lee’s follow up to his bestseller The Breach features his heroes racing to avoid an apocalypse that will end with billions dead (and, one assumes, the survivors severely inconvenienced). This out came out last Tuesday.
* Demonstorm, James Barclay (Pyr): The third book of the Legends of the Raven series, in which we learn that just because you’ve won a great victory doesn’t mean your enemies won’t still try to get at you. Enemies, they’re persistent that way. Also out January 4.
* The Company Articles of Edward Teach, Thoraiya Dyer/Angaelian Apocalypse, Matthew Chrulew (Twelfth Planet Press): Ooooooh, look. This is paperback done in classic “Ace Double” style, for which I have a constitutional weakness. And one is time-travel pirate story, and the other has Jesus in a flying saucer! This is out — in Australia, although the publisher will send it to you if you live elsewhere in the world.
* Eternal Prey: The Gods of the Night, Nina Bangs (Avon): It’s predators versus vampires, and no, not the predators from the science fiction movies, ancient mystical predators that live in the souls of certain humans. I’ve looked into my own soul and found an ancient squirrel. I am disappointed in myself. This came out on Tuesday.
* Citadel, John Ringo (Baen): The follow-on to Live Free or Die has humans squaring off against various aliens who are just plain pissing them off. Because this is a John Ringo book, and that’s what they do. One day John Ringo will write a delightful, delicate romantic comedy and heads will explode. But not today, or on January 4, which is when this one comes out.
* Machine of Death, edited by Ryan North, Matthew Bennardo & David Maliki (Bearstache Books): The conceit of this anthology is that the people in the various stories know how (but not when) they are going to die. The deaths range from “Cancer” to “Flaming Marshmallow.” I don’t think I would like to die from the latter, or indeed by any variant of a marshmallow. And if I did, I would expect the survivors to lie. Contributors include my old college pal Erin McKean, “Yahtzee” Croshaw, Gord Sellar and Randall Munroe. Out now.
I have more books in the pile but they’re just going to have to wait until 2011, I’m afraid.
Hey! Look what I got in the mail!
* Soul Hunt, Margaret Ronald (Harper Voyager): The third book in Ronald’s fabulous urban fantasy series has our paranormally empowered heroine discovering that she owes a debt to someone very powerful and thus must take on a job that she dare not fail at, or else bad things will happen to Boston. Yes, even worse than the Celtics not making the finals. This one will be out on December 28, so now you know what to spend those holiday gift cards on.
* Up Against It, M.J. Locke (Tor): This is an ARC for an science fiction book which has been getting a fair amount of early buzz for its look at life on an asteroid colony a couple centuries upstream — and the troubles one of that colony’s engineers has to deal with when it’s targeted for takeover. And if that’s not enough, a formerly helpful AI had gone rogue. See, this is why I stay here at the bottom of a gravity well. This one comes out in March, and Locke’s already slated for a Big Idea slot, so you’ll hear more about it here closer to release.
* Cowboy Angels, Paul McAuley (Pyr): This is a cool idea: A version of the US discovers a way to access alternate history versions of itself and plans basically to make these other versions its client states. Oh, America. Self-reflexive imperialism probably won’t end well, will it? Probably not — and there’s where the story is headed. This novel’s been out for quite some time in the UK but has its US release on January 1.
* Speculative Horizons, Patrick St-Denis, ed. (Subterranean Press): This fantasy anthology features stories from Tobias Buckell, Hal Duncan, L.E. Modesitt, Jr. and others, got a starred review in Publishers Weekly, and a cut of the profits go to breast cancer research. It’s out now.
* Black Magic Sanction, Kim Harrison (Harper Voyager): The paperback version of Harrison’s latest installment in her Rachel Morgan series hits stores on December 28.
* Corruptor, Jason Cordova (Twilight Times): So there’s this video game which is so very awesome that playing it is just like actually being in it. What could possibly ever go wrong with that set-up, right? Yes, exactly. Sigh. When will people remember to pause the game and step away from it every fifteen minutes or so? It’s not so hard, folks. This one is out now.
* A Hard Day’s Knight, Simon R. Green (Ace): Green’s Nightside series is up to installment number 11, which is a pretty impressive series run, if you ask me. In this one, our hero private investigator John Taylor discovers the sword Excalibur has been sent to him in the mail, and you just know that’s going to mean complications galore. Apparently “Return to Sender” was not an option. This one’s out January 4.
For your Black Friday pleasure, a quick tour of titles what have come to my door:
* The Buntline Special, Mike Resnick (Pyr): Chicon 7’s Guest of Honor Mike Resnick is no stranger to trying out new subgenres of speculative fiction, so it shouldn’t be too surprising he’s exploring steampunk here, with this novel of an alternate 1880s America, featuring none other than Doc Holliday. And yes, you can expect other august personages of the US West to pop up as well. Out the first day of December.
* Steam-Powered: Lesbian Steampunk Stories, edited by JoSelle Vanderhooft (Torquere Press): Speaking of steampunk, here’s a collection of steampunk stories, featuring (as you might guess from the title) lesbian protagonists and characters. Authors include former Whatever guest blogger N.K. Jemisin, friends of Whatever Shira Lipkin and Rachel Manija Brown, Shweta Narayan and Amal El-Mohtar among many others. This one is currently scheduled for January 2011.
* The Wolf’s Hour, Robert McCammon (Subterranean Press): McCammon fans will be thrilled about this limited edition hardcover, which brings back into print McCammon’s celebrated 1989 dark fantasy/historical novel and adds a never-before-published novella “The Room at the Bottom of the Stairs” as an extra treat, plus illustrations by Vincent Chong (who does work on my own SubPress books). It’s out Tuesday and because it’s a limited edition, if you want it, you better move fast.
* Werewolf Smackdown, Mario Acevedo (Eos): The mass-market release of the latest installment of Acevedo’s paranormal series featuring Felix Gomez, undead private investigator. Out Tuesday.
* Rigor Amortis, edited by Jaym Gates and Erika Holt (Absolute XPress): This anthology of “flash fiction” zombie romance stories — yes, zombie romance — has my vote for the cleverest anthology title of the year. Out now.
* Back to the Moon, Travis S. Taylor and Les Johnson (Baen): The Chinese sent a manned mission to the moon and now it’s up to the US to go after them… as a rescue mission. Will the plucky Americans be able to save the day — and four hapless Chinese astronauts? This novel’s authors both have a work history with NASA, with Johnson the current Deputy Manager for the Advanced Concepts Office at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. So chances are good that the science here will mostly check out. Out December 7.
* Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, Helen Simonson (Random House): The paperback version of the NYT Bestseller about the love of a widowed retired British military officer and a Pakistani widow from the nearby village. Will love bridge their cultural differences? I peeked at the end to find out. No, I won’t tell you. You’ll just have to find out yourself. This is out Tuesday.
I mention to people that I often get ten to 20 new books/ARCs sent to me a week, but there’s nothing like a little visual representation of how many books come my way, so, here, this is roughly the stack of books which have arrived since I returned home from World Fantasy on the first of November:
For those of you who don’t wish to count, there are 36 books in that stack. It doesn’t count the three books I received from Subterranean Press, on account that they were still in bubblewrap and the Jenga-like qualities of this particular stack of books were pronounced enough. It also doesn’t include the ARC I got of my own book, because, well. That would be silly, wouldn’t it.
If you want a closer look at the picture, the better to read all the titles, here’s the larger size. That said, let me put a quick spotlight on some of the books here:
* The ARC of Bloodshot, which is the first volume of Hugo-and-Nebula nominated author Cherie Priest’s new urban fantasy series, which will be out in January;
* Marjorie Liu’s In the Dark of Dreams, which represents her transfer of her very popular Dirk & Steele series over to Avon books (congrats, Marjorie!), and will be out at the end of the month;
* A big care package of Haikasoru books, including All You Need is Kill, which I blurbed when it came out, Harmony, which won the Seiun Award (that’s Japan’s equivalent of the Hugo), and The Ouroboros Wave, their latest, which will be out next week.
* Mogworld, the debut fantasy novel of Yahtzee Croshaw, the snarky git behind Zero Punctuation;
* Writers Gone Wild, a book chronicling the historically bad behavior of Hemingway, Mailer, Woolf, Plath and other such literary types, all of which will conspire to make you feel better about that what you did with your Friday night. This book is a special treat for me because it’s the debut book of my pal Bill Peschel, who was kind enough to send me a copy with the inscription “To John Scalzi — who is much too sane to appear in a book like this.” He may be right. I must try harder. Anyway, this will be a fine holiday gift for the writers you know. Just warn them that these are cautionary tales, not how-to instructions. Here’s a link. Also, if you click on Bill’s name, his blog is currently featuring excerpts from the book.
I’ll write up some of the rest of these soon, but for now, enjoy the leaning tower of books.
What’s come over the transom this week:
* Cryoburn, Lois McMaster Bujold (Baen): Hey, remember that time when you said to yourself, “Man, I wish I had a new Miles Vorkosigan novel right now?” Turns out Lois McMaster Bujold was listening. As if she had a bug right in your brain. Which I’m sure she doesn’t. Because that would be kind of creepy. But it’s like she did, is all I’m saying. Because here is a new Vorkosigan novel. And it’s out now.
* The Dragon’s Apprentice, James A. Owen (Simon & Schuster): The fifth book in The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica , in which the threads of time are unraveling! Stupid threads of time. You think you have them all knotted up and something like this happens. I’ll refrain from saying more since Owen will be here on Friday for a Big Idea. But I will say that the book is out now.
* Journeys, Ian MacLeod (Subterranean Press): A typically handsome SubPress collection of nine MacLeod short stories. This is a limited edition, and is available on the SubPress Web site.
* Virtual Words: Language on the Edge of Science and Technology, Jonathon Keats (Oxford University Press): Keats, who writes the “Jargon Watch” column for Wired Magazine, digs in deep to find the meaning and provenance of some of the more interesting words Teh IntarWeebs have given us, from “Anthropocene” to “w00t.” If you’re a word nerd, you’ll definitely nerd out on this book. Out now.
* Heliopolis, James Scudamore (Europa Editions): A young man plucked from the favelas of Brazil as a boy returns to them to market a supermarket chain and finds his past catching up with him in interesting ways. This novel was nominated for the 2009 Man Booker Prize (which in case you don’t know is a pretty serious literary award in the UK), and will be out on November 2.
*One Good Soldier, Travis Taylor (Baen): The paperback version of the third book in the Tau Ceti Agenda series, in which a secession threatens political union spanning numerous planets. Just out yesterday.
* The Complete Hammer’s Slammers, Volume 3, David Drake (Baen): The title pretty much says it all, no? This omnibus edition features two Slammers Novels (The Sharp End and Paying the Piper) and previously uncollected novelette. Out next Tuesday.
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.
All this talk of electronic books today makes me want to tell you about the physical books which have arrived at my house in the last week. And here we go:
* The Wonderful Future That Never Was, Gregory Benford and the Editors of Popular Mechanics (Hearst Books): Or, hey, this is where your flying car went. The picture-heavy book looks at all the breathless predictions about the future that Popular Mechanics has made over its century-long publishing history and tells you all about the ones that didn’t quite show up — at least not in the form shown here. Well, at least we don’t have to all wear silvery tunics. I was slipped an early version of the book to see if I would blurb it, and had so much fun with it that I did. If you’re a big future nerd like I am (or alternately, a retro science fiction writer who needs reference material for when steampunk burns out), this is going be a book you’ll want. It’s out now, and ironically one for which getting the print version is definitely the way to go.
* Echo, Jack McDevitt (Ace): Nebula Award winner McDevitt adds to the Alex Benedict saga, and this time the galaxy’s foremost antiquities collector is hot on the trails of clues that point to evidence of a whole new alien civilization — only the second ever found. This hits on November 2.
* The Atheist’s Guide to Christmas, edited by Robin Harve and Stephanie Meyers (Harper Perrenial): No, not Stephenie Meyer, although how amusing would that be? This is a collection of Christmas-related essays from A-list atheists like Richard Dawkins, Brian Cox, Neal Pollack, my personal pal Phil Plait, and others, including Simon Le Bon, which is a name that pretty much pops the “bwuh?” button for me, but, hey, welcome to the party, Simon. The front matter of the book says the book is “an atheist book it’s safe to leave around your grandmother,” which certainly sounds like a dare to me. This is also out on November 2.
* The Fallen Blade, Jon Courtenay Grimwood (Orbit): Grimwood, who writes dark, twisty science fiction, is trying his hand at fantasy this time around. Is it dark and twisty? Well, with vampires skulking around the Renaissance, all signs point to oh, my, yes. I’m a fan of Grimwood’s work, so this is definitely in my “to read” pile. For all y’all, however, you’ll have to wait until January.
* Kris Longknife: Redoubtable, Mike Shepard (Ace): The latest chapter of the long-running Kris Longknife saga has our heroine fighting slavers and pirates while trying to stay clear of a powerful rival power. But then it gets personal. As it always will, sooner or later. This one lands October 26.
* Gilded Latten Bones, Glen Cook (Roc): Cook adds another installment to his fantasy private investigator series, and this time Garrett’s trying to break away from the P.I. lifestyle and settle down. But then someone tries to kidnap his love! And beats up his best friend! Hey, remember when I said it gets personal in the last paragraph? Well, guess what? It gets personal here, too. This is out in November.
* Enemies and Allies, Kevin J. Anderson (Harper): Superman! Batman! Cold war! And so on and so forth. This is the paperback edition, and is out now.
Spreading the love for some books that have showed up at my door:
* Silly Rhymes for Belligerent Children, Trace Beaulieu and Len Peralta: My w00tstock buddies Len and Trace have joined forced with a very amusing book of delightfully gross rhymes which have given my daughter bad ideas — but the good kind of bad ideas, which is fine. Trace, if you don’t know, writes for and stars in Cinematic Titanic and wrote for/starred in Mystery Science Theater 3000, and Len is the mastermind for the Geek of the Week series. It’s soon to be available online, so bookmark this link and keep checking.
* Babymouse: Cupcake Tycoon, Jennifer L. Holm & Matthew Holm (Random House): This is a true story: Just yesterday my daughter Athena marched into my office and said, “There is a new Babymouse book out. WHY WAS I NOT INFORMED?!?” And so I immediately called our local bookstore and special ordered it for her. And then today Random House sent a copy to the house. I will be spared over to live for another day. And the copy we ordered? We’ll be donating it to the school library. This is out tomorrow.
* Flaming Zeppelins: The Adventures of Ned the Seal, Joe R. Lansdale (Tachyon): We’re Lansdale fans here at the Scalzi Compound, so this book is good news. This book mashes up Anne Oakley (born just down the road from where I live), Frankenstein, Mark Twain, the Tin Man and the disembodied head of Buffalo Bill Cody — among others! — for all sorts of over the top adventures in a steampunkish alternate past. Stop salivating, man. This is out at the beginning of November.
* The Elegant Universe, Brian Greene (W.W. Norton): One of the most successful science books of the last decade or so gets a new paperback edition, with a new preface and epilogue. Out October 11.
* Afterlife: The Resurrection Chronicles, Merrie Destefano (Eos): It’s not only cats that have nine lives — in Destefano’s universe it works that way for humans, too — and when you get to that ninth life, you get a little antsy. Well, and you would, wouldn’t you. This is out tomorrow.
* Servant of the Underworld, Aliette de Bodard (Angry Robot): Campbell nominee de Bodard makes her novel-length debut with this murder-mystery fantasy that takes place in the Aztec world. I’m a big fan of de Bodard’s short work, and this is a great concept, so I’m looking forward to cracking this one open. She’ll also be by closer to release date to talk about her book in a Big Idea piece. Awesome. This is out October 26.
* Lord Lightning, Jenny Brown (Avon): She’s an astrologer with high moral standards! He’s a lord with apparently no standards at all! Their love is predicted in the stars — but could it possibly come true? Let me check the Magic 8-Ball here…. huh. It says “Oh, like you really have to ask.” Snarky little thing, that 8-Ball. Out tomorrow.
* The Tairen Soul Series, C.L. Wilson (Avon): Avon is doing a relatively unusual thing here at releasing a multi-book fantasy series with three books at the same time, and two additional books (at least) a month later. The first three books are Lord of the Fading Lands, Lady of Light and Shadows and King of Sword and Sky, and they’ll be out tomorrow. The story: He’s a fairy king, she’s a woodcarver’s daughter, evil is afoot, and battles are coming. Yup, that should keep you busy. A fourth book, Queen of Song and Souls, is scheduled for October but Amazon tells me it will be available tomorrow as well.
* Electric Velocipede, edited by John Klima: Oooooh, I just got sent the last four copies of this magazine, so lots of good reading in here. The latest issue features fiction by several new and rising authors (including Shira Lipkin, wife of frequent Whatever commenter Adam Lipkin, so we take certain distaff pride there) as well as an interview with Hugo and Nebula Award winner Paolo Bacigalupi. Good stuff. Learn more about EV here.
What’s come in the mail:
* Bones of Empire, William C. Dietz (Ace): In the far future, a bioegineered cop must hunt down shape-shifting aliens who threaten the empire of humanity! With guns! At least if the cover is to be believed. And why would the cover lie? This is out October 5.
* When Pleasure Rules, J.K. Beck (Bantam): It’s vampires vs. werewolves in LA! Of course, in LA, that’s usually just called “Sunset Boulevard on Friday night.” Third in a series, and out September 28.
* Memories of Envy, Barb Hendee (Roc): The latest installment in the “Vampire Memories” novel has undead heroine Eleisha Clevon heading to Denver to deal with a particularly troublesome member of her species. Out October 5.
* The Silent Army, James Knapp (Roc): The follow-up to Knapp’s State of Decay (which was featured here as a Big Idea), which took an intriguing new spin on zombies. In this sequel, hero Nico Wachalowski must stop a mad scientist from building his own zombie army. Stupid mad scientists. Always up to no good. Also out October 5.
* The Book of the Living Dead, John Richard Stephens, ed. (Berkeley): Speaking of the undead, here’s a compilation of stories about them, featuring those hot young writers H.P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allan Poe, Charles Baudelaire, Alexander Pushkin, Sir Walter Scott and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe! Man, what I wouldn’t pay for The Sorrows of Young Zombie Werther, and now that I’ve put that out there, I’m sure someone at Quirk Publishing is already writing it. Out October 5? You guessed it!
* Trash, Andy Mulligan (David Flicking Books): In the third world of a near future, three young boys scavenging in a trash-filled landfill discover something that others will do anything to have. Yes, it’s the One Ring! (Note: it’s not the One Ring.) Can they stay alive long enough to unravel this mystery? This is Mulligan’s US debut, and arrives October 12.
When I wasn’t writing on Whatever over the last few weeks, books were still coming in. Rather than try to briefly encapsulate each of these books, which would take, like, forever, what I’ll do here is post pictures of the books that came in and let you see what they were. In each case, the book is either newly released or will be released by then end of the year (mostly). Check your favorite book retailers for more details. Some of these will be featured in upcoming Big Ideas (and some were featured in recent ones, too).
If you can’t see the titles/author of the book, click on the picture and it’ll take you to a larger version of the picture.
I’ll start doing the “Just Arrived” feature in its usual format with the next installment.
Because books are love (except any books titled “I Hate Love.” But screw those).
* The Dervish House, by Ian McDonald (Pyr): Having traveled to future India and Brazil, McDonald now turns his attention to a near-future Turkey and six characters caught up in a week of transformative events. I think McDonald’s near-future travelogues are some of the most consistently interesting science fiction on offer these days, and considering how often these stories end up in the Hugo lists (including this year, with “Vishnu at the Cat Circus” up for Best Novella), I’m not the only one. This book will be out later this month, on the 27th.
* A Life On Paper, by George-Olivier Châteaureynaud (Small Beer Press): Small Beer Press suggests this is the first book in English of this award winning French writer, known as that country’s answer to Kurt Vonnegut, and why would Small Beer Press lie to me about something like that. The answer is, they wouldn’t. Being a fan of Vonnegut, I’m looking forward to reading what the French answer to him might be like. This is out now.
* Inside Out, by Barry Eisler (Ballentine Books): A disgraced black ops soldier is recruited to hunt down another black ops soldier who is trying to blackmail the CIA with pilfered torture tapes. If he can stay alive long enough to do it! Yes, this is one of those books where you can’t trust anyone, even your own stomach (“I’m hungry.” “TRAITOR!”). Out last Tuesday.
* An Honorable German, by Charles McCain (Grand Central Publishing): I thought I noted this when it came out in May, but apparently not. My bad. This book follows a young German officer through the days of World War II, and his eventual struggle between the dictates of the Reich and his own morality and is McCain’s debut novel. A pretty good choice if you’re a fan of historical novels; I’m going to give a copy to my father-in-law and watch his eyes light up. As noted, out now.
* Come Fall, by A.C.E. Bauer (Random House): Three young kids starting their school year meet Puck — you know, Puck — and naturally then they have other things to worry about besides homework. Out on the 27th, and Bauer will be along to chat about the book in a Big Idea.
* The Map of All Things, by Kevin J. Anderson (Orbit): The second book of Anderson’s “Terra Incognita” series has its world in the midst of a religious war and the discovery of an ancient map that can lead its finders to the Key of Creation… which, you know, is one of those things you can get all adventure-y about. Anderson does quite a brisk business with Dune and other tie-in properties, but for myself I enjoy him best in his own worlds. This is out now.
* Unholy Magic, by Stacia Kane (Del Rey): Stacia Kane was here just last month to essay Unholy Ghosts in a Big Idea piece, and this is the follow-up novel, in which heroine Chess Putnam is trying to figure out who is killing off prostitutes on the bad side of town — some people think it’s a ghost, but Putnum isn’t so sure. And you should trust her, she’s the heroine. Out this next Tuesday.
* Pathfinder, by Laura E. Reeve (Roc): This latest Major Kedros novel has her unique piloting skills needed by an alien race for a dangerous mission — but the catch is that they have to implant technology in here which might not be able to come out. Like a tattoo, only inside your body, and, you know, ickier. Also out this next Tuesday.
* The Evolutionary Void, by Peter F. Hamilton (Del Rey): Hamilton closes out his sprawling and ambitious “Void” series with this volume, so those of you who like your Space Opera on a Wagnerian scale now know what you’ll be getting for yourself come August 31, which is when this one drops. I’ve been enjoying this series, so I’m using this book as a carrot to get me to finish some work I’m doing.
* Noise, by Darin Bradley (Spectra): You thought that the switchover from analog TV to digital was just a way to prop up the fat cat TV executives, right. Bwa hah hah ha! If only you knew. It was actually the beginning of the end of the world — or at least it is in this debut novel. The PR material likens it to The Road and Lord of the Flies, so this is probably going to get dark. Out August 31.
Speaking of the “Just Arrived” feature, I am totally behind on it, because a) first I was traveling, b) then I was catching up on work from travel and then c) I got distracted by shiny bits of foil. So the next couple of days will constitute catching up. Here’s the first installment.
* Ancestor, by Scott Sigler (Crown): The Internet’s own podcasting superstar Sigler is back, and this time he’s got a doozy: The good news is that they’ve bio-engineered a creature whose organs can be put into people without rejection issues. The bad news: those creatures are mean. Oh, science. You mean so well. Out as of last week.
*This is Where We Live, by Janelle Brown (Spiegel & Grau): A young, hip, creative couple buy their first house together — in LA! With an adjustable rate mortgage! — and then life jabs them right in the nerve bundles. As it will. Especially when you have an adjustable rate mortgage. Those things are death, man. Out now.
* The Sexual Life of an Islamist in Paris, by Leïla Marouane (Europa Editions): A Muslim man in Paris struggles to find his identity; as suggested in the title, some of that will involve sex. Marouane herself is an Algerian living in Paris; this is the first English translation of the work. Out now.
* A Kind of Intimacy, by Jenn Ashworth (Europa Editions): A woman with a mysterious and distinctly messy past tries to start a new life and then immediately starts to complicate it. Out this last week.
* The Crowded Shadows, by Celine Kiernan (Orbit): The sequel to The Poison Throne has the Lady Wynter Moorehawake attempting to heal the rift between the ruler of her land, and his legitimate heir, before their enemies strike. Out on Thursday.
* Kill the Dead, by Richard Kadrey (Eos): Fans of Kadrey’s Sandman Slim will be happy to know this follow up is coming, in which the series anti-hero Stark gets a new gig as Lucifer’s bodyguard. Yes, yes. I’ll say it before you can: Work is Hell. Thank you for that. This one is coming in October, so plenty of time to get ready.
* The Strain, by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan (Harper): A biological agent threatens to turn everyone everywhere into vampires, and not the sexy, True Blood kind, but the icky, nasty sort. This is the paperback release of the book, which has already been a New York Times best seller in hardcover. It’s out today.
* Red Hood’s Revenge, by Jim C. Hines (DAW): The third installment of my pal Jim’s Locus Best Selling “Princess” series, in which “Little Red Riding Hood” is neither little nor particularly innocent: now she’s an assassin, planning to kill Sleeping Beauty. Excellent. This one comes out July 6th, but if you just can’t wait, here’s a link to the pdf of the first two chapters.
* Land of the Burning Sands, by Rachel Neumeier (Orbit): In the followup book to Lord of the Changing Winds, the griffins who were used for nefarious purposes in the book find themselves in a position of power, which means danger for everyone else. Because, griffins, man. You don’t mess with them. Out now.
Some of what’s arrived here in the last week:
* Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader: The World’s Gone Crazy (Bathroom Reader’s Press): People occasionally ask me if I still do writing for the Uncle John’s books, and the answer is yep, still do. Why? Because it’s fun, and because they’re good people to work with, and they pay their contributors well. My contribution to this particular Uncle John’s book is small — one or two articles, I can’t remember, honestly — but the whole book is enjoyable to read in short bits, which is of course the entire point.
* Unholy Ghosts, by Stacia Kane (Del Rey): The dead have risen! But this time they’re not zombies, they’re ghosts, and our protagonist is a ghost hunter with some real-life issues, like owing money to some very bad people, some of whom want her to do a job for them. OR ELSE. Yes indeed. This one’s out next Tuesday, and Stacia Kane will be offering up a Big Idea piece in the next couple of weeks.
* Year’s Best SF 15, edited by David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer (Eos): Hey, I just saw those two last weekend at the Nebula Weekend. This “best of” SF collection features stories by Stephen Baxter, Gene Wolfe, Robert Charles Wilson, Mary Robinette Kowal, Chris Roberson, Paul Cornell, Peter Watts, and Marissa K. Lingen. Out on Tuesday.
* Married With Zombies, by Jesse Petersen (Orbit): On the way two couples counseling David and Sarah can’t help but notice that the zombie apocalypse has arrived! The couple that slays zombies together, etc. Out in September.
* Life Ascending: The Ten Great Inventions of Evolution, by Nick Lane (Norton): Because evolution is clever, or at the very least the principles of natural selection over time give the appearance thereof, the popular science book offers examples of things evolution got right. Two examples: sex (which I agree with enthusiastically) and death (which I also grudgingly admit may be the case). Hardcover’s been out for a year; the trade paperback version, which was sent to me, is out June 14.
* Nights of Villjamur, by Mark Charan Newton (Spectra): Newton’s debut novel begins a fantasy series that the PR material assures me is in the tradition of China Mieville and Richard K. Morgan. Aiming high, that is. It also involves an ice age and the walking dead! So it has that going for it as well. Will be out June 29.
* Shadow’s Son, by Jon Sprunk (Pyr): Another debut fantasy, this one featuring a freelance assassin who finds himself thrown into a world of intrigue when a job goes wrong. Although I have to say that if your day job is “freelance assassin,” the intrigue level of your life is probably already pretty well up there. Out June 22.
* The Office of Shadow, by Matthew Sturges (Pyr): Not related to the book immediately preceding it on this list, this one features the fantasy equivalent of the CIA or MI-5 doing what it takes to keep their empire from falling into chaos and war. Also out June 22.
* Redemption in Indigo, by Karen Lord (Small Beer Press): A modern-day fairy tale of a woman who inherits a magical object — and all the trouble that goes with it. The winner of Barbados’ Frank Collymore Literary Prize, and the author will be offering up a Big Idea piece on the novel when it debuts on June 22.
* Under the Poppy, by Kathe Koja (Small Beer Press): This historical novel by Stoker Award-winner Koje features a love triangle and puppets, which already puts it into the “haven’t seen that before” category right out of the gate. This one will be out in October.
* Citizens, edited by John Ringo & Brian M. Thomsen (Baen): A military SF anthology, by authors who have served in the military, including Heinlein, Clarke, Haldeman and Pournelle. Out now.
* Stealing Fire, by Jo Graham (Orbit): A soldier in Alexander the Great’s army allies with Ptolemy after Alexander’s death and prepares to defend the lands Ptolemy has claimed for himself. Out Tuesday but Amazon and B&N both have it in stock, so… out now.
More books! Wheee!
* Terminal World, by Alastair Reynolds (Ace): On a world where all the humans live in a huge city with segregated technology zones (cool stuff closer to the top, of course), an undercover cop learns he has to leave the city and go into the dangerous, untamed zones beyond, or else — well, you know. Bad things will happen. Out June 1.
* The Waters Rising, by Sherri Tepper (Eos): Oooh! A new Sheri S. Tepper novel! I’ve been a huge fan since Grass, and kind of get annoyed that Tepper is not more celebrated than she is, since I think she’s been one of the more consistently interesting SF/F writers of the last double decade. But don’t mind me, I’m just griping. This book is apparently in the same universe as her 1993 book A Plague of Angels and features a world threatened by rising waters and a cast of characters dealing with the implications therein. This gets bumped to the top of my TBR list. Out in September.
* How to Live Safely in a Science Fiction Universe, by Charles Yu (Pantheon): A time-machine technician goes looking for his father. Which tells you very little about the book because Yu spends a fair amount of time fiddling with conventional novel format in it. Interesting conceptually; I’ll have to dig into it at some point to see if it’s also a good story. Out in September, so I guess I have some time.
* Dragongirl, by Todd McCaffrey (Del Rey): Anne’s son continues the family’s Pern franchise, with this sequel to Dragonheart. This is the fourth solo book for McCaffrey fils, although he and his mother will be collaborating again on a new Pern novel soon, if the publicity information in this ARC is to be believed (and why would it lie?). Out July 27.
* The Heir of Night, by Helen Lowe (Eos): The first book a new fantasy series called “The Wall of Night.” Precis: An ancient terror is gather its forces for a final battle! A plucky young heroine must turn back its dark tide! Oh, and there’s magic, too. Out in October.
* The Queen of Sinister, by Mark Chadbourne (Pyr): The second book of Chadbourne’s “The Dark Age” trilogy, which takes place in a post-magical apocalypse Britain. This time around, a really nasty plague besets the land, and the woman who can help those afflicted isn’t quite herself — well, it’s more like she may be five different people, all in one body. Complications are fun! Listed release date is 6/3, but Amazon says it’s in stock now.
* The Infinity Gate, by Sara Douglass (Eos): The third and final book of the DarkGlass Mountain fantasy series. The heroes of the previous books in the series gear up for a final confrontation against the forces of the evil DarkGlass Mountain. Out in June.
* Distant Thunders, by Taylor Anderson (Roc): The latest installment of the “Destroyermen” series, featuring a US destroyer plunged back through time. I like that one of the day jobs for the author of this series is “forensic ballistic archaeologist.” That’s a gig to have! And useful, no doubt, for this particular series. This one’s out on July 1.
* The Essential Wonder Woman Encyclopedia, by Phil Jimenez and John Wells (Del Rey): Everything you could have ever possibly wanted to know about Wonder Woman and her universe — and more! Read closely, now, there will be a quiz. And we’ll be using the Lasso of Truth on you! Out now.
Once again, many of these didn’t actually just arrive; some of these showed up whilst I was traipsing about the North American continent recently. But hey! I’m all about catching up!
* For the Win, by Cory Doctorow (Tor Teen): In which Cory imagines what is essentially an underage proletariat uprising in the world of massive multiplay online role playing games. That Cory Doctorow. He’s such a geek. This is another YA from Cory, who I think has really found his stride as a fiction writer in that field; it really suits him and the tales he likes to tell. And of course like much of the best YA, you don’t have to be a young adult to enjoy it, which comes as a relief to this days-away-from-41-year-old. The book will be out next Tuesday (which means, as a practical matter, that your local bookstore may already have it), and Cory’s also starting his North American book tour next week.
* The Angel’s Game, by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (Anchor Books): The trade paperback version of Zafon’s bestseller, in which a struggling author gets a book deal from a publisher that’s too good to be true… and what do you know! It is! Man, writers never get a break. Out 5/18.
* Little Vampire Women, by Louisa May Alcott and Lynn Messina (Harper Teen): Yeah, Little Women and vampires. You know the drill on these things by now. Out in bookstores.
* The Hittite, by Ben Bova (Forge): You know, just the other day I was saying to myself, hey, why don’t I see very many books about Hittites? They were a perfectly cromulent historical civilization! And then, bam, this book shows up on my doorstep. See? The Secret was right! (Note: The Secret isn’t right.) And actually the book is less about the Hittites than a single Hittites who, while on a quest to find his stolen family, comes across a battle at a little town called… Troy. Now we’re talking! Out now.
* 137: Jung, Pauli, and the Pursuit of a Scientific Obsession (Norton): Very recently I seem to have gotten on the radar of non-fiction publishers, particularly those who have books of a scientific bent. To which I say: Awesome. More please. This book, for example, looks at the friendship between physicist Wolfgang Pauli and the psychoanalyst Carl Jung, and their mutual fascination with the number 137, which apparently has some mystical import. And now I just know I’m going to see the number 137 everywhere I go. Scheduled for 5/17 but Amazon says it’s out now, so you tell me who you’re going to believe.
* Quantum: Einstein, Bohr, and the Great Debate About the Nature of Reality, by Manjit Kumar (Norton): In which the two titans of 20th Century Physics went at it on the subject of the very fabric of existence! Kind of like scientific luchadores! Well, not very much like that at all, actually. But that’s a hell of an image I just put into your head. The real question is whether this book will be as entertaining as the Bohr-Einstein Debates, With Puppets. We can hope. This one is out 5/24.
* Metrophilias, by Brendan Connell (Better Non Sequitur Press): Thirty six short stories about thirty six cities. That’s one short story for each city, mind you, not thirty six for each city. Because that would be 1,296 short stories overall. And that’s, like, a lot for one book. Out now.
* The Liar’s Lullaby, by Meg Gardiner (Dutton): Edgar Winner Gardiner is back with a new thriller featuring forensic psychiatrist Jo Beckett, who has to uncover the mystery of a musician’s death — a death with national political implications. Which are some of the best kind of implications! Gardiner will be along in June with a Big Idea about this book, which — not at all coincidentally — will also be out in June.
* The Ambassador’s Mission, by Trudi Canavan (Orbit): The first in the new “Traitor Spy Trilogy,” which is itself set in the world of Canavan’s “Black Magician Trilogy”. In this books, a magician is called upon to find another magician who is killing the thieves of Imardin, sparking an underworld war. Out 5/18.
* The Stuff of Legend, Book I: The Dark, by Mike Raicht and Brian Smith, illustrated by Charles Paul Wilson III (Villard): In this graphic novel, set in 1944, the Boogeyman steals a child, and the child’s toy decide to get him back. Go, toys! Go! Out now.
Because books arrive even when I’m away from Teh Intarweebs!
* Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Graphic Novel, by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith, adapted by Tony Lee, Illustrated by Cliff Richards (Del Rey): Really? I mean, come on, now, guys. Really? Also: Really? Out May 4.
* Insatiable, by Meg Cabot (Willam Morrow): Meena Harper doesn’t believe in vampires, but do vampires believe in her? Inasmuch as this is touted to be a modern-day sequel to Dracula, I think you can guess what the answer to this might be. Out in June.
* Labyrinth, by Kat Richardson (Roc): The latest Greywalker novel, featuring the back-from-the-dead-but-not-undead heroine Harper Blaine, tracking down the guy who killed her, even if the death didn’t take. The catch: he’s dead, and it did take. Never a dull moment, man. Scheduled for August 3.
* The Fuller Memorandum, by Charles Stross (Ace): Charlie’s back with another Laundry Files novel, which means more chthonic bad guys vs. English bureaucracy, featuring computation demonologist Bob Howard. Honestly, why The Laundry Files isn’t its own BBC series by this point is completely beyond me. This one is out July 6.
* Robert Heinlein, Volume 1: Learning Curve (1907 – 1948), by William H. Patterson, Jr. (Tor): This first installment of a two-book authorized biography takes Robert Heinlein from birth to his marriage to Virginia Gerstenfeld (i.e., Ginny Heinlein). Lots happens in between. Expect this first volume in August.
* The Return of the Great Depression, by Vox Day (WND Books): Conservative commenter and occasional Whatever visitor Vox Day argues that the recession is far from over, and indeed the worst may be yet to come. Wheee! Out now.
* Genesis, by Bernard Beckett (Mariner): In a post-apocalyptic future, a precocious student prepares for a final examination that will decide her future in ways she can’t even imagine. Out May 11.
* The Last Page, by Anthony Huso (Tor): A newly coronated young king and his mysterious former lover face a nation on the brink of a bloody civil war. Can magic avert the crisis — or will it bring it on? Debut novel for Huso, this one’s coming in August.