Books Received, 10/15/07
Posted on October 15, 2007 Posted by John Scalzi 18 Comments
I’m going to try to get back in the habit of noting new and upcoming books when they come into me, both to reassure publicists they’re not tumbling down a black hole here, and also to alert you folks when work from people you want to read is on the horizon. Here are a set of books I got either just before or while I was on vacation:
1. Nina Bangs, One Bite Stand — From the name of the author to the title of the book, there’s nothing here I don’t like. I’ll have to read it to see if this congenial feeling extends to the actual text. If you can’t guess from the artwork, this is a paranormal romance from Dorchester, who I believe also publishes my pal Marjorie Liu. This one drops in January ’08.
2. Matthew Hughes, The Spiral Labyrinth — I’m a fan of Hughes in part because his book Black Brillion is inextricably linked in my head with Old Man’s War, I think in part because they were released relatively close to each other in time, and both by Tor. So its existence was always pinging around in the back of my head. This is a follow-on to Hughes’ Majestrum, which came out last year; it’s available now (which is why I put that link to Amazon there, don’t you know).
3. Alex Bledsoe, The Sword-Edged Blonde — This book came up in conversation while I was on vacation, but now for the life of me I can’t remember which conversation and with whom. I think it was with Wil Wheaton, whom I finally met in person while I was out and about in California (we bonded, man), but I can’t be sure. Well, whoever it was, they were very enthusiastic about this book, and so is Publishers Weekly, which gave it a starred review and said “Bledsoe’s genre-blending first novel is both stylish and self-assured: Raymond Chandler meets Raymond E. Feist.” Now if only Bledsoe’s name first name was Raymond! This book is out now.
4. Elizabeth Moon, Moon Flights — Krissy is working her way rather enthusiastically through Moon’s “Vatta’s War” series, so I suspect this will serve as an apertif for her while she waits for the upcoming installment (which if I remember correctly hits in February). This is a short story collection which in fact includes a new story set in the Vatta’s War universe, called “Say Cheese.” My press release says it hits in Novembers, but Amazon says it’s out now. Who you going to believe? That’s right, the people who put the book in your hands.
5. Josh Conviser, Empyre — Mmmm.. I like the smell of techno-oppression in the morning. This is a follow-up to Conviser’s debut novel Echelon, which those of you who have read it will recall took your worst “the government is totally listening to your phone call” paranoia and amped it up to 11. Guess what? Here’s more! Have fun with that next phone call. Disclosure: I gave this book a blurb. Also, I’ll be interviewing Conviser when the book officially hits stores later this month (although I suspect you can probably find it now if you look hard enough).
6. Rafael Abalos, Grimpow — This young adult novel was originally published in Spanish and was enough of a success in that language (and, if I remember correctly, other languages as well) that they’ve now ported it into English. Good for Abalos. I meant to take this on vacation with me, but sadly forgot it in all the packing. I may try to catch up with it this weekend. It’s available now in hardcover, or, if you read Spanish, in paperback.
7. Peter F. Hamilton, The Dreaming Void — Just arrived today and is apparently the first in a new trilogy. I’m always amazed that other authors actually plan out trilogies or series. Because, you know. I just make crap up as I go along. Anyway, this is a hell of a beefy book, as Hamilton books seem to be; this one is 626 pages. I thought at that length they were actually required to be fantasy. I’m looking forward to this one, since I’ve not actually read any Hamilton yet; I bought Pandora’s Star when I went to Edinburgh but then I got to the airport in, God, I think New York, and coincidentally met up with fellow SF writer Diane Turnshek, who had neglected to pack a book for the flight. So I gave her Pandora’s Star. She said it was good, so at least I have that. She’s not getting this one, though. For the rest of you, this one comes out in March.
8. Oliver Sacks, Musicophilia — Occasionally I’ll get stuff that’s not related to science fiction/fantasy. Here’s an example, and I’m really happy it about it, since I’m an enormous admirer of Sacks, and this book in particular has been on my radar both because I love music (I know, duh, who doesn’t) and also because I’ve been reading lots of commentary about the book in the lead-up to its publication, which is, officially, tomorrow. It’s right on the top of my non-fiction reading list. He’s also about to do a tour, which alas comes nowhere near where I am. Stupid Midwest.
9. Justina Robson, Selling Out — Also just arrived today, but I’m already inclined to think well of it because the first book in the series, Keeping it Real, was such a kick, and it’s clear Robson is having a blast with this SF/Fantasy mashup series, which features both hot cyborgs and rock and roll elf/demons, and how can you not like it when an author is having fun? Especially a good author, like Robson? I knew you would agree. This is scheduled for release on Halloween, which makes perfect sense, but is apparently available now, if you ask Amazon.
That’s what I’ve got for you today.
… I love music (I know, duh, who doesn’t)
I don’t. Once a year or so, I hear a song I really like. I hunt it down,
listen to it over and over, and then go looking for other similar pieces I might like, starting with the singer’s other work. And every time I fail, bogging down in dozens and dozens of utterly uninteresting compositions.
Conclusion? I like the occasional piece of music, but not the artform as a whole.
Why is it that whenever I decide to cut back on my monthly book-buying sprees someone on my LJ-friendslist makes a post with new shiny shinies? *wails*
Okay, I’m off to amazon now. And its YOUR fault!
I giggle like a middle-schooler every time I see “Nina Bangs” on a book cover. Then I have that damn Ricky Martin song stuck in my head.
Her Woo Woo Inn stuff is ok, rather slapstick and farcical. I’m not a good judge of smut scenes. If I don’t respond with a “this is smoking hot” within the first paragraph, I skim the sex scenes in most books.
All things told, I like Marjorie Liu’s books better.
I have Sword Edged Blonde in my TBR stack, but I need to finish up some Sarah Monette first.
re: Peter F Hamilton – He does excellent stuff. Sci-Fi/Murder-Mystery, Sci-Fi/Horror. Space Opera. Well worth the time. As a point of interest, The Dreaming Void is readily available on the other side of the Atlantic.
Not surprising; there’s often a gap between publishing dates between the US and UK.
Possibly this would work better on Whateveresque, but: How much time in the typical day/week/whatever do you spend reading books? (Subtext: How do you fit it in with all that writing and paterfamilias-ing and bathrobe-clad loafing?)
Keeping It Real was a blast. Here’s hoping the next in the series lives up to the first.
RE: The Dreaming Void — You’re gonna want to read Pandora’s Star AND Judas Unchained before tackling The Dreaming Void. Otherwise the mythos surrounding Paula Myo just doesn’t come through as well, and J.U. was just a roller coaster of an ending….HAD to buy this when it came out in August from Amazon.co.uk, so ate the exchange rate and was happy to do so…
The thing to remember about Peter Hamilton is that he was created by the BSFA in the mid-90s, after a Very Senior American Convention Guest said (accounts differ) something along the lines of “British SF? But isn’t that all just Scottish lefties writing fantastic space opera?”
The VSACG meant no harm – but in response, the BSFA, just to show that they could, developed a British SF writer who a) is English, and in fact hates Scottish people b) is incredibly right-wing, and hates socialists and c) wrote really poor quality cyberpunk. Essentially, he’s the anti-Banks.
On his website, Peter Hamilton has posted a timeline that bridges the 1500 years between Judas Unchained and The Dreaming Void. On the same page is a link to part of chapter 1 of TDV:
Yay, new Peter F. Hamilton!
I recommend “Fallen Dragon,” Amazon says “a sort of Starship Troopers as if written by Charles Dickens”.
“Pandora’s Star” and “Judas Unchained” are two of my all-time favorites. Highly recommended and John, thanks for letting me know Hamilton has something new on the way!
Please point me again to the address/link for publicists to send you free books. I had it saved, but then it changed into a photo of you and some scary alien dude.
Hey, Del Rey just sent me The Dreaming Void, too. And, I might add, David Gemmell’s Troy: Fall of Kings. Going to be a busy next couple of weeks!
Also got Grimpow. Did they send you the key chain with that? Nice payola you get with those YA fantasies, I must say.
I haven’t read Pandora’s Star, but Hamilton’s Night’s Dawn “trilogy” is a must read. It’s six paperbacks, with each pair two parts of one book of the trilogy; thus the quotes.
I’ve been enjoying the Vatta’s War books….It makes me feel happy that Krissy is also into them. (I just like seeing other people enjoy the books I’m enjoying.)
I’m trying to purchase “The Sword-Edged Blonde”, based on John’s blurb, but Amazon states it ships in 1-2 months and Nightshade (publisher) says it isn’t released yet. Any ideas?
I may have gotten the wrong date. In which case, pre-order it! And then be delightfully surprised when it shows up.