The “I’m Writing This to Totally Make You Jealous” Post

In which I tell you about some of the ARCs I’ve received recently that mean I get to read all the books you want to read before you do. Bwa ha ha ha hah ha! Hi, I’m evil.

Let’s see what we got:

* Saturn’s Children, by Charlie Stross — It’s Stross does late-period Heinlein! Now there’s an image that will haunt your sleep for decades. Charlie actually gave me a peek at this a while ago, and I immensely enjoyed what I read, but then a computer implosion basically took that file away from me. Yes, we pause to shed a tear here. But now I have it! In ARC form! And lo, there was much happiness. It comes out in July, friends. Suffer until then.

* Ink and Steel, by Elizabeth Bear — “Queen Elizabeth rules by wit and by will, but magic keeps her on the throne…” reads the cutline. Well, yeah. I thought everyone knew that. Bear’s output makes me feel like a slacker, and there aren’t that many writers who can make me feel like that. The next time I see Bear, I’ll have to tell her that: “You make me feel like no other writer!” And then, the tasering will commence, I suppose. This also hits in July.

* The Edge of Reason, by Melinda Snodgrass — Patrick Nielsen Hayden described to me thusly: “a contemporary metaphysical thriller about the secret battle between the forces of rationality and the Old Ones From Beyond Time, the latter of whom are using superstition and religion as the means by which to knock over the barriers that prevent them from breaking through and eating our brains.” Really, he and Snodgrass had me at the brain-eating. I’m very excited about this one, and for the rest of you, you have until May to put your brains under lock and key.

* The Prefect, by Alastair Reynolds — This book was already nominated for the BSFA Best Novel award this year, so you could say it comes with a recommendation to you from all of British fandom. Which, you know. Is nice. And it’s set in Reynold’s Revelation Space universe, so fans of that have something to look forward to. In June. Which is when you’ll read it. After me. Ha!

* Lonely Werewolf Girl, by Martin Millar — As Publishers Weekly blithely summarizes: “Young werewolf skulks around London and struggles with anxiety and eating disorders while scores of subplots merrily explode around her.” Well, and isn’t that always the way, when you’re a young werewolf? That’s the way it was for me. Hmmm. I suspect I may have said too much right there. The publication date here is April 20, but Amazon says it has it in stock. So I can’t hold my ability to read it before you over you this time. Curse you, Amazon, for denying my cheap and tawdy attempts at literary superiority! We hates Amazonzes, Precious! We hates them forever!

Go on, admit you’re jealous. I’ll still respect you. Really.

64 Comments on “The “I’m Writing This to Totally Make You Jealous” Post”

  1. It’s all an evil plot to keep you from entertaining us (your number one priority) with Whatever posts and Photoshoppery. Oh wait, this was a long post. And there was that Photoshoppery at the start. Well… it wasn’t Photoshoppery with cats or daughters and I hate posterization. (Goes off in a huff.) (grin)

    Dr. Phil

  2. Only ARC goodies we’ve gotten lately are Jack: Secret Histories by F. Paul Wilson and Little Brother by Cory Doctorow — after 11 years in the children’s book biz we finally got on TOR’s YA list (now if we could only sneak onto the grownup’s list too).

    I already read “The Prefect” by A.R.
    So *I* read the book before YOU!

    Mind you I had to pull a few strings to get it.

    /me does the AHA dance.

  4. Well, I just pre-ordered the Snodgrass. Darn you to heck.

    I’ve been recommending Saturn’s Children to, well, pretty much everyone I know, actually.

  5. I’d be insanely jealous only if I didn’t already have a big pile of books waiting to be read. They get published faster than I can get to them; not a bad thing, really…

  6. Charlie actually gave me a peak at this a while ago, and I immensely enjoyed what I read, but then a computer implosion basically took that file away from me.

    And that is one major reason why e-books will never really replace printed ones.

  7. I’m not jealous, because I get to have a colonoscopy tomorrow, and I’m positive that will be much more enjoyable than anything you’re reading.

  8. ARCs: the best non-human reason to work in a bookstore.
    What, you thought it was the salary? (To make a hollow laughing).

  9. Well, and isn’t that always the way, when you’re a young werewolf? That’s the way it was for me.

    Funny, I’ve never heard any stories about werewolves with no hair… isn’t it supposed to be rather the opposite?


  10. Charlie actually gave me a peak at this a while ago, and I immensely enjoyed what I read, but then a computer implosion basically took that file away from me.

    He gave you a mountain at it?

    Or was it a smaller peak?

    This must be where those copy editors make up for messing with commas… :)

  11. How many of these books do you actually read? I can get through a book every two weeks if I’m very lucky (i.e., ignore family and slack off more than usual at work). You seem to get two or three a day.

  12. My mother works in a bookstore in the Sci/Fi/Fantasy section. She hands me off all her ARCs to borrow.

    So I’m not full of hate, just mirth.

  13. “Queen Elizabeth rules by wit and by will, but magic keeps her on the throne…”

    Elizabeth Bear isn’t Queen? She doesn’t use magic all the time in her writing? Or maybe the “Queen Elizabeth” they were talking about is Elizabeth Moon? Oh me, oh my, now I’m just confused.

  14. “A werewolf with an eating disorder.”

    Now I’ve got this whole new scenario running through my brain for the definition of “gorging and purging”. Icky before, really really icky now.

  15. FYI – The Prefect (Alastair Reynolds) is already out. I know because i’ve read it (and so should you!). Perhaps it reached us in the cold white north before you louts in the south?

    It is possibly my favourite in the series so far. Good stuff.

  16. Funny, much like Ray (#6) I, too, have already The Prefect but I didn’t have to pull any strings. My wife bought it for me from for christmas (and it’s currently still available, though taking a while to ship). I guess there are advantages to living in Canada after all (you know, besides the health care and beer). For the record, I highly recommend the book. I don’t know if will ship to the US but you might want to get it while the exchange rate is currently in your favour.

  17. Jos Y:

    The Prefect is indeed out in the UK and, one assumes, in some territories. It’s not out in the US yet. Officially, at least.

  18. @Mike G.

    Punch up that copy. Either “Scalzi Cursed Me,” or “Cursed by Scalvi,” would be much better on that shirt.

    “Keep it simple students,” is what the last English teacher to have any effect on me used to say. At least that’s what I think he said.


  19. Lonely werewolf girl is awesome if for no other reason than it has a transvestite werewolf in it. Just say that out loud, I mean how can a crossdressing werewolf not be cool? It’s been out in the UK for ages.

  20. Cannot evar make me jealous of your ARC collection.

    SRSLY. Cannot. I’m drowning in the frigging things. And I’d bet I get them at about the same time you do.


  21. I can get ARCs too, but unfortunately I have to scrap around for them, and I’m lucky if I get one of a book I currently want or an author that I actually read.

    Tons of ARCs for stuff to look at and wonder why it was printed, tho.

  22. The book by Melinda Snodgrass sounds very interesting. I will have to get it when it is released. Thanks for pointing it out. I already had Stross and Reynolds on my wishlist.

  23. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me
    Chang in pain

    Curse you and your access to all things shiny F and SF. I’m greener than a Dutchman on St. Patrick’s Day.

  24. I read “The Prefect” in April ’07, and I’ll be reading Reynolds’s “House of Suns” in a few weeks, thanks to the dark arts of and transatlantic shipping.

  25. I got the Melinda Snodgrass a few weeks ago, and got all the others except the Martin Millar today.

    Really John, gloating over ARCs just to taunt the Masses is so unseemly.

  26. Nathan Zumwalt- you should stop sleeping. I read about a book a day (sometimes two). I also only sleep about 3-4 hours a day. But yeah, stop sleeping. Reading is relaxing enough, right?

  27. Yes, we readers are so jealous that we can only resort to nitpicking:

    “Curse you, Amazon, for denying my cheap and tawdy attempts at literary superiority! ”

    Is that tawdy as in “He tawdy saw a putty tat.”?

    Although, I’m more with M.A. in #8. I fear the day will come soon when I will own more books than I can read in the remains of my lifetime.

  28. The Prefect is indeed excellent. With the odd way books appear in Australia, I bought it in trade paperback size hmm.. a month or so ago, read it then and only just finished re-reading it yesterday.

    Has Iain M. Bank’s latest Culture novel (Matter) reached the U.S. yet??

  29. ARC of Ink and Steel?!? Yeah, I’m jealous. That’s my #2 Most Anticipated Book of the Year! (#1 spot is permanently reserved for one Mr. George double R Martin on the off chance it’ll be ready *this* year)

  30. The Prefect came out here in Oz last year. Personally, I’m waiting for House Of Suns to be out here in May.

    Mwah ha ha ha haaa.

    And I agree with you that Morgan’s Black Man should have made the Hugo shortlist …

  31. Poor, poor me. I’ve only read the Stross and the Reynolds on that list. Guess I’ll have to console myself with this ARC of the next Niven & Lerner. And the next Brenda Cooper. And the next Greg Bear. And the next Watt-Evans. And the next Gene Wolfe. And the next Brust novel.

    Of course I only get to *keep* my copies if I don’t like the book (OK, technically only if I say I don’t like the book but I assme NY is going to notice if I keep saying “Wow, that was one bad [author name here] book. Better send me some more of that so I can make sure this is a trend and not an exceptional case.”).

  32. Well, at least you don’t have an ARC of George RR Martin’s “Dance with Dragons”. That would cause me to marshal my knights and advance upon Ohio, pillaging all the way.

  33. I would be envious if I hadn’t already read two of the books. ‘The Prefect’ was out in hardback in the UK a few months ago so I got mine for Christmas … and I know Charlie too, nyaaaah.

    The other ones look interesting, though. I’m definitely there when there’s brain-eating.

  34. 62: I’m definitely there when there’s brain-eating.

    There’s a lot of humans being eaten by zombies in Mark Henry’s Happy Hour of the Damned but I don’t think it’s specifically brains that the zombies want.

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