At the doorstep today, a lot of stuff from Ace, and a couple of things from Del Rey:
First, I’m happy to say that this is the first week in a long time in which all the book covers which feature women actually bother to show the whole woman — i.e., that thing where they chop off half the woman’s head in order to draw your attention to the model’s chest and/or midriff seems to be trailing off somewhat. I think this is a positive thing in a general sense; while I don’t have a real problem with the half-faced woman thing as a graphic element, if you see too many of them in sequence (as I have recently) you begin to get a little creeped out by it. Mind you, and as you can see, it is not as if taut women’s bodies are getting a short shrift this week (the winner of this week’s “this cover model has writhed up from my teenage heavy metal video dreams” award, incidentally, goes to the one on the cover of Yasmine Galenorn’s Dragon Wytch), but it’s nice to have a face to go with the other body parts. So thank you, art directors.
Quick notes on some of what’s come in:
* Saturn’s Children, which is Charles Stross’ latest, and his tribute to late-era Heinlein, with everything that implies. I can’t be relied upon to be an objective observer of the book, not in the least because Charlie very amusingly name-checks me in the book (which I didn’t know about, so it made have a goofy grin after I read it). But as a fan of both Charlie and Heinlein, you can imagine I really enjoyed this romp through the solar system, following a former pleasurebot (see cover) now at loose ends because humans have died off, leaving her without a purpose (not a good thing for a pleasurebot). We’re still three weeks out from release on this book, but it’s already generating lots of discussion, and I have a suspicion it’ll be one of Charlie’s most talked-about books. Which says a lot, considering how much he’s already talked about in SF circles.
* I met Marjorie M. Liu in Glasgow at the 2005 Worldcon, just before her first book came out, but she was already famous as being the woman who got a seven-book deal while still at the Clarion writing workshop. I suspect the fact that she’s a really nice person persuaded her classmates from strangling her. She’s since hit the New York Times bestseller list, which just seems like piling on, really. The Iron Hunt is her first book for Ace, and I’m going to let Marjorie say more about it when she does a Big Idea piece here in a couple of weeks, right around the release date of the book.
* People keep asking me if I know about the Lost Fleet series by Jack Campbell. Yes, I say, I know about the Lost Fleet series by Jack Campbell. Good, they say, because it’s really good space opera stuff, and that’s what you write. Yes, I say, I’ve heard rumors to the effect. And then they say, so do you know when the next Lost Fleet book will be out. To which I say, why yes, The Lost Fleet: Valiant comes out on June 24th. At which point they go off, apparently to save up their loose change for two weeks from today.
* The Bearskin Rug is the third Jennifer Stevenson erotic paranormal novel I’ve gotten in the last month, which makes a bit of sense, since the books (the other two being The Brass Bed and The Velvet Chair, both out) are coming out a month apart, on the presumed thinking that when readers finish one, they’ll want the next, like, instantly. I can’t help but think that qualifies as a vote of confidence on the part of the publisher. This is also out on the 24th.
Your thoughts and comments about the books in these stacks?