Various Book Plugs and Such, 5/5/09

A quick moment to plug some stuff worth plugging:

1. It’s Scott Westerfeld’s birthday today, and you know what would make his birthday go down so smooth? If you said, “why, picking up a copy of his novel Extras, now finally out in paperback form!” you would be absolutely correct. Really, it’s amazing how often you’re correct, when I ask rhetorical questions on my site and have you respond. If you pick up the paperback edition, it also features a sneak preview of his next book, Leviathan. And you know you want that.

2. It is not Tobias Buckell’s birthday, but he just had twins (or rather his wife did, while Toby offered encouragement and assurances that he would change a diaper or two, really), so that’s all the excuse I need to tell you to this very instant go and purchase his brand-spankin’ new short story collection Tides from the New Worlds, which is available in a nifty signed limited edition from Wyrm Publishing. I’ll note that one of the 19 stories collected here is “Shoah Sry,” which Toby and cowriter Ilsa Blick wrote for the edition of Subterranean Magazine that I edited a couple of years back. Good story, great collection. Buy two, he has twins.

3. Ellen Klages, who also is not having a birthday today but whom I think is nifty beyond my capacity to express in words, pinged me to let me know that her book White Sands, Red Menace just won in the Young Adult category at the 78th Annual California Book Awards. What does this mean? Well, it means that aside from her and the other winners being feted in a nifty ceremony on June 4th in San Francisco, that the book is LASER AWESOME, and you should hold yourself in a state of massive ashameitude until you check it out. More seriously, Ellen is an absolutely fabulous writer, which is why she keeps piling up the awards (she won a Nebula a couple years back in the novelette category, and her previous YA novel The Green Glass Sea won the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction). If you (or the YA reader in your family/social circle) aren’t reading her, you’re missing out.

4. The publicist at Roc sent me an e-mail asking me: “Won’t you please let us know if you write something about Flood, Stephen Baxter’s terrifyingly apocalyptic novel about the last days of dry land here on Earth?” And I said “Hey, why are you writing to me in blurb form?” And they said “I can’t help myself, because Flood’s gripping narrative of global warming taken to its natural and compelling conclusion has robbed me of my ability to speak genuine narrative and instead I must speak only in flap-copy-ready bites!” And I said, “That kinda sucks,” and they said, “Yes, but Flood, Stephen Baxter’s all-too-plausible vision of the ecological near future, does not!” And that’s pretty much where we left it. All I know is that I’ve been a fan of Baxter ever since he had the last creature descended of human stock attached to a super-tree by an umbilicus in Evolution, because, dude, we all knew we were going to end up as tree monkeys anyway, right? In any event, Flood, Stephen Baxter’s deeply moist tale of heavy-duty civilizational inundation, is out today. Also, it is not Stephen Baxter’s birthday. I feel I need to throw that out there.

19 Comments on “Various Book Plugs and Such, 5/5/09”

  1. Does this mean that you have read the books, or just been asked to mention them on your blog?

  2. The problem with Flood is that it basically sucks.
    I have also been a fan of Baxter “since the beginning”, but in this instance he has underwhelmed me..
    Is that the reason why you didn’t actually write anything of your own about the book ?

    The persons in the book are nothing more than empty shells, and the plot is thin. The science is even worse..

    Even if I think that the book sucks, I will still read the sequel(s). Maybe that/those will be somewhat more sicfi.


  3. 1. Already have this in hardcover.

    2. Bought this a couple weeks ago. Anyone who hasn’t bought this yet should be taken out behind the barn and mercilessly mocked.

    3. Don’t have this one.

    4. Bought this at Larry Smith’s table at Penguicon this past weekend, on the strength of it being Stephen Baxter and all. Haven’t read Flood yet, but I’ve been a fan of his since The Light of Other Days (with Arthur C. Clarke) I heard Charlie Stross once say that Baxter writes more like Arthur C. Clarke than Arthur C. Clarke does. Which I think is a good thing, now that Sir Arthur is no longer with us.

  4. I would like to note, Extras is the fourth book in a series. Sure, it COULD stand alone, but it shouldn’t. Read Uglies, Pretties and Specials. It’s worth it.

  5. Janus:

    “Is that the reason why you didn’t actually write anything of your own about the book?”


    I like the book. I don’t recommend books I think are no good.

  6. I hope it will appease Scott Westerfeld’s birthday demons to know that I have not only purchased the entirety of the Uglies series in Hardback, but I bought it for my cousin’s children.

    And I did this despite his being a Pluto-denier.

  7. I dunno about anyone else, but I found Extras to be the best of the series (which is saying a helluva lot!). Absolutely fantastic premise.

  8. Oh yeah, and if you’re into great YA fiction, don’t forget Justine Larbalestier’s “How to Ditch Your Fairy,” and Cory Doctorow’s “Little Brother”.

  9. Scott: Hrm. I just remember thinking they weren’t standard pb size, so brain said hardcover. (I’m not at home, so can’t reference the library.) Extras is hardcover, I’m pretty certain, but you are undoubtedly right about the others. All I know is I bought them as soon as I could.

    (Incidentally, my cousin’s kids all loved the series. All I said was, “It has hoverboards,” and those things were outta my hands like that. *snaps fingers*)

  10. My condolences to Tobias Buckell. I have twin girls, and the first three years (until both were able to use the toilet without adult intervention) are pretty miserable. If he doesn’t help, his spouse has every right to smother him in his sleep.

    Not that he’s going to be getting much sleep!

    Also, if you ever feel the need to irritate him say:

    “Are they twins?”

    And then say:

    “Are they identical?”

    And then say:

    “I bet you’re busy!”

    Because he’ll be hearing that several times a day for the first couple of years if they’re fraternal, and FOREVER if they’re identical.

  11. hugh57@4,

    Bought this at Larry Smith’s table

    Sigh. At least I’m not the only one of Larry’s junkies.

  12. Huh. It IS my birthday, but I don’t have a book coming out. Guess I missed that bet!

  13. I read the Manifold: Space/ Time/Origin books but besides the idea being somewhat interesting the charaters were unsympathetic and the plots booring.

    Is “Flood” [or any of his other books] better than the Manifold trilogy?

    I couldn’t even get past the first chapter of “Flux.”

  14. Another Larry Smith junkie here. Since I’ll try to make it into the Balticon dealers room at least once this year, I now know what books I need to look for and buy.

    I also promise to buy a book from another dealer who was at Costume Con last weekend. So going to have to cut my budget for accent tiles for the bathroom. Since most of the books she carries deal with sewing, needlework, cooking and art, they both will be sure I’ll spend money at their tables.

    Then when bathroom remodeling is done, I’ll have something to read as I soak in my hew whirlpool tub.

  15. John, I just finished rereading TGB and saw that you’d offered to have twins for Bucknell. Clearly you’re not holding up your end of the bargain if Mrs. Bucknell gave birth.

  16. I read Flood a couple of months ago (yay for living in Europe, where it doesn’t matter if the UK or US edition is out first, cause you can get them both) and it was the first book in a long time which kept me awake until far too late at night because I just _had_ to finish it.
    More, as with Manifold: Time, it turned out to be a book which kept percolating through my mind. Four books by other authors later (all very worthwhile in their own right), what I was thinking about would _still_ be Flood, and where I’d go and how I’d act and what the consequences could’ve been and what possibilities weren’t explored and and and…

    Took me quite by surprise too, as I’ve basically been skipping out on reading Baxter these last couple of years, thinking he wasn’t doing anything which offered much of interest to me. The initial “what if” in Flood still seemed a bit weak to me, but taking it all to the logical conclusion totally rocked and offered some amazingly poignant moments.

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