Just Arrived

Just Arrived, 2/11/10

Noting that given the snowpack, it’s a miracle the UPS and FedEx people can make it up the driveway at all:

* The Boneshaker, by Kate Milford (Clarion Books): This is kind of an interesting thing, as Ms. Milford’s upcoming historical fantasy YA (pictured here on the right), is a mere definite article away from having the same title as Cherie Priest’s steampunk alt history (on the left). As the two books are in different categories (YA vs. adult SF), this might not normally make a huge difference, but there is the complicating factor that Cherie’s Boneshaker is selling like hotcakes and will almost certainly be on award ballots this year, so it’s not a book one wants to have a similar title to. Hopefully there won’t be too much market confusion, because Milford’s book looks like a lot of fun. And I’d note that Cherie’s totally cool with another Boneshaker being out there, which goes a bit of the way of explaining why Cherie herself is full of awesome. In any event, keep your brain open for this one when it hits in May.

* The Story of Cirrus Flux, by Matthew Skelton (Delacorte Press): In the late 18th century, an orphan with a unique object in his possession must escape the various nefarious folks trying to find him and take it from him. Out March 9.

* Empire in Black and Gold, by Adrian Tchaikovsky (Pyr): The first in a new series which promises to meld epic fantasy with World War I. Between this and Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan, I’d say that World War I is the new black. March 23.

* Feed, by Mira Grant (Orbit): So the good news is that in 2014 we’ve cured cancer and the common cold. The bad news is… well, let’s just say that in exchange we’ve got an even nastier virus. What does it make people into? Please refer to the title. Oh my, yes. Out in May.


Today’s Tale of Epic Cluelessness

Today I went to Jay & Mary’s Book Center, my local indie bookstore, to get some new books with Athena. I came through the door, saw a display for the Halo Encyclopedia, said “hey, cool,” and made a beeline for it, because I knew Toby Buckell advised on it and I wanted to take a look at it. I was so engrossed in it that I didn’t notice that the folks at J&M had a whole stack of God Engines right next to it, and continued not to notice the presence of TGE in the store until I was paying for Athena’s books at the register, looked up and noticed they had copies in a wall display. At which point Athena mocked me for missing the previous stack despite it being inches away from my nose. I have to admit it’s not like me to miss something like that. But, hey: Halo, man. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

All of which is a long way of saying that Jay & Mary’s Book Center in Troy, Ohio now has about eight signed copies of The God Engines on sale ($17!), and I suspect if you called them and asked to buy one, they’d probably ship it to you for a reasonable price.

Update, 2/12: They’re sold out now, but are ordering a new batch for the store and will take your order for those. And, yeah, if you make an order with them in the next couple of days (say, by Sunday, 2/14), I’ll go down to the bookstore and sign your copy.


Winter Survival, Science Fiction Style

This week’s AMC column: Everything I Ever Needed to Know About Winter, I Learned From Science Fiction Movies. I offer up “useful” tips on cold and snow from The Empire Strikes Back, The Thing, The Day After Tomorrow and others. And yes, “useful” is in quotes for a reason. Go on over.


Buzz Buzz Buzz

Yes, like all forward-thinking folk I have switched on Google Buzz, because what I need more than anything else in the world is to have yet one more social network to be on. That said, my reaction to it so far seems to be similar to the reaction of most of the people I’ve seen on it, which is “okay, now what?” Because to be blunt about it, if GBuzz is just replicating what I already have going on Facebook/Twitter, I’m not going to end up using it much, because I already have Facebook and Twitter accounts, and GBuzz porting itself into my GMail isn’t enough to make it special or convenient. So we’ll see how to shakes out.

I will say that I think Google may eventually have to accept that short of actually buying either Twitter or Facebook, they’re not going to make a huge amount of headway into the social media sphere. Their other attempts in this direction don’t seem to have amounted to anything, unless you’re Brazilian, in which case Orkut rocks your socks. Good for you, Brazil; I celebrate your social media lifestyle choice. But otherwise, meh. Again, we’ll have to see.

Anyway, if you want to follow me on GBuzz, after you sign in to the service, click the “find people” link and then type in my name, and it should be pretty easy from there.


My Evanescent Internet Fame

Oh, look: I’ve cracked Technorati’s overall top 100, holding the anchor position, situated directly below Perez Hilton, which, I assure you, is a surprise to us both. This won’t last; last week due to Amazon/Macmillan I had a massive spike in readership (and linkage, which is what Technorati really tracks). It’s since come down to my normal levels, plus a small overall lift in people who’ve showed up for the first time last week and then decided to stick around, and linking will follow that path as well. So soon enough I’ll slink back down to the 300s or wherever it is I usually am these days — Technorati’s ranking system has become frightfully opaque outside of specific category rankings.

But, you know. I’ll enjoy my stay on the blogging A-list while I can (i.e., until tomorrow), and promise to remember where I came from, and to keep it real, etc. You want any souvenirs from the A-list club house? I think I see some coasters they won’t miss. I’ll just move Perez’s drink off one. Shhh. Don’t tell him it was me.

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