Just Arrived, 2/16/10
Posted on February 16, 2010 Posted by John Scalzi 25 Comments
What came in before the snow walled us in again:
* The Lost Fleet: Victorious, by Jack Campbell (Ace): Sent this in ARC form. I do believe this is the final book in the very successful “Lost Fleet” series, so Campbell fans, gird yourself. This one comes out April 27.
* Guardian of the Dead, by Karen Healey (Little, Brown): This YA takes place in New Zealand and purports to tap into the mythos of the Maori to tell its story. Nifty, I say; I love me some New Zealand. Out in April.
* Changeless, by Gail Carriger (Orbit): I’ll let the cover copy speak for it: “A novel of vampires, werewolves, dirigibles and parasols.” Italics theirs. It must mean something. Also out in April.
* A User’s Guide to the Universe, by Dave Goldberg and Jeff Blomquist (Wiley): I’m afraid to open this because I’m worried I’ll find out I’ve been using the universe all wrong. What would the penalty for that be? I don’t want to find out. This pop science book is out next week and its authors will be doing a Big Idea piece in a few weeks’ time.
* Food, Wine: Burgundy (The Little Bookroom), by David Downie: This installment of The Terroir Guides (think of them as travel guides to wine country) goes deep into the Burgundy region of France to give you tours of the local vineyards, vinters, and restaurants. Makes me want to take a trip, it does. Out as of last week.
* The Dying Earth, by Jack Vance (Brilliance Audio): Vance’s classic 1950 novel, in audio form, read by Arthur Morey. Out today!
* The Agent: An indie film about an agent locking horns with a writer. I’m jazzed I’m being sent DVDs again. This is out in the UK and I am assured will be in the US at some near point.
I’m worried I’ll find out I’ve been using the universe all wrong. What would the penalty for that be?
You’ve voided the warranty.
“I’m worried I’ll find out I’ve been using the universe all wrong. What would the penalty for that be?”
Changless! You ! I finished Soulless a few months ago and adored that book. Trust me that sort of thing is not normally my thing, but Gail can write the funny.
Actually, I know this author from BayCon in Northern California. I think you’ll enjoy it man.
Changeless is the sequel to Soulless. Apparently the further adventures of a Victorian woman who lacks a soul and as a result is immune to the attacks of vampires werewolves and ghosts. She joins forces with a werewolf cop to solve a mystery and subdue an evil science club. Pretty lightweight steampunk and full of mostly harmless genre tropes and stereotypes. And Waaayyy too much romance! But then, I’m a guy.
Campbell and Carriger are already in my ‘upcoming books’ wishlist, especially Carrriger, but especially Campbell. :)
Already have Campbell’s book on my “to buy” list. I would be rather suprised and disappointed if this is the last book in the Lost Fleet series considering the books are rather thin and there seems to be a lot of loose ends to tie up.
There is a great discussion with Jack Campbell about The Lost Fleet over here:
In the comments he says that he’s signed contracts for TWO follow on series and potentially a prequel series as well.
Also, there is a good chance he’ll be giving away a signed ARC of Victorious through the blog in the very near future.
Hope this helps.
I will commit seven times seventy crimes at your behest for that Jack Campbell ARC. Not just little ones either. I await your commands.
Dave@4 – pish on your lightweight endorsement of Soulless. It’s much better than that, but I’ll overlook it because, as you noted, you’re a guy.
Soulless was “a novel of vampires, werewolves, and parasols,” so they’re emphasizing the addition of dirigibles to the lineup.
Dirigibles! What can be bad?
Wow. At first glance I thought Victorious dropped early. B&N already has my pre-order for it. I’d give almost anything to get my hands on that ARC though.
Do you have a link or a production company or director’s name you could share for “The Agent?”
Clueless White Boy Question: Don’t the Maori prefer to have outsiders leave their mythology the Hell alone? Or is that just Aborigines?
Ooh, the Burgundy book sounds fabulous. Looking forward to hearing what you think.
Māori, like Koori/Aboriginal peoples, are not a monolith with a single take on what’s okay – there are individual views on what use those from outside the various cultures might make of their cultural heritage and where the line from appreciation to appropriation might be crossed.
But yes, that I was engaging in racist cultural appropriation in the writing of Guardian was definitely a concern. I engaged the assistance of cultural consultants, a process described here. You might also be interested in my post describing the ANZ cover selection process, where we ran into similar issues.
I still don’t know if I got it right – I’m well-nigh certain I didn’t get it right enough for everyone, and I’m still worried I might have caused active harm. I guess I’ll find out after April.
Aw, Gail Carriger commits awesomeness again! This stuff is kinda sorta steampunk but not exactly. Soulless was the first in this universe and I recommend it HIGHLY. Quite original.
Karen – props on the process. And on getting the squicky cover changed *shudder*.
Look forward to reading.
As has been pointed out, Changeless is a sequel to a fun, light paranormal romance book called Soulless. People expecting steampunk first, romance second will be dissapointed. But if you consider it to be a paranormal romance with steampunk elements, it works rather nicely. And the author is funny – she does not take any of it too seriously (in my experience, steampunk people tend to take things pretty seriously). Her basic premise is that supernatural creatures have EXCESS soul, so the few preternatural folks who have too little or no soul are their natural predators.
Actually, as I was reading the first novel I kept thinking that she’d be a great Big Idea entry.
You know I’m a guy — hetrosexual guy not to put too fine a point on it — and I loved Soulless. I didn’t expect too, but I truly did. also I know a die-hard midwest Republican guy who also loved it.
Guys can dig romance as well as women. And women can enjoy butt-kicking action as much as guys. I hate when people insist on using sexual sterotypes.
However this should ne be construed as an attack on Dave, because Romance isn’t for everyone. To each his own.
Bob – You’re dang right, men can like romance. In fact, looked at from the right angle, most of the best selling fantasy series of the past few decade (Belgariad, Wheel of Time, Song of Ice and Fire) have had strong romantic elements as well. Without the romance, I doubt they’d be much good.
Sure, romance as a main theme isn’t every man’s cup of tea (with treacle tart, even) but then romance isn’t every woman’s cup of tea either. But some of us like the mushy stuff. You know, even the scenes with kissing in them [/princess bride]
The Dying Earth….oh my. I read about a third of that book before I re-shelved it. It reminded me too much of my childhood – weeknights spent playing Zork on my dad’s Atari desktop computer and afternoons campaigning in Dungeons & Dragons. A good book, yes, but possibly too much for a single read through (makes a handy weapon for bludgeoning would-be intruders). So I can imagine that an abridged audio book might be a better way to digest this book.
You have Lost Fleet: Victorious?
I have just died of envy.
Bad Scalzi. Bad.
When does it come out?
I’ll have to wait till may 7th (ships on april 30th). Damn you, Scalzi!
In response to Michael: the official website for The Agent is at http://www.the-agent-film.com and the production company is http://www.pinterandmartin.com.
It’s out on DVD and iTunes in the UK, and should be available on iTunes etc in the US in a short while.
Thanks for suggesting Gail Carriger’s book. I picked up Soulless, the first in the series, and it’s great fun! Vampires, werewolves + a strong, smart heroine, all wrapped up in a Victorian, steampunk setting. Smashing!