Just Arrived, 3/10/10
Posted on March 10, 2010 Posted by John Scalzi 28 Comments
As noted earlier, I’m busy moving boxes and tearing down furniture all day long, so today’s Just Arrived bit will be even shorter than usual. Nevertheless, here’s what’s in the in door today:
* 2010 Nebula Awards Showcase, edited by Bill Fawcett (Roc): Nebula winning fiction by Ursula K. Le Guin, John Kessel, Nina Kiriki Hoffman and others, plus poetry (including from my pal Cat Valente) and essays by Robert Silverberg, David Drake, Mike Resnick and more. Lots of cool stuff in here. Out on April 6.
* WWW: Watch, by Robert J. Sawyer (Ace): The follow-up to Sawyer’s WWW:Wake, in which a woman who discovers a consciousness inside the Internet tries to keep it safe from those who are hunting it. This will be out May 18.
* Directive 51, by John Barnes (Ace): The end of the world is (probably) nigh! Is there a government protocol for that? Oh, you bet there is. You’ll find out more what it is on April 6.
* Ark, by Stephen Baxter (Roc): The follow up to Baxter very moist thriller Flood. This time around humans are looking to save themselves from watery inundation by traveling to a new planet… but our book’s heroine be one of the few who will be chosen to go? Out May 4.
* Destroyermen: Distant Thunders, by Taylor Anderson (Roc): The fourth book in the Destroyerman series, which features an alternate universe World War II. Out June 1.
* Shine, edited by Jetse de Vries: An anthology of optimistic science fiction. Because all your dystopias are just bringin’ us down, man! Editor de Vries will be doing a Big Idea to tell us more on the book at the beginning of April; the book itself will be out March 30.
* Imaginary Jesus, by Matt Mikalatos (Barna): In which our narrator (who has the same name as the author) goes on a quest to find the real Jesus, and meets a whole bunch of other Jesuses (Jesi?) along the way. Written by someone who is both a former missionary and a former comic book clerk, which is an interesting combination, I think. Out now.
Wait, you got WWW:Watch already? D:
Impatiently awaiting the release WWW:Watch and Shine *sigh*
Well, “Jesus” is fourth-declension in Latin, and so the nominative plural would also be “Jesus,” just pronounced with a long /u/. Of course, I’m not sure what case “bunch of” takes, so it could also be “Jesuum” or “Jesibus.” [g]
/pedantic classics geekery
OK, good to know that there’s a sequel to WWW:Wake. Sawyer isn’t one of my regular authors, but I read the serialization in, erm, Analog?, and it really only felt like half a book. An enjoyable half a book though.
I know he probably did it because of the hard size constraints on non-bestsellers that Charles Stross wrote about this week, but I really hope that the eventual move to ebooks changes this.
Really looking forward to WWW:Watch. I got WWW:Wake as an audiobook from Audible and I really, really enjoyed it.
Then again, I’ve liked most of Sawyer’s stuff.
Ooh. New destroyermen. I’ve been following that since the first book. Good mil-sf from a non futuristic alt-history / alt evolution standpoint. Of interest to anyone following the io9 mil-sf thread.
Skip… OK, good to know that there’s a sequel to WWW:Wake. Sawyer isn’t one of my regular authors, but I read the serialization in, erm, Analog?, and it really only felt like half a book. An enjoyable half a book though.
Sawyer had planned a trilogy from the beginning. He likes to do trilogies. He (is almost?/just finished?) writing the third book, WWW: Wonder.
Good stuff, though. I also look forward to Ark. Baxter’s books are consistently good as well.
Gotta love the representation by the Canadians :)
Tim, well, that’s cool. Means I’ll wait til the third one is out though, to read both of them, the ending to the first one was unsatisfying enough.
I bet it ends up in reality as one 400k word novel, just published in 3 parts, though.
Probably very true. That was almost certainly the case with his other trilogy I read. You are right about the ending of the first novel though. While I guess the author could have said, “Okay, end of the book. I’ll leave the rest to the reader’s imagination.” It does seem a bit abrupt and cliff-hangerish.
Ahhh, Destroyermen: Distant Thunders!! Not so much about WWII actually as much as USN destroyers thrust into an alternate world where the dominate species aren’t human. Good mil-sf !
Amazon (from whom I pre-ordered back in January) and barnesandnoble.com both list Sawyer’s WWW:Watch as coming out on April 6th, 2010, in hardcover and on Amazon, the Kindle (B&N makes no mention of a nook version). The date you mention, May 18th, is consistently listed as the release date for the audio versions (CD and mp3). So we may not have to wait more than month for WWW:Watch to come out. :)
Since you asked.
The name ‘Jesus’ is the latinised Version of the name ‘Jeschua’ via the greek ‘Jesuos’. As such it falls under the rules for third declension (or u-declension) in Latin* which means that the proper nominative plural should be, well, ‘Jesus’.
Jesuses however is fine.
*Examples abound in latin liturgical literature, but the plural is probably never used.
Substitute ‘Yeshua’ for ‘Jeschua’.
Really? I was going by the form “Jesu” (as in … Joy of Man’s Desiring) and just extrapolated the plurals. This page seems to be saying that it’s an irregular 4th declension in the singular (no comment on the plural forms, ha).
Tim @ 6:
I’ve been meaning to give Baxter another chance.
I got about halfway through Titan (I think) and ended up not just quitting but heaving the damn thing across the room because it was just so … bad. I don’t remember details, but I think it was a combination of awful science and unbelievable characterizations.
But I keep hearing good things about him, so I’m tempted to try to overcome my old trauma.
First of all I totally overlooked your first post which makes mine superfluous, so, my apologies.
Secondly you’re absolutely right, ‘Jesus’ is fourth declension. However it is now more than decade since i had Latin in school.
On how ‘Jesus’ should be declensed though I think we both used the same method and basically agree.
Gah, I meant declined.
I got Silver Borne by Pat Briggs today. I have what are called “issues” with this fan-fave series.
@Christoph, no worries. My Latin’s pretty rusty as well, and was wondering if I mis-remembered the 3rd vs. 4th rules and forms. I never studied liturgical Latin, and was curious if the forms had changed over the centuries or something.
Baxter has written two of the most depressing books I’ve ever read, Flood and Evolution. Overall message of both, “you’re human and not here for long”.
Good to see other RJS fans. I hope we’ll see Watch as The Big Idea soon!
It’s actually “Jesii.” When you’re capable of bilocation and live under Roman rule, you get corrected on that really fast. Especially rough when your native language is Aramaic.
Fortunately, I attended Latin School at Castle Argh, home of Joseph of Aramethea. Nice guy. Really came through after that whole Passover unpleasantness. I put a word in with Graham Chapman to get him a shout out in a Monty Python movie.
I was really hoping it would have been “Life of Brian,” but they’d have had to cut out the scene where they sing “Bright Side of Life.” Priorities, you know.
Yes but the real question is what do you call a group of Jesus?
A gander? A herd?
I’m thinking maybe a breadbasket.
*** WARNING!!! Spoilers follow! *** But not too bad, I hope… ;)
Regarding Destroyermen: Distant Thunders. I’ve listened to all three of the earlier novels on audio book and they were very well done in the conversion. The biggest point I think nobody has made so far is that this is a cross of Jurassic Park with the 1632 Universe, only inhabited by the dregs of the U.S. Navy at the very beginning of WWII. It’s really a great concept, where the very seas are populated with so much nastiness that one character, a coxswain even, develops a phobia of the water! Going overboard equals almost certain consumption by voracious predators, so why wear a life jacket? And as someone, Oran I think, stated earlier, the dominant species here are not Humans. One is the Jurassic Park Veloci Raptor, however you spell that, equivalent. Hungyr, mean, hungry, smart, hungry and just keep coming at you! Another is a much more personable, in the meaning that it doesn’t consider you a meal on the hoof, Lemur-like species. And Humans get shanghaied into this alternate universe by a mysterious storm. It’s very cool, combines alternate history with alternate evolution with military sci-fi in a very naval themed series. I highly recommend it!
Bearpaw @ 15:
Not being an physicist (I’m in chemistry) I have little evidence of Baxter’s bad science. I’ll take your work for it, but am surprised. If I’m not mistaken he has multiple graduate degrees in mathematics and aeronautical engineering. In either case, I encourage you to try other books of his. Maybe something more recent? He did an alt. history series that was overlooked in my opinion. Possibly one of the manifold books (not a true series, can be read alone)?
Oran Sands @20:
He does seem to take that perspective in many of his books. But for me anyway, that part of the appeal. I enjoy our ephemeralness pointed out, it’s humbling. :-) Baxter certainly will never be accused of thinking only in the short-term.
On the other hand, Baxter will also never be accused of having the best characterization (although it has improved over the years) in SF; definitely more an idea guy.
So, was Rick Springfield singing about Mary Magdalene in the song “Jesii’s Girl”?
Oh, man, it’s so nice to see someone else feel the same way. I liked Ring (I’m a sucker for enormous engineering, and the Ring’s the biggest of them all!), but Titan really soured me, and the final book of the Manifold series combined with that and turned me off his work altogether. I managed to finish Titan, but it’s stayed with me as one of the worst I’ve ever read. Manifold: Origins was just plain -nasty-. Not a single damn redeemable aspect in that book.
I picked up the first Destroyermen book a few months back at Borders after I read the back cover. Before I had even finished that book, I went back and bought the next two. I haven’t been pulled into something that effectively since OMW and 1632. Can’t wait for book 4.