Just Arrived

Just Arrived, 4/14/10

Here’s what’s new on my desk today:

* Newspaper Blackout, by Austin Kleon (Harper Perennial): In which Kleon takes newspaper articles and blacks out everything but certain words, which are then turned into poetry of a sort. It’s almost like classified document haiku! Not entirely surprisingly, based on a blog. Sheesh, people printing books from blogs! Like that will ever fly! Out as of yesterday.

* Sandman Slim, by Richard Kadrey (Eos): The paperback version of the popular novel featuring a hitman from Hell. No, actually from Hell. We’re not trafficking in metaphors here. Hardcover’s been out for a bit; this paperback version will be out on the 27th of this month.

* Teeth of Beasts, by Marcus Pelegrimas (Eos): Third book in the supernatural “Skinners” series, in which various were-beasties and other monstrosities are afflicted with a mysterious disease. Is this good for regular mortals — or a harbinger of bad times ahead? Also out April 27.

* Lord of the Changing Winds, by Rachel Neumeier (Orbit): One day, it’s just another day in your peaceful, boring little village, and the next — griffins everywhere! And they need a healer! Looks like life just more interesting for our protagonist Kes. Out in May.

* Who Fears Death, by Nnedi Okorafor (DAW): Nnedi Okorafor’s first novel written for the adult market, taking place in a future, post-apocalyptic Africa, in which young woman holds the fate of her tribe in her hands. Out June 1.

* Among Others, by Jo Walton (Tor): This one’s hard to explain except to note that a) it’s a fantasy quasi-autobiography and b) it’s really quite lovely. And c) you’ll have to wait until January 2011 to read it, sorry. But if you’re a Jo Walton fan (or would like to be) it’s worth the wait.


Science Fiction Not From “SciFi Directors”

Over at AMC’s site, I’ve put up a list of directors who made great science fiction films — without being known in the industry as “science fiction directors.” Who is in this rare breed? Some bigger names than you might think. Take a look, and if you have any thoughts on the column — or any directors to add — drop them in the comments there.


The Cilantro Division

Which is not the title of my upcoming novel featuring space travel and cooking. It’s me musing on this article in the New York Times, about why a significant number of people dislike the taste of cilantro, associating it with the taste of soap or something worse. This makes me sad for those people, because I really like the taste of cilantro. But then, most of the time that I consume cilantro it’s in my wife’s salsa, which is excellent all around, or it’s in Thai food, which is a cuisine I am insensibly in love with, so I’m eating it with other things I really like. Maybe if everyone who hates cilantro would just have some of my wife’s salsa, this gap could be closed.

Anyway, this is me wondering about your position on cilantro. Do you love it? Hate it? Are studiously indifferent about it? Have no idea what it is because it’s used on anything real Americans eat? Satisfy my culinary curiosity, if you would.

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