Just Arrived, 5/22/10

Some of what’s arrived here in the last week:

* Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader: The World’s Gone Crazy (Bathroom Reader’s Press): People occasionally ask me if I still do writing for the Uncle John’s books, and the answer is yep, still do. Why? Because it’s fun, and because they’re good people to work with, and they pay their contributors well. My contribution to this particular Uncle John’s book is small — one or two articles, I can’t remember, honestly — but the whole book is enjoyable to read in short bits, which is of course the entire point.

* Unholy Ghosts, by Stacia Kane (Del Rey): The dead have risen! But this time they’re not zombies, they’re ghosts, and our protagonist is a ghost hunter with some real-life issues, like owing money to some very bad people, some of whom want her to do a job for them. OR ELSE. Yes indeed. This one’s out next Tuesday, and Stacia Kane will be offering up a Big Idea piece in the next couple of weeks.

* Year’s Best SF 15, edited by David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer (Eos): Hey, I just saw those two last weekend at the Nebula Weekend. This “best of” SF collection features stories by Stephen Baxter, Gene Wolfe, Robert Charles Wilson, Mary Robinette Kowal, Chris Roberson, Paul Cornell, Peter Watts, and Marissa K. Lingen. Out on Tuesday.

* Married With Zombies, by Jesse Petersen (Orbit): On the way two couples counseling David and Sarah can’t help but notice that the zombie apocalypse has arrived! The couple that slays zombies together, etc. Out in September.

* Life Ascending: The Ten Great Inventions of Evolution, by Nick Lane (Norton): Because evolution is clever, or at the very least the principles of natural selection over time give the appearance thereof, the popular science book offers examples of things evolution got right. Two examples: sex (which I agree with enthusiastically) and death (which I also grudgingly admit may be the case). Hardcover’s been out for a year; the trade paperback version, which was sent to me, is out June 14.

* Nights of Villjamur, by Mark Charan Newton (Spectra): Newton’s debut novel begins a fantasy series that the PR material assures me is in the tradition of China Mieville and Richard K. Morgan. Aiming high, that is. It also involves an ice age and the walking dead! So it has that going for it as well. Will be out June 29.

* Shadow’s Son, by Jon Sprunk (Pyr): Another debut fantasy, this one featuring a freelance assassin who finds himself thrown into a world of intrigue when a job goes wrong. Although I have to say that if your day job is “freelance assassin,” the intrigue level of your life is probably already pretty well up there. Out June 22.

* The Office of Shadow, by Matthew Sturges (Pyr): Not related to the book immediately preceding it on this list, this one features the fantasy equivalent of the CIA or MI-5 doing what it takes to keep their empire from falling into chaos and war. Also out June 22.

* Redemption in Indigo, by Karen Lord (Small Beer Press): A modern-day fairy tale of a woman who inherits a magical object — and all the trouble that goes with it. The winner of Barbados’ Frank Collymore Literary Prize, and the author will be offering up a Big Idea piece on the novel when it debuts on June 22.

* Under the Poppy, by Kathe Koja (Small Beer Press): This historical novel by Stoker Award-winner Koje features a love triangle and puppets, which already puts it into the “haven’t seen that before” category right out of the gate. This one will be out in October.

* Citizens, edited by John Ringo & Brian M. Thomsen (Baen): A military SF anthology, by authors who have served in the military, including Heinlein, Clarke, Haldeman and Pournelle. Out now.

* Stealing Fire, by Jo Graham (Orbit): A soldier in Alexander the Great’s army allies with Ptolemy after Alexander’s death and prepares to defend the lands Ptolemy has claimed for himself. Out Tuesday but Amazon and B&N both have it in stock, so… out now.

14 Comments on “Just Arrived, 5/22/10”

  1. I can recommend “Citizens” wholeheartedly. Many of the stories in it are classics, such as Clarke’s “Superiority” and Heinlein’s “The Long Watch,” and John Ringo’s own “Earth’s First Improved Chimp Gets a Job as a Janitor” is the story that made him one of the Seven.

    The Seven are the authors who, while reading their books, have given me a satori, a moment after which, the world hasn’t been the same for me because I’m not the same guy who started reading the story.

    The book is well worth the time.

  2. “This historical novel by Stoker Award-winner Koje features a love triangle and puppets, which already puts it into the “haven’t seen that before” category right out of the gate.”

    While it’s not a historical novel “Love of Seven Dolls” by Paul Gallico is about a love triangle and puppets. It’s pretty obscure, but it was made into a movie starring Leslie Caron. The book is a lot creepier than the movie.

  3. ‘in the tradition of China Mieville and Richard K. Morgan’

    Do China Mieville and Richard Morgan have enough in common to constitue a tradition? That’s really making my brain hurt…

  4. Here’s a tradition for you:

    Kim Newman: The Night Mayor
    Alastair Reynolds: Century Rain
    Colson Whitehead: The Intuitionist
    Michael Chabon: The Yiddish Policeman’s Union
    China Mieville: The City and the City

  5. Minor typo alert: The Office of Shadow, like its very nifty predecessor, Midwinter, is written by Matt Sturges.

  6. John, perhaps you’ve done this before, but, are there any so called classics of science fiction you just tried to read and couldn’t make it through it, or found vastly overrated. I just could never make it through Snowcrash, so i finally traded it in at a used book store.

  7. Barebones:

    If you are going to list noire-detective + speculative fiction, don’t forget Jeff Vandermeer’s Finch.

    Chine Mieville and Richard Morgan are brilliant writers, in my opinion, but I also missed whatever connection between them that our host is suggesting. Perhaps he will elucidate.

  8. RChris

    Haven’t forgotten it, because not previously acquainted with it. Will now go and seek it out, if it’s in print. Thanks. (If it matches up to the 5 I’ve listed it will be pretty d… good)

  9. … examples of things evolution got right. Two examples: sex (which I agree with enthusiastically) and death (which I also grudgingly admit may be the case).

    Because without death where would all the undead come from? Likewise, zombie novels.

    Because an episode of Just Arrived without zombie novels would be like … uh … like a day without eating brains. Or something.

  10. The Office of Shadow… Hmm.

    Based on the description, should we be telling Charlie Stross he has finally acquired imitators?

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