The Leaning Tower of Just Arrived Books

I mention to people that I often get ten to 20 new books/ARCs sent to me a week, but there’s nothing like a little visual representation of how many books come my way, so, here, this is roughly the stack of books which have arrived since I returned home from World Fantasy on the first of November:

For those of you who don’t wish to count, there are 36 books in that stack. It doesn’t count the three books I received from Subterranean Press, on account that they were still in bubblewrap and the Jenga-like qualities of this particular stack of books were pronounced enough. It also doesn’t include the ARC I got of my own book, because, well. That would be silly, wouldn’t it.

If you want a closer look at the picture, the better to read all the titles, here’s the larger size. That said, let me put a quick spotlight on some of the books here:

* The ARC of Bloodshot, which is the first volume of Hugo-and-Nebula nominated author Cherie Priest’s new urban fantasy series, which will be out in January;

* Marjorie Liu’s In the Dark of Dreams, which represents her transfer of her very popular Dirk & Steele series over to Avon books (congrats, Marjorie!), and will be out at the end of the month;

* A big care package of Haikasoru books, including All You Need is Kill, which I blurbed when it came out, Harmony, which won the Seiun Award (that’s Japan’s equivalent of the Hugo), and The Ouroboros Wave, their latest, which will be out next week.

* Mogworld, the debut fantasy novel of Yahtzee Croshaw, the snarky git behind Zero Punctuation;

* Writers Gone Wild, a book chronicling the historically bad behavior of Hemingway, Mailer, Woolf, Plath and other such literary types, all of which will conspire to make you feel better about that what you did with your Friday night. This book is a special treat for me because it’s the debut book of my pal Bill Peschel, who was kind enough to send me a copy with the inscription “To John Scalzi — who is much too sane to appear in a book like this.” He may be right. I must try harder. Anyway, this will be a fine holiday gift for the writers you know. Just warn them that these are cautionary tales, not how-to instructions. Here’s a link. Also, if you click on Bill’s name, his blog is currently featuring excerpts from the book.

I’ll write up some of the rest of these soon, but for now, enjoy the leaning tower of books.

45 Comments on “The Leaning Tower of Just Arrived Books”

  1. There are times when I think a grim punishment for some would be to not only receive all the genre books, but be forced to read them too. All of them. Every last one of them.

  2. idreamofthee – Age: 27 Height: 5'4" Weight: Yeah, right. Hair: Blonde, brown, something like that. Eyes: Blue with green splotches (seriously, it's weird) Skin: Arctic white. Glaring white. Blinding white.
    Erin Thompson

    You have Anne Bishop’s new anthology!! I now loathe you with the fire of a thousand suns.

  3. Oooh, I see The Heroes in there. Just finished up Abercrombie’s Best Served Cold today. Though, I might need to compose myself and think of nice thoughts for awhile before I tackle another of his books. A girl can only take so much bleak and snark in one sitting :)

  4. Looks like Haika Soru loves you…”All you need is kill” was pretty good, though a bit short. It kind of reminded me of your writing, which is why I mention it.

  5. One thing I’ve always wondered… when do you find time to read them all? I consider myself a fairly voracious reader but with work and other stuff I get through 4-5 books a month.

  6. nickmamatas – United States – Nick Mamatas is the author of several novels, including I Am Providence and The Last Weekend. His short fiction has appeared in Best American Mystery Stories, Asimov's Science Fiction, New Haven Review, and many, many other venues.
    Nick Mamatas

    Harmony also won the Japan SF award, which is a rough equivalent to the Nebula! (And it’s a personal favorite…)

  7. And you licking another writer’s bald head wasn’t enough to get you in that book? Really, you must try harder. Maybe something involving an inflatable sheep would be required.

  8. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me
    Chang for days

    Great goooglymoogly! Will you actually read all of those?!

  9. Wow, the tower does make quite the visual. If you dropped some of those Haikasoru in the mail my way, I would not cry. Seriously though, I do wonder like another commenter if you get duplicates; I mean, that’s some extra dead trees there. And do you read any of them, whether for pleasure or work-related (and you may have said this someplace already)? I read All You Need is Kill, have Loups Garous on the TBR.

    Best, and keep on blogging.

  10. I bought Writers Gone Wild last week while at Barnes & Noble. It was on a display table right next to a bunch of Star Wars books/puzzles/games. The title caught my eye. I flipped through it. I added it to my stack and walked to the register. Never under estimate the power of market placement of Star Wars items.

  11. I’m highly jealous of Anne Bishop’s “Twilight’s Dawn”. It’s not out until March :( Though I suppose the disadvantage of ARCs is that they’re paperback and I do love hardbacks…

    How many of the books you receive do you read, on average? I imagine a fair load of them must go unread or you’d never have any time to actually write!

  12. Do you actually read so many books a week? If so, how do you find time to write, and do music? I was proud of my reading habits, but now I feel very inadequate.

  13. Gah! The new Kim Harrison! I’m two books behind!

    Also, I continue to be mystified why every publisher outside of North America insists on running the spine text so that it’s upside-down when the book is face up.

    Or do the Japanese books have the front cover on the opposite side? I assume these are English translations, so that doesn’t make much sense, but maybe I’m missing something?

  14. Putting all that in front of us bibliophiles….and mentioning that it’s a mere week’s worth…..

    Rub it in, brother, rub it in.

  15. I have rarely been as jealous of someone as when I saw that you had an ARC of “The Heroes” and it seems as though I am not alone.

  16. A truly drool-worthy haul of good looking and sounding books, and that’s just one weeks worth!!??!! I don’t know why ‘Battle Royale’ is there since it’s at least ten years old, but excellent choice–‘The Hunger Games’ came from that. ‘Kraken’ rocks off the socks, and I see you have the new Alan Campbell so I’m officially jealous. I’m curious about ‘The Horns of Ruin’ and ‘Mogworld’ and can’t wait to give them a read. Yahtzee is indeed a smarmy git and I love him to death. All in all an impressive take.

  17. nickmamatas – United States – Nick Mamatas is the author of several novels, including I Am Providence and The Last Weekend. His short fiction has appeared in Best American Mystery Stories, Asimov's Science Fiction, New Haven Review, and many, many other venues.
    Nick Mamatas

    Battle Royale actually came out in 2003 in English, but that’s the new edition with a re-edited translation, an intro by Max Allan Collins, an interview with the now-late director of the film, and a twenty-two page afterword by the author (the longest thing he’s published since the book itself).

  18. Dave H – I can see Canada from my house – Aging dad, electronics nerd, embedded software developer. (I'm the guy who makes your microwave blink 12:00.)
    Dave H

    Speaking of leaning towers, did you have anything to do with that smokestack in Springfield that fell the wrong way?

  19. How many of those books will you read?

    If Joe Abercrombie hasn’t had a chance to do a write up on Whatever yet about one of his books, please consider letting him. His work is outstanding.

  20. new Juliet Marilliet book!!?? When you are done can I have it? LOL

    I know the stack is overwhelming, but struck by extreme jealousy here…

    lucky you!

  21. I’m about halfway through The Heroes right now. Definite irony in the title, and I’m delighted at just how funny so much of it is. Joe just sees the humor in the darkest situations.

    Had about 21 titles turn up this week, some nice stuff coming out with the new year, but a lot of stuff that I frankly found disappointing for the holiday season.

  22. bbeck310 – I used to be a scholastic chess champion. 3rd in the nation for 6th graders in 1994. Ohio State elementary school champion in 1995, junior high champion in 1997, and high school champion in 1998. Then, I plateaued at 1900, discovered debate, and stopped playing, except for an occasional tournament or two in college. My rating dropped to 1774. At the age of 29, I rediscovered the game, and started this blog about my two chess goals: reaching the Master title as a player, and becoming a major tournament director and organizer.
    Brian

    If you don’t want the work, you can always send me “Atlantis and Other Places”. I’d be happy to review it for you :) I didn’t even know Turtledove was continuing that series–I thought Liberating Atlantis made for a solid trilogy ending. Can’t wait for its release on Dec. 7.

  23. bbeck310 – I used to be a scholastic chess champion. 3rd in the nation for 6th graders in 1994. Ohio State elementary school champion in 1995, junior high champion in 1997, and high school champion in 1998. Then, I plateaued at 1900, discovered debate, and stopped playing, except for an occasional tournament or two in college. My rating dropped to 1774. At the age of 29, I rediscovered the game, and started this blog about my two chess goals: reaching the Master title as a player, and becoming a major tournament director and organizer.
    Brian

    Oh, never mind. Checked the blurb on B&N’s website, it’s just a short story collection. But it looks like all short stories I haven’t read before, at least.

  24. John, I’m sure you have probably done this before, but could you list some of your favorite all time sci-fi books? you only have to do a few, not 500 :)

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