Books Are Back

After a pause of a couple of weeks, most likely because of Hurricane Sandy, new and upcoming books have once again begun appearing at the Scalzi Compound. Here’s what’s come in during the last few days. Want a closer look? Here’s a bigger picture.

Tell me which of these books inspires a case of the wants in you, down there in the comments.

By John Scalzi

I enjoy pie.

186 replies on “Books Are Back”

Lessee, I would start with the Bujold. I can never get enough of the Vorkosigian series. Alien Alien and London Falling are intriguing for their names alone and IS THAT RAILSEA? GIMME GIMME. Er, also a big Miéville fan. The Inexplicables by Cherie Priest is on my list and do I see a Harry Turtledove offering mixed in? Oh yes, Turtledove is always a good choice…. You know, just send me the whole stack :).

I’m just finishing up the Bujold book this afternoon (Yay!), but seeing Cold Days just sitting there fills me with the kind of envy that results in dead bodies.

I’m happy to see C.E. Murphy’s new collection in there, because I’ll admit, she’s been a long time friend, and is a terrific Urban Fantasy writer. Those of you who like Jim Butcher, she’s good territory to expand into. (Plus, they’ve both been friends long before either were published!) And she’s a world class human being, too.

Cold Days.

Obviously, if you were so inclined you could make yourself quite a sum of money auctioning off that book right now. Good thing you’ve (just as obviously, considering your stance on DRM) got a solid ethical streak.

So….how much for the book? ;)

Bujold, Bujold, for the win! We drove to Cambridge to see her on Sunday at the Harvard Co-op. John, how did you squeeze all your people in that space for the Redshirts signing? It’s very small!

Lois read from the beginning of a new Vorkosiverse novella that doesn’t have a middle or end yet. And lots of good Q&A. Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance is one good fun read!

I also don’t own the Lackey book yet.

Bujold and Butcher . .. Already have Cold Days on pre-order, and am, you know, kind of miffed you already have your copy. Smacks of favoritism and special privilege to me.

I need to reconnect with Bujold . . . Somehow I missed the last three books (life; it can screw with you something fierce).

Sadly, I’m not familiar with many of the other authors. I’ll save the photo for when I retire.

Hmm, let’s see. Well I just got The Inexplicables this morning, so it would have to be….
Cold Days, Cold Days, and Cold Days, in that order.
I am also looking forward to several of the others, but like you are as well John, Jim Butcher is one of my top ten favorite authors.

Elemental Magic appeals to me as I have read the other books in the series.
I can’t wait to read Railsea as I enjoy China Mievelle’s writing. I loved King Rat as it moved through subterranean London to the rhythms of drum and bass.

Questions for you John:

(1) How do you get any work done with all these un-read books stacked around you and beckoning?
(2) How do you pick which ones to read (if any)? Does the cover art or the feel of the book influence you?
(3) How many of these unsolicited books do you read?

The Harry Turtledove grabbed my attention first. Then made me wonder: “Do I miss being an Active Member of SFWA, who reviewed several tens of thousands of books online, and getting a stack that big every couple of weeks. Or am I better off reading only the books that I want enough to buy, and spending my time writing several novels and once, and babbling on Facebook?” In BATSHIT CRAZY, which just hit 256,200 words, the Bangkok psychiatrist on the couch of the other Bangkok psychiatrist gets the frequent chapter-ending tagline: “Good question.”

just curious (& sorry if you have covered this before) but about how many of these things to you yourself actually read? I weep each time I put a new book on my pile because they are going on faster than they are coming off & even if I were immortal I don’t think I could catch up.

Nothing for me thanks. Am a Mieville fan, but not that interested in that book right now. Would probably snag the Lackey book for my wife to read while nursing our newborn son (she is a fan). Did I just not-so-subtly jack this thread to Bragg about my baby? Sure looks like it.

Currently reading the Bujold (ordered a signed copy from Uncle Hugos), will get Inexplicables at Poisoned Pen in Scottsdale tomorrow night and have Cherie scribble in it, will likely get the Gini Koch at the PP in December, and I have a signed copy of Cold Days on order via Poisoned Pen. Anyone see a pattern there?

I am curious if the Paul Cornell London Falling is the UK edition (which comes out in a couple of weeks) or an ARC of the US edition (being released in April). (Can’t access flickr via work, so can’t blow up the size to see).

Hmm, looks like Del Rey/Bantam didn’t get anything out yet. I was expecting to see Kevin Hearne’s Trapped in there….

FYI, the Railsea is probably the Subterranean Press edition.

I don’t recognize most of those, but the Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance would generally inspire great jealousy in me. Except that I already caved and bought it, and am strictly rationing it as motivation for homework. So, I’m jealous of the time to read it, really. And if I do find such time, I might come back and pick up other fun books from this stack…but that probably won’t be in the next month.

I didn’t know there was another Vorkosigan Saga book coming out until I saw this picture… Time to dig out the gift cards and spring for a hardback again.

Once upon a time it would’ve been the Harry Turtledove novel, but halfway through one of his series my brother made a comment which completely spoiled his writing style for me and i haven’t been able to slog through a “cast of thousands’-type book of his ever since.

I just finished _Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance_ last night and loved it, though I still say there’s a typo in the title (clearly, there is a ‘d’ missing). It was super interesting seeing so many favorite characters through other eyes than Miles’.



I’m sure I’d be having a similar reaction to Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance if I hadn’t preordered it and gotten my copy last Wednesday. Cold Days is also preordered, wonder when that’s coming?

Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance! Really, that was the only one in the pile I saw. Also intrigued by London Falling, and curious whether Elemental Magic, as an anthology, will be as good as or better than the rest of the books in that series.

Do I dare admit that I’ve never read Jim Butcher? His book is the one I’d grab, except maybe I need to start at the beginning….Oops, looks like my situation is similar to David Jensen’s!

I’m most looking forward to Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance, Cold Days, and Baba Yaga’s Daughter, although I admire the heck out of the title Supervolcano: All Fall Down. And thanks for the big picture.

I really hope that Spoor book is just an ARC and that his actual available in retail book spelled his name correctly.
And I am also curious about why the delay on Railsea. Good book, that one.
(Sure, put me down for Cold Days like everyone else.)

Hmm, the list of books I _don’t_ want would be much shorter. In fact, that pic there is pretty much my TBR list, as soon as I’m done with the Humble Bundle.

Chuk – That looks like the Subterranean Press edition of Railsea.
Monica- You might be a bit lost if you start with Cold Days. I would definately reccomend the whole series, but you should at least read Summer Knight, White Knight, Changes, and Ghost Story, for background on what Cold Days sounds like it’s going to be about.

Oh my you have a lot of Bujold fans here… I thought I’d actually come out of lurk mode to put my vote in. I am like others in saying, as soon as I saw the Bujold there were no other books. ;-)

Jim Butcher although I think i have to reread ghost story first, thankfully already grabbed earc of Bujold or i’d be desperate right now.

Bujold was in Cambridge? And I missed it? I must pay closer attention.

I read CVA over the summer, and I loved it, and it’s good to know she’s working on another one because I thought she might be done with the Vorkosiverse. I will read a story about people eating oatmeal in the Vorkosiverse.

I’m a lapsed Lackey fan, so I no longer buy her books, I only borrow them from the library. Paul Cornell looks interesting.

Went out to get the paper this morning and The Inexplicables was on the doorstep–so yay. Butcher is preordered and “SubPress has sent me a package”–that means Railsea is on the way. Actually, these might keep me for awhile esp. as I also got a new one by Sharon Shinn.

Already read and enjoyed the Bujold. I have the Butcher on preorder but am going to have to arm-wrestle my college-aged daughter for it when it arrives – which is supposed to be the week AFTER Thanksgiving, darn it.

I keep hearing good things about the Gini Koch series, but I haven’t read any of them. That one is 4 or 5 books into it, I think. I have the first one (Touched By an Alien) sitting on my TBR pile now. They are light SF/romance.

Cold Days for sure, and C.E. Murphy (because Kate Kirby’s comments peaked my interest).

Glad to see your still operating on the easiest setting. Most of us in the real world need to actually go out to stores and purchase novel entertainment *wink wink*

That Jim Butcher reminds me I really need to catch up on the earlier books.

I’ve read Railsea, and all I can say is I hope you like ampersands.

I am always heartened to see the mostly balanced mix of male and female authors in these piles. I’m proud that I’m a fan of a genre that saw early success (both commercial and critical) for female writers!

Bujold’s Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance; desperately. Turtledove’s Supervolcano: All Fall Down is being awaited with some impatience as well. Other good stuff in that stack too…….

Ellen @ 5:50– “I will read a story about people eating oatmeal in the Vorkosiverse.”

There are much better things to do with oatmeal in the Vorkosiverse, as Ivan demonstrated in Chapter 7. Just sayin’. ;-)

What an embarresment of riches! Hard to pick just one, but I’m in the mood for some military action; I wants guns, lots of guns big guns; my inner Obergfreiter Porta says to go for Andronmeda’s Fall by William C. Dietz.

Excuse me while I fire up Steel Panthers; some virtual Waffen-SS boys are getting frisky again & my guys want to give them something to chew on.

I already finished Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance but I wouldn’t mind owning a copy. But the real gem is obviously that advance copy of Cold Days.

I’d read the Turtledove. but then I’m sure I’d have to post nasty snarky commentary about it to Goodreads lamenting the decline of a once great author.

Ooooh. New Vorkosigan novel. Want want want. Cold Days, too.

You can keep Railsea, though – I flicked through it in the bookstore and saw that Miéville was doing some kind of artsy-fartsy schtick where he replaced all the “and”s with “&” – horribly interrupting the flow of sentences (because I pronounce ampersands as a glottal stop, in my head at least; ‘n). Having found Kraken and The City and The City both similarly avant-garde-for-the-sake-of-avant-garde (that is, Miéville has become more interested in being an artist than in being a storyteller) I didn’t pursue it further.

already have the Bujold, the Spoor [FunFact! on the FRONT of the book, Ryk’s name is spelled correctly. on the spine it’s “Rye”. WTF?] and [don’t judge me] the Moning,
want Railsea, the Elemental Anthology, Priest and Murphy and Taylor – wouldn’t mind several others.

but i NEED Cold Days – i’ve been running a Dresden Files tabletop for *YEARS*, and we’ve taken multiple bets as to what bits of my game somehow ended up in Jim’s head *THIS* time
[reading Ghost Story was scary, because it kept having things that were SORT OF like what my group had been dealing with. Fomori, for one…]

Hey…can someone give me a good sci-fi book suggestion? Let me profile myself really quickly because honestly, I’m really disjointed from sci-fi and I love the genera (not Star Wars or Star Trek per se..the William Shatner movies are hilarious because of the hamminess and Star Wars). I’m a policy-sci grad (BS not BA and yes I know the easy joke), I love the first three Alien films, liked Prometheus and just found out that yes, I do like the Matrix films. I also love Ghost in the Shell, both films and the series (because of the political intrigue) and tend to like more of a grimy, used future type of books/films. Literature-wise, I have not read any true sci-fi for many years which is why I’m asking for help picking something out. Any suggestions will be appreciated.

bristolbookworm: For books from another Doctor Who Script/Book writer try the series by Ben Aaronovich starting from “Rivers of London” if you haven’t already. Sort of Harry Dresden style, but from the point of view of a new recruit to the Metropolitan Police equivalent of Special Investigations.

Frank Cote – Mecha corps came out last year as well. First book in the series. Enjoyable
Warren Hammond’s Kop series might suit you. Dark, gritty mystery Sci Fi.
You might also like Daniel H. Wilson’s Robopocalypse and Amped.
Search for similar titles to those, and I think you’ll find stuff you can enjoy.
Also, this might be a silly question, but have you tried any of John’s books? He is a pretty good writer. Don’t tell him that though. It’ll just go to his head.

Heh. Looked at the picture again and I had a minor dyslexic moment: I thought that the title of the book “Crossed Blades” was “Crossed Ladies”.

Those books would probably have different plots & characters.

Lois McMaster Bujold’s books seem to find their way onto my re-read list, so I will have to add the new one to my “to read soonest” list.
So many books, so little time.

My mental calendar tends to be focused around two things: when my family vacations are scheduled for, and the release date of books in certain series. The main ones for me right now:

1. Dresden.
2. Wheel of Time.
3. Kingkiller Chronicles.
4. Way of Kings.
5. Song of Ice & Fire.

So, you know, if I could just borrow Cold Days for oh, 5 hours or so, that would be great…..

Ooooh a new Baba Yaga book. I am obsessed with fairy tale and folklore retellings and Baba Yaga books are few and far between, in the mix of Cinderella, Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty retellings. And Baba Yaga is so much more ambiguous and intriguing than so much of Western folklore. I am always excited to see writers using her mythology as a jumping off point, especially when it crosses into other fantasy subgenres….

So that’s my literary drool button. (don’t drool on the books!)

I have some serious want for several of those books. The new Lackey, Butcher, and Priest books are already on my list of WANT. But I’m also writing down some of those authors, who I have never heard of before, to add to my list of authors to check out. I don’t know how many of those books are sequels.

Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance! Bujold is wonderful for being thoughtful and funny in the same book. Plus I’ve wanted to hear Ivan’s side of things for a long time.

Of course, I wouldn’t mind having Cold Days, or Railsea, or several others.

The Bujold I’ve read already… In ebook form, plus the hardback arrived on Monday…
The Butcher is on my list. Others there are “well I might take a look…”, but nothing essential.

A few years ago, I read about six chapters of the first Dresden book. I had to discard it because the sexism was driving me up the wall. But the obvious approval of so many Scalzi-folks is making me wonder if I dropped it too soon. Should I take this thread as a sign that the series gets better in terms of its attitude to women/gender?

Mayer’s Power Under Pressure, 3rd in a trilogy – I took one columnist’s advice and plan to read the whole trilogy in one gulp, so I’m eager to see it out for real: an appealing, imaginative world. Priest’s Inexplicables next, but I haven’t managed to slog through that whole, ever-growing series yet either. (In fact, I’m getting rather sick of the whole series thing, even if the industry needs to do it, to rack up the bucks.) I’ve already checked off Railsea, it was released as hardback much eariler this year — and as another poster said here, it’s superlative, as you would come to expect with a Mieville work.

Amarantha: A few years ago, I read about six chapters of the first Dresden book. I had to discard it because the sexism was driving me up the wall. But the obvious approval of so many Scalzi-folks is making me wonder if I dropped it too soon. Should I take this thread as a sign that the series gets better in terms of its attitude to women/gender?

I would say yes. For what it’s worth, the first Dresden book is also Jim Butcher’s first published work (I think he was early twenties when he wrote it?). The writing and the characters (and the author, I’d imagine) have greatly matured as the series developed.

You have a blessed life, you have a couple books I’d love to read early. Butcher’s book, Mielville, Mercedes Lackey (yes I love her books, damn you all that disagree), and Turtledove. I hope you’re aren’t too busy reading or doing other things beyond writing your next book. :)

I’m definately going to look into those. The Barnes and Noble off base here has a really small sci-fi/fantasy section (that’s about the only place I get a chance to scope out new books), so its great to get a look at what other people are reading online.

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