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New Books/ARCs, 11/19/14

As promised on Monday, here are the new books and ARCs that have come to the Scalzi Compound in the last couple of weeks. And I think it’s a very interesting haul. Let me know if you agree in the comments by telling me which books here most interest you.

By John Scalzi

I enjoy pie.

57 replies on “New Books/ARCs, 11/19/14”

Definitely want Unbound. And I know nothing about the author or the book, but Cat Out Of Hell looks intriguing…maybe it’s the font. If I had more time in my reading schedule, I’d probably add a few others to the list. But even with my guilt pile being mostly digital (e-book or Audible) these days, my space is overflowing with stacks of TBR treasures.

I really liked Undercity. I hadn’t read any of Catherine Asaro’s Skolian novels before — but I liked Undercity so well, that I am currently on novel 5 of 14 in a reading stampede through all the other Skolian novels. It’s Hard SF with very good, strong science behind the worldbuilding, and a series well-worth reading if you haven’t done so.

I was home sick from work so I bought the first two books of the Secret Worlds series, since it was on sale digitally at Amazon. I am thoroughly embarrassed by how much I enjoyed the first two books. I just bought the third, and expect that I’d very much like to read the fourth.

It’s truly awful SF. Almost embarrassing. And I love it. So sue me. I’m buying it anyway.

Since I just finished CODEX BORN by Hines, I have to read UNBOUND. I loved Lynne Trusse’s grammar book, EATS,SHOOTS, AND LEAVES but I’ve skimmed some of her short humor and felt kind of, well, “Meh,” so I don’t know about the cat one. UNDERCITY looks fun.

Cat Out of Hell sounds and looks like fun – a well-chosen title and design.

Heinlein’s early novella “Universe” is much superior, I think, to its sequel “Common Sense,” whose content is all rather predictable once the ending of “Universe” is reached; this is the main reason I resist the use of the Orphans of the Sky title that was first applied to the pair in the early 1960s, as if they constituted a novel. (For what it’s worth, the complete-works “Virginia Edition” also neglects that title and places the pair of novellas at the end of a two-volume rethinking/retitling of the single-volume 1967 Past Through Tomorrow anthology, which also includes all the stories in The Man Who Sold the Moon but ends with Methuselah’s Children.)

I just barely saved myself from entering an internet wormhole. I searched for information about The Vorrh, then its author Brian Catling, who is also a poet, sculptor, and performance artist. I watched part of a Youtube video of one of his performances, then searched for reviews of them, and then, just before I was about to disappear into a circling spiral of searches for the multiple obscure allusions in his work. Whew! The Vorrh does sound like an interesting read: blurbed by Alan Moore, compared to Joyce, and the first in a proposed trilogy.

Just preordered Unbound last night so it’s exciting to see it in actual book form out in the real world. One might ask if The Thing About Great White Sharks is that great white sharks are things. At least that’s what my mind did when I read the title.

Is Orphans of the Sky the one, or pair, about people on a generation spaceship who have forgotten that they were going somewhere due to a mutiny and treat all the science books as religious texts? I had to read that for Academic Decathlon in high school but couldn’t remember the title. Most Heinlein I’ve reread has made me wince a bit, but I’d like to try that one again.

Wow! Lee and Miller, (I have the hardback), some reprint Heinlein, and is that a new Asaro? I had stopped looking for her. Now I get to check and see if I missed any!

Robin: “Universe” and its sequel novella “Common Sense” don’t have any female characters to speak of, thus eliminating one possible source of Heinlein-induced wince-making. Yes, the generation ship is the one you describe. (As noted earlier, Orphans of the Sky was just a title of convenience slapped onto the pair of novellas for book publication in 1963, 22 years after they first appeared in Astounding magazine. “Universe” was also published separately as a paperback in the 1950s.)

On Her Majesty’s Behalf? Not sure about that title but sounds like fun. Darkling Sea, Trade Secrets and The Mountain Story could be worth a gander. Will give the Shark one a miss. Looks a bit self important.

I just noticed the Mercedes Lackey book with no fewer than three sub-authors. Seeing this gives the impression that Lackey (whose work I’ve never read) couldn’t sufficiently interest herself in telling the story to do so without help – it is Book Four, after all. Perhaps there is no Lackey, just the other three who are asserting themselves at long last.

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