New Books and ARCs, 4/29/15

It’s been a week of new books and ARCs, and here’s today’s installment (there will be another one tomorrow, too!). What in this stack catches your fancy? Make note of it in the comments!

41 Comments on “New Books and ARCs, 4/29/15”

  1. Karen A. Wyle – I'm an appellate attorney, an author, a photographer, a politics junkie, and a Hoosier (aka intermittent fan of IU basketball). My published work (aside from law review/legal journal articles) includes multiple science fiction novels, some near future and some involving other planets, equipped with aliens. More recently, I've veered off into historical romance, specifically a series called Cowbird Creek and set in 1870s Nebraska. I've also published one nonfiction book, Closest to the Fire: A Writer's Guide to Law and Lawyers. While originally intended to help writers use accurate details in their legal settings and expand the scope of such stories, I realized while writing it -- and have heard from readers -- that it could also be of use and interest to students, immigrants, and anyone interested in better understanding the American legal landscape. My other blog, Looking Around, is at

    The title Day Four intrigues me.

  2. I am happy to see Scott Sigler thriving as a published writer. I was a great fan of EarthCore as a podcast during the very original run.

  3. Marion writes:

    Anyone else find the layout on THE PEN IS MIGHTIER a bit startling? No? Just me, then.

    Yep. Perhaps its the lighting on the foil, but it looks to me like the roughened font and the uneven kerning makes that title a bit ambiguous.

    It’s not quite as ambiguous as the Beggars in Spam edition of Nacy Kress’ Beggars in Spain.

  4. Marion – I am wondering if the kerning of the title on The Pen Is Mightier is purposely bad. If not, there’s a cover designer out there that perhaps is not up to the job.

  5. Shawn – Ohio, USA – Early to bed, early or whirlybird or something. Bored now, bye. Don't step on any Lego's 'cause it _Hurts_!
    Shawn T

    Marion – “The Fen Is hngh?” Lessee, “The Pen is Mightler, uh, Mightier.”
    The Sarah Lotz and the “Attack of the Mutant Aflatoxin” ones look interesting.
    Jay Lonner: Automated Aristocrats yeah, -sigh.-

  6. Yeah, I think THE PENIS MIGHTIER is one of those titles that calls out for mixed-case lettering (or at least full caps/small caps) on the spine lettering.

    For once I’ve actually read one of these books, and can say that THE GOSPEL OF LOKI is a real treat.

  7. I like to think the kerning on THE PEN IS MIGHTIER is deliberate purely to get a rise out of people. It’s hard to know where the author’s been shafted or whether it’s their choice, although someone with the balls to call their book THE PEN IS MIGHTIER is inviting people to look down at it and snigger.

  8. Scrolled down to read discussion about Penis. Was not disappointed.

    Seriously though, I really hope that was intentional.

  9. Ana – Hello there! I am Ana, from Portugal and I absolutely love to read and review the books I come across, mostly here on Ana's Lair and Goodreads, but I will also post them on Amazon if requested. My favourite genres are psychological thrillers, some general fiction, horror and some fantasy and sci-fi, more particularly but not limited to dystopia and speculative fiction. I like books that make me think "what if...", fantasy that is believable, well built concepts. I am not a fan of romance, vampires or zombies. I guess you could say I am not a fan of YA in general, as it always seems to feature at least one of those. Ultimately, I am in it for the world and the story. I could not care less whether the guy is hot or not. I am always utterly honest in my reviews, for better or for worse, and do my best to justify the rating I give. I have found that Netgalley keeps me plenty occupied so I very rarely take on new books, especially if I feel I will not enjoy them and therefore will not be able to present a positive review, so please don't take it to heart if I do not accept your offer. That's about it, thank you for your time and I hope we can chat sometime!

    I only read Infected by Scott Sigler but I can tell I would enjoy most if not all of his work. Pretty sure the book is part of a trilogy; I need to get to it eventually.

  10. I am the author of “The Pen is Mightier” — the snigger-inducing reference to the SNL Celebrity Jeopardy skit is intentional. The book is fantasy-satire, and partially inspired by Scalzi. As “Redshirts” is to “Star Trek”, “The Pen is Mightier” is to GRRM’s ASOIAF.

  11. I’ve received an ARC of ALIVE myself, read it, and I can tell you all it is a fantastic book. (Though I’m saddened that the publisher decided to change the cover. Go check out the difference between the ARC cover and the new cover. The ARC cover I’d willingly pick up off the shelf; the new one, I would not have even given a second glance.)

  12. Also — the copy I sent to John had a preliminary cover design; the cover has been finalized for Kindle (and other ebook formats) and is for sale. The paperback with the finalized cover will be available soon.

  13. Jay – New Bern, NC – INGREDIENTS: coffee, books, music, podcasts, NPR, cats, movies, the Oxford comma, and Netflix - - - WARNING: may contain nuts - - - MADE IN THE USA
    Jay E.

    The Door in the Moon and The Venusian Gambit.

    The Pen Is Mightier would benefit from a slightly different font; one that doesn’t lend itself to quite so much innuendo. Unless, of course, that was the intent.

  14. I like the title of Within These Walls and both the Pyr offerings look tempting. Looks like being a writer gets you lots of books to read…BONUS!

  15. 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

    I may be biased but I’m torn between the Scott Sigler and the Mark Hodder.

  16. Since when did all books have all their titles printed top-to-bottom on the spine? Or is it just SF books? Checking bookshelves I generally have to keep twisting my head one way and the other to read the titles, and it’s really annoying.

    There should be a law.


  17. I hated “The Gospel of Loki”, I would have thrown it through the room if the book design hadn’t been so very pretty. Instead I took it to a book exchange cupboard in town.

    The Edda has been told so often that it’s all in the telling, not in the plot. and a whiny narrator who mocks all the men for being stupid and all the woman for being vain and/or ugly and having lose morals is not even a parody, it’s just nails-on-chalkboard.

    I had to wiki the author, and then double-check other sources to convince myself that she’s not a 19yo girl working through “all the jocks hate me because I’m so clever” high school issues.

  18. Inge – you’re probably unlikely to re read the book, but if you ever do, it might alter your perception of it to consider that Loki himself is both dishonest and an “all the jocks hate me because I’m so clever” type.

  19. I am the author of “The Pen is Mightier” — the snigger-inducing reference to the SNL Celebrity Jeopardy skit is intentional. The book is fantasy-satire, and partially inspired by Scalzi. As “Redshirts” is to “Star Trek”, “The Pen is Mightier” is to GRRM’s ASOIAF.

    So if GRRM reads it, he will have nightmares to the end of his days?

  20. Very intrigued by “The Venusian Gambit” and “The Pen is Mightier” (also the title of a fictional book mentioned in the work of fiction “Miss Buncle’s Book” by D. E. Stevenson). Apparently I have little company :)

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