Sunday, July 13, 2008

Books in the Mail (W/E 7/12)

It was a good week this past week, one of the better weeks for book hauls. I received a book I’ve been wanting to read since I read that particular author’s last book set in his secondary world and I received a beautiful advance of a modern classic of world literature. The list of books will be bookended by those two, the two I’m most looking forward to reading from this week's haul. Here goes:

Caine Black Knife by Matthew Stover – I haven’t been disappointed by anything he’s written and I’m really excited to see his return to Overworld and Caine. I will be re-reading both Heroes Die and Blade of Tyshalle before jumping into this one. The linked review for Blade was written a long time ago and quite a while after I read the book. I'll likely be posting my thoughts to both books as I re-read them.

The Man with the Iron Heart by Harry Turtledove – the master of Alternate History’s latest twisting of the past. Here, Hitler’s number 2 man Reinhard Heydrich, was not assassinated in 1942 changing the outcome of WWII and the rest of history drastically. I received the ARC for this almost two months ago.

Lord Tophet by Gregory Frost – I read and loved the first one, misplaced the ARC of this and was very pleased to see the final version of the book arrive in the mail this week. This is the direct sequel to Shadowbridge, which I really enjoyed earlier this year.

Cryptic: The Best Short Fiction of Jack McDevitt – I read a handful of his novels a few years ago and like them, for the most part. He’s one of those authors with whose work I really want to catch up. This looks pretty interesting and will be published by Subterranean in February 2009.

The Six Directions of Space by Alastair Reynolds - What if Genghis Khan got his wish, and brought the entire planet under the control of the Mongols? Where would he have gone next? A thousand years after Khan's death, Yellow Dog is the codename of a female spy working for a vast Mongol-dominated galactic empire. When she learns of anomalous events happening on the edge of civilised space -- phantom ships appearing in the faster-than-light transit system which binds the empire together -- Yellow Dog puts herself forward for the most hazardous assignment of her career.

I’ve read Revelation Space by him and some short fiction, too. This looks like an interesting little book from Subterranean set to publish in January 2009.

MultiReal by David Louis Edelman - This, of course, is the sequel to his brillant debut novel Infoquake, which published in 2006. If you skip to the acknowledgements section of the book, you might see a familiar name there. Well, I saw that acknowledgement after I nearly finished the book, which was absolutely brilliant. I read through the ARC and what arrived this week was the final book, with its glorious Stephan Martiniere cover.

A is for Alien by Caitlin R. Kiernan
- Award-winning author Caitlín R. Kiernan’s first collection devoted entirely to her science-fiction work. It includes the critically acclaimed novelette “Riding the White Bull” (chosen for The Year’s Best Science Fiction, 22nd Annual Collection), along with seven other tales of a less-than-utopian future. Ranging from the wastelands and mountains of Mars to the streets of a late 21st-Century Manhattan, from the moons of Europa and Saturn to an iceless Antarctica, these tales bring Kiernan’s trademark brand of the eco-gothic to bear on what it means to be human and the paths and decisions that may face mankind only a little farther along. This is an ARC, the book publishes in February 2009.

Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded by John Scalzi – This is basically the best of John’s Blog, one of my daily “must-visits” on the Web. There’s always something insightful or entertaining there. I loved his fiction (reading Zoe’s Tale right now) so this is a cool book to have. This one is publishing in September, again from Subterranean.

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon - The Shadow of the Wind has become an international phenomenon, a best-seller in dozens of countries.

"There's a great deal of love in Shadow, doomed and otherwise. Much of it is lavished upon a romantic dream of Barcelona as it might have been in the mid-20th century (in Zafon's hands, every scene seems to come from an early Orson Welles movie); even more is reserved for books. Shadow's narrator is a sweet kid named Daniel Sempere, whose mother has died and who is horrified to realize he can no longer clearly remember her face. When he tells his father this, the elder Sempere takes him to what is surely one of the more delightful locales in modern fiction: the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. There, he's told, a visitor may adopt one book which he will care for ever after, making sure it is never lost. Daniel chooses The Shadow of the Wind, by a forgotten writer (the Dow Mossman of his day, one might suppose) named Julian Carax, only to discover that a terrifying man -- if he is a man -- has made it his life's work to burn every Carax novel in existence. The story that follows includes murders, false identities, and two supremely satisfying love affairs. Be warned, you have to be a romantic at heart to appreciate this stuff, but if you are, this is one gorgeous read." - Stephen King

This is a really beautiful ARC, I can only imagine how great the final book will look. I was just speaking with a colleague at work about how we both wanted to read this one.

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