Sunday, August 31, 2008

Books in the Mail (W/E 8/30/2008)

Sly Mongoose by Tobias Buckell - I read this a few weeks ago and posted my review a couple of weeks ago as well. Buckell continues to tell terrific stories in a wonderfully created far future. From my review:
Space Pirates vs. Space Zombies – This is just one way to give a brief snapshot of what to expect in Tobias Buckell’s latest space opera, Sly Mongoose. This rip-roaring novel is the third in a sequence of novels beginning with Crystal Rain, continuing in Ragamuffin, as well as some of Buckell’s short fiction and matches up as well with the previous entries.

Over the course of three novels, Buckell has revealed a galaxy with rich backdrop, one whose cultures truly standout from much of his contemporaries. The Caribbean flavored galaxy, mixed with some Mexican cultures provides a very unique extrapolation of today’s world onto a grand scale.
Icarus at the Edge of Time by Brian Greene - From one of America’s leading physicists—a moving and visually stunning futuristic reimagining of the Icarus fable.

The starship Proxima is on a twenty-five-trillion mile journey. Icarus was born on the ship as was his father and his father’s father, but there will be two more generations before the Proxima reaches its destination. As the tale begins, the Proxima is making an emergency diversion to avoid a black hole. Icarus wants to get a closer look. Although his father explains that when something goes into a black hole it never comes out, Icarus is confident that he can journey to the black hole’s edge and still make it back. He sneaks one of the Runabout ships out of the docking station and sets off to explore the black hole on his own. The result is unexpected and startling. Icarus returns to find his world profoundly and forever transformed.

In Icarus at the Edge of Time Brian Greene has given us a fable about fathers and sons, curiosity and wisdom, and the complexity of the universe as only a physicist of his range and lucidity could. Designed by Chip Kidd—with full-color images from the Hubble Space Telescope—it is destined to be a classic for all ages.

Orcs by Stan Nicholls - I’ve seen very varying opinions on Nichollss’s work, but this does look interesting and Orbit is making a pretty big push with this omnibus of three novels and a short story.

"Look at me. Look at the Orc."

"There is fear and hatred in your eyes. To you I am a monster, a skulker in the shadows, a fiend to scare your children with. A creature to be hunted down and slaughtered like a beast in the fields.

It is time you pay heed to the beast. And see the beast in yourself. I have your fear. But I have earned your respect.

Hear my story. Feel the flow of blood and be thankful. Thankful that it was me, not you, who bore the sword. Thankful to the orcs; born to fight, destined to win peace for all."

This book will change the way you feel about Orcs forever.

American Widow by Alissa R. Torres and illustrated by Sungyoon Choi - Synopsis

On September 10, 2001, Eddie Torres started his dream job at Cantor Fitzgerald in the North Tower of the World Trade Center. The next morning, he said goodbye to his 7½-months-pregnant wife, Alissa, and headed out the door.

In an instant, Alissa’s world was thrown into chaos. Forced to deal with unimaginable challenges, Alissa suddenly found herself cast into the role of “9/11 widow,” tossed into a storm of bureaucracy, politics, patriotism, mourning, consolation, and, soon enough, motherhood.

Beautifully and thoughtfully illustrated, American Widow is the affecting account of one woman’s journey through shock, pain, birth, and rebirth in the aftermath of a great tragedy. It is also the story of a young couple’s love affair: how a Colombian immigrant and a strong-minded New Yorker met, fell in love, and struggled to fulfill their dreams. Above all, American Widow is a tribute to the resilience of the human heart and the very personal story of how one woman endured a very public tragedy.

The Way of Shadows (Night Angel Trilogy #1) by Brent Weeks New book from a new author, which looks interesting and with the thief/assassin character, it will likely draw comparisons of some sort to Scott Lynch. I’ll give it a try with reservations if only because of my bad experience with Karen Miller’s Empress..

For Durzo Blint, assassination is an art-and he is the city’s most accomplished artist.

For Kyllar Stern, survival is essential. As a guild rat, he’s learned to judge people quickly-and to take risks. Risks like apprenticing himself to Durzo Blint.

But to be accepted, he must turn his back on everything he has ever known.

The perfect killer has no friends. He only has targets

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