Sunday, July 05, 2009

Books in the Mail (W/E 07/04/2009)

It's time for the usual Sunday post where I inform my faithful readers of the books that arrived on my doorstep/in front of my garage/in my mailbox the prior week. With the holiday, it was a pretty slow week. Here goes...

Zadayi Red by Caleb Fox (Tor Hardcover 07/07/2009) – A debut novel publishing in hardcover from Tor is a good sign for this Native American flavored fantasy.

A young Shaman of the Galayi people has had a powerful and frightening vision: it is of the Eagle Feather Cape, the gift of the Thunderbird, which is worn by the Seer of the People to see the future and gain the guidance of the gods. The cape is torn and bloody, and it will no longer bring visions to the Seer of the People. But the Shaman's vision also tells her of the cure: a child will be born to the People, a hero who will restore the cape and return the goodwill of the gods to the People.

Dahzi may be that hero, if he can survive the hatred of his grandfather. He was born after his mother’s death, as she fled from her father’s anger. But Dahzi carries the hope of all of his People, along with the power to become a great Chief. He will be tested--by his family, by his people, and by the Gods.

Zadayi Red is a magnificent retelling of a Cherokee legend. It brings to life an ancient people and a time of magic in a warm and intimate storyteller’s voice.

Not Less Than Gods (A novel of Company) by Kage Baker (Subterranean Press Signed/Numbered (limited to 474) Hardcover 12/17/2009) – Victorian Steampunky goodness from a writer who revels in such stories. This novel takes place in the same universe as Baker’s popular Company novels and stories.

On a dark evening in 1824, a lady is offered a ride home in the carriage of a dark and mysterious stranger and a boy is conceived, to the strains of Beethoven's brand-new setting to the Ode to Joy. Groomed from childhood to become a perfect British hero, young Edward Alton Bell-Fairfax proceeds uncertainly through public school, a career in the navy, mutiny and court-martial before discovering his true place in life. There is, in Whitehall, a comfortable and slightly shabby club called Redking's. Downstairs from Redking's, however, is concealed the London headquarters of the Gentlemen's Speculative Society... a centuries-old fraternity devoted to the development of what its members call Technologia. Their goal is to bring about a Utopian paradise of science, through the manipulation of men and governments. Edward, as one of their agents, sets off on an odyssey across 19th-century Europe, encountering on the way flying machines, self-propelled carriages, and an Underground Galvanic Railway... and learns that the Society, in its various disguises, is everywhere.

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