Sunday, September 20, 2009

Books in the Mail (W/E 09/20/2009)

I get a lot of books for review on a weekly (and sometimes a daily) basis. Unfortunately, I’m not a speed reader and can’t read everything that arrives in my mailbox/in front of my garage/on my front step. This weekly post of arrivals is my effort to at least point out what comes in and not ignore it.

And Another Thing... (Book #6 in The Hithchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Trilogy) by Eoin Colfer (Hyperion Trade Paperback 10/11/2009) – I have a deep affection for the first 4 or 5 books in the trilogy and have read them each a couple of times. My wife loves the books, too. There seems to be some positivity surrounding this continuation of a deceased author’s defining work, quite the opposite of what’s happening with the Dune books.

An Englishman's continuing search through space and time for a decent cup of tea . .

Arthur Dent's accidental association with that wholly remarkable book, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, has not been entirely without incident.

Arthur has travelled the length breadth and depth of known, and unknown, space. He has stumbled forwards and backwards through time. He has been blown up, reassembled, cruelly imprisoned, horribly released, and colorfully insulted more than is strictly necessary. And of course Arthur Dent has comprehensively failed to grasp the meaning of life, the universe, and everything.

Arthur has finally made it home to Earth, but that does not mean he has escaped his fate.

Arthur's chances of getting his hands on a decent cuppa have evaporated rapidly along with all the world's oceans. For no sooner has he touched down on the planet Earth than he finds out that it is about to be blown up . . . ..again.

And Another Thing . . . is the rather unexpected, but very welcome, sixth installment of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series. It features a pantheon of unemployed gods, everyone's favorite renegade Galactic President, a lovestruck green alien, an irritating computer, and at least one very large slab of cheese.

Dust of Dreams (A Tale of the Malazan Book of the Fallen) by Steven Erikson (Bantam/Transworld Hardcover 08/18/2009) – This was a nice surprise in my mailbox! I just finished Reaper’s Gale about a week and a half ago so I’m still a book away from getting to this. However, as l mentioned in that post, Owen (aka kater) reviewed Dust of Dreams for SFFWorld:

You know the drill by now, this is the ninth Malazan book written by Steven Erikson, the twelfth overall, and if you haven’t read the rest you’re beyond help.

That being said, sturdy companion, if you’re at this point of your own free will – the end is nigh. This epic, compelling and indeed, at times, maddening series is but one weighty tome away from conclusion. But do we go there armed with answers or too many questions? Unfortunately it is heavily the latter.

The first and most interesting answer (it ISN’T a spoiler don’t worry) is that Dust of Dreams is in fact the end. It seems that so large is the final chapter of Erikson’s masterpiece, which he explains in the foreword, that it needed to be split into two.

My Dead Body (Joe Pitt Casebook #5) by Charlie Huston (Del Rey Paperback 10/13/2009) – I read and really enjoyed the first Joe Pitt Casebook, Already Dead, andI interviewed Charlie a couple of years ago after the first Joe Pitt Casebook. Now that the series is finished, maybe I’ll finally catch up with all of them.


Just ask Joe Pitt. After exposing the secret source of blood for half of Manhattan’s Vampyres, he’s definitely a dead man walking. He’s been a punching bag and a bullet magnet for every Vampyre Clan in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx, not to mention a private eye, an enforcer, an exile, and a vigilante, but now he’s just a target with legs.

For a year he’s sloshed around the subway tunnels and sewers, tapping the veins of the lost, while above ground a Vampyre civil war threatens to drag the Clans into the sunlight once and for all. What’s it gonna take to dig him up? Just the search for a missing girl who’s carrying a baby that just might be the destiny of Vampyre-kind. Not that Joe cares all that much about destiny and such. What he cares about is that his ex-girl Evie wants him to take the gig. What’s the risk? Another turn playing pigeon in a shooting gallery. What’s the reward? Maybe one shot of his own. What’s he aiming for? Nothing much. Just all the evil at the heart of his world.

Prince of Storms (Book Four of The Entire and the Rose) by Kay Kenyon (Tor Hardcover 01/15/2010) – I read all three books in this series Bright of the Sky, A World too Near, and City Without End) as each was released and thoroughly enjoyed them. This series is captivating and entertaining.:

Finally in control of the Ascendancy, Titus Quinn has styled himself Regent of the Entire. But his command is fragile. He rules an empire with a technology beyond human understanding; spies lurk in the ancient Magisterium; the Tarig overlords are hamstrung but still malevolent. Worse, his daughter Sen Ni opposes him for control, believing the Earth and its Rose universe must die to sustain the failing Entire. She is aided by one of the mystical pilots of the River Nigh, the space-time transport system. This navitar, alone among all others, can alter future events. He retires into a crystal chamber in the Nigh to weave reality and pit his enemies against each other.

Taking advantage of these chaotic times, the great foe of the Long War, the Jinda ceb Horat, create a settlement in the Entire. Masters of supreme technology, they maintain a lofty distance from the Entire's struggle. They agree, however, that the Tarig must return to the fiery Heart of their origins. With the banishment immanent, some Tarig lords rebel, fleeing to hound the edges of Quinn's reign.

Meanwhile, Quinn's wife Anzi becomes a hostage and penitent among the Jinda ceb, undergoing alterations that expose their secrets, but may estrange her from her husband. As Quinn moves toward a confrontation with the dark navitar, he learns that the stakes of the conflict go far beyond the Rose versus the Entire—extending to a breathtaking dominance. The navitar commands forces that lie at the heart of the Entire's geo-cosmology, and will use them to alter the calculus of power. As the navitar's plan approaches consummation, Quinn, Sen Ni, and Anzi are swept up in forces that will leave them forever changed.

In this rousing finale to Kenyon's celebrated quartet, Titus Quinn meets an inevitable destiny, forced at last to make the unthinkable choice for or against the dictates of his heart, for or against the beloved land.

Starship Flagship (Book Five of the Starship Series) by Mike Resnick (Pyr, Hardcover December 2009) –I’ve read the first three books (Starship: Mutiny, Starship: Pirate, Starship: Mercenary) in the series and really enjoyed them, and have had the fourth bookStarship Rebel on the to read pile since receiving it last year. With the concluding two volumes I’ll probably read them back-to-back.

The date is 1970 of the Galactic Era, almost three thousand years from now, and the Republic, created by the human race but not yet dominated by it, finds itself in an all-out war against the Teroni Federation, an alliance of races that resent Man's growing military and economic power.

The rebel starship, the Theodore Roosevelt, under the command of Wilson Cole, is preparing to lead Cole's ragtag armada into the Republic, even though he is outnumbered thousands to one. Cole is convinced that the government has become an arrogant and unfeeling political entity and must be overthrown.

The trick is to avoid armed conflict with the vast array of ships, numbering in the millions, in the Republic's Navy. For a time Cole's forces strike from cover and race off to safety, but he soon sees that is no way to conquer the mightiest political and military machine in the history of the galaxy. He realizes that he must reach Deluros VIII, the headquarters world of the Republic (and of the race of Man), in order to have any effect on the government at all—but Deluros VIII is the best-protected world in the Republic.

But a new threat looms on the horizon. Cole, the Valkyrie, David Copperfield, Sharon Blacksmith, Jacovic, and the rest of the crew of the Teddy R face their greatest challenge yet, and the outcome will determine the fate of the entire galaxy.

No comments: