Thursday, August 31, 2006

Nice Bird, Asshole.

I know I may be a bit late in singing the praises of Scott Lynch's debut novel, but I should hope this doesn’t make these praises any less worthy. After just finishing Infoquake, I suppose I can consider myself lucky at having read two of the best debut novels in their respective branches of Speculative Fiction in the past few years. So far these are the two best books I’ve read this year, although Sean Williams The Crooked Letter might make it a three-way tie for my top pick from this year’s bunch of books.

The Lies of Lock Lamora was a great, entertaining, balls against the wall story. Its no wonder the book has been optioned by Hollywood, Mr. Lynch writes with a very cinematic style. Few people have as good a pen for dialogue as him, except maybe Matthew Stover. For a book that isn’t explicitly comedy, it has some of the best one-liners in any genre or book.

I loved the alternating chapters, between Lock’s “now” and his youth with Chains. It is a good technique to shuffle the reader’s perceptions about the characters with each past revelation. It also worked to build the tension enough at the end of each chapter with the slight shift in tone from past to present.

The book reminded me in parts of Steven Brust, Goodfellas, Matthew Stover and the film Snatch. This works great for me since I love Brust and Stover’s writing and count Goodfellas as one of my top 10 favorite films.

Besides, how can you NOT like a book that’s got a quote for the crazy old closer from the Phillies, Mitch Williams?

I’ve a strong feeling* The Lies of Lock Lamora is just the tip of Lynch’s iceberg. This is a very good thing indeed.

*well duh, the second book comes out next year and just about everybody who reads in the genre knows about the project 7 books in the series, not to mention the three novellas.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

A Genre Reawakening

Infoquake just might be THE Science Fiction novel of the year, if not the past five years. David Louis Edleman has done so many things right in this book, from the plausible next steps in human society to the characters, all the notes ring true.

The future history only begs for MORE background, to the Reawakening to the Three Jesuses to the typical lunar colonies, he has it all mapped out and Infoquake is only the tip of the iceberg. Edleman has a fascinating background and timeline mapped out at

I hope most of my reviews are fair, though I know a share of them tend to be enthusiastic. I hope my earlier praise of some novels doesn't lessen my enthusiasim for Infoquake. I've said it before and I'll say it again, Pyr is publishing some great books, but this might be the book that puts them over the top in terms of US genre publishing.

The last book I read when it first came out (I know that is something of a qualifier) that had me this enthusiastic was Greg Keyes' The Briar King.

I also posted my review of Wayne Thomas Batson's fine young adult fantasy Rise of the Wyrm Lord.

I need to see thos motherfucking snakes!

Boston Massacer 2006 - Holy Crap! I expected the Yankees to win three, but a sweep. That was very nice.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Short Book post

Yesterday, I posted my review of Novik's Black Powder War by Naomi Novik. I've also been making my way through the John Scalzi edited cliche issue of Subterranean. So far, I think Allen Steele's The Last Sceince Fiction Writer is the best of the bunch. I just finished David Louis Edelman's Infoquake and loved it. Easily one of the best of the year, and maybe last couple of years. More when the review goes up on SFFWorld.

Sunday, August 06, 2006


Tales from the Darkside is coming to the SciFi Channel. I have a lot of fond, terrible memories of this show from the 80s. It was an anthology, much like The Twilight Zone, except with a much darker tone, as evidenced by the opening voice-over:

Man lives in the sunlit world
of what he believes to be reality.
But, there is, unseen by most, an underworld,
a place that is just as real,
but not as brightly lit.....

Some of the episodes were kind of cheesy, and I don't know how they would all hold up today, but I liked them well enough back then. I'm surprised it took this long for SciFi to pick up the series.

I’ve seen this on the blogs/LJs and The Hornswaggler tagged me, so here goes.

1. One book that changed your life?
One? Only one? Don’t know if I can narrow it down all that much. A lot of books changed me in discreet ways I have only noticed years later.

2. One book you have read more than once?
The Talisman by Stephen King and Peter Straub – I traveled with Jack to the Territories about once a year in high school and was heartbroken each time I read of Wolf’s fate. I’ve read many books multiple times, but this was the first book I probably read more than once.

3. One book you would want on a desert island?
“How to Survive on a Desert Island and Not Go Apeshit” Oh, a real book? Maybe some kind of survival guide I suppose.

4. One book that made you laugh?
Probably the most recent book to give me the most laughter was Neil Gaiman’s Anansi Boys.

5. One book that made you cry?
Old Yeller when I was twelve.

6. One book you wish had been written?
Respect: How a Young Man from New Jersey Made It

7. One book you wish had never had been written?
I don’t know, maybe Mein Kampf?

8. One book you are currently reading?
Infoquake by David Louis Edleman during lunch breaks at work and The Year’s Best Science Fiction, 23rd Edition edited by Gardner Dozois at home.

9. One book you have been meaning to read?
Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond.

10. Now tag five people.
I'm so late to this meme, I think most people have already done it. If you haven't I'm tagging you. YES, YOU!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Subterranean Ghosts

I posted my review of John Scalzi's The Ghost Brigades today. For the SFFWorld Science Fiction Book Club this past May, the discussion book happened to be John's Old Man's War, which I enjoyed a great deal. If ound the book to be a good balance of action, character, humor, and story, so I was looking forward to The Ghost Brigades. While TGB was a different book, I enjoyed it no less and liked it probably just as much, although for different reasons.

As serendipity or coincidence would have it, when I stopped by the local Borders for Locus yesterday, I was surprised to see they had the SF Cliche issue of Subterranean magazine guest edited by Mr. Scalzi. I'll be diving into the magazine tomorrow.

It is hot as balls in New Jersey. My pool is in the middle of my back yard and as a result, is under the shade of no tree. Today, the pool water was up in the 90s. I might have a shipment of ice delivered to drop in this weekend.