Tag Archives: books

Goodies for the New Year!

 

I snagged me some books for the New Year as Winterfest gifts. Should keep me busy for a bit:

 

A) Angles of Attack by Marko Kloos — The third in Kloos’ noted military SF Frontline series has the main characters trying to put their new knowledge about the powerful alien invaders to use in last ditch efforts to save the Earth and its colonies. One thing I like about Kloos’ series is that his aliens are really alien, which makes the attempts dealing with them interesting beyond the usual military hardware and barking soldiers. The second book in the series was a much stronger entry than the first one, so I’m looking forward to seeing where the story goes from here.

B) Wanderers by Chuck Wendig — I’m attempting to finish off Wendig’s contemporary fantasy Miriam Black series of which I am fond, but in the meantime my mom got me his latest hefty and acclaimed post-apocalypse novel. Earth society is collapsing from a strange epidemic in which many people are sleepwalking towards some destination, with their desperate, unaffected relatives accompanying them and trying to figure out how to save them. Wendig is one of those authors who builds stories around the truly weird and this is his most ambitious work to date.

C) No Country for Old Gnomes by Delilah S. Dawson & Kevin Hearne — This is the second in Dawson and Hearne’s comic fantasy series The Tales of Pell that started with Kill the Farm Boy, which both I and my husband much enjoyed. Satirizing fairy tales and fantasy fiction requires sharp dialogue and whacky action, something both authors excel at, along with an unexpectedly high body count and a love of cheese. This next novel tackles a long standing conflict between gnomes and halflings and offers a whole new crew of characters.

D) Murderbot: All Systems Red by Martha Wells — Wells has been making great waves with her novella/short novel SF series featuring Murderbot, a corporate-owned security android that has hacked its controlling governor’s module. In this first entry of the series, which won the Nebula Award for Best Novella, an otherwise boring contract assignment escorting a group of scientists turns dangerous and complicated for Murderbot when unexpected fauna is discovered on the planet and another survey group is mysteriously slaughtered.

E) Terminal Uprising by Jim C. Hines — This is the second book in Hines’ comic SF Janitors of the Post-Apocalypse series. The first, Terminal Alliance, is one of my favorite things that Hines has done, so I am quite happy to have this one continuing the adventures and haphazard conspiracy solving skills of the hygiene and sanitary space crew who mop up after the galaxy’s crises. The backstory of humanity in this story universe is quite complicated and Hines mixes it expertly with satire, poignancy and pretty interesting space battles. (I also love the covers on these.)

F) Hollywood Homicide by Kellye Garrett — The non-SFF title of the bunch (I do have some,) is a personable amateur murder mystery story set in L.A. A down-on-her-luck former actress trying to save her parents’ house ends up investigating a hit and run death in an attempt to get the reward money for information on the case. She is aided by a small crew of interesting friends. The book is a first in the series, Detective By Day, and is a touch satiric. Garrett, a former t.v. writer, knows all the costuming and rituals of Tinseltown and puts them to sharp but affectionate use. The novel won the Anthony, Agatha and Lefty Awards for mystery.

 

 

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Interesting Writings on a…Seriously? More snow? The leaves are changing for fall in Australia already.

1) Justine Larbalestier makes what is a rare online appearance for her these days to explain to writers why they should love their bad reviews, not go around bullying reviewers and making themselves look silly in:

http://justinelarbalestier.com/blog/2011/03/06/i-love-bad-reviews/

2) Borders has a fun thing on their blog where they have authors duel each other in conversations. Joe Abercrombie has participated in several of these to great effect. He’s currently hamming it up with fellow author Anton Strout about D&D and many other things. Go check it out:

http://bordersblog.com/scifi/2011/03/01/joe-abercrombie-and-anton-strout/neutral-evil/

3) Salon’s aviation expert points out the mindscrew of clean water and electronics in the Third World and what that means for the whole world:

http://www.salon.com/news/air_travel/index.html?story=/tech/col/smith/2011/03/09/clean_water_third_world_electronics

4) The talented author N.K. Jemisin talks about the job of the writer regarding reader expectations:

http://nkjemisin.com/2011/03/my-job-is-to-break-your-heart

5) Marty Halpern talks about the perpetual zombie meme of SF dying:

http://martyhalpern.blogspot.com/2011/03/earl-kemps-who-killed-science-fiction.html

6) Paul di Filippo looks at the zombie meme in a different way:

http://bnreview.barnesandnoble.com/t5/The-Speculator/Beyond-the-Horizon-21st-Century-SF/ba-p/3847

7) Author Stephen Hunt declares that the BBC in the UK really needs to stop sometimes putting up the imaginary wall between university professors who are writing contemporary drama and university professors who are writing science fiction and fantasy, or at least if you’re going to have the imaginary wall, don’t leave out SFF when you’re trashing genres on your programs:

http://www.sfcrowsnest.com/articles/news/2011/One-Genre-to-bring-them-all-and-in-the-darkness-bind-them-15938.php

8 ) Publisher Lou Anders once again tries to explain that it does take work and cost to make decent e-books for retail sale. It will fall on deaf ears but like Hunt’s war on the BBC, we must try now and again to instill some sense:

http://louanders.blogspot.com/2011/03/just-for-record.html

9) In the wake of the death of children’s author Brian Jacques, teacher and writer John Ottinger tells a lovely story about the magic that is books and why it is important to let kids read whatever they want, that art is broader than your philosophy, Horatio. Jacques’ books will be doing this sort of thing for decades to come:

http://www.tor.com/blogs/2011/03/brian-jacques-and-the-boy-who-wouldnt-read

10) Literary agent Rachelle Gardner continues her thankless task of trying to explain to writers how publishing actually works:

http://cba-ramblings.blogspot.com/2011/03/myth-busting-part-1.html

11) Author Cat Valente deals with the idea that all art in any form in the electrosphere should just be one price, the price we used to charge for things in 1968:

http://yuki-onna.livejournal.com/636473.html

12) Chuck Wendig suggests that investing in authors is a good thing for everybody:

http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2011/03/21/the-care-and-feeding-of-your-favorite-authors/

13) The Crotchety Old Fan, getting crotchety about the disdain given to some sorts of older SF, comes up with a great idea: call it all Rocketpunk! I’m on board:

http://www.rimworlds.com/thecrotchetyoldfan/2011/03/the-new-sf-sub-genre-is-here


Yes, I had a lot of them saved up. More reading for you!


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