I was trying to hold off from buying new books until after my vacation later this month as my stacks are getting pretty high, however, I just happened to be next to one of my favorite bookstores recently which sells new and used books side by side. If you are ever in the area I recommend checking out The Montclair Book Center in NJ. Even their new books are discounted. Here is what I picked up:
Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay - I always try to take note of what other people consider the best books or authors and Kay is always highly praised. Aidan has been mentioning Kay quite a bit lately as one of his favorites so I thought I would finally take the plunge. And Pat just did a post about him as well.
Publishers Weekly: "Kay brings to life a layered, pragmatic world of magic and difficult choices, where brutality and beauty coexist. Eight of the nine provinces of the Peninsula of the Palm, on a world with two moons, have fallen to the warrior sorcerers Brandin of Ygrath and Alberico of Barbadior. Brandin's younger son is slain in a battle with the principality of Tigana, which the grief-stricken sorcerer then destroys. Years later, a small band of survivors, led by Alessan, last prince of Tigana's royal house, wages psychological warfare, planting seeds for the overthrow of the two tyrants. At the center of these activities are Devin, a gifted young singer; Catriana, a young woman pursued by suspicions of her family's guilt; and Duke Sandre d'Astibar, a wily resistance leader thought dead. Meanwhile, at Brandin's court, Dianora, his favorite concubine and--unknown to anyone, another survivor of Tigana--struggles between her growing love for the often gentle tyrant and her desire for vengeance. Gradually the scene is set for both conquerors to destroy each other and free a land. Tolkien protege Kay's brilliant and complex portrayal of good and evil, high and low, will draw readers to this consuming epic."
Part noir, part psychedelic romp, all Thomas Pynchon— private eye Doc Sportello comes, occasionally, out of a marijuana haze to watch the end of an era as free love slips away and paranoia creeps in with the L.A. fog.
It's been awhile since Doc Sportello has seen his ex-girlfriend. Suddenly out of nowhere she shows up with a story about a plot to kidnap a billionaire land developer whom she just happens to be in love with. Easy for her to say. It's the tail end of the psychedelic sixties in L.A., and Doc knows that "love" is another of those words going around at the moment, like "trip" or "groovy," except that this one usually leads to trouble. Despite which he soon finds himself drawn into a bizarre tangle of motives and passions whose cast of characters includes surfers, hustlers, dopers and rockers, a murderous loan shark, a tenor sax player working undercover, an ex-con with a swastika tattoo and a fondness for Ethel Merman, and a mysterious entity known as the Golden Fang, which may only be a tax dodge set up by some dentists.
Here is the book trailer, which is narrated by the elusive author:
Crows & Cards by Joseph Helgerson - This caught my wife's eye. She wanted to read the Pynchon as well.
Three warnings for readers who hate surprises: 1. Beware of slivers, 2. and gamblers, 3. and aces. Zebulon Crabtree found all that out the hard way back in 1849 when his mother and father shipped him off to St. Louis to apprentice with a tanner. Too bad he had serious allergies to fur and advice from his parents. Hearing the beat of a different drummer, Zeb takes up with a riverboat gambler who has some special plans for him, crosses paths with a slave who turns out to be a better friend than cook, and learns that some Indian medicine men can see even though blind. And then there’s the Brotherhood—the one that Zeb can’t seem to get out of . . . Lucky for us, the price of living in turbulent times is often a good story, and Zeb spins an unforgettable one.
The Sheriff of Yrnameer by Michael Rubens - I've been hearing mixed things about this, but I got a review copy so I thought I would give it a shot at some point. I do enjoy humorous sci-fi.
Meet Cole: hapless space rogue, part-time smuggler, on a path to being full-time dead. His sidekick just stole his girlfriend. The galaxy's most hideous and feared bounty hunter wants to lay eggs in his brain. And the luxury space yacht Cole just hijacked turns out of be filled with interstellar do-gooders, one especially loathsome stowaway, and a cargo of freeze-dried orphans.
Reluctantly compelled to deliver these defenseless, fluidless children to safety, Cole gathers a misfit crew for a desperate journey to the far reaches of the galaxy. Their destination: the mysterious world of Yrnameer, the very last of the your-name-here-planets without corporate sponsors. But little does Cole know that this legendary utopia is home to a murderous band of outlaws bent on destroying the planet's tiny, peaceful community.
Follow Cole's adventures through a delightfully absurd science-fiction universe, where the artificial intelligence is stupid, dust motes carry branding messages, and middle-management zombies have overrun a corporate training satellite. In the spirit of Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett, The Sheriff of Yrnameer is sci-fi comedy at its best--mordant, raucously funny, and a thrilling page-turner.
I'm also expecting a copy of Walter Moers' latest offering The Alchemaster's Apprentice shortly, which releases in early September. Moers is absolutely one of the best at humorous Fantasy today. Alchemaster will be devoured soon after I get it. If you haven't read his The 13 1/2 Lives of Captain Blue Bear do yourself a favour and give it a try. Each book of Zamonia stands alone fairly well, but seeds are planted in earlier volumes that bear great fruit and characters later on.
The fourth book in the beloved Zamonia series by Overlook’s bestselling Walter Moers.
The first three books set in Zamonia (the mythical land created by the genius of Moers, whose work has been compared to J. K. Rowling, Douglas Adams, and Shel Silverstein) have achieved raucous critical acclaim and created hundreds of thousands of die-hard fans everywhere. Now Moers returns with a fourth “relentlessly whimsical” fantasy (Library Journal).
When Echo the Crat’s mistress dies, he is compelled to sign a contract with Ghoolion the Alchemaster. This fateful document gives Ghoolion the right to kill Echo at the next full moon and render his fat, which he hopes to brew into an immortality potion. But Ghoolion has not reckoned with Echo’s talent for survival and his vast ability to make new friends.