This was something of a crazy week for me. As you've probably surmised from the above photo I was in a bit of a car accident(?). No more of a car incident than accident. The spider webbing looks a bit beautiful from this angle. Still quite annoying as info was exchanged after we flagged the trucker down and the cops were called.
This all happened on the Thursday drive home after a pizza box sized sheet of ice smashed into the passenger side of my windshield. I was sitting in the passenger side and saw the whole thing coming. My wife and I are fine. I received a couple small nicks on my hand from the sprinkle of shards that fell out, but I was shocked by how little actual broke off. We've already had the glass people out to replace the shield. I had no clue they'd actually come to your house or office to do it, which certainly made it easier..
A bit of a bumper crop this week, which is also a bit of a mishmash of genres.
Dust by Elizabeth Bear - Pat from Stomping on the Yeti suggested this one to me. If you haven't checked out the Yeti's place do so now. He is always up to some sort of shenanigans.
On a broken ship orbiting a doomed sun, dwellers have grown complacent with their aging metal world. But when a serving girl frees a captive noblewoman, the old order is about to change....
Ariane, Princess of the House of Rule, was known to be fiercely cold-blooded. But severing an angel’s wings on the battlefield—even after she had surrendered—proved her completely without honor. Captive, the angel Perceval waits for Ariane not only to finish her off—but to devour her very memories and mind. Surely her gruesome death will cause war between the houses—exactly as Ariane desires. But Ariane’s plan may yet be opposed, for Perceval at once recognizes the young servant charged with her care.
Rien is the lost child: her sister. Soon they will escape, hoping to stop the impending war and save both their houses. But it is a perilous journey through the crumbling hulk of a dying ship, and they do not pass unnoticed. Because at the hub of their turning world waits Jacob Dust, all that remains of God, following the vapor wisp of the angel. And he knows they will meet very soon.
Swords & Dark Magic edited by Jonathan Strahan & Lou Anders - This is one of those books I've been aching for. How can you not love an amazing mix of S & S masters with a new Joe Abercrombie and Scott Lynch? Will be devoured in due time.
Ares Express by Ian McDonald - McDonald is a master at what he does and this sequel to Desolation Road looks to be of similar calibre. Ares originally came out a long-time back in the UK, but Pyr is giving it a fresh start here in the states.
A Mars of the imagination, like no other, in a colourful, witty SF novel; Taking place in the kaleidoscopic future of Ian McDonald's Desolation Road, Ares Express is set on a terraformed Mars where fusion-powered locomotives run along the network of rails that is the planet's circulatory system and artificial intelligences reconfigure reality billions of times each second. One young woman, Sweetness Octave Glorious-Honeybun Asiim 12th, becomes the person upon whom the future - or futures - of Mars depends. Big, picaresque, funny; taking the Mars of Ray Bradbury and the more recent, terraformed Marses of authors such as Kim Stanley Robinson and Greg Bear, Ares Express is a wild and woolly magic-realist SF novel, featuring lots of bizarre philosophies, strange, mind-stretching ideas and trains as big as city blocks.
Tome of the Undergates by Sam Sykes - This behemoth of a book is looking very good. The cover looks even better in person.
Lenk can barely keep control of his mismatched adventurer band at the best of times (Gariath the dragon man sees humans as little more than prey, Kataria the Shict despises most humans, and the humans in the band are little better). When they're not insulting each other's religions they're arguing about pay and conditions.
So when the ship they are travelling on is attacked by pirates things don't go very well. They go a whole lot worse when an invincible demon joins the fray. The demon steals the Tome of the Undergates - a manuscript that contains all you need to open the undergates. And whichever god you believe in you don't want the undergates open. On the other side are countless more invincible demons, the manifestation of all the evil of the gods, and they want out.
Full of razor-sharp wit, characters who leap off the page (and into trouble) and plunging the reader into a vivid world of adventure this is a fantasy that kicks off a series that could dominate the second decade of the century.
Fantasy’s newest star has arrived. A manuscript that contains all you need to open the undergates has been stolen. And you don’t want the undergates open. On the other side are countless invincible demons, and they want out. Lenk and his misfit companions have to get it back.
Kid vs. Squid by Greg VanEekhout - I mentioned this one not too long ago and I'll definitely be fitting it between some longer works.
The Gone Away World by Nick Harkaway - Harkaway's debut has been widely lauded as an impressive work of metafiction. I've picked it and and put it down so many times, but seeing the paperback cover cinched it for me. I'm betting it is one of those love it or hate type book. Hopefully it will be the former for me.
A hilarious, action-packed look at the apocalypse that combines a touching tale of friendship, a thrilling war story, and an all out kung-fu infusedmission to save the world.
Gonzo Lubitch and his best friend have been inseparable since birth. They grew up together, they studiedmartial arts together, they rebelled in college together, and they fought in the Go-Away War together. Now, with the world in shambles and dark nightmarish clouds billowing over the wastelands, they have been tapped for an incredibly perilous mission. But they quickly realize that this assignment is not all it seems, and before it is over they will have encountered everything from mimes, ninjas, and pirates to one ultra-sinister mastermind, whose only goal is world domination. Unlike anything else, The Gone-Away World is a remarkable literary debut that will be remembered and rediscovered for years to come.
Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith - The new book from the man who started the mash-up craze with Pride Prejudice and Zombies, which I have been avoiding. Yet this isn't a mash-up as much as a twisted historical fantasy giving real figures of history an odd back-story, which caught me a little..
Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi - Not pictured because it just showed up and I'm feel tired and lazy. For more info on Paolo's debut YA novel check out this earlier post.
All except the Harkaway and Sykes are review copies. I won a little contest Sykes was holding on his blog to get this copy. Two things to learn from this: 1) Always enter free book contests because you never know 2) 42 is a good number to go with for almost any occasion.
You Might Also Like:
LOOKING FORWARD | Fantasy Books to Watch for in 2010