Ah, December you wild and crazy month. I feel like I've barely had time to breathe with the running around and all the Christmas prep. But that hasn't stopped books from showing up at my door. First up are the purchased and gifts I've gotten recently.
That little gold book sitting atop is none other than Neil Gaiman's A Little Gold Book of Ghastly Stuff, which is a very small but well put together collection of some of Neil's more obscure fiction, poems, reviews, and some speeches. Borderlands is still selling the unsigned edition if you're interested. Next is the signed limited edition of Brent Weeks' Perfect Shadow, which I read in e-form earlier this year. Then we have a Christmas present with 1493 by Charles C. Mann, his follow-up to 1491 which still stands as one of my favorite history books for the last 10 years. The huge book at the bottom was another Christmas gift and if you somehow can't make out the title is an M.C. Escher Pop-Up Book. So yeah, it is pretty dang cool. I also got a bunch of gift certificates that will most likely be spent on books quite soon.
On the review copy front I've been quite lucky. First up is Adam Christopher's debut Empire State, which will be read in short order. Did someone say Noir and bubble universe? Next is Theodora Goss' latest novella, The Thorn and the Blossom, which is actually a pair of novellas telling the same story for two points of view. And get this: it is an accordion binding with no spine. If you don't know what I mean go visit Goss' site for some pics. It also comes in a nice slipcase and I predict big things for the book come its January release. I was very happy to win a signed copy of Martha Wells' The Serpent Sea and that's another that will be read in short order. The Mirage is Matt Ruff's latest novel that definitely seems PKD inspired. Ruff's Fool on the Hill is still one of my all-time favorite novels. Winning Mars is technically Jason Stoddard's debut despite the book originally being a short story and then a longer version released for free via his site. Massive changes were undertaken for the Prime Books release that mergers Mars and reality TV in the future. From Prime is also Lightspeed: Year One edited by John Joseph Adams comprised of all the fiction the magazine published during its first year. Wide Open is Deborah Coates's ghostly debut though she has developed a good reputation in the short story market. That one just peeking out is Alex J. Cavanaugh's CassaFire his next action Sci-Fi. Brian Evenson's April release Immobility caught me immediately with its short blurb:
You open your eyes for what you know is not the first time and you remember nothing. You find out that a catastrophic event known as the Kollaps has destroyed life as we know it.The yellow number near the bottom is Stephen Blackmoore's debut City of the Lost, the first in an Urban Fantasy series and given its brief page count and some nice accolades I may dip in soon since it officially comes out next week. Lastly, is Rod Rees' much touted debut The Demi-Monde: Winter, the first in a series about a virtual world inspired by Steampunk and Cyberpunk.
Suddenly someone claiming to be your friend tells you you're needed. Something crucial has been stolen — but under no circumstances can you know what or why. You've got to get it back or something bad is going to happen. And you've got to get it back fast, so they can freeze you again before your own time runs out.
Paralyzed from the waist down, you're being carried around on the backs of two men who don't seem anything like you at all. Who inject you regularly and tell you its for your own good... to stop the disease, or
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