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Peter Higgins, author of Wolfhound Century

Myke Cole, author of Shadow Ops Series

John Brown John, translator of the Zamonia Novels

Jim C. Hines author of Libriomancer

Nick Harkaway author of Angelmaker (review here)

Martha Wells author of The Cloud Roads

David Tallerman author of Giant Thief

Mazarkis Williams author of The Emperor's Knife

Rob Ziegler author of Seed

Steven Gould author of 7th Sigma

Douglas Hulick author of Among Thieves (review here)

Mark Charan Newton author of Nights of Villjamur (review here)

Kameron Hurley author of God's War (review here)

Brent Weeks author of The Black Prism (review here)

Anthony Huso author of The Last Page (review here)

Brandon Sanderson author of The Way of Kings (review here)

Lou Anders Editor of Pyr Books

Ian Tregillis author of Bitter Seeds (review here)

Sam Sykes author of Tome of the Undergates (review here)

Benjamin Parzybok author of Couch (review here)

Kristine Kathryn Rusch author of Diving Into the Wreck (review here)

Ken Scholes author of Lamentation

Cherie Priest author of Boneshaker (review here)

Lev Grossman author of The Magicians (review here)

Character Interviews

Alexia and Lord Maccon from Gail Carriger's Soulless

Lord Akeldama from Gail Carriger's Soulless

Eva Forge from Tim Akers's The Horns of Ruin

Atticus from Kevin Hearne's Hounded


The Daylight War by Peter V. Brett

A Memory of Light by Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson

Scoundrels by Timothy Zahn

Cold Days by Jim Butcher

Year Zero by Rob Reid

Alif: The Unseen by G. Willow Wilson

Scourge of the Betrayer by Jeff Salyards

Redshirts by John Scalzi

Control Point by Myke Cole

Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway
My BlogCatalog BlogRank Wikio - Top Blogs - Literature

(New) Cover Unveiled for Amped by Daniel H. Wilson

Last year a different cover was released for Wilson's next novel Amped, which focused more on the neuron's firing aspect from the story as a design element. I'm guessing that version didn't standout as well as some people would have liked so we've got this bold number mimicking the power button on computers. I like it but this is overly derivative of the design for Mira Grant's Newflesh trilogy. This doesn't change the fact that I'm still looking forward to Amped and this is in addition to the overly sales-y copy:
Technology makes them superhuman. But mere mortals want them kept in their place. The New York Times bestselling author of Robopocalypse creates a stunning, near-future world where technology and humanity clash in surprising ways. The result? The perfect summer blockbuster.

As he did in Robopocalypse, Daniel Wilson masterfully envisions a frightening near-future world. In Amped, people are implanted with a device that makes them capable of superhuman feats. The powerful technology has profound consequences for society, and soon a set of laws is passed that restricts the abilities—and rights—of "amplified" humans. On the day that the Supreme Court passes the first of these laws, twenty-nine-year-old Owen Gray joins the ranks of a new persecuted underclass known as "amps." Owen is forced to go on the run, desperate to reach an outpost in Oklahoma where, it is rumored, a group of the most enhanced amps may be about to change the world—or destroy it.

Once again, Daniel H. Wilson's background as a scientist serves him well in this technologically savvy thriller that delivers first-rate entertainment, as Wilson takes the "what if" question in entirely unexpected directions. Fans of Robopocalypse are sure to be delighted, and legions of new fans will want to get "amped" this summer.
Wilson doing super-powered humans just has to be a good fit. Doesn't it? Come June we'll all get a chance to find out.

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FREE FICTION | Martha Wells Three Worlds Shorts

Last night I finished The Serpent Sea by Martha Wells, which is the sequel to the wondrous world she created with The Cloud Roads. If you haven't read any of Wells novels yet it is high time you do and to whet your imagination I turn you towards three short stories, which all have to do with the 3 Worlds.

The first is a bit of a prequel focusing on Chime, one of the series main character's good friends who went through something of a change before The Cloud Roads opens. "Adaptation" is the story of how Chime went from being a Mentor in the Raksura community to its newest Warriors. Quite a thing when you develop wings nearly overnight. Definitely a must-read for those who have read the first book.  The second is also a prequel. "The Forest Boy" is about the starring character Moon from a time when he was very young and very alone.

The last centers on a crew of a flying ship, "The Almost Last Voyage of the Wind-ship Escarpment." This one doesn't feature any of the characters from the novels, but does explore a different culture found on the world, which literally seems like a world filled with hundreds of sentient races.

And Wells just tweeted out news about the third book of the Raksura:
Good news this morning: the third (still untitled) Raksura Book now has a contract and will probably come out in January or February of 2013!
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GETTING TO KNOW | Mary Robinette Kowal's Evil Robot Monkey & More

Recently Procured

I am DONE with traveling. Finally. And I, of course, had a pile of book awaiting me in addition to a few picked up on the road. Between a trip to New Orleans and one to Los Angeles I visited some great stores including a legendary store in LA. But first my NOLA nabs.

One of my first stops was, of course, to a local bookstore soon after I got to town. New Orleans is rife with indie stores and some specialize in having some hard-to-find books such as Thomas Ligotti's Grimscribe seen above in its British First Edition format found at Crescent City Books. Plus, it was signed to Michael from Ligotti so it fits in perfectly on my shelves. I had a nice chat with the Michael who originally had gotten it inscribed along with many other Ligotti works. I'm still on the hunt for a copy of The Nightmare Factory though. If Sub Press ever gets to Nightmare, as they have with Ligotti's other books, I'll bite for it. The next few came from Dauphine Street Books, which is one of those dusty, cramped stores where the books have splilled out into the aisle so badly you can't even see all the books without moving piles around. In other words: book heaven. What first caught my eye was a HC first edition of Paul Malmont's The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril, which I couldn't resist for less than the cost of the paperback. I spotted a copy of Gahan Wilson's The Cleft and Other Odd Tales at the bottom of a pile and had to have it since I read a couple of his shorts recently and loved them. The Haunted Bookshop by Christopher Morley was suggested by the owner. And aho I am to turn down suggestions?

Awaiting me at home were Seanan McGuire's Discount Armageddon, which is putting cryptids into Urban Fantasy. Despite the cover I'm interested especially since the first October Daye surprised me in a very good way last year. I'm most excited by Andre Norton's classic Forerunner, which Tor is reissuing as its been on my reading bucket list for awhile. Flatscreen by Adam Wilson was a surprise as I had it on my to-buy list. I don't get a lot of non-genre books for review despite reading plenty. Then again I review those type of books infrequently.Titan Books has some exciting stuff brewing continuing their push into reintroducing classic pulp characters such as like the Fu Manchu series by Sax Rohmer and the original pulp superstar Sherlock Holmes with the Further Adventure series. Next is The Night Sessions by Ken McLeod, his latest Sci-Fi Thriller to be released by Pyr come this April and Erin Hoffman's second Chaos Knight book. At the bottom is Card's latest Endervese book following Bean into space.

On my trip to Los Angeles I literally happened upon the famous genre store Mysterious Galaxy. My wife was driving towards the ocean to find a place for dinner and I told her stumbling upon it was a sign that we had to go. The one thing I noticed about the store is that they aren't afraid to stock complete long series runs, while most stores would only have the the latest book or two or at a long shot the last three. There were also a fair number of signed books since Mysterious gets on so many author tours. But I was looking for the unusual since my own collection is fairly filled out with popular genre books. First Kim Stanley Robinson's novelette The Lucky Strike stood out despite its diminutive size. Even though I already have a copy of Malmont's The Astounding, The Amazing, and the Unknown I couldn't passed up a signed first edition since I got Chinatown in its first edition in NOLA. I had to make the Malmont sandwich complete.  The next few were review copies awaiting me on my most recent homecoming. I've been reading Nancy Kress' short work for years, but have never read anything long so I'm looking forward to trying out After the Fall, Before the Fall, and During the Fall very much. I'll probably read it next. Sub Press also sent me Bentley Little's latest collection of short horror stories Indignities of the Flesh. Although I didn't announce it too formally a personal reading goal this year is to read more Horror. Sub Press is also doing a limited edition of one of GRRM's early novels Dying of the Light, which I originally read 7 years ago when I was going through A Song of Ice and Fire withdrawal. Lastly is the Sword and Sorcery influenced The Scar by Sergey & Marina Dyachenko, which looks all kinds of pretty.

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Cover Unveiled for vN by Madeline Ashby

Sometimes you see a cover and gloss over and other times a quick glace turns into a long stare. vN is decidedly in the latter camp as the cover is filled with all sorts of bits that intrigue. Angry Robot certainly outdid themselves with this one.  vN is Madeline Ashby debut and the first in at least a two book series formerly called the Von Neumann Sisters Sequence, but henceforth known as the Machine Dynasty series. Here's the blurb:
Amy Peterson is a self-replicating humanoid robot.

For the past five years, she has been grown slowly as part of a mixed organic/synthetic family. She knows very little about her android mother’s past, so when her grandmother arrives and attacks her mother, little Amy wastes no time: she eats her alive.

Now she carries her malfunctioning granny as a partition on her memory drive, and she’s learning impossible things about her clade’s history – like the fact that the failsafe that stops all robots from harming humans has failed… Which means that everyone wants a piece of her, some to use her as a weapon, others to destroy her.
vN is scheduled for an August release and it is one I'll be watching for.

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Cover Unveiled for Daniel H. Wilson's Amped

Behold My New Bookshelves!!!

As this post goes live I will be on a short vacation, but clearly I have not forgotten you, my loyal readers. I could never. The night I was packing my now built-in bookshelves were just about finished. A few details are still to come, but the below shows the close to finished product. Some may remember that I purchased 4 bookshelves from Borders during their going out of business sale. That's right even though Borders is gone they will not be forgotten, at least in my house. I purchased them even though I had no place for them at the time with the plan of installing them in my next house. They sat for months in a dusty corner of a warehouse my company was kind enough to let me use. Just recently I put my old place on the market and moved into the house I'll eventually buy (when my place sells) and had them installed along with some other remodel work we wanted done to the room.

Now behold!!!

Seen above is now what I referring to as "The Library." This is a long-time dream coming true. A very talented friend is doing all of the remodel work and started by chopping off the top 6 inches or so of the bookcases in order for them to fit in a room with a slightly lower than average ceiling. They are being finished off with gorgeous stain grade trim wood top and bottom.  I chose a red-ish stain for the trim to make it standout against the light birch of the cases. Want a close up of that trim work? I thought you would.

Jealous yet? I thought so. At the very top is what is known as dental trim. It is called dental apparently because it looks like rows of teeth. So my shelves now have quite a bite to them. Below that is a trim piece with a nice leaf design that goes along with other fixtures already in the room or to be installed.

None of the shelves are sorted at this point except for this one with a lot of my favorite genre books from the last few years, which still needs to be monkeyed with a bit more.  That white door leads to a catchall closet with lots of storage space  and is what I now called "The Hypercube." Why? Because why not?

"Honey, where do you want this box?"
"In the Hypercube."

And if you were curious these cases comprise about half of my book collection. Across the room are my old freestanding cases, which are not quite as packed as they once were.

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UK Cover Unveiled for Hannu Rajaniemi's The Fractal Prince

Rajaniemi's debut The Quantum Thief took the Sci-Fi world by storm in 2010. It certainly made an impression on me. So saying I can't wait for the next book The Fractal Prince is no understatement, especially given the book was delayed a bit already. The organic looking spaceship art is quite eye catching, but I'm not a fan of the white background yet it does go along with the style from the UK paper release. Here is the blurb:
The sequel to Hannu Rajaniemi's extraordinary debut novel is set to build on the extravagent promise of one of the most exciting new voices to come out of the genre this century. Jean le Flambeur, posthuman thief, is out of prison, but still not free. To pay his debts to Oortian warrior Mieli and her mysterious patron the pellegrini, he has to break into the mind of a living god. Planning the ultimate heist takes Jean and Mieli from the haunted city of Sirr on broken Earth to the many-layered virtual realms of the mighty Sobornost. But when the stakes of the pellegrinis game are revealed, Jean has to decide how far he is willing to go to get the job done.

On the edges of physical space a thief, helped by a sardonic ship, is trying to break into a Schrodinger box. He is doing the job for his patron, and owner of the ship, Mieli. In the box is his freedom. Or not. The box is protected by codes that twist logic and sanity. And the ship is under attack. The thief is nearly dead, the ship is being eaten alive. Jean de Flambeur is running out of time. All of him. And on earth, two sisters in a city of fast ones, shadow players and jinni contemplate a revolution. There are many more stories than can be told even in a thousand nights and one night, but these two stories will twist, and combine. And reality will spiral. In Hannu Rajaniemi's sparkling follow-up to the critically acclaimed, international sensation THE QUANTUM THIEF, he returns to his awe-inspiring vision of the universe and we find out what the future held for Earth.
The US cover was released sometime ago and again graced by wonderful Kekai Kotaki art. The Fractal Prince will be released in the UK from Gollancz and Tor in the US come this September.

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REVIEW | Faith by John Love

My last "what should I read next" poll had a clear winner with Throne of the Crescent Moon, which has already been receiving high marks (I liked it as well, but that comes later). Being a bit of a contrarian I wanted to also pay some service to the low-runner in the poll: Faith by John Love. Why was it the low-runner? I suspect it has to do with the book being Sci-Fi while most of the others were Fantasy of one stripe or another. Fantasy still trumps Sci-Fi in terms of fandom, in the US at least, but it really shouldn't especially with something as special and different as John Love's debut Faith.

Faith isn't about the Science, but there are some intriguing ideas here in that regard. It is a smart, thoughtful exploration of humanity and how far obsessions can take us. So the back story. A few centuries ago a mysterious ship nicknamed "Faith" attacked the space faring Sakhran Empire (vaguely lizard-like humanoids) causing their society to pull back technologically. No one knows what Faith is exactly. Is it even like a normal ship with a crew or some kind of space-born creature? That mystery alone pulled me in and gave off a very strong Star Trek vibe. Faith is what you might get if Joe Abercrombie turned his dark skills to Science Fiction after reading a few Robert J. Sawyer novels and seeing a few too many Q episodes of Star Trek. This isn't a hard Sci-Fi read by any stretch, but that should help pull in the more fringe readers who fear something too technical and just want a totally enthralling story.

Presently, humanity has expanded into space and created the Commonwealth along with a few other races including the Sakhrans. Faith has returned. She is hostile and no one knows how to defeat her, but there is a chance. A slim chance that the Commonwealth's latest Outsider class vessel captained by Aaron Foord. Outsider ships are crewed by brilliant yet deeply flawed people that hope to match and possibly defeat the almost mythological Faith. Each Outsider ship is christened with a name to remind those aboard of what they are. Charles Manson is the name of the vessel charged with stopping Faith at all costs. That name alone should give a good idea of who the people are that man the Manson. This isn't a crew of do-gooders, but they are damn good at what they do.

Faith is a challenging read that attacks preconceptions of what is right. Love also reminds us what a lonely and cramped place space can be especially given the submarine-like atmosphere of the Manson and the isolation that most of its crew crave. Faith herself becomes the most endearing character as I winced at each battle scar she earned.

Deeply introspective, Faith, keys into many elements of psychology with deep influences of Moby Dick. For pages at a time nothing seemingly happens except for character examining the implications of what is to come and just what got them in the situation they are in. This "nothing" is completely riveting as exploring these characters and their motivations are what propel the story. At first the story seems like one of redemption for the crew, but as things move along it is clear they aren't looking to be redeemed or even accepted. They just want to win. As their past is revealed many uncomfortable things that would typically turn me off to a character intrigued me more about how they went from such evil to the point of being the possible savior of an entire vast multi-planet society.

This is a story that can appear slow at first, however it is one of the most suspenseful novels I've read recently. This is a complete story from beginning to end, which is quite something given the micro and macro scales Love examines. Once the chess game is officially started between Faith and the Charles Manson you'll be hooked as their back and forth fights are taut scenes that please.

Faith my not be for everybody, especially those that generally turn away from the dark side of humanity, but it is a rewarding experience that leaves you with that sense of wonder about space, what it can hold, and our place in it. I give Faith 4 out of 5 hats. Whoever found John Love for Night Shade Books should get a bonus for finding the next great Science Fiction star. Love is going to eventually belong in the same breathe as some of our greatest Sci-Fi writers. If Faith had been published just a month earlier I have no doubts it would have made my best of Sci-Fi shortlist.

And remember a little Faith can kill you.

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