Monday, April 21, 2008

Reviewing the Mail: Week of 4/19

Another impressive stack this week, so I'll dive right into it without tormenting any publicists first:

The book that made me happiest when I opened its package this week was Yoshihiro Tatsumi's Good-Bye, third in the series from Drawn & Quarterly reprinting his Japanese comics from the early '70s. Tatsumi was in the forefront of the gegika movement, pushing manga in the direction of more realistic, downbeat stories about modern people's actual lives. The first two books of Tatsumi's from D&Q -- The Push Man and Other Stories and Abandon the Old in Tokyo -- were among my favorite books of the past two years, and I wasn't expecting to see this book for review. D&Q will publish it in July; start saving your pennies now.

The Amazing Remarkable Monsieur Leotard by Eddie Campbell and Dan Best, from First Second, will be published in August. This looks like its essentially Campbell's follow-up to The Black Diamond Detective Agency; he did all of the art, and Best is credited as the co-writer. It's the story of a famous acrobat, creator of (and namesake of) the leotard, and I expect that it's at least based on true stories, if not precisely non-fictional itself.

Alastair Reynolds's new novel is The Prefect, coming from Ace in June. I've had a copy of the British edition for close to a year, and haven't managed to read it yet -- I hope I can get it in before it publishes here. This novel returns to the universe of the Revelation Space trilogy, in Yellowstone's system before the Melding Plague hit. The title character is Tom Dreyfus, a cop who discovers that his current investigation is part of something much larger and more dangerous than he expected.

From Glen Cook's "Garrett Files" series -- Cruel Zinc Melodies, from Roc in May. This is the twelfth in that long-running series about a tough hard-boiled PI in a fantasy world; I read one of them, many years ago, and it didn't quite take.

Omega Sol is a new SF novel from Scott Mackay, which Roc will publish in May. It's about one of those great Hard SF staples, the Enigmatic Alien Artifact -- in this case, towers on the Moon that are turning our sun into a red giant much more quickly than it should be.

And also from Roc in May is Thomas E. Sniegoski's A Kiss Before the Apocalypse. (Oddly, I remember him best for the Bone side-story he wrote, Stupid Stupid Rat-Tails, which is one of the purest comedic romps in comics form that I've ever seen.) This book looks much more serious; it begins yet another urban fantasy, about a Boston PI who is actually the angel Remiel.

Algonquin Books published Jack O'Connell's novel The Resurrectionist earlier in April. It's a literary fantasy novel, but it's hard to say much more about it without reading it. (The materials about it -- back of the galley, publicity letter -- have lots of details and specifics that don't sound like anything in particular; that's the trouble with writing a book that isn't in any existing genre, so there's no shorthand to explain what it is.)

Publishing at the end of April is the first volume of Osamu Tezuka's series Dororo, which I've already reviewed for ComicMix (through the magic of PDF and wide Internet pipes). It's published by Vertical. I liked it, though not as much as some of Vertical's other Tezuka books, and I thought it would be a good introduction to Tezuka's quirkier side to readers of more popular manga.

The Martian General's Daughter is the new novel by Theodore Judson, whose first novel Fitzpatrick's War got great reviews a few years ago (and which, shockingly, I've yet to read). This new book was published by Pyr at the beginning of April. I doubt very much that it's a traditional Military SF book, though it does seem to have a lot of war and fighting in it.

Kate Elliott's new novel is Shadow Gate, second in the "Crossroads" series after Spirit Gate. Tor published it on April 15th. It also has a magnificent Michael Kaluta cover, which is almost worth the cost of admission all by itself.

Orson Scott Card's massive new collection of short stories, Keeper of Dreams, was also published by Tor on April 15th. It contains twenty-two stories from the past decade, including a story that had been accepted for Harlan Ellison's long-delayed The Last Dangerous Visions anthology.

The renowned Science Fiction Book Club has just published an original anthology called Galactic Empires, edited by the possibly-even-more-renowned Gardner Dozois. I'm particularly pleased to see this not only because the program of original anthologies was a source of particular pride in my days at the club, but because Gardner dedicated this book to Ellen Asher (the once and forever Editor-in-Chief of the SFBC and eternal uncrowned queen of all science fiction) and myself. Thanks, Gardner. Having my name associated with a book containing new novellas by Peter F. Hamilton, Neal Asher, Robert Reed, Alastair Reynolds, Stephen Baxter, and Ian McDonald is a great honor.

Last this week is a book that's #2 on The New York Times's bestseller lists as I type this. (At least, it is for now -- who knows when the whims of the Times will decide that fantasy is unworthy of the list and stop tracking it, as they already do with religious books, computer books, and several other categories?) That book is Jim Butcher's Small Favor, the tenth in the "Dresden Files" contemporary fantasy series. It's published by Roc, and, obviously, is already available everywhere. And I started reading it almost as soon as it came in the door.

1 comment:

Chaz said...

In re: Jack O'Connell's The Ressurectionist-- Yep, it is a little hard to figure out with a quick glance, but then again we've all been warned about "judging books..." Perhaps the spiffy website for the book would help!

I enjoyed the book greatly, although I'm not a huge fan of the Gothy stuff. However, creepy coma kids, circus freaks, and motorcycle gangs tend to pique my interest! Quite unlike anything I've picked up recently!

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