Thursday, April 02, 2009

Reviewing the Mail: Week of 3/28

This is not the actual "Reviewing the Mail" post for this week; the books are sitting in a stack back in New Jersey, and I am (as this post goes live) sleeping soundly in a hotel bed near San Diego. Later today, I'll be getting back home and it's just barely possible that I'll update this post for reposting then.

But I wouldn't bet on it; the last time I had a placeholder like this (during my family's epic trip to Disney World), I didn't update the post until Thursday. But there will be a list of what I saw last week eventually, for those who care.


And here's what I found in my mailbox when I got back:

Wireless, the new short-story collection from Charles Stross, which Ace is publishing in hardcover in July. It collects "Missile Gap" -- a great story originally published in a great Gardner Dozois anthology, One Million A.D., from some bookclub operation called the SFBC -- plus the very entertaining "Down on the Farm," one of my favorite Stross stories, "A Colder War," and several more. The last story here, "Palimpsest," is a brand-new long novella, which by my lights makes the whole book worth whatever your local purveyor charges for it.

Kim Dong Hwa's The Color of Earth is the first in a trilogy of graphic novels by a Korean creator -- The Color of Water and The Color of Heaven will follow. It's the coming-of-age story of Ehwa, who lives with her widowed mother, a tavern-keeper in rural Korean about a hundred years ago. It's just been published in trade paperback by First Second.

From the same end of the world, but across the East Sea, comes Black Jack, Vol. 4, the latest in Osamu Tezuka's medical manga series to appear in the US. (Vertical is publishing them every other month until they finish the whole series; it'll take seventeen volumes and three years -- this one was published in early March, but I only just saw it now.) I reviewed the first volume last year for ComicMix.

Tachyon Publications brings us The Best of Michael Moorcock, an idiosyncratic selection of fifteen stories -- including one previously unpublished -- mostly from the last decade or so, selected and edited by John Davey with the near-ubiquitous Ann & Jeff VanderMeer. Moorcock is an idiosyncratic writer to begin with, with a career that veered, almost randomly, from genre to mainstream to high literary and back again, with multiple permutations of all of those types repeated at intervals -- and one best known for novels to begin with -- so this is probably as representative a collection of his work as any of us would have expected. Tachyon will publish it, in trade paperback, in June.

Get Animated! is a new book from Watson-Guptill, a company I haven't thought about in years. (Probably since Ali Kokmen was working for them, and I was working for the SFBC, and he was occasionally selling me books -- and that's at least five years ago.) It's a book by Tim Maloney, a professional animator and teacher of animation, and it's all about creating theatrical-quality animated shorts on your home computer. That's something I know absolutely nothing about, but this book looks very authoritative, and it comes with a tutorial on DVD, which must be worth something. Get Animated! was published in March.

The ever-proliferating Dungeon series is back with a third volume of the main Zenith series, and the tenth overall. Dungeon: Zenith, Book 3 is written, as usual, by Joann Sfar and Lewis Trondheim, but the art is by someone named Boulet this time. The Zenith books are the main sequence of the Dungeon stories, about an adventurous duck-headed guy named Herbert and all of the trouble he gets into, either at the eponymous dungeons (where adventurers go -- they think to make their fortunes, but usually to be eaten by the monstrous inhabitants) or out in the world. This one will be published by NBM in May; new Dungeon books come out every six months.

Also from NBM in May, under their Papercutz/Classics Illustrated imprint, is a new edition of The Raven & Other Poems by Edgar Allen Poe, illustrated by Gahan Wilson. It was originally published nearly twenty years ago by First when they had the CI license, and it's the least adapted of the books in the series I've seen: Wilson just illustrates (very well, and appropriately) a bunch of Poe poems.

Over Eisner weekend, several of us were trying to remember Adventures in Cartooning. We knew that it was from First Second, and we thought it was coming in April (we were right), and that it was both a story for kids and a light how-to about cartooning for kids...but we couldn't remember the name. We also didn't remember that it was by James Sturm, Andrew Arnold, and Alexis Frederick-Frost, but there's no reason to think that we would. It looks like a lot of fun, and I hope to test it on my kids -- after I read it first.

Lewis Trondheim, the French comics creator who doesn't seem to sleep, has another new book -- Tiny Tyrant: Volume One: The Ethelbertosaurus, which he wrote for Fabrice Parme to illustrate. First Second seems to be taking their 2007 book and chopping it in half; they had a book called Tiny Tyrant then (without a subtitle or a volume number), which was twice as long. On the other hand, this book doesn't have a publication date, just an English-translation copyright of 2007. So maybe it's an old book?

And last for this week is Blueberry Girl, a picture book by Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess, which makes me almost wish I had a daughter instead of two sons. ("Almost" because it seems to me that boys are just easier than girls, and I'm not ready to ramp up my parenting at this lazy point in my life.) Anyway, I haven't actually read this all the way through yet, but it's got lovely Vess art and a Gaiman poem about a little girl, and what more could you want? Harper published this in March, and I'm happy to see my publishing house isn't the only one getting books out to bloggers long after the publication date!


Alexander Field said...

Thanks for the updates, I would love to check out Gaiman's latest (even though I have three boys, no girls). He's certainly has an impressive way of genre hopping and writing for different audiences with amazing ease... : )

hannah wilson said...

'Also from NBM in May, under their Papercutz/Classics Illustrated imprint, is a new edition of The Raven & Other Poems by Edgar Allen Poe, illustrated by Gahan Wilson'

Thats interesting....we're now getting re-issues of Classics Illustrated over here (yippeeee) which is where having 2 sons is great - I have an excuse to buy them! but can't see any sign of the Poe you describe?? Wonder if they plan do cover that one. Hope so.

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