Monday, August 03, 2009

Reviewing the Mail: Week of 8/1

It's a short list this week, so I'll give you the bare minimum of preliminaries -- these are all books I got in the mail last week, in hopes that I will review them, and I haven't yet read them, but will nevertheless write something about them for your potential amusement and edification -- and dive right in:

Stalking the Dragon is the third in Mike Resnick's series of urban fantasy novels featuring detective John Justin Mallory. (Mallory previous has stalked the Unicorn and the Vampire; I presume that the definite article is not an indication that his world contains only one instance of each magical creature, but I haven't yet read any of them, so I can't be definite.) These look to be funny, in a somewhat old-fashioned Unknown Worlds/'80s humorous fantasy way, and so may be of interest for those looking for the great lost Craig Shaw Gardner novel. Pyr is publishing this book in trade paperback tomorrow, which means it should already be everywhere that it's going to be.

Not from Pyr -- it's the only book this week that isn't, due to the vagaries of the mail and the fact that all the people who might have sent me comics/graphic novels/manga were caught up in the Great San Diego Frenzy -- is something called ZOO by an individual called Otsuichi. It's a collection of horror stories translated from the Japanese -- or perhaps we should call them "dark fantasy," due to the inherent classiness of the translation process? -- and gives me yet another opportunity for me to mention that I don't like horror stories and so generally don't read them. (I'm inconsistent, sure -- I've loved such clearly horror works as Joe Hill's amazing debut collection 20th Century Ghosts and Brian McNaughton's monumental The Throne of Bones -- but most horror fills me with a deep longing to be looking at or thinking about anything else.) If you are not me, though -- and the odds are very likely on that count -- you may well enjoy horror much more than I do, and so you'll want to know that Zoo was published by Haikasoru, the all-genre-fiction-translations-from-the-Japanese publishing imprint edited by Nick Mamatas for Viz. And you also might want to note that it will be available on September 15th, again in that currently-popular trade paperback format.

Next -- and now we're back to Pyr, which is where we'll be for the duration -- is James Enge's second novel, This Crooked Way. It's a sequel to his first novel, Blood of Ambrose, and both books sound exactly like the kind of thing I'd like: witty, twisty, sword & sorcery stories about an interesting main character who is more of a rogue than a hero. So I have to dig my toe into the dirt slightly here and admit that I haven't read the first book yet. But it certainly looks like I would be recommending this if I had! This Crooked Way will be available in October.

Joel Shepherd's first fantasy novel -- following up the Cassandra Kresnov science-fiction trilogy -- is Sasha, which will also be available in October. I haven't read Shepherd's books, though I think I did spend some time with him at the Anaheim Worldcon, which is really nothing like reading a book...don't know why I mentioned it. Anyway, Sasha is one of those books about a spunky girl who spurns her royal heritage to learn swordplay (and to tame her rash temper) from a legendary swordsman. We've all liked that story several times before, if we're not too proud to admit it.

And last this week is the fourth book of Justina Robson's "Quantum Gravity" series, Chasing the Dragon. (Hmm. Wonder if Robson's heroine and Resnick's Mallory are working the same case from opposite sides of the street?) This series -- in case you've forgotten -- is set in a Shadowrun-esque near future world with both crunchy high tech and creamy magic, making it a Reese's Cup of SF and Fantasy. (Can you tell I just got back from a theme park devoted to chocolate?) Chasing the Dragon is scheduled to hit stores next week; you may find it already lurking in your local emporium if you look closely.
Listening to: Richard Thompson & Linda Thompson - Dimming of the Day [Live 1981]
via FoxyTunes

No comments:

Post a Comment