Monday, October 31, 2011

Reviewing the Mail: Week of 10/29

It's a Monday once again, and here, as usual, are the books that showed up in my mailbox last week. I'll remind you that I haven't actually read any of these yet, so what I have to tell you about them is based mostly on what these books say about themselves.

First up is the first in a new manga series from Vertical, No Longer Human, Part 1. It's adapted from the influential bestselling novel (by Osamu Dazai) of the same name, by the popular manga-ka Usamaru Furuya. No Longer Human is the possibly-autobiographical story of a young man, an aspiring artist named Yozo Oba, who hides his true feelings of self-loathing behind a class-clown mask. It was officially published last week.

From the newish small press PM Press came two books from their "Outspoken Authors" series, which each pair a new novella with nonfiction by the same author:
  • Published back in August, The Wild Girls by Ursula K. Le Guin, including essays on modesty and the place of reading in the modern world, plus an interview with series edition Terry Bisson.
  • Coming in November, Cory Doctorow's The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow, along with an essay on copyright (in case we didn't already know his stance on it) and an interview with Bisson.
Also from PM Press -- from their Switchblade imprint, which looks to be focused on lefty crime fiction -- is the new anthology Send My Love and a Molotov Cocktail!, edited by Gary Phillips and Andre Gibbons. The theme here is, more or less, stories about riots and revolution -- very timely in this season of Occupying everywhere in the world -- with reprints by Michael Moorcock and Cory Doctorow & Michael Skeet, plus sixteen original stories from writers including Paco Ignacio Taibo II, Sara Paretsky, Kim Stanley Robinson, and Luis Rodriguez. It will be published in trade paperback in mid-December.

EVE Online is one of the many massively multiplayer online games which I have not played (a category which includes all of them, to be honest; I don't like strangers enough to want to purposely spend time with them), and it has hatched a new novel, EVE: Templar One. The author is Tony Gonzales, author of one of the two previous EVE novels, The Empyrean Age, as well as a couple of novellas in the same world -- he's also the IP development manager for EVE's parent company, which may mean something like "head writer" in tech-company speak. In any case, he knows this world as well as anybody, and he's proved he can put together words into the shape of a novel once before, which is pretty darn good for a licensed book. Templar One will be published by Tor in December as a trade paperback.

And last for this week is Fenrir, a big new novel by M.D. Lachlan which is also the sequel to his Wolfsangel. It's a historical fantasy -- precisely how historical I'm not sure -- in which the Vikings are laying fiery siege to Paris in some year I can't find any reference to. It looks dark and doomy -- as often happens to books with Vikings in them -- including  "the Count," who must decide whether to hand over his sister to the invaders or see his city destroyed. Fenrir was published by Pyr in trade paperback on October 18th.

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