Monday, August 11, 2014

Reviewing the Mail: Week of 8/9

Happy Monday, everyone! To brighten up that thought, here's something that might distract you: a couple of new books (to the USA, at least) that just showed up in my mailbox this week. I haven't read them yet, but they just might be of interest to some of you.

The US is finally getting some of the odder extensions of Terry Pratchett's Discworld series: The Globe: The Science of Discworld II (by Pratchett with scientists/novelists/science popularizers Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen) is finally arriving here as an Anchor Trade paperback on January 20th of 2015, a mere thirteen years after it was originally published in the UK. I had a copy of this myself, before my basement flood of 2011, and read it back when it was published. (As I remember it, it was not quite as fresh and fun as the first Science of Discworld, but still very entertaining.) This book combines, like all of the Science of Discworld books do, alternating fictional chapters by Pratchett in which the wizards of Unseen University tinker with and investigate the Roundworld (i.e.: our world) that they have created, with chapters by Stewart and Cohen that explain the real-world science behind those tinkerings and investigations. The whole series is a decent introduction to a lot of general science for Discworld fans.

(Oh, and I'm sure the cover pictured will not be the final US cover: it seems to be the current UK paperback. But the US cover isn't accessible anywhere online, and may not even exist yet.)

(Also, Amazon's current listing for this book has the odious subtitle "A Novel," which is actively untrue in this particular case.)

The other book I have this week is The Clockwork Sky, Vol. 2 by Madeleine Rosca, the conclusion of a short graphic novel series with a steampunk setting and a lot of manga flourishes. (Though it does read Western-style, from left to right.) It's from Tor and arrives on August 19th. It's about the Victorian clockwork police-boy Sky, the runaway human girl Sally, and the secrets of the Ember factory of steamwork automatons.

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