Monday, March 09, 2015

Reviewing the Mail: Week of 3/7

Since I ostensibly review books online -- though you couldn't tell that from this blog, recently -- publishing companies send me books to review, through an antiquated system involving parcel-delivery agents who actually go to people's houses. It's a lovely thing, getting free stuff: I highly recommend organizing your life in any way you can to get things you like for free as much as possible.

In return, I review at least some of those books here. (And, it used to be, other places as well, though that's fallen off in the past few years.) I also do a Monday-morning post to list all of them as they come in, to make sure I give everything at least a little attention. Despite the title, this isn't actually a review, sine I am handicapped by not having read the books in question.

This week, I've got one book to tell you about, but it's one I probably would have bought or read anyway, so that's a very solid win.

The book is A Blink of the Screen, and it collects all of Terry Pratchett's short stories -- in or out of Discworld, from 1963 through 2010, including a deleted segment of his only novella as an appendix -- between two covers. Pratchett was never much of a short-fiction writer, though he is entirely responsible for around fifty novels and partially responsible for a handful more, so this book is not all that large; it's less than three hundred pages long. It has a loving, appreciative foreword by A.S. Byatt (of all people), and no new Pratchett prose of any kind, unless you count the single-sentence dedication to his longtime agent Colin Smythe (whom I also used to have the pleasure of occasionally talking to, back in my book-club days).

Blink is a Doubleday hardcover, part of their current wonderful flood of secondary Pratchett titles into the US market, and officially hits stores on the 17th of this month. It follows last fall's A Slip of the Keyboard, which did the same thing for Pratchett's nonfiction, and joins the Science of Discworld books (four of them; I think Doubleday has two out here so far with the rest in queue), The Folklore of Discworld, The Compleat Ankh-Morpork City Guide, and possibly several other things I've forgotten or missed. I'm still waiting for Nanny Ogg's Cookbook to hit America, though I expect I will be waiting quite a long time to come.

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