Monday, July 07, 2008

Reviewing the Mail: Week of 7/5

With the holiday, this turned into a short week -- which means I can fit everything that arrived into one post. Here's what I saw last week:

Greg Egan's long-awaited -- seriously, it's been six years since Schild's Ladder -- new novel, Incandescence, which Night Shade is publishing in July. From the description, it sounds like an expansion of his story "Riding the Crocodile" -- originally from Gardner Dozois's anthology One Million A.D. (which was published by someone-or-other, long ago in another country that doesn't exist anymore). SF has changed a lot in the last half-decade, and Charles Stross has essentially grabbed Egan's chair as the High Priest of Weird Hard SF in that time. I thought "Riding the Crocodile" was a solid story, but still running through Egan's old obsessions and ideas -- but I hope Incandescence finds new and exciting places to go to.

Also from Night Shade is a new short novel by Neal Asher, Shadow of the Scorpion. The Night Shade Asher books are shorter than the doorstops Asher writes for other publishers (Tor, on my side of the pond), and this one is a story of the younger days of his series hero Ian Cormac. It'll be published in July, and I bet that there will be some bizarrely vicious climax predators in it.

Yen Press sent me a bunch of manga recently -- actually, most of them seem to be manwha, from Korea. First among those was You're So Cool, Vol. 1 by YoungHee Lee, published in May. It's a school story, about a girl who is in love with her school's "perfect prince" -- until she gets to know him, and discovers he's actually a jerk. Since this is a series and not a short story, I suspect that she's stuck with the jerk in some odd and unlikely way.

Yen also published Cynical Orange, Vol. 4 by Yun JiUn in June. I've had some cynical oranges in my day -- though I'm generally more fond of sardonic apples, or even bumptious plums -- so I'm glad to see that they're finally coming to the attention of publishers. Who knows? Maybe the scourge of sarcastic grapes will be next.

All joking aside, Cynical Orange looks to be another school story, about a heroine who is the "hottest girl in school" and going to all lengths to stay the cutest, most popular, and most beloved. From the tone, I think the audience is meant to sympathize with her quest to get everything she wants, including her "secret crush."

Hissing, Vol. 4 is another Yen title, by Kang EunYoung, coming in July. It's a love story between an aspiring comics artist and an aspiring "tough guy" -- I think the former of those is female, but I'm not 100% sure. So, if you're looking for yaoi or not, this could be it. Or not.

And then there's Very! Very! Sweet, Vol. 1 by JiSang Shin and Geo, another book from Yen in July. This one seems to have all sorts of fascinating cultural baggage -- it's the story of a spoiled wealthy Japanese kid who get packed off to Korean by his grandfather, and told the family's hideous, shameful secret: they're actually Korean. This series is Korean as well, which may affect how this secret plays out.

Angel Diary, Vol. 6 continues the Korean/Yen deluge; it's by Kara and Lee YunHee, and is published this month. According to Yen's website, this series is about the Angel Princess of Heaven, who ran away to Earth to hide as a schoolboy rather than get married to the King of the Underworld.

Once again, I'd like to stress that I don't write 'em, I just try to make sense of 'em.

Last from Yen this time is Ume Aoki's Sunshine Sketch, Vol. 1, which was published in June. They're all four-panel gag strips about a new girl at a high school for the arts. And, of course, every single other character is utterly bizarre in different ways -- isn't it always like that in high school?

And the last thing overall this week is a new novel from Elizabeth Bear, All the Windwracked Stars. I saw it in galley form, and it doesn't publish until November. It's from Tor in hardcover, and it's a fantasy novel set sometime after Ragnarok. As I realized recently, I still haven't read any of Bear's novels, so maybe this one will be first.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"it sounds like an expansion of his story "Riding the Crocodile""

I've heard from somewhere that it is not, though it is set in the same universe.

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