Monday, October 06, 2008

Reviewing the Mail, Week of 10/4: Not Yen

As I wrote in a post that went up just a little while ago, I get a lot of mail, and I like to acknowledge it -- so I post every Monday morning about what came in the previous week. This week, half of that was books from Yen Press, and half wasn't.

This is the second half -- everything else.

I'll lead off with a major original SF anthology, Fast Forward 2, edited by Lou Anders and published by Pyr. It has fourteen new stories by seventeen writers (those of you quick with math will have figured out that this means there are three writing teams) including Nancy Kress, Jack McDevitt, Paul McAuley, Mike Resnick, Pat Cadigan, Ian McDonald, and Paolo Bacigalupi -- a varied mix of old hands and newer names (though a little heaver on the former). This is one of the very few un-themed SF-only original anthologies coming out -- and even all-SF anthologies of new stories on a them are less common these days -- so I expect to see all of those people whining that there's not enough SF lining up to buy it on October 21, the publication date.

To change gears entirely, I also have the first volume of Miwa Ueda's manga Papillon, a high-school set series about identical twins: one is the most popular girl in the school, and the other is a tomboy outcast. (I think my kids were watching that movie on the Disney channel just last week.) Del Rey is publishing this on October 14th.

Drawn & Quarterly has a number of fantastic books coming up this season, and they sent me a box with several of them last week. Guy Delisle -- author of the previous I-worked-in-oppressive-Asian-countries books Pyongyang and Shenzhen -- is making it a trilogy with his new book Burma Chronicles. (And calling that country "Burma" instead of Myanmar could be a political act -- I don't know if Delisle means it that way.) The previous two books were excellent autobiographical/reportorial comics, and Delisle has both a fine eye for detail and an animator's tightness of line. D&Q's official publication date is September, so this should be available already.

Also from D&Q is Jamilti and Other Stories, by the Israeli cartoonist Rutu Modan, the author of Exit Wounds (which I reviewed for ComicMix last year). Jamilti collects seven shorter comics stories -- all but one of them from the periodic Actus anthologies -- originally published from 1998 to 2008. Jamilti itself was published in August.

I wasn't as impressed, last year, with the graphic novel Aya as I hoped I would be, but I'm still looking forward to reading the sequel, Aya of Yop City, by the same team of Marguerite Abouet (writer) and Clement Oubrerie (artist). Aya was basically a teen sex comedy -- with rather more potential consequences for the girls, though -- set in Abidjan in the late '70s. Yop City is a direct sequel, picking up right after the end of the first book -- it looks like it's still full of moments of comedy, but I expect those consequences will also be important. Aya of Yop City was published by Drawn & Quarterly in September.

The last book in the Drawn & Quarterly package was Berlin: City of Smoke, the second collection of Jason Lutes's series about a large cast of characters in that city in the year 1929. (And I was shocked to realize that the first volume, City of Stones, came out in 2001 -- it doesn't seem that long ago.) City of Smoke was also published in September.

I mentioned Thomas M. Disch's final short fiction collection, The Wall of America, when I saw a bound galley a few months back. The finished book has now arrived, ahead of the November publication from Tachyon. Disch was a grumpy, hard-to-like man personally, but he was one of the most inventive and interesting writers (in all of the many areas he wrote) for the last forty years; it would be a shame if he were to slip out of memory.

I've been reading Jim Butcher's "Dresden Files" series for a few years now -- since I met him at a convention, if I remember correctly -- and I even acquired the first nine of them at my old job at the Science Fiction Book Club for four omnibuses. And you might have noticed by now that I also read comics. So I suppose I'm the audience for The Dresden Files: Welcome to the Jungle, an original graphic novel written by Butcher with art by Ardian Syaf. Welcome to the Jungle is a prequel to the entire series, taking place just before the first novel, Storm Front. It's published by Del Rey, packaged by the Dabel Brothers, and will be available October 14th.

Last this week is the biggest book: the hefty An Anthology of Graphic Fiction, Cartoons, and True Stories, Vol. 2, edited -- as the first one was -- by Ivan Brunetti. (I read the first one, and didn't exactly review it, though I did write a far-too-long post comparing it to the contemporaneous Best American Comics: 2006.) This second volume, like the first one, was published by Yale University Press -- not the usual home for comics projects of any kind -- and will be published on October 21st. I'll have to roll up my sleeves and dive into this one -- expect a review in a few weeks.

1 comment:

Adele said...

i get rubbish post. Humph.

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