Monday, November 24, 2008

Reviewing the Mail: Week of 11/22

I review books, so I get books to review. And, inevitably, I don't manage to review all of them. But I want to mention them all -- so I do posts like this every week, to list the books I've just seen, but haven't yet read.

This week has a very short stack -- either because the fickle goddess Publicity has turned her face away from me, because the economic troubles are hitting publishing companies, or because it's the middle of the month. Other theories may be equally plausible, as well...

Peter F. Hamilton's new novel The Temporal Void is another one of his patented brick-like objects; well over seven hundred pages and, even as a bound galley, quite hefty enough to create a big welt if you fling it at someone. (Not that I suggest chucking it at anyone, or admit to doing so myself.) It's the sequel to The Dreaming Void, and the middle book of a trilogy (with, presumably, one more The {Adjective} Void book still to come). And I haven't read any Hamilton, so I can't give you any advice one way or the other on this. He's pretty popular, so if you like gigantic books and/or modern space opera -- preferably both -- you'd be in a large company if you tried this one. You'd probably want to start with Dreaming Void, which is just as well, since Temporal Void won't be published -- in hardcover, by Del Rey -- until March 24th.

My one comic-booky title is one my two sons would be thrilled to know about. Luckily for me, they don't read my blog, so it'll be a surprise to them whenever I do pass it along to them. It's Bakugan Battle Brawlers: The Battle Begins!, a comic made from screen shots of the animated TV show of the same name. (Is there a generic term for these? At least one publisher calls them "Cine-Manga," but I think that's their trademark. And they're not fumetti, since they're not using real photographs.) Bakugan is another in the long line of Japanese series about pre-teen boys with weird hair who fight evil (and each other) using trading cards -- which you the reader can buy yourself in a local toy shop! -- and, in this case, summoned monsters, which you can also sort-of do yourself. I can just about tell all of these things apart, but I don't claim to be any kind of an expert. I'm pretty sure no one reading this blog will want this book for personal enjoyment, but some of you may be interested (as I am) on behalf of young 'uns. This one is already published; it's also from Del Rey.

And last this week -- I told you it was a short list -- is a new edition of Robert Silverberg's 1971 novel A Time of Changes, from Tor's Orb imprint. It won the Nebula for Best Novel, is part of that amazing rush of great novels that Silverberg wrote in the late '60s and early '70s, and it's wonderful to see it back in print. (This is the one about the medium-future human colony world where referring to oneself in the first person is heavily taboo -- but the book's protagonist is determined to do it.) This new edition will be out in April. I couldn't find a cover for it online -- it is pretty early, after all -- but I'm pretty sure that I saw the cover art for this just this weekend. (I was at the Philcon science fiction convention, and I think the Artist Guest of Honor, John Picacio, had it in the art show.) I could be confused, though -- that happens more often than I'd like.

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