Monday, January 19, 2009

Reviewing The Mail: Week of 1/17

And this was another slow week, which I hope doesn't mean that all the publicists who had previously been so nice to me have been forced to pare their review copy lists -- or, even worse for all of us, sent packing by their short-sighted employers. Whatever the reason, I'll cover what I saw and move forward.

(In case this is confusing: I review books, and having some causal relationship to that -- in which direction I'll leave as an open question -- is the fact that I get review copies. Since I never manage to review everything, I do posts like this, every Monday morning, to mention and talk briefly about every book I see for review at least once.)

Science Fiction: The Best of the Year, 2008 Edition is edited by Rich Horton and published by Prime Books -- ostensibly almost precisely one year ago in trade paperback form. (Though, from Horton's cover letter to me, I wonder if it wasn't actually published somewhat later in the year. I also note that Amazon doesn't think it's been published yet.) It's got stories from Greg Egan, Bruce Sterling, John Barnes, Ken MacLeod, Robert Reed, Michael Swanwick, and other people, and is Horton's pick of the best short science fiction from the year 2007. If you haven't picked a SF best of for that year -- or if you just want to read more SFnal short fiction -- this would be an excellent choice.

Bone Crossed is the fourth novel and first hardcover in Patricia Briggs's "Mercy Thompson" series. It's coming from Ace on February 3rd. (And I approvingly note that my old employers have the first three paperback books as a 3-in-1 and this new one already listed on the website -- good to know that they're still chugging along and doing things the right way.) And I'm happy to see that Briggs is making the leap to hardcover -- I've haven't met her (or read her books -- I was planning to read the first three of this series for a potential omnibus when The Unpleasantness happened) but I know the Ace folks think the world of her and have been publishing her for a decade now. And it's great to see that kind of loyalty and devotion rewarded, and to see a writer find her audience. This is another one of those urban fantasy series, about a werewolf car mechanic in Washington state.

Chronicles of Some Made, a 2008 Xeric Award-Winning graphic novel by Felix Tannenbaum, who neglected to put his own name on the front cover. It was published by Tannenbaum's own Passenger Pigeon Publishing in October. I expect to review it for ComicMix pretty soon, so I won't say any more about it now. (Not that I know any more than that about it, but I'm trying to maintain an air of mystery here.)

And last for this week is a book sent by a friend not precisely for review purposes, but I'll list it anyway: Batman: Joker's Asylum, a collection of five villain-themed one shots that I think originally tied into some crossover or other. It's from DC, of course, and it was published as a December trade paperback after the one-shots came out earlier in the year. And, as is all too common with corporate comics, there's no editor credited on the cover, and each of the stories is by a different creative team -- so this particular book is "by" no one in particular.


Amara said...

Ooo, thanks for pointing out that the latest Brigg's book is coming out. She's one of my favorite authers, and writes some of the best urban fantasy out there.

Anonymous said...

Just to correct on the Briggs comment: Mercy Thompson is not a werewolf; she just hangs around with them. She's some other sort of shape-shifter.

Anonymous said...

Hi Andrew,

Yes, my SF: BEST OF THE YEAR 2008 anthology was supposed to come out much earlier in the year, but did not in fact appear until right at the end.

We'll do better in 2009, I trust!

Rich Horton

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