Monday, January 05, 2009

Reviewing the Mail: Week of 1/3

As expected, the mail was light this week -- actually, I was surprised to get anything, with most of publishing taking off for Christmas week and the mails being slow. But I did get a small handful of things, and this is what they were:

Shambling Towards Hiroshima, a short novel -- I believe officially a novella -- by James Morrow, which Tachyon will publish in trade paperback in February. It's one of Morrow's typically odd ideas -- that the Navy, in 1945, had its own doomsday-weapon plan to conquer Japan, using biological means. And those means were mutated, giant, fire-breathing iguanas, which bear more than a little resemblance to a certain movie character from a decade later. The hero of Shambling is a B-movie actor who has to put on a rubber suit and destroy a scale-model Japanese city, to scare the Japanese into surrendering so that releasing the real monsters won't be necessary. Morrow's last novella-as-a-book was the heartbreaking, magnificent City of Truth more than a decade ago; if Shambling is half as good as that, it'll be one of the best books of the year.

Matthew Sturges has a first novel, Midwinter, coming from Pyr as a trade paperback in March, but he's no new writer: he's already been writing comics professionally for several years, including co-writing Jack of Fables with creator Bill Willingham and runs of Blue Beetle, Salvation Run, Shadowpact, and Countdown to Mystery. Midwinter sounds like a dark epic fantasy novel -- not unlike his Pyr stablemate Joe Abercrombie -- set in the land of the Seelie.

And last for this week was a comics collection: The Martian Confederacy by Jason McNamara and Paige Braddock. It's published by Girl Twirl Comics, and came out sometime earlier this year. (Tip of the week to small publishers, or anyone sending out things to media/bloggers -- always include information about your product with the product. It doesn't need to be a long press release, though those are sometimes helpful -- just a slip of paper with the title, ISBN, publication date and other vital information is all you really need.) It's some kind of science fiction story set on Mars in 3535, with anthropomorphic bears as well as humans. (I think Mars has been semi-terraformed, since the characters are shown out on the surface with only a small breathing apparatus.)

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