Monday, February 22, 2010

Reviewing the Mail: Week of 2/20

Greetings, wage-slaves! (And whatever rentiers I may have out there as well.)

This is my weekly Monday-morning post, listing and commenting on the books that I saw for review the previous week. I haven't read any of these books yet, so longer reviews may follow. But below is what I can tell about these books by looking at them and from whatever prior knowledge I may have.

Pride of place has to go to Christopher Rowley's new novel, Pleasure Model, for the title and for that very pulpy cover. It's both the first book in Rowley's Netherworld series and the first title in the new Heavy Metal Pulp fiction line, a partnership between Heavy Metal magazine and Tor Books. The series will feature novels that combine noir with fantasy, illustrated in a Heavy Metal-esque manner. (This book, for example, is a future murder mystery centered on a down-and-out police detective named Rook, and has interior illustrations by Justin Norman and a cover by Gregory Manchess.) It was published at the beginning of this month, and so is already available everywhere.

J.V. Jones's "Sword of Shadows" series -- which began just over a decade ago with A Cavern of Black Ice -- concludes with Watcher of the Dead, coming in hardcover from Tor this April.

Petrodor is the second in Joel Shepherd's "Trial of Blood & Steel" fantasy quartet, after Sasha. Apparently, the title character of the first book (our series heroine) is now living in the titular city of this book, and continuing her efforts to stop a looming war between her homeland Lenayin and "the mighty Bacosh." Petrodor will be published by Pyr in trade paperback on March 2nd.

Also from Pyr is Kay Kenyon's Prince of Storms, the fourth and last book in her far-future multiversal epic "The Entire and the Rose." It's a hardcover that hit bookstores on February 16th, and -- since I haven't read any of the previous books in the series -- I think I'll leave it at that.

I was all set to bubble about Adrian Tchaikovsky's Empire in Black and Gold -- the first of an epic fantasy trilogy under the overall title "Shadows of the Apt" -- being yet another manifestation of the rise of Russian and ex-Warsaw Pact fantasy in translation, and how wonderful it is that the fantasy audience is enjoying these books...when I checked again, and saw that Tchaikovsky is actually British, and was born in Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire. Oh, well. But this book still has a gorgeously golden Jon Sullivan cover and an evil Wasp empire -- which, as you can see from the cover, means its solders have actual wasp wings that allow them to fly. That is utterly made of awesome, so how could Empire in Black and Gold be less than good? It'll be published by Pyr as a trade paperback on March 2nd.

And last for this week is the one book of comics this time out: Uneasy Happiness, the third collection of Lewis Trondheim's "Little Nothings" diary strips. (If you can read French, you can see them as they come out on his blog; the rest of us have to wait for these annual translated collections.) I've reviewed the first two books for ComicMix, and enjoyed both of them greatly; Trondheim has a gift for finding and pinning to the page the small, important moments of life. Uneasy Happiness will be published by NBM in March.
Listening to: Elvis Perkins In Dearland - Slow Doomsday
via FoxyTunes


Unknown said...

I think the Sword of Shadows series is still continuing after Watcher of the Dead. Can't be certain but I'm sure there's at least one more maybe a 6th book even. Something I've read possibly from the author's FAQ on her website.

Also Shadows of the Apt isn't a trilogy either. It's going to be a 10 book series if the author has his way. He's already released the 4th book, Salute the dark, with the 5th coming later in the year (around July I think).

James Davis Nicoll said...

As I recall, Adrian Tchaikovsky is a pen name for Adrian Czajkowski. I guess Tchaikovsky was seen as easier for Anglo readers to wrap their minds around than Czajkowski.

Fun stuff, though, and there's a wealth of supplementary material for the world on the author's web site.

In unrelated news the captcha word I am being presented with below is "wisestro", which sounds like a lesser Green Lantern villains: his malice is powered by bad Qwardian plonk.

Gary Baumgarten said...

Heavy Metal publisher Kevin Eastman will be my guest on News Talk Online on the Paltalk News Network at 5 PM NY time Wednesday March 3 to talk about Pleasure Model.

You are invited to chat with him then and ask him any question you’d like. Please to to to join the chat.



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