Monday, July 19, 2010

Reviewing the Mail: Week of 7/17

I do this every Monday, and the few of you that read this very minor blog are probably used to this by now, but -- just in case -- here's the scoop: these are the books that came in the mail last week, from the publicity folks at various publishing houses, in the hopes that I will read and review these books. I have not yet read any of these books, and this is not a review -- but I can tell you some things about these books by looking at them, and by staring off into the distance and thinking very hard.

The Bird of the River is a new novel by the late Kage Baker -- she died, much too young and too early, in January of this year, after a career of little more than a decade that saw a dozen novels and a flood of shorter (but, in many cases, even better) fiction -- in the world of her novels The Anvil of the World and The House of the Stag. Tor will publish Bird -- a short novel about two teenagers working on a gigantic river barge -- on July 20th as a hardcover. Tor's cover letter doesn't say that this is Baker's last novel, so perhaps there's something else, finished or nearly so, still among her papers. But, even if that isn't the case, we still have this novel to remember Baker by.

From Fantastic Books -- an imprint of Wilder Publications (whoever they are; their web site is no help) -- comes a reprint of Paul Di Filippo's oddball 2003 novel Fuzzy Dice (originally published by Byron Preiss's ibooks). It's a bizarre dimension-hopping adventure about a man who gets access to infinite worlds to fulfill any wish he has -- but, as always, wishes cause more trouble than expected.

Also from Fantastic is an original collection of stories by Trent Zelazny, The Day the Leash Gave Way and Other Stories. Leash collects twenty-four horror/dark fantasy stories originally published over the past decades in House of Pain, Psrhea Magazine, Deviant Minds, Shadow of the Marquis, The Swamp, Horrorfind and a number of other places I've never heard of. (Which means nothing; I'm entirely innocent of the dark fantasy small-press scene, so I don't know if these are the most prestigious outlets or not.) Zelazny is the son of Roger Zelazny -- and, according to the flap copy, named his own son Corwin Random, which I can only tsk-tsk at; you need to give a kid at least one normal name, just in case.


Anonymous said...

Wilder Publications is the new venture by Warren Lapine (late of DNA Publications).

Andrew Wheeler said...

Anonymous: That was my memory as well, but the site doesn't say that anywhere -- nor could I find any record of "Wilder Publications" anywhere else -- so I was playing it safe.

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