Monday, June 25, 2012

Reviewing the Mail: Week of 6/23

This is the second week in a row which sees me jetting off to exotic locations early on Sunday morning, and so typing up these notes a day early. (And, along the way, becoming the latest excuse for Why I'm Blogging So Little Lately -- excuse #2 these days is Lego Batman 2.)

Luckily, it's a short pile this week, so this should be quick -- unless there's a flood in the late mail delivery, which would be awesome and annoying at the same time. (There should be one word for that sensation -- awe-noying? annoysome? -- because the English language needs more bizarre portmanteau words to make purists grind their teeth in anger.)

These two books both came in this last week. I haven't read either of them -- and, looking at them, neither looks like my usual kind of thing, to be honest -- but perhaps one or both of them will be your favorite book of 2012, so I'll try to be honest, fair, and only mildly sarcastic.

First up is a horror novel from the wonderfully named David Moody, Them or Us. It's the conclusion to the "Hater" trilogy, also including the novels Hater and Dog Blood, about a deeply crapsack near future in which some sufficient reason has changed a large portion of the human race into "Haters," who apparently spend all of their time either killing the Unchanged or fighting with each other for dominance. (I find dystopias, especially horror dystopias, intensely dull.) Them Or Us was originally published in hardcover last November, but the trade paperback edition will be available on July 17th from Thomas Dunne Books.

Speaking of crapsack post-apocalypse near futures -- and we seem to be doing nothing else in the fields of spec-fic these days, leaving me grumpy and disconnected -- I also have in hand an anthology called 21st Century Dead, edited by Christopher Golden. And, yes, it's another collection of stories about zombies -- all originals in this one, 19 of them from folks including Orson Scott Card, Dan Chaon, Chelsea Cain, Jonathan Maberry, Simon R. Green, and Amber Benson. This one is from Griffin (a different imprint of the same company that publishes Them Or Us), and will also arrive in stores on July 17th.

And, if someone could explain the appeal of written zombie fiction -- in a way that I'd actually accept -- I would be...well, probably annoyed, actually, since I'd prefer to keep complaining in a quizzical manner, and an explanation would throw a spanner into that.

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