Monday, July 16, 2012

Reviewing the Mail: Week of 7/14

I usually try to begin these weekly posts with some kind of attempted humor -- sometimes in the Internet definition of humor, "a reference to something else that the audience is assumed to be familiar with" -- but this week I want to be serious.

You know, only you can stop bad books. Now, I won't name any names -- it's so much easier that way -- but the world is flooded with absolutely horrible books: badly written, idiotically conceived, utterly wrong-headed, and lacking in the least shred of usefulness. And those books only continue to exist because you (and people like you) buy and read them. Won't you take a stand against bad books today? Pledge now to only read good books from now on!

(Now that I think of it, that really won't help, since the current flood of bad books is driven by self-publishers, and nobody's reading those books anyway. Hmm. Well, forget I said anything.)

The following books are all absolutely wonderful, and I know that even though I haven't read a single word of any of them yet. I know that because they were all sent to me by their respective publishers, and who would be so cruel as to inflict a bad book on a poor l'il blogger like me? No one, that's who!

So I haven't read these books yet, but here's what I can tell you about them, based on their etheric vibrations and my long-time relationships with Certain Powers in lands beyond the ones we know. If I'm wrong, I probably won't admit it, but the comments are open for your corrections anyway.

There's been a growing number of graphic novels adapting and expanding the worlds of various popular urban fantasy series for the past few years, and Karen Marie Moning (author of the Fever series, in which a plucky young American woman finds danger and immortal evil fae in Dublin) has been signed up for that movement with her new book Fever Moon. It seems to be an original graphic novel set in the Fever world (featuring MacKayla Layne, her series heroine), though it's credited as "adapted by David Lawrence, illustrated by Al Rio and Cliff Richards." (Thus my question: what did Lawrence adapt his script from? Did he work from Moning's novels, or a prose treatment by Moning, or a not-quite-comics script?) Fever Moon's cover letter says that it explains what happened to Dani O'Malley (a secondary character and the heroine of a spin-off series starting later this year) during the events of Shadowfever, the last book of the main series, so I'm assuming that this story takes place after Shadowfever. In any case: it's a new story in a popular series (though presented in a different format than usual), and it's a hardcover from Del Rey that officially hit shelves last week.

Sakuran: Blossoms Wild is a very different graphic novel about sexy women: it's a historical tale of oiran courtesans in Japan's Yoshiwara pleasure quarter from noted manga creator Moyoko Anno. Vertical is publishing Sakuran in July -- shrinkwrapped in plastic, to keep the kids out. (This is a story about courtesans, after all.)

It's that time again: I've got DAW's three mass-market paperbacks for August in front of me, and they are
  • The Diviner, a new novel by Melanie Rawn in the universe of The Golden Key (a novel she wrote some years back with Jennifer Roberson and Kate Elliott), coming out in an inexpensive format after last year's hardcover
  • Love on the Run, a new novel in the "Nola O'Grady" contemporary fantasy series by Katharine Kerr, which has something to do with sinister psychic squid
  • and The Grass King's Concubine, a big portal fantasy novel from Crawford and Tiptree nominee Kari Sperring
I believe I've mentioned Beth Bernobich's new novel Queen's Hunt -- sequel to Passion Play in the "River of Souls" series, which looks to be secondary-world fantasy with the usual kingdom-saving but perhaps more focus on female characters (and their romantic entanglements) than usual -- before, when I saw it in bound-galley form, but it's now a real hardcover (from Tor, officially out July 17), and I'll mention it again.

And last for this week is a big bunch of comics that my two sons are already nosing around: Radioactive Man: Radioactive Repository Volume One, a big fat collection of Simpsons-related comics from various Bong periodicals, collected into one fat hardcover (looking a lot like the archival collections of a certain Distinguished Competition) and coming from Harper on July 17th.

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