Monday, August 20, 2012

Reviewing the Mail: Week of 8/18

Welcome back to Monday one more time -- as usual, Antick Musings celebrates the return of Monday with the traditional "Reviewing the Mail" spectacular. These books arrived in my mailbox over the past seven days, speeded there by publicists at various houses of publishing, all with the hopes that I will review them or otherwise bless them with what little publicity I can muster. I haven't yet read them, so this will not be an actual review, but I can tell you things about these books by looking at them and bending my powerful mind to their emanations in the Oversoul. (Or, alternatively and more prosaically, reading the cover letters.)

Patricia A. McKillip is a fine, inventive, and entirely grown-up writer whom I regularly feel guilty about -- I've only read a few of her books, and I really should read more of them. And I now have another opportunity, because Wonders of the Invisible World will be published by Tachyon as a trade paperback in October. Wonders collects sixteen stories (and one WisCon Guest of Honor speech), mostly from the past decade or so, though one story comes from as far back as 1985 and others are from '90s and early aughts. This looks like the second half of McKillip's short fiction, following up on 2005's Harrowing the Dragon, which collected mostly '80s and '90s work. If these stories are like the rest of McKillip's work, they're classy, smart stories about well-rounded people in interesting fantasy worlds -- and I can't imagine anyone wouldn't want to read those.

My other book to write about this week is Black Bottle by Anthony Huso, the sequel to 2010's The Last Page. It's a fantasy novel set in a secondary world, though there are hints that Black Bottle contains SFnal stuff as well -- Glen Cook's back-cover blurb, for example, compares Huso to Henry Kuttner - -and I suspect it's on the dark side: there's a high king who came back from the dead, and he seems to be one of our viewpoint characters. Black Bottle is a hardcover from Tor, hitting stores on August 21st.

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