Monday, October 15, 2012

Reviewing the Mail: Week of 10/3

Um, so like here's my mail and stuff.

(Translated out of teenagerese -- I've got a high school freshman, so I'm working to become fluent in it these days -- that means that below you will find descriptions, and possibly a smidgen of analysis, of a number of new and forthcoming books that were sent to me by their respective publishers over the last week. I have not yet read any of them. We return you to Antick Musings in progress.)

...passersby were amazed by the unusually large amounts of blood.

Home is not officially a zombie novel. Matthew Costello's second novel -- a sequel to his first, Vacation -- is set in an apocalyptic near-future where there are flesh-eating formerly-human monsters have overrun society, destroyed the rule of law and order, torn families apart, and made getting a decent tee-time a thing of the past, admittedly. But they're called Can-Heads, so they are most assuredly not zombies. But, if you like to read about a small band of plucky survivors killing lots and lots of people -- and feeling morally superior because they're not really "people," so killing them is just fine -- you'll have another opportunity to indulge your baser instincts when Thomas Dunne Books publishes Home on October 30th.

DAW is publishing it's usual three mass-market paperback in November, and I have copies of them in my hot little hands right now:
  • Shadowheart is the fourth and concluding book in Tad Williams's big epic-fantasy series "Shadowmarch"
  • Polterheist is the fifth book in Laura Resnick's ongoing urban fantasy series about Esther Diamond, struggling actress and reluctant fighter of supernatural evil
  • And The Wild Ways, from Tanya Huff, is a sequel to The Enchantment Emporium, continuing the story of matriarchially-run magic shops across modern Canada.  
Since The Tao of Pooh -- and possibly earlier -- certain writers have mined popular fiction for rules to live by and attempted to hitch their own wagons to already established stars. (And sometimes, the the aforementioned Tao of Pooh, written really insightful, useful books along the way.) In this year of Hobbit-fever, there's a new entry in that genre: Noble Smith's The Wisdom of the Shire, a slim book that harvests rules for living from J.R.R. Tolkien's tales of Middle-earth. (Presumably "Do not meddle in the affairs of wizards, for they are subtle and quick to anger" is right up top.) There is an introduction by Peter S. Beagle, and an associated website -- but the book itself could come your way on October 30th, when Thomas Dunne Books publishes it.

Peter Ackroyd, noted novelist (Hawksmoor) and historian (London: The Biography), has translated and retold Sir Thomas Mallory's Le Morte d'Arthur as The Death of King Arthur, which has now been published in a handsome Penguin Classics edition, with French flaps and a gorgeous illuminated-manuscript-style cover. (Of course, you e-book types lose all of that, but you're probably all reading mommy porn anyway, if the bestseller lists are any indication.) That handsome edition hits stores on October 30th.

I have just read the flap copy for HALO: The Thursday War (a novel based on the videogame series, and written by Karen Traviss) and understood perhaps one word in three. So I can tell you that there are people fighting very hard about things that you probably care about vastly more than I do. (And doing so on a Thursday, apparently.) I can tell you that this is in the "Kilo-Five" trilogy -- I suspect the middle book, since it's Traviss's second Halo novel, but don't quote me -- which may affect your buying decision. And, lastly, I can tell you that it's a Tor hardcover that published on October 2nd. If you like reading novels based on videogames -- an idea which, frankly, confuses me, since playing videogames mostly makes me want to play more videogames -- here is one to read.

Speaking of novels based on other things, I also have here The Walking Dead: The Road to Woodbury, a novel by Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonansinga that both follows the previous novel Rise of The Governor (and tells another aspect of the back-story of that popular villain of the series) and leads up to events in the main comics series. It's a zombie story, which means you know what it's about: the living dead will eat your flesh, but the real humans are even worse, those power-grubbing, nasty, scheming bastards. If that's the kind of world you like to immerse yourself in, I won't judge you. (Well, not to your face -- that would be rude.) Road to Woodbury is a hardcover from Thomas Dunne Books, coming on the 16th (which would be tomorrow).

And last for this week is an adaptation in the opposite direction: Blood Crime is a graphic novel in Kim Harrison's "Hollows' contemporary fantasy series, written by Harrison with art by Gemma Magno. As has become usual for such graphic adaptations, Blood Crime is a prequel to the main series (though a sequel to the first graphic novel, Blood Work), telling the story of an early case of series heroines Ivy Tamwood and Rachel Morgan. Blood Crime is from Del Rey, and hits stores on October 30th.

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