Monday, August 26, 2013

Reviewing the Mail: Week of 8/24

No one has pointed this out to me yet, but I seem to be usually opening these weekly posts by saying that there's no time for a long intro because either a) there are a lot of books, and I need to get through them, or b) I only have a couple of books, so an extended vamp up front would be silly.

I think we all can see the massive special pleading there.

So this time, I'm going to waste a lot of time and space to introduce the three books that came in this week, just to break that streak! (Well, maybe not.)

These three books will publish soon; I haven't read them; you might love 'em. Here's the scoop:

Carrie Vaughn's urban-fantasy heroine Kitty Norville is back with the twelfth book in the series, Kitty in the Underworld, coming from Tor as a mass-market original (yes, they still exist) in August. I've written about several of her books in the past, and I do like and recommend this series: it's a smart modern fantasy, grounded in real-world concerns and shows at least a desire to avoid the usual bloody vigilante justice in favor of the rule of law.

How Are You Feeling? hard to describe thing. The subtitle is "at the centre of the inside of the human brain's mind;" it's written by David Shrigley, who is some kind of deliberately outsider artist-as-media-personality; and it's either a self-help book or a parody of one. (Or, possibly, both at once.) Norton is publishing this thing as a small hardcover on September 23rd, as the perfect gift book for that friend you don't understand at all. It's crudely drawn on purpose, and is alternately deliberately trite and deliberately weird -- I suspect I am too cynical and jaded to give it an honest chance. Perhaps you are not.

And David Drake has a new novel: Monsters of the Earth, the third of his "Books of the Elements" series, about a city which is not precisely 1st century Rome and a world in which magic works (which is, after all, traditional in a fantasy novel). No one in genre fiction knows Rome better than Drake, and the fact that he often writes about men at war often obscures the fact that he's a supple and deeply thoughtful writer. This one is a Tor hardcover in September.

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