Monday, April 28, 2014

Reviewing the Mail: Week of 4/26

I've got two books to mention this week, and luckily they're about as different as books can be. But first, in case this exercise in unclear: since I review books, publishers send me books -- sometimes because I ask for them specifically but more often just because I'm out there. I don't read all of those books, but I do want to let you folks know they exist (and, I hope, not slander them along the way, though I fail in that fairly often). And so these are the two books that showed up this week -- I haven't read them yet, but I'm pretty sure these things are true:

Good Advice from Bad People is a high-concept non-fiction book edited by Zac Bissonnette -- his name's vaguely familiar to me, maybe because he's written other books before and maybe because he's a regular writer for magazines and newspapers -- in which Bissonnette collects quotes from people famous for doing very bad things. The quotes, as I understand it, are all advices, and I suspect most of it is hypocritical or at the very least deeply ironic in retrospect. Irony is fun, so I expect to enjoy this -- it's a small trade paperback from Penguin's business-focused Portfolio imprint, and it's already available.

Tom Doyle's American Craftsmen, on the other hand, is entirely fiction: a new amalgam of urban fantasy and the secret-society thriller, focusing on the secret families of "craftsmen" -- magicians allowed to live as long as they use their powers entirely for the benefit of the USA -- and their battles in the shadows against the similar forces of other nations. It's a Tor hardcover coming May 6th, and it comes with praise from some expected sources (Larry Correia, Jerry Pournelle, Eric Flint) and some less-expected ones (Jacqueline Carey, Mindy Klasky, L.E. Modesitt, Jr.)

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