Monday, January 05, 2015

Reviewing the Mail: Week of 1/3

Most weeks, I get some books in the mail, since I write about books here. And I list all of those books in these Monday-morning posts, because I know I won't manage to read and review all of them. (Or any of them, some weeks: life is complicated and busy.) So here's what showed up this week, made as appealing and/or amusing as I can manage to make them:

First up is something unusual for me, Knit Your Own Kama Sutra by Trixie von Purl. (If that's not a pen name, I'll eat my carefully-crocheted sex dungeon.) I love weird and quirky books, so this looks particularly appealing, though I'm not likely to actually make any of these projects. But it's clearly meant to be really used to make real dolls and accessories -- clothing, bearskin rugs, champagne bottles, office equipment, and a lot of clothing to be placed on the dolls or scattered about as required. It's available January 20 from the fine folks at HarperDesign, and a lot of it is useful for any knitter making dolls and clothing and accessories -- and even more so if you plan to create some tawdry tableaus out of those dolls.

Doubleday is so serious about making Terry Pratchett as big in the States as he is in the UK that they're running through all of the "Science of Discworld" books -- four of which he wrote in conjunction with British scientists/science popularizers/novelists Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen about a decade ago -- over this year. January brings the second one, The Globe: The Science of Discworld II, which came out in the UK in 2002 and which the really serious Discworld fans have had for a while. (My own copy got lost in a 2002 flood; as I recall, it was not quite as fresh as the original Science of Discworld but better than three and four.) As with all of the books in this subseries, it's made up of alternating chapters -- first Pratchett with some Discworld fiction involving the Unseen University wizards creating a pocket universe centered on a Roundworld, and poking at it; and then Stewart and Cohen, in a more explicitly nonfictional mode, explaining the real science about those things the wizards were just poking at. The fictional plot is obviously just an armature for the scientific explanations, but it's all entertaining, and, if you're not careful, you just might learn something.

And last for this week is the first book in a new trilogy by one of the Grand Old Men of fantasy, Michael Moorcock. The Whispering Swarm begins a series called "The Sanctuary of the White Friars," and it's hero is a fictionalized young Moorcock, who discovers a secret sanctuary called Alsacia within London, a place outside time and protected from the outside world. It's a Tor hardcover and will be available on January 13th.

No comments:

Post a Comment