Monday, August 29, 2016

Reviewing the Mail: Week of 8/27

I'm on vacation this coming week. I say this not to gloat -- well, not entirely -- but to let you know that there just might be some more posts this week than usual, since I'll have slightly more free time and a large stack of books calling out to be written about.

But speaking of stacks of books calling out to be written about, I have a short one here as well. As on every other Monday, these came in my mail, and I haven't read them yet. But here's what looks interested about them.

I'm surprised to see that Everfair is Nisi Shawl's first novel; I thought I'd just managed to miss her previous books. (She does have a Tiptree-winning collection, Filter House, and is the co-author of the nonfiction book Writing the Other: A Practical Approach with Cynthia Ward.) [1] Everfair the novel is the alternate-history story of Everfair the place, a planned Utopia carved out of/bought away from King Leopold's Congo in a world at least as intriguingly complex as our own but with added steam-powered technology. I don't know if everything turns out according to Utopian hopes, but it can hardly end up worse than what happened in the Congo in our own timeline, can it? It's a Tor hardcover coming on September 6th, and I expect will be one of the major first novel of this year.

And I also have a very different book, one officially published for younger readers (though there's nothing stopping the rest of us from reading it!) Alcatraz Vs. the Evil Librarians, Book Five: The Dark Talent is the latest in Brandon Sanderson's series about the evil librarians who secretly rule the world (at least the parts of the world we know about) and the plucky young hero who battles them. This one is threatened to be the last in the series -- so this is my usual call-out to those of you who wait until things are over to begin enjoying them. This comes from Tor's sister imprint Starscape, and is also on sale September 6th in hardcover.

[1] Back in my old life, Shawl was a freelance reader for the SFBC for at least a while, and I had some contact with her then. She seemed too busy and her writing too publishable and smart for the frankly low pay of that gig, though.

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