Monday, June 19, 2017

Reviewing the Mail: Week of 6/17

This week, I'm going to be telling you about three books that I first saw inside mailing envelopes. But not all of them were surprises, and not all of them were sent by publishers in hopes of publicity. They all came in the mail, though, so that's good enough for me.

First up is a book that did come from its publisher, that was sent by the usual publicity apparatus, and which will be published by Tor in trade paperback on June 20: Perilous Prophecy by Leanna Renee Hieber. It's set in 1860s Cairo -- possibly an alternate world, since there's a "Goddess' who seems to be the dominant religious figure there, and that does not jibe with my knowledge of the Islamic world in the 19th century -- and is something of a prequel to Heiber's first novel Strangely Beautiful. The blurbs talk about romance and "a love story," so this may come out of a mix of genres rather than purely historical fantasy. (Also, I note that the group of main characters appears to have precisely three men and three women, which may indicate serious pairing-up.) If you're not as into romance, there are also marauding ghosts, crippling self-doubt, an ancient prophecy, a terrible darkness, and, inevitably, a "final, deadly conclusion."

Next is a book that came in the mail because I paid for it: The Story of the Lincoln County War, the latest self-published effort by Rick Geary, one of my favorite cartoonists. The Lincoln County in question is in New Mexico -- where Geary has been living for a couple of decades -- and the War took place in the 1870s. (So we've got a sort-of theme going on today -- mayhem in the late 19th century.)

And last is a book that was on my plate yesterday (Saturday) at dinner at my mother's house: it was originally planned as a birthday present (I've been told) but was re-purposed for Father's Day when shipping delays intervened. Hey, I'll take books as gifts any day -- you don't need an occasion. This one is The Complete Discworld Atlas, ostensibly by Terry Pratchett but mostly by his factotums and cartomancers. "Additional illustrations" are credited to Peter Dennis, but any primary illustrations are not -- so my guess is that Dennis did the bulk of the imagistic work here. This one was published in the UK by Transworld in 2015, an updated and upgraded version of the old Discworld Mappe.

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