Monday, September 30, 2019

Reviewing the Mail: Week of 9/28/19

This time out, I have books in two categories: three newly-published books, and two that I paid for myself but just came in the mail.

New Books

I'll lead with the quirkiest thing, since that's how I roll: Mingus Fingers by David Sandner and Jacob Weisman, coming from Fairwood Press in November. It's a short, small-format book -- probably a novellette -- and the speculative element seems to be,um, unique. It's about Charles Mingus, the jazz legend, who our narrator sees transform into a giraffe while playing...and Mingus thinks a young musician may be just as gifted. There's also, according to the back cover, something about boxing in it as well.

Meet Me in the Future is a story collection from Kameron Hurley, with sixteen stories originally published between 2006 and 2018. (Mostly 2015-2017, though, when she seems to have had a burst of short fiction.) It's from Tachyon, and I have a finished book in my hands, so I believe it is published already.

Also from Tachyon, coming in November, is a new anthology: The New Voices of Science Fiction, edited by Hannu Rajaniemi and Jacob Weisman. It reprints twenty stories by newer writers originally published over the past five years -- Rebecca Roanhorse, E. Lily Yu, Sarah Pinsker, Alice Sola Kim, and over a dozen more. It's the kind of book I didn't realize I needed until I saw it, but I hope I can get to it soon: I've been feeling disconnected from SF for a while, and thinking there's some cool new things going on over there that I should dig into.

Bought and Paid For

I was ordering something else from that hegemonic online retailer -- a widget for my home-office computer set-up, since I just got a new work laptop, and so something I needed ASAP -- and, as one does, I added a couple of things to the order. The one that's already arrived is Bad Machinery Vol. 8: The Case of the Modern Men by John Allison, the last of the major "cases" from that great webcomic to be reprinted in book form and the first one (I think) to only appear in the new smaller "pocket" format. (I liked the big format, myself, but it is more expensive, a tad unwieldy to read, and sticks out from the shelf -- so this is a change I can live with, though I reserve the right to grumble that my books don't match.) I've said it before, but John Allison is awesomely wonderful and you all should read lots of Bad Machinery.

Last for this week is The Wallace Mystery, the latest in Rick Geary's series of Kickstarted books of historical murders. (The longer books come out from NBM, these days under the "Library of XXth Century Murder" series title, and the self-published books are a bit shorter, use typeset captions and only a couple of large panels to the page, with a series title of "Little Murder Library.") You probably can't buy this right now, but here are links to the completed Kickstarter campaign and to Geary's general webstore, where it may turn up some day.

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