Monday, September 07, 2020

Reviewing the Mail: Week of 9/5/20

I got three books in the mail this week, and these are them -- three fall titles from Tachyon Publications in their pre-publication forms. (Do they still call them ARCs? I've been out of trade publishing long enough that terminology may have shifted. I still like to call them "bound galleys" to underline that fact.)

First up, chronologically -- and also in my level of personal interest -- is the new novel for young readers by Daniel Pinkwater, Adventures of a Dwergish Girl, which is available on September 25th. I have been in the tank for Pinkwater, one of the finest writers ever for younger readers (and, on occasion, for no-longer-younger-readers) since I myself was a younger reader, to the point of shoehorning an omnibus of his work into the SFBC even when it only fit very loosely there. So I'm very happy to see this. It looks to be roughly contemporary, unlike his last string of books (roughly The Neddiad to Bushman Lives!, most of which were loosely related and set in a Pinkwaterian version of '50s America), and it's Middle Grade rather than Young Adult, for those who care about those minutia. It will probably be the next thing I read. Pinkwater is unique and wonderful and I hope he lives a million years and has a new novel every one of them.

Then there's Kitty's Mix-Tape, which concludes Carrie Vaughn's long-running Kitty Norville urban fantasy series. (It's so long-running that I did an omnibus of the first books at the SFBC, and I haven't worked there in well over a decade.) I say "concludes," since that's how the publisher puts it, but it's actually a collection of the related short stories: fifteen of them, originally published over the past decade or new to this collection (in one case). I'd like to read this, but I'm a good six books behind on the series -- I even have four of those books stacked up, patiently waiting for me -- so I think it has to get in line. This one is coming on October 16th.

Nucleation is the first novel by Kimberly Unger, who makes VR games as a day-job. It looks to be a hard SF novel about first contact gone wrong, about a VR-enabled space-mining operator. (Two big points for avoiding monkeys in cans and having what should be a solid economic reason for space stuff!) I don't know if the book goes more VR, more alien, or more space-y from there, but any of those directions would be interesting. Nucleation is available November 13.

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