Posts Tagged ‘books’
New goodies! Received from the publisher:
The Book of Apex Volume 4 – edited by Lynne Thomas, this features original fiction published in Apex magazine. Ken Liu, Catherynne Valente, Elizabeth Bear. . . it’s so pretty. No, really, it is. The photograph doesn’t do it justice. Everything about this book looks absolutely fricken’ gorgeous. i’ve barely had time to crack it open, and I’m already falling into the cover art.
And from Orbit, we have Fortune’s Pawn by Rachel Bach and Malice by John Gwynne. Looking through the promo material that came with Fortune’s Pawn, I kept wondering why they were also advertising Rachel Aaron’s Eli Monpress series. Ahh, because they are the same person. She writes under both Rachel Bach and Rachel Aaron. I don’t know much about Malice except that at first glance it looks to be in the Joe Abercrombie military epic fantasy mold.
Anyone read any of these? what do you think? what looks interesting to you?
Goodies from the publisher isn’t enough for me, cuz I iz greedy. Had to visit the bookstore too!
We’ve been trying to cull the book collection. It’s either that or buy more bookshelves. As it is, I’m afraid the floor of our apartment is going to cave in under the weight of all these books, and give our downstairs neighbor one helluva surprise. I took a grocery bags worth of books to the usedbook store for trade (a few older paperbacks, a few brand new books that weren’t catching my attention, even a glossy photo filled cookbook or two). turned in a tall stack of books, got a shorter stack of more interesting books in return.
For Vintage Scifi Month:
I have such a weakness for these Doctor Who books. The new ones haven’t done much for me, but oh, these old ones, I adore them. They are candy to me! I’m woefully underread when it comes to Zelazny, so found what looked to be a stand alone novel from him. Hoping the local used bookstore would just happen to have the first Amber book was pushing my luck!
but I did feel mightly lucky when I found these:
there’s no such thing as having enough Kage Baker! The Life of the World to Come is a Company novel, Sky Coyote is I think a stand alone.
Hey Baker and Zelazny experts: help a girl out. Can I read the Company novels out of order, and what’s the recommended reading order for the Amber books?
and not that anyone cares, but the digital camera on my new smart phone is insanely awesome. compared to the photos my older model digital camera takes, these new photos look practically 3-D!
Thanks to the amazing organization skills of Rinn over at Rinn Reads, we’re right in the heart of Science Fiction Month. And I’ve noticed something. Something wonderful: lots of folks who are participating in SciFi Month are completely new to science fiction.
This is fantastic! That so many people who have never picked up a science fiction book are interested in giving some weird stuff a try, it warms my heart. Getting into science fiction isn’t always easy. Strange names, alien planets, technobabble, far future technologies. . . it can be a bit much. Luckily, there are plenty (countless, actually) of “gate way” books, books that take place right now, or maybe a few years in the future, or even a few years in past. Books that don’t leave the solar system, maybe don’t even leave the Earth. You don’t need to be fluent in technobabble or have a degree in astronomy to enjoy these. You just need to turn the first page. . .
to help you on your journey into scifi, I’ve linked the titles to my reviews. If you have any suggestions for other gateway books, let everyone know in the comments!
American Elsewhere by Robert Jackson Bennett – After her parent’s death, Mona inherits her Mom’s old house in a sleepy town in the southwest. It’s one of those old fashioned towns, where everyone knows everyone else, and the oldsters remember all the family secrets. there are family secrets, and then there are Family Secrets. How will Mona react when she learns her own?
In the Garden of Iden, by Kage Baker. I love Kage Baker, it’s as simple as that. This novel is the first of her Company Series. Don’t worry, it doesn’t end on a cliffhanger, you won’t feel sucked into reading another long series. Mendoza is an operative with a company that collects historical artifacts, and they’ve turned her into an immortal cyborg, of sorts. She spies on people, but can’t tell anyone who or what she is. Really sucks, when she falls in love with someone on her first mission. This book is as heartbreaking as it is funny. By the way, I’ve got a review of some Kage Baker Company short stories that’ll be posting in a few days.
Yesterday my review of Catherynne M. Valente’s The Melancholy of Mechagirl posted over at SFSignal. this is her latest collection of short stories, novellas, and poetry, all with a connection to Japan. Head over to SFSignal to read the review and leave any comments.
random unconnected fun story: last night a family member excitedly says that someone sent him a picture of this cute Siamese cat, but it looks grumpy, and there’s a funny caption! isn’t that cute! I reply with where have you been? go google “grumpy cat”.
it’s nice to know I’m not the only one living under a rock.
Yesterday we all got a kick out of 17 Problems Only Book Lovers with Understand
Ink Slinger, who sees the positive in everything, responded with 17 Joys Only Book Lovers Will Understand. And it’s better. because he’s right. Sure, it’s funny to think of them as problems, but isn’t it better to think of them as joys?
did you go look yet?
This has been making the rounds on twitter and teh facebooks, but I wanted to share it here too. Click the link for all the animated gif awesomness.
i think this one best defines my life:
How about you? Which resonated with you, and did they leave any off this list?
There was a great piece on NPR on Monday morning about how two industries who love books – publishers and libraries – are having a tough time agreeing on how library patrons should check out e-books.
It’s a quick 7 minute story, and well worth the listen:
Publishing Houses are businesses. If they don’t make a profit selling their product – books – they will not be selling books for very long (as Nightshade Books learned the hard way). Publishers love libraries, and publishers have always sold lots and lots of books to libraries, often at discounted prices. A patron gets the book, loves the book, buys the book, maybe buys a copy for a friend. Or a patron gets on the waiting list for a book, doesn’t want to wait 8 weeks to read the latest bestseller, so they go out and buy the book. Even if every patron isn’t purchasing the book, it’s still a win-win for everyone.
Enter e-books, and the win-win becomes not so much.
With e-books, libraries face the same DRM you and I face, as in they are not buying the e-book, but merely leasing it. An e-book that you purchase for $10 on Amazon might cost a library up to $85, with restrictions on how long it stays in their catalog, or how many times they can lend it out. (those dollar figures are directly from the NPR story, I trust they have done their own fact checking)
Publishers are rightfully concerned that if their e-book makes it to an interlibrary loan site with no restrictions, what’s to stop a state library system from purchasing one copy of the latest bestseller and lending it to thousands of people, all at the same time?
What’s the answer? E-books and e-book lending is too new, so no one really knows yet.
Luckily, the news story mentions some projects that are moving in the right direction:
Simon and Schuster has a one year pilot project with a few public libraries in New York. The project allows an unlimited number of library patrons to check out the e-book when it’s first released, and offers patrons the opportunity to purchase the e-book through the library portal, giving the library a percentage of every sale. Simon and Schuster is running a giant library fundraiser, and selling their own digital content at the same time. Will they make a profit on this, proving that it can succeed across the country? I have no idea. Is Simon and Schuster sewing a ton of goodwill and starting a much needed conversation? YES.
Over in Colorado, the Douglas County library system as found a different option that bypasses much of the troublesome DRM. They purchase what they can afford through the big publishers, but are now working with over 500 smaller and independent publishers, including Smashwords, to build their digital content library. They may not have that specific best seller title you were looking for, but they certainly have a veritable “stack” of e-books in the same genre. Might libraries be the next big thing for self published authors?
well, what do you think?
if you’ve gotten e-books out of the library, what’s been your experience?
If you work at a library, what’s been your experience sourcing e-books, and getting them into the virtual hands of your patrons?
Two little Star Trek gems entered my life recently:
The comic book, circa 1986, is a quick and funny little story, about how Kirk and crew outsmart a group of aliens who invade the Enterprise. In command of the Excelsior, Kirk teaches Saavik a little something about humor and hunches, and we get to meet Lt. Naraht the Horta. Comics is the perfect medium for this kind of story, as it’s too light and fluffy to survive being a filmed tv episode. Not exactly canon, DC did this series of comics in the mid 80’s, to follow the crew of the Enterprise after Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. But I coulda told you that just by looking at the cover art and flipping through the comic book.
One of the many things I enjoy about the lifespan of Star Trek is what I like to call art-direction-dating. Similar to carbon dating, the use of Star Trek art-direction-dating allows a fan to date an image, screen shot, film credits intro and uniform by the style of title font, and by Kirk’s hairstyle.
But mostly by Kirk’s hairstyle.
See how his hairstyle goes from late 60’s blonde-ish straight-ish hair with a side part, to 80’s more brown than blonde and curly on top, and then to a 90’s whatever moptop/toupee thing.
Piece of pie to date the comic to mid 80s.
moving on . . . to the second Star Trek goodie.
I have returned from California! sleep has been had, coffee has been drunk, contact lenses have been replaced and hair has been washed. now I just need to check with HR and see if I can take all of next week as vacation.
note to self: do not take the red-eye next time. it’s just not worth it. who would have thought that a Sacramento to Minneapolis red-eye would have been overbooked? is that flight really this popular? the big guy sitting next to me fell asleep on my shoulder (not cool), but I got to watch a thunderstorm from the sky (super cool).
While I was gone, an obscene quantity of books showed up at home. Husband nearly flipped out as the stacks grew. He says I’m on book buying probation until I cull some of my collection. I really can’t argue with him. Warning: photo dump starts. . . NOW.
my shipment from Borderlands Books:
The Weird, edited by Ann and Jeff Vandermeer
Makers by Cory Doctorow
The Privilege of the Sword by Ellen Kushner
Declare by Tim Powers
Edge by Thomas Blackthorne
Fearsome Journeys, edited by Jonathan Strahan
I’d never heard of Thomas Blackthorne before, but how can you say no to this minimalist yet effective cover art?
these showed up too:
I’ve been reviewing a lot of the other big Hugo categories recently, and now it’s finally time for the nominees for best novel. It’s a nice varied group, including a fantasy adventure from a debut novelist, a nostalgia/homage humor piece, two space operas and a post apocalyptic thriller. An author who wins this award will forever be known as “So and so, author of the Hugo award winning Such and Such! let’s give them a big round of applause!” Future printings of their novel will forever say “Hugo Award Winner”.
yeah, it’s sort of a big deal. You can learn more about the Hugo awards here.
This years nominees for Best Novel are:
- 2312, Kim Stanley Robinson (Orbit)
- Blackout, Mira Grant (Orbit)
- Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance, Lois McMaster Bujold (Baen)
- Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas, John Scalzi (Tor)
- Throne of the Crescent Moon, Saladin Ahmed (DAW)
The links above go to the novels I reviewed earlier this year, and I’ve got a review for Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance going up in a couple days, hopefully shortly followed by a review of Blackout by Mira Grant. My voting will remain secret, but if you read the reviews carefully I’ll bet you can figure out what I liked the best.
In the meantime, which of these novels have you read? What did you think of them?