“Top Pick! Latner’s stunning full-length debut takes a well-worn plot, strips it bare and meticulously creates its own version. The characters are well defined; the science is imaginative but not whimsical; and the voyage is out of this world.”
Also happy to report that Hurricane Moon was named in the “What You Should Read This Year” panel at the recent ArmadilloCon and has been chosen as a book-club read of the Fandom Association of Central Texas (as was, apparently, Keeping It Real).
What's more, Joe Abercrombie's extraordinary fantasy debut The Blade Itself is also out. I just got my copies day before yesterday. Like River of Gods, its also on Amazon already. And Blood, Blade & Thruster magazine just posted this tremendous review. They introduce The Blade Itself in this manner: "Desperately in need of some genre fiction with character driven plot, plenty of violence, and strong anti-hero protagonists, but tired of waiting for George R. R. Martin to finish his epic Game of Thrones series?" Which is as nice an intro as I could ask for.
Reviewer Lucien Spelman goes on to say that Joe's novel is "a fantasy novel full of enough ironic and slightly self-deprecating humor and Scorcese-esque violence to make the average hipper than thou non-fantasy reader want to learn more about the genre (my favorite kind to convert), yet filled with enough touchstones to make your average Tolkien weaned fantasy reader quite happy indeed."
Selling Out debuts this October and sees Special Agent Lila Black, quite literally, on a mission to Hell. This being Justina Robson we are talking about, the results make you laugh, cry, think and feel.
"Chris Roberson is a fellow Texas author whom I have not yet met. I will soon seek him out and buy him a Shiner and a Tequila to discuss this and his other novels. I am always impressed when a writer pens something that is so obviously outside of their experience, and for Mr. Roberson to write from the perspective of Roxanne Bonaventure as a young girl, teen, moving through the other stages of womanhood, takes excellent powers of observation."
"The overall storyline isn’t losing any steam and the tension that comes off the pages during any scene with the Twins is building to great effect. One of the aspects of this series that I enjoy the most is how Sean Williams continues to evolve the landscape of our world. From the titular hanging mountains, to the sea serpents, to the sky wardens, to the strange races, part of what makes this series such a fun ride is knowing, at one point, the world the characters inhabit was our own. Williams is continuing to develop the characters, the transformed earth, and the plotline in equal amounts, culminating in an ultimately delectable stew."
Fri 1000 Sprawl Fiction
Participants: Ellen DATLOW, Gavin J. GRANT, Lou ANDERS, Yoshio KOBAYASHI
"Sprawl fiction" was coined to show how new writers, most in their thirties, are trying to expand our genre yet still loving its very core, straight SF. Terms like "new Weird", "interstitial", "strange fiction" or "new fabulist" don't cover the trend fully. It is a natural reflection of our urban society and probably heralds the new stage of our evolution; to the stars. We talk about why the new generation slipstream is not the fusion of literary fiction and SF/F.
Fri 1200 Remembering Robert Anton WILSON
Participants: Jack William BELL, Lou ANDERS, Yoshio KOBAYASHI
Remembering the golden days of the geeks.
Fri 1500 Pyr: Upcoming Books Slideshow
Participants: Lou ANDERS
A look at Pyr's upcoming schedule.
Sat 1000 What Editors Want From Artists
Participants: Bob EGGLETON, Jennie FARIES, John PICACIO, Karen HABER, Lou ANDERS
Is it realism? A particular color? Many editors return to the same artists again and again. What sets these paragons apart? Style? Originality? A distinctive look or varied approach? Reliable telepathy? (Oh, and must the artist read the story, or what?)
Sat 1100 Kaffeeklatsche
Participants: Lou ANDERS
Sat 1300 Autographs
Participants: Lou ANDERS
Sat 1400 SF Tribes? The New Communities in Internet Society.
Participants: Lou ANDERS, Mark L. VAN NAME, Yoshio KOBAYASHI
Our community has grown so big, we have many small cabals, each of which cares nothing for the others. Through the Internet, blogging and e-mails our ties are strengthened and old community values wear thin, as proved by Hurricane Katrina. Any connection there?
- Guest Editorial: The March of the Whiteshirts
- 'The Affair of the Bassin les Hivers' (short story)
- Lovers: A Memoir of Mervyn and Maeve Peake (extract from a Moorcock work in progress)
- London, My Life! or The Sedentary Jew (extract from a Moorcock novel in progress)
- Interview with Andrew Hedgecock: Staring Down the Witches (with previously unpublished photos)
Update: Rick Keffel's latest Agony Column looks at The Metatemporal Detective as well, while waxing nostalgic about growing up reading Moorcock as well as remembering Moorcock's band the Deep Fix. He says, "It's easy to get sucked back into Moorcock's entertainingly dense and historically rich style. What's particularly nice here is the way that Moorcock manages to pay tribute to the mystery writers who inspired him while writing some very peculiar bits of very weird fiction. "
"Taking man as representative of multicelled life, we can say that man is the mean proportional between Macro-Life and the cell. Macro-Life is a new life form of gigantic size which has for its cells individual human beings, plants, animals, and machines . . . Society can be said to pregnant with a mutant creature which will be at the same time an extraterrestrial colony of human beings and a new large-scale life form."
UKSFBN: Will Set the Seas on Fire be a stand alone or part of a series? Is it necessary to read Paragaea before this one?
Chris R: "Seas is part of a series of stand-alone novels which can be read in any order. The series revolves around an extended family of adventurers and heroes, the Bonaventure-Carmody family. Paragaea: A Planetary Romanceis actually a sequel to Set the Seas on Fire, if you want to be specific about it, since the events of this novel predate those of Paragaea. But that said, either can be read on its own, and both can be read in any order. The same is true of my other Bonaventure-Carmody novels, Here, There & Everywhereand End of the Century. If you like one of them, chances are you'll like the others. If you don't like one, though, you still might like the others, as they're all quite different."
Tom provides a big hint to the big picture, but understands that "it’s much more concerned with image than with anything real. That makes Brazil the perfect stage for this play, even as it calls into question the nature of reality and free will."
His conclusion, that "Brasyl is an impressively energetic novel that gains a great deal from the exotic ambience of its setting. It also makes an interesting philosophical point at the end: Only in imperfection, perhaps the work of the devil, can we find hope. McDonald is well worth your attention."
Update: Two reviews for the UK edition for Brasyl came to my attention today as well. Lisa Tuttle, in The Times, calls the book, "a brilliant, kaleidoscopic novel that’s both a portrait of a country and an exploration of the wilder shores of theoretical physics. Brasyl is McDonald’s best book yet, written in a vivid, almost hallucinatory style that’s perfectly suited to his fascinating subject."
Meanwhile Eric Brown writes in The Guardian that Brasyl is "an accomplished work, a complex, multi-layered narrative which questions the notions of determinism and free will in a universe of illimitable possibilities. McDonald not only paints a stunning portrait of Brazil, which in all its chaos mirrors the quantum uncertainties of the multiverse, but presents a set of characters who come over as real people: multi-faceted, flawed, but ultimately sympathetic.
"Latner shows significant skill in creating a broad range of likable characters and braiding science fiction and adventure with romance to create a very readable and enjoyable novel...Hurricane Moon is a solid debut novel that should please fans of hard science fiction, planetary adventure and romance fiction alike.
Jessica also maintains a newsletter for the store, World's Biggest Bookstore's Sci-Fi Fan Letter, which is well worth checking out. The World's Biggest Bookstore is located at 20 Edward Street, Toronto, Ontario, M5G 1C9 Canada and can be reached by calling (416)977-7009. Meanwhile, I love getting these shots of Pyr Books in the Wild and will happily post more from other stores as well. Thanks, Jessica!
Or, as Joe says, "If I called the Starship novels as introductory sci-fi, please do not take that as a knock. It isn't. It is just a statement that a reader who knows nothing about science fiction can pick up one of these books and be equally as entertained as one who has been reading the genre for years. It's a good introduction to what sci-fi can be. It isn't just about the Big Idea. It’s also about the fun story."