Monday, March 26, 2007

A Contest Worth Entering

You can win a free copy of Subterranean Press's numbered limited edition of last year's mega fantasy debut, The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch.

Number One, in fact.

Collector's rejoice and all that noise.

Check out the ever helpful Pat's Fantasy Hotlist for details.

And if you don't win, be sure to pick it up your own copy anyway. This novel is not a fluke, and Lynch's series is going to make some noise in the genre for a long time to come.

I'm reading the sequel Red Seas Under Red Skies as I write this, and if anything, Lynch is improving as an author. Getting in on the ground floor of this landmark limited edition series is just good sense.

Getting number 1 for free is stealing.

Locke would be proud.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Brasyl by Ian McDonald

Last June I reviewed Ian McDonald's most recent book, River of Gods, and I called it "The most important SF novel that has been released in my 18 years of fandom."

So it may be a bit surprising when I say that the forthcoming Brasyl is just as strong, a bit tighter, a lot faster paced, and all-around probably a better, more enjoyable novel.

Set in past, present, and future Brazil, McDonald weaves a triptych tale of humanity and all its passions and indignities. He proves the existence of ghosts through science; makes time travel scientifically plausible through quantum physics.

And he has multi-dimensional swords that make lightsabers look like letter openers.

Brasyl is a far smaller book than River of Gods, in size if not scope, and it is far easier to follow. That said, I have still had discussions with friends also lucky enough to read this work about just how difficult some of the subject matter is.

Understand before you embark on this trip up the Rio Negro that it will be difficult and time consuming. You will be compelled to look up words, research topics, and perhaps even translate some phrases. McDonald is not for the weak of heart.

But oh, the ideas!

But having given the effort, having learned and wondered and considered, I am better for having read this novel.

10/10


Collector's Notes:

Buy early and often. Brasyl is almost guaranteed a Hugo nomination, and ought to be a contender to win with it's simultaneous release in the US and UK.

PYR is publishing this in the US, with an absolutely stunning Stephan Martiniere cover. (Shown above.) Gollancz has the publishing duties in the UK, and the UK editions tend to be worth a bit more than the US editions. So this brings about an interesting dilemma.

To which the obvious answer is to buy both.

And thank me later.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Howard Who?

"There's no better writer alive than Howard Waldrop."
- Tim Powers


Old Earth Books (the fine publishers of SF classics Davy by Edgar Pangborn, City and Way Station by Clifford D. Simak, and the Edward Whittemore fantasy line) has produced an incredible collection of Howard Waldrop short fiction entitled Things Will Never Be The Same.

Waldrop's short fiction is among some of my favorite science fiction, and this book collects some of his very best work. It features:
  • "King of Where-I-Go"
  • "Calling Your Name"
  • "The Dynasters, Vol. I, On the Downs"
  • "US"
  • "Mr. Goober's Show"
  • "Heart of Whitenesse"
  • "Household Words, or, The Powers-That-Be"
  • "The Sawing Boys"
  • "Do Ya, Do Ya, Wanna Dance?"
  • "Wild, Wild Horses"
  • "French Scenes"
  • "Night of the Cooters"
  • "The Lions Are Asleep This Night"
  • "Heirs of the Perisphere"
  • "Flying Saucer Rock and Roll"
  • "The Ugly Chickens"

I bring this collection to your attention because Old Earth Books is currently offering free shipping on all orders that include Things Will Never Be The Same.

From the OEB website:

SPECIAL OFFER:

Order Things Will Never Be The Same before April 1, 2007 and receive free shipping on your entire order (US orders only; does not apply to currently out-of-stock books).

Enter the code HW in the promotion code box when you check out to take advantage of this special offer.


While there, be sure to pick up the Simak books and Davy. These three works are bloody seminal.

And I'd be remiss in not mentioning other great Waldrop books:

Howard Who? from Small Beer Press is a joy, and was my first Waldrop experience. And Custer's Last Jump from Golden Gryphon Press features Waldrops collaborations with such luminaries as George R.R. Martin and Bruce Sterling.

If you find your collection lacking in Howard Waldrop, then your collection is truly lacking. Pick up Things Will Never Be The Same while you can. If I've learned one thing with Old Earth Books it's that you only get one chance.... when they sell out, that's it.

Don't be out of luck.