Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Up and Coming (and Essential?) in June

Wait…didn’t this one already come out? Well, yes, it did, for those of you not stupid enough to preorder the paperbook months ago. I don’t know why I occasionally pretend I have self control, but I sometimes get the urge to play make believe, and as a result I have to wait for months and months to get to read something that looks excellent to me. So, while you were all waiting for City of Ruin, I was checking my mailbox for a slightly smaller, softer package. If you, like me, still haven’t gotten to this, there are countless excellent reviews to stir up some longing.

This is, as far as I can tell, an epic SF vampire epic, reminiscent of the Stand. Well, god damn, I need to read that. Spurring that growing need on is Wert’s glowing review. Cronin also talks briefly about the books genesis here.

I loved Gaiman's Neverwhere and have been itching to explore more of his work ever since. Stories, of course, has more than just Gaiman, and the rest of the cast is just as exciting. The same Joe Hill whose 20th Century Ghosts I just fell in love with? And - could that be? - Gene Wolfe? An interesting and promising lineup for sure, an alluring fact only aided by the Speculative Scotsman's review.

This is like those threads on music forums, where you construct your Dream Band. Or, to use a more relevant analogy, it’s like those threads on Westeros where you construct your own ideal small council/war council/kingsguard/privy-construction team, and this book is like Tywin, Littlefinger, and Kellhus occupying all the positions in perfect harmony and sending out an army of dragons to go roast dissenters. How can you possibly complain about a table of contents this strong? Well, I guess you could if the stories are shit. On that count, there’ve been some mixed reports, so far. Pat’s comments so far in this Westros thread have been fairly negative, while Aidan’s put up a few quite positive reviews of individual pieces (Lynch and Abercrombie, to be precise). I guess time, and personal taste, will tell.

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