Well, I meant to get this posted much earlier today and failed in an epic way. I decided to sleep last night instead of writing posts for the website. I apologize.
My giveaway of Blood and Iron and The Barrow has ended. One of my coworkers picked a random number between 1-81 (which is how many people entered. Holy. Shit.). And the winner ended up being…
Matt H. from New York. Congratulations, Matt!
In other news, I have been working hard to put together a bunch of posts for Special Needs in Strange Worlds on SF Signal. April is booked! Next month you can find posts from Rhiannon Held, Michael J. Sullivan, Daryl Gregory, and Sharon Lynn Fisher. I am booking posts for the whole year so please keep contacting me!! My inbox has been hopping and it warms my heart. I’m just AMAZED by the authors who have contacted me and their enthusiasm. This column is so very important to me. I am so thrilled so many people are willing to participate.
Fury – Charlotte McConaghy
This book came out of nowhere. I gave it a shot even though everything about it puts me off. I’m not into romance. I’m not into dystopia, and I struggle with young protagonists. However, in my desire to read young adult this year, and my researching into a project I am thinking of starting, I decided to give it a shot. Three things I’m learning: McConaghy is a great author. This book isn’t really young adult. It’s actually quite adult… and the idea this book is based on is so incredibly thought provoking.
Crossover – Joel Shepherd
This book is a lot of fun, but under all that excitement is a book that really pokes at your think-muscle. Shepherd does a great job at examining morality, humanity, and war, all the while wrapping it inside a plot that is wham-bam action and tons of fun. This is one of those science fiction books that strikes me as perfect when I’m in the mood to just enjoy, or when I am interested in thinking about things a little differently. Crossover is a quick read, and is the start to a series that I will definitely finish.
Defenders – Will McIntosh
Gah! I LOVE WILL MCINTOSH! This book is so absolutely different than Love Minus Eighty, but it is shaping up to be just as thoughtful. I thought I knew where this book was going, but now I’m not so sure. I think it is fascinating to see how McIntosh takes something that is fairly typical in SciFi (alien invasion) and totally warps it into something completely thoughtful, and absolutely different than anyone would expect. No wonder this guy has won awards…
The Goblin Emperor – Katherine Addison
I just started it, so all I can really say is that it is a fascinating concept, an absolutely riveting world, and some stunning writing.
Now onto BOOKS I’M EYEING.
This is my weekly (sort of) attempt to highlight the blogs I frequently visit, and hopefully direct some traffic their way. Thanks to everyone who contributes so much incredible stuff to this fantastic genre, and thanks for making my librarians (and the hold shelf at said library) hate me.
So what books are you eyeing?
Out on Blue Six – Ian McDonald
Discovery blamed on: Weirdmage’s Reviews
About the Book
In a totalitarian future controlled by the Compassionate Society, the Ministry of Pain, and the Love Police, cartoonist Courtney Hall finds herself a fugitive. Her only escape is to an underground society–a society of violence and decadence Courtney must traverse to realize her dreams.
Expiration Day – William Campbell Powell
Discovery blamed on: Bibliotropic
About the Book
What happens when you turn eighteen and there are no more tomorrows?
It is the year 2049, and humanity is on the brink of extinction….
Tania Deeley has always been told that she’s a rarity: a human child in a world where most children are sophisticated androids manufactured by Oxted Corporation. When a decline in global fertility ensued, it was the creation of these near-perfect human copies called teknoids that helped to prevent the utter collapse of society.
Though she has always been aware of the existence of teknoids, it is not until her first day at The Lady Maud High School for Girls that Tania realizes that her best friend, Siân, may be one. Returning home from the summer holiday, she is shocked by how much Siân has changed. Is it possible that these changes were engineered by Oxted? And if Siân could be a teknoid, how many others in Tania’s life are not real?
Driven by the need to understand what sets teknoids apart from their human counterparts, Tania begins to seek answers. But time is running out. For everyone knows that on their eighteenth “birthdays,” teknoids must be returned to Oxted—never to be heard from again.
The Girl with All the Gifts – M. R. Carey
Discovery blamed on: Civilian Reader… and in all honesty I’ve been looking at this one for months.
About the Book
Melanie is a very special girl. Dr Caldwell calls her ‘our little genius’. Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don’t like her. She jokes that she won’t bite, but they don’t laugh. Melanie loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children’s cells. She tells her favourite teacher all the things she’ll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn’t know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad.
The Burning Dark – Adam Christopher
Discovery blamed on: The King of the Nerds
About the Book
Back in the day, Captain Abraham Idaho Cleveland had led the Fleet into battle against an implacable machine intelligence capable of devouring entire worlds. But after saving a planet, and getting a bum robot knee in the process, he finds himself relegated to one of the most remote backwaters in Fleetspace to oversee the decommissioning of a semi-deserted space station well past its use-by date.
But all is not well aboard the U-Star Coast City. The station’s reclusive Commandant is nowhere to be seen, leaving Cleveland to deal with a hostile crew on his own. Persistent malfunctions plague the station’s systems while interference from a toxic purple star makes even ordinary communications problematic. Alien shadows and whispers seem to haunt the lonely corridors and airlocks, fraying the nerves of everyone aboard.
Isolated and friendless, Cleveland reaches out to the universe via an old-fashioned space radio, only to tune in to a strange, enigmatic signal: a woman’s voice that seems to echo across a thousand light-years of space. But is the transmission just a random bit of static from the past—or a warning of an undying menace beyond mortal comprehension?
Strange Bodies – Marcel Theroux
Discovery blamed on: Nerds of a Feather
About the Book
Whatever this is, it started when Nicky Slopen came back from the dead.
Nicholas Slopen has been dead for months. So when a man claiming to be Nicholas turns up to visit an old girlfriend, deception seems the only possible motive.
Yet nothing can make him change his story.
From the secure unit of a notorious psychiatric hospital, he begins to tell his tale: an account of attempted forgery that draws the reader towards an extraordinary truth – a metaphysical conspiracy that lies on the other side of madness and death.
With echoes of Jorge Luis Borges, Philip K. Dick, Mary Shelley,
Dostoevsky’s Double, and George Eliot’s The Lifted Veil, Strange
Bodies takes the reader on a dizzying speculative journey that poses questions about identity, authenticity, and what it means to be truly human.
Survival – Julie Czerneda
Discovery blamed on: Little Red Reviewer
About the Book
Herself a biologist, Julie E. Czerneda has earned a reputation in science fiction circles for her ability to create beautifully crafted, imaginative, yet believably realized alien races. In Survival, the first novel in her new series, Species Imperative, she draws upon this talent to build races, characters, and a universe which will draw readers into a magnificent tale of interstellar intrigue, as an Earth scientist is caught up in a terrifying interspecies conflict. Senior co-administrator of the Norcoast Salmon Research Facility, Dr. Mackenzie Connor, Mac to her friends and colleagues, was a trained biologist, whose work had definitely become her life. And working at Norcoast Base, set in an ideal location just where the Tannu River sped down the west side of the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Coast was the perfect situation for Mac. She and fellow scientist Dr. Emily Mamani were just settling in to monitor this year’s salmon runs when their research was interrupted by the unprecedented arrival of Brymn, the first member of the alien race known as the Ohryn to ever set foot on Earth.
Brymn was an archaeologist, and much of his research had focused on a region of space known as the Chasm, a part of the universe that was literally dead, all of its worlds empty of any life-forms, though traces existed of the civilizations that must once have flourished in the region. Brymn had sought out Mac because she was a biologist — a discipline strictly forbidden among his own people — and he felt that through her expertise she might be able to help him discover what had created the Chasm. But Mac had little interest in alien races and in studies that ranged beyond Earth, and as politely as she was capable of, she tried to make it clear that she was unwilling to abandon her own work.
However, the decision was soon taken out of her hands when a mysterious and devastating attack on the Base resulted in the abduction of Emily, and forced Mac to flee for her life with Brymn and the Earth special agents who were escorting him. Suddenly, it appeared that Earth itself might be under attack by the legendary race the Ohryn called the Ro, the beings they thought might be the destructive force behind the Chasm. Cut off from everything and everyone she knew, Mac found herself in grave danger and charged with the responsibility of learning everything she could that might possibly aid Earth in protecting the human race from extinction..