Around the Web

Things that have caught my eye (not so) recently:

I’m counting down the days to Seanan McGuire‘s “Late Eclipses” (next Tuesday!) and therefore have obviously been haunting Ms McGuire’s livejournal.  In honour of the upcoming release, she’s done a couple of in-depth FAQ posts on her world-building, which answers questions I didn’t even know I had, and go quite a way to explaining why Toby’s world feels so real.  I loved the post on the Cait Sidhe (Because You Asked:  A Cat May Look At A King) and this one going into detail on fosterage and the fae.  And also… perfume oils inspired by the books – I have no words to express how cool this is.  I mean, I’m not even massively into perfumes myself, but ahh, the descriptions.  I am very tempted…

I stumbled upon this review of Tanya Huff‘s “The Enchantment Emporium” at What If Etc Books, which summarised one of the aspects I loved best about this book:

However, while I felt The Enchantment Emporium erred on the side of too little information, this comes from one of the book’s strengths.  It’s told from Allie’s point of view and the explanations flow naturally from her.  There aren’t info dumps; she doesn’t say “As you know, Bob,” to explain something everyone present already knows.  It felt very much like I was dropped into this world and had to learn it by living it.

I loved how it felt as though the author trusted the reader to be smart enough to catch on eventually.  I think that’s somewhat rare in the current crop of fantasy releases, although Sharon Lee‘s “Carousel Tides” did it well too, IMO.

George RR Martin and Gardner Dozois have been coming up with some fantastic anthologies – the most recent being “Songs of Love & Death” (I liked Hilcia’s review, although I am still not getting the ending to the Neil Gaiman story!), and the new one sounds like a must-get, described as “… a mixture of urban fantasy, science fiction, hardboiled mystery, noir, paranormal romance, historicals, and fantasy PI stories”.  Charlaine Harris, Patricia Briggs, and Diana Gabaldon are amongst those headlining the anthology, so yep, auto-buy for me.  I love the cover too!



Books I Sort of Want

You know those books you vaguely want but haven’t yet gotten around to buying?

Here are three of mine – all SF romance.

Sara Creasy‘s “Song of Scarabaeus”: This one came to my attention after reading Janicu’s review.  I would definitely buy this if it was available in ebook format.  As it isn’t, I’ve gone as far as picking it up in a actual physical bookstore and reading a few pages.  There is a second book out in March, so maybe the wave of reviews for its sequel will spur me to actually buy this one.

Gini Koch‘s “Touched by an Alien”: There is also the ebook thing with this one as well (which surprises me slightly, I’m sure DAW releases books on the Kindle), but in addition to that – and this is going to sound really shallow – the alien reference in the title is putting me off.  But I know quite a few people really liked this book.

Marcella Burnard‘s “Enemy Within”: I love the title and cover.  But it is a trade paperback so there’s the price thing, and also – at the risk of sounding like a broken record – it’s not available in ebook format.  Then again, broadly positive reviews which make it sounds like a whole load of space opera fun – and have already I said I love the cover?

Heh.  Writing this post makes it evident that the main reason why I haven’t bought any of these is that the ebook version isn’t available in the UK.  I guess I’m starting to view purchasing an actual book as a proper commitment (which it is – it takes up real estate on my very limited bookshelves!).  And my impulse buys are very much saved for ebooks.

Books for February

Only two February releases that have caught my eye this month (obviously a slow start to the year, much like my blogging):

Tamora Pierce‘s “Tortall and Other Lands: A Collection of Tales” (fantasy): I am ridiculously happy about this collection of short stories, which consists of a mix of previously-published and original stories.  Tamora Pierce’s Alanna books fueled my love of fantasy, even before I became aware of a genre called “fantasy” (or even what “genre” meant, come to think of it), and she is an autobuy author for me.

Blurb from Amazon:

Collected here for the first time are all of the tales from the land of Tortall, featuring both previously unknown characters as well as old friends. Filling some gaps of time and interest, these stories, some of which have been published before, will lead Tammy’s fans, and new readers into one of the most intricately constructed worlds of modern fantasy.

Out Feb 22 (wiki page)


Harper Fox‘s “The Salisbury Key” (m/m romance): Harper Fox was one of my favourite debut authors last year, and she’s building an excellent backlist pretty rapidly.  She excels at angst-filled redemption stories, and this is sounding like yet another winner.

Blurb from Samhain:

Can love repair a shattered life in time to save the world?

Daniel Logan is on a lonely quest to find out what drove his lover, a wealthy, respected archaeologist, to take his own life. The answer—the elusive “key” for which Jason was desperately searching—lies somewhere on a dangerous and deadly section of Salisbury Plain.

The only way to gain access, though, is to allow an army explosives expert to help him navigate the bomb-riddled military zone. A man he met once more than three years ago, who is even more serious and enigmatic than before.

Lieutenant Rayne has better things to do than risk his life protecting a scientist on an apparent suicide mission. Like get back to Iraq and prove he will never again miss another roadside bomb. Yet as he helps Dan uncover the truth, an attraction neither man is in the mood for springs up against their will. And stirs up the nervous attention of powerfully placed people—military and academic alike.

First in conflict, then in passion, Rayne and Dan are drawn together in a relationship as rocky and complicated as the ancient land they search. Where every step leads them closer to a terrible legacy written in death…

Out Feb 22 (excerpt)


Slim pickings this month for me, any other February releases you have your eye on?