Nov 1, 2009

YetiStomper Picks for November

Finch - Jeff Vandermeer

Great cover. I'm ashamed to say I haven't read any of Vandermeer's novels before but I have read some of his essays online as well of some the stuff he's edited. Regardless, I'm very excited to give Finch a try in this Noir-ish murder mystery set in Vandermeer's Ambergris.

Makers - Cory Doctorow

One of the authors I've been Keeping An Eye On. Doctorow publishes his first fiction novel since Little Brother (a favorite of mine) and his first adult novel since 2005. In typical Doctorow fashion, Makers is being serialized over on for free but if you want to read the entire story now (and with another great cover) you'll have to buy the book. I'd try to summarize the description in a few sentences but I honestly don't think I can. Click through to read it for yourself.

Under the Dome: A Novel - Stephen King

This Stephen King tome (1088 pages) is selling for $9.00 on That's less than a penny a page. King's latest tells the story of a Maine town unexpectedly cut off from the rest of the world by unexplainable invisible force field. That's the elevator pitch, it will be interesting to see how Stephen King puts his own touches on it. Creepy children and dark secrets perhaps?

Total Oblivion, More or Less: A Novel - Alan DeNiro

Alan DeNiro, another author I've been Keeping An Eye On (coincidentally last week's author), is publishing his debut novel this month. Debut novels are always interesting as the author attempts to make the leap from short fiction to the long form. Total Oblivion follows the story of Macy, a sixteen-year-old whose suburban lifestyle is unexpectedly interrupted by an invasion of ancient warriors. And thats apparently only the start of the strangeness. I've read DeNiro's anthology Skinny Dipping in the Lake of the Dead and if anyone can pull of this surreal sounding novel, it's DeNiro.

The Devil's Alphabet - Daryl Gregory

Yet another Keeping An Eye On author with a November novel. Despite the cover, this is the single novel  you should buy this month. Along with Paolo Bacigalupi, Daryl Gregory is the best new author I've read in the past 5 years. Last year's debut, Pandemonium, was absolutely fantastic. The Devil's Alphabet visits Switchcreek, Tennessee where a horrific disease killed a third of the population and mutated the remainder into one of three types of new subspecies of human. Look for my interview with Daryl Gregory to hit the web shortly before The Devil's Alphabet hits stores.

How to Make Friends with Demons - Graham Joyce

This book was originally published in the UK as Memoirs of a Master Forger under the pseudonym of William Heaney. The fake memoir details Heaney's fictional life as he reflects on his broken family and his experiences dabbling in the occult.  This book just won the British Fantasy award and Joyner has a great reputation as a literary fantasist so this is another book I've got high expectations for. How to Make... is also Joyner's return to adult fantasy after writing YA novels exclusively for the past 4 years.

Pirate Latitudes: A Novel - Michael Crichton

This is either Crichton's last or second to last novel. I believe the manuscript for Pirate Latitudes was discovered among his files after his death and it was considered finished. I don't know if he meant for it to be published but I've enjoyed a lot of Crichton's work so I'll give it a chance. Be aware that this is not typical Crichton. As the title suggests, Pirate Latitudes appears to be an adventure story of swashbuckling pirates and hidden treasure. As far as I can tell, there's no SF here.

Time Travelers Never Die - Jack McDevitt

A physicist discovers time travel and mysteriously disappears. His son, Shel journeys through time to discover what happened to his dad. Across his journey through time, Shel encounters "a diverse cast of historical greats, sometimes in unexpected situations." I'm not exactly sure how serious this is suppossed to be but if you enjoy McDevitt like I do, you might want to check it out. It sounds kind of Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure mixed with Back to the Future.

Princeps' Fury: Book Five of the Codex Alera - Jim Butcher

If memory serves me correctly, Butcher wrote this book when his friend bet him he couldn't combine a story about a lost Roman legion with Pokemon. That's right: Butcher not only wrote Roman Pokemon he sold it to a publisher. But in his defense, it's a pretty good story. The final book in the Codex Alera series comes out this December so if you want to catch up, now's your chance. Also, if you haven't read Butcher's Dresden Files series, you should check it out. It's the premiere Urban Fantasy series out there, at least in my opinion.

Unplugged: The Web's Best Sci-Fi & Fantasy - 2008 Download - Edited by Rich Horton

A short fiction collection of work originally published online in 2008. For those readers like myself who enjoy short fiction, know its available online, but have no idea how to go about finding the diamonds in the dirt. This anthology offers fiction from Jason Stoddard, Cory Doctorow, and Hal Duncan among others.

The Alchemy of Stone - Ekaterina Sedia

Like Charles Stross's Saturn's Children, The Alchemy of Stone features a non-human protagonist albeit it in a steampunk rather than futuristic setting. Very interesting premise that I would recommend looking into. Sedia's a name I keep seeing around the blogosphere so I'm curious to see what the buzz is about.

The Authorized Ender Companion - Jake Black and Orson Scott Card

Here's a Christmas present for the Ender fan. Card has expanded the scope of his Enderverse tremendously since the brilliant Ender's Game. There are 9 or 10 Enderverse books by this time and so many planets, characters, and plotlines that a guidebook would be useful in keeping it all straight. This is by no means a must buy book but it would be something to add to the Christmas list.

If you want to read 1 book this month, read Daryl Gregory's The Devil Alphabet. If you asked me to give you a second I wouldn't be able to decide between Makers, Finch,  Total Oblivion, More or Less or How to Make Friends with Demons. November is a very strong month, maybe in anticipation for the Christmas season.

Anyway, as always, if you are interested in more details regarding any of the above books, just click on through the Amazon links. I'm more interested in telling you why I recommended them rather than simply what the books are about. out there. Anything that might have escaped my genre nets? Which one of these covers is your favorite?

You can view previous installments of YetiStomper Picks here

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