While I was making the rounds, I realized that two books slipped through the filters when I was selecting my YetiStomper Picks for June.
The first slipped by because I already picked up a limited edition from Subterranean Press. Next Tuesday, Metatropolis is being rereleased by Tor in a Hardcover format.
Five original tales set in a shared urban future—from some of the hottest young writers in modern SFYou can find more of my own thoughts in this Covering Covers post I did a few weeks back.
A strange man comes to an even stranger encampment...a bouncer becomes the linchpin of an unexpected urban movement...a courier on the run has to decide who to trust in a dangerous city...a slacker in a "zero-footprint" town gets a most unusual new job...and a weapons investigator uses his skills to discover a metropolis hidden right in front of his eyes.
More than an anthology, Metatropolis is the brainchild of five of science fiction's hottest writers—Elizabeth Bear, Tobias Buckell, Jay Lake, Karl Schroeder, and project editor John Scalzi—-who combined their talents to build a new urban future, and then wrote their own stories in this collectively-constructed world. The results are individual glimpses of a shared vision, and a reading experience unlike any you've had before.
AND if you are reading this post before June 7th or so, each of the 5 authors are hosting a different contest with the same prize: a free copy of Metatropolis. John Scalzi is looking for oil-free haikus. Elizabeth Bear is looking for photoshopped,captioned screenshots from the imaginary film version of Metatropolis. Jay Lake is holding a photography contest looking for images of what your personal Metatropolis looks like. In what may be a ploy for cheap/easy research, Tobias Buckell is looking for links to interesting articles on the topic of futuristic urban revitalization. Finally, Karl Schroeder is also looking for examples of crazy urban planning but is willing to accept anecdotal evidence on your honor.
The 2nd book that somehow missed my list is Mark Charan Newton's Nights of Villjamur. Sneaking into the very end of June from Del Rey, Nights of Villjamur is a very, very, very, very, very well reviewed fantasy novel. It's been out for a year or two over in the UK and the only thing that was keeping me from importing my reading experience was the announcement that the US release was only a matter of time. While I am guilty of obtaining more than a couple of books from across the pond, if the US release date is on the calendar I will generally hold off for the sake of the authors US sales figures. I'm sure those authors appreciate it. Nights of Villjamur is Fantasy with a touch of New Weird in an urban environment.
Following in the footsteps of writers like China Miéville and Richard K. Morgan, Mark Charan Newton balances style and storytelling in this bold and brilliant debut. Nights of the Villjamur marks the beginning of a sweeping new fantasy epic.Additionally, if you aren't reading Mark's blog you are doing yourself a disservice. Mark has all kinds of interesting discussions and is very engaged with his readers and the blogosphere as a whole.
Beneath a dying red sun sits the proud and ancient city of Villjamur, capital of a mighty empire that now sits powerless against an encroaching ice age. As throngs of refugees gather outside the city gates, a fierce debate rages within the walls about the fate of these desperate souls. Then tragedy strikes—and the Emperor’s elder daughter, Jamur Rika, is summoned to serve as queen. Joined by her younger sister, Jamur Eir, the queen comes to sympathize with the hardships of the common people, thanks in part to her dashing teacher Randur Estevu, a man who is not what he seems.
Meanwhile, the grisly murder of a councillor draws the attention of Inspector Rumex Jeryd. Jeryd is a rumel, a species of nonhuman that can live for hundreds of years and shares the city with humans, birdlike garuda, and the eerie banshees whose forlorn cries herald death. Jeryd’s investigation will lead him into a web of corruption—and to an obscene conspiracy that threatens the lives of Rika and Eir, and the future of Villjamur itself.
But in the far north, where the drawn-out winter has already begun, an even greater threat appears, against which all the empire’s military and magical power may well prove useless—a threat from another world.
Anyway, my apologies for missing those two books. Be sure to check them out as well as all of the picks for June.