Jun 27, 2013

Covering Covers - Ancilary Justice by Ann Leckie

Cover Artist: John Harris?

I think I spy a John Harris cover. If not, I still love it. Reminds me of the old vertical scrolling arcade games. As for the book itself, color me interested.

On a remote, icy planet, the soldier known as Breq is drawing closer to completing her quest.

Breq is both more than she seems and less than she was. Years ago, she was the Justice of Toren--a colossal starship with an artificial intelligence linking thousands of corpse soldiers in the service of the Radch, the empire that conquered the galaxy.

An act of treachery has ripped it all away, leaving her with only one fragile human body. And only one purpose--to revenge herself on Anaander Mianaai, many-bodied, near-immortal Lord of the Radch.

Some of you may know Ann Leckie as the secretary of the SFWA (for a few more days at least). As far as I am aware, this is her first novel so if you haven't read a book by a new author (or a female one) in a while, you might want to check it out. Ancillary Justice will be published by Orbit in October. Sign me up!

Jun 26, 2013

How Many Books Have You Read by Female Authors this Year?

Since it's about halfway through the year, it seems like a good a time as any to ask yourself "how many books have you read by female authors this year?".

I asked myself that question today and I found I wasn't particularly impressed with the response. While I haven't exactly read a ton this year (work and business school are keeping me plenty busy) I think I've only read two four works by women - The Shining Girls (Lauren Beukes) and The Poisoner's Handbook (Deborah Blum) and Catching Fire/Mocking Jay (Suzanne Collins).

I've got some women at the top of my queue - Mira Grant/Seanan McGuire, Elizabeth Bear, Helene Wecker, Rachel Swirsky - but after reflecting, I really need to should make an attempt to make sure I give those books the attention they deserve. The bias isn't intentional, but it is there.

You don't need to share your number but I hope you'll think about whether or not you're happy with it.

If you are happy with your number, what's the best book you've read that was written by a woman this year?

If you aren't happy with your number, hopefully you will find a list of books that are worth checking out from the first half of 2013.

I'll start with some books that I've heard a lot of good things about and hopefully we can build on this together.

Jun 24, 2013

The Biggest SFF Books of the Fall (According to Publisher's Weekly)

Twitter is abuzz (achirp?) with a few announcements from authors regarding the recent release of Publisher's Weekly Best Books for Fall 2013.

Here is the full list of SFF titles, including some must reads like Rachel Swirsky's first Subterranean Press collection and Mira Grant's Parasite. (Speaking of Mira Grant, she has to rival Daniel Abraham or Brandon Sanderson in terms of output. How do they do it?) 


Children of Fire - Drew Karpyshyn 

The Incrementalists - Steven Brust and Skyler White

Dead Set: A Novel - Richard Kadrey


Under a Graveyard Sky - John Ringo


Parasite - Mira Grant


Doctor Sleep: A Novel - Stephen King

Let the Old Dreams Die - John Ajvide Linqvist

Kabu Kabu - Nnedi Okorafor

I've had a look at a few of the titles on the list but I can't say there are a few surprises in there that I'm going to need to check out.

What do you think? Is anything missing?

Jun 19, 2013

Never Grow Up

"Adults follow paths. Children explore. Adults are content to walk the same way, hundreds of times, or thousands; perhaps it never occurs to adults to step off the paths, to creep beneath rhododendrons, to find the spaces between fences."
                                                                             -Neil Gaiman, The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Never grow up. I don't plan to.

Jun 16, 2013

Is This The First Big Fantasy Title of 2014?

Beating out the recently finished (and supposedly 864 page) Words of Radiance by just a week, the first big fantasy title of 2014 appears to be Brian Staveley's The Emperor's Blades.

Cover Artist: Richard Anderson

I really like this cover, especially for a character-centric design. It looks like a Chris McGrath / Stephan Martiniere mash-up and it's hard to go wrong from there.

But lets not let a pretty cover get in the way of a good story. One of the more recent hyped-up fantasies, John R. Fultz's Seven Princes, also had an Richard Anderson cover - arguably an even better one. Unfortunately, the content between the covers didn't make as much of a splash as Orbit was anticipating.

What about the book itself?

Per Tor.com "The Emperor’s Blades follows siblings Valyn, Kaden, and Adare, who are in different parts of the world when they learn about the assassination of their father, the Emperor. All of them are in danger of being the next targets, and all of them are caught in the maelstrom of conspiracy, intrigue, treachery, and magic that sweeps through Staveley’s auspicious debut novel."

And the expanded summary:
"When the emperor of Annur is murdered, his children must fight to uncover the conspiracy—and the ancient enemy—that effected his death.

Kaden, the heir apparent, was for eight years sequestered in a remote mountain monastery, where he learned the inscrutable discipline of monks devoted to the Blank God. Their rituals hold the key to an ancient power which Kaden must master before it’s too late. When an imperial delegation arrives to usher him back to the capital for his coronation, he has learned just enough to realize that they are not what they seem—and enough, perhaps, to successfully fight back.

Meanwhile, in the capital, his sister Adare, master politician and Minister of Finance, struggles against the religious conspiracy that seems to be responsible for the emperor’s murder. Amid murky politics, she’s determined to have justice—but she may be condemning the wrong man.

Their brother Valyn is struggling to stay alive. He knew his training to join the Kettral— deadly warriors who fly massive birds into battle—would be arduous. But after a number of strange apparent accidents, and the last desperate warning of a dying guard, he’s convinced his father’s murderers are trying to kill him, and then his brother. He must escape north to warn Kaden—if he can first survive the brutal final test of the Kettral."
It will be interesting to find out if The Emperor's Blades will be able to live up to the quality of the cover it bears. See for yourself on Jan 14, 2014.

Jun 9, 2013

Covering Covers: Echoes of Empire by Mark T. Barnes

I may not be the most impartial observer these days but there is no denying that Stephan Martinière knows how to make a purdy cover.


The Garden of Stones was released earlier this month with The Obsidian Heart to follow in October. The third, final, and hopefully Martiniere-covered volume, The Pillars of Sand is due out in May of 2014.

If you're interested in more info, The Qwillery has a short interview with Mark.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...