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Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Finished move to wordpress

Well, I finished moving everything; links to interviews, reviews, my posts, my manifesto collection, comments, to wordpress. Thanks to all those who updated the links to http://jaytomio.wordpress.com/.

Right now we have a contest in the works at FBS so check it out.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

A change:

Recently I have been messing around with the free Webpress journal. I love Blogger's flexiblty regarding customizing the look, but I find myself more concerned with that than in content lately, and although Webpress has virtually no options regarding customizing the look, I like the interface quite a bit, and the keep adding options, even if not a sprinters pace. So although I'm keeping this account, I'm probably going to be updating first at this webpress site.

I haven't compeletd my transfer yet, but too all folk that were kind enough to link to me here, I just wanted to give people the heads up! Thanks!

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Laconic Annotations

Or a link dump!

A Potential GW Supreme Court Nominee:




-Let me admit I am a comic book fan, and even more so I am an Alan Moore fan, who I think is a talented writer no matter that room he is in, and probably more talented than 85% of fiction novelists. While I thought it was cool that his monumental Watchmen series made Time Magazine's 100 Best English Language novels since 1923 a couple of months ago, I would also freely admit that its inclusion is more than questionable. That said, when I read something like this article* I view my Japanese passport with added fondness. This was replied to (I think equally ineffectual due to it's attempt to make it about the author instead of his comments, which was responded to by the original author here.

* note the longer version of that editorial is here.

ARG:



-I have been wondering where Sean Stewart was, as I really enjoyed his novels Perfect Circle, Mockingbird, and Galveston. Seems like he is just playing games.

Down Under Thunder:

-The 2005 Aurealis Awards shortlist is out.

Pray for no Sci-Fi Redux:

-Earthsea getting the anime treatment

Cheryl meets the Scarecrow:

-Couldn't have been serious.

-I saw this (via Emerald city) dual review of Ken Macleod's Learning the World, at Strange Horizons, featuring opinions by Niall Harrison and Dan Hartland. First I want to say that I thought the book was the best pure SF book I read all year (that was published in 2005), I was hooked from the first pages, however I agree with some of both of the commentaries, I just don't place the same value that Mr. Hartland places on a particular aspect:

"Learning The World is ultimately an old-fashioned pulp story with added emotional intelligence. In that sense, it’s an entertaining, nicely written update of something we might have read in a dog-eared Amazing anthology. I have no problem with this—it’s kind of fun. I enjoyed the book on this surface level—it’s an easy read, a bit of fluffy amusement. What Learning The World emphatically is not is a startling and original addition to the SF canon of first contact, or indeed any other on-going discussion within the genre."


I agree, I just don't see the relevance unless one only deems books worthwhile if they cause discussions within the genre (Venom Cock?), or base it completely on elements and not how those elements are conveyed. Now I am all for, innovation, creativity, 'cutting edge' as my own tastes I think reflect, however, in saying that I try not to completely fail in perceiving the positives of say a book like Jay Lake's Rocket Science.

Fantasybookspot.com expands:

-Duana gives us her thoughts on King Kong and The Chronicles of Narnia.

Not to be Outdone:



-Alan Moore's 'V for Vendetta' trailer.

Pissing in the Wind:



-I'm one of those people that cringe when I see comments like 'Peake is unreadable" or 'Mieville and Stephenson are pretentious', and I'm not going to lie, I usually think to myself they at least have bad taste, and sometimes prove themselves to be what I would call pretty easy to please regarding what they read, and often admittedly I wrongly but correctly question intelligence. Subjectivity and all, I just can't rationalize not enjoying a Jeffrey Ford, Jonathan Carroll, or Paul Auster work. Now, since my own sins are confessed, perhaps I'm being hypocritical when saying something about this author's remarks about a reviewer just doesn't rub well with me (not that anyone should care). It stems from a review of The 22nd edition of The Year's Best Science Fiction edited by Gardner Dozois at SFSignal, which is a SF/F news portal/link site. In the review, the reviewer points out that one story, 'Riding the White Bull' by Caitlin R. Kiernan, doesn't suit his tastes. This is the totality of what he stated about Ms. Kiernan's story:

"Like most stories, an interesting premise. Unlike most stories, the narrative kept jumping back and forth between multiple points in the story line, usually without warning. The result was to take what could have been a first-rate, hardboiled sf detective story and turn it into a hodgepodge of unorganized passages. Too bad, some of the passages contained really powerful images of bio-terrorism."


I have never read the story, but I have read some of the others in this anthology, and I disagree with some of the reviewers opinions and agree with others in various degrees, however, this has nothing to do with whether I agree or disagree with the evaluation. I have just been looking at Ms. Kiernan's response to the review, and I just can't bring myself to agree with the reaction which can be viewed here. Specifically:

"For my part, as the author, I know that "Riding the White Bull" is a good story (and I do not say this about everything I write). And, for what it's worth, the story has received heaps of praise and was chosen for Year's Best. But it still pisses me off when I see people who obviously cannot master anything beyond the simplest narratives being allowed to review books right out in public where anyone can stumble across this crap. There's nothing the least bit unusual or difficult about the narrative of "Riding the White Bull." This reviewer is clearly the sort of person Warner Bros. had in mind when it forced Ridley Scott to add that hokey, gawdawful, "explain it so even the morons can understand" voice-over to the original cut of Blade Runner. I most emphatically don't write for those people. It's a shame I can't also arrange it so that they can't read and comment on what I write. They certainly are not welcomed at the party."


What? I only know one thing about Ms. Kiernan, and that is I have enjoyed what fiction I have read of hers, that includes two novels, Silk and Threshold. I think she is a talented author, that's not to say I think of her on the level of horror as Mark Z. Danieleski, but I did appreciate her work to some extent. That said, I don't give a fuck how good an author someone thinks they are, nor do I care what anthology a story gets added to, nor do I give a shit if they are a Nobel laureate; there is something I find mildly distasteful about any author insinuating that anyone reading their work is too stupid to understand it (unless you're James Joyce, which nobody is) I say this having nothing but the greatest admiration for writers who do not write with accessibility at the forefront of their thinking, and I myself welcome any author's input or dialogue on my own reviews without hesitation, however, there is something utterly classless -- not about calling someone lesser -- but voicing some ridiculous, and ultimately self-serving and self-administered adulation for oneself, whether it's true, false, deserved or not. John (SFSignal) replied to it here. The comments feature some words I agree with; most notable from one of my favorite authors, John C. Wright:

"Having a writer step up and defend his own work is like having your mother come out of the stands and argue with the umpire after you are called out at home during Little League. Even if Mom is as right as Archangel Gabriel, it still looks bad."


That's from an author who I know keeps it real, because I remember early in FBS's interview phase, Wright was kind enough to be our guest and was very helpful in offering advice about handling an interview to yours truly who had no clue (and still doesn't). If someone is a quality author, it will show and other's will speak for them. I mirror Wright's comments when I think there is no format that such comments could be made that would reflect positively on the author. The notion that any reader is 'not welcome' is simply absurd. Now, such comments won't stop me from reading an author's work if I enjoy it, but I was a bit surprised -- not the response itself -- but the nature of it.

Simultaneous Bloggasm:

I'm not sure what the point is, but tons of interviews in a day at Bloggasm, Jeff Vandermeer, Christopher Rowe, Nick Mamatas, Elizabeth Bear, Tobias Buckell, Tim Pratt, Charles Stross, Doug Lain, Alan DeNiro Ben Peek, and Jay Lake among others.

The Real Answer to the Question:

A lot of discussion about the questions brought up by Benford and Rose, which has drawn responses and other questions from John Scalzi, and was put into proper perspective by Scott Lynch.

For myself, for some reason - and I may be gravely mistaken - I am some how not surprised that a new site, offering commentary by authors, kicks off with an entirely idiotic assertion that they know will catch notice. ultimately, while I enjoyed reading the dialogue caused by it (mostly for comedic value), it's somewhat baffling to me that so much can be made of what was essentially thought-lacking bullshit to begin with. It just seems we often mistake any instance of provocative statements as relevant, without taking in account whether or not it's worth talking about or something you just look at, laugh at, and walk away not thinking of it again (like a Paolini book). This was about hits/traffic/exposure, not content worth talking about, and I think Gabe Chouinard summarizes it aptly:

"Isn’t it a little alarmist (and more than a little absurd) equating fantasy edging SF out in popularity with a general decline of western civilization? I mean, I realize I’m one of those rare and bizarre readers that willingly and happily switches from fantasy to science fiction without causing any deep scars to my fragile reading psyche, but I think moaning over Rowling winning a Hugo sounds more like internecine sour grapes than anything meaningful.

Fantasy. Science fiction. Nurse novels. They’re all just words on paper, you know?"


Speaking of Gabe, he's active on his Live Journal now.

Another book I have to get *sigh*:

-It's bad enough Kelly Link was pimping it when I interviewed her last week, but now Cheney is interviewing Joe Hill and now I have to go buy his book.

Gates are Up:

-Tobias Buckell has his writer community running

Rangergirl walks the plank:



-Jeff VanderMeer interviews Tim Pratt

Japanese Favorite Word - Sale!

-Jason Erik Lundberg points out a sale at Tachyon.

Hmmm...:

-Book looking to fetch 5-7 million dollars at auction

Best Book Bonanza:

-Jonathan Strahan offers his favorite stories of 2005, and then added more, then finally added his favorite novels

Paula Guran from DarkEcho gives her top 10.

Vote for your 2005 favorites at SF Site.

Larry from Wotmania (don't hold that against him) has his list topped off by a book I just finished myself, which I thought was damn excellent, Umberto Eco's The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana

Jay
The Bodhisattva

Bodhisattva Science Fiction & Fantasy Reviews and Interviews

Monday, December 12, 2005

Kelly Link Interview at Fantasybookspot.com

I just posted an interview I conducted with the incredibly talented Kelly Link at Fantasybookspot.com. Be sure to check it out as she talks about small beers, trampolines, and chocolate.

Jay
The Bodhisattva

Bodhisattva Science Fiction & Fantasy Reviews and Interviews

Friday, December 09, 2005

Remodeling

Doing a little remodeling for the next couple of days involving some color/template testing so please bear with me. . In the meantime, very excited to have just received R. Scott Bakker's The Thousandfold Thought today!

Jay
The Bodhisattva

Bodhisattva Science Fiction & Fantasy Reviews and Interviews

Sunday, December 04, 2005

The 2006 Bodhisattva Big Board

With 2005 coming to an end, I thought I’d list some of the 2006 scheduled releases I’m most looking forward too. 2005 really ended with some strong efforts but 2006 looks like a great year for both the established and well thought of new talents. Kind of a one stop look at 50 (in no particular order) releases I'm most anticipating, which isn't to say they will be excellent or even a promise that they won't be awful; but they are 50 that I will be sure to find out for myself in 2006. I'm sure there will be dozens of other worthy works, many of which I am aware, of, many that I'm not. If anyone (author, publicist, editor etc) notes any possible corrections, please email me as I'd be interested, both for purposes of corrections and for my general knowledge. I like a variety of the catrgories of fiction people like to hear/see themselves say repeatedly, so don't expect all of one kind. So in the spirit of Mel Kiper, the first edition of The Bodhisattva Big Board:


1. Ink by Hal Duncan (second and concluding installment of the ‘Book of All Hours’ duology) - Scheduled release: August 2006 (U.K. release) -

I read and loved ‘Vellum’ earlier this year. I love reading his criticism, but John Clute doesn’t change that. ‘Vellum’ will ultimately be judged by Duncan’s ability to deliver in Ink. I had the opportunity to ask Hal a few questions early this year, and this is what he said about Ink here:

“Ink is a sequel, but it's the subsidiary characters of Vellum who take centre stage, so it's a bit of a shift in perspective rather than a direct continuation of the main narrative of Vellum. In the same way that Vellum’s two volumes tell individual stories, that of Phreedom and Thomas Messenger in one, Seamus Finnan in the other, but build up into a wider narrative, Ink breaks down into two volumes -- Hinter's Knights and Eastern Mourning; but it also closes off the wider story arc of 'The Book Of All Hours' that is opened up in Vellum.”


For U.S. buyers, you will get your first look at Vellum in April of next year.

2. Empire of Ice Cream by Jeffrey Ford - Scheduled release: April 2006

His last collection, the World Fantasy Award winning ‘The Fantasy Writer’s Assistant’, left us all wanting; so along with the gems he occasionally drops for us at his journal, fans get a brand new collection featuring not only the title story that won of the Nebula and was finalist for the Hugo Award, World Fantasy Award, and the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award) but also these:

'The Weight of Words'
'The Trentino Kid'
'Summer Afternoon'
'A Night in the Tropics'
'Coffins on the River'
'The Beautiful Gelreesh'
'The Annals of Eelin-Ok'
'The Green Word'
'Jupiter's Skull'
'Giant Land'
'A Man of Light'
'Boatman's Holiday'
'Botch Town' (novella)

Ford, with both is work in novels and short stories have one of those permanent positions regarding my favorite authors currently.



3. The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch - Scheduled release: June 2006 -

First book in a planned 3-book sequence, to be followed by 'Red Seas Under Red Skies'. As noted earlier here, I have already read and loved this book, expect a full review in early 2006, to correlate with an interview both for Fantasybookspot.com

4. Twelve Collections and the Teashop by Zoran Zivkovic - Scheduled release: Early 2006 -

If you haven't read Zivkovic yet, it becomes a necessity to right this wrong with all haste. Reading The Fourth Circle and Hidden Camera will make this purchase a requirement as well.. Listen to Lundberg for gods sake! Here is an excerpt.

5. The Thousandfold Thought by R. Scott Bakker (the third and final chapter of 'The Prince of Nothing Trilogy'- Scheduled release: January 2006 -

I received good news last week, that my copy was in the mail, righting a crime against the Japanese that I haven't read it yet! I recently shared my thoughts on the first installment, The Darkness that Comes Before. The Warrior Prophet was even better, in a series that potentially could become the best completed in epic fantasy in 30 years. I have also been hearing word (that would be from the lucky bastards that have already read it) that I was thanked in it! If that's true that's worth the price alone!

6. Shriek: An Afterword by Jeff Vandermeer - Scheduled Release: January 2006 (U.K.) August (U.S.) -

I think we have all read the kick ass mosaic City of Saints and Madmen, and the recent U.S. invasion of Veniss Underground. Just when I thought the quota for good fiction from a writer was reached Secret Life came out. By all the laws of the universe VanderMeer is due for a flop, but I don't see how that can happen in Ambergis, a seminal setting Fanatstic Fiction already. Don't believe me, check out the synopsis by China:

'Unsettling, erudite, dark, shot through with unexpected humour. Ambergris is one of my favourite haunts in fiction'


Sold.

7. The Golden By Lucius Shepard - Scheduled release: April 2006 -

Lucius Shepard being out of print is a crime against literate humaniy and in this also those that enjoy what passes for modern vampire fiction. Golden Gryphon Press rectifies the problem rereleasing Shepard's 'The Golden'.


8. Of Tales and Enigmas by Minsoo Kang - Scheduled release: January 2006 -

This is one of those buys that's pure speculation by me (which happens a lot), but I have been waiting for this ever since Jeff VanderMeer interviewed Kang. Prime is usally good shit anyways, so it's not exactly a shot in the dark.


9. The Jennifer Morgue by Charles Stross - Scheduled release: December 2006 -

The sequel to the Atrocity Archives by an author who had a huge 2005. I have seen 'Jennifer Morgue' described as 'in the style of Ian Flemming', and when I communicated with Stross earlier this year he said this about it:

"I really like this particular series (thrillers about the British secret service for protecting us from the Lovecraftian horrors that lurk beyond the universe, as told from the point of view of the more than somewhat geekish Bob, a hacker who's fallen into the British civil service and can't escape). They're fun to write, although not always easy -- humour and horror make an interesting mixture to balance out."


10. Fain the Sorceror by Steve Aylett - Scheduled release: Early 2006 -

Has everyone read Lint? I picked it up after reading Moorcock gab (I mean bless it) about it, and came away not knowing everything I should have known after reading a book, but I still loved it. You can read the synopsis here.


11. The Bonehunters by Steven Erikson - Scheduled release: March (U.K) April (U.S.) -

I already talked about Erikson here. This is the sixth book in his 'Malazan Book of the Fallen' sequence.


12. The Vengeance of Rome by Michael Moorcock - Scheduled release: January (U.K.) February 2006 (U.S.) -

The God Emperor of all this shit, with his long awaited installment in the Pyat quartet! Byzantium Endures, The Laughter of Carthage, and Jerusalem Commands. This is the kind of release that just makes being a reader worth it.


13. The Burning Girl by Holly Phillips - Scheduled release: February 2006 -

I read and reviewed Phillip's collection earlier this year, In the Palace of Repose, and loved it. Ever since Sean told me of this debut novel effort forthcoming by Phillips, this has been a book on m yearly 2006 watch.



14. Fugitives of Chaos by John C. Wright - Scheduled release: TBA -

This is the second part of a duology kicked off by one of my favorite books of 2005, Orphans of Chaos. Ever since Mr. Wright mentioned this sequence when I communicated with him earlier this year, the premise put Orphans of Chaos high on my 2005 read list, and I loved it. With all ready a outstanding Space Opera trilogy to his credit, and another Fantasy duology (Everness), Wright has quickly become one of the authors to look out for every year.


15. A Shadow in Summer by Daniel Abraham - Scheduled release: March 2006 -

This is one those releases that a lot of the epic minded, and especially those familair with George R.R. Martin have been waiting for. I recently assured my copy is coming soon, because I'm one of them. This is the epic (or psuedo-epic not sure yet) series I am most looking forward to in 2006, not Erikson, and not Bakker, which is just a gut feeling, but my nose for quality is telling me this is can't miss. Connie Willis (who has won/nominated so many awards we might as well just call them all 'Connies' said:

"Reader, be warned: If you open Daniel Abraham's A Shadow in Summer, he will lead you into a strange, seductive world of beatings and poets and betrayals, intrigues you do not fully understand and wars you cannot stop and places you are not sure you want to go. Intricate, elegant, and almost hypnotically told, this tale of gods held captive will hold you captive, too."


GRRM says:

"A Shadow in Summer is a thoroughly engrossing debut novel from a major new fantasist. A poignant human tale of power, heartbreak, and betrayal."


I'm game to take a chance on a possible quality quartet.



16. Killing with the Edge of the Moon by A.A. Attanasio - Scheduled Release TBA -

Like anyone else I cam susceptible to being suckered by a cover and synopsis, and again here is one of my wants on pure speculation, and faith in the press. Here is a synopsis:

'The witch’s eyes shone in the dark like tiny silver mirrors. “The name means ‘Flower Face,’ which is the owl’s poetic nickname, the bird who steals souls – for Blud-ye-eth was a woman made from magic and flowers and, like the owl, she had no soul of her own.” The speaker is a hickory-faced crone trying to explain to Chet, a shy kid with eyeglasses and pocket protector, why he can’t take her granddaughter Flannery to the high school dance.

Quiet, elfin Flannery is not like other kids. A living Blud-eye-eth, she has caught the attention of the faerie, beautiful wicked creatures from a mysterious Otherworld, who seduce their victims with moonlight raves before feeding them to a dragon. They hunt souls with a supernatural black dog of prodigious evil. They have taken Flannery for one of their own. And she won’t be going to the school dance – not unless Chet rescues her.

This modern, demonic fairy tale weaves together themes of passion and self-discovery into an intricate Celtic knot of myth, moon magic, and teen romance. Thrust together in a dark, erotic Otherworld, Flannery and Chet discover they know each other better than they know their own hearts. Can they sort things out before the black dog finds them?'



I haven't read a book by Attanasio, but every time I visit the Prime site this thing is staring at me in the face.


17. Ilario: The Lion's Eye by Mary Gentle - Scheduled release: December 2006 -

I took the plunge into Gentle after seeing Mieville and Moorcock speak highly of her work. I haven't read the 'Ash' stuff yet, but I loved 'The Rat Lords' sequence. The Bodhisattva is thinking about nice gifts for next Christmas here.


18. Crystal Rain by Tobias Buckell - Scheduled release: February 2006 -

Buckell is one of those relatively new authors that has a admirable tendency to maintain a relevant blog, and in turn makes me think he may have something to say in his debut novel (aka the Mamatas effect)



Here is the Crystal Rain site. Check out a sample chapter.


19. Black Swan Green by David Mithcell - Scheduled Release: April 2006 -

I wasn't one of the people that were pissing on themselves over Cloud Atlas, but I did think it was damn excellent. Good enough to insure buying the subsequent effort without a second thought. Here is an excerpt:

'Picked-on kids act invisible to reduce the chances of being noticed and picked on. Stammerers act invisible to reduce the chances of being made to say something we can’t. Kids whose parents argue act invisible in case we trigger another skirmish. The Triple Invisible Boy, that’s Jason Taylor. Even I don’t see the real Jason Taylor much these days, ’cept for when we’re writing a poem, or occasionally in a mirror, or just before sleep. But he comes out in woods. Ankley branches, knuckly roots, paths that only might be, earthworks by badgers or Romans, a pond that’ll ice over come January, a wooden cigar box nailed behind the ear of a secret sycamore where we once planned a treehouse, birdstuffedtwigsnapped silence, toothy bracken, and places you can’t find if you’re not alone. Time in woods’s older than time in clocks, and truer.'


Maybe I should start pissing on myself.


20. Salt of the Air by Vera Nazarian

It's getting to the point that I like short fiction more than novels, and I love checking out collections from authors who have novels I enjoyed. Nazarian's Lords of Rainbow is on every shelf of any reputable collector of fantastic fiction.


21. Mervyn Peake: A Memoir by Michael Moorcock - Scheduled release: September 2006 -

Nothing else has to be said.


22. Temeraire by Naomi Novik (in U.S. called His Majesty's Dragon) - Scheduled release: January 2006 (U.K.) March (U.S.) -

First book in a trilogy followed by Throne of Jade and Black Powder War all to be released in 2006. I have already read book and I rather like Novik's fantastic-alternative history, where Napoleon and England are still at war, but in a word where Dragons serve as airforce. The relationship between aviator and dragon, and the numerous breeds of dragons and the quaint atmosphere make this a series I already approve of for consumption. Full review soon.


23. The Tourmaline by Paul Park - Scheduled Release: July 2006 -

I just thought Paul Park's 2005 release A Princess of Roumania was deligthful. We learned was the first part in a quartet when I interviewed him. Check out my review, and don't miss out a real quality series thus far that I think most fans of a fractured genre fandom can appreciate.


24. The Voyage of Night Shining White by Chris Roberson

I thought a lot of Here, There & Everywhere from the Monkeybrain boss, and Roberson's short form rep and history is enough to go for a novella.


24. Skinny Dipping in the Lake of the Dead by Alan DeNiro - Scheduled release: June 2006 -

Beer is good, in this case, especially Small Beer. The owner of the Goblin Mercantile Exchange with one can only be a slammin new collection.


25. White Time by Margo Lanagan - Scheduled release August 2006 -

I have no idea what this is, only that it's written by the author who wrote a terrific collection, Black Juice. I'm not sure if this a repackaged reissue of the collection reviewed here. Whatever it is, if it has Lanagan's name on it, Black Juice insures me buying more Lanagan until she writes something that isn't incredible.

26. Solistice Wood by Patricia Mckillip - Scheduled release: February 2006

A contemporary fantasy offering from really one of the best stylists in the fantastic fiction whether she writes epic fantasy or not. Author of the last superior epic fantasy series in my mind, with her 'Riddle Master' sequence.



27. Bridge of Dreams by Chaz Brenchley - Scheduled release: May 2006 -

I go interested in this book after reading the author's description, and particularly:

'and half the story takes place in harems... but it's also about military and mercantile cultures facing off across an unbridgeable river, where the merchants have the water-magic and so they keep control - until the day they wake up to find a bridge appeared in the night, and the legions marching over.'



28. Three Days to Never by Tim Powers - Scheduled release TBA -

New Tim Powers! Read the excerpt:

'When 12-year-old Daphne Marrity steals a videotape of Pee-Wee's Big Adventure from her grandmother's house, neither she nor her college-professor father, Frank Marrity, have any idea that the theft has drawn the attention of both the Israeli Secret Service and an ancient European organization of occultists -- or that within hours they'll be visited by her long-lost grandfather, who also wants that videotape.
And when Daphne's teddy bear is stolen, and a blind assassin nearly kills her father, and a phantom begins to speak to her from a switched-off television set, Daphne and her father find themselves running for their lives through a southern California in which magic and the undead past are dangers as great as the guns of living assassins.
From ancient prophesies about Israel to the secret lives of Charlie Chaplin and Albert Einstein, this breathtaking novel throws a suburban father and daughter into the midst of an ancient supernatural battle.'



29. The Crooked Letter by Sean Williams - Scheduled release: April 2006 -


This is the U.S. release of a novel that won both the Ditmar and Aurealis Awards and the first installment of the 'The Books of the Cataclysm'. I figure this would be a good time for me to check out William's work, and PYR seems to always put out a quality presentation. Read the synopsis.


30. Forest Mage by Robin Hobb - Scheduled Release: June 2006 -

Book 2 of Shaman's Crossing that all Hobb fans appreciated except those with man-love for Fitz. For myself I enjoyed a fresh start for Hobb. I tried to get some info out of Ms. Hobb about this forthcoming book, but I get a feeling she doesn't like spoilers:

"No, no, no! You know I don't do spoilers"


Going to have to find out for ourselves.


31. The Newford Collection by Charles de Lint - Scheduled release TBA -



Charles de Lint collection of 750 pages Newford tales (the obvious) that will include an original short story as well. Read details at Subetrannean Press. Charles de Lint was doing 'urban' fantasy before anyone knew it existed.


32. Kushiel’s Scion by Jacqueline Carey - Scheduled release: June 2006 -

When I talked to Ms. Carey earlier this year I got new on Carey return to Terre d'Ange. I have been a bit disappointed that some of the fans of this sequence didn't take to her recent duology 'The Sundering' which is a terrific pov look and study of evil in a traditional fantasy setting. At any rate, check the synopsis out here.


33. Quantum Gravity: Keeping It Real by Justina Robson - Scheduled release: Spring 2006 -

The one book 2005 release I haven't read yet that I'm really kicking myself for is Justina Robson's Living Next Door to the God of Love. I'm going to have to get to it sooner rather than later, and here is new project from Robson she talks about here, that includes:

'There's a girl cyborg secret agent with a troubled past, an elf rock star, some cracks in the fabric of existence that are starting to stretch the wallpaper - and not forgetting necromantic possession, doomed love, hot sex and friends who would sooner eat you than help you if you get them wet...'



34. Kafka in Bronteland and other stories by Tamar Yellin - Scheduled release: April 2006 -

In a world of subjectivity and opinion there are few absolutes. One of them is that Yellin's Genizah at the House of Shepher was one of the 10 best books of 2005. Read about this new 13-story collection here.



35. The King's Last Song by Geoff Ryman - Scheduled Release: February 2006 -

Apparently not a SF, as it's described as a 'non-SF Cambodian novel'. Synopsis:

'A great king brings peace to a warring nation. Centuries later his writings will bring hope to those facing the tragic legacy of modern Cambodia's bloody history. When archaeologists discover a book written on gold leaves at Angkor Wat, everyone wants a piece of the action. But the King, the Army and the UN are all outflanked when the precious artefact is kidnapped, along with Professor Luc Andrade, who was accompanying it to the capital for restoration. Luckily for Luc his love and respect for Cambodia have won him many friends, including ex-Khmer Rouge cadre Map and the young moto-boy William. Both equally determined to rescue the man they consider their mentor and recover the golden book, they form an unlikely bond. But William is unaware of just how closely Map's violent past affects him. The book contains the words and wisdom of King Jayavarman VII, the Buddhist ruler who united a war-torn Cambodia in the twelfth century and together with his enlightened wife created a kingdom that was a haven of peace and learning. His extraordinary story is skilfully interwoven with the tales of Luc, Map and William to create an unforgettable and dazzling evocation of the spirit of Cambodia'



36. Black Man by Richard Morgan - Scheduled Release: October 2006 -

I noted this book, in a recent post. If you write works like Altered Carbon and the other Takeshi Kovacs works, I'm game this:

"This is a vacation from my Takeshi Kovacs series and an attempt to do something a little different while still working with the tools and templates of future noir," Morgan said. "The book posits a future about a century from now in which poorly supervised genetic experimentation has left the human race with a series of major legal and ethical headaches, and a massive colony effort on Mars has turned into a political race between reconstituted power blocs. The U.S. has fractured apart along lines which will seem eerily familiar to students of the current political [quagmire], and China has risen to economic and political parity with the West."




37. The Line Between by Peter S Beagle - Scheduled Release: July 2006 -

Let me tell you, Japanese people my age loved The Last Unicorn when they were kids, this is a sequel collection. Described here:

'A sequel to the beloved fantasy classic The Last Unicorn is the jumping-off point for this fresh collection of short stories from a master fantasist. In these long-awaited, powerful new tales, reincarnated lovers and waning kings rub shoulders with heroic waifs. Schmendrick the magician returns to adventure, as does the ghost of an off-Broadway actor and a dream-stealing shapeshifter. Gordon, the delightfully charming "self-made cat" appears for the first time in print, taking his place alongside Stuart Little as a new favorite of the young at heart. These wide ranging, beautifully told stories contain sly humor and resounding depth. This is a collection to charm the many fans of literary fantasy.'



38. Emperor by Stephen Baxter - Scheduled Release: July 2006 -

"A woman gives birth to her child in a village in Northern England, the cold northern edge of the Roman Empire. As she struggles through a painful labour she begins to scream out a series of words in Latin. A language she has never heard before, much less spoken. One of the family recognises the words for what they are. Only later does it become clear that the women has spoken a prophecy. A prophecy that relates to the death of the Emperor Constantine/ A prophecy that if enacted will change the fate of the Roman Empire and all of the future beyond it. Stephen Baxter's new series takes ordinary individuals living at history's tipping points and presents them with a prophecy that challenges everything they believe about their world and prompts them to take action that could change it forever. The fourth volume reveals the nature of the prophecies and reveals a battle that has been fought through the ages."


A start of a new quartet by Baxter that souds damn intriguing that will be followed by 'Conqueror', 'Navigator', and 'Weaver'.


39. The Blood Knight by Greg Keyes - Scheduled release: April 2006 -

This series is a step down from the current elite works in epic fantasy ( Bakker, Martin, Erikson, Kay) but is infinitely better than most. This is the third installment of 'The Kingdom of Thorn and Bone' sequence. I reviewed the first book, entitled The Briar King, and I think The Charnel Prince was a worth enough second installment.


40. Elemental: The Tsunami Relief Anthology - Scheduled Release: May 2006 -

Anthology from Tor, of all original stories to help with the Tsunamai relief effort. Good cause that features twenty stories by authors like Brian Aldiss, David Drake, Jacqueline Carey, Martha Wells, Larry Niven, Joe Haldeman, Eric Nylund, Sherrilyn Kenyon writing as Kinley MacGregor, and a Dune story by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson etc. All of us, especially us lucky assholes that get stacks of review copies from publishers need to buy this one.



41. The Yiddish Policemen's Union by Michael Chabon - Scheduled Release: April 2006 -

Everyone has read The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. Something that winning a Pulitzer does for you.


42. The Voyage of the Sable Keech by Neal Asher - Scheduled Release: February 2006 -

Asher's work has a way of growing on you in a manner that most fast paced, action based works don't usually work on me. I enjoyed Gridlinked
and really enjoyed The Skinner. Read about The Voyage of the Sable Keech more here.


43. The Virtu by Sarah Monette - Scheduled release 2006 -


Part of this is because I want to find out after Melusine, which blindsided me by not being a stand-alone novel, as noted in my review. When I interviewed Ms. Monette she confirmed I'd get what I'm seeking in The Virtu:

"'The Virtu’ is a direct sequel to Melusine, picking up about a month and a half after the end of the first book. It recounts Felix and Mildmay's return to Melusine and the Mirador."



44. Wings to the Kingdom by Cheries Priest - Scheduled Release: TBA -


Apparently the planned sequel to the most excellent southern/horror Four and Twenty BlackBirds due out next year.


45. The Grass-Cutting Sword by Catherynne M. Valente - Scheduled release: TBA -

Valente just writes beautiful work, loved The Labrynth, loved Yume Me Hon, looking forward to this forthcoming offering from Prime, and also her 2007 work coming out from Bantam. The description:

'A re-telling of the Yamata-no-Orochi, this fragmented, metamorphosed folktale follows the great trickster of Japanese myth, Susano-no-Mikoto, from his descent from heaven to his great battle with the eight-headed dragon, all the way through to the fires of Hiroshima.'



46. Gradisil by Adam Roberts - Scheduled release: May 2006 -

Recently became a fan of Roberts after reading Salt


47. End of the World Blues by Jon Courtenay Grimwood - Scheduled release: August 2006 -

In recent years I have become a big fan of Grimwood. I love his 'Arabesk' sequence and his collection Stamping Butterflies. I was searching a couple fo weeks ago for Grimwood novels to order and ran across this listing. I haven't found a description/synopsis, but Grimwood has been on a role for a few years now and I went ahead and bookmarked it.


48. Glasshouse by Charles Stross - Scheduled Release: June 2006-

Acclerando is my favorite Stross work so Glasshouse , is something I'm highly anticipating since he said this when I had a chance to communciate with him:

"After Accelerando comes ‘Glasshouse’, a psychological thriller set some 500 years later -- this is awaiting a final polish before I send it in, and it's due out in July '06."


Amazon's synopsis:

"When Robin wakes up in a clinic with most of his memories missing, it doesn't take him long to discover that someone is trying to kill him. It's the twenty-seventh century, when interstellar travel is by teleport gate and conflicts are fought by network worms that censor refugees' personalities and target historians. The civil war is over and Robin has been demobilized, but someone wants him out of the picture because of something his earlier self knew. On the run from a ruthless pursuer and searching for a place to hide, he volunteers to participate in a unique experimental polity, the Glasshouse. Constructed to simulate a pre-accelerated culture, participants are assigned anonymized identities: it looks like the ideal hiding place for a posthuman on the run. But in this escape- proof environment Robin will undergo an even more radical change, placing him at the mercy of the experimenters, and at the mercy of his own unbalanced psyche ..."



Two Books that may be released that aren't official yet:

49. 'Caine Black Knife' by Matthew Stover - Scheduled Release: TBA -

Easily one of the 5 books I'm most looking forward to. I thought Blade of Tyshalle was one of the great modern fantasy novels. Nobody is mixing action and emotional depth like Stover. Caine is one of my all time favorite characters already.

50. A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin - Scheduled Release: TBA -

Point blank - the best epic fantasy ever written thus far. I have heard some negative response to the latest, A Feast for Crows, and I simply don't understand it. The book offers a number of scenes of interest regarding all the major plot points, and dozens of the 'red herring or important' instances that make this series utterly unique. At worst it was the third best epic fantasy offering this year (if not the best). There is not a dozen epic fantasy installments better than A Feast for Crows, so in that sense there really is no reason to what was a predictable backlash after the wait and the splitting of the book. Was it A Storm of Swords? Hell no, I can't name another epic fantasy offering that is though, and at the very least A Dance with Dragons become the most anticipated epic fantasy offering ever with the return of Tyrion, Jon, and Dany and company, This is likely a 2007 release, but hell I can hope.



Linkage Dumpage:


-A few more entries into the SF/Fantasy debate, Hal Duncan and Jay Lake. A second response from Ted Chiang, which Nick Mamatas responded to.

-More Zoran Zivkovik goodness from Aio.

-The Stephen King/Marvel 'Dark Tower' adaptation has been pushed back until 2007.

-John C. Wright tabbed to write A. E. van Vogt's sequel. (via Slush God), who tells us about some Matthew Hughes' fiction online.

-Jeff Ford names winners in title contest

-Rob Bedford interviews John Twelve Hawks who is the reclusive author, his identity unknown, living 'off the grid' - blah, blah, blah - not reflective of the interview itself, but it's s shame any author is marketed like this - whether purposely or not. It cheapens a product by attaching a marketing stigma to it that it may or may not deserve. On another note, Rob also has his own list up, of 2006 releases to look forward to.

Jay
The Bodhisattva

Bodhisattva Science Fiction & Fantasy Reviews and Interviews

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Fantasy/SF Debate Continues....

Just wanted to keep updating the discussion noted in my last post regarding the differences of Science Fiction and Fantasy going more deeper than my own assertion (who gives a shit?). I had been editing my previous post to add them, but there has been enough extra commentary to warrant 2 consecutive posts by me, that I offer absolutely no original content.

Nick Mamatas has issues with Chiang's conclusions, then John Scalzi chimes in, followed by a completion of the circle back to Sarah Monette who is responding to a Evil Monkey.

Meanwhile at the Chrononautic Log David Moles offers an opinion, then again here. Alan Deniro offers a piece by the legendary author/critic Samuel Delany, which has spurned me to start collecting articles I like and linking them on my sidebar -- ala VanderMeer collecting Manifestos -- while offering a more interesting question (and equally unanswerable):

"A lot of the discussion has talked about science fiction and fantasy as methods of writing (inscribed authorial intent). But what about methods of reading?"


Scott Lynch comes in, and left his butterfly net at home. Did I mention I love his forthcoming book?I also want to give my thanks to Nathan for pointing me to the Lynch reply.

Nick Mamatas invokes Lovecraft, and Matthew Stover attempts to end the debate, in admirable fashion:

"The Truth from On High:

Science Fiction is a subset of Fantasy. That's all it has ever been, that's all it will ever be.

But then, so is every other form of literature.

Everyone who pretends otherwise is merely mining their own asshole for pseudo-distinctions of no real significance. The urge to Categorize is best left to taxonomists, academic critics, IRS agents, stamp collectors, publishers and any other helplessly obsessive rectal-gazers who have nothing better to do with their lives.

I have Spoken.

Now everyone should shut the fuck up and let me get back to sleep."


Jay
The Bodhisattva

Bodhisattva Science Fiction & Fantasy Reviews and Interviews