January 15, 2012

Pre-order Book Dorking

Filed under: Books,Geek-ery — base2wave @ 11:13 am

I decided this ought to go in a separate post, well, just because. THought I’d share my current pre-orders and other books I’m dorked out about for 2012

From the Deep of the Dark
Stephen Hunt

I’ve been reading this particular series for a number of years now, and aside from my ire at the change in cover art (thus ruining a cohesive, and attractive look for the series on my bookshelf), I’ve really liked this series and it various cross over characters. This is definitely a steampunk, verging on pulp fantasy series, but shit it’s fun . This is is the 6th book in the series and I might be looking forward to this as much as anything else this year. HAd to order it from overseas, as there is ALWAYS a year-some-odd delay in the american publication of this series. Luckily BookDepository.com seems to keep these in stock/for pre-order, offers free shipping anywhere in the world, and allows me to pay in USD, thus not having to deal with VAT and whatnot.

Purchase Link

The Flame Alphabet
Ben Marcus

Having never read anything by Ben Marcus, I will admit, this was a bit of a gamble purchase, but the premise sounded intriguing, and I’m a sucker for a hardcover with a deckle edge binding. I read an early review of this book on io9.com [here] and essentially the book is about a virus that sweeps over the earth spread via language/words, transmitted by children. Ok, you’ve got my attention. And as I understand it, the adults/ parents have to flee their children in fear of themselves succumbing to this illness. I guess, I’ll have more to say about this AFTER it arrives on Tuesday and after I get a chance to read it (Hopefully not at the expense of my current read)

Author’s Page | Purchase Link

Nick Harkaway

This is Nick’s second novel, and if it’s any bit as good and a crazy as his first, Gone-Away World, then I’m all in. I’ll just leave this one to the cover flap:

Joe Spork spends his days fixing antique clocks. The son of infamous London criminal Mathew “Tommy Gun” Spork, he has turned his back on his family’s mobster history and aims to live a quiet life. That orderly existence is suddenly upended when Joe activates a particularly unusual clockwork mechanism. His client, Edie Banister, is more than the kindly old lady she appears to be—she’s a retired international secret agent. And the device? It’s a 1950s doomsday machine. Having triggered it, Joe now faces the wrath of both the British government and a diabolical South Asian dictator who is also Edie’s old arch-nemesis. On the upside, Joe’s got a girl: a bold receptionist named Polly whose smarts, savvy and sex appeal may be just what he needs. With Joe’s once-quiet world suddenly overrun by mad monks, psychopathic serial killers, scientific geniuses and threats to the future of conscious life in the universe, he realizes that the only way to survive is to muster the courage to fight, help Edie complete a mission she abandoned years ago and pick up his father’s old gun

Can you really go wrong with a story like that? I can’t wait for this to land on my door step in March.

Author’s Page | Purchase Link

Mr. G: A Novel about the Creation
Alan Lightman

I’m a complete sucker for stories about “the creation” being turned on ear (like with Glen Duncan’s I, Lucifer: finally the Other Side of the Story. And in a not very nice way, it’s probably me looking for the fallacy of it, but we’ll not dwell on that at this time. But anyway… Doubled with the fact that Alan Lightman’s “Einstein’s Dreams” is without reservation, one of my top 3 books of all time. This clearly was must read. Mr g is a story about creation from the point of view of God, a possibly somewhat naive character who goes about setting things in motion only to then be questioned for explanations about the inexplicable and the necessity of evil, amongst other things. I’m quite certain I’ll plow through this book in a days time as I did with much of his other work, but Alan Lightman’s prose and voice are possible some of the most beautiful, heart-wrenching, soul turning words I’ve read in the past.

Author’s Page | Purchase Link

The Great Game
Lavie Tidhar

What can I say, I have a fondness in my heart for pulp. All the better that Lavie’s works are well written, intelligent, adventurous pulp. Another Angry Robot release (Which I should add also has their shit together enough that they manage to release book in the US and overseas in a relatively close timeframe, which I have no fear in saying most publishers haven’t really managed yet). I’ve read his first two book in this series (The Bookman and Camera Obscura), which are really only tangentially related in the sense of continuing world building. But that’s ok, since that it allows his characters not to get so mired in their own backstory that nothing can ever move forward. and since someone else writes it better than I (And I’ve not yet read the book), I give you the cover blurb:

When Mycroft Holmes is murdered in London, it is up to retired shadow executive Smith to track down his killer – and stumble on the greatest conspiracy of his life. Strange forces are stirring into life around the globe, and in the shadow game of spies nothing is certain. Fresh from liberating a strange alien object in Abyssinia – which might just be the mythical Ark of the Covenant – young Lucy Westerna, Holmes’ protégé, must follow her own path to the truth while, on the other side of the world, a young Harry Houdini must face his greatest feat of escape – death itself.

As their paths converge the body count mounts up, the entire world is under threat, and in a foreboding castle in the mountains of Transylvania a mysterious old man weaves a spider’s web of secrets and lies.

Airship battles, Frankenstein monsters, alien tripods and death-defying acts: The Great Game is a cranked-up steampunk thriller in which nothing is certain – not even death.

And I loves me some well written steampunk.

SIDE NOTE:How can you not like a guy who write a Samurai retelling of the New Testament called “Jesus and the Eightfold Path

Author’s Page | Purchase Link

I’m certain there will be another post to follow this, both with thoughts on these books once I’ve read them/the arrive (Likely in reverse order of that) and also as I squander away more of my income on my bibliophanatic addiction.

Week 2 Ramblings

Filed under: Books,Geek-ery,Life through my lens,Noble Effort — base2wave @ 9:52 am

Well, I’m about 2 for 2 with resolutions at the moment. I’ve found it incredibly difficult to be able to find/make thew time to do some of these things, but I endeavor to press on.

Quiet time alone is decidedly at a premium, making my efforts to practice samadhi OR write weekly more difficult. Regarding samadhi, I’ve yet to get a chance to practice, so I’m gonna have to step up here soon and just do it. As for writing, I’ve been working at it (At the moment I have one post I started working on while at work the other day, but I’ve had to shelve for now, just until I can truly make the time to post it). Time constraints have been equally compounded by the death of my media PC earlier this week, as I’ve been focussing a good deal of effort towards data recovery from the old drive and subsequently doing my research for new components to rebuild this system (This time with better cooling).

As for reading and sobriety, I’m still chugging along. My tea consumption is quiet astronomical at present, but I’m sure my liver is thanking me. I’ve lost about 5 pounds so far and hope to lose more. As for the mental chemistry reasons for this, I don’t know if I can tell yet if there s a difference. I think that talks longer to suss itself out, so I’ll just keep pressing on.

I finished reading Adam Christopher’s debut novel, Empire State, which I thoroughly enjoyed (and by one of my favorite publishers, Angry Robot). While it’s been billed as a “Steampunk Noir” novel, I certainly found more of Noir than anything else with a detective, eccentric ex-military, and psychopathic villains, and enough of a twist to have kept me wondering about more than a few characters. All in all a great novel, and relatively quick read at 448 pages.

And I’ve finally got some foothold in Neal Stephenson’s “Reamde“. Not being a stranger to Mr. Stephenson’s style of writing, I know that this 1056 page tome was going to have it’s fair share of info dumps where it can be easy to get distracted/turned off but power through a handful of these so far as brought be about 300 or so pages in and in the story itself pretty thick. I’m really like it so far and I have not a damn clue where it will wind up.

And there we have it. A week-ish in recap. Power forward and moving on.

Oh, and the New Years day brisket turned out SPECTACULAR. I’m definitely going to keep working at that, but I’m more than please with my first smoked brisket attempt.

January 7, 2010

Damn you American Publishers! or I Love you Amazon UK!

Filed under: Books,Life through my lens,Work — base2wave @ 5:35 pm

Yes, I know that everything I seem to post lately is about books. But that’s my escape. Work is keeping me busy with working with a design team to redesign both the company’s logo but also our website. And it’s about to start snowballing, as we are looking at an April/May go-live. So I’ll need more escapes. Hence more books…

Yesterday, io9.com posted an entry regarding more non-english speak authors delving into the English language Science Fiction. They cited Israeli author Lavie Tidhar’s newest (and as best I can tell first English language I’m wrong, not his first English-Language book, sorry) steampunk novel “The Bookman” which comes out today overseas. The title intrigued me, and after reading the book description and an early review, I knew I wanted to read it. So since I already had a pre-order item with Amazon UK I decided I might as well have that added to my order too (Since the American edition will not come out until frakin’ June or July…). How could I not buy this with a description like this

A masked terrorist has brought London to its knees – there are bombs inside books, and nobody knows which ones. On the day of the launch of the first expedition to Mars, by giant cannon, he outdoes himself with an audacious attack. For young poet Orphan, trapped in the screaming audience, it seems his destiny is entwined with that of the shadowy terrorist, but how? Like a steam-powered take on V for Vendetta, rich with satire and slashed through with automatons, giant lizards, pirates, airships and wild adventure, The Bookman is the first of a series.

And a review like this:

The punkgenre has a new term, BookPunk. The Bookman pokes at the fat and waddled body of steampunk with its walking cane and leaves it on the roadside with its fresh take on Victorian London without loosing any steam on its way.

From loudmouthman.com

And it’s a series, and I LOVE books in a series (Get back to writing Dahlquist!)

And well, if I’m going to buy TWO books overseas, I might as well buy three…

So I added Paul McAuley’s book Cowboy Angels, which I can’t remember how, where or why I heard about this book, but I believe it was shortly after having my head bent around the storyline Iain M. Bank’s Transition which involves rogue reality-hopping, and multiple character storylines for people who may or may not be the same people later in the timeline… So when I came across a book about a government agency hoping across time lines and dimensions to shape the fate of other Americas, I was needless to say intrigued. And of course, it doesn’t seem an American publisher ever picked it up… I’ve had it in my saved cart for awhile and figured now is as good a time as any to buy it.

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January 2, 2010

More Books…

Filed under: Books,Life through my lens — base2wave @ 11:29 am

After pre-ordering Secrets of the Fire Sea by Stephen Hunt from Amazon UK yesterday, and a really sexy new cover for my Kindle, I discovered two other books being published later this year that I will definitely have to get my hands on:

  • Kraken by China Miéville: China’s not big on describing what his books are about before they are released, but from a few sources I was able to track down this little bit:

    Deep in the research wing of the Natural History Museum is a prize specimen, something that comes along much less often than once in a lifetime: a perfect, and perfectly preserved, giant squid. But what does it mean when the creature suddenly and impossibly disappears? For curator Billy Harrow it’s the start of a headlong pitch into a London of warring cults, surreal magic, apostates and assassins. It might just be that the creature he’s been preserving is more than a biological rarity: there are those who are sure it’s a god. A god that someone is hoping will end the world.

    Perdido Street Station was one of my favorite books this year and I thoroughly enjoyed The City & The City, so I’m really looking forward to anything and everything I can get my hands on by him.

  • Pinion by Jay Lake: My awesome brother-in-law and soon to be sister-in-law gave me the hardbound editions of Mainspring and Escapement for Christmas this year, and I plowed through Mainspring in about 2 days and really, really loved it. I’ll soon read Escapement (I have other books on my list and I don’t want to burn out on any one type of thing, plus I tend to pace my self with books in a series), so I really want to see where Lake takes his Clockpunk universe next.

Again, I’m sure I’ll add more later…

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December 16, 2009

Books for the New Year

Filed under: Books,Life through my lens — base2wave @ 12:31 am

It seems my list of future book releases is rivaling my upcoming album list. 2010 seems like it’s going to be an interesting reading year:

  • Dreadnought & Clementine by Cherie Priest: Two new novels expanding on Cherie’s The Clockwork Century world that was introduced in her last novel Boneshaker. The books themselves are set to be independent works from each other, sharing a few characters and what-not, but set in the steampunk America circa the late 1800’s, where the civil war still continues 20+ years later, adventure ensues. Oh, and there’s the occasional zombie… If these to are as engaging as Boneshaker, I’m gonna be a happy man.
  • For the Win and With a Little Help by Cory Doctorow: I’ve read AND LOVED all of Cory’s novels (it certainly doesn’t hurt that he releases them digitally for free and I have a Kindle; thought I have bought 3 of them too). If he writes it, I’ll read it. Rather than trying to describe these books, I’ll just block quote from his site:

    His next two books are WITH A LITTLE HELP, an audacious experiment in print-on-demand publishing (Feb 2010), and FOR THE WIN, a young adult novel about macroeconomics, video games and the labor movement, out from Tor/HarperVoyager in May 2010.

  • Johannes Cabal the Detective by Jonathan L. Howard: I found his first bookJohannes Cabal the Necromancer sitting quietly in the new fiction section of the local Borders bookstore and frankly, the dust-jacket art grabbed my attention first (I’m a book fetishist, make no mistake). But the story really pulled me in; a man bargaining with the devil to regain his soul (He’d initially sold it to learn the art of necromancy). Given one year and twisted itinerant carnival, he has to collect 100 souls in exchange for his. And the ending, which I’ll not spoil, has me wanting to learn the rest of the story.
  • Secrets of the Fire Sea by Stephen Hunt: The fourth book in Hunt’s Jackals series pitched that has been pitched “Charles Dickens meets Bladerunner” (Do you really need more that that…). This is essentially a steampunk adventure taking place in a world that is passably similar to Victorian England, replete with conspiracy, communists, magic and spiritual steam powered beings called SteamMen. The hardbound UK editions of these are well worth picking up for the dust-jacket are alone, but you won’t be disappointed by the books; he spins a great yarn.
  • The Immorality Engine and The Ghosts of Manhattan by George Mann: Ok, these are effectively Steampunk pulp fiction. But their predecessors (The Affinity Bridge and The Osiris Ritual) are great, action-packed novels. The Immorality Gate follows the continuing adventures of Newbury & Hobbes, a Sherlock/Watson style duo (complete with a Laudanum addiction) working as secret agents for an unnaturally old and artificially preserved Queen Victoria in an world of automata, mad scientists, and dark beings. Ghosts of Manhattan takes that world and fast forwards it to the Roaring ’20 in America and presents noir style mystery/detective novel (Something vaguely akin to “The Shadow”). Again, it’s worth it to pay the couple extra dollars to get the limited edition slipcase hardbacks; they are numbered, signed, and typically have some small extras.
  • Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld: The follow up to Westerfeld’s Young-Adult novel Leviathan release just a few months ago. Another steampunk novel (Are you seeing a trend in my reading…); this time in a Steampunk mired World War I. The Allied forces, called “Darwinists” have bio-engineered giant war beasts to assist in the war effort, where as the the central powers now called “Clankers” have perfected humongous steam power battle mechs. The story follows the son of Franz Ferdinand fleeing into hiding with an unlikely ally of a girl disguised as a British air officer. Adventure ensues.

I’m sure I’ve left something out or I’m not aware of it yet, but this is definitely a good handful of what I’m really looking forward to reading this next year. I’ll post additions as I discover them.

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