As a longtime gamer I love the idea of International Tabletop Day put out there by Felicity Day and Geek and Sundry. Wil Wheato's vlog has done a lot to make me want to game regularly again and I hope gamers in the audience got some games on today. Now on with the wanted posters.....
April looks to be both a hourglass shaped month with two very spare weeks sandwiched between large release weeks. Here are the high points next week April 2nd
Without a Summer by Mary Robinette Kowal continues the story of Jane Ellsworth and Mr. Vincent with this third regency era volume. The elevator pitch for the first book Shades of Milk and Honey went something like this is the book that Jane Austen would have written if magic existed in her world. Mary works very hard to maintain the language, social norms and history of the period slightly altered for the existence of illusionary magic adding which pays off in spades; I'm a fool for her writing. Here is the copy about the book from her website that can be found here.
Jane and Vincent go to Long Parkmeade to spend time with Jane’s family, but quickly turn restless. The year is unseasonably cold. No one wants to be outside and Mr. Ellsworth is concerned by the harvest, since a bad one may imperil Melody’s dowry. And Melody has concerns of her own, given the inadequate selection of eligible bachelors. When Jane and Vincent receive a commission from a prominent family in London, they decide to take it, and take Melody with them. They hope the change of scenery will do her good and her marriage prospects—and mood—will be brighter in London.
Once there, talk is of nothing but the crop failures caused by the cold and increased unemployment of the coldmongers, which have provoked riots in several cities to the north. With each passing day, it’s more difficult to avoid getting embroiled in the intrigue, none of which really helps Melody’s chances for romance. It’s not long before Jane and Vincent realize that in addition to getting Melody to the church on time, they must take on one small task: solving a crisis of international proportions.
In addition this month Glamour in Glass, last years Jane Ellsworth nove is being released in soft cover version. This novel as past readers will know is up for the Nebula award for this year and really is even in my mind with another novel that I hope will get the award. Mary has a unique voice as a writers and can write anything from these regency magical novels to science fiction mysteries that have also been up for awards. As you may notice I only review books I like and her work is really due a review by me...
The Exiled Blade by Jon Courtnay Grimwood
I had the chance to read the first book in this series and it was such a wonderful alternate history mixing the most corrupt political times of Venice with vampires, werewolves, Muslim and Viking themes. Jon Courtney is obviously in love with history and the ways that things could have gone awry. His characters here have the best and worst hat humanity has to offer in its hopes and dreams and its fears and greed. Based on my enjoyment of the first - The Fallen Blade - with its multiple viewpoints, plots counterplots and manipulations. To me this is the fictionalization of the fact work called Wolrld lit only by Fire.
Jon's fiction is rich and complex and I encourage you to try any of his books wither they be this, his modern Persian urban fantasy of the weird fiction that is Swamp Butterflies. Here is the copy about this volume...
Venice stands victorious. It has beaten back the German emperor's army and the Byzantine navy. The Duchess Alexa's party at court is strong again. Her niece, Lady Giulietta, will be the next Regent, and possibly the next duchess. Giulietta's lover, Lord Tycho, will sit beside her.
But no one is prepared for the fury of Prince Alonzo, exiled regent and traitor to his city. No one is prepared for the harshest winter Europe has ever known. As the canals of Venice freeze and wolves cross the ice from the north, Alonzo's plotting brings the Venetian empire to the very edge of destruction.
Weird Detectives edited by Paula Guran
Looking at some of the things I'm looking forward to its no surprise that an original short fiction urban fantasy collection world be in my sights. The Table of Contents for this one alone is a draw with the talent lined up and that is just the big names. With this one my only fear is that I'll find another couple authors I' have to start reading. This one in from a favorite publisher of mine - Prime Books and looks great. Take a look at their site here and this is their copy about the book and the impressive line up of authors.
Paranormal investigators. Occult detectives. Ghost hunters. Monster fighters. Humans who unravel uncanny crimes and solve psychic puzzles; sleuths with supernatural powers of their own who provide services far beyond those normal gumshoes, shamuses, and Sherlocks can provide. When vampires, werewolves, and thing that go bump in the night are part of your world, criminals can be as inhuman as the crimes they commit, and magic can seep into the mundane—those who solve the mysteries, bring justice for victims or even save the world itself, might wield wands as well as firearms, utter spells or simply use their powers of deduction. Some of the best twenty-first century tales from top authors of the century’s most popular genre take you down mean streets and into strange crime scenes in this fantastic compilation.
Contents (alphabetical by author):
“Cryptic Coloration” by Elizabeth Bear
“The Key” by Ilsa J. Blick
“Mortal Bait” Richard Bowes
“Star of David” by Patricia Briggs
“Love Hurts” by Jim Butcher
“Swing Shift” by Dana Cameron
“The Necromancer’s Apprentice” by Lillian Stewart Carl
“Sherlock Holmes and the Diving Bell” by Simon Clark
“The Adakian Eagle” by Bradley Denton
“Hecate’s Golden Eye” by P.N. Elrod
“The Case of Death and Honey” by Neil Gaiman
“The Nightside, Needless to Say” by Simon R. Green
“Deal Breaker” by Justin Gustainis
“Death by Dahlia” by Charlaine Harris
“See Me” by Tanya Huff
“Signatures of the Dead” by Faith Hunter
“The Maltese Unicorn” by Caitlín R. Kiernan
“The Case of the Stalking Shadow” by Joe R. Lansdale
“Like a Part of the Family” by Jonathan Maberry
“The Beast of Glamis” by William Meikle
“Fox Tails” by Richard Parks
“Imposters” by Sarah Monette
“Defining Shadows” by Carrie Vaughn
A Matter of Blood by Sarah Pinborough
This one ties into the last in that its a police procedural with occult overtones. It's been around a while but this next week sees its US publishing date. Ever since I was a kid along with genre stories I've been a follower of crime and police stories. I read about this one and was curious. Here is the Publishers Weekley site's coverage...
In a near-future London of financial insecurity and increasing social inequity, Det. Insp. Cass Jones is saddled with two challenging but otherwise mundane cases: one involving the deaths of two boys, apparently gunned down accidentally during the attempted assassination of a notorious crime lord, and the other involving a nihilistic serial killer called Man of Flies. Then Cass learns his brother, Christian, has murdered Christian’s wife and son before turning the gun on himself; Cass’s affair with Christian’s wife is quickly uncovered, and Cass’s fingerprints are found on Christian’s gun. The occult overtones and heavy-handed corporatist futurism are minor distractions from the heart of this book, which is a perfectly acceptable British-style police procedural centered on a cop who is just morally compromised enough to drive the plot and idealistic enough to be an impediment to the true villains. While clearly a series launch, this competent novel can be enjoyed on its own merits, albeit more for the investigation than the speculative elements. (Apr.)
Here also is Sarah Pinborough's website to see what she is doing now.
Blood Trade by Faith Hunter
The blogger at My Bookish Ways brought my attention back to this series that starters with the title Skin Trade. His series has my attention because it apparently pulls on Native American myths and folklore of the Skinwalker. I know little else other then this and it is in the above mentioned and linked blog's site here is the text posted there...
Blood Trade by Faith Hunter (St. Martins Press-April 16th)
Synopsis-Jane Yellowrock is a shape-shifting skinwalker who’s always up for a fight—even if it means putting her life on the line…
The Master of Natchez, Mississippi has a nasty problem on his hands. Rogue vampires—those who follow the Naturaleza and believe that humans should be nothing more than prey to be hunted—are terrorizing his city. Luckily, he knows the perfect skinwalker to call in to take back the streets.
But what he doesn’t tell Jane is that there’s something different about these vamps. Something that makes them harder to kill—even for a pro like Jane. Now, her simple job has turned into a fight to stay alive…and to protect the desperately ill child left in her care.
Here is a link to Faith Hunters web site.
River of Stars by Guy Gavriel Kay
One of the first fantasies I read that felt based both British history and Shakespeare was Guy's book Tigana and it was one of those books that made me cry and that one more the once. Guy is a marvelously talented writer and I hope to get to the first book in this series based on ancient Chinese history Under Heaven. I could say what I think is true but ill just let Penguins website copy convince you if it can...
In his critically acclaimed novel Under Heaven, Guy Gavriel Kay told a vivid and powerful story inspired by China’s Tang Dynasty. Now, the international bestselling and multiple award-winning author revisits that invented setting four centuries later with an epic of prideful emperors, battling courtiers, bandits and soldiers, nomadic invasions, and a woman battling in her own way, to find a new place for women in the world – a world inspired this time by the glittering, decadent Song Dynasty.
Ren Daiyan was still just a boy when he took the lives of seven men while guarding an imperial magistrate of Kitai. That moment on a lonely road changed his life—in entirely unexpected ways, sending him into the forests of Kitai among the outlaws. From there he emerges years later—and his life changes again, dramatically, as he circles towards the court and emperor, while war approaches Kitai from the north.
Lin Shan is the daughter of a scholar, his beloved only child. Educated by him in ways young women never are, gifted as a songwriter and calligrapher, she finds herself living a life suspended between two worlds. Her intelligence captivates an emperor—and alienates women at the court. But when her father’s life is endangered by the savage politics of the day, Shan must act in ways no woman ever has.
In an empire divided by bitter factions circling an exquisitely cultured emperor who loves his gardens and his art far more than the burdens of governing, dramatic events on the northern steppe alter the balance of power in the world, leading to events no one could have foretold, under the river of stars.
So that is the dispatch for the week. Next week I will have more for you