What other way should the year end but with a long list of great books to read, and a new podcast to become addicted to...
The Cormorant by Chuck Wendig
How else should I start this weeks must haves but with the third Miriam Black book, who doesn't love a woman who can see the way people are going to die and has learned to profit from that unique skill. As Chuck has become my favorite urban fantasy writer and my go to man for writing advise and great unique curse phrases Miriam has become my favorite bad girl heroine. The writing in this series is sharp, sarcastic and a joy to read to an antihero lover like myself and if the darker side of fiction is your thing look here. Angry Robot has printed as of this week three novels in this series and I for one hope it lasts as long as one particular story about a wizard for hire. Oh yeah if this catches your attention you must read Chucks other series about a heel named Mookie Pearl.
Here is the synopsis and a linky to Angry Robots site....
Miriam is on the road again, having transitioned from “thief”… to “killer”.
Hired by a wealthy businessman, she heads down to Florida to practice the one thing she’s good at. But in her vision she sees her client die by another’s hand – and on the wall, written in blood, is a message just for Miriam.
The Bread We Eat in Dreams by Catherynne M Valente
From one gorgeous book to another we move right along to a mother of my favorite authors and podcast members. If you have been reading my wanted lists you know I adore Catherynne's writing in a way that is probably a bit on the edge of being annoying but this folklorist, poet, weird fiction writer is one of the people I recommend without reservation most often. This book may not be for everyone since its a limited printing from the fine people at Subterranean Press but if you have the dosh to spend this collection of her short fiction and poetry is well worth the investment.
To prove I'm not the only gushing fan here is the synopsis for this... Oh and this book was spotlighted in the NYT book section too (here is a link to that article....). So there you go. Here is a link to the publisher site too...
Subterranean Press proudly presents a major new collection by one of the brightest stars in the literary firmament. Catherynne M. Valente, the New York Times bestselling author of The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making and other acclaimed novels, now brings readers a treasure trove of stories and poems in The Bread We Eat in Dreams.
In the Locus Award-winning novelette “White Lines on a Green Field,” an old story plays out against a high school backdrop as Coyote is quarterback and king for a season. A girl named Mallow embarks on an adventure of memorable and magical politicks in “The Girl Who Ruled Fairyland—For a Little While.” The award-winning, tour de force novella “Silently and Very Fast” is an ancient epic set in a far-flung future, the intimate autobiography of an evolving A.I. And in the title story, the history of a New England town and that of an outcast demon are irrevocably linked.
The thirty-five pieces collected here explore an extraordinary breadth of styles and genres, as Valente presents readers with something fresh and evocative on every page. From noir to Native American myth, from folklore to the final frontier, each tale showcases Valente’s eloquence and originality.
And now a word from our sponsors, well at lest a couple of things I'd love to sponsor and the reason I have less time to read and writer now (damn you Seanan McGuire) so without further adieu a link to the double Hugo Winning podcast the SFSqueecast where SF professionals Squee all fan like about things SFnal and a link to the other podcast bringing me so much joy I just might ask it to marry me Welcome to Night Vale (no offense to my lover and partner). Welcome to Night Vale is the podcast for all weird fiction fans so if the things I write about are your thing... Well why are you waiting go go now.... Listen I can wait its just 20 minutes.. Just listen to the first... Its not dangerous.... Now the weather....
Once Upon a Time in Hel
l by Guy Adams
Another thing that has marked this year is my return to my love of the good old weird western, the year started with the magnificent novels The Six Gun Tarot that I still have yet to fully review and the moderne weird western American Elsewhere. Another book that drew my attention this year was the first in this dark weird western series titled The Good The Bad and the Infernal , I am happy to say that Solaris is publishing a sequel.... Here is a link to their website and the synopsis...
A WEIRD WESTERN, A GUN-TOTING, CIGARRILLO-CHEWING FANTASY BUILT FROM HANGMAN’S ROPE AND SPENT BULLETS.
Wormwood has appeared, and with it a doorway to the afterlife. But what use is a door if you can’t step through it?
Hundreds have battled unimaginable odds to reach this place, including the blind shooter Henry Jones; the drunk and liar Roderick Quartershaft; that most holy, yet enigmatic of orders, the Brotherhood of Ruth; the inventor Lord Forset and his daughter Elisabeth; the fragile messiah Soldier Joe and his nurse Hope Lane.
Of them all, Elwyn Wallace, a young man who only wanted to travel west for a job, would have happily forgone the experience. But he finds himself abroad in Hell, a nameless, aged gunslinger by his side. He had thought nothing could match the terror of his journey thus far, but time will prove him wrong.
On the road to Hell, good intentions don’t mean a damn.
Things Withered Susie Moloney
From one dark book to a darker one. 2013 has also seen the return of my love of horror fiction with my diving into the work of Joe Hill, Stephen King and all the marvelous writers that are chosen by the staff and editors of ChiZine. I know nothing about this author but as with my trust of Pyr and Angry Robots editors the people at ChiZine get my hearty endorsement as top notch...
Here is the synopsis.... And a link
HERE ARE THE LOST WOMEN OF SUBURBIA,
EVIL IN A T-SHIRT AND A PONYTAIL,
WASHING BLOOD OFF THE WALLS AND
MAKING SURE THE CHILDREN DON’T TELL. . . .
For the first time in one collection, award-winning author Susie Moloney unveils thirteen of her most dark and disturbing short stories.
A middle-aged realtor makes a deal that could last forever. A cheating woman finds herself swimming in dangerous waters. A wife with a dark past can’t bear the fear of being exposed. The bad acts of a little old lady come home to roost. A young man with no direction finds power behind the wheel of a haunted truck.
From behind the pretty drapes of the average suburban home, madness peers out.
Hive Monkey by Gareth L Powell
Last year Gareth Powell gave us the weird steampunky action adventure tale starring a monkey in a book called Ack-Ack Macaque and here comes a sequel..... A link and a synopsis...
In order to hide from his unwanted fame as the spitfire-pilot-monkey who emerged from a computer game to defeat the nefarious corporation that engineered him, the charismatic and dangerous Ack-Ack Macaque is working as a pilot on a world-circling nuclear-powered Zeppelin.
But when the cabin of one of his passengers is invaded by the passenger’s own dying doppelganger, our hirsute hero finds himself thrust into another race to save the world – this time from an aggressive hive mind, time-hopping saboteurs, and an army of homicidal Neanderthal assassins!
A Study in Ashes by Emma Jane Holloway
People looking for a differnt approach to the Sherlock Holmes tradition need look no further the here. I have gotten a great amount of enjoyment out of the unique and entertaining reinterpretations from shows like Elementary and the Holmesish stories told by Mark Hodder with his Burton and Swinburne stories so it brings me joy to find another great take on the tale. This is the third in a series that I have hopes lives quite a while... Tor.com has an excerpt here and read further for the synopsis....
As part of her devil’s bargain with the industrial steam barons, Evelina Cooper is finally enrolled in the Ladies’ College of London. However, she’s attending as the Gold King’s pet magician, handcuffed and forbidden contact with even her closest relation, the detective Sherlock Holmes.
But Evelina’s problems are only part of a larger war. The Baskerville affair is finally coming to light, and the rebels are making their move to wrest power from the barons and restore it to Queen Victoria. Missing heirs and nightmare hounds are the order of the day—or at least that’s what Dr. Watson is telling the press.
Their plans are doomed unless Evelina escapes to unite her magic with the rebels’ machines—and even then her powers aren’t what they used to be. A sorcerer has awakened a dark hunger in Evelina’s soul, and only he can keep her from endangering them all. The only problem is . . . he’s dead.
So that fills out this years choices... Sure I have missed things and I may just need to play a lot of catchup but it has been a marvelous year.... Look for some best of the year choices to come next week and mayhaps a review or two...
Take care kiddies...