NOVEMBER 26-DECEMBER 9, 2014: A fantastic and wide-ranging fortnight of releases for you to start December, including epic fantasy, hard sf, Arthurian legend, a whimsy from Murakami, a GraphicAudio magical noir, non-fiction, and more. Do check out some of the “also out” listings as well such as Kazuaki Takano’s A Genocide of One, Richard Parks’ Yamada Monogotari, and Felicia Hajra-Lee’s The Niantic Project: Ingress for Google’s Niantic Labs, and plenty of mysteries and thrillers besides, including Moriarty, MacDonald, and Raymond Chandler. Unfortunately there’s some absolutely fantastic books in the “seen but not heard” listings as well, including Jenn Brissett’s Elysium, Chris Bucholz’ Severance, Shannon Page and Jay Lake’s Our Lady of the Islands, N.K. Jemisin’s The Awakened Kingdom, Jim C. Hines’ Rise of the Spider Goddess, and the PW-year’s-best-lsited anthology The Mammoth Book of SF Stories by Women. Early December also brings the Audible availability of Jeff VanderMeer’s Area X omnibus of his Southern Reach trilogy. And I’ve added another absolutely huge round of “added” titles for 2015 in the “coming soon” listings, though quite a few have large variability for measurements of “soon”. Enjoy!
PICKS OF THE WEEK:
Posted in Release Week
Tagged ari marmell, ben bova, ben peek, carbide tipped pens, chris sorensen, cory doctorow, eric choi, gabrielle de cuir, gregory benford, haruki murakami, information doesn't want to be free, kirby heyborne, paul michael garcia, ryan w bradley, the godless, the martian race, the strange library, wil wheaton, winterswim
Making the Internet rounds yesterday was a new list from Buzzfeed of 19 Science Fiction and Fantasy Novels by Women of Color You Must Read and as headline-bait listicles go it’s actually pretty good. (Of course one may quibble, but those that I have read that are on this list are fantastic books.) Here’s an audiobibliophile tour of the list:
9 ARE IN AUDIO:
Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower, read by Lynne Thigpen for Recorded Books — One of the absolute all-time best books and audiobooks I’ve ever encountered. “God is change. That is the central truth of the Earthseed movement, whose unlikely prophet is 18-year-old Lauren Olamina. The young woman’s diary entries tell the story of her life amid a violent 21st-century hell of walled neighborhoods and drug-crazed pyromaniacs – and reveal her evolving Earthseed philosophy. Against a backdrop of horror emerges a message of hope: if we are willing to embrace divine change, we will survive to fulfill our destiny among the stars.” Get: [Audible] Continue reading
I keep putting off compiling the December Whispersync Deal roundup, but (1) a good chunk of titles are only on sale through Dec 14 and (2) I already missed passing along both that Andy Weir’s The Martian was on sale for $3 and that Rachel Aaron’s The Spirit Thief was on sale as well as John Shirley’s Everything is Broken, on and on… and since I’ve no idea when/if some of this deals will disappear, I had better get on it! In that frame of mind, first up here’s some deals on some fantastic, highly-recommended titles where I just don’t know when they’ll return to their regular prices: (UPDATE DEC 5: To include the new crop of Big Deal titles which are on sale through Dec 21.)
Kameron Hurley’s God’s War (Bel Dame Apocrypha, Book 1) for $1.99+$3.99 — OMGWTFBBQ is basically the Twitterverse reaction to the Kindle price drop on the first book of Hurley’s Arthur C. Clarke and Nebula Award nominated Bel Dame Apocrypha series. I first heard of Hurley via Jeff VanderMeer’s 2011 year-end roundup for Locus, where he described the “bug-based tech/magic” and “muscular prose” of the book, and I’ve had this on my daily watch list for just this who-kn0ws-who-screwed-up price break. Read by Emily Bauer for Audible: “Nyx had already been to hell. One prayer more or less wouldn’t make any difference… On a ravaged, contaminated world, a centuries-old holy war rages, fought by a bloody mix of mercenaries, magicians, and conscripted soldiers. Though the origins of the war are shady and complex, there’s one thing everybody agrees on – there’s not a chance in hell of ending it. Nyx is a former government assassin who makes a living cutting off heads for cash. But when a dubious deal between her government and an alien gene pirate goes bad, Nyx’s ugly past makes her the top pick for a covert recovery. The head they want her to bring home could end the war–but at what price? The world is about to find out.”
A year earlier, the eye-opening fantasy debut everyone was talking about and nominating for awards – and which I perhaps predictably learned about via VanderMeer’s year’s best roundup for Locus that year — was N.K. Jemisin’s The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (The Inheritance Trilogy Book 1) and it’s also on sale, for $1.99+$3.49 read by Casaundra Freeman for Brilliance Audio: “Yeine Darr is an outcast from the barbarian north. But when her mother dies under mysterious circumstances, she is summoned to the majestic city of Sky. There, to her shock, Yeine is named an heiress to the king. But the throne of the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is not easily won, and Yeine is thrust into a vicious power struggle.” (For completists, do check out VanderMeer’s list from 2009 also. Just saying.)
Posted in Whispersync Deals
Tagged amanda hocking, bridget ladd, casaundra freeman, chuck wendig, clive barker, crossroad press, david niall wilson, davina porter, diana gabaldon, emily bauer, erik larson, gail z martin, james clamp, jo walton, kameron hurley, katherine kellgren, luke daniels, mark lawrence, michael page, nick podehl, nk jemisin, outlander, patrick rothfuss, prince of thorns, scott lynch, stant litore, stephen hoye, the lies of locke lamora
NOVEMBER 19-25, 2014: An overall very, very quiet week in publishing, but with a standout concurrent new release (Mira Grant’s Symbiont), two glimmering backlist collections (Buckell and Drake), the return of Sanderson’s Legion (for free! read by Oliver Wyman again!), and a few more titles well worth noting (an indie fantasy superstar in the making in Jacob Cooper, anthologies Robot Uprisings and Night Shift, Bernard Cornwell’s Grail Quest novels, Costello and Hautala’s Star Road, and a huge pile of Akashic’s “Noir” anthologies) make for plenty to pick from. Enjoy!
PICKS OF THE WEEK:
Posted in Release Week
Tagged brandon sanderson, bronson pinchot, christine lakin, david drake, grimmer than hell, legion, mira grant, mitigated futures, oliver wyman, symbiont, tobias buckell
Copperhead (Ironskin, Book 2)
By Tina Connolly, read by Rosalyn Landor
Length: 9 hours, 43 minutes
Appearances can be deceptive.
There are two sisters. Jane was wounded in an invasion by the fae, and now suffers from a disability in which she is cursed by a supernatural anger, and is a constant outsider, and goes to work as a governess in what appears to be a haunted house in the countryside. Helen is beautiful, married a wealthy aristocrat, and is obsessed with society and its balls and fashions.
If you’d asked me which sister I’d rather read about, I wouldn’t have thought twice. Jane sounds far more interesting and engaging. And I did enjoy reading Ironskin. So much, I listened to it as well. So you can imagine my surprise when I loaded Copperhead onto my phone and enjoyed it even more. But like I said, appearances can be deceptive.
Jane disappears from Copperhead early on, while attempting to help convince some of the most prestigious women in society that they have to do away with their fae-glamoured beauty. Helen is forced to take over after Jane’s disappearance, to track down the women, and convince them of the danger they’re in. A nice twist – some of the women Jane and Helen have to convince are using their supernatural beauty for good – such as celebrity-like spokeswomen for charitable causes. Continue reading
Saturday’s Whispersync Deal roundup includes Brandon Sanderson, Kevin J. Anderson, Brian Herbert, Ben Bova, Steven Brust, Mercedes Lackey, David Drake, Glen Cook, Larry Niven, L. E. Modesitt, Jr., and more, with narrators Michael Kramer, Stefan Rudnicki, William Dufris, Scott Brick, and more. I don’t have too much time for more than a drive-by image gallery, so here they are, mostly $2.99+$2.99:
There’s a fairly good-sized list of Black Friday Kindle Deals, with quite a few offering Whispersync for Voice deals, with all the ones I list here being on sale for $1.99+$1.99. Meanwhile, the November monthly deal roundup still has a few days left of usefulness, so don’t forget to check through that list once before the month is over. And! Audible is having a Treat Yourself Sale through Dec 2 with over 300 titles at $4.95. Enjoy!
Philip K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle read by Tom Weiner: “It’s America in 1962. Slavery is legal once again. The few Jews who still survive hide under assumed names. In San Francisco, the I Ching is as common as the Yellow Pages. It’s all because, some 20 years earlier, the United States lost a war – and is now occupied jointly by Nazi Germany and Japan.”
PKD’s Ubik read by Chip works for Glen Runciter’s anti-psi security agency, which hires out its talents to block telepathic and paranormal crimes. But when its special team tackles a big job on the moon, something goes terribly wrong, and Runciter is seemingly killed. Now, his mourning employees are receiving bewildering messages from their boss – on toilet walls, traffic tickets, product labels, and even U.S. coins. And the world around them is warping in ways that suggest that their own time is running out – or already has.”
Umberto Eco’s The Prague Cemetery read by George Guidall: “Nineteenth-century Europe—from Turin to Prague to Paris—abounds with the ghastly and the mysterious. Jesuits plot against Freemasons. Italian republicans strangle priests with their own intestines. French criminals plan bombings by day and celebrate Black Masses at night. Every nation has its own secret service, perpetrating forgeries, plots, and massacres. Conspiracies rule history. From the unification of Italy to the Paris Commune to the Dreyfus Affair to The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, Europe is in tumult and everyone needs a scapegoat. But what if, behind all of these conspiracies, both real and imagined, lay one lone man?”
NOVEMBER 5-18, 2014: A Chinese science fiction blockbuster translated into English by one of the world’s best new writers, a new novel from Stephen King read by actor David Morse, Amanda Palmer’s self-help advice/memoir book, an anthology series sequel to V Wars, Chaz Brentley’s collection Bitter Waters, the entire 4-book set of Tobias Buckell’s Xenowealth series, and a gorgeously packaged “Area X” omnibus of Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy headline a fantastic fortnight of new audiobooks. There’s so much “also out” that trying to list everything up here would be a nightmare, but David Drake and John Lambshead’s Into the Hinterlands and Bernard Cromwell’s Excalibur finally unabridged are certainly worth highlighting, as is The Forsaken Inn, narrated By The End of Days by Jenny Erpenbeck, The Absolution of Roberto Acestes Laing by Nicholas Rombes, and The Seventh Bride by T. Kingfisher, as well as The Nickronomicon, a collection by Nick Mamatas, and the Sean Wallace-edited anthology The Mammoth Book of Warriors and Wizardry. In other news, the Scholastic Audio Humble Bundle has added another handful of books to its haul with two days left to go, and I’ve added a long, long list of titles to the “coming soon” listings below, mostly in 2015. More? Sure! There’s a free Go the F* to Sleep sequel out, read by Bryan Cranston, and! Brandon Sanderson’s long-awaited follow-up to Legion is also free, read by Oliver Wyman. And if you’re looking for deals just a bit more expensive than “free” look no further than the November Whispersync Deal Roundup which still has a few more days left of usefulness. Enjoy! [And if you’re new to audiobooks, among the many ways to get started are: you can try Audible with a free audiobook or get your first 3 months at Audible for $7.49/month; try a free 30-day trial at audiobook streaming service Audiobooks.com; or sign up for a $12.99 monthly membership at DRM-free Downpour.com.]
PICKS OF THE WEEK:
Posted in Release Week
Tagged amanda palmer, area x, bitter waters, chaz brentley, daniel abraham, jeff vandermeer, johannes cabal, ken liu, liu cixin, luke daniels, prentice onayemi, revival, robin miles, sarban, stephen king, the apocalypse ocean, the art of asking, the three-body problem, tobias s buckell, v wars, xenowealth
Now that we’re about halfway through November, it’s past time to round up this month’s Whispersync (and other) deals. First up, the usual gold source for new Whispersync deals, the Kindle monthly deals. 12 books to send up this time:
Dawn (The Xenogenesis Trilogy Book 1) By , Narrated By for $1.99+$3.49 — “In a world devastated by nuclear war with humanity on the edge of extinction, aliens finally make contact. They rescue those humans they can, keeping most survivors in suspended animation while the aliens begin the slow process of rehabilitating the planet. When Lilith Iyapo is “awakened”, she finds that she has been chosen to revive her fellow humans in small groups by first preparing them to meet the utterly terrifying aliens, then training them to survive on the wilderness that the planet has become. But the aliens cannot help humanity without altering it forever. Bonded to the aliens in ways no human has ever known, Lilith tries to fight them even as her own species comes to fear and loathe her. A stunning story of invasion and alien contact by one of science fiction’s finest writers.” Continue reading
Posted in Whispersync Deals
Tagged alan cumming, discworld, humble bundle, james langton, john scalzi, luke daniels, macus sakey, octavia butler, patrick ness, paul antony jones, peter david, robert krose, robert mccammon, scholastic audio, scott westerfeld, terry pratchett, the hunger games
OCTOBER 29-NOVEMBER 4, 2014: Breathtakingly imaginative epic fantasy, sarcastic star-crossing science fiction, a demon possession pandemic, and multiverse-spanning virtual realities make for a fantastic release week of concurrent and backlist new audiobooks this week to start November. It’s a packed week as well, with several very good titles also out this week including Stephen Baxter’s Proxima, Jack McDevitt’s Coming Home, Kim Newman’s An English Ghost Story, Lydia Millet’s Mermaids in Paradise, Ryan Graudin’s The Walled City, Jamie Metzl’s Genesis Code, Paul Dale’s The Dark Lord’s Handbook, Carrie Ryan and John Parke Davis’s The Map to Everywhere, and two David Drake “Hammer’s Slammers” novels read by Jay Snyder. And, outside of speculative fiction, Richard Ford returns to his Frank Bascombe stories with Let Me Be Frank With You, and a pair of non-fiction titles catch my eye/ear as well: Bill Nye’s Undeniable and Martin Short’s I Must Say, both read by the author. And! There’s a trio of new GraphicAudio titles worth checking out as well, including Cherie Priest’s The Inexplicables, Jon Sprunk’s Blood and Iron, and Simon R. Green’s Ghost of a Chance. It’s also a week with some intriguing books in the “seen but not heard” listings, including David James Keaton’s The Last Projector, Chaz Brenchley’s collection Bitter Waters, Fred Venturini’s The Heart Does Not Grow Back, Jennifer Brozek and Bryan Thomas Schmidt’s anthology Shattered Shields, and a new Wild Cards mosaic novel, Lowball. Enjoy!
PICKS OF THE WEEK:
Posted in Release Week
Tagged daryl gregory, george newbern, kameron hurley, liza ross, macleod andrews, otherland, pandemonium, peter berkrot, steven erikson, tad williams, the mirror empire, willful child