FEBRUARY 26-MARCH 4, 2014: And here I thought that last week was packed. This week saw almost 200 titles released on March 4 alone, with another 100 on March 3. My picks of this avalanche include an epic fantasy sequel from Brandon Sanderson, an urban fantasy sequel from Mur Lafferty, anthropological dragon memoir fantasy (yes, it exists, it’s totally a genre, and yes, it’s a sequel), and hey, more fantasy, the highly-anticipated debut Half Bad by Sally Green, and a classic 1895 novel-in-stories, performed by Stefan Rudnicki with Gabrielle de Cuir. And! Seth MacFarlane’s A Million Ways to Die in the West, read by Jonathan Frakes. Because why not have “Number One” read a book by an author who enjoys making “Number Two” jokes? During a time when dysentery was widespread? Why not indeed.
Also out this week: Indexing by Seanan McGuire, read by Mary Robinette Kowal; Anne Bishop’s Murder of Crows; Kelly McCullough’s Broken Blade; Fredric Brown’s 1955 comic science fiction novel Martians, Go Home read by Stefan Rudnicki; fantasy shorts from Michael J. Sullivan and Brian McClellan; Rohan Gavin’s Knightley & Son; Scott Nicholson’s McFall; James S.A. Corey’s Star Wars: Honor Among Thieves; and a free 8-chapter sampler of Hugh Howey’s Sand; an intriguing genre-bending book I don’t know quite what to make of yet is Rene Denfeld’s The Enchanted, though I know that I’m interested. (Of note: McGuire’s Indexing and book one in both Brandon Sanderson and Mur Lafferty’s series are in the latest massive Whispersync deal roundup.) But what release week coverage is complete without my bemoaning some “seen but not heard” titles? This week, Black Moon: A Novel by Kenneth Calhoun, John Joseph Adams and Hugh Howey’s anthology The End is Nigh, Robert Reed’s The Memory of Sky, and The Barrow by Mark Smylie top that list. Speaking of topping my weekly lists…
PICKS OF THE WEEK:
Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson, book 2 in The Stormlight Archive after The Way of Kings, is – ahem – the biggest release this week. With a runtime of 48 hours, it already had 74 ratings before it had been released for 24 hours — Sanderson’s fans listen even faster than he can write! But there’s more than size here, as Michael Kramer and Kate Reading continue to work their huge cast epic fantasy magic that worked so well for The Wheel of Time and the first volume in this planned 10-volume series. Out from Macmillan Audio in physical and digital formats concurrent with the print/ebook release from Tor, this is a secondary world epic fantasy with huge worldbuilding, massive battles, intricate magic, and millenia-spanning scope. [More links: IndieBound CD | Kindle | Amazon CD | Amazon Hardcover]
Ghost Train to New Orleans by Mur Lafferty continues the reigning John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer’s “The Shambling Guides” series as a direct sequel to The Shambling Guide to New York City, which introduced Lafferty’s sardonic, sarcastic take on urban fantasy through the eyes of Zoe Norris, travel guide writer for New York City’s visiting “coterie” of zombies, vampires, and everything else out of every mythology, ever. Out in digital audio from Hachette Audio concurrent with the print/ebook release from Orbit, this time, Zoe takes a bigger train than her usual subway trips around NYC: ”Zoe Norris writes travel guides for the undead. And she’s good at it too – her newfound ability to talk to cities seems to help. After the success of The Sbambling Guide to New York City, Zoe and her team are sent to New Orleans to write the sequel. Work isn’t all that brings Zoe to the Big Easy. The only person who can save her boyfriend from zombism is rumored to live in the city’s swamps, but Zoe’s out of her element in the wilderness….” [More links: Kindle | Amazon Paperback]