I’ve been reading Matthew Hughes’ books for a few years. I am a big fan of his Archonate novels, which are far-future science fictions stories in the vein of Jack Vance. He’s started a new series with Angry Robot Books about a superhero who gets his power from a pact with the devil. I like to try new things, so I picked up a copy and gave it a read.
Normally, I’m not particularly interested in novels with romantic elements, yet somehow, this debut novel by Lev AC Rosen appealed to me from the first moment I picked it up. It helps, of course, that it has a handsome cover. I received an advance copy a while ago, amused by the description on the back. Immediately I envisioned a novel full of Victorian intrigue and romance, populated by a menagerie of mad scientists and rogues. I wasn’t disappointed.
I discovered this book by Michal Ajvaz a while back on a Locus list of notable fantasy novels from 2010. Literary fantasy novels like this intrigue me more than most of the mainstream sword & sorcery. Since The Golden Age was translated from Czech by Dalkey Archive, who publish quite a bit of literature in translation, I figured that I would give it a try.
A few months ago I got a manuscript copy of Low Town, a debut novel by Daniel Polansky. The rep who gave it to me isn’t a big genre fan, but she couldn’t help but rave about this book. I dug into the the first chapter as soon as I got it. I was hooked. Polansky has written a gritty crime novel full of the classic tropes, from the tough fallen-hero protaganist to a cast of rogues, unsavory cops, and violent dilettantes.
To me, there is really only one name in hiking guides: William L Sullivan. Being that I live and generally hike in Oregon (I usually seem to regret the hikes I’ve taken on the other side of the river), Sullivan’s guides have me pretty much covered. He’s been hiking around Oregon since he was a kid and his knowledge of the trails and parks is second to none.
A couple weeks ago, I managed to grab an advance copy of the new novel from Neal Stephenson, Reamde. The title is a play on the semi-deliberate mangling of English words by non-English speakers when naming knock-off products or other merchandise, while referencing the classic readme files that accompany many varieties of software. Without even opening the cover, we already know that this is going to be a book about computer geeks and knowing Stephenson, that it will have broader themes and outrageous ideas. All of these things boded well.