A couple of years ago I read an amazing debut novel titled Gone Away World. It had an outrageous velveteen cover and a great story that pissed me off so much that I put it down for months when I got to the big twist. When I finally picked it up again, I was treated to such a glorious final act, that all was forgiven. That book was written by Nick Harkaway and I am happy to say that his sophomore effort is equally great.
Ganymede is the fourth book set in Cherie Priest’s Clockwork Century setting: an alternate 19th century America where the Civil War has stretched into the decades and history has taken a turn to the fantastic. I’ve become a big fan of steampunk, so her tales of airships and sky pirates strike a chord for me. I’m also a fan of handsome books, and Tor has done a wonderful job with these, Jon Foster covers and sepia tone print inside combine to make these trade paper originals a perfect choice.
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 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.