Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Publishers Weekly round-up (September 11th issue)

A nice group of reviews here:
Antediluvian Tales by Poppy Z. Brite: "The seven stories in this slim collection from Brite (Soul Kitchen) form a poignant requiem for pre-Katrina New Orleans, which serves as the setting for all of them. Most are brief sketches featuring characters on the periphery of her tales of chefs Rickey and G-Man, and in their descriptions of local landmarks and daily rituals of the natives, one catches the author’s unabashed affection for the Big Easy. Two stories, “Wound Man and Horned Melon Go to Hell” and “The Devil of Delery Street,” come from the supernatural side of Brite’s oeuvre, but the book’s best is “The Feast of St. Rosalie,” whose simple account of a young woman contemplating romance in the midst of a religious festival mixes charm and pathos for a beautiful elegy to Brite’s hometown. (Nov.)"

Futures From Nature, edited Henry Gee: * Starred Review * "Hard SF fans should revel in Gee’s unusual anthology of 100 speculative miniatures created by scientists, journalists and top SF authors worldwide and originally published as recent one-page features in the science journal Nature. . . All in all, this is a perfect volume to awaken startling new thoughts on old SF themes, giant leaps into the future in delectably palatable tiny packages. (Nov.)"

Dreamsongs, Volume I by George R.R. Martin: "Martin may be best known for his Song of Ice and Fire epic fantasy, but this mammoth collection of short stories (the first of two volumes) highlights his work in numerous genres, including SF, horror and fantasy. . . An insightful introduction by Gardner Dozois, illustrations by Michael Kaluta and extensive—and candid—author commentary make this much more than just a compilation of stories. Fans, genre historians and aspiring writers alike will find this shelf-bending retrospective as impressive as it is intriguing. (Nov.)"

Elemental Magic by Sharon Shinn, Rebecca York, Carol Berg, and Jean Johnson: "Shinn (Reader and Raelynx), Johnson (The Master), Berg (Flesh and Spirit) and York (Moon Swept) offer stories of air, fire, water and earth in a delicious smorgasbord of styles. . . Satisfying paranormal content. (Nov.)"

The Secret History of Moscow by Ekaterina Sedia: "Sedia (According to Crow) applies urban fantasy templates to her Russian setting with mixed success in her second stand-alone novel. . . Modern blue-collar Moscow is pitch-perfect, however: bustling yet seedy, disorganized and none too respectable. While undeniably authentic, the cynical tone may alienate many Western readers before they reach the startling but well-grounded climax. On the whole, this wholeheartedly Russian tale is most compelling as social commentary. (Nov.)"

A Lick of Frost by Laurell K. Hamilton: "Princess Meredith NicEssus of the Unseelie Court finally reaches an elusive goal in Hamilton’s seductive sixth Meredith Gentry paranormal romance (after 2006’s Mistral’s Kiss). . . Hamilton depicts Meredith’s erotic adventures in her usual breathless, overheated style, but also reveals a deeper glimpse into Meredith’s introspective side as she reflects on her favorite lover, Killing Frost, whose strange fate finds her re-evaluating the costs of being a future queen. (Oct.)"

Once Upon a Dreadful Time by Dennis L. McKiernan: "Technically a stand-alone, McKiernan’s solid fifth and final Once Upon fantasy (after 2006’s Once Upon a Spring Morn) focuses on the battle to keep the dreadful witch Hradian and scheming wizard Orbane from despoiling Winterwood, Springwood, Summerwood, Autumnwood and the River of Time itself. . . eries fans should be satisfied, though some may be disappointed that this one is more about war than romance and that background information, presumably for the benefit of newcomers, slows the plot in places. (Oct.)"

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