Sunday, September 30, 2007

Death of an iBook battery.

Well, that just blows. My back-up iBook battery is now holding a full charge for less than twenty minutes. This is the new battery that I bought last year to replace the battery that originally came with the iBook when I purchased it lo these many years ago.

I see a wire tether in my future.

* sigh *

Sunday evening genre link dump. With papercuts.

I have been at the office all day today (yes, yes, on a Sunday), stuffing shiny new books into stiff yellow cardboard envelopes. As a result, my fingertips are shredded and bloody and the envelopes may be covered by hazardous waste. Alas!

Onward to the linkage:
At the San Francisco Chronicle, Michael Berry reviews Thursday Next: First Among Sequels by Jasper Fforde, Chris Barzak's One for Sorrow, and Ray Bradbury's Now and Forever.

At SF Signal, John de Nardo takes a second look at Harlan Ellison's classic short story, "Repent, Harlequin!" Said the Tick-Tock Man. (Ah, if only dropping jellybeans all over the Bush administration had the same effect!)

At SciFi Wire, John Joseph Adams profiles Jeff and Ann VanderMeer, Ben Bova, and Baltimore authors Chris Golden and Mike Mignola.

Somehow I missed this great interview with Naomi Novik over at Sci Fi Weekly. Good stuff!

Also at Sci Fi Weekly, Cynthia Ward reviews Brian Ruckley's Winterbirth.

The Gravel Pit also reviews Winterbirth.

Many good things at Fantasybookspot: Reviews of Caressed by Ice by Nalini Singh, Winterbirth by Brian Ruckley, As Fate Decrees by Denyse Bridger, Antarctica by Kim Stanley Robinson, and many more.

At SFF World, new reviews of Halting State by Charlie Stross and Stealing Light by Gary Gibson.

At Strange Horizons, also a load of great stuff: R.J. Burgess reviews The Innocent Mage by Karen Miller; Michael Levy reviews Cowboy Angels by Paul MacAuley; Abigail Nussbaum reviews Anna Kavan's Ice and Guilty; and Donna Royston reviews Lois McMaster Bujold's The Sharing Knife: Legacy.

At Katie's Reading, new reviews of The Darkangel by Meredith Ann Pierce and Agents of Light and Darkness by Simon R. Green.

OF Blog of the Fallen reviews Catherynne M. Valente's 2005 novel Yume no Hon: The Book of Dreams and Zoran Živković's Steps Through the Mist.

We're All Going to Hell by the Bastard Fairies

The Bastard Fairies are, in fact, two people (whether or not they are bastards or fairies is open to conjecture): Yellow Thunder Woman and Robin Davies, two musicians who met in Minneapolis in 2003 and formed what would become an Internet music phenomenon. You can download their entire first album for free here, and hear more of their music at their Myspace page.

Today's video is We're All Going to Hell. Enjoy!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Random fun things for your amusement. Just because.

Things I keep meaning to post:

From SuSuBelle, this online collection of found grocery lists. . . via Fimoculous, My Roommate Is Such A Dick (kind of like Passive Agressive Notes, but all about bad roommates - submit your own horror story!). . . for you grammar nerds out there, BBC News explores why the hyphen is dying. . . via Freakgirl, this collection of indie rock t-shirts that would never sell. . . today is the first day of Banned Book Week and the Smart Bitches Who Love Trashy Books are having a very cool contest to celebrate. . . and lastly, via Craigslist, this hilarious open letter to bi-curious drunk girls.

Song No. 6 by Ane Brun

Today's video is the soulful Ane Brun, whom I discovered (to the best of my recollection) through Fraser's Song of the Day blog. Anyway, here she is (accompanied by Ron Sexsmith) singing Song No. 6. Enjoy!

Saturday morning genre (mini) link dump.

Just links:
At the Amazon Book Blog, Jeff VanderMeer has an interview with M. John Harrison, author of Nova Swing.

At Blogcritics, Katie McNeill reviews Simon R. Green's Agents of Light and Darkness. She also profiles new writer Jennifer Rardin, author of Once Bitten, Twice Shy, in a new regular column called Beyond Bounds.

A couple of fun urban fantasy and paranormal romances that I missed earlier at Book Fetish: A review of Crashing Paradise by Christopher Golden and Thomas E. Sniegoski; a review of Undead and Uneasy by Mary Janice Davidson; a review of Riding the Storm by Sydney Croft; and a review of Real Vampires Live Large by Gerry Bartlett.

At Bookgasm, Rod Lott looks at the new H.P. Lovecraft collection, The Horror in the Museum.

Andy Wheeler also reviews The Horror in the Museum.

Just for fun: via Ed Champion, this link to a YouTube parody of the old (and very campy) vampire soap opera Dark Shadows. . . as reenacted by dolls.

Fantasy Book Critic has a great round-up of forthcoming October genre titles. There's also a review of Tim Pratt's Blood Engines (which is just a blast of fun to read, by the way!)
That's all I have, kidz.

Friday, September 28, 2007

This week's reported genre acquisitions.

Some really great stuff here, including new offerings from Garth Nix and Justine Larbalestier. And would someone please tell me how the hell Anne Sowards has time to edit all the books she acquires???
Emily Gee's WITCH-EYE, her second romantic fantasy novel, in which things are not what they seem as a prim courtier and her wastrel lover meet and plot as spies in the catacombs of Corhona Castle, to Christian Dunn of Solaris, by Richard Curtis of Richard Curtis Associates (world English).

Author of the "Magic or Madness" trilogy Justine Larbalestier's THE ULTIMATE FAIRY BOOK, set in a world where everyone has their own personal fairy and featuring two teens who concoct a fairy-swapping scheme that turns their world upside down, to Melanie Cecka at Bloomsbury Children's, in a good deal, in a two-book deal, by Jill Grinberg at Jill Grinberg Literary Management.

Ann Aguirre's GOOD TOUCH plus two sequels in a new urban fantasy series featuring an on-the-run woman whose ability to "read" objects with her touch pulls her into an underground world of gifteds, where the bad guys are just as likely to hire a warlock as a hitman to even the score, to Anne Sowards at Ace, in a nice deal, by Laura Bradford at Bradford Literary Agency.

Calista Fox's ONE WISH and HIGH VOLTAGE, two new paranormal erotic romances, to Felecia Mills at Red Sage, for publication in 2007.

Fred Saberhagen's THE SABERHAGEN RETROSPECTIVE, a sampling of the late author's eclectic fiction (from his vampire stories to Berserker sf to alternate histories), collected by his widow Joan Saberhagen, to Toni Weisskopf at Baen Books, in a nice deal, by Eleanor Wood at Spectrum Literary Agency (NA).

Lesley Livingston's WONDROUS STRANGE, an urban fantasy that weaves elements of A Midsummer Night's Dream together with teen romance and chilling adventure that erupts when dangerous faeries invade the human world through a gate in Central Park, to Laura Arnold at Harper Children's, in a two-book deal, by Jessica Regel at the Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency.

Author of Magic Lost, Trouble Found Lisa Shearin's next two in the Raine Benares series, again to Anne Sowards at Ace, by Kristin Nelson at Nelson Literary Agency (NA).

Garth Nix's A CONFUSION OF PRINCES, a stand-alone science fiction novel, for publication in 2009, followed by a prequel and a sequel to his Abhorsen fantasy trilogy, to Ruth Katcher at Harper Children's, in a major deal, for seven figures, by Jill Grinberg at Jill Grinberg Literary Management. UK rights went to Harper, by Antony Harwood at Antony Harwood Literary Agency; and Australian rights to Allen & Unwin, by Fiona Inglis at Curtis Brown Australia.

Tor Books editor David Hartwell reports that he "just bought a new Karl Schroeder novel in the Virga universe," which started with Sun of Suns and Queen of Candesce. Hartwell also "just bought the reprint rights to A.E. van Vogt's The Voyage of the Space Beagle," which was first published in 1963 van Vogt won SFWA's Grand Master award in 1995, and died in 2000.

Walter H. Hunt sold two books to Wizards of the Coast: A Song in Stone and another, as-yet-untitled novel. A Song in Stone will be "a historical/mystery novel about the music encoded in the stones of Rosslyn Chapel." It's scheduled to be published in November 2008 as part Wizards' Discoveries imprint. The other book is, a work for hire novel which will be part of a shared-world project, will be "a Gothic horror story set in belle-epoque Paris (about 1885)." It's scheduled to be published in May 2009.
And, as always, if you have genre acquisitions you'd like me to report here - SF/F, horror, paranormal romance or YA fantasy - drop me an email.

The Way I Am by Ingrid Michaelson,
or, that funky Old Navy song.

You may have caught on by now that much of my musical tastes are dictated by the songs that don't actually annoy me in in any given television commercial. (I blame this on Moby and Mitsubishi, respectively.) But serious kudos to producers who are going out of their way to seek out and highlight little known indie artists in TV spots and on the soundtracks of television shows.

Tonight's music video is courtesy of McLovin', who loves this song even more than I do. (Possibly even more than she loves cheese. Possibly.) Ingrid Michaelson is a Staten Island-based singer/songwriter. Her song The Way I Am is better known to a lot of you as "that funky Old Navy song". Here's Ingrid performing the song live on the Carson Daly Show. And you can hear more of Ingrid Michaelson's music on her Myspace page. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Music Box by Regina Spektor, or
that ubiquitous JC Penney song.

Enchanting.

What I by Noush Skaugen

New music discovery! Stealth Music Dude just sent me this and I friggin' love it!!! Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter Noush Skaugen. (And, in case you hadn't noticed? She's way hot.) You can hear more of her music at her Myspace page. Enjoy!

Thursday night kinda short genre link dump.

La Gringa is very very busy watching the Family Guy Star Wars Special, and cannot be bothered with commentary this evening. Thus, only linkage:
Cinematic Happenings Under Development has an interview with Richard K. Morgan.

At the Columbus Dispatch, Michael Grossberg interviews Tim Powers.

From last Sunday's Kansas City Star, Robert Folsom looks at Axis by Robert Charles Wilson and The Sunrise Lands by S.M. Stirling, with brief mentions also of Poltergeist by Kat Richardson and Reap the Wild Wind by Julie E. Czerneda.

A Dribble of Ink has an interview with Brandon Sanderson, author of Elantris.

CA Reviews talks about Greywalker by Kat Richardson, and My Immortal by Erin McCarthy.

Fantasy Book Critic reviews End of the World Blues by Jon Courtenay Grimwood and Nova Swing by M. John Harrison.

Graeme's Fantasy Book Review has been busy: Graeme looks at the Last Legion by the late Chris Bunch and Making Money by Terry Pratchett. There's also a review of Simon R. Green's Deathstalker Honour.

SciFiChick reviews Once Bitten, Twice Shy and interviews the author, Jennifer Rardin. There's also a review of Ragamuffin by Tobias Buckell.

At Blogcritics, Katie McNeill reviews Emma Bull's Territory; Ginger Haycox reviews Lisey's Story by Stephen King; and Betty Wong also reviews Once Bitten, Twice Shy.

The Wertzone reviews Cowboy Angels by Paul J. McAuley.

Pat's Fantasy Hotlist reviews Fatal Revenant by Stephen R. Donaldson.

The Book Swede reviews The Isle of Battle by Sean Russell.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

How to Get Published - Lesson #1:
You will never find an agent on Craigslist. Not ever.

Okay, I was all ready to settle down for the season premiere of Law & Order: Mariska Hargitay's One Hot Smart Chick (And, Oh, Look! She Cut Her Hair Again!), but then Melicitlu forwarded me this gem of a posting from Craigslist:
AGENT NEEDED FOR SOME BOOKS I WROTE!
Reply to: gigs-432119871@craigslist.org
Date: 2007-09-25, 7:24PM

Hi There. I wrote a whole shitload of new books, but I need an agent to help me push them. Please send me an email if you are interested in making a ton of money by publishing any or all of these gems. Thanks!

"The desert island was freezing now and Captain Robert was realizing just how foolish a decision it had been to use the last of the matches to light the crate of fireworks the crew had salvaged from the wreck. It seemed an odd choice for a morale booster when you stopped to consider that it had been lighting crates of fireworks that had led to the ship's sinking in the first place. Captain Robert tried to address his men about finding dinner, but the crew's attention was on a deckhand who had created a super-bottle rocket by twisting the wicks of four regular bottle rockets together. By noon the next day, the entire crew was dead."

-- From chapter 11 of my novel, "High Seas Adventure!"

"Frank couldn't believe that the angry mob had the audacity to call him "insensitive." Especially after he had just spent five minutes apologizing to them for accidentally killing what Frank estimated to be about twenty-five hundred dollars worth of people."

- From chapter 214 of my short story, "The Narcoleptic Truck Driver"

"Job decided to elude the swarm of hornets by hiding under a canoe. Unfortunately, the canoe was really a bunch of hornets that had pressed their bodies together to look like a canoe."

- From the Book of Job, in my latest book, "The Bible 2: The Mystery of Barbeque Island"

"It wasn't until they were completely lost that the "Sherpa" informed Bill that he was really just an ex-carnival worker who had been deported from the United States. Bill was furious, but suddenly he had a vision of his carnival-savvy guide fashioning snow into edible cotton candy. Bill asked his guide about this, but the man only laughed as he explained how cotton candy requires sugar and a machine to process it. It hurt, but Bill remained optimistic. "Surely this man must possess some type of carnival-related antics that can help us on this mountain," Bill wondered. However, the grizzled old Carney had nothing to offer to their worsening situation. The tiny man was later thrown from the mountain when he lost his footing showing Bill the different patterns of the Tilt-a-Whirl."

- From chapter 1 of book 1 of my trilogy, "The Return to Completely Undiscovered Mountain"

"Jeremy hadn't been snooping. He was just looking for a stapler to borrow from Ron's cubicle when he noticed the email pop up on his coworker's computer monitor. At lunch, Jeremy confronted him about the message, but Ron tried his best to downplay it. "You can't be serious," said Ron. "I get those emails all the time. Heck, everyone does. I assure you, they mean nothing." Whether Ron was telling the truth or not was insignificant at that point. It was clear to Jeremy that his recent internet relationship was not as monogamous as he'd thought. "Just who was hotbigtits69," Jeremy wondered? "And how many other men had she invited to view her steamy shower cam?""

- From Chapter 12 of my novel, "The Functional Moron"

Thanks! Tom Oatmeal www.myspace.com/tomoatmeal

* it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
* Compensation: $500

Original URL: http://newyork.craigslist.org/mnh/wrg/432119871.html
For even more amusement, click onto the guy's Myspace page above, where his personal statement reads: "All I eat is sugar. Everything excites me including the pronunciation of the word, "Excite." If I drink anything that isn't loaded with sugar, I'll puke all over my nuts!"

Ah, Craigslist! What did we ever do for entertainment before you were invented?

Under Pressure by Joss Stone

Via my pal, Stealth Music Dude, this sweet cover of the Queen / David Bowie classic Under Pressure. (Happy Tuesday Night Video!)

Kirkus Reviews genre round-up (October 1st issue)

Just a couple of titles this time:
Shadowbridge by Gregory Frost: "First of a fantasy duology set in an ocean world spanned by magical bridges, from Frost (Attack of the Jazz Giants, 2005, etc.). . . Meandering stories within stories, with a rich but nearly indecipherable backdrop and no discernable plot: for tenacious readers willing to be tantalized." (Dec. 26) [Okay, I rarely do this but I am going to stick my nose in here and say this: I vehemently disagree with the idea that Shadowbridge is meandering and indecipherable. It is, quite honestly, one of the strongest and most captivating manuscripts that I've had the pleasure to read in the past three years. Just trust me on this one, okay?]

Reader and Raelnyx by Sharon Shinn: * Starred Review * "Shinn (Dark Moon Defender, 2006, etc.) neatly and delightfully wraps up a four-volume romantic-fantasy series in which six comrades bearing exceptional magical and/or martial abilities fall in love with entirely unsuitable partners against the backdrop of a looming civil war. . . Although the novel's entirely appropriate resolution seems foreordained, there are plenty of great twists, thrilling action sequences and long-awaited comeuppances along the way. A chocolate truffle of a novel: richly indulgent, darkly sweet and utterly satisfying." (Nov. 6)
And here's what's scheduled for review (so far) in the October 15th issue. Remember, they add to this list almost daily, this could change by the time the issue gets posted online.
Hilary Bailey FRANKENSTEIN'S BRIDE
Clive Barker MISTER B. GONE
David Gemmell and Stella Gemmell TROY: FALL OF KINGS

Publishers Weekly genre round-up
(September 24th issue)

Publishers Weekly is bringin' on the love for the Nightshade boys this week! (And as usual, to read all the fiction reviews in their entirety, click here.) Onward!
The Sword-Edged Blonde by Alex Bledsoe: * Starred Review * "Equal parts sword-and-sorcery action/adventure and noir whodunit, Bledsoe's finely polished debut is evocative of fantasy legend Fritz Leiber's classic tales of Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser. . . Incorporating elements from both hard-boiled mystery and heroic fantasy, Bledsoe's genre-blending first novel is both stylish and self-assured: Raymond Chandler meets Raymond E. Feist." (Nov.) [You know I'm gonna go order this one in the next ten minutes, right?]

The Web and the Stars: Book 2 of the Timeweb Chronicles by Brian Herbert: "In the sequel to Timeweb (2006), bestseller Herbert (Sandworms of Dune) offers readers a space opera where interstellar travel is mostly embargoed and characters spend over a third of the book in solitary self-reflection. . . Pacing improves somewhat in the book's second half (a grisly torture sequence marks the turning point), but in the end, ideas are spread too thin and most characters drawn too broadly to lift the novel above pulp-era comic strip quality." (Dec.) [Um, ouch!]

Cauldron by Jack McDevitt: "Space opera specialist McDevitt shoehorns two traditional SF plots into his latest Academy novel (after 2006's Odyssey), doing both stories a disservice. . . Despite considerable inventiveness and an enthusiastic pro-space agenda, the story remains superficial, especially frustrating from a writer of McDevitt's caliber." (Nov.) [And again, ouch!]

Moon Flights by Elizabeth Moon: "This rich collection from Nebula-winner Moon (The Speed of Dark) offers 15 stories spanning two decades of her career. . . The heart of the collection is “Politics,” a story of young soldiers serving a questionable authority; it sums up many of Moon's themes, from honor and family to being true to oneself. Readers who only know Moon's novels will be thrilled to learn that her short stories are equally entertaining and thoughtful." (Nov.) [Collectors will also be happy to see the amazing cover that Nightshade produced for this book, to ensure that this volume matches the look of her current Kylara Vatta series from Del Rey.]

This Is My Funniest 2: Leading Science Fiction Writers Present Their Funniest Stories Ever, edited by Mike Resnick: "Many-time Hugo-winner Resnick provides further demonstration that science fiction, fantasy and horror clichés can be turned into rich comedy with just a teensy, absurd twist. . . The real prize may be the Lovecraftian sendup “A Study in Scarlet Herrings” by M.M. Moamrath (the pseudonym of Joe Pumilia and Bill Wallace). The overall humor quality ranges from mildly amusing to fall-out-of-your-chair, making it a pleasant companion for light reading." (Nov.)

Mister B. Gone by Clive Barker: "This offbeat novel in the form of a minor demon's diary may satisfy devoted Barker fans eager for his return to adult fiction after several years writing the Abarat series, but others, especially first-time readers, are likely to find this fable about good and evil less than rewarding. . . The book's format—simultaneously Botch's first-person narrative and his break-the-fourth-wall address to the reader pleading for him or her to burn the book—may puzzle readers unused to Barker's quirks." (Oct. 30) [Yes, but does Rob Crowther - the world's biggest Clive Barker fan - like it? That's all I want to know. Rob?]

Plots and Misadventures by Stephen Gallagher: "Veteran British horror writer Gallagher (The Kingdom of Bones) shows off his versatility in this collection of 11 stories and a review of Joseph Payne Brennan's Nine Horrors and a Dream. . . Capable of being either subtle or blunt depending upon the needs of his plot, Gallagher has assembled a fine and varied collection of weird fiction that should find many admirers." (Oct.)

Lady of Light and Shadows by C. L. Wilson: "Released right on the heels of her impressive October debut, Lord of the Fading Lands, Wilson's sequel picks up, appropriately, right on the heels of the first title's denouement. Ellysetta Baristani and her betrothed Fey lord, returning hero Rain Tairen Soul, are days away from their wedding, but the wicked Eld lords are drawing ever closer to locating Ellysetta, whose magic they hope to use for their own ends. . . As Ellysetta comes into her own as a proper heroine, driving the story toward its breath-taking conclusion, gratified fans may find their elation giving way to anxiety, as the wait for the next volume will be considerably longer." (Nov.)

Tuesday morning genre link dump. Without speeches from Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

You'd think that the president of an entire country would at least be able to afford a necktie when he speaks in front of an entire friggin' college. I'm just sayin'.
The British Fantasy Award winners have been announced.

At Bookgasm, Rod Lott looks at Frank Beddor's The Looking Glass Wars and Seeing Redd; Ryun Patterson reviews Ivory by Mike Resnick; Brian Grossman reviews The Electric Church by Jeff Somers; and, lastly, Doug Bentin looks at Brain Keene's Dead Sea (a novel that begins with the line "I didn’t shoot the bitch until she started eating Alan’s face." Yes, I'm serious.)

At SciFi Weekly, Paul Di Fillippo reviews The Spiral Labyrinth by Matthew Hughes. I also missed one from last week: Jeff VanderMeer reviews The Electric Church by Jeff Somers.

At SciFi Wire, JJA profiles Daniel Abraham.

SF Site has been updated. Among the new offerings: reviews of Promises to Keep by Charles de Lint, In War Times by Kathleen Ann Goonan, and Powers by Ursula K. LeGuin. In additiona, Neil Walsh takes a closer look at two of my favorite novels from years gone by, Startide Rising by David Brin and The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell.

Lastly, here's a sneak peak at the stunning cover of Gregory Frost's forthcoming novel Shadowbridge (a novel I cannot recommend highly enough, by the way - simply gorgeous stuff):

John Scalzi misses you.

Don't forget to go visit him at the Whatever in Exile forum over at Whateveresque. This is where he's been hunkering down with his keyboard and mad genius ideas while his blog gets un-broken. (Because Movable Type 4.0 is Satan's spawn. Just so we're clear.)

So go say hello to Mr. Scalzi. He misses you.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Hold On by KT Tunstall

"Yeah, the world will turn whether you're ready or not."

From KT Tunstall's brand-new album, Drastic Fantastic. Enjoy!

1234 by Feist
or, that ubiquitous iPod Nano song.

I've become obsessed with the song 1234 by Feist. (For those of you who own televisions, this is the song played in the background of Apple's new iPod Nano advertisements.)

Anyway, here's the whole video for the song. Happy Monday!

But why?

Why, why, why do I always feel so happy when I listen to Lily Allen?

Tell me I really didn't just find a new way to waste time online with word games?

Damn you, Intarwebs!!! Damn you for bringing me Wordy!!!

(It's like Boggle. But better!)

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Rejoice! New food discovery in Astoria!

This afternoon, Una Sorella came by to find me - as always - sitting on my front stoop, reading a trashy novel, and soaking up some sun. She grabbed me by the arm and dragged me out of my self-imposed exile off to her new favorite food place in Astoria, a wee place called Il Bambino. And, can I just say? Yum!

Il Bambino is brand-spankin' new (well, it opened in December, so it's new to me) Italian cafe on the corner of 34th Street and 31st Avenue. They serve authentic Italian-style panini and crostinis, with excellent coffee drinks (this is high praise coming from a San Francisco coffee snob), along with homemade brownies, cupcakes and cookies. They make their own mayonnnaise, fig spread and lemon aioli. And all the while you get to listen to bitchin' classic rock - we were treated to an awesome Led Zeppelin set. (Of course, my lunch mate didn't actually know who Led Zeppelin was. Yeah, I'm old.)

We shared a salad of beets, baby arugula, goat cheese and walnuts, and then I had a fantastic panini with cacciatorini (a kind of thinly sliced and very savory salami), goat cheese and fresh heirloom tomato, but there were about twenty other things on the menu that I wanted.

The most important two things to note about Il Bambino: really inexpensive and open until 10:30 PM. Rawk! And La Gringa has finally found a coffee place in Astoria that doesn't suck. Amen.

(Nightgarden and I also found a great place for Cajun and Creole food on Friday. I'll post about that tomorrow. My poor old iBook battery is dying.)

Sunday night genre link dump. With feather boa.

So many links today. And poor La Gringa still recovering from a bachelorette party.
First and most importantly, Swivet pal Andy Wheeler has a new home in publishing at John Wiley. Congratulations, Andy!

At the Guardian UK, Ursula K. LeGuin looks at Jeanette Winterson's The Stone Gods. (Best line ever from a review: "I can only suppose that Jeanette Winterson is trying to keep her credits as a 'literary' writer even as she openly commits genre." Bwa ha ha ha!)

At the Times of London, Matthew Dennison also reviews The Stone Gods.

At the Amazon Book Blog, Jeff VanderMeer interviews Gavin Grant. (Via SF Signal, which you should be reading every day!)

At Jeff's own blog, he interviews Chris Barzak, author of One for Sorrow.

A Dribble of Ink reviews Tobias Buckell's Crystal Rain.

CA Reviews looks at Greywalker by Kat Richardson.

Endicott Studio Blog reviews So Fey: Queer Fairy Fiction, edited by Steve Berman.

Terry Pratchett is on tour in the United States; the Eos blog has posted his tour schedule.

Fantasy Book Critic reviews The Electric Church by Jeff Somers. There's also an interview with Frank Beddor, author the Looking Glass Wars, as well as a review of Beddor's newest book, Seeing Redd.

SF Diplomat also reviews The Electric Church.

Fantasy Debut reviews Morgan Howell's Clan Daughter, the second book in Howell's Queen of the Orcs trilogy; there's also an interview with Howell.

Graeme's Fantasy Book Review looks at John Beachem's Storms of Vengeance.

At Ficlets, John Scalzi keeps busy while Whatever gets fixed by interviewing Matthew Jarpe.

The Book Swede interviews Karen Miller, author of The Innocent Mage. There's also a review of the sequel to The Innocent Mage, The Awakened Mage.

Fantasy Review looks at Michael Moorcock's The Metatemporal Detective.

Lastly, via SF Signal, LOLthulhu. Because, well, just because.

When memes collide:
LOL Cats meets Post Secret!

The result? LOLsecretz. Hilarious! (Thanks, McLovin'!)

Saturday, September 22, 2007

La Gringa ties a half-assed Windsor knot.

I am going to a bachelorette party this evening in SoHo. Now, as you may have guessed from my previous post, I don't exactly own a wardrobe that is conducive to clubbing in SoHo. There is not one thing in my closet that anyone from the cast of Sex in the City would have worn. Sigh. So, I am wearing jeans, black Kenneth Cole shoes (man shoes), a white DKNY button-down and a blue-striped DKNY silk tie.

It is this last item that has become the bane of my existence. You see, despite my unquestioned dykey-ness, I cannot tie a tie to save my life. You would think that the fact that I grew up with two brothers would have rubbed off on me, but - alas! No.

I stood in front of the mirror for thirty minutes, twisting, tucking, looping, weaving and tying, and in the end managed only to very nearly accidentally hang myself from the shower-rod. Stinkyboy was merrily amused, however. I'm sure I did, in fact, appear to be one giant cat toy. My nice blue silk tie now bears several distinctive Stinkyboy fabric-pulls. Grrrrrrrr.

Well, since Tim Gunn is not coming to my rescue this evening, this is what you get. Don't say I didn't warn y'all.
============

Edit to add: And to top off my ensemble, I've just now stepped into a freshly steaming pile of cat puke that has mysteriously appeared in front of the bathroom sink. Thanks, Stinkyboy.

La Gringa reflects on things sartorial, or
Tim Gunn, please help dress this dyke!

Okay, now this may not exactly come as a surprise to those of you who know me in real life, but for the rest of you: I have absolutely no fashion sense whatsoever. If it fits, and it's clean, and it doesn't chafe, and as long as it doesn't involve heels, dresses, skirts, or clothes that need dry cleaning, I'll wear it. (Let me reiterate: La Gringa in a dress = Sasquatch in drag. Just so we are clear.)

Indeed, I am the epitome of the phrase "fashion-challenged".

I seem to have developed a basic uniform: jeans or khakis and a button down white Oxford. Topped off by a pair of Converse All-Stars or hideous and tattered Teva sandals. This uniform rarely varies from season to season. (Let's just say that - if you were to simply go by how I was dressed? - you'd have to look at my feet to tell if summer had arrived.) This is not to say that I actually look good in these things; this is simply the easiest and least expensive way that I have found to keep from being buck-nekkid on the streets of New York City everyday.

Now, don't get me wrong. I wish I had fashion sense. And I also wish that fashion made sense. It is perhaps the latter statement that has caused me the most trouble throughout my adult life. Fashion makes no sense at all to me. This is perhaps why I am secretly addicted to television shows like What Not To Wear, Tim Gunn's Guide to Style and Project Runway. It is somehow refreshing to find that there hominids who walk the earth who have developed an even worse sense of fashion than mine.

I secretly wish that Tim Gunn would show up at my door and whisk me away to that secret place where the fashion gene is installed. But here's the thing: I don't dress like a girly-girl. I don't like it. I never have. My secret fear is that I'll be kidnapped by the scary loud chick from What Not To Wear and forced to try on one icky dress-and-heel set after another until I am - of course - forced to kill her in self-defense.

The problem inherent with these shows is that they just assume that traditional female clothing is the best option for every woman, and it's not. For a very long time I tried to dress the way that society thinks is the way women should dress. It made me crazy and uncomfortable. I felt constrained and unnatural. Although I don't self-identify as butch (I kinda don't get the labels, but that's my problem, not yours), I present as more masculine than feminine and I'm comfortable with that. I like suits and pants and flat shoes and I even like neckties (although I have yet to master the Windsor knot).

So here's a challenge to Tim Gunn:


Can you do a show about someone like me? A chick who feels more comfortable and natural in masculine clothes? Can you throw out your ten rules about what a woman should have in her closet? I guarantee that - while I may admire the little black party dress on someone else - you will never get me into one. And if you value your life? You won't even try. I mean, you're a big fashion queen anyway - and we love you for that! Surely you must have some dykey friends that need fashion help. Let me be your test case, Tim! I'm ready for the challenge. Are you? Come on, Tim. Dress this dyke!

xoxox,

La Gringa

Friday, September 21, 2007

This week's genre acquisitions.

Look carefully here - one actual science fiction novel amidst the sea of urban fantasy. Who'd a thunk it?
Lane Robins writing as Lyn Benedict's SYLVIE SHADOWS, an urban fantasy about a female P.I. working out of Miami who specializes in cases involving the supernatural, to Anne Sowards at Ace, plus a sequel, by Caitlin Blasdell at Liza Dawson Associates (NA).

Laura Reeve's CREW TEMPO, set in 2105, as the Autonomists and Terrans sign a treaty, but now everyone involved in the temporal distortion weapon detonation that ended the war is being picked off one by one, to Jessica Wade at Roc, plus two sequels, by Jennifer Jackson at the Donald Maass Literary Agency (NA).

Creator of YA Books Central, Kimberly Pauley's SUCKS TO BE ME: THE ALL-TRUE CONFESSIONS OF MINA HAMILTON, TEEN VAMPIRE (MAYBE), about a teen girl who must decide whether or not to follow in her family's vampiric footsteps, to Nina Hess at Mirrorstone, for publication in Fall 2008. (This is La Gringa's choice for best title of the week, by the way.)

Diana Gabaldon's untitled penultimate book in the "Outlander Series" of time travel/historical/adventure novels, to John Flicker at Bantam Dell, in a major deal, for publication in Fall 2009, by Russell Galen at Scovil Chichak Galen Literary Agency (US).

Mary SanGiovanni's sequel to THE HOLLOWER, about a figure with a bald white head and no face who plays head-games with the residents in a New Jersey town, often resulting in their demise, to Don D'Auria at Leisure Books, in a nice deal, by Frank Weimann at the The Literary Group.

Alix Rickloff's TO TAME THE WOLF, a dark, paranormal romance in which the dark and dangerous world of the Fey takes over the life of a woman when a handsome stranger, an "other," shows up nearly dead on her doorstep, to Megan Records at Kensington Zebra, in a two-book deal, for publication in August 2008, by Kevan Lyon at the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency (world).

Aury Wallington's HEROES: SAVING CHARLIE, an original novel about two characters from NBC's show, as Hiro catapults himself into the past to save Charlie, a small-town Texas waitress with an extraordinary memory, from being murdered by super-powered serial killer, to Del Rey, for publication in December 2007, by Universal Studios Consumer Products Group. (I think Keith Clayton is the editor on this one.)

Mario Acevedo sold the next two books in his Felix Gomez vampire detective series, to Diana Gill at Eos. The books will be titled JAILBAIT VAMPIRE and WEREWOLF SUPER SEX CLUB. (No, La Gringa did not make up these titles.) Agent on the deal was Scott Hoffman of Folio Literary Management.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Library Journal round-up (September 15th issue)

Here's the newest round-up of Library Journal SF/F reviews. For full reviews, click here.
The Queen of Wolves by Douglas Clegg: "Building upon the events of The Priest of Blood and The Lady of Serpents, Clegg brings his otherworldly trilogy to a satisfying close while leaving the door open to future books. A good choice for libraries with a strong readership for vampiric fiction. (Sept.)"

Reap the Wild Wind by Julie E. Czerneda: "Set in the same universe as her “Trade Pact Universe” series (A Thousand Words for Stranger; Ties of Power; To Trade the Stars), Czerneda's latest novel launches a new “Stratification” series that retraces the journey of the clan to a time before they left their home to travel the stars. Fascinating world-building and sympathetic characters make this a good choice for most sf collections. (Sept.)"

Fatal Revenant (Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, Bk. 2) by Stephen R. Donaldson: * Starred Review * "Once Dr. Linden Avery loved Thomas Covenant, the maimed leper who learned how to travel to the realm known as the Land, where he was both hero and sacrifice. Avery returns to the Land now in search of her autistic son Jeremiah, who was kidnapped by Covenant's greedy son Roger. . . Donaldson's latest contribution to his saga explores the boundaries of love and trust as well as the importance of loyalty and friendship. Essential for series fans and a necessary addition to most fantasy collections. (Oct.)"

Moon in the Mirror: A Tess Noncoiré Adventure by P.R. Frost: "Unknown to her readership, fantasy novelist Tess Noncoiré bases her stories on her own adventures as a member of the Sisterhood of the Celestial Blade Warriors, dedicated to protecting the world from invasion by demons. . . Frost has created a resourceful and appealing heroine whose strengths and weaknesses together make her a fully formed character. This sequel to Hounding the Moon continues a strong series and is suitable for most fantasy/urban fantasy collections. (Sept.)"

Ilario: The Stone Golem by Mary Gentle: "Born a hermaphrodite, Ilario has served as freak to King Roderigo of Spain. When an assassination attempt forces Ilario to flee, his travels take him to Carthage, then Venice, where “he” finds himself pregnant and, in due time, gives birth to a baby girl. At long last, his travels take him to Constantinople, where amid the intrigues of palace and church he seeks once again to find a place in the world. Gentle (Ash; Golden Witchbreed) concludes the tale begun in Ilario: The Lion's Eye with her customary sure eye for detail and her singular ability to bring past times and places to life. For most fantasy collections. (Sept.)"

The Phoenix Unchained by Mercedes Lackey & James Mallory: "Set in the same universe as the “Obsidian Trilogy” series (The Outstretched Shadow; To Light a Candle; When Darkness Falls), the latest novel by coauthors Lackey (the “Valdemar” series; Diana Tregarde novels) and Mallory (the “Merlin Trilogy”) sets a lavishly detailed stage peopled with intriguing and well-developed characters whose futures hold both promise and peril. A good addition to most fantasy collections. (Sept.)"

The Innocent Mage by Karen Miller: "First published in Britain, Miller's debut novel portrays a fresh new fantasy universe where two races—one magical, the other apparently lacking in magic—coexist in apparent harmony unaware that they are on the verge of upheaval. Intriguing characters and a finely tuned sense of drama and pacing make this first in a two-book series a good addition to most fantasy collections. (Sept.)"

A Companion to Wolves by Sarah Monette & Elizabeth Bear: "Coauthors Monette (Mélusine) and Bear (Blood and Iron) combine their literary talents in a saga of warriors whose love for their wolves and for one other serves to bind them together into a band of fierce protectors. Graphic sexuality may limit the audience for this well-written and emotionally powerful quasi-Nordic fantasy. Recommended for adult-themed fantasy and fiction collections. (Oct.)"

The Metatemporal Detective by Michael Moorcock: "Prolific author Moorcock collects 11 tales, including one original to this anthology, of yet another incarnation of fantasy's most popular and enigmatic antihero, the Eternal Champion. Moorcock's storytelling is impeccable, his humor both arch and to the point. Most libraries should consider adding this themed short story collection to their holdings. (Oct.)"

Vorpal Blade by John Ringo & Travis S. Taylor: "Coauthors Ringo (A Hymn Before Battle) and Taylor (Warp Speed) return to the days of pulp sf with an action-packed adventure laced with hard science and brimming with battles. Fans of tongue-in-cheek dialog and superbly crafted military sf should enjoy this sequel to Into the Looking Glass. (Sept.)"

The Electric Church by Jeff Somers: "Avery Cates is an assassin with few morals. After he finds himself in the hands of the law, facing charges of murdering three policemen, he accepts a bargain against his better judgement: freedom in exchange for the assassination of the head of the Electric Church, whose cyborg monks are creating an army of slaves—robots with human brains. The author of Lifers and The Freaks Are Winning creates a dark future of high tech and low dreams in an action-filled noir thriller reminiscent of Blade Runner. A good addition to most sf collections. (Sept.)"

The Sunrise Lands by S.M. Stirling: "The fourth installment in the author's postapocalyptic novels of “The Change” series (Dies the Fire; The Protector's War; A Meeting at Corvallis) sheds light on heretofore unexplored regions of a terribly altered world. A master of speculative fiction and alternate history, Stirling delivers another chapter in an epic of survival and rebirth. For most libraries. (Sept.)"

Lord of the Fading Lands by C.L. Wilson: "Wilson's first novel skillfully combines elements of romance, court intrigue, and epic drama. Some graphic eroticism makes this adult romantic fantasy most suitable for libraries where Jacqueline Carey, Storm Constantine, and Terry Goodkind are popular. (Oct.)"

Axis by Robert Charles Wilson: "This sequel to Wilson's Hugo Award–winning Spin elaborates on strange new sciences and old dangers in an adventure solidly grounded in science. Intriguing characters and strong storytelling make this an excellent choice for most sf collections. (Sept.)" [La Gringa asks: Am I the only one on the planet that thought Spin was emotionally flat and unreadable?]

Frankenstein's Bride by Hilary Bailey: "In Mary Shelley's classic novel, Frankenstein, Victor begins to create a bride for the monster but stops and tears her apart before she rises. British author Bailey takes this passage as her epigram and asks what would have happened if he had chosen to finish the job. . . Despite praising Shelley's erudite monster in her introduction, Bailey unfortunately chooses to portray him as the shambling, groaning creature of the movies. First published in Britain in 1995, this novel arrives stateside in an edition that includes the complete text of Shelley's Frankenstein as well. Recommended for large horror collections. (Oct.)"

Once Bitten, Twice Shy by Jennifer Rardin: "Rardin's lively, fast-paced urban fantasy debut features a host of characters and a plethora of plot twists. Fans of Charlaine Harris, Laurell K. Hamilton, Kim Harrison, and other urban fantasists will bite. Recommended for popular reading collections. [The second title in the series, Another One Bites the Dust, will make its debut in December.—Ed.] (Oct.)"

Winterbirth by Brian Ruckley: "This brutal yet spirited world-spanning political fantasy reflects the strong influence of George R.R. Martin's “Song of Ice and Fire” series. While the characters are less complex, the action less compelling, and the plot twists less surprising than those elements in that work, this is solid, engaging reading. The epilog, which suggests the birth of even more powerful evil, will leave readers anxious for more. Ruckley shows talent; one suspects even stronger work will follow. Recommended for all fantasy collections. (Sept.)"

Please to be explaining...

...how a Google search for the words "head motorcycle" could possibly lead to this blog? The mind boggles.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Publishers Weekly round-up (September 17th issue)

A lot of paranormal romance and urban fantasy here. Again, for the full reviews, click here:
Hot Mama by Jennifer Estep: "The superhero du jour in this smokin' sequel to Estep's debut (2006's Karma Girl) is flame-wielding Fiera, a member of the souped-up supergroup the Fearless Five, based in Bigtime, N.Y. . . Fiera & Co. are made plenty busy by Intelligal's plans for taking over Bigtime via Intelligal's infernal Vamp Machine, which supersizes villain Siren's hypnotic, people-controlling voice. Feverishly clever plotting fuels Estep's over-the-top romance. (Nov.)"

The Road to Hell by Jackie Kessler: "Kessler's sizzling sequel to paranormal debut Hell's Belles puts ex-succubus Jezebel— the now-mortal Jesse Harris, a dancer at a strip club—stage center again. . . Kessler's raunchy blend of heaven, hell and eros makes for a wild thrill ride, and hot, tough-talking Jesse has gumption and sass. (Nov.)"

The Sorcerers' Plague: Book One of the Blood of the Southlands by David Coe: "Coe follows the Winds of the Forelands series (Weavers of War, etc.) with this absorbing trilogy opener set across the sea in the Southlands, where a mysterious plague is heightening tensions among three groups: the Qirsi, who wield life-draining magic; the Mettai, who cast spells with blood and earth; and the nonmagical Eandi. . . Fans will cheer on Forelands series hero Grinsa, a powerful but pacifist Qirsi, who ties the two series together as he strives to understand Lici's motivation and aims to find a peaceful resolution to the escalating Qirsi-Eandi strife that follows in her wake. (Dec.)"

The God of the Razor by Joe R. Lansdale: * Starred Review * "Lansdale's The Nightrunners (1987), the centerpiece of this chilling collection, set new standards for the depiction of graphic violence and is probably the best novel of its type between Psycho and The Silence of the Lambs. . . Glenn Chadbourne provides suitably disturbing illustrations. (Dec.)"

Host by Faith Hunter: "The third novel in Hunter's postapocalyptic fantasy series (after 2006's Seraphs) finds neomage Thorn St. Croix working as a jeweler and town mage in the rural Appalachian town of Mineral City, Carolina. . . Hunter's world continues to expand in this highly original fantasy with lively characters where nothing can ever be taken for granted. (Nov.)" [La Gringa notes: I just finished this and cannot recommend Faith Hunter highly enough. She just gets better with each book, and her writing is a lofty cut above the standard urban fantasy fare that you'll find out there.]

Heart of Stone by C. E. Murphy: "In Murphy's exciting series opener, Alban Korund, a winged, shape-shifting gargoyle, is framed as a murderer. He begs legal help from Margrit Knight, a human lawyer who at first thinks he's your average Central Park stalker. . . Realist, feminist Margrit makes for a deeply compelling heroine as she struggles to sort out the sudden upheaval in her professional and romantic lives. Murphy (Coyote Dreams) has created a refreshing addition to the urban fantasy landscape. (Nov.)"

So Fey: Queer Fairy Fictions, edited by Steven Berman: "Despite its provocative title and aggressive opening vignette, sex and sexuality fade into the background of Berman's quiet compilation of fantasy tales. The modern urban and suburban settings that dominate the anthology may be partly responsible. . . Neither pornographic (despite a handful of explicit sex scenes) nor militant, this anthology is wholly readable and likely to engage general readers as well as its target audience. (Nov.)"

Killswitch: A Cassandra Kresnov Novel by Joel Shepherd: "The tense third Cassandra Kresnov novel (after Breakaway) further develops the series' intriguing far-future setting. . . Robert Ludlum meets Elizabeth Moon in this classic military SF adventure, buoyed by Shepherd's knack for balancing crisp action with characters you can really root for. (Nov.)"

Wind Follower by Carole McDonnell: "McDonnell's promising fantasy debut portrays a land inhabited by the black-skinned Theseni, brown Ibeni and tan Doreni. Peace among the three tribes is disrupted by the paler-skinned, domineering Angleni as well as inner clan conflicts. . . McConnell's language is delicate almost to a fault, even as he describes betrayal, rape and slavery, while his elegant, meticulous world-building shimmers with the ambience of an old-world folktale. (Oct.)"

Into Thin Air by Cindy Miles: "After centuries of protecting lost souls, modern-day earthbound angel Gawan of Conwyk is a month shy of retirement (into blessed mortality) when a new case drops in his lap—or, more specifically, onto the road to his ancient, spirit-inhabited castle. . . A welcome break from vamps, demons and werewolves, this adorable, otherworldly romp is sure to leave readers feeling warm and fuzzy. (Nov.)"

Embrace the Darkness by Alexandra Ivy: "Part human, part Shalott demon—the feared assassins of the demon race—bronze-skinned, golden-eyed beauty Lady Shay has blood that's a potent mix of vampire aphrodisiac and cure-all. . . Though black satin sheets, gothic candelabra and the demonic beasts feel stock, the second book in Ivy's Guardians of Eternity trilogy delivers plenty of atmosphere and hot-blooded seduction. (Nov.)"

Overdue genre link dump.

Work. Hairballs. Work. More hairballs. I lead a glamorous life. Okay, making with the links:
John Scalzi is looking for *someone with an actual software background* to help him fix his blog, which has been dying a slow and ugly Movable Type 4 death. (And he is the fourth person I know who has given up on Movable Type because of the hell-spawn that they created with MT4, by the way.) Before you email John, do read the post because he's really looking for a very specific type of help. As opposed to "helpiness".

The British Fantasy Award nominees have been announced.


Colleen Mondor
looks at The Winds of Marble Arch and Other Stories, a new collection by Connie Willis (and La Gringa adds yet another title to her "must have, dammit!" list).

At Bookgasm, Ryun Patterson reviews Joe Haldeman's The Accidental Time Machine and Rod Lott interviews Douglas Preston.

Eve's Alexandria
highlights three new releases by Canongate in their extraordinary Myths Series. If you aren't reading these, you should be; start with Weight by Jeanette Winterson and go from there. Gorgeous writing!

Andy Wheeler reviews Terry Pratchett's Money Maker.

Fantasy Book Critic reviews Worldbinder by David Farland, and Joe Abercrombie's The Blade Itself.

At Sci Fi Wire, our man The Slush God has been busy interviewing writerly folks: Douglas Preston, Brian Ruckley, and Emma Bull.

Sci Fi Weekly interviews John W. Campbell Award-winner Naomi Novik. Also, Paul di Fillippo reviews Splinter by Adam Roberts, and A.M. Dellamonica reviews Susan Palwick's Shelter.

At Sci Fi Dimensions, Carlos Aranaga reviews Light by M. John Harrison and Harry Turtledove's Settling Accounts: In at the Death.

SF Gospel reviews Lester del Rey's 1954 novel For I Am a Jealous People.

SF Signal reviews Margo Lanagan's Red Spikes.

David Herter has a new book! And a blog! (And La Gringa says "must have" yet again. Dang, this round-up is going to cost me an awful lot of money. The esteemed Mr. Vlad Verano, bookseller extraordinaire - formerly of Elliott Bay Books - turned me onto Herter's amazing books a couple of years ago. Go seek them out. Well worth your while!) Via SF Signal, by the way.

Also via SF Signal, Nancy Kress has a new blog!

And via Cherie Priest, Kat Richardson also has a blog!

Cherie Priest shoots a man in the ass.

Take one neurotic writer with a recalcitrant umbrella and a gallon of milk. Add one jaywalker with an angry chihuahua. Shake well. Observe results.

If you read nothing else all week - for the love of all that is holy - read this story. I very nearly shot Cheerios out of my nose this morning after I read this post. Yes, it's that funny.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Just a reminder: VanderSale still going on!

In case you happen to be on Mars and somehow missed this fact, Jeff and Ann VanderMeer's fantabulous book sale is still rocking the Cracker State. Now's your chance to poke through some of the gems that people have overlooked:
FENNER, CATHY AND ARNIE >> SPECTRUM 7 >> the best in fantasy, horror and SF art from 2000, including work by all of your favorites.

WINOKUR, EDITOR >> THE TRAVELING CURMUDGEON >> a cool hardcover of unusual shape with the cover printed on the boards: "Irreverent notes, quotes, and anecdotes on dismal destinations, excess baggage, the full upright position, and other reasons not to go there." Abetted by a parade of well-known curmudgeons that include George Bernard Shaw, Molly Ivins, Marco Polo, Carl Sandburg, and Bill Bryson, best-selling author Jon Winokur offers a thousand reasons not to go there.Just delightful, and in pristine condition.

BACHMAN, RICHARD (STEPHEN KING) >> RAGE >> first edition first printing in excellent condition of the Bachman novel published before anyone knew that Stephen King was Bachman. 1977.

ANON >> IRAQ: A TOURIST GUIDE >> a trade paperback in full color from 1982, complete with smiling photo of Hussein as a frontispiece. It's sometimes earnest, sometimes propagandist, sometimes hilarious view of Iraq through the eyes of Hussein's mouthpieces. It is, in fact, a real attempt to make Iraq look like a vacation paradise...

BERTUZZI, FERNANDO >> DREAMING VENICE >> a square little hardcover with excellent dust jacket, consisting of stunning full-color photos throughout the 144 pages. Italy's top photographer Fernando Bertuzzi projects a traditional and true image of Venice. His desire is to present a Venice that is as close to the detailed and precisely proportioned city as portrayed by artists such as Ponti, Naya, and Canaletto. This copy is in perfect condition and a steal at this price. Too small in size, really, to consider putting it in the coffee table book section. 2001. Text in English and Italian.

HARRISON, M. JOHN >> SIGNS OF LIFE >> first printing, hardcover in Brodart cover and perfect dust jacket, absolutely pristine condition. This is a great copy of the classic book. According to Clive Barker, "[Harrison's] books are fiction of elegant delirium, dark and transcendent by turns...An extraordinary writer." The book is bound in black boards with die-stamped silver spine lettering.

CROWTHER, PETER, EDITOR >> FOURBODINGS: A QUARTET OF UNEASY TALES >> a signed limited (to 1,000 copies) 2005 first edition. Book is brand-new, boards square. Limited to 1000 copies, tipped-in signature page features all four authors and the editor. "A collection of four brand new novellas of terror by British superstars Simon Clark, Tim Lebbon, Terry Lamsley, and Mark Morris--sure to be one of the finest and scariest books of the entire year!" A really good looking book, hardcover.

FORD, JEFFREY >> THE COSMOLOGY OF THE WIDER WORLD >> Ford’s cool, whacked-out novella along with an introduction by me. With awesome wrap-around cover art by the one and only Kim Deitch. One of only 300 signed by the Ford and the VanderMeer (copy 63).

GOREY, EDWARD AND LAMPORT, FELICIA >> LIGHT METRES >> a signed limited version of 350 numbered copies, of which this is number 53. Both Gorey and Lamport have signed it. With the scarce original glassine Dust Jacket and Slipcase. Glassine Dust Jacket and Slipcase are in fine condition. A lovely scene on the front boards. Illustrated by Gorey, written by Lamport. "A book of verbal and visual satire, an elegant potpourri of wit, originality, and impeccable technique." From 1982, in hardcover.

JOYCE, GRAHAM >> BLACK DUST & OTHER TALES OF INTERRUPTED CHILDHOOD >> first edition signed limited (57 of 125) trade paper: Contains three stories by Joyce (Black Dust, Tiger Moth, and Under the Pylon) and including short essays about the stories by Jeff Ford, moi, with a quote on the back from Zoran Zivkovic that was supposed to be an intro, and an intro by Mark Chadbourne. Signed by moi, Graham Joyce, Mark Chadbourn, Jeffrey Ford, Tony Baker. 2005.

RYDEN, MARK >> BLOOD : MINIATURE PAINTINGS OF SORROW & FEAR >> soft cover limited: 92 pages, profusely illustrated in color. This is the miniature catalogue that documents Mark Ryden's 2003 New York gallery show "Blood: Miniature Paintings of Sorrow & Fear". Tiny like the work exhibited, the jewel-like book measures a mere 2 1/2 x 3 ½ inches, and features a distressed leather-like embossed soft cover and Smyth-sewn binding. Inside are color reproductions throughout detailing paintings and drawings that are the artist's near-perfect distillation of childhood creepiness transformed into adult fine art. It features blood, blood, more blood, and some meat. A near-pristine copy of this sadly out of print gem. No. 8717 in the limited run.

The Thackery T. Lambshead Pocket Guide to Eccentric & Discredited Diseases (Night Shade, hc) - The classic antho that's now a Bantam trade paperback. ADVANCE READING COPY, rare--has different cover and slightly different layout than final book.

PIENKOWSKI, JAN >> BOTICELLI'S BED AND BREAKFAST >> an oversized, deluxe, hardcover pop-up book that's just amazing and something you'll want to open and display in a prominent place, in perfect condition except for one of the ribbon ties, which frayed. Selling for up to $150 on the pop-up book market, but since we love you, we're giving you a bit of a break.

BRIGANTI, GIULIANO >> FANTASTIC AND VISIONARY PAINTING >> with art from William Blake and other endearing weirdoes. The dust jacket has some cuts in it and in general this one looks a little shop-worn, although the pages themselves are fine. It really has some unusual pieces in it, including work by Turner in his stranger moments, Gustav Moreau from when he wasn't experimenting with animal parts on a remote island, and Redon doin' the Cyclops.

DOONAN, SIMON >> CONFESSIONS OF A WINDOW DRESSER >> "Involved in the cutting edge of fashion, design, and pop culture for twenty years, Doonan has collaborated with the biggest names in the fashion world--Lagerfield, Lacroix, and Armani--and worked with the most notorious names in the art world--Mapplethorpe, Rauschenberg, and La-Chapelle. Whether making fun of blondes, sending up Sigmund Freud in Neurotic Yule, or creating caricatures of celebrities--such as Dan Quayle (paired with a giant Mr. Potato Head in a dunce cap)--Doonan's windows have been sometimes irreverent, yet always fearless and entertaining." The dust jacket is torn, but the boards reproduce the same image, somewhat mitigating this disadvantage. The book itself is in excellent condition.

MATSEN, BRAD, ET AL >> PLANET OCEAN: A STORY OF LIFE, THE SEA, AND DANCING TO THE FOSSIL RECORD >> as described by PW: "an irreverent trip through four billion years of evolution, this freewheeling excursion combines swaths of paleontology, geology and natural history, travel notes and amateur fieldwork from Kansas to British Columbia, amplified by wacky cartoons and colorful, often fantastical mixed-media drawings. Matsen and Troll, who collaborated on Shocking Fish Tales, emphasize that we are descended from fish that came ashore some 375 million years ago, giving rise to land-dwelling vertebrates. Evolution emerges here as a series of mass extinctions, improbable survivals, false starts and unsolved enigmas." I love this eccentric book, with its glorious full-color art and off-beat commentary, but have gotten what I need out of it--somebody give it a good home.

ONION >> OUR DUMB CENTURY: 100 YEARS OF HEADLINES FROM THE ONION >> the hilarious soft cover, oversized collection of supposed newspaper front pages from the last 100 years. Brilliant.

WERNER, KEN >> HALLOWEEN: A FANTASY IN THREE ACTS >> in which Werner photographs the Castro District in San Francisco on Halloween in 1980. Think of a really insanely demented Mardi Gras. Favorite photo: Dick Nixon costume with huge, er, fake Dick. Print run was 1,500. The book has some wearing at the corners or we'd be selling this for more.

BAKER, KAGE >> MOTHER EGYPT >> new and in pristine condition, first edition hardcover in dust jacket, stories first published in Asimov's, Realms of Fantasy, and elsewhere.

MOHANRAJ, MARY ANNE >> BODIES IN MOTION >> in pristine condition, a first edition hardcover in dust jacket of exotic and sensual short stories from a masterful storyteller, blurbed by Karen Joy Fowler.

ARNOTT, JAKE >> HE KILLS COPPERS >> a return to the world of 1960s gangsters, this time focusing on the cops as well as the thieves and taking us effortlessly from the 1966 World Cup to the 1980s and Thatcherism.

LOVESEY, PETER >> THE LAST DETECTIVE >> a Peter Diamond mystery. Diamond is among my favorite detectives, and this is a classic by any meaning of the term. I'd tell you more, but my butt is beginning to hurt, sitting here typing up info on all of these books. Trade paperback.

BANKS, IAIN M. >> THE PLAYER OF GAMES >> the classic Culture space opera novel from a master of the form. A champion of games-playing faces off against a new and deadly challenger.

AMIS, MARTIN >> YELLOW DOG >> in pristine condition, the NYT notable book and notorious for dividing readers, some of whom loved it and some of whom hated it.

JOYCE, GRAHAM >> THE FACTS OF LIFE >> in pristine condition, the fantastic coming of age after World War II story that won a 2003 WF award.

LINDSKOLD, JANE >> CHILD OF A RAINLESS YEAR >> a woman returns home to find that her mother has a magical past, definitely in a magic realist vein and worth seeking out

ORLOCK, CAROL >> THE HEDGE, THE RIBBON >> Scheherazade comes to Our Town, a magical storytelling in a small town, by a lovely and underrated writer who was married to Jack Cady.

YOUMANS, MARLY >> INGLEDOVE >> new from FSG, in pristine condition, 2005, a beautiful YA fantasy

MANGUEL, ALBERTO >> BLACK WATER 2 >> a stunning assemblage of stories from Marquez, Fitzgerald, Singer, Naipal, Atwood (she of the infernal claw), Allende, and many, many more. In a chunky monkey of a trade paperback.