Some things I’ve learned over the past few months:
- The mailman is a moron and thinks very thick books that obviously don’t fit into my mailbox should instead be folded up and crammed in there anyway.
- People have my address who shouldn’t and are at least kind enough to send me things I like instead of trying to kill me in my sleep (i.e. they send me books).
- Bookstores are my crack.
And here are the descriptions, from left to right, top to bottom (taken from Amazon):
1. Pump Six and Other Stories by Paolo Bacigalupi
The eleven stories in Pump Six chart the evolution of Paolo Bacigalupi’s work, including the Hugo nominated “Yellow Card Man” and the Sturgeon Award-winning story “The Calorie Man,” both set in the world of his novel The Windup Girl.
This collection also demonstrates the power and reach of the science fiction short story. Social criticism, political parable, and environmental advocacy lie at the center of Bacigalupi’s work. Each of the stories herein is at once a warning and a celebration of the tragic comedy of the human experience.
Paolo Bacigalupi has won the Nebula Award, the Theodore Sturgeon Award, the John W. Campbell Award, the Compton Crook Award, the Locus Award, and the Hugo Award. Between his award-winning debut novel and this landmark collection of short fiction, Paolo Bacigalupi demonstrates why he is one of the most celebrated science fiction writers of the twenty-first century.
2. The Mirrored Heavens by David J. Williams
In the 22nd century, the first wonder of a brave new world is the Phoenix Space Elevator, designed to give mankind greater access to the frontier beyond Earth. Cooperatively built by the United States and the Eurasian Coalition, the Elevator is also a grand symbol of superpower alliance following a second cold war. And it’s just been destroyed.
With suspicions rampant, armies and espionage teams are mobilized across the globe and beyond. Enter Claire Haskell and Jason Marlowe, U.S. counterintelligence agents and former lovers—though their memories may only be constructs implanted by their spymaster. Now their agenda is to trust no one. For as the crisis mounts, the lives of all involved will converge in one explosive finale—and a startling aftermath that will rewrite everything they’ve ever known—about their mission, their world, and themselves.
3. The 13th Reality: The Hunt For Dark Infinity by James Dashner
It’s been a quiet summer for Tick, Paul, and Sofia, but the latest message from Master George changes everything.
The Realities are in danger — and from something more terrible than Mistress Jane and the mutated Chi’karda of the Thirteenth Reality. People from all Realities are unexplainably going insane. Worse, some Realities are fragmenting, disintegrating into nothingness. Master George has learned that Mr. Chu from the Fourth Reality is working on a mysterious new weapon called Dark Infinity. But no one has any idea how to stop the weapon — or even if it can be stopped.
To make matters worse, Tick and his friends have been kidnapped, forced to wink from Reality to Reality, solving impossible riddles in order to survive the deadly traps surrounding them.
Mistress Jane and Tick find themselves in a race to reach the weapon first — but who will destroy it and who will become its master?
4. Mozan and the Return of Magic by Stephan Davied (this is from my book stalker)
When the vile sorceress of Fyonhaireshizer kidnaps thirteen year old Mozan, prince of Mazolean, he has no choice but to lead four other abducted royal children on a quest to save their families and kingdom. They must battle dark spirits, gargoyles, one eyed ogres and their own internal demons before they ultimately unite in the kingdom of Mazolean. It is here they meet Anzon, The Lion King and where Mozan learns that his very existence fulfills an ancient and powerful prophecy.
5. The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson (this is the book the mailman folded up and shoved into my mailbox)
Widely acclaimed for his work completing Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time saga, Brandon Sanderson now begins a grand cycle of his own, one every bit as ambitious and immersive.
Roshar is a world of stone and storms. Uncanny tempests of incredible power sweep across the rocky terrain so frequently that they have shaped ecology and civilization alike. Animals hide in shells, trees pull in branches, and grass retracts into the soilless ground. Cities are built only where the topography offers shelter.
It has been centuries since the fall of the ten consecrated orders known as the Knights Radiant, but their Shardblades and Shardplate remain: mystical swords and suits of armor that transform ordinary men into near-invincible warriors. Men trade kingdoms for Shardblades. Wars were fought for them, and won by them.
One such war rages on a ruined landscape called the Shattered Plains. There, Kaladin, who traded his medical apprenticeship for a spear to protect his little brother, has been reduced to slavery. In a war that makes no sense, where ten armies fight separately against a single foe, he struggles to save his men and to fathom the leaders who consider them expendable.
Brightlord Dalinar Kholin commands one of those other armies. Like his brother, the late king, he is fascinated by an ancient text called The Way of Kings. Troubled by over-powering visions of ancient times and the Knights Radiant, he has begun to doubt his own sanity.
Across the ocean, an untried young woman named Shallan seeks to train under an eminent scholar and notorious heretic, Dalinar’s niece, Jasnah. Though she genuinely loves learning, Shallan’s motives are less than pure. As she plans a daring theft, her research for Jasnah hints at secrets of the Knights Radiant and the true cause of the war.
The result of over ten years of planning, writing, and world-building, The Way of Kings is but the opening movement of the Stormlight Archive, a bold masterpiece in the making.
Speak again the ancient oaths,
Life before death.
Strength before weakness.
Journey before Destination.
and return to men the Shards they once bore.
The Knights Radiant must stand again.
6. The Princess Bride by William Goldman
William Goldman’s beloved novel has sold over one million copies. A movie, released twenty years ago, perfectly captured the spirit of the book and has introduced new fans to its pages ever since. In 1941 a young boy lies bedridden from pneumonia. His perpetually disheveled and unattractive father, an immigrant from Florin with terribly broken English, shuffles into his bedroom carrying a book. The boy wants to know if it has any sports. His father says, “Fencing. Fighting. Torture. Poison. True love. Hate. Revenge. Giants. Hunters. Bad men. Good men. Beautifulest ladies. Snakes. Spiders. Beasts of all natures and descriptions. Pain. Death. Brave men. Coward men. Strongest men. Chases. Escapes. Lies. Truths. Passions. Miracles.” And the little boy, though he doesn’t know it, is about to change forever. As Goldman says, “What happened was just this. I got hooked on the story.” And coming generations of readers will, too.
And coming generations of readers will too.
7. Dark Tower: The Gunslinger Born by Stephen King
“The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.” With those words, millions of readers were introduced to Stephen King’s Roland, an implacable gunslinger in search of the enigmatic Dark Tower, powering his way through a dangerous land filled with ancient technology and deadly magic. Now, in a comic book personally overseen by King himself, Roland’s past is revealed! Sumptuously drawn by Jae Lee and Richard Isanove, adapted by long-time Stephen King expert Robin Furth (author of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower: A Concordance) and scripted by New York Times Best-seller Peter David, this series delves deep into Roland’s origins, the perfect introduction to this incredibly realized world, while long-time fans will thrill to adventures merely hinted at in the novels. Be there for the very beginning of a modern classic of fantasy literature!
And there you have it. Are any of these of interest to you all? Have any of you read some of these books?