Haul of Books 2010: Stuff For Me v.6

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The funny thing about the Haul of Books feature is that now that I’ve almost caught up on all the things I bought for myself, I have another three pictures I just took to add to the list. Part of that is because I’m taking an independent study over the summer of Caribbean literature; my focus, if you hadn’t guessed already, is Caribbean SF (I’m taking “science fiction” very loosely). But enough of that. Let’s get down to business.

Some time ago I went to Books-a-Million with a friend and discovered a treasure trove of awesome deals on awesome books. One of the books below isn’t part of that discovery, though. In fact, the last book on the list just randomly appeared at my mother’s house one day. I have no idea how it got there or who sent it to her. My mother forwarded it to me some months back thinking I had lent it to her, except I hadn’t, and she hadn’t bought it either. The mystery book!

Anywho, here are the books:
And here are the descriptions, from left to right, top to bottom (taken from Amazon):

1. The Execution Channel by Ken MacLeod

It’s after 9/11. After the bombing. After the Iraq war. After 7/7. After the Iran war. After the nukes. After the flu. After the Straits. After Rosyth. In a world just down the road from our own, on-line bloggers vie with old-line political operatives and new-style police to determine just where reality lies.

James Travis is a British patriot and a French spy. On the day the Big One hits, Travis and his daughter must strive to make sense of the nuclear bombing of Scotland and the political repercussions of a series of terrorist attacks. With the information war in full swing, the only truth they have is what they’re able to see with their own eyes. They know that everything else is–or may be–a lie.

2. Mainspring by Jay Lake

Jay Lake’s first trade novel is an astounding creation. Lake has envisioned a clockwork solar system, where the planets move in a vast system of gears around the lamp of the Sun. It is a universe where the hand of the Creator is visible to anyone who simply looks up into the sky, and sees the track of the heavens, the wheels of the Moon, and the great Equatorial gears of the Earth itself.

Mainspring is the story of a young clockmaker’s apprentice, who is visited by the Archangel Gabriel. He is told that he must take the Key Perilous and rewind the Mainspring of the Earth. It is running down, and disaster will ensue if it’s not rewound. From innocence and ignorance to power and self-knowledge, the young man will make the long and perilous journey to the South Polar Axis, to fulfill the commandment of his God.

3. Earthquake Weather by Tim Powers

Janis Cordelia Plumtree has killed the King of the West–or at least one of the personalities in her head has killed him, and the other personalities are resolved to restore the king to life. But first Plumtree must escape from a mental hospital with ally Sid Cochran, a winemaker who believes that his wife was killed by Dionysus, the Greek god of madness and wine.

Their quest for redemption and vengeance leads them to San Francisco, where they find themselves in the midst of a supernatural battle among several magicians-who-would-be-king, and finally to a tumultuous face-to-face confrontation with the god on the cliffs below the Golden Gate Bridge.

4. 20th Century Ghosts by Joe Hill

Imogene is young, beautiful . . . and dead, waiting in the Rosebud Theater one afternoon in 1945. . . .

Francis was human once, but now he’s an eight-foot-tall locust, and everyone in Calliphora will tremble when they hear him sing. . . .

John is locked in a basement stained with the blood of half a dozen murdered children, and an antique telephone, long since disconnected, rings at night with calls from the dead. . . .

Nolan knows but can never tell what really happened in the summer of ’77, when his idiot savant younger brother built a vast cardboard fort with secret doors leading into other worlds. . . .

The past isn’t dead. It isn’t even past. . . .

5. The Far Side of Evil by Sylvia Engdahl

Elana, newly graduated from the Federation Anthropological Service Academy, is sent immediately into danger on the planet Toris-a world poised on the brink of nuclear war. She is ordered to merely observe, and must not reveal her alien origin or interfere with the planet’s natural course of evolution. But how can she stand by and watch? Her fellow agent, Randil, is not properly trained to work in the field, and his compassion for the Torisians may lead him to intervene. Yet his very actions may bring about the holocaust that he is so desperately trying to prevent. Elana must make a crucial decision: side with a renegade agent, or stop him at any cost. . . .

6. N-Space by Larry Niven

Arthur C. Clarke was once asked to name his favorite writer. His answer was “Larry Niven.” Countless others agree. The Baltimore Sun and Kirkus Reviews have both dubbed Niven “the premier writer of hard SF,” and Gregory Benford has hailed him as “the paradigm of SF personality of the last several decades.”

Now Larry Niven presents us with his undisputed masterwork. N-Space contains, very simply, the best SF of his career–marvelous fiction, a wealth of anecdotes and gossip, plus Niven’s own special brand of wit and excitement.

N-Space includes:

*Excerpts from some of Niven’s most loved novels, including The World of Ptavvs, a Gift from Earth, Ringworld, and The Mote in God’s Eye

*His bets short fiction, including “Bordered in Black,” “The Fourth Profession,” “Madness Has Its Place,” and many others

*Quips like the ever growing list of “Niven’s Laws”

*Notes from Niven describing his inspirations and building blocks for his writing.

*And an introduction by Tom Clancy, one of Niven’s biggest fans.

Larry Niven is the multiple Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author of the Ringworld series, along with many other science fiction masterpieces. He lives in Chatsworth, California.

Arthur C. Clarke was once asked to name his favorite writer. His answer was “Larry Niven.” Countless others agree. The Baltimore Sun and Kirkus Reviews have both dubbed Niven “the premier writer of hard SF,” and Gregory Benford has hailed him as “the paradigm of SF personality of the last several decades.”

Now Larry Niven presents us with his undisputed masterwork. N-Space contains, very simply, the best SF of his career—marvelous fiction, a wealth of anecdotes and gossip, plus Niven’s own special brand of wit and excitement.

N-Space includes:

* Excerpts from some of Niven’s most loved novels, including The World of Ptavvs, a Gift from Earth, Ringworld, and The Mote in God’s Eye
* His best short fiction, including “Bordered in Black,” “The Fourth Profession,” “Madness Has Its Place,” and many others
* Quips like the ever growing list of “Niven’s Laws”
* Notes from Niven describing his inspirations and building blocks for his writing
* An Introduction by Tom Clancy, one of Niven’s biggest fans

7. Innocents Aboard by Gene Wolfe

Gene Wolfe may be the single best writer in fantasy and SF today. His quotes and reviews certainly support that contention, and so does his impressive short fiction oeuvre. Innocents Aboard gathers fantasy and horror stories from the last decade that have never before been in a Wolfe collection. Highlights from the twenty-two stories include “The Tree is my Hat,” adventure and horror in the South Seas, “The Night Chough,” a Long Sun story, “The Walking Sticks,” a darkly humorous tale of a supernatural inheritance, and “Houston, 1943,” lurid adventures in a dream that has no end. This is fantastic fiction at its best.

8. Interworld by Neil Gaiman and Michael Reaves

Joey Harker isn’t a hero.

In fact, he’s the kind of guy who gets lost in his own house.

But then one day, Joey gets really lost. He walks straight out of his world and into another dimension.

Joey’s walk between the worlds makes him prey to two terrible forces—armies of magic and science who will do anything to harness his power to travel between dimensions.

When he sees the evil those forces are capable of, Joey makes the only possible choice: to join an army of his own, an army of versions of himself from different dimensions who all share his amazing power and who are all determined to fight to save the worlds.

Master storyteller Neil Gaiman and Emmy Award-winning science-fiction writer Michael Reaves team up to create a dazzling tale of magic, science, honor, and the destiny of one very special boy—and all the others like him.

9. Sky Coyote by Kage Baker

Facilitator Joseph has outlasted entire civilizations during his twenty-thousand years of service to Dr. Zeus, the twenty-fourth century Company that created immortal operatives like him to preserve history and culture. The year is 1699 and Joseph is now in Alta California, to imitate an ancient Native-American Coyote god, and save the native Chumash from the white Europeans.He has the help of the Botanist Mendoza, who hasn’t gotten over the death of her lover Nicholas, in Elizabethan England.

Lately though, Joseph has started to have a few doubts about The Company. There are whispers about the year 2355, about operatives that suddenly go missing. Time is running out for Joseph, which is ironic considering he’s immortal, but no one ever said that it was easy being a god.

10. Bone Dance by Emma Bull

Sparrow’s my name. Trader. Deal-maker. Hustler, some call me. I work the Night Fair circuit, buying and selling pre-nuke videos from the world before. I know how to get a high price, especially on Big Bang collectibles. But the hottest ticket of all is information on the Horsemen—the mind-control weapons that tilted the balance in the war between the Americas. That’s the prize I’m after.

But it seems I’m having trouble controlling my own mind.

The Horsemen are coming.

There you have it. Some really good finds here, I think. Anything here that you’ve read or that grabs your attention?

About the Author:

Shaun Duke is an aspiring writer, a reviewer, and an academic. He is currently a graduate student at the University of Florida studying science fiction, postcolonialism, posthumanism, and fantasy.

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