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Recent Trade Paperbacks

Another selection of recent reads - this time, trade paperbacks and proofs.

Steph Swainston The Year of Our War **** A gaggle of highly skilled immortals, an insectoid menace, a drug-addled flying anti-hero - this is a Viriconium for the 21st century. Swainston's influences aren't so much New Weird as New Worlds, owing much more to the New Wave of the early 70s than to the TTA generation.
Umberto Eco The Island of the Day Before *** Trapped on alone on a ship, somewhere on the international dateline, Eco's ineffectual hero must confront his personal demons through an exploration of his past, before he can escape his fate. Eco turns his story into a mediation on the meaning of things, and on time and love.
Gardner Dozois The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-First Annual Collection ***** As always Dozois delivers a Ronseal collection: it is what it says on the cover...
Peter F. Hamilton Pandora's Star *** Space opera with wormhole-travelling trains. In the first part of a diptych Hamilton repeats the Night's Dawn formula, building up his universe - ready to tear it down in an orgy of violence. Oh, and more bad sex.
Philip Pullman Lyra's Oxford *** An unsatisfying tie-in to His Dark Materials brings us a short story "Lyra and the Birds", telling us of Lyra solving a mystery in her Oxford, and illustrated with snippets of books and maps. It's still very pretty, though...
Ian MacDonald River of Gods ****** Sod this 5-star rating thing - I'm giving the best SF novel I've read in the last year a shiny sixth star. McDonald braids a story of India in the middle of the 21st century, delivering a tale of transcendence and redemption. Wonderful, wonderful stuff that deserves to win a whole boatload of awards.
Michael Swanwick Field Guide to the Mesozoic Megafauna **** A chapbook collection of a handful of Swanwick's short short dinosaur stories (including "Five British Dinosaurs"). This is a writer on top of his art, riffing on things he loves. Enjoy.
Michael Swanwick The Postmodern Archipelago *** Swanwick delivers two essays on the state of modern SF. Powerful stuff, and the basis for a dozen jolly good arguments.
Michael Swanwick Cigar-Box Faust and other Miniatures **** Faust as a performance piece for found objects sets the scene for this collection of short short works. Skipping the fine line between fiction, fact and dream, Swanwick alternately challenges and amuses the reader.
Makoto Yukimura Planetes 3 *** Hard SF manga, exploring the working class-side of man's expansion into space.
Makoto Yukimura Planetes 4.1 *** Hard SF manga, exploring the working class-side of man's expansion into space.
Makoto Yukimura Planetes 4.2 **** Hard SF manga, exploring the working class-side of man's expansion into space.
Philip Reeve Predators Gold **** The sequel to Mortal Engines is a tale of jealousy and betrayal. An excellent piece of airship fiction...
Karen Joy Fowler The Jane Austen Book Club **** The author of Sarah Canary does book club lit. Strange fictions in the mode of Douglas Coupland's more whimsical recent works.
Michael de Larrabeiti The Borrible Trilogy ***** All the tales of the anti-Wombles in one volume. Set around the streets of post-industrial London, the Borribles must battle vile Rumbles, the SBG - and their darker natures. Excellent adventure YA fiction. The cover art of the Tor edition is a scene not to far from here...

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
daveon
May. 23rd, 2005 04:17 pm (UTC)
Agree on River of Gods - although I've 100 pages left I'm feeling pretty sure it isn't going to let me down.

I really enjoyed Pandora's Star, I'd give it 4* myself. And there is less sex than some of his others ;)
jarel
May. 23rd, 2005 10:59 pm (UTC)
Wow, the Borribles ... I'd forgotten about them, but they had a big impact on me at one point. I seem to remember I ended up dreaming about the books.
camies
May. 23rd, 2005 11:38 pm (UTC)
Six stars, yes ... and still wondering why River of Gods didn't get the Clarke.
ivory_goddess
May. 24th, 2005 07:28 am (UTC)
I just finished 'Pandora's Star' & am in a frenzy of 'when's the next book out you bastard?!'. That's the problem with stories that take more than 1 book to tell, you have to wait for the next installment

Am I the only one who just skips over the sex bits then?
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )