New Arrivals and Current Reading, May 19 – 25, 2014

New Arrivals
I picked up two short story collections this week.

Nebula Awards Showcase 2012  edited by James Patrick Kelly and John Kessel [PYR Books 2012 trade paperback, new]
– and -
Nebula Awards Showcase 2013 edited by Catherine Asaro [PYR Books 2013 trade paper, new] – Science fiction and fantasy award winning stories and novel excerpts. I decided to pick these up – on sale – because I’d not tried one before. Seems like there are some good stories here.

Current Reading
I read The Saint in Europe, a short story collection which was the subject of a Friday Forgotten Books post a week or two ago. Enjoyed it very much indeed, enough so that I’ve ordered up, both from the book store and the library, a few more. I’m half way through Multiverse , the tribute to Poul Anderson edited by Greg Bear, which was last week’s new arrival.

Barbara finished Cold Mourning by Brenda Chapman, and has started Mo Hayder’s Hanging Hill.

What new did you get, what have you been reading?

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23 Responses to New Arrivals and Current Reading, May 19 – 25, 2014

  1. Been quite a while since I’ve read the Nebula winners. I need to see if the current SF still calls to me as earlier SF did.

  2. Richard, I’ve just started reading “The Imperfectionists” by Tom Rachman, his debut novel. It is a collection of fictionalised essays/stories about the lives of the reporters and editors of an English-language newspaper in Rome. Very interesting and well written. I’m almost through with the WWII novel “The Legion of the Damned” by the late Danish writer Sven Hassel. I’ve enjoyed it so far In spite of the controversy over its authorship and other issues.

  3. Jerry House says:

    I finished THE BLACK DEATH by Basil Copper and PRINCE ZALESKI AND CUMMINGS KING MONK by M. P. Shiel. I read Rex Stout’s RED THREADS for my Forgotten Book post. The rest of the week was mostly spent dipping into short stories in some old paperbacks that were lying around and I’ve just begun Stephen King’s LISEY’S STORY, one of two novels by him I hadn’t read.

  4. There are some good stories in both of those. I started receiving copies of these from the company back with the 2012 volume. I’m not as fond of the excerpts, although they do give a good sample of a story, but I like reading the essays and the short stories.

  5. Jeff Meyerson says:

    I’ve never been a huge fan of The Saint, either in books or on television. I am a fan of the book Prashant mentioned, THE IMPERFECTIONISTS.

    Another week of no new books but I now have an even dozen library books at hand. I’ve been reading two because they will be on the small screen this summer as series: THE STRAIN, a creepy vampire tale by Guillermo del Toro & Chuck Hogan which has grown on me since a slow beginning and is very cinematic (FX, July 13) and Tom Perrotta’s THE LEFTOVERS (HBO, June 29), about the devastation left behind in a small town when a Rapture-like event occurs: all over the world 2% of the population vanishes.

    I’m also reading short story collections by Mack Reynolds (Kindle) and Peter Orner (trade pb). Some of the other library books I have are Craig Johnson’s latest Walt Longmire book, Jeffrey Siger’s third, a Reed Farrel Coleman/Moe Prager book I missed and the first in a new Charlaine Harris series. I wish I had time to get through all of them. There is also the non-fiction Mad as Hell about the making of Paddy Chayefsky’s Network.

    This past week I read: the book you mentioned last week, The Fugitive Stars by Daniel Ransom (Ed Gorman), a throwback to the paranoid sf of the 50’s in books and movies; Ann Patchett’s very good book of essays, This is the Story of a Happy Marriage, including the story of opening an independent bookstore in Nashville; and Coleman’s last (apparently) Moe Prager book, a particularly dark and nasty story, The Hollow Girl. All are library books.

  6. Jeff, I also hope to read Tom Rachman’s second novel “The Rise & Fall of Great Powers” which, as per the blurb, is about a bookseller who travels the world in search of her past. Have you read it? His books somewhat remind me of journalist-writers Arnaud De Borchgrave and Robert Moss whose “The spike” was quite something.

  7. Jeff Meyerson says:

    I haven’t read Rachman’s other book but I should look for it.

  8. Jeff Meyerson says:

    I just checked and my library has it on order, so I put it on hold.

  9. Richard says:

    replies to comments will come later, as I’ve had an “accident” with the MacBook (frizzzzt!)

  10. I’m enjoying THE ART OF JOHN HARRIS which just arrived. Wonderful SF artwork! Hope you get the MacBook up and running soon.

  11. Richard says:

    George Looks like the MacBook is toast. My copy of the Harris book has not yet come.

    Sent from my iPhone

    Update, it came about 1:00 my time.

  12. Richard says:

    Charles, the enjoyment of SF seems in some way related to my age in encountering it. I loved it so much when I was reading the Winston SF books, and the early encounters I had with the works of Clarke, Heinlein, Asimov, Clement and many others when I was about 11 or 12 years old. Pure delight. The same was true when I encountered Robert Howard’s Conan books, and Fritz Leiber’s Farfhid & Grey Mouser stories. Later in my mid twenties I came across Tolkein. I don’t think I’ve had many similar discoveries in the last few decades.

  13. Richard says:

    Prashant, yours is not the first positive opinion I’ve heard on The Imperfectionists. Can’t say I’m familiar with The Legion of the Damned.

  14. Richard says:

    Jerry, I’m not sure Red Threads is a Rex Stout I’ve read. Is it a Nero Wolfe?

  15. Richard says:

    Carl, we’re in agreement on excerpts, and I’d as soon they left them out, but my guess is they want to give good bulk for the price of the book, and want to represent all the nominees. I have yet to open either of these, I seem to be up to my shoulders in short story collections just now.

  16. Jerry House says:

    Richard, RED THREADS is not a Nero Wolfe novel but has his antagonist Inspector Cramer as the detective — his first (and only) solo outing.

  17. Richard says:

    Jerry, thanks. I didn’t know Cramer had his own outing. I’d fail a test to join the Wolfe pack on that one.

  18. Richard says:

    Jeff, I wonder what you thought of The Fugitive Stars by Daniel Ransom (Ed Gorman). I’d just give it an “OK”, I wasn’t as enthusiastic as Bill. I just today got Ann Patchett’s book of essays, This is the Story of a Happy Marriage from the library. I’ll be reading it after I finish Multiverse. I’m not a Coleman fan. Also today I got the John Harris art book.

  19. Richard says:

    George, the MacBook Pro got soaked by a falling vase of water and flowers. The Apple people say either it will dry out and work or it won’t and is history. They said give it a few days and try to fire it up. I’m not optimistic.

    Good news is the hard drive is okay, so the data is all there and can be saved over to a new machine if necessary. I can’t do all I want with the phone, so if it’s history I’ll be buying a new laptop.

  20. Jeff Meyerson says:

    I agree on the Ransom book. It was fun but nothing special, but it did evoke those 1950’s “return from space as an alien” movies as well as INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS. We have an Amazon order due in today that should be mostly CDs and DVDs with perhaps a book in there.

    Bummer about the laptop.

  21. Patti Abbott says:

    Loved THE IMPERFECTIONIST and am awaiting his next book eagerly. I am about to start Carson McCuller’s REFLECTIONS IN A GOLDEN EYE, which my daughter assures me is brilliant. So funny to see her reading at forty, the books I read at twenty. She is reading Sherwood Anderson, Booth Tarkington, Sinclair Lewis, Theodore Dreiser and others from that era. I guess they do hold up.
    Love Ann Patchett. BEL CANTO especially would make my top 25 books.

  22. John says:

    Jeff — I read the entire STRAIN trilogy when they first came out and thought it was going to be a series of movies two years ago. I was only interested in the books because the pairing up of noir novelist Hogan and horror movie maven Del Toro was so incredibly odd to me. You’re right — very cinematic. One of the many screenplays turned into a novel that are out there. Is it going to a cable TV series? I’ll have to investigate via Google. The envisioning of the vampire race was bizarrely original. I’m not so much into vampire books or movies these days, but those books were super creepy and pretty disgusting at times.

    I’m not reading very quickly this month. Not much is holding my interest. Plastic by Christopher Fowler was pretty darn good. I whipped through that in a day and a half. Some of the lines were so funny I had to read them aloud to Joe. We were cracking up all through our drive to Wisconsin over the Memorial Day weekend. But otherwise I’m picking my way through a handful of books: a new reprint of Death on the Cherwell by Mavis Doriel Hay (a review copy from Univ of Chicago Press), reading short stories from Dark Entries by Robert Aickman (another review copy, a very welcome paperback reissue, too) and just started Murder at the Women’s City Club by Q. Patrick. Super scarce title I found on eBay in the UK edition retitled Death at the Dovcot. No “e” at the end of that final word for some odd reason.

  23. Richard says:

    John, you comment got me to thinking yet again about reading speed. I may have to do a post on it. I’m thinking a way to compare it is pages per hour. In an uninterrupted hour how many pages of fiction do you generally read?

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