New Arrivals and Current Reading, May 12 – 18, 2014

We’ve had warm, even hot, weather; so it’s been a good time to get outdoors, especially into the garden, which is looking very nice just now.

New Arrivals
One special book this time.


Multiverse: Exploring Poul Anderson’s Worlds edited by Greg Bear and Gardner Dozois [Subterranean Press 2014 hardcover, cover and illustrations by Bob Eggleton, purchased new] – science fiction. Friends and regular readers of this blog know that Poul Anderson is one of my favorite science fiction writers. I have all of the fine NESFA collections of his short fiction and a copy of just about every novel he wrote. Not every one is great, but most are very good or excellent, and I’ve read some of my favorites several times. So when I saw Subterranean Press was publishing this, it was a mandatory addition to my shelves, and will have pride of place thereon.

Poul Anderson (1926-2001) was one of the seminal figures of 20th century science fiction. Named a Grand Master by the SFWA in 1997, he produced an enormous body of standalone novels (Brain WaveTau Zero) and series fiction (Time Patrol and Dominic Flandry books) and was equally at home in the fields of heroic fantasy and hard SF. He was a meticulous craftsman and a gifted storyteller, and the impact of his finest work continues, undiminished, to this day.

full cover by Bob Eggleton

full cover by Bob Eggleton

Multiverse: Exploring Poul Anderson’s Worlds is an all-original anthology; a mixture of fiction and reminiscence. It contains thirteen stories and novellas by some of today’s finest writers, along with reflections by – among others – Anderson’s wife, his daughter and his son-in-law, novelist and co-editor Greg Bear. (Bear also writes the introduction, “My Friend Poul”.

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction: My Friend Poul by Greg Bear
  • Outmoded Things by Nancy Kress
  • The Man Who Came Late by Harry Turtledove
  • A Slip in Time by S. M. Stirling
  • Living and Working with Poul Anderson by Karen Anderson
  • Dancing on the Edge of the Dark by C. J. Cherryh
  • The Lingering Joy by Stephen Baxter
  • Operation Xibalba by Eric Flint
  • Tales Told by Astrid Anderson Bear
  • The Fey of Cloudmoor by Terry Brooks
  • Christmas in Gondwanaland by Robert Silverberg
  • Latecomers by David Brin
  • An Appreciation of Poul Anderson by Jerry Pournelle
  • A Candle by Raymond E. Feist
  • The Far End by Larry Niven
  • Bloodpride by Gregory Benford
  • Three Lilies and Three Leopards (And a Participation Ribbon in Science) by Tad Williams

If you like the work of Poul Anderson, or just good solid science fiction, this is a book for you.

Current Reading
I have finished the three novel, 890 page collection The Planet Pirates by Anne McCaffrey, Elizabeth Moon and Jodi Lynn Nye, comprised of SassinakThe Death of Sleep and Generation Warriors. I enjoyed it, though the last novel seemed rushed near the end. Needing something completely different after that, so I read Agatha Christie’s Hickory Dickory Death (English title: Hickory Dickory Dock), one of the very few Poirot novels I seem to have missed. It seems to me it’s one of the weaker ones. I’ve now started Multiverse the book featured in this post. The weather is perfect for giving the garden some time in the morning and reading in the afternoon.

Barbara finished the last of The Leopard by Jo Nebso, and is about halfway through Cold Mourning by Brenda Chapman, a book she got at Left Coast Crime in Monterey. She’s enjoying it so far.

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

About Rick Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
This entry was posted in Current Reading, New Arrivals, science fiction and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to New Arrivals and Current Reading, May 12 – 18, 2014

  1. Jeff Meyerson says:

    No new arrivals, but a ton of library books. I think Jackie and I have about 10 books each on hand.

    Now that we are finally home for what I hope will be a good long stretch – after being away for 75 days between January 20 and May 6! – I have finally been able to get back to reading as I’d like. I read five books this week, all from the library. First was the previously mentioned Nightmare Range: The Collected George Sueno & Ernie Bascom Stories, which was excellent. Limon spent 20 years in the US Army, ten of them in Korea, and he has set his stories of the two CID investigators there. Besides the previously published stories (most in AHMM) there is a new novella. Now I have to go back and read the novels.

    Roger Hobbs’ Ghostman was fast moving and entertaining but…I’d put it in the Lachman “good but not great” category. Still, it’s an impressive first novel, especially for a young guy, and I can see why it has sold to the movies. Next was Ha’penny, the second in Jo Walton’s “Farthing” trilogy of alternate history British mysteries, set in a 1949 where the British have made peace with Hitler and the fascists are taking control. This one has a theater setting and I liked it as much as the first (FARTHING). Both have the same format. Chapters alternate between the first person narration of a young woman caught up in the events of the story and the point of view of the intelligent but compromised Insp. Carmichael. I’ll be reading the final book (HALF A CROWN) soon. If you like the British women writers like Christie, Marsh, Sayers and Allingham you might want to give this a try.

    I was surprised to realize Wallace Stroby had a third book about his tough but caring thief Crissa Stone that I missed when it came out at the end of last year, so I quickly read Shoot the Woman First and it was as good as the previous books in the series. Highly recommended, but start with the first (COLD SHOT TO THE HEART).

    Lastly, we had to return Veronica Roth’s sequel to DIVERGENT, Insurgent, to the library so I read the 525 page tome in one day. I’d still say it’s no HUNGER GAMES but obviously it kept me turning the pages and only occasionally annoyed at Beatrice (Tris) Prior, the 16 year old protagonist in this dystopian series.

    I’m currently reading Ann Patchett’s book of essays, This is the Story of a Happy Marriage, Guillermo del Toro & Chuck Hogan’s The Strain, first in a trilogy (and an upcoming FX summer series) and the Daniel Ransom book you and Bill Crider recommended.

  2. MULTIVERSE is tempted me. My sister from Arizona is visiting and later this week we’re headed to Massachusetts to attend a wedding so our usual routines are disrupted. Some reviews of BIG FAT BOOKS will show up on my blog in the next few weeks.

  3. Multiverse looks good. I’m a big fan of Poul Anderson

  4. Jerry House says:

    For my money, Anderson was one of the best SF writers of his time, Richard. MULTIVERSE looks to be a great tribute.

    Family matters took precedence this week, but I was able to read the Crippen & Landru collection 13 TO THE GALLOWS — four mystery plays by John Dickson Carr (two of them with Val Gielgud). Luckily, Basil Copper’s THE BLACK DEATH was written in a leisurely manner so it was eminently suitable for this week; I should finish it sometime tomorrow. The Cummings King Monk section of M. P. Shiel’s PRINCE ZALESKI AND CUMMINGS KING MONK is a bit of hard slogging for me — philosophical and somewhat sophomoric in its Socratic dialog. It’s up in the air whether I’ll even bother with the last story in the book.

    A zillion books should be coming in from the library this week.

  5. Redhead says:

    MULTIVERSE looks amazing! if it’s from Sub Press, you know it’s going to be good, no question about that!

    Finished up a Kage Baker over the weekend (it wasn’t one of my favorites), and while trying to decide what to read next I started Children of Dune.

  6. Patti Abbott says:

    Just finished UNDER THE SKIN, Michel Faber, so different from the movie but good also. Now reading stories from Vicki Hendricks, FUR PEOPLE and Ed’s SCREAM QUEENS, still going on the UPDIKE and starting THE SNOW QUEEN by Michael Cunningham.

  7. I remember liking the cover when I first saw it advertised. That and the Poul Anderson connection made it tempting. I haven’t read a lot of Anderson, but I have enjoyed the stuff I have read. Very nice new arrival.

    I’m looking forward to settling in soon to get some reading done. I’m going to work on my SFAL wrap up post tonight, now that we are back from vacation, and then I should be able to work some reading time in.

  8. Richard says:

    Jeff, look out for those library books! But then you’re a VFR (Very Fast Reader), same as George. (envy). I’ll bet you’re happy to be home, regardless of the fun during or need for your travel. Five books in the week, good grief. I’d assumed Nightmare Range: The Collected George Sueno & Ernie Bascom Stories was a western, but obviously not. Your very high recommendation may persuade me.

    Your opinion of Hobbs’ Ghostman was similar to others I’ve seen. Hopefully he’ll mature into a more solid writer/plotter. I’m not sold on Jo Walton enough to read the trilogy, but maybe someday. Because I DO like the British women writers like Christie, Marsh, Sayers and Allingham, (Marsh the least of them). I wonder if Barbara, who enjoyed Hunger Games, would like Veronica Roth’s sequel to DIVERGENT etc. I can’t believe you read a 525 page novel IN ONE DAY! Sheesh. Show off. I have that Pratchett on hold at the library, but I’m far down the list.

    Note, only Crider recommended the Ransom book, I just said I got a copy (still unread).

  9. Richard says:

    George, I’ll bet you’re eager to get on with your personal choice reading.

  10. Richard says:

    Charles, any Poul Anderson fan will want this book.

  11. Richard says:

    Jerry, Multiverse should be right up your alley. I have the Crippen & Landru collection 13 To The Gallows but have not read it. Hope your family business worked out well for you, glad the Copper was a good for a diversion. No one needs a philosophical, sophomoric Socratic dialog. A zillion books coming in from the library this week, you say. Whoa. I stick with one or two at a time.

  12. Richard says:

    Red, you’ll want to read more Poul Anderson – try the Flandry books. Then this one, if it’s not out of print by then…

  13. Jeff Meyerson says:

    Jeff Smith read King’s UNDER THE DOME in one night!

  14. Richard says:

    Carl, as you know I like Anderson’s work, and this tribute is a gem, at least as far as I’ve read, about 1/4 in. I’m really looking forward to your SFAL post!

  15. Richard says:

    Jeff, I remember that from the APA report/comment on it. Unreal.

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