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  1. #61
    Abstainer from Foolosophy
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    Overlook briefly had "Untitled by Scott Bakker" for a Dec 30th release of this year listed but now it is gone.

    Tor hasn't closed their list for the last quarter yet and I saw Spellbound II by Melanie Rawn as a possible review for December; making it a 2009 publication that could be in stores even before Christmas. Same list also had Laura Resnick listed but no title. So I'm not sure if she is back to her Sirkara books after Luna seems to have dropped her urban fantasy series.

    Of other 2008 books that might be of interest:

    The Gone-Away World by Nick Harkaway. I read a little bit of this and am hoping for an arc as it sounds really interesting. Out in the U.K. in June and the U.S. in Sept.

    Ascent of Demons by Graham Joyce. I always enjoy Joyce and this seems a bit more overt fantasy than his most recent books. As well it is the first adult book he has written in a year or more I believe.

  2. #62
    Palinodic Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    The Resurrectionist -- the blurb tells me nothing and the website for the book is one of these cutsie things where it will take going through 28 pages to find out any information. So if it's so good, Cervantor, convince me to care by telling me what the thing is actually about and why you like the writing so much. And if you give me a link to a review, I'll cyber-punch you.

    Richard Morgan -- The Steel Remains -- Again, you've managed to have an engaged conversation about the book without any of you actually saying what the story is about. I suppose it doesn't matter, but for me, it does. (I still have nightmares about trying to get any clear information about China Mieville.) And though I can go look it up, perhaps, the point of the thread is for you to provide me with this information.

    Also, if you're going to bring up an author, give me the full name, not initials. Otherwise, they're not going on my list.

    Anybody know anything about Chris Roberson's up-coming End of the Century?

  3. #63
    Registered User Werthead's Avatar
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    As far as I can tell, there's been a massive war between humanity and a race called the Scaled Folk, who emerged out of the oceans and caused major havoc before being thrown back. There is a huge empire and a collection of city-states to the north-west who are engaged in a sort of cold war, and a bunch of steppe barbarians who have been fighting for both sides as mercenaries and are having trouble fitting in back home. The three main characters are Ringil (the gay, flamboyant sword-fighter who is a hero of the free cities); Archeth, a half-human, half-kiriath (subterrenean race who travel around in massive lava-sailing ships) who functions as a spy and expediator for the empire; and Egar, a steppe barbarian who isn't happy at home.

    The plot opens with Archeth investigating the devastation of a coastal town by unknown forces, Ringil being hired (by his mother, no less) to search for his cousin who has been sold into slavery, and Egar getting into a feud with his local shaman. That's about it so far, and I won't say any more than that for fear of spoilers.

  4. #64
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    I'd say that's not a bad summary, Wert.

    I'm wanting to finish it before I say any more, really. But so far it's not let me down.

    Mark / Hobbit
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  5. #65
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    Interestingly, the most critical discussion I've seen of The Steel Remains has been by Joe Abercrombie over at his blog.

  6. #66
    Give me liberty! Ouroboros's Avatar
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    Well, having read Abercrombie's blog on 'The Steel Remains' I'm actually looking forward to it a lot more. Most of what I've read elsewhere has came across a bit too gushing, which always makes me wonder...

  7. #67
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    Come on, every year there has to be "The Next Big Thing" - I'm disappointed we've got so far into the year for this one. As usual I'll probably be disappointed - damn buzz

  8. #68
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    Well until I've finished reading it, I'm trying not to read what others have said, though I do have an idea of what Joe's said, 'cos I was told.

    There are points where it's stepped up to about 11 on the scale, and made me think that there are things that may be over the top for some, but the worldbuilding's great and there's an engrossing plot with an ambiguous group of characters.

    Some of the dialogue may be a little anachronistic (there's a character who talks to his overbearing father as 'Dad' at one point) but to me not overwhelmingly so. The sex and the violence though is pretty close to the knuckle, and will definitely be too much for some.

    Allowing for the reservations, the best things so far about the book is that I like the characters, and perhaps more importantly, I'm really not sure at this point how things will end up. For me, that's a big plus.

    And that's probably enough from me, Mr 'I don't want to talk about it until I'm finished.'

    Mark / Hobbit
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  9. #69
    \m/ BEER \m/ Moderator Rob B's Avatar
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    A copy of The Steel Remains arrived in my mailbox yesterday. I'll get to it soon, too.

    One book I think a lot of people will be talking about, or rather should be talking about is Cory Doctorow's Little Brother.

  10. #70
    I've only read a little bit of Doctorow's latest before I got sidetracked, but yeah, that one does hold some promise, based on the 60-70 pages that I did read a few weeks ago.

  11. #71
    Abstainer from Foolosophy
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    I got The Steel Remains yesterday as well and pretty much devoured it in nine hours. Probably my favorite book so far this year in the genre. I think Morgan takes some risks with his characters and it will be interesting to see how many of the transfer fanbois are going to deal with frank homosexuality that isn't really fey and thrusts the reader in Morgan's usual blunt sexual content. It could be a rather eye opening experience for all those readers of Jordan, Lynch, Martin and Abercromie who envision themselves as whichever is the collest swordwielding dude of the day.

    I'll also be interested to see how readers take to Morgan's modernistic approach in language and cultural style. I wasn't very keen on it at first and yet in the end it was pretty much like some of Morgan's headscratching moments in tackling US culture (and geography) in Thirteen/Black Man; faded away as the story takes hold. There is a rough abruptness to how Morgan writes that simply works with how he plots and creates. I've always liked Morgan's characterization. So I will be interested to see how many scream Kovacs clone despite the differences. Stylistically I found this to be very much a Richard K. Morgan book. What impressed me the most was the worldbuilding though. Sometimes I think Morgan is overly vague in some details and likes to use them in the reveal later one; something which propels plot but for me undermines the richness of the world. Not here.

    and perhaps more importantly, I'm really not sure at this point how things will end up. For me, that's a big plus
    I think have have tripled guessed myself in this regard already. And I think that he has created a setting that lets him introduce new elements and still avoid any sense of deus ex machina of any sort. But he was able to do this in Thirteen/Black Man so it wasn't a complete surprise that I ended this and found myself looking forward to whatever surprises he has in mind.

  12. #72
    A servant of Lord Arioch FitzChivalry's Avatar
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    Is The Steel Remains a standalone novel or is it the first in a series?

  13. #73
    Author of "The Inferior" peadarog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnH View Post
    The Gone-Away World by Nick Harkaway. I read a little bit of this and am hoping for an arc as it sounds really interesting. Out in the U.K. in June and the U.S. in Sept.
    The word 'Brilliant' is overused, but I read an early draft of this about a year ago and I think 'Brilliant' is the only word for it. The ending really, really works too.

  14. #74
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    John: I'm pleased to see that, in a lot of ways, we agree here.

    As far as I know Fitz, it's the first of a series: may be a trilogy - but I rather suspect it'll stand alone too. Rather like the Kovacs books.

    I'll have a clearer idea when I've finished.

    Mark / Hobbit
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  15. #75
    Lord of the Wild Hunt Mithfânion's Avatar
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    Kat

    Here is what I could find about the other two titles.

    Roberson's "End of the Century" is described by the author as featuring Sanford Blank from Here, There & Everywhere, with Roxanne Bonaventure in a prominent supporting role, and is all about the Holy Grail, the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria, and the London Eye.

    The Resurrectionist, a fuller synopsis would be:

    Part classic noir thriller, part mind-bending fantasy, The Resurrectionist is a wild ride into a territory where nothing is as it appears. It is the story of Sweeney, a druggist by trade, and his son, Danny, the victim of an accident that has left him in a persistent coma. Hoping for a miracle, they have come to the fortresslike Peck Clinic, whose doctors claim to have "resurrected" two patients who were lost in the void. What Sweeney comes to realize, though, is that the real cure to his son's condition may lie in Limbo, a fantasy comic book world into which his son had been drawn at the time of his accident. Plunged into the intrigue that envelops the clinic, Sweeney's search for answers leads to sinister back alleys, brutal dead ends, and terrifying rabbit holes of darkness and mystery.

    O'Connell has crafted a mesmerizing novel about stories and what they can do for and to those who create them and those who consume them. About the nature of consciousness and the power of the unknown. About psychotic bikers, mad neurologists, and wandering circus freaks. About loss and grief and rage. And, ultimately, about forgiveness and the depth of our need to extend it and receive it.
    And today Robert posted his full review which I will quote here for your ease of reading:

    If Jack O’Connell’s “The Resurrectionist” was a movie, it would need to be adapted by someone like Tim Burton (Big Fish, Edward Scissorhands), Michael Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Science of Sleep), Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich, Adaptation), or the anime director Satoshi Kon (Paprika, Tokyo Godfathers, Perfect Blue). Someone who can deftly blur the lines between reality and imagination, who can entertain as well as challenge, and who can evoke fantasy and the nightmarish as convincingly as the poignant and the mysterious. For “The Resurrectionist” is all of these things and while it would be difficult to capture all of the subtle nuances that the novel has to offer, it would be worth the effort because Jack O’Connell has written a magical story that deserves to be experienced by as many people as possible…

    At the heart of this amazing story is Sweeney, a pharmacist whose six-year-old son Danny has been in a coma for over a year. How Danny got into this condition is just one of the book’s many mysteries, although we learn early on that it must have been a terrible ordeal because the mother committed suicide and the father is on the verge of a mental breakdown. Other secrets to be revealed include the controversial miracle-cure that the Peck Clinic has to offer its coma patients which involves illegally harvested fetuses and the Abominations biker gang who are either a threat to Sweeney and his son . . . or their saviors.

    Then there’s the greatest mystery of all, Limbo, a popular children’s property that has its own TV show, comic book series, trading cards and clothing line, and is a favorite of Danny’s. What’s interesting about Limbo is that the author devotes an entire narrative—presented as comic book issues—to the gothic vaudevillian world which revolves around a group of former carnival sideshow freaks (the human torso, the fat lady, the hermaphrodite, Siamese twins, etc) and strongman Bruno Seboldt who are searching for chick boy’s father while trying to evade the clutches of the mad doctor Fleiss. In short, “The Resurrectionist” features two completely different storylines—one is a powerful drama about absolution, love, and faith; the other is a fantastical adventure about unlikely heroes—and discovering how these stories are connected is a big part of the book’s appeal. Because the connections go much further than just the obvious parallels—the Abominations/Limbo’s freaks, Dr. Peck/Fleiss, the Peck Clinic’s ‘arousal’ method/the Resurrectionist’s stage show, et cetera—and the journey towards uncovering all of the novel’s astonishing revelations and subtext is an unforgettable one that will constantly surprise, delight, and move you…

    Now I’ve never read any of Jack’s other novels including “The Skin Palace”, “Word Made Flesh”, “Wireless” or “Box Nine”. In fact, I’ve never even heard of the author before “The Resurrectionist” so how the new book compares to the others in terms of quality, storytelling and the writing is not something I can answer. Personally though, I thought the writing was excellent led by accomplished prose, strong characterization, great dialogue, and consistent pacing not to mention the author’s wonderful imagination and a real talent for building suspense. And, since I’ve already talked about how compelling the two intertwining stories are, I’ll just conclude by stating that Jack O’Connell’s “The Resurrectionist” has my highest possible recommendation and should be recognized as one of the year’s best releases…

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