My Hugos Anger Is Soothed

Thank you, Cheryl Morgan, for your grace and frankness under fire when responding to some of the, shall we say, tinfoil hat fans in the comments.

Thank you, John Scalzi, for your wisdom and humor and also your very succinct reprisal of Adam Roberts’ little note to fandom.

Thank you, John Picacio, for your wonderful rebuttal of Roberts’ rather feeble attempt at art critique.

Adam Roberts, I knew your name was familiar from somewhere. I actually don’t like your writing, but I always thought, maybe I’ll give wossname another try after a year or so.

Now I’ll remember your name a bit better so as to avoid it in the future.

Update:

Thank you, Nick Mamatas, for making me laugh about some of the ensuing wankery. I already ponied up for you to review G.I. Joe, though! So I’m not namin’ the perceived father of stream-of-consciousness writing here.

I actually do like the dead dude’s writings, as emo as they sometimes are, and would toss some of his classics into the YA section.

Update 2:

Contrary to perceptions of some folks, me and my card-carrying fan friends actually aren’t a group of Midwestern Conservative White Males.

Most of us are pretty liberal, one of us is an out and out libertarian, one of us is actually a Buddhist (it’s not me), half of us are atheists, and while over half of us do come from the Midwest, we left it for various reasons that tend not to, um, pool us into whatever the “Generic Middle America” taste is, which by the way, tends not to touch upon SF/F very much.

Half of us are women. And many apologies, but a quarter of us are non-white.

Most everyone has a college degree, and one guy is so wise he should’ve had one in philosophy long ago.

All of us hate Sarah Palin. None of us are interested in the elitist-versus-non-elitist game. If an “elitist” writes a book we like, we read it. My general sense of fandom is that it’s mostly like us, small sampling that we are.

So, sorry about nominating for the novels that we did, but you can’t blame it on us being Conservatives-with-a-capital-C.

New on Kindle: January 6th

The Jennifer Morgue by Charles Stross

Buy: Kindle Store

Your favorite agent from the semi-Dilbertian operation known as The Laundry is back—riffing off of spy movies and the disasters of necromancy when a millionaire tries to dredge up the Jennifer Morgue, a device to speak to the dead.

You can read the first two novellas featuring Bob Howard in The Atrocity Archives, as well as reading the free short story Down on the Farm from Tor.com (which comes in Mobipocket downloadable format, perfect for the Kindle).

Just Another Judgement Day by Simon R. Green

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In the not-that-sleepy town of Nightside, a new sheriff has shown up in town—the Walking Man, a seemingly magic- and science-proof specter that stalks the streets and dispatches the evil and the indulgent side by side. It’s up to Private Investigator John Taylor to stop the invulnerable menace.

You can read other books in the Nightside series on the Kindle. The full list:

  1. Something from the Nightside
  2. Agents of Light and Darkness
  3. Nightingale’s Lament
  4. Hex and the City
  5. Paths Not Taken
  6. Sharper Than a Serpent’s Tooth
  7. Hell to Pay
  8. The Unnatural Inquirer
  9. Daemons Are Forever
  10. Just Another Judgement Day

In Shade and Shadow by Barb Hendee

Buy: Kindle Store

Death by literature—or rather, death from literature. Secret texts from a forgotten time in the land’s history have resurfaced, and someone obviously doesn’t want that, since enterprising scholars are being killed—perhaps by the Noble Dead, the vampires who supposedly wrote the texts.

The first book in a new story arc of the Saga of the Noble Dead, the last two books in the previous cycle are also available on the Kindle: Rebel Fey and Child of a Dead God.

The series has its own site at www.nobledead.com.

The Stepsister Scheme by Jim C. Hines

Buy: Kindle Store

Featured on John Scalzi’s The Big Idea this week, this fairy-tale retelling scores a team of three princesses of yore—Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and Snow White—and tells the story of what happened after their supposedly happily-forever-afters. As it turns out, not all princes are gold of heart, and not all stepsisters are dead….

If you loved Fables, you’ll love this book.

We Think, Therefore We Are by Peter Crowther

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Brand new tales about artificial intelligence and robots:

  • “Tempest 43″ by Stephen Baxter
  • “The Highway Code” by Brian Stableford
  • “Savlage Rights” by Eric Brown
  • “The Kamikaze Code” by James Lovegove
  • “Adam Robots” by Adam Roberts
  • “Seeds” by Tony Ballantyne
  • “Lost Places of the Earth” by Steven Utley
  • “The Chinese Room” by Marly Youmans
  • “Three Princesses” by Robert Reed
  • “The New Cyberiad” by Paul Di Filippo
  • “That Laugh” by Patrick O’Leary
  • “Alles in Ordnung” by Garry Kilworth
  • “Sweats” by Keith Brooke
  • “Some Fast Thinking Needed” by Ian Watson
  • “Dragon King of the Eastern Sea” by Chris Roberson

Goblin War by Jim C. Hines

Buy: Kindle Store

Also released alongside The Stepsister Scheme is Hines’ take on Tolkien—from the humorous side of the so-called faceless minions and a hobgoblin named Jig Dragonslayer who would rather not adventure….

The first two books in this series, Goblin Quest and Goblin Hero, are not yet available on the Kindle.

Stay the Night by Lynn Viehl

Buy: Kindle Store

Immortal vampire art crook falls in love with female federal agent, and there are people out to get them. It’s another vampire romance in the loose Darkyn series with another star-crossed couple.

Also available on the Kindle: Twilight Fall, Evermore, and the eSpecial Master of Shadows.

One More Bite by Jennifer Rardin

Buy: Kindle Store

In the best of paranormal romance vampire intrigue stories, the death of one vampire lord doesn’t lead to peace, but to a terrible power struggle between three undead clans. The CIA wants to stabilize the situation, and send in agent Jaz and vampire Vayl to undo an assassination plot. In the middle of warring and not terribly rational cold-blooded clans. Yep. Your job doesn’t suck this much, does it?

The latest in the Jaz Parks series, all of which are on the Kindle:

  1. Once Bitten, Twice Shy
  2. Another One Bites the Dust
  3. Biting the Bullet
  4. Bitten to Death
  5. One More Bite

Krispos Rising by Harry Turtledove

Buy: Kindle Store

Better known for his award-winning alternate history sagas, Harry Turtledove also wrote fantasy—in this case, a tale where a farmer boy is orphaned and must survive in the city. Krispos manages to do so, becoming the chamberlain to the empreror—and drawing the imperial family ire. Which is probably worse than trying not to get knifed in the city streets.

You can also just buy the entire trilogy as one book, The Tale of Krispos, for only $7.96 on the Kindle.

In the Shadow of the Master by Michael Connelly

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Edgar Allan Poe’s work is in the public domain and available for free on Feedbooks and elsewhere, but they don’t come with essays and commentary from some of the greatest modern writers, including Stephen King, Lawrence Block, Sue Grafton, and more.

Sixteen of the best Poe stories are here, but it’s the celebration that’s the icing on this collection, including:

  • “What Poe Hath Wroth” by Michael Connelly
  • “On Edgar Allan Poe” by T. Jefferson Parker
  • “Under the Covers with Fortunato and Montresor” by Jan Burke
  • “The Curse of Amontillado” by Lawrence Block
  • “Pluto’s Heritage” by P. J. Parrish
  • “Identity Crisis” by Lisa Scottoline
  • “In a Strange City: Baltimore and the Poe Toaster” by Laura Lippman
  • “Once Upon a Midnight Dreary” by Michael Connelly
  • “The Thief” by Laurie R. King
  • “Poe and Me at the Movies” by Tess Gerritsen
  • “The Genius of ‘The Tell-Tale Heart’” by Stephen King
  • “The First Time” by Steve Hamilton
  • “The Pit, the Pendulum, and Perfection” by Edward D. Hoch
  • “The Pit and the Pendulum at the Palace” by Peter Robinson
  • “Edgar Allan Poe, Mark Twain, and Me” by S. J. Rozan
  • “The Quick and the Undead” by Nelson DeMille
  • “Imagining Edgar Allan Poe” by Sara Paretsky
  • “Rantin’ and Ravin’” by Joseph Wambaugh
  • “A Little Thought on Poe” by Thomas H. Cook
  • “Poe in G Minor” by Jeffery Deaver
  • “How I Became an Edgar Allan Poe Convert” by Sue Grafton

We Can’t All Be Rattlesnakes by Patrick Jennings

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No, indeed we can’t, thinks the female snake who regrets not being a rattlesnake when she’s picked up by a human. How can you resist something that begins:

Call Me Crusher

I had shed a skin the day of my capture. As always, the sloughing left me famished, so I curled up under a shady patch of creosote and eagerly awaited the first rodent to cross my path. Gopher was at the top of my list, though I was so hungry that I’d gladly have settled for even a nasty, gristly little shrew.

A rodent did not cross my path first that morning, however. A lower life form did: a human.

A cute viewpoint from the other side of Rikki-Tikki-Tavi.