Richard S. Prather's The Peddler - a funny one. This is Hard Case Crime #27. I'm looking ahead and plugging the gaps in the collection as I meander through my (ostensibly) weekly reviews, and this was one I'm missing. The weird thing? (Perhaps to me.) I've been trying to collect all the Hard Case crime reprints as their originals. In this case, I've got the Gold Medal edition around, but now feel the need to make sure I've got the reprint so it matches all the others. Like the inmates have taken over the asylum, right. (Forbidden Planet)
Neil Gaiman's The Ocean at the End of the Lane - as above I don't need a collectible copy - I've got a collectible copy. What I need is a reading copy. So why'd I get a signed one and not, say, an ebook or something?
I can't defend my own actions, honestly. I've actually got a Gaiman collection that I'd describe as "good" (not "great"). He's one of those authors where you can do a solid job getting signed first editions, comics, a few rarer small press things, etc. pretty easily. But the real collectors are out there getting the $1,000 signed limited editions of his wedding vows, bound in manticore. A little discouraging, but good for perspective. (Forbidden Planet)
Anne and I got E.J. Swift to sign Osiris for us as well. Because that's one of the perks of being an editor: captive authors.
Lauren O'Farrell's Stitch New York and Deadly Knitshade's Knit the City - we picked up both of these at the same event last week, the launch of Stitch New York (there were Plarchie cup cakes!) Knit the City is being gifted on (we've got our own copy safe and sound). Both books are absolutely adorable, even if you don't knit (I don't), the photos and captions are worth the price of admission. And the launch was wonderful - loads of adorable celebrities were present as Cooey, the world's most famous knitted pigeon, was joined by Snap the Sewer Alligator and Scuttle the Cockroach.
Random bibliographic silliness. There was a whole whack of this stuff at Forbidden Planet, so I snaffled up the more interesting volumes: New British Science Fiction Published During 1979 & 1971, SF Published in 1972, SF Published in 1973, SF Published in 1975 and SF Published in 1976. They're all A4, stapled, with slightly adorable pen sketches for covers. They literally just... list books. This is what people had to do before the internet. (No idea what happened to 1974, either someone got there before me or it was a very bad year for SF.) I also snaffled the slightly more ambitious American Fantasy and Science Fiction which purports to collect all SF published between 1948 and 1973.
One other from the same collection: A History of the Hugo, Nebula and International Fantasy Awards (1978). I was standing there with Lavie Tidhar when we spotted this, and couldn't figure out what the IFA was. "Wait, didn't you win that?" (my contribution to the conversation). No, apparently not. But it is apparently some sort of fantasy award created by British fans (wooo!), although, notably, of the 128 pages in the volume, the IFA takes up... 2. I'd make a scheme about resurrecting it, except that I'd bet $5 that it still exists in some way, shape or form; adopted by some convention, somewhere. [Update: Holy crap. It doesn't?! LIGHT THE SCHEMESIGNAL!]
Anyway, as well as being a reference, this contains a few notes about the annual silliness and scandal surrounding SF's biggest awards. As many of the Hugo's defenders gamely point out, the award has been weathering controversy since it was founded. And, well, yes.
Other things: Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities, Seymour Shubin's Anyone's My Name, Pat Cadigan's Patterns and Death in the Promised Land, Kate Griffin's A Madness of Angels, Terra Nova (a new collection of Spanish SF, now translated to English), Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel's Dart and Will Hill's Secret History of a Teenage Vampire. Crikey.
Also, a quick shout out to Prologue Crime. Because I've now purchased over a dozen of their books for the Kindle. I'll do a huge review round-up at some point, I think.
Umm.... more bits and stuff: the KJ Parker re-read is slowly winding to a close. Yours truly missed the early copy deadline for the July 4th holiday, so we've got a bit of a cliffhanger before plowing through the final 3 weeks. Niall Alexander's done a great round-up of KJP's recent short fiction, so the Parker-starved still have someplace to go chat.
A Fantastical Librarian is doing a "Week of Pandemonium" which is, bar none, the coolest thing ever. The week includes reviews of A Town Called Pandemonium and The Lowest Heaven, plus the chapbooks Fire and 1853. Plus an interview, which was a lot of fun.
Reviews for The Lowest Heaven continue to come in, with Jonathan Strahan, Alex Pierce and Ian Mond discussing the book in great detail for Last Short Story.
The Lowest Heaven giveaway on Goodreads continues until the 17th. And, to celebrate A Town Called Pandemonium's place as a British Fantasy Award finalist (twice!) (and in honour of finding two copies of the thought-previously-sold-out paperback), we're throwing another giveaway as well!
I understand that this is a little counter-intuitive: normally the GR fiestas are to shout about the launch of a book and not parcel out the last two copies of a limited print run, but, hey, fun! To finish the Goodreads assault, I've uploaded all our chapbooks to date - so you can now find them for free on Goodreads and Kobo and (occasionally) Amazon. This includes Fire, Crossroads, 1853 and Stocking Stuffers 2011 and 2012.
In other areas of schemery, a blog post on The Kitschies will be coming later this week, I think. Plus the latest Hard Case Crime (Bust - a tricky one!) and a load of backlogged reviews. Pfew.