New Releases: Palimpsest by Catherynne M. Valente

KJ Parker x Slavish Devotion

KJ Parker Folding Knife

I'm currently tearing through KJ Parker's Engineer trilogy.

 This was intended to be a time-wasting exercise until The Folding Knife was released in the UK, but now, KJ Parker is dominating my waking (non-work, alas) life. Devices and Desires isn't just a book that makes me look forward to my morning tube journey, it's one that makes me want to stay on the train all the way to Aberdeen. (If only the Northern Line went that far...)

For those that haven't read Parker, be prepared for something very unusual in fantasy: philosophical, grim, blackly humorous brilliance that eschews action for character appeal. Terse, taut prose, empathetic characters, an aversion to "on-screen" action and, most importantly, a proper, "literary" devotion to writing about Big Themes (and not in a wanky way).

On the flip side, Parker is also a collecting nightmare. All the first editions (save the lovely Purple and Black from Subterranean) are paperbacks. There's no challenge there, unless you count foreign editions. And (again, with the exception of Purple and Black), there are no signed copies, due to the author's penchant for anonymity. What's a book horder to do?!

Our full review of Devices and Desires will come, but, for now, Parker's cup runneth over with our previous praise:

The Company (2009)

Purple and Black (2009)