Sunday, January 21, 2007

Recent find: The Terror

I checked out the latest Dan Simmons book from the library with just a little trepidation: I haven't liked much of what he's written lately for one reason or another (maybe it was just my mood). So starting a 700+ pager that takes place in the Arctic in the 19th century... well, I was in a "prove it to me" mode. I've now passed page 100 and I can hardly put it down. It's Dan Simmons in top form. It's sort of a historical suspense thriller -- two ships locked in the ice north of Canada, and something is stalking them from out there in the very frozen wasteland. I found myself having to turn up the furnace as I was reading -- I'd swear the room was getting colder. Good stuff!

And, Scott, if you get to see Dan at the signing in Denver in Feb., let us know the scoop...

In case anyone is interested, here's Dan's website.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Last

I just loved this image, called The Last. You can find more of this artist's scifi artwork at Darthmagus.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


We've had nonfiction selections, a graphic novel one month, and even manga, but we've never done an audiobook. I for one love listening to audiobook CDs in my car back and forth to work (or even just down to the grocery store). I've found myself sitting in the car in the parking lot just to listen to the end of a chapter. It also has a relaxing effect on me -- not as much road rage when I'm caught up in a good story. Anyway, I saw that the unabridged audiobook of Neil Gaiman's Anansi Boys was just selected as one of Booklists "Top of the List 2006" and I thought we might want to do an audiobook one month. Also, Loria recommended this one, said it was good. The book. Not the audiobook.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Overlooked Books from 2006?

This list of overlooked books from Locus. The Unblemished certainly sounds interesting if you're up for something on the disturbing side. Again, love the cover art. More info about Conrad Williams on his website, which has some fine photography on it too.

Another one that looks good. (I just checked this one out off of one of the carts in the library's back office of possible Readers Choice Awards books, but haven't started it yet...)

From the dustjacket: A human diplomat kills his alien counterpart. Earth is on the verge of war with a vastly superior alien race. A lone man races against time and a host of enemies to find the one object that can save our planet and our people from alien enslavement... A sheep. That's right, a sheep. And if you think that's the most surprising thing about this book, wait until you read Chapter One.

Welcome to The Android's Dream. For Harry Creek, it's quickly becoming a nightmare. All he wants is to do his uncomplicated mid-level diplomatic job with Earth's State Department. But his past training and skills get him tapped to save the planet--and to protect pet store owner Robin Baker, whose own past holds the key to the whereabouts of that lost sheep. Doing both will take him from lava-strewn battlefields to alien halls of power. All in a day's work. Maybe it's time for a raise.

Throw in two-timing freelance mercenaries, political lobbyists with megalomaniac tendencies, aliens on a religious quest, and an artificial intelligence with unusual backstory, and you've got more than just your usual science fiction adventure story. You've got The Android's Dream.

Scar Night

File this one under: Interesting New Finds. Looks like it could be a very good dark urban fantasy a la New Crobuzon. Lots of buzz about it (and I love the cover art...)

From Publishers Weekly: Starred Review. Campbell sets his stunning debut fantasy in Deepgate, a town wreathed in chains that keep it hanging suspended over a bottomless abyss, peopled by worshippers of Lord Ulcis, the god of chains, and tormented by a mad angel named Carnival. The author, who was a video game designer, renders Deepgate beautifully. It's a complex city of creaking metal links, stone and shadow, inhabited by priests, assassins and the boy-angel Dill, who will lead a journey into the abyss in a desperate attempt to save the city. Campbell has Neil Gaiman's gift for lushly dark stories and compelling antiheroes, and effortlessly channels the Victorian atmospherics of writer and illustrator Mervyn Peake as well. This imaginative first novel will have plenty of readers anxiously awaiting his follow-up.

Some interesting background from the author at this UK site.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Feb & March Selections

February 4th discussion = Starfish

March 4th discussion = Beggars in Spain

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Salt Lake SciFi & Fantasy Book Group

January Meeting

Hi all. Unfortunately, I'm not going to be able to make the meeting this week. I'm hoping to stop by for a few minutes if possible, but I've got a conflict I can't get out of. I enjoyed Stolen Child - it was a quick read for me. However, it left me with a bit of an ick factor - not sure why. It was a little creepy I guess.

I had mentioned that Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman was another book dealing with the characters from American Gods. I was partly right. It's the same world, but different characters. The children of Anansi or Mr. Nancy. Pretty decent. Not as fun as American Gods, but not a long either. I'd recommend it. : )

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and a great New Years. See you in Feb. for sure.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007


In case you haven't already checked it out, give a look to author Naomi Novik's homepage,, named after her dragon series. I just finished His Majesty's Dragon, a crackin'-good adventure, and dove right into the second book (which is a very welcome distraction since I'm home sick today with a bad headcold). Given the visual elements of the story, I can see what piqued Peter Jackson's interest -- a movie version is of course inevitable. I'll look forward to it.