Books, glorious books

A fine week’s haul on the freebie front at work this week. Blood Canticle, the new Anne Rice vampire novel, arrived for me. Notably thinner than some of the previous entries in the new Vampire Chronicles, which is not a bad thing. Dante’s Equation arrived from my chums at Orbit – mixes Torah and the search for hidden numbers and names in the text with modern physics. Sounds interesting (or it could be a thriller built around some of that Bible Code bollocks of course). Bloomsbury finally sent me a copy of Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean’s children’s book the Wolves in the Walls.

An accidental freebie ended up in my grasping paws today as we were sent books we didn’t order from a US distributor. It wasn’t worth the cost of shipping them back so they told us just to keep them. As we weren’t charged for them we can’t actually sell them that would be fraud, so hello… A gorgeously illustrated colour hardback on the artwork of Alex Ross, one of my favourite illustrators (Uncle Sam, Kingdom Come). My American colleague Kate passed on a book she just finished and loved for me to read. You’re an Animal, Viskovitz! By Alessandro Boffa from Edinburgh’s prize-winning Canongate. It explores feelings through short vignettes of animals – a snail with two sexes, a dormouse with erotic dreams, a lion in love with a gazelle. Yes, I think you can see why Kate thought it may well appeal to me! And since it is a form of fantasy I’ll no doubt be doing a review of it for the Alien’s mainstream section – or whatever we will be calling that section by then since we’re debating it right now amongst the Crew (personally I think we should just have a symbol and refer to it as the review category formerly know as mainstream). Or we could put up the picture of Ariel’s tribble instead.

Unfortunately I really need to try and finish re-reading China Mieville’s damn fine Perdido Street Station before it is the subject of our next SF Book Reading Club on Tuesday 18th before I can get into these. Fab novel, very different and one that really marked China out as one of the fast-rising new voices in Brit SF which has been making waves around the global SF community along with others like Justina Robinson, Jon Courtenay Grimwood and our Edinburgh’s own Charlie Stross and his performing beard. I read Perdido when it first came out and loved it – the descriptions are so incredibly detailed, rich and vibrant. Since that was a few years ago I thought I better brush up on it before the club meeting, but forgot just how smegging big it is at 848 pages! D’oh! I hope the other members have stuck with it though, since it is a damned good book and we wanted to get them into the new and very cool Brit SF pack.

And while we’re on the literary theme, I thought I’d share this one with you. No, not another silly title – it’s actually quite prosaic being Songwriting for Guitarists – but the name of the author is quite wonderful – Rikky Rooksby. Ain’t that great? And you guys think I make up some silly nonsense? I can’t compete with the real world!