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Saturday, February 19, 2011

More 2011 Titles of Interest, from ChiZine: Brent Hayward, Claude Lalumiere and Derryl Murphy (by Liviu Suciu)


From the author of the remarkable debut Filaria (FBC Rv), May will see the publication of The Fecund's Melancholy Daughter, a new novel that promises much and starts extremely well. With a title for the ages and a cover that looks pretty cool, here is the blurb:

The city is crumbling . . . . Clouds over Nowy Solum have not parted in a hundred years. Gods have deserted their temples. In the last days of a dying city, the decadent chatelaine chooses a forbidden lover, separating twin outcasts and setting them on independent trajectories that might finally bring down the palace. Then, screaming from the skies, a lone god reappears and a limbless prophet is carried through South Gate, into Nowy Solum, with a message for all: beyond the city, something ancient and monumental has come awake.

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From the author of the remarkable collection Objects of Worship (FBC Rv), April will see the publication of The Door to Lost Pages. From what I gleamed so far, this book is a mix between a novel and a collection of related stories in the vein of the superb Things We Didn't See Coming.

Here is the blurb:

Step through the door to lost pages and escape a life you never wanted . . .

On her tenth birthday, Aydee runs away from home and from her neglectful parents. At first, surviving alone on the streets is harsh, but a series of frightening, bewildering encounters with strange primordial creatures leads her to a bookshop called Lost Pages, where she steps into a fantastic, sometimes dangerous, but exciting life. Aydee grows up at the reality-hopping Lost Pages, which seems to attract a clientele that is both eccentric and desperate. She is repeatedly drawn into an eternal war between enigmatic gods and monsters, until the day she is confronted by her worst nightmare: herself.

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Napier's Bones (tbp March) is a novel that attracted my attention for two reasons; first as being published by Chi-Zine which so far never put a book out that "felt for me" and disappointed; second the blurb is irresistible for someone with a math background, so I decided to give it a try and I will let you know what I think - the first pages read quite well, so I will get to this one sooner rather than later.

What if, in a world where mathematics could be magic, the thing you desired most was also trying to kill you?

Dom is a numerate, someone able to see and control numbers and use them as a form of magic. While seeking a mathematical item of immense power that has only been whispered about, it all goes south for Dom, and he finds himself on the run across three countries on two continents, with two unlikely companions in tow and a numerate of unfathomable strength hot on his tail. Along the way are giant creatures of stone and earth, statues come alive, numerical wonders cast over hundreds of years, and the very real possibility that he won't make it out of this alive. And both of his companions have secrets so deep that even they aren't aware of them, and one of those secrets could make for a seismic shift in how Dom and all other numerates see and interact with the world.


Edit 2/28: I finished this and it was a very good read, conventional (UF) formula in structure but the content made it worth and the author has a flowing style that kept the pages turning. Here are some raw thoughts with the full review in several weeks:

"Napier's Bones is a very entertaining mix of sf and UF; the structure is all UF (evil being with superpowers, awakened in our day and time wants to take over and change all, good guys have to stop it but to start they are too puny, so there are chases, hidden powers, unexpected allies and all the paraphernalia of traditional fantasy set in our world and time) but the content is all sfnal since the conceit of the novel is numbers as magic and there is a lot of real fun numerology - I have no idea if the author has read Martin Gardner's ultra-entertaining essays on numerology but the stuff in the novel is as good as anything there and the book is worth reading if only for that.

The characters are ok though nothing outside stock and some of the major twists are easily seen but the writing flows well, the pages turn by themselves and the book is a very entertaining reading experience with a great ending. Another recommended book - and a positive surprise for 2011."

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