Booklife Now

Last Dragon J.M. McDermott’s 2008 Year’s Best (on Amazon)

Jeff VanderMeer • January 21st, 2009 • Book Reviews, Booklife Now

I invited writers who made Amazon’s SF/F Top 10 for 2008 to send me their own year’s best list. The latest, from J.M. McDermott, is now up on the Amazon book blog. It’s a function of genre being a small pond that two anthologies I co-edited with Ann are on the list. Sometimes there’s no getting away from that kind of interconnectivity, and it’s always hard to know how to deal with it. But it also balances out: despite being on Amazon’s top 10 list several times in the past, I am not eligible to be on it so long as I do work for their blog.

I’ve also reproduced his list below, without his annotations. What would you add to it? What do you disagree (politely) with?

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Philosophical Issues

Jeff VanderMeer • January 17th, 2009 • Booklife Now, Photos

2

I almost bought the above book today, but instead bought the two books below. No books about or by Francis Bacon in the B&N, alas. (Which about seems to match my blog readers interest in him, alas.)

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A Grim 2009 for Year’s Bests and Anthologies Generally?

Jeff VanderMeer • January 12th, 2009 • Booklife Now, Culture, Uncategorized, Writing Tips

Gavin Grant reports that Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror is no more, although it might be revived in the future, and that Ellen Datlow will move on to edit two horror year’s bests for Night Shade Books. The anthology’s sales had been dipping over the last few years, and packaging-wise no real attempt was made to change a formula that clearly wasn’t pulling in as many readers as in the past. Nor, frankly, was the promotional effort for the anthology that good. I think the proliferation of other year’s bests and the easy access of readers to short fiction online may have also hurt the series.

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Booklife Now: Cool Alterna Comics, Richard Morgan, Stone Rabbit, and More

Jeff VanderMeer • January 9th, 2009 • Book Reviews, Booklife Now


(A favorite new cover: just another day at the office with my needle-fanged maggot-parasite.)

A slow week as publicists everywhere uncurl from their cryogenic cyborg slumber in sensory deprivation tanks and slowly take up again once more their ancestral positions influencing the minds of gatekeepers across the multiverse. Processing new permutations of press release boilerplate at the rate of a billion bytes a second. Sixth sense straining to discern through the ether the presence of new reviewers, pink and naked under that merciless, predatory gaze, and to make out, too, the dark husks of reviewers gone belly up, forwarding address unknown, once more escaping the Life into life… (Gawd, I’ve got to start another piece of fiction soon.)

Anyway, here’s some Morgan, some great new stuff from Alterna Comics, an outfit I hadn’t heard of before (I’ll be reviewing some of this for Amazon), and a new fixture: a classic book cover to punctuate the post with an exclamation mark rather than a period.

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Underland on NPR, Tachyon on io9 and Media Bistro

Jeff VanderMeer • January 5th, 2009 • Booklife Now, Culture

It’s always nice to see the good ones get some attention–and I can tell you from personal experience that Victoria Blake at Underland and Jacob Weisman at Tachyon are two of the good ones. I’ve rarely been as stress-free in working with publishers as I have been with the two of them. Why? Both of them are organized, structured, and get things done.

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Booklife Now: Some Stuff in My House

Jeff VanderMeer • January 5th, 2009 • Book Reviews, Booklife Now, Photos

I think for now the book cover postings are going to be on an irregular schedule, while I’m working on deadlines. So here’s some stuff in my house for your review, mostly new books received but then a few overburdened shelves of less current material.

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Booklife Now, 12/19: From Marvel’s Chronicle to Cherie Priest’s Fathom, Gilman’s Gears to Graham’s Isis

Jeff VanderMeer • December 19th, 2008 • Booklife Now, Culture


(The books I’ve received in recent months that I’ve put aside for personal enjoyment.)

After a great deal of thought, I’ve decided I prefer a regular weekly photo-listing of all the books I’ve received for that week. (You can also visit the flickr set.) So, every Friday between 10:00 and 11:00 a.m. EST, you can expect a Booklife Now post. In general, this will be the last post on Fridays so that I won’t be distracted from coming by to join in any discussion.

That’s because I’d love for this to become a forum for conversation about the books pictured. And sometimes (when less busy), I’ll start off that conversation in the post itself. But to that general end, I would love to know which of these you’ve been feverishly waiting for, which you think might surprise me if I give them a chance, and any other commentary you’d like to provide.

I’d also like to welcome the authors of the books to drop by and give their comments. Therefore, let me invoke them by listing their names, in no particular order: George R.R. Martin, Iain M. Banks, Dan Simmons, Walter John Williams, Jo Graham, Bill Kelter, Wayne Shellabarger, Sylvia Kelso, Alvaro Uribe, Atwater-Roades, Faith Erin-Hicks, Daniel Suarez, David Sherman, Dan Craig, Trudi Caravan, Peter Crowther, John Grant, Douglas Smith, Ray Bradbury, Darrell Schweitzer, Cherie Priest, Felix Gilman, John Meaney, M. John Harrison, Jordan Summers, T.A. Pratt, Jaye Wells, Patricia Rosemoor, Marc Paoletti, Steve Aylett (The Caterer), Gavin and Kelly (eds.), Ian McDonald, James Morrow, Sam Savage, David Marusek, Toni Jerrman, Trese, and Gerry Alanguilan. (In future I may actually drop some of them emails with a formal invite to comment.)

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