Dear US Readers:
I’m sorry. For whatever reason, the UK/Commonwealth version of The Kingdom of Gods released a good 3 weeks ahead of the US release date. So now you’ve had to endure the British-accent-inflected “Nyaa nyaa”s of your across-the-pond brothers and sisters. You’ve had to duck and dodge like Grant Hill in the playoffs to avoid spoilers. You’ve… had to… ::deep sigh:: …wait.
This was not my decision, although it works well for me by building buzz ahead of the US launch. But I’m not gloating or anything! So please, stop yelling at me. I’m sorry!
To distract you In the meantime, I’ve noted below a few really good books I’ve read lately whose authors you should go pester instead that you can enjoy or anticipate instead. They’ll help the time pass while I escape to Patagonia while you wait.
Crucible of Gold, the latest in Naomi Novik’s Temeraire saga. Some of you already know how much I love these books. In this latest installment — which I was privileged to read in an earlier form; see, being a published author gets you something besides sleep deprivation and early gray hair! — Temeraire and Laurence get called back into service from their lonely exile in Australia. They journey to South America, where they encounter the ancient empires of the Americas — and where Napoleon is up to some very new tricks. This one’s unbelievable fun.
…But it’s not out ’til March 2012. See? Other people have to wait, too! It’s not just you. There, there. ::pet pet::
Here’s one that’s out already!
The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells. This one was a surprise; although Ms. Wells has been here for years (don’t call it a comeback), this is my first time hearing about one of her books. I have to admit I wasn’t wowed by the premise: a guy who doesn’t fit in looks for somewhere to call home. I should really know better than to judge a book by reductionism; after all, by that logic, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is just a small-town girl trying to make it in the big city. Anyway The Cloud Roads has riveting characterization, a tense and fast-paced plot, and some of the most original, exotic worldbuilding I’ve ever seen. I’d like to visit the Three Worlds — except they’re utterly deadly and I’d probably get eaten within the first five minutes. So think of The Cloud Roads as a story about a guy (who’s a humanoid dragon) who doesn’t fit in (because he looks like a cannibalistic humanoid dragon) looking (through an amazing, gorgeous, fascinating world) for somewhere (and fellow dragon-people among whom) to call home (which he then has to save from a rampaging horde of the cannibal dragon people).
Book 2 of this series isn’t out yet — I’m hoping to score an advance copy from the author, but in the meantime I’ve got to wait. So see? I’m waiting too. I understand. Does that make it better?
Cold Magic, by Kate Elliott. I’ve raved about this one here before, but the second book just came out! No waiting! And trust me, you want to read these books. They’re also some of the most original, gonzo worldbuilding I’ve ever seen — Ice Age Europe with gaslight technology and Victorian culture by way of the ancient Malian Empire, menaced by Celtic faerie myths. (No, really. It’s a beautiful, magnificent thing. Kate talks about how she came up with it here.) And swashbuckling Phoenician maidens! And hot romance! And ice vs fire magic! STUFF!! BLOWING!! UP!!!
(OK, I suck at marketing. But there really is stuff blowing up.)
So look! Go look at these. They’re very pretty books, aren’t they? Lovely cover art. Shiiiiny. Watch while I wave them in front of you. Just keep looking at them.
Go on, keep looking. Pick them up. Thumb through; they all have sample chapters online. I’ll be —
::steps back, from a distance::
— right here. Aren’t they great books? Keep reading.
::runs away fast::