Monday, April 19, 2010

Good Stuff: Week of 4/18

First off this week is a title that actually came out a couple of days ago, but that I missed mentioning because, you know, this blog didn't really exist. Arriving in the UK last Friday, New Model Army (U.S.) (U.K.) is the latest from Adam Roberts.

Roberts is a professor of 19th Century literature in London, so his SF isn't always what you'd normally think of as SF. It tends to have bit more literary and philosophical bend to the pieces than one might expect. But that is usually a good thing. His last book, Yellow Blue Tibia was recently shortlisted for this year's Arthur. C. Clarke Award.

New Model Army, presumably taking its name from the standing full-time army that was formed during the British civil war in 1645 by the Parlimentarians, takes place in the near future during a second English civil war. Roberts uses this setting as a philosophical basis for examining the morality of war in a democratic society. Should be good stuff, though as it only has a UK publisher at this time, my US readers (myself included) may have to import this one.

Next up, available tomorrow (or am I typing this in today?) is something rather unique. Stephen King has decided to release a new novella to the streets, without going through his usual  mass-market publisher's. Cemetery Dance Publications,  a small dark fantasy and horror house is releasing Blockade Billy on April 20th. CD has put together a fine little edition of only 10, 000 copies, which are only available directly from the publisher, and which are already (or close to it) sold out after the announcement three weeks ago. (*update* there are still a couple copies of the first edition left. Go get one!)

Highly illustrated, cloth bound, dust-jacketed and including a reproduction card, Stephen King's historical baseball suspense story features the greatest player of the game, Billy Blakely. What King's fans don't know is what happened that was so horrible, that Billy's name was erased from every record book - why his very existence virtually eliminated.

I'm really looking forward to this little book. Those of King's legions that are not able to snag this small edition should not despair however. Coming May 25th his usual publisher Scribner, will be releasing an edition for the rest of the world. Unjacketed and non-illustrated, this edition will nonetheless feature the bonus short Morality that was published in Esquire last summer. You can pre-order that edition here: (U.S.). European fans should expect to see a Hodder & Stoughton edition sometime soon as well (U.K.).

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