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07-12-03: Preston & Child Bring on the Cheese & Golden Gryphon Takes the Train

Preston & Child Bring on the Cheese

This thriller from last year was my choice for an easy and excellent father's day present.

This is the fourth novel featuring FBI agent Pendergast.

I was getting worried that there wouldn't be a follow-up to last year's wonderful 'The Cabinet of Curiosities' when Father's day passed without a new Preston/Child release. They must have been forced to slide past the deadline to accommodate the release of the Lincoln Child thriller 'Utopia',which looked too cheesy even for me. Fortunately, I was not to be disappointed. The new Pedergast novel is out -- 'Still Life with Crows'. Posed bodies, serial killers and it's looking like we might even get an Indian Burial ground. I admit it -- I'm afraid, very afraid. But Pendergast is such a fun character, I'm pretty sure I can take even an Indian Burial ground. I'll be sure to let you know.

Golden Gryphon Takes the Train

Lucius Shepard rode the rails to research the facts and fiction in this collection.

I've been on the Golden Gryphon Mailing list and perhaps remiss on passing on the information to you. You should join to be sure that you don't miss something important. But this item about Lucius Shepard's new collection of fact and fiction became required reading. You can check out the whole article on Golden Gryphon's site. The essence is that Shepard rode the trains with the Hobo nation and wrote articles of fact and stories of fiction. The whole package, fat and unedited is forthcoming from Golden Gryphon. How much are these books going to be worth when the mainstream discovers Shepard? I don't even want to think about it.

07-09-03: Ken Macleod's Reading Recommendations and Tantalizing News, Neal Asher's 'The Engineer' to be re-published by Cosmos, New Comix from Jason Thompson, William Gay Hardcover Close-Out from *.*

Ken Macleod Suggests....

Ken Macleod's latest is a veritable fountain of Fortean fiction. And, he tells me, perhaps just the beginning....

Upon publishing my review of the extremely Fortean 'Engine City', [stop reading now if you don't want spoilers for this novel], I dropped a line to the author, Ken Macleod, who was kind enough to write me back and answer some pressing questions. First and foremost, I wanted to know if there were differences between the US and UK editions, to which he replied, "The only differences between the US and UK editions are minor edits (they were copy-edited differently)." So -- phew. Read the right edition (UK), I'm OK on that count. [Once again, stop reading now if you don't want spoilers for this novel -- you were warned!]

He was also surprised that I found the book something of a downer -- and when I pointed out that he did, after all execute his main characters, he replied "Yeah, but c'mon, their memories survive in the little Multiplier, and they do give stirring and surprising speeches while facing the music." Once again -- OK, more fun every day.

But wait --there's more:

"No, you're right, it is a bit dark. I may write a sequel to the series in which some people from subsequent generations go adventuring off along the paths opened by the dissident god's map of the galaxy."

Now this is news -- very tentative and he says "..mention it's not going to be soon." But still -- I'm on edge already. And if I get to wait through an entirely different set of novels -- well, at least they're Ken Macleod novels, and that's something to look forward to.

And that's not all -- because, wait --there's more!

M. John Harrison's wonderful novel 'Light'.

Richard Morgan came out blazing with 'Altered Carbon'.

Paul Mcauley's 'Whole Wide World', an SFnal mystery.

Ken also offered some "Reading recommendations:

Mike Harrison's _Light_, Richard Morgan's _Altered Carbon_, and any of the recent books by Paul McAuley....

'Redemption Ark', the next-to latest novel by one of my favorite authors, Alastair Reynolds.

Justina Robson takes wing to write some beautiful and mind-boggling space opera in 'Natural History'.

The Arthur C. Clarke Award winning 'Dreaming in Smoke' is recommended by Ken Macleod.

Not just a song and bad Ridley Scott movie anymore.

...Alastair Reynolds, Justina Robson and Tricia Sullivan." I have reviews of many of these books on-site -- and I have to say I've enjoyed every one immensely. Of course, clicking on any of the linked titles will bring up my reviews, and on the author's names, will take you to the Review Archive containing all the entries for the author. But I haven't read Tricia Sullivan, and offer up here two titles for readers to pick up. It's always fun asking the writers what they read, because they always come at you with something you've not read. Thanks Ken -- I believe I speak for most of my readers when I say that we're looking forward to your next, whatever galaxy -- or 1970's Scottish socialist hangout -- it comes from.

Re-Engineering With Neal Asher

The already rare first edition of Neal Asher's 'The Engineer' is to be re-published by Cosmos Books.

Here's the news piece that actually lives up to my top-level headline; this news literally came in while I was putting together this news column.

And now over to Neal...

"Just to give you some up to date news: I've decided The Engineer really needs to be available so I contacted Sean Wallace at Cosmos and put forward the idea of them re-releasing it with and intro, some blurbs for each story, and a few extra stories. He seems quite into the idea. I'm currently editing The Engineer novella."

I really hope this comes off. It would be wonderful to have a concise collection of Neal's Runcible Tales all in one place. Cosmos published the excellent 'Africa Zero' in a very nice edition. 'The Engineer' is really hard to find and really worth reading since it plays into many of his subsequent novels, including 'Gridlinked', 'The Skinner' and 'The Line of Polity'. US readers who have not yet read Asher will have a chance to do so when Tor gets the ball rolling with their release of 'Gridlinked' later this year.

Jason Thompson Dreams again...

Jason Thompson started out in Unknown Kadath......

If you were lucky enough to pick up a copy of Jason Thompson's adaptation of 'The Dream Question of Unknown Kadath', then you'll want to take a peek at his new pay-per-view website, which features....


That's for $2.95/month.

...'The Stiff', "a high-school romantic comedy sends hapless 16-year-olds face to face with rotting corpses, cannibalism and living death. Here's a URL for info: You can also look at his personal site, I'm curious as to how these pay-per-view websites are working out, not in the least because I give all this fine work away.

Mind-Boggling Price on William Gay Collection

Easily one of the best books of last year, now available for a pittance. What fools these mortals be!

Easily one of the best books of last year, William Gay's 'i hate to see that evening sun go down' is clearly not appreciated by the masses. That's OK, the masses of readers of my column can now get this book in hardcover for $6.99. Yes they're remaindered copies. Look, in twenty years you can sell this book and buy yourself whatever mode of transport is still available that remotely resembles a car. But you won't want to. This book is better than a car. You can probably find it in your local independent bookstore as well, so hurry down now. This is too important -- and too entertaining -- to miss.

07-07-03: Hardcover Cryptozoology Reference Book

Coleman & Clark Go A-Z

Loren Coleman and Jerome Clark's reference book is still available in hardcover, and definitely worth searching out. Writers and other who are looking for a concise and last "real monster" reference, take heed.

Readers have noted that Loren Coleman is one of the foremost living authors on Fortean studies. His work in the field of cryptozoology is second to none. Writers looking for facts about real monsters and inspirations for their fictional musings can hardly do better than consult his books. He recently posted this message to the fortean list, and I pass it on to my readers who should be interested. It involves a mildly satanic compromise, but in these days, we're all too used to such negotiations. It's also another interesting publishing tale, wherein an author finally finds his own work.....Here's Loren...


"Perhaps it will go down as only a minor tale in cryptozoological bibliophilic history, but after two years of researching the question, I can confirm today that there is a hardbound edition of 'Cryptozoology A to Z'.

Since 2001, I have asked my publisher if the rumors were true that such a hardcover edition exists, and I continued to receive negative replies (as recently as this morning). But now, today, after picking up my mail, I have in my hands an actual hardbound copy (as does Leon Crum also recently got one). I had trolled deeply at for weeks to find that new/used copies were being sold there, but how could I believe these were really hardbound? They weren't suppose to exist. It strangely seemed to parallel the tales of some cryptids. But there they are, all [ultra-commercial URL deleted; actually, when I first went to the site it was down, and of course there was an article about the outage later that day. Readers can go there and figure it out. But I checked to day and the volumes are still mostly there and you can get the HC version as stated.]

Apparently, the 1999 edition of the book was produced in a hard bound version two years ago, after the volume was awarded a place on the 2001 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults List by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) and American Library Association (ALA). Only a few hundred seem to exist. The hardcopy edition is of the variety that seems to be called "library bound," with the illustrated pictorial cover boards of the same artwork as found on the earlier paperbound edition.

I like the feel of this hardcover edition, and I appreciate that Simon and Schuster came out with a long-lasting version of the book. Since I use Cryptozoology A to Z myself for reference all the time, this hard edition does have a sturdier and longer life to it. But, of course, it is a rare bird, and will disappear quicker than Steller's Sea Cow, now that it has been discovered.

Anyway, end of the search on that one for me. Back to other books and other cryptids...

Best wishes