Agony Column Home
Agony Column Review Archive

This Just In....News from The Agony Column

09-10-03: Scott Nicholson Returns with 'The Harvest'

Scott Nicholson Returns with 'The Harvest'

Where's the foil?

Scott Nicholson, who wrote the last year's enjoyable 'The Red Church' is back with 'The Harvest' a novel he calls "'Deliverance' meets 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers'". While that might sound sort of like a chocolate martini, I'm sure Scott handles it with his usual style and sense of place. Once again, we're in the Appalachians; green glows, random telepathy, moonshiners and millionaires. "I feel like the 'Deliverance' banjo boy with a typewriter...It's the outsiders you have to keep an eye on."

09-09-03: Fortean Times and Cemetery Dance, Lambshead & Booksense, New Heinlein Novel for November, Book Junk and Spaceship Dimensions

Fortean Times and Cemetery Dance

A very nice Edward Miller-like painting from Jeff Sturgeon.

I hope readers will bear with me as I slowly spiral back to reality, such as it is. I hope to have the final Worldcon column out later today, but the way things are looking it may be Thursday. Rest assured I'll follow up on a number of dangling threads. I took notes.

The latest issue of Cemetery Dance has just arrived, and I must say I'm pleased. My interview with F. Paul Wilson leads the issue, and his tense and terrorizing story 'Feral' follows. Fiction by Elizabeth Engstrom, Jeffrey Thomas, Tony Richards, Harry Shannon and Jack Slay, Jr. follows, with the usual column contributions of Paula Guran, Michael Marano, Ed Gorman and Thomas F. Monteleone. Check out Paula's review of a new John Shirley book that sounds particularly good titled 'Crawlers'.

Who need SF magazines when you have FT?

And once again, the Fortean Times demonstrates why you can let all your SF magazine subscriptions lapse and just pick up with FT. Sense of wonder, imagination and wilder hairs in places you never thought to exist; it's all there in Fortean Times. Their book review section will give you titles you'll know you need. How can you resist Bernard Heuvelmans' 'The Kraken and the Colossal Octopus'? You can't, can you? From aquatic apes to Yeti urine, this magazine covers the world in a way no other publication dares. Consensus reality is being tweaked daily. No reason not to give it an additional twist or two.

Lambshead & Booksense

Advance reading copy; bug your local independent bookstore to carry this wonderfully weird anthology.

'The Thackery T. Lambshead Pocket Guide to Eccentric and Discredited Diseases' is now available to Booksense Independent Bookstores. We'd love to get this in the Booksense 76, and I feel it's a perfect fit; a very original, yet funny and accessible anthology with boatloads of big names, illustrations and more general weirdness than you expect to hit the shelves. Ask your bookseller about this book! Demand they carry it, then buy it. Yes, it's self serving, there should be no doubt that I'd be enthused by this venture even if I weren't in it. It's got an Agony-approved hit list of authors and a wonderful fictional-non-fiction premise.

NightShade Books isn't making enough of these things, I wager, so I'd buy early and often. There's a signed by all contributors, limited edition as well. Think of it; Mieville, Gaiman and Moorcock in one place. It's a place you want to be.

New Heinlein Novel for November

This man was too racy for his time.

It could not even be mailed.

In the tradition of L. Ron Hubbard, expect a new, never published Robert A. Heinlein novel this November. It's titled, 'For Us, The Living: A Comedy of Customs'. It was written in 1938-1939 shortly before his first SF short, 'Lifeline' and was never published; not because it wasn't good, but because it was too racy for the times. According to The Heinlein Society, it couldn't even have been shipped by the US mail. In general, Heinlein's earlier work is more appealing to me than his later work. It will include an introduction by Hugo 2003 MC Spider Robinson. and an afterward by Robert James. Threads of his later work appear in this novel, which is being published pretty much as written. A glimpse into the early writing of one of SF's greats; hard to resist.


Book Junk

None of these books will be covered in this column.

Occasionally you glean some treasure in the trash, and I had to bring you this one; book-oriented junk email spam. Beach books, join the club, 99¢. Too bad THE SUMMER IS OVER. GONE. DEAD.DEAD.DEAD. These bestsellers are in fact what most of the readers of this column are trying to get away from.

Spaceship Dimensions

In Case You needed to know, here's the web page.....

If you needed to know how big your favorite starship is in comparison to your second favorite starship, here's the web page to tell you; Starship Dimensions. It's pretty wild stuff. In case you were wondering; no Firefly vehicles yet.