Review copies since last we spoke

Tor Books’ publicity department has sent me unexpected bounty – half of which I already have in ARC, and at least one of which I have no desire to read at all. (Benford and Niven’s Shipstar.)

Supervised by an interested Vladimir...

Supervised by an interested Vladimir…

So that’s Elizabeth Bear’s excellent STELES OF THE SKY; Rjurik Davidson’s certainly-not-to-my-taste UNWRAPPED SKY; Melanie Rawn’s THORNLOST, third book in a series; Tom Doyle’s military fantasy AMERICAN CRAFTSMEN; Sharon Lynn Fisher’s science fiction romance THE OPHELIA PROPHECY; and Benford and Niven’s SHIPSTAR.

Rjurik Davidson’s UNWRAPPED SKY

Reviewed over at

Unwrapped Sky takes all the creative power of language and sets it in service of hollow symbols of dissolution and decay. It turns revolution into a directionless treatise on corrupted wills and compromised moralities: its characters are more symbols than affective individuals.

Yeah. We didn’t really get along.

More review books

When I scheduled today’s post, the postperson (actually, the UPS person) had not yet arrived.

So there is presently an addendum.

Tor and Orbit are really quite generous to me. Still not at all used to that.

Tor and Orbit are really quite generous to me. Still not at all used to that.

In no particular order: Jane Lindskold, ARTEMIS AWAKENING; Jamie Lee Moyer, A BARRICADE IN HELL; A.M. Dellamonica, CHILD OF A HIDDEN SEA; Greg van Eekhout, CALIFORNIA BONES; Brian McClellan, PROMISE OF BLOOD; Max Gladstone, FULL FATHOM FIVE; and Karl Schroeder, LOCKSTEP.

The first three are relevant to the SWM column for, and I hope to read fast enough to cover them there in good time. Then there’s the fact that a friend has challenged me to read and blog about McClellan and Cameron over the summer – desiring, I suppose, to distract me from work by encouraging me to do MORE work – and I suppose I’ll see, eventually, if anyone wants to pay me for reviews of van Eekhout, Gladstone, or Schroeder.

Or if I can manage to read them. I’m having awful trouble with Rjurik Davidson’s Unwrapped Sky, I don’t mind telling you: the world-building seems as though it ought to be shiny, but the characters wander around being sad and morally compromised and acting more like symbols than real people, as though for all its talk of workers and oppression there’s no real fire in its belly. As of page 120 (of 400-odd) it’s far from the most compelling thing I’ve started reading lately, and I keep wanting to cheat on it with history books.