Promote Something Awesome That Will Make Us Squeesplode

It’s another pimp something you love post.

Let’s keep it to books, this time.

Tell us about a book — preferably one you’ve read recently or that’s coming out recently — that you dig so much you have to tell us about it or you’ll squeesplode all over the damn Internets.

And yes, I just made up a word, “squeesplode.”

Please spread it widely and with wanton disregard for good manners.

One thing you wanna pimp. Tell us what it is, by whom, and why you dig it.

And not by you. But by someone else.

Here’s mine:

DEAD THINGS by Stephen Blackmoore.

Urban fantasy by way of Richard Kadrey and Jim Butcher. Grimmer stuff, I think, than his debut, CITY OF THE LOST, but still funny at times, too. It’s about magic, and the power and sacrifices one makes with that magic — and one of those sacrifices may involve cozying up to Santa Muerte, which is not a goddess you really want to cozy up to. It’s got murder, mages, and ghosts aplenty. It’s really bad-ass and I want you to read it.

Oh! And two more books in the series will be on the way, too. (CITY OF THE LOST takes place in the same world with the same rules but only has very minor crossover into DEAD THINGS.)

Click here to check it out (you can even read the first chapter there).

Your turn!

39 comments

  • Road of Skulls, by Josh Reynolds. It’s a Gotrek & Felix novel, set in the Warhammer universe of decidedly dark fantasy. It’s got a lot going for it:

    – The story is very accessible to new readers. Gotrek & Felix have been long-term staples of Warhammer fiction, but this book is sort of a refresh for them. You don’t need to read any of the old stories to enjoy it.

    – The writing is flipping excellent.

    – There is a lot of blood and violence and humor and grumpy dwarfs.

    It’s available as a print and eBook, and you can read an extract here.

  • I’m not big into poetry. There are some that I like; my dad was very into Shakespeare, and Patti Smith’s “Babel” came out when I was just the right age for angry poetry.

    Poetry that tells a story was something that I wasn’t aware of, even though it’s a very old form. Science Fiction poetry is also something that’s new to me.

    I met a fascinating Australian SF poet pagan bellydancing yoga instructor at the last Denver WorldCon, and was thrilled when she announced that her “little book of poems” was going to be published, with artwork by “my friend Bob”.

    I ordered a signed copy, and nearly had my head explode when her friend Bob turned out to be Hugo award winning Bob Eggleton (turns out that that was the Bob that I was standing there talking to, who I knew as ‘Marianne’s hubby’).

    Also, it was blurbed by RAY MOTHERFUCKING BRADBURY.

    If you’re inclined to, check it out on the publisher’s site here:
    http://www.pspublishing.co.uk/stanza-poetry-6-a-woman-of-mars-signed-hc-by-helen-patrice-416-p.asp

    I would suggest getting it there. Some of the markup I’ve seen at other locations is ridiculous.

  • Larry Correia’s “Grimnoir Chronicles” books: Hard Magic and Spellbound.

    The covers are horribly deceptive. They are neither noir nor mystery. There are superheroes (kind of), Imperial Japanese (kind of), lots of pulp action (and how), and no Nazis at all (?!). The characters are interesting, the action flat-out hums along, and there is plenty of “world building” to pull you into wanting to learn more about what’s going on.

    You can get them through Baen Books’ web site for the low, low price of $6 apiece in e-book form. I think they’re a bargain.

  • This weekend, I took a break from reading fiction to binge on a new book by David Hooper. It’s called “Six-Figure Musician – How to Sell More Music, Get More People to Your Shows, and Make More Money in the Music Business”.

    It may seem like an odd choice, but if you’re a musician and want to make (even just a slight) living with your music or just bring in enough money to justify the time and money you put into making music, you know how hard it can be to stay motivated. When I finished reading the book I was more excited than I had been in a long time. Most of the book is about mindset–how to get focused, how to use your individuality to your advantage, understanding why people buy music and become loyal fans, etc, etc. He also gives a fair amount of actionable how-to suggestions as well.

    If you’re like me–someone who has various creative projects going on and loves writing and who also creates music but doesn’t always like the marketing side of things–I think you’d really appreciate this book.

    You can get details about the book and check out David Hooper’s blog (he’s been blogging for many years) at http://www.musicmarketing.com

  • So, quite some time ago, I was in this writing contest that led me to a blog where I found out about Suzanne von Rooyen and found an extremely fascinating few paragraphs of a WIP. I stalked the hell out of that thing, and when it found its way into print you can bet I ordered that shit as soon as I could. I haven’t anticipated anything quite that keenly since Harry Potter. And I wasn’t disappointed.

    Here’s the deets: The book is called Obscura Burning, and it’s a YA sci-fi sort of in the vein of Donnie Darko. And it’s set near Shiprock, NM, which is a place near-and-dear to me since I grew up near there.

    It’s dark and witty and *smart*, some of the tightest plotting I’ve seen in a while (and one of the only books in recent memory that really did keep me guessing up to the last page). You can see my full review (and others) on the Amazon page. I really don’t read much YA, but this was well worth checking out.

    http://www.amazon.com/Obscura-Burning-ebook/dp/B00AJP6RIU

  • I absolutely have to pimp The Arrival by Shaun Tan. It is one of the most delicious books I have ever, er, ‘read’. The Arrival is a silent story, comprised of pages of gorgeous illustrations, about an immigrant trying to find his way in a new, confusing land. Even though it has no words, I have always found this to be a book that speaks very strongly to me.

    http://www.amazon.com/Arrival-Shaun-Tan/dp/0439895294
    http://www.shauntan.net/books/the-arrival.html

  • A couple of years ago I was making my way through a podcast of Australian speculative fiction (the Terra Incognita Speculative Fiction podcast – http://www.tisf.com.au) and I came across the story Smoking, Waiting for the Dawn by Jason Nahrung. It was vampires in the Australian outback – gritty but with an authentic, Australian feel that I loved. I’ve been waiting for Nahrung to write a novel with the same sensibility even since.

    He just did.

    It’s called Blood and Dust and has been released relatively recently in eBook form through Australian publisher Xoum.

    http://www.xoum.com.au/shop/blood-and-dust/

    I did a full review on my website or Goodreads but I’ll give you the short version here – bloody brilliant!

    -m

  • I just finished “A Memory of Light” and I think that Brandon Sanderson did a fantastic job finishing Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time. Twenty years in the making! Who lives? Who dies? I’m not gonna tell.

  • I can’t wait for the first book in Deanna Raybourn’s new series. It’s called A SPEAR OF SUMMER GRASS, and it births in the wild on the same day as my next book, which means we’re twins, dammit. April 30. 1920s Africa. And the cover’s divine. If you haven’t read her Lady Julia series, it’s a lovely Victorian mystery/romance and can be bought by the bundle for e-readers.

  • Recently, the sainted Malcolm Tucker resigned from his job, leaving us all bereft. Malcolm, as played by Peter Capaldi, is the star of the TV series and the film “In The Loop,” which depicts the start of a war in the middle east, brought about by incompetence, jealousy and misunderstanding.
    Armando Ianucci wrote the series, and coined the word that has recently entered the dictionaries as the new word of the year. I think we should promote that word because it’s so apropos. “Omnishambles.”
    And here’s a clip from “In The Loop,” where Malcolm meets an American general, played by James Gandolfini.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VwGZinTeodc
    Watch the film. Even better, see the untramelled Malcolm in the series.

  • I don’t have many new books under my belt so, on the not-so-new side here are two books I think need more love.
    Starfish by Peter Watts. Sci-fi in the deep sea! Sentient mind gel! Funny chest pumps that let you breath underwater! http://www.rifters.com/real/STARFISH.htm

    Twisted Metal by Tony Ballantyne Future robot wars! Humans are no where to be found and a complete non issue! Diverse robot culture! http://www.amazon.com/Twisted-Metal-Penrose-Tony-Ballantyne/dp/0330478869

  • I’ve squeed this book ever since I read it. IN A PERFECT WORLD by Laura Kasischke. http://www.amazon.com/In-Perfect-World-A-Novel/dp/B003F76INI/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1359985402&sr=8-2&keywords=in+a+perfect+world I picked it up thinking it would be a feel-good love story, and in fact, there is sort of a weird love story in the beginning, but after I read in a few chapters where the world begins to go hay-wire and Britney Spears dies in an epidemic (yeah, I scratched my head over that one too, but later it makes sense), The main character, a rather spoiled woman named Jiselle, becomes stuck as step-mother to children who hate her, but she ends up becoming their savior when the The World as We Know It comes to an end, and there’s no food, gas, electricity, and it’s every man for himself. GRIPPING. YOU MUST READ THIS.

  • The Enterprise of Death by Jesse Bullington is one of my favourite books of all time. It’s completely batshit brilliant, dark and grotesque and twisted and warm and human and wonderful. It starts off as what seems as a rich historical novel about a princess and her slave girl sailing across the sea to marry the king of Spain and then… goes crazy. Necromancy! Cloven hooved witches! Demon dogs! Sweary soldier-artists! Love! Blunderbusses! It’s like nothing I’ve ever read. Dark as hell, but with so much goddamn heart. Jesse’s new book, Folly of the World is out at the moment and I love that too, but EoD, man. I LOVE that book.

  • Meg Gardner’s “China Lake”. It is the first in a series. I read all 5 in the series in 5 days. The action is non-stop and the heroine is totally relatable. She also has another series, but this one is my fave.

  • Okay, promise not to laugh? I squeesplode over the Avery Cates books by Jeff Somers. I have a mad crazy crush on assassin Avery though he is the furthest thing from a romantic hero ever written. These books are non-stop action and so far outside my normal reading comfort zone, I still can’t believe I read them, let alone love them.

    Also, County Line by Bill Cameron. This book is like Inception and messes with your head. There’s a story wrapped in a story. It’s part Skin Kadash sequel, part YA, and all amazing.

  • A Fistful of Rain, by Greg Rucka. It’s the one of Rucka’s books that I have gotten signed. A Fistful of Rain is a standalone novel — though he did write the sequel in the second series of the comic book, Stumptown — about fame, family, and self-doubt.

    The magic, the glory of Rucka’s novels is that he never, ever forgets that every single character in his books is a real person. He never forgets that each character has a personality, motivations, feelings, reactions, thoughts and action that have NOTHING to do with the plot he is pursuing. All of his characters are rich, full personalities. This makes all of his work — novels, comics, short stories, whatever — incredibly rewarding.

    The second fantastic thing about Rucka’s work, and this is evident in A Fistful of Rain, is that he writes women I should *never ever* date. Glorious, charismatic, intelligent, driven women. Mmyesss.

  • I seem to have recently developed an addiction to a type of book that can best be described as ‘Spunky Victorian Woman in some kind of trouble’. The trouble can be supernatural or not, it doesn;t matter to me.

    Anyway, I recently picked up The Painted Bridge by Wendy Wallace which fits securely into that niche. The description seemed like it was designed to appeal to me – False Imprisonment! Asylums! Vaguely surreal! Madness! Secrets!

    I feel as if this entire sub-genre is filling the hole in my heart that opened when I realised that almost no-one was publishing Gothic Romances any more and if, like me, you like Spunky Victorian Women in Trouble you would probably like this one quite a lot.

  • I’ve just finished reading “Leviathan Wakes”, by James S. A. Corey. Epic Sci-Fi goodness with two very solid protagonists and a cast of pretty good characters besides. The tech is unique and interesting, and the setting oozing conflict.

    I highly suggest it.

  • Thank you, sir! I’m honored.

    Check is in the mail.

    I’d like to toss out something that’s been around for a while, but I’m only finally getting into it. The comic SCALPED by Jason Aaron and R. M. Guéra. It’s THE WIRE if it were set on an a poverty-stricken Lakota reservation in South Dakota.

    It’s the story of Dashiell Bad Horse, who returns to the reservation he grew up on after a fifteen year absence and gets brought on as an enforcer for Lincoln Red Crow, the Oglala Tribal Council president as the tribe is getting ready to open up a multi-million dollar casino. Turns out Bad Horse is actually an FBI undercover agent sent in to take down Red Crow. Only there’s a hell of a lot more going on than he realizes. He’s caught in the middle of old tribal rivalries, family dramas, an FBI agent with an axe to grind and his own conflicted feelings of being back home.

    I’m only a few issues in but it grabs you by the balls from the first panel and doesn’t let go. The writing is superb and the art captures the harshness of the environment. Fantastic work. Really recommend picking this up.

  • I’m about to Squeesplode all over the Interwebs about a new romance called What Happens in Scotland. I read it about a year ago in manuscript form and knew it would sell before the editor bought it. Jennifer McQuiston has this crisp, beautiful voice that’s well suited to historicals and this one is SO fresh. For crying out loud it pays homage to The Hangover. It comes out Feb 26th, and I’m about to pee myself. Even though I’ve already read the thing.

  • I’m waiting for the next episodes of the latest Scalzi epic in his “Old Man’s War” universe, “The Human Division”. Bought the first one on Kindle, and downloaded the audible version. Damn the man for making me wait.

  • Haven’t quite finished it yet, but I’m loving “Little Century” by Anna Keesey. Great to have a western book with a female protagonist.

  • The Way of Shadows as well as the entirety of the Night Angel Trilogy was easily one of the best fantasy books I have ever had the pleasure of reading. While it is gritty and dark, there is more than enough character development to make your eyes water. Brent Weeks knows his shit.

  • I gotta go with THERE ARE ALIENS BEHIND URANUS, MR PRESIDENT, but Emerson LaSalle (Victor Gischler). A direct sequel to “LaSalle’s” short story “Harry Truman vs. the Aliens”, this is both a parody of old star-spanning space opera and a loving homage. Plus it’s damn funny. And X-rated. The scene in which everybody gets violently ill in zero-G is about the funniest thing I’ve read all year.

  • Cover of Snow, by Jenny Milchman, literary thriller that I could not put down. New release. Debut novel, a voice I really loved, a true example of setting acting as character in a story—chilling, and some twists and turns I didn’t quite ever get the jump on. She’s got cover quotes by Nancy Pickard, Harlan Coben, and Lee Child, among others.

  • Kevin Kearne Iron Druid series.
    Reminiscent of Simon R Green’s Nightside books. If you like that style of present mixed with dieties, vamps, werewolves etc. Dark but not, so flippant that you WIll laugh out loud. The Iron Druid Series will tickle your reader bones.

  • Necessity’s Child by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. I’ve been reading the Liaden Universe novels for a long while and am incredibly excited by this new book! It’s a stand-alone, entry-point novel I can hand my friends without saying “oh, you have to go back and read the first one in the series.” These authors keep me up at night because I cannot put their books down–which for someone with a 9:30pm bedtime is saying a lot!

  • Shadows on the Moon by Zoe Marriott. I think I’ve pimped it before on another one of this posts but it deserves double pimpage. It’s beautifully, painfully written and contains the most accurate portrayal of depression and self-harm that I’ve seen in fiction.

  • IF YOU ARE A FANTASY FAN AND HAVE NEVER READ POISON ELVES BY DREW HAYES THEN YOU SUCK.

    Seriously, a homicidal elf with a demon clown living in his head that wanders a gutterpunk fantasy work kicking asses and taking names.

    Go check it out at your local comic shop. 98 issues of awesome.

  • THE LIES OF LOCKE LAMORA by Scott Lynch. I picked this one up in a used bookstore last summer. I wanted to tear through it to see what happens but at the same time I wanted to savor it because I didn’t want it to be over. I love the worldbuilding and I love, love, LOVE all the characters. Main characters, bit parts, women, men — EVERYONE is done really really well and I cared about all of them. To the extent that I was rooting for all sides all the time even when they were all wrong. :/

    Also, I love the way the city of Camorr is a character in its own right. One of my favorite parts of the book was a rather hilarious vignette towards the end about an uprising of whores and the privatization of prostitution, so that the whores were in charge of selling their own…wares.

    And if that doesn’t interest you, just imagine Emilia Clarke (Daenerys from Game of Thrones) as Dona Sofia. For some reason, that’s just how I pictured the character in my head. They’re planning on a movie version, and it would be beyond awesome if they considered her for the role…

    SQUEEEEEE!!!!!

  • Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey. This is good like Horns was good except there’s no question of what Stark is,he knows and tells you. The world building is thereand the action is fast-paced.This is a “hooked by the first chapter” book except there are no chapters. It was $.99 on bn.com the other day, so it won’t bust your budget either.

  • It’s hard to pick here, but I think I will recommend ‘Wake Up Deadman’ by Kim Yong-Hwan. It’s a zombie story from a unique perspective and its full of fun at the same time as being irrevocably sorrowful. It deals with some hard issues in a very light hearted way, or busts into the serious scenes with something to lighten the mood. It is what is known as a manwha and usually would only be available in Korean. Thanks to some awesome scanlation groups you can read it at the link below. This is also kind of a promotion for Batoto a fan site that does things right. They do not host things that have been licensed (thereby making it illegal to host), they always obtain permission from the original scanlation group before they post (meaning they give credit to the people who do this stuff FOR FREE- cleaning, translation, typesetting, and editing), and they give links back to the original content when possible. I hope every day that some good publisher would pick up this series for English publishing, or that the authors site wasn’t in Korean. I’d totally pay him! Anyway give it a look at least :)

    http://www.batoto.net/read/_/47446/wake-up-deadman_v1_ch1_by_easy-going-scans

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