I just received three packages from Amazon.com and Amazon.ca today. The strange thing is that I ordered the Canadian and the American books on the same day, and they arrived simultaneously (I guess it is still easy for books to cross the border). Among the loot were three books that I am trying not to drool over or on.
- Inside Job by Connie Willis: First, Connie Willis is one of my favourite authors, especially for such great work as The Doomsday Book (a Hugo and Nebula winner), Fire Watch (ditto and ditto), The Last of the Winnebagos (trio and trio?), Passages, and Lincoln's Dreams (a wonderful love story). In this short novella, she follows a pair trying to investigate and debunk some spiritualists. The reviews are great, and the story looks like a lot of fun.
- The Essential Ellison by Harlan Ellison: This man is one of the best short story writers in science fiction and fantasy in the late great twentieth century. He has won more major awards than I can count, has done amazing scripts for major TV series, and has screamed to high heaven when they don't get it right. He wrote "The City on the Edge of Forever", considered by many, including me, to be the best original Star Trek episode. He was a major contributor to the Babylon 5 series, one of the most innovative and best TV series in the history of science fiction. finally, he created and edited "Dangerous Visions", possibly the best collection of truly artistic science fiction in memory. Back to the book: this 1250 page tome includes much of his best work over the last 50 years, including his short fiction, essays, scripts, diatribes, and personal thoughts. One interesting aspect of Ellison is his social responsibility and his ability to hold his own against anyone in iambic pentameter, and this comes out very well in this book. I've only skimmed it, but I am really looking forward to re-reading
- Life Hutch
- I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream (a lifetime favourite)
- The Whimper of Whipped Dogs
- The Prowler in the City at the Edge of the World
- Shattered Like a Glass Goblin
- "Repent, Harlequin!", said the Ticktockman
- A Boy and his Dog
- The Man Who Was Heavily Into Revenge
- The Deathbird
- Manna from Heaven by Roger Zelazny: Like Ellison, Zelazny is a great short story writer. Neil Gaiman considers him to be one of the major influences in his writing style. Unlike Ellison, he also likes to write the occasional novel, and he's almost as good at this. His most famous series of novels are the Amber books, which posit our world and an infinity of others as distant distorted reflections of the true existence in Amber. His writing is thoughtful, spare, with as much being implied as said. There is also a feeling of poetry and fantasy in all of his works. Some of his better short story collections include Four for Tomorrow, The Doors of His Face, The Lamps of His Mouth And Other Stories, Unicorn Variations, and The Last Defender of Camelot. A favourite novella is Damnation Alley (Hollywood made a really crappy movie based on this great work which addresses personal responsibility and integrity versus character). The collection Manna From Heaven includes 5 Amber short stories and 16 others, including 6 that have never been collected before. I'm looking forward to it and I will let you know.
More books to put into Librarything. 😦 😎