Sunday, July 1, 2012

Summer Reading

I’ve been building up a stack of new fiction that I ought to start getting around to reading. Here are a few I’ve got in the queue. If you’ve read any of them you can let me know what you think I ought to check out first.

My most recent purchase is the new novel by China Mieville. Railsea seems to be a riff on Moby Dick where giant moles are hunted by train on a (maybe) post-apocalyptic terrain crisscrossed by railroad tracks. An interesting setting idea, I think, and Mieville seldom disappoints in that regard.

I picked up Southern Gods by John Hornor Jacobs in Night Shade Books’ sale a few months back, but it had been on my mental list of books to buy for some time. It certainly seems Weird Adventures relevant: A Memphis DJ hires World War II vet Bull Ingram to find mysterious bluesman John Hastur, whose music (broadcast by a pirate radio station) is said to drive men insane and raise the dead.

Snake Moon (also from Night Shade) is by Ray Manzarek, formerly of The Doors. This one may be more Wampus Country that Weird Adventures--though the jacket keeps the plot a bit obscure. It involves a farmer leaving rural Tennessee in 1863, that much is clear. It’s called “a Civil War-era parable of Eden.” It’s got a Mike Mignola cover which probably was the main thing enticing me to by it.

So that’s it for now--though or Goolge+ Pulp Fantasy book club promises to inject some old favorites. And it’s only July.


Tallgeese said...

Railsea is on my reading table with a stack from top to bottom that goes like this:
George Griffith's Around the World in 65 Days
Victor Serge's Memoirs of a Revolutionary
Railsea (keep in mind that "The Old Mole" was also Marx's metaphor for the recurrent idea of socialism)
Mary Geltle's The Black Opera
Vandermeer's new anthology The Weird

Trey said...

@John - Ah! Interesting point on Marx and the Mole.

I read the VandeMeers' first New Weird anthology (though, like all anthologies, it's uneven). I need to check this new one out.

Tallgeese said...

The new one includes a number of 19th C. classics; very worthwhile.

Ray Rousell said...

Some interesting sounding books, I never knew Ray Manzarek was an author???

Gothridge Manor said...

Sounds very cool. I may have to check out one or two of those myself.

Sean Robson said...

I've never read anything by China Mieville, but I've been meaning too for ages. Lately I've resolved to finally read all those authors and books that I've been meaning to for years. Right now I'm working on E.E. Smith's Lensmen stories, which I've been putting off since childhood. Next up will be Manly Wade Wellman, then maybe some China Mieville to round out the July reading list. Southern Gods looks really intriguing, too.

One of the things I love about your blog are the many excellent reading suggestions.

Trey said...

@Ray - Well, since I haven't read it, I can't say if he's much of one. ;)

@Sean - Thanks. If you do get around to reading any Mieville, let me suggest The City and the City. I think it's his best, though taking place in the modern world, it may be less D&D relevant. Smith I've tried to like but he tends to lose me. Wellman I enjoy.

Sean Robson said...

Gotta admit, I'm not too fond of 'Doc' Smith, either, but I feel like I need to see the Lensmen stories through because of their historical significance to the space opera genre.

Thanks for the recommendation: I'll give The City and the City a try.

The Happy Whisk said...

Happy Summer Reading. Ah, that's the good stuff, summer reading.

Meanwhile, I still have to read my last issue of Dairy of Whimpy Kid that I bought last fall.

I was saving it during the winter for a snowstorm day off, but we hardly had any snow. Guess I'll have to turn it into summer reading.

Great series.

Tallgeese said...

@Rey and Trey: I have read good reviews of Ray , and considering that I love The Doors it's surprising to me that I never picked it up. Ray was always considered the evil genius behind the band, so it may be good. Manzarek would be an awfully good name for a wizard, too, I have to admit. May have to steal it.

Trey said...

@John - Funny you should mention that, because a friend of mine did play a MU named Manzarek.

Canageek said...

Has anyone else here read the Nero Wolfe books? I'm working my way through them, and the ABC Television series.

Trey said...

I have not. Are they any good?

Canageek said...

Quite good if you like detective fiction. Not dissimilar to the Sherlock Holmes books, but with a very different style. I like them, as they give you a good view into the technology that was available at the time, for example, I would have never guessed rubber bands were common in the 1930s.