One Blog Closes, Another Blog Opens

Hello!

I have a brand new website and so, as of August 2015, will blog there instead.

The new site contains most of what once lived here, but looks nicer and works better across different platforms.  It also contains plenty of new words and pictures.  I'll transfer over selected posts from Bloggery Pokery, which will remain here in its entirety as an archive of all the nonsense I squawked between 2007 and 2015.

Check out the new site here.


John Higgs: 20th Century Boy

Hey, you.  There's a great new non-fiction book out today.

It's entitled Stranger Than We Can Imagine: Making Sense Of The Twentieth Century and has been written by the twisted genius that is John Higgs.

You may well already know John's work from his hilarious and emotive head-fuck fiction (The Brandy Of The Damned and The First Church On The Moon) and/or his mesmerising non-fiction (The KLF: Chaos, Magic And The Band Who Burned A Million Pounds and I Have America Surrounded: The Life Of Timothy Leary)

I have totally read Stranger Than We Can Imagine: Making Sense Of The Twentieth Century and can tell you it's extraordinary.  John has the rare talent of being able to convey a clear-headed overview on complex events and concepts (even quantum physics, for Christ's sake), while weaving a unique narrative and making you laugh, all while utterly shunning the sandpaper-dryness which afflicts so much academic work.  This book not only makes sense of the 20th Century: it sheds light on what in the blue blazes is going on right now.

Buy it, I tell you.  And also be advised that there's a London launch party for the book tomorrow (August 28, 2015), with free entry for all.  See you there.

Stranger Than We Can Imagine... at Amazon UK

Stranger Than We Can Imagine... at Amazon US

I'm only too happy to bask in John's reflected glory, by pointing out that he and I released a joint Kindle book a while back, which bundles his Brandy Of The Damned with my novella Beast In The Basement.  Obviously, then, it's called Brandy In The Basement (UK / US)

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The Week In Genre Books - August 21 2015

Yes, it's the second in this series of irregular posts.  Whenever I feel like it and have enough time in any given week, I'll list some new genre (fantasy, horror, SF) releases out that day.  For the sake of simplicity, I'm focusing solely on 'trad-published' novels and, even then, the list will be far from exhaustive: mainly stuff on my radar.  Please feel free to quack about any egregious trad-pub genre omissions in comments!  Let's go: what's out this week?

ZER0ES - Chuck Wendig (Harper Voyager)

You know Chuck Wendig, right?  The man is a book-writing and advice-giving MACHINE and if you don't read him, you're missing out.  Along with his forthcoming novel Star Wars: Aftermath, this high-octane cyber-thriller represents Wendig's well-deserved shift into the mainstream, while forfeiting none of that essential Wendigery-pokery. 

BLURB:

An exhilarating thrill-ride through the underbelly of cyber espionage in the vein of David Ignatius’s The Director and the television series Leverage, CSI: Cyber, and Person of Interest, which follows five iconoclastic hackers who are coerced into serving the U.S. government.

An Anonymous-style rabble rouser, an Arab spring hactivist, a black-hat hacker, an old-school cipherpunk, and an online troll are each offered a choice: go to prison or help protect the United States, putting their brains and skills to work for the government for one year.

But being a white-hat doesn’t always mean you work for the good guys. The would-be cyberspies discover that behind the scenes lurks a sinister NSA program, an artificial intelligence code-named Typhon, that has origins and an evolution both dangerous and disturbing. And if it’s not brought down, will soon be uncontrollable.

Can the hackers escape their federal watchers and confront Typhon and its mysterious creator? And what does the government really want them to do? If they decide to turn the tables, will their own secrets be exposed—and their lives erased like lines of bad code?

Combining the scientific-based, propulsive narrative style of Michael Crichton with the eerie atmosphere and conspiracy themes of The X-Files and the imaginative, speculative edge of Neal Stephenson and William Gibson, Zer0es explores our deep-seated fears about government surveillance and hacking in an inventive fast-paced novel sure to earn Chuck Wendig the widespread acclaim he deserves.


Chuck Wendig: Site | Twitter


THE PARADOX (OVERSIGHT TRILOGY) - Charlie Fletcher (Orbit)

The much-awaited historical fantasy sequel to The Oversight, which was hailed as "the start of something amazing" by The Girl With All The Gifts author M.R Carey, who clearly knows an amazing thing when he reads or writes one.

BLURB:

SOMETIMES YOU LOOK IN THE MIRROR - SOMETIMES IT LOOKS BACK.

Those who belong to the secret society called The Oversight know many things. They know cold iron will hold back the beasts in the darkness. They know it is dangerous to stand between two mirrors. And they know that, despite their dwindling numbers, it remains their duty to protect humanity from the predations of the supernatural. And vice versa.

But two of the society's strongest members, Mr Sharp and Sara Falk, are trapped in the world between the mirrors, looking for each other, searching for a way back home. What they discover there will have ominous consequences both for The Oversight and the world it protects, effects that will make them question everything they thought they knew.

The dark waters rise. The candle is guttering. But the light still remains. For now . . .


Charlie Fletcher: Site | Twitter 


SLASHER GIRLS & MONSTER BOYS - April Genevieve Tucholke (Dial Books)

Okay, okay, you got me - I chose this one because the cover and title are really cool.  But that's so often how books reel you in.  Besides, this YA horror anthology looks rather good in all respects and editor/contributor Tucholke has strong past form, having written Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea and its sequel Between The Spark And The Burn for Penguin.

BLURB:

For fans of Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, American Horror Story and The Walking Dead comes a powerhouse anthology featuring some of the best thriller and horror writers in YA

A host of the sharpest young adult authors come together in this collection of terrifying tales and psychological thrillers. Each author draws from a mix of literature, film, television, and music to create something new and fresh and unsettling. Clever readers will love teasing out the references and can satisfy their curiosity at the end of each tale, where the inspiration is revealed. There are no superficial scares here; these are stories that will make you think even as they keep you on the edge of your seat. From blood horror, to the supernatural, to unsettling, all-too-possible realism, this collection has something for anyone looking for an absolute thrill.

Stefan Bachmann, Leigh Bardugo, Kendare Blake, A. G. Howard, Jay Kristoff, Marie Lu, Jonathan Maberry, Danielle Paige, Carrie Ryan, Megan Shepherd, Nova Ren Suma, McCormick Templeman, April Genevieve Tucholke, Cat Winters


April Genevieve Tucholke: Site 


Okay, that's all I have time for, folks.  What have I missed in genre trad-publishing this week?  Quack about it in comments below!


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