Want to try out some really good books ridiculously cheaply? Head over to Wizard's Tower Books, an ebookstore specialising on speculative fiction and run by the wonderful Cheryl Morgan. Give it a try, it is easy. The books are DRM free, and you can read them on any platform you like. I've got them on my phone, laptop and Jukka's iPad and they work swimmingly. I'll even give you tech support if this is your first time at the ebook rodeo.
There is a Finnish shopping spree thing today, which is why I will head on over there to get some more much needed reading materials, but first I like to recommend stuff that I already have, most of it bought from Wizard Tower Books.
I have read Karin's swedish collection of short stories "Vem är Arvid Pekon?", and fell instantly in love. To put it mildly, short stories are not my thing, but Karin's weird and wonderful stories instantly grabbed my imagination. There has been nothing this wonderful published in the genre for ages. Karin has translated the stories to English herself, so you get an authentic experience even with the english stories.
OK, the cover is not inviting, I grant you, but inside is a great YAish growing up novel about a young noble who has to reorient his life when he goes to school to a neighbouring kingdom's rough military academy. I have a soft spot for school stories, and this prequel to Court Duel and Crown Duel (no previous knowledge needed, though) is a corker. The dynamics between character, the politics of the situation and the learning process of the students are all well depicted and there is even a dark menace lurking in the backround.
These are the best fantasy detective stories I know. I love the world, I love the story telling and I am not let down with the mystery. The murders and other crimes are all solved within the rules of the fantasy world (which includes astrology, ghosts and alchemy), and the reader never feels cheated. Besides, Rathe and Eslingen are great detective team and their romance is wonderfully understatedly real.
Some of Sussex stories are so borderline genre that they aren't. But they are all interesting, well written tales of womens lives, relatable even when they tell about ancient Babylon or soulsucking vampiric writers. Again, even thought short stories aren't my thing, these were well worth the time.
You know how fannish histories sometimes are a bit grandiose? Seven people have an argument and three of them go to another hotel room and you have a major fannish split? (I am exaggerating but not that much...) This isn't one of them. Merricks book is important, well written, engaging, thought provoking look at feminisms in Science Fiction through writers, fans, editors.
One of my favourite writers returns after a painful illness with this well written story about an artist who dies for a bit, and finds he can travel the land between life and death. What I have always loved about McAvoy's writing is how she writes about big fantastical, life changing action stuff in a way that makes it seem real and even mundane. I believe her.
Also you can support editor Neil Clarke by buying his Clarkesworld magazines from Wizard Tower Books. It is a very good magazine, I appreciate especially because its commitment to great non-fiction articles about the genre (remember what I said about the short stories...). I'd go for example for issues 70 (Ekaterine Sedia: The Exceptional Smurfette), 60 (Daniel Abraham: Another World: Assimilation, Multiculturalism and Me), 58 (Daniel M Kimmell: So This is the Way the World ended) , 44 (Ryan Britt: Stranger than Science Fiction: Into the Alternative Dimension of Mainstream Literature) or 31 (Joyce Frohn: Where Is My Flying Car? The Future of Personal Aviation)