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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Discussing Published Hooks & Books » I get bored by Amazon's "new releases."

Author Topic: I get bored by Amazon's "new releases."
Member # 9213

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To break up my long weekend on call (note: I'm doing my usual Jewish Santa so my partners can spend Christmas with their families), I once again went to Amazon.com to see what are the New Releases in SF & Fantasy.

...Dragons (enough already), vampires, werewolves, (romance with vampires and werewolves), Irish romance, superheroes (Batman), Star Wars, miltary SF, and...Angry Birds?


Somehow Bradbury's FAHRENHEIT 451 is in the top 40 (a great book, but not "new"), and the new Stephen King DARK TOWER novel is listed (though it will not be released to the end of April).

There is little new that interests me.

Where are the Larry Niven's and Gordon Dickson's and Roger Zelazny's; the Jack Vance's and Gene Wolfe's and Philip K Dick's: the Asimov's, Clarke's and Brin's; the Bradbury's,Farmer's and Silverberg's; the Ellison's, Davidson's. and Sturgeon's--even the Burrough's, Bradley's, de Camp's, Leiber's, and Moorcock's; the Dunsany's, Poe's, and Clark Ashton Smith's?

Perhaps it is me. I'm older and it takes more to inspire my wonder and delight than it did when in my youth. How avidly I once sought out and devoured the preceding vunder-makers.

Thankfully, I still have my treasure horde of books, that are now (many decades passing) fading to memories. Yet, when the house is quiet, they whisper to me of the stories I once enjoyed and could again. Yes, I have my horde that I've cared for and guarded for years upon years....like a dragon?

Dr. Bob

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Taking a short break from my week goals to say:

It sounds from your listing that I would mostly agree with you, Dr. Bob. I haven't read that many Dragon stories lately so I would check those stories/novels out. Vampire and/or werewolf romances don't interest me unless the novel was by Coral from here. Angry Birds, I heard they were coming out with a novel about them. Having never played the game I might check it out just to see how the writer did it but don't know if I would read it. Superheros I'm not that interested in but military SF I might very well be.

You might find some of the writers you mentioned on the new book list at Barnes and Noble. Obviously many of those would not have new books out but a few might and others would be listed among the older books. And you might find a couple who write like them.

Which reminds me I need to buy Coral's book. Could do that during my next break.

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Well, Dragons are almost always good. I'm not against vampires and werewolves per se but I do have mixed feelings about them largely on various historical and ontological levels. As you say most recent vampire stories focus on romance, but few if any ever really challenge the spiritual nature or reasons behind such a phenomena.

I did a bit of reading amongst newer stuff during the reading binge I went on this year and wasn't exactly disappointed but not really ultra thrilled either.

Wait, there's a new Dark Tower book?

Anyway...have you tried Neil Gaiman? I think you might enjoy his stuff. I've also been reading China Mieville, a somewhat "newer" author (kind of) though I'm not sure if your taste runs to darker stuff as much of his tends to be or has elements thereof.

Also, although it isn't written fiction, if you've got the ho-hums about current content of stuff I really recommend checking out some Asian cinema and anime. There is way way more to it than what most people think of (Dragon Ball Z, Pokemon) and indeed a lot of it draws off of Western European traditions, Eastern European horror tropes and such like with new spins and innovations. There's even some titles that explore Judaism related stuff like Evangelion as I'd mentioned to you before and a couple of others with those influences (Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood springs to mind, and also X although that has more influence from Christian Echatology than anything.)

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Have you tried Lois McMaster Bujold?

For science fiction, her Vorkosigan Saga is great.

For fantasy, my favorite is THE CURSE OF CHALION, but PALLADIN OF SOULS is just as good. Her Sharing Knife series (BEGUILED, LEGACY, PASSAGE, and HORIZON) are very good, too--and not set in the traditional medieval fantasy setting. No dragons in any of those. In fact, THE CURSE OF CHALION and PALLADIN OF SOULS explore religious themes and the concept of free will as much as anything. And The Sharing Knife series has a very interesting take on what is required to slay monsters, as well as the dangers of getting a little too wrapped up in tradition.

If you don't mind going YA, Kristen Cashore's GRACELING is very good. And I loved Scott Westerfeld's steampunk series: LEVIATHAN, BEHEMOTH, and GOLIATH.

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Robert Nowall
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You're right...the list seems composed of derivative ripoffs. And Angry Birds?

Ah, well...I'll just have to rely on the older books till something better turns up in the new...

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(1) Keeping with the season, "Yes, Virginia, there is a new Dark Tower book...I mean Santa Claus." THE WIND THROUGH THE KEYHOLE will be out in April (this is one series I spend the big$ to collect, so I've known about it for a while). It takes place during the events of the third or fourth books. See: https://secure.grantbooks.com/z-sk-dt-twttk.html
(2) Yes, I do like Neil Gaimen, whom I've followed since Sandman #1 (1988). His NEVERWHERE, STARDUST, AMERICAN GODS, CORALINE, and THE GRAVEYARD BOOK are great. Since I've followed his work for over 23 years, I do not consider him "new".
(3) Similarly with Chia Melville. I have his PERDIDO STREET STATION and THE SCAR. Had trouble getting into them, like I did with DUNE, and like DUNE I suspect I'll like him when I finally do sit and finish the book.

(1) I have not read Lois McMaster Bujold, so I cannot comment. I've picked up her books and put them down when visiting the late-lamented Borders. I'm not sure why they did not grab enough of my interest to purchase them.
(2)I alsmost bought Kristen Cashore's GRACELING. I like the back cover blurb. I may Kindle it one day.
(3) I listened to Scott Westerfeld's LEVIATHAN on audiobook from my local library. Definitely YA, not that this is a bad thing, and I enjoyed the idea of Darwins versus Clankers, but not enough that I felt a need to buy the remaining two books when the library did not have them.

I did like Jay Lake's MAINSPRING, one of the few Steampunk novels I've read. I did enjoy it. James Enge's fantasy stories about AMBROSE the magician are a new discovery I have enjoyed, though I've liked his short stories better than his novel, so far. Local Maine Author John Connelly's more literary fantasies THE BOOK OF LOST THINGS and THE GATES entertained me; and I did admire Susanna Clarke's JONATHAN STRANGE AND MISTER NORRELL

Ohoh. Beeper's going off. Thanks for the suggestions. Though, I would note, none of the above are on Amazon's "New Releases".

Dr. Bob

[ January 03, 2012, 12:34 PM: Message edited by: History ]

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Member # 8368

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Well, Bujold's books don't tend to start with a bang. In fact, I can think of three that start with the main character walking down the road.

But she is a master at filtering in the information you need to understand the story imperceptibly.

And I can't think of anyone who does damaged heroes better. Very often her main characters start out half-dead--and then she tortures them.

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There's a shocking lack of science fiction in any of the store's listings of "Science Fiction and Fantasy." It's almost all Urban or High Fantasy, IMHO. I like some of that, but I really really really crave straight sci-fi.

So I have to write it myself. Not necessarily hard sci-fi, but stories where the whole point is some kind of future, space, or fantastical setting.

I read almost exclusively in the YA/Middle-grade age range, so bear this in mind, but the stories I've read recently in this category that are somewhat sci-fi-ish include:

MATCHED by Ally Condie (It's like Hunger Games but without all the killing.)
LEGEND by Marie Lu (newer release, great story)
SHIP BREAKER by Paolo Bacigalupi
FEED by MT Anderson
ACROSS THE UNIVERSE - I forget the author but it's a planned series, book 2 might be out already
LIFE AS WE KNEW IT - depressing but interesting story about what happens when the moon is hit by an asteroid and is pushed closer to earth, but told on a very small scale.

I also really enjoy, but I'm sure you've read, Elizabeth Moon's stories. Vatta's War in particular.

But yeah, it's somewhat pathetic. I don't even look at the library's "new released in SF/F" shelf anymore, it's all "book 6 in a series" and all invariably has a guy with a sword and/or dragon on the front.

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Have you tried Scalzi, Banks, or Reynolds? They write SF, no dragons or swords. I suspect you may like them, since I grew up reading a fair number of the authors you listed.
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Meredith is right. Early Bujold is great. Try starting with "Warrior's Apprentice" or "Shards of Honor".

Osiris is right. All Culture novels by Banks are good, early ones are great. Try "The Player of Games"

If you like Susanna Clarke you might like John C. Wright.

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Member # 9148

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Kay Yeah, UF seems to be the main genre for novels these days and not only in YA. I think it deserves its own separate category. SF, Fantasy and UF. Paranormal is probably included in UF these days.

For over a year it seems like UF seems to be around half of the new SF-Fantasy books at Barns and Noble each month even though my last two visits I think there were a few less. I saw a few SFs that looked interesting and even a couple of Steampunk anthologies I might buy except they were tradebacks.

Actually, I have two SF novels that could be YA if you're desperate enough. [Smile]

Going online to check out B&N"s new books is a pain because many of them aren't new any more. But I may have solved that problem. However a salesperson at B&N suggested I try Google for a list of new books.

But Moon writes YA? Hmm, I hadn't noticed.

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For YA lovers a bit of News


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