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On New Books

I am reading two very good books right now. I am reading one of them on the laptop, and I am reading one of them… okay, I admit it, I’m reading it on the toilet. But anyway.

Catherynne M Valente’s PALIMPSEST just knocks me flat with her use of language: rich, cool, opiated language, language for stories of strange love and hallucinated cities of the mind. Here’s what it says about PALIMPSEST on its Amazon pre-order page:

Between life and death, dreaming and waking, at the train stop beyond the end of the world is the city of Palimpsest. To get there is a miracle, a mystery, a gift, and a curseā€”a voyage permitted only to those who’ve always believed there’s another world than the one that meets the eye. Those fated to make the passage are marked forever by a map of that wondrous city tattooed on their flesh after a single orgasmic night. To this kingdom of ghost trains, lion-priests, living kanji, and cream-filled canals come four travelers…

The first scene proper, discussing the trains of Heaven, just blew me away. It’s out in February 2009.

Cherie Priest’s BONESHAKER is an absolute riot. If anyone else had told me they were writing a steampunk zombie action thriller set in Seattle I would probably have looked for something heavy to stun them with and then made my escape. BONESHAKER dodges every single pitfall in the idea that you can think of, effortlessly, and entertains the fuck out of you while doing so. Also, there’s a man in it called Swakhammer. Which is possibly the best name ever. It’s just a hell of a good time, and I think it’s going to be a game-changer for Cherie (even though she’s already getting starred reviews from Publishers Weekly).

The book doesn’t come out until mid-2009, I think, but her most recent novel, released only a few weeks back, is getting brilliant reviews. It’s called FATHOM. You should look at it.

I have to write back cover blurbs for both of these books. Looking forward to it.

Published in brainjuice people I know


  1. Palimsest does indeed sound very tasty and I’m going to be recommending its acquisition to our Collection Development Department. We need more good, imaginative fiction — for adults in the system.

  2. […] [:: dies and is ded ::] If you’re here via Warren, then I welcome you most heartily. Make yourselves at home. Click around. Drop me a comment or two. I’m always happy to hear from new readers and passers-through alike. […]

  3. Bah, all excited with my credit card all out and ready…and no where to even pre-order BONESHAKER…

    Now I’m left with blueballs.

    I guess I should have read Warren’s post more carefully…

  4. Emily Emily

    Is it obnoxious to ask how one lands a job writing back-of-the-book blurbs? Sorry if that is the case…

    Also, BONESHAKER sounds rad o_o

  5. tano tano

    Please, Warren, if you want to make me ache to read a book, just make sure it’s fucking available to the general public.

  6. Hey, I just thought it was worth mentioning that not only is Palimpsest now available to the public, but Cat Valente has also taken her library of older, less available, less mainstream-market books and put them up as ebooks, selling them directly to her readers. It’s an exciting development… something I think more authors should think about doing with any long-reverted intellectual properties that are sitting around gathering dust, not being read and not making anyone money. So far the only other print author I know for sure who’s done something similar is Richard Herley, who’s doing a more “shareware” type model.

    Sorry, that’s my soapbox moment. :P Warren, Mr. Ellis… Mr. Warren Ellis, as apology for intruding on your blog, I give you tribute: horrible, horrible tribute.

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