Sunday, January 24, 2010

Frederick Paul Kiesche, Jr.

November 6, 1935 to January 24, 2010

Then Almitra spoke, saying, We would ask now of Death.
And he said:
You would know the secret of death.
But how shall you find it unless you seek it in the heart of life?
The owl whose night-bound eyes are blind unto the day cannot unveil the mystery of life.
If you would indeed behold the spirit of death, open your heat wide unto the body of life.
For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.

In the depth of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond;
And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow your heart dreams of spring.
Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.
Your fear of death is but the trembling of the shepherd when he stands before the king whose hand is to be laid upon him in honour.
Is the shepherd not joyful beneath his trembling, that he shall wear the mark of the king?
Yet is he not more mindful of his trembling?

For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?
And what is it to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?

Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.
And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.
And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.

("The Prophet", Kahlil Gibran)

Monday, January 18, 2010

A Black Cat in the Coal Cellar at Midnight

Sarah A. Hoyt, Darkship Thieves (Baen Books; 2010; ISBN 978-1-4391-3317-0; cover by Allan Pollack).

The first book completed for the year is by a new-to-me (sort of) author, Sarah A. Hoyt.

Sort of, because I am embarrassed to admit that it is the first book I've read by her. And I've "known" her for a couple of years now. Between Baen's Bar and Facebook, I've exchanged messages dozens upon dozens of time.

My excuse? Sigh. So many books. So little time. So many ex-lovers to bury...

O.K., true confessions are past. On to the book!

Athena Hera Sinistra is the only child of one of Earth's rulers, one of the so-called Good Men (she knows him as Daddy Dearest). While on a visit to a space station (Circum Terra), she awakes to find a stranger in her bedroom. With her quick wits, a nightgown (and a handy boot with a deadly heel), she manages to escape her attacker...only to find that her father's ship appears to be under control by a mutinous crew and staff with her father knocked out and being readied for an operation.

She flees the ship only to collide with a powertree, an plant that grows in deep space and harvests the sunlight (which can then be used on Earth). While there, she meets one of the mysterious and legendary darkships, piloted by a somewhat strange-looking man named Christopher Bartalomeu Klaavil (or Kit).

Hilarity ensues as Thena is taken from her spoiled existence (more on that later) and thrust into Kit's society and then back to Earth where she in embroiled in a plot at the highest levels of Earth's society. Curtain falls...with potential for much to come.

The book was a quick read, no so much as it was lightweight, but because it kept my interest up. There are strong overtones of Robert A. Heinlein (which Hoyt acknowledges in the dedication, but also Paul Myron Anthony Linebarger (you probably know him better as Cordwainer Smith).

Heinlein is all over this book, from "Daddy Dearest" to an apparently spoiled yet highly competent female character, to "Earthworms" to a highly individualistic society to a revolution. I detected hints of Cordwainer Smith in the cycle of history that Hoyt outlines, the mysterious ruling class (with the "Good Men" in place of The Instrumentality of Mankind), to the spaceships (or "darkships"), to the powertree and even to Kit himself.

Science fiction with elements of...O.K., mystery is obvious. But also romance. Ick! It was written by a girl! Romance!

Just kidding, Sarah. Put down that burner!

The mystery comes from things like Thena herself. Daughter of one of Earth's rulers, she has spent much of her youth in hospitals, clinics and various other institutions. She ran with a rough crowd. Now, many children of the rich and powerful have problems or run with less than savory characters, but it gets all nicely tied up in the overall mystery.

The romance comes from the relationship that develops between Thena and Kit. O.K., it is a mild romance. Not even PG-13. Certainly nothing that my daughter would have trouble with (some of the manga she reads is more explicit). Beyond one nightgown that barely survives the first couple of chapters, there are no ripped bodices or too many heaving breasts.

Two things generally mark a "good thing" when I read a book by a new author. Readers of this blog may recall my initial impression upon coming across Travis S. "Doc" Taylor or John Ringo: I read the books fast, and I wanted more soon. Both these things are true of this book as well. Back to the bookstore!

FTC Disclaimer: This book, despite having received a very lovely review (even if I do say so myself) was 100% purchased with cash on the barrelhead at the local big box bookstore.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Once a Month...Like the Moon

Issue 270 of Ansible!

Talking Squid Redux. 'Your campaign is working!' writes Ric Cooper: 'On BBC Radio 4's Today programme at 08:41 on 28 December the presenter Evan Davis, interviewing Brian Aldiss and "science-fiction writer Ian Stewart" (Prof. Ian Stewart FRS), without prompting excoriated mainstream writers for belittling SF as being about "talking squid in space". / Aldiss was in fine elder statesman form, refusing to be cut off by the young whippersnapper, feigning to forget the name of the "crime lady" who perpetrated such very sincere flattery of his Greybeard (P.D. James with The Children of Men) and even coining a new name for SF – "metaphorical realism". / The respect shown to SF just might have had something to do with the fact that the programme's "guest editor" was a certain Martin Rees – that's Prof. Lord Rees, Astronomer Royal to you, sonny! He added his two penn'orth to the discussion, saying that he habitually told his students it was better to read first-rate SF than second-rate science writing.'

Saturday, January 02, 2010

The Black Company

Glen Cook; Chronicles of the Black Company (consisting of The Black Company, Shadows Linger and The White Rose) (Tor Books; 2007; ISBN 978-0-7653-1923-5; cover art by Raymond Swanland).

Glen Cook has been active in the field for a couple of decades now, but I bet most readers today of military science fiction, urban fantasy or magical realism would not recognize his work. That's a shame, because a lot of what the readers of those three sub-genres love can be found in Cook's books. You are in luck! If you are lacking in these books, both Tor Books and Night Shade Books have been reprinting classics such as the series reviewed here, or his space opera books (Passage at Arms, etc.). His hardboiled fantasy detective series, Garrett, is pretty easily found in paperback and omnibus editions from the SFBC.

The Tales of the Black Company are a sprawling series dealing with various members of a mercenary company as they battle for and against various powers that are vying for supremacy over the world. Sounds pretty straightforward, right? The stuff of any one of dozens of fantasy epics crowding the shelves (farmboy discovers that he is really the lost prince, is taken in by a wizard, goes on quest, discovers love, wins throne...blech...).

These tales are quite different. What makes these stories different is the dirt.

O.K., it is more than the dirt. There are no waving banners, no knights in shining armor. Soldiers talk much as real soldier talk. They fight, they get wounded, they are healed, and wearily stagger back into the lines. They eat and whore, drink and curse. They might be fighting for the greater good, but they are also fighting to survive the day, to survive the mission.

The stories are interesting (and click on the previous link for outlines), but what really drew me into the books were Cook's dialogue, characters and interplay. Good stuff!

"That's not your department, though, is it? Catcher doesn't second-guess your surgical procedures, does he? Then why question the grand strategy?"

I grinned. "The unwritten law of all armies, Captain. The lower ranks have the privilege of questioning the sanity and competence of their commanders. It's the mortar holding an army together."

The Captain eyed me from his shorter stature, wider displacement, and from beneath shaggy brows. "That holds them together, eh? And you know what keeps them moving?"

"What's that?"

"Guys like me ass-kicking guys like you when they start philosophizing. If you get my drift."

One final comment: Tor used Raymond Swanland for the cover art. They also used Swanland for another pair of Cook's books and Night Shade Books used Swanland for several of their reprints. Not only is Swanland an amazing artist, but having multiple publishers use the same artist gives the author's works a unified look across the field that I don't think anybody else has tried to do. Great idea!

(Part of the 2009 Year in Books.)

FTC Disclaimer: This book was entirely purchased by me. I doubt the publisher even knows I exist and has done a review of the book.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Knights of the Round Table

Hal Foster; Prince Valiant: Volume I: 1937-1938 (Fantagraphics Books, Inc.; 2009; ISBN 978-1-60699-141-1; cover by Hal Foster).

Once upon a time, boys and girls, comics were an important part of your daily newspaper. They had their own pages, they had their own style, they sometimes ranged across as much as a page. Then came cost-cutting, enhancement of shareholder value and more and the comics were squeezed and squeezed and edited and cut and sliced and diced and put into a blender until the only place you can really find anything decent these days is in de intertubes and the webcomics.

Collections like this will make you weep with what was lost (click on the link and you'll see another link that allows you to download a sample from the book). Magnificent art. Panels that range from three or so across medium-sized panels and the occasional painfully detailed and colored super-sized panel. An ongoing story...with blood and gore even! Dooming predictions, wounds, loss and death.

Fantagraphics is to be thanked for working so hard to produce a book that shows Foster's artwork in a decent size and with the colors corrected. This is not a cheap book, and with one volume covering one year, I can see that this is going to be an expensive series to acquire. But it is a series that I'd gladly give up lunches to get!

FTC Disclaimer: This book was a gift. It was purchased by my lovely wife and given to me for Christmas. It was not a gift from the publisher.
Operational Pause

Normally at this time I would tally up everything I read in the previous year and post a combined month-end and year-end report. That will be delayed for a bit for two reasons. One, I want to write up more reviews of what I read (I've already posted several in the past day). Two, I need to look over the short story reads a bit more carefully (for example, I returned to the library a short story collection by Jeff VanderMeer and managed to lose my notes on it, so that has not been included in the count).

Final tally for the year should go up "soon".
2010: The Year in Shorts

While I've made it a habit over the past several years to try and read one short work a day, for a count of at least 365 for the year...I'm giving up that formal approach for the coming year.

The problem was it always turned from being a way to keep track to yet another pressure. I'm falling behind! I haven't read enough! Don't read that non-fiction magazine, it doesn't count! Don't listen to that podcast, you aren't reading!

I mean, for example, I listened to 365 podcasts coming out of The International Year of Astronomy last year. Should I count them? Should I have just read short stories?

So, I will continue to read and log stories here. But the formal race to the goal of 365 (or vastly more) is over. I'll maintain a count, but it don't...ummm...count...

Short work count: 2948 (through December 31, 2010).

Short Works: Independent, Anthologized, Single Author, Multi-Author:

John Joseph Adams: The Living Dead (5 stories, continuing to read). The Living Dead 02 (3 stories, continuing to read).

Dan Abnett (editor): Warhammer 40,000: Sabbat Worlds (3 stories, continuing to read).

Christopher Anvil: Interstellar Patrol (10 stories read, continuing to read).

Sidney Austen: The Frightened Planet (1 story, completed).

Robert Hayward Barlow: REH (1 story, completed).

Christopher Barzak: The Language of Moths (formerly available from Fictionwise) (1 story, completed).

Peter S. Beagle: The Rhinoceros Who Quoted Nietzsche and Other Odd Acquaintances (13 stories, collection completed). Mirror Kingdoms (19 stories read, collection completed).

Albert Berg: Derelict (1 story, completed).

John Berlyne (compiler and editor): Powers: Secret Histories—A Bibliography (20 entries, continuing to read).

Judith Berman: Awakening (1 story, completed).

Zoe Blade: Identity. Less Than Human.

Nelson Bond: Lighter Than You Think (1 story, completed).

J.F. Bone: A Question of Courage (1 story, completed).

Anthony Bourdain: Medium Raw (21 entries, collection completed).

Leigh Brackett: Black Amazon of Mars (1 story). Beyond Mars (5 stories, collection completed) (samples here) (review here). Martian Quest (7 stories, continuing to read) (samples here).

Terry Bramlett: Child Maiden Woman Crone (formerly available from Fictionwise) (1 story, completed).

Lois McMaster Bujold: The Mountains of Mourning (part of the Young Miles omnibus) (1 story, collection completed). Borders of Infinity (3 stories, less the previous entry from another collection, collection completed). (Omnibus review here.)

Howell Calhoun: The Lost Temples of Xantoos (1 story, completed).

Lillian Stewart Carl and John Helfers (editors): The Vorkosigan Companion (22 entries, collection completed).

L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt: Tales from Gavagan's Bar (10 stories read, continuing to read).

Arthur C. Clarke: Greetings, Carbon-Based Bipeds! (Collected Essays, 1934-1998) (45 entries, collection completed).

David Drake: The Complete Hammer's Slammers Volume 01 (20 entries, continuing to read).

Freeman J. Dyson: A Many-Colored Glass (8 entries, collection completed).

Marc Gascoigne & Christian Dunn (editors): Let the Galaxy Burn (12 entries read in previous years, 11 stories in 2010, continuing to read).

Harlan Ellison: The Essential Ellison (32 entries read, continuing to read, reboot from previous year).

Edmond Hamilton: Sargasso of Space (link to story here). Crashing Suns (5 stories, collection completed) (review here).

Barry Malzberg: Breakfast in the Ruins (24 essays, continuing to read).

Michael Moorcock: Eric, Stealer of Souls (9 stories, continuing to read).

Larry Niven: Tales from Known Space (9 stories, continuing to read).

Jerry Pournelle: Exile and Glory (7 stories and 1 novel, stories completed, continuing to read novel).

Tim Powers: The Bible Repairman and Soul in a Bottle (both "chapbooks", so they will also be listed in The Year in Books).

John Scalzi: Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded (84 essays, collection completed).

Lucy Snyder: Installing Linux on a Dead Badger and Other Oddities (12 entries, collection completed).

Bud Sparhawk: Jake's Gift. Mary's Present.

Charles Stross: The Atrocity Archives (4 entries, collection completed). The Jennifer Morgue (3 entries, collection completed).

J.R.R. Tolkien: The Tolkien Reader (6 entries, collection completed).

Vernor Vinge: Fast Times at Fairmont High and The Coming Technological Singularity.

Non-Fiction Periodical Reading:

Sky & Telescope: January 2010 (counts as 4 entries). February 2010 (counts as 4 entries). March 2010 (counts as 4 entries). April 2010 (counts as 4 entries). May 2010 (counts as 4 entries). June 2010 (counts as 4 entries). July 2010 (counts as 4 entries). August 2010 (counts as 4 entries). September 2010 (counts as 4 entries). October 2010 (counts as 4 entries). November 2010 (counts as 4 entries). December 2010 (counts as 4 entries).


Dan Abnett: Horus Rising (exerpt): 1 episode.

Adventures in Sci-Fi Publishing: 33 episodes.

The Agony Column: 214 episodes.

All About Miniatures: 8 episodes.

All Things Considered: 1 episodes.

John Anealio and The Sci-Fi Songs Podcast: 11 episodes.

Angry Robot Books: 6 podcasts.

Robert Ashley's A Life Well Wasted: 1 episode.

Astronomy Cast: 1 episode.

Author's on Tour: 2 episodes.

Balticon Podcast: 18 episodes.

The Babylon Podcast: 62 episodes.

Bat Segundo: 45 episodes.

Peter S. Beagle: 7 episodes.

Berkman Center Audio Fishbowl: 1 episode.

The Beyond: 5 episodes.

The Biblio File: 20 episodes.

Binge Thinking History: 7 episodes.

Blue Room Podcast: 6 episodes.

Brew City Gamers: 1 episode.

Lars Brownworth's 12 Byzantine Rulers: 40 episodes.

The Butcher Block: 24 episodes.

Robert Cain and Ancient Rome Refocused: 5 episodes.

Carpe GM: 8 episodes.

Paul Kennedy (CBC Radio Show): 1 episode.

The Command Line: 4 episodes.

The D6 Generation Podcast: 80 episodes.

Dan Carlin's Common Sense: 146 episodes.

Dan Carlin's Hardcore History: 36 episodes.

Dead Robots' Society: 4 episodes.

Arthur C. Clarke & Others: 2001: SF or Man's Future: 1 episode.

Deepstrike: 3 episodes.

Dice Like Thunder: 13 episodes.

The Dice Tower: 4 episodes.

Dr. Karl: 16 episodes.

DragonPage: 24 episodes.

The Drop Pod Cast: 2 episodes.

Mike Duncan's The History of Rome: 80 episodes.

Len Edgerly and The Reading Edge: 4 episodes.

The Eternal Warriors: 3 episodes.

Eye on the Internet: 1 episode.

Fear the Boot: 13 episodes.

Fell Calls: 72 episodes.

The Forge Pod Cast: 1 episodes.

Fresh Air: 2 episodes.

The Fringeworthy Podcast: 17 episodes.

Stephen Fry/Stephen Fry's Podgrams: 9 episodes.

Functional Nerds: 34 episodes.

The Future and You: 2 episodes.

Neil Gaiman: 1 episode.

Gamer's Haven: 1 episode.

Geek Fu Action Grip: 15 episodes.

The Geek Life: 64 episodes.

The Geek Spin Podcast: 3 episodes.

Geeks Guide to the Galaxy: 22 episodes.

Guts 'n' Gears: 6 episodes.

George Hageman/The Military History Podcast: 19 episodes.

George Hrab's The Geologic Podcast: 1 episode.

The H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast: 67 episodes.

IEEE Spectrum Radio: 1 episode.

I Should Be Writing: 18 episodes.

If You Are Just Joining Us: 68 episodes.

Imperial Voxcast: 1 episode.

In Our Time with Melvyn Bragg: 5 episodes.

The Incomparable Podcast: 19 episodes.

I've Been Diced: 1 episode.

The Kick-Ass Mystic Ninjas: 17 episodes.

The Living Proof Podcast with John Williams & Thomas Gideon: 3 episodes.

Meeples & Miniatures: 1 episode.

Morning Edition: 5 episodes.

Movie Mantras with Marvin Darkly: 70 episodes, counting as 7 entries.

Jim Mowatt's Historyzine: 3 episodes.

The Nerdist Podcast: 40 episodes.

Nowhere in Mulberry: 2 episodes.

NYAS: 2 episodes.

On the Media: 1 episode.

Philip K. Dick Festival: 3 episodes.

Plus Magazine: 2 episodes.

PodCastle: 3 episodes.

PodCulture: 14 episodes.

Podhammer: 11 episodes.

Pods & Blogs/Outriders: 30 episodes.

Point 2 Point: 1 episode.

Popular Mechanics Magazine: 1 episode.

Pray As You Go: 55 episodes.

Pulp Gamer Podcast: 2 episodes.

Radio Lab: 72 episodes.

Random/Sturgeon's Law: 30 episodes.

Scalzicast with John Scalzi: 1 episode.

Set Cast Podcast: 1 episode.

SF Signal Dot Com/The SF Signal Podcast: 21 episodes.

SFFaudio Podcast: 1 episode.

Skillswap on Speed: 1 episode.

Slice of Sci-Fi: 4 episodes.

Spider Robinson: 8 episodes.

The S-Words Podcast: 1 episode.

The SciFiDimensions Podcast: 3 episodes.

The Sci-Fi Guys: 1 episode.

The SF Review Podcast: 69 episodes.

Sidebar Nation: 3 episodes.

Matthew Sanborn Smith/Beware the Hairy Mango: 1 episode.

Spacewesterns Podcast: 3 episodes.

The State of Things Podcast: 1 episode.

Neal Stephenson's: Quicksilver (excerpt): 1 episode.

Studio 360: 6 episodes.

Sword and Laser: 5 episodes.

Table Gamer Weekly: 2 episodes.

Talk of the Nation: 1 episode.

THACO: 6 episodes.

This Week in Wargaming: 19 episodes.

The Time Traveler Show: 1 episode.

Tolkien Professor Podcast: 6 episodes.

Tor Dot Com Episodes: 6 episodes.

Mitch Wagner/The Copper Robot: 1 episode.

Jo Walton: 1 episode.

The Webcomic Beacon Podcast: 3 episodes.

Weekend Edition Saturday: 2 episodes.

Weekend Edition Sunday: 1 episode.

What the Cast: 11 episodes.

Wil Wheaton's Radio Free Burrito: 33 episodes.

World's End Radio: 7 episodes.

Writing Excuses: 57 episodes.

YSDC/Yog-Sothoth Radio Podcast: 3 episodes.

Z/Radio Free Hipster: 9 episodes.

The 365 Days of Astronomy: 365 episodes.

3 Chip Media LLC/What the Cast?: 72 episodes.

40K Radio: 21 episodes.
2010: The Year in Books

Count for the year-to-date: 107 books. Most recent book read: The Lessons of History by Will & Ariel Durant.

Pete Abrams: Dangerous Days (Sluggy Freelance Book 9) (April).

Robert Lynn Asprin: Another Fine Myth (May). Myth Conceptions (May).

Peter S. Beagle: The Rhinoceros Who Quoted Nietzsche and Other Odd Acquaintances (April). Mirror Kingdoms (December).

Gregory Benford: Across the Sea of Stars (November).

Anthony Bourdain: Medium Raw (July).

Leigh Brackett: Beyond Mars (link here) (July).

Lois McMaster Bujold: Falling Free (April). Shards of Honor (May). Barrayar (May). The Warrior's Apprentice (June). The Vor Game (June). Cetaganda (July). Ethan of Athos (July). Borders of Infinity (July). Brothers in Arms (July). Mirror Dance (October). (Omnibus review here.)

Jim Butcher: Storm Front (June). Fool Moon (June). Grave Peril (August). Death Masks (September)

Lillian Stewart Carl and John Helfers: The Vorkosigan Companion: The Universe of Lois McMaster Bujold (April).

A. Bertram Chandler: Spartan Planet (August). The Inheritors (August).

Arthur C. Clarke: Greetings, Carbon-Based Bipeds! Collected Essays: 1934-1998.

David Drake: What Distant Deeps (November).

Wil & Ariel Durant: The Lessons of History (December).

Freeman Dyson: A Many-Colored Glass: Reflections on the Place of Life in the Universe (December).

Nathaniel Fick: One Bullet Away—The Making of a Marine Officer (March).

Eric Flint & Ryk E. Spoor: Boundary (August). Threshold (August).

Phil and Kaja Foglio: Agatha Heterodyne and the Heirs of the Storm (Girl Genius Book Nine) (August).

C.S. Forester: Rifleman Dodd—A Novel of the Peninsular Campaign (March).

Hal Foster: Prince Valiant, Volume I: 1937-1938 (January).

Fred Gallagher: MegaTokyo 01 (with Rodney Caston). MegaTokyo 02 (with Rodney Caston). MegaTokyo 03 (February). MegaTokyo 04 (February). MegaTokyo 05 (February). MegaTokyo 06 (August).

Matt Gallagher: Kaboom (October).

Martin Gardner: The Universe in a Handkerchief: Lewis Carroll's Mathematical Recreations, Games, Puzzles, and Word Plays (December).

William Gibson: Virtual Light (April). Pattern Recognition (September). Spook Country (September). Zero History (September) (Combined review here.).

Harold Leland Goodwin (as "John Blaine"): Smuggler's Reef (Rick Brandt #07) (free eBook here) (August).

Colonel David H. Hackworth and Julie Sherman: About Face (August).

Edmond Hamilton: Crashing Suns (link here) (July).

Mark Hodder: Burton & Swinburne in The Strange Affair of Spring-Heeled Jack (October).

Sarah A. Hoyt: Darkship Thieves (January).

Jeph Jacques: Questionable Content Volume 01 (December).

Jerome K. Jerome: Three Men in a Boat (August). Three Men on the Bummel (September).

Robert D. Kaplan: Imperial Grunts (October).

John Keegan: The Battle for History: Re-Fighting World War II (February).

Kazo Kibuishi: Amulet 01 (October). Amulet 02 (October). Amulet 03 (October).

Jeff Kinney: Diary of a Wimpy Kid (March). Rodrick Rules (March). The Last Straw (March). Dog Days (March).

Masashi Kishimoto: Nartuo: The Official Fanbook (December). Naruto #048 (December). Naruto #049 (December). Naruto #050 (December). (Combined review here.)

Stieg Larsson: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (July). The Girl Who Played With Fire (November). The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (December) (Combined review here.).

Alastair MacLean: The Guns of Navarone (February).

Peter R. Mansoor: Baghdad at Sunrise—A Bridgade Commander's War in Iraq (March).

S.L.A. Marshall: The Soldier's Load and The Mobility of a Nation (March).

Sandy Mitchell: Scourge the Heretic (August).

Craig M. Mullaney: The Unforgiving Minute (May).

Nina Matsumoto: Yokaiden 01 (February). Yokaiden 02 (March).

Tsutomu Nihei: Biomega 01 (August).

Larry Niven: World of Ptavvs (December).

Andre Norton: Star Born (part of the Star Flight omnibus) (July).

Patrick O'Brian: Master & Commander (combined review, of sorts, here) (March).

Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata: Bakuman 01 (August).

Tim Powers: The Bible Repairman (August) and Soul in a Bottle (August) (both "chapbooks", so they will also be listed in The Year in Shorts).

Terry Pratchett: Night Watch (October).

Thomas E. Ricks: Fiasco (September).

John Ringo: Live Free or Die (March). Citadel (October).

J.K. Rowling: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (March). Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (March). Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (March). Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (March). Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (March). Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (March). Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows (March) (Previous review here.)

John Scalzi: Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded (December).

Lucy A. Snyder: Installing Linux on a Dead Badger and Oddities (December).

Charles Stross: The Atrocity Archives (April). The Jennifer Morgue (April) (combined review here).

James Swallow: Faith & Fire (January).

Howard Tayler: The Tub of Happiness (March). The Teraport Wars (March). Under New Management (March) The Blackness Between (April) The Scrapyard of Insufferable Arrogance (April) Resident Mad Scientist (August) (previous review here).

Travis S. Taylor and Les Johnson: Back to the Moon (eARC) (October). Back to the Moon (final) (December).

J.R.R. Tolkien: The Tolkien Reader (May).

Sun Tzu: The Art of War (March).