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Books Received for July 2008, Week 3 (+ Book Meme)

Here are the books received this past week.

And the usual meme: When considering the books above:

  1. Which book has the coolest cover?
  2. Which book has the worst cover?
  3. Which book do you most want to read?

My responses after the jump…

1. Which book has the coolest cover?
I’m gonna have to go with Lord Tophet on this one. The giant bridge city is all sensawundery.

2. Which book has the worst cover?
Although the artwork is skillful, Mage-Guard of Hamor screams “standard fantasy fare” to me, which was not my experience when I read Modesitt’s story “The Lord-Protector’s Daughter“.

3. Which book do you most want to read?
Too many to choose from again! I’ve put off reading Iain M. Banks’ Culture novels for far too long. Misspent Youth also looks to a be a nice return to Hamilton’s Commonwealth universe, only this time offering up a back story to the beginning of long lifespans. Red Seas Under Red Skies looks tasty, and severs as a reminder that I should have already read the first book, The Lies of Locke Lamora. And, of course, Eisenhorn is the Warhammer 40K book that Chris Roberson says is da bomb. (Note: I’ve already read Mathematicians in Love.)

About John DeNardo (13012 Articles)
John DeNardo is the Managing Editor at SF Signal and a columnist at Kirkus Reviews. He also likes bagels. So there.

12 Comments on Books Received for July 2008, Week 3 (+ Book Meme)

  1. Kyle Gilchrist // July 21, 2008 at 3:06 am //

    That looks like a good selection you have there, I am eagerly awaiting my copy of ‘By Schism Rent Asunder’ as we speak.
    Of the others I heartily recommend both ‘The Lies of Locke Lamora’ and ‘Red Seas under Red Skies’. They are wonderful examples of 21st century fantasy writing, unexpectedly brilliant was my two bit summation. Definitely not your normal fantasy, both dark and comedic at the same time, new, fresh and original, they should be at the top of your reading list.
    ‘Use of Weapons’ is a great book, even after reading all of his other culture novels it still ranks as one of my favorites.
    Misspent Youth on the other hand is OK, well, considering it is PFH we are talking about it is very average in comparison. I understand he was doing something different but, still, most assuredly it is his weakest work. I would recommend everything else by him, first impressions etc…
    Keep up the good work,

  2. I haaaaaaaaaaaaate the cover for the Modesitt, but I’ve hated those for at least 10-15 years (much as I disliked the Robert Jordan covers…wonder why).
    Best cover? The Stress of Her Regard. Followed by the Iain Banks.

  3. The Eisenhorn cover here is not as cool the UK cover. They are very similar, but the UK version has Eisenhorn set against a starscape backdrop with a vaguely zodiacal looking circle. The small picture doesn’t due the cover justice. You need to see a bigger pic to appreciate just how detailed the figure of Eisenhorn is. Very well done.
    As for the others, I like Use of Weapons and Red Seas.

  4. I love the Banks cover, and the Sinclair cover simply screams “Stay Away!”
    I also like the “Lord Tophet” cover. The “Misspent Youth” cover seems… odd to me somehow. It’s not what I’d expect on a Hamilton novel.

  5. “Stress of Her Regard”. I will be happy to replace my worn paperback!
    I’m reading “Eisenhorn” thanks to the fanboyish prattlings of a certain SF blog (whistling innocently). Seeing this is my first encounter with the WarHamster ‘verse, it is a tad confusing at times, but the writing is good enough to overcome my confusion (in other words, so far, it is a very good read).

  6. 1 – Coolest: either the Powers or Frost cover.
    2 – Worst: Modesitt, most of Sweet’s recent covers are indistinguishable from each other
    3 – Caine Black Knife – Stover is one of my favorite writers and I’ve been waiting a long time to read this book

  7. Mithfanion // July 21, 2008 at 1:33 pm //

    Nice selections once again:
    Coolest cover: This is a tie between the gorgeous cover of Lord Tophet, the understated beauty of the Veil of Gold cover, the raw power of the Caine Black Knife cover and the splendidly futuristic cover of Use of Weapons:
    Worst: The Modesitt, Abnett, Sinclair and Hamilton covers do nothing for me, but I suspect knowing what all of these books are about in terms of blurb influences my opinion.
    Most eager to read: I’d say the Lynch but I already have that one. Use of Weapons does inspire me to pick up The Culture series. I’m not big on Tim Powers and while lord Tophet has a stunning cover, the story synopsis does not appeal to me at all. I’ve still got Heroes Die to read by Stover so Black Knife can wait, though I hear from advance word that it is very good indeed.

  8. My favorite is the cover for the reprint of The Stress of Her Regard, followed by the one for Caine Black Knife. I like how they used the font with the artwork in Veil of Gold, which also sounds interesting to read. My least favorite cover is the Warhammer one, Eisenhorn, where the guy looks like he has a shrunken head and is doing a bad Terminator impersonation, followed by the boring cover for the David Weber book, though the art treatment is in keeping with the covers for his past books. But really, the SF books have got to start doing better than shots of planets, space ship consols, and meaningless towerscapes like the Banks book. I’m most interested in reading Red Seas Under Red Skies at the moment, and also would like to finally try out Rudy Rucker.

  9. Best Cover: MATHEMATICIANS IN LOVE. It’s clean and handsome. And I like the simple text twist with the author’s name. It’s a smart cover.
    Worst Cover: Why all the hate for MAGE-GUARD OF HAMOR? It perfectly positions the book in the marketplace. You know exactly what you’re going to get with that cover. Job well done.
    Most Want to Read: THE STRESS OF HER REGARD.

  10. The only thought on covers I can muster once I’d seen “use of weapons” is how much less cool the reissue artwork is than the original one-colour-plus-black theme that Banks’s SF novels all had here.
    If you’ve not begun the Culture books, this is IMO the best place to start, too. I envy you reading this for the first time, I really do.

  11. Worst: Linnea Sinclair’s romance cover. Ewww.
    Best: The Stress of Her Regard, intriguing title and lovely cover image tied with Lord Tophet for that kewl bridgecity thingamabob.
    Most want to read: Weber’s By Schism Rent Asunder, because I loveloveloved Off Armageddon Reef so much. Cover’s ~meh~ but I so don’t care in this case.

  12. CTDeLude // July 22, 2008 at 8:05 pm //

    I really like that Red Seas cover myself. I’ve really tried avoid this lately but when perusing books that I take notes on whether I want to read them later on (reading reviews and such when I get home) it’s usually the cover that attracts me. Would have never gotten into the Black Company books unless the reissues hadn’t had such nicely designed covers.

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