November 30, 2011

Chasing Tale for November 30th, 2011: Ellen Datlow, Brian Keene, John Adjvide Lindqvist ...

Oh my god, Christmas is less than a month away. And despite the tinsel-tinged propaganda urging--practically demanding--I get into the Christmas spirit, it just hasn't hit me yet. I'm in my thirties now and I find my hokey cheerfulness doesn't really kick in until December 20th. One of my neighbors put up his Christmas lights on November 19th. Come on, that's unnecessary. The Christmas caroling is going to get a tad grating after so many weeks, too. Yeesh, I'm kind of a humbug, aren't I?

Oh well, just wait until December 20th, then I'll be a jolly old soul. Until then, here are some books I count as early Christmas presents:

Blood and Other Cravings by Ellen Datlow (editor) - I can't think of an anthology yet that's disappointed me when Ellen's name has been on the cover. If she mined gold the way she mined short stories, she'd be a bazillionaire. This anthology is, you guessed it, about vampires at least in part. I won this from Suzanne Johnson's blog, Preternatura, and it came with a wonderful signed note from Suzanne, which incidentally promotes her own impending novel, Royal Street, due to be released in April 2012. Just sayin'.

The Cage and The Last Zombie (Issue #1) by Brian Keene - A slew of horror and dark fiction authors took part in a giveaway hop in October called the Coffin Hop. It was a neat way to check out different authors, some I'm already familiar with and others I'm just discovering. As an added bonus, many of the authors offered prizes, and I wound up winning these two book from Kevin Lucia. The Last Zombie has to be the first single issue comic book I've held in my hands in--oh god--fifteen years. The time warp emotions with that make this prize a real treat.

Harbor by John Adjvide Lindqvist - Count me among the ranks of those who absolutely loved Lindqvist's debut novel, Letthe Right One In, so it should come as no surprise that I jumped at the chance to read and review his latest offering. I read a review somewhere that called him the Swedish Stephen King. I don't know if I'd go that far, but he's really good. If Harbor does half as much for ghosts as Let the Right One In did for vampires, then I'm going to love this book to death.

The Placebo Effect by David Rotenberg - David Rotenberg will be stopping by the blog on February 1st to promote the first book in his new series, The Junction Chronicles. Simon & Schuster Canada was generous enough to send along an advance review copy of the book, too. It's about an acting coach who moonlights anonymously as a human lie detector for various companies, only to become a target, and he suspects its because of something he heard during one of his sessions. Plus, a government agent is hunting down him and others with his talent. At face value, it sounds like a cross between Lie to Me and The Fugitive. I hope it's good.

Lunenberg Werewolf by Steve Vernon - Nimbus Publishing sent me a review copy of Steve's latest book. If you enjoy folklore and local legends and have yet to read Steve's work, you really need to find one of his books. His collected stories revolve around the Maritimes, yes, but the ghost stories and rural legends highlighted in his books are easily accessible to anyone the world over. I have a feeling this book will be no different. I recently blogged about a children's book his wrote called SinkingDeeper, which was also published by Nimbus. Good stuff.

What books showed up in your mailbox this month?

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