August 21, 2013

Chasing Tale (8/21/13): They Did the Mash. They Did the Genre Mash!

Chasing Tale is a regular look at the books that I recently added to my to-be-read pile. Some are advance review copies, some I bought from one store or another, and others are freebies from promotional offers that caught my eye.

There are certain genres I just don't enjoy. Historical romance, cozy mysteries, hard SF, and legal thrillers are among them. That said, there are a lot of genres that I do enjoy, and a great many of them are blends of long established ones. Weird westerns would be a good example. Take a classic wild west setting and throw in some fantastical elements, whether it be steampunk or magic, and I'm probably going to enjoy the heck out of it. I like to think that my reading tastes are diverse and eclectic. I think I'm the minority on that front, though.

I find it funny how some readers will get their knickers in a twist because a book they read didn't strictly adhere to the limits of their favorite genre. Ew, there's horror in my sci-fi! And who put this fantasy in my noir novel?!

I grew up a genre mutt anyway. When I was a kid my toy box was a literal mash-up of genres. Voltron and Hot Wheels and G.I. Joe and a bunch of other stuff got thrown in the blender of my imagination when I played with my toys. It bled over into the nonsensical stories I wrote in class or doodled when the teacher wasn't looking. I had no problem with a Transformer coming to the rescue of Papa Smurf back when I was a boy, so why would I get cranky if there's a fairy in that detective novel I'm reading?

Look, if you're one of those compartmentalized people who just hates getting peas in their mashed potatoes, or vampires in their space opera, I'm sure you can reel off all your reasons why. All I'm gonna say in response is that you're missing out, because some of the best stories I've read are the kinds that would make a publisher's marketing department jump out the nearest window.

You might even see a title or two below that count as crossed genre (all of the links will take you to

Die a Little by Megan Abbott - I have a couple of Abbott's newer novels on my wish list, seeing her name pop up this year on more than one recommendation list, so when I stumbled upon a copy of her debut novel I just had to get it.

Dead Money by Ray Banks - I watched Glengarry GlenRoss not that long ago so maybe that's why, when I saw Ray Banks had a short novel about a slimeball salesman, I just had to get this book.hh

MalContents: Four Dark Horror Novellas by Randy Chandler, Gregory L. Norris, Ryan C. Thomas, & David T. Wilbanks - The title for this Grand Mal Press book pretty much speaks for itself. Each story looks to run about fifty pages, making for some fast, frightful reads.

Day One by Nate Kenyon - This is an ARC of a novel set for release in October, and I'm happy to see a new one from Kenyon, as I was really impressed with Sparrow Rock. This one takes the apocalypse and ups the ante, by the looks of it, and sounds like a summer blockbuster Hollywood hasn't discovered yet on account of it not being a sequel to Transformers.

The Thicket by Joe R. Lansdale - This is a review copy from Mulholland Books that I can't wait to dive into, with Lansdale's unparalleled storytelling, and a coming-of-age tale tempered with a revenge story. I haven't even read the first page yet, and I already wonder if this might be my favorite book of the year. So much for objectiveness, eh?

The Unburied Dead by Douglas Lindsay - I stumbled across this book on the Kindle Store when I bought Ray Banks' Dead Money. This one is also published by Blasted Heath and I managed to get it while it was free.

Knots & Crosses by Ian Rankin - Here's another incredibly successful author whose books I've yet to read. I found a paperback copy of the first book in the Detective Rebus series, the series that put Rankin on the map, figuring it's okay to be late in jumping on the bandwagon.

Savage Night by Jim Thompson - According to some authors whose opinions are not to be dismissed, this ranks among the greatest psycho noir novels ever written. The last piece of praise that had me go get myself a copy came from the highly talented Dave Zeltserman.

Nursery Rhymes 4 Dead Children by Lee Thompson - This is the fourth book in Lee's Division Mythos series. I had gone searching out the third book in the series, but then I remembered Collected Songs of Sonnelion was a serial that was only available temporarily online and since taken down--still no e-book release of that one for some reason--so I decided to buy this one instead.

Flash Virus: Episode One by Steve Vernon - It seems there's no genre Steve Vernon doesn't enjoy, as evidenced by his serial sci-fi venture, Flash Virus. I downloaded the first entry to give it a test drive. I think the whole series has been collected into one e-book by now.

Star Wars: Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn - Alright, ever since news hit that there was a new Star Wars trilogy in the works, fans pointed to this book, the first of a trilogy from the early 90s. I'm not that big a fan of Star Wars, but I hear Zahn is a helluva writer, and I'm willing to bet I'll like this book at least as much as I did Episodes IV & V.

Julius Katz & Archie by Dave Zeltserman - He can write horror, he can write crime, he can write blends of the two, even. And here, Dave Zeltserman has a blend of mystery and sci-fi. If he handles genres as well as the others, this one is sure to please.

So what goodies to you grab this week?

1 comment:

  1. Great group of books there, bud! Thanks for buying NR4DC, Gef! Darkfuse was supposed to publish The Collected Songs of Sonnelion this year but when I asked them about it they said it would be sometime next year so I'm going to self-pub it, just had so much other stuff going on that I haven't had the chance to tackle that project yet. Plus I'm seriously considering putting the first three (Before Leonora Wakes, Within This Garden Weeping, and Sonnelion all in one book so the reader can experience Red Piccirilli's adolescent arc the way it's meant to be). Thanks again for the support!