December 6, 2013

Chasing Tale [12/06/13]: Oh Christmas Treacle!

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.

Can we as a society put an end to some of these Christmas carols? I'm talking full-on moratoriums. Hand the little drummer boy his walking papers and wish him the best in his future endeavors--that sort of thing. Maybe we need a vote on which ones to give a rest. I'd like to put in a vote for that insipid cats and dogs version of "Jingle Bells." I abhor cruelty to animals, but if anything could spur me into punting a house cat into the nearest snowbank, that song would do it.

Oh, Gef. Don't be such a humbug.

Okay, fine. I'm just grouchy. I admit that it takes me a while to get into the Christmas spirit. The onslaught of carols and tinsel and goofball advertising and celebrity preachiness just grinds on me at this time of year. It's not until a few days before Christmas Day that I find myself able to tune out the nonsense, so I just need to hunker down and suffer the saccharinity for a couple more weeks.

Maybe I'll read a book. Here's a bunch that showed up on my to-be-read pile recently:

I Can Transform You by Maurice Broaddus - Here's a novella and the second installment in the Apex Voices series. The back-cover summary for this one makes this one sound like a real trippy take on dystopia. A bit sci-fi, a bit police procedural, the blend of genres should be interesting to read from a guy who expertly modernized the King Arthur mythos.

Southern Haunts edited by Alexander S. Brown & J.L. Mulvihill - If you're going to go gothic, go southern gothic. And this Seventh Star Press anthology ought to fit the bill. Sixteen stories in all from a group of authors with only a couple familiar names, so it looks like this will be a chance to discover some new voices in horror.

The Monster Hunters by Larry Correia - I mentioned my interest in Correia's work not too long ago in WLW#146, and wouldn't ya know this three-book collection would get recommended to me on Amazon's Kindle Store. And it worked out to a couple bucks and change per novel. Nice.

Barbed Wire Hearts by Cate Gardner - I could have sworn I already had this book on my to-be-read pile, but it popped up as a recommendation on Amazon a few weeks back. A sticker price of 99 cents too, when I bought it. For a darkly themed novella by the whimsically wicked wordsmith that is Cate Gardner, that's a steal.

Bite by Gardner Goldsmith - One of two novellas I received from Pendragon Press. This one sounds like it has a really gritty, urban fantasy vibe. Hey, that's how I like my urban fantasy, so why the heck not.

Mystery Girl by David Gordon - Someone recommended I check out this mystery novel, so I gave it a look-see and it sounded alright, but I wasn't sold until I read a blurb comparing it to The Big Lebowski. That's one of my all-time favorite movies, so I decided I could at least add it to my TBR pile and give it a chance.

The Outrider by C.R. Jahn -  This one apparently runs somewhere between urban fantasy and noir, with a Hunter S. Thompson twist. Hmmm. Could be good.

Dust Devils by Jonathan Janz - A weird western? Yes, please. Jonathan's latest novel, which is due out in the very near future, is a bit of a departure from his previous Samhain Horror novels, but I doubt it will lack his same diligence in characters and plot.

Blues Highway Blues by Eyre Price - I think it was on an episode of TheLibrary Police (one of my favorite podcasts_ that I heard Josh and Dietrich singing the praises of Price's work. Well, they tend to have good taste in books, especially when it comes to anything in the crime and thriller genres, I figured I could roll the dice on it.

Fade Out by Gavin Salisbury - This is the second novella from Pendragon, and this one goes into the sci-fi landscape with a family that has lost the ability to communicate (writing, speech, you name it), except for one daughter. Weird.

Orchid Carousals by Lucy A. Snyder - I'm only familiar with Snyder's Jessie Shimmer urban fantasy series, so I figure this collection of some of her short stories ought to be a nice change-up. Right off the bat, the alluring cover has me thinking I'm in for something starkly different from UF.

B-Movie Reels by Alan Spencer - I scooped this up as a freebie in November. If I understand the premise right, it's a horror movie marathon gone awry when the creatures on screen come to life and terrorize the audience. Oh my. Well, as long as this isn't the horror equivalent of Arnold Schwartzenegger’s Last Action Hero, which was horrific enough all on its own.

Redemption by Shane Ryan Staley - As a subscriber to the DarkFuse newsletter, I got my free novella for the end of the year. It's a nice little perk, I gotta say, and if you aren't keeping an eye on these guys and the impressive amount of horror fiction they publish each year, you should subscribe to their newsletter and remedy that.

The Cormorant by Chuck Wendig - The third Myriam Black novel is due out in early 2014 through Angry Robot Books. This might be my favorite urban fantasy series on the go right now, and if not it's in the top five. Myriam Black is an endlessly fascinating character and Chuck Wendig is a mad scientist when it comes to creating characters like her.


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