An assortment of bookish things. . .

Newly Released
Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente () is now available. The cover is gorgeous, very reminiscent of woodcut drawings, and the story — a modern retelling of the Slavic folktale, “Koschei the Deathless” — looks rather kick ass, too, as you can in this exceptionally done book trailer.

Valente also has a list of ways that people can help her promote her book on her blog, all of which is great advice for helping out any of your favorite authors when they release a new book.

Coming Soon
Naomi Clark () is currently finishing up edits and formatting for her book Wild, which will be released on the kindle. This book has been in the making for five years, and she’s venturing back through her blog as a restrospective look at some of her challenges and thought processes along the way. (Now that she’s releasing books on kindle, I’m considering finally getting one. E-readers never held an appeal before, but now I must partake in the awesome that is Naomie’s writing.)

Also, the official flap copy and cover of Ganymede by Cherie Priest () has been released. Eeee! It looks great. I do love this steampunk series and I can’t wait for the next book to come out.

Speaking of Steampunk… a quick review:
Steampunk II: Steampunk Reloaded is a rather good collection of steampunk tales. It has it’s ups and downs, but overall the stories are enjoyable. Along with the stories, there are a couple of interesting non-fiction pieces and a round-table interview about the future of steampunk.

Here are a few of the stories that I especially enjoyed:

  • In “The Unblinking Eye” by Stephen Baxter, Europe has advanced steam technology, but has never ventured toward the new world. Rather it is the Incas, who have developed their own advanced technology, and have ventured into lands unknown, colonizing each new territory they come across. come to pay Europe a visit.
  • Caitlin R. Kiernan tells the story of a maimed young woman, who has been outfitted with steam-powered limbs in “The Steam Dancer.”
  • “The Mechanical Aviary of Emperor Jalal-ud-din Muhammad Akbar” by Shweta Narayan, presents a new take on a traditional folktale, involving the beautiful clockwork birds of the Emperor’s aviary.
  • “Wild Copper” by Samantha Henderson can barely be labeled steampunk genre. It’s more of a fairy story, in which a girl offers to serve Oberon to save her brother. Steampunk or not, this is still a great tale.
  • An lonely orphan builds himself a mechanical friend in “Tanglefoot (A Clockwork Century Story)” by Cherie Priest. But his souless begins to take on a life of its own.
  • “The Anachronist’s Cookbook” by Cherie Priest Catherynne M. Valente (listing the wrong author goes down as the worst typo ever; so, so sorry) rails against the accepted politics of a steampowered era as it presents the exploits of an angry and vicious young woman.

While there were a couple of stories that I was not a fan of (i.e., “A Secret History of Steampunk” by The Mecha-Ostrich and “Flying Fish Prometheus” by Vilhelm Bergsøe), overall I enjoyed this collection of steampunk fiction and art. In fact, I would say it’s better than the first installment of this anthology series.

[Cross-posted to my livejournal. If you feel inclined, you may comment either here or there.]