Jumpdrives & Cantrips


More Book Sale Madness

I love book sales. I love being able to search through piles of books and pick out the treasures, and sometimes find treasures for other people.

This past weekend I managed to hit part of the Children’s Hospital Book Sale–which is a bonus, because all profits go to a good cause as well. And you know something? As much as I like reading classic SF, I can’t always bring myself to shell out the $11 per book that it costs. I am a cheap person, and looking back at some of these book prices… I mean, for god’s sake not much more than twenty years ago, paperback books were still under three dollars! Talk about craziness, eh?

Of course, I managed to pull out some treasures this time around: two novels by James Tiptree, Jr. which I am sure are out of print, a pile of Leigh Brackett, a not-quite-so-battered copy of Heinlein’s Starship Troopers, Clarke’s Childhood’s End since I have always managed to miss it, the second and third books following Kate Elliott’s Jaran, an omnibus of the first three books in Diane Duane’s Wizard series, and a copy of Joe Abercrombie’s The Blade Itself for $4 in trade paperback. I suppose given that I now have Abercrombie’s first book, I’ll be able to find out what all the fuss and bother is about.

One of the other things I love about book sales is looking at all the different covers over time for certain books. Stranger in a Strange Land is particularly good for this, but it’s neat to see how design ideas change (or don’t) over time. And sometimes finding odd notes in the books used as bookmarks. I once found a letter apologizing to a lover after an argument; but I commonly find more prosaic things like grocery lists, or classified clippings from the automotive section. I always wonder about the people who read the books. Did they ever finish, or did they just stop?

And just a reminder: if your book smells like vomit, please don’t give it to a book sale. I don’t care if it’s immaculate and has never been touched by projectile body fluids. If it smells like someone puked on it, I will not buy it. Not even if it was a first edition of some extremely famous literature. Not even if I could auction it off for a small fortune (a large fortune I may consider in special cases, and while using a hazmat suit).

Anyhow, largely I enjoy the smell of books. But, you know… there are limits.

If you’re wondering what’s up next, I’m currently reading Sandra McDonald’s The Outback Stars and Grimspace by Ann Aguirre.

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News of the New

First off, Realms of Speculative Fiction, where one of my blog buddies (Thrinidir/Uros) resides, has put together an awesome list of SF-related blogs and included me along with a whole host of excellent bloggers (I feel a little odd being included with them). I even found some I hadn’t yet stumbled upon! Clearly he has superior blogging taste, and is very nice besides. I highly endorse his blog, which has multiple reviewers and other cool things.

But without any further ado, lots of interesting things out there the past couple of days, so this might run a little longer than usual…

  • Fantasy Book Critic reviews & interviews Lois McMaster Bujold and Kate Elliott (aka Alis A. Rasmussen). I urge you to read both of the excellent interviews, and then the books of these excellent writers.
  • Juno Editor Paula Guran posted her notes for a panel on urban fantasy that she didn’t get to. It’s a very good look at urban fantasy in the context of its cross-genre nature and points out some tendencies. My only wish it that it was in a more chronological format, as it tends to jump around a little without putting things into context time-wise, but if I really wanted I suppose I could edit it. Unfortunately, I’m unabashedly lazy (via Dark Parables).
  • This is why I hesitate to fully embrace eBooks–so much potential for paper-bound beauty! Take a look at Jordan Crane’s Cover Art for a Michael Chabon essay collection (via Making Light). It makes me drool a little.
  • John Scalzi on book remaindering and The Android’s Dream. Which is, by the way, a great piece of comedic SF and satire, and I encourage purchasing of the remaindered books, so keep your eyes peeled in the near future if you want a copy.
  • Jim C. Hines’ LOL Books. I highly endorse LOLing in general, and LOLSF is even better! I’m particularly be-snickered by the missing forehead one…
  • A new book by Farah Mendelsohn called Rhetorics of Fantasy is a work with scholarly slant that tries to categorise fantasy in a new way. Instead of looking at content specifically, she analyses how characters relate to the world they are in (via SF Scope). I’d be very interested to have a read of this volume, and I’ll have to see if she’s published any articles.
  • And the newest Compton Crook Award finalists have been announced. There’s only one I haven’t seen a significant amount of buzz about: Baen’s Mark L. Van Name volume One Jump Ahead (via SF Scope).

With that, I am off to pillage and rampage across countryside from the comfort of my home. I love computers 😉