Up For Review: eARCs from NetGalley

About a month ago Cat Hellison handed me a book-blogger gem by suggesting I check out NetGalley, a website that distributes eARCs to professional readers. NetGalley is most useful blogger tool I’ve discovered since I started reviewing and blogging, second only to my Kindle (on which I read the eARCs I get from NetGalley).

Once I’d registered I wasted no time setting up my profile and browsing for books to request. I’ve reviewed two of them so far – Those Across the River by Christopher Buehlman, and The Postmortal by Drew Magary. Here are the others on my review schedule:

 

Night Shade Books

Night Shade Books seems to be the kind of publisher that caters to my tastes because, without realising it, I requested three of their titles:

The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi

This is actually an old title, published in 2009, but was still available on NetGalley. I’ve been wanting to read it for a while, as it’s won the Nebula, Hugo and Locus awards for Best Novel.

Anderson Lake is a company man, AgriGen’s Calorie Man in Thailand. Under cover as a factory manager, Anderson combs Bangkok’s street markets in search of foodstuffs thought to be extinct, hoping to reap the bounty of history’s lost calories. There, he encounters Emiko…

Emiko is the Windup Girl, a strange and beautiful creature. One of the New People, Emiko is not human; instead, she is an engineered being, creche-grown and programmed to satisfy the decadent whims of a Kyoto businessman, but now abandoned to the streets of Bangkok. Regarded as soulless beings by some, devils by others, New People are slaves, soldiers, and toys of the rich in a chilling near future in which calorie companies rule the world, the oil age has passed, and the side effects of bio-engineered plagues run rampant across the globe.

What Happens when calories become currency? What happens when bio-terrorism becomes a tool for corporate profits, when said bio-terrorism’s genetic drift forces mankind to the cusp of post-human evolution? Award-winning author Paolo Bacigalupi delivers one of the most highly acclaimed science fiction novels of the twenty-first century.

Seed by Rob Ziegler

It’s the dawn of the 22nd century, and the world has fallen apart.

Decades of war and resource depletion have toppled governments. The ecosystem has collapsed. A new dust bowl sweeps the American West. The United States has become a nation of migrants -starving masses of nomads who seek out a living in desert wastelands and encampments outside government seed-distribution warehouses. 

In this new world, there is a new power. Satori is more than just a corporation, she is an intelligent, living city that grew out of the ruins of Denver. Satori bioengineers both the climate-resistant seed that feeds a hungry nation, and her own post-human genetic Designers, Advocates, and Laborers. What remains of the United States government now exists solely to distribute Satori seed; a defeated American military doles out bar-coded, single-use Satori seed to the nation”s starving citizens. 

When one of Satori’s Designers goes rogue, Agent Sienna Doss-Ex-Army Ranger turned glorified bodyguard-is tasked by the government to bring her in: The government wants to use the Designer to break Satori’s stranglehold on seed production and reassert themselves as the center of power.  Sianna Doss’s search for the Designer intersects with Brood and his younger brother Pollo – orphans scrapping by on the fringes of the wastelands. Pollo is abducted, because he is believed to suffer from Tet, a newly emergent disease, the victims of which are harvested by Satori. 

As events spin out of control, Brood and Sienna Doss find themselves at the heart of Satori, where an explosive climax promises to reshape the future of the world.

Seed is due for publication on 15 November 2011

The Folded World by Catherynne M. Valente

Goodreads lists this as book 2 in a series entitled Dirge for Prestor John. This had me slightly concerned, but NetGalley makes no mention of a series and the plot sounds stand-alone so it should be fine 🙂

When the mysterious daughter of Prester John appears on the doorstep of her father’s palace, she brings with her news of war in the West–the Crusades have begun, and the bodies of the faithful are washing up on the shores of Pentexore.

Three narratives intertwine to tell the tale of the beginning of the end of the world: a younger, angrier Hagia, the blemmye-wife of John and Queen of Pentexore, who takes up arms with the rest of her nation to fight a war they barely understand, Vyala, a lion-philosopher entrusted with the care of the deformed and prophetic royal princess, and another John, John Mandeville, who in his many travels discovers the land of Pentexore–on the other side of the diamond wall meant to keep demons and monsters at bay. 

These three voices weave a story of death, faith, beauty, and power, dancing in the margins of true history, illuminating a place that never was.

The Folded World is due for publication on 15 November 2011

 

HarperCollins

I’ve got two novels from HarperCollins:

Variant by Robison Wells

Benson Fisher thought that a scholarship to Maxfield Academy was the ticket out of his dead-end life. He was wrong. Now he’s trapped in a school that’s surrounded by a razor–wire fence. A school where video cameras monitor his every move. Where there are no adults. Where the kids have split into groups in order to survive. Where breaking the rules equals death. But when Benson stumbles upon the school’s real secret, he realizes that playing by the rules could spell a fate worse than death, and that escape—his only real hope for survival—may be impossible.

Variant was published on 4 October 2011 by HarperTeen

 

Snuff by Terry Pratchett

In this thirty-eighth entry to his esteemed Discoworld canon, the beloved Commander Sam Vimes of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch is taking a vacation. But this is Discworld, where nothing goes as planned—and hilarious adventure ensues.

That’s not much of a blurb, but I don’t care. If it’s Terry Pratchett, I’ll read it.

Last but not least…

A very cool-looking literary sci fi thriller from Little, Brown.

The Revisionists by Thomas Mullen

A fast-paced literary thriller that recalls dystopian classics such as 1984 and Fahrenheit 451, from the award-winning author of The Last Town on Earth.

Zed is an agent from the future. A time when the world’s problems have been solved. No hunger. No war. No despair. 

His mission is to keep it that way. Even if it means ensuring every cataclysm throughout history runs its course-especially The Great Conflagration, an imminent disaster in our own time that Zed has been ordered to protect at all costs.

Zed’s mission will disrupt the lives of a disgraced former CIA agent; a young Washington lawyer grieving over the loss of her brother, a soldier in Iraq; the oppressed employee of a foreign diplomat; and countless others. But will he finish his final mission before the present takes precedence over a perfect future? One that may have more cracks than he realizes?

The Revisionists puts a fresh spin on today’s global crises, playing with the nature of history and our own role in shaping it. It firmly establishes Mullen as one of the most exciting and imaginative writers of his generation. 

The Revisionists was published on 28 September 2011

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