Monday, June 1, 2015

"Better Than Sex" Kirkus RAVES!!!

Brace yourselves, gentle readers. My brilliantly entertaining Darger & Surplus novel, Chasing the Phoenix, comes out in less than three months. Which means that, yes, I will be flogging it relentlessly.  Doing so is like voting for yourself when you're on the Nebula ballot.  Everybody does it, nobody is petty enough to say you shouldn't, and because it has no great effect on the outcome, it does no harm. So why not?

Also, it never hurts to let your editor know that you're doing your bit.

All of which is prologue to the fact that my novel has just received its first official review -- a starred review from Kirkus, no less.

The pullquotes to note are "witty, supple, artfully humorous, and vastly engaging" and "this one's just too good to miss."

I will not pretend that I am not happy about this.

The review in its entirety is:

Author: Michael Swanwick
Pages: 320
Price ( Hardcover ): $26.99
Price ( e-book ): $12.99
Publication Date: August 11, 2015
Category: Fiction
Classification: Science Fiction/Fantasy

A new entry in Swanwick's picaresque post-apocalyptic series, following Dancing with Bears (2011) and various short stories. Technological civilization collapsed long ago, the reasons for which only gradually emerge, yet Swanwick's seductive future swarms with gene-modified creatures, ancient weapons, vengeful artificial intelligences, and other contrivances that would not seem out of place in a steampunk yarn. Surplus, a genetically modified dog with the stance and intellect of a human, arrives in the Abundant Kingdom with the corpse of his friend (and fellow confidence trickster) Aubrey Darger in search of the Infallible Physician, the only agency by which Darger might be revived. They soon learn that the land's paranoid and quite possibly insane Hidden King is both ambitious to reunite the sundered kingdoms of old China and obsessed with locating his Phoenix Bride. Seeing a likely source of great wealth, our heroes attach themselves to the king's entourage, braving the skepticism of Chief Archaeological Officer White Squall (whose mission is to recover and repair ancient war machines) and Ceo Powerful Locomotive. Surplus becomes Noble Dog Warrior, while Darger declares himself to be Perfect Strategist. In turn, various persons attach themselves to the heroes, among them Capable Servant and a band of feisty horse warriors. Somehow, Surplus and Darger's intrigues and stratagems really begin to work. Or so it seems. One drawback to this otherwise witty, supple, artfully humorous, and vastly engaging yarn is the plot's broad similarity with the previous novel. Still, along with a splendid supporting cast, Swanwick offers a pair of delightful rogues whose chief flaw (like Jack Vance's celebrated Cugel the Clever, a likely inspiration) is that they're a little too crafty for their own good. Swanwick's approaching top form, and this one's just too good to miss. 

And as always . . .

I'm on the road again. This time I'm off to Launch Pad in Wyoming for a weeklong crash course in astronomy. It's been (cough) years since I took a formal astronomy course and I felt that it was time to do a little catching up. The universe is a much bigger place than it was when I was in college.

I'll do my best to keep up my blog while I'm away. But, necessarily, I can make no promises.

Behave yourselves while I'm away!



TheOFloinn said...

I add my own enthusiastic endorsement. This is a wonderfully entertaining book!

zamzummim said...

Excellent -- I've preordered digital and dead tree media copies. Can't wait to tear into them, and set it next to Dancing with Bears on my shelf =)

Lars said...

You know, I really did think that Surplus was taller.

Michael Swanwick said...

Me too.