Flaming Geeks

Feeding an Addiction
by J. Andrews

I received some positive responses to my previous, My Terrible Addiction, so I thought I'd let y'all know about my latest forays.

I started a new job this week, and had a 25$ BN gift cetificate from Mypoints, so I went on a bit of a spending spree. But I was well-prepared for it!

The books I was on the lookout for were inspired by various sources. And, in the end, I ended up putting in one bn.com order, two borders.com orders, one trip to a Barnes and Noble store, and one trip to a discount bookstore. I'll go in chronological order.

The first thing I did after getting my job is put in an order with Barnes and Noble. Hey, you have to reward yourself somehow! That order consisted of four books.

Convergence by Sharon Green. I was scanning the list of new releases and saw a winged guy on one of the covers. Turns out that was the latest in a series, so I read the description of a couple of them. I decided it was worth checking out. The premise sounded vaguely like one of my ideas (not original, I grant you), and then there was the promise of at least one winged guy! So I picked up book 1.

Swords of the Rainbow: Gay and Lesbian Fantasy Adventures. I'm on a recently created mailing list for m/m fantasy fiction writing (Sigil, hosted on Egroups). A few anthologies have been suggested on that list and this was one of them. So I picked it up.

The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson. This is by the author of Snow Crash, a wonderful cyberpunk novel. I wanted something a little different to read, and this should do it. I believe I found out about this by randomly browsing new releases.

Little Sister by Kara Dalkey. On a recent trip to the library (just before the interview for the job I now have), I picked up four fantasy anthologies. Two of those anthologies were the Year's Best fantasy, and in those there's a list of the books published in the past year that are considered to be pretty darned good. This was one of those books, and the description sounded interesting. Sort of a historical Japan fantasy young adult book. There are also some sequels to this.

The odd thing about this order is they shipped out 3 of the books, then shipped the fourth about 3 hours later. They sent the first USPS Priority, they sent the second UPS. The UPS-shipped book arrived on Friday. The USPS shipment hasn't arrived yet (Sunday). Post office was closed yesterday for the holiday. BN shipping is so whack.

My next book-buying spree occurred at the bargain bookstore. I was dropped in the mall and needed to wile away some time. This bookstore is the only bookstore in the area apart from two used bookstores. The selection is always strange, and their science fiction/fantasy choices are quite limited. Nevertheless, I picked up two books. The second Harry Potter book in paperback, because while I had read it, I didn't own a copy. And it was a fairly good deal. Vigilant by James Alan Gardner. He wrote Commitment Hour and the only reason I knew that is because they were sitting on a shelf together. Commitment Hour was interesting and I liked it, and the back cover of Vigilant seemed interesting, so I picked it up. It helped that it was only 2$. And, well, while I was waiting for my BN.com order to show up, I needed a quick fix.

Well, and then I wasn't satisfied, so I placed an order at Borders. I picked up Winter Rose by Patricia McKillip. It was listed in that anthology previously mentioned and sounded interesting, and it also sounded familiar. It's possible this was discussed on the m/m ML. Something about two sisters and a love triangle or something. Guess I'll find out when I read it. :) Maybe I just liked the title.

Flying Cups and Saucers: Gender Explorations in Science Fiction and Fantasy . This was a special order, so I'll be surprised if I see it very soon. It's an anthology that was put out a few years ago by the James Tiptree Jr. Awards. They give out annual awards and reading lists on the subject of.. well.. gender explorations in science fiction and fantasy. Check out their website. Be sure if you're getting this book that you don't get the 40$ version unless you really want it. There's an 18$ version.

Northern Girl: Chronicles of Tornor #3 by Elizabeth A. Lynn. Lynn is a strange one. I sort of liked her latest, Dragon's Winter, but thought it had some major flaws. The first two in the Tornor series had things in common, such as the world they took place in, but were also pretty different from each other. I have to say I liked the second one better, but there's incest in it, if that bothers you. Anyway, all her books that I've read have had yaoi content, and that's in such limited supply that I just had to get the last in this series. Although, by the title, maybe this doesn't have any yaoi. May I hope, yuri? Probably not. Guess I'll see. K's the first one to suggest these books to me, and she hadn't gotten them yet herself then. Since then I've seen them discussed on the m/m ML previously mentioned.

Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner. I had originally ordered this from BN.com, but they haven't sent it yet. They tell me the publisher is out of stock. I decided to try ordering from Borders as well. Who knows, I might get lucky. This is another suggested yaoi book.

Theeeen, I went to Barnes and Noble to spend my 25$ gift certificate. I had held off ordering one particular book, so I could get it with this gift certificate. Peter David's latest New Frontier book, #11, Restoration. It's in hard cover, but it was only 20$! (16$ online, but what're you gonna do?) I can't say enough good things about this series. If you don't like Trek books, but you do like Star Trek, then try this series. Peter David knows Star Trek, and injects lots of humor into wonderful stories. Besides, aren't most of us sick of Kirk, Data, Worf, and Seven?

Also at the store, I picked up Chicks in Chain Mail, an anthology of sf/f stories (or maybe it's just fantasy) featuring chicks kicking butt. How can you not like that? And I picked up Competitions. This is book #2 in the Blending series by Sharon Green. I'll need to wait 'til book #1 arrives before I can read this, but I just can't stand the idea of finishing book #1 and then not having the next in the series close at hand. Besides, I want to get through this series (if it's any good) to get to the winged guy covers!

But wait, I'm not done yet! I was reading the ML again today and remembered I had wanted to find some short short story anthologies (that's not a typo) that I had read years ago and are now out of print. So I put in an order at Borders to have Harvest Booksearch look for 100 Great Fantasy Short Short Stories and 100 Great Science Fiction Short Short Stories, both editted by Isaac Asimov. While I was at it, I put in a similar order for a search for Worlds Apart: An Anthology of Lesbian and Gay Science Fiction and Fantasy. Heard about this on the ML as well. (This ML sounding cool to you yet?)

But, well, Borders won't let you just put in an order for a booksearch. Or, if it does, I couldn't figure it out. So I put in an order for some books as well. Three, because ordering less just makes the shipping and handling seem ridiculous. This is where I got two sequel anthologies, Chicks 'N Chained Males and The Chick is in the Mail. Gotta love those titles. And I also got The Lost Years of Merlin #1 by T. A. Barron. This I got because I saw the cover of the latest in the series and it was titled The Wings of Merlin. Wings, young wizard, siiiigh. Then I read the Barnes and Noble description in their Explorations booklet and even though it said basically 'It's Harry Potter, but it's not.', I thought I'd get it. This series tells of Merlin's childhood and learning to be a wizard. It's targetted at young adults, but since when would I let that stop me?

And that's it! Sounds like I'm rich, doesn't it? Well, keep in mind I used a gift certificate for 25$, a coupon for 10$, and bought some at a bargain bookstore. Also keep in mind that there's at least 5 of these books that I won't see for weeks, or longer, or never. Means my credit card won't be charged for awhile. Why didn't I put in one online order instead of 3? Well, that wouldn't have been any fun would it? The fun is in the shopping!

If any of these books sound interesting to you, I suggest you check 'em out. I won't vouch for the quality of their content, as I haven't read them yet, but I'm hoping most of them will be good. And, as always, I welcome suggestions for other books to read!

PS. Click on this Barnes and Noble link and place your order there to give Flaming Geeks a small kickback. Help support us!

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This page written November 12, 2000 by J. Andrews.
This site copyright 2000 by J. Andrews, K. Butler,
and J. Dunbar. Email is flaminggeeks@yahoo.com.