Free Books!

Are one of the things I’m sure everybody looks forward to from the World Fantasy Convention. When you register, they hand you fifty pounds (or so) of books. You then spend the weekend sorting them out and, man, on Sunday morning? Huge turnover at the exchange table as people get rid of the ones they don’t want to keep and grab copies of different books as others discard them.

For me, if the writing quality looks good on the first page, then I’ll read the first chapter or so and then decide whether to keep the book or not. Like, if the author can’t tell the difference between the past tense and the past perfect, I’m not likely to make it past the first page.

But I don’t keep all the ones that are well written, either. I didn’t keep, for example, MR SHIVERS, even though it was beautifully written, because I’m not into horror. Also, I wound up discarding AMERICAN GODS because I read the whole thing (I was waking up VERY early because of the time difference, so lots of time to kill every morning). I actually kind of liked it, but I don’t think I would read it again in a hurry, and I didn’t want the weight of another hardcover, so I put it on the exchange table. Where it was snapped right up, believe me.

I don’t remember most of the ones I discarded, but here’s the list of the ones I kept:

IORICH, by Brust — I read this after my flight home got canceled and I suddenly had time to kill before coming home. Loved it! I’d been wanting to get it, so I was delighted to see a copy turn up on the exchange table and grabbed it instantly.

THE HUNDRED THOUSAND KINGDOMS, by Jemisin — I already had it, but just in mm paperback and this was a trade paperback, so I kept it. I actually got to meet NK Jemisin! Whose name turns out to be Nora (if you were wondering). I so wanted her book to win the World Fantasy Award, but it didn’t (the one that did was the only nominee I haven’t read (WHO FEARS DEATH) so now I guess I’ll have to pick it up and see if I agree with the judges).

THE GODSTALKER CHRONICLES, by Hodgell — well written and I enjoyed it, but I see there are FOUR MORE books in this series and remember how I said I was epicked out for a while? Don’t know if I’ll look for the rest of the books any time soon.

And then a bunch I haven’t read yet and know nothing about except they looked good enough to add to my carry-on burden:

MAYAN DECEMBER (Cooper); THE HAMMER (Parker); THE DROWNING CITY (Downum); OUTLANDER (Gibaldon); GLITTER ROSE (de Pierres), which looks like short stories and may not be my thing but was small and pretty; UNPLUGGED (Horton, ed.) which is short stories from the web and includes Merrie Haskell’s great story The Girl-Prince, which is why I kept it; CAN’T CATCH ME (Cadnum), which also looks like short stories but I think I might like them. I think that’s it.

I also bought a copy of THE KINGDOM OF GODS by Jemisin, which I’m loving so far. What a fabulous trilogy, really, there are no words, you have to read this! I didn’t get a copy of MASTIFF, the third book in Tamora Pierce’s Beka Cooper trilogy, because I was pretty sure I’d pre-ordered it. Yep, good thing I held off, because it was waiting for me at home, so no need to haul it around.

So! I know I said I was taking October off to read books? And October is over? But there’s no way I’m stopping before re-reading the first too Beka Cooper stories and then this third one that just arrived.

Plus, also waiting for me — SILVER PHOENIX, by Cindy Pon. Who is a very nice, vivacious person, by the way; met her at a panel on Saturday. Gotta fit that one in sometime soon, too.

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