Today is a good day. Doorbell rings, sign off for a bag of free books from my publisher Pan. Ah, this is the life. More instant wall insulation for my drafty writer's garret (and that's not entirely kidding, by the way, and did you know - I can't remember where I read this, it was years ago - that books actually do make for excellent insulation? Think about it.).
So what's in the goody bag ...

Jonathan Carroll, White Apples
I like Carroll, but I can only take him a little at a time. Like there are some musicians you really like, but you balk at listening to them too often. Somehow he's a writer who I find I enjoy most when I take time out between reading his books. I sometimes find his style a bit precious, but I haven't disliked a book yet - and at least now he's figured out how to write endings (his earlier books seemed to just sort of trail off).

China Mieville, The Scar
I didn't actually ask for this one because he's more fantasy based, and there's few fantasy writers I can hack - even ones operating on the edge of the genre, so far off the edge they've effectively tipped off. I read Perdido Street Station, and it was ok, but I'm probably not the best person to judge since certain questions always come to my mind when reading anything like this; if there's magic, how the hell does it work? Where are we, this universe, another universe? Where? Where??
However, I have another reason for reading it - I gather part of it is set on a city made up of moored ships. My first (unpublished) nov, which I"m hoping to rewrite one of these days, is also partly set on a city made of ships. Curiously enough, someone mentioned to me recently that my ex-flatmate Mike has part of his second book (written after mine) set on a city of ships ... what a coincidence, eh? EH?? Feh ...
So naturally it's worth checking out anyway, to see if my own ideas would be too close.

All of Neal Asher's books (Gridlinked, Skinner, Line of Polity)
Well, he's by far the closest to the kind of thing I'm doing, so it's worth checking his stuff out (never read him before). 'Specially when I get it for FREE!! Bwa ha ha ha haaa ...

Justina Robson, Natural History
I've got Silver Screen somewhere, so I thought this might be worth checking out - it's her new space opera novel. Looking forward to it.

Jeffrey Ford, The Physiognomy
Smells suspiciously like fantasy, but what the hell, I'll give it a shot. 'Specially since it's .... etc.

Still no sign of the 'Stations revisions through, so another quiet day - only working at my design job for a couple of hours this morning since not much work was coming in anyway. So back home early ... I've been running copies of Against Gravity off for people to crit, which takes a bit of time to do. I've been avoiding looking at it too much, since already I'm spotting loads of mistakes and inconsistencies. But if nothing appears from my editor by tomorrow, I'll probably start going over 'Gravity in order for something to do.

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