If you’re at all familiar with this blog, you’ve probably realized, by now, one thing: Aidan Moher does not like my covers. Not since the discovery of the hooded man has Aidan Moher despised so thoroughly a creature. Perhaps this is something to take pride in: that man standing in water has overtaken hooded man as most despotic cover criminal. But I could not take heart in this, my friends. Not when I knew I had wounded Aidan so.
Admittedly, this was tragic news to hear when I first discovered it. It took some time, but I did heal. It took even more time to recover from when he kept raising giant, blown-up prints of Black Halo’s cover on my lawn and setting them on fire, but even then, my commitment to restoring my honor with Clan Moher did not falter.
And then, joy of joys, he delivered me this terse, brusque invitation to do a guest blog for A Dribble of Ink. And thus, a child of opportunity was vomited forth from the womb of fate, cleaned by the doctor of second chances and delivered squealing into the heaving bosom of mother friendship to nurse at the teats of–
Well, you understand where I’m going with this, anyway.
So this blog post, Aidan, is my wedding present to you. Inspired by the elegant simplicity of the Criterion Collection series of DVDs, I create, for you, a re-imagined set of artistically tasteful covers. May I present…the Moher Collection.
Tomorrow, I’m off to get married. In consideration of this momentous occasion (and my temporarily altered priorities), I’ve invited a few of my friends to keep you busy while I’m gone. So, enjoy. I’ll be back before you know it.
Reviewing Fuzzy Nation was a bit troublesome for me. You see, I’ve always counted myself as a huge John Scalzi fan, but his latest novel (hitting store shelves soon) started to make me wonder if I wasn’t simply a fan of Old Man’s War (REVIEW), clinging on to his classic novel and hoping he could top it. I’ve enjoyed his subsequent novels (some quite a bit, even), but none of them have been able to recapture that magic, despite similar characters, settings and motifs. But, regardless, Fuzzy Nation is a fun, entertaining novel and a good palate-cleanser if you’re knee-deep into a long series, a turgid door-stopper or just looking for a quick diversion.
Jack Holloway works alone, for reasons he doesn’t care to talk about. Hundreds of miles from ZaraCorp’s headquarters on planet, 178 light-years from the corporation’s headquarters on Earth, Jack is content as an independent contractor, prospecting and surveying at his own pace. As for his past, that’s not up for discussion.
Then, in the wake of an accidental cliff collapse, Jack discovers a seam of unimaginably valuable jewels, to which he manages to lay legal claim just as ZaraCorp is cancelling their contract with him for his part in causing the collapse. Briefly in the catbird seat, legally speaking, Jack pressures ZaraCorp into recognizing his claim, and cuts them in as partners to help extract the wealth.
But there’s another wrinkle to ZaraCorp’s relationship with the planet Zarathustra. Their entire legal right to exploit the verdant Earth-like planet, the basis of the wealth they derive from extracting its resources, is based on being able to certify to the authorities on Earth that Zarathustra is home to no sentient species.
Then a small furry biped—trusting, appealing, and ridiculously cute—shows up at Jack’s outback home. Followed by its family. As it dawns on Jack that despite their stature, these are people, he begins to suspect that ZaraCorp’s claim to a planet’s worth of wealth is very flimsy indeed…and that ZaraCorp may stop at nothing to eliminate the “fuzzys” before their existence becomes more widely known.
You can read chapters one and two on Tor.com and chapters three and four on io9.com.
Time and again, Pyr Books produces the best book covers in the industry. This time it’s Thief’s Covenant by Ari Marmell (formerly known as Household Gods). Normally I’d bitch about another thief-in-leather cover, but Lou Anders, the art team at Pyr and artist Jason Chan take the tired concept and inject some life into it. It proves that a good artist can take those proven elements (sexy figures sell books, you know), literally flip them on their heads, still have fun and, most importantly, be successful both artistically and commercially. Along with The Goblin Corps., Marmell’s really hitting the mark with his recent cover art.
Since I can’t complain about the cover, I will point out that Household Gods was a way better title. Still, regardless of the title, I can’t wait to get my hands on this one.