Book Scoop September 1- September 15, 2017

September 15, 2017
Book Scoop, Book News, InToriLex, Man Booker 2017
Book Industry News, Links to Sift Through & Short Stories

Happy GreenPeace Day!!!

HEADLINES

Autumn
~Amazon~ 
Fusing Keatsian mists and mellow fruitfulness with the vitality, the immediacy and the colour-hit of Pop Art (via a bit of very contemporary skulduggery and skull-diggery), Autumn is a witty excavation of the present by the past. The novel is a stripped-branches take on popular culture and a meditation, in a world growing ever more bordered and exclusive, on what richness and worth are, what harvest means.

Autumn is the first installment in Ali Smith's novel quartet Seasonal: four standalone books, separate yet interconnected and cyclical (as the seasons are), exploring what time is, how we experience it, and the recurring markers in the shapes our lives take and in our ways with narrative.

From the imagination of the peerless Ali Smith comes a shape-shifting series, wide-ranging in timescale and light-footed through histories, and a story about ageing and time and love and stories themselves.


LINKS TO CLICK

Same Kind of Different as Me
~Amazon~
Meet Denver, a man raised under plantation-style slavery in Louisiana in the 1960s; a man who escaped, hopping a train to wander, homeless, for eighteen years on the streets of Dallas, Texas. No longer a slave, Denver's life was still hopeless—until God moved. First came a godly woman who prayed, listened, and obeyed. And then came her husband, Ron, an international arts dealer at home in a world of Armani-suited millionaires. And then they all came together.

But slavery takes many forms. Deborah discovers that she has cancer. In the face of possible death, she charges her husband to rescue Denver. Who will be saved, and who will be lost? What is the future for these unlikely three? What is God doing?

Same Kind of Different As Me is the emotional tale of their story: a telling of pain and laughter, doubt and tears, dug out between the bondages of this earth and the free possibility of heaven. No reader or listener will ever forget it.
Future Home of the Living God
~Amazon~
The world as we know it is ending. Evolution has reversed itself, affecting every living creature on earth. Science cannot stop the world from running backwards, as woman after woman gives birth to infants that appear to be primitive species of humans. Thirty-two-year-old Cedar Hawk Songmaker, adopted daughter of a pair of big-hearted, open-minded Minneapolis liberals, is as disturbed and uncertain as the rest of America around her. But for Cedar, this change is profound and deeply personal. She is four months pregnant.

Though she wants to tell the adoptive parents who raised her from infancy, Cedar first feels compelled to find her birth mother, Mary Potts, an Ojibwe living on the reservation, to understand both her and her baby’s origins. As Cedar goes back to her own biological beginnings, society around her begins to disintegrate, fueled by a swelling panic about the end of humanity.

There are rumors of martial law, of Congress confining pregnant women. Of a registry, and rewards for those who turn these wanted women in. Flickering through the chaos are signs of increasing repression: a shaken Cedar witnesses a family wrenched apart when police violently drag a mother from her husband and child in a parking lot. The streets of her neighborhood have been renamed with Bible verses. A stranger answers the phone when she calls her adoptive parents, who have vanished without a trace. It will take all Cedar has to avoid the prying eyes of potential informants and keep her baby safe.

A chilling dystopian novel both provocative and prescient, Future Home of the Living God is a startlingly original work from one of our most acclaimed writers: a moving meditation on female agency, self-determination, biology, and natural rights that speaks to the troubling changes of our time.


SHORT STORIES

Henosis by N. K. Jemisin
Egg Laying Queen by Kristen Arnett

Did I miss anything in the book world? Let me know in the comments below.
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The Punch Escrow by Tal M. Klein

September 14, 2017
The Punch Escrow, Tal M. Klein, Book Review, InToriLex
Published By: Geek & Sundry on July 25, 2017
Format Read: ARC Edition (319 pages)
Genre: Science-Fiction/ Thriller/ Humor
Series: Standalone
Source: Giveaway Win
Rating: FOUR STARS
The Punch Escrow
~Amazon~
It's the year 2147. Advancements in nanotechnology have enabled us to control aging. We've genetically engineered mosquitoes to feast on carbon fumes instead of blood, ending air pollution. And teleportation has become the ideal mode of transportation, offered exclusively by International Transport—a secretive firm headquartered in New York City. Their slogan: Departure... Arrival... Delight!

Joel Byram, our smartass protagonist, is an everyday twenty-second century guy. He spends his days training artificial intelligence engines to act more human, jamming out to 1980's new wave—an extremely obscure genre, and trying to salvage his deteriorating marriage. Joel is pretty much an everyday guy with everyday problems—until he's accidentally duplicated while teleporting.

Now Joel must outsmart the shadowy organization that controls teleportation, outrun the religious sect out to destroy it, and find a way to get back to the woman he loves in a world that now has two of him.

VERDICT:

REVIEW:

I didn't know what to expect from a futuristic hard sci-fi thriller. However I was pleasantly surprised with the good pacing and humor. It is hard to find books that bend genre's in a workable way but this book  did. The protagonist Joel's sarcasm and relatable reactions to things balanced out a book that included foot notes on futuristic world history.  The world building was fantastic, because every time I wondered how that would actually work, it would be followed by an explanation. The world building read well because the writing was good, it never read like filler or rushed exposition.
The characters in this book include a multi-faceted travel agent, Yoel (Joel's double), an ancient cult leader and a mad scientist. The characters were realistic and flowed together and apart nicely. Joel's epic journey to find himself  and survive the people who each want to use him for his own agenda included action, banter and romance. Hard scif-fi does not have to be boring, this book tells a human story in a future world where humans can upgrade themselves into something else entirely.
"Even if I were capable of gauging my state of mind objectively, I could only determine such things in retrospect."
The short cliff hanger and song titled chapters kept me engaged and made me wish this was a trilogy. I liked the book so much I was able to read a chapter that was left on the editing room floor (thanks Mr. Klein). The use of footnotes was done sparingly, but it would have helped the whole book stay in line with it's hard sci-fi know it all feel, if the author used them throughout. I don't know what the future of teleportation will be, but this gave some really cool imagery and ideas of how it could work. I would recommend this to fans of awesome hard sci-fi thrillers with humor and heart.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tal M. Klein, author and musician, was born in Israel, grew up in New York, and currently lives in the Detroit area with his wife and two daughters. When she was five years old, his daughter Iris wrote a book called I'm a Bunch of Dinosaurs that went on to become one of the most successful children's book projects on Kickstarter --something that Tal explained to Iris by telling her, "your book made lots of kids happy." Iris then asked Tal, "Daddy, why don't you write a book that makes lots of grownups happy?" Tal mulled this over for a few years, and eventually wrote his first book, The Punch Escrow. It won the Inkshares Geek & Sundry Hard Science Fiction publishing contest, and was the first book published on Legendary Entertainment's Geek & Sundry imprint. The film rights for The Punch Escrow have been acquired by Lionsgate. James Bobin (Flight of The Conchords, The Muppets) has been attached to adapt and direct.  Twitter
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