Harry Connolly's amazing Twenty Palaces series is back with 'The Twisted Path'

Harry Connolly's Twenty Palaces series is one of my favorite new storylines in science fiction. After a several year hiatus Harry has brought back Ray Lilly, and all the magic in The Twisted Path.

The Twenty Palaces series tells the tale of Ray Lilly, a former convict turned into a magician's decoy, or Wooden Man. It is Lilly's job to distract evil creatures from the deep and dark, while his master Annalise burns them with primal green fire. They keep on saving the world from some pretty nasty demons that have crossed over.

Wooden Men aren't supposed to last more than one mission, but somehow Ray keeps on surviving. The Twenty Palaces Society has taken notice and calls Ray and Annalise to Europe, this does not bode well.

Connolly's Lovecraft-ian/Geiger-style lore and world building is amazing. I have enjoyed all of his novels and novellas, but none have been as anticipated as The Twisted Path. If you are new to this series, I highly recommend starting with Child of Fire, the which was also Harry's debut novel.

Ray and Annalise' return is every bit as exciting as I'd hoped.

The Twisted Path: A Twenty Palaces Novella by Harry Connolly via Amazon Read the rest

Donald Trump is suing my publisher, and its response is magnificent

Henry Holt is a division of Macmillan (owners of Tor Books, who publish my novels); they're the folks who published Michael Wolff's bestselling Fire and Fury, which has so thoroughly embarrassed Donald Trump that the President of the United States has threatened to sue them. Read the rest

Soonish: exciting technologies on the horizon, with excitement-preserving nuance

Kelly and Zach Weinersmith's Soonish: Ten Emerging Technologies That'll Improve and/or Ruin Everything is an exceptional science book: it concerns itself with ten(ish) coming technologies that hold enormous, potentially world-changing promise (and peril), and it delves into each of those subjects with admirable depth, including all the caveats and unknowns, and still keeps the excitement intact.

Holidays in Soviet Sanatoriums

Maryam Omidi crowdfunded a photographic tour of Soviet-era sanatoriums, and the resulting book, Holidays in Soviet Sanatoriums is like a weird 1970s sci-fi catalog. Read the rest

The excellent Standards Manual design series announces next title

Standards Manual is one of the greatest recent projects in archival graphic design. Jesse Reed and Hamish Smyth painstakingly recreate notable graphics standards manuals from NASA, the EPA, the American Bicentennial, and the New York Transit Authority. Next up is Identity: Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv, an overview of the iconic design firm behind many logos still in use today. Read the rest

Charming papercraft reimagining of book covers

Kate Kato repurposed the popular Observer's Book series to include lovely paper sculptures of each book's subject. Above is The Observer's Book of Fungi. Read the rest

Beautiful photos of Japanese vending machines in the elements

For his "Existence of" project, photographer Eiji Ohashi captured lonely-looking vending machines out in the weather around Japan. Read the rest

Fire and Fury, explosive book behind this week's war between Trump and Bannon, released early

Michael Wolff's book about Trump, featuring treason accusations from former ally Steve Bannon and reports of the president's dementia, is being released early. Fire And Fury: Inside The Trump White House can be bought immediately at Amazon.

"Due to unprecedented demand," the book about President Trump's White House by Michael Wolff will be released Friday, four days ahead of schedule, according to the book's publisher. The announcement comes hours after President Trump's personal lawyer issued a cease and desist letter over "Fire and Fury: Inside Trump's White House" to Wolff and Wolff's publisher, Henry Holt and Company. Wolff, too, confirmed the early on-sale date on Twitter.

Wolff provides a wealth of new details about the chaos in the Oval Office. Among the revelations: -- What President Trump’s staff really thinks of him -- What inspired Trump to claim he was wire-tapped by President Obama -- Why FBI director James Comey was really fired -- Why chief strategist Steve Bannon and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner couldn’t be in the same room -- Who is really directing the Trump administration’s strategy in the wake of Bannon’s firing -- What the secret to communicating with Trump is -- What the Trump administration has in common with the movie The Producers

Evidently, Trump's threats were to no avail.

Previously: Bannon: Trump Jr and Kushner meeting with Russians was "treasonous" Read the rest

Ignoramus watch: Designers really want you to decorate your room by shelving your books backwards

What's more revolting than buying color-matched books by the yard to class up your room like you were some kind of Trumpish dumbass who wants people to think you read but never actually read anything? Read the rest

Liartown: the First Four Years, a tour-de-force of killer shooping and acerbic wit

Sean Tejaratchi's amazing Liartown, USA (previously) is a bottomless well of astoundingly good photoshops from a parallel universe of bitter, ha-ha-only-serious sight gags, minutely detailed, lovingly crafted and often NSFW; Tejaratchi's new 248-page color, 8.5"x11" anthology, LiarTown: The First Four Years 2013-2017 is a powerful dose of creepypasta in its purest form.

Facsimile editions of the "Negro Motorist Green Books" from 1940, 1954 and 1963 are selling briskly in 2017

In 1936, Hugo Green, a postal worker in Harlem, published his first "Negro Motorist Green Book," a guide to the places that black travelers could eat, sleep, gas up, and be physically present and alive without being discriminated against, harassed, threatened, beaten or murdered. Read the rest

The Way of the Shadow Wolves, a novel by Steven Seagal

I can't quite believe this is real: a novel by former movie star and Putin pal Steven Seagal, with a foreword by racist Sheriff Joe Arpaio, titled "The Way of the Shadow Wolves", with a cover that looks like a photoshopped parody of itself.

This is the story of an Arizona Tribal police officer who stumbles onto one of the of the biggest cases in the history of the Southwest. He is a member of an elite group within the Native American communities known as The Shadow Wolves. What comes with his discovery is the uncovering of massive corruption in places where he once had placed his total trust.

It's $0 on Amazon Prime and 236 pages long. It's 11 p.m. and I have a freakish suspicion that if I start, I won't stop. So I won't.

Here's the first paragraph, which is also, of course, the first page:

Behold the reviews:

Read the rest

Lumberjanes 7: friendship, courtship, gender conformity, and kittehs!

Lumberjanes is the hilarious, sweet, exciting series of graphic novels created by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis and Brooke Allen and energized by a roster of brilliant collaborators. The latest collection, Lumberjanes Vol. 7: A Bird's-Eye View, is a delight to read, brought a tear to my eye, and features intergenerational conflict, giant mythological birds, some great genderbending, and a whole menagerie of superpowered, supernatural kittens.

I Can't Breathe: Matt Taibbi's scorching book on the murder of Eric Garner and the system that let the killers get away with it

Matt Taibbi is one of the best political writers working in the USA today, someone who can use the small, novelistic details of individuals' lives illuminate the vast, systemic problems that poison our lives and shame our honor; his 2014 book The Divide conducts a wide-ranging inquiry into the impunity of corporate criminals and the kafkaesque injustices visited on the poor people they victimize; in I Can't Breathe: A Killing on Bay Street, Taibbi narrows his focus to the police murder of Eric Garner, a Staten Island fixture and father, and the system that put murderers in uniform in his path.

Slanted bookshelf that's climbable and earthquake resistant

Architect Shinsuke Fujii accepted the challenge from a client who wanted an accessible tall bookshelf that would not be affected by an earthquake. One entire wall of the house is slanted outward to allow climbing without any chance of tipping over. Read the rest

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (Now with Extra Monsters): At Least One Monster Per Paragraph! This Is Our Guarantee!

Both of my kids, several years apart, were assigned Frankenstein in high school. Both were excited to dig in, based only on what they knew of Shelley's creation from pop osmosis. It was a book about the most famous monster of all. No, not Godzilla. Frankenstein! But for a horror novel, it sure featured a lot of travel writing. Both kids were bored and disappointed and, I suspect, might not have finished the book. The first time this happened, I just sort of nodded and waved them off, muttering the kind of vaguely commiserative thing a dad says when he just wants to get back to playing his videogames. But the second time around, I resolved to do something about it....

Hamster Princess: charming, funny, subversive middle-grades illustrated fantasy about a totally ass-kicking hamster princess

When Princess Harriet Hamsterbone was born, her royal parents naturally didn't invite the evil fairy, and so of course the evil fairy cursed her to prick herself on a hamster wheel on her twelfth birthday and die; and of course the three good fairies softened the curse -- and that's where things get really funny in Ursula Vernon's 2015 middle-grades fantasy Hamster Princess: Harriet the Invincible, the first in a wildly successful series.

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