From the Shelf to the Page: This Week in the Ruins

A much busier week this time around with some promos, reviews, features, and a couple of solid reads from the Self-Published Fantasy Blog Off.

Stacking The Shelves and Mailbox Monday are a pair of weekly memes that are about sharing the books that came your way over the past week, and which you've added to your shelves - whether they be physical or virtual, borrowed or bought, or for pleasure or review.

For starters, as a member-in-good-standing of the Canadian Science Fiction & Fantasy Association, I had the opportunity of downloading the voter’s package for the 2015 Aurora Awards. These awards celebrate the best works and activities done by Canadians in 2014, with the winners announced at Canvention 35 (which will be hosted by SFContario 6 this November in Toronto). I'm most interested in the Best Novel and Best Related Work categories, so I'm looking forward to giving the following titles a read:

Best Novel – English
Echopraxia by Peter Watts, Tor Books
The Future Falls by Tanya Huff, DAW Books
My Real Children by Jo Walton, Tor Books
The Peripheral by William Gibson, Penguin Books
A Play of Shadow by Julie E. Czerneda, DAW Books (I've already read/reviewed/raved about this)

Best Related Work – English
Gifts for the One Who Comes After by Helen Marshall, CZP
Lackington’s Magazine edited by Ranylt Richildis
On Spec published by the Copper Pig Writers’ Society
Strange Bedfellows edited by Hayden Trenholm, Bundoran Press

On the review front, a few new titles this week, including . . .

Occupied Earth: Stories of Aliens, Resistance and Survival at all Costs
edited by Richard Brewer & Gary Phillips

For years, writers and filmmakers have speculated about the possibility of the Earth being invaded by aliens from another planet. But what if the aliens have been watching us, infiltrating us via human collaborators, or even surgically altering themselves to look human? Occupied Earth is a groundbreaking anthology that explores the idea of what the world would look like years after its conquest.

20 years after a successful invasion by the Makh-Ra, humanity still exists, only they have become subservient to a new race of occupiers who now govern the devastated planet. But, as much at things continue with some sense of normalcy, something has happened in the Mahk-Ra’s empire. Earth, once considered a strategic beachhead of major importance to the Empire, has been downgraded in its value. Things are starting to degrade. Our planet is the last place any self-respecting Mahk-Ra officer wants to be assigned. Yet, despite everything, life continues.
These stories bring us face to face with annihilation — and show how we can pull ourselves back from the brink. Featuring Rachel Howzell Hall, Lisa Morton, Matthew V. Clemens, Howard Hendrix, Nathan Walpow and more, OCCUPIED EARTH is coming. Stay safe. Stay strong. Survive at all costs.

Heroika: Dragon Eaters
edited by Janet E. Morris

The art of dragon killing: Dragons have been eating humans for centuries. Now heroes throughout history stalk their legendary foe. Learn how to hunt, kill, and eat the wild dragon. Never before has revenge tasted so good. A literary feast for the bloody-minded.

In Janet Morris' anthology on the art of dragon killing, seventeen writers bring you so close to dragons you can smell their fetid breath. Tales for the bold among you.

HEROIKA 1: DRAGON EATERS , an anthology of heroic fiction edited by Janet Morris, features original stories by Janet E. Morris, Chris Morris, S.E. Lindberg, Jack William Finley, Travis Ludvigson, Tom Barczak, J.P. Wilder, Joe Bonadonna, Milton Davis, A.L. Butcher, William Hiles, M. Harold Page, Walter Rhein, Cas Peace, Beth Patterson, Bruce Durham, Mark Finn.

Witches Protection Program
by Michael Phillip Cash

Wes Rockville, a disgraced law enforcement agent, is given one last chance to prove himself and save his career when he's reassigned to a 232 year old secret government organization. The Witches Protection Program. His first assignment: uncover a billion-dollar Cosmetics company’s diabolical plan of using witchcraft for global domination, while protecting its heiress Morgan Pendragon from her aunt’s evil deeds. Reluctantly paired with veteran witch protector, Alastair Verne, Wes must learn to believe in both witches and himself. Filled with adventure, suspense and a rousing good time, Michael Phillip Cash creates a tongue-in-cheek alternate reality where witches cast spells and wreak havoc in modern day New York City.

After Alice 
by Gregory Maguire 

From the multi-million-copy bestselling author of Wicked comes a magical new twist on Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, published to coincide with the 150th anniversary of Lewis's Carroll's beloved classic

When Alice toppled down the rabbit-hole 150 years ago, she found a Wonderland as rife with inconsistent rules and abrasive egos as the world she left behind. But what of that world? How did 1860s Oxford react to Alice's disappearance?

In this brilliant new work of fiction, Gregory Maguire turns his dazzling imagination to the question of underworlds, undergrounds, underpinnings — and understandings old and new, offering an inventive spin on Carroll's enduring tale. Ada, a friend of Alice's mentioned briefly in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, is off to visit her friend, but arrives a moment too late — and tumbles down the rabbit hole herself.

Ada brings to Wonderland her own imperfect apprehension of cause and effect as she embarks on an odyssey to find Alice and see her safely home from this surreal world below the world. If Euridyce can ever be returned to the arms of Orpheus, or Lazarus can be raised from the tomb, perhaps Alice can be returned to life. Either way, everything that happens next is "After Alice."


It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is another weekly meme, this time focused on what books are spending the most time in your hands and in your head, as opposed to what's been added to your shelf.

Wanderlust by by Adam Millard
Wizards, magic, necromancers, and thieves, all in a steampunk turn-of-the-century London.

The Liar's Key by Mark Lawrence
Okay, I've patient, but since my review copy seems to be stuck in the mail, I went out and bought a copy at lunch. I've waited long enough - time to indulge!

What's topping your shelves this week?


  1. ECHOPRAXIA, FUTURE FALLS, LEARS KEY would be my picks and ON SPEC has the craziest cover ever :) I don't know whether to stare at it or scream :)

  2. I've read Tanya Huff and quite liked her stuff. I still have a few of her books unread on my shelves which I'll eventually get round to! Enjoy your books!

    1. I've read her first Four Quarters book and a few of her vampire novels, but this will be a new series for me.

  3. Jo Walton is so popular but I never seem to get her books.
    I'm looking forward to your review of The Peripheral by William Gibson. It sounds promising...
    I've got After Alice this week too.
    Great haul, Happy reading. :)

    1. I've never read Walton before but I love the concept here.

  4. OOh nice! I got After Alice myself this week! I enjoyed Wicked way back when and a few of his other non Wicked books. Curious to see how he does a new version of Alice but not Alice! ;) Happy Reading!

    My STS will be up tomorrow, so be sure to stop by then!

    Have a GREAT day!

    Old Follower :)

    1. This will be my first taste of his reimaginings.

  5. Wow, lots of awesome this week! Even though I don't read self-published books anymore, Witches Protection Plan looks really good. Hope we both enjoy After Alice:-)

    1. I don't do a lot of urban fantasy but that caught my attention.

  6. I keep considering "After Alice" but I have a feeling I wouldn't read it in a timely manner. Happy reading!

    Tsuki’s STS

    1. My Fall looks quiet (so far) so I'm optimistic. :)

  7. Great haul! Occupied Earth sounds very interesting. I hope that you enjoy your books.
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian

    1. Yeah, I love alien invasion tales so I've got high hopes.

  8. What a great group of books by some very good authors. Happy Reading.

  9. I loved The Just City by Jo Walton and have been meaning to read more of her books. Curious to see what you think of My Real Children.

  10. Oh, My Real Children is great. Though, I love whatever Jo writes...

  11. One of these days I'll have to read My Real Children as well - and maybe prod my brother who lives in Toronto to check out Canvention so I can live it vicariously through him :)

    Sorry to hear your copy of The Liar's Key is stuck in the mail (waitinf for packages to go through customs is a pain) but am cheering that you took matters into your own hands and got it - hope you'll enjoy it as much as I did.

    ~Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

  12. Looks like you had a great week. Enjoy your new books.


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