Upcoming: STRANGE BEASTS OF CHINA by Yan Ge (Melville House/Tilted Axis Press)

YanGe-StrangeBeastsOfChinaUSI first spotted Yan Ge‘s new novel on NetGalley — I’ll admit, it was the cover that caught my attention. Strange Beasts of China has an intriguing premise, as well, and I’m really looking forward to reading it. First published in 2006 as 异兽志, it’s finally getting an English-language edition. Here’s the synopsis:

A disquieting bestiary that blurs the line between human and beast from one of most exciting voices in contemporary Chinese literature

YanGe-StrangeBeastsOfChinaUKIn the fictional Chinese town of Yong’an, monsters and spirits live, almost indistinguishable, alongside humans. Strange Beasts of China follows the narrator, an amateur cryptozoologist, as she attempts to document each type of beast with the help of her former professor and his enigmatic assistant. From the Sacrificial Beasts, who can’t stop dying, to the Heartsick Beasts, who are genetically engineered to be as loyal and loving as possible, each chapter introduces a new beast and dives deeper into a mystery that threatens the narrator’s very sense of self.

In prose that is both whimsical and daring, Yan Ge guides the reader through the underbelly of a chillingly uncanny world and questions what it really means to be human.

Strange Beasts of China is due to be published by Melville House in North America (July 2021), and is published in the UK by Tilted Axis Press (out now).

Follow the Author: Goodreads, Twitter

Upcoming: THE MIRROR THIEF by Martin Seay (Melville House)

SeayM-MirrorThiefUSAnother novel that has frequently popped up in my Goodreads and Amazon recommendations, as well as a number of “Most Anticipated Books of 2016” lists, The Mirror Thief by Martin Seay sounds pretty fascinating:

A globetrotting, time-bending, wildly entertaining literary masterpiece in the tradition of Cloud Atlas.

One of the most audacious and confident debuts in years, The Mirror Thief is a masterful puzzle: a genre-hopping novel that combines an intricate, fast-paced mystery with serious literary ambition. Set in three cities in three eras, The Mirror Thief calls to mind David Mitchell and Umberto Eco in its serendipitous mix of entertainment and literary merit.

The core story is set in Venice in the sixteenth century, when the famed makers of Venetian glass were perfecting one of the old world’s most wondrous inventions: the mirror. An object of glittering yet fearful fascination — was it reflecting simple reality, or something more spiritually revealing? — the Venetian mirrors were state of the art technology, and subject to industrial espionage by desirous sultans and royals world-wide. But for any of the development team to leave the island was a crime punishable by death. One man, however — a world-weary war hero with nothing to lose — has a scheme he thinks will allow him to outwit the city’s terrifying enforcers of the edict, the ominous Council of Ten …

Meanwhile, in two other iterations of Venice — Venice Beach, California, circa 1958, and the Venice casino in Las Vegas, circa today — two other schemers launch similarly dangerous plans to get away with a secret…

All three stories will weave together into a spell-binding tour-de-force that is impossible to put down — an old-fashioned, stay-up-all-night novel that, in the end, returns the reader to a stunning conclusion in the original Venice… and the bedazzled sense of having read a truly original and thrilling work of literary art.

The Mirror Thief is due to be published by Melville House, in May 2016.

New Books! (December, Pre-Xmas)


Featuring: Stefan Ahnhem, Cristina Alger, Ros Barber, Clifford Beal, Stephen Birmingham, Eric Brown, Robin Burcell, Sarah Cain, Matt Carter, Toby Clements, Michael Cobley, Jamie Doward, Michael Ebner, Dan Fesperman, Alison Gaylin, Steven Gore, Ian Graham, Samantha Hunt, Mary Robinette Kowal, Joe R. Lansdale, Helen Lowe, Andrew Marr, Charles McCarry, Peter Newman, K.J. Parker, Daniel Polansky, Stephen S. Power, Terry Pratchett, Jamie Sawyer, Victoria Schwab, Charlotte Silver, Anna Small, A.F.E. Smith, Jean Stein, Tricia Sullivan, Michael Thomas, Ilija Trojanow, Catherynne M. Valente, Jo Walton, Hester Young


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New Books (April-May)


Featuring: Kate Atkinson, Jenny T. Colgan, Sebastien de Castell, Jeffery Deaver, Nelson DeMille, Katie Disabato, Richard Ford, Jonathan Freedland, S.L. Grey, Charlaine Harris, Aleksandar Hemon, Chris Holm, Jason LePier, Duff McKagan, Todd Moss, K.J. Parker, Joe Perry, John Sandford, Stephanie Saulter, Stefan Spjut, Sabaa Tahir, Dan Wells, Robert Charles Wilson Continue reading