Saturday, January 5, 2008

THUNDERER by Felix Gilman

At first I thought I had three books from the 26th to report on, but one turned out to not be a debut and another turned out to not be speculative fiction. So THUNDERER (USA, Canada, UK) by Felix Gilman is the last book on my 2007 debut calendar.

I'm rather intrigued by the cover, even though it's flashier than I'm used to in fantasy art. The airship is cool, and the guy flying outside of the airship is even more interesting, especially with the bird hovering near his left arm. Click on the picture to see a close-up; there's some sort of blur under his feet. Did he leap? Is he actually flying? Maybe the blurb will tell for sure:

. . . Arjun arrives in Ararat just as a magnificent winged creature swoops and sails over the city. For it is the day of the return of that long-awaited, unpredictable mystical creature: the great Bird. But does it come for good or ill? And in the service of what god? Whatever its purpose, for one inhabitant the Bird sparks a long-dormant idea: to map the mapless city and liberate its masses with the power of knowledge.

As the creature soars across the land, shifting topography, changing the course of the river, and redrawing the territories of the city’s avian life, crowds cheer and guns salute in a mix of science and worship. Then comes the time for the Bird’s power to be trapped—within the hull of a floating warship called Thunderer, an astounding and unprecedented weapon. The ship is now a living temple to the Bird, a gift to be used, allegedly, in the interests of all of Ararat.

Hurtled into this convulsing world is Arjun, an innocent who will unwittingly unleash a dark power beyond his imagining—and become entangled in a dangerous underground movement that will forever transform Ararat. As havoc overtakes the streets, Arjun dares to test the city’s moving boundaries. In this city of gods, he has come to search among them, not to hide. . . .

Gilman's website includes a tongue-in-cheek (I hope) bio and a blog. I also found a short book trailer on You Tube. Robert over at Fantasy Book Critic absolutely raves about Thunderer, calling it a possibility for the best debut of 2008. Already! Over at SFSite, Jeff VanderMeer has an interview with Gilman, plus an excerpt. You can also see the excerpt at the publisher's site. Jeff also had some words of praise for Gilman at his blog. The Agony Column has a podcast interview (mp3 link) with the author plus a review.

12 comments:

Lawrence said...

Based on Jeff's amazon blog post, I bought the novel on the 26th. Received it in my mail box a few days, and I am looking forward to reading after I finish Richard Morgan's Black Man. The cover's indeed intriguing, looks especially nice in hardcover format.

scooper said...

It's a great cover.

Robert said...

Excellent book! Highly recommended, so if you get a chance, give it a spin :) Thanks for the linkage as always Tia and I hope you enjoyed the holidays. Also, Happy New Year!

Raven said...

I love Gilman's bio!

Tia Nevitt said...

I do too, but it was completely different when I put up this post!

Anonymous said...

Gilman's bio changes each time you load the page not unlike the city in his book. Try it... :)

ravesblog said...

LOL, so it does! Now I like it even more.

Anon, you're not Gilman himself by any chance, are you? :)

Tia Nevitt said...

Cool! I got a Lovecraftian horror bio! Maybe I ought to see if Gilman is up for an online gaming session.

Ok. I think I've seen them all now. Very imaginative!

ravesblog said...

When did I become ravesblog instead of raven? I didn't tell Google to change my name. That is not cool.

Tia Nevitt said...

Raven, the Nickname field now lets you log in with your URL, the way you used to log in. You can still log in with your openId, but it does not sound like you like that feature.

I'm so glad they turned that back on!

felix said...

Anon, you're not Gilman himself by any chance, are you? :)

Nope. (But this is).

Cheers, everyone.

Tia Nevitt said...

Hello, Felix! We're having lots of fun with your pseudo-biographies.