New Books Network

Felix Gilman, “The Rise of Ransom City” (Tor, 2012)
I first learned about Felix Gilman‘s work from the influential academic blog Crooked Timber. I proceeded to read Thunderer, Gears of the City, and Half-Made World and found myself impressed by Gilman’s distinctive settings, themes, and voice. It should surprise no one, in my view, that Thunderer received a nomination... Read More
Jesse Jarnow, “Big Day Coming: Yo La Tengo and the Rise of Indie Rock” (Gotham Books, 2012)
From the ball fields and barrooms of Hoboken to your turntable, uh, CD player, uhm, MP3 player comes Yo La Tango, uh, Tengo, and with them alternative, uhm, indie rock. In Big Day Coming: Yo La Tengo and the Rise of Indie Rock (Gotham, 2012) journalist Jesse Jarnow chronicles the... Read More
Barak Kushner, “Slurp!: A Social and Culinary History of Ramen – Japan’s Favorite Noodle Soup” (Global Oriental, 2012)
I bet you’ve never heard of the “Smash the Baltic Fleet Memorial Togo Marshmallow.” I hadn’t either, before reading Barak Kushner‘s lively and illuminating new book on the history of ramen in Japan. Grounded in ample research that incorporates archival and ethnographic methods, Slurp!: A Social and Culinary History of... Read More
Ron McCabe, “Betrayed” (Telemachus Press, 2012)
As a journalist and author I usually work in factual financial news and analysis. Recently however, I have noticed an apparent increase in books that wrap the real financial tumult of our times into a fictional novel, thereby allowing the author to make a personal statement, blend characters and events... Read More
Karen Engelmann, “The Stockholm Octavo” (Ecco Books, 2012)
It’s 1789, and despite the troubles in France, Emil Larsson, a sekretaire in the Customs Office in Stockholm, has life pretty much where he wants it. His job brings him lucrative under-the-table deals with pirates, smugglers, and innkeepers–not to mention a dashing red cape that appeals to the ladies–and he... Read More
Curtis Crisler, “Pulling Scabs” (Aquarius Press, 2009)
Curtis L. Crisler is a prolific poet, novelist, and mix-genre author who writes about the American experience. In his work, Crisler turns a particularly keen eye toward the Midwest, masculinity, and jazz. It seems he has published a book a year since 2007, gaining the attention of critics and winning... Read More
Michael Gordin, “The Pseudoscience Wars:  Immanuel Velikovsky and the Birth of the Modern Fringe” (University of Chicago Press, 2012)
When I agreed to host New Books and Science Fiction and Fantasy there were a number of authors I hoped to interview, including Michael Gordin. This might come as a surprise to listeners, because Michael is neither a science-fiction nor a fantasy author. He is, rather, a prominent historian of... Read More