November 11th, 2006

Jin Shei Cover from sgreer

Only about 40 days left until Christmas...

...so I thought I would do a timely reminder that this is the time of year to be thinking about giving presents to the people you love. And what better present is there than a book? The gift that keeps on giving; something to take with you when you curl up in an armchair in a nice cosy room while it's blowing a winter gale outside, and excape for a few hours into another world.

There are plenty out there to choose from. My own list of LJ friends contains LOTS of candidates, right there - Jim Hetley ("Dragon's Teeth" is in the stores now), Elizabeth Bear's "Carnival" is coming out soon (and I'm reading an advance copy right now and it's wonderful), Jim Hines and his goblins, J P Sorrow and the OTHER game of thrones, Irene Radford and her alter ego, Kate Elliot has a new one out, Justine Larbalestier's YA trilogy is more than worth checking out, Catherynne Valente's new one is gathering some fine reviews, Scott Lynch's "Lies of Locke Lamora", Marie Brennan's "Doppelganger" and "Warrior and Witch", Jay Lake's "Trial of Flowers" (they SOLD OUT OF IT in the dealers' room at WFC, that should tell you something), John Scalzi's new one, "The Android's Dream" (I heard him read from it at Worldcon this year, it's laugh-out-loud funny) the Australian contingent with people like GLenda Larke, Trudi Canavan, Jenny Fallon, Karen Miller - oh, there's more. And that's just on THAT list.

At World Fantasy Con last year, when Tom Doherty won the Life Achievement Award, he said something about his astonished joy at being in the same room with so many makers of dreams - and every time I cast my eye on the list of people who are part of my own life, I know what he means. There are many of us out there, spinners of tales, dreamers, storytellers, filled to the brim with images and words, spilling them all at the feet of you... the readers.

Giving a book for a gift does not stop with the handing over of the physical object of the actual volume to someone who you think might enjoy it. WIth every book you buy you also give a gift of your faith to the author of the book, and you give that author a tiny boost in their career. ONE boost is probably almost impossible to notice - but when you add them up, they start to accumulate, and they matter. Oh, they matter.

So look around for your favourite authors this Christmas, and maybe try a few new names. Read and enjoy. And may GOd bless us, every one.

(PS - for my part, anyone who buys one of my own books and wishes to have it signed - for themselves or for some other fortunate designated recipient - can email me for a personalised book plate. My email addy's on my website, the link is in the sidebar.)


UPDATE: WHile you're in a gift-giving mood and thinking of books, rolanni has a few more suggestions here.