Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Library Tuesday, 5/22/2012

So far, so good...

I've got three books this week:

Robert Sawyer - WWW:Wake

The first book in Sawyer's ghost in the machine trilogy - something in the internet "wakes up" and becomes sentient. It's been done before, but it hasn't been done by Sawyer before, and Sawyer is really quite a good writer. Now that the trilogy is complete, I think it's safe to start reading it...

Carol Carr - India Black

India Black is a madam - a whore - and a spy in mid-19th century London. The jacket material promises intrigue AND a little raunch - thought I'd see how it worked out.

Alex Bledsoe - The Hum and the Shiver

Bledsoe is the author of the series of hard-boiled detective fantasy novels (I reviewed Dark Jenny a couple of months ago), but this is something different. Set in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, Bledsoe is spinning a yarn about the Tufa - a group of apparently European people, but already in the Smokies when Europeans arrived, from no one is really sure where. They are a tiny minority, known for their music and, possibly, their magic. Bledsoe is telling the story of Bronwyn Hyatt, returned from military service in Iraq, and struggling with her identity (see, it keeps coming up!)

The Tufa are a made-up group but Bledsoe says they are based on the Melungeon people, a "tri-racial" group found all through the Appalachian mountains. Tri-racial, or Creole, groups are fascinating, because they represent some sort of voluntary or semi-voluntary community, comprised of run-away slaves, run-away European indentured servants (or voluntary exiles from Euro-American society) and indigenous populations, coming together to create something entirely new. Obviously, I didn't know that Bledsoe was playing with the Melungeon concept when I picked up the book, but it certainly makes me glad that I did, because the whole thing is delightfully complicated and fascinating.

Anyway, I recognize Bledsoe as a strong writer with excellent craft, and I'm excited to see what he does with this book.