Young Adult Science Fiction Writer Scott Westerfeld to Visit Drauden School

via Plainfield Patch
Young adult author Scott Westerfeld will introduce Drauden Point Middle School students to his new science fiction book, “Behemoth,” when he visits the school at the end of the month.

Westerfeld will speak with eighth-grade students at 1:15 p.m. Oct. 27. “Behemoth” will be released on Tuesday;  it’s the second book in his “Leviathan” trilogy. He’s the author of three previous science fiction trilogies.

Westerfeld’s visit is part of an ongoing partnership between Plainfield Community Consolidated School District 202 and Anderson’s Bookstore in Naperville.

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Vintage Classics To Publish Classic Science Fiction Novels With 3-D Covers

via Book Trade
In April 2011, Vintage Classics will publish a series of classic science fiction novels with beautifully illustrated 3-D covers. The five novels in the series are Planet of the Apes by Pierre Boulle, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne, The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle and The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Tales by H.P. Lovecraft.

Suzanne Dean, Creative Director, The Random House Group says: ‘The 3-D cover is an idea I had thought of a long while ago and had been holding until the right book came along. The Sci-Fi project, with all its B-movie connotations, was the perfect match. Creating a 3-D image relies on the position of the red to the blue tones. Yellow and black stay on the same plain when looking through the glasses. This information was crucial to creating covers that looked attractive in 2-D, but then had the added value of becoming interactive when you put the glasses on.

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Out of the Dark: David Weber’s New Aliens-and-Vampires Extravaganza

by Jeff VanderMeer at Omnivoracious
New York Times’ bestselling author David Weber has just released a new, stand-alone novel, Out of the Dark, that combines two of SciFi geekdom’s favorite elements: invading aliens and vampires.

In the novel, aliens from an empire known as the Hegemony come to Earth to observe the human race. Discovering King Henry V slaughtering the French at Agincourt, the alien consensus is that humanity is a bloodthirsty, primitive race. Permission is given to a warrior race known as the Shongairi to colonize Earth, with no questions asked as to the fate of humanity. The Shongairi colonization fleet arrives on Earth over 400 years later, and has no difficulty subduing the entire planet in minutes. Of course, subduing an entire planet is different from occupying it, and humans fight back rather than become enslaved to the dog-like invaders. Not to mention, the Shongairi’s reconnaissance hasn’t taken into account the fact that Earth already has a predator race: Vampires. That’s right. Vampires.

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Is Cherie Priest’s Clockwork Century the Steampunk Equivalent of Tolkien’s Middle-Earth?

by paulgoatallen at Barnes and Noble
A narrative element that flourishes almost exclusively in science fiction and fantasy is world building – and the most comprehensive and meticulously described realm that I’ve ever experienced in SF and/or fantasy has to be J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth. The extensive geography, the awe-inspiring histories, the numerous races and their cultures and languages… it’s absolutely breathtaking to contemplate the commitment Tolkien made to creating his realm. Strong world building is a huge draw for me as a reader – I like my literary escapism to be total immersion into a convincingly realistic and sprawling realm with limitless potential for wonder and adventure.

There are many contemporary authors who are simply brilliant at world building…One such author is Cherie Priest – and anyone who has read her Clockwork Century novels (Boneshaker, Clementine and Dreadnought) knows exactly what I’m talking about. In just three novels, Priest has created a singularly unique world – a steampunk-powered alternate history that is unlike anything else I’ve ever read.

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The Heir of Night: Introducing The World of Haarth

by Helen Lowe at Orbit
Although Worldcon goers got a sneak preview several weeks back, The Heir of Night, (which is the first book of my epic The Wall of Night quartet) will be officially available for sale in Australia and New Zealand on 7 October — although UK readers will have to wait a little longer, until March 2011 — and I will definitely be celebrating! But a book coming on sale is a time for reflection, as well: not just about the path to that point, but also about the nature of the story I’ve told and what makes it special—for me, and I hope for readers ‘out there’.

Much of the wider Haarth world is only alluded to in Heir. The dominant landscape in this first book is the twilit and wind-blasted Wall of Night, a mountainous barrier range garrisoned by the alien and warlike Derai. The Derai keeps are also worlds in themselves, which open, like puzzle boxes, to other realms: the abandoned layers of the Old Keep and the Gate of Dreams—a place of forests and wreathing mist which may—or may not—only be accessed through the Old Keep’s secret heart …

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Ten of the best vendettas in literature

John Mullan at The Guardian
Atreides vs Harkonnen The names sound like a mix of Greek tragedy and Icelandic saga, but this is the sci-fi world of Frank Herbert’s Dune (and its many sequels). A feud has raged between these families for thousands of years on the desert planet Arakis, only source of the priceless spice mélange. The politics of this murderous struggle are byzantine, and only for the devoted reader.

See the Rest here

I still haven’t read Leviathan or Boneshaker, but I really want to. And I’m kind of intrigued about the vampires/aliens book. I’ll have to add that to my ridiculously long list of books I’m coveting.

Do you like steampunk books? What do you think of 3D covers? Do any of the books from today’s news sound good to you?