Weekly Book Buzz: We Review Guiness World’s Records 2011: Gamer’s Edition (Mania.com)

By:Tim Janson
Date: Monday, February 07, 2011


Very light this week so all the new releases are lumped together below. Hopefully those of you in the Midwest and East have survived the blizzard that blew through the region last week. Here in Michigan they had us prepared for as much as 20” of snow but we got less than half of that. I think the weather guys are in league with retailers to sell bottled water and snow blowers as it seemed like the apocalypse was coming last Tuesday as people prepared for the weather.
The preliminary ballot for the 2010 Bram Stoker Awards has been released and here are some of the highlights:
Superior Achievement in a Novel
·         A Dark Matter, Peter Straub (DoubleDay)
Superior Achievement in a First Novel
Superior Achievement in an Anthology
New this week
Thirteen Years Later Jasper Kent [Pyr]
1825, Europe--and Russia--have been at peace for ten years. Bonaparte is long dead and the threat of invasion is no more. For Colonel Aleksei Ivanovich Danilov, life is peaceful. Not only have the French been defeated but so have the twelve monstrous creatures he once fought alongside, and then against, ten or more years ago. His duty is still to serve and to protect his tsar, Aleksandr the First, but now the enemy is human.
However the Tsar knows that he can never be at peace. Of course, he is aware of the uprising fermenting within the Russian army--among his supposedly loyal officers. No, what troubles him is something that threatens to bring damnation down upon him, his family and his country. The Tsar has been reminded of a promise: a promise born of blood...a promise that was broken a hundred years before.
Now the one who was betrayed by the Romanovs has returned to exact revenge for what has been denied him. And for Aleksei, knowing this chills his very soul. For it seems the vile pestilence that once threatened all he believed in and all he held dear has returned, thirteen years later...
The Scar-Crow Men (Swords of the Albion Book 2) Mark Chadbourn [Pyr]
The year is 1593. The London of Elizabeth I is in the terrible grip of the Black Death. As thousands die from the plague and the queen hides behind the walls of her palace, English spies are being murdered across the city. The killer's next target: Will Swyfte.
For Swyfte--adventurer, rake, scholar, and spy--this is the darkest time he has known. His mentor, the grand old spymaster Sir Francis Walsingham, is dead. The new head of the secret service is more concerned about his own advancement than defending the nation, and a rival faction at the court has established its own network of spies. Plots are everywhere, and no one can be trusted. Meanwhile, England's greatest enemy, the haunted Unseelie Court, prepares to make its move.
A dark, bloody scheme, years in the making, is about to be realized. The endgame begins on the night of the first performance of Dr. Faustus, the new play by Swyfte's close friend and fellow spy Christopher Marlowe. A devil is conjured in the middle of the crowded theater, taking the form of Will Swyfte's long-lost love, Jenny--and it has a horrifying message for him alone.
That night Marlowe is murdered, and Swyfte embarks on a personal and brutal crusade for vengeance. Friendless, with enemies on every side and a devil at his back, the spy may find that even his vaunted skills are no match for the supernatural powers arrayed against him.
Grimm Fairy Tales: Inferno Ralph Tedesco [Zenescope Graphic Novel]
Grace is lost and restless in a big city where her nightmares seem all-too real. Suffering from a form of amnesia, she only feels empty and confused. Her therapist overmedicates, her boss sexually harasses her, and her boyfriend beats her. The world is quickly closing in around Grace... but when she learns the truth of her past she might just find the power within to redeem her life and battle her demons, no matter how real they might be!
Deep State Walter Jon Williams [Orbit]
By day Dagmar Shaw orchestrates vast games with millions of players spanning continents. By night, she tries to forget the sound of a city collapsing in flames around her. She tries to forget the faces of her friends as they died in front of her. She tries to forget the blood on her own hands.
But then an old friend approaches Dagmar with a project. The project he pitches is so insane and so ambitious, she can't possibly say no. But this new venture will lead her from the world of alternate-reality gaming to one even more complex. A world in which the players are soldiers and spies and the name of the game is survival.
Zombie, Ohio: A Tale of the Undead Scott Kenemore [Skyhorse]
Peter Mellor wakes up after a car accident a little discombobulated. Even though the country is in the midst of a “zombie apocalypse,” it takes Peter a while to figure out that he is now one of the “moving cadavers” because, unlike your typical zombie, he can talk, reason, and, well, pass for human. As he’s trying to come to terms with his new undead state, reunite with his girlfriend, and figure out who was responsible for his car accident, Peter winds up the leader of a zombie horde and the target of human rednecks and intense military scrutiny.
Fire Dance Mike Sirota [Zova Books]
The flames took them all. They spared no one. From the circle of dancers, spinning in their dementia, to the crazed killer in the dungeon below, every man and woman in Concordia Sanitarium was burned alive. Over a century later, few know the story of the fire. The ruins of the Sanitarium stand isolated in the lonely Anza-Borrego Desert until one gruesome murder after another rocks the nearby quiet community of Smoke Tree, California. A spirit has risen from the sand, an entity searching for a host to possess a host with two strong hands.
Can You Survive the Zombie Apocalypse? Max Brallier [Gallery]
Inside these pages lies unspeakable horror. Bloodsplattering, brain-impaling, flesh-devouring horror. You’ve probably read your fair share of zombie stories. But this time it’s different. No longer can you sit idle as a bunch of fools make all the wrong moves. All hell is about to break loose—and YOU have a say in humanity’s survival.
Guiness World’s Records 2011: Gamer’s Edition (Brady Games)
We all know Guiness—those guardians of world records both sacred and silly. Well now Guiness is out with a new book of world records and one totally devoted to the world of videogames. One thing is for sure…you have no idea just how obsessed people are with videogames until you check out this book and read about the lengths that people have gone to set their records.
A comprehensive look at the year in videogames for 2010 gets the book off to a rousing start as the editors pick their bests for 2010 in both hardware and games by platform. The various record-breaking chapters are segmented by game types such as shooters, RPGs, sports games, racing games, fighting games, party games, and so on. These records not only highlight the incredible skill of the players but the sheer obsession it takes to become THAT good at a particular game. There’s the record of Nigel Martin who complete Max Payne in 1 hour, 1 minute, and 8 seconds in 2010; Algebra Teacher Steve Wiebe who broke the record for Donkey Kong arcade with 1,064,500 points; and 84–year-old John Bates who has scored over 2800 perfect games in bowling for Wii sports.
But its not just about high scores, the book highlights some of the truly bizarre videogame records. There’s the Japanese Mario Bros. Fan who has collected over 5000 Mario items into his tiny apartment in Tokyo; Mafia 2 gets the record for most uses of the “F” word in a videogame; and Richard Lecce who has a collection of over 8600 videogames and systems including every game produced for the NES system and over 500 videogaming systems. The number of different records crammed into this book is absolutely amazing. This is one of those indispensable books that you can pickup and ready anytime and enjoy. Grade A