Here at Tor.com, we err on the side of being overly humble about what Tor’s books are up to. But now that io9 has scooped us, we might as well mention that the second book by Brian Slattery, a blogger here and the author of this month’s free ebook, is at the tippy-top of Amazon’s list of best science fiction and fantasy books of 2008.

Although the book’s official release date was a few weeks ago, the news is well timed given that this is the week Liberation is really heading out in style. For starters, there will be a truly rocking release party at Sunny’s Bar in Brooklyn. And next week Brian will be sitting in on the discussion at Freebird Books’ Post-Apocalyptic Book Club (a club that any New York-based reader of this site ought to be keen on). There will be Tor.com representatives at both of these events, so we hope you can join us if you’re in the area.

To let the virtual community in on this celebration, we’re starting this thread to give you a place to talk about either of Brian’s books: either topics that you’d like to debate with your fellow readers or questions you’d like us to get in front of Mr. Slattery so we can capture his responses in text or on tape and report them here. There are even a few questions beneath the cut to kickstart the conversation.

  • What is Brian Slattery’s favorite punctuation mark? Least favorite part of speech?
  • If there’s an obscure reference in the text that you don’t get, it’s probably an homage to one of Brian’s favorite musicians. Pick one out, do a little research, and tell the people where it came from.
  • If you’ve read both books, you can’t fail to notice some sweeping thematic similarities, but there are also some specific textual connections between them. If you’ve noticed any of them, let us know how clever you are.
  • In a recent Bookslut interview, Brian remarked, “Many of my own favorite books and movies are those that sharply divide critical opinion—I have actually bought books and seen movies based on excoriating, negative reviews—and I’m delighted that the same thing has happened to my books.”* And indeed, there are probably a few of you out there who got a few lines into Spaceman and gave up, or read the whole thing and hated it. What do you think it is about Brian’s prose or plotting that makes him such a controversial stylist?

* The quote continues, “though that doesn’t mean that I think my books are anywhere near as good as the books that I love.” He added in email, “Interestingly, ‘books I love’ includes Neal Stephenson’s, though I haven’t read Anathem yet.” So he’s as surprised as anyone to be outranking Mr. Stephenson on Amazon.


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