Hell Train by Christopher Fowler vs. The Night Sessions by Ken MacLeod
The Flame Alphabet by Ben Marcus vs. The Man from Primrose Lane by James Renner
We will announce the Christopher Fowler / Ken MacLeod winner on Thursday, the Ben Marcus / James Renner contest on Saturday, then crown a champion next week.
Once again the bracket as a whole has contained a great many interesting and well-written books, with not many clunkers. In some cases I've felt guilty about having to drop good books after only 25 or 50 pages, but the upside is we've gotten to help spread the word about many more new books than I could possibly have reviewed under our old format.
Three of the four "seeded" books made it to the Final Four; the only upset was James Renner over Saladin Ahmed's Throne of the Crescent Moon. I am a bit surprised that two of the four semifinalists, Renner and Ben Marcus, are not genre names—I sometimes think I have a prejudice against mainstream writers dabbling in our genre, but it hasn't manifested in the Spring Battle of the Books.
Thanks again to all the authors and publicists sending us great books to consider. If you're an author or publicist, click here for the rules and an address to send your book if you'd like to be included in a future bracket.
We have had a tremendous response to the Battle of the Books format; indeed, we seriously need to pick up our pace over the next couple months—we already have enough new books to fill out three more brackets! My fellow Fantastic Reviewer Amy has offered to start judging some contests to help us catch up.
Everybody remember to check back here over the next week for the Final Four results!