Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Battle of the Books, Bracket Seven

Announcing Bracket Seven of the Fantastic Reviews Battle of the Books!

We have finally arrived at our seventh bracket of the Battle of the Books. Apologies for our delays. We have fallen way behind our originally planned schedule. Since last April, each of us here at Fantastic Reviews have been dealing with our own, completely separate, changes in our real lives. Changes which unfortunately made it more difficult for us to find time for reviewing books.

We've been doing our Battle of the Books format for two years now.  If you want to know why we started Battle of the Books, click here. For all the rules, click here.

Aaron reviewed and judged the first, second, fourth, fifth and sixth brackets of the Battle of the Books, won by Elizabeth Bear’s Range of Ghosts, James Renner’s The Man from Primrose Lane, Paolo Bacigulupi’s Drowned Cities, Keith Brooke’s Harmony, and James S.A. Corey's Caliban's War.  I (Amy) reviewed and judged the third bracket won by Ian Tregillis’ The Coldest War.  This new group of contenders in Bracket Seven will be judged and reviewed by me (Amy).  (I also, as webmaster, pulled together and formatted all the book cover graphics)

We've put together 16 more contenders, selected four "seeded" books -- the four we are most looking forward to out of this group (marked with asterisks) -- placed one seeded book in each quarter of the bracket, and then filled in the rest of the bracket randomly. Here are your matchups.

First Quarter of Bracket:

Stephanie Chong
The Demoness of Waking Dreams
(Harlequin MIRA)
Kathleen De Grave w/ Earl Lee
The Hour of Lead
(See Sharp)

Jared S. Anderson & Mimi A. Williams
Beautiful Monster
Felix Gilman
The Rise of Ransom City***

Second Quarter of Bracket

J.L. Benét
Wolf Hunter
Mike Resnick
The Doctor and the Rough Rider***

Anita Clenney
Guardians of Stone
Suzanne Johnson
River Road

Third Quarter of Bracket:

Kevin J. Anderson
Clockwork Angels
Ronan Cray
Red Sand

Dan O’Brien
The Path of the Fallen
E. C. Myers
Quantum Coin***

Fourth Quarter of Bracket:

Charles Stross
The Apocalypse Codex***
Zeke Teflon
Free Radicals
(See Sharp)

Allen Steele
Apollo’s Outcasts
J. Gabriel Gates
Blood Zero Sky

To see the whole bracket, click here.

Some notes on the field:
-- Classifying books before you read them can be difficult, but my best guess is that three are near-future science fiction, three are steampunk, three are paranormal romances, two are YA science fiction, and there's one book each of science fantasy, action adventure, werewolf horror, erotic thriller, and an occult spy thriller.
-- Of the competing books, eleven are written by men and three are by women. One book is a collaboration between a man and a woman. Another book is by a woman with credit to a man.
-- A little over half of the books are part of a series: two begin a series, and six are continuations or subsequent books in a series. Seven of the books seem to be stand-alone novels.
-- Three books are published by Pyr, two by Tor, and one each from Ace, Harlequin MIRA and Montlake Romance. As far as small publishers, See Sharp has two books, and one book each are from ECW Press, Belfire Press, Damnation Books, and HCI Books. The remaining two books look to be self-published.

Good luck to all the contenders!

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