The Beautiful World of Books – The Expanse

After last week’s post, the absolutely lovely cover of Leviathan Wakes had me thinking of the other special edition Expanse covers I’d seen. Specifically, those from Subterranean Press. Any one of these eight is a trophy in its own right. If you’ve somehow managed to collect them all however…

Leviathan Wakes & Caliban’s War

These two are the only I can’t find spreads for, but still these lovely covers retails for $75 a piece, $350 if you were ambitious enough to wrangle a lettered edition. I absolutely adore this one of Leviathan Wakes (Caliban’s War features just a little too much grey for my tastes)—but at more than twice the price of that copy last week (and, to be fair, the Subterranean one was out of stock before I’d ever heard of it), it likely wouldn’t’ve happened. Regrettably both are out of print (along with everything else on this list), but fortunately you can still pick up both for the low, low price of $1325.

Abbadon’s Gate

One of the next pair at $80 retail, Abbadon’s Gate gives us what must be our first good look at the Rocinate in all her glory. Wait, was Rocinate a girl horse or…? No. No, I’m pretty sure it was a boy horse. So here’s the Rocinate (probably) in all his glory. The cheapest I could find this one used was $500, so… let me know how it looks, eh?

Cibola Burn

Cibola Burn’s cover of course features the race to the space gate, pictured in all its glory. At least… I think that’s what’s going on. Actually lol I’m not too sure what we’re burning towards or away from, but… IT. LOOKS. AMAZING. The cheapest copy of this I could find would’ve taken $400, unless by some miracle you got it new, which would’ve saved you $320.

Nemesis Games

Another lovely and horribly expensive piece of art that I’ll never own. Can you tell I wrote this one last?

Babylon’s Ashes

Babylon’s Ashes contains what’s likely our second incredible view of the Rocinate is also probably my favorite of all 8 currently out. This is actually one that I’d consider buying—amazing, considering it continues the trend of $85 books. I couldn’t actually find a copy of this used at under $600, though I did come across a metal (and probably unlicensed) poster for just under $60. Unfortunately, it’s a wee bit small (and unlicensed) so I ultimately decided to skip it.

Persepolis Rising

Having not yet read this one, I cannot even guess what might be going on here—but I can wildly speculate! Well hmmmm… it looks like we have two kinds of spaceships shaped like fish. Probably turned that way by the protomolecule as part of some evil plan involving the universe as a fish bowl. Maybe. Anyway, originally retailing at $85 US, this was a piece of art worthy of framing. If you wanted the signed, lettered edition, I did find one used on eBay for $395—a very slight increase on its original $350 price tag.

Tiamat’s Wrath

Again, I’m not sure what’s going on here, but it reminds me of some kinda platformer. Lovely picture though—almost looks like a photo! Yet another initially retailing at $85—these are all a lot is the message. Waaaaay too much for my tastes, sadly, as the entire series (if you went and bought them them upon release) signed and bound in cloth would’ve run you $650.

They’re all absolutely gorgeous, though. I kind of want to print them out into some kinda collage. Doubt I’ll ever get that far either, but it’s a more worthy (and waaaay cheaper) goal. Assuming the final Expanse book maintains the others’ price tags, the entire 9 book series bound in leather, lettered, and housed in a custom traycase would’ve run you $3150 if you ordered each directly upon release. If you tried to buy them all now, however… you’d be lucky to complete your set at $5k. Which… wow.

Music Monday 7/26

Well, I went and promised Ola a Polish band and since I know of, like, one… guess it has to be UnSun. But first, Music Monday is a meme created by Drew the Tattooed Book Geek on his blog. I’m a bit on and off posting it, but I love my music—and my tastes are a bit eclectic—so it makes for an interesting time, I hope.

UnSun was a Polish gothic metal band that existed from 2006-2016. I really liked them in my college years, when I burned through a lot of gothic and symphonic metal—that mix of classic vocals mixed with hardcore metal sounds. Sadly, they broke up in 2016 after only two released albums. See their vocalist, Anna Stefanowicz suffers from a rare illness that affects her nervous system and since about 2014 had been affecting her throat. For two years she gave it a go, even though singing caused her pain. But in 2016 the illness had worsened to the point where she was apparently in pain all the time. Though I’m not certain, I believe she is doing much better now, though probably isn’t cured by any means.

The Beautiful World of Books – Leviathan Wakes

Beautiful World of Books is a post showcasing a certain special, limited, anniversary, or just particularly eye-catching cover that I love—even if it’s not one I have. Yet. In fact, I don’t own most of the copies that I’ve planned to feature here over the next handful of weeks (or however long this new attempt at something from me lasts), but there’s still time for that to change~

Leviathan Wakes was released just a little over a decade ago, back in June 2011. The author, James S.A. Corey, is actually a collaboration between authors Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck. An amazing space opera, it initially featured the exploits of James Holden and the crew of the Canterbury, as well as the detective stylings of Joe Miller—a detective of Ceres searching for the missing Julie Mao. In the interests of spoilers, I won’t address any more, but if you haven’t read it in the last ten years, well… you really should. REALLY. SHOULD.

Since it’s initial release, Leviathan Wakes has spawned a literary series—The Expanse—which is set to end this year with the release of Leviathan Falls in November, as well as a television series, The Expanse, due to enter its 6th season in… I dunno, probably next year. Needless to say, I am woefully behind on both. I’ve read up through Book 5 (Nemesis Games) in the written series and watched through Season 2 of the show—both of which are quite good.

Now, I love the original cover—its use of the spacecraft and asteroids set against the deep planetary blue, while the light from a certain star shines brightly in the background—but what is an anniversary for if not a new beginning? The original cover is great, but a new take on it is always appreciated. Hell, even if the new one sucks, you’ve always got the tried and true version to fall back on.

Anyway, in homage to the original release being a decade past, and the series set to reach its conclusion later this same year, Orbit is releasing a special anniversary edition of Leviathan Wakes on September 7th.

And I WANT IT.

It’s just… look at those colors! I find the violet and blue against the blackness of space to be haunting; a promise of mystery and adventure amongst the pinpricks of stars all around. The pages itself (well, their edges—can’t remember the term for that) bear a matching violet, all of which promises a lovely adventure just within its pages. Which I know for a fact, having read the book three times to date.

Should you be keen to own your own of these beauties, the pre-order price is currently set at just over $30. Despite my desire to own one of these meself, I’ll probably wait til it falls in price a bit—at least to $25 or so.

What do you think of the cover? Is it your favorite in the series, or do you fancy some other one? Maybe make a note of it, because I just might revisit this thought in the very near future 😉

Music Monday 7/19

Music Monday is a meme created by Drew the Tattooed Book Geek over on his blog yonder. It’s a way of sharing a song that you’re high on.

Written By Wolves is a rock band from Auckland, New Zealand. I’ve been following them for a few years now, and Spotify claims that I’ve enjoyed 27 of their songs enough to add them to my library. This makes me reasonably confident in the assertion that they have released AT LEAST 27 songs. One of their two new singles released in 2021, Help Me Through the Night also features the vocals of Kellin Quinn, the frontman of post-hardcore rock band Sleeping with Sirens (who I’ve been assured are good but am not too familiar with). They also released a single, Better Luck Next Time, on July 13, 2021. I was going to feature that one tbh, but I’d missed Help Me Through as well and ended up preferring it to the other.

Music Monday 7/12

Music Monday is a meme started by Drew the Tattooed Book Geek over on his blog. This is a bit of an impromptu MM for me. I kinda forgot it was Sunday yesterday, and kinda forgot it was Monday today. But there is a new song I’ve been listening to so it’s the perfect place to showcase it!

Essenger is a solo artist from Kansas City, Missouri that blends together electronic and synthwave. Beats in part inspired through alt metal and EDM. I first discovered him when he partnered with Young Medicine to release Lost Boys, part of last year’s full-length After Dark album.

Here’s his latest release, Plague Doctor, released just last week. While I’ve been listening to it on repeat on Spotify recently, I also bought it today from Bandcamp as that does more to support his music than any streaming service. And because I’m sentimental like that.

Music Monday – 5/31

So I was planning to have a Lights of Prague review up today, but no one wrote it for me, so we’ll do an impromptu Music Monday instead. Music Monday is a meme created by Drew over on his blog. And I have just the song for today—it released recently and I’ve been listening to it on repeat ever since.

Shaman’s Harvest is a southern rock band from Jefferson City, Missouri. I love this this one—with the stomp-clap, the ominous overtones and dark undertone, and maybe not so subtle references to death—along with the visuals it inspires. Death’s just another part of life, after all. It’s quite the haunting dirge, this one.

Music Monday 1/25

Music Monday is a meme created by Drew the Tattooed Book Dude over on his blog. While he’s currently on hiatus, I’m not sure if that includes Music Monday, but I figured I’d share this one as a sorta… homage to his blog.

I’ve had the flu lately (I’m kinda starting to doubt it’s the flu, but… anyway), which has been accompanied by a constant pounding headache. I’ve fallen behind on reading, and I can neither game nor watch any TV. So much of my music is absolutely unpalatable, but there are a few things I like that have proved mostly harmless.

Wardruna is a Norwegian dark (or pagan) folk outfit, whose style involves chanting, traditional instruments, and ambient sound. I find it haunting, thought provoking, and calming. Their new album, Kvitravn, just came out on the 21st. This is their most recent single (released January 15, 2021) off said album.

Music Monday

Music Monday is a meme created by Drew the Tattooed Book Geek where he features a song he likes. Here in the dying embers of November, I’d like to share with you a tune quite outside the usual metal and rock that I typically go for. It’s but one of the several string bands I’ve had running through my head in the past few weeks. It bears a moroseness to it that summarizes the mood around lately.

What My Favorite Characters Would Be Doing in Quarantine (Book Tag)

I was recently tagged by Ola & Piotrek over at the Re-Enchantment of the World to “take 5+ of your favorite characters and imagine what they’d be doing if they were stuck here like us”. The tag, created by Kal at Reader Voracious, and looks interesting enough for me to do, especially considering I haven’t actually finished any books in a while. But that’s all about to change! Just not now.

Three from Jay Posey’s Legend of the Duskwalker

Would be sitting around drinking, waiting for someone to shoot. The mailman, the neighbor from downstairs, the girl he spurned in sixth grade—wouldn’t matter much. Whomsoever broke social distancing. There’d be no internet, calls, or TV on his watch, just drinking and cleaning his guns. Plus maybe a siesta. And he wouldn’t be handling the waiting well.

James Holden from S.A. Corey’s The Expanse

Would’ve announced the cause of the pandemic and whose fault it was to the entire world, then immediately pissed off somewhere and left the world to deal with it however.

Xavier Rodriguez from Nicholas Sansbury Smith’s Hell Divers

&

Artyom from Dmitry Glukhovsky’s Metro

Would have thrown on their radiation suits and gone out to search for supplies. Some people might give them strange looks, but their rifles would probably’ve prevented those people from doing anything about it (though I’ve seen a not-insignificant number of people take their rifles on a walk to the store during this crisis, and for the most part the rest of us just ignore them). They’d also keep a watchful eye out for any mutants or atomic bombs lying around.

Rincewind from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld

Would be in the library fiddling with his Wizzard hat and feeding bananas to the Librarian, who would be incredibly offended but probably willing to humor his friend.

Çeda from Bradley Beaulieu’s Shattered Sands

Would be sneaking out at night and taking drugs. Then roam the desert and fight some trees as her way of social distancing while totally not being high.

Alex Verus from his series written by Benedict Jacka

Would be looking through the futures in which he went out to the store and trying to determine the paths to walk in order to avoid touching anyone. After that he’d probably just make Luna do his shopping for him.

Hope from Jon Skovron’s Empire of Storms

Would be fully engaged in sword practice and combat training. When not training, she would be immersed in meditation. Luckily, her social life wouldn’t suffer. Can’t lose something you’ve never had.