It's the start of a new month so I thought it would be a good time to cover a few updates, both about the blog and books. I don’t seem to be the only one in the blogosphere giving an update with many blogs either doing monthly updates or a “half-year report,” a post about their favorite books of 2010 up to now. I won’t be part of those, though I haven’t done so before I prefer to present a complete review of the year when we reach its end. No, I’ll simply be discussing (sort of) my reading plans for July as well as a bit of news on forthcoming books.

First of all: the blog. To look back for a minute, June wasn’t too bad a month here on LEC Book Reviews. It saw the largest amount of posts, among them a couple of interviews (Dan Wells, M.D. Lachlan), a fan Q&A with Mark Charan Newton (here) and, of course, plenty of reviews. It was all very fun. But that was June, this is July. The summer has begun (10 days ago) and that does mean I have more free time on my hands. That also translates as more reading time and, for you (well actually, for me too), more reviews and content. I’ll be keeping up with the July releases I find interesting, and there are quite a few, but I’ll also be using my extra time as an opportunity to catch up on and/or explore some books and series from the past few years that I haven’t yet gotten too. Don’t worry, its not going to be anything too old. Actually, much of it dates from only last year.

Then there are also the interviews I may or may not have planned to long forward to, not to mention all manner of unexpected stuff that might crop up and make its way onto to the blog; I really don’t plan much of this in advance, so who knows what can happen? Be assured: there is plenty to come on LEC Book Reviews.

Now on to book updates. As I write this I suddenly realize that there are fewer that I anticipated when I began typing this post up. Beyond the usual trickle out of George R.R. Martin about his forthcoming A Dance With Dragons there is only one worth mentioning and that is the one concerning Adrian Tchaikovsky and his Shadows of the Apt series. His update is particularly relevant to me as I’ve read and reviewed all four of his novels (reviews here, here, here and here in sequential order).

In a recent post over at his blog he revealed a few details about what he is working on at the moment and what is to come. He mentions that despite some delay The Scarab Path, fifth book in the Shadows of the Apt, is on track for publication in early August. About this book Tchaikovsky says:

"I will admit to being nervous — Salute the Dark finished the first internal division of the series plot, and Scarab has new ground to cover, and so there's an ambiguity about reception and take-up that the previous books didn't necessarily have. Also, despite having seen so much of it recently, I really do like Scarab, and it feels a very personal effort. There is a great deal of character work I'm very happy with, and also a lot of revelation about the world, the Art, Aptitude and some very key ancient history."
Am I the only one excited by such a comment?

Now I think I should take the time to draw your attention to how amazing Tchaikovsky is, just look at what he says about what he is currently writing:
"Book 6 (The Sea Watch) has come back from Peter Lavery's elegant edits, been amended as best fit, and returned (although I am threatened with proofs any day now), and book 7 (The Working Title) has winged its insecty little way to Simon, my agent, for his first comments, having (after repeated disembowelling) finally reached a draft stage that I'm even halfway happy with."
And:
"Tonight, this very night, I put pen to paper on what should be book 8 in the series and rattled off the first few pages."
Not only does that give us the title for book six, The Sea Watch (the working title for the eighth is mentioned later as The Air War) it also serves to underline how much Tchaikovsky writes. His fifth book isn’t even out yet that he’s completed the writing of the next two. And then begun work on the eighth. That is a prolific writer beyond any reckoning. He is THREE books ahead of his publication, this in a day and age where we sometimes have to wait three or more years for a sequel. It’s his fifth book coming out, the fifth in three years and no less than his second in 2010. I, personally, am blown away. Congratulations to him on being on time with the fifth and compliments for being a staggering amount of quality work in the short amount of time he does.

For those that bothered to read this far down, this concludes the updates.

Note: I was drawn to Tchaikovsky’s updates by Speculative Horizons' own update (see what I said about all those updates?) so thanks to him for the reference...