Riot Headline 10 Exciting Books to Read this Summer

Robin Sloan Rocks My World

Alison Peters

Staff Writer

Alison Peters surrounds herself with books, green things, animals and love. A Creative Writing M.F.A. holder with a day job that shall not be named, Alison is also working on a Masters in Library and Information Science. Currently cohabitating with her partner in the Northernmost outpost of San Francisco’s East Bay, she spends her spare time exercising her big dog so he won’t get annoyed with her, reading everything she can get her hands on, and then writing about it all. If you’re ever interested in discussing Harry Potter, Alison re-reads the series at least once a year, so drop her a line.

robin sloanYou might not be aware of this, but Robin Sloan is the coolest author out there.

I know! You’re probably thinking that’s subject to taste, but it’s not. Here’s a couple reasons why:

1. He wrote Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore, which is a giddy romp of a mystery/adventure/romance/quest for the 21st century e-age reader, full of spot-on Google spoofs and independent bookstore woes, a secret society, and just about every archetypal quest character you can think of.
2. To whit, Breakfast Club style: the web-design guru, the nerd, the entrepreneur, the geeky (hot) girl wonder, the old books-only guy, the mysterious villain, the helper friend, etc. I fully expect to see old Molly Ringwald & Charlie Sheen make cameos if this excellent adventure ever gets made into a film.
4. Seriously – Mr. Penumbra’s cover and spine, with a design that’s a cool homage to bookshelves, really glows! It makes your bookshelves happy at night, keeping away the other, scary books. And if you’re wondering, the paperback version of Mr. Penumbra, out this week, promises to glow as well.
5. Last, but not least, and possibly my favorite reason to love the guy, as an unabashed Sloan fan: if you sign up on his website for his email list , which tantalizingly teases access to secrets and other book-ish gems, you will not be disappointed.  Upon confirmation, you enter the society of the double-dagger (and honestly, I might be killed for just mentioning that, but I’ll take the chance) where Sloan occasionally, not so frequently as to be annoying, send the coolest of email briefs on what he’s up to, a fun puzzle or rabbit hole research quandary to fall down, or, as is the case this week, an invite for subscribers to participate in a game of Penumbra Primes, where you pick the winning number and “you will receive, in the mail, a real paper copy of AJAX PENUMBRA 1969.”
What’s this, you ask? Why, only a prequel to the fantastic Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore! An honest to god, limited edition, paperback book, lovingly crafted and delivered in advance of the digital short of the same, to be released September 24th.
Robin Sloan just made my week. And I don’t think I’m alone, judging from the number of posts he’s made his way into, on this site alone. (Look it up – see for yourself!)
I’m waiting for the email announcing me as the winner. If you hear squealing later on, wherever you are, you’ll know why.
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