Help! What Should I Read Next? (A Reader Poll)

The Shelf of Shame is out of control. I have all these cool new books to read that I planned to write about and, well, I’m feeling a little overwhelmed. I can’t decide.

Then it dawned on me– YOU can decide.

Here are the contenders:

1. The Michael Moorcock Library. Titan Books is doing wonderful hardcover reprints of a bunch of Moorcock fantasy comics adapted from his novels, featuring Roy Thomas, Michael Gilbert, Howard Chaykin, and P. Craig Russell.

So far I have the first four Elric volumes and also The Swords of Heaven, the Flowers of Hell.

2. Lyndsay Faye. My current favorite Sherlock pastiche author.

But that’s not ALL she does. I recently acquired her novel Jane Steele, which re-imagines Jane Eyre as a serial murderer.

3. The latest offerings from Hard Case Crime.
The folks at Hard Case are very good about keeping me supplied with advance copies of stuff.

To the point where, well, they’re kind of piling up on me. I was going to cover them all in one column but other deadlines have conspired to force me to put it off; I haven’t been able to even read the damn things yet. But if you like I will move them to the top of the stack.

4. Late To The Party.
Books other people have talked about for years that I just haven’t gotten around to acquiring until very recently.

I’ve scooped up a few of these over the last couple of months and I was thinking of putting them all in one column.

5. Big Honkin’ Anthologies.
I have a weakness for these, especially the ones that have some sort of theme.

I’ve acquired several older ones built around various genre tropes that I bet folks here would be interested in hearing about.

6. I Feel Dirty. Books that I feel a strong moral objection to….

…but still kinda like.


There you go. Pick ONE and tell me in the comments which you would prefer. Feel free to elaborate on why but that’s not necessary.

And I’ll be back next week with the winner.


  1. Tim Rifenburg

    The Elric Saga, Sherlock Holmes and the Watchman book are all of interest to me. Since I have to pick one I am going to say the Before Watchman book. Not because I want you to read something against your nature but because I really would love to see your take on it.

  2. Edo Bosnar

    There he goes again, rubbing in the fact that he gets Hard Case Crime books sent to his doorstep… 😉

    As for telling you what to read next, given the state of my own shelf of shame I almost don’t think I’m in any position to give anybody else advice. However, I can say that the Illustrated Zelazny book is a real treat. Morrow really outdid himself on the art. You can’t go wrong there – although it just reminds me that I’ve got the similar, Illustrated Harlan Ellison still waiting to be read.
    And speaking of, I also have Elric The Dreaming City (Marvel Graphic Novel), Elric of Melnibone (published by First, collecting the 6-issue series released by Pacific), and Swords of Heaven, Flowers of Hell, all of them still unread so maybe if you pick the Moorcock library, it’ll shame me into finally reading those. So yeah, go with the Moorcock Library.
    Still though, I think you’ll really like the Illustrated Zelazny. Hmm, I’m not being helpful…

  3. Knightsky

    The Zelazny book gets my vote, since it’s a bit of an odd collection, and I suspect will have a lot of varying thoughts concerning it.

    That said, the Moorcock comics are really solid and enjoyable, so that’s a good back-up pick.

      1. tomfitz1

        Marvel published The Dreaming City and While Gods Laugh in Epic Illustrated magazine (the former in full for Marvel Graphic Novel series).

        Topps Comics/DHC published Stormbringer (by P. Craig Russell).

        DC also did two Elric series and Boom! did one.

        I’m not sure if Titan books will be reprint the DC/Boom!/Topps series, though.
        I hope they do.

        1. Edo Bosnar

          The Dreaming City, originally published as a Marvel Graphic Novel, is the third volume in these Moorcock Library Elric books. The first volume, Elric of Melnibone, is basically the same one I mentioned in my comment above: it collects the six-issue Thomas/Russell adaptation published by Pacific in 1983, which was then collected into a single tpb by First a few years later.

  4. Jeff Nettleton

    Oooh….just one? Aw, it’s a tough choice between Moorcock and a collection of swashbucklers…………………..I loves me some Moorcock and he has been adapted quite well, in comics, especially The Dreaming City (Swords of Heaven, Flowers of Hell is pretty good, though more for the Chaykin art than the story; rather see Chaykin adapt his Seaton Begg Metatemporal Detective stories or Oswald Bastable)……

    I’m gonna go with the swashbucklers….Dumas, Sabatini, Hope and Orczy is pretty hard to beat. If you haven’t read any of them, also try Arturo Perez-Reverte’s Capitan Alatriste series, about a Spanish swashbuckler, very reminiscent of Dumas, with mysteries thrown into the bargain. Then, add the graphic novel series The Scorpion, from Cinebook, about an Italian blade.

  5. John King

    If you haven’t already read the Westlake stories (previously published as Enough! [except one UK edition which didn’t include Ordo]) then that should be the first choice

    after that I would put Zelazny

    with Moorcock as third choice

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