Bookmas! with Claude Lalumière

Book­mas: when all you want for Xmas is books or book-shaped objects.

Today’s Not-so-secret Book­San­ta: Claude Lalu­mière.

Claude Lalu­mière is the author of the aston­ish­ing dark fan­ta­sy col­lec­tions Objects of Wor­ship, The Door to Lost Pages, and Noc­turnes and Oth­er Noc­turnes. Since 2002 he has edit­ed or co-edit­ed more than a dozen antholo­gies in mul­ti­ple gen­res, includ­ing Tesser­acts TwelveSuper Sto­ries of Heroes & Vil­lains, and the upcom­ing 2015 release The Exile Book of New Cana­di­an Noir, a col­lec­tion in which my short sto­ry “Moot” plays a small but pre­sum­ably award-win­ning part. Claude is cur­rent­ly solic­it­ing sub­mis­sions for a new anthol­o­gy, Super­hero Uni­verse: Tesser­acts Nine­teenHis has pub­lished more than six­ty sto­ries; his work has been trans­lat­ed into French, Ital­ian, and Pol­ish; adapt­ed for stage, screen, and comics; taught in Cana­da, the Unit­ed States, Ser­bia, and India; and includ­ed in year’s-best antholo­gies of fan­ta­sy, erot­i­ca, and sci­ence fic­tion.

What book that you’ve read in 2014 (not nec­es­sar­i­ly a 2014 book) would you rec­om­mend?

I loved Sil­via Moreno-Garcia’s col­lec­tion This Strange Way of Dying, which was pub­lished in 2013 but which I read in spring 2014.

What ongo­ing series of books would you rec­om­mend?

I’m gen­er­al­ly not attract­ed to series, but I’m a big fan of Philip Kerr’s Bernie Gun­ther nov­els, about an eth­i­cal Ger­man cop hav­ing to deal with the Nazi regime and its con­se­quences. Nine books so far, start­ing with March Vio­lets. The only slight mis­step so far is vol­ume 8 (Prague Fatale), but the sub­se­quent (and lat­est) book, A Man with­out Breath, was great.

What author would you rec­om­mend?

Every­one should be read­ing Ray Vukce­vich. The best liv­ing short-fic­tion writer. He has two col­lec­tions out, and every sto­ry is bril­liant. And he has uncol­lect­ed sto­ries scat­tered every­where. Seek them all out.

What’s the one book you think every­one should read?

J.G. Ballard’s Crash is prob­a­bly the most impor­tant (and, odd­ly enough, most enter­tain­ing) fic­tion pub­lished about the state of human con­scious­ness in this insane car-and-con­sumerism cul­ture we all inhab­it. (I should men­tion here that I do not dri­ve.)

Let’s go spe­cif­ic: what one book would you rec­om­mend for

  1. The sci­ence-fic­tion fan: The Mars Tril­o­gy, by Kim Stan­ley Robin­son (okay, so that’s three books, but one sto­ry)
  2. The hor­ror fan: The Col­lec­tion, by Bent­ley Lit­tle
  3. The fan­ta­sy fan: Mag­ic for Begin­ners, by Kel­ly Link
  4. The strict real­ism fan: The Vir­gin Sui­cides, by Jef­frey Eugenides
  5. The thriller/mystery fan: The Animal-Lover’s Book of Beast­ly Mur­der, by Patri­cia High­smith
  6. The non-fic­tion fan: Nat­ur­al Ene­mies: Peo­ple Wildlife Con­flicts in Anthro­po­log­i­cal Per­spec­tive, edit­ed by John Knight
  7. The Cana­di­an fan: The War­rior Who Car­ried Life, by Geoff Ryman
  8. The super­hero fan: The Amaz­ing Adven­tures of Kava­lier & Clay, by Michael Chabon

If, god for­bid, peo­ple couldn’t find any of your books, who else would you sug­gest they seek out for a sim­i­lar lit­er­ary fix?

Push of the Sky, by Camille Alexa (AKA Alex C. Ren­wick)