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)