The Leaning Pile of Books is a feature where I talk about books I got over the last week – old or new, bought or received for review consideration (often unsolicited). Since I hope you will find new books you’re interested in reading in these posts, I try to be as informative as possible. If I can find them, links to excerpts, author’s websites, and places where you can find more information on the book are included.

This week brought two books in the mail, but first here are some review updates.

In case you missed them last week, two new book reviews were posted, Uprooted by Naomi Novik (LOVED it!) and Stories of the Raksura: Volume One by Martha Wells (enjoyed it, especially “The Tale of Indigo and Cloud”). I’m currently working on a review of Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman.

On to this week’s books!

The Best of Nancy Kress

The Best of Nancy Kress by Nancy Kress

A limited edition will be available on September 30. There will be 1,000 signed numbered copies of The Best of Nancy Kress.

I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve read by Nancy Kress especially her Sleepless novels, beginning with Beggars in Spain; After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall; and Yesterday’s Kin, which recently won the Nebula Award for Best Novella. This collection contains the novella Beggars in Spain among other works of shorter-than-novel-length fiction, each followed by an afterword by the author.


Nancy Kress, winner of multiple awards for her science fiction and fantasy, ranges through space and time in this stunning collection. Anne Boleyn is snatched from her time stream–with unexpected consequences for two worlds. A far-future spaceship brings religion to a planet that already harbors shocking natives. People genetically engineered to never need to sleep clash with those who do. A scientific expedition to the center of the galaxy discovers more than anyone bargained for. A woman finds that ”people like us” does not mean what she thinks it does.

Praised for both her hard SF and her complex characters, Nancy Kress brings a unique viewpoint to twenty-one stories, the best of a long and varied career that has won her five Nebulas, two Hugos, a Sturgeon, and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award.

Table of Contents:

And Wild For to Hold
Out of All Them Bright Stars
Dancing on Air
Unto the Daughters
Laws of Survival
Someone To Watch Over Me
Flowers of Aulit Prison
Price of Oranges
By Fools Like Me
Casey’s Empire
Shiva in Shadow
Grant Us This Day
Kindness of Strangers
End Game
My Mother, Dancing
People Like Us
Margin of Error
Beggars in Spain

The Unnoticeables by Robert Brockway

The Unnoticeables by Robert Brockway

The Unnoticeables will be released on July 7 (hardcover, ebook, audiobook). An excerpt is available on


From Robert Brockway, Sr. Editor and Columnist of comes The Unnoticeables, a funny and frightening urban fantasy.

There are angels, and they are not beneficent or loving. But they do watch over us. They watch our lives unfold, analyzing us for repeating patterns and redundancies. When they find them, the angels simplify those patterns and remove the redundancies, and the problem that is “you” gets solved.

Carey doesn’t much like that idea. As a punk living in New York City, 1977, Carey is sick and tired of watching strange kids with unnoticeable faces abduct his friends. He doesn’t care about the rumors of tar-monsters in the sewers or unkillable psychopaths invading the punk scene–all he wants is to drink cheap beer and dispense ass-kickings.

Kaitlyn isn’t sure what she’s doing with her life. She came to Hollywood in 2013 to be a stunt woman, but last night a former teen heartthrob tried to eat her, her best friend has just gone missing, and there’s an angel outside her apartment. Whatever she plans on doing with her life, it should probably happen in the few remaining minutes she has left.

There are angels. There are demons. They are the same thing. It’s up to Carey and Kaitlyn to stop them. The survival of the human race is in their hands.

We are, all of us, well and truly screwed.