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 (usually 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 past week brought a few books, and I somehow hadn’t even heard that the first of these was coming out soon before I found it in the mail!

In case you missed it, my review of The Best of Nancy Kress was posted last week. It’s an impressive collection of short stories, novelettes, and novellas that will be released in limited edition hardcover and ebook next week.

On to the books!

A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms by George R. R. Martin

A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms (The Tales of Dunk and Egg #1-3) by George R. R. Martin and illustrated by Gary Gianni

This volume contains the three Dunk and Egg novellas set about a hundred years before the beginning of A Game of Thrones: “The Hedge Knight,” “The Sworn Sword,” and “The Mystery Knight.” It will be available in hardcover and ebook on October 6.

These stories have been published in anthologies, but this is the first time they’ve been collected in the same volume.


Taking place nearly a century before the events of A Game of Thrones, A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms compiles the first three official prequel novellas to George R. R. Martin’s ongoing masterwork, A Song of Ice and Fire. These never-before-collected adventures recount an age when the Targaryen line still holds the Iron Throne, and the memory of the last dragon has not yet passed from living consciousness.

Before Tyrion Lannister and Podrick Payne, there was Dunk and Egg. A young, naïve but ultimately courageous hedge knight, Ser Duncan the Tall towers above his rivals—in stature if not experience. Tagging along is his diminutive squire, a boy called Egg—whose true name (hidden from all he and Dunk encounter) is Aegon Targaryen. Though more improbable heroes may not be found in all of Westeros, great destinies lay ahead for these two . . . as do powerful foes, royal intrigue, and outrageous exploits.

Featuring more than 160 all-new illustrations by Gary Gianni, A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms is a must-have collection that proves chivalry isn’t dead—yet.

Cover Not Yet Available

Judgment Day: The Science of Discworld IV by Terry Pratchett with Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen

The fourth and final Science of Discworld book will be released in the US in December. It will be available in trade paperback and audiobook (and I’d imagine ebook as well since the previous Science of Discworld books are available in that format, but that format isn’t listed on the publisher’s website or Amazon at the moment).

The description below is from a different edition since this particular one doesn’t yet have a cover or description.


The fourth book in the Science of Discworld series, and this time around dealing with THE REALLY BIG QUESTIONS, Terry Pratchett’s brilliant new Discworld story Judgement Day is annotated with very big footnotes (the interleaving chapters) by mathematician Ian Stewart and biologist Jack Cohen, to bring you a mind-mangling combination of fiction, cutting-edge science and philosophy.

Marjorie Dawe is a librarian, and takes her job — and indeed the truth of words — very seriously. She doesn’t know it, but her world and ours — Roundworld — is in big trouble. On Discworld, a colossal row is brewing. The Wizards of the Unseen University feel responsible for Roundworld (as one would for a pet gerbil). After all, they brought it into existence by bungling an experiment in Quantum ThaumoDynamics. But legal action is being brought against them by Omnians, who say that the Wizards’ god-like actions make a mockery of their noble religion. As the finest legal brains in Discworld (a zombie and a priest) gird their loins to do battle — and when the Great Big Thing in the High Energy Magic Laboratory is switched on — Marjorie Dawe finds herself thrown across the multiverse and right in the middle of the whole explosive affair.

As God, the Universe and, frankly, Everything Else is investigated by the trio, you can expect world-bearing elephants, quantum gravity in the Escher-verse, evolutionary design, eternal inflation, dark matter, disbelief systems — and an in-depth study of how to invent a better mousetrap.

Other Books: