The next Dean Koontz book coming out is Forever Odd; it's release date is November 29th. I'm not as excited about this book as I usually am, not because I'm any less in love with DK in a general sense but because it's been a couple years since his new books have made me go OMGthatssoawesome. The Face (May 2003) is one that I can read over and over again; there's one sort of boring pointless chapter but it's ok because I can skip it. The Taking (May 2004) is sort of a DK twist on the movie Signs, with some very specific differences that make the whole book worth reading. Other than that... Odd Thomas (December 2003), the 'prequel' to the book coming out this month was sorta i see dead peopleish -- an interesting character study but pretty depressing. Life Expectancy (December 2004) was creative and kooky but somehow still a little unsatisfying. Velocity (May 2005) was creative in a much darker way, edgy and sometimes kind of icky, but, again, just isn't a book I could pick up and read over and over and over like I can with The Face, or Tick Tock (2000) or Mr. Murder (1996) or - yum - Lightning (1988).
And I was thinking about this on my way home from school tonight... that my relationship with Koontz right now is kind of like my relationship with Stargate SG-1. There used to be a time where both of them could do no wrong (ok, very little wrong), although that probably had more to do with my perceptions. They had their glory days and lately things haven't been as glorious. But they're still better than most of the other crap out there (I would rather watch a poor episode of SG1 than a good episode of CSI or whatever else passes as intelligent drama these days, and I would rather read a so-so Koontz than touch another Terry Goodkind novel with a ten foot pole... unless it was actually a ten foot torch and then I might do it).
Speaking of so-so books, at the moment I'm reading Greg Bear's Darwin's Children, mostly because I bought the prequel, Darwin's Radio on a whim and then figured I might as well find out how it all ends up. I have mixed feelings. The concept (that a new race of humans is evolving out of us silly old homo sapiens sapiens) is fascinating, and a lot of the social commentary is very interesting. But the prose is too wordy, most of the time, and full of jargon and acronyms -- so full, in fact, that even if I was inclined to look them up I simply wouldn't be able to understand them all without a course in advanced genetics. The characters aren't always sympathetic and, more to the point, my favorite character didn't get the girl. Bear also tries to act cute with his understanding of politics, and of course the Republicans are the ones who want to kill babies and make old people eat dog food, while the Democrats are either allies of the main characters or (more often) simply absent. Meh.
On the upside, I've ordered -- via half.com -- John Gibson's new book, The War on Christmas, for $13 including shipping. I haven't read anything by Gibson before, although I'm very tempted by Hating America (as well as Bernie Goldberg's 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America). I'm going to have to make a separate War on Christmas tag, I think, and keep you updated as I read about these nefarious doings of liberals :D