31 March, 2012
Anathem by Neal Stephenson ($1.99)
Embedded by Dan Abnett ($1.97)
Triumff: Her Majesty's Hero by Dan Abnett ($2.99)
Moxyland by Lauren Beukes ($2.99)
Zoo City by Lauren Beukes ($2.99) - The Arthur C. Clarke and Kitchies Red Tentacle Award winner.
The World House by Guy Adams ($2.99) - My review.
The Bookman by Lavie Tidhar ($2.99)
Empire State by Adam Christopher ($3.99)
City of Dreams and Nightmare (Book 1, City of a Hundred Rows) by Ian Whates ($2.99)
Pretty Little Dead Things by Gary McMahon ($2.99)
29 March, 2012
I had to put in my two cents on this as I just found out about it today from Neth Space. Christopher Priest is an amazing author and known to be a bit outspoken, notably with respect to his low opinion of Christopher Nolan and the ending to The Prestige, the movie adaptation of Priest's book.
Yesterday, Priest wrote a scathing article not only bashing the panel of judges for the Clarke Award, but also each and every author in some way. Yes, even China Mieville although he was more regretful than anything. Commentaries popped up everywhere including The Guardian (which as a much much better summation than mine), John Scalzi at Whatever, and even Charles Stross (who's now making t-shirts).
Maybe it's because I saw Ken's article first, but I thought the article was hilarious. Scalzi makes a good point that what this really is is someone who's not happy that everyone else doesn't follow their own opinion...and this comes up every time another award comes around.
But, while I agree with Scalzi on that part, I'd much rather hear/read someone's honest opinion than have them pussy-foot around like Scalzi happens to do in his article. Part of this is because I'm a terrible pussy-footer and I only dream of being as direct and honest as Priest. Maybe if I were also a world-renowned author...
In the end, just read the article, it's worth your time even if you don't agree with him.
28 March, 2012
Interviews: Authors Myke Cole and Tim Marquitz get interviewed by the same person. These are some of the best interviews I've ever read. Enjoy. Here's a teaser:
So here I am, the paragon of innocence and virtue, buried in young, nubile flesh for what seemed forever as they squirmed and squirmed and squirmed in what I remember thinking was a Twister game gone horribly right, until they managed to get back to their feet. Best damn moment of that entire show, let me tell you.
Giveaways: The books Dragon in Chains and Corrupts Absolutely? are being given away also by the same person. I'm almost done with Corrupts Absolutely? and I can already recommend it. Great anthology.
Gender Discussion: Adding to the topic of gender discussion, K.J. Parker is discussed and the question is asked - what does he/she do to our gender bias since no one knows the author's gender? This discussion is not had by the same person, another joins the fray.
You've probably guessed the pattern by now and in summation, visit often, you won't regret it.
Also, The Broken Empire by Mark Lawrence gets a new, pretty map that looks familiar for some reason...
But first, and my favorite part, we have some snark to share. Remember, you'll receive two free entries to our next giveaway of your choice (if you qualify region-wise) if you're mentioned here.
"I was thrilled to learn that this is an international giveaway but i'm not sure that includes me. Since i live in Eastern Europe (Balkans) and we generally live in caves, eat with our fingers and socialize with wild animals (at least that the common belief :))), not sure if i qualify. But if you are willing to send a carrier pigeon or maybe a hawk (dragon... could you find a dragon... i love dragons :)) i would love to have this book in my library." (Mirjana from Serbia)
"I'm not sure what's considered as a snarky comment, but I'm a Hungarian (currently living in Ireland) so I'll try the stereotypical Eastern European approach (please read it with a Borat-like accent):
'My dear friend, you give me book, I give you goat. Or my sister. Any of them will make good wife.'" (Jozsef from Ireland)
I obviously need to host more international giveaways because they bring some good snark to the table.
Okay, I guess that means we're finally to the reason you came here and I know you haven't looked already because that's obviously impossible. The winner is:
Congrats Jozsef, yes, the same Jozsef named in the snark above. Thanks to everyone who participated. We should have another Epic Wheel of Time Giveaway coming just around the corner (sadly US only).
24 March, 2012
In my search for more and more lists, every now and then I check out this site, Best Fantasy Books, which has groupings of the top 25 fantasy books, Best stand-alones, Best series, Great books, Good books, and until now (I don't know if it's new or if it's just been a while for me) I never noticed their list of Worst Fantasy Books Ever.
This is what I wanted to share today because I think it's actually a pretty good list at least as far as the general sentiment goes. I haven't nearly read all of those books on the list.
It's probably no surprise that Robert Stanek and Robert Newcomb are on the list, but I was surprised to find R.A. Salvatore as I've enjoyed what I've read of his. It's not the best ever, but certainly not the worst, although I find I have a hard time arguing with what he says:
R.A. Salvatore is one of those authors that does a disservice to the rest of the real writers out there. He writes popcorn fantasy over and over. If you want to read shallow fantasy that offers about as much nutrition as a McDonald's cheeseburger, then R.A. Salvatore's works are exactly what you need. For the rest of you who value your time, read something else.
There were some others I didn't expect to find, like Shannara and Dragonlance, And then another I wasn't too surprised to see was Terry Goodkind - the blog author says:
I was just wondering what do you think? Is this a fair and accurate list?
Goodkind's book quality go like this:
first book -- readable
books 2 - 3 -- less readable
books 4 - 6 -- even less readable
books 7 - 9 -- oh my god, my eyes are bleeding
books 10 - 12 -- thank god the series is done. Oh but wait, he's signed up for MORE novels
23 March, 2012
This is awesome! Benioff, Weiss, Kit Harington, Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage and more talk about the show, the books, the politics and for some reason, even though they're just retreading the usual (but just the first half), it seems more exciting this time. :D
Talion: Revenant by Michael A. Stackpole ($4.99)
Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowel ($2.99)
Night Watch by Surgei Lukyenenko ($3.99)
Tales of Wonder and Imagination edited by Ellen Datlow (anthology) ($1.99) - Features authors such as Stephen King, George R.R. Martin, and Neil Gaiman.
Hawkwood and the Kings by Paul Kearney (omnibus) ($5.87)
Quite a few Discworld books are discounted, I don't think they're likely to go any lower since it's such an established series. Although I could be wrong. I listed the number of the book in the series, but for the most part, that doesn't matter.
The Light Fantastic (#2) by Terry Pratchett ($5.29)
Equal Rites (#3) by Terry Pratchett ($5.29)
Sourcery (#5) by Terry Pratchett ($5.29)
Pyramids (#7) by Terry Pratchett ($5.29)
Guards! Guards! (#8) by Terry Pratchett ($5.29)
Reaper Man (#11) by Terry Pratchett ($5.29)
Witches Abroad (#12) by Terry Pratchett ($5.29)
Lords and Ladies (#14) by Terry Pratchett ($5.29)
Men at Arms (#15) by Terry Pratchett ($5.29)
Interesting Times (#17) by Terry Pratchett ($5.29)
Feet of Clay (#19) by Terry Pratchett ($5.29)
Hogfather (#20) by Terry Pratchett ($5.29)
The Last Continent (#22) by Terry Pratchett ($5.29)
The Fifth Elephant (#24) by Terry Pratchett ($5.29)
Going Postal (#33) by Terry Pratchett ($5.29)
Strata by Terry Pratchett ($5.29)
The Dark Side of the Sun by Terry Pratchett ($5.29)
21 March, 2012
20 March, 2012
With only about 25% of actual series plot development (or 500 pages sandwiched between plot development), you'd think I would hate this book. Had I not known about this beforehand or had I waited 6 years for more Dark Tower, I'd probably be singing a different tune.
Then again, I love me a western and to call them Gunslingers on top of it all (such a cool word), I'm pretty sure I would have loved Wizard and Glass [US] [UK] [Kindle] no matter what.
After quickly resolving the cliffhanger at the end of The Wastelands (my review), Roland Deschain proceeds to tell his story that he has obviously been needing to tell for quite a while. I honestly thought we wouldn't have a resolution to that particular scene until much later in the book with the flashback in the middle of that. I'm very glad my expectations were wrong.
Roland, at only 14 years old, is sent to Mejis with his two good friends Mat and Perrin... I mean Cuthbert and Alain. I couldn't help but draw the comparison to the Wheel of Time as it's pretty close, but also vastly different.
In book one, The Gunslinger (my review), we found out that Roland became the youngest gunslinger ever at the age of 14 and Roland's flashback picks up immediately after.
As far as the people of Mejis know, these youths were in fact truant youngsters who were sent on a mission to count. That's right, count everything from fish nets to horses. In reality, they are sent there to get them out of harm's way, but what they find instead is a group not dissimilar to The Cowboys from the movie Tombstone named the Big Coffin Hunters.
At this point in the history of Mid-World, the Affiliation is the governing body, to which Roland and his friends belong, but which is facing the growing problem with the Good Man, who's inciting rebellion among other things.
Innocuous mission turns dangerous, sweet. But that's not all you get, you'll also find one of the best love stories you've ever read. More you say? There's suspense, tragedy, gunslinging, and one of the most amazing scenes I've ever read involving the best stand-off you'll ever find anywhere.
Regarding the famous (or infamous) Wizard of Oz elements **Spoiler** I thought this worked extremely well. The Dark Tower is all about drawing comparisons between this world and the world of The Dark Tower. It's just the right amount of dreaminess that fits so perfectly with this world and made the smooth transition back to Mid-World. **End Spoiler**
If King wants to tell the rest of this series through flashbacks, I'm on-board. I really hope to hear more about Cuthbert and Alain and if not both, then at least Cuthbert. Can he please join the new Ka-tet? Pretty please?
While I didn't quite know what to expect, but knowing at least that there was a lengthy flashback, the more I think about it, Wizard and Glass is my favorite volume in The Dark Tower so far. The flashback story is amazing and ratchets this series up in scope and epicness, giving method behind the madness.
If you haven't read The Dark Tower series, you're in for a treat. What? I'm the last person to do so? Well, I love it. I don't reread books much, but I will definitely do so once I'm done. This series is epic and tragic in every sense of each word. You will not regret it.
5 out of 5 Stars
Ps. Did I mention there's gunslinging?
The Dark Tower Series - Reviewed
19 March, 2012
I really like it, while the magic is exciting, the characters pictured have me curious as to what mischief they're up to. I guess you might like some blurbage too:
Dev is a desperate man. After narrowly surviving a smuggling job gone wrong, he's now a prisoner of the Alathian Council, held hostage to ensure his friend Kiran - former apprentice to one of the most ruthless mages alive - does their bidding.
But Kiran isn't Dev's only concern. Back in his home city of Ninavel, the child he once swore to protect faces a terrible fate if he can't reach her in time, and the days are fast slipping away. So when the Council offers Dev freedom in exchange for his and Kiran's assistance in a clandestine mission to Ninavel, he can't refuse, no matter how much he distrusts their motives.
Once in Ninavel the mission proves more treacherous than even Dev could have imagined. Betrayed by allies, forced to aid their enemies, he and Kiran must confront the darkest truths of their pasts if they hope to save those they love and survive their return to the Tainted City.
17 March, 2012
The Ten Thousand (Macht 1) by Paul Kearney ($5.87)
Corvus (Macht 2) by Paul Kearney ($5.87)
Kings of the Morning (Macht 3) by Paul Kearney ($5.87)
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley ($2.99)
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut ($2.99)
Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut ($2.99)
Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut ($2.99)
Welcome to the Monkey House by Kurt Vonnegut (short stories) ($2.99) - My review.
The Giver by Lois Lowry ($4.70)
I Am Legend by Richard Matheson ($2.99) - Keep in mind this is novella-length. The normal volume that includes this story has a bunch of Matheson's short stories as well.
The Fellowship of the Ring (Lord of the Rings, book 1) by JRR Tolkien ($3.99)
Also check out the last eBook deals post (two posts down), where I updated one of the entries.
The Forge of Darkness (Book 1, Kharkanas Trilogy) [UK edition] by Steven Erikson:
Enter the New York Times bestselling Malazan universe... at a time that sets the stage for all the tales already told.
Steven Erikson entered the pantheon of great fantasy writers with his debut Gardens of the Moon. Now Erikson returns with a trilogy that takes place before the events of the Malazan Book of the Fallen. The Forge of Darkness takes readers to Kurald Galain, the warren of Darkness, and tells an epic tale of a realm whose fate plays a crucial role in the fall of the Malazan Empire.
It’s a conflicted time in Kurald Galain, the warren of Darkness, where Mother Dark reigns. But this ancient land was once home to many a power… and even death is not quite eternal. The commoners’ great hero, Vatha Urusander, longs for ascendency and Mother Dark’s hand in marriage, but she has taken another Consort, Lord Draconus, from the faraway Dracon Hold. The idea of this union sends fissures throughout the realm, and as the rumors of civil war burn through the masses, an ancient power emerges from the long dead seas. Caught in the middle of it all are the Sons of Darkness, Anomander, Adarist, and Silchas Ruin of the Purake Hold.
Steven Erikson brings to life this ancient and important tale set in the world he introduced in the Malazan Book of the Fallen in a way that should appeal to fans of George R. R. Martin.
The Forever Knight (Book 1, Bronze Knight Saga) by John Marco:
I did a rant about Marco's editor not too long ago (after a year they still haven't read the manuscript), but at least we have this nice fancy cover art from Todd Lockwood (known for Malazan and Drizzt covers). Hopefully this means things are actually ramping up for the publication date later this year. From John Marco's site:
The Forever Knight is the first book in my new "Bronze Knight Saga," and is the fourth novel to feature the character of Lukien (the fabled Bronze Knight introduced in The Eyes of God). It is also the first story I've written from the First-Person viewpoint, told directly through the eyes of Lukien himself. While the book is ostensibly a continuation of the first trilogy, it also takes Lukien in a fresh direction, removing him from the familiar setting of the original books. The story introduces many new characters and bloody adventures, sending Lukien off on a violent, magic-laced mission of vengeance.
16 March, 2012
The Winds of Khalakovo by Bradley P. Beaulieu (FREE)
The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold ($0.99) - I've been meaning to read this series for a while.
Theft of Swords by Michael J. Sullivan ($4.99) - This is for two books, so it's an even better deal. :) My review - loved it.
The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks ($4.99) - This is not for two books, but still a good deal and great series.
EDIT: Wizard's First Rule by Terry Goodkind ($2.99) - I know I posted about this earlier, but it's now an even better deal. Reason for Edit: Price dropped another dollar.
14 March, 2012
As I've promised before, I'm finally going to run an international giveaway. I can't promise that someone outside of the US will win, but at least I'm sticking to my promise.
Snarky comments increase your chances of winning and win bonus entries for future giveaways. I'm happy to say this is open WORLDWIDE as long as delivery doesn't require the mounting of an expedition into remote wilderness.
12 March, 2012
Remember, if you're name's been mentioned here, you get two free entries into our next giveaway of your choosing, just please let me know when you want to use them.
Snark (somewhat spoilery):
Alternate titles that are more fitting:And the grand winner of this awesome giveaway is...
The Hunt for the Black Ajah
The Cameo of the Dragon Reborn (Todd Johansen)
I looked up "Snarky" in my Webster Dictionary, No Luck.
I bet Mr. Jordan never used the word either. Don't worry
though, I'm sure your vocabulary will grow in time. :) (Roy Lee, explaining the definition of snark with his snark)
Congrats Thomas and thanks to all who entered! I'm heartily enjoying the snark and the heartfelt messages about The Wheel of Time. We still have 10 more Epic Wheel of Time Giveaways to go, so you still have a chance.
09 March, 2012
But here are a couple interesting things I've found lately:
Composite sketches of Literary Characters - "[U]sing law enforcement composite software and descriptions of literary characters" this guy creates these images. Great idea, although they kinda end up looking the same after a while.
Corrupts Absolutely? - I've been reading this anthology and thought I'd share it with you while the price is low ($5.95 for now). I'm about halfway through and it's been good to excellent so far.
Corrupts Absolutely? collects twenty brand-new stories from veteran authors and newcomers, each with a unique perspective on what it might really be like to be superhuman in today’s day and age. In the center of such a roiling mass of uncertainty and excitement lies one important truth: the fight against good or evil is never as important as the fight for or against oneself.The editor, Lincoln Crisler, has been running a series of panels on his blog that are pretty entertaining, looking at metahumans, villains, and female characters. Also, one author, Ed Erdelac, talks about writing his piece.
- The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun by J.R.R. Tolkien ($2.79) - Hope you liked the poems and songs of Lord of the Rings. Oh? You skipped those? I bought this because, you know, it's JRRT. But how much I will enjoy it remains to be seen.
- A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs (FREE) - Anyone seen the new John Carter movie and is it any good? I need to see it, it had me at Willem Defoe. Here's the original book and it's free-ninety-nine.
- EDIT: The Princess Bride by William Goldman ($3.99) - Thanks again to The Tattered Scroll for this one, I've been meaning to read this one for ages.
07 March, 2012
... At last year's convention, a rule change was enacted that would exclude blogs from the Best Fanzine category in the future. This rule may be ratified this year. That means this may be the last year blogs are eligible for the Best Fanzine category. This may seems absurd to you, but remember, this is an organization with a constitution and committees and so on. There are quorum rules and agendas and minutes that have to be approved and I wouldn't be surprised if there's someone with a gavel. It's official, as befits an organization with such a storied past. They're not evil. They mean well. They just want to make sure that next year people who try to distribute their reviews using a parade of tattooed elephants don't rouse up a storm because they're not included in a category.
Seriously, the only justification I could see for this is to make sure the traditional fanzines don't get overrun by blogs. So, let's create a brand new category called "Best Blog"....
Support your favorite bloggers, show them we not only mean to stay, but that we're a force to be reckoned with. Check out the full article, Love a Blog, Nominate It, as he Guest-posts at Staffer's Musings.
05 March, 2012
Hence the boxes...
Here's most of my books. I was allowed to keep one shelf (and a box under the bed), so I'll have plenty to keep me going for a little while. I just always like having plenty to be able to pick from when it comes to picking up the next book.
It's sad, but hopefully will only last until we get into our new place...wherever that happens to be. I graduate law school in May, take the bar in July, twins come in August, and who knows after that.
03 March, 2012
The Forever War by Joe Haldeman ($4.99) - This is a classic and worth a read. Here's Alec's Review.
A Madness of Angels by Kate Griffin ($2.99) - Orbit's Digital Drop
Snow in the Desert by Neal Asher (Short stories) ($1.38)
Manhattan in Reverse by Peter F. Hamilton ($4.99)
Girl in the Arena by Lise Haines ($2.99)
Wool (Omnibus, books 1-5) by Hugh Howey ($4.99)
Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut ($4.09) - Here's my review, I can't get enough of the Vonnegut.
Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal ($2.99)
Agatha H. and the Airship City by Phil and Kaja Foglio (FREE)
01 March, 2012
While I had a difficult time with The Dragon Reborn the first time through (Rand is in all of about 5 pages), my reread on audiobook was a much more rewarding experience. I finally realized this series is no longer only about Rand.
With wonderful timing, Tor has posted Brandon Sanderson's thoughts on The Dragon Reborn:
It is a curious experience, to be writing about the third book while actively writing the final book. In book three, Rand comes to accept himself as the Dragon Reborn.
Again, it's Kate Reading and Michael Kramer at the helm and they're impeccable. Here's a sample:
Snarky comments increase your chances of winning and win bonus entries for future giveaways. I'm sorry to say this is open in the US only as long as delivery doesn't require the mounting of an expedition into remote wilderness.