18 June, 2009

Bona Fide: Weekly Roundup #25

Hello and welcome to a new issue of my Bona Fide Weekly Roundup. I received some e-mails concerning the last issue. I now know that it was a little overkill. Luckily, I got some helpful advice, so let's see whether I learned something or not...


This week I like to recommend a whole trilogy, even though I only read the first book: the
Shadows of the Apt trilogy, by Adrian Tchaikovsky and published by Pyr in US. For more information, check out Pyr bringing Tchaikovsky's 'Shadow of the Apt' to the US by Aidan and Tchaikovsky's 'Shadows of the Apt' to be released in US by James.
I read the first book of the trilogy - Empire in Black and Gold - and here is my impression:
There is a wise man, a threat, a “party”, a travel, betrayal, fights. Hmmh, sounds familiar. But there are no elves, dwarfs, hobbits or trolls. Instead we find steampunk elements and most unusual: insect-kinden. What are insect-kinden you might ask? There are several human offshoots who, long ago, took on the traits of prehistoric insects. As an example, mantis-kinden are warriors, beetle-kinden are similar to mechanics, wasp-kinden can fly and use stingers. Adrian Tchaikovsky combines all these things in a fast paced and an imaginative story.
The reader is but a fly, stuck in this literary spiderweb; once you’re captured you only can free yourself by finishing the book!
Lucky for me, the next web book, Dragonfly Falling has already been spun in bookstores (UK 6th of February 2009). The final novel of the trilogy – Blood of the Mantis – will be released in August 2009 (UK). If you like epic fantasy, and are a little tired of elves and dragons, then give the insect-kinden a try.


I hope you are not too disappointed, but this week you don't get a movie trailer. However, I found something really worth sharing with you. You may know the phrase size doesn't matter..... In this case case I can tell you size matters!!! Have you ever felt like an ant? No? Then watch following video and feel the awe:


From time to time, I enjoy following blog discussions sparked by authors. As a lover of epic fantasy - the longer the series, the more I like it - I read with great interest The Fantasy Series by Brandon Sanderson. He wrote two stand-alone epic fantasies - Elantris, Warbreaker - and the Mistborn trilogy. So far 42 comments have been made and there is some great discussion going on. What do you think about this topic? Take part and leave your comment!

Fantasy Maps

I know there are a lot people outside who like maps- especially fantasy maps. I must admit I like maps too. Did you ever try drawing your own maps - maybe a map related to a book you just read? There are several possible ways how you can create your very own: pen and paper, digitally with software on your PC, or a mix of both. In case you would like to try the pen and paper approach, and find you need some inspiration and maybe a little help, then watch the following video and follow the link to an extended instruction:

This is the mentioned link How to Draw Original Fantasy Maps for your Fiction - instruction
In case you want to try to draw maps using your PC and you don't want to spend money for software like Campaign Cartographer - then try AutoREALM.
AutoRealm is a free, open-source program for creating fantasy maps. Beside this World Builder Project has a lot of helpful links.

My Books And Me

I own a lot of books and every month I buy more. It is getting more and more difficult to keep track of
- the books I read
- the books I own and have already read
- the books I own and haven't read so far
- the books I want to buy and when I want to buy them
- the books I ordered in advance
- the books I want to read next and in which order
- and, and and.....
I started to use documents and spreadsheets. I appreciate Open Office, but it takes time to maintain all the different files. Fortunately I found my solution in the depths of the world wide web: Goodreads.
My first visit to Goodreads was like a trip to the land of milk and honey. A place where I can maintain all my book lists and share my opinions about books with other book lovers. The best part, it is quite normal to have book lists with thousand or more books! This year I created my first summer reading list. You want to know what I want to read from June to end of September 2009 then have a look at edifanob's 2009 Summer Reading List.
So what do you plan to read this summer? Please share your list with me.


I read a lot of comments about books and there are some where I would like to hit my head on the table. Of course I know that would only hurt me... Then I think of the following quote and immediately I feel a lot better:
Books are like a mirror.
If an ass looks in, you can't expect an angel to look out.

Arthur Schopenhauer (1788 - 1860), German philosopher