30 September, 2009

Book Bloggers: Top Post

Update: You can now check out the Top Posts and Analysis.

Fellow SF/F Book Bloggers (who did not already receive an email),

I am conducting a survey of top book blog posts (in terms of visitors/hits over the life of your blog). Please email me a very brief paragraph stating why you think that it is your most popular post. The purpose if twofold; find out what readers like and why they like it. I will post your replies on the blog on Monday followed by an analysis of the data on Tuesday. My hope is that the list will provide us with a couple nifty insights. So please reply with:

- URL and Title of your top post (provide # of hits if you have the data please).
- Brief paragraph of why you think it is popular.
- Main Traffic Sources for your top post (this is optional since not everyone tracks this data).

Thanks for taking the time, I can't wait for your replies. Keep reviewing!

- Alec

28 September, 2009

XKCD: Ender's Game VS Blogging

Ender's Game XKCD comic blogging
As a blogger and a science fiction lover, xkcd's do not get much better than this. My only question: why has the squirrel not been tortured to death by Locke?

27 September, 2009

Signed Giveaway: Homer & Langley, by E.L. Doctorow

E.L. Doctorow, Homer & Langley book giveaway
Homer and Langley Collyer are brothers–the one blind and deeply intuitive, the other damaged into madness, or perhaps greatness, by mustard gas in the Great War. They live as recluses in their once grand Fifth Avenue mansion, scavenging the city streets for things they think they can use, hoarding the daily newspapers as research for Langley’s proposed dateless newspaper whose reportage will be as prophecy. Yet the epic events of the century play out in the lives of the two brothers–wars, political movements, technological advances–and even though they want nothing more than to shut out the world, history seems to pass through their cluttered house in the persons of immigrants, prostitutes, society women, government agents, gangsters, jazz musicians . . . and their housebound lives are fraught with odyssean peril as they struggle to survive and create meaning for themselves.

Brilliantly conceived, gorgeously written, this mesmerizing narrative, a free imaginative rendering of the lives of New York’s fabled Collyer brothers, is a family story with the resonance of myth, an astonishing masterwork unlike any that have come before from this great writer.
Giveaway Rules

Want this signed book for free? Done. Just follow these simple giveaway instructions for your chance to win (giveaway runs for a week from the date of posting):

1) E-mail me your name and address, with the title of the book as the subject and in caps (HOMER). Snarky comments increase your chances of winning.
2) Sign up for site updates either in RSS or with Friend Connect on the side. This will also let you know about future giveaways!
3) Think happy thoughts.
4) (OPTIONAL) Share or link to any post on the blog--this earns you brownie points as well as increasing your (if you have made it this far) already significant odds.
5) There is no rule number five. I just like odd numbers. Good luck!

26 September, 2009

Bona Fide: Weekly Roundup #39

Hello and welcome to the last Roundup in September 2009. On the upcoming Sunday we will have federal election in Germany. And yes, there is a relation to books. We pay a reduced value-added tax for books. Some parties want to change to full value-added tax for books. That would mean a price increase by 12%. I really hope they don't do it.


Did you read or hear about the mechanical marvel of the nineteenth century? During the 1880s professor Archibald Campion developed Boilerplate, a mechanical man. The picture on the left shows Boilerplate and professor Archibald Campion.
Next month Boilerplate: History's Mechanical Marvel (2009) [US] [UK] by Paul Guinan and Anina Bennett will be available in book stores.

Until then visit the extraordinary Boilerplate site. You get a lot of pictures and information about Boilerplate and his world. You imagine what is missing? Of course a book trailer. You are lucky because I found one for you:


Do you know biliophile sins? In case your answer is no or you are interested in then I recommend to read The Bibliophile's Seven Deadly Sins by Kristen over at Fantasy Cafe. I must commit: I'm a sinner. What's about you?

Dave Brandon over at Dave Brendon's Fantasy & SciFi Weblog had a wonderful idea. Instead of an interview with the author he started a series of interviews with the characters of a book. I read Nights of Villjamur (2009) [US] [UK] by Mark Charan Newton within the gone summer and have been fascinated. You don't know the book? No problem at all. The interviews - so far two have been posted and more to come - give you an interesting sight on the characters and the book itself. I hope you enjoy the interviews as much as I did. Let me think. I forgot something or not? ..... Of course, how should you read the interviews without a link. Here we are:
Nights of Villjamur Interview Part One: Randur Estevu and Nights of Villjamur Part Two: Investigator Rumex Jeryd . Don't miss the next interview with Commander Brynd Lathraea which will be posted soon.
Thank you Dave for this great idea and the execution. I asked myself why I don't have such good ideas. Do we Germans like rules and laws more than imagination? I must admit in some cases yes. But that changes immediately when we have to fill out our tax forms.....

Do you remember the nineties where they promised us the paperless office? I got the impression that we use more paper than before. Do you use sticky notes? I use the a lot. Thanks to madscientistnz over at Items of Interest. He posted a video about Fun With Pos-It Notes. And shameless as I am, I purloined the link offer you the video directly. I'm sure when I would do the same as the people in the video I would get fired. But the video is awesome. Enjoy!


This week I found another trailer of a steampunk movie. I don't know when it will hit the cinemas in Europe and United States. It is maybe not what you expected. Read the praise of the producers first:
"A story of outstanding heroism in the face of deception, subterfuge and treachery. Conjuring up the belief that it was made forty years before film was even invented, 1884: Yesterday's Future tells of a future that might have been but never was. Directed by Tim Ollive, the film is a mix of animation, puppetry and two dimensional and three dimensional computer generated imagery (CGI) set against backgrounds created using stunning artwork, model sets and period photographs from the Hulton Picture Library division of Getty Images.
Combine these idiosyncratic production techniques with a script of mind boggling ingenuity and you have a hilarious comedy film the like of which you will not have seen before." [Source]
And now watch the trailer:


This week I opened the Roundup with taxes and I will close with taxes. I abandoned quotes from politicians. But I can't withstand to offer you a link to a well known quote from a well known politician. It starts with the words Read my lips. Enjoy this week quotes about TAXES.

"Tax reform means "Don't tax you, don't tax me, tax that fellow behind the tree."
Russel Long

"The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax.
Albert Einstein, physicist (1879 - 1955)

"Income tax returns are the most imaginative fiction being written today.
Herman Wouk, US dramatist & historical novelist (1915 - )

"A fine is a tax for doing something wrong. A tax is a fine for doing something right.
Author Unknown

"The more you earn, the less you keep,
And now I lay me down to sleep.
I pray the Lord my soul to take,
If the tax-collector hasn't got it before I wake..

Ogden Nash, American poet (1902 - 1971)

25 September, 2009

Review: The Osiris Ritual, by George Mann

The Osiris Ritual (2009) [US] [UK], by George Mann is second book in the Newbury & Hobbes Investigations series. There will be six books in the series.

All started in 2008 with the publishing of The Affinity Bridge [US] [UK] which had a lot to offer. Imagine an alternate version of London. The year is 1901. Airships cruise the sky. Hansoms face upcoming steam-powered cabs. Servants and laborers have to cope with automatons. Queen Victoria is still alive but avoids public. Who won't be afraid to see a Queen who is no more longer 100% human. Mechanization does not exclude the human body. Several organizations are responsible for the safety of the Queen, country and inhabitants. Of course not all work in public.
Come with me, dive into this vibrant city and discover their secrets and take a look at the abyss of the human soul. Be aware of people with eyes, the color of London fog....

The Setup

London, February 1902
We - the reader of The Affinity Bridge - are back. And you who visit this version of London for the first time - get ready to meet Sir Maurice Ashbury, Gentleman Investigator for the Crown. A man with a brilliant brain but a weakness for drugs like laudanum and opium. Or as what he says himself about opium:
"It (opium) was fuel for his mind, but poison for his body." [page 79]
Fortunately he don't investigate alone. Le me introduce the encouraged and straightforward Miss Veronica Hobbes, who is a bit more than just a plain assistant. She has to take care on her sister Amelia, who is a bit mysterious. Sir Maurice can rely on the resolute Chief Inspector Sir Charles Bainbridge.

And now the story takes place....

The famous but egocentric explorer Lord Henry Winthrop has returned form his successful expedition to Egypt.
The unwrap of the bindings of the mummified remains of an ancient Theban King has been announced as the society event of the year. And yes, Sir Maurice has been invited like the young correspondent of The Times - George Purefoy. These are the ingredients of one of the main threads. Remember the title of the book.........

Caspian, an undercover agent in St. Petersburg is on his unauthorized return to London. Sir Maurice got the order from Queen Victoria to meet the agent and escort him to the palace. As you can imagine this simple task turns into something dark and strange.....

In the past months several girls disappeared. This disappearing is connected with the stage magician Alfonso. Veronica is deeply involved to solve this case.....

I don't want to tell you more. But I promise you will be surprised how these threads are mingled. And there will be a solution in the end...

My Take in Brief

First of all it is possible to read this book as a stand-alone. But in case you do this you will miss the good previous story and you will miss the development of the main characters. And that is important because the characters are one of the highlights of the books. Each of them if far from perfect. The opium addiction of Maurice is just one example for this. And to be honest each of the main characters has a weakness. Mr. Mann's depiction of a steampunk London is awesome.
Beside this I like the way how Mr. Mann mingles steampunk, London, mystery and his characters to an unforgettable mix.
And all this is done in a style which I appreciate. You start to read and then you are sucked in. The not to long chapters support this. It never gets boring and there is enough room for your own speculations. You know more about the characters than the characters about themselves. But you don't know more about the threads than the characters know. That is another thing I really like. The Osiris Ritual is a book which keeps your interest page by page. The action is well dosed. Which means you get time to catch a breath.
I can't wait to read the next book in the series.

Bona Fide's Book Oracle

This time my inner book critic and I have had a kind of jigsaw conversation, which showed that we both appreciate this superb book. "Lon" "don" our favorite town. We love "Steam" "punk". "Se" "crets" are always welcome. "Re" "venge" is a powerful emotion "Hot" "pursuits" afoot on roofs, by steam tricycles, during day or night speed up the story. "Cha" "racters" well developed make it easy to connect with.
What does this mean? The Osiris Ritual offers all ingredients we like to see mixed together. We highly recommend this book - and of course the whole series - to all of you who have a foible for mystery, characters with secrets and avidities, a story with more than one thread, airships, submersives, automatons, steam-driven cabs all placed in a great city. Buy it, read it , love it.

More George Mann

You should know that it makes a difference whether you buy hardcover or paperback editions of the books.
The hardcover editions contain one or two additional short stories. As I read only the paperback versions I don't know the short stories. But I can support you with the reading order of all published Newbury & Hobbes stories

The Affinity Bridge (2008) [US] [UK] - first book of the series
The Humbleton Affair (2008) - short story, available in The Affinity Bridge hardcover
The Shattered Teacup - short story, available as free download pdf and mp3
The Osiris Ritual (2009) [US] [UK] - second book of the series
What Lies Beneath (2009) - short story, available in The Osiris Ritual
The Immorality Engine
(2010) [US][UK] - third book of the series

Anyway 2010 will be a George Mann year. Beside the publishing of The Immorality Engine, the first book of a second series, Ghost of Manhattan [US] [UK], will hit the book stores. Settled in an alternate version of New York around 1926 including steampunk and mobster. Read the mouth-watering blurb:
"1926. New York. The Roaring Twenties. Jazz. Flappers. Prohibition. Coal-powered cars. A cold war with a British Empire that still covers half of the globe. Yet things have developed differently to established history. America is in the midst of a cold war with a British Empire that has only just buried Queen Victoria, her life artificially preserved to the age of 107. Coal-powered cars roar along roads thick with pedestrians, biplanes take off from standing with primitive rocket boosters and monsters lurk behind closed doors and around every corner. This is a time in need of heroes. It is a time for The Ghost. A series of targeted murders are occurring all over the city, the victims found with ancient Roman coins placed on their eyelids after death. The trail appears to lead to a group of Italian-American gangsters and their boss, who the mobsters have dubbed 'The Roman'. However, as The Ghost soon discovers, there is more to The Roman than at first appears, and more bizarre happenings that he soon links to the man, including moss-golems posing as mobsters and a plot to bring an ancient pagan god into the physical world in a cavern beneath the city. As The Ghost draws nearer to The Roman and the centre of his dangerous web, he must battle with foes both physical and supernatural and call on help from the most unexpected of quarters if he is to stop The Roman and halt the imminent destruction of the city." [Source]

24 September, 2009

Gathering Storm Chapter 2

Gathering Storm Robert Jordan Brandon Sanderson Wheel of Time

The second chapter of The Gathering Storm (2009) was just released. For those of you at work, you will have to wait a bit since it is the audiobook version, and the text itself has not been released - nor do we know if it will be prior to The Gathering Storm's actual release date on October 27. While the prologue to The Gathering Storm has also been released in audiobook format, one must fork over $2.99 - a small price to pay for fans of the series.

22 September, 2009

Mooning is Dangerous!

I got a solid chuckle out of this one.

21 September, 2009

Margaret Atwood at It Again!

In an interview with PBS, the renowned Margaret Atwood explains to us why she writes "speculative fiction" and not "science fiction". Apparently, science fiction is concerned with only crazy things, such as talking cabbages. She claims to write only about technology that currently exists... such as the spider goat that spins silk. Wow, just amazing...

French Fantasy

Spurred by Larry's multi-cultural ramblings, I have finally decided to read some foreign fantasy books in their original language. This is a daunting task. Reading in French is now so foreign that actual focus is require, detracting somewhat from the reading experience. The feeling, however, has worn off quickly enough and I am progressing at a respectable clip through Le Secret de Ji, by Pierre Grimbert (1999) - who is heralded as a French Tolkien. The title of the other book, Janua Vera, by Jean Philippe Jaworski, is a total mystery to me, but is apparently considered to be a medieval fantasy.

The Secret of Ji by Pierre Grimbert book
One day came Nol, the prophet, and he asked every kingdom to send their wisest sages on a mysterious voyage to the island of Ji. Few returned, and those that did never spoke of what they saw. And so, the tale disappeared from the memory of man, maintained only by the descendants of those brave heros sent to the island... Until today, where the fanatics of a secret cult of Zuu have committed themselves to wiping away any trace of the journey, assassinating those responsible for carrying its warning down through the ages. Who commands these assassins? And why? The storytellers will have to find the answers quickly, for only six remain. But above all, they will have to discover the truth of what happened on the island of Ji, one hundred and eighteen years ago.

Janua Vera by Jean-Phillipe Jaworski book french

Born from the dream of a conquerer, the glory of the Old Kingdom is now but a distant memory... A handful of fiefs, towns, and cities have risen from the ashes, where a feudal society prepares its heroes, both noble and humble, brutal and erudite, to face their destiny. Benvenuto, an assassin, is enmeshed in a plot that may claim him as its first victim; Aedan, the knight, defends the honor of women; and Cecht, the warrior, confronts the ghosts of his past on the battlefield... Together they plunge, head first, into the wars, intrigues, and cults that threaten to undo what little remains of the Old Kingdom.

The translations are mine, and as such, are imperfect. I attempted to stay true to the intent and style of the blurbs, rather than the wording. French is an entirely different beast from English, where well written prose is often simple, direct, and eloquent. The French sentence tends to meander some, slowly building and refining a concept, which then must be appreciated in its entirety. It positively tickles the brain.

What languages, if any, do you read in? Do they tickle your brain in a different way?

20 September, 2009

Bona Fide: Reading Meme

In August I posted about my reading habits. Last week a lot of book blogger wrote a lot of posts related to the Book Blogger Appreciation Week topics. Unfortunately I was busy with other things. Even BBAW is over now I would like to post my answers to the topic of day 3 named Reading Meme. Brevity was the goal of the day which ment to answer questions in five or less words. I read posts from other blogger like Kristen over at Fantasy Cafe who gave more extended answers. So I decided to accept the challenge and answer in 5 or less words or with a picture. Here we go:

Do you snack while you read? If so, favorite reading snack?
Yes, carrots.

Do you tend to mark your books as you read, or does the idea of writing in books horrify you?
Mark books is a sin.

How do you keep your place while reading a book? Bookmark? Dog-ears? Laying the book flat open?
Nothing else than bookmarks.

Fiction, Non-fiction, or both?
Both, but more fiction.

Hard copy or audiobooks?
Audiobooks let me fall asleep.

Are you a person who tends to read to the end of chapters, or are you able to put a book down at any point?
End of chapter reader.

If you come across an unfamiliar word, do you stop to look it up right away? What are you currently reading?
Always a dictionary beside me.

What is the last book you bought?

Are you the type of person that only reads one book at a time or can
you read more than one at a time?
Often three books parallel.

Do you have a favorite time of day and/or place to read?

Do you prefer series books or stand alone books?
Series, minimum trilogy.

Is there a specific book or author that you find yourself recommending over and over?
George R.R. Martin

How do you organize your books? (By genre, title, author’s last name, etc.?)
No order, space problems.

I think I mastered the challenge including the recommended author and last book I bought where it was helpful to use a pic.
And now it is up to you to comment. Looking forward to your answers.

19 September, 2009

Bona Fide: Weekly Roundup #38

Hello and welcome to a new issue of my Roundup. The work for the next Roundup starts as soon as I have finished the previous one. But it takes mostly until middle of the week until I decide what I want to post. Unfortunately I could not spend as much time as I wanted for the Roundup. Don't worry I don't want you to burden with my solicitudes. But I can bewray (I know it is an old world but I like it) something to you which you may not expect: I like and watch Grey's Anatomie. Watch First 5 minutes of Grey's Anatomy season 6 before you enjoy reading.....


On May 26th in 1897 Bram Stoker published his still famous Dracula [US] [UK]. I must admit I never read the book but I still remember the movie from 1931 with the unforgettable Bela Lugosi.
Next month - more than 112 years later - the unexpected will happen: The sequel of Dracula - Dracula: The Undead (2009) [US] [UK] by Dacre Stoker and Ian Holt - will hit the book stores!
And Dacre Stoker is the great-grandnephew of Bram Stoker!
You want more information about the authors, the book itself and the research for the book? Then I highly recommend to visit the official site.
It seems that book trailers are growing popular. So have a look at the following Dracula: The Undead book trailer:

Most of you may know Conan the Babarian movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. Conan has been created by Robert E. Howard. Beside Conan he created another awesome character: Solomon Kane.
"He was . . . a strange blending of Puritan and Cavalier, with a touch of the ancient philosopher, and more than a touch of the pagan. . . . A hunger in his soul drove him on and on, an urge to right all wrongs, protect all weaker things. . . . Wayward and restless as the wind, he was consistent in only one respect--he was true to his ideals of justice and right. Such was Solomon Kane." [Source]
Fortunately you can still buy a book which includes all Solomon Kane stories and more. I added The Savage Tales of Solomon Kane (2004) [US] [UK] by Robert E Howard to my book list. You will find more about Solomon Kane at the Movies section.


If you follow the Roundup regularly you know I have a predilection for steampunk. Therefore I read with great pleasure following post over at Steampunkopedia, one of my favorite steampunk resources.
Sept. 3, 2009 - Steampunkopedia is back!
The ultimate steampunk compendium has resumed its regular activity. The most up-to-date versions of our vast databases: Steampunk Chronology, Dieselpunk Chronology, Steampunk Links and Steampunk TV are available in English again.

STEAMPUNKOPEDIA is part of RETROSTACJA, one of the world's biggest steampunk websites (since 2002, in Polish). Please subscribe to our
RSS feed and update your bookmarks to:
May The Steam Be With You!

You still question yourself: "What the heck is steampunk?" Then I highly recommend to read the Steampunk FAQ by Cherie Priest.

That reminds me of another good steampunk post with several links. If you missed it you now get the opportunity to read Steampunk Articles and Free Reads! by Heather.

You see there is no way out. Sooner or later I will arouse your interest for steampunk......


For me it is interesting to see that my taste concerning books, movies and music is turning in a somewhat darker direction the older I get. I got intrigued after reading this plot summary:
The first part in a trilogy series, "Solomon Kane" is an epic adventure adapted from the classic pulp stories by Robert E. Howard, creator of "Conan the Barbarian." Solomon Kane (James Purefoy) is a 16th Century soldier who learns that his brutal and cruel actions have damned him. Determined to redeem himself, Kane swears to live a life of peace and goodness but is forced to fight once more when a dark power threatens the land. [Source]
And now watch the trailer. For more information visit this fan page.


This week all quotes are related to the Solomon Kane movie and the topic is: DEVIL

"An apology for the devil: it must be remembered that we have heard only one side of the case; God has written all the books.
Samuel Butler, English composer, novelist, & satiric author (1835 - 1902)

"It would be absurd if we did not understand both angels and devils, since we invented them.
John Steinbeck, US novelist (1902 - 1968)

"If you make money your god, it will plague you like the devil.
Henry Fielding, English dramatist & novelist (1707 - 1754)

"Always behave like a duck - keep calm and unruffled on the surface but paddle like the devil underneath.
Jacob Braude

"Whenever science makes a discovery, the devil grabs it while the angels are debating the best way to use it.
Alan Valentine

"We are each our own devil, and we make this world our hell
Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900)

18 September, 2009

Review: The Loch, by Steve Alten

"It is hard to fight an enemy who has outposts in your head."

The Loch (2005) [US][UK], by Steve Alten, is a stand-alone novel in which, similar to his Meg series, water plays an important role. I posted about The Loch in my Weekly Roundup, and now the time has come to offer you my review of a book, that is apparently several books in one: part travel guide, part history book, part action thriller, and part mystery novel.

The Setup

This is the story of Zachary Wallace - a young and famous marine biologist born in Drumnadrochit, Scotland. It is also the story of Loch Ness, in Scotland, and its mysterious inhabitants. After a nightmarish event in the Sargasso Sea, Zachary returns to the place of his youth - Loch Ness and its surroundings. In a fast paced story, he must discover the mystery of Loch Ness, save his father from jail, face his greatest fear, and conquer his destiny.

My Take in Brief

Steve Alten gives us a fast-paced thriller with plenty of action. The chapters are separated by quotes from personal sightings of the mythical creature - better known as "Nessie" - since the 1930's. The story is interspersed with colorful excerpts of ancient history - meet the Knight Templars, Sir James the Good, Sir Richard Wallace and many more. The Scottish dialect used by the people living around Loch Ness - a challenge for oll non Scottish readers - gives the story a realistic and earthy feel. And, the explanation of the mystery of Loch Ness is one of the best I have read, thanks to a wealth of the scientific background and knowledge.
All in all, The Lock is a riveting read. I will admit that since I read the book, I have an intense desire to visit Loch Ness, but I won't be going out on the water!

Bona Fide's Book Oracle

This time my inner book critic and I have not had a very long discussion. It was more like a ping-pong match. "You like Scotland?" "Of course you silly bone!" "Interested in the myth of Nessie?" "Come on, that is more than a myth." "Fortunately you don't suffer from aquaphobia." "Why?" "In this case you should avoid a visit to Loch Ness." "What do you know about Scottish history?" "More than you, but not enough!"
To keep it short: When you like a story with following ingredients - action, history, myth, scientific background, a pinch of love, family ties, rites, nature, phobia, a splash of humor, sensation mongering, Scottish-accented language, geology, crypto-zoology, - well, then you should definitely read The Loch.


Don't forget to visit the official Nessie site. If you can't picture the surroundings of Loch Ness, then have a look at this picture gallery. And finally, don't forget to visit the offical The Loch site where you can find information about the scientific knowledge in the book.

17 September, 2009

Why Vampires Are for Women

A publicist at Tor recently suggested to me that women are the target audience for vampire literature. Now, while I personally dislike the genre, I have never associated my dislike with the bloodsucking undead with anything other than my personal predilections. And so, I queried Google on the subject, and it answered. My first insight into the trend came from Lynda Hilburn, author of The Vampire Shrink, in an interview entitled Why Do Women Love Vampires?
Women in therapy often report disappointment with the 'human' males they're in relationship with," Hilburn said. "Would a handsome vampire sit in front of the television, scratching his stomach and drinking beer? Are women lusting after the undead Homer Simpson? Probably not. Imagining a heart-stoppingly-gorgeous man hovering outside your window is much more fun.
Now, while Lynda has definitely scared me away from beer, she also has some pretty solid insights into woman's psyche, being a practicing psychotherapist. She goes on to add that the sales of vampire novels show a dramatic rise after the attacks of September the 11th:
A recent view is that women feel less safe and secure in the world, and the previous symbols of strong, semi-dangerous males -- our law enforcement and military warriors -- were replaced by supernatural beings. Indestructible supernatural beings. Unlike the undead, real flesh-and-blood men can be killed in war or through terrorist acts. Facing a frightening daily "reality" made escaping into magical worlds, filled with all-powerful, appealing immortals, a healthy coping mechanism.
The last comment is fairly revelatory, and similar trends can be found in artistic movements originating from both cultures and countries whose psyches have been, for lack of a better word, damaged. But let us not deviate in our quest to unearth the box office busting appeal of vampires. Speaking specifically of the Twilight series, Emily Hodgson Anderson Ph.D., an assistant professor of English at the University of Southern California, tells us:
The appeal now is precisely because we are not sexually repressed. Sex is everywhere. We're pretty desensitized. So these stories re-introduce anticipation, the almost infinite deferral of any type of sexual consummation.
That was almost over my head, but I think I got it. Women like vampires because, in a culture where sex is commonplace and demystified, it has lost much of it anticipatory appeal. Romance, love, yearning, and courtship have become the relics of another age. I would like to think that this isn't entirely true, but I see Anderson's point. So, lastly, I give you John DeVore, who summarizes the debate humorously and succinctly in an article entitled "Why Women Love Vampires and Men Don't":
Dudes just don’t dig bloodsuckers, since vampires pretty much look like girls. We prefer zombies, because we love chainsaws, flamethrowers, and samurai swords. And because, on some level, we know that besides being vehicles for sperm, our other important, if lesser, genetic imperative is to defend our loved ones from hordes of unthinking, flesh-eating metaphors for current social anxieties.
I think John hits the nail on the head with this comment and manages to explain to me why I just can't get enough of zombie movies. Now, all that said, why do you like vampires or zombies? Do you have a favorite?

14 September, 2009

Review: The Law of Nines, by Terry Goodkind

(review of The Omen Machine is now up)

The Law of Nines (2009), by Terry Goodkind, is a blatant continuation of the Sword of Truth series, where the philosophy, plot, and action are copied quasi-verbatim from the pervious installments. The clipped prose, shorter sentences, and more abundant dialogue are a definite change for Mr. Goodkind, but the ideological sermons - of which there are admittedly fewer - abound nonetheless. Save yourselves the money, get a black marker, and blot out all the scenes involving magic in Wizard’s First Rule, and you will essentially have the same book.

The Setup

On his 27th birthday, the age at which his mother had a psychotic break, Alex, a painter, mysteriously inherits a large swath of wilderness and meets the beautiful Jax, who claims she is from another world. Drawn into the clutches of an ancient prophecy, the Law of Nines, Alex is left to struggle with the revelation that he is the descendant of Lord Rahl, and fated to save a parallel world where magic is real. The adventure is set in a distant future from the Sword of Truth series, where earth is apparently the world to which Richard banished the followers of the Order, and where technology has replace magic.

Armed with a Glock, some spontaneously acquired fighting skills, and a remarkably familiar understanding of good and evil, Alex must confront both the truth and implications of his heritage, as well as an army of goons in his quest to save earth from the machinations of an evil villain. Rife with factual and ideological references to the Sword of Truth series, The Law of Nines reads more like a rehashed summary of Wizard's First Rule, torture included, than an original fantasy – sorry, thriller.

My Take in Brief

Reading The Law of Nines after faithfully following the Sword of Truth series, I cannot shake the feeling that Mr. Goodkind has somehow violated a code of ethics that forbids authors from recycling their work. The number of parallels between the two works is so staggering that I would honestly be surprised if some scenes were not deliberately plagiarized. That said, a simple, honest foreword warning readers to expect a very similar Goodkind would have gone a long way towards appeasing my criticism of the book. Instead, the dust-jacket disingenuously expounds:
In an electrifying new direction, he brings all his skills to bear on the most exciting and stunningly original thriller of the year.
To a certain extent, my criticism is overstated, having read the book as someone with intimate knowledge of the Sword of Truth. Brian, on the official Terry Goodkind forums, offers some wise words spoken by Mr. Goodkind during a private gathering in Vegas last month:
I'll reiterate what Terry said at the gathering: he said that The Law Of Nines is Alex and Jax's story. It is not Richard and Kahlan's or Zedd's. As such, it really doesn't matter at all where Jax is from - that's not the point of the story. The only reason Jax comes from Sword of Truth land is because Terry wanted to pay tribute to his fans, who would understand the dozens of inside jokes that relate the story's text to Terry's previous work. There is enjoyment in that, in being on the inside of the joke, such as when Alex checks to make sure that his Glock is clear in its holster or how Alex has gray eyes. Those are fun little details.
To be fair, I did get a chuckle out of Alex checking his holster, but drawing a dagger across his forearm before battle went a little too far for my tastes; the joke seemed to be on me for buying the hardcover. Generally, I was left expecting Richard Rahl to pop out from a magical time vortex and give Alex some cryptic insight into the future - and for that matter, the past as well.

The thriller tone of The Law of Nines seems attributable to ruthless editing rather than any significant shift in Goodkind's style. However, the short sentences, direct dialogue, and marked reduction in descriptive verbosity do tend to set a rather exciting pace, capturing the right mix of mystery and adventure that is characteristic of the thriller genre. What the novel lacks in depth it makes up for with a strong mix of no-holds-barred action, intriguing characters, and a captivatingly twisted take on torture. While the ending leaves one slightly confused, it also strongly hints at a sequel; whether Terry intends a return to Sword of Truth land is doubtful given his recent comments, but I guarantee you will be asking yourself the question when you finish the Law of Nines.


In conjunction with the Law of Nines release, Terry launched a new website that boasts some pretty creative flash functionality. What I found most interesting, though, is an article in which he expounds on his worldview and its relationship to his writing:
I am an Objectivist. Let me say right here, though, that my books are not intended to explain, advance, or promote Objectivism. My intent with my novels is simply to tell a good story. My Objectivist beliefs, however, guide what I think is a good story and how I tell it, just as every writer, whether they realize it or not, is guided by their philosophy.
There is also a neat clip of a scene from The Law of Nines which, to be fair, was pretty well done. Sadly, the vanishing blood is more a metaphor for what should be in the novel but isn't - magic - than a convincing and innovative plot twist. The novel's quick hop off of the Times Bestseller list and the generally poor reviews (try Elitist Book Reviews for a particularly rough critique) say to me that Terry is going to have to work a bit harder at convincing mainstream America that he writes thrillers now, and not urban fantasy sequels to high fantasy.

13 September, 2009

Winner: In Ashes Lie (Signed)

In Ashes Lie, By Marie Brennan

The random number generator has spoken. Congratulations to Theresa from South Carolina! May the book sate your "burning need". Leave us a comment and let us know what you thought when you are done with it, as Michael should have a review up some time in the near future.

12 September, 2009

Bona Fide: Weekly Roundup #37

Hello and welcome to a new issue of my Weekly Roundup. From a meteorological point of view, we are now in the third season of the year in Europe. Days are getting shorter, temperatures are decreasing, sky is gray. It is a time of melancholy. But not for me. Autumn is a wonderful season to spend time on the sofa with a pot of tea, cookies, and a pile of good books.


I'm somewhat behind with reading book reviews. As you may know I like to read reviews about one book from different reviewers. For three months now I have been reading reviews of The Magicians (2009) [US] [UK], by Lev Grossman. And finally, this week, I ordered a paperback copy. The reasons are simple: First I read Jame's review which finally convinced me that I have to read this book. Second the paperback will be available in Germany soon. I hope I don't expect too much out of the book. On the right you see the UK cover:
Quentin Coldwater is brilliant but miserable. He's a senior in high school, and a certifiable genius, but he's still secretly obsessed with a series of fantasy novels he read as a kid, about the adventures of five children in a magical land called Fillory. Compared to that, anything in his real life just seems gray and colorless. Everything changes when Quentin finds himself unexpectedly admitted to a very secret, very exclusive college of magic in upstate New York, where he receives a thorough and rigorous education in the practice of modern sorcery. He also discovers all the other things people learn in college: friendship, love, sex, booze, and boredom. But something is still missing. Magic doesn't bring Quentin the happiness and adventure he thought it would. Then, after graduation, he and his friends make a stunning discovery: Fillory is real.

This week I read Waking the Dragon: George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire a wonderful post by Jo Walton. I really appreciate the term “IWantToReadItosity” (I-want-to-read-it) which she explains very well by using A Song of Ice and Fire (ASOIAF) as an example. I know there are people who don't read ASOIAF because it is not finished yet. I tell you that you definitely missing something. I still highly recommend to read ASOAIF. And don't forget to visit the best ASOAIF website: Westeros

Do you know clonehenges? I know Stonehenge and I hope I get the opportunity to go there at some point in my life. Clonehenge is a new artifical word. It is the combination of clone and henge. So you like to see some clonehenges? Then follow this link: Clonehenges: 20 Creative Recreations of Stonehenge. Hope you like it as much as I did.

Outrage of the week

Yes, this is a new section in my Roundup. When you follow several blogs then you know that there are heated discussions from time to time.

This week it all began with an interview over at Temple Library Reviews. Paul Stotts from Blood of the Muse gave the following statement about reviews and book ratings:
I think writing a review, and not giving it some sort of numerical score is a cop out; it’s cowardice—pure and simple—since many online reviewers don’t want to upset publishers or authors. So they write reviews that are open to interpretation, using nebulous terms like good, overemphasizing the positive aspects of the book, trying very hard not to have an opinion. It’s okay, you’re entitled to have an opinion, you’re entitled to take a stand and let people know what you think.

See, words lie; numbers don’t. And I don’t want to lie to my audience. So I score every book on a scale of 100. Like any review, the number is completely subjective; there are no underlying components. I score books by ranking them against other novels I’ve read in the genre. It’s rather simple. But effective.
As you can imagine it didn't take long until the first replies popped up. You will get links to some of the answers later. After reading Paul's statement, I wanted to leave a comment immediately. But then I thought it may be better to calm down first. And finally, I decided to share my thoughts with you in my Roundup.

People tend to categorize and rate nearly everything. It makes life much easier. Easier in the way they have to think and read less. Nobody is free of it; even me. But when it comes to books and book reviews I raise my voice and I say NO. I am well known for reading reviews in order to get more information about a book to support my decision whether to buy and read it, or not. That means I want to read a short summary, an explanation about the likes/dislikes from the reviewer, and appreciate a link to an excerpt. I can't get this information from a numerical rating.

It is definitely wrong that numbers don't lie. Numbers are just a replacement for words in case of book ratings. A 100/100 rating is the replacement for perfect book... So why should this be a lie?

As far as I can see, the main reasons for this outrage is the offense (cowardice) and the insinuation of brown-nosing among reviewers (they lie to their readers and they are submissive to publishers and authors). To be honest you can discuss and share different opinions, but to offend and insult people is poor form and entirely unhelpful.

Finally, it is up to us (blogger are also readers) whether we prefer numerical ratings or not. But you can be sure that I won't use numerical ratings of books on this blog.

Statements from other blogger:
James from Speculative Horizons,
Gav from NextRead,
Larry from OF Blog,
Aidan from A Dribble of Ink,
Dark Wolf from Dark Wolf's Fantasy Reviews,
The whole team from Fantasy Book Critic,
Jeff from Fantasy Book News and Reviews,
Joe from Adventures In Reading


A few days ago I finished reading The Loch (2006) [US] [UK] by Steve Alten. It is about Loch Ness in Scotland. I'm sure you read or heard about Nessie. The depiction of the Loch Ness itself and the surroundings is awesome. Look at this picture gallery and you know why I want to visit Loch Ness, as well as Stonehenge. This week, instead of quotes, I decided to delight you with a few Scottish proverbs.

"Twelve highlanders and a bagpipe make a rebellion.

"Money is flat and was meant to be piled up.

"They talk of my drinking but never my thirst.

"Be happy while you're living, for you're a long time dead.

"The day has eyes, the night has ears.

"To marry is to halve your rights and double your duties.

"What may be done at any time will be done at no time.

11 September, 2009

Death's Head: Day of the Damned, by David Gunn

" I don't get it. Why didn't he just destroy the planet?"
- Anonymous

Death's Head: Day of the Damned (2009), by David Gunn, much like the previous two installments to the series, is comparable to mainlining adrenaline while driving a car blindfolded. Mr. Gunn, who could not have chosen a better pen name, writes what he knows, and action is the order of the day. While Day of the Damned steers the series in a new direction, the evidence suggests that the wheel might have been yanked a bit too hard.

The Setup

Meet Sven, a one armed super-human with a troubled past whose one and only skill is killing people. After growing up in a garbage heap and being conscripted by the man who killed his adoptive mother/sister, he has a short fuze and thinks violence is the solution to every problem. Lucky for him, it is. What he lacks in brains he makes up for with personality, loyalty, and a super-intelligent symbiont living in his throat. Oh, and let us not forget Sven's sentient sidearm, who only seems happy once the body count starts rising.

Much like the previous installments, the story is a keen mix of political intrigue and intergalactic backstabbing centered around a young woman Sven has taken under his wing. Well, maybe it isn't exactly centered around her, so I'll settle for saying it is tangentially related. The fact is that action takes center stage and needs little encouragement to remain in the spotlight, characters be damned. The only real surprise in this addition to the Deaths' Head series is that no planets were destroyed during attempts to achieve the impossible.

My Take in Brief

I have been a fan of David's from the get-go and am sad to report that Day of the Damned just didn't live up to my expectations. While Sven retains his abrupt, appealing, and enigmatic staccato personality, the rest of the characters just do not have the same depth. To compound matters, the pacing felt off-kilter, again, compared to the previous Death's Head books. The story arc was confused and fairly random - as if David had a hard time deciding in which direction the novel should go. I understand that Sven follows his instincts and that advanced planning isn't his forte - as he himself explains many times throughout the novel - but that doesn't mean the storyline should follow his example.

I read the series not for its revelatory philosophy - which amounts to kill or be killed - but for competent futuristic action and senseless violence. On that count, David delivers admirably and doesn't fail to get your blood pumping. However, the more complex backdrop, Octo V's capital planet, underscores David's less than stellar world building abilities and fails to capture the imagination. That said, the drawbacks of the Day of the Damned won't dissuade faithful readers of the Death's Head series from following Sven's adventures, and I still count myself in that category. If anything, the ending has me wishing the next book was already out - serves me right for starting an unfinished series! Grr(m).


Is David Gunn a mercenary?! His bio blurb on Del Rey suggests he is:

"Smartly dressed, resourceful, and discreet, David Gunn has undertaken assignments in Central America, the Middle East, and Russia (among numerous other places). Coming from a service family, he is happiest when on the move and tends not to stay in one town or city for very long."

The world wide web reveals little of the enigma that is David Gunn, besides one interview at Fantasy Book Critic. My favorite questions, when asked how the Death's Head series came into being, David replies:

"I was down with a fever and hallucinating in a skuzzy hotel in Central America. There’s a scene in "Death’s Head" where Sven is scraping sh*t off a mattress with a knife and crawling across a floor on his knees to vomit in a lavatory. That was for real. I was out of my head for about five days and somehow Sven came out of the experience."

Even though the interview reveals little about David Gunn, it is blunt, honest, and well worth the read. The only other source of information I found is David's MySpace page, which boasts all of three status updates, chief among which appears to be a nasty brandy induced hangover. Regardless, if you enjoyed the first two installments to the Sven saga, you won't be disappointed by Death's Head: Day of the Damned [US][UK].

10 September, 2009

Index of Reviews & Articles



A Betrayal in Winter (Long Price #2), by Daniel Abraham
Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter, (Audiobook) by Seth Graham-Smith
Acacia: The War with the Mein (Acacia #1), by David Anthony Durham
A Festival of Skeletons, by R.J. Astruc
AfroSF, edited by Ivor Hartmann
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll
Altered Carbon, by Richard K. Morgan [MUST READ]
An Autumn War (Long Price #3), by Daniel Abraham
An Election, by John Scalzi
Ark, by Stephen Baxter
Armageddon Bound (Demon Squad #1), by Tim Marquitz
A Shadow in Summer (Long Price #1), by Daniel Abraham
Assassin's Apprentice (Farseer #1), by Robin Hobb
At the Gates (Demon Squad #3), by Tim Marquitz
Betrayal: A Demon Squad Story, by Tim Marquitz
Betrayer of Worlds, by Larry Niven and Edward M. Lerner
Beyond the Shadows (Night Angel #3), by Brent Weeks
Black Blade Blues, by J.A. Pitts
Black Hills, (Audiobook) by Dan Simmons
Blade of Tyshalle (Acts of Caine #2), by Matthew Stover
Boneshaker, by Cherie Priest [MUST READ]
Brayan's Gold (Demon Squad Novella), by Peter V. Brett
Breakfast of Champions, by Kurt Vonnegut
Bright of the Sky, by Kay Kenyon
Broken Angels, by Richard K. Morgan
Burn Me Deadly, by Alex Bledsoe
CassaStar, by Alex J. Cavanaugh
Catching Fire, (Hunger Games #2) by Suzanne Collins
Cell, by Stephen King
Colours in the Steel, by K. J.Parker
Concrete Operational, by Richard Galbraith
Confederation series, by Tanya Huff
Consider Phlebas (Culture #1), by Iain M. Banks
Control Point (Shadow Ops #1), by Myke Cole
Corrupts Absolutely?, edited by Lincoln Crisler
Corvus (Macht #2), by Paul Kearney
Counting Heads, by David Marusek
Crown of Vengeance, by Stephen Zimmer
Dante's Journey, by JC Marino
Darker Angels (Black Sun's Daughter #2), by M.L.N. Hanover
Death's Head: Day of the Damned, by David Gunn
Demon's Bane, by David Douglas
Downside Girls, by Jaine Fenn
Draculas, by Blake Crouch, Jack Kilborn, Jeff Strand, F. Paul Wilson
Drood, by Dan Simmons
Dune, by Frank Herbert [MUST READ]
Dust of Dreams (Malazan #9), by Steven Erikson
Echoes of the Past (Demon Squad #4), by Tim Marquitz
Empress of Outer Space, by A. Bertram Chandler
Ender's Shadow (Ender's Shadow #1), by Orson Scott Card
Evolution Expects, by Jonathan Green
Fading Light: An Anthology of the Monstrous, edited by Tim Marquitz
Farlander, by Col Buchanan
Flight to the Savage Empire, by Jean Lorrah and Winston A. Howlett
Flood, by Stephen Baxter
Gears of War: Coalition's End, by Karen Traviss
Havoc (Malice #2), by Chris Wooding
Heaven's Needle (Ithelas #2), by Liane Merciel
Heroes Die (Acts of Caine #1), by Matthew Woodring Stover
Howl's Moving Castle (Castle #1) - Diana Wynne Jones
Hyperion (Hyperion Cantos #1), by Dan Simmons [MUST READ]
I Am Not A Serial Killer (John Cleaver #1), by Dan Wells
Kraken, by China MiƩville
Kushiel's Legacy series, Jacqueline Carey
Laddertop, by Orson Scott Card
Lamentation, by Ken Scholes
Legion, by Brandon Sanderson
Light, by M. John. Harrison
Lord of Chaos (WoT #6), by Robert Jordan
Low Town, by Daniel Polansky
Lucky Bastard, by S.G. Browne
Machine of Death, edited by Matthew Bennardo and Ryan North
Machinery of Light (Autumn Rain #1), by David J. Williams
Mainspring, by Jay Lake
Malice (Malice #1), by Chris Wooding
Market Forces, by Richard K. Morgan
Marysvale, by Jared Southwick
Midnight Never Comes, by Marie Brennan
Mockingjay (Hunger Games #3), by Suzanne Collins
On Basilisk Station (Honor Harrington #1) by David Weber
Patient Zero (Joe Ledger #1), by Jonathan Maberry
Perfect Shadow (Night Angel short story), by Brent Weeks
Player of Games (Culture #2), by Iain M. Banks
Ponies, by Kij Johnson
Prince of Thorns (Broken Empire #1), by Mark Lawrence
Pushing Ice, by Alastair Reynolds
Reaper's Gale (Malazan #7), by Steven Erikson
Red Country, by Joe Abercrombie
Resurrection (Demon Squad #2), by Tim Marquitz
Revelation Space (Revelation Space #1), by Alastair Reynolds
Return of the Crimson Guard (Malazan Empire #2), by Ian C. Esslemont
Rise of Empire (Riyria Revelations #2 & #3), by Michael J. Sullivan
Runescape: Betrayal at Falador, by T.S. Church
Sandkings, by George R.R. Martin
Saving Max, by Antionette van Heugten
Scourge of the Betrayer (Bloodsounder's Arc #1), by Jeff Salyards
Seeds of Earth (Humanity's Fire #1), by Michael Cobley
Sepulchral Earth, by Tim Marquitz
Shadow of the Hegemon (Ender's Shadow #2), by Orson Scott Card
Shadow Prowler, by Alexey Pehov
Shadow's Edge (Night Angel #2), by Brent Weeks
Shadow's Lure (Shadow Saga #2), by Jon Sprunk
Shadow's Master (Shadow Saga #3), by Jon Sprunk
Shadow's Son (Shadow Saga #1), by Jon Sprunk
Shatnerquake, by Jeff Burk
Songs of the Dying Earth, edited by George R.R. Martin
Soulless, by Cail Carriger
Spellwright, by Blake Charlton
Stardust, by Neil Gaiman
Starship Troopers, by Robert Heinlein [MUST READ]
State of Decay, by James Knapp
Storm Front, by Jim Butcher
Summer Knight (Dresden Files #4), by Jim Butcher
Supernatural: The Unholy Cause, by Joe Schreiber
Sword of Kings, by Matthew Iden
The Blade Itself (The First Law #1), by Joe Abercrombie [MUST READ]
The Bookman, by Lavie Tidhar
The Burning Skies (Autumn Rain #2), by David J. Williams
The Crown Conspiracy (Riyria Revelations #1), by Michael J. Sullivan
The Curse of the Mistwraith (Wars of Light and Shadow #1), by Janny Wurts
The Damned Busters (To Hell and Back #1), by Matthew Hughes
The Desert Spear, (Demon Cycle #2) by Peter V. Brett
The Dragon Reborn (WoT #3), by Robert Jordan
The Drawing of the Three (Dark Tower #2), by Stephen King
The Dying Earth (Dying Earth #1), by Jack Vance
The Evolutionary Void (Void #3), by Peter F. Hamilton
The Exodus Gate, by Stephen Zimmer
The Eye of the World (WoT #1), by Robert Jordan
Theft of Swords (Riyria Revelations #1 & #2), by Michael J. Sullivan
The Forever War, by Joe Haldeman
The Great Bazaar and Other Stories (Demon Cycle Novella), by Peter V. Brett
The Great Hunt (WoT #2), by Robert Jordan
The Gunslinger (Dark Tower #1), by Stephen King
The Heroes, by Joe Abercrombie
The Hollow City, by Dan Wells
The Hundredth Kill, by John Marco
The Hunger Games (Hunger Games #1), by Suzanne Collins
The Ice Dragon, by George R.R. Martin
The Island, by Tim Lebbon
The Last Unicorn, by Peter S. Beagle
The Law of Nines, by Terry Goodkind
The Left Hand of Darkness, by Ursula K. Leguin [MUST READ]
The Left Hand of God, by Paul Hoffman
The Loch, by Steve Alten
The Long Walk, by Stephen King
The Lost Gate (Mithermages #1), by Orson Scott Card
The Mirrored Heavens (Autumn Rain #1), by David J. Williams
The Name of the Wind (Kingkiller Chronicles, Day 1), by Patrick Rothfuss [MUST READ]
The Ninth Avatar, by Todd Newton
The Omen Machine, by Terry Goodkind
The Osiris Ritual, by George Mann
The Other Lands (Acacia #2), by David Anthony Durham
The Painted Man (Demon Cycle #1), by Peter V. Brett
The Passage, by Justin Cronin
The Price of Spring (Long Price #4), by Daniel Abraham
The Princess Bride, by William Goldman
The Rats and the Ruling Sea (Chathrand Voyages #2), by Robert V.S. Redick
The Red Wolf Conspiracy (Chathrand Voyages #1), by Robert V. S. Redick
The River Kings' Road (Ithelas #1), by Liane Merciel
The Skin Map, by Stephen R. Lawhead
The Songs of the Earth, by Elspeth Cooper
The Speed of Dark, by Elizabeth Moon [MUST READ]
The Steel Remains, by Richard Morgan
The Stolen Moon of Londor, by A.P. Stephens
The Stormcaller (Twilight Reign #1), by Tom Lloyd
The Summoner, by Gail Z. Martin
The Sword Edged Blonde, by Alex Bledsoe
The Sword of Truth series, by Terry Goodkind
The Tainted City (Shattered Sigil #2), by Courtney Schafer
The Temple of the Dead, by Tim Marquitz
The Ten Thousand (Macht #1), by Paul Kearney
The Thirteen Hallows, by Michael Scott and Collette Freedman
The Troupe, by Robert Jackson Bennett
The Truth of Valor, by Tanya Huff
The Unremembered (Vault of Heaven #1), by Peter Orullian
The Wastelands (Dark Tower #3), by Stephen King
The Way of Kings (Stormlight Archive #1), by Brandon Sanderson
The Way of Shadows (Night Angel #1), by Brent Weeks
The Wheel of Time series, by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson [MUST READ lol]
The Whitefire Crossing (Shattered Sigil #2), by Courtney Schafer
The Wind Through the Keyhole (Dark Tower #4.5), by Stephen King
The Windup Girl, by Paolo Bacigalupi
The Wise Man's Fear (Kingkiller Chronicles, Day 2), by Patrick Rothfuss
The World House, by Guy Adams
The Zombie Survival Guide, (Audiobook) by Max Brooks
Thrall, by Steven Shrewsbury
This Dark Earth, by John Hornor Jacobs
Tigana, by Guy Gavriel Kay
Tisarian's Treasure, by J. M. Martin
Toll the Hounds (Malazan #8), by Steven Erikson
To Ride Hell's Chasm, by Janny Wurts
Trading in Danger, by Elizabeth Moon
Unclean Spirits (Black Sun's Daughter #1), by M.L.N. Hanover
Welcome to the Monkey House, by Kurt Vonnegut
Wizard and Glass (Dark Tower #4), by Stephen King
Wizard's First Rule (Sword of Truth #1), by Terry Goodkind
Woken Furies, by Richard K. Morgan
WWW: Watch, by Robert J. Sawyer