20 February, 2010

Bona Fide: Weekly Roundup #08

Hello and welcome to issue #08 of my Weekly Roundup. It seems I have to withdraw my proposal from last week. I'm nor more longer sure whether I can read more books than the three I read in January. Due to limited time I had to postpone my additional review on upcoming Wednesday. And it is sad to scroll through all the interesting tweets of the day in the evening... But there is one thing which I really enjoy: More posts on the blog and the variety of topics. It seems we three are on a good way to be the source for different tastes under one "roof". I hope you like the mix... Enjoy reading........

Bona Fide's Menu

  1. Delivery of the week: The Stolen Moon of Londor by A.P.Stephens
  2. Discovery of the week: Wintercraft by Jenna Burtenshaw
  3. Looking for Space Opera recommendations
  1. Stomping On Yeti:25 Authors Worth Watching in 2010 and Beyond
  2. A Victorian Era Mystery: Spring Heeled Jack
  1. A Brief History Of Pretty Much Everything
  1. Space Opera....

A few days ago I received a copy of The Stolen Moon of Londor (2009) [US] [UK] , by A.P. Stephens.
The author has been so kind as to send me a copy and an awesome book mark showing one of the main characters. I will add a picture of the book mark to the review which you can expect on March 5th.
You want to have a look at the title and read the blurb? Here we go:
"The era of peace among the elves, men, and dwarves comes to an end when one of Londor's twin moons disappears from the heavens. Without the moon's balancing effect, evil forces grow bold, and warfare, sickness, and chaos threaten life itself. Hearing the prayers of desperation that ride on the violent winds, the ancient wizard Randor Miithra, servant to the elf-gods, takes it upon himself to mend the world he has sworn to protect. The task will not be an easy one, though, for the wizard, too, has begun to feel the effects of the world's imbalance. As Randor struggles to maintain some semblance of his powers, he meets a secretive band of colorful characters from all walks of life, drawn together by a common goal: to find the stolen moon, whatever the cost. It does not take Randor and his motley company long to see that someone or something does not want the moon returned to the heavens. The road is perilous...the stakes have never been greater...will they find victory...or will they only find their deaths?" [Source= back of the book]
Dwarves and Elves that sounds like "traditional" fantasy....

Compared to last year I will read more debut novels. Due to some circumstances I can't spend as much time as I would like on twitter. So it was serendipity that I met Jenna Burtenshaw. She was talking about her debut novel Wintercraft (2010, May) [US] [UK]. I found it interesting and after reading the blurb I put it on my list:
"Ten years ago Kate Winters' parents were taken by the High Council's wardens to help with the country's war effort. Now the wardens are back...and prisoners, including Kate's uncle Artemis, are taken south on the terrifying Night Train. Kate and her friend Edgar are hunted by a far more dangerous enemy. Silas Dane -- the High Council's most feared man -- recognises Kate as one of the Skilled; a rare group of people able to see through the veil between the living and the dead. His spirit was damaged by the High Council's experiments into the veil, and he's convinced that Kate can undo the damage and allow him to find peace. The knowledge Kate needs lies within Wintercraft -- a book thought to be hidden deep beneath the graveyard city of Fume. But the Night of Souls, when the veil between life and death is at its thinnest, is just days away and the High Council have their own sinister plans for Kate and Wintercraft. To help Artemis, Edgar and herself, Kate must honour her pact with a murderer and come face to face with the true nature of death." [Source]
Want to know more? Follow Jenna on Twitter

Yesterday I posted my review of Seeds of Earth (2010, mass market paperback) [US][UK], by Michael Cobley. It is the first book in the Humanity's Fire series.I liked it a lot and will definitely read book two and three too.

So far I didn't have had time to look for other space operas Like the Humanity's Fire series. But maybe you dear readers know some space operas which you would like to recommend me.
I look forward to your recommendations......


The blogosphere - and I just talk about the part related to sff - is full of of good stuff. And I know there are a lot of undiscovered gems. In 2009 I found an interesting project called Interview Series: Keeping an Eye On... over at Stomping on Yeti. One of my favorites is Keeping An Eye On... Daniel Abraham. This post forced my to read A Shadow in Summer. Anyway I recommend to read the posts of the series.
I have been exhilarated when I found out that the series will be continued ( containing some slight changes): 25Authors Worth Watching in 2010 and Beyond
The list consists of 25 authors. How many authors do you know? I read books from two of them and one more book is on my shelf. That means I still have to discover 22 authors....

In the past month I encountered again an again one name: Spring Heeled Jack
He is one of the characters in Evolution Expects (2009) [US][UK] by Jonathan Green. But there is more behind. I read the wikipedia entry about Spring Heeled Jack. He is still a mystery since his first appearance in London in 1837.
You don't like to read the wikipedia entry? Then watch following video which gives you the relevant information about Spring Heeled Jack:

For all of you who can't get enough information I recommend to visit Springheeled Jack.

You think that's all about Spring Heeled Jack? No, No, No.
I follow Snowbooks. On February 15th you could read following post by Emma Barnes - Super things:
"There shine brightly two super things this week: firstly, this review of George Mann's forthcoming Ghosts of Manhattan and secondly an endorsement of Mark Hodder's forthcoming Spring Heeled Jack from none other than Michael Moorcock (Michael Moorcock!) who says "This is the best debut novel I have read in ages". Click below for the full glowing review.

Imagine you're me and you started a company a few years back, and stuff happened, time passed, and then seven years later you get a review like that for a book you're publishing from a childhood hero. Chuffed doesn't begin to cover it.

Oh yes, and I'm going to New York next week. With Ro. Whee!

"This is an exhilarating romp through a witty combination of 19th century English fact and fiction. Mark Hodder definitely knows his stuff and has given us steam opera at its finest. In this first novel he shows himself to be as clever and inventive a writer as those who enliven his pages. We follow English explorer and eroticist (and King's agent) Sir Richard Francis Burton, poet and Sadean Algernon Charles Swinburne and a cast including Florence Nightingale, Charles Darwin, Francis Galton and Isambard Kingdom Brunel (rather different to those known to our Victorian ancestors) as well as the mysterious albino Laurence Oliphant in an adventure involving the very nature of Time itself in a London filled with steam-horses and velopicides where were-wolves prowl the streets and 'Spring-Heeled Jack', star of the Penny Dreadfuls, might provide the key to an ever-deepening mystery. A great, increasingly complex, plot, fine characters and invention that never flags! It gets better and better, offering clues to some of Victorian London's strangest mysteries. This is the best debut novel I have read in ages." -- Michael Moorcock"

I ordered Ghosts of Manhattan last year in advance!! I really look forward to read it. But did you recognize the title of the second book Emma mentioned?
Spring Heeled Jack by Marc Hodder!!
It is Marc's debut novel and will hit the stores in [US] and [UK] in April 2010. Of course I couldn't withstand to order the book the same day.
Finally you get the cover and the blurb:
"It is 1861, and Albertian Britain is in the grip of conflicting forces. Engineers transform the landscape with bigger, faster, noisier and dirtier technological wonders; Eugenicists develop specialist animals to provide unpaid labour; Libertines oppose restrictive and unjust laws and flood the country with propaganda demanding a society based on beauty and creativity; while The Rakes push the boundaries of human behaviour to the limits with magic, sexuality, drugs and anarchy. Returning from his failed expedition to find the source of the Nile, explorer, linguist, scholar and swordsman Sir Richard Francis Burton finds himself sucked into the perilous depths of this moral and ethical vacuum when the Prime Minister, Lord Palmerston, employs him as a King's Spy His first mission: to investigate the sexual assaults committed by a weird apparition known as Spring Heeled Jack; to find out why chimney sweeps are being kidnapped by half-man, half-dog creatures; and to discover the whereabouts of his badly injured former friend, John Hanning Speke. Accompanied by the diminutive and pain-loving poet, Algernon Swinburne, Burton's investigations lead him back to one of the defining events of the age: the brutal assassination of Queen Victoria in 1840; and the terrifying possibility that the world he inhabits shouldn't exist at all." [Source]

The following video has been discovered by - drumroll - my wife.
What would you do in three weeks with about 50 jotter books and a bunch of pens?
I know my result would be very different. Enjoy following trailer:


From epic fantasy to space opera. That inspired me to search for opera quotes and that is what I found...

" Opera is when a guy gets stabbed in the back and, instead of bleeding, he sings.
Ed Gardner

" Opera in English is, in the main, just about as sensible as baseball in Italian.
H. L. Mencken,US editor (1880 - 1956)

" Opera, n. A play representing life in another world whose inhabitants have no speech but song, no motions but gestures, and no postures but attitudes.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary,US author & satirist (1842 - 1914)

" How wonderful opera would be if there were no singers.
Gioacchino Rosini


Anonymous said...

Space Opera recommendations - I can't not say something for this :)

First up I'd say Peter F Hamilton would be the go-to author. He's written some great ones - the Night's Dawn trilogy, the Commonwealth Saga and the Void Trilogy are his three major series.

Other than that, I'd recommend Neal Asher (Cormac series, Spatterjay series), Marianne de Pierres (Sentients of Orion) and Gary Gibson (Shoal Sequence).

There are many more out there, but they're ones that I've enjoyed :)

Bryce L. said...

@Mark - I have the Reality Dysfunction on my shelf and I've been so close to starting it so many times. I need to finish a couple series' first and then I'm in. Thanks for the recommendations. :)

@EdifanoB - Two things I can never get enough of: 1. The Weekly Roundup 2. Bona and Fide and Bonafide and The keeper of the minutes (am I missing anyone?) :)

ediFanoB said...

Hey Marc,

thanks a lot for recommendations.
And thanks for just mentioning the ones you've enjoyed.

I will check them out.

In the meantime I read your posts including reviews about the Sentients of Orion :) Seems to be a series for me :)

ediFanoB said...


buona sera, good evening, bon soir. Welcome to the crazy world of ediFanoB, Bona Fide, the keeper of the minutes, Bona and Fide. We are rockin' Michael's brain. Awesome party! Would like to invite you. But unfortunately all seats are filled. We tried to convince Michael to enlarge his brain. But the stupid guy refused. Anyway we have some good virtual drinks and listen to some old and nearly forgotten songs like Please don't lead me be misunderstood, In the year 2025, Eve of destruction, California dreamin

Patrick said...

Hey thanks for the mention! Definitely check out the authors, I hadn't read half of them when I started this project and I've been nothing but impressed. I can't wait to start the interviews.

ediFanoB said...

Hey Patrick,
I really appreciate your series and therefore I found it worth to share with other readers. You are doing a great job.