What a novel! This is the most entertaining piece of SFF comedy writing I’ve seen since The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. Alexey Pehov had me absolutely laughing out loud for page after page. He cleverly poked fun at the genre by including every cliche built up over the past 70 years. I might even go so far as to say that NBC should consider a Shadow Prowler sitcom for a midsea….
[What follows is a complete fabrication. There is no Cheryl. She is a figment of my imagination. Furthermore the purpose of this review is to have fun with reviewing a book I really did not like. It should by no means be viewed as an attack on Tor Books who I think, for the most part, does a tremendous job. They're the industry leader for a reason. Any failure here is with the material itself, not with the work done by the publisher to bring it to market.
… Read the rest
Religion is a touchy subject matter, isn’t it? Focusing on subjects of faith and belief can easily become unhinged. Preaching or flippancy are equally likely and this is especially true when the a novel is told from only one sect’s point of view (in this case, Christian). I’ve been caught unawares by ‘Christian fiction’ masquerading as fantasy a time or two and I pretty well irks me every time, although erotica masquerading as Urban Fantasy is worse. It’s not that I’m trying to avoid all things Christian, I’m just saying I want to know what I’m getting into beforehand. Thus I approached Miserere, Teresa Frohock’s debut novel, with some trepidation.
I shouldn’t have worried. Miserere while grounded in Christian myths isn’t really about religion. Frohock is just more overt in her use of forms and traditions than the average fantasy novel. Go pick up any epic fantasy and there are sure to be dozens of ideas pulled from the Bible. … Read the rest
Courtesy of the author, I have two signed copies of Courtney’s Schafer’s The Whitefire Crossing to give away. One of Night Shade Books’ New Voices, Schafer is an electrical engineer and an avid climber. The latter features heavily in her novel and I remain hopeful that we’ll see some electrical engineering in book two The Tainted City (not really).
When I read the novel way back in June I called it ‘one of the best novels I’ve read in 2011.’ Up to that point I’d read 38. As of now that number is somewhere around 75 and that statement is as true now as it was back in June. You can read my full review here.
Here’s the blurb from the back cover:
Dev is a smuggler with the perfect cover. He’s in high demand as a guide for the caravans that carry legitimate goods from the city of Ninavel into the country of Alathia.
… Read the rest
Diana Gabaldon said, “Midnight Riot is what would happen if Harry Potter grew up and joined the Fuzz.” I think that’s sort of a red herring. I get it, Harry Potter is wildly successful and the quote targets a massive audience that will enjoy Ben Aaronovitch’s novel. However, if I was asked to write a more accurate blurb, it might read, “Midnight Riot is what would happen if Shadow from American Gods was an apprentice wizard with a wry sense of humor who wandered around London waxing poetic about it and solving crimes under supernatural circumstances.” Ok, so that probably wouldn’t sell as many books, but it’s a lot more descriptive.
Peter Grant is a rookie copper working the streets of London. As he nears the end of his probationary period and decisions are being made about his long term position in the force, a ghost gives him a lead in a case of mysterious murder.… Read the rest
I’ve been pretty open about my praise for the 2011 Night Shade line-up of debut authors. Having positively reviewed The Whitefire Crossing, Seed, The Emperor’s Knife, Necropolis, God’s War, and Infidel, I was interested in finding out what Night Shade’s plan of action was with all these tremendous new authors. Night Shade Books Editor-in-Chief Jeremy Lassen was kind enough to trade e-mails with me to talk about their New Voices Program, last year’s royalties controversy, 2012 debuts, and some great news about their web presence. Hope you enjoy!
Justin: What prompted me to ask for this interview was a comment Mazarkis Williams made on Twitter about the Night Shade New Voices Program. I had no idea that Night Shade had gone so far as to actually institute a ‘program’. First off, what is the New Voices Program?
Jeremy: The program will consist of a branded landing sight on our web site that spotlights upcoming releases from this new generation of writers.… Read the rest
While I’m traveling around California for work, I thought I’d take a look at some covers that seem too similar for mere coincidence! Check in later this week for reviews of The Traitor’s Daughter by Paula Brandon, Shadow Prowler by Alexey Pehov, and Miserere by Teresa Frohock. If I have a particularly productive flight home there might also be a review for Robert Holdestock’s classic, Mythago Wood. You never know!
Would you like an apple? It will attract supernatural creatures and help keep your husband from wandering. It also keep you from starving last time I checked. I have absolutely no idea what the apple represents in either of these ridiculous covers. Given Myers’ background I imagine it has something to do with the “forbidden fruit”. Really? Give me a break. #TooLiteral
So, let me see if I’ve got this straight. We’ve got two guys sort of straddling a rocket. … Read the rest
My self imposed hiatus on Night Shade Books failed miserably this past weekend when I couldn’t resist their latest novel, Seed by Rob Ziegler. I was going to try to take a few weeks away from Night Shade to get at some of my rapidly overwhelming back catalog. While I did finish Diving Into the Wreck and started Midnight Riot and Shadow Prowler, they all fell to the side once I dug into Seed. Zeigler’s novel is as haunting as it is believable.
Much like Night Shade flag bearer The Wind-Up Girl (Bacigalupi), Seed is a near term science fiction novel that centers around the impacts of climate change and over population on the world’s environment. The Hugo Award winning Wind-Up Girl focused on Thailand, but hinted at the problems ongoing in America. In many ways Seed could be that story of America. That’s not to say it’s derivative of Bacigalupi, but there’s certainly similarities in tone and texture to the world playing to the current fears that Earth is reaching ‘critical mass’.… Read the rest
Science fiction as a genre has always been based on what if. What if we brought a man back to life? What if we gave a computer control of a space station? What if robots had the ability to reason? Diving Into the Wreck is very much in this tradition, asking what happens when we start to forget technology? Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s answer is: nothing good. Refreshingly old school, Wreck calls to mind the horrors of cramped space craft, the bleakness of space, and the depravity of human greed.
Boss loves to dive historical wrecks, derelict spacecraft found adrift in the blackness between stars. Sometimes she dives for salvage, but mostly she’s a historian. Once she dives a ship, she either leaves it for others to find or starts selling guided tours. It’s a good life for a loner, with more interest in history than the people who make it.
When she comes across an enormous spacecraft, incredibly old, and apparently Earth-made, she’s determined to investigate.… Read the rest
Sally (The Qwillery) and I were on Twitter the other day – hard to believe I know – when we struck up a conversation on the relative crappiness of U.S. covers to their U.K. counterparts. Admitting there could be some selection bias afoot, we endeavored to discover whether or not the art direction across the pond is truly superior. Over the course a few posts we’ll be discussing various groups of covers arbitrarily selected using some nonsense criteria. For this first installment we’re looking at some of the more hyped 2011 Science Fiction and Fantasy releases that had covers worth discussing. You will not see A Dance with Dragons (AKA: Most Boring Covers on Earth) here.
|THE NIGHT CIRCUS by ERIN MORGENSTERN
|Justin: This is tough one. The title embellishment on the U.S. cover is beautiful. It’s unfortunate that the tents in the palm look like Shiva the Destroyer was hired as a candy striper at a local hospital with rollers in her hair.
… Read the rest