Monthly Archives: December 2011

The Goblin Corps – Ari Marmell

Ari Marmell’s most recent novel from Pyr (at least for a few more weeks) is predicated on the notion of the ‘bad guys’ as heroes.  This is not Joe Abercrombie’s morally gray characters, or Stephan R. Donaldson’s antihero.  Instead, Marmell takes the stereotypical villains of D&D fantasy — liches, demons, orcs, goblins, trolls, and ogres… Read more »

Seven Princes – John Fultz

Around these parts I commit myself to finishing everything I start.  Why, you ask?  Because I think it’s important for me to help my reader make decisions about what they should buy and what they should avoid.  If I only read things that I enjoy, how will I ever fulfill the second half of that… Read more »

The Juice Boxes – Best SFF Debut of the Year (2011)

Debut authors.  My favorite thing to read because there’s nothing better than discovering something brilliant for the first time.  This has been a very solid year for debuts, due in large part to Night Shade Books New Voices Program.  While my nomination list is only five novels, I can’t stress enough how difficult it was… Read more »

The Juice Boxes – Best SFF Book I Read This Year Not From 2011

I read something like 90 books this year (as of writing this) and somewhere around a third of those weren’t published this year.  When it comes to end of the year awards I prefer to talk about what came out this year.  To expand it would mean pitting classics against modern stuff and I find… Read more »

Empire State – Adam Christopher

One of the most highly anticipated titles of early 2012, Adam Christopher’s Empire State has been billed as superhero noir.  Angry Robot, recognizing the broad appeal of such a pastiche, has marketed the novel along with their WorldBuilder project.  WorldBuilder invites readers to create their own works based in the world of Empire State, which Angry… Read more »

The Juice Boxes – Most Disappointing Book of the Year (2011)

Well, this is the one and only Juice Box Award you don’t want to win.  Although I suppose it speaks to an author’s or publisher’s cache that I’m putting them on the list, meaning the selection bias is going to be toward novels that have high expectations.  There either has to be a copious amount of buzz… Read more »

Heroism in Lord of the Rings, its Character Structures, and Aragorn’s Relationship to Strider

My response to a conversation on Twitter regarding heroism, its conceit, and Aragorn’s relationship to Strider (see Stina Leicht’s post.) Heroism is one of the most unifying themes in fantasy literature.  Even those stories that reject it do so in recognition of it.  This tradition begins with Joseph W. Campbell’s monomyth, a term borrowed from… Read more »

Some of the Best Blog Posts of 2011

Not a Juice Box Award, but nevertheless these are some of the most interesting posts I read this year.  I wish I’d kept a better record of everything I enjoyed this year.  This will have to suffice.  You could do a lot worse than spending this weekend reading each of these and/or savoring them over… Read more »

The Juice Boxes – SFF Cover of the Year (2011)

The Winner: The Magician King Illustration by Kai and Sunny   Some people (cough A Dribble of Ink cough) do frequent posts about cover art. It’s not really my bag, largely because I never get the news first. However, I too love covers. My short list for Cover of the Year is six books long (see… Read more »

Faith by John Love

Heard of this one?  Probably not.  It’s been pretty under the radar for book due out in less than three weeks.  Seriously, go Google it.  Now try the author’s name.  What’d you come up with?  Not much, I bet.  All I could find was an erudite i09 piece and the corresponding and pages…. Read more »