And now on to the part of the blog where I present five novels that look. . . well. . . damn near identical. I’m sure there are all kinds of nuances that make them unique, but each clearly references that epic fantasy je ne sais quoi. Which one do you figure as the most likely to succeed?
#1) The Black Guard by A.J. Smith (August)
The Duke of Canarn is dead, executed by the King’s decree. The city lies in chaos, its people starving, sickening, and tyrannized by the ongoing presence of the King’s mercenary army. But still hope remains: the Duke’s children, the Lord Bromvy and Lady Bronwyn, have escaped their father’s fate.
Separated by enemy territory, hunted by the warrior clerics of the One God, Bromvy undertakes to win back the city with the help of the secretive outcasts of the Darkwald forest, the Dokkalfar.
Speculative Fiction 2012: The Best Online Reviews, Essays and Commentary announced its lineup of contributors, Wednesday. Edited by bloggers Justin Landon (Staffer’s Book Review- US) and Jared Shurin (Pornokitsch – UK), SpecFic ’12 collects over fifty pieces from science fiction and fantasy’s top authors, bloggers and critics.
Author and podcasting sensation Mur Lafferty, whose newest novel The Shambling Guide to New York City is due out from Orbit Books this Spring, has agreed to write the foreword. “Lafferty’s writing career germinated online. She’s been a pioneer in the space and understands why the work in this book is so important. She’s the perfect person to put it into context,” said Landon.
Landon and Shurin also announced that they will pass the torch in 2013, establishing a precedent of rotating editors every year. The 2013 volume will be edited by Thea James and Ana Grilo of The Book Smugglers. Shurin commented, “We’re excited to see this move forward with Thea and Ana.… Read the rest
Last year I read The Winds of Khalakavo and called it fantasy meets War and Peace, or something like that. Brad Beaulieu merged the epic fantasy tradition with a very Russian aesthetic, and it worked brilliantly. I went on to read his co-authored novella (with Stephen Gaskell) Strata and continued to be impressed.
Then, I got a chance to meet Beaulieu at Epic ConFusion 2011. He’s a gracious, articulate guy who I had several tremendous conversations with over the course of the convention. He recently announced a project to collect his prolific short fiction, most of which comes from before he was a published novelist, in a single volume. It’s on Kickstarter now and for a $5 contribution you get an eCopy of the collection and The Winds of Khalakavo (and if he gets to $3,000 you’ll get a copy of its sequel, The Straits of Galahesh). That’s a hell of a deal.… Read the rest
As I announced a few months ago, Jared Shurin and I are co-editing an anthology, Speculative Fiction 2012: The Best Online Reviews, Essays and Commentary. Left to our own devices, Jared and I would surely curate a masterful volume, but we recognize we haven’t been exposed to every voice in the field — not even close. Thus, we put out the call to the community to submit their favorite pieces to us.
To date, we’ve received hundreds of submissions, and we’re still only scratching the surface. The deadline for submissions is December 31, 2012. Head over to our form to make sure your favorite critics get a look.… Read the rest
Rumors surfaced today of a merger between Random House, the largest English-language trade book publisher in the world, and Penguin Books. HarperCollins is also being considered.
The New York Times (blog) reported:
Pearson, the British media conglomerate, said Thursday that it was in talks to combine its Penguin publishing house with Random House, owned by Bertelsmann of Germany.
The deal, if completed, would bring together two of biggest book publishers in the world, uniting Penguin and its iconic orange logo with the owner of Crown Publishing and Knopf Doubleday. The combination would create a division with greater scale that could compete in a rapidly evolving e-book market. Traditional publishing houses have increasingly come under pressure, especially in the e-book category, from online retailers like Amazon and Apple.
Last month I moved my blog from Google Blogger to my own WordPress site here at staffersbookreview.com. At the time, I changed the look of the blog because I had to, but it wasn’t what I ultimately planned for the site. I quickly put my head down and got to work on what the kind of design I felt my blog deserved.
I took a lot of inspiration from Aidan Moher’s beautifully designed blog, A Dribble of Ink. For the past two weeks I’ve been ‘blowing up’ his gChat getting this thing together. He does this kind of thing professionally after all. He’s been a tremendous help and I can’t thank him enough. But, maybe this is a start:
The goal was to create something clean, fast, and slick. If you can believe it, almost everything is text, excepting the background image and the images embedded in the posts. New, modern browsers and developments in CSS and HTML5 have opened up all kinds of new avenues for the creative mind.… Read the rest
The Crown Tower will be the first book in the Riyria Chronicles series, and the whole series is a prequel to Michael’s Riyria Revelations, which Orbit published for the first time in print last fall.
The Riyria Chronicles will tell the stories of Royce and Hadrian’s adventures before Theft of Swords. If you’ve read the Riyria Revelations series and wondered about the allusions to earlier romps, you’ll now be able to read all about them. . .
You can find some additional information about the new series on Michael’s blog:
Michael Sullivan is a local author here in Washington DC and someone I’ve read quite a bit of. His previous series, Riyria Revelations was originally self published and went on to be a big hit both before and after Orbit purchased the rights. I reviewed it earlier this year. I have to admit I was hoping Sullivan’s next work would take him away from Riyria, but we know how publishers love proven intellectual property.… Read the rest
The next few weeks may be a little rough around these parts as I smooth out my transition to WordPress. I’m marginally savvy with these things, but I’m finding this transition a little harder. DNS, as far as I’m concerned, might as well be Sanskrit. In any case, I’m hoping that the transition will be mostly seamless for everyone.
RSS subscribers should see no change as I’ve burned the feed to this new site. For those who visit me via bookmark, I’ll be forwarding you here from the old Google Blog.
Jurassic London are pleased to announce Speculative Fiction 2012: The Year’s Best Online Reviews & Commentary, capturing the best of 2012′s blogs, websites and other digital publications.
With the online reviewing community larger than ever before, Speculative Fiction aims to both capture and celebrate the best in genre non-fiction: the top book reviews, criticism and essays of the year.
Speculative Fiction will be available February 2013. All proceeds will go to charity (partner TBA).
The editors are currently seeking recommendations. Pieces must be longer than 500 words. This is a reprint anthology: work must have been first published online, in 2012 and not in a professional publication.
I didn’t make it to WorldCon this year, for a host of reasons, not the least of which was the complete unwillingness of airlines to provide me with reasonable flight times. But, after reading all of these posts I’m linking here, I feel like I was there. (Not really, but it’s SOMETHING!)
3. The raft of changes to the Fanzine and Semiprozine category were also ratified. An attempt by hardliners to exclude electronic fanzines was defeated (I keep hoping they’ll give up, but I may have to wait for them to die). The main result of these changes will be that Locus is no longer eligible in Semiprozine as it has full-time staff. Liza Groen Trombi is, of course, still eligible in Best Editor: Short Form.
It’s nice to see that blogs will be able to continue eligibility. I still believe that over time blogs will largely replace the traditional FanZine.… Read the rest