Of the one-hundred books I read in 2012, nearly one quarter of them were first time authors. I read slightly more last year (28), which makes some sense considering that 2011 was a far better year for debuts than 2012. Regardless, I would happily stack up this year’s Juice Box short list against last year’s. Oddly, none of this year’s best debuts were written by women, a fact that surprised me after reading so many excellent debuts from women a year ago. I’ll chalk it up to noise, especially considering my 2013 reading thus far has included numerous excellent debuts from female authors.
Interestingly, despite some of the harsh criticisms I’ve levied toward Night Shade Books’ 2012 list, two of their debuts make the cut here, matching last year’s number. I lauded them a year ago for their outstanding new author program, and I hope it’s something they can continue to champion.… Read the rest
My 2012 Juice Box Awards hit a bit of a snag called a new job. I quite underestimated the challenge of moving into a new work environment after ten years. But, I’m going to do my damnedest to get my 2012 awards done this week!
One of my favorite awards is recognizing books from years past that I only recently read for the first time. These novels get forgotten too easily with the shiny new releases that come by every month. Unlike last year, I tried to make a point of reading more out of year novels, and I succeeded with twenty of the one-hundred books I read this year. Not bad, right?
So, which was the best? Below are my five favorites from 2012, with published years ranging from the early 1980s to 2011.… Read the rest
Julie Czerneda has been around a while. She’s published a bunch of novels (over a dozen) since her debut, A Thousand Words for Stranger, was published in 1997 by DAW Books. Her next novel, A Turn of Light, is due out early next year. Check out the cover.
The village of Marrowdell is an isolated pioneer community, but it is also the place where two worlds overlap, and at the turn of light–sunset–the world of magic known as the Verge can briefly be seen.
Doesn’t that just look like Darrell Sweet come back to us? Is that Egwene? Is that Gawain on the horse? I feel like this could have been the cover for A Memory of Light and none of us would have blinked.
I’ve fallen behind a bit in my reviewing, with some ten books read as yet unreviewed. In an effort to catch up, I’m going to do write three short reviews here. It isn’t just a matter of catching up, the truth is books don’t always have a thousand word review in them, and who would want to read a thousand words about everything I read?
Armor by John Steakley
Steakley’s classic often stands in the shadow of Robert Heinlein’s Starship Troopers and Joe Haldeman’s The Forever War. It’s true that all three feature power armor and have military forces gallivanting across the galaxy killing wacky aliens, but Armor is an all together different kind of novel. That fact is not clear at first, featuring Felix, an Earth soldier encased in special body armor designed to fight an insectoid alien horde. This part of the novel is much like the Heinlein and Haldeman novels, describing the horrors of war from an ‘in the thick of it’ point of view.… Read the rest
Before I talk about Jim C. Hines’ newest novel Libriomancer, I wanted to briefly address his recent decision to withdraw from a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) session with the Fantasy Subreddit community. The Fantasy Subreddit is made up of nearly 18,000 highly engaged readers. It’s a wide ranging group of fans, some of a more literary bent and some Sandercrombiefuss fanboys of the highest order. I’ve been a member for a few months now and I’ve really enjoyed my experience there.
Hines backed out of his AMA when a thread, in an unrelated Subreddit, came to his attention. The thread was providing a forum for rapists to discuss their crime. It’s a disturbing series of comments. So many comments when I can’t imagine anyone being interested in reading it. In that way, I support Hines’ decision; he’s long been an advocate for the awareness of violence against women. His decision regarding the AMA is wholly consistent with his position.… Read the rest
Now that we’re at the halfway mark for the year, I thought it would appropriate to point out all the novels coming out from August-December that strike my fancy. I’ll be breaking my posts down by publisher. Below are the novels coming this Fall and Winter from Ace/Roc and DAW that will be must reads for me. The truth is though, I can’t read them all. So I’ll be looking forward to seeing what interests you.
Here’s what caught my eye:
The King of Thorns by Mark Lawrence (August)
The Broken Empire burns with the fires of a hundred battles as lords and petty kings battle for the all-throne. The long road to avenge the slaughter of his mother and brother has shown Prince Honorous Jorg Ancrath the hidden hands behind this endless war. He saw the game and vowed to sweep the board. First though he must gather his own pieces, learn the rules of play, and discover how to break them.