Where do novels begin? Is it the protagonist? The plot? Some cool magic system? Or a world detail? It’s a silly question, because there is no right answer. And even if there was, it only matters insofar as it scratches a bad interviewer’s curiosity. But, it is interesting, and meaningful, to discuss which of those aspects make a novel sing. In the case of Abaddon’s Gate and Black Halo, novels by James S.A. Corey and Sam Sykes respectively, it’s the characters that give them soul.… Read the rest
Posts Tagged: Released 2011
As I’m hope most everyone is aware, A Dribble of Ink syndicates two of my reviews a month, usually with a new release on the first Tuesday and then an older title from my so-called back list. With Kameron Hurley final novel in her Bel Dame Apocrypha being released, I thought it would be appropriate to rerun my God’s War and Infidel reviews at A Dribble of Ink, before publishing a review of Hurley’s concluding volume, Rapture.
I had a problem though, I didn’t really think my review of God’s War was any good. It was one of my earlier reviews as a blogger, and I thought it deserved better. So I rewrote it — never an easy thing to do. I think it came out pretty well.
Beginning with Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Windup Girl three years ago, Night Shade Books has made a concerted effort to produce meaningful debut novels.
“Of course a thing that could be made into a weapon would be made into a weapon. It did not matter if it was a thing of beauty. It did not matter if their mission was holy and benevolent. It only mattered that The Song could be twisted to serve human greed. If that was so, it was only a measure of time until someone grasped for it.”
- The Sacred Band, David Anthony Durham
That quote stood out to me in the final volume of The Acacia Trilogy. I wouldn’t say it’s the theme of the series distilled down into four lines of prose, but it is pretty representative of one of the many contained there in. On the surface, David Anthony Durham’s trilogy, and first foray into genre fiction, looks like run of the mill epic fantasy. His protagonists are four royal children whose father is struck dead in the opening moments of the first novel, The War With the Main, forcing them to scatter, grow to adulthood, and return to restore peace to the Akaran Kingdom and the Known World.… Read the rest
One Thousand and One Nights, or as it’s better known in the English speaking world, Arabian Nights, is a collection of Middle Eastern folk tales compiled in Arabic during the Islamic Golden Age. The basic premise is that a Persian king discovers his wife’s infidelity and has her executed. Deciding all women are the same, the king marries a series of virgins only to execute each one the next morning, before she has a chance to cuckold him. Eventually the vizier cannot find any more virgins until his daughter, Scheherazade, volunteers herself as the next bride. On the night of their marriage, she begins to tell the king a tale, but does not end it, forcing the king to postpone her execution in order to hear the conclusion. The next night, as soon as she finishes the tale, she begins a new one, and the king, eager to hear the conclusion, postpones her execution once again.… Read the rest
Post-Novel + 39 Minutes
This account was transcribed by a certain book reviewer a few days after the books began their campaign against humanity. The reviewer was clearly suffering from post-literary confusion, but little did he know the impact he would come to have on the future of mankind.
I know I will not survive this review.
I feel my teeth chattering as the Hardies throw themselves against my oak front door. I can hear their glue reinforced cardboard thump against the wood like thunder. I knew once we tried to digitize them this would happen–no one wants to be just a series of ones and zeros.
Is anyone alive out there? I don’t know. I’ve been holed up here for days now. The last time I ventured outside an illustrated hardbound copy of The Shadow Rising took me in the knees. I barely made it inside before the entire Wheel of Time swarmed my position.… Read the rest
If The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes had a baby with The Lies of Locke Lamora and then gave it up for adoption to Neuromancer you would have a pretty good simulacrum for The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi. The book is at its heart a whodunit, or more specifically which whodunit. After finishing the book I’m not sure who did it. But I think that’s the point.
The novel begins when a winged woman who talks to god rescues an amnesiac thief named Jean Le Flambeur at the request of her deity and brings him to Mars to remember. Juxtaposing this perspective is the antagonist, Isidore Beautrelet, a detective akin to Sherlock himself who in solving the murder of a chocolatier finds himself set against le Flambeur himself. Told at a breakneck pace the story follows our thief and his winged caretaker as he infiltrates Martian society to rediscover who he was and who he wants to be.… Read the rest
First of all, I need to give some kudos to Orbit Publishing. I was first exposed to Orbit a few years ago when they released the Night Angel Trilogy by Brent Weeks in its entirety over a few months. This strategy provided Weeks with a strong shelf presence and offered reader’s an assurance of a completed story arc.
Last week Orbit released The Dragon’s Path, Daniel Abraham’s highly anticipated first book in a new series. Attached to the end of the eBook version of Dragon was an advanced copy of Leviathan Wakes, Abraham’s first foray into science fiction under the pseudonym James S.A. Corey. This inclusion has ensured that readers will begin to associate Corey with Abraham and furthermore it gives the online community an opportunity to give Leviathan some love before its wide release in June. Orbit clearly understands how the publishing industry is changing and they are responding.… Read the rest