Sunday, December 2, 2012

Wistron Folds Up Polymer Vision - Collapsable eReaders Are Once Again Science Fiction - The Digital Reader

Wistron Folds Up Polymer Vision - Collapsable eReaders Are Once Again Science Fiction - The Digital Reader: Readius was one of those impossibly cool gadgets which, in spite of enthusiastic support from tech bloggers such as myself, was never quite able to make the leap from concept to production model. And now thanks to its parent company deciding to turn off the lights at the device developer Polymer Vision, it never will

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Terry Pratchett Reveals He Will Hand Off Discworld to His Daughter | Tor.com

Terry Pratchett Reveals He Will Hand Off Discworld to His Daughter | Tor.com: It looks as though Pratchett has already planned to hand the series over to his daughter, author and game writer Rhianna Pratchett, saying in an interview with the New Statesmen that “the Discworld is safe in my daughter’s hands.”

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Terry Pratchett Talks Discworld-Inspired TV Show, New Book Dodger | Underwire | Wired.com

Terry Pratchett Talks Discworld-Inspired TV Show, New Book Dodger | Underwire | Wired.com: “I fully intend there to be a Dodger sequel,” he said, but with a caveat: “as long as I’m spared. You must pray for me.” Pratchett was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in December 2007. He didn’t waste the opportunity to playfully mock his fans, though: “You don’t look like a praying lot, I must say.”

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Discworld City Watch Television Series | The Mary Sue

Discworld City Watch Television Series | The Mary Sue:
Diane Duane, author (of such close-to-my-childhood books as So You Want To Be A Wizard) and attendee had this to say about the panel’s contents:

The new Discworld series “The Watch” (AKA CSI:Ankh-Morpork) has been approved by Terry Pratchett and will go into production with BBC Worldwide

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

British Fantasy Awards 2012 - The British Fantasy Society

British Fantasy Awards 2012 - The British Fantasy Society: The British Fantasy Awards were presented yesterday, September 30th, at FantasyCon in Brighton. This year’s Judges were James Barclay, Hal Duncan, Maura McHugh, Esther Sherman, and Damien G. Walter.

Friday, September 28, 2012

“The Casual Vacancy”: Rowling on fire - Salon.com

“The Casual Vacancy”: Rowling on fire - Salon.com: “The Casual Vacancy” is an unforgiving novel. With it Rowling summons her formidable narrative skills to issue an indictment of contemporary British society, for which the provincial Pagford stands. It is fueled by anger and its final scenes have a genuine, admonitory thunder. It is not the sort of book that hordes of people would choose to read if its author had not also written a far more comforting series of stratospheric bestsellers. But perhaps the world will be better for them reading it. Rowling may not be an easy woman, but she uses her powers for good.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Announcing the 2012 Hugo Award Winners | Tor.com

Announcing the 2012 Hugo Award Winners | Tor.com: Tor books and Tor.com is especially proud to announce the Hugo award to Jo Walton for Best Novel, Among Others, and Charlie Jane Anders’ for Best Novelette, “Six Months and Three Days”.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Wertzone: Chris Wooding calls time on the KETTY JAY series

The Wertzone: Chris Wooding calls time on the KETTY JAY series: Chris Wooding has announced that the forthcoming fourth novel in the Tales of the Ketty Jay steampunk airship series, The Ace of Skulls, will be the final book in the series. Originally Chris had planned to write a series of self-contained adventures with a few continuing elements, but during the fourth book discovered that the number of continuing storylines he'd built up had become larger than he'd planned. He's chosen to end the story definitively rather than risk it sprawling out of control across numerous volumes.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Nebula Awards Winners – Whatever

Nebula Awards Winners – Whatever:

Novel
Among Others by Jo Walton (Tor)

Monday, May 7, 2012

Wrexler Flex One Ereader - A Tough And Bendy Ereader | eBookanoid.com

Wrexler Flex One Ereader - A Tough And Bendy Ereader | eBookanoid.com:
As far as I can see, the only reason to use a flexible screen on this ereader is to make it both extremely light, thin and capable of withstanding the most appallingly bad treatment. I have read descriptions of test in which they have dropped the poor thing from a height of 1.5 meters, repeatedly whacked it with a plastic hammer, and such unlikely actions, and none of these tests damaged the thing in any way. Of particular interest to me was the fact that even hitting the screen repeatedly with that hammer didn’t succeed in even scratching the screen (something the Nook GlowLight could learn from).

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Read The Song of the Quarkbeast (Jasper Fforde) last week


Read The Song of the Quarkbeast last week. Its the second book of the Young Adult fantasy trilogy The Last Dragonslayer (also the name of the first book). It was a fun read. There were good mystery adventure elements as the hero, a 16 year old orphan fends off the predations of both the government and a competing magic company.
There is a good balance between fun gags, quirky characters and word play with a 'believable' fast-paced plot with sympathetic good guys and believable bad guys. Much of the humor in the series comes from the hokey way magic is codifed/described and how little respected it is despite the amazing things it is capable of. This is a world where magic carpets are only used to deliver pizza and levitation is only good for landscaping and parking control. This is set against a despotic government that shackles magic users in bureaucracy and oppressive laws restricting the use of magic.
The King stepped up to the royal microphone and gave a long rambling speech that made reference to how proud he was that the hard toil of a blindly trustful citizenry kept him and his family in the lap of luxury while war widows begged on the street, and how he thanked providence that he had been blessed to rule over a nation whose inexplicable tolerance towards corrupt despots was second to none.
The corrupt government would be dark and oppressive if it wasn't also so ineffectual, populated by bumbling bureaucrats and dim-witted aristocrats. Its funny stuff that serves up some social commentary along with the usual plucky kid outsmarting the adults you usually see in YA novels.
I introduced them all and Miss Shard said something about how it was ‘entirely convivial’ and ‘felicitous’ to meet them on ‘this auspicious occasion’, and in return they shook hands but remained wary. It pays to distance oneself from clients, especially ones who use too many long words.
Despite the Young Adult nature of the book it is always fun to read an author who enjoys playing with language.
I bid him goodbye and then took the main road towards Colonel Bloch-Draine’s country estate at Holme Lacy.
Throw in a little light romance and a couple of hokey puns and you have a thoroughly pleasant read. I look forward to the next book in the series The Return of Shandar.

Omnivoracious: The 2012 Hugo Award Finalists Include George R.R. Martin, Mira Grant, and China Mieville

Omnivoracious: The 2012 Hugo Award Finalists Include George R.R. Martin, Mira Grant, and China Mieville:
Best Novel

Among Others, by Jo Walton (Tor)

A Dance With Dragons, by George R. R. Martin (Bantam Spectra)

Deadline, by Mira Grant (Orbit)

Embassytown, by China Mi�ville (Macmillan / Del Rey)

Leviathan Wakes, by James S. A. Corey (Orbit)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Glen Cook gearing up for new Black Company and Garret PI novels

The Wertzone: Glen Cook gearing up for a new BLACK COMPANY novel:
In an interview with SF Signal, Glen Cook has confirmed that he is planning to write two more Black Company novels. The first, Port of Shadows, will take place between the first two novels of the original trilogy. He has already done some work on this book (in the form of two short stories which will be expanded into the novel) and will make this his next project once some other existing commitments are met.

There will be another book, A Pitiless Rain, which will be set after all the other books in the series. He does not disclose a timeline for this book. He also confirms there will be another Garrett, P.I. novel in the future, with the working title Wicked Bronze Ambition.

Two of my favorite series so good news indeed. I am always up for a new Garrett PI book. I am not the completist I used to be, and the Black Company trilogies are pretty sufficient unto themselves so I hope the books are worth the read. I am not a fan of jumping back in to the timeline and wedging in material. In a weird way I feel cheated. Adding a book to the end could be interesting because the god-like world-changing levels of warfare pretty much hit the ceiling.

However, you cannot discount the skill of a talented author like Glen Cook get the job done.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Finished with Dead To Me by Anton Strout

Finished reading Anton Strout's Dead To Me, the first book of the Simon Canderous Urban Fantasy series. While I have the next three books I don't know if I have the stomach to read the next book let alone the rest of the series.

From the author's site antonstrout.com:
Book 1 in the continuing adventures of Simon Canderous Welcome to the Department of Extraordinary Affairs Other Division- New York's answer to the underfunded world of paranormal investigation. It’s a job caught up in red tape, memos, and office politics, but its becoming par for the course for recent recruit Simon Canderous. After a life of petty crime and twenty four years of watching his power of psychometry—the ability to divine information solely by touching an object—destroy any chance of a real relationship, he’s joined the forces of Good hoping to gain some control. But when the mysterious ghost of a recently dead woman shows up at the Lovecraft Cafe, he and his mentor must figure out how she fits into a nefarious plot involving the cultists rights movement, a large wooden fish, and the forces of Darkness crushing on him.
You may have a strong grasp of grammar and a decent vocabulary and still manage to create a disappointing book. This was a hard book to get through. I didn't have to stop and guess the authour's intention when parsing a sentence, or halt at a misspelled word or anything like that. Dead To Me passes the technical aspect of writing.
I found the story simplistic and flawed. The protagonist starts with valuable skills and experience, does a couple of random semi-interesting things that more or less leads to a resolution of the basic conflict. The basic point A to point B plot could have been tighter and more original and the description of New York City could have been punchier, but where the book fails is in creating believable characters.
Even though I hated him for his clear headedness, Connor was right
Annoyed by his clear headedness makes sense, even angered can be believed; but hated? Strong emotional outbursts flare and are extinguished without a valid explanation. Rage, love, despondence, all the extremes of emotion are portrayed with little to no reason. Pretty well every character in the book suffers from a lack of consistency and depth.
Relieved that I didn’t have to smack anyone’s bitch up, I waited for Connor to join me at the door.
Strained attempts at "hip" street slang was indicative of the overall failure to supply a unique voice and believable personality to the characters. The character with the British accent was particularly flat.
... was like being caught in a Dead Head’s hair
Anyone with a little knowledge of the Grateful Dead know that its Deadhead. A little bit of research can do a world of wonder. The first line of the Wikipedia page, however, says either one is permissible but the full article only uses Deadhead. Overall the book felt poorly researched leading to a shallow world.
Strained metaphors, flat two-dimensional characters, 'witless' witty repartee, and a story that is both humorless and undramatic. I can say that I value reading this book just so I can appreciate how hard it is to write a good genre novel. I picked up the book because I read a post by Partrick Rothfuss (Name of the Wind and Wise Man's Fear) that praised his friend Anton Strout. I didn't realize that the emphasis was likely on friendship more than an enthusiasm for the book.
All the negativity aside, I did manage to get through the book fairly quickly. The rest of the Simon Canderous series may be quite good. I may eventually pick up the second book.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Terry Pratchett's next three books: Two This Year!

Upcoming4.me - Terry Pratchett announces Dodger, novel set in Victorian era:
UK September 6, 2012

The book is initially being released as a hardcover and an e-book.


New Terry Pratchett novel given a title (The Wertzone)
Pratchett is also working on his autobiography and is planning the next Discworld novel, which will possibly be Raising Taxes, the conclusion to the Moist von Lipwig trilogy.

Pratchett's next-released book will The Long Earth, a collaboration with SF author Stephen Baxter, due on 21 June this year.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

An Aside | New Synopsis for THE BROKEN ISLES by Mark Charan Newton — A Dribble of Ink

An Aside | New Synopsis for THE BROKEN ISLES by Mark Charan Newton — A Dribble of Ink:
The Broken Isles concludes Newton’s Legends of the Red Sun tetralogy

Mutants, Treachery, Honour: John Christopher’s Prince in Waiting trilogy | Tor.com

Mutants, Treachery, Honour: John Christopher’s Prince in Waiting trilogy | Tor.com: They’re set in a world generations after a catastrophe, but at first it looks like a feudal fantasy world. The influence is clearly Wyndham’s The Chrysalids — but Christopher takes it in a completely different direction and tells a much better story.

Omnivoracious: The Demi-Monde: A High Concept Sci Fi Thriller for Fans of Neal Stephenson

Omnivoracious: The Demi-Monde: A High Concept Sci Fi Thriller for Fans of Neal Stephenson: While that description may be over the top, The Demi-Monde: Winter does seem destined to be one of January’s more original reads. The Demi-Monde< of the title is a sophisticated U.S. military computer simulation designed to provide a virtual training ground for urban combat.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Wertzone: New Iain M. Banks Culture novel on its way

The Wertzone: New Iain M. Banks Culture novel on its way: Iain M. Banks is returning to The Culture setting in his new novel, The Hydrogen Sonata. It will be published on 4 October this year

Always a good read.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Read The Naming of the Beasts by Mike Carey

Read The Naming of the Beasts by Mike Carey, the fifth book in the Felix Castor urban fantasy series. The fourth book ended with a huge cliffhanger and I was worried that Carey was going to make a habit of using this overused gimmick from now on. I couldn't have been more wrong.
The Naming of the Beasts ties up a number of loose threads from the previous four books in a conclusive and action-packed way. While the presence of ghosts, zombies, loup-garous, and demons are still a fact of life in this world there is enough closure in this book to make me wonder if this could be the last Felix Castor novel.

Monday, February 20, 2012

This Year’s Nebula Awards Nominations – Whatever

This Year’s Nebula Awards Nominations – Whatever:
Novel

Among Others, Jo Walton (Tor)
Embassytown, China MiƩville (Macmillan UK; Del Rey; Subterranean Press)
Firebird, Jack McDevitt (Ace Books)
God’s War, Kameron Hurley (Night Shade Books)
Mechanique: A Tale of the Circus Tresaulti, Genevieve Valentine (Prime Books)
The Kingdom of Gods, N.K. Jemisin (Orbit US; Orbit UK)

The winners will be announced at SFWA’s 47th Annual Nebula Awards Weekend, to be held Thursday through Sunday, May 17 to May 20, 2012

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Read The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde

Read The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde and I was not particularly impressed. As a young adult humorous fantasy its a bit light on the silliness. Besides a few practical jokes and a "loveable" quarkbeast with big teeth and a peculiar diet there is little in the way of funny. As a more mature commentary on heartless bureaucracy and corporate greed it is so unsubtle as to be sound preachy.
The world building is a bit strange with everything happening in microcosm in the hundred tiny kingdoms of England, but the scope expands to include the whole world without really dealing with the scaling issues of medieval kingdoms. All told, while not a great book, it is a light romp of a book, not on the scale of Pratchett, Asprin, or Tom Holt, but it was a fun read. I am even looking forward to reading the second book in the series, Song of the Quarkbeast

Read Thicker Than Water by Mike Carey

Read Thicker Than Water by Mike Carey and it does not disappoint. Felix Castor the private-eye ex-exorcist has upped his game and seems to be the guy who specializes in demon control. In this book Castor is implicated the murder of a childhood bully. This leads to a story that really gives Castor much greater dimension. The action liberally interspersed with a plot that spends a great deal of time on Castor's back story.
The more we learn about the nature of the ghosts, zombies, and demons that populate this world the greater the dangers that Fix faces with nothing but his tin whistle.

Read Dead Men's Boots (Felix Castor book 3) by Mike Carey

Read Dead Men's Boots (Felix Castor book 3) by Mike Carey. The series gets stronger with every new book. The writing is sharp, taking on the noir style without leaking over to parody. The books are gritty with a light touch of humour. Many other urban fantasy series depend a great deal on witty banter to be engaging, Carey depends more on a plot that is well crafted. The mystery is well devised - I was in the dark for much of the book.
A good read.

Read Vicious Circle by Mike Carey

Read Vicious Circle by Mike Carey, the second book in the Felix Castor urban fantasy series. This is a much stronger offering from Carey than the first book. The first book starts off slow and ends with a powerful action-packed resolution. Vicious Circle is less stingy with the action and the expanded world is intriguing.
Felix Castor is fleshed out as the classic crime-noir gumshoe in this book and he is well balanced against the supernatural, the police, and the church.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Read Moon Over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch

Read Moon Over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch. Its the second book in the urban fantasy Rivers of London series. It is a strong follow up to the first book and sets the tone for a great series. Characters in the first book take on greater depth and interesting themes are explored as the fantasy elements of the world are explained in greater detail.
The standard pulp-detective plot line is adequate but it is fleshed out with forays into the personal back story of our hero and the history of magic. As with the first book the descriptions of London and environs is first rate.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Read Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch

Read Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch. The book can also be found under the title Midnight Riot. Urban fantasy set in London. Well written story where the protagonist is a constable instead of the usual outsider. Most of the outsider/secret world rules still apply but the cop on a beat/detective on a case twist makes for a nice change. A good sense of humour, gripping action, and very strong feel for the city and surrounding area make the book well worth the read.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Fiction Affliction: February Releases in Urban Fantasy | Tor.com

Fiction Affliction: February Releases in Urban Fantasy | Tor.com:
Whispers Under Ground, by Ben Aaronovitch (Feb. 28, Del Rey)

It begins with a dead body at the far end of Baker Street tube station, all that remains of American exchange student James Gallagher—and the victim’s wealthy, politically powerful family is understandably eager to get to the bottom of the gruesome murder. The trouble is, the bottom—if it exists at all—is deeper and more unnatural than anyone suspects—except, that is, for London constable and sorcerer’s apprentice Peter Grant. With Inspector Nightingale, the last registered wizard in England, tied up in the hunt for the rogue magician known as “the Faceless Man,” it’s up to Peter to plumb the haunted depths of the oldest, largest, and—as of now—deadliest subway system in the world. Third in the Peter Grant series.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Finished Iron Jackal by Chris Wooding

The third book in the Ketty Jay series and the best yet. The first two books are great as well and I can't wait for the next book.


Amazon.com: Things are finally looking good for Captain Frey and his crew. The Ketty Jay has been fixed up good as new. They've got their first taste of fortune and fame. And, just for once, nobody is trying to kill them. Even Trinica Dracken, Frey's ex-fiancee and long-time nemesis, has given up her quest for revenge. In fact, she's offered them a job - one that will take them deep into the desert heart of Samarla, the land of their ancient enemies. To a place where the secrets of the past lie in wait for the unwary. Secrets that might very well cost Frey everything. Join the crew of the Ketty Jay on their greatest adventure yet: a story of mayhem and mischief, roof-top chases and death-defying races, murderous daemons, psychopathic golems and a particularly cranky cat. The first time was to clear his name. The second time was for money. This time, Frey's in a race against the clock for the ultimate prize: to save his own life.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Best Android eReader - 5,000,000 downloads

Best Android eReader | Aldiko.com:
5-million download is a pretty big number for a single app on a single mobile platform. Last December, thanks to all Aldikoans around the world, the Aldiko Book Reader app free version exceeded 5 million downloads. This is a big milestone for us. The Aldiko Book Reader app continues to be users’ eBook app of choice when it comes to reading on Android devices. We would also like to take the opportunity to thank all aldikoans for their support. We can’t wait to see where this accelerating growth takes us in 2012.

Still the best eReader app out there.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Finished Nights of Villjamur by Mark Charan Newton - a slow start

Finished Nights of Villjamur (Legends of the Red Sun 1) by Mark Charan Newton. It was a bit of a chore to get through it. There were no compelling characters. If any of the main protagonists had died off by the end it wouldn't have been a big deal. The coming ice age, or slowly dying world scenario is depressing and Newton did nothing the ameliorate that with bright or witty characters. Nevertheless the writing is competent and I am mildly curious as to how the rest of the trilogy will play out.

X-mas fave read: The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson

A great story. Interesting characters and a fast paced story. I practically read it cover to cover in one sitting. The rules of Mistborn magic is the same by the era has changed from feudal era to turn of the century industrial revolution. While rumours are that Sanderson wants to write urban fantasy and a far-future Mistborn books I would not be at all unhappy to see more books in this era.