Category Archives: Books

Read, reading, want to read

Comets and Criminals Launching Soon!

I’ve always loved seeing behind the curtain. Even the end of Wizard of Oz didn’t bum me out.  It was more like really? I’m getting let in on the secret?

The past few months has been fun on Absolute Write  as one of our awesome forum Mods – Samuel Mae – has let us in a bit on his grand new project of launching a  new genre zine called Comets and Criminals. Think sci-fi, westerns, mysteries and everything in-between.

Over the past few months Sam has teased portions of the cover, let loose a few of the authors he has in this first issue, and even shared a bit of his tiredness. It’s been a kick in the pants to read about. Thank you Sam for letting us in.

But now, finally, we get to see the WHOLE cover and the WHOLE TOC.

I’m even feeling a bit in the know as I get to talk to some of these authors on the Absolute Write forums.

Now we just have to wait until October 1 for the launch.

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Safehold Has Me Enthralled

I’m abut a third of the way through By Heresies Distressed, the third book in David Weber’s Safehold Series. Loving this series more with each book.

Just think medieval era humanity located on a distant planet meets advanced life form robot  who has to work within their system; then throw in politics between always fractious kingdoms and a meddling church; and top it off with naval battles. Too cool!

Oh and bonus – I think my husband is finally enjoying the series.

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Is 200 Pages Enough?

I just read Melanie Rawn’s first book of the Exiles series, The Ruins of Ambrai. It was the second book I picked up for my trip a few weeks ago but I had so much trouble getting into it, I had to renew it to give myself enough time to finish it.

Having read enough speculative fiction over the years I know that the first hundred or even two-hundred pages of the first book in any series can be a bit tough to follow.  The author needs to set up characters, setting, magic systems, technology bases, etc. I know this, and yet I still had difficulty getting into the book.

I had this same argument with my husband when he started the David Weber  Safehold series. Must preface this with the fact that we both love the Honor Harrington series and pretty much all things Honorverse. Anyway, husband was sloughing along and I kept urging him to give the book another chance. Still not sure if he finished it – meanwhile I just bought book 2 – By Schism Rent Asunder.

So my question today is how long does anyone else give a book to prove its worth?

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Vardaman Bundren anyone?

So I was reading today’s post over at Nathan Bransford’s site – great blog and always something to be learned!  Anyway, today’s posting asked What Is your Favorite Character Name? I immediately went and grabbed my old copy of “As I Lay Dying”  to double check the spelling of Vardaman Bundren.

And then it hit me how long ago I first read this book – it’s been 25 years – senior year in AP English. (Slight moment of feeling old.)  We read a lot of things that year. Lots of Shakespeare, Some Greek tragedies, Moby Dick, and good old Mr. Faulkner.

Some I liked and some I loathed, but the Faulkner got under my skin. First person, stream of consciousness, each chapter from a different character’s point of view. So different from anything I’d read before.

Thanks to Nathan Bransford I’ll be visiting with Vardaman Bundren and the whole clan again this summer. Hmm, maybe add a little Joseph Heller, and then top it off with a few Greek tragedies.

Who else is up for re-reading a book from our old school days?

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David Farland and the Runelords

It’s been an interesting week since the last post. I’ve been out of country to bury my father, cleaned out the garage (blech!), and read David Farland’s the Runelords: The Sum of All Men.

This was my first David Farland/Dave Wolverton book and I’ll admit to picking the book because it seemed a good length for the trip (practical), and the library had several in the series (inference of good read).

The magic system is multi-layered and complex. First is the concept that a person can give/sell a portion of themselves such as wit or hearing to someone else. This is all very practical and even a bit political.

There are also the magicians who specialize within the basic elements such as earth, water, or fire. Add to this the usual nation building and some shadowy external threats and you’ve got the makings of a grand and epic fantasy realm.

I think I’ll enjoy catching up on the rest of the series – now up to eight books. Hopefully the library has them all!

Unfortunately I also found my inner editor coming out. How many pages were there before dialogue began, how far in before the mysterious “reavers” were first seen rather than just talked about, did time frames match between different character’s scenes.

I used to be able to just fall into the created world and ignore reality. There was one time I even had to ask my mother if we’d had dinner because of a well written discussion of a banquet. It’s a bit disconcerting to find myself yanked out of the story and into critical thinking mode.

Does anyone else ever find themselves doing this?

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