High Magic Fantasy where the magic use truly shapes and distorts the world and its cultures. Fantasy Noir with its beautiful juxtaposition of wonder and cynicism, miracles and seaminess. Older Protagonists with pasts that would make a good book in its own right. Actual Gods with their alien-yet-familiar blend of grandeur and hubris. And Murder Mysteries. Always Murder Mysteries.
I've just finished reading Cordelia's Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold, which I really enjoyed and will put a review up for soon. Though I thought the first novel in the omnibus - Shards of Honor - was interesting, but lacking in something, this was easily address in the second one - Barrayar. I especially love the way it's a familiar story told from an unfamiliar angle, and the reading experience is very rewarding for it.
This month's theme is...: Green
Usual rules apply:
- Only two photographs per participant
- All photographs entered must be owned and have been taken by the member posting
- Do not use photographs already posted around the site
- The Challenge will close during the 27., whereafter the POLL will be up for 3 days.
- The winner must post a new challenge within a couple of days
- All Chrons members...
What's missing from the above image? That's right, the sacrificial bodies.
The image is of a reconstructed henge, discovered near the village of Pömmelte, Germany. Dated to around 2,000 BC, archaeological excavations have only taken place since its discovery in 1991 - but one of the more recent finds is of a number of bodies, apparently sacrificial victims...
Joe Abercrombie has posted an update to his blog in which he announces a likely release date for his new trilogy, along with the book titles.
According to him, the new trilogy:
has 7 point of view characters, 4 men and 3 women, as well as a host of walk-on extras, many of them well known to readers of the First Law, and features at least one duel to the death, three major pitched battles and an awful lot of hangings. It...
The Black Tides of Heaven by J. Y. Yang, published 2017 by Tor.
The Black Tides of a Heaven is a fantasy novella set in a medieval pseudo-China where magic, monsters and gunpowder co-exist. So far, so good.
The story starts by following twins, Mokoya and Akeha, who are unwanted by their empress-mother and gifted to a monastery to fulfil a political obligation. So far, still okay. We’re straying into typical fantasy tropes, here, but Yang keeps...
Land of the Headless is SF, published 2007 by Orion/Gollancz. Approx 275 pages in trade paperback.
The novel starts in very intriguing fashion, with the beheading of the first-person narrator for "adultery", an offence which includes consensual sex, a crime in a society governed by a holy book which is an amalgam of the Bible and Koran. However, the decapitation isn't fatal since Jon Cavala's mind has been downloaded into an apparatus in his spine which...
Of course it's possible to get anonymous or impersonal feedback from writers' groups, forums or even from professional advisors. Yet, there is maybe part of you that would like some sort of feedback from known people such as friends and family. I suppose it is partly because, since they know you, they could maybe give feedback in a way that would particularly resonate or get the most out of you. Yet there are dangers of embarrassment and disgruntlement if the...
The next novels of both Ann Leckie and Hannu Rajaniemi are going to be fantasy and not science fiction... is this the start of a trend of established authors moving away from science fiction to fantasy?
I personally find this disappointing. Apart from enjoying reading science fiction much more than fantasy, I also find it is harder to write science fiction than fantasy - in part because it is easier to bend a fantasy world to the story than a science fiction...
Some science stories of note from the past few days:
1. Distant exoplanet imaged using chemical signatures
What's the difference between a planet and star? One answer is their chemistry - so a study decided to run a test on images of the star Beta Pictoris.
It's known to have a large mass planet in orbit, but the glare of the star normally hides it - but running a spectral analysis for common chemicals expected for a planet and not a star made it stand...
A few changes I've been working on recently that it's important to know about:
1. Email notifications reset
I've been getting a lot of bounced notifications, as some email providers are starting to treat them as spam. As this can only cause problems for the long-term, I've reset all email notifications to off.
This means that to receive email notifications from now you must actively opt-in. To do that...
The first time I picked up this book I got through a couple of pages, and put it down unsatisfied - I like to see specifics in a story to help it seem real, and it bugged me that some of these were missing, not least that the town where the story begins wasn't named.
However, a couple of weeks later I picked it up again and found myself immediately gripped. I even went back to re-read the opening pages to ensure I'd not missed anything. Funny how your enjoyment...
I found this dystopian novel to be somewhat disturbing - for the wrong reasons.
The basic premise is that Montag is a "fireman" who goes around burning books - and any homes in which they are found. However, through the story we see him question his role in this, and face the moral problem of what he's doing.
By itself, it should be a classic dystopian warning against book burning. And it kind of is that.
The problem is, there's no real depth to the story -...
I'm writing a YA fantasy novel, which takes place in a world where the geography, weather, laws of physics, etc are the same as ours but with different flora and fauna. There are magical and fantastical elements as you would expect and the characters are human. My characters have fairly normal English names, e.g. Scarlet Brand, and now, about half way through the first draft, the main characters have really grown into their names (at least in my head).