Monthly Archives: February 2014

What’s Coming Up This Week

This is a quick update on what’s in the pipeline.  I spent the weekend at ConDFW, so look for a report on the convention.

Wood Beyond the World Front HiResI need to write the next post on the Ballantine Adult Fantasy series for Black Gate.  That will probably be the first thing I do, since I’ve finished the book (The Wood Beyond the World by William Morris).  I just need to carve out the time to write the thing.  John O’Neill will probably publish it within a day or two of my turning it in.

I’m about two-thirds of the way through Steve Rasnic Tem’s new novel, Blood Kin.  This a good, creepy southern gothic.  If it holds up all the way to the end, it will be a solid novel.  At this point I’m not expecting it to go off the rails.  Tem knows what he’s doing.

I’m trying to squeeze Space Cadet in since I need to get this month’s Heinlein post up at Futures Past and Present.  That one may not happen until the first of next month.

And finally, I’ve switched from weekly to biweekly at Amazing Stories.  I’m not quite a third of the way through the book I’m reviewing next, but that review isn’t due until the weekend.

Finding time to read isn’t the challenge right now.  It’s finding time to sit down and write when I’m not so tired I can’t put two words together.  I can get reading done while I’m waiting on my son to finish whatever activity he’s involved in during the evenings.  My wife is still recovering from rotator cuff surgery, which take her a few months to get strength back.  Picking up the slack is what is throwing me off my schedule since anything that involves lifting is verboten.

Last week I posted almost every day, but the trade off on that was not getting much reading done and going without sleep.  This week is going to be slower paced.  Those are the things I’m working on at the moment.

A Look at Heroic Fantasy Quarterly 19

HFQ 19It’s been a while since I looked at any online magazine here, and that includes Heroic Fantasy Quarterly. One of my goals for the year was to change that. I’m a bit behind on that one, I’m about to start making progress.

The latest issue of HFQ contains two poems and four stories rather than the usual three. All of them have a desert theme. (I wonder if the harsh winter we’ve been having has anything to do with that. California Dreamin’, sword and sorcery style.) Continue reading

Legends: Stories in Honour of David Gemmell is a Top-Notch Anthology

GEMMELL_COVER_FIN2c1Legends:  Stories in Honour of David Gemmell
Ian Whates, ed.
Newcon Press
trade paper $20.99 US L11.99 UK
ebook $3.99 Kindle

Last year at the David Gemmell Awards, held in conjunction with the World Fantasy Convention in Brighton, a tribute anthology was premiered. Obviously, that anthology was Legends.

One of the wonderful things about ereader apps for phones is that you can read when you have a spare minute and do so without the hassle of carrying around one (or more) books. I’ve spent the last few weeks reading and thoroughly enjoying Legends.

One of the nice things about it was that so many of the contributors were unfamiliar to me. I recognized a number of the names but hadn’t read their work before. My TBR list just got a lot longer. The authors represented here are James Barclay, Gaie Sebold, Ian Whates, Storm Constantine, Tanith Lee, Johnathon Green, Joe Abercrombie, Juliet E. McKenna, Anne Nicholls, Adrian Tchaikovsky, Jan Siegel, Sandra Unerman, and Stan Nicholls.

While most of the stories in the volume were heroic fantasy or sword and sorcery, there were a few that were more fairy tale in nature. This lent the volume a nice variation to the contents.Rather than give a summary of each tale, I’ll highlight some of my favorites. Continue reading

For Great Viking Combat, Look No Further

Swords of Good MenSwords of Good Men
Snorri Kristjansson
Jo Fletcher Books
Hardcover, 298 pp., $24.95
ebook $9.99 Kindle Nook

I came across this one not too long ago in B&N. Over a period of a couple of weeks, I picked it up and browsed through it. I don’t normally buy hardcovers if I’ve not heard of the author, especially if the hardcover is a first novel as this one appeared to be. But I had a coupon, and there really wasn’t anything else that looked very interesting that particular evening. So I took a chance.

Boy, am I glad I did. This was a terrific novel. If I had to sum it up in one word, that word would be “visceral”. Continue reading

Again? Really!?

68801_467727219952918_618352305_nYou may remember the controversy last summer over the SFWA bulletin, which encompassed, among other things, people being offended by some things said by Mike Resnick and Barry Malzberg, some other articles deemed sexist, and of course, the cover you see on the left.  I discussed the situation in this post.

Well, now there’s another controversy brewing.  Steve Davidson of Amazing Stories does a fine job of summarizing it here.

I’ll hit the high points, but you’ll have to track down some of the details on your own.  During last summer’s fiasco, publication of the Bulletin was suspended.  Plans are for it to resume.  A few things need to happen first, like a new editor has to be hired.  And there’s some sort of oversight committee that will be put in place to see to it that the Bulletin doesn’t publish anything that isn’t up to SFWA standards.

And that’s got some people upset. Continue reading

Latest Ballantine Adult Fantasy Post: Dunsany’s The King of Elfland’s Daughter

King of Elflands Daughter Front HiResJust a quick note to let you know my latest post on the Ballantine Adult Fantasy series, The King of Elfland’s Daughter by Lord Dunsany is up on Black Gate.  You can find it here.  If you haven’t read it, check it out and join the discussion.  There are some great comments.