Category Archives: Ballantine Adult Fantasy

More Bookstore Closing Acquisitions

I posted recently about one of the local used bookstores (currently there are 4: 2 good, 1 decent, 1 not worth bothering with) closing and some of the titles I picked up.

You know I went back.  The store will be open for a little while yet.  Here’s what I picked up this time.

More AcquisitionsI couldn’t resist the cover of the Howard pastiche by Offutt, even though I doubt I’ll read it.  The People of the Mist is an upgrade of my existing copy.  The Starfollowers of Coramonde is a later edition, but the Darrell K. Sweet cover matches the one on the first novel in the series.

I loved Sean Stewart’s Galveston some years back, but I haven’t read any of his other books.  The Tanith Lee speaks for itself.  The third row contains the first 3 of 4 in Lawrence Watt-Evans Lords of Dus series.

The last row is a reading copy of one of Evangeline Walton’s books that was part of the BAF series.  The Zahn is part of a series that looks like a lot of fun.  And the Paul Preuss because I wanted some solid science fiction in the old style.

But the gem of this little collection is the volume in the upper left of the picture.  It’s Whispers, edited by Stuart David Schiff.  It’s a collection of stories published in his groundbreaking small press magazine of the same title.  I’ve got a copy of this already, but I couldn’t pass this one up.  The contents include “Sticks” by Karl Edward Wagner, “The Barrow Troll” by David Drake, “The Dakwa” by Manly Wade Wellman, plus stories by Robert Bloch, Fritz Leiber, William F. Nolan, Hugh B. Cave, Dennis Etchison, Joseph Payne Brennan, Ramsey Campbell, Richard Christian Matheson, Brian Lumley, and many others.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go reread “Sticks”.

Two (Count ’em, Two) New BAF Posts at Black Gate

I’ve not posted here much in the last few weeks, but I’ve still been busy.  I’ve had two Ballantine Adult Fantasy posts over at Black Gate.  The first, which went live a few weeks ago, was over Hannes Bok’s The Sorcerer’s Ship.  The one that went live today was over Deryni Rising by Katherine Kurtz.Deryni Rising

I’ve also posted some reviews at Amazing Stories.  This week it was the poetry collection They Say the Sirens Left the Seas by James Hutchings.  Before that it was Lee Martindale’s collected fiction, Bard’s Road.  And at the beginning of July, I reviewed the final volume in Joshua P. Simon’s Blood and Tears Trilogy.

I’ll be posting more here and at my other blogs over the next few weeks.  Stay tuned.

I Look at Lilith by George MacDonald

Lilith Back Cover HRMy latest post of Black Gate on the Ballantine Adult Fantasy series is George MacDonald’s Lilith.  This one is an allegory that has some really weird passages in it.

The book also had a major influence on C. S. Lewis.  There’s some speculation that MacDonald’s use of mirrors to travel to other worlds may have influenced The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe.   And of course, MacDonald was friends with Lewis Carroll, so Alice may have influenced George.

What All I’ve Been Reading

Blood and IronI’m about a fourth of the way through Jon Sprunk’s novel Blood and Iron, which hits shelves next Tuesday.  It’s good, and I’m enjoying the direction this one is taking.

I’ve read the first chapter in the next book I’ll read for my Ballantine Adult Fantasy series for Black Gate, Lilith by George MacDonald.  This one looks like it’s going to be good.

Lastly, I read the cover story from the current issue of Analog.  “Cryptids” is an extremely well-done monster story, one of the best I’ve read in quite a while.  (Yes, I have Kaiju Rising, but I haven’t gotten to it yet.)  I posted the review at Futures Past and Present since the story is very much science fiction.  However, I think some of you would enjoy the story, so I’m mentioning it here.

Spring Break is just over a week away, and I hope to get some things out of the way then, so stay tuned.

Black Gate BAF Post: The Wood Beyond the World by William Morris

The-Wood-Beyond-the-World-William-Morris-smallFor those who are interested, my latest post in the Ballantine Adult Fantasy series at Black Gate went live today.  It’s about The Wood Beyond the World by William Morris.  Even though the post has only been up a few hours, it’s generated some lively discussion.  Come join the fun.

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.

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.

Reading Plans for 2014

This post is a continuation of the thoughts expressed in the previous one.  If you haven’t read it yet, you might want to just to understand the context.  Here I’m going to discuss my reading plans for the year.  They’re going to be a bit different than they’ve been.

I don’t make resolutions, but I do believe in setting goals, whether I reach any of them or not.  I know from experience if I don’t set some sort of a goal, then I won’t get anything accomplished.  Think of this post as a series of goals, goals that are flexible and highly subject to change. Continue reading

Plans for 2014

New YearHappy New Year!

Oh, sorry. I didn’t realize some of you were still hung over. Is this better?

No, now those of you in the cheap seats in the back can’t hear. Geez, there’s just no pleasing some people.

(I was going to write the preceding in different font sizes, but it seems I can only do that if I edit the HTML code. More of a learning curve than I’m interested in today. So much for being creative and clever.)

Anyway, Happy New Year. And to everyone who sent me a tweet thanking me for including them in my list of the best books of 2013, you’re quite welcome.

In this post, I thought I’d outline some goals for the coming year. Continue reading

New Post on Ballantine Adult Fantasy Series: The Blue Star by Fletcher Pratt

The Blue StarHey, just a quick note to let you know my latest post on the Ballantine Adult Fantasy Series is up at Black Gate.  I’m looking at the first volume in the series proper, The Blue Star by Fletcher Pratt.

Dayjobbery got in the way of finishing this one, or it would have gone up a couple of weeks ago.