Tag Archives: Amazing Stories

I Review Lud-in-the-Mist and The Book of Feasts and Seasons

Lud in the Mist front coverPart of the reason I’ve not posted much in the past week other than a few things Christmas Eve and Christmas Day is that I’ve been working on my other blogging gigs. (The rest of the reason is that Holiday Madness has totally disrupted my schedule.)

Over at Black Gate, the latest in my series on the Ballantine Adult Fantasy series is up.  The book in question is the wonderful Lud-in-the-Mist by Hope Mirrlees.  I really liked this one.  It was written before the tropes of modern fantasy had really been established.  As such, it had a freshness to it that many novels published these days don’t have.

Book of Feasts and SeasonsAlso, for Amazing Stories, I looked at John C. Wright’s The Book of Feasts and Seasons.  This is a short story collection that is centered around a number of holidays and feasts throughout the year.  Wright is an author I’ve begun reading in the last six months, although I had seen his books around for years.  I find him to be a writer of great heart and depth.  I’ll be reviewing more of his work over the course of the next year.

My Halloween Posts Creep into Other Blogs

Blind ShadowsNot all of the things I’ve been reading for Halloween are getting reviewed here.  There have been two other posts that might be of interest to some of you.

The first post that went live was at Amazing Stories yesterday.  I had intended to have it ready to go a week earlier but an out of town wedding derailed my plans.

Anyway, if you’re a fan of pulp fantasy and horror, this is one you need to put on your radar.  There are a number of nice treats (and no tricks) in this novel.  It’s about a pair of former police partners.  One is now the sheriff and the other is a private investigator.  The book opens with the discovery of the body a former classmate of theirs.  He’s been ritually murdered.  Blind Shadows is a great combination of pulp, horror, and hard boiled adventure.

Lovecraft Sarnath frontI’ve been doing a series of posts at Black Gate for about a year now on the Ballantine Adult Fantasy Series.  My goal was to have one completed about once a month, but that isn’t quite what has happened.  Things have been a little more irregular than that.

This afternoon, my latest went live.  It’s over H. P. Lovecraft’s The Doom that Came to Sarnath.  This is a collection of stories written as Lovecraft was transitioning from fantasy in the vein of Lord Dunsany to his better known work in the Mythos.  Many of these stories are quite short, but overall they’re an interesting read as they show a writer moving from imitation to his own unique voice.

Anyway, that’s what I’ve been up to at other venues for Halloween.

Two New Kickstarters of Interest

My post for Amazing Stories last week covered three Kickstarters that were active at the time.  Just after the post went live, I learned of two more.  Since the next few posts for Amazing are already planned, I’m going to mention them here as they might be of interest to some of you.

temporally out of order

Temporally Out of Order by Justin Adams

First, Temporarlly Out of Order.  This is an anthology built around the theme of devices being temporally out of order.  What that means is up to the authors and how they choose to interpret it.  Authors currently involved in the project include David B. Coe, Laura Anne Gilman, Faith Hunter, Stephen Leigh, Gini Koch, Seanan McGuire, and Laura Resnick.  If stretch goals are met, then Jack Campbell, Jean Marie Ward, and Juliet E. McKenna will contribute stories.  And finally, there will be a period of open submissions, provided the project is successful.

The second project is another anthology, this one called The Bard’s Tale.  It’s a collection of, what else, stories about bards.  The thing that makes this anthology stand out is that each story also has a recipe associated with it.  The recipes come from a variety of sources, including authentic medieval cookbooks. The authors involved are Donald J. Bingle, Dylan Birtolo, Tracy Chowdhury, Maxwell Alexander Drake, Stephanie Drummonds, Ed Greenwood, Sarah Hans, Gabrielle Harbowy, Rosemary Jones, C.S. Marks, Muffy Morrigan, Daniel Myers, Brian Pettera, Aaron Rosenberg, and Kelly Swails.  There are a number of cool rewards, stretch goals, and add-ons with this one.

So these are two of the latest Kickstarters that have caught my eye.  Check them out.  If these anthologies turn out to be as good as they look, then I may have stop reading books published by New York and limited myself to indie titles, including titles funded by Kickstarter.  But that’s a rant for another evening.

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.

Being Nibbled to Death by Ducks

It’s been one of those weeks.  You know the kind.  Nothing really bad happens, but some many little things pop up that by the end of the day on Saturday you’re wondering why you didn’t accomplish what you thought you had sufficient time to complete.  It’s kind of like being nibbled to death by ducks.

WD-40Most of my disruptions were either work related or involved my son.  (I thought I had made it clear there was to be nothing further involving fire while I was at work.)  A wire in his braces popped loose, and instead of simply fixing it, the orthodontist went ahead and tightened everything.  This will save time later this month, but it cost most of an afternoon.  I finally figured out why one of the dogs was suddenly traumatized to the point of refusing to go outside. (Experiments to determine the flammability of WD-40 are expressly forbidden.  Which should have been obvious.)

Anyway, work was supposed to be quite slow this week.  As result I had intended to finish and post reviews of the latest issue of Weird Tales and the first installment of a new series by Joshua P. Simon, as well as finish a detective novel on my phone, Deryni Rising by Katherine Kurtz for for Black Gate, and a review for Amazing Stories.  Plus I had planned on commenting on Amazon’s announcement about pricing the other day.

The piece for Amazing Stories is done, uploaded, and should go live tomorrow.  I”ll start the BAF post for Black Gate either tonight or (more likely) tomorrow along with the review of the detective novel.  I’ll also try to the Simon novel and WT finished in the next couple of days.

Over Half of SF/F Ebooks Sold on Amazon are Indie Published

Hugh Howey and someone known as Data Guy have been using Amazon rankings to get a glimpse of how indie published books and authors are doing compared to the Big [insert decreasing number here].

Their latest report came out today.  I’m not going to parse the whole thing.  You can read it for yourself here.  It contains some very interesting information on the effect DRM has on sales.  (Spoiler: it can really hurt sales.  Check the graph.)

What I am going to do is point out something that might be of interest to readers of this blog, and that’s the percentage of sf/f ebooks sold on Amazon that are indie published.  Continue reading

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.

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

State of the Blogs, 2013

I’ll post a recap of the year’s best reads tomorrow, followed by a look ahead on New Year’s Day.  But because there have been some big changes in my small corner of the blogosphere, I thought I’d give a short recap.Warrior

You’ll notice that I’ve used the plural form of the word “blog” in the title of this post.  That’s because I’ve got four of them.  (Yes, I’m nuts.) 

The year started out good.  Blog traffic continued to climb.  By July traffic was setting records.  Nearly every post had comments, and the number of followers was slowly growing.  I found all of this very satisfying, especially the comments, since a community of regulars had formed.  There were some great discussions.  Blurbs from Adventures Fantastic were starting to show up on the covers of books by major publishers.  I was having a lot of fun, which was a large part of why I do this.

Then Google decreed that Adventures Fantastic was a spam site.  I’m not quite sure how they figured that since I went over their guidelines with a fine toothed comb.  And while I did include a number of links to other sites, Google was very clear that sites which include  links in reviews weren’t spam.  The automatic response to the appeal I lodged with Google said it would be several weeks before they even looked at it. Continue reading