A sentiment I totally agree with! 🙂 But why have I posted this? Well, my girlfriend saw a blog post (via Facebook) that a legend of the South African music scene, Koos Kombuis, posted yesterday. Not only does he talk about SF and even Star Wars but he talks about some other very interesting topics and is well worth a read. 🙂 Here’s the link.
Angry Robot has revealed the artwork that’ll be gracing the cover of Ian Whates’ City of Hope and Despair, and it’s quietly, stunningly beautiful – see it for yourself here.
Paul Kemp has posted an very short but cool excerpt of the sequel to his first Star Wars novel, Crosscurrent – Riptide – can’t wait for this novel! 🙂 Check it out here.
Keeping with Star Wars news: years ago James Luceno (read Cloak of Deception – an excellent Star Wars thriller that kicks The Phantom Menace’s behind) was tapped to write the novel that would flesh out Darth Plagueis and Darth Sidious, but the novel was cancelled. Well, not anymore! 🙂 Check out the news here at Club Jade. Also at Club Jade, the news broke that there would be no sequel to Karen Traviss’ Imperial Commando novel – something I’m very happy about, but because I wanted it to be written by Karen and not taken over by someone else; Karen wrote some incredible books in the Expanded Universe and was forced to leave the Star Wars stable after the Mandalorians were morphed into peace-loving slightly-militant Alderaanians. Anyway, will rant about this some other time. Maybe. Here’s the link.
Last bit of Star Wars news – Mark Chitty tells you why should read Timothy Zahn’s Heir to the Empire. 🙂
… and hell, what a catch-up! For about two weeks I just couldn’t get into Google Reader to check out the daily stuff from all the blogs I follow, but this morning everything was fine again, and I had over a thousand posts to look through; thank goodness today is my day off from work, huh? 🙂
Anyway, here’s a run-down of some of the most interesting stuff I saw:
Aidan (A Dribble of Ink): The ‘A Game of Thrones’ RTS / RPG, Genesis, has been officially announced and, from the info Aidan has provided, it sounds really cool! There’ll probably even be some room to play the game so that you control the outcome – maybe Ned Stark won’t have to go to King’s Landing when you tackle the game, huh? 😉
Also, Aidan has posted the cover art for the following:
The eBook cover for the tenth book in the Wheel of Time, Crossroads of Twilight (a very simple yet arresting image, I dig it!),
The UK cover for Joe Abercrombie’s next novel, The Heroes (very much along the same lines that were used to create the covers for his previous novels, and that’s a good thing in my opinion),
and the Limited Edition cover for China Mieville’s Kraken (don’t know if I like it, puts me too much in mind of a certain Jules Verne adventure, but that’s just me).
Angry Robot Books: The cover art for Aliette de Bodard’s second novel (and sequel to the excellent Servant of the Underworld) has been unveiled, and it’s pretty damn cool. 🙂 The cover was designed by Gav Krasner (which leads me to believe that all the Gav’s out there should, in some way, be involved in SFF). 🙂
Also, the first Angry Robot Podcast is up! I listened to it twice this morning and it’s great to hear Marco and Lee’s voices, finally. 🙂 They talk about all things Angry Robot and also tackle eBooks and SFF sections in bookshops, along with much more! You can also enter a competition to win a limited edition hardcover copy of Lauren Beukes’ excellent Zoo City!
Mark Chitty (Walker of Worlds) has been blogging for 3 years now! Let’s help him celebrate! And keep it coming, Mark! 🙂 If you want the best SFF blog out there, Mark’s is it, no doubt about that!
Orbit has announced the schedule for their authors at ComicCon (man, I would absolutely love to go, but then I couldn’t eat or do much of anything else for the next four years because I wouldn’t have the money!).
Amanda (from Floor to Ceiling Books) asks how she should be punished for breaking her Book-Buying Embargo – I don’t think she should be punished at all, though! Hell, the more books that sell, the more books our favourite authors can write, right? 🙂 Round of applause for her – some really cool purchases! 🙂
Sad news from Paul Kemp (but understandable: he just writes them, after all): his much-anticipated The Old Republic tie-in novel, Deceived, has been moved from a December release-date to March 2011. The reasoning behind the move is sound, but I can’t help wondering why the decision wasn’t taken much earlier – Deceived is, after all, a tie-in novel to BioWare’s The Old Republic game… Ah well, we’ll just have to be a bit more patient! 🙂
John asked a couple of bloggers to share their ‘Introductions’ and I offered my thoughts; mine is the last of the bunch, but do read the entire post – many of the best bloggers / reviewers in the blogosphere offered their thoughts, too. 🙂
Everybody should know who John Ottinger III is, and if you don’t, then you’re either a newbie to this whole blogging thing or you run a non-SFF blog; you may be forgiven (emphasis on ‘may’) if you spread the word of what he’s done (and continues to do). 🙂
For example, the SF / F / H Reviewer Link Up Meme, 2nd Edition. John set up a database of most (if not all) of the SFF / H blogs out there, inculding some non-english blogs, so there’s no excuse when you’re bored – if you’re looking for blogs that focus on SF, check the list; want fantasy (epic, heroic, etc), check the list; urban fantasy? Yep, they’re all there too. And much more besides! 🙂
When you’ve decided to put this list on your own blog, visit John’s new-look Grasping for the Wind blog (with the link above) and follow the instructions. 🙂 Here’s the list for your viewing pleasure!
“It’s about damn time!” I hear you shouting. 🙂 Yep, that it most definitely is! 🙂 A round of applause for John over at Grasping for the Wind please! For those of you who have absolutely no idea who I’m talking about, here’s the low-down:
A while ago, while this very blog you’re reading looked a bit (okay, a lot) different and the brunt of the world-wide recession had not yet hit, John created a review-blogger link-up meme that took the blogosphere by storm. This meme raged through blogs that reviewed Speculative Fiction (yes, the range was that wide), and pretty soon, the list had gotten so big that you would need to take a few days off work to go through them. 🙂 I was lucky enough to have been a part of that meme, and then this meme also became something else – a song, written and performed by another awesome John (follow the link and have a listen, you’ll love it!) that was probably one of the coolest things ever to hit the blogosphere. 🙂
Now, how’s that?! 🙂 Awesome, John, absolutely awesome! 🙂 So, have you downloaded the song? You have? Cool, start playing it then, and then click this link – it’ll take you to The Crotchety Old Fan, and the Interactive Version. 🙂 So as you listen to the song, you can click through and have a look at the blogs at the same time. But have your fastest finger ready! 🙂
Okay, next up, vote for your favourite Fantasy Books! 🙂 This is an awesome initiative given life by Jo and Bella! Not only will the 101 Fantasy Books be decided by those who read and love them (YOU), but there’s also a chance to WIN! So, head on over and vote!
One last thing (I know this is a huge post, without a doubt the biggest ever on this blog), but this was just too cool to pass up – Jo and Bella have set up a cool meme, so I’m doing my bit to get it spread around:
1. What is your favourite favourite fantasy series?
Yikes – okay, let’s put it this way: Whoever wins the duel between Rand and Quick Ben will decide which series is the best. 🙂
2. What is your favourite fantasy character?
Also a difficult one… I’ll have to settle for a top 3: In no particular order, Anomander Rake, Mat Cauthon, Thomas Cale. 🙂 Anomander is the epitome of absolute badassness, Mat is either the guy with the worst luck or the best luck, and Thomas Cale is absolutely deadly and terrifying, but so sadly clueless (through no fault of his own).
3. What is your favourite fantasy creature?
Probably a Fade (being able to see like a hawk without having to bother with eyes and being able to travel through shadows) but then again, Erikson’s dragons are sooo cool! 🙂
4. What is your favourite fantasy world?
Hands down, this would the world that Steven Erikson and Ian C Esslemont have created – I’ve never gotten such a sense of deep history from any other fiction I’ve ever read, amazing stuff!
5. What is your favourite fantasy “magic” (i.e. The Will and the Word in David Eddings’ Belgariad series)?
Wielding the One Power, Saidin. 🙂 Without the Taint, of course!
There we go – if you want to participate in the meme, follow this link and read the instructions. 🙂
Okay, that’s it for me fore today – I’m struggling to decide between posting my review of Godspeaker Bk 2: The Riven Kingdom by Karen Miller or District 9; what do you think? 🙂
One of Peter V Brett’s friends, Matt, has taken over Peat’s Peaphole (the blog, what were you thinking?) and has posted a new, excellent contest – time to get your casting calls in! 🙂 I’ll be entering, too, of course… 🙂
Adam over at The Wertzone gave us a very interesting post on Dune and what’s been happening in Frank Herbert’s universe since his death – well worth a read!
Wanna check out Path of the Warrior? Must be one of the most bad-ass Warhammer 40K covers I’ve seen in a while! 🙂 Oh, and it’s Gav Thorpe’s (also now one of Angry Robot’s new authors) latest novel for Black Library. 🙂
Ok, now we get to the major news – and sad news, in my opinion. Karen Traviss has quit Star Wars. I’m not surprised, I think it’s been coming for a while now, but it’s still a sad turn of events. I’ve rarely enjoyed the Star Wars EU as much as when reading Karen’s work in it, and though I understand the other side’s arguments against her, I’ve always felt that Star Wars needed something new (or a whole lotof new things) to get it going again. Karen showed us some of those new aspects, updating Star Wars for these new times. And don’t get me wrong, I adore the movies, and no EU novel will ever top them (no, not even The New Jedi Order or The Thrawn Trilogy) but you can bet your ass that the more things stay the same, the more they stagnate.
I remember first finding out about why the Bantam era ended, and thought, “Whoa, but that was Star Wars.” Sure, every other book had a superweapon in it, but superweapons are part of Star Wars! So then we get into The New Jedi Order, taking Star Wars into a darker, grimmer, more realistic direction, opening up the opportunities for even more tales and wonderful characters. Enter Karen Traviss – she does this, and get’s crucified for it. She took Boba Fett, one the coolest characters in Star Wars, gave him depth, emotion, a voice, and made him so much more than the dude the Sarlacc ate, and get’s crucified. We got what we wanted – Star wars changed to suit the times, and we were ungrateful. Ah well.
Hey Guys and Girls, starting off a new feature here on the blog! 🙂 Well, not new, exactly, but a new way of doing things. 🙂 From now on, every Monday (instead of the usual once-a-month on the first of said month) I’ll be giving you guys a round-up of links and news of the preceding weeks – just in case we missed something. 🙂
I was getting a bit bored with the once-a-month thing and there was always news that popped up that I didn’t want to have to wait until the 1st of the following month to post -which invariably happened, thereby buggering up any schedule I was trying to get going! 🙂 So, once a week we’ll have a look back at (what I consider to be) that week (or those past weeks) most interesting news. 🙂
So, let’s get going!
First off, from A Dribble of Ink, some great casting news: Sean Bean is Eddard Stark! For that, and a whole bunch more, check out this link; also, Adian also gave us details on Brandon Sanderson’s The Way of Kings. 🙂
From Author Paul S Kemp, details of his forthcoming Star Wars novel, Crosscurrent! 🙂 To wet your appetite, here’s the book’s cover:
David Anthony Durham was sent the completed cover of the new Wild Cards anthology, but none other than GRRM himself – in case you missed it, David will be writing a Wild Cards story for a forthcoming anthology, and yes, he’s got GRRMs email address too (and no, I haven’t been able to bribe David yet, but I’m trying!!). 🙂
Karen Traviss reminded us that her second Gears of War novel, Jacinto’s Remnant, is about to be published (I for one can’t wait – Karen is incredible and you just know this book is going to be badass!)!
Over at My Favourite Books, Mark reviewed the entire The First Law Trilogy by Joe Abercrombie, Liz finally read and reviewed A Madness of Angels (if you haven’t read it yet, read it! It’s incredible!), and they’re also hosting a giveaway of Nick Kyme’s Warhammer 40K book, Salamander! 🙂
Peter V Brett made me jealous when he mentioned meeting Milla Jovovich…. but I felt better after he explained that he met her while having a meeting with director Paul Anderson – the man who will be at the helm of the live-action The Painted Man / The Warded Man!
Hey everyone! 🙂 I am absolutely vrot (that’s Afrikaans for rotten) with a cold, but thankfully, it’s not dripping from my nose yet. 😉
It’s that time again on the blog – get ready for links from all over the blogospere, including authors, publishers and my fellow reviewers and bloggers! 🙂 But before we get to that, let’s get the announcement out of the way:
The One-Year Birthday of the Blog is coming up this month 🙂 and David and I have spoken about getting a proper structure going for the blog. What does that mean? Well, I’ve been getting a lot of info lately that I’d like to share with you but, but short of blasting everyone (and that includes the Blog’s Facebook Page) with constant updates (which, let’s face it, will get very irritating very quickly), we’d like to set aside each day of the week for specific posts. Not only will this give us more of a routine to follow, but our readers will then also be able to visit the blog on specific days for specific info (if they so choose). 🙂
We will also be setting up a new page with our contact details, so those who would like to get into contact with us will be able to without searching the whole blog for email addresses. 🙂
David and I will be sitting soon and working everything out, and we’ll post about that new structure as soon as it’s finalized. The look of the Blog won’t be changing (I like it too much), just the way we post info and reviews. 🙂
Okay, here’s what’ll be coming up in the next few days: I’ll be (finally!) posting my review of Michael J Sullivan’s Avempartha tomorrow, and David’s next review will be up after that. I will also be doing a guest-review on My Favourite Books soon (just need to send the review through to Liz), and there will also be some info regarding Chris Evans, Dark Horse, and a host of other stuff. 🙂 The usual giveaways will also be occurring (got some great new books today that I can’t wait to giveaway!), and I will also be doing an interview with Mark Charan Newton soon, but this’ll be an interview with a twist! 🙂
Well, I’m back! 🙂 Better late than never, I s’pose. 🙂 You see, I was a bit of an idiot – I went to work this morning thinking that I was working day-shift, so that would leave my evening open to get this blog-post up and to watch the second episode of Survivor China (yes, it has just reached South Africa!)… But dear-ol-Dave didn’t check the roster properly; I was actually working the evening shift, so I didn’t have to go in today at all! What ends up happening? I end up working a 12-hour shift, from 9 in the morning till 9 in the evening! 😦 My own stupidity for not checking the roster properly! Anyway, with that out of the way, let’s get into some Blog Love! 🙂
Karen Traviss, always entertaining and unafraid (which are some of the reasons why she’s some a damn fine writer) turns her attention to a UK-cellphone provider (don’t head there if spicy language like the word ‘shit’ doesn’t sit well with you), 🙂
Pat Rothfuss (you do know that the manuscript of The Wise Man’s Fear has been turned in, don’t you?) is back home after an eventful trip to Europe,
Well hell, what a couple of weeks! I’ve started my new job, working my ass off, I might add, and have been putting in some extra hours because I need to have enough money to pay what I couldn’t while I was jobless; that, and the fact that our internet was off, yet again, kept me from the blog, but I’m back (and David will be too, soon, don’t worry!) and I decided to make this an uber-post!! 🙂 Just because I like you all so much and don’t want to waste your time while you browse the blog… 😉
First of all, the winners of the Swiftly giveaway have been chosen! Er, well, they actually chose themselves… You see, I said I was giving away two copies of Swiftly to two lucky winners and guess how many entries there were? Exactly two. 🙂 So, here’re the winners!
Check your email, guys! 🙂 And check the very next post for the new giveaway! 🙂
Into the news: The biggest news, I guess, is the unofficial blurb for the first part of The Wheel of Time: Book 12: A Memory of Light: The Gathering Storm! In case you haven’t read it, here it is again – “Tarmon Gai’don, the Last Battle, looms. And mankind is not ready.
A Memory of Light was partially finished by Robert Jordan before his untimely passing in 2007. Brandon Sanderson, New York Times bestselling author of the Mistborn books, was chosen by Jordan’s editor—his wife, Harriet McDougal—to complete the final book. The scope and size of the novel was such that it can not be contained in a single volume, and so Tor proudly presents A Memory of Light: Gathering Clouds as the first in a short sequence of novels that will complete the struggle against the Shadow, bringing to a close a journey begun almost twenty years ago and marking the conclusion of the Wheel of Time, the preeminent fantasy epic of our era.
In this epic novel, Robert Jordan’s international bestselling series begins its dramatic conclusion. Rand al’Thor, the Dragon Reborn, struggles to unite a fractured network of kingdoms and alliances in preparation for the Last Battle. As he attempts to halt the Seanchan encroachment northward—wishing he could form at least a temporary truce with the invaders—his allies work in desperation to forestall the shadow that seems to be growing within the heart of the Dragon Reborn himself.
Egwene al’Vere, the Amyrlin Seat of the rebel Aes Sedai, is a captive of the White Tower and subject to the whims of their tyrannical leader. As days tick toward the Seanchan attack she knows is imminent, Egwene works to hold together the disparate factions of Aes Sedai while providing leadership in the face of increasing uncertainty and despair. Her fight will prove the mettle of the Aes Sedai, and her conflict will decide the future of the White Tower—and therefore the world itself.
The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.”
Sounds pretty damn interesting! I’m thinking that the growing darkness in Rand is something Lews Therin Telamon is doing, or even perhaps Padan Fain’s final gift for Rand (remember when Fain slashed Rand with the dagger, cutting into the wound Ishy gave Rand in The Great Hunt?). 🙂 Manoman every day that we have to wait is torture! 🙂
Still with the Wheel of Time, Issue 6 of the New Spring comic-adaptation will be hitting the stands on the 20th of May! That’s right! This month! 🙂 I’ve included thumbnails of the 10-page preview (thanks, Dragonmount), but if they don’t wanna get bigger, just click the above link and go on through to where I got the pics. 🙂 Lan kicks ASS! 🙂
Also, there’s info there on what happened at Jordancon, so check it out! 🙂 But now for those thumbnails:
I think I will wait until the collection of all 8 issues is available, primarily because this probably wont make it anywhere close to South Africa as individual issues!
Also in the news, Aaron Allston has been discharged from hospital and is recovering at home – wonderful news! 🙂 Lets just hope he takes it easy and gets all the rest he needs to mend! We can wait, Aaron, we can wait! 🙂
On the books-I’ve-received front, I also got Twisted Metal about 3 days ago! 🙂 So, look out for a review of that! 🙂 In the meantime, check out the interview Mark Chitty did with
Angry Robot fans come closer! The cover of fellow-South African Lauren Beukes’ novel, Moxyland, has been revealed! 🙂
Looks pretty cool huh? 🙂 I like this cover, but I have to say that I like the original fluffy-toy cover better. 🙂 Still, Angry Robot is showing that cover design is important to them, and they’re pulling no punches in getting novels ready that will look awesome on the shelves! 🙂
I also heard that HBO’s pilot of the (hopefully) TV adaptation of A Game of Thrones has an official shooting-location – and that’s awesome news! It’ll be great to see Jon Snow and Ed Stark and the Lannisters, but the producers and writers will have their work cut out for them, that’s for sure. I s’pose all we can do is wait and hope for the best. 🙂 And if you haven’t heard, the pilot will be shot in Ireland. 🙂 And this is just a cool coincidence, but it begins shooting in October, and I’m turning 28 in October too. 🙂
Wanted to let you all know, too, that I have been added to the Del Rey / Spectra mailing list and that I should be receiving books to review shortly (jumping up and down still, ’cause that means Star Wars!), and I will also be getting Alan Dean Foster’s Tie-In novel of Terminator: Salvation from Titan Books (can’t wait for that!). 🙂
From Peter V Brett, the official publishing date of The Desert Spear, the eagerly awaited second volume in the Demon trilogy (but I’m thinking ‘saga’ will soon be more appropriate) has been chosen – April, 2010! 🙂 Even though that’s still about a year to go, I cannot wait! Read Peat’s post to see why – this is going to be one of the best books of 2010, bet your ass on that! 🙂 Also, Peat has posted another excision – check it out! 🙂
I’ve got GRRM’s Dreamsongs, the beautiful hardback (red cover), and I discovered Wild Cards in it, so hearing that David will be adding his own unique layer in that world is great news! 🙂
Okay, that’s about the biggest news of late, so lets get into Blog-Love! 🙂
Brandon Sanderson announces that The Hero of Ages is out in paperback (the publishers here in SA need to get organized, I don’t know of one of Brandon’s books that has ever been on a bookshop’s shelf here),
David Anthony Durham tells us a bit about an author-friend who writes some very intriguing fiction that I would definitely like to get my hands on!
Drew Karpyshyn has moved to Austin, Texas (to stamp his KOTOR-credentials on the new Star Wars MMO, The Old Republic), and the third Bane novel, Dynasty of Evil, was delivered to his editor earlier in April! 🙂
JV Jones has announced that she’s on Twitter! 🙂 Just… don’t bug her too much, k? She’s still working on Watcher of the Dead! 🙂
Adele brings the Ravenous Romance Blog Tour to a close (and I have to apologize once again to her that I couldn’t be part of it!), ;-(
Marck Chitty reviews Sly Mongoose, and has a bumper post for May Sci-Fi books! BTW, check out how many times Alan Dean Foster is on that list – is he just about the hardest-working writer in SFF today or what?!
Suvudu showcases RA Salvatore and the cover of his latest Drizzt novel (and fellow Star Wars fans, are you over Chewbacca yet? I mean, death threats? C’mon!)
Daya lets us know about the Espresso Book Machine (I want one, just churning out Fantasy, Sci-Fi and Horror!),
Phew! We’re a busy lot, aren’t we? 🙂 Lets hope you all find something cool at the various blogs and author-sites to spread the word about! 🙂
Don’t forget, I’ve got plenty coming up! The very next post will be the announcement of my next giveaway, I’ll have my review of John Marco’s Starfinder up after that, and we’ll also be seeing some guest reviews! 🙂 More on that later. 🙂 Oh, and David has finished Trudi Canavan’s The Magician’s Apprentice, so expect that review soon! 🙂
I leave you with an absolutely awesome Ad that’s making the rounds on SA television at the moment – I love this! 🙂
M.D. Thalmann, a novelist and freelance journalist with an affinity for satire and science fiction, lives in Phoenix, Arizona with his wife, children, and ornery cats, reads too much and sleeps too little.