Category Archives: Musings

Focused on Writing


I’ve been neglecting my LJ account for a long time now – not only because I started a SFF Review blog (and now launched a brand new one) but also because I just didn’t feel the need. I was, after all, blogging about books that I was reading, not about myself and my writing. πŸ™‚

But you see, the thing is, I’ve got so many ideas that not to do something with them would be criminal – and one of my goals is to be a published author by my 30th BDay (2 years to go), so I’ve got to get my ass in gear and write (well, that and manage my time properly!)!

So, LJ and my first blog (Yes, I changed the name of the blog) will be focused on my writing efforts. I hope to have progress reports for you guys, announcements of where you can read what I’ve written, etc. πŸ™‚ Oh, and down the line, news of me being published. πŸ™‚

So, yes, I’ll be here more regularly. πŸ™‚



Posted by on October 12, 2009 in Announcements, Musings



Catch-Up (‘Cause I’ve been quiet for a bit)

So I took a bit of a break from the blog to finish watching the second season of Supernatural. πŸ™‚ We finished it last night, and will probably start watching the 3rd season today, and I have to say that I’m impressed. I knew Sam was going to die and that Dean would do a deal at the crossroads to bring him back, but I didn’t know that their dad would put in an appearance! That was a goose-flesh moment if there ever was one! Very cool! And now that the Yellow-Eyed demon is dead it’ll be interesting to see what the brothers have got to face in the 3rd season, though with all the demons that were released (an awesome moment that took me back to Smallville and the release of the Phantoms from the Phantom Zone) I’m sure they’ll have their work cut out for them. πŸ™‚

We also watched the movie-adaptation of Jose Saramago’s Blindness on the weekend… The only thing that spoiled an otherwise excellent movie was the motivation of Julianne Moore’s character – being the only person who can see among hundreds who can’t, she decides that she’ll let herself (and the women who joined her) be subjected to rape for food. Huh?! Maybe someone can explain this to me, but putting myself in that position just wouldn’t be something I would want to do. You have such a huge advantage over everyone else, and you still want to go ahead and punish yourself like that? For what? Anyway. The rest of the movie was great, and I will recommend it, but I will also be reading the book at some time. πŸ™‚

I am now about 400 pages into Stephen King’s Under the Dome, and it’s incredible so far! πŸ™‚ The King is definitely pulling out all the stops here, and I’ve been getting that same epic-vibe from Dome that I got from The Stand, even though The Stand was a cross-country kind of novel and Dome is set in one town. The characters are amazing, the events awesome (and terrifying), and it’s really shaping up to be a shit-your-pants ride. πŸ™‚

On to the Wheel of Time – I’m really digging the titles for Book 13 and 14! πŸ™‚ Towers of Midnight is such an awesome penultimate-book-in-the-series title, don’t you think? I totally agree with those that have covered it so far that we might see a resolution to the Seanchan plot, though when you think about the outrigger novels that RJ had planned, maybe not. πŸ™‚ But at least we can hope for Tuon and Rand to finally meet and cement the Seanchan as allies of Rand in The Last Battle. And the last book – A Memory of Light. Wonderful! πŸ™‚ Thanks TOR, Harriet, Brandon! πŸ™‚

Now for a blogger-birthday: I completely missed Mark Chitty’s BDay! (Sorry Mark!) I hope you had an incredible day, got plenty of awesome books to read, and will have another incredible year! πŸ™‚ All the best!

David will also be bringing me the entire first season of Legend of the Seeker today, so I’ll have a review of Season 1 for you soon. πŸ™‚ I have to say, I’m not particularly looking forward to it, but since I am a fan of Terry Goodkind’d work, I’m sort of honour-bound to at least give it a go. (Wasn’t impressed with what I’ve seen so far, but I promise to be more optimistic!)

So, I’m also busybusybusy relocating the blog. πŸ™‚ The launch will happen as soon as I’ve finished Under the Dome (that’ll be the first review), and I’ll make an announcement here with a link to the new blog. πŸ™‚ This blog will still be around (as will all the posts on it), and David and I will still be the review-team, but I’ll be using this blog for my writing-stuff and any non-SFF stuff that I want to chat about. πŸ™‚
And I have to say, so far, Blogger is pretty cool.

What’ll I have coming up in the next few weeks? Well, hard to say. πŸ™‚ I’m hoping to have finished All Yesterday’s Tomorrows, and then I’ll be really sinking in to Brent Weeks’ work. πŸ™‚ I’m also itching to give Glenda Larke a go, and then get my re-read of Steven Erikson done so that I can read Dust of Dreams. I’m also hoping to get an ARC of The Other Lands (available to order now!), and then there’ll be a host of indie-published books that I’ll be reviewing (have to get those done!). Will everything work according to plan? Probably not! πŸ™‚

Anyway, that’s me for now – will be back with another post tomorrow. πŸ™‚



Posted by on September 22, 2009 in Announcements, Musings


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

The What-I’m-Reading Update

Okay, so I have absolutely nothing lined up for today. πŸ™‚ I’m still busy reading, though, so I thought I might as well give you all an update on how that’s progressing.

Okay, I’ll start off with the Find of the Month – Paul Hoffman’s The Left hand of God. I’ve tried to find other info about this book, not even Amazon listings, though I have managed to find out (and this is by no means a fact) that apparently Paul works for the BBC as a scriptwriter, and that this book was auctioned and (incredibly) foreign rights for 20 countries were sold overnight. As soon as I’ve got a working camera at hand I’ll post a pic of the cover (since I can’t find that, either), but the book will be coming out 2010 (sometime) from Orbit (as far as I can tell) and it’s going to take the fantasy world by storm. It’s incredible! I can honestly say I haven’t been this excited about a book and a debut author since Peter V Brett’s The Painted Man around this time last year. You will hate me for this, but I’m not going to post a review of this book when I’m done – I will instead post any info that I find, and keep the review on hold for when the book is published. πŸ™‚

***UPDATE: Thanks to edifanob I have some info you can check out regarding Paul’s excellent debut; in one link you can see the cover, but it’s so small it doesn’t really do it justice. The other link details the announcement of Penguin acquiring world rights. πŸ™‚ Thanks edifanob!

Next up, Warhammer and Warhammer 40K: I’m reading Chapter War, Heldenhammer and Dawn of War at the moment, enjoying them all. Chapter War is grim, intense and I’m very, very curious about the Souldrinkers Chapter. πŸ™‚ Heldenhammer is great; Graham McNeill really knows how to tell a story, and they way he’s telling the tale of Sigmar in this book suits the world Sigmar was made in – it really has that epic, wild feel about it. πŸ™‚ Dawn of War is also damn cool – I finished the first DoW game about 2 weeks before starting to read the book (I’m now practicing to kick some ass in LANs), and not only is the book a great companion to the game (and vice versa) but a great 40K novel. πŸ™‚

All of Yesterdays Tomorrows by Corey Cotta: I have to say, first up, that this novel has a lot of potential, but that I’m not entirely hooked so far. There’s an aspect of writing -emotion- that seems to be a bit lacking in the story (so far), but I’m hoping that’ll change as I progress through the book. πŸ™‚

Slights by Kaaron Warren: utterly creepy and brilliant. I’ll leave it at that for the moment. πŸ™‚

A Darkness Forged in Fire by Chris Evans: I was a bit scared that the book would be peppered with stereotypical characters, but was pleasantly proved wrong. Very cool so far. πŸ™‚

The Riven Kingdom by Karen Miller: have to be honest and say that I’m struggling to get into this one, but I know it’s because of the marked change between this and book one of Godspeaker, Empress, so that, and the fact that this is Karen Miller I’m reading, promises good things. πŸ™‚

The Return of the Crimson Guard by Ian Cameron Esslemont: Incredible! I just keep thinking back to the almost-intimate affair that was Night of Knives, Ian has blossomed and become an incredible writer! As I am in awe of Erikson, so I am in awe of Esslemont. And if anyone else touches the Malazan world in any form, they need to get shot; leave it to these two guys. πŸ™‚

I also got some awesome new books that I will have to work in: (I will still post a pic of my TBR pile, because there’s plenty more than what I’ll list here)

A Shadow in Summer by Daniel Abraham,
Gears of War: Aspho Fields by Karen Traviss,
The Way of Shadows & Shadow’s Edge by Brent Weeks,
Medicine Road by Charles de Lint,
Shadowmarch by Tad Williams,
Cold Earth by Sarah Moss,
Transition by Iain Banks,
Winterstrike by Liz Williams,
Hater by David Moody,

and plenty, plenty more! πŸ™‚

I might even be putting up another poll soon, tell let you all help me decide what I should be reading, but we’ll see. πŸ™‚



Posted by on July 13, 2009 in Musings


Wheel of Time Graphic Novel Preview: My Thoughts

I know this news is old but I thought I would revisit it and offer my thoughts on the preview. πŸ™‚

First off, the cover:


Amazing! Our first sight of in-novel Lews Therin Telamon and he looks great! The muscles don’t bug me at all – after all, the Forsaken Sammael was a big man, too, and both had always been described as similar. I also like (yikes, might be the wrong word, lets change that, shall we?) feel Lews’ pain through the expression on his face – you can see by his slightly raised arms that he feels utterly helpless and shattered. I like his garments, too – not too ostentatious, and the ancient Aes Sedai symbols look great! We also see Ilyena Sunhair for the first time, although I s’pose it’s not much of a view. One mistake, though: the painting or tapestry on the wall to the right (probably a painting) shouldn’t be damaged. It was driven home in the Prologue how Lews’ insanity-driven channelling hadn’t touched the various artworks in his home. And it would have been cool to at least see Elan Morin Tedronai’s shadow lying across Lews. πŸ™‚ But overall, awesome! πŸ™‚

First Image after the cover:


Now, I’m not sure if this is part of the Prologue comic but it would make sense if it is – this is obviously based on the short piece added to the split-edition of The Eye of the World, in which we meet younger versions of the gang. That’s obviously Egwene, just having returned from a well or the river (probably the river, since I can’t think that a well would be outside Emond’s Field). The Raven is cool, as is the tree. I wouldn’t be surprised if the veiny things, vines or whatever, will be a colour evoking decay and corruption, reminding us of Shaitan. I’m also very glad that her hair isn’t braided! πŸ™‚

Second Image after the cover:


I really like this one, makes me wonder if there isn’t some foreshadowing going on? Three trees have now been revealed and with the Raven they could symbolize the Seanchan, Egwene’s future enemies in the Rebel Aes Sedai camp, and her enemies in Tar Valon (these all being the trees), while the Raven represents Shaitan. What do you think?

Third Image after the cover:


Our first view of Emond’s Field and Tam al’Thor! πŸ™‚ (IMO) Somehow I was expecting a bigger view of Rand’s hometown, but maybe that’s being left till when Rand and Tam arrive with Bela, so that the whole Winternight episode carries more weight. And my logic tells me that Rand is the small kid closest to Tam.

Fourth Image after the cover:


But then this image makes me think that maybe this entire scene is taking place on the Al’Thor farm? If that’s the case, then maybe we have to brace ourselves for some changes to the narrative.

Fifth Image after the cover:


Rand, Mat and Perrin? My guess is: Mat is the one leaning against the fence-post, Rand is the one standing with his hand on the sheep, and Perrin is the one with the longer hair (from the first panel). Anyone know for sure?

Sixth Image after the cover:


First glimpse of Bran Al’Vere? (Last panel) Can’t imagine what he’d be doing in a sheep-pen though? But then I realize he may be a judge and that it’s Bel Tine! πŸ™‚

Seventh Image after the cover:


The real Tam? Seems a better Tam than my first guess. Preparing to tell them about the War of the Powers… πŸ™‚

Eighth Image after the cover:


Very cool image! Trollocs trollocs trollocs!! And war and flames and male Aes Sedai in battle! πŸ™‚

Ninth Image after the cover:


I like how they’ve done this, showing the action behind Rand and the rest – more foreshadowing? Death and destruction following in Rand’s wake as he tries to unify the world for Tarmon Gai’don?

Tenth Image after the cover:


First glimpse of Cenn Buie? And I’m thinking Egwene made a remark about Tam’s tale that drew their attention to her. πŸ™‚ And are those more ravens streaming up out the forest?

I’m pretty damned pumped for this! Cannot wait to see the finished product! πŸ™‚

Be Fantastic!


Posted by on April 14, 2009 in Musings


Tags: , , , ,

The Wheel of Time: My Defense of TOR and The Gathering Storm

So, The Gathering Storm Approaches. After following the epic adventures of the Dragon Reborn for the past seven years (yes, I’m still practically a WOT-newbie) I can’t help but feel utter relief!

When the news broke of Robert Jordan’s death my first thought was complete and utter sadness. Mr Jordan had proved himself to be one of the greatest storytellers that has ever lived, and to lose him was to lose something incredibly precious. I mean, here in South Africa kids are leaving High School at the end of Grade Twelve and can’t even properly spell or read. The libraries in schools are filled with old, dusty volumes, and although there will always be gems there, kids can’t be bothered to look anymore.

Now, they need time for Hannah Montana and High School Musical and PSPs and X-Box’s. Now, it’s more important that you look like you’ve just stepped out of a magazine than accruing the knowledge you need to live happily and successfully. The world is changing, moving away from everything we, as a species, have begun to take for granted, and Robert Jordan was one of those special people who Kept The Forces At Bay with his work.

To step into the Wheel of Time is to step into your own hopes and fears and dreams and experiences, because Robert Jordan wrote in such a way that everyone who’s ever read his work feels a kinship to at least one of the characters; and not only that, the world itself, though completely different to ours, is subtly the very same world we know. Mr Jordan was able (and this will never change, at least until some weird virus or religious cult starts destroying books) to open our eyes to the world around us and its people by taking us into his world.

And so, of course, it was incredibly important that his work be finished. His wife and editor, Harriet, knew this. She knows how important the Wheel of Time is to the world, and I don’t really care if someone thinks that I’m being melodramatic, bugger you if you do, because its true. To say the the Wheel of Time brought people together is an understatement. To say the the Wheel of Time will, as long as memory can keep it so, be one of the biggest and best fantasy works in history is an understatement. And to think that the publishers are in it just to make money is just plain dumb.

Would we have spent less money if A Memory of Light was kept in one volume? Would we have spent more? How does anyone quantify that?

Let’s say it had been kept as one volume – at last glance, Brandon Sanderson has said that A Memory of Light may very well exceed 750 thousand words. How much would such a book cost, just to cover the production costs of getting it into one volume? How many times could you read such a volume before the book literally broke in half? How pissed off would you be that you’ve shelled out x-amount in cash for the conclusion to the Wheel of Time, and it’s breaks in your hands?

And remember, this is a book that all fans, everywhere, will be practically selling kidneys to read. How are Londoners riding the tube going to read such a book? How is anyone going to be able to relax on a bed or on a couch with such a monster in their hands? It’s uncomfortable, point.

So I, for one, am very glad that they’re splitting the final book into three parts. Sure, we won’t be getting it all at once, but does it really matter? This is something to savor and celebrate! Even though Mr Jordan is gone, it’ll still feel like he’s sitting in front of that computer in the carriage house, typing away and getting everything done. Sure, Brandon Sanderson is finishing A Memory of Light, but how many times has he said that it is Robert Jordan’s book? This is Mr Jordan’s vision, a vision we’ve been pulled into and fell in love with and enjoyed, a vision that has, no doubt about it, generated plenty of money for TOR. But do you honestly think that TOR doesn’t give a damn about us fans? I could never agree with that.

And do you honestly think that Harriet would let TOR do what they wanted, anyway? For Harriet it’s not about TOR getting the capstone to an incredible series, it’s not even really about the fans, in my opinion. I think the most important thing for her is that it brings to an end the career of a fantasy legend with love and respect, that it really begins his legacy, and that she will do what she needs to respect the memory of her husband with as much love as possible. Remember, this wasn’t just a man she edited books for. This was her husband, and every decision she ever made was to help him write better and to make the books, including A Memory of Light, the best books that they could be.

Okay, I’ve said my piece. πŸ™‚ But don’t take my word for it – this is, after all, just my opinion. Go ahead and read the posts by Pat and Brandon, and read the interview with Harriet at Dragonmount, and you’ll have the best info you need to decide whether or not A Memory of Light in 3 Parts is the best way to go or not.

Be Fantastic!



Posted by on April 6, 2009 in Musings


Tags: , ,

Check out these Moon-wheels!

Can you see the SF-retro feel of this Moon Buggy? πŸ™‚ Although it’s still a concept only, I think it’s awesome! It’s about damn time we got back to the Moon, and we needed a transportation-upgrade! πŸ™‚

Leave a comment

Posted by on January 20, 2009 in Musings


Tags: ,

The South African Post Office Sucks

Please excuse me while I rant a bit. 😦

Remember wayyy back when I won a Limited Edition Signed Copy of Peter F Hamilton’s The Temporal Void on Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist? Well, it arrived, but the Post Office didn’t let me know, and it was sent back, or vanished, or something, because I never picked it up. Except, the thing is I was at the Post Office every damn weekend, asking if it was there, checking their ‘books’ to see if the book had arrived, and every time they said that it hadn’t! 😦 So Pat, if you ever read this, I’m really sorry that you may receive the book back, but it was out of my hands and they buggered me around. 😦

And Jo Graham, 😦 I never received your second book for the same reason. The book arrived, but they never let me know, and each time I was there, they told me that if it wasn’t recorded in their ‘books’ then it hadn’t arrived. So I’m really sorry about that – but as soon as I see it on the shelves here I’ll get myself a copy and read and review it! πŸ™‚

Anyway, ranting’s done. Had to get that off my chest. Bloody Third-World systems and mentality’s…. 😦


Posted by on January 20, 2009 in Musings


Tags: , ,

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone! πŸ™‚ I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, and that your still-felt entry into 2009 was kickass! πŸ™‚

I guess you’ve all realized that I was away for a while – busy at work (no holiday for me) and many things came up that drained my time, so sorry about that. 😦

But 2009 is promising to be a big year! Not only have we got some incredible SFF novels coming our way this year, but there are some great movies on the way too; 2009 is the year of the Star Wars Live-Action TV Series, and I for one cannot wait to see it! πŸ™‚

On the updating side of things, I’ve finished Michael Sullivan’s The Crown Conspiracy and I’ll have that review up for you tomorrow. πŸ™‚ One of the presents my girlfriend got me was a copy of A Game of Thrones. Yes, I am reading the first book in GRRM’s A Song of Ice and Fire, and this is already one of the best books I’ve ever picked up. I mean, I’ve read the first volume of GRRM’s Dreamsongs, but this? Damn he can write! I am thoroughly hooked – even read through Smallville’s seventh-series finalΓ¨! πŸ™‚ All the hype is well-deserved! πŸ™‚

And if there’s anyone out there wondering why it’s taken me so long to get my hands on A Game of Thrones… well, put it this way: here in South Africa, the publishers who distribute The Wheel of Time novels didn’t even know that Book 12 was being written by Brandon Sanderson. I was the one who informed them. 😦 Now do you understand? We are wayyyy behind – and not just when it comes to the time it takes for books to reach us. 😦 Anyway, I’m just moaning, so I’ll stop. πŸ™‚

I’ll also be starting Bruce Skye’s Greyrider soon (in the next two or three days). πŸ™‚

Okay, that’s about it! Hope you’re all sleeping / recovering / still drunk / enjoying whatever you’re doing / reading! πŸ™‚

Be Fantastic!


Posted by on January 2, 2009 in Musings


The Publishing Industry

Those who know me and the fact that I’m both a blogger and work in a bookshop (and therefor, have a tenuous connection to the publishing industry) think that I’m damn lucky; I love reading, have a huge book collection, get discount when I buy, (used) to go to publisher’s evenings and got free books, people from all over the world (hopefully) now take my opinions into consideration when deciding what to read next, and the three major publishers here in South Africa send me books to review.

I’m straddling the border here, and there is one unfortunate thing: one side of my balancing act seems to be feeling the beginning of the economic rumblings…

Check out this and this; I’ve been following David Durham’s thoughts on the matter (these two posts), and have read the posts he linked to, and although I agree that we shoudn’t devolve into panic, we should follow Scalzi’s advice. πŸ™‚

Leave a comment

Posted by on December 5, 2008 in Musings


Tags: , ,

One day while doing our grocery shopping…

… I got a phone call from my Human Resources Manager. As soon as I knew who it was, my heart did this funny little lurching jump, and by the end of our conversation, I was practically in tears. No joke here, I was very emotional.

We basically spoke about some of us booksellers once again having a job. πŸ™‚ Here’s the gist of what happened: a bigger company (and bigger means much more money) bought the company at an auction, and after much deliberation, they decided to a)close some of the stores for good, b) convert some of the stores into Bargain Books, and c) keep the most profitable stores open, for at least the next 3 months.

So tomorrow I’ll be signing my new 3 month contract, and I’ll also be getting the rest of my October salary on Tuesday or Wednesday! πŸ™‚ So, this post is dedicated to good news!!! πŸ™‚ I’ve got a job again! πŸ™‚

This brings me to the next thing: I’m going to try my damndest and get giveaways going here. πŸ™‚ I’ll swing my proposal by the publishers here in SA, see what they have to say, and let you all know as soon as I know. πŸ™‚

And last but not least, I’ve decided on the next book I’ll be reading! πŸ™‚ I asked you guys to help me out in this post, and since I’ve been reading pleanty of Fantasy the last while, I thought I’d go with the next option (votes-wise), so I chose Incandescence by Greg Egan. πŸ™‚ I’m about a hundred pages in at the moment, and let me tell you, it boggles my mind! This is an intense hard-SF book, not emotionally, but in terms of the concepts. πŸ™‚ I’m really enjoying it, so I should have that review for you in the next week or two. πŸ™‚

Okay, I’m off to smoke a cigarette, watch Awake, and then I’ll be posting a new interview later! πŸ™‚

Be Fantastic!

P.S. thanks to Liz, Mark, Carole, Peter, and everyone else who sent their support and best wishes through – you guys all helped me get through one of the scariest moments in my life (so far), and I could never thank you all enough! πŸ™‚


Posted by on November 2, 2008 in Announcements, Musings


Tags: , , , ,



C.T. Phipps

Author of horror, sci-fi, and superheroes.

M.D. Thalmann

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.

Greyhart Press

Publisher of Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, and Thrillers

Joseph D'Lacey

My pen is my compass. It points to the page.

This Is Horror

The Voice of Horror


Book, comic and sometimes film reviews

The Talkative Writer

Musings by speculative fiction author Karen Miller

Cohesion Press

The Battle Has Just Begun

Indie Hero

Brian Marggraf, Author of Dream Brother: A Novel, Independent publishing advocate, New York City dweller

Paws in the Porridge

'She is like a muse...who kicks people in the face.'

Matthew Sylvester

father, author, martial artist



Shannon A Thompson

Science Fiction and Fantasy Author