Friday, April 30, 2010

Edi's LighthouseLedger: Read in April - Plan for May 2010

2 comments
Dear readers,
I can describe my current condition with just one word: EXHAUSTED!
But that will not hinder me to write this post. It will just take a bit longer.

Books read in April 2010
In April I read more books than in the first two months of the year!
In sum I read six books and nearly finished two other books!

Once Bitten (2009, 272 p.)
[ISBN-13: 978-0980245394], by Kalayna Price
Definitely not my taste.

Twice Dead (2010, 266 p.)
[ISBN-13: 978-0984325672], by Kalayna Price
The second book in the series. From my point of view better than the first one but still not my taste.

The Empress of Mars (2010)
[ISBN-13: 978-0765325518], by Kage Baker
Great read! Expect a review within May 2010.

Ghosts of Manhattan (June 2010, 275 p.)
[ISBN-13: 978-1906727161], by George Mann
One of my top reads so far. Read my review

The Time Traveller's Guide To Medieval England (June 2009, 368 p.)
[ISBN-13: 978-1845950996], by Ian Mortimer
Beyond fantasy... Awesome! Read my review

The Sweet Smell of Decay (June 2009, 448 p.)
[ISBN-13: 978-1905636426], by Paul Lawrence
I loved it. Review will be posted on May 2nd 2010

Beat the Reaper (2009)
[ISBN-13: 978-0316073769], by Josh Bazell
In progress... Will be finished soon

Silver (January 2010, 432 p.)
[ISBN-13: 978-1935142058] by Steven Savile.
In progress... Will be finished soon

Planned Reads in May 2010

Of course I will finish the two books from last month:

Beat the Reaper (2009)
[ISBN-13: 978-0316073769], by Josh Bazell
In progress... Will be finished soon

Silver (January 2010, 432 p.)
[ISBN-13: 978-1935142058] by Steven Savile.
In progress... Will be finished soon

Beside that I feel the need to read more books like a vampire needs blood. So I put together and ambitious list of eleven books. Not all of them are door-stoppers. Of course I try to review as many of them as possible. That also means will be more review orientated. I'm not the man for daily posts.

And these are my "players" for the May game:

City of Ruin (June 2010, 400 p.)
[ISBN-13: 978-0230712591], by Mark Charan Newton
"Viliren: a city of sin that is being torn apart from the inside. Hybrid creatures shamble through shadows and barely human gangs fight turf wars for control of the streets. Amidst this chaos, Commander Brynd Adaol, commander of the Night Guard, must plan the defence of Viliren against a race that has broken through from some other realm and already slaughtered hundreds of thousands of the Empire's people. When a Night Guard soldier goes missing, Brynd requests help from the recently arrived Inquisitor Jeryd. He discovers this is not the only disappearance the streets of Viliren. It seems that a serial killer of the most horrific kind is on the loose, taking hundreds of people from their own homes. A killer that cannot possibly be human. The entire population of Viliren must unite to face an impossible surge of violent and unnatural enemies or the city will fall. But how can anyone save a city that is already a ruin?"
The blurb sounds mouth-watering. Follow me to City of Ruin on May 7th 2010.

I have had a damned good time with Nights of Villjamur (HC, June 2009) [ISBN-13: 978-0230712584] or (PB, June 2010)[ISBN-13: 978-0330461665] , the first novel in the Legends of the Red Sun series.
And there are some news for people in UK as Mark posted on his blog:
"Just a quick update. Today I received an email from Julie, Queen of Tor UK, telling me that I can go public with this: The paperback of Nights of Villjamur has been chosen as Waterstone’s SFF Bookseller’s Choice for the month of June." [Full post]
No month without a steampunk novel. Author Nick Valentino has been so kind to send my a signed copy of his debut novel Thomas Riley (2010) [ISBN-13: 978-1590807002] and promised him to read and review his book:
Let's have a look at the blurb:
"For more than twenty years West Canvia and Lemuria have battled one another in a constant war.
From the safety of his laboratory, weapons designer Thomas Riley has cleverly and proudly empowered the West Canvian forces with his brilliant designs. But when a risky alchemy experiment goes horribly wrong, Thomas and his wily assistant, Cynthia Bassett, are thrust onto the front lines of battle.
Forced into shaky alliances with murderous sky pirates in a deadly race to kidnap the only man who can undo the damage--the mad genius behind Lemuria's cunning armaments--Thomas' own genius is put to the ultimate test." [Back of the book]
For more information visit Sir Thomas Riley.

Normally I'm not so keen to read short stories. But I want to give following anthology a try:
Swords & Dark Magic (July 2010) [ISBN-13: 978-0061723810], edited by Jonathan Strahan and Lou Anders.
"Swords & Dark Magic is the most important new fantasy anthology to be published this decade. Featuring new stories from the bestselling and brightest writers working in the genre, including: New York Times bestselling authors Scott Lynch and Garth Nix; genre greats Michael Moorcock (with an all-new Elric novella), Michael Shea (with a fully authorized new Cugel the Clever adventure), Robert Silverberg (with an all-new Majipoor tale), Glen Cook (with an all-new Black Company story), Gene Wolfe, and C. J. Cherryh; and hot new writers who've been re-inventing swords and sorcery like Steven Erikson, Joe Abercrombie, Tim Lebbon, and many more." [Back of the book]

You miss a science fiction book? No problem. Here is my May 2010 choice. In 2009 I read The Mirrored Heavens (2008) [ISBN-13: 978-0553591569], by David J. Williams. This is the first book in the Autumn Rain trilogy. End of May 2010 the final volume The Machinery of Light (2010) [ISBN-13: 978-0553385434] will be published. Until then I want to read the second book in the series:
Burning Skies (2009) [ISBN-13: 978-0553385427]
"In his electrifying debut, The Mirrored Heavens, David J. Williams created a dark futuristic world grounded in the military rivalries, terror tactics, and political wrangling of our own time. Now he takes his masterful blend of military SF, espionage thriller, and dystopian cyberpunk one step further - to the edge of annihilation . . . .
Life as U.S. counterintelligence agent Claire Haskell once knew it is in tatters - her mission betrayed, her lover dead, and her memories of the past suspect. Worse, the defeat of the mysterious insurgent group known as Autumn Rain was not as complete as many believed. It is quickly becoming clear that the group's ultimate goal is not simply to destroy the tenuous global alliances of the 22nd century - but to rule all of humanity. And they're starting with the violent destruction of the Net and the assassination of the U.S. president. Now it's up to Claire, with her ability to jack her brain into the systems of the enemy, to win this impossible war.
Battling ferociously across the Earth-Moon system, and navigating a complex world filled with both steadfast loyalists and ruthless traitors, Claire must be ready for the Rain's next move. But the true enemy may already be one step ahead of her." [Source]
Seak and I work on a combined review of the trilogy.......

I think I'm not the only one who buys books and then forget the book because of buying other books. Fortunately there is a kind of "rescue" for "forgotten" books. Reviews from other bloggers.
One of these books is The Gaslight Dogs (April 2010) [ISBN-13: 978-0316021791] by Karin Lowachee.
"At the edge of the known world, an ancient nomadic tribe faces a new enemy-an Empire fueled by technology and war.
A young spiritwalker of the Aniw and a captain in the Ciracusan army find themselves unexpectedly thrown together. The Aniw girl, taken prisoner from her people, must teach the reluctant soldier a forbidden talent - one that may turn the tide of the war and will surely forever brand him an outcast.
From the rippling curtains of light in an Arctic sky, to the gaslit cobbled streets of the city, war is coming to the frozen north. Two people have a choice that will decide the fates of nations - and may cast them into a darkness that threatens to bring destruction to both their peoples."
Thanks to Kristen from Fantasy Cafe for her Gaslight Dogs review and thanks to Andrew Liptak from SF Signal for his Gaslight Dogs review. And in case you like the cover then you can download a wallpaper of the cover by following this link.

I ordered the following book last year in advance and I can't wait to read it.
The Strange Affair of Spring-Heeled Jack (April 30th 2010) [ISBN-13: 978-1906727208] by Mark Hodder
"It is 1861, and Albertian Britain is in the grip of conflicting forces. Engineers transform the landscape with bigger, faster, noisier and dirtier technological wonders; Eugenicists develop specialist animals to provide unpaid labour; Libertines oppose restrictive and unjust laws and flood the country with propaganda demanding a society based on beauty and creativity; while The Rakes push the boundaries of human behaviour to the limits with magic, sexuality, drugs and anarchy. Returning from his failed expedition to find the source of the Nile, explorer, linguist, scholar and swordsman Sir Richard Francis Burton finds himself sucked into the perilous depths of this moral and ethical vacuum when the Prime Minister, Lord Palmerston, employs him as "King's Spy". His first mission: to investigate the sexual assaults committed by a weird apparition known as Spring Heeled Jack; to find out why chimney sweeps are being kidnapped by half-man, half-dog creatures; and to discover the whereabouts of his badly injured former friend, John Hanning Speke. Accompanied by the diminutive and pain-loving poet, Algernon Swinburne, Burton's investigations lead him back to one of the defining events of the age: the brutal assassination of Queen Victoria in 1840; and the terrifying possibility that the world he inhabits shouldn't exist at all." [Source]

And this is another debut novel. I read the first chapter and have been intrigued. Now I want to know whether I like the rest of the book too.
I talk about Wintercraft (May 13th, 2010) [ISBN-13: 978-0755370962] by Jenna Burtenshaw.
"Ten years ago Kate Winters' parents were taken by the High Council's wardens to help with the country's war effort. Now the wardens are back...and prisoners, including Kate's uncle Artemis, are taken south on the terrifying Night Train. Kate and her friend Edgar are hunted by a far more dangerous enemy. Silas Dane -- the High Council's most feared man -- recognises Kate as one of the Skilled; a rare group of people able to see through the veil between the living and the dead. His spirit was damaged by the High Council's experiments into the veil, and he's convinced that Kate can undo the damage and allow him to find peace. The knowledge Kate needs lies within Wintercraft -- a book thought to be hidden deep beneath the graveyard city of Fume. But the Night of Souls, when the veil between life and death is at its thinnest, is just days away and the High Council have their own sinister plans for Kate and Wintercraft. To help Artemis, Edgar and herself, Kate must honour her pact with a murderer and come face to face with the true nature of death." [Source]
So far I read two Dan Simmons novels in my life: Terror (2008) [ISBN-13: 978-3453406131] and Drood (2009) [ISBN-13: 978-1847249326]. Both are excellent books - read my review of Drood. I bought the next novel Black Hills (2010) [ISBN-13: 978-0316072656] without hesitation.
"When Paha Sapa, a young Sioux warrior, "counts coup" on General George Armstrong Custer as Custer lies dying on the battlefield at the Little Bighorn, the legendary general's ghost enters him - and his voice will speak to him for the rest of his event-filled life.
Seamlessly weaving together the stories of Paha Sapa, Custer, and the American West, Dan Simmons depicts a tumultuous time in the history of both Native and white Americans. Haunted by Custer's ghost, and also by his ability to see into the memories and futures of legendary men like Sioux war-chief Crazy Horse, Paha Sapa's long life is driven by a dramatic vision he experienced as a boy in his people's sacred Black Hills. In August of 1936, a dynamite worker on the massive Mount Rushmore project, Paha Sapa plans to silence his ghost forever and reclaim his people's legacy-on the very day FDR comes to Mount Rushmore to dedicate the Jefferson face." [Source]
It is on my shelf since two months and now the time has come to read it. But I'm not sure whether to write a review or not. The reason is quite simple: I read the ultimate Black Hills review. Go and read Black Hills review over at Kamvision. I don't need to praise this review more because it tells its own tale.....


I have been so impressed by The Sweet Smell of Decay that I ordered the second book in the series in advance.
I hope the book will be delivered in time.

A Plague of Sinners (May 2010, 448 p.) [ISBN-13: 978-1905636914], by Paul Lawrence
"July 1665. The great plague rages rampant outside London’s city walls. Harry Lytle makes a welcome return after his trials and tribulations in The Sweet Smell of Decay to investigate the murder of the Earl of St Albans. A grisly dinner-table death starts Harry off on the trail, and it’s not long before his familiar accomplice, Dowling the butcher, joins him on the case. Their master, Lord Arlington, head of the King’s intelligence service, tasks them with uncovering the name and motive of the Earl’s murderer. But there will be plenty more deaths and scrapes for Harry before the name is revealed."

Fortunately the blurb does not contain spoilers. I hope you believe me that I can't wait to read it. Paul Lawrence's writing is so alluring......


I loved Soulless (2009) [ISBN-13: 978-0316056632], the first book in the Parasol Protectorate series.
It was the first book ever I "hijacked". I wrote in my review:
"For me Gail Carriger is the Ada Lovelace of the urban steampunk romance!
...
Soulless is a three S story: Sassy, Steamy, Smart."
Therefore the next one on the list is the second book in the Parasol Protectorate series:
Changeless (April 2010, 374 p.) [ISBN-13: 978-0316074148], by Gail Carriger.
"Alexia Tarabotti, the Lady Woolsey, awakens in the wee hours of the mid-afternoon to find her husband, who should be decently asleep like any normal werewolf, yelling at the top of his lungs. Then he disappears - leaving her to deal with a regiment of supernatural soldiers encamped on her doorstep, a plethora of exorcised ghosts, and an angry Queen Victoria. But Alexia is armed with her trusty parasol, the latest fashions, and an arsenal of biting civility. Even when her investigations take her to Scotland, the backwater of ugly waistcoats, she is prepared: upending werewolf pack dynamics as only the soulless can. She might even find time to track down her wayward husband, if she feels like it." [Source]



A
nd this is the last one.
The following book got really mixed critics. As I received a copy of the book, I can build up my mind on my own. I talk about Shadow Prowler (Feruary 2010, 396 p.) [ISBN-13: 978-0765324030] by Alexey Pehov, which is the first book in the epic fantasy trilogy The Chronicles of Siala.
"After centuries of calm, the Nameless One is stirring.
An army is gathering; thousands of giants, ogres, and other creatures are joining forces from all across the Desolate Lands, united, for the first time in history, under one black banner. By the spring, or perhaps sooner, the Nameless One and his forces will be at the walls of the great city of Avendoom.
Unless Shadow Harold, master thief, can find some way to stop them." [Source]

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Edi's Lighthouse Chatter: Expect the unexpected

0 comments
Dear Readers,

I should know it. But once a while I forget to expect the unexpected. I like to plan things and I hate it when my plans are crisscrossed by unexpected events. Don't get me wrong. Unexpected is completely different from spontaneity.
There have been a lot of unexpected things this week which have had an impact on my posts.

This is the new plan for the upcoming weekend:

2010-04-28 Edi's Lighthouse Chatter: Always expect the unexpected

2010-04-30 Edi's LighthouseLedger: Read in April - Plan for May 2010


2010-05-01 Edi's Weekend Wave #18


2010-05-02 Edi's Spotlight: The Sweet Smell of Decay by Paul Lawrence


I'm still a child a heart. So I can't let you go today without following two videos.
I love pop-up books. I don't want to comment any further. They are awesome. Enjoy...



Sunday, April 25, 2010

Edi's Lighthouse Chatter: Where is the review?

2 comments
Dear Readers,

today I wanted to post a review of The Sweet Smell of Decay (June 2009, 448 p.)
[ISBN-13: 978-1905636426], by Paul Lawrence
"It's London,1664, and Harry has a big problem. He's just discovered he has a young cousin, Anne Giles, and he’s had the pleasure of meeting her for the first time – mutilated and laid out on the slab for an autopsy. His father has tasked him with job of tracking down Anne’s murderer. Harry has some robust assistance from one David Dowling, a resourceful and impressively well-built, but equally hygiene-deficient, butcher. Together they follow a trail of blood, conspiracy and corruption that takes them to the dark and murky corners of Restoration London, featuring a great cast of ne'er-do-wells, cheeky wenches, harmless witches, likeable villains, and not a few unsavoury fellows keen on sending Lytle and his companion to an early grave"
As you see there is no review. I finished the book this morning and to be honest the time was to short to write a proper review within today. I hope you will understand.

But I can tell you so far that the first novel in the The Chronicles of Harry Lytle series has been a great, great read. Please expect my review on April 27th 2010.

I have been so impressed by The Sweet Smell of Decay that today I ordered the second book in the series in advance.
A Plague of Sinners (May 2010, 448 p.) [ISBN-13: 978-1905636914], by Paul Lawrence
"July 1665. The great plague rages rampant outside London’s city walls. Harry Lytle makes a welcome return after his trials and tribulations in The Sweet Smell of Decay to investigate the murder of the Earl of St Albans. A grisly dinner-table death starts Harry off on the trail, and it’s not long before his familiar accomplice, Dowling the butcher, joins him on the case. Their master, Lord Arlington, head of the King’s intelligence service, tasks them with uncovering the name and motive of the Earl’s murderer. But there will be plenty more deaths and scrapes for Harry before the name is revealed."

Fortunately the blurb does not contain spoilers. I hope you believe me that I can't wait to read it. Paul Lawrence's writing is so alluring......

Let me finish this post with a tasty morsel quoted from The Sweet Smell of Decay:

"There are lessons to be learned in the art of being imprisoned. These include:

1) Eat all the food they give you, no matter how foul it is. Else the rats will come and eat it.

2) Choose one corner in which you sit. Take care that it is not the lower part of the floor. Use the farthest corner to piss and shit.

3) Regard your body and your mind as two different entities. If you cannot dissociate your brain from the rats and the roaches and all the bugs that walk about your body, the you will go mad." [p. 357+358]

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Edi's Weekend Wave #17

4 comments
Hello and welcome to issue #17 of Edi's Weekend Wave. This is a tough weekend for me. Three consecutive posts including two reviews, additional work for the company,gym and less sleep. I times like these I tend to listen to just one song again and again - for hours. Since three days I listen to Don't Tell Me That It's Over by Amy Macdonald. Insane? Maybe. I do it because it is good for my mood. I still surprised that I find time for reading. So far I'm totally happy with the books I chose. Enjoy reading .....

Edi's Guidepost

The Lighthouse
News and information straight from the horse's mouth by Lighthouse keeper ediFanoB
  1. Thoughts.....
Books
The latest report from our shelf shop net correspondent Bona
  1. Books received this week
  2. One more book for my list
Blogosphere
Messages from the depths of the blogosphere by spheronaut Bona Fide
  1. Tatty's Treasure Chest
  2. Reviews which remind me to read a book
  3. Google reader discovery
  4. Alternate History
Movies
Remote control junkie Fide and his zapping highlights
  1. The Sorcerer's Apprentice
Quotes
The member of the house of quotes and a quote himself the Keeper of the minutes ( we call him Kotm) fished for you
  1. German proverbs, sayings and idioms NOTHING. . . . .

The Lighthouse

I'm still thinking about my posting scheme. A lot depends on the time I have to spend at work. And I have an overwhelming desire to read, read, read.... My interview format is still in progress - maybe my expectations are a way to high..... There is still the giveaway which I wanted to do within April...... And then there are these thoughts before I fall asleep. Was it the right decision to start an own blog? Are two or three posts per week sufficient?
We will see.....

Books

Dear readers, I'm the one to tell you about books - only books? What about novellas and other stuff? My name is Bona. I scour shelves, shops and the net for books. If you call me a book whore I would not gainsay you. But be aware I have my own, sometimes elusive taste.

This week we received just one book.
Author Nick Valentino has been so kind to send my a signed copy of his debut novel Thomas Riley (2010) [ISBN-13: 978-1590807002] and a wonderful Thomas Riley bookmark (we love bookmarks).
You can expect a review within May 2010. Thomas Riley is a steampunk adventure novel for reade of the age of 13 and up - Fortunately up because we all passed the age of 13 in eighteen hundred and .......... No, No, No, we are not immortal but some years older than 13.
Let's have a look at the blurb:
"For more than twenty years West Canvia and Lemuria have battled one another in a constant war.
From the safety of his laboratory, weapons designer Thomas Riley has cleverly and proudly empowered the West Canvian forces with his brilliant designs. But when a risky alchemy experiment goes horribly wrong, Thomas and his wily assistant, Cynthia Bassett, are thrust onto the front lines of battle.
Forced into shaky alliances with murderous sky pirates in a deadly race to kidnap the only man who can undo the damage--the mad genius behind Lemuria's cunning armaments--Thomas' own genius is put to the ultimate test." [Back of the book]
For more information visit Sir Thomas Riley.

A few days ago I read following:
......... is the best of both worlds: an alternative historic fiction set in a renaissance Venice at the height of her power, populated by supernatural creatures and backstabbing political intrigue, AND a fast-moving fantasy adventure tale of vampires, werewolves, assassins, and pirates." [Source]
I must say it aroused my interest. And after having a look at the cover and reading the blurb I decided to add the book to my list. Unfortunately it will be released in January 2011!
The Fallen Blade (January 2011) [ISBN-13: 978-0316074391] by Jon Courtenay Grimwood.
"In the depths of night, customs officers board a galley in a harbor and overpower its guards. In the hold they find oil and silver, and a naked boy chained to the bulkhead. Stunningly beautiful but half-starved, the boy has no name. The officers break the boy’s chains to rescue him, but he escapes…
Venice is at the height of its power. In theory Duke Marco commands. But Marco is a simpleton so his aunt and uncle rule in his stead. They command the seas, tax the colonies, and, like those in power before them, fear assassins better than their own…
In a side chapel, Marco’s fifteen-year old cousin prays for deliverance from her forced marriage. It is her bad fortune to be there when Mamluk pirates break in to steal a chalice, but it is the Mamluks’ good luck – they kidnap her…
In the gardens beside the chapel, Atilo, the Duke’s chief assassin, prepares to kill his latest victim. Having cut the man’s throat, he turns back, having heard a noise, and finds a boy crouched over the dying man, drinking blood from the wound. The speed with which the boy dodges a dagger and scales a wall stuns Atilo. And the assassin knows he has to find the boy…
Not to kill him, but because he’s finally found what he thought he would never find. Someone fit to be his apprentice…" [Source]
That sounds intriguing......

No more today, must go away reading the book which me hooked
See you next week ......

Blogosphere

Hey, I'm Bona Fide. I just came back from my last foray through the blogosphere. What can you expect from me? I tell you: Everything from Art to Fart as long as there is any faint connection to books. And here is some honey from the beehive blogosphere...

Do you read Children's/Young Adult literature? Then you should have a look at the new baby sister blog of Falcata Times: Tatty's Treasure Chest
So what can you expect?
"Hail Mighty Readers,
Having looked at all the titles coming out we thought that it would be a great idea to set up a seperate site that deals directly, and only with, Children's/Young Adult literature. We've done this for a number of reason's:
1) A single day a week was severely limiting how many crackers we could let you know about.
2) We could add separate categories so that you can sort your viewing out by age group, by our reviews (we have paw ratings).
3) We can bring more interviews and reviews directly to you so that you're kept abreast of whats arriving on those bookshelves and make sure that you're the superstar of either your own home or your young relatives.

We hope you'll join us on this treasure hunt and help fill your own mini reader's shelves with some absolute corkers and make reading time a pleasure for all.
Your Exploratory Researcher, Tatty"

I think I'm not the only one who buys books and then forget the book because of buying other books. Fortunately there is a kind of "rescue" for "forgotten" books. Reviews from other bloggers.
One of these books is The Gaslight Dogs (April 2010) [ISBN-13: 978-0316021791] by Karin Lowachee.
"At the edge of the known world, an ancient nomadic tribe faces a new enemy-an Empire fueled by technology and war.
A young spiritwalker of the Aniw and a captain in the Ciracusan army find themselves unexpectedly thrown together. The Aniw girl, taken prisoner from her people, must teach the reluctant soldier a forbidden talent - one that may turn the tide of the war and will surely forever brand him an outcast.
From the rippling curtains of light in an Arctic sky, to the gaslit cobbled streets of the city, war is coming to the frozen north. Two people have a choice that will decide the fates of nations - and may cast them into a darkness that threatens to bring destruction to both their peoples."
Thanks to Kristen from Fantasy Cafe for her Gaslight Dogs review and thanks to Andrew Liptak from SF Signal for his Gaslight Dogs review. I hope to read and review The Gaslight Dogs within May 2010. In the meantime read the mentioned reviews. And in case you like the cover then you can download a wallpaper of the cover by following this link.

As always I'm behind with my Google reader entries. Therefore it takes some time to read reviews I'm interested in. Yesterday I checked the entries for Fantasy Book Critic. And I found two unread reviews by Liviu Suciu. And to my suprise he reviewed two books by the same author within five weeks. I talk about two books by Ian Whate.
Let's start with the first book in the City of a Hundred Rows series and at the same time Ian Whate's debut novel: City of Dreams and Nightmare (March 2010) [ISBN-13: 978-0007345243].
"They call it the City of a Hundred Rows. The ancient city of Thaiburley is a vast, multi-tiered metropolis, where the poor live in the City Below and demons are said to dwell in the Upper Heights.
Having witnessed a murder in a part of the city he should never have been in, Tom, a lowly street-nick, has to run for his life through the City Below, Thaiburley’s unsavoury basement world. Accused of committing the murder himself, he is pursued by sky-borne assassins, Kite Guards, and agents of a darker force intent on destabilising the whole city. His only ally is Kat, a renegade like him, but she proves to have secrets of her own…" [Source]

Read Liviu's great review and you will understand why I want to read this book!

And Ian Whates is a really busy author. His second book - a science fiction novel - will hit the stores soon.I talk about The Noise Within (April 2010) [ISBN-13: 978-1906735654].
"On the brink of perfecting the long sought-after human/AI interface, Philip Kaufman finds his world thrown into turmoil as a scandal from the past returns to haunt him and dangerous information falls into his hands. Pursued by assassins and attacked in his own home, he flees. Leyton, a government black-ops specialist, is diverted from his usual duties to hunt down the elusive pirate vessel The Noise Within, wondering all the while why this particular freebooter is considered so important." [Source]
And again it was Liviu with his awesome review who convinced me that I need to add this book to my list. My science fiction book list is growing....


I'm member of the SciFi and Fantasy Book Club over at Goodreads.
The May 2010 Sci Fi Theme is Alternate History. Follow the link for the Wikipedia explanation of Alternate History. So where do you look for alternate history books? My first source recommendation is
"Uchronia: The Alternate History List is a bibliography of over 3000 novels, stories, essays and other printed material involving the "what ifs" of history.
The genre has a variety of names, but it is best known as alternate history. In an alternate history, one or more past events are changed and the subsequent effects on history somehow described. This description may comprise the entire plotline of a novel, or it may just provide a brief background to a short story. Perhaps the most common themes in alternate history are "What if the Nazis won World War II?" and "What if the Confederacy won the American Civil War?" For more about alternate history and this bibliography, please read the extended introduction."
My second recommendation is a site which I discovered two days ago.
"On this web site, we review books about alternate history - events that might have been that weren't.
  • Some of the books contain serious historical studies of what might have been if leaders of the past had made different decisions or luck had not influenced historical events in a particular way.

  • Other books that we look at, include novels or short stories - sometimes these books involve realistic changes to history that could have happened, but didn't - whereas in other cases, they involve fantastic elements such as time travel or travel between parallel worlds, dinosaurs or even or vampires"
That's it for today. Come back next week for more ......


Movies

Hey, it's me Fide. I'm a remote control professional. I'm that fast that I can watch two movies at the same time.
But don't worry. All the stuff I present to you will be shown at normal speed.

This is the latest trailer of The Sorcerer's Apprentice (release date: July 16th, 2010).
I hope the movie will be as good as the trailer shows. Synopsis:
"Balthazar Blake (NICOLAS CAGE) is a master sorcerer in modern-day Manhattan trying to defend the city from his arch-nemesis, Maxim Horvath (ALFRED MOLINA). Balthazar can’t do it alone, so he recruits Dave Stutler (JAY BARUCHEL), a seemingly average guy who demonstrates hidden potential, as his reluctant protégé. The sorcerer gives his unwilling accomplice a crash course in the art and science of magic, and together, these unlikely partners work to stop the forces of darkness. It’ll take all the courage Dave can muster to survive his training, save the city and get the girl as he becomes THE SORCERER’S APPRENTICE." [Source]



That's all for today. See you next time....

Quotes

I 'm the Keeper of the minutes. But I don't mind when you call me Kotm. No, no. I don't explain to you how to pronounce.
The original idea was ... nothing. You know that men have drawer labeled NOTHING in there brain. That is something completely beyond women's grasp. Men can hang around and think of .... NOTHING. And I can tell that is sometimes not that bad. Therefore you get today qoutes related to NOTHING.
And here we go ......

"There is nothing new under the sun but there are lots of old things we don't know.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary,US author & satirist (1842 - 1914)


"Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.
Mark Twain, US humorist, novelist, short story author, & wit (1835 - 1910)


"Art is making something out of nothing and selling it.
Frank Zappa,US musician, singer, & songwriter (1940 - 1993)


"Nothing is impossible. Some things are just less likely than others.
Jonathan Winters


"There is still a difference between something and nothing, but it is purely geometrical and there is nothing behind the geometry.
Martin Gardner,US logician, mathematician (1914 - )

Friday, April 23, 2010

Edi's Spotlight: The Time Traveller's Guide To Medieval England by Ian Mortimer

4 comments
I'm interested in history since my youth. I can't remember when I read my last history book. That is not really true because the last one I finished this morning.

Today you get a review which is quite different compared to my normal reviews. Today it is just me. No Bona, Fide, Bona Fide and the keeper of the minutes. I decided it is necessary.

Is there any relation to fantasy in general and fantasy books in particular?
The short answer is yes.
I assume you read a lot of reviews, especially reviews of fantasy books. How often we come across a medieval setting, a medieval Europe setting. And how often we complain about settings.
What is your imagination of Middle Ages? Fat monks? Knights in silver amour? Outlaws with bow and arrows? Poor countrymen? Bondmen? Kings and Queens in gorgeous gowns?
And where did you get your knowledge from? TV and movies? Museums?
When we read in a review about a medieval setting a certain picture pops up in our minds and we balance it against the written words with the result that we are sometimes disappointed because it does not match.
But how would we react when we could revert to a more profound knowledge. How to get this more profound knowledge? The most successful way would be a time travel. So far it is technically impossible. Another way would be to study available sources. To be honest neither you nor I have the time to do that. It is a task for an historian. Of course we don't want to get endless and uninspiring facts and figures.
What do we today when we want to get information about a foreign country. As a book addicted person we look for a travel guide. Now think about the past as a foreign country. Then we need something like
Today I review The Time Traveller's Guide To Medieval England (June 2009, 368 p.)
[ISBN-13: 978-1845950996], by Ian Mortimer.
"The past is a foreign country: this is your guidebook. Imagine you could get into a time machine and travel back to the fourteenth century. What would you see? What would you smell? More to the point, where are you going to stay? Should you go to a castle or a monastic guesthouse? And what are you going to eat? What sort of food are you going to be offered by a peasant or a monk or a lord? This radical new approach turns our entire understanding of history upside down. It shows us that the past is not just something to be studied; it is also something to be lived. It sets out to explain what life was like in the most immediate way, through taking you, the reader, to the middle ages, and showing you everything from the horrors of leprosy and war to the ridiculous excesses of roasted larks and haute couture. Being a guidebook, many questions are answered which do not normally occur in traditional history books. How do you greet people in the street? What should you use for toilet paper? How fast - and how safely - can you travel? Why might a physician want to taste your blood? And how do you test to see if you are going down with the plague?"
The Time Traveller's Guide To Medieval England promises a lot and lives up to its promise.

I agree with Ian Mortimer's understanding of history:
"History is not just about the analysis of evidence, documents or answering unrolling vellum documents or answering exam papers. It is not about judging the dead. It is about understanding the meaning of the past - to realize the whole evolving human story over centuries, not just our own lifetimes." [p. 292]
You must not agree but should keep this understanding in mind when you read The Time Traveller's Guide To Medieval England.

Ian Mortimer delivers: Introduction, Eleven named chapters, Envoi (a kind of afterward), Notes, List of mentioned literature, Illustrations, Index.
That means The Time Traveller's Guide To Medieval England is several books in one: an entertaining and intelligent history book, a medieval England reference book, a basic book for further studies, a travel guide with recommendations.
Each chapter is divided in several parts and follows a plain structure: Introduction followed by specific parts which are interspersed by examples, quotes and asides.
Ian Mortimer knows to capture his reader. He has an aptitude to impart additional knowledge in a subliminal way. That means there are obvious facts and a lot more knowledge which you do not recognize at first sight. But as soon as you start to reflect what you have read you will notice how much more Ian Mortimer has delivered.

There is so much in in the book. I could quote The Time Traveller's Guide To Medieval England permanently. but I will restrict myself to three quotes related to three topics.

NOISE
"The loudest noises you will ever hear are thunder, trumpets being sounded, bells ringing across a city, the rumble of warhorses' hooves (in a cavalry charge, for example, or during a tournament) and very, very occasionally, the sound of a cannon being fired. Sitting at a table in the great hall of a castle, the loudest noise will be the chatter from the lower tables." [p. 247]
LANGUAGE AND PLACE NAMES
"If you find yourself speaking English with the locals do not be surprised if their language gets a little rough around the edges. Just as fourteenth-century place names are direct descriptions of localities (for instance: 'Shitbrook Street', 'Pissing Alley'), so daily speech is equally straightforward and ribald." [p. 81]
HUMOUR
"The passions of a violent society spill over into a sense of humour you will encounter. Yes, there is humour, lots of it, amid the violence and sexism. But whether you will find it funny is quite different matter. For example, here is a medieval joke. One merchant asks another. 'Are you married?' 'I had three wives,' the second merchant responds, 'but all three hanged themselves from a tree in my garden.' The first merchant retorts, 'Pray, give me a cutting from this miraculous tree.' " [p. 62]
The Time Traveller's Guide To Medieval England is a book about a certain time in a certain country. 368 pages to describe one century. Now look at fantasy book. Settled in a world which does not exist or never have existed. Pure imagination of an author. Does an author get 368 pages or more to describe his world? Mostly not. After reading The Time Traveller's Guide To Medieval England I have a different view of world setting in fantasy. It must take a lot of time to create a consistent world.
It is also interesting to read historical fiction bearing in mind the knowledge of Ian Mortimer's book.


The Time Traveller's Guide To Medieval England is most entertaining, intelligent, detailed, intoxicating, superb thought-provoking, meaningful view of humanity in medieval England.

The Time Traveller's Guide To Medieval England is definitely one of the best history books I read ever.

This is a must read for people who are interested in the Middle Ages, who like to read fantasy in general and fantasy with medieval setting in particular, who like to get a deeper understanding of the human evolution.

I highly, highly, highly recommend to read The Time Traveller's Guide To Medieval England!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Edi's Lighthouse Chatter: Fascination of Medieval England

5 comments
I'm reading a book about Medieval England: The Time Traveller's Guide To Medieval England (June 2009, 368 p.) [ISBN-13: 978-1845950996], by Ian Mortimer
and parallel
I read The Sweet Smell of Decay (June 2009, 448 p.) [ISBN-13: 978-1905636426], by Paul Lawrence, which is settled in London1664.

I did not expect that especially The Time Traveller's Guide To Medieval England which is a history book, would have such an impact on me, on my reading wishes. it is not new to me. I have had this before but I never posted about it.

Around twenty years ago I spent a lot of time for reading books similar to The Sweet Smell of Decay and settled in Medieval England. I still remember two series:

I loved the twenty books in the Cadfael series by Ellis Peters.
"Cadfael is the lead character in a series of books by Ellis Peters. He is a Welshman, now in his 60s, and a Brother in the monastery of Saints Peter and Paul, in Shrewsbury, England. The time is the 1100s, while Stephen and Maud are contending for the throne of England. Cadfael is now a brother, but he has been in the world- he spent 15 (or so) years in the Mideast, first as a Crusader, then as captain of a fishing boat. While there, he began to learn about gardening and herbs, he loved several women and even fathered a son, although he did not know it at the time. Finally, the quiet, the peace of the monastery called to him, and he came home to England and took vows. When the series begins, he has been a brother for about 15 years. His adventures are all centered in life in the Monastery, which is the center of his life, but they also show that he has not turned away completely from the world." [Source] [More information about Cadfael]
Sorrowful Mysteries of Brother Athelstan
And I loved a little bit more the ten books in the Sorrowful Mysteries of Brother Athelstan series by Paul Harding (pen name of Paul Doherty)
"Meet young Brother Athelstan, a dedicated Dominican monk with two callings. In one of medieval London's poorest parishes, he atones for his past sins by ministering to prostitutes, thieves and other castoffs. But it is as clerk to the Falstaffian coroner of London, Sir John Cranston, examining the bodies of the freshly, foully murdered, that he has come to understand how dark and villainous the human heart can be." [Source]

Nostalgia? Not really. It is the growing yearn for novels settled in "Old" England and connected with crime and mystery. Embedded by The Time Traveller's Guide To Medieval England and The Sweet Smell of Decay and in front of my laptop I was forced to search for books in order to satisfy my yearning. And that is what I found: The second book in a series, two stand-alone books and two ongoing series. In sum thirteen books!

I like The Sweet Smell of Decay a lot. Will tell you more about it in my review to be posted on April 25th. I will definitely read the second book in the The Harry Lytle Chronicles series. A Plague of Sinners [ISBN: 978-1905636914] will be published on May 18th 2010:
"July 1665.
The great plague rages rampant outside London’s city walls. Harry Lytle makes a welcome return after his trials and tribulations in The Sweet Smell of Decay to investigate the murder of the Earl of St Albans. A grisly dinner-table death starts Harry off on the trail, and it’s not long before his familiar accomplice, Dowling the butcher, joins him on the case. Their master, Lord Arlington, head of the King’s intelligence service, tasks them with uncovering the name and motive of the Earl’s murderer. But there will be plenty more deaths and scrapes for Harry before the name is revealed." [Source]


The next book is a stand-alone and settled in England around 1560. The Bones of Avalon (HC, April 2010) [ISBN-13: 978-1848872707] by Phil Rickman.
I recommend to read Erin Britton's review over at bookgeeks. But of course you get the cover and the blurb:
"Religious strife, Glastonbury legends, the bones of King Arthur and the curse of the Tudors...can Renaissance man John Dee help the young Queen Elizabeth to avoid it? It is 1560. Elizabeth Tudor has been on the throne for a year, the date for her coronation having been chosen by her astrologer, Dr John Dee, at just 32 already famous throughout Europe as a mathematician and expert in the hidden arts. But neither Elizabeth nor Dee feel entirely secure. Both have known imprisonment for political reasons. The Queen is unpopular with both Roman Catholics and the new breed of puritanical protestant. Dee is regarded with suspicion in an era where the dividing line between science and sorcery is, at best, indistinct. And the assignment he's been given by the Queen's chief minister, Sir William Cecil, will blur it further: ride to the ruins of Glastonbury Abbey, bring back King Arthur's bones. The mission takes the mild, bookish Dee to the tangled roots of English magic and the Arthurian legacy so important to the Tudors. Into unexpected violence, spiritual darkness, the breathless stirring of first love...and the cold heart of a complex plot against Elizabeth. With him is his friend and former student, Robert Dudley, a risk-taker, a wild card...and possibly the Queen's secret lover. Dee is Elizabethan England's forgotten hero. A man for whom this world - even the rapidly-expanding world of the Renaissance - was never enough." [Source]
Heresy (HC, April 2010) [ISBN-13: 978-0007317660] by S. J. Parris is settled in England 1583. Only twenty years later than the book before. For more information I recommend to read Anna Mundow's review. And this is the UK cover and the blurb:
"Masterfully blending true events with fiction, this blockbuster historical thriller delivers a page-turning murder mystery set on the sixteenth-century Oxford University campus.
Giordano Bruno was a monk, poet, scientist, and magician on the run from the Roman Inquisition on charges of heresy for his belief that the Earth orbits the sun and that the universe is infinite. This alone could have got him burned at the stake, but he was also a student of occult philosophies and magic.
In S. J. Parris's gripping novel, Bruno's pursuit of this rare knowledge brings him to London, where he is unexpectedly recruited by Queen Elizabeth I and is sent undercover to Oxford University on the pretext of a royal visitation. Officially Bruno is to take part in a debate on the Copernican theory of the universe; unofficially, he is to find out whatever he can about a Catholic plot to overthrow the queen.
His mission is dramatically thrown off course by a series of grisly murders and a spirited and beautiful young woman. As Bruno begins to discover a pattern in these killings, he realizes that no one at Oxford is who he seems to be. Bruno must attempt to outwit a killer who appears obsessed with the boundary between truth and heresy." [Source]
The first series is settled in 16th Century England. Four books have been published so far. The fifth will be available in September 2010. Dissolution (2003) [ISBN-13: 978-0142004302] by C. J. Sansom is the debut novel in the Shardlake series. I recommend to read Jessica Plonka's review. Read the introduction:
"It is 1537, a time of revolution that sees the greatest changes in England since 1066. Henry VIII has proclaimed himself Supreme Head of the Church. The country is waking up to savage new laws, rigged trials and the greatest network of informers it has ever seen. Under the orders of Thomas Cromwell, a team of commissioners is sent throughout the country to investigate the monasteries. There can be only one outcome: dissolution.
But on the Sussex coast, at the monastery of Scarnsea, events have spiralled out of control. Cromwell's commissioner, Robin Singleton, has been found dead, his head severed from his body. His horrific murder is accompanied by equally sinister acts of sacrilege – a black cockerel sacrificed on the church altar, and the disappearance of Scarnsea's Great Relic.
Matthew Shardlake, lawyer and long-time supporter of Reform, has been sent by Cromwell into this atmosphere of treachery and death, accompanied by his loyal assistant Mark. His duty is to discover the truth behind the dark happenings at Scarnsea." [Source]
For more information about Dark Fire (2004), Sovereign (2006), Revelation (2008) and Heartstone (2010) click here.

The second series is settled in England around 1660. So we jumped a bit forward in time. A Conspiracy of Violence (2006) [ISBN-13: 978-0751537581] by Susanna Gregory is the first book in the Thomas Chaloner series.
"The grim days of Cromwell are past. Charles II is well established at White Hall Palace--his mistress at hand in rooms over the Holbein Bridge, and the heads of regicides on public display. Freed from the strictures of the Protectorate, London seethes with new energy, but many of its citizens have lost their livelihoods. One is Thomas Chaloner, a reluctant spy for the feared Secretary of State, John Thurloe, and now returned from Holland in desperate need of work. His erstwhile employer, knowing that he has many enemies at court, recommends Thomas to Lord Clarendon, but in return demands that Thomas keep him informed of any plot against him. But what Thomas discovers is that Thurloe had sent another ex-employee to White Hall--and he is dead, purportedly murdered by footpads near the Thames. Thomas volunteers to investigate his killing; instead he is dispatched to the Tower to unearth the gold buried by the last Governor. There, he discovers not treasure, but evidence that, whomever is in power, greed and self-interest are uppermost in men's minds. And that his own life has no value to either side." [Source]
For more information about Blood On the Strand (2006), The Butcher of Smithfield (2008), The Westminster Poisoner (2008), A Murder on London Bridge (2009), The Body in the Thames (2011) click here.

Dear Readers, I hoped you liked the books I discovered. Any comment is welcome .....

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Edi's Weekend Wave #16

4 comments
Hello and welcome to issue #16 of Edi's Weekend Wave. I still try to find my posting rhythm. One reason for that is, that I now post by using Central European Summer Time (CEST) instead of Eastern Standard Time (EST). And I can tell you a six hours time differences makes a real difference. Beside that the only thing I know is, that I can't post daily. Even with the support of my "contributors" I still need too much time to prepare a post. I know, who likes to read a lamentation. Enjoy reading ...

Edi's Guidepost

The Lighthouse
News and information straight from the horse's mouth by Lighthouse keeper ediFanoB
  1. The influence of the mood on reading
  2. Comments? Comments!
Books
The latest report from our shelf shop net correspondent Bona
  1. Books received this week
Blogosphere
Messages from the depths of the blogosphere by spheronaut Bona Fide
  1. The Mad Hatter's Bookshelf & Book Review
  2. Speculative fiction in other countries: Romania
  3. Sometimes it is a must to show a video
  4. The ultimate review of Black Hills by Dan Simmons
Movies
Remote control junkie Fide and his zapping highlights
  1. Teaser Trailer: Reign of Death
Quotes
The member of the house of quotes and a quote himself the Keeper of the minutes ( we call him Kotm) fished for you
  1. German proverbs, sayings and idioms W . . . . . . . . .

The Lighthouse

Does your mood has an impact on the book you read? For myself I can answer the question with YES. And I have an up to date example. This year I wanted to read the Malazan Book of the Fallen series by Steven Erikson. I read The Gardens of the Moon (2009, 10th anniversary edition) [ISBN-13: 978-0593065068] for the first time in 2009. I was an intense read. And I'm sure I did not understand all. So I started to reread it. Week after week I read a few pages. But it is impossible to read such a novel in this way. So I asked myself Why I didn't read it in an other way - means for example the whole book in one week. Impossible! I couldn't concentrate on just one book exclusively. And beside that there was a distance between the Bridge Burners and me which was unusual because I like them very much. What to do? Finally I decided to stop reading The Gardens of the Moon and decided to start a new try in summer.
Instead I will read Silver (January 2010, 432 p.) [ISBN-13: 978-1935142058] by Steven Savile. For more information please look at Edi's Weekend Wave #15.

Like every other blogger I like to get comments. A comment is an obvious sign that someone read your post.
No comments = nobody read the post. This equation isn't true. Most of the readers don't write comments. I follow a lot of blogs by myself and it is impossible to leave a comment on every post I read. Fortunately there are some statistics. Therefore I know that there are some more readers beside my wife.
But please feel free to leave comments........


Books

Dear readers, I'm the one to tell you about books - only books? What about novellas and other stuff? My name is Bona. I scour shelves, shops and the net for books. If you call me a book whore I would not gainsay you. But be aware I have my own, sometimes elusive taste.

This week we received in sum two books - one bought and one ARC.
We expected more books from US and UK by air mail. But there is a serious problem in Europe:
Volcanic ash: Europe flights ground for third day. Fortunately I have copies of all books which I want to read and review in near future at home.

The delivery of The Strange Affair of Spring-Heeled Jack (April 30th 2010) [ISBN-13: 978-1906727208] by Mark Hodder has been a big surprise for me because the publishing date is still April 30th 2010. Nevertheless I'm glad I got it. I have been tempted to change my reading and reviewing plan for April. But after the change of the reading list which ediFanoB explained above, He didn't want to change again. I think it is the right decision. Instead ediFanoB will tell you more about Mark Hodder, Burton & Swinburne and Sexton Blake within the next two weeks. Please forgive me. I'm chattering and chattering without giving you more information about The Strange Affair of Spring-Heeled Jack. Well, this is the cover - I love it - and the blurb. I'm really excited to read it.
"It is 1861, and Albertian Britain is in the grip of conflicting forces. Engineers transform the landscape with bigger, faster, noisier and dirtier technological wonders; Eugenicists develop specialist animals to provide unpaid labour; Libertines oppose restrictive and unjust laws and flood the country with propaganda demanding a society based on beauty and creativity; while The Rakes push the boundaries of human behaviour to the limits with magic, sexuality, drugs and anarchy. Returning from his failed expedition to find the source of the Nile, explorer, linguist, scholar and swordsman Sir Richard Francis Burton finds himself sucked into the perilous depths of this moral and ethical vacuum when the Prime Minister, Lord Palmerston, employs him as "King's Spy". His first mission: to investigate the sexual assaults committed by a weird apparition known as Spring Heeled Jack; to find out why chimney sweeps are being kidnapped by half-man, half-dog creatures; and to discover the whereabouts of his badly injured former friend, John Hanning Speke. Accompanied by the diminutive and pain-loving poet, Algernon Swinburne, Burton's investigations lead him back to one of the defining events of the age: the brutal assassination of Queen Victoria in 1840; and the terrifying possibility that the world he inhabits shouldn't exist at all." [Source]
Second book I received this week is the ARC of a debut novel. I talk about Wintercraft (May 13th, 2010) [ISBN-13: 978-0755370962] by Jenna Burtenshaw.
"Ten years ago Kate Winters' parents were taken by the High Council's wardens to help with the country's war effort. Now the wardens are back...and prisoners, including Kate's uncle Artemis, are taken south on the terrifying Night Train. Kate and her friend Edgar are hunted by a far more dangerous enemy. Silas Dane -- the High Council's most feared man -- recognises Kate as one of the Skilled; a rare group of people able to see through the veil between the living and the dead. His spirit was damaged by the High Council's experiments into the veil, and he's convinced that Kate can undo the damage and allow him to find peace. The knowledge Kate needs lies within Wintercraft -- a book thought to be hidden deep beneath the graveyard city of Fume. But the Night of Souls, when the veil between life and death is at its thinnest, is just days away and the High Council have their own sinister plans for Kate and Wintercraft. To help Artemis, Edgar and herself, Kate must honour her pact with a murderer and come face to face with the true nature of death." [Source]
I really admit how busy Jenny Burtenshaw tries to spread word about her book:
- Jenna on Twitter, - Jenna's blog, - Wintercraft website, Wintercraft giveaway and a book trailer:



I have been captivated by my own post. I must read, I must read, I must read, ....... , See you next week ......

Blogosphere

Hey, I'm Bona Fide. I just came back from my last foray through the blogosphere. What can you expect from me? I tell you: Everything from Art to Fart as long as there is any faint connection to books. And here is some honey from the beehive blogosphere...

On April 15th, The Mad Hatter's Bookshelf & Book Review celebrated the first blog-o-versary. Congratulations! Keep up the good work. Only fifty weeks and two days to go until I will celebrate ....
Let me come back to The Mad Hatter.

If you are no US resident then skip the following passage.
The celebration is connected with a giveaway. Read and take part.
"To thank my loyal and new readers I'm giving away an ARC of Ares Express by Ian McDonald and one mystery book. A second place winner will also be chosen for a mystery book. To enter send an email to madhatterreview (AT) gmail (dot) com with your full name and snail mail address and "BLOGOVERSARY" in the subject line. Also, include whether you are more of a Sci-Fi, Fantasy, or Urban Fantasy fan, which I'll use to give the winners a list of books from my vast library to choose from for the mystery book. These could end up being almost anything. The deadline is midnight April 21st. I'll announce the winner on the following day or as soon as I remember. This contest is open to the people of the United States only. If you send multiple entries you will be disqualified from the contest." Good look to US participants!

I like to read about speculative fiction in other countries.
What do you know about speculative fiction in Romania?
Don't turn pink when your answer is NO. Then you know as much as I did before I read A glimpse of the Romanian speculative fiction market over at Dark Wolf's Fantasy Reviews. A very deserving post by Mihai (Dark Wolf). Kudos!

Sometimes there are trailers - publisher trailers - which you must show on your blog. Even you are the 99th blog doing it. I speak about the gorgeous Voyager 15th Anniversary Trailer. I watched the trailer several times this week and I still like it. If you don't have seen it so far then do it. You won't regret.


So far I read two Dan Simmons novels in my life: Terror (2008) [ISBN-13: 978-3453406131] and Drood (2009) [ISBN-13: 978-1847249326]. Both are excellent books - read my review of Drood. I bought the next novel Black Hills (2010) [ISBN-13: 978-0316072656] without hesitation. It is on my shelf since two months. I know I will read and review it within 2010. But now I'm not sure whether to write a review or not. The reason is quite simple: I read the ultimate Black Hills review. Go and read Black Hills review over at Kamvision. I don't need to praise this review more because it tells its own tale.....

That's it for today. Come back next week for more ......


Movies

Hey, it's me Fide. I'm a remote control professional. I'm that fast that I can watch two movies at the same time.
But don't worry. All the stuff I present to you will be shown at normal speed.

In this city, you're never more then ten meters away from a rat
This is the headline of the Reign of Death movie poster. Reign of death is is a science fiction pulp noir detective short film, starring Noel Clarke, written and directed by Matthew Savage. Watch the awesome teaser trailer.

Become a fan of Reign of Death on Facebook.

That's all for today. See you next time....

Quotes

I 'm the Keeper of the minutes. But I don't mind when you call me Kotm. No, no. I don't explain to you how to pronounce.
My original idea was to present you quotes related ash. I case you can't imagine why you should read the whole post more carefully. I was not that happy with my first results. Then I recognised that Washington contains the word ash. I changed my mind immediately and therefore I present you today quotes related to Washington,
And here we go ......

"Washington is the only place where sound travels faster than light.
C. V. R. Thompson


"The mystery of government is not how Washington works but how to make it stop.
P. J. O'Rourke,US humorist & political commentator (1947 - )


"After two years in Washington, I often long for the realism and sincerity of Hollywood.
Fred Thompson, Speech before the Commonwealth Club of California, US Senator, 1994-2002, actor


"George Washington had a vision for this country. Was it three days of uninterrupted shopping?
Jeff Melvoin, Northern Exposure, Bolt from the Blue, 1994


"I have a higher and grander standard of principle than George Washington. He could not lie; I can, but I won't.
Mark Twain, US humorist, novelist, short story author, & wit (1835 - 1910)
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...