Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Edi's Spotlight: The Dream Of Perpetual Emotion by Dexter Palmer

6 comments
In June 2010 I wrote a post about how I got the copy of The Dream of Perpetual Motion (2010, 432 p.) [ISBN-13: 978-0312558154] by Dexter Palmer which I read for this review.
Before I plunge in medias res, let me give you some information about the book like a cover and a blurb.
Today I give you the choice either to read the official blurb or my own plot summary.
A zeppelin driven by a perpetual motion machine circles around a world which is affected by steampunk. Aboard and imprisoned are three human beings. The passengers of the high-altitude zeppelin named Chrysalis are the designer and entrepreneur Prospero Taligent, his adopted daughter Miranda and the greeting card designer Harold Winslow. But not all of them are alive.
Harlod Winslow is writing his memoirs. He never meets Miranda Taligent aboard. He only can listen to the disembodied voice of Miranda. And in an unapproachable part of the zeppelin lies the cryogenically frozen body of Prospero Taligent.
The Dream of Perpetual Motion is the story of the mentioned persons, the interweavement of their lifes and the world they are living in.....

Dexter Palmer's debut novel consists of five parts which are separated by four interludes and embraced by a prologue and an epilogue. Each part is divided into numbered chapters. The story told from Harold's point of view and alternates between third-person and first-person.
There are books where I can't read more than 30 pages a day. And The Dream of Perpetual Motion is the perfect example for that. It is a unique, extraordinary read. There is an expression in the book itself which explains nearly what I like to say:
"It is like reading two books, one with each eye, and understanding them both" [p. 113]
Let me specify it a bit more. When I read The Dream of Perpetual Motion, my sense of time slowed down dramatically compared to the time around me. It iwas like sitting in a high-speed train and the landscape whooshed by. I did not have any problem with it. But to read The Dream of Perpetual Motion was like reading three books at the the same time. I got the impression the content of each page had tripled. Reading 30 pages of The Dream of Perpetual Motion has been like reading 90 pages in an other book!! I took me longer to read these 30 pages than usual and to be honest I have been totally filled up in a very beneficial way.

The Dream of Perpetual Motion is far beyond to be an action paced novel. It is something I would classify as Literary Steampunk. My choice of font seize shows the relationship between literature and steampunk. To be honest I was not aware that the book is heavily based on The Tempest by William Shakespeare because I did not read The Tempest so far. But that is not the only reason why The Dream of Perpetual Motion is so much more literary than other steampunk novels.

For a debut author the writing of Dexter Palmer is exceptional. A gorgeous and descriptive prose. I can' t remember when I read the last time such thoughtful philosophical debates on meaningful subjects. Dexter Palmer owns the ability to adapt his writing to each of the different characters. You will fully understand what I mean when you read for example the story of the portraitmaker. And there is also humor, idiosyncratic humor. A humor where sometimes your smile will freeze on your face. The story is as deep as complex and equipped with an unbelievably imagination. During the whole story Dexter Palmer has everything under control like a master puppeteer.

Now you may think this must be my novel of the year. I must disappoint you. As a reader you have to take care not to drown in the immeasurably world of words. at some places the story is a bit too ambitious, too clever and hard to follow.

I think The Dream of Perpetual Motion belongs to the kind of books which you either love or not. There is nothing between.

You should definitely avoid to read The Dream of Perpetual Motion in case you expect a fast driven, action paced steampunk adventure.
But I hope you are open-minded enough to give this extraordinary writer and his debut novel a try.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Edi's Lighthouse Chatter: IASTSNRT - Unknown Abbreviation

6 comments
Dear Readers,
it is Sunday which means it is the day where I normally post a review. Unfortunately I'm a bit behind my schedule concerning reading and reviewing. Therefore
IASTSNRT

You don't know what does this means? It is a self conceived abbreviation:

I am sorry to say no review today

I try to finish and post the review until August 31.

Anyhow I don't want and I can't leave you with this sad news. I know that people who love books often love cats too. We have two cats at home and I don't want to miss them. My wife sent a me a link (funny enough: we sit in one room with two PC and share links via mail) to a marvelous site named Simon's Cat. There you can find animated films about a cat which will worm a knowing nod out of you in case you share your life with one or more cats. Just watch THE BOX


Enjoy reading ....

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Edi's Weekend Wave #35

6 comments
Hello and welcome to issue #35 of Edi's Weekend Wave. As expected I got a flu. No reading on Sunday and on Monday. Only a few pages from Tuesday to Thursday. And I can assure you life is sad without reading. On Friday is my mother's birthday (she turns 76 and is still able to manage her life on her own). We will visit her on Saturday. That means not much time left for this Weekend Wave but I'm sure you will understand. Therefore I thought it would be an interesting idea to compose this Weekend Wave in a different way. No hunt for the latest news around books, blogs and movies. I hope you will like it. ENJOY READING ....


Edi's Guidepost

The Lighthouse
News and information straight from the horse's mouth by Lighthouse keeper ediFanoB
  1. A different Weekend Wave
Books
The latest report from our shelf shop net correspondent Bona
  1. Book received this week: ???
  2. The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson - Thoughts
  3. Book editions: About language preferences
  4. Looking for upcoming steampunk novels?
Blogosphere
Messages from the depths of the blogosphere by spheronaut Bona Fide
  1. Voyages Extraordinaire
  2. Blog(s), Twitter, Google Reader - About spending time
Movies
Remote control junkie Fide and his zapping highlights
  1. Fabulous World of Jules Verne
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 Jules Verne ....

The Lighthouse

Sometimes it makes sense to write about one topic from different point of views. within in this post you will find snippets which are related to one man and his oeuvre. He lived from 8 February 1828 to 24 March 1905. For many people he is one of "Fathers of science fiction". I talk about Jules Verne.
In our fast living world we often tend to forget to remember the wonderful novels which are more than one hundred years old. Do you remember when you read From the Earth to the Moon [ISBN-13: 978-0553214208] and/or Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea [ISBN-13: 978-0140624366] for the very first time? I know I discovered them in the library when I was around ten years old. I have been fascinated like many people before and after me. There must be still people who read them. Or can you think of anything else why these stories are published again and again. You will meet Jules Verne and his books again within this post.


Enjoy your weekend ....

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 again NO book. But next week we expect the delivery of minimum four books - due to the delivery advices we received. And I buy them all on my own.

There is a lot of hype around The Way of Kings (hc, 31st of August 2010) [ISBN-13: 978-0765326355] by Brandon Sanderson. Did you read one of the numerous reviews? Hopefully it was not one of these fake reviews on Twitter. You may have asked yourself why I don't have a review. The reason is quite simple. I did not get an ARC. I also don't buy hardcover. And without reading I don't review a book. That means I will buy a paperback copy which will be published in September 2011. I'm not sad about it because I still have so many good books to read and review ...

For all of you who don't know: I'm German and I live in Germany. That leads to the question why I prefer to read and post in English. There are several reasons. There are far more fantasy authors outside of Germany. I don't like to wait until all these great books are translated to German. Not every book I would like to read is available in German. German editions are always more expensive. I want to talk about the books I read. And I like to talk with people from other countries with other backgrounds than mine. That leads more or less directly to English language.
Of course I look mostly for fantasy books in English. But when I want to know something about German translations I don't check German publisher sites. Instead I check blogs. It is impressive to see how many blogger post a about fantasy book translations. Let me give you one example.
I hope you know the most famous blogger of South Africa: Dave-Brendon De Burgh.He is the mastermind behind DaveBrendon's Fantasy & SciFi Weblog. Dave does not speak that much German but he posted about Mark Newton’s German deal & City of Ruin Paperback Cover. Fortunately I could read both mentioned book in 2009 and 2010. All people who read only German editions have to wait until the end of 2011 for the first book. That is sad. But on they other hand they are lucky because the books will be translated.

I promised not to hunt for the latest book news. But I could not withstand to mention following post: Steampunk Autumn. This post contains four books. I own, read and reviewed the UK edition of the first one. I ordered the second and third in advance and the fourth is in my list. Maybe you like one of these too ....

No more today, 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...

Voyages Extraordinaire
This is at the same time a publishing title affixed to the books of Jules Verne and it is also the name of a blog:
Voyages Extraordinaires is a weblog for people of intelligence and good breeding who enjoy Victorian-Edwardian Scientific Romances and Retro-Futurism, Victoriana and Neo-Victorianism, Voyages Extraordinaires and Imperialist Romances, Gothic Horror, Pulp Fiction, the Golden Ages of Hollywood and of Travel, silent and early films, points suprêmes and real life adventures into places exotic and historic.
In case you are interested in the mentioned topics I highly recommend to visit the site by clicking on the logo above.

Like a lot of other blogger I spend up to two hours per day for Google Reader (checking other blogs), commenting, work on my own posts, mail, Twitter and Facebook. Every day I have to think how much time I can spend. Fortunately there are some people providing advice and/or moral support.
Today I want to say thank you to three fellow blogger who have been inspiring, helpful and trustworthy especially in the past month. And I definitely recommend to visit their blogs:

Sarah and her Bookworm Blues with a growing index of good reviews

The one and only incredible Dave-Brendon from South Africa and his
DaveBrendon's Fantasy & SciFi Weblog.

And not to forget

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Edi's Spotlight: Discord's Apple by Carrie Vaughn

4 comments
Thanks to Tor/forge for sending me a copy of Discord's Apple (2010, 299 p.) [ISBN-13: 978-0765325549] by Carrie Vaughn. You may know her as the author of the Kitty Norville series (vampires, werewolves, talk radio) which consists of eight books so far .
"When Evie Walker goes home to spend time with her dying father, she discovers that his creaky old house in Hope's Fort, Colorado is not the only legacy she stands to inherit. Hidden behind the old basement door is a secret and magical storeroom where wondrous treasures from myth and legend are kept safe unit they are needed again. The magic of the storeroom prevents access to any who are not intended to use the items.
Evie must guard the storeroom against ancient and malicious forces, protecting the past and the future even as the present unravels around them. Old heroes and notorious villains alike will rise to fight on her side or to undermine her most desperate gambits. At stake is the fate of the world, and the prevention of nothing less than the apocalypse." [Source]
I thought it would be a good idea to post the review today because I posted about apples in issue #34 of Edi's Weekend Wave.
Before I start with the review let me tell you that the apple of discord is part of the Greek mythology.

Greek mythology, especially the Trojan War, the casus belli and the life of Greek gods is one of the four story lines you find in Discord's Apple. The second story line is about the history of Evie Walker's predecessors. The third story line is a graphic novel about a covert military assault team overseas written by Evie and a colleague. And finally we have the story about Evie in the presence. All these stories are connected in one way or the other. But even with the connection it is ambitious to cover four story lines in 299 pages.

I liked two of the described story lines and both are the ones who cover the past. To read about Greek mythology reminded my of youth when I loved to read Odysseus' adventures and other stories. But you should be aware that Greek gods like(d) sex. The history of Evie Walker's predecessors gave some interesting information about the storeroom.
Evie use the work on the graphic novel as a reflection of her life so far - her wishes and the reality. But we do not really take part in that reflection and as more Evie fells in love with one of the heroes from the past the reflection disappear. Evie is not a real active person. She is mostly driven by other people.
I did not find a connection to one of the main characters. I have been temped to read the Greek mythology passages only but in the I read the whole book for the review and liked half of it.

I'm sure there will be people who will like Discord's Apple much more than I did. If you want a fresh retelling of what happened before the Trojan War, how the war ended and what happened afterwards then half of the book is as good for you as it has been for me.
For the other half of the book you must find out for yourself whether you like it or not.

Anyway I recommend to read all the Discord's Apple comments and reviews over at Goodreads which hopefully helps to build up your mind. Discord's Apple got an average rating of 3.59 - maximum is five.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Edi's Weekend Wave #34

5 comments
Hello and welcome to issue #34 of Edi's Weekend Wave. Today I don't feel really well. It think I'm coming down with something. I'm sure yo know that: the nose feels different and the swallowing too. And I don't want to talk about my tiredness. Anyhow I want to write this issue. It will be a bit shorter as usual but now you know one reason for that. Have a great weekend and ENJOY READING ....


Edi's Guidepost

The Lighthouse
News and information straight from the horse's mouth by Lighthouse keeper ediFanoB
  1. Bits and pieces
Books
The latest report from our shelf shop net correspondent Bona
  1. Book received this week: ???
  2. A robot book
Blogosphere
Messages from the depths of the blogosphere by spheronaut Bona Fide
  1. TBR - About piles and shelves
  2. Globes
  3. Apples
Movies
Remote control junkie Fide and his zapping highlights
  1. A robot movie
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 Miss Piggy and more ....

The Lighthouse

Since yesterday we know who won my first worldwide giveaway. I hope the documentation of the drawing has been detailed enough. I wrote more about it than other blogger normally do. I wanted to show that the whole drawing has been no stitch-up. But I'm sure that none of the participants thought about my drawing in this way.

For me the giveaway has been a positive experience and therefore I plan to do a second giveaway within 2010. So far I neither know the date nor the book. Time will tell.
My reading speed slowed down dramatically and also my time for reading dwindled. That has an impact of some of my projects. I have to change my schedule again. Nevertheless you will get a review tomorrow (Sunday).
But I was happy to spend some time for reading posts on other blogs and to leave comments.

Enjoy your weekend ....

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 NO book. It is like a coin. On the one side I like to receive new books. On the other hand it is good for my TBR pile.

There is a wonderful book on my list which I did not buy so due to the price. But only four months left until Christmas .... It is an illustrated book. And it is about a robot. Welcome to Boilerplate: History's Mechanical Marvel (hc, 2009, 168 p.) [ISBN-13: 978-0810989504] by Paul Guinan and Anina Bennett.
"This is the official illustrated history of Boilerplate, a turn-of-the-last century robot, and its colourful adventures around the world, including some with key historical figures. After losing a loved one to war, the brilliant Professor Archibald Campion invented a robot soldier and unveiled it at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. Unusually, the U.S. was not engaged in any military conflict, and at the Exposition, Edison and Tesla were introducing their world-changing technology, and as a result, the robot, nicknamed Boilerplate, was pretty much overlooked. However, while Boilerplate was relegated to the dustbins of history, that didn't mean he didn't get out and about in the world. He and Professor Campion had remarkable adventures around the globe that included a trek across Antarctica, the Klondike Gold Rush, fighting alongside Teddy Roosevelt at San Juan Hill, riding in the sands with Lawrence of Arabia, and finally ending up at the frontlines of World War I in France. This 4-colour book is profusely illustrated with incredible period illustrations including photos, paintings, posters, cartoons, maps, and other images." [Source]

It is an extraordinary book. You will agree as soon as you have visited and discovered the awesome and gorgeous official Boilerplate website! The first one is an omnibus and the second one is the second book in a series.
Read more about Boilerplate in the Movie section of this post....

No more today, 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...

TBR - an abbreviation well known by every book reader. Last week several blogger posted about there TBR piles. Just read the posts and the comments over at Pat's Fantasy Hotlist (more than 125 books), DaveBrendon's Fantasy & SciFi Weblog (nearly 200 books). I have around 160 unread books.
What about you, dear readers? How many books on your TBR pile and what strategy you have to reduce your pile? I always try to read one more book than I buy/receive per month but most of the time I fail.

Recently I posted about maps. One can say maps are part of something greater - globes. If you are interested in globes, unusual globes including cubed ones then you should go to A Round-up of Unusual Globes.

Apple(s),a forbidden or mystical fruit and also part of the saying "An apple a day keeps the doctor away". For me it is a delicious fruit and to be honest I eat one or more apples a day. There are different flavors from sweet to tart. If you want to know more about apple flavors then you should have a look at The Sprectrum Of Apple Flavours.

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.

I wrote about Boilerplate: History's Mechanical Marvel in the section of this post. There is a company named Bad Robot Productions and the owner of the company is J. J. Abrams who is a well known movie producer.
And now I come back to Boilerplate: History's Mechanical Marvel. J. J. Abrams picked up the rights ans will produce a movie starring Boilerplate! I'm excited. Of course I can't present you a trailer. Instead I show you the book trailer which gives you an impression about what to expect.


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.
Some readers liked the Miss Piggy quote I posted last week - me too. So you get one more. During my search for Miss piggy quotes I found some other quotes which I would like to share with you .....

"Sometimes I lie awake at night, and ask, 'Where have I gone wrong?' Then a voice says to me, 'This is going to take more than one night.'
Charles M. Schulz, American cartoonist (1922-2000)

"I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
Robert McCloskey

"Dogs have Owners, Cats have Staff.
Author unknown

"Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark. Professionals built the Titanic.
Author unknown

"Too much exercise can damage your health.
Miss Piggy, US Muppet and Pig

Friday, August 20, 2010

Edi's Giveaway: The Winner of The Affinity Bridge by George Mann

4 comments
Dear Readers,

now the time has come to draw the winner of my first worldwide giveaway.

Tension is mounting! Who will the lucky one to win the copy of the US paperback edition of The Affinity Bridge (2010) [ISBN-13: 978-0765323224] by George Mann? It is the first book in the Newbury & Hobbes series.

First of all let us check who will take part in the drawing. There have been finally 25 comments. Two entries will be excluded (SQT wanted information about The Osiris Ritual and ediFanoB replied).
These are the 23 participants of the drawing including their number for the drawing.

Seak (Bryce L.) 1, Okie 2, nojo 3, Jeremiah 4, Val 5, GL 6, Tom Hansen 7, Andrew 8, Michael 9, helen07 10, BFM 11, Avion 12, Karen 13 , Sarah 14, Cardel 15, Tea and Tomes 16, Giada M 17, Celecia 18, buddyt 19, dor 20, Esther 21, heathergfox2003 22, Heatmizuh 23.

I went to The True Random Number Generator over at Random.Org.



I entered the range of numbers


I pressed the Generate button .... It took a couple of seconds ... and the winner is:
Yes, it is the participant with the number 1

CONGRATULATIONS Seak (Bryce L.) 1 !!!
Seak, please send your full mailing address to Edi's Book Lighthouse.

Dear participants, a big thank you to all of you for taking part. I'm sorry for you but there can be only one winner.
But I promise you that there will be one more giveaway within 2010.

Until then I hope you come for reading my posts....

ENJOY READING

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Edi's Lighthouse Chatter: Rise and Fall of Empires

0 comments
Dear Readers,
let me start with a reminder:

Tomorrow - Thursday, August 19th, 2010, 11:59 PM CEST - ends my first worldwide opened giveaway.
If you would like to win a US paperback copy of The Affinity Bridge (2010) [ISBN-13: 978-0765323224] by George Mann then go to


Don't hesitate to take part....


And now I come back to my topic of the day. From Monday to Saturday I read a German daily newspaper - Frankfurter Rundschau. From time to time they publish book reviews, often about books I'm not interested in.
But today has been an exception. The article Gestörtes Gleichgewicht - John Darwin über den "imperialen Traum" in der Weltgeschichte by Rudolf Walther aroused my interest. It is the review of the German edition of After Tamerlane: The rise and Fall of Global Empires, 1400 -200 (2008) [ISBN-13: 978-0141010229] by John Darwin.
"Rise and Fall of the Great Powers for the post–Cold War era—a brilliantly written, sweeping new history of how empires have ebbed and flowed over the past six centuries.
The death of the great Tatar emperor Tamerlane in 1405, writes historian John Darwin, was a turning point in world history. Never again would a single warlord, raiding across the steppes, be able to unite Eurasia under his rule. After Tamerlane, a series of huge, stable empires were founded and consolidated— Chinese, Mughal, Persian, and Ottoman—realms of such grandeur, sophistication, and dynamism that they outclassed the fragmentary, quarrelsome nations of Europe in every respect. The nineteenth century saw these empires fall vulnerable to European conquest, creating an age of anarchy and exploitation, but this had largely ended by the twenty-first century, with new Chinese and Indian super-states and successful independent states in Turkey and Iran. This elegantly written, magisterial account challenges the conventional narrative of the “Rise of the West,” showing that European ascendancy was neither foreordained nor a linear process. Indeed, it is likely to be a transitory phase. After Tamerlane is a vivid, bold, and innovative history of how empires rise and fall, from one of Britain’s leading scholars. It will take its place beside other provocative works of “large history,” from Paul Kennedy’s The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers to David Landes’s The Wealth and Poverty of Nations or Niall Ferguson’s." [Source]
Yes, it is a history book - a world history book about a fascinating topic: The Rise and Fall of Empires.
I have a faint memory of the rise and fall of the Roman empire in school lessons full of facts and figures. But when you read fantasy, the rise and fall of empires is something like the staff of life. Mostly we get the reasons for the rise and fall. Beside fantasy I'm interested in history since my youth and I would like to get more knowledge about the rise and fall of empires in our past. That means, After Tamerlane: The rise and Fall of Global Empires, 1400 -200 will be the next non-fictional book I buy. And to be honest I will buy the English edition and one of the reasons is definitely the price - even it is not really fair to compare paperback with hardcover: English paperback = 11.95 Eur = 15,38 USD = 9.85 GBP; German hardcover = 49,90 Eur = 64.23 USD = 41.11 GBP.
Unfortunately all of you who can't speak and read Germany can't read the German review of After Tamerlane: The rise and Fall of Global Empires, 1400 -200. But I can assure you it is a positive one. Anyway if you would like toread what other readers think about this book then go to Goodreads. I thing an average of 4.12 of 5 based on 48 ratings and 13 reviews is not that bad....

Enjoy Reading!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Edi's Spotlight: The Word For World Is Forest by Ursula K Le Guin

2 comments
Once again I have to Tor/Forge publicist Cassandra Ammerman for sending us a copy of the US paperback edition of The Word For World Is Forest (pb ,re-released 2010; first published 1976) [ISBN-13: 978-0765324641] by Ursula K. Le Guin.
"When the inhabitants of a peaceful world are conquered by the bloodthirsty Yumens, their existence is irrevocably altered. Forced into servitude, the Athsheans find themselves at the mercy of their brutal masters.
Desperation causes the Athsheans, led by Selver, to retaliate against their captors, abandoning their strictures against violence. But defending their lives, they have endangered the very foundations of their society, for every blow against the invaders is a blow to the humanity of the Athsheans. And once the killing starts, there is no turning back."
Two things before I start with my review.

1. Let quote some more information from Cassandra about a novel written when I was just thirteen years old (OMG, how old I am).
"Based on a novella Le Guin wrote in 1972, The Word For World Is Forest was inspired by the Vietnam War.
Its influence and reach have been immeasurable, with references throughout several decades of pop culture. A copy of the book was seen in the background of the Stanley Kubrik film Full Metal Jacket, and it is alluded to in Stephen King's novel The Stand. Even now, The Word For World Is Forest remains relevant: in December 2009, critic Gary Westfahl compared the blockbuster film Avatar to Le Guin's novel in an issue of Locus."
2. For more background information about The Word For World Is Forest I recommend to read the related Wikipedia entry.

Unbelievable for any SFF enthusiast but true The Word For World Is Forest has been my first Ursula K. Le Guin read. I read the 190 pages within a day. I must admit I can't remember the last book I read with similar length.
Anyway the length of a novel does not say anything about the quality of the content.

The first thing which surprised me has been the prose: Elegant and timeless after all these years. If somebody had told me before, The Word For World Is Forest has been written in 2009 I would have believed it without doubt.

Story wise I have been surprised by the depth of the story. Of course the similarities between Avatar and The Word For World Is Forest are obvious. But there is more behind The Word For World Is Forest. It is the collision of two worlds and their cultures. It is the collision between the primacy of economy paired with reckless power on the one side and people who are as one with nature and themselves. Of course there are also humans who area bit more aware of the Athsheans' culture but they are exceptions. One of the most fascinating characters is the Athshean protagonist Selver. The novel has been too short to show the whole complexity of this character.
I know that a lot of people found the "bad" human protagonist Davidson flat ad predictable. Initially I would agree. But you need to think about this character. He is nothing more than a fanatic in pure form. He is in himself one dimensional. Our history (military and religious) is full of them and you find them still nowadays....

Finally let me say that The Word For World Is Forest is still more than worth reading after more than 38 years.
And there is the shattering insight that after 38 years mankind did not change and will not change in future which means The Word For World Is Forest is a reflection of our society in form of a science fiction novel.
Poor, poor Earth and other planets...

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Edi's Weekend Wave #33

6 comments
Hello and welcome to issue #33 of Edi's Weekend Wave. First working week after holiday is over. It takes me always some time to return to a kind of routine - not at work but for the rest of the day. I still search for a time for reading. Not to early, not to late, not to tired, ... and so on. Today I found out that 5:45 to 7:30 a.m. on Saturday morning is a good time. Our cats wake me up around 5:30 am.The insist to get ther food regularly. And I can assure you that you wake up when a cat drive her head against your nose or jumps again and again on your bed.
Forme int does not make sense to go to bed again after feeding the cats. So I spend the time until we go for weekend shopping in my favorite reading chair. And I assume I will do the same on Sunday...
Enjoy reading ...


Edi's Guidepost

The Lighthouse
News and information straight from the horse's mouth by Lighthouse keeper ediFanoB
  1. Giveaways
Books
The latest report from our shelf shop net correspondent Bona
  1. Book received this week: The Uncrowned King by Rowena Cory Daniels
  2. Book received this week: Hawkwood and the Kings by Paul Kearney (omnibus volume 1)
  3. Excerpt: The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch
  4. The River of Shadows by Robert V.S. Redick
  5. Words, words, words, words, words, words, words, words, words, words, .....
  6. Convincing article by fellow blogger Bryce Lee aka Seak
  7. I need to finish Hyperion by Dan Simmons: A mouth-watering review by Pat
Blogosphere
Messages from the depths of the blogosphere by spheronaut Bona Fide
  1. The Review Index returns
  2. Underrated author giveaway
  3. Steampunk Leather Dog
  4. Apocalyptic Art
  5. Secrets of the Abyss....
  6. London Panorama 1845
  7. Last minute information: A giveaway of a book I reviewed recently
Movies
Remote control junkie Fide and his zapping highlights
  1. Skyline
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 GIVE

The Lighthouse

As you may know I run my first giveaway which is opened worldwide. In case you are a first time reader just click on following link:
Edi's Giveaway: The Affinity Bridge by George Mann
I like George Mann's books a lot. Therefore I posted about two other George Mann giveaways within this week.
These are the links for all of you first time readers:
Edi's Lighthouse Chatter: Another George Mann giveaway
Edi's Lighthouse Chatter: One more George Mann giveaway

There are always a lot of giveaways running, some are opened worldwide others have restrictions.
I really like to take part in giveaways and I won around ten books in 2009!!
One problem is to get notice of all giveaways I'm interested in and where I can take part. As I live in Germany I look for worldwide giveaways.
I know that there are sites who list giveaways but I don't spend time to check them.
But since my first giveaway is running I'm thinking about a kind of service for you which is also related to my blog.
One result you got within this week in form of the above mentioned posts.
In other words, whenever I run a giveaway I will search for giveaways with books from the same author and which are opened worldwide.
And I will work to extend this service in future for books I review and for books I write about in other posts.
I hope you like my ideas.

Anyhow I would like to know
- Do you like giveaways?
- How often do you take part in giveaways?

It seems I have to think about polls ......

Enjoy your weekend ....

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 two books. The first one is an omnibus and the second one is the second book in a series.

Ever read a book by Paul Kearney? I read The Ten Thousand (pb 2008, 480 p.) [ISBN-13: 978-1844165735] and I wrote about it. That was not Paul Kearney's debut novel. He wrote several books before - two series and four stand-alone novels. The Monarchies of God is one of the series and consist of five books published between 1995 and 2002. When I read the synopsis (only two sentences!) of Hawkwood's Voayge - the first book in the series - over at Paul Kearney's site I have been intrigued:
"The Western World is in flames, the cities and cathedrals of the Faith set to the torch by the invading Merduks. For buccaneer Richard Hawkwood escape seems the only answer, and an ancient logbook, found in a deserted ship a century before, tells of a free land across the Western ocean."
But much to my regret the first three books were out of print. Anyway I added the books to my neverending book list because I always hope that one day these books will be published again - either as an omnibus or as single books. And I'm right. Solaris publish the whole The Monarchies of God series in omnibus format!! That means series in two books. I ordered both in advance and today I received my copy of Hawkwood and the Kings (2010) [ISBN-13: 978-1906735708]. The omnibus contains Hawkwood's Voayge and The Heretic Kings. I hope you will forgive me that I quote the back of the book. It just shows my excitement...
"THE WESTERN WORLD IS BURNING...
For Richard Hawkwood and his crew, a desperate venture to carry refugees to the uncharted land across the Great Western Ocean offers the only chance of escape from the Inceptiones' pyres.

In the East Lofantyr, Abeleyn and Mark - three of the five Ramusian Kings - have defied their crue pontiff's purge and must fight to hold their thrones through excommunication,intrigue and civil war.

In the quiet monastery city of Charibon, two humble monks make a discovery that will change the whole world.

Aekir, the Holy City, has fallen and all now seems lost, but even on the eve of destruction the Faithful still war amongst themselves..." [Back of the book]
Now you may think what an artless cover... quite the contrary.
Read the full story about the covers for the two books:
Monarchies of God book cover artwork,Century of the Soldier Artwork, Century of the Soldier

Coincidenc? Also the second book I received this week is published by Solaris. The Uncrowned King (2010) [ISBN-13: 978-1097519048] by Rowena Cory Daniells is the second book in the The Chronicles of King Rolen's Kin series.
It is great that I received the book within this week because I have only 240 pages left in The King's Bastard (2010) [ISBN-13: 978-1907519000]. So far I like the story a lot. It is incredible how the different stress of some words can have an impact on the recognition of a situation. Every action force a reaction. And every reaction is understandable from the character's point of view which must not be consistent with your own opinion.

The third and final book The Usurper (2010) [ISBN-13: 978-1907519079] will be published in September. So I can read the series nearly back to back.

I still have to finish several series where the books have not been published shortly one after the other. You will get to know one later on ih this post.

There is a series where I own copies of the first two books of the planned seven. I talk about the Gentlemen Bastard series by Scott Lynch. I know that there are a lot of Locke Camorra fans. Book three The Republic of Thieves has been postponed several times. But it seems we can expect it in 2011. In the meantime a first excerpt is available online. I must admit I did not read it. So it is up to you to decide whether to risk a glance or not.

I'm a huge fan of The Chathrand Voyage series by Robert V. S. Redick. I reviewed the first two books of the series and wrote a post about Robert's world during my time as a contributor of Only The Best Sci-Fi/fantasy. These are the links:
The Red Wolf Conspiracy by Robert V.S. Redick
Review: The Rats and the Ruling Sea by Robert V.S. Redick
The World of Robert V.S. Redick

And this is the cover of book three
The River of Shadows (February,2011, hc) [ISBN-13: 978-0345523815]

I really look forward to get a copy because I can't wait to read how the story continues. By the way I like the cover. It has a cryptic touch...

Words. A novel consists of words and a series consists of even more words. Most people talk about how many pages a book has - which we all know can differ due to different reasons (language, format, font size). A lot more interesting is the number of words. In January 2011 The Crippled God (2011) [ISBN-13: 978-0765316561] by Steven Erikson will be published. It is the final book in The Malazan Book of The Fallen series .
Do you have any clue of how many words the whole series consist? One million? Two million? Three million?
I have been really impressed by the answer. You want to know the wordcount for The Malazan Book of The Fallen series? Then you have to read this post over at The Cesspit.
Advice: Don't forget to shut your mouth after reading the post.....

Are you looking for another author worth to discover? Then I recommend to read the convincing post of fellow blogger Seak (Bryce L.) over at Fantasy Literature. Something is missing .... Of course I should tell about which author we are talking: Why You Should Read… John Marco
Shame on me. I own the whole Tyrants and Kings trilogy by John Marco ..... UNREAD!!
Now go, check out whether John Marco is an author for you or not.

I'm reading Hyperion [ISBN-13: 978-0553283686] by Dan Simmons. So far I read 140 pages. There was one part which did not find interesting but the rest .... . Anyway after what I have read so far, I would recommend to read it. But I have another great argument. Just read Pat's review over at Pat's Fantasy Hotlist.

No more today, 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...

I have been totally excited when I read
It's Alive! The Epic Fantasy Review Index Returns.
I still remember when I discovered this index. It has been a treasure chest for me.
Of course I left a comment:
"ediFanoB said... Hey Jeff,
that's wonderful! I always hoped you will return to work on your index some day.
Maybe you remember me. In October 2008 I supported you with a list of Bookspotcentral review links :-)"
And Jeff replied
"Jeff C said... Michael: of course I remember! Now I need to track down that email again, so I can finally update those links..that should probably be the first thing i do. I also have your new blog in my Google Reader list, so I'll eventually add your reviews to the index, too."
To be honest I still have a copy of the link spreadsheet :-) I highly recommend to use the Index and provide Jeff with links.

Do you know an author whom you find underrated? I opened my review of A Shadow in Summer [ISBN-13: 978-0765351876] by Daniel Abraham as followed:
"When reading blogs you will mention after a while that there are authors without much hype but always mentioned that they are worth to read. For me it seems Daniel Abraham is one of these authors. Since I read Keeping An Eye On... Daniel Abraham over at Stomping on Yeti."
A Shadow in Summer, which is the first book in the Long Price Quartet series, is a great read! I still need to read the remaining three books.
I mentioned Stomping on Yeti, a blog which is not known for giveaways. There have been a few but Patrick, the good guy behind Stomping on Yeti, thinks, that giveaways are a sin of blogging. OK, that is his opinion. Fortunately he makes exceptions. And one of this exceptions is the reason why a post about his latest giveaway.
That means you can win the complete Long Price Quartet series. How cool is that? The contest will run until Friday, August 20th at 11:59pm and as far as I can see it is opened worldwide. Now hurry up to take part.
These books deserve to be read by you. And if you don't win don't hesitate to buy them.
GOOD LUCK TO ALL PARTICIPANTS!


Steampunk is on the way to be more common. Books, fashion, music, movies ... What's about steampunk animals? Can you imagine a steampunk dog? You want an example? No problem. Marvel at the Steampunk Leather Dog. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!!

Apocalypse and Art - does this combination fit together or is it scabrous? I think it lays in the eye of the beholder.
Go to Beauty in Destruction: Awesome Apocalyptic Art and form your on opinion. I found some of the pictures impressive.

Earth's oceans are still a region full of mysteries and secrets. Anyway whenever I find a post about the life in ocean depths I'm fascinated by what is living in the abyss. If you feel like me than you can withstand to have a look at Dwellers In The Abyss: Ugly, Monstrous Fish It is definitely partially eerie.... but worth

London is my favorite town. And this is one of my favorite blogs about London:
Ian Visits Illustrated London news. A must see is his Huge Panorama of London in 1845.
This thumbnail should give you a first impression of what to expect.
To be honest the scanned map is really huge - 6GB !!! And awesome Ian presents the panorama in different formats. I like the one in Google Maps style presentation very much. Go to Ian's site and be flabbergasted!

Just before I wanted to finish this post I received a mail from J C Marino, author of Dante's Journey (2010) [ISBN-13: 978-1935188094], which I reviewed recently.
GOODREADS is hosting a giveaway of a Dante's Journey copy. This giveaway is available for following countries: US, CA, GB, AU, FR, DE, IE, IT, NZ, ES and ends on October 07, 2010.
But this giveaway includes a special gift: Joe Dante's badge!
GOOD LUCK TO ALL PARTICIPANTS!

And this is the Dante's Journey book trailer:


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 November 2010 a new Science Fiction/Thriller movie will hit the cinemas.
SKYLINE is directed by Colin Strause and Greg Strause; starring Eric Balfour, Donald Faison, Scottie Thompson, and Brittany Daniel.
"After a late night party, a group of friends are awoken in the dead of the night by an eerie light beaming through the window. Like moths to a flame, the light source is drawing people outside before they suddenly vanish into the air. They soon discover an otherworldly force is swallowing the entire human population off the face of the earth. Now our band of survivors must fight for their lives as the world unravels around them." [Source]
And this is the first teaser trailer.

To be honest I would like to see a bit more before I decide to watch SKYLINE.

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.
Edi talked about giveaways and I thought by myself why not search for quotes containing the word give.
And there are more than one thinks ....

"Democracy is the name we give the people whenever we need them.
Marquis de Flers Robert and Arman de Caillavet

"The best way to keep one's word is not to give it.
Napoleon Bonaparte, French general & politician (1769 - 1821)

"If God wanted us to fly, He would have given us tickets.
Mel Brooks,US actor, comedian, & movie director (1926 - )

"Look wise, say nothing, and grunt. Speech was given to conceal thought.
Sir William Osler, British (Canadian-born) physician (1849 - 1919)

"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it may be necessary from time to time to give a stupid or misinformed beholder a black eye.
Miss Piggy, US Muppet and Pig

Friday, August 13, 2010

Edi's Lighthouse Chatter: One more George Mann giveaway

0 comments
Dear Readers,

it is incredible!
While my first worldwide giveaway is still running -
If you would like to win a US paperback copy of The Affinity Bridge (2010) [ISBN-13: 978-0765323224] by George Mann then go to


- I found a second George Mann giveaway where you can win the second book in the Newbury & Hobbes series!!
Before today I have been happy to present you the Ghosts of Manhattan (2010) [ISBN-13: 978-1616141943] which I posted on Wednesday.

Since today you can win a copy of the US edition (it seems to be hardcover but I'm not sure) of The Osiris Ritual (2010) [ISBN-13: 978-0765323217] by George Mann.

Just go to
and take part!
The giveaway is opened worldwide and ends on September 10th 2010.


GOOD LUCK TO ALL PARTICIPANTS!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Edi's Lighthouse Chatter: Another George Mann giveaway

2 comments
Dear Readers,

my first worldwide giveaway is still running. If you would like to win a US paperback copy of The Affinity Bridge (2010) [ISBN-13: 978-0765323224] by George Mann then go to



Within today I found another George Mann giveaway: You can win a copy of the US paperback edition of
Ghosts of Manhattan (2010) [ISBN-13: 978-1616141943] by George Mann.

You want more information about Ghosts of Manhattan? Then read


Now I hope you are keen to read Ghosts of Manhattan. And here is your opportunity to win a copy of Ghosts of Manhattan. I could not detect any restrictions. Therefore I assume this giveaway is opened worldwide. Competition runs until August 29th.

Just follow this link


which leads you to a site named Voyages Extraordinaire, which
"is a weblog for people of intelligence and good breeding who enjoy Victorian-Edwardian Scientific Romances and Retro-Futurism, Victoriana and Neo-Victorianism, Voyages Extraordinaires and Imperialist Romances, Gothic Horror, Pulp Fiction, the Golden Ages of Hollywood and of Travel, silent and early films, points suprêmes and real life adventures into places exotic and historic." [Source]
GOOD LUCK TO ALL PARTICIPANTS!

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Edi's Spotlight: The Edge Of The World by Kevin J Anderson

2 comments
I love maps, especially old maps and fantasy maps. Therefore I was quite happy when I discovered the Terra Incognita series by Kevin J Anderson. He is a well known author - Saga of Seven Suns, Star Wars, Dune - but I never read one of these books. I have been curious for what would be delivered with Terra Incognita series.

Today I can tell you a bit after reading the first book in the series: The Edge of the World (pb, 2010) [ISBN-13: 978-0316004190] by Kevin J Anderson.
"Terra Incognita - the blank spaces on the map, past the edge of the known world only by the words here be monsters.
Two nations at war, fighting for dominion over the world, pin their last hopes of ultimate victory on finding a land out of legend.
Each will send its ships to brave the untamed waters, wild storms, sea serpents, and darker dangers unseen by any man. It is a perilous undertaking, but there will always be the impetuous, the brave, and the mad, willing to leave their homes to explore unknown. Even unto the edge of the world ..." [Back of the book]
Before we go into detail you should know a bit more about world and their inhabitants.
The map of the known world shows a sand clock shaped landmass stretching from north to south. The northern part is named Tierra and is limited by the Frozen Wasted. The southern part is named Uraba and is limited by the Great Desert.

Due to belief and mythology both continents have been settled by two brothers who are worshiped in the churches of each continent.

North: settled by Aidan, worshiped by the Aidenist church which shows similarities to medieval Christendom; the provinces of Tierra are nowadays ruled by King Korastine from the capital of Calay.

South: settled by Urec, worshiped by the Ur-Sikara priesthood which let you think of medieval Islam; the leader of Uraba is Soldan Shad Imir who is supported by his heir Omra. Soldan Shah Imir rules from the Holy City of Ishalem. When I read the first time about it I thought immediately on Jerusalem.
Located on the narrow isthmus, Ishalem is the religious center of both religions!

And there is a third but not less important ethnic group: The Saedrans, well known for their maps and their navigation talent. The Saedran Guild is the keeper of all known maps (Think of the Library of Alexndria) and they constantly try to reduce the blank spaces on the world map. They are highly interested in King Korastine's plan to build a special ship to discover the unknown oceans. Most of them live in Tierra.

The people of Tierra and Uraba do not like each other very well. There is a common unease and more and more skirmishes occur. During the first six chapters we meet several main characters - the young couple Adrea and her hubby, sailor Criston; the talented Saedran mapmaker Aldo, who wants to become as famous as his father; the heir of Tierra, princess Anjine and her friend and Korastine's ward Mateo; the secret observer of Uraba, Aidenest prester Hannes. Some of them are inflicted in skirmishes.

The situation is best described with two continents at the edge of war. Who will light the fuse?

In order to prevent war King Korastine and Soldan Shah Imir meet in Ishalem in order to sign an edict which divide the known world in two spheres. Then a small spark set the world on fire and the story in motion ....

The Edge of the World stands for 627 pages divided into 126 numbered and named chapters (average chapter length 4.9 pages) plus four maps plus a nine page glossary. A lot of stuff.
Advice: Mind the glossary in the first third of the novel due to some spoiler.
I don't mind books in doorstop format and I don't mind a lot of chapters where each chapter told from POV of a person more or less important for the story..
But I don't like chapters only one or two pages long. And there are some of them in the book. I think that is related to my reading habit. After each chapter I take some notes for my review. So you can imagine how often I had to put down the book. Anyhow it lessened my reading pleasure.

You should also be aware of the fact that is far beyond to be "a spectacular adventure on the high seas" as mentioned on the back of the book. Most of the action takes place neither under nor on water.

So, criticism is over. Let's have a look at the enjoyable things.

The Edge of the World is the first book in a trilogy and it is epic in itself. It covers a huge amount time. You follow nearly the lifespan of several characters! There are "good" guys and "bad" guys and they are not limited to one side. You can easily connect with characters and in case you can be consistent with their behavior, Kevin J Anderson delivers enough information to understand why people to certain things. And some of the characters show their talent to veil their motifs. Beside that the influence of religion is omnipresent.

The story is also epic in the number of events. After half of th book I thought, that other authors would fill a complete trilogy with all the events. And there are several twists and turns. Some expected, others unexpected. Consecutive chapters are always different: Action is followed by inner thoughts which are followed by a travel description which is followed by a intrigue, and so on. And there are some perfidiously ideas turned into reality. You will notice when you read it. All in all the story is all well-paced though the number of chapters feign a speed which is not real. The Edge of the World is more than just an adventure. it is an expedition to explore uncharted lands, characters, ideas and beliefs. And by reading The Edge of the World you also discover parts of yourself...

The world itself (flora and fauna, climate, landscape) and also all the technological and cultural achievements (from sailing vessels over beliefs and myths to hot air balloons) are consistent, reliable and comprehensible. There is no real magic in this world but a presence of supernatural. I can't withstand to mention that there is a leviathan ...

For such a long novel it was a quick and enjoyable read. I definitely want to know how the story continues. Fortunately book two The Map of All Things (2010) [ISBN-13: 978-0316004213] by Kevin J Anderson is on my TBR pile.

You would like to discover a limited world which drools over to find uncharted territory and due to growing resentments is on the edge of war then read The Edge of the World.

Finally it is worth to mention that there is a CD soundtrack available to accompany the book.
Following video gives you a first impression.
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