Saturday, January 29, 2011

Edi's Weekend Wave #1104

2 comments
Hello and welcome to issue #04 of Edi's Weekend Wave. Let me start with a plain equation: More time for sleep means less time forother things. And that is what happened in the past week. I want to post a review on last Sunday and I failed. I wanted to post this review on last Wednesday and I failed. what shall I say more than it has been a sad week concerning blogging. It is sad for me and of course for you my dear readers. In case this continues, I need a kind of break. We will see.

ENJOY READING ....

Edi's Guidepost

The Lighthouse
News and information straight from the horse's mouth by Lighthouse keeper ediFanoB

  1. Blog content, reading progress and "hunger" for specific books
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. Book Trailer
  2. Steven L. Shrewsbury: Interview
  3. Octo furniture
Movies
Remote control junkie Fide and his zapping highlights
  1. The Clockwork Girl
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 Random Quotes ....

The Lighthouse

As usual in 2011 today you can see the of my reading statistics in the right column of the blog. There have been three days where I read less than 70 pages and two day where I read more than 70 pages. So in sum I read 517 pages within the last seven days.

I finished Doomsday Book by Connie Willis. I'm 95 pages in The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man by Mark Hodder and 98 pages in The Lost Gate by Orson Scott Card (I read it at the gym). Today I will start with Dream of Legends by Stephen Zimmer.

Since I finished Doomsday Book by Connie Willis I "hunger" for historical thriller. Of course Iown enough books to choose from like The Pike Mystery series by Andrew Pepper or The Shardlake series by C.J. Sansom or ....


Following reviews are still in progress:
- The Monarchies of God series by Paul Kearney
- Dark Side by Jonathan Green
- Veins by Lawrence C. Connolly
- THRALL by Steven Shrewsbury
And the next one on the list is
Doomsday Book by Connie Willis

I will post them whenever I finish one.

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 I received just one book. It is book six in a series where I read only the first book so far.

I talk about The Sea Watch (mmpb, 2011) [ISBN-13: 978-0330511469] by Adrian Tchaikovsky.
"A shadow is falling over Collegium. Despite the tenuous peace, Stenwold Maker knows that the Empire will return for his city. Even as he tries to prepare for the resurgence of the black and gold, a hidden threat is steadily working against his people. Ships that sail from Collegium's harbour are being attacked, sunk by pirates. Some just go missing ...Lulled by the spread of lies and false promises Stenwold's allies are falling away from him. He faces betrayal on every side, and the Empire is just waiting for the first sign of weakness to strike. But the Empire is not the only power that has its eyes on Collegium. And even the Wasp-kinden may be powerful enough to stave off the forces massing in the darkness and turning hungry eyes towards Stenwold's city." [Source]
I collect several series. I'm thinking about to read minimum one series within 2011. So far I have not decided yet which one it will be. Shadows of the Apt series is one of them ...

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...

Do you like book trailer? From time totime you find real gems like the following one. I don't need to tell you the author of the book. I don't need to present you the cover. I don't need to quote the blurb. The book trailer delivers all in one ......



Recently I finished Thrall (2010) [ISBN-13: 978-0983108634] by Steven L. Shrewsbury.
"Thrall is gritty, dark-edged heroic fantasy in the vein of Robert E. Howard and David Gemmell. It is a maelstrom of hard-hitting action and unpredictable imagery, taking place within an incredible antediluvian world. In Gorias La Gaul, Thrall introduces an iconic new character to the realms of fantasy literature. Thrall invites the reader to go on a perilous journey where it is not a matter of whether one has the courage to die, but whether one has the courage to live." [Source]
For all of you who would like to get more information about Thrall and Steven L. Shrewsbury, I recommend to read An Interview with Steven L.Shrewsbury over at WPR.


You like unusual furniture? Then you should have a look at octo furniture.
Maybe this chair and this table are waiting just for you.


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.
"The Tinkerer is a mad scientist convinced that mechanical technology is a stable and precise science and is more important than all of the other sciences. Metal twists and bends, gears, axles, and ratchets work in unison giving life to a conscious machine - The Astonishing Clockwork Girl! The Grafter believes that the natural uncontainable power of biology should be revered against all other sciences. Assembling a body from parts of exhumed corpses, organs, skin, and limbs are stitched together to create the son that he could not have - The Amazing Mutant Boy! Life is beautiful. The Astonishing Clockwork Girl and the Amazing Mutant Boy begin to take their first steps into this world, learning about individual existence, freedom, and choice.But a true understanding of who they are can't begin until they meet...Arcana's Sean O'Reilly and Disney's Kevin Hanna have created this wonderful, all-ages fairytale beautifully illustrated by Revere's Grant Bond. This beautiful hardcover collects all four issues of "The Clockwork Girl" along with never before seen images, interviews, and concept art." [Source]
This is the short description of the graphic novel The Clockwork Girl [ISBN-13: 978-0980920413] by Sean Patrick O'Reilly, Kevin Hanna and Grant Bond.

The good thing is there will be a movie soon. For details I recommend to visit the official THE CLOCKWORK GIRL site.

Of course there is a trailer available which I like to present you:


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.

I is quite difficult to search quotes without inspiration. That means today you get random quotes as last week and the week before ......

"Some national parks have long waiting lists for camping reservations. When you have to wait a year to sleep next to a tree, something is wrong.
George Carlin, US comedian and actor (1937 - 2008)

"Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery.
Malcolm X, Malcolm X Speaks, 1965, US black nationalist leader (1925 - 1965)

"If two men agree on everything, you may be sure that one of them is doing the thinking.
Lyndon B. Johnson, 36th president of US (1908 - 1973)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Edi's Weekend Wave #1103

6 comments
Hello and welcome to issue #03 of Edi's Weekend Wave.In case you read my review of The Greyfriar (2010, US) [ISBN-13: 978-1616142476] by Clay and Susan Griffith you know, that Bona, Fide, Bona Fide and KotM are back. I just say I like it. I felt a bit lonely without them. Just one week left in January. Unbelievable how time flies by.
And to be honest due to a lack of time this issue of the Weekend Wave is a bit shorter than usual. I will work on it in the next issues.


ENJOY READING ....

Edi's Guidepost

The Lighthouse
News and information straight from the horse's mouth by Lighthouse keeper ediFanoB

  1. Blog content and reading progress
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. Four Links Beyond Books
Movies
Remote control junkie Fide and his zapping highlights
  1. Transformer Train
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 Random Quotes ....

The Lighthouse

Today you can see the third update of my reading statistics in the right column of the blog. I'm quite happy with my reading target of 70 pages per day. Even I missed my target by 22 pages. That means I read only 469 pages instead of expected 490 pages. There has been one day where I read only 30 pages because I have been too tired. I hope it will get better next week.

I finished THRALL by Steven Shrewsbury, Veins by Lawrence C. Connolly and I'm 248 pages into Doomsday Book by Connie Willis. I enjoy to read two books parallel.

Following reviews are in progress:
- The Monarchies of God series by Paul Kearney
- Dark Side by Jonathan Green
- Veins by Lawrence C. Connolly

Depending on when I finish my next review you can expect a post on Sunday or on Wednesday.

I promised to read and review following books
- Dream of Legends by Stephen Zimmer
- The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man by Mark Hodder
Therefore they will be my next reads.


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 I received just one book. It is one I really look forward to read. And it is a reviewer copy.

A big thank you goes to PYR for sending me a reviewer copy of The Curious Case of the ClockworkMan (March 2011) [ISBN-13: 978-1616143596] by Mark Hodder.
It is 1862, though not the 1862 it should be...
T
ime has been altered, and Sir Richard Francis Burton, the king’s agent, is one of the few people who know that the world is now careening along a very different course from that which Destiny intended.
When a clockwork-powered man of brass is found abandoned in Trafalgar Square, Burton and his assistant, the wayward poet Algernon Swinburne, find themselves on the trail of the stolen Garnier Collection—black diamonds rumored to be fragments of the Lemurian Eye of Naga, a meteorite that fell to Earth in prehistoric times.
His investigation leads to involvement with the media sensation of the age: the Tichborne Claimant, a man who insists that he’s the long lost heir to the cursed Tichborne estate. Monstrous, bloated, and monosyllabic, he’s not the aristocratic Sir Roger Tichborne known to everyone, yet the working classes come out in force to support him. They are soon rioting through the streets of London, as mysterious steam wraiths incite all-out class warfare.
From a haunted mansion to the Bedlam madhouse, from South America to Australia, from séances to a secret labyrinth, Burton struggles with shadowy opponents and his own inner demons, meeting along the way the philosopher Herbert Spencer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Florence Nightingale, and Charles Doyle (father of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle).
Can the king’s agent expose a plot that threatens to rip the British Empire apart, leading to an international conflict the like of which the world has never seen? And what part does the clockwork man have to play?
Burton and Swinburne’s second adventure—The Clockwork Man of Trafalgar Square—is filled with eccentric steam-driven technology, grotesque characters, and a deepening mystery that pushes forward the three-volume story arc begun in The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack." [Source]
As soon as I have finished this issue of the I will start to read The Curious Case of the ClockworkMan. 2011 seems to be a great year for steampunk reads.

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...

This week I would like to present your four different links beyond books. From time to time we need more input than only books.

Did you read Harry Potter or did you watch the Harry Potter movies? Then you will know that Harry lived in a room under the stairs. Do have stairs in your home? Are there secret rooms under your stairs?

Do you want to know more about secret rooms under stairs?


Again and again I'm surprised what you can do with Lego. And there are real Legoartists.

over at WebUrbanist

For me New York City is still one of the towns with most impressive skyscrapers.

Vintage New York
is a must see post over at Dark Roasted Blend

Nature is an awesome artist.

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 must say I did not find a trailer I would like to present you.
Instead I show you a video which contains a video in slow and fast motion.
It is something for all people who like trains and transformers ......


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.

I is quite difficult to search quotes without inspiration. That means today you get random quotes as last week ......

"Famous remarks are very seldom quoted correctly.
Simeon Strunsky, No Mean City (1944), (1879 - 1948)

"2 is not equal to 3, not even for large values of 2.
Grabel's Law

"The quickest way of ending a war is to lose it.
George Orwell, English essayist, novelist, & satirist (1903 - 1950)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Edi's Spotlight: The Greyfriar by Clay & Susan Griffith

2 comments
Hello and welcome to my first review in 2011.
There is a story behind every book I read. Sometimes I talk about and sometimes not.Today I'm a bit "bubbly" which means you have to endure a few more words .....

In May 2010 I read following blurb for the first time:
"In the year 1870, a horrible plague of vampires swept over the northern regions of the world. Millions of humans were killed outright. Millions more died of disease and famine due to the havoc that followed. Within two years, once great cities were shrouded by the grey empire of the vampire clans. Human refugees fled south to the tropics because vampires could not tolerate the constant heat there. They brought technology and a feverish drive to reestablish their shattered societies of steam and iron amid the mosques of Alexandria, the torrid quietude of Panama, or the green temples of Malaya.
It is now 2020 and a bloody reckoning is coming.
Princess Adele is heir to the Empire of Equatoria, a remnant of the old tropical British Empire. She is quick with her wit as well as with a sword or gun. She is eager for an adventure before she settles into a life of duty and political marriage to man she does not know. But her quest turns black when she becomes the target of a merciless vampire clan. Her only protector is The Greyfriar, a mysterious hero who fights the vampires from deep within their territory. Their dangerous relationship plays out against an approaching war to the death between humankind and the vampire clans."
Vampires, alternate history and steampunk in one book? Could that work? Vampires - to be honest not my favorite species. But together with two genres I like it a lot - steampunk and alternate history - it sounded like an intriguing mix. Of course I ordered a copy in advance. I canceled the order in October because I won a copy in a giveaway which finally arrived end of December 2010.
Fortunately I found time to read, enjoy and review the first novel in the Vampire Empire series: The Greyfriar (2010, US) [ISBN-13: 978-1616142476] by Clay and Susan Griffith.

Let me start with the biggest issue I found:
I wanted to continue reading but The Greyfriar ended after 301 pages divided into 32 chapters.

Of course I know that this is not a real issue. What does this mean?
I need to find proper words in order to express why I liked The Greyfriar so much.
Be warned: The following babble is the insufficient try to explain the magic and fascination of The Greyfriar.


"S_____T_____O_____P_____!!!!!"

yells a chorus of four voices in my head. I'm dumbfounded.

KotM: "Ye mighty readers. Some of you may know us. We are Bona, Fide, Bona Fide and KotM (Keeper of the Minutes). Poor ediFanoB has to share his brain with us. Today we return more powerful as we were when we left several months ago. I cordially apologize for this unexpected interruption. But we are afraid that ediFanoB will risk his neck by writing this review.

That means we take over control and tell ye mighty readers why you should read The Greyfriar.

And this is the plan: Bona Fide will tell you something about the inhabitants of The Greyfriar's world. The world itself will be explained by Fide. It is up to Bona to give you an understanding of the story and the prose. My part is the moderation and the delivery of a summary and a subjective and snarky praisal/recommendation.

Before I hand over the pencil to Bona Fide - yes we force ediFanoB to use pen and paper for the first draft - let me assure you that we will force ediFanoB to tell you a bit more about us in the following weeks. And now it is your turn Bona Fide."

Bona Fide: "Hello, hello, its me, Bona Fide. As you can easily detect from the book title the world is inhabited by vampires and a single person named Greyfriar. That's all? No! Beside the vampires we have human beings and of course animals, especially cats. The vampires in The Greyfriar are different to the ones I knew from other books/movies. They do not fear neither garlic nor sunshine. But they can't cope with tropical heat. They don't have the ability to transform humans into vampires. They are long living creatures and their life depends totally on human blood. That means no humans - no vampires. They can fly. Their sense of touch is underdeveloped. And, and, and ... I could tell you much more which shows the effort of Clay and Susan put in their development. the vampires are represented by some characters which are important for the story: the old king Dmitri and his two sons Cesare and Gareth. They are like fire and water. Gareth's manservant Baudoin and not to forget the female Flay, who is Cesare's war chief. The humans are derived from the people who lived on earth around 150 years ago. Let me introduce some of the important representatives to you: His Imperial Majesty Constantine II and his children heiress princess Adele and prince Simon, Prime Minister Lord Kelvin, Senator Clark, heroic vampire killer and Adele's fiancé. And not to forget Adele's mentor Mamoru and his friends who will obviously play an important. Finally we have the mysterious and masked Greyfriar who opposes the vampires. From my point of view the important characters are well developed. The characterization and the development of Gareth, Adele and Greyfriar are definitely one of the highlights of the book. It is like you are part of their brains. Of course I could tell you more but not without spoiler. That means my work is done."

KotM: "Thank you Bona Fide. All in all not that bad. Now let's read in what kind of world live all these beings. Fide! Tell us about the world of the Vampire Empire."

Fide: "Hey, its me, Fide. To be honest I did not find a proof that the world of Vampire Empire is a spherical. Who cares! The the world is based on our own world around 150 years ago. It is the starting point of 150 years of alternate history which started with the Great Killing. I don't want to give you a history lesson. Clay and Susan did it in a excellent way within The Greyfriar. I would like to talk about the world in the year 2020 which differs a lot from our world. The vampire clans rule the northern hemisphere and raise human beings like cattle. On the southern hemisphere we have the Equatorian Empire based on the gone British Empire with Alexandria as capital, The new American Republic with Panama as capital and Japanese Empire. Between these great powers you find city-states and small kingdoms.
Every day there are skirmishes between vampires and humans. The human civilization is based on iron and steel. airships dominate the sky. They use a mix of weapons from swords over crossbows, pistols up to cannons and bombs. There are human spies who us partially ley lines which I found quite interesting.
Due to the story we neither get much information about America which is ruled by an oligarchy of wealthy families nor about Japan. All in all we get enough information to build up our mind of this alternate world. Anyway every travel to the northern border is an adventur and that will be part of Bona's take."

KotM: "Thank you Fide. Are you sure you covered all aspects of the world building? I found your explanation a bit thin. Don't get me wrong. You did a passable job after a long time. Maybe you're a bit rusty. Bona, wake up! It is your turn. Fit the characters and the world to the story? And what's about the prose?"

Bona:"Hä? What? Where? Ooops. So it ismy turn. Need to check my notes first. Can't find them. One moment please .... OK, found. Yes indeed, Clay and Susan Griffith tell a story.
On the edge of war the Equatorian Empire and the American Public are on the way to form an alliance. The marriage between Princess Adele and Senator Clark should be the visible symbol of the alliance. Shortly before the marriage Adele goes on a diplomatic mission to the northern. city-states and kingdoms. Vampires attack Adele's airship and take Adele as hostage. The Greyfriar rescues her temporarily. In final attempt Adele is rescued by ... You have to find out on your own. That is in a few words the story of The Greyfriar. Don't worry. There is so much more happening beneath, beside and beyond. Susan and Clay deliver a bittersweet love story, fraternal strife, betrayal and conspiracy - some obvious, some betoken, culture clash, a coming of age, heroism, politics. The most impressive thing for me is the development of Princess Adele, the Greyfriar and vampire Prince Gareth. It is like the molting of a snake combined with dialogue and inner thoughts. And you never get bored due to the well dosed action. Susan and Clay do not hesitate to use stereotypes. Senator Clark is definitely one. Exuberant self-confidence, cheeky, and brute. The one and only hero - the "savior" of the world. To be honest, I DON'T LIKE HIM!!

The prose fits perfectly to the story. Sometimes sail along softly and then hits back full of power.
Let me keep it simple: Romance is romance, you feel it at your heart; insults are insults, stay away from weapons while reading because you will challenge some characters to a duel; you feel the physical punishment and injuries. Please spare me the burden to go into details about smell.
The book......."

KotM: "Shut up!! Shut up!! Shut up!!

Bona: "Why?"

KotM: "Thank you for your explanations. But to talk about the book as a whole is my turn."

Bona: "Understood. Ye mighty readers, now the time has come for KotM's two cent."

KotM: "I read the parts delivered by Bona Fide, Fide and Bona with great interest. When you put them together, you must come to the conclusion that The Greyfriar is definitely a candidate for our best read in 2011. The characters, the world and the story fit together like a jigsaw. It is such an inimitable and irresistible mix. It is the ideal book for people like ediFanoB. He is not a fan of vampires. Romance stories are not really his cup of tea. But in case of The Greyfriar it would not work without these ingredients and the execution is extraordinary.

I know I should stick to the facts.
But I can't.
Now I could finish my take with a highly recommended ...
But I can't.
I'm agitated
Emotionally touched by romance
enchained by action
intrigued by intrigues
fascinated by steamy machines
surprised by vampires and their history
pissed off by SenatorClark

How shall I write a recommendation??

Breathe deeply, breathe deeply, breathe deeply.

Let me try again.

A car needs energy.
A reader needs books.

Depending on the engine in the car you need gas, fuel, batteries, solar energy.
Depending on your taste you read alternate history, romance, steampunk, adventure, urban fantasy.

You can't mix the energy for your car.

BUT as a reader you can choose
The Greyfriar

Enough said."

"Hello? Hello!! Its me, ediFanoB. I gained control again. Oh my good!!! What did they do? I'm sorry. I'm very sorry. I will start immediately to write my review of The Greyfriar. Where are my notes? That is not what I wanted to write!!"

KotM: "Calm down ediFanoB. We did that for you as we did it in the past. If you want to post your review today then there is no way out. You have to cope with what we wrote. Read it. And a comment from your side would be appreciated.."

ediFanoB: "I promised to post a review. Give me some minutes to read your text. ....... I'm back and I must admit that Bona Fide, Fide, Bona and KotM did a good job. In the end it is up to the readers to judge."

KotM: "Thank you for your kind words. Now please, add a comment. We are all exhausted and tired. In behalf of Bona Fide, Bona, Fide and me I say bye for today."

ediFanoB: "Bye KotM, Bona Fide, Bona and Fide."

What shall I say?
Take a ride on the steamy roller-coaster full of vampire descents, romance curves and adventurous loops. The Greyfriar is the ticket you need.

Finally I highly, highly recommend to listen to following podcast:
Episode 037 Clay & Susan Griffith over at The Functional Nerds. Patrick Hester and John Anealio interviewed Clay and Susan Griffith.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Edi's Weekend Wave #1102

2 comments
Hello and welcome to issue #02 of Edi's Weekend Wave.
Fortunately I have had a day off on Friday which I used for several things beside relaxing. One result has been the post about Stephen's Surprise Package. As I read last week I'm not the only blogger who has limited time for his blog due to work. No complaints from my side. I'm happy with every post I finish and I enjoy what I'm doing. I'm still surprised about myself because so far I found every day a couple of minutes to continue to play my first online game ever. I think it works because I like it and I watch less TV.

ENJOY READING ....

Edi's Guidepost

The Lighthouse
News and information straight from the horse's mouth by Lighthouse keeper ediFanoB

  1. Blog content and reading progress
Books
The latest report from our shelf shop net correspondent Bona
  1. Books received this week
  2. A debut arise more and more interest .....
Blogosphere
Messages from the depths of the blogosphere by spheronaut Bona Fide
  1. Two books by Pyr contest
  2. Congratulations Dave-Brendon De Burgh
  3. The David Gemmell Legend Award for Fantasy 2011
Movies
Remote control junkie Fide and his zapping highlights
  1. Paul
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 Random Quotes ....

The Lighthouse

Today you can see the second update of my reading statistics in the right column of the blog. I'm quite happy with my reading target of 70 pages per day. In the last seven days I read 122 pages more than planned. I hope it will continue.
I finished two books:
- Vampire Empire Book One: The Grey Friar by Clay and Susan Griffith
- Dark Side by Jonathan Green

Only 72 pages left in Veins by Lawrence C. Connolly. And today I started to read the next book: THRALL by Steven Shrewsbury.

Following reviews are in progress:
- The Monarchies of God series by Paul Kearney
- Vampire Empire Book One: The Grey Friar by Clay and Susan Griffith
- Dark Side by Jonathan Green

Last week I told you that I will present you my first review in 2011 on Sunday 16th January. It does not look that bad.

Of course I'm thinking about which books to read next. Half a dozen books are on top of my list:
- Dream of Legends by Stephen Zimmer
- Doomsday Book by Connie Willis
- Gods of Manhattan by Al Ewing
- The Horns of Ruin by Tim Akers
- The Buntline Special by Mike Resnick
- Dreams of Steam anthology engineered by Kimberly Richardson
Four of them are related to steampunk. All in all 2618 pages which means stuff to read for 37 days! Of course I want to review them all. Will see how much time it will take.


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 I received three books.

The first one I bought on my own. It is a book set in my highly appreciated world of PAX BRITANNIA series. I talk about Gods of Manhattan (2011) [ISBN-13: 978-1906735395] by Al Ewing.
"Blood and Thunder!

"You're in New York. Protocol went out the window the second you arrived. This isn't a protocol kind of town. This is a town that breeds monsters and heroes, geniuses and madmen. This town makes gods, and heaven help you, you wanted to be one of us."
While his sidekick lies bleeding out in hospital, city savior Doc Thunder and Maya, his beautiful companion, attempt to discover the identity of their friend's assailant. The clues lead to secrets altogether older and darker than they could ever have imagined.
The Blood Spider - a name that strikes fear into the hearts of criminals everywhere. But unlike Doc Thunder, this vigilante is willing to kill, and it can only be a matter of time before the two heroes collide.
Mexican masked swordsman El Sombra is visiting the Big Apple, but he's not just any tourist. El Sombra is on a mission of revenge that will take him all the way into the heart of the city's corrupt underworld." [Back of the book]
I look forward to the second adventure of El Sombra. As I wrote above it belongs to the books at top of my list.


I received copies of the following two books due to the courtesy of Tor/Forge.com. Thank you! It is getting more and more difficult to decide what to read next.

Songs of the Dying EarthGods of Manhattan (2011) [ISBN-13: 978-0765320865] edited by George R.R. MArtin and Gardner Dozois.
"Danny North knew from early childhood that his family was different, and that he was different from them. While his cousins were learning how to create the things that commoners called fairies, ghosts, golems, trolls, werewolves, and other such miracles that were the heritage of the North family, Danny worried that he would never show a talent, never form an outself.
He grew up in the rambling old house, filled with dozens of cousins, and aunts and uncles, all ruled by his father. Their home was isolated in the mountains of western Virginia, far from town, far from schools, far from other people.
There are many secrets in the House, and many rules that Danny must follow. There is a secret library with only a few dozen books, and none of them in English — but Danny and his cousins are expected to become fluent in the language of the books. While Danny’s cousins are free to create magic whenever they like, they must never do it where outsiders might see.
Unfortunately, there are some secrets kept from Danny as well. And that will lead to disaster for the North family." [Inside of the book cover]
This book is a real door stopper. I was not sure whether I receive a review copy or not. Therefore it is not at top of my list.


The Lost Gate (2011) [ISBN-13: 978-0765326577] by Orson Scott Card
"Danny North knew from early childhood that his family was different, and that he was different from them. While his cousins were learning how to create the things that commoners called fairies, ghosts, golems, trolls, werewolves, and other such miracles that were the heritage of the North family, Danny worried that he would never show a talent, never form an outself.
He grew up in the rambling old house, filled with dozens of cousins, and aunts and uncles, all ruled by his father. Their home was isolated in the mountains of western Virginia, far from town, far from schools, far from other people.
There are many secrets in the House, and many rules that Danny must follow. There is a secret library with only a few dozen books, and none of them in English — but Danny and his cousins are expected to become fluent in the language of the books. While Danny’s cousins are free to create magic whenever they like, they must never do it where outsiders might see.
Unfortunately, there are some secrets kept from Danny as well. And that will lead to disaster for the North family." [Inside of the book cover]
I must admit that I did not expect to receive a copy of . Therefore I don't know when to read and review it. Of course it sounds interesting. But to be honest I have dozen of interesting books on my shelf - all unread. Anyway I recommend to read The Lost Gate by Orson Scott Card (Reviewed by Robert Thompson) for more information.


Last week I posted about the debut novel of authorDaniel Polansky.
Doubleday will publish the book in US and Canada on August 16, 201. Title: LOW TOWN
Hodder & Stoughton will publish the book in UK and Commonwealth on August 18, 2011. Title:
THE STRAIGHT RAZOR CURE

US Cover

This week told me that beside German, French, Spanish, Croat and Polish more languages coming soon! I can't tell you details because some of the negotiations are not finished yet.
I will keep you informed.
Anyway that means the book aroused a lot of interest by foreign publishers. I'm impressed.


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...

Sometime ago I won four Pyr books. In the meantime I read - Vampire Empire Book One: The Grey Friar by Clay and Susan Griffith and I will read The Horns of Ruin by Tim Akers soon.
You would like to read these two books too? Then I recommend to to read WEx January Contest - Two Books by Pyr over at Voyages Extraordinaire. By leaving a comment until January 30th you get the opportunity to win the two mentioned books. But attention:
"To enter, please leave a comment to this post. Note, however, that your profile must have an e-mail link. Unfortunately I've had a few too many non-responses from would-be winners who have not. If your profile does not have an e-mail, you will be automatically disqualified!!"
Good luck to all participants.


You may have noticed that a lot of blogger started writing projects. Don't worry, I don't have any ambitions. But fellow blogger I still follow Dave because it was him who helped me to get in contact with author Stephen Zimmer.
And yesterday he reached a milestone:
For the first time he wrote ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND WORDS in one project!!!

KUDOS and CONGRATULATIONS!!

I'm keen to read the final result one day. Dave, Good luck for the rest of the book.


A new year also means a new voting for THE DAVID GEMMELL LEGEND AWARD 2011. As you may know I'm a member. Visit the site and have a look at the so far nominated books.
You can vote in three different categories:





Visit The David Gemmell Legend Awards


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 must say for me it sounds interesting enough to give it a try, in case it will be aired in Germany.
So let's have a look at the trailer ....


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.

I is quite difficult to search quotes without inspiration. That means today you get random quotes ......

"Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people.
W. C. Fields, US actor (1880 - 1946)

"Duct tape is like the force. It has a light side, a dark side, and it holds the universe together....
Carl Zwanzig

"Committee--a group of men who individually can do nothing but as a group decide that nothing can be done.
Fred Allen, US radio comedian (1894 - 1956)

"This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.
Dorothy Parker, US author, humorist, poet, & wit (1893 - 1967)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Edi's Lighthouse Chatter: Stephen's Surprise Package

6 comments
Dear Readers,

I wanted to share this post with you on Wednesday but I did not find time to write it.
It is about an awesome author and a package he sent me. After several weeks (remember weather conditions in December 2010) German Post delivered a package from US. It was the surprise package which author Stephen Zimmer promised to send me. The content has been a secret until I opened the package. I enjoyed this moment after a long and exhausting working day.

This post is nothing more and nothing less about the content of the package and the generosity of the sender. Be sure I sent an adequate mail to Stephen.
However I want to use this opportunity to say again thank you Stephen Zimmer and thank you Seventh Star Press.

The content of the package in hard facts:
Thirteen collectible art cards,
Five bookmarks,
Four poster,
three books,
two A4 book cover cards

I found it impressive and you will agree after I showed you the pics I took.

Let's start with the books - three books, A first book in a series, a second book in a series and an anthology. All three books are related to two authors: Stephen Zimmer and Steven L. Shrewsbury.

Until I opened the package I didn't know that Stephen Zimmer is the author of a steampunk short story!
Dreams of Steam (2010) [ISBN-13: 978-0982374559], anthology engineered by Kimberly Richardson
"Travel back to a time when steam powered inventions ruled the land, water, and sky. It's a time of extraordinary contraptions and innovative ideas created by men and women who dared to ask the question, “What if?” Peer through the glazed window into a world long gone, but not forgotten. Make a cup of tea, find a comfortable chair, strap on your goggles, and be amazed at the power of steam!

The Tales:
Flight of the Dragon - Rachel Pixie - Fantasy goes Steampunk.
Dead Man's Hand - Jared Millet - Things that go bump in the night are not what they seem.
The Bunker - Stephanie Osborn - The tale of an unlikely hero and his invention.
Black Rhino - M. Keaton - The jungles of Africa hold deep and dangerous mysteries.
The Ballad of Angelina Calamity - Angelia Sparrow - A tale of a legendary and fearless woman.
Endeavour of the Rose: A Chronicle of Atlantis - Sidney M. Reese - Books, nergils, and airships, oh my!
Blood and Brass: The Poem of Sylvia Weathersby - Kimberly Richardson - One woman and her role in a deadly war.
Five Copper Bowls - Dale Carothers - A most unique nod to mad scientists and their monsters.
For the Love of Steam - Missa Dixon - A story of romance told from a most unlikely narrator.
In the Mountain Skies - Stephen Zimmer - The battle of good vs. evil in the American West.
Harry Was One of Us - Sara M. Harvey - A most daring rescue of a man who is already dead.
Engine 316 - Nick Valentino - Sometimes, it is better to just walk away.
An Odd Demise - Allan Gilbreath - A Dickens of a murder mystery!
Artificial Love - Dwayne DeBardelaben - Love can come from the most unusual places.
Phoenix - H. David Blalock - Dreams are meant to come true.
Ultimate Weapon - Jeff Harris - Pirates, bombs, and Brittany Spears: any questions?
Long Shots - Kirk Hardesty - David vs. Goliath, Steampunk style." [Source]
That will be an interesting read because on the one hand I love to read steampunk but on the other hand I'm not a big fan of short stories as I found out in 2010.

As you may know Stephen Zimmer is the author of two series: Fires in Eden and The Rising Dawn. All art cover and illustrations for both series is done by artist Matthew Perry.

Dream of Legends (2010) [ISBN-13: 978-0983108627] by Stephen Zimmer is the second book in the Fires in Eden series. I read, liked and reviewed Crown of Vengeance (2009) [ISBN-13: 978-0983108627] which is book one in the series.
Now enjoy the artwork






"Dream of legends, and soar across the world of Ave…
For Janus and the other exiles from a modern world, finding themselves in the fantastical lands of Ave was just the beginning. The assault upon the Kingdom of Saxany and the tribes of the Five Realms ignites, as the eyes of The Unifier turn southward, across the seas towards faraway Midragard. A desperate, dangerous time looms, when all will be swept up in the tides of war rippling out from Avanor.
Yet in the heart of the maelstrom, several lights begin to shine through the darkness. Some are on a path of discovery, to uncover the power that lies within, while others will brave perilous journeys, to seek out the things said to exist only in the faded mists of myth and legend. In the face of monstrous adversaries, massive armies, and even horrific entities summoned from infernal depths, courage and honor become the sword and shield in the hands of those who choose to resist.
Book Two of the Fires in Eden Series, Dream of Legends is immersive, epic fantasy, for those who love to explore richly developed fantasy worlds alongside an ensemble of intriguing, diverse characters. Readers of the great epic fantasy authors such as Robert Jordan, George R.R. Martin, and J.R.R. Tolkien will find a wondrous trove of adventure, characters, and depth in this next step of the Fires in Eden series." [Source]
Dream of Legends stands for 723 pages and is a real "door stopper". I can't wait to read it. It will be a bit dangerous to read it in bed. I don't want to imagine how the book hits my nose when I fall asleep ....


Do you like heroic fantasy? Then you should have a look at the third book from the package: Thrall (2010) [ISBN-13: 978-0983108634] by Steven L. Shrewsbury. And again Matthew Perry is the artist of cover and illustrations.

This is Gorias La Gaul


He is the main character of Thrall. Due to the blurb he is an aging warrior and I think Matthew Perry did a great job with the picture of him.

"For Gorias La Gaul, Deliverance Will Come…

Set in the mists of ancient times, Thrall tells the story of Gorias La Gaul, an aging warrior who has lived for centuries battling the monstrosities of legend and lore. It is an age when the Nephilum walk the earth, demonic forces hunger to be unleashed, and dragons still soar through the skies … living and undead. On a journey to find one of his own blood, a young man who is caught in the shadow of necromancy, Gorias’ path crosses with familiar enemies, some of whom not even death can hold bound.
Thrall is gritty, dark-edged heroic fantasy in the vein of Robert E. Howard and David Gemmell. It is a maelstrom of hard-hitting action and unpredictable imagery, taking place within an incredible antediluvian world. In Gorias La Gaul, Thrall introduces an iconic new character to the realms of fantasy literature. Thrall invites the reader to go on a perilous journey where it is not a matter of whether one has the courage to die, but whether one has the courage to live." [Source]

For me it sounds promising. I will tell you more in my review. I think I will read Thrall before I dive into the Dream of Legends.

You will recognize that I did not show you all the things I got. The bookmarks show smaller pics of the art and the poster lager pics of the art I presented you within this post.

Enjoy Reading .....

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Edi's Weekend Wave #1101

4 comments
Hello and welcome to issue #01 of Edi's Weekend Wave.
Winter left Germany for an unknown time. Instead we got a lot of rain. Unbelievable or not I started to play my first online game ever. It does not matter how old you are, to discover new things makes life interesting.

ENJOY READING ....

Edi's Guidepost

The Lighthouse
News and information straight from the horse's mouth by Lighthouse keeper ediFanoB

  1. Blog content and reading progress
Books
The latest report from our shelf shop net correspondent Bona
  1. Books received this week
  2. One book, two titles, a debut .....
Blogosphere
Messages from the depths of the blogosphere by spheronaut Bona Fide
  1. Winner of the 2010 Pluto Award
  2. Girl Gangs .....
  3. CassaStar trailer on they way to win a book trailer contest?
Movies
Remote control junkie Fide and his zapping highlights
  1. Falling Skies
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 Elephant ....

The Lighthouse

Last Saturday I told you about my reading plans in form of numbers. And today you get the first update as you can see in the right column of the blog. The lat seven days I read 30 pages more than expected. All in all I'm happy to have read 520 pages.
After a long time I finished the Century of the Soldierby Paul Kearney, which is the second omnibus of The Monarchies of God series and contains three books.
Beside that I could not resist to start reading the Vampire Empire Book One: The Grey Friar by Clay and Susan Griffith. Only 90 pages left which means I will finish it tomorrow.

Do not expect a review on upcoming Sunday. I need some time to write The Monarchies of God review. I'm sure to present you my first review in 2011 on Sunday 16th January.

My reading plans for the rest of the month are a bit vague. So far I will read to books in PDF format. I still wait for a package with several books. Depending on the delivery date I will decide what else I will read.

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 I received one book. I still wait for a package. I has been sent in December and I really, really hope it has not been lost.

I received the paperback edition of The Passage (2011) [ISBN-13: 978-0345525222] by Justin Cronin.
"First, the unthinkable: a security breach at a secret U.S. government facility unleashes the monstrous product of a chilling military experiment. Then, the unspeakable: a night of chaos and carnage gives way to sunrise on a nation, and ultimately a world, forever altered. All that remains for the stunned survivors is the long fight ahead and a future ruled by fear - of darkness, of death, of a fate far worse.
As civilization swiftly crumbles into a primal landscape of predators and prey, two people flee in search of sanctuary. FBI agent Brad Wolgast is a good man haunted by what he's done in the line of duty. Six-year-old orphan Amy Harper Bellafonte is a refugee from the doomed scientific project that has triggered apocalypse. He is determined to protect her from the horror set loose by her captors. But for Amy, escaping the bloody fallout is only the beginning of a much longer odyssey - spanning miles and decades - towards the time and place where she must finish what should never have begun." [Source]
It will take me around 12 days to read The Passage based on my assumption to read two hours per day. I have to think about when to read it....


"Drug dealers, hustlers, brothels, dirty politics, corrupt cops . . . and sorcery. Welcome to Low Town.
In the forgotten back alleys and flophouses that lie in the shadows of Rigus, the finest city of the Thirteen Lands, you will find Low Town. It is an ugly place, and its cham­pion is an ugly man. Disgraced intelligence agent. Forgotten war hero. Independent drug dealer. After a fall from grace five years ago, a man known as the Warden leads a life of crime, addicted to cheap violence and expensive drugs. Every day is a constant hustle to find new customers and protect his turf from low-life competition like Tancred the Harelip and Ling Chi, the enigmatic crime lord of the heathens.
The Warden’s life of drugged iniquity is shaken by his dis­covery of a murdered child down a dead-end street . . . set­ting him on a collision course with the life he left behind. As a former agent with Black House—the secret police—he knows better than anyone that murder in Low Town is an everyday thing, the kind of crime that doesn’t get investi­gated. To protect his home, he will take part in a dangerous game of deception between underworld bosses and the psy­chotic head of Black House, but the truth is far darker than he imagines. In Low Town, no one can be trusted." [Source]

I admit that I'm totally intrigued since I read the blurb. And It seems that publishers have been impressed too. Why?
First of all this debut novel will be translated into following languages: German, French, Spanish, Croat and Polish which is not a standard procedure for fantasy novels.
Secondly it will be simultaneously published with different titles in US and UK. The author of the book is Daniel Polansky.
Doubleday will publish the book in US and Canada on August 16, 201. Title: LOW TOWN
Hodder & Stoughton will publish the book in UK and Commonwealth on August 18, 2011. Title:
THE STRAIGHT RAZOR CURE

So far I can show you the US cover. I try to get the UK cover as soon as possible.

I stay in contact with author Daniel Polansky and I will get a review copy. That means you can expect a review around the publishing date. Until then I try to deliver you more information.


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...

Exactly one year ago I reviewed by which is the first book in the series. And on December 18th 2010 Stephen Zimmer won the 2010 Pluto Award!!
Belayed congratulations Stephen!! You deserve it. Stephen has been so kind to send me a picture of the proud winner and his prize.


Recently I read a quite interesting book review in the Guardian. I want to share the article with all of my readers, especially with all who are interested in historical crime thrillers. Let me quote the beginning of Girl gang's grip on London underworld revealed
"Girl gangs might sound like a modern British problem, but new research has revealed an all-female crime syndicate had a firm and pitiless grip on London as far back as the 18th century."
I recommend to read the whole article which is a book review of Gangs of London (pb, 2011) [ISBN-13: 978-1903854914] by Brian McDonald
"Decades before the Krays, London was plagued by gang warfare as vicious and terrifying as anything that was to come. Territorial tribes fought pitched battles for honour and pride. As the Bethnal Green Boys hunted Hackney’s Broadway Boys, Clerkenwell fought Somers Town, the Red Hands haunted Deptford and the Silver Hatchets terrorised Islington, the police and courts seemed powerless to cope.
This first ever history of these intriguing street mobs traces them from Jonathan Wild, the original gang leader and archetype for Dickens’s Fagin, to sprawling super-mobs like the Titanic from east London and the infamous Elephant and Castle Gang. It tells the full story of the ferocious Racecourse Wars, when Darby Sabini, Billy Kimber, Freddie Gilbert and others slugged it out for control of bookmakers pitches, and of such big hitters as George Sage, the guv’nor of Camden Town, Tommy Benneworth and Dodger Mullins.
Every district had its ‘firm’, from Kings Cross to Chelsea and Peckham to the Angel, some forming alliances to rout their deadliest rivals. Even as they gave way to more organised gangsters like Billy Hill, Jack Spot and Johnny Carter, the street gangs still supplied many of their henchmen and most feared fighters. Gangs of London is a riveting journey through the violent underbelly of one of the world’s great cities." [Source]

For me it sounds like a scratch book for a historical crime series ......

In October 2010 I reviewed the science fiction debut novel CassaStaR (October 19th,2010) [ISBN-13: 978-0981621067] by Alex J. Cavanaugh. I liked the book a lot and I liked the awesome CassaStaR book trailer too. Watch the trailer again!


There is a BOOK TRAILER CONTEST over at Spunk On A Stick. And the CassaStaR book trailer made it to the final round!!!
If you like the CassaStaR book trailer as much as I do then don't hesitate and vote for the CassaStaR book trailer at the BOOK TRAILER CONTEST.
But hurry up!! Voting ends at 9 pm on Sunday, January 9.

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.

From time to time I have a look at upcoming series in US TV. Even I can't be sure that they will aired in Germany too. Today you get some information about Falling Skies, produced by Steven Spielberg.
"FALLING SKIES opens in the chaotic aftermath of an alien attack that has left most of the world completely incapacitated. In the six months since the initial invasion, the few survivors have banded together outside major cities to begin the difficult task of fighting back. Each day is a test of survival as citizen soldiers work to protect the people in their care while also engaging in an insurgency campaign against the occupying alien force.
At the center of the series is Tom Mason (Noah Wyle), a Boston history professor whose family has been torn apart. His wife was killed in the initial attack, and one of his three sons has been captured. Determined to get his son back and to ensure the safety of his other two sons, Tom must put his extensive knowledge of military history to the test as one of the leaders of the resistance movement known as the 2nd Mass, because of their location in Boston, Mass. They are constantly trying to gain intelligence about the aliens in order to one day outsmart and overtake them and hopefully rebuild their lives.
[...]
FALLING SKIES focuses on the resilience of the survivors and their determination to maintain their humanity when all else has been destroyed. It is a tale of endurance, commitment and courage in which everyday people are called upon to become heroes. They may be outmatched, outnumbered and outgunned, but nothing can beat the human spirit. Most of all, the series is about the ties that bind people together in the most difficult of circumstances.
The aliens in the series are mighty, mysterious and merciless. They are highly intelligent and use military-like tactics, which makes them an overwhelming force against the 2nd Mass. There are two types of aliens that the human survivors have named Skitters and Mechs. Combining live action and special visual effects, the Skitters have spider-like bodies and incredible strength and agility. The deadly, robotic Mechs stand upright and can shoot bullets from their arms. The aliens control captured children, like Tom's son Ben, through bio-mechanical harnesses but have yet to reveal their ultimate plan for them. "

I must say for me it sounds interesting enough to give it a try, in case it will be aired in Germany.
So let's have a look at the trailer ....




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.

Elephant is the keyword of today's quotes ......

"When you have got an elephant by the hind leg, and he is trying to run away, it's best to let him run.
Abraham Lincoln, 16th president of US (1809 - 1865)

"An elephant is a mouse with an operating system
Author unknown

"Contrary to what most people say, the most dangerous animal in the world is not the lion or the tiger or even the elephant. It's a shark riding on an elephant's back, just trampling and eating everything they see.
Jack Handy, American Writer and cast member of Saturday Night Live from 1991-2003.
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