Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!

Go check out Greenhorn and the special holiday comic that's up! And then send me e-mails full of free candy. Nothing with coconut in it. If I taste coconut, I will make your email inbox explode. I can do it with my mind.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Stupid book!

Check out my review for The Younger Gods by David & Leigh Eddings! I didn't like it. Not one bit, not a single word.

Books, books, books...

I recently discovered the Montclair Book Center just up the road from me. It's awesome; shelves towering up to the ceiling stuffed with books, all old and yellowy and smelling of something pungent and old. I love it. They have a ton of books I'd really like to get, but for the moment I grabbed some old anthologies from long past. This will definitely be a place I visit frequently. Here's a pic of the books I got for a simple $15.00:

Here's what I scored:
- Rocannon's World by Ursula K. Le Guin
- Quozl by Alan Dean Foster
- Great Short Novels of Adult Fantasy I edited by Lin Carter
- The DAW Science Fiction Reader edited by Donald A. Wollheim
- Sword and Sorceress edited by Marion Zimmer Bradley
- Future on Fire edited by Orson Scott Card
- Isaac Asimov's Magical Worlds of Fantasy 2: Witches edited by Isaac Asimov, Martin H. Greenberg, and Charles G. Waugh
- Isaac Asimov's Magical Worlds of Fantasy 11: Curses edited by Isaac Asimov, Martin H. Greenberg, and Charles G. Waugh

Of all that I'm most pleased with the le Guin novel. It's also in pretty good condition for being some thirty years old. Inside it, they mention how she's getting some early praise for The Left Hand of Darkness. Hee. Well, duh. And, whatever, I like Alan Dean Foster, so there.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Score one for spooning!

I was just flipping through my contrib. copy of Dark Jesters, which contains my short story "To Make a Friend," and I noticed a short section at the back that contains comments on all the stories from the zine's editors. Of mine, Nick Cato said:

"This one's like an insane mixture of Young Frankenstein and the seldom-seen 70s schlocker, Doctor Gore. I think it was the mention of 'spooning' that initially won the Jestitors over...and I actually laughed harder the fourth or fifth time I read it."

Cool. Score one for spooning.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Farthing reviewww

Check out my review of Farthing, Issue 3! There's some really good stories in this issue.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Let's see...

NaNoWriMo is coming up very soon. Seven days. Wait, eight. Ah, who knows. I didn't go to school for counting. The outline for Waterways is mostly finished, but there's definitely enough there to start out at a strong pace. I'll be documenting my progress here daily so if you like word countings, witless ramblings, and that infamous whine that is a writer struggling live without a net, well, this is the place then. Enjoy your stay and don't forget to tip the maid!

Also, I suck at self-promoting things I do. Basically, I just post a link on here and leave it at that. Well, with that out in the open, please visit Greenhorn, my web comic about the speculative fiction world, and if you like what you see/read, leave me a comment. If you hate it, leave me a comment too. Either way, you'll make my day. I promise.

Hmmm...videogame news? I beat Sly Cooper 3: Honor Among Thieves the other day. Fun game though it felt like they threw in every single mini-game idea possible just to have the game brimming over with junk to do. Some were fun, some were stupid, but all in all the game was enjoyable. Now I'm trying to finish playing Killzone, which is really stupid, but I feel bad about buying a new game when I have so many that I still need to finish. So I'm holding back from buying new games until I beat the ones I got. There is one exception though. Final Fantasy XII comes out on October 31. I will either buy it once I complete NaNoWriMo or I will buy it December 1. That'll be a nice treat.

And, to end on a more somber note, I'm currently reading the biography of James Tiptree, Jr./Alice B. Sheldon by Julie Phillips and it's the most engaging thing I've probably ever read. Really, she was a fascinating woman. And all I can think of as I read is how me and her are so similar in a lot of small ways. Several large ones save that I'm not as fascinating. I encourage everyone to learn more about her and read "The Women Men Don't See."

Seacrest ou...Paul out!

Friday, October 20, 2006

My BSG post (spoilers within)

Well, it was inevitable. It was only a matter of time until I finally came to this moment, but it's now, so get ready for it:

Battlestar Galactica is one of the best television shows to ever see light in the past twenty years. Simple as that. It's what space opera should be; engaging characters, an ever building air of tension, strong storylines, marvelous editing, special effects that actually look good, and creepy-as-hell-sex-fiendish-broken-robots!

Season One, now thinking back to it, was quite tame, but it was a strong season, mainly due to the marvelous four-hour miniseries that launched the show to new popularity. The question of who might be a Cylon and who might not be was always on the forefront of my mind as I watched the show. It was enticing, making each episode more and more nervous to watch. And the season finale...near perfect. We'd spent a whole season following Sharon around, hoping she wasn't what she feared she was. We grew to like her as a character, to be sympathetic to her actions, and then BAM! she goes and shoots Adama. Triggered. Like that. Amazing.

Season Two, was a mixed bag. The first half...great. So much chaos; Sharon being a Cylon, the search for Earth, Pegasus showing up, and more. Everything was moving at a good pace with the acting getting better and better each episode. Then the next half was all right. The wait inbetween was enough to annoy me but then the producers decided to kill off Billy (Billy! You were great!) so that Apollo and Dee could fall in love. Blah. The season finale, which set things up for what's happening now, was good. I was impressed that Ron Moore wasn't afraid to take the show in a whole new direction. Granted, some episodes of Season Two--along with some certain deaths and actions--felt like filler. And for a show this amazing, that is not acceptable.

Season Three, so far has blown my mind. Let's ignore the use of mirroring the War On Terror for a moment and look at what the show is doing. It's getting back to basics, getting folks off New Caprica, and making another run from the Cylons. We've got whole new relationships and the Cylons are more than just machines. Xena is even...I mean whatever number she is...is looking for love. There's torture, betrayal, and sacrifices. And it's only been four episodes so far. I'm hooked. I can't wait to see how the show plays out over the rest of the season.

Frakking amazing. So say we all.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Crossover review

Check out my review for Joel Shepherd's Crossover! It's a fun sci-fi thriller easily akin to that of Ghost in the Shell. Very enjoyable.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Friday, October 06, 2006

Review for the kingdom!

Check out my review of Cherie Priest's Wings to the Kingdom! It'll be out come mid-October, just in time for the ghosts and ghouls of Halloween. Definitely worth the bucks.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Lake sale!

154-day sale to The Blue Lady for my short story "Love Under the Lake," which is scheduled to appear in issue #2. This is my second horror story dealing with creepy lake things and I'm happy to see it find a home.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Hocuses, powers, and wards, oh my!

I love debuts. Love, love, love, love them. In 2006 so far, I've read a good share of author debuts (Crystal Rain by Tobias S. Buckell, Four and Twenty Blackbirds by Cherie Priest, According to Crow by E. Sedia, Agent to the Stars by John Scalzi, and Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom by Cory Doctorow to name a few) and have enjoyed just about each and every one of them. Mélusine by Sarah Monette is no different.

It takes place in the city of the novel's namesake, a sprawling mass of buildings and districts, each with their own brood of inhabitants and creatures. The narration is divided between two distinctly different characters; Mildmay the Fox, a kept-thief and one sarcastic but witty man, and Felix Harrowgate, a nobleman and hocus with a dark past. They both lead seperate lives but once the Virtu, a monument of extreme importance to the city and its magicians, is broken, Mildmay and Felix will have to flee the city. Inevitably, they will meet up. But can they help each other or will their pasts hinder the cause?

Mélusine is a bit slow at first, chugging through the usual standards of welcoming the reader into the city, showing off its buildings rich with history and dropping hints of the weird and off-beat. Mildmay's chapters started out right with a bit of thieving and running around and some light flirting. Felix, well, his chapters were interesting, yes, but I found them harder to get through. Each are told from first person perspective, and I was happy to see that their voices were unique enough to seperate the two as characters. Probably one of the big reasons I enjoyed Mildmay more is that he likes to curse. A lot. Kethe, that's just great.

The book picks up the pace midway through and by then it's smooth sailing. Er, well, not for the characters. Hard times are ahead and as they begin to learn more and more about each other it becomes apparent why they need to stick together. There are other members of the cast, but they eventually get left behind and many never seem to have a real importance in the book except to help Mildmay/Felix from one place to the other. Hopefully, The Virtu will dive more into the relationship of Felix and Lord Shannon. And Malkar. Oh, he was a nasty brute but we don't see him for much of the book.

My favorite aspect of Mélusine is Monette's manipulation of its language. Kethe, powers, hocus, and more. The word "magic" is actually seldom used. The worldbuilding within is masterful, and you can tell the city is brimming with history. Everything felt natural, and it certainly showed that Monette knows her world well. Granted, I didn't completely understand her calendar/time system on the first go, but she has posted an interesting explanation of how it works.

Anyways, it's out in mass market paperback now so there is absolutely no reason not to check it out. The Virtu is out in hardback, and two more novels set in the same world are planned to be released in the future.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Blog celebration

Hey! I started this blog in October 2005! Now it's October 2006! I'll leave the rest for you intellects to figure out. Huzzah!