Avatar is a decent movie. It’s not great because A) it’s way too damn long, B) It doesn’t have enough scenes of things fighting other things, and C) It’s just not that groundbreaking.
Don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed it. I thought it was pretty good for what it was. But can we just admit that it was a decent sci fi animated film and leave it at that. Honestly, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs was a better movie. It was funnier. It was more creative. It had more heart. It wasn’t melodramatic. It didn’t have long, boring segments reminding us that nature is good (a message I do happen to support by the way). And, of course, Cloudy had Mr. T, who is even cooler than a twenty foot tall battle robot and a space jaguar combined. Read the rest of this entry »
So, in my trilogy The Godless World, quite a few characters don’t make it through to the end. That’s ‘quite a few’ in the sense of ‘quite a lot’, which when you think about it is an odd little quirk of the English language. Anyway, more than one reader noted the frequency with which significant players in the plot meet with abrupt and terminal misfortune. I’m hardly the first fantasy author to explore that particular territory in recent years, but I’d like to assure people that this kind of thing isn’t always easy for the author. I did give this stuff some thought. In fact, let’s review roughly how it went (note character names have been redacted to keep the dread beast Spoilerage firmly in its cage): Read the rest of this entry »
Ladies and gentlemen, I present the cover for the first book of the highly anticipated new trilogy by Brent Weeks. The Night Angel Trilogy (starting with the New York Times Bestseller THE WAY OF SHADOWS) has been a huge success worldwide and I know a lot of people have been dying to see what Mr. Weeks writes next. Well you’re going to have to wait a little longer for the book, but I can give you a little taste by showing you the kick-ass (yes, that’s a technical design term) cover for THE BLACK PRISM.
I don’t want to say too much about the new series (because the editor will kill me if I give too much away) but Brent has created a very cool new world, complete with solid characters and a really interesting magic system. If you liked the Night Angel Trilogy, you’ll love this (And if you haven’t read the Night Angel Trilogy, you should be ashamed of yourself, really.) Read the rest of this entry »
SOMETIMES I sit here drinking a good single malt and ponder my Ghost Novels. Well, let’s be honest: I sit here drinking a good single malt doing just about everything, to the point where Orbit has assigned me my own handler who attempts to stop or at least slow down my drinking. God bless him, he’s an unpaid intern who I often overhear muttering darkly to himself about his lot in life, but Orbit feels it’s necessary because of a few recent incidents we managed to keep out of the papers through bribery, threats, and promises of community service to come. Legally, I can say no more. Read the rest of this entry »
I first heard about this novel in May 2008, when N.K. Jemisin’s agent called me to tell me she had found someone that she knew I would love and who reminded her of all my favorite authors. (I think she keeps a list of editors with their favorite authors next to them — so she knew how to hit all my buttons.)
Many books are good, some are great, but few are truly important. Add to this last category The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, N.K. Jemisin’s debut novel…In this reviewer’s opinion, this is the must-read fantasy of the year.”
I’m over the moon with the attention Nora (a Nebula nomination!!) and the novel are getting! Now in printed (and e-book) glory — and at a bookstore (virtual and otherwise) near you. And if you haven’t yet, be sure to read the first three chapters at Nora’s site.
‘Mr Shivers is a startling debut, a deft amalgam of thriller, cerebral horror and American gothic, written with a stark and artful simplicity that complements the examination of struggling humanity pushed to its limits.’ The Guardian
‘Bennett’s novel is as riveting in its slow-burning accumulation of tension as it is atmospheric in its period evocation … The economical, persuasive characterisation and the sudden shocking outbursts of horror owe something to [Stephen] King, the master of contemporary horror, but the brilliantly realised picture of dustbowl America is firmly in the [John] Steinbeck tradition. It’s not stretching a point to say that, at times, Bennett’s stinging but hauntingly poetic prose aspires to the quality of that author’s best work … This terrifying odyssey through a blighted period in American history will stick in readers’ minds for a long time.’ Daily Express
‘A ravishing debut … Supremely chilling, it never loses its grip in its journey to the edge of the apocalypse.’ Daily Mail
In book design generally, but especially in sci-fi/fantasy book covers, there’s always a lot of talk about series looks, and sometimes that extends to author looks. Even if an author isn’t writing books in a series, I always attempt to establish a look for them that can tie together all of their books. As a fan, I love it when an author has a really distinctive look, so I can tell it’s a new book by them from a mile away. Yes, I know as a geek AND a designer I do pay more attention to these things, but I think it is safe to say sci-fi/fantasy fans are a design-aware bunch and very much notice these things. I get a little thrill when I see a whole row of books that are recognizably in a unit. That’s why I like to pay attention to spines alot, and try to get as much art (albeit small art) on them as I can.
Sabina Kane is back in a new urban fantasy, and this time she’s going to the Big Easy. (But you knew that by the ornamental ironwork balcony behind her, right?) Half mage/ half vampire and all kick-ass, I think this cover continues Craig White‘s great illustrations for the series. I’ve already read all three Sabina Kane books (aren’t you jealous?) and I have to say, if you liked Red-Headed Stepchild then definitely stick around for Mage in Black and Green-Eyed Demon, they just get better.
I’ve been thinking quite a bit this week about conspiracy theories.
But I guess you already knew that, huh?
Come on, tell the truth here. You, I’m talking to you!
Maybe you’ve been trawling through my emails, hmm, yeah? Find anything juicy?
Or perhaps you keep an automatic log of all my Google entries. So every time I type ‘conspiracy’ or ‘evil empire’ or ‘oppressive surveillance culture’, a little light goes on in a computer somewhere and my name is flagged up as a potential trouble-maker.