Update: Changes Are Coming


ANOTHER WORLD’S UPCOMING CHANGES

THE MONTH OF JUNE WILL HERALD A SHIFT IN FOCUS IN ADDITION TO SOME OTHER MINOR CHANGES

 
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A new month is almost upon us, and there are some minor changes coming to the blog moving forward. The most significant of these changes is a new feature called Indie Focus. As the name suggests, this feature will bring about a deliberate and concerted effort to highlight more self-published books and authors. This decision has been prompted, in large part, by my recent foray into self-publishing, giving me an appreciation of how difficult it can be for independent authors to gain visibility for their work, and find people willing to review their books. As a result, I intend to do my part to redress this situation by spotlighting more self-published fantasy and science fiction titles, securing interviews with independent authors, and (more importantly) increasing the quantity of self-published book reviews. The review policy link will be updated in the coming days to reflect this change in focus.

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Review: The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz By L. Frank Baum


FOLLOW THE YELLOW BRICK ROAD

THE FITTINGLY WONDERFUL MODERN FAIRY TALE WITH BRAINS, HEART AND COURAGE THAT BECAME A TIMELESS CLASSIC

 

Book CoverThe Wonderful Wizard Of Oz
(The Oz Series, Book 1)

L. Frank Baum

Genre: Children’s Classic, Juvenile Fantasy
Publisher: Hesperus Press
Format: Paperback, 448 Pages
Date: 1st April 2013 (First Published 1900)

ISBN-10: 1843913909
ISBN-13: 978-1843913900

 
Purchase From: Amazon | Book Depository
 

In the introduction to his defining work, The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz, American children’s author, L. Frank Baum mentioned that his purpose in writing the story was to bring about a new kind of fairy tale for children to enjoy. He was of the view that the traditional fairy tales of old should essentially be confined to the dustbin of history; that it was no longer required for children’s stories to be cautionary tales with moral lessons to impart, as morality was now part of a modern education. His goal was to make his book a modernised fairy tale that retained the excitement and entertainment, but did away with all the moralising. Whether his opinion of traditional fairy tales has merit or not is for others to decide.

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Quote: Guilty Pleasures, “Graves Are For The Living…”


THE QUOTABLE QUOTE OF THE DAY

 

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Graves are for the living, not the dead. It gives us something to concentrate on instead of the fact that our loved one is rotting under the ground.

Laurell K. Hamilton
Guilty Pleasures

 
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Review: The Lies Of Locke Lamora By Scott Lynch


THEY SEEK HIM HERE, THEY SEEK HIM THERE

AN ELUSIVE CON ARTIST FINDS HIMSELF EMBROILED IN THE DEADLY SCHEME OF A FOE EVEN MORE ELUSIVE

 

Book CoverThe Lies Of Locke Lamora
(Gentleman Bastard Series, Book 1)

Scott Lynch

Genre: High Fantasy
Publisher: Gollancz
Format: Paperback, 544 Pages
Date: 1st February 2007 (First Published 2006)

ISBN-10: 0575079754
ISBN-13: 978-0575079755

 
Purchase From: Amazon | Book Depository
 

Warning! This book is liable to make your blood boil if (like this reviewer) you have a deep antipathy towards criminals and criminality. The “hero” of the story, and his associates, are not just criminals, they are the unrepentant variety who take great pleasure in their scumbaggery, and the misery they cause. If their victims were also criminals it would be less of an issue; however, as this is not the case, every misfortune that befalls these lowlifes will warm your heart, while, by the same token, any time they escape their just comeuppance will leave you bemoaning how unfair life is.

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Review: God’s War By Kameron Hurley


A NEW BREED OF (ANTI) HEROINE HAS ARRIVED

ASS-KICKING, HEAD CHOPPING WOMAN RE-WRITES THE CONVENTIONS OF A GENRE AS SHE UNDERTAKES A MISSION SHE CAN’T REFUSE

 

Book CoverGod’s War
(Bel Dame Apocrypha, Book 1)

Kameron Hurley

Genre: Science Fantasy
Publisher: Del Rey
Format: Paperback, 432 Pages
Date: 16th January 2014 (First Published 2010)

ISBN-10: 0091952786
ISBN-13: 978-0091952785

 
Purchase From: Amazon | Book Depository
 

Part science fiction, part urban fantasy, God’s War is a rather difficult novel to nail down, due in no small part to its inherent contradictions. For example, certain facets of the book are incredibly original and unique, yet the plot progresses in a very predictable manner; there is little, if anything, within the run-of-the-mill narrative that will take you by surprise. Also, several interesting characters are introduced throughout the story, yet interesting never translates into memorable; you’ll have a hard time remembering any names once you’ve finished reading the book. It is a novel that is rather good at setting up expectations, but not so good at meeting them.

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Quote: A Princess Of Mars, “I Do Not Believe…”


THE QUOTABLE QUOTE OF THE DAY

 

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I do not believe that I am made of the stuff which constitutes heroes, because, in all of the hundreds of instances that my voluntary acts have placed me face to face with death, I cannot recall a single one where any alternative step to that I took occurred to me until many hours later.

Edgar Rice Burroughs
A Princess Of Mars

 
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Review: Bitten By Kelley Armstrong


IT TOOK A SECOND TO CHANGE ELENA’S LIFE…

FEW READERS WILL ESCAPE THE SENSE OF DEJA VU. YES, YOU’VE READ THIS STORY NUMEROUS TIMES BEFORE

 

Book CoverBitten
(The Women Of The Otherworld, Book 1)

Kelley Armstrong

Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Orbit
Format: Paperback, 464 Pages
Date: 6th May 2010 (First Published 2001)

ISBN-10: 1841499188
ISBN-13: 978-1841499185

 
Purchase From: Amazon | Book Depository
 

When Kelley Armstrong’s debut novel, Bitten, was first published in 2001 the urban fantasy genre was still very much in its infancy, hence the book didn’t need to do much to stand out; Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series was more or less the only high profile competition. As the market was not yet as saturated as it is today the tropes that readers now come to expect of the genre had not been established. One obvious benefit of this circumstance is that readers at the time would more than likely not have viewed the story as lacking in originality. Sixteen years later, however, anyone reading the book for the first won’t be able to escape the feeling they’ve read it all before.

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Review: Ancillary Sword By Ann Leckie


SOCIAL JUSTICE WILL COME TO THE EMPIRE

IF AT FIRST YOU DON’T SUCCEED… ABANDON YOUR REVENGE AND WORK FOR YOUR DISSOCIATIVE DISORDER AFFLICTED NEMESIS?

 

Book CoverAncillary Sword
(Imperial Radch, Book 2)

Ann Leckie

Genre: Science Fiction, Space Opera
Publisher: Orbit
Format: Paperback, 384 Pages
Date: 7th October 2014

ISBN-10: 0356502414
ISBN-13: 978-0356502410

 
Purchase From: Amazon | Book Depository
 

If you cast your mind back to 2013 you may not recall that Ann Leckie’s début novel, Ancillary Justice, was published with little in the way of fanfare or hype. Yet you’ll have no difficulty remembering that the book quickly garnered great critical acclaim, which translated into significant commercial success. The book went on to win both the Hugo Award and the Nebula Award for Best Novel, as well as the Arthur C. Clarke Award. These plaudits, in addition to the other awards and nominations, were well deserved because Ancillary Justice was a breath of fresh air. The space opera genre had for many years been a stale wasteland of tedious novels weighed down by their bloated, cliché-ridden narratives. But Leckie conspired to bring something more original and satisfying to the table than most of her contemporaries were producing.

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Review: The Invisible Man By H.G. Wells


THE ORIGINAL MAD SCIENTIST

FROM THE IMAGINATION OF SCI-FI’S GREATEST PIONEER, A TALE THAT’S NEITHER GROTESQUE NOR ROMANTIC, BUT STILL ESSENTIAL READING

 

Book CoverThe Invisible Man

H.G. Wells
 

Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Penguin Classics
Format: Paperback, 208 Pages
Date: 31st March 2005 (First Published 1897)

ISBN-10: 014143998X
ISBN-13: 978-0141439983

 
Purchase From: Amazon | Book Depository
 

I have previously made the case that H.G. Wells is the most influential science fiction author of all time, ahead of such luminaries as Verne, Clarke and Asimov. Despite his obvious limitations as a fiction writer, he was an exceptionally creative and original storyteller with an imagination unrivalled by his peers; many of his ideas were truly ahead of their time. While it may be difficult to categorically state which of his published stories should be considered his definitive work (as there are several candidates), his 1897 novella, The Invisible Man, is arguably his best known work. It has been a hugely influential book, spawning numerous adaptations in other mediums, and been a source of inspiration to countless other writers. Little wonder that over a century after its first publication the story continues to be reprinted to this day.

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