31 March, 2010

Review - The Gunslinger by Stephen King

You ever find that you like a book more and more the longer you think about it? I didn't overly love The Gunslinger (1982) [US] [UK] when I finished it, but the more I keep thinking about it, the more I really like what King has done here.

I read that Stephen King considers The Dark Tower series to be his magnum opus and The Gunslinger is quite an enjoyable start to a series that, word has it, gets a bit wordy toward the end.

After putting The Stand down at around 300 pages last year I really can't believe I entered King's mind again so soon. I hated almost all of the characters in The Stand and had a terrible time moving forward. Luckily, The Gunslinger is only 300 quick pages, instead of the massive 1100 or so in The Stand. Not to mention, a couple of blogs and SFFWorld forum members have been talking up the series, so here I am.

First, I have to say I love the cover art. It not only speaks of the story, but automatically gets you in the right mood for The Gunslinger. This tale is ominous and vast, it's desolate and post-apocalyptic and the cover says it all.

Told in five parts that were originally published separately in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, this is the tale of the last gunslinger pursuing "the man in black" through a parallel world that echoes our own world in many ways. Some of those being old, run-down gas pumps, train tracks and memories of singing "Hey Jude".

At first it was difficult to see what the gunslinger's motivations were in tracking the man in black and they aren't really made clear until we have a few flash-backs to the gunslinger's earlier travels and his youth. This made moving forward through the novel a bit labored, but the last 50 or so pages are definitely worth it as we're given more and more glimpses into the gunslinger's life.

Each new place in the gunslinger's travels, we find people desperately clinging to life in any way they can. Each time, the gunslinger finds subtle traps which have been put in place by the man in black to keep the gunslinger at bay.

Although slow at times and almost as confusing as Erikson's Malazan series (but more linear), The Gunslinger has some great moments that stick with you. The overall tone of the novel is very dark and ominous and I think King is one of the only authors I can excuse for not having a map, which would only detract.

When Should You Read This?

Read The Gunslinger when you're ready to start a huge series and I mean "huge" in terms of page count and world. While The Gunslinger could probably be read as a stand-alone (if you ignore the last couple pages), it is definitely a springboard to the rest of the series with several unresolved and newly created elements coming in at the very end.


3.5 out of 5 Stars (really liked it)

29 March, 2010

Giveaways: Serpent Moon, Brain Thief & Shadow Prowler

Furthering my efforts to reduce my overcrowded shelves, one lucky reader will be the beneficiary of these three books:

Pray to your gods of luck, cash in your bonus entries, and wish a blight on any winners but yourself. As usual, good snark with your entry increases chances of winning and rewards bonus entries for future contests.

Giveaway Rules

Want a copy of all these books for free? Done. Just follow these simple giveaway instructions for your chance to win (giveaway runs till 4/15/10 @ 11:59 PM EST):

1) E-mail me [bloggeratf@gmail.com] your name and address, with "THREE" in caps, as the subject. Snarky comments increase your chances of winning and the snarkiest comment of the week gets free entries for future giveaways.
2) Sign up for site updates either in RSS or with Friend Connect on the side. This will also let you know about future giveaways!
3) Think happy thoughts.
4) (OPTIONAL) Share or link to any post on the blog--this earns you brownie points as well as increasing your (if you have made it this far) already significant odds.
5) There is no rule number five. I just like odd numbers.

28 March, 2010

Am I Reading the Wrong Books?

Every now and then I go over to Amazon, jump to Science Fiction & Fantasy and then hesitantly click on on Bestsellers. The experience was truly a revelation. The top 25 Science Fiction & Fantasy Bestsellers list contains not a single book I have read and only one I am remotely tempted to read.

Am I reading the wrong books?

I recognize virtually all the authors, including Charlaine Harris, Stephenie Meyer, and Jim Butcher (I have actually read a book by Butcher). That said, I can't dream of reading anything by these authors. Its all just too urban fantasyish for my tastes.

My first rule of book buying is never buy anything with a half dressed person on the cover. This rule eliminates about 90% of the erotic/romance fantasy out there. The only decent series in this category that I have broken the rule for and enjoyed (if you stop at book three) is Kushiel's Legacy by Jacqueline Carey. That is the exception though, not the rule. Looking at the Amazon list again, 7 of the 25 books there have women in various states of undress. I won't get into the number of hooded characters on the covers, as the post might just degenerate into a rant.

Thank you blogosphere.

Browsing my sidebar instantly provides a list of at least five books I am comfortable reading. I don't really think I am strange or weird for not liking anything on the amazon list. I know that many of you feel the same way, although some of you don't.

Looking at the list, I can't help but think that I am a minority reader within a minority of readers. The fact  that Amazon doesn't have an Urban Fantasy subsection within or outside of Science Fiction & Fantasy is somewhat shocking. Aren't they the largest online retailer? Yes, they most definitely are. You would think they could spend some time organizing their books so that people like me don't have to click on the third page of bestsellers to start seeing books I want to read.

Ok, amazon has gotten enough hate lately so I won't go too hard on them. It isn't their fault they hire incompetent list-makers.

What does all this mean?

I'm sad. I though the books I read were widely accepted and read. I guess I was living in a dream where writing ability trumped naked women on covers. I guess I was wrong. As I slink back to my niche within a niche that is the spec fic blogosphere, I invite your reflections on this disturbing topic.

27 March, 2010

Bona Fide: Weekly Roundup #13

Hello and welcome to issue #13 of my Weekly Roundup. A lot of things have happened within this week. That is the reason why you have had to wait some hours longer to read this Roundup. Spring weather left my region on Friday. Now it is colder, the sky is gray and it rains a lot. But I'm fine. I received great books and mails. And I enjoyed the pleasure of Twitter. Unfortunately my time for Twitter is limited due to my work. Anyway look forward to May. Seak and I are making plans for some combined reviews.... Enjoy reading

Bona Fide's Menu

  1. Book Trailer: Wintercraft by Jenna Burtenshaw
  2. The Ninth Avatar by Todd Newton
  3. My Surprise of the Week: A package form Tor publicist Cassandra Ammerman
  1. Calendar: A Song Of Ice And Fire 2011
  2. The Malazan Book of the Fallen: Blog Activities
  3. The Pleasures of Twitter: Thanks to Beautiful Books
  4. Two Interviews with Tad Williams
  1. Today is Game Time: The Witcher 2. Assassin of Kings
  1. German proverbs, sayings and idioms Spring Tiredness . . . Blood


In Weekly Roundup #08 I posted about Wintercraft (May 2010, ISBN-13: 978-0755370962) which the upcoming debut novel by Jenna Burtenshaw.
"Ten years ago Kate Winters' parents were taken by the High Council's wardens to help with the country's war effort. Now the wardens are back...and prisoners, including Kate's uncle Artemis, are taken south on the terrifying Night Train. Kate and her friend Edgar are hunted by a far more dangerous enemy. Silas Dane -- the High Council's most feared man -- recognises Kate as one of the Skilled; a rare group of people able to see through the veil between the living and the dead. His spirit was damaged by the High Council's experiments into the veil, and he's convinced that Kate can undo the damage and allow him to find peace. The knowledge Kate needs lies within Wintercraft -- a book thought to be hidden deep beneath the graveyard city of Fume. But the Night of Souls, when the veil between life and death is at its thinnest, is just days away and the High Council have their own sinister plans for Kate and Wintercraft. To help Artemis, Edgar and herself, Kate must honour her pact with a murderer and come face to face with the true nature of death." [Source]
A blurb without cover? Does this make sense? No, of course. But instead of the cover I like to present you the atmospheric Wintercraft trailer....

Like my good friend Harry Markov - the unbelievable guy behind Temple Library Reviews - I would like to spread word about The Ninth Avatar (2010, ISBN-13: n 978-0984207046) by Todd Newton. This debut novel has been self-published in 2009. Then it has been picked up by Trappdoor Books. What is the book about?
"Wizards have wondered for generations when a human would ascend to become the Ninth Avatar, and what would happen when they did. Opinions differ, but the Ninth Pillar of Magic—that of Darkness—is feared by many whether they use magic or not.
When Starka, an outcast priestess of the magic loathing Cathedrals of Myst, receives a prophecy heralding this ascension, a new force rises to threaten the entire known world. The Carrion army, a race of transformed humans bearing black horns and an unquenchable thirst for blood, destroys every city it comes across. Their leader, Zion, has only one goal: to become the living embodiment of magic that is the Ninth Avatar.
Aiding Starka in her quest to halt this are DaVille, a mysterious warrior bent on killing the Carrion leader; Cairos, a wizard from the betrayed city of Illiadora; and Wan Du and Lady Mayrah, a man and woman from rival nations now decimated by the Carrion. Amidst all this turmoil, Wadam, a Cardinal of Starka’s faith, seeks to seize control of Myst for himself and thereby subjugate the female leaders.
With the world in peril Starka must find the means to prevent these things, or die trying." [Source]
And now tell me which kind of cover would you expect? Left or Right?

UNBELIEVABLE!! A a difference like day and night!! The left picture shows the cover of the self-published edition. The right one shows the result of the Trappdoor Books cover art department.

Finally some more good news! Co-blogger Seak will get a copy of The Ninth Avatar soon. So expect a great review in April!

This week I received a package from Cassandra Ammerman, publicist at Tor.com. I knew that Alec tried to get some books for me but I was not sure what to expect. I opened the package with shaky fingers and ...... found two books - one ARC and one paperback. Both books have been written by one author. I speak about Kage Baker who died in January 2010 at the age of 57. Maybe you know her famous Company series.
Let's start with The Empress of Mars (2010, ISBN-13: 978-0765325518) which is a novel set in the world of the Company.
"When the British Arean Company founded its Martian colony, it welcomed any settlers it could get. Outcasts, misfits and dreamers emigrated in droves to undertake the grueling task of terraforming the cold red planet--only to be abandoned when the BAC discovered it couldn't turn a profit on Mars.
This is the story of Mary Griffith, a determined woman with three daughters, who opened the only place to buy a beer on the Tharsis Bulge. It's the story of Manco Inca, whose attempt to terraform Mars brought a new goddess vividly to life; of Stanford Crosley, con man extraordinaire; of Ottorino Vespucci, space cowboy and romantic hero; of the Clan Morrigan, of the denizens of the Martian Motel, and of the machinations of another Company entirely, all of whom contribute to the downfall of the BAC and the founding of a new world. But Mary and her struggles and triumphs is at the center of it all, in her bar, the Empress of Mars.
Based on the Hugo-nominated novella of the same name, this is a rollicking novel of action, planetary romance, and high adventure."
That sounds very promising for me. Let's have a look at the ARC of Not Less Than Gods (2010, ISBN-13: 978-0765318916) which is the ninth book in the Company series. Gulp!!! Should this mean I have to buy and read the other eight books before?? I turned the book, read the back and was relieved:
"Now that the main story arc of Kage Baker's Company novels is completed, she has embarked upon a goup of novels set in the same world and investigating some of the same characters. She has written the story of the young life of Edward Fairfax, who lives in a secretly steampunk version of Victorian England, and in a Europe filled with covered and hidden advanced technologies."
That convinced me to put away every other book and start to read . I know that's crazy!! But I tell you after 106 pages I DIDN'T REGRET! Expect a review soon..... This is the US cover and the blurb:
"Edward is an idealist, and as he grows into manhood, it becomes apparent that he is some kind of superman. He can think faster than normal people, has the utter charm to persuade others, and possesses physical strength. He has been manipulated from birth, created for hidden purposes, and now as a young man is sent on a European tour, as a spy and and an assassin. Edward the idealistic assassin - perhaps the most dangerous man alive."
I can promise you that I will definitely read more Company novels!


Let me start this part with three questions. Do you like calendars? Do you like fantasy? Do you like ASOIAF? OK, it is not fair to work with abbreviations but in this case I could not withstand. ASOIAF means A Song Of Ice And Fire, a gorgeous series by George R.R. Martin. In July 2010 the new A song of Ice and Fire 2011 Calendar (ISBN-13: 978-0553808001) will be published.

Artist Ted Nasmith painted 12 castles located in Westeros, the world of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire. I find the pictures more than impressive. And I think it is not only a calendar for fans...

Ever heard from the great series The Malazan Book of the Fallen? All these incredible books written by Steven Erikson. There is a community called Malazan Empire. They offer a lot of information but I found it difficult to enter this community as a newcomer.
Therefore I read the first book in the series - The Gardens of the Moon - in 2009 on my own and I have been blown away. Then I won a copy of The Gardens of the Moon (2009, 10th anniversary edition,ISBN-13: 978-0593065068) and I thought by myself that this right cause to reread the book which is so far the only book of the whole series I read. As I found out I'm not the only one who wants to read/ reread which is great. If you want to read/reread the series and to talk about it then I highly recommend to have a look at following posts: Steven Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen: Joining forces by Mihai (Dark Wolf) and The Malazan Re-read of the Fallen: Introductory Post by Stefan Raets and Bill Capossere. Enjoy reading!

have to avow that I like Twitter a lot. Why? If you follow the right people (publishers, authors, publicists, reader, blogger) you can get a lot information about books AND you can get books. From Monday to Friday I use the most part of my lunch break for Twitter. Let me share my story from Friday with you.
I read following tweet by beautifulbooks:
"If anyone wants to #FF us that would be grand. Would make my day to get to 200 followers by the end of the day."
My answer:
"@beautifulbooks I'm follower 203. So you reached your target. Maybe you get 222 by the end of the day ;)"
Then I have had a look at Beautiful Books website and found instantly to books I would like to read. Therefore I twittered:
"@beautifulbooks just had a look at your website and found instantly two interesting books: Sweet Smell of Decay and A plague of Sinners :)"
And this was the totally unexpected answer:
"@ediFanoB Excellent! DM me your address and I'll send you a copy of Sweet Smell."
Of course I sent my address. This is the book I will get. Expect a review within the next three months.
The Sweet Smell of Decay (2009, ISBN-13: 978-1905636426) by Paul Lawrence which is the first book in a new series entitled The Chronicles of Harry Lytle.
"Firmly located in Restoration England, these are universally enjoyable novels which combine wonderful period detail and atmosphere with a riveting page-turning quality.

It's London,1664, and Harry has a big problem. He's just discovered he has a young cousin, Anne Giles, and he’s had the pleasure of meeting her for the first time – mutilated and laid out on the slab for an autopsy. His father has tasked him with job of tracking down Anne’s murderer. Harry has some robust assistance from one David Dowling, a resourceful and impressively well-built, but equally hygiene-deficient, butcher. Together they follow a trail of blood, conspiracy and corruption that takes them to the dark and murky corners of Restoration London, featuring a great cast of ne'er-do-wells, cheeky wenches, harmless witches, likeable villains, and not a few unsavoury fellows keen on sending Lytle and his companion to an early grave." [Source]
One more book settled in my favorite town London...

Do you like the books by Tad Williams? I do. And so have been tickled pink when I - thanks to my Goodreads contact and my Google Reader entries - found out that there are two new interviews with Tad Williams are available. Jason Baki, the good guy behind KAMVISION, interviewed Tad Williams recently. Peter Williams, a member of the new blog Speculative Book Review, posted his interview with Tad Williams today. Well done Jason and Peter. I think interviews is one of things which should have to add to the blog in future. I still need to work on my interview skills. And I hope to present you my first interview within 2010... Tim will tell.


There has been I time where I played games like Morrowind, Oblivion, The Watcher. I liked them a lot. And then I discovered the book blogosphere abyss. I stopped playing.... Within this week I found the trailer for The Witcher 2. Assassins of Kings. That could be a reason to play again.... Watch the trailer. ATTENTION: There is blood, a lot of blood......


Did you watch the Witcher 2 trailer? Then you know why I searched BLOOD quotes for you. Blood, the juice of life, vampire nutrition, Dexter - blood spatter analyst, ......

"Dexter Morgan: Blood. Sometimes it sets my teeth on edge, other times it helps me control the chaos

"Humor is a rubber sword - it allows you to make a point without drawing blood.
Mary Hirsch

"The word 'politics' is derived from the word 'poly', meaning 'many', and the word 'ticks', meaning 'blood sucking parasites'.
Larry Hardiman

"Aristotle was famous for knowing everything. He taught that the brain exists merely to cool the blood and is not involved in the process of thinking. This is true only of certain persons.
Will Cuppy

26 March, 2010

Review: The Exodus Gate by Stephen Zimmer

It took me some time to read and it took me also some time to find the proper words for the review of

The Exodus Gate (2009, 566 p.) [US][UK], Stephen Zimmer

One the one hand I stay in contact with Stephen Zimmer. He sent my a copy of The Exodus Gate and additional stuff. On the other hand these factors should not influence my own view. I tried to be honest and fair.
I felt I must write these words before the real review.

The Exodus Gate is the first book in the Rising Dawn Saga. What is the book about? Let me quote the back of the book because it gives you a fair view:
"Benedict Darwin, host of a popular late night radio show that deals with the paranormal, comes into possession of a virtual reality simulator that turns out to be something far greater and more powerful than he ever expected.
Supernatural powers from the Abyss and their human allies are working tirelessly to bring about a One World Government, bridging the boundaries of time and space to bring back the Nephilim, the offspring of Fallen Avatars and humans, who were destroyed in a Great Flood that occurred long ages ago.
On the verge of enslaving the entire world, the vast forces within the Abyss under their proud and defiant ruler Diabolos are more powerful than ever before, and they hunger to shake the foundations of Heaven itself. A Convergence of unprecedented proportions is underway, as meticulously designed plans from malevolent otherworldly powers, set into motion at the foundation of the world, begin to unfold.
In the face of this rising storm, other powers begin to come together to resist. A most unlikely group begins to form, including high school student Seth Engel and his friends, who witness pony-sized wolves during a hike in a forest where wolves have not been seen in decades, to Benedict, his niece Arianna, and even souls existing within the afterworld. The Exodus Gate sets in motion many new forces and unexpected allies that are not going to allow their world and those beyond to fall without a fight."

Rising Dawn Saga is Stephen's second series beside his The Fires of Eden series . Read my review of Crown of Vengeance. The setting of both series is totally different but there are some similarities in the structure of the story and the story telling. The story is told in seven sections. Each section is divided in several named chapters. Each chapter is told from a character's point of view. Like in Stephen Zimmer's Crown of Vengeance, The Exodus Gate shows interspersed chapters which are told by inhabitants from the different worlds and not only the "good" ones.

I read the first chapter - THE ABYSS - several times because I found it confusing. I sent a mail to Stephen and told him about my problem.
He replied " I intended to set a tone for the scale and supernatural elements of the book, before zeroing in on introducing a principle character, Benedict."
So don't get confused like I did. But Stephen hooked me with the next paragraph BENEDICT.
The imagination of a seven foot height wolf on two legs just face to face made my skin crawl.

I liked especially every use of the virtual reality simulator. But I lost a bit the contact the more the story turned to the real world.

And I must admit that there is one thing I really could not cope with: I call it the religious trace. There are so many religious references: names like Satariel, Gamaliel, Thaumiel,the Abyss as a symbol of hell, Benedict and Arianna look like pawns in the preparation of Armageddon, not to forget the Great Flood. And there are more.

Don't get me wrong. Stephen Zimmer delivers a sufficient foundation for the following books. His mix of ideas is unconventional. But for me there is too much religion in the book.
So we have one author with two series. And when I compare the
Rising Dawn Saga with The Fires of Eden series, then I must say that my heart beats for The Fires of Eden.

Nobody can love every book. I'm sorry Stephen but
The Exodus Gate is not my favorite kind of story.

Bona Fide's Book Oracle

What is Bona Fide's Book Oracle? To keep it short. It is a palaver about the reviewed book held by ediFanoB and his alter ego Bona Fide. And I am the keeper of the minutes. Now read my minutes..

Bona: "Hey Fide, last week urban steampunk romance. How would you categorize The Exodus Gate? Fide: "Hey Bona, you don't waste a second. Let's get down brass tacks! Let me enumerate: Adventure, history, science, fantasy and a trace of religion." Bona: "Not bad for a ninny-hammer like you. That means a scientific adventure?" Fide: "I'm a ninny-hammer. How should I know." Bona: "Hey, don't be in a snit. Lets come back to the trace of religion you mentioned. Any explanation for that?" Fide: "Well, for me the Abyss is a kind of hell. And Benedict and Arianna are pawns in the preparation of Armageddon." Bona: "That must not be bad." Fide: "Of course not. But you must like it. To be honest it is not exactly my taste." Bona: "You have a point here. One can't like/love any book." Fide: "Stephen put in a lot of efford to create a believable world." Bona: "He did a good job in this case. Fide: "But I can't cope with this resonant religious touch." Bona: "That's your opinion. I have had some connection with Benedict and Arianna. But I lost them somewhere in the middle of the book." Fide: "So what do we tell our readers?" Bona: "It is the groundtaking first book of an end of time - apocalypse - story." Fide: "With a lot of interesting creatures." Bona: "It seems we are more the Crown of Vengeance readers and lovers than The Fires of Eden followers." Fide: "Different books for different people. Stephen Zimmer is a versatile writer." Bona: "That's it for today." Fide: "Now it is your turn keeper of the minutes."

I'm the keeper of the minutes and this is my conclusion:
The Exodus Gate is a solid start of an end of time story mixed of adventure, history, science, fantasy and an obvious trace of religion. If you like this kind of mix then read it.

Stephen Zimmer, the author of The Exodus Gate, has been so kind as to send me a signed copy of The Exodus Gate.

UPDATE: In the meantime I received a comment via mail from Stephen Zimmer. He told me that he unterstood what I tried to say. And he asked me whether I will give the sequel a chance or not. The next book will contain a lot more action including a massive battle. Stephen, of course I will read the sequel under that condition. Of course I'm aware that the action doesn't replace the religious traces. But I hope that they are less obvious.

25 March, 2010

Review: The Speed of Dark, by Elizabeth Moon

The Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon is a remarkable dive into the mind of an autistic adult. Reminiscent in style and tone of the ‘speculative fiction’ of Margaret Atwood, The Speed of Dark is a moment of memorable genius that is both utterly compelling and morally and intellectually stimulating - an Arthur C. Clarke finalist and Nebula winner, this is a must read for everyone.

Elizabeth takes us into the mind of Lou, a high functioning autistic adult that works in the pattern recognition department of a corporate software firm. His co-workers are all autistic adults who, similar to Lou, are able to perform functions that a ‘normal’ person is unable to. I use the word “normal” with great reticence after having finished both Spellwright and The Speed of Dark in short succession, since both novels play heavily with the concept of what is normal and what is not - is there such a thing?

Elizabeth writes from the perspective of Lou and does so with such simple eloquence and utter sincerity that readers will literally become entranced. I most definitely was. The setting is roughly half a century in the future and human science has developed a remarkable mastery over the brain and its various functions. So far has the science been pushed that children born with autism can be cured within the first two years of life. Sadly, the protagonist and his co-workers were born just a little too late to benefit from such treatment, although they were recipients of advanced behavioral training that allows them to function at a high level in society.

Indeed, Lou is so ‘normal’ that he has become quite prodigious at fencing during his weekly class - by far the most compelling aspect of Elizabeth’s narrative. Lou's mastery of pattern recognition has allowed him to essentially predict the moves of his opponents and counter them appropriately. Experiencing the fencing bouts from Lou's perspective is startlingly akin to watching a magic duel unfold: the terms and concepts are familiar to the reader but there is a profound sense of enchantment, mystery, and excitement that is uniquely characteristic of speculative fiction.

The central dilemma of The Speed of Dark presents itself when Lou's corporate overlords, for budgetary reasons, want him and all of his co-workers to undergo a highly experimental treatment that promises to make them ‘normal’. Experiencing the conflict form Lou's perspective is quite literally breathtaking. He is someone that is intellectually capable of understanding and reasoning out human action and emotion but is incapable of the emotive processing which allows ‘normals’ to instantly interpret a smile or an awkward laugh. Interestingly, as I describe it to you now, I find my description of Lou's condition to be remarkably similar to that of sociochopaths… regardless, Lou is both fascinating and endearing - a strange mixture by all accounts, but one that works wonders.

I cannot recommend The Speed of Dark enough. Conceptually the writing and setting intertwine to weave a narrative that hits all the right notes without coming of as trite or cliche. To top it all off, you will never think of anyone with a disorder quite the same way again. A perspective altering novel that, in my opinion, should find its way into classrooms as well as the bring screen.

23 March, 2010

Review - Shadow's Edge by Brent Weeks

Shadow's Edge (2008) [US] [UK] by Brent Weeks is the second installment in The Night Angel trilogy and Weeks continues to impress with his debut series. Although the beginning slowed down the pace a bit, Weeks was able to keep the tempo going from The Way of Shadows (review) and finish with quite the finale.

I've attempted to eliminate as many spoilers as possible, but it's difficult to discuss sequels without giving away some from the first. Beware some spoilers if you've yet to read The Way of Shadows.

Book Blurb:
Kylar Stern has rejected the assassin's life. the Godking's successful coup has left Kylar's master, Durzo, and his best friend, Logan, dead. He is starting over: new city, new friends, and new profession.

But when he learns that Logan might actually be alive and in hiding, Kylar is faced with an agonizing choice: will he give up the way of shadows forever and live in peace with his new family, or will he risk everything by taking on the ultimate hit?

I have to say that I've really grown attached to these characters especially after two books and I thought Weeks did a great job with his sophomore novel, even improving on the first.

While The Way of Shadows dealt much with Kylar surviving the slums and making something new of himself, Shadow's Edge focuses on Kylar's struggle to find out who that person is he's become and where he belongs.

After moving to a new town, Caernarvon, to get out of the wetboy life, Kylar struggles to open a shop with Elene, selling and mixing herbs. Elene greatly wishes for Kylar to become a "good" person and stop his killing ways, but Kylar wonders if it's all that bad to stop those people who are really evil by sometimes killing.

These are some great philosophical points to ponder. Does one stoop to a murderer's level by killing them? Is there a difference between killing and murdering? These are some of the focal points of Kylar's struggle as he attempts to rise to Elene's level.

In Shadow's Edge, there are a number of new elements that are reminiscent of The Wheel of Time, such as The Chantry, where "Sisters" recruit others to teach them to use their Talent and the Lae'Knaught who hate magic and magic-users. There are more, but these similarities weren't too blaring and helped to increased the complexity of the story. See here for a lengthy and sometimes quite humorous discussion on SFFWorld (although spoilers abound).

Add to everything an awesome ending which brought many of the characters together, although not all of them knew it and you have yourself one great book. I did have a few problems that I mention here (with appropriate spoiler warnings) since I felt that an important element was glossed over.

When Should You Read Shadow's Edge?

Furthering The Way of Shadows' fast-paced, action-packed momentum, Shadow's Edge will keep you on your toes. If you're in the mood to stay up later than you normally do devouring a great tale of assassins, you'll love Shadow's Edge. Definitely recommended.

Rating and Links

4 out of 5 Stars (Loved it)

Rob Bedford reviewed Shadow's Edge as well.

21 March, 2010

Winner: Seeds of Earth and Spellright

Two great new debuts to award on this here beautiful Sunday afternoon: Seeds of Earth by Michael Cobley and Spellwright by Blake Charlton, science fiction and fantasy respectfully. I read Spellwright on Michael's recommendation and could not recommend it more.

Congratulations to Frank N. whose e-mail address leads me to think he works in advanced weapons research for the man. If you are reading sci-fi as research material...The snark for Seeds of Earth wasn't exactly snarky, but I do so enjoy being called royalty. From the Keeper of Yetis:

The title of the book in ALL CAPS, per your request, your ma-jes-ty!

Thank you kind sir!

There was fierce competition for the Spellwright giveaway but one reader reigned supreme. Sadly, the selection method this time was anything but random. Browsing the entries for snark and sitting alongside my significant and beautiful other, she noticed that a contestant was from Massachusetts. So, all I have to say is that Woodge, you had better be a Red Sox fan... grats!

The snark for Spellwright comes from Logan, and if you are so inclined might actually be considered valid criticism...

Like I need another book with a mysteriously hooded hero on the cover. Is that magic coming out of his hands, too? Wow...

Thats all for this week folks. Stay tuned for a blockbuster giveaway tomorrow - and by blockbuster I don't mean a DVD.

20 March, 2010

Bona Fide: Weekly Roundup #12

Hello and welcome to issue #12 of my Weekly Roundup. I like to have a schedule for reading, reviewing and blogging. But as one of my colleagues told me: A plan is just a plan.... So much wisdom in six words. I could not finish reading The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin. Or can one of you my dear readers explain to me how to read with closed eyes? Corollary I could not write and post my review on Friday as planned. Fortunately I had one more review up my sleeve. On Thursday my wife and I could not go to gym in the evening because she has had migraine. So we postponed sport to Friday. With gym on Friday we had to postpone cinema... Beside this I started work on three days two hours earlier... Don't get me wrong. I don't want to complain. I just wanted to demonstrate the relationship between a plan and reality. But there is one very positive sign: More sunshine and it is getting warmer. Enjoy reading....

Bona Fide's Menu

  1. Tor reissues the Runestaff series by Michael Moorcock
  2. One more science fiction series for me: Jump 225 by David Louis Edelman
  1. Tor/Forge's Blog
  2. Bathroom
  1. Today is Disney Classic Time: The Three Little Pigs
  1. German proverbs, sayings and idioms Spring Tiredness . . . Sleep


Tor reissues the Runestaff series by Michael Moorcock. I faintly remember that I read some Elric of Melnibone novels in the 70's. Since then I never touched again a Michael Moorcock novel. Several days ago I read a review of The Juwel in the Skull (reissued January 2010) [US][UK] over at SFFWORLD.COM. And I must say I have been intrigued. Originally released in 1967 it is like a time travel in fantasy. The second book in the series The Mad Dog's Amulet [US][UK] will be released in March 2010. And now have a look at the new cover and the blurb:
"Dorian Hawkmoon, the last Duke of Koln, swore to destroy the Dark Empire of Granbretan. But after his defeat and capture at the hands of the vast forces of the Empire. Hawkmoon becomes a puppet co-opted by his arch nemesis to infiltrate the last stronghold of rebellion against Granbretan, the small but powerful city of Kamarang. He's been implanted with a black jewel, through whose power the Dark Empire can control his every decision. But in the city of Kamarang, Hawkmoon discovers the power inside him to overcome any control, and his vengeance against the Dark Empire is filled with an unrelenting fury."
I'm sure I will get these books sooner or later.....

My list of science fiction books is growing. My latest discovery is the Jump 225 by David Louis Edelman. And I have to "blame" Mark Chitty and his review of Infoquake (originally released in 2006) [US][UK] for it. He got me with following part of his review:
"To put it in simple terms, Infoquake is not your normal science fiction novel. It doesn't deal with an action hero, it doesn't focus on a threat to the world, there are no aliens or AI's. Infoquake is a science fiction story about business. Doesn't that sound interesting? Well, it is. In fact it's one of the most entertaining novels I've read. The story is interesting, the characters are likable and easy to read and the writing is aimed perfectly - there isn't much about Infoquake that I didn't like."
Yes, I ordered the reprint in advance. And yes, I will buy Multireal and Geosynchron too. This is the new cover and the blurb:
"Natch is a master of biologics, the programming of the human body. He's clawed and scraped his way to the top of the biologics market using little more than his wits. Now his sudden notoriety has brought him to the attention of Margaret Surina, the owner of a mysterious new technology called MultiReal. Only by enlisting Natch's devious mind can Margaret keep MultiReal out of the hands of High Executive Len Borda and his ruthless armies. To fend off the intricate net of enemies closing in around him, Natch and his apprentices must accomplish the impossible. They must understand this strange new technology, run through the product development cycle, and prepare MultiReal for release to the public - all in three days. Meanwhile, hanging over everything is the spectre of the infoquake, a lethal burst of energy that's disrupting the biologic networks and threatening to send the world crashing back into the Dark Ages."

I follow the Tor/Forge's Blog. One of the things I like are the "dry" release overview post. You get either covers combined with links or lists of title and authors. I like to discover the mentioned books on my own. Have a look at March 16th releases. And if you want more look at the releases of the next three months. I wanted to present you some of the books in detail but as I explained in my introduction. A plan is just a plan. But I hope to catch up soon.

What did you think when you read this heading on a scfi-fi and fantasy blog? Maybe a post about the history of bathrooms? Far from it!
Did you know that Americans spend over 30 minutes each day in bathroom.And unbelievable but true men spend more time than women.[Source]
I'm no American but I also spend some time in bathroom every day -often with a book. But there are a lot more opportunities what you can do in the bathroom. Did you ever think of bathroom art? What's about toilet paper origami or towel origami? You can by books about it. Curious? Then please read Maybe your time would better be spent elsewhere.... Post includes book recommendations and pictures. Have fun.


With all the upcoming 3D movies we should not forget all these great movies and short movies from the last century. There are gems which are even older than I am and which I still like to watch. When I was a child we have had black and white TV. But I was happy every time when they showed something by Walt Disney. Nowadays you go to YouTube and watch the short movies in color. Today I like to show you one of the Disney's classics. Unbelievable that this amazing piece of work is 77 years old. The content is timeless.
I can tell you when you watch The Three Little Pigs and you enjoy it as much as I did, then you are still young maybe not physically but mental. Now watch and don't forget to sing together with the little Pigs: "Who is afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?"


With the change of weather - it is getting warmer - I feel flabby and weary. It is like a kind of spring tiredness. I thought sleep quotes would be a great idea. Good night...

"As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so life well used brings happy death.
Leonardo da Vinci, Italian engineer, painter, & sculptor (1452 - 1519)

"Laugh and the world laughs with you, snore and you sleep alone.
Anthony Burgess, British composer & novelist (1917 - 1993)

"People who say they sleep like a baby usually don't have one.
Leo J. Burke

"I cannot sleep unless I am surrounded by books.
Jorge Luis Borges, Argentine novelist & poet (1899 - 1986)

19 March, 2010

Review: Soulless, by Gail Carriger

Imagine you sit on a revolving chair in a dark room. The chair rotate slowly. Spotlights switch on and off. First you see only light. But then you recognize that each spotlight illuminate a word consisting of characters flying through the air. You try to identify them...........Parasol.........Vampires....... Dirigibles..... Werewolves...... Victoriana...... Steam....... London..... Spinster......... Tea....... Romance ......... Horror.......... Mystery...... Manners...... Souls

After a while the chair stops to rotate. Look, there is a small colored spot and it is growing...... Numbers... Characters .... Brackets.... dancing all in a tumble....... It doesn't make sense but then you detect the order and you read:

Soulless (2009) [US] [UK] , by Gail Carriger

This is the first book in the Parasol Protectorate series. Welcome to the world of Alexia Tarabotti. She lives in Victorian London. 26 years old and not married. That makes her a spinster which is maddening for her mother who is most interested in to wed her. Alexia is well educated and bears a secret. It is not her dead Italian father. She is soulless....

During one of the boring balls she has to attend Alexia retires to the library in order to refresh. And there the unforeseen happens. A vampire attacks Alexia. She rescues herself by killing the vampire.

Vampire? Vampires in London? Yes, side by side with the human inhabitants live vampires and werewolves. They are part of the society. It is Lord Maccon - head of the Bureau of Unnatural Registry (BRU) and werewolf - who wants to know why a vampire attacks a soulless......

Vampires, Romance, Werwolves.... What the hell is going on with me? Am I infected with this mysterious urban fantasy virus? I think no because on the other scale pan you find London, Steam, Victoriana.
Put all these classifications into a pot and hand a wooden spoon to the cook named Gail Carriger. Her debut dish taste delicious.

Soulless breathes Victoriana. It is a comedy of manners and at the same time a time travel and so much more. If you don't fall in love with these so alive and charming characters with strengths and weaknesses well settled in their world. Gail Carriger's London and society is well depicted. The "steamy" elements could have been more for my taste. But I think this would have destroyed the balance of the story itself. Gail did an awesome job with the integration of werewolves and vampires. If I didn't know better I would say this is also a history book. I liked even the romance part which is unusual for me. Alexia Tarabotti is a sassy heroine. And she is far beyond to be a vampire slayer like Buffy.

For me Gail Carriger is the Ada Lovelace of the urban steampunk romance!

I highly recommend Soulless to all people who start to drool when they hear or read a combination of following buzzwords:
Victoriana, Romance, Vampires, Werewolves, Steam, London, Manners, Alternate History, Dirigibles

Bona Fide's Book Oracle

What is Bona Fide's Book Oracle? To keep it short. It is a palaver about the reviewed book held by ediFanoB and his alter ego Bona Fide. And I am the keeper of the minutes. Now read my minutes..

Bona: "Fide, would you be so kind as to pass me a cup of tea." Fide: "Of course my dear. Your treacle tart is phenomenal." Bona: "Fide, you let me turn pink. I'm flattered." Fide: "I'm so sorry. I know rubescence is indecorous." Bona: "Did you hear what happened to Miss Alexia Tarabotti?" Fide: "You won't believe it but I have been there (mentally)." Bona: "Did you travel again with Mr Wells' time machine?" Fide: "He is such a gentlemen. He accompanied me." Bona: "Lovely. Hopefully you invite me next time." Fide: "Of course my dear, of course." Bona: "I feel uneasy. The keeper of the minutes is observing us. Today he looks so animlistic." Fide: "Oh my good. You're right. Look at the fur on his hands. Do you think he is a....." Bona: "Werewolve?" Fide: "Where is my parasol?" Bona: "You should ring for the manservant." Fide: "ediFanoB, my parasol please." ediFanoB: "Excusez-moi, mistress Fide. You don't own a parasol." Bona: "Quelle suprise! Fide, you are a misstress?" Fide: "That is absolutely uncondonable!! I'm neither female nor male. I'm just a virtual apparition. I'm the guest in a mind and I live on reading books!" Bona: "I'm relieved my dear. But what do we do without a parasol?" ediFanoB: "May I intercept? Yes? Thank you my lovely apparitions. Why don't you tell the keeper of the minutes something about the adventure of this spinster?" Fide: "Lovely! What a wonderful idea." Bona:" The spinster is called Alexia Tarabotti and she has a secret." Fide: "And as we both are reliable friends of Miss Alexia Tarabotti, she gave away her secret to us." Bona[whispers]: "She is soulless!" Fide: "Don't tell more about her. Let's talk about the book. Bona: "Gail Carriger is witty writer. She knows a lot about the Victorian Era." Fide: "And she revives the ad nauseam vampire and werewolf theme." Bona: "For me Soulless is a three S story." Fide: "I fully agreemy dear." Bona: "Shall we explain the three S to our furry friend?" Fide: "He doesn't look very intelligent today." Bona: "We have been unbelievably polite today. We should show magnanimity until the end." Fide: "Of course my dear. My docile furry friend, let me explain the three S for you: Sassy, Steamy, Smart." Bona[bowing]: "Au revoir mon cher rugueux ami! Fide: "Au revoir!"

I'm the keeper of the minutes and full moon is approaching soon. I need flesh..... human flesh!!! Er,er,er, please excuse me. All these French words confuse me. And this is the summary:

Soulless is a three S story: Sassy, Steamy, Smart.

Gail Carriger's website delivers more information about the series, steampunk and other topics.

You don't know much about Victorian clothing, especially for women? Then visit
Soulless Victorian Dress-up Doll. There you will learn more in an amusing way.

Anyway don't miss Changeless (2010, March) [US] [UK] and Blameless (2010, September) [US] [UK].

In Soulless parasols played an important part. The cover of Changeless point to dirigibles. And in Blameless we can expect templars.

I don't want to tell more.....

Finally I like you to show an interesting video:
The making of the Blameless book cover:

I "hijacked" the copy of Soulless from my wife. Of course I handed it back after reading and reviewing. As I liked it a lot I ordered copies of Changeless and Blameless in advance.

16 March, 2010

Review - The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks

There are a few authors, Joe Abercrombie included, whose books I've read in large part because everything they've said outside of their novels (on blogs, etc.) has been hilarious and witty and they don't take themselves too seriously. Brent Weeks (or Sussex Months...yes I still think it's funny) is one of those authors.

One of the reasons it's taken me this long to get to this book is because I think the cover is awful. I know cover art doesn't really effect anything and probably shouldn't anyway, but it was very off-putting for me. Does anyone really want to see Hayden Christensen dressed up for Halloween on a cover? Maybe I shouldn't ask that... :) (It does look like HC doesn't it?)

The covers were what set this series apart, although it's hard to imagine that now, but they set the standard that is now almost a necessity and I can at least give them credit for doing that much. But really, what would a fantasy novel cover be without a cowled figure anyway...original?

Okay, now that the cheap shots are out of the way. I do love a good hood and The Way of Shadows (2008, 645 pp.) [US] [UK] is full of them. Realistic covers, for me though, only really work for urban fantasy/paranormal romance. It must be the tats I guess. :)

This tale begins with the struggles of our main protagonist, Azoth, a guild rat - a nothing who's got no where to go and nothing to lose. His only way to escape the slums and a life of cruelty and pain is to apprentice himself to Durzo Blint, a renowned wetboy (kinda like an assassin times a hundred) and legend. This, however, is not as easy as he supposed since he is forced to turn his back on anyone he's ever loved and devote himself to a practice that's not altogether savory for anyone with some sense of morals. Like the cover blurb says, "The perfect killer has no friends - only targets."

To accomplish this, Azoth is given a new identity and a new name, Kylar Stern, while he begins his training and attempts to unleash his "Talent", or his magical abilities that would extend his skills as a wetboy.

The Way of Shadows is a fast-paced dynamite of a novel. I was up late into the night burning through pages to find out the next twist. I have to admit, I love a good assassin-themed novel. Weeks does a great job with characterization and I became really attached to Kylar, Momma K, and Logan; some awesome characters with convincing motives. This is the definite focus over world-building, which while an admirably realized world, is only given the barest of details necessary to further the plot. In a character/plot driven novel, The Way of Shadows doesn't get bogged down in description and it was much appreciated.

Kylar, although desiring to be a killer, is easy to relate to and has his own qualms throughout the story of doing such work. His character works well with his cranky master, Durzo Blint, who seems to have given up any such feelings of regret for his job. And, although this story plays on many fantasy archetypes (assassins, masters, a powerful sword, an unconquerable enemy), Weeks creates a unique feel that is all his own.

One thing I was surprised about was how violent The Way of Shadows is. For some reason, it was not what I was expecting (weird - assassins = violent?), leaning more toward The First Law trilogy than anything. I'm not complaining, it was only unexpected. Weeks does a good job weaving it into the story adding to the emotions (mostly of hatred toward the inflicter) the reader feels for the characters.

Basic grammar errors, such as missing words, were almost to the point of annoyance, but didn't distract too much from the story and in the end I felt that the climax was a little underwhelming as I didn't feel like the actions of the main characters were as necessary as they were made out to be. Otherwise The Way of Shadows was romping good fun. I didn't realize I would like this series so much.

When Should You Read The Way of Shadows?

The best time to read The Way of Shadows is when you're in the mood for something action-packed and quick-paced. If you need a break from reading description after description and you want something that moves the plot forward through short, concise chapters, The Way of Shadows will do you good.

And in the end, covers don't really matter as long as the book's good.

(side note: I may sound like I hate descriptive novels, but this is far from the truth. I do like balance, however, and a frequent mix of faster and slower novels fit the bill for me.)

Rating and Links

3.75 out of 5 Stars (Really really liked it)

Check out the author's website

Rob Bedford's review can be found here and Graeme Flory's here

14 March, 2010

My Shelves and Stuff

One thing I have yet to do, now corrected, is share a picture of my library with you. Living in New York allows me to have about 1/10th of the shelving space of most of you, so forgive the lack of a massive room swallowing library.

The shelves are fairly deep, so behind the visible books there is another stack. Thats about 40 paperbacks per shelf! The style doesn't work as well with the hardcovers, but I still manage to squeeze some paperbacks in behind them.

As you can see, I have also run speakers through the back of the shelves. This is so that we can watch and listen to shows over the computer. Although we have cable, we didn't spring for DVR capacity... but with the internet, you don't really need it anyway.

It took us quite a few trips to Ikea to build this baby, all four shelves included it cost us around 250$. That said, it fits perfectly into the recessed wall and works great as a stand for our television as well. All in all, a pretty good deal if you ask me given the versatility of the settlement.

If you spotted those massive hardcovers in the left bookshelf, your eyes inexorably drawn towards them, thats because I keep my signed books there.

The signed Knife of Dreams was accidentally sent to me instead of The Gathering Storm. I was upset at the time, put getting some signed Jordan is pretty awesome. Behind those are my recently acquired Alastair Reynolds books. I would love to put those up front too, but as you can tell, space is scarce. In fact, the reason I have so many giveaways is that I only keep the books I really like.

So, in the coming weeks you can expect a 10-15 book giveaway as I clear my shelves to make room for new stuff. The main reason is that while I can fit more books into the current setup, I really want a shelf dedicated exclusively to my unread books, which I don't have at the moment. Currently, finding something to read is like playing duck hunt, and I don't like it!

Well, that was a brief look at my shelves. As you can tell if you can read any of the titles, I don't read sf/f exclusively, one shelf is dedicated to political science, history, and philosophy. These 'heavier' subjects tend to make spec fic all the more enjoyable.

What do you think?

13 March, 2010

Bona Fide: Weekly Roundup #11

Hello and welcome to issue #11 of my Weekly Roundup. It is incredible how fast a week pass by. Yesterday I watched Shutter Island - read my impressions. It seems I'm getting busier beside work. Cinema, fitness studio three times per week, watch series on TV - Fringe, CSI, Bones, Flashforward, MD House. And still I find time to read and review books. And yes, I sleep every day several hours (mostly five). On Friday I took part in book giveaway on twitter for the first time. Scroll down to read more. Compared to last week I reduced the number of my unread google reader entries from 1000+ to 800. Enjoy reading....

Bona Fide's Menu

  1. Prize of the week: The Last Stormlord by Glenda Larke
  2. A Book Recommendation from James
  1. Editor's Business: Julie Crisp
  2. Coming up in April: A Sci-Fi Appreciation Month
  3. New Blog: Genre Reader
  1. SHUTTER ISLAND - First impressions
  1. German proverbs, sayings and idioms Spring....


I love books and I love giveaways. Therefore I take part in a lot of giveaways. On Friday (March 12th) I have had a premiere. First the first time I took part in giveaway on Twitter. The giveaways on Twitter are a lot faster. After 70 minutes it was over. Orbitbooks offered 15 copies of The Last Stormlord (2010) [US] [UK] by Glenda Larke. It is the first book in the Watergivers trilogy. To keep it short: I WON one of the 15 signed copies! What a great start in the weekend. Now I wait for the copy.
By the way Gave from NextRead wants to read it too. Now have a look at the cover and read the blurb.
"The Cloudmaster and his stormlords command wealth and power. But can they save themselves from a rogue rainlord?
Terelle is on the run when an old man with the ability to paint pictures on water employs her as his apprentice—and paints her portrait. She thinks she is safe, until she discovers his floating artworks can fix an immutable future for those portrayed in them. She has become a prisoner of her own painted future.
The Cloudmaster and his stormlords keep the land alive with their power over water and rain. However, the current Cloudmaster is dying and has no stormlord heir because all the promising young men and women have died in troubling circumstances.
An expedition mounted to scour the countryside for a potential stormlord locates a young village lad called Shale. Kidnapped and imprisoned, Shale finds himself a tool in a struggle between the warring factions of the land—because whoever commands a stormlord, commands the water of a nation…"[Source]
Like you, dear readers, I follow other blogs and of course I look for recommendations. One of the blogs I follow is James Long's Speculative Horizons. James doesn't give away compliments easily. His reviews are profound and he likes to discuss about book covers. On March 11th he posted a review which ends with following sentence (I censored the title of the book due to dramaturgical reasons):
"XXXXXXXXXX is one of the most emotionally-engaging books I've ever read, and if that's not a good recommendation then I don't know what is." [Source]
Which book impressed James so much? You want to know? Then click here. I can tell you that the book is not on my book list but on the book list of my wife. Anyway after reading Jame's review I know that I have to read this book too.
No, No, No, I won't tell you the title. Go, read James' review and tell me whether it was worth to read the review or not.


Do you know editors, book editors? Do you know what a book editor has to do?
I must admit I "know" one editor via Twitter and I don't much about the book.
Julie Crisp, queen of Tor UK, is the editor of Col Buchanan - read my review of Farlander - and of Mark Charan Newton - author of Nights of Villjamur and City of Ruin.
Mark Charan Newton has been so kind to interview Julie Crisp. If you want to get to know more about Julie, her job, her relation to authors and her opinion about book covers then I highly recommend to read Interview With My Editor: Julie Crisp.

When you follow the Roundup regularly then you will know that I want to read more science fiction in 2010. One month ago Alec and I have been asked by Mark Chitty to contribute a Sci-Fi-Appreciation Month in April 2010 over at Walker of Worlds. Even we both don't have much time we couldn't deny the request. So we both will contribute. Let me quote Mark's post.
"I'm a sci-fi fan through and through, and while I enjoy fantasy it usually takes a back seat to whatever sci-fi books I have on the stack. So when Mark Newton posted last year on Why SF is Dying (and the follow-up post) I started to think about this and how I felt about what he was saying. There isn't too much to go into really, I think sci-fi has - and will - take a back seat to fantasy, but I don't think it's dying.
While I'm never going to change the world with this blog, I can spread the word on sci-fi books that I love - and that's exactly what I thought I'd do. With the help of fellow bloggers, authors and publishers I'm running an Sci-Fi Appreciation Month during April where myself and others will be posting various things on sci-fi, from reviews to guest posts, to show that there really is plenty out there to enjoy and love. I'm still putting the schedule together, but suffice to say I'm very excited about it!
What I also wanted to do was open this up to you guys, the readers of the blog. What do you enjoy about sci-fi? What are you favourite books and authors? What would you recommend without hesitation, both to hardened veterans and newcomers to the genre? If you want to participate in this (which would be great!) then please email me on mark@walkerofworlds.com. This also goes out to any bloggers, authors and publishers that have anything they'd like to contribute - the more the merrier!" [Source]
When you want to contribute the Sci-Fi Appreciation Month like we do, then contact Mark Chitty. If you can't I'm sure Mark and his contributors will be happy about every visitor and every comment. I really look forward...

Another blog I follow is Jeff's Fantasy Book News & Reviews. Jeff decided to run a new blog because his interests changed a bit. Beside fantasy his love for espionage and mystery is growing. That means he also wants to review books beyond fantasy. But the name of his current blog doesn't go hand in hand with his new interests.
Therefore he decided to run a new blog: Genre Reader - Reviews of Espionage, Mystery & Fantasy Novels.
Some explanantions from Jeff:
"On this new site, you will still get fantasy reviews. However, you will also see many more espionage and mystery reviews..especially “spy novels”. I will also continue to cover ebook related news, and sometimes music as well. The main difference from the old site will really be my coverage of additional genres. And, the fantasy review index will most likely be gone (99% sure of that)." [Source]
I hope you will follow Jeff to his new blog like I do.


On Friday night (March 12th) my wife and I watched Shutter Island. We haven't been sure whether it is a horror movie or not.

So if you expected this then don't watch Shutter Island under that precondition. If you do it you will be disappointed.

I find it extremely difficult to talk about Shutter Island without giving away too much. But I can tell you when you talk and think about a movie hours after you have left cinema it must have been a good one.

Shutter Island is a gorgeous, intense, gripping and intelligent movie with suspense and full of twist and turns. It is a movie about the psyche of human beings and how people in the 1950's coped with emotional disorders at isolated bedlams. Leonardo DiCaprio and the other actors played intense and emotionally.

Shutter Island starts slow but you get hooked soon. If you like intelligent entertainment which makes you uneasy, which forces you to follow all the twists and turns and where you get the final clue with the very last scene then you should definitely watch Shutter Island.


I'm really tired of cold, wet and gray days. I yearn for SPRING.....

" No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow.

"Spring has come when you can put your foot on three daisies.

"In the spring I have counted one hundred and thirty-six different kinds of weather inside of four and twenty hours.
Mark Twain, American author (1835 -1910)

"It's spring fever.... You don't quite know what it is you DO want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!
Mark Twain, American author (1835 -1910)