Log in

No account? Create an account
A comet miner chases an alien spaceship on an epic interstellar journey across millennia.

Pushing Ice

Ace, 2005, 458 pages

2057. Humanity has raised exploiting the solar system to an art form. Bella Lind and the crew of her nuclear-powered ship, the Rockhopper, push ice. They mine comets. And they're good at it.

The Rockhopper is nearing the end of its current mission cycle, and everyone is desperate for some much-needed R & R, when startling news arrives from Saturn: Janus, one of Saturn's ice moons, has inexplicably left its natural orbit and is now heading out of the solar system at high speed. As layers of camouflage fall away, it becomes clear that Janus was never a moon in the first place. It's some kind of machine - and it is now headed toward a fuzzily glimpsed artifact 260 light-years away. The Rockhopper is the only ship anywhere near Janus, and Bella Lind is ordered to shadow it for the few vital days before it falls forever out of reach. In accepting this mission, she sets her ship and her crew on a collision course with destiny - for Janus has more surprises in store, and not all of them are welcome.

That's no moon!Collapse )

Also by Alastair Reynolds: My reviews of House of Suns, Revelation Space, and Terminal World.

My complete list of book reviews.
A classic collection of dark fairy tales retold.

The Bloody Chamber and other Stories

Penguin Books, 1979, 128 pages

The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories is a titillating series of dark, sensual and fantastical stories, inspired by well-known fairy tales and folklore.

Dissatisfied with the unrealistic portrayal of women in these legendary fables, Carter turns them on their head, introducing subversively dark, sensual and gothic narratives.

Breathing new and unexpected life into favorite childhood characters such as Red Riding Hood, Bluebeard and Beauty and the Beast, Carter shocks, seduces and amuses the reader with her unique, iconic and surrealist reimagining.

Bluebeard gets bearded, Beauty p0wns the Beast, Little Red Riding Hood has something special for the Big Bad Wolf.Collapse )

My complete list of book reviews.

AQATWA: Winter is Coming

And so is this book.... slowly.

I promised a progress report soon, so here it is: I have been writing lately, and doing better than I have in months, though nowhere near my peak output of several years ago.

The manuscript stands at about 230K words, and 47 chapters. I estimate it's about 80-85% done. I've begun writing the final arc, the events leading up to the climax.

Knowing what a mistake it is to talk about deadlines, I'll say I've set myself the goal of actually finishing the first draft by the end of this year. That's not a promise, but I know it's doable if I buckle down just a little bit.

This book is really, really messy right now. After I finish the draft, it's going to take some major editing, hacking and slashing before I'd even think of letting a beta-reader look at it. There are probably entire chapters that need to go, and others that are terrible and need to be rewritten. Also, embarrassingly, I find so much time has passed that sometimes I can't remember my own continuity, which means I keep having to refer back to earlier volumes. (I really need to do a complete reread of my own series soon. I sometimes suspect JKR didn't do this before she finished Deathly Hallows...)

Maybe I'll put up another one of those word clouds when I get closer to the end.

Thanks everyone for your patience. I still get emails, PMs, and reviews, and I do read and appreciate all of them. I try to answer everyone, but please don't feel ignored if your message somehow slipped past me, or I left it in my inbox and forgot about it. It is nice to know that even with GRRM and Patrick Rothfuss levels of procrastination, there are still people willing to read the next book of this series that I started over 10 years ago.

Book Review: Heart-Shaped Box, by Joe Hill

An aging rock star versus a vengeful ghost.

Heart-Shaped Box

William Morrow, 2007, 376 pages

Judas Coyne is a collector of the macabre: a cookbook for cannibals...a used hangman's noose...a snuff film. An aging death-metal rock god, his taste for the unnatural is widely known. But nothing he possesses is as unlikely or as dreadful as his latest discovery, a thing so terrible-strange, Jude can't help but reach for his wallet.

I will sell my stepfather's ghost to the highest bidder.

For a thousand dollars, Jude will become the proud owner of a dead man's suit, said to be haunted by a restless spirit. He isn't afraid. He has spent a lifetime coping with ghosts: of an abusive father, of the lovers he callously abandoned, of the bandmates he betrayed. What's one more? But what UPS delivers to his door in a black heart-shaped box is no imaginary or metaphorical ghost. It's the real thing.

And suddenly the suit's previous owner is everywhere: behind the bedroom door...seated in Jude's restored vintage Mustang...standing outside his window...staring out from his widescreen TV. Waiting - with a gleaming razor blade on a chain dangling from one hand.

He's a knock-off of his old man, but that's not a bad place to start.Collapse )

Also by Joe Hill: My review of NOS4A2.

My complete list of book reviews.
A creepy Southern Gothic haunted house story from the golden age of horror.

The Elementals

Avon Books, 1981, 292 pages

After a bizarre and disturbing incident at the funeral of matriarch Marian Savage, the McCray and Savage families look forward to a restful and relaxing summer at Beldame, on Alabama's Gulf Coast, where three Victorian houses loom over the shimmering beach. Two of the houses are habitable, while the third is slowly and mysteriously being buried beneath an enormous dune of blindingly white sand. But though long uninhabited, the third house is not empty. Inside, something deadly lies in wait. Something that has terrified Dauphin Savage and Luker McCray since they were boys and which still haunts their nightmares. Something horrific that may be responsible for several terrible and unexplained deaths years earlier - and is now ready to kill again....

A haunted house story unlike any other, Michael McDowell's The Elementals (1981) was one of the finest novels to come out of the horror publishing explosion of the 1970s and '80s. Though best known for his screenplays for Tim Burton's Beetlejuice and The Nightmare Before Christmas, McDowell is now being rediscovered as one of the best modern horror writers and a master of Southern Gothic literature.

Another house that's gonna get ya.Collapse )

My complete list of book reviews.
An authorized sequel to Edgar Rice Burroughs' planetary romance, Beyond the Farthest Star.

A Soldier of Poloda

Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., 2017, 326 pages

Like fellow Earthman, Tangor from the story Beyond the Farthest Star, American OSS officer Thomas Randolph is mysteriously teleported to a foreign planet where he lands in the center of a 100-year war that mirrors the Allied Powers’ struggle against Adolph Hitler’s Third Reich.

Unlike Tangor, Randolph – now Tomas Ran – finds himself behind enemy lines where he gains a first-hand view of the inner workings of the corrupt Kapar empire. Will Tomas, using his OSS skills, be able to devise a plan to escape with the beautiful Unisan prisoner, Loris Kiri, that will allow them to join her countrymen in their struggle against the Kapars?

American novelist Edgar Rice Burroughs debuted the world of Poloda in the pulp story Beyond the Farthest Star in 1940 just as Hitler’s Nazis marched across Europe and the Imperial Japanese extended their reach across the South Pacific. Burroughs’ youthful idealism regarding the nobility of America’s previous war efforts had given way to a mature perspective of the savagery of combat that stains every battlefield. Burroughs’ deeply-held views are reflected in this tale about a planet ravaged by 100 years of conflict as the nation of Unis devotes its entire existence to the struggle of freedom against tyranny.

Author Lee Strong created this second adventure on the planet Poloda, which lies beyond the Globular Cluster NGC 7006 ‘ 450,000 light years away from earth. Join Tomas Ran as he explores Poloda, battles Kapars, and finds love Beyond the Farthest Star.

Pulpy adventure that shows its (imitated) age.Collapse )

My complete list of book reviews.
A fictionalized autobiography of the Roman Emperor Claudius.

I, Claudius

1934, 468 pages

Here is one of the best historical novels ever written. Lame, stammering Claudius, once a major embarrassment to the imperial family and now emperor of Rome, writes an eyewitness account of the reign of the first four Caesars: the noble Augustus and his cunning wife, Livia; the reptilian Tiberius; the monstrous Caligula; and finally old Claudius himself and his wife, Messalina. Filled with poisonings, betrayal, and shocking excesses, I Claudius is history that rivals the most exciting contemporary fiction.

Falling between Caligula and Nero, how could he not look good by contrast?Collapse )

My complete list of book reviews.
Very big important literary author writes 800 pages about penises.

Gravity's Rainbow

Penguin, 1973, 776 pages

Winner of the 1973 National Book Award, Gravity's Rainbow is a postmodern epic, a work as exhaustively significant to the second half of the 20th century as Joyce's Ulysses was to the first. Its sprawling, encyclopedic narrative and penetrating analysis of the impact of technology on society make it an intellectual tour de force.

So much penis. And excrement. And drugs. And penis. Lots of penis.Collapse )

Also by Thomas Pynchon: My reviews of The Crying of Lot 49 and Inherent Vice.

My complete list of book reviews.
A British lady PI in inter-war England.

Maisie Dobbs

Penguin, 2003, 309 pages

The debut of one of literature's favorite sleuths! Maisie Dobbs isn't just any young housemaid. Through her own natural intelligence - and the patronage of her benevolent employers - she works her way into college at Cambridge. After the War I and her service as a nurse, Maisie hangs out her shingle back at home: M. DOBBS, TRADE AND PERSONAL INVESTIGATIONS.

But her very first assignment, seemingly an ordinary infidelity case, soon reveals a much deeper, darker web of secrets, which will force Maisie to revisit the horrors of the Great War and the love she left behind.

A little cozy.Collapse )

My complete list of book reviews.


Book Review: Arcadia, by Iain Pears

If one of the Inklings wrote Cloud Atlas


Faber & Faber, 2015, 608 pages

Three interlocking worlds. Four people looking for answers. But who controls the future - or the past?

In 1960s Oxford, Professor Henry Lytten is attempting to write a fantasy novel that forgoes the magic of his predecessors, J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis. He finds an unlikely confidante in his quick-witted, inquisitive young neighbor, Rosie. One day, while chasing Lytten's cat, Rosie encounters a doorway in his cellar. She steps through and finds herself in an idyllic, pastoral land where storytellers are revered above all others. There she meets a young man who is about to embark on a quest of his own - and may be the one chance Rosie has of returning home. These breathtaking adventures ultimately intertwine with the story of an eccentric psychomathematician whose breakthrough discovery will affect all of these different lives and worlds.

Dazzlingly inventive and deeply satisfying, Arcadia tests the boundaries of storytelling and asks: If the past can change the future, then might the future also indelibly alter the past?

Rarely has an authorial self-insertion been so literal.Collapse )

My complete list of book reviews.

My Book Reviews



RSS Atom
Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Lilia Ahner