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Monday, July 18, 2016

Deep Roots by Beth Cato

This is a Cato collection and if you have not read these separately it is now time to read them together.   Cato is kicking butt on the steampunk urban fantasy trail.  This book contains The Deepest Poison , Wings of Sorrow and Bone and Final Flight.  Final Flight is due up on August 30th here.  

Click on the other two to read the reviews.

Cato is on a roll and this is a good read. 

Site:  http://www.bethcato.com/

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

The Martian: A Movie Review

The Martian

I came, I saw, I cried, if you see one movie this year....yadda, yadda and yadda.   However in this case this was a kick butt movie.  I am cynical about the tomatoes, popcorn etc rating things as I have seen critically acclaimed movies that made me blechh!   This movie is far, far better than what I expected. Matt Damon was great, the plot was very believable and frankly we need something that will unite humanity and keep  us from killing each other.  The final frontier is not a joke.  Frontiers bleed off frustration and tension.  Look at international tensions and racial relations at home and it is obvious we need something to unite us besides tragedy.  The idea of ideology and race intermingled and cooperative is intoxicating and possible.   That is what space travel and science fiction does, it provides HOPE.  It provides test beds for ideas and thoughts.   It gives us a reason to look each other in the eye and say, WE WILL OVERCOME.  I know it is reading a lot  into a movie but watching the movie lit the fire that moved the butt to the computer and forced the fingers to race across the keyboard to deliver this to perhaps a reader or two.  One can only HOPE!

When astronauts blast off from the planet Mars, they leave behind Mark Watney (Matt Damon), presumed dead after a fierce storm. With only a meager amount of supplies, the stranded visitor must utilize his wits and spirit to find a way to survive on the hostile planet. Meanwhile, back on Earth, membe… More
Release date: October 2, 2015 (USA)
Director: Ridley Scott
Initial DVD release: January 12, 2016 (USA)
Awards: People's Choice Award for Favorite Dramatic Movie, More

Nominations: Academy Award for Best Picture

Saturday, July 9, 2016

The Perdition Score: A Sandman Slim Novel Hardcover by Richard Kadrey

This is book seven of the Sandman Slim novels and sadly it is the first one I have read.  I am amazed how many good series escape my notice.   This is the story of a half angel who goes to hell and back to better the world.

Jim Stark, never Jimmy, is Sandman Slim and there was minimal back story to give a hint as to how he is a half angel or how he was Lucifer and many more references to his past with out a clue as to their origins.

Candy is a Jade, whatever that is and is Stark's love.  

This is a strange mix of hoodoo magic, hellion stuff and guns and ammo.   The good guys are not so good and the bad guys are worse.  

I enjoyed the book but would have enjoyed it more with a detailed back story.  I guess I need to dig the previous six books out and find out how Stark became who and what he is.

web site: http://richardkadrey.com/slim-series/

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

The Sorcerer's Daughter by Terry Brooks

Another tale of Shannara with familiar settings and some what familiar characters.  This tale takes place after The High Druid's Blade.   Paxon is world weary and facing, once again, implacable odds and daunting sorcery.

Paxon is not the carefree young man we met in The High Druid's Blade.   He is now married to the daughter of his nemesis.   That provides a wealth of complications to his life.   In addition, his sister is showing the legacy of the Wish Song magic which makes her a prize in the armory of whoever can control her.  

Back story is important in these books and Brooks doesn't provide much of a back story.   If you have read them continuously that isn't a problem but a new reader would find themselves scratching their head with great frequency.   

Paxon Leah is still a likeable main character and the world of the Druids is always entertaining.

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Shadow's Blade by David B. Coe

This is an urban fantasy with "were" and runemysters which are for want of a better definition magic casters.  Coe has developed his own lexicon for the Justin Fearsson Investigations Inc. story line.   Justin, as a magic wielding private eye, is enveloped in a life threatening case by, a heart is not gold, gangster who is not a black arts practitioner.    Justin is tasked to find a missing woman and her children.

Coe has an appealing style that draws you in quickly and then creates characters that are memorable.  One of the aspects of  Justin Fearsson's character is that not only is he ethical, he is far more realistic than most fantasy characters.  Justin is not a "kill them all and let the Lord sort them out" type of hero.   All to often fantasies are populated by characters that have no concern for collateral damage of the lives of marginally bad people.   Coe avoids that and thusly imparts a greater sense of reality in an urban fantasy.

This is a well crafted book and I will be looking for other books in the series as well as any thing else this superlative author has written.

Web Site: http://www.davidbcoe.com/

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Sink the Digital Piracy Ship

Naïveté they name is Bill.  DMCA or THE DIGITAL MILLENNIUM COPYRIGHT ACT OF 1998, supposedly protects copyrighted works of any type of media.   In my case, I received Google Alerts on some of my books being offered as part of a media service company.   These companies claim to offer unlimited media content for a monthly fee.   They also claim NOT to host pirated media.  This is blatantly false as I have not given permission to anyone "give away" my content.  I guess I should be flattered that my work is successful enough to be pirated but I'm not!

My recourse is to file a DMCA Request for the site to cease and desist offering my books on their site.  On one site it took two weeks of emailing but the link was finally shut down.   The time wasted defending your work, takes away from creating new work.   I am my legal department, I don't have a staff, if someone needs to file a DMCA, the someone is me.   I HATE wasting time.  

My blood, sweat and tears (hmm is that violating a copyright?) go into my work and I try hard to write stories that might help someone.  May I humbly suggest that if you see my work being given away or sold as part of some media service that you boycott that service and express your displeasure over their pirating.  Oh, and let me know too as I will then, sigh, write another DMCA Request. 

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Spotlight On Laura Bickle

With the forthcoming release of Nine of Stars, critically acclaimed author Laura Bickle is first author to transition from Harper Voyager’s digital-original line to traditional print!

New York, NY, June 2016 – Today, Harper Voyager, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, is proud to announce a major milestone for its Harper Voyager Impulse e-book original line: on December 27, 2016, critically acclaimed author Laura Bickle will be the first author to transition from Harper Voyager’s digital-original line to the traditional print publishing Harper Voyager program. Her Harper Voyager print debut, Nine of Stars (mass market paperback,12/27/2016, ISBN: 9780062437662; $7.99), will be the start of Wildlands, a Weird West-tinged Contemporary Fantasy series revolving around the adventures of geologist Petra Dee.

As the SFF industry begins to celebrate outstanding works of speculative fiction at the upcoming Locus and Hugo Awards, among others, Harper Voyager feels that Bickle’s books are equally outstanding and worthy of celebration! Says Harper Voyager Executive Editor, David Pomerico: “The critical attention of Laura’s work is what drew us to the books in the first place, and we feel Nine of Stars is a novel that showcases her talent at the highest level. Whether on the print or eBook list, Voyager is committed to publishing the very best speculative fiction, and with Laura’s writing, we felt we had a truly unique project we couldn’t wait to help find an even wider audience.”

Harper Voyager is incredibly proud and excited to be publishing Laura Bickle’s novels; her original contributions to the Harper Voyager Impulse line, Dark Alchemy and Mercury Retrograde, both received multiple starred and top-tiered reviews. Nine of Stars will revolve around many of the same characters that populated these prequel novels, although it will effectively function as the starting point for a great new series.

Laura Bickle is an award-winning author of multiple works of YA fiction. She grew up in rural Ohio, reading entirely too many comic books out loud to her favorite Wonder Woman doll. After graduating with an MA in Sociology - Criminology from Ohio State University and an MLIS in Library Science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, she patrolled the stacks at the public library and worked with data systems in criminal justice. She now dreams up stories about the monsters under the stairs. Her work has been included in the ALA’s Amelia Bloomer Project 2013 reading list and the State Library of Ohio’s Choose to Read Ohio reading list for 2015-2016. More information about Laura’s work can be found at www.laurabickle.com