• Review,  Writing Resources

    Read this week – A Sundial in a Grave

    Finished reading A Sundial in a Grave by Mary Gentle a couple days ago. This is a historical fantasy novel and was a fun read, I really enjoyed it. Full of adventure, intrigue, and plot twists, I became quite immersed into the story. Though using number theory to predict the future is a pivotal element in the story — and thus making it a fantasy story to many — I disagree given that predicting the future would have been (as it is now) part of the culture of the time. There are also incursions into Rosicrucianism — though these occur later in the novel. But really the novel’s enjoyment, for…

  • My Life,  Review

    Lost Series Finale

    Yeah I know I’m a bit late for a ‘what I thought of the Lost finale’ post but I got other stuff to do too. Anyways, I’ve been an avid viewer of Lost since it started and I’ve enjoyed probably about 80% of the episodes and recruited a lot of people to watch it. In the end I was disappointed with the last season. But not by the finale. I think it worked and wrapped up the series, as changed by the events in the past couple seasons, reasonably. Minor Spoilers — stop if you haven’t watched and plan to What didn’t I like about the last season then? I…

  • Review,  Writing Resources

    Review – Makers by Cory Doctorow

    Makers is a fascinating and exciting read. Exciting not in the guns and kabloomy sense, but because of the idea train that started rolling through my head on page one and still hasn’t stopped a few days since finishing the novel. Cory Doctorow has taken a look into our future and presented an optimistic society, flawed only by the difficulties that confronts those who are smart and creative. The heroes struggle to try and do what they love to do — create — in this world. The heroes are a lovable cast from a reporter who has stepped into the fascinating ‘new work’ movement to the creative tinkerers building and…

  • Review

    Read this week – Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

    I read this novel by Phillip K. Dick many years ago but having forgotten much of it, I cracked it open (in the digital sense). A fantastic, fun, read, as it was the first time. The novel, the basis for the film Blade Runner, on the surface is about a bounty hunter hunting androids but like a lot of Phillip K. Dick’s work, it really delves into issues of reality, humanity, and the manipulation of people. I think being older now I appreciated the story more and some stuff I had completely forgotten about, including the whole bizarre religion aspect which I thought well done though it resembled the world’s…

  • Review,  Writing Resources

    Review – Women of the Apocalypse

    Women of the Apocalypse is an anthology of stories by Eileen Bell, Roxanne Felix, Ryan T. McFadden & Billie Millholland. Each author has written a novella around the theme of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse. In this shared universe the women have become appointed as champions against the horsemen because they accidentally drank shooters intended for the ‘true champions’. Eileen Bell’s “Pawns Dreaming of Roses” which is the first story in the anthology has been nominated for a Aurora Award. I liked this story — the protagonist, Alexandra, is dealing with a tragedy from her past at the same time as dealing with becoming a champion against Pestilence. Well written…

  • Review

    Review – The Lucifer Effect

    The Lucifer Effect by Philip Zimbardo was a real eye-opener of a read. I’ve always been a huge proponent of ‘individuals are responsible for their actions’ and though this book hasn’t changed that core belief it has expanded my understanding of how groups (whether they be businesses, governments, or cultures) can push people to act in ways they would never dream possible. A large section of this work details the Stanford Prison Experiment (college kids split into two groups in a college experiment — one group was prisoners, the other guards… the results? Frightening). It goes on to compare and contrast that experience with the abuses in U.S. military prisons.…

  • Review

    On Spec #79 Review

    Another great issue full of fun stories from On Spec. Orchids by Christopher Johnstone A man searching for odd creatures — and always disappointed — goes to a forest looking for a dryad. A good story, with an interesting take on the dryad as creature and theme. Carter Hall Judges the Lines by Marissa Lingen Carter Hall has figured in a few stories in On Spec and this hockey player turned reluctant ‘protector against weirdness’ has his hands full this time, dealing with some rather dangerous women. A fun read, as are all of Carter’s stories. Commonplace Sacrifices by L.L. Hannett Really really bizarre story with a guardian angel of…

  • Review

    A Note About Reviews

    For the Readers Occasionally I do reviews of magazines and novels on the blog. These reviews are almost always short and generally positive, more of a “hey I read this”. I’ll seldom go into great detail, usually only if I really like or dislike something, or if I know the person who has written the piece. This is more a matter of time, than an inclination. I know I always like stumbling across a person who has read a story of mine. For the Writers If you’d like me to link your name or story to your website, just message me and let me know, I’ll be happy to do…

  • Review,  Writing Resources

    Read this week…

    Finished reading Writers of the Future Volume XX this week. Stories that stood out for me more than others: Kinship by Jason Stoddard. A very interesting story with a future-human investigating whether a tribe of creatures qualify as human. The main character is torn about how humans have already changed and how much more some of them are willing to change. The race they investigate is no less interesting, displaying a remarkable adaptation. A thinking story, but one with feeling characters. Very much enjoyed it. In Memory by Eric James Stone. Really enjoyed this story, it did not go where I had expected it to… I first read it actually…

  • Review

    The Anthology Project has arrived

    Yesterday I received my the copy of The Anthology Project that I ordered. I haven’t had time to read it but I have flipped through it already and this is a beautifully produced book — hardcover with gorgeously illustrated comics throughout. Will do another post once I’ve read it but so far I’m pretty impressed.