Categories
Biographies, Memoirs, Nonfiction Fantasy Paranormal

Book Tour Stop: A Cup of Tea at the Mouth of Hell by Luke Tarzian

Thanks as always to Escapist Book Tours for having me on their tour for A Cup of Tea at the Mouth of Hell by Luke Tarzian! You can check out the book tour’s home page, see the other posts, and find out about the author at the link there!

A Cup of Tea at the Mouth of Hell book cover

Here’s the book blurb:

BRIEFLY, A WORD ABOUT ORDER

Order is the focal point around which existence revolves. Without order there is only chaos. And in the halls of Damnation (pronounced Dam-NAWT-ion, thank you kindly) the first sign of impending chaos is a cup of tea made without the water having first been well and properly boiled in a kettle.

Why is this relevant, O nameless narrator, you ask? Who cares about the preparatory order of tea in the fires of Hell?

Lucifer, dear reader. After all, how does one expect to properly greet the newcomers to Hell without having first had a hot cup of tea to bulwark the cold?

Behold The Morning Star, frantic on the annual Morning of Souls, the arrival of Damnation’s newest recruits.

Someone has misplaced the kettle.

See Also: Sad Boi Searches for His Missing Tea Kettle • Bring Your Tissues • Me, Myself, and I and the Times We Got High

My Thoughts:

I have a hard time rating emotional outpourings, it feels wrong to!! How do you even?  What can you say? The story itself is whimsy, clever, and a mix of funny and slightly hard to push through since I also lost a parent very recently and things are a bit .. fresh 

The novelette starts in one place and ends somewhere totally different.  Join the characters for Lucifer’s therapy session and a joint at a hellish pizza parlor before having a look at the author’s own life.

The story itself is a bit hard to follow in that at first the demon, Stoudemire, is telling the story, then there’s a “real life” letter thrown in, followed by more demon narration before Lucifer is the final voice. He uses the same phrases as Stoudemire too so while it’s not relevant to the story itself, it’s tough for me to follow similar voices on both narrators. Lastly, it switches back to the “real life” narrator before the third section, which is a lovely collection of the  author’s own meditations on grief, trauma, writing. I think my point is that the organization threw me off

But overall? Totally recommend. This is great. It’s funny. It’s “whimsy Hell” and you’re traversing trauma and The Phallic Forest at the same time. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it (and read it twice), I just think I’d have loved it if he would have grouped the fiction and nonfiction into their own sections to let the respective narratives flow.  I’ve actually got copies of the author’s books and 100% going to check them out sooner rather than later.

A Cup of Tea at the Mouth of Hell quotes (ig) (1)

Once again, thanks so much to Escapist Book Tours for having me. I found my copy of A Cup of Tea at the Mouth of Hell on Kindle Unlimited and as always, all opinions are my own ♥️

Categories
Science Fiction

The Rush’s Echo by Ginger Smith (ARC Review)

Thank you so much to the author for my advanced digital copy of The Rush’s Echo The first book in the duology was published over two years ago by Angry Robot and now we have closure. I was a little worried honestly that there would be a lapse in quality since this one is self-published, but I didn’t see that at all. This is a well-presented and edited ending to the story and I’m glad that it’s out in the world.

Bookish Quick Facts:
  • Title: The Rush’s Echo
  • Series: Untitled Duology #2
  • Author: Ginger Smith
  • Publisher & Release: Self, 01/10/23
  • Length: 474 pages
  • Rate & Recommend: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ for space opera & soft sci-fi adventure fans
Here’s the synopsis from Am*zon:

TY, HAL, VIVI, AND BERYL JOIN THE OPPOSITION TO PUSH THE COALITION OUT OF THE EDGE ONCE AND FOR ALL.

In this sequel to The Rush’s Edge, Halvor Cullen and the crew of the Loshad return from a lukewarm meeting with the Mudar to an Edge on the verge of war. A vat operative has used every genetically engineered talent and programmed skill she has to infiltrate the heart of the Opposition forces and disrupt their resistance to the Coalition.

In a desperate attempt to stop their enemies, Vivi must confront the specter of her past as the crew petitions the shadowy hacker group Echo to succeed. When the mission goes awry, and they are forced to leave a crewmember behind, the team wonders if their victory against the Coalition will come at all, and if so, at what cost?

My thoughts:

If you click the link in the first paragraph you can see my thoughts on the first book.  It’s been 2 years and I didn’t have any trouble getting back into the plot line thankfully. For those that read these back to back, you won’t be bored with recapping either.  Smith built on everything in book one and didn’t drop the bar at all on quality!

The characters continued to grow and mature as a team, as a family, and as individuals.  As they dealt with old and new trauma there was quite a lot of relationship navigation and continuing themes on what it is to be human and where the VAT soldiers fit in after military service.  I think she did a great job tackling PTSD and to a lesser extent addiction and programming.

We also got to see some of the atrocities committed on the soldiers by the Coalition.  It gave the characters the highest of stakes and something personal to fight for.  The multiple points of view kept the action rolling at all times and there were some pretty exciting scenes. We also got to meet the Mudar race which just added one more layer of depth to the war effort.

Overall I’ve really got nothing bad to say about the conclusion here. I was rooting for the home team characters all the way, even the morally gray ones, and found the last half of the book pretty hard to put down. I think there’s good resolution to all of the major points definitely recommend these books for Space Opera and Military sci-fi fans.

Categories
Fantasy

Before They Are Hanged by Joe Abercrombie (Book Thoughts)

Well well, look at me committing to a series for once.  It certainly helps that about four of us are buddy reading on discord right now and having a good chat about the series, plus the books are just that good so far!


Bookish Quick Facts:

  • Title: Before They Are Hanged
  • Series: The First Law #2
  • Author: Joe Abercrombie
  • Publisher & Release: Gollancz/Pyr 2007
  • Length: 560 pages (Orbit PB 2015)
  • Rate & Recommend: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ yes keep going if you liked book one!

Here’s the synopsis:

The second novel in the wildly popular First Law Trilogy from New York Times bestseller Joe Abercrombie.

Superior Glokta has a problem. How do you defend a city surrounded by enemies and riddled with traitors, when your allies can by no means be trusted, and your predecessor vanished without a trace? It’s enough to make a torturer want to run — if he could even walk without a stick.

Northmen have spilled over the border of Angland and are spreading fire and death across the frozen country. Crown Prince Ladisla is poised to drive them back and win undying glory. There is only one problem — he commands the worst-armed, worst-trained, worst-led army in the world.

And Bayaz, the First of the Magi, is leading a party of bold adventurers on a perilous mission through the ruins of the past. The most hated woman in the South, the most feared man in the North, and the most selfish boy in the Union make a strange alliance, but a deadly one. They might even stand a chance of saving mankind from the Eaters — if they didn’t hate each other quite so much.

Ancient secrets will be uncovered. Bloody battles will be won and lost. Bitter enemies will be forgiven — but not before they are hanged.


My thoughts:

Disclaimer: I’m not going to give any overt spoilers but it can get tricky when talking about sequels and subsequent books in a series. I do my best!

First up, here’s my favorite quote:

Is it coming for me? Several tons of rock, about to splatter my remains across the city? What a ludicrously random way to die. He felt his mouth twitch up in a faint smile.

-Glokta’s pov

I think the utter randomness of events in these books, and in other military SFF, is what makes them particularly endearing to me.  When books follow a set formula they get boring.  I think, overall my favorite part about this series is that you never really know what’s coming next.

There’s also many healthy doses of character development, random death, bonding, falling outs, murder, politicking, savagery, and, being realistic, among other things.

Glokta carried my favorite storyline just because I love how utterly savage he is, even when he’s being a good guy.  I love politics and plotting and he navigates it all rather cunningly, while at the same time he couldn’t care less if he died.

The other storylines all have their moments (and their oh-shit moments) too.  The other characters all serve to expand the world, the military, and backstory of the magic.

Some characters surprised me too like West, Dogman, Pike, you never know who’s going to become a main character going forward.  I think he stepped it up with the dialogue and banter in this one overall too and it’s just a more mature story in every aspect.

I have to mention the final chapters!  It’s grim, it’s realistic, it’s sad, and I’m more than surprised by who had the final scene in the book.  Will Dogman be a major character going forward?  It seems like he will have to be! We still don’t know what’s up with the bloody-nine either, I’m excited to learn that mystery which was originally shown in book one.  I love the whole ending. Not every quest and mission is going to end in some kind of prophetic victory and now going forward the characters just have to keep doing the best they can with what they’re given. It’s refreshing to see a quest fail miserably for once.

Anyway, in every aspect imaginable I am excited to read on and see how this thing ends!


Thanks for checking out my book thoughts and review of Before They Are Hanged!  Have you read it? Want to chat about it? Leave a comment! I grabbed my copy via Libby and as always, all thoughts are my own.

Categories
Science Fiction

SPSFC2 Quarterfinalist Review: Inquisitor by Mitchell Hogan

The At Boundary’s Edge team has narrowed our original allocation down from 28 books to 7 “Quarterfinalists”, all of which we are now reading in full and scoring out of 10 points. The top three books will move forward as semifinalists.  As always, this is my own review and reflects only my own individual opinion and score, not that of the team


Hi everyone, I’m back with my fourth SPSFC ‘quarterfinalist’ review! Let’s take a look at the book and then I’ll share my thoughts.

Bookish quick Facts:
  • Title; inquisitor
  • Series: N/A
  • Author: Mitchell Hogan 
  • Publisher & Release: Self, 2015
  • Length: 300 pages (Kindle version)
  • SPSFC Rating: 7/10 
Here’s the synopSis from Am*zon:

To Inquisitor Angel Xia, it was just another corporate killing on a backwater planet. But as the bodies begin to pile up and she finds herself a target, she realizes she’s stepped on one toe too many.

Barely escaping attempts on her life by powerful agents with seemingly limitless reach and influence, Angel senses even her co-Inquisitors can’t be trusted. But as the web tightens, she receives a cryptic message from a computer program claiming to be a little girl in desperate need of her help. She insists she’s being held prisoner by a major corporation, but is this just a trap to silence Angel…permanently?

Now a fugitive with her life inextricably linked to the girl in the program, Angel is taken to extremes she never knew she was capable of, and to forgotten places at the edges of known space that hold the darkest secrets of humanity, and the greatest threat to its future.

My thoughts:

Inquisitor is a fast paced adventure featuring an agent (inquisitor) who ends up in an interstellar race for her life as she unravels a corporate scheme.  The thing is, what she initially encounters and investigates is only the tip of the iceberg as far as the scale of the crimes and conspiracy taking place.

I really liked the idea of the book, and it was blisteringly fast paced. The reason I rated it so high is because despite it’s issues, I couldn’t put it down, and for me the entertainment value of a space opera/adventure counts for a lot.

The themes cover a lot of AI ethics, a rogue AI and rogue agent, the agency of sentient creations, right and wrong on an interplanetary scale, and the rights and needs of one vs many.  Plus don’t forget explosions and high tech weapons.

The issue is that the “big plot” has a lot of “big questions” left highly unresolved.  *Oh, they’re working on it* isn’t a resolution to me.  Which brings me to MY big realization: this was supposed to be a character centered book.  I didn’t like the characters and the idea that *women are useless if they can’t procreate*. Hello, we have other goals too. There are big plot questions with the main character’s family and with the genevolve race that were hinted at and not answered, so I was getting ready to buy the sequel and was shocked when there wasn’t one.  Alright, so he probably just didn’t know how to wrap it all up.

About the characters: both main characters were emotionally volatile, flip floppy, and ultimately annoying, also like REALLY ungrateful, and I hope the author thinks women can be more than that 😅 I think overall he just really didn’t know how to wrap up the plotlines, so he gave the characters resolution and called it a day. (PS how exactly does he think 2 year olds act? Those kids are kindergarten age at least)!

I think the author should have given the relationship a little elaboration too, he didn’t give us anything to make it believable and also hinted at infidelity (a huge turn off for me).

That ALL said though – Inquisitor was still entertaining as hell. If the end hadn’t changed my view of the entire story, I’d be up at 8 or 9 points. I love AI stories and the action was on point.  If you like international agents in space and rogue AI, I’d recommend it for sure.

You can also see my team mate’s review here


Thanks for checking out my ‘quarterfinalist’ review of Inquisitor by Mitchell Hogan! A free digital copy was provided for judging purposes although I did find mine through Kindle Unlimited. As always, all opinions are my own ♥️

Categories
General Posts, Non Reviews

Join Me As I Find the Worst Rated Books In My Library (and unhaul them)

Happy Saturday! I’ve been doing one “fun post” a week and here it is: a little book.umhaul.  I decided to clear out a few based on the worst average GoodReads ratings present in my library!  I also am unhauling a series that I hope finds a good home…anyway, let’s get into it!


Sun’s End has a GoodReads rating of 2.61 but the cover is cool, so I randomly opened to … A bad sex scene.  I then flipped to a later page and found a couple begging the robot for a threesome… Into the box you go, sir.


Avg Rating: 2.84. I originally thought maybe Holland’s historical fiction fans didn’t like the fantasy. After a few pages though I find her writing to be super basic as well as over punctuated.  Despite the cool cover, I will trust the rating.


3.09 rating. I may or may not have read this when I needed it for a class back in college.  At this point I’m utterly uninterested and while the one star ratings are mostly bored college kids, I won’t pick it up again


3.13.  I’ll take everyone’s word for it that the Andy Brazil series by Cornwell is a miss. By the time I read through all the Scarpetta books (probably never) I wouldn’t jump for this next anyway.


Next to this was my beaten up paperback copy of The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice. It got wet at some point and made me sneeze (and I’m still feeling it) so it went in the trash. It’s an extremely easy paperback to replace and I keep the library dehumidified for a reason 🤣


IMG_20230106_172701155

3.17 and an unfavorable review spread – same story as the prior Cornwell, I’ll stick to Scarpetta


IMG_20230107_101414968

With a 3.23 average rating: I liked Stronger, Faster, and More Beautiful but am willing to take people’s word that her debut series is rough. Life’s too short and it never turned into a movie so there’s always that lovely bit of false advertising. It was picked up prior to publication and the cover should have been reprinted when it didn’t happen


Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy by John LeCarré

Next up – I thought I passed on all my LeCarré books already, but this one slipped through the cracks. I just can’t read them as he is so utterly boring and long winded. Someone will grab it from the little free library.


That Old Cape Magic by Richard Russo

3.34 rating. I’ve flipped through this one before and can agree with the majority of people that if you’re not the aging divorced demographic, you won’t find much to like here. I can’t see picking it up again.


The Selection series is higher rated and quite popular on bookstagram because they’re pretty and photogenic. That said, I actually enjoyed them I just know I won’t read them again. I had them saved to take more photos of except without bookstagram that’s no longer necessary.  Hopefully a young girl home finds them!


All of that for 13 books! That’s what my mind can handle today.  In the mean time I’ll keep reading books that I know I’ll pass onwards after. I’m hell bent to not buy new physical copies until my current books fit on their shelves!

Categories
Fantasy Fiction

Fairy Tale by Stephen King (Book Thoughts)

Happy Friday everyone! The last book I finished in 2022 was Fairy Tale by Stephen King.  Reading a book in December that came out in September is quite an achievement for me… and …well, I found it to be a perfectly average portal fantasy so this will be a pretty short post

I’ll say my only possible original thought first: I read half of the UK and half of the US versions and I’m glad they didn’t try to translate the UK text into Brit-Speak.  The text and art is the same & only the cover changed (darn those pretty UK covers)! I just never think books translate well between the two dialects 🤷‍♀️

Anyway, let’s take a look at the book then I’ll share a few quick thoughts.


Bookish Quick Facts:
  • Title: Fairy Tale
  • Series: N/A
  • Author: Stephen King
  • Publisher & Release: Scribner, 2022
  • Length: 608 pages
  • Rate & Recommend: ⭐⭐⭐✨ for fans of King, Fairy Tale retellings, dark fairy tales, and dog lovers
Here’s the synopsis from Am*zon:

Charlie Reade looks like a regular high school kid, great at baseball and football, a decent student. But he carries a heavy load. His mom was killed in a hit-and-run accident when he was seven, and grief drove his dad to drink. Charlie learned how to take care of himself—and his dad. When Charlie is seventeen, he meets a dog named Radar and her aging master, Howard Bowditch, a recluse in a big house at the top of a big hill, with a locked shed in the backyard. Sometimes strange sounds emerge from it.

Charlie starts doing jobs for Mr. Bowditch and loses his heart to Radar. Then, when Bowditch dies, he leaves Charlie a cassette tape telling a story no one would believe. What Bowditch knows, and has kept secret all his long life, is that inside the shed is a portal to another world


My thoughts:

For once I really do not have strong feelings one way or another about a King novel.  I love stories about stories and the more the better.  While he certainly pulled in a ton of traditional dark fairy tales (not the Disney versions 😅) and wound them all into a solid coming of age story, I just don’t think he did anything new or exciting here.

It’s a steady story with solid King prose. He pulls enough from The Dark Tower to make me wonder if the castle is the same one – probably.  King loves to pull all his stories together and it’s my favorite part of the reading experience now to see what he is going to bring in from his own books and what other authors he’s going to call on. Hello Mr Lovecraft 👋

As I said, it’s 600 pages of solid story that just never really grabbed me except where the old dog was concerned.   I have mixed feelings about portal fantasies at the best of times but King salvaged it with interesting world building and keeping my mind engaged with puzzles.

I like the themes he tackles too, from alcoholism to grieving parental loss, examining your own actions, and seeing how far someone is willing to go.

If you like portal fantasies and coming of age stories, gray heroes, curses and twisted tellings, if you’ve ever felt loyal to a dog and wondered what you would do to turn back the clock… I’d say check out Fairy Tale 

Categories
Mysteries Science Fiction

SPSFC2 Quarterfinalist Review: The Diamond Device by M.H. Thaung

The At Boundary’s Edge team has narrowed our original allocation down from 28 books to 7 “Quarterfinalists”, all of which we are now reading in full and scoring out of 10 points. The top three books will move forward as semifinalists.  As always, this is my own review and reflects only my own individual opinion and score, not that of the team


Welcome to my third “quarterfinalist” review here! Let’s take a quick look at the book first, then I’ll share my thoughts!

Bookish Quick Facts:
  • Title: The Diamond Device
  • Series: N/A
  • Author: M.H. Thaung
  • Release: Self published, 2020
  • Length: 270 pages
  • Rating: Scoring 5.5/10 for SPSFC
Here’s the synopsis via Am*zon:

After diamond power promises to replace steam, an unemployed labourer and a thieving noble unite to foil an international plot and avert a war.

Alf Wilson resents the new technology that cost him his factory job, especially as his clockwork leg bars him from army enrolment. He daren’t confess his unemployment to his overbearing mother. Desperate over the rent, he ends up in a detention cell with a hangover.

Impoverished Lord Richard Hayes maintains his expensive parliamentary seat by a mixture of charm and burglary. During a poorly planned break-in, he inadvertently witnesses a kidnapping. To cap it all, the police arrest him for the crime. At least he’s using a fake identity. The real criminals make off with not just the professor who discovered diamond power, but her plans for a diamond-fuelled bomb.

When Rich encounters Alf in the neighbouring cell, he sees an opportunity to keep his noble reputation intact. He persuades Alf he’s a secret agent who needs an assistant. This chance association will take them to the oddest locations. But law-abiding Alf’s first assignment? Break Rich out of jail.

My thoughts:

First and foremost in my mind is that The Diamond Device is a shorter, fast paced read that is exceptionally light on sci-fi for what I was expecting to read here.  It’s a variation on steam punk where diamonds are newly used as a power source, but there’s no indication on how it works including from the character trying to assemble a device or from the scientist who created it.  Anyway, we decided it’s close enough, so genre questions did not affect my score.

Overall I enjoyed the read through. The pacing was steady, with bursts of action tempered by fairly low consequences in most cases. The writing is solid, flowing, and easily digestible. It just all felt more like a cozy British mystery to me than sci-fi, complete with blundering policemen and over the top shenanigans.

The characters are likeable, a lord and a laborer.  Watching them try to mix their worlds and work together was the most entertaining part for me, especially so once a hilariously temperamental cop was thrown into the mix.  That said, the character’s reactions to major events felt so muted that I almost wondered if the author wasn’t targeting a young adult audience, although no indication of this is given.

Science or lack of it aside, I think Thaung managed to cram an amazing amount of world building into the pages too.  We see all about how the classes live, the airships, what they eat, how they comport themselves, and political relations.

Overall, I think it was a fun and inoffensive book full of shenanigans.  If you like light steampunk you might want to check out The Diamond Device!


Thanks for checking out my review of The Diamond Device. A free e-copy was provided for judging purposes and as always, all opinions are my own ♥️

Categories
Biographies, Memoirs, Nonfiction Fiction

Notes of a Dirty Old Man by Charles Bukowski (thoughts)

“Tiny snail assholes” and the savior’s balls, Bukowski had me at hello

One of the many things I’ve been trying to do over the past few years is expand my reading horizons.  I’ve got a fantastic reading list of international writers, past and present, who are brilliant and not necessarily all well known… and then I also just want to read off my shelves.

I compromised by ending 2022 with Notes of a Dirty Old Man, a collection of newspaper stories by Charles Bukowski. Funny enough it was originally compiled by an erotica loving imprint called Essex House, and is now published by beat generation enthusiasts & San Fran publishing gurus, City Lights Publishing.

Ahh I love all the history there, the web of ties between the publishers and beat generation writers, the crazy lifestyles, just something the average person can’t fathom. Bukowski was never to my knowledge grouped with that lot but he was tied up with the same publishers, knew the authors, and he had opinions 😅

About the collection itself, I found the eclectic mix of fiction and nonfiction a little jarring.  I’m spoiled and used to sections and titles in short story collections now, so we know how it’s organized, but this seems like total hodgepodge or possibly chronological by publication date. I‘m not really sure why it was compiled at all (way back in 1969) unless Essex House (who published a lot of erotica) was looking for the vastest spread of sex stories possible.  Now I know that’s a vast  oversimplification but most of the stories are true, or have true elements! Some are pure fantasy (like a guy with wings playing baseball) while many others happened to some extent, and almost all include some kind of graphic sex (I’m not going there to describe it).

A few stories were sad to me, such as a vivid recounting of how years of beatings and other abuse turns someone into a living but kind of mostly dead person.  It’s an extremely personal look at his life. Alcohol, homelessness, bouncing around various places to live and taking menial jobs, abusive relationships that went both ways, these are the real life parts. Probably/hopefully exaggerated a bit but who really knows, people are crazy.

What’s interesting too is just objectively seeing what he chose to write about once he knew the editor gave precisely zero fucks and let him write whatever he wanted! Remember, everything in the book appeared in an underground newspaper.

That said, back to my note about finding the stories sad: most of the collection is pretty funny.  Bukowski said, at one point or another, that he put the comedy into his writing so that people wouldn’t pity him – and the ironic thing is that it attracted quite a few odd admirers, many of which he writes about. Some of the writing went right over my head and I had no idea what he was talking about. Some got a chuckle. Something about tiny snail assholes had me cracking up, like yeah if you eat something whole you’re eating it’s asshole too 🤣

Of the many columns and blurbs here, there is one about a party and the time Bukowski met Neal Cassady. He took a crazy car ride with Neal driving and John Bryan (who published Cassady’s letter to Kerouac in City Lights (and gave Bukowski the platform in his Open City paper to write the segments contained in Notes of a Dirty Old Man).  

P.S. John Bryan and Jesus’ balls, literally.  What a strange and irreverent road to publishing and more than a bit refreshing in today’s PC era to go back and read these old guys writing *what-the-fck-ever*.

I totally sidetracked there. Anyway, in that particular segment about meeting Cassady and his suicide, there’s quite a dig that shows how Bukowski really felt 😅

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Jack had only written the book, he wasn’t Neal’s mother, just his destructor, deliberate or otherwise 

Oyy ok let’s get this wrapping up, I’m rambling which means I had a lot of thoughts and didn’t know how to frame them. A little bit less gay bar action would have been nice for me personally but I don’t think anyone delicate or easily offended would read Bukowski past his introduction. I’m not worried about discussing the writing here. It’s irreverent in every sense of the world and the title is aptly named. I actually started listening to this book on audio because Will Patton’s voice is everything, but without actual chapter breaks it was too hard to follow.

Overall, I think Bukowski is an interesting character in American literature and I enjoy his short stories in small doses.  He’s a decent tie in for those interested in the beat generation and those looking for irreverence in everything.  Barfly (the movie he wrote about his life) wasn’t bad, I watched it after reading, but then I read that he didn’t like his actor’s portrayal.  I guess the takeaway is that you can see a lot of the stories in the film too. Anyway, give him a shot if you are checking out American short story writers


P.s. if anyone wants sources for anything I was writing about, I can find them for you for further reading. Most of the nonfiction type info is general knowledge or came vaguely summarized from a publisher’s information, or something else Bukowski wrote

Categories
General Posts, Non Reviews Science Fiction

The National Science Fiction Day Book Tag

Something I definitely want to do more of in 2023 is book tags, book challenges, and fun bookish things.

Today I learned that in America, January 2nd is apparently National Science Fiction Day. Ironically I learned that from a non-american.  In honor of this, and the fact that it’s Asimov’s birthday, Alex over at At Boundary’s Edge created an Asimov themed book tag and there is the link to it.  He didn’t specify rules so just, you know, pick a Sci-fi thing that fits the prompts and link back to him if you decide to do the tag 🤣


The Alternate Asimovs:

A book you’d like to change the ending of…

For me it’s To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Paolini.  I did not wade though that brick of a ridiculously long book for that stupid ass ending 🤣

Earth is Room Enough

A book set entirely on Earth…

One that gets thrown around a lot but I am a big fan of: Brave New World by Huxley

The End of Eternity

The longest series you have finished

I haven’t really finished any super long sci-fi series… Ack .. help… Um… trilogies are probably the longest.  I’ll say The Song of Kamaria by TA Bruno since it is the most recent one I read in full. I like sci-fi standalones apparently

Foundation

The first book you’re reading/have read/plan to read this year

An SPSFC read that I’m not entirely sure is sci-fi, but I can vaguely accept it as steampunk in which robots exist in some way – The Diamond Device by MH Thaung

Foundation’s Friends

A book written by an author who did not create the setting for the book

I’m going with The Princess and the Scoundrel by Beth Revis – I don’t follow Star Wars, I’ve never made it through one of the movies in full, I don’t read it, but I’ll support anything she does. I was able to read it as a total standalone and it was cute and fun

The Gods Themselves

A book that features religion

Gene Wolf is the only one coming to mind,  really strongly, with The Book of the New Sun…  man there’s one I should re read as an adult

I, Robot

Your favourite artificial intelligence in a book..

AM I NOT MERCIFUL?

Nemesis

A book you found difficult to finish…

Ummm …. Going to make some enemies here but any of the early Star Trek lit-verse was hard to finish.  The first few books didn’t even know the character dynamics yet so they are a mix of a true achievement, and kind of just … bad.  Really, did anyone read Ghost Ship, Peacekeepers, or Children of Hamlin with rapt attention? No, I didn’t think so 😅 they kind of started smoothing out after that though if I remember correctly

Pebble in the Sky

A fictional planet you’d like to visit

Fishbowl from Jack McDevitt’s Alex Benedict series.  If nothing else you won’t be bored

Space Ranger

A book set on more than one planet

The Guardian League series by Steven J. Morris! More planets the further along you go but you see quite a few different worlds by the end.


There you have it! Hopefully more than three people will do this for him 🤣 just remember to link back to the creator and have fun!

Categories
General Posts, Non Reviews

January ’23 TBR & What’s Coming Up this Month

Look at me, already breaking my resolutions 😅

Nah, seriously though I am breaking away from To Be Read lists because they’ve started to feel oppressive. That said, I have to read a certain number of full books for the SPSFC this month. I’ve also got my books lined up for the Keymark Readathon because I can’t resist a good competition and challenge.  Hopefully next month and beyond I’ll be able to read more freely, but let’s look at the books I’ve got lined up!

Read-a-Thon TBR

A graphic for a discord readathon

Thankfully I was able to plug in books I planned to read anyway.

  1. The Rush’s Echo by Ginger Smith is an ARC that I’ve had for too long – up first!
  2. Before They Are Hanged by Joe Abercrombie – yes I’m going to binge this series.
  3. The Empyrean by Katherine Franklin – **an SPSFC read**
  4. The Stars Within by Alex Arch – indie novella that comes highly recommended
  5. Earthship by John Triptych – **an SPSFC read**
There are three more SPSFC reads besides the indicated two that I *have* to read this month. Those are:
  1. The Diamond Device by M.H. Thaung
  2. Empire Reborn by A.K. Duboff
  3. Inquisitor by Mitchell Hogan 

Seven books and one novella should be doable for me.

The SPSFC Reading Team for At Boundary's Edge

Book Tours & Sunday Brunch:

I’ve got Luke Tarzian featuring regarding my birthday book, A Cup of Tea At the Mouth of Hell! Super excited for that interview through Escapist Book Tours.

Other ARCs:

The last ARC I have is The Last Orphan by Gregg Andrew Hurwitz. I love Orphan X and am always honored to grab one of the ARCs. It’s not out til valentine’s day so I’ll read it once I finish the others.

Lastly:

I don’t have any articles planned (as of yet) but I do have three reviews that I never got to at the end of 2022.  So at some point expect features on Fairytale by Stephen King, some random thoughts on Bukowski and Dirty Old Man, and, I don’t know what I want to say about Road Trip Elegies: Montreal to New York yet but it was a profound listening experience. 

Do you all have anything fun planned for January?