kerravonsen: An open book: "All books are either dreams or swords." (books)
Here follows more of my very SPOILERY notes, ponderings and speculations about "This Crumbling Pageant", written as I am reading it.
This section is for chapters 10-15.
there be SPOILERS here! )
kerravonsen: cover of "The Blue Sword": Fantasy (Fantasy)
For the first time in a while, I've started reading a novel as soon as it arrived in my post-box, rather than adding it to my to-be-read pile. More of a matter of timing, really, the fact that I'm on holidays and had just finished re-reading "The Twenty" when it arrived.

This fantasy novel was recommended as something that an SS/HG fan would like, and I can certainly see the resemblance.

Vespasian Wyltt (aka Vespasian Jones), dark, despicable, thin, ugly, bastard (literally as well as figuratively), brilliant, driven, wielder of dark magics.
They would all be kindling to the fire of his ambition, and he would glory in their burning.

Persephone Fury, thin, plain, bluestocking, defiant, brave, troubled by dark and powerful magic that she cannot control.

This must be good, because I am only up to chapter nine, and I want to make notes!
So here follows my very SPOILERY notes, ponderings and speculations about the book so far.
there be SPOILERS here! )
Has anyone else around here read this novel? What did you think?
kerravonsen: (Default)
I just walked from Mitcham Station to the other side of Springvale Road. In the dark and cold. It took me 50 minutes. Which is ten minutes longer than the last time I did that. But I was expecting to take an hour, so I still feel accomplished.
As well as very tired.

Oh, you want to know why? I was reading a book and missed my stop, and the stop after, and the stop after that, and the stop after that, and the stop after that, and the stop after that. The stop after that stop was Mitcham Station, which was also the last stop on that route.
I haven't done that in quite a while.

What was I reading? "Rainy Days" by Lory Lillian, a Pride And Prejudice AU. I'd gotten to the part where Darcy was proposing to Elizabeth - of course I wasn't paying attention to my surroundings!
kerravonsen: Seventh Doctor hugging a guitar: "Blues" (Doc7-blues)
I did as I had promised myself, and set aside Good Friday and Easter Saturday to read [ profile] rj_anderson's ULTRAVIOLET. I finished it sooner than I expected, possibly because I woke up at 5am this morning and continued reading.

Spoiler-free review here.

spoilery discussion )
kerravonsen: An open book: "All books are either dreams or swords." (books)
... even though they are classics.

* 1984
* Animal Farm
* A Clockwork Orange
* Lord of the Flies
* Catch-22
* The Manchurian Candidate
kerravonsen: Jack O'Neill holding a gun: "security blanket" (gun)
Yes, I know it is a coincidence, but I could be forgiven for thinking that Fishpond has a grudge against Jean Johnson -- or at least, against her latest series.

The first book, "A Soldier's Duty" took so long to arrive that I had to order it from Amazon... and even though I ordered it from Amazon well after I ordered it from Fishpond... the Amazon book arrived first. (This does not usually happen.)

The second book, "An Officer's Duty", I ordered two copies, one for me and one for my brother. They only sent me one copy.

We shall have wait and see what they do with the third book.

Currently I am reading "The Sword", the first book in her "Sons of Destiny" series. I'm not really sure that it's my cup of tea. It looks to be romance mixed with adventure, rather than adventure mixed with romance, but I can't say I didn't know that. One only has to look at the cover (man's torso, bare-chested, only showing his body from lips to waist) to see that it's marketed as a romance rather than a fantasy novel. Fortunately, unlike most Romance-Fantasies, the author does know her fantasy tropes, and the plot is holding together so far, and I trust that it will continue to hold together. And there have been some quite amusing bits. 8-)
kerravonsen: cover of "The Blue Sword": Fantasy (Fantasy)
(from [personal profile] alias_sqbr)
This is the staff reading list for the Sirens 2013 con, which is focused on women in fantasy. It makes an interesting list (though with obscure stuff presumably because of guests of honour).

Bolded are books I've read, and italicised are books I started. Underlined are stuff in my to-read pile (that is, I actually have a copy of the book, but haven't read it yet). Stuff in parenthesis after the titles are my own remarks.
cut for long list )
kerravonsen: cover of "Komarr" by LMB: Science Fiction (SF)
I'm posting this here because I fear I will forget what I thought of this book and not add it to my reviews site. I still might forget to add it, but still my thoughts will be recorded here.

I was listening to this book (with the help of over the past few days.
Good classic SF, though dated. A manned expedition to Mars, looking at the ruins of the Martian civilization. Debates and personality conflicts, the central question being, "How can one translate a language so dead that mankind were doing cave paintings when it was last spoken?"
slightly spoilery niggles )
All that being said, I did like this. I liked the way the characters kept on citing archaeological precedents in their debates, I liked how Our Heroine kept on doggedly working on her word lists despite the derision of her peers. And I liked the resolution in the end, which didn't fall back on the "technology indistinguishable from magic" which other authors might have done. Then again, judging from "Little Fuzzy", Piper is more thoughtful than otherwise with his SF. He seems to like a blend of frontier ruggedness with a touch of thoughtful philosophy.
kerravonsen: An open book: "All books are either dreams or swords." (books)
Absorbed from [ profile] droxy:

Your Bookshelf Rec Meme
These books must be on your bookshelf or recently read.

Droxy added "books lying about, stacked on tables, under desks..."

I'm also going to cheat a bit, and include some series as "one book".
bookies! )
kerravonsen: Jack O'Neill holding a gun: "security blanket" (gun)
Military SF with a twist: Our Heroine has psi powers. Which she has to keep secret. Though that isn't the only thing that attracted me to this book. I was fortunate enough to hear the author reading an extract from it at WorldCon last year, and that taste was enough to make me think I would really like the lead character, Ia. And I did.

In some ways, this novel reminds me of Webber's "Off Armageddon Reef", in that you have a female soldier who is tasked with saving the entire human race against impossible odds, but who also has certain powers and abilities which make the odds not quite so impossible. Both of them have to conceal their natures and abilities. Both stories also require Our Heroine's plans to influence a lot of people and to unfold over a long period of time (and multiple books). That being said, the situations are also different, the characters are different, the problems are different, the abilities are different, and the solutions are different. Ia is more driven and more vulnerable than Nimue. Ia's task is both easier and more difficult than Nimue's task. Nimue's task is like herding a flock of sheep past a sleeping lion in order to escape from a dormant volcano that could erupt any time. Ia's task is like carrying a baby across a tightrope across the Niagara Falls while juggling multiple balls in the air, in order to get away from ravening super-locusts which will eat everything in their path, and are due to hatch in three hours time.

By the end of the book, Ia is a bit too much of a Superhero, but I can't really begrudge that, because the problem she's up against is as huge as the galaxy.

I like the way this story treats precognition; there are myriad possible futures, which Ia can see quite clearly, but there are also some parts of the close future which she can't see at all, obscured like fog. Her ability is both a strength and a weakness; she can see things in incredible detail, but she also has the risk of being dragged involuntarily into a vision if something triggers it. Ia knows too much; that is why she is so driven, because she needs to do something in order to stave off the nightmares.

Character is plot.
kerravonsen: cover of "The Blue Sword": Fantasy (Fantasy)
I just finished listening to "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" this week, read by the delectable Stephen Fry.

I noticed a few things this time around that I had either forgotten or not noticed before.
cut for spoilers, just in case )

I've also started re-reading "Mouse And Dragon" by Sharon Lee & Steve Miller, in preparation for (re)reading the Theo Waitley books, since I acquired "Ghost Ship" this week!
kerravonsen: An open book: "All books are either dreams or swords." (books)
After saying for years that I didn't understand why anyone would want an E-Book reader when a netbook laptop would get you a lot more features... I have to eat my words. I now understand why, since I now own an E-Book reader. Yes, I recently bought myself a BeBook Neo.
Read more... )
In conclusion: if I'd known the frustrations of this particular E-Book reader before I started, I would probably have bought something cheaper, but now that I have it, I might as well enjoy using it. It's not like I could ever get my money back.

One thing that puzzles me is why people like installing games on E-Book readers - why would I want to play a crappy game when I could read a book instead?
kerravonsen: An open book: "All books are either dreams or swords." (books)
Don't You Ever Interrupt Me While I'm Reading A Book
kerravonsen: Three camels with riders: WISE MEN still seek Him (wise-men-seek-him)
You know what's nifty? Three of the books I gave my neiflings for presents were written by friends of mine. Isn't it awesome? I personally know authors good enough to give their books as presents!

The authors in question were:
Anne Hamilton - "The Many-Coloured Realm" (given to niece)
[ profile] rj_anderson - "Rebel" (given to same niece, who, on seeing it, said "Is Arrow out yet?" to which I answered "No, but I have it on pre-order")
[ profile] altariel - "The King's Dragon" (given to nephew who loves Doctor Who)
kerravonsen: An open book: "All books are either dreams or swords." (books)
Author influence meme from various people:

Don't take too long to think about it. Fifteen authors (poets [and comic book authors] included)* who've influenced you and that will always stick with you. List the first fifteen you can recall in no more than fifteen minutes.
author, author! )
Of course, if I'd taken more than fifteen minutes, or actually perused my bookshelves, I would probably have given different answers.
kerravonsen: colourful circles: "Cool" (cool)
I finished reading [ profile] rj_anderson's "Rebel" today. It was good.
Read my review!
kerravonsen: An open book: "All books are either dreams or swords." (books)
Hello, My Name Is Kathryn, and I am a bookaholic.

I have just been updating my "to read" list (with my new system, using taskwarrior). There are 229 unread books on the list, though some of them are re-reads, and there are probably a number of non-fiction books that haven't been added. But that's not the half of it, not even a quarter of it. My net-fic wiki informs me that there are 428 fanfic stories I haven't read yet, and that there are 429 e-books I haven't read yet.

I could get really depressed about that. I shall just have to be even more ruthless in dropping books/stories when they don't hold my interest. But it does make it hard to decide what to read next.

However, speaking of books, I really must rec Many-Coloured Realm which I just finished reading. Or, technically, re-reading, since I had read (a version of it) many years ago. Still just as good. Many hidden gems inside it.
kerravonsen: rainbow sparkles: "Squee!" (squee!)
My copy of "Mouse and Dragon" arrived on Wednesday.
My copy of "The Many-Coloured Realm" arrived today.
There is a long weekend coming up.
But that still isn't enough time to read both of them.


But there is still much squee going on in this household for the lovely, lovely books.
kerravonsen: Sarah Williams, the book of the Labyrinth: "imagine" (imagine)
I got a letter this week, which had me bursting with squee.

A fantasy novel I had read an early draft of many years ago, a novel I utterly adored, a novel I dared not hope would ever be published... has been published.



The author is Annie Hamilton, long-time friend of mine, who taught me huge amounts about writing and editing, back in the day.

The story itself, which I read when it was titled "Tumbl'tower", might, at first glance, seem to be just another of the ten million children's fantasy novels around - it's got goblins and elves and magic, and human protagonists on a quest through a fantastical land - but there are places where it subverts the tropes, and others where it introduces things that are completely new. There are characters I loved, and a sort of mythic depth to it - you feel as if the Realm is old, with layers of history in it, not just a clone of modern Europe with magic-technology slapped on the top of it.

And, as the author points out on the site, there isn't a map. (grin)
kerravonsen: An open book: "All books are either dreams or swords." (books)
I promised [ profile] lizbee that I would make a list of good/classic/popular SF authors and books after consulting my bookshelves, and so here it is. Not that I consider it exhaustive or definitive or anything, but, well, it's a starting point, anyway.
(I meant to post this a couple of weeks ago, but then my computer went kaboom and I forgot.)
speculation beyond this point )

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