Welcome to a new monthly column I’m going to start here at timothycward.com, Spec-fic-fetti. Yes, it looks like spa-ghetti, but it represents the combination of Speculative Fiction and celebration associated with confetti to identify what will be a long post about all the cool people, websites, books, and podcasts that I found in that month. If you follow me on Twitter or friend me on Facebook, you’ll see these throughout the month, but even then I’m usually restraining myself from telling people about all that I think deserve mentioned because I don’t want to look like a spammer. My wife’s favorite kind of cake is white with funfetti frosting, so this may be an excuse to make a cake for my blog image. This is a last minute idea inspired by the Hugo Award winning SF Squeecast and Emma Newman’s free short stories, both of whom were recently interviewed on the SF Signal Podcast, so no cool image yet. For today’s main image, I’ll pick Emma’s upcoming release through Angry Robot Books because it sounds awesome, and I’m most recently charmed with her after her SF Signal Podcast interview–her perfect British accent (definitely going to buy the audiobook of Between Two Thorns, which she narrated), the sweet shyness I totally empathize with, and consistent dedication to her craft (54 short stories last year as part of her Split Worlds Project).
I’m loving this idea already. Completely unabashed squeeage. Who’s next? Continue reading
Posted in Spec-fic-fetti
Tagged Adventures In SciFi Publishing, Axel Howerton, Emma Newman, Evolved Publishing, far beyond reality, Functional Nerds podcast, john anealio, muse, Myke Cole, neal stephenson, SF Signal Podcast, SF Squeecast, Speculate! podcast
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Welcome to a recording of the World Science Fiction Convention, Chicon 7, panel, “Quantum Physics Meets Magical Realism:“
The way in which Quantum Physics describes the universe seems more and more to enter the realm of the fantastic. Where does reality end and fantasy begin?
Tim Stoffel, Mr. Magic Realism/Bruce Taylor, Catherynne Valente
AudioTim 45: Mark Tufo, Supernatural Horror Author of Zombie Fallout
AudioTim 44: Chicon 7 Panel “Conquering Writer’s Block”
More info on panel members and links mentioned in this panel: Continue reading
Posted in AudioTim, Podcast
Tagged Bruce Taylor "Mr. Magical Realism", Catherynne Valente, ChiCon 7, China Mieville, convention panel, magical realism, quantum physics, reading, Science Fiction, Tim Stoffel, World Science Fiction Convention #70, Writing
In my review of First Shift, I debated the reading order between Wool 1 and First Shift, but Second Shift makes it clear that Wool Omnibus should be read before Second Shift. For this reason, I’m assuming that anyone looking to read the review for Second Shift has already read Wool Omnibus and the first two books of Shift Omnibus, all of which are so good that it’s doubtful you’re reading this to see if you should go on. If you haven’t read any of these, pick up Wool Omnibus and get ready for one of the best SF books out there.
This review will contain spoilers of everything except for Third Shift, which I haven’t read yet. I’m more interested in discussing with those who have read up to this point only. Continue reading
Frequenters to my site know Hugh Howey is one of my favorite authors, ever since I came across his novelette, “The Plagiarist,” and quickly thereafter, Wool Omnibus Edition (Wool 1 – 5) (Silo Saga). If you haven’t read Hugh yet, I’d recommend starting there. *** I waffle later in this review about whether or not reading this prequel first is better. ***
The intro novelette to Wool Omnibus, “Wool 1,” is permanently free on Kindle. My review of Wool Omnibus is spoiler-free, as are the podcast interviews linked within discussing Wool and Hugh’s publishing success story.
All that to say, I picked up First shift (now that the Shift Omnibus Edition (Shift 1-3) (Silo Saga) is available) with very high expectations. Waiting for the omnibus edition to arrive meant overhearing lots of positive reviews, many saying it was better than Wool, which is a tall order.
[My review of Shift Omnibus is now up at SF Signal.]
It may seem unfair to read a book with these kind of expectations, but it’s impossible to keep them out. I wanted Shift to be better than its predecessor, and thus every scene was seen through that extra critical lens. The good news is that First Shift held its own, and added a tremendous new level of interest into an already amazing series. Continue reading
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Welcome to the latest edition of AudioTim, where I get to ask self-published success story, Mark Tufo about his stories and writing career. I will be giving away his latest novel, Callis Rose. All you have to do to enter is share some love on Twitter or Facebook, including my handle @timothycward, or tagging me Tim Ward, on Facebook, with a link to this post. Deadline to enter is one week from Monday, so before February 18.
Highlights of our discussion: Continue reading
In case you haven’t seen, my review of Hellhole is now up at SF Signal. This tag-team writing duo wrote some of my favorite books in their Dune prequels, and it surprises me to see such adamant haters of their work. Granted, Hellhole wasn’t great, but it wasn’t so terrible that anyone with half a brain should be repulsed within the first few pages, as one commenter said.
Despite my 3.5 rating, I still recommend it, especially since Amazon is now listing the hardcover of Hellhole for $2.81! Continue reading
I reviewed this book over at SF Signal today. Here’s a sample:
Children of the Night begins with a preface of the author’s first hand research visiting Romania and historical locations important to Dracula’s life, and the tragedy of that country’s orphan problem. The story begins with a team of Americans visiting Romania to investigate the orphanage system in order to report back with recommendations for aid. The characterization is interesting enough to keep you reading, and when this section ends, the reader is left with a haunting revelation about the vampires’ plans.
Dr. Kate Newman is the main character, and the book follows her struggle to fix a long-broken system of treating orphans with inadequate supplies and methods. Kate is a strong-willed character who shows how much she’s willing to lose to save an abandoned baby. Once she returns to the States, an amazing scientific discovery leads to her heading up a team of researchers eager to cure AIDS and remove the vampires need for human sacrifice. They, of course, don’t like that idea, and life-threatening action ensues. The consequences of this action are where the story fails. After this twist, the direction of the story takes a hard left away from the initial premise. Kate goes to Romania with her priest friend, Michael O’Rourke–whom readers of Summer of Night should remember and root for–and together they try and take down the Vampire Mafia.
What ensues is a cross between Dracula and The Bourne Identity, but fails to deliver like either.
Read the full review at SF Signal.
Other books/stories I’ve reviewed by Dan Simmons:
SUMMER OF NIGHT
“This Year’s Class Picture” in the zombie anthology, The Living Dead ($2.99 for Kindle).
After suffering through some lagging stories of late, Hot Sinatra‘s readability was as exciting as ditching a polka band for a live showing with Sinatra, himself.
My normal genre reading wouldn’t lead me into a crime novel about Frank Sinatra’s lost record, but it’s refreshingly easy-to-read style, and endearing characters really impressed me. Hat’s off to Axel Howerton, and his editing team at Evolved Publishing, for producing another book that reminded me why I enjoy reading. Continue reading
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Welcome to another recording from World Science Fiction Convention #70, Chicon 7: “Conquering Writer’s Block.”
Has your story fizzled out or hit a wall before completion? There are common reasons for this, and common solutions which work for most writers. Pros discuss their tips and tricks for getting a story back on track.
Russell Davis, Tom King, Eldon Thompson, Monica Valentinelli, Gene Wolfe
AudioTim 43: Tom King, Author of Superhero Novel, A ONCE CROWDED SKY
AudioTim 42: Chicon 7 Panel, “Write What You Don’t Know”
Panel Moderator: Continue reading
As an aspiring author, I feel awful saying this, but as I plot out the books I want to read in 2013, there isn’t much room for new authors. This is one reason I’m taking my time on my debut novel, Kaimerus, because if I don’t have time to endure mediocrity, neither do you. I was a guest panelist on SF Signal Podcast, Episode 171, discussing what I look forward to in 2013, and here’s my side in writing, (and some I didn’t get to mention): Continue reading
Posted in Misc
Tagged Books, Bradley P. Beaulieu, David Wong, Epic Fantasy, Horror, Hugh Howey, Ian Tregillis, Joe Abercrombie, Mark Lawrence, Michael J. Sullivan, Mike Shevdon, Mur Lafferty, Myke Cole, Patrick Rothfuss, Peter V. Brett, Science Fiction, to be read