Monday, September 28, 2009

The Raven heats up

The third book of James Barclay's Raven series picks up five years after the end of the second book. Each character's life has followed natural progression lines since last we read of them. Early on, events unfold which spur Denser to seek out the former members of the now inactive Raven. In the finest traditions of comraderie, solidarity and esprit de corps, the members of the Raven incrementally reunite on a southerly passage across the continent before taking to the sea. Upon the ocean, they seek a place of legend and myth - the respository of the few remaining mages practicing the One magic.

Where the first book is the introduction to the characters, this book brings to the reader familiar faces. Where the second book is an over-long exercise in detailing several POVs over the same weeks long period, this book hits with several major events for our intrepid mercenaries to confront, endure and survive.


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Floating around

No spotlight tonight, folks. Now, now, don't get too upset. Some truly interesting sf&f people will be stopping in for the Sunday Night fun over the next couple of weeks.

I should have a review of Nightchild up tomorrow evening. As you may or may not have noticed, I have given a review grade to Glen Cook's The Swordbearer. So, where's the review? Ah-hah!! That is the question. The review for The Swordbearer will be out in the sf&f blogosphere somewhere this week.

To make this kind of fun, I will personally purchase, and mail to you, a brand spanking new hard cover copy of one of the favorites I'm eye-balling at the moment: Steven Erikson's Dust of Dreams.

The rules are simple. I'll ship anywhere Amazon/U.S. does (because I'll direct ship it to you) and you need to be above reproach. Huh? WTH did he say? That's right. I know some of you already know where the review is going up, so no cheating - even though I love the Patriots (In Bill We Trust).

So, should you be the first to find my review of Glen Cook's The Swordbearer, email me the link, and your snail mail address at PeterWilliam-AT-gmx-DOT-com (use the regular "at" and "dot" symbols). Entry deadline is 9 PM, Eastern Standard Time on Friday, October 2nd.

"There can be only one."

Saturday, September 19, 2009

It's that time of year

My blog content will undoubtedly be sparse during the autumn/early winter season (in the US we're talking September through January). Aside from a change in jobs, and a newborn, I am transfixed by football (American style). Saturdays are all about college football (I'm watching University of Louisville v. University of Kentucky while typing). Sundays are all about pro football (we're talking about Patriots football, as I grew up in a particular New England state).

There will not be an interview this Sunday Night. However, I do have more than one person who has agreed to give an interview. Currently I am constructing question sets for these individuals to answer at their leisure.

I continue to read James Barclay's Nightchild and can say, thus far (i.e. ~200p.), I like it more than the previous two entries in the Raven series. I am also starting The Swordbearer, by Glen Cook for an as yet undisclosed purpose. Oh, I'll tell you, when the time is right.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sunday Night Spotlight - The Wertzone

In exchanging posts through forum boards, I have come to realize that the sf&f community has an encyclopedia - Adam Whitehead. I have seen challengers come and go, but one thing I have yet to see, is someone challenging Adam to the facts of a matter and come out on top. It's Sunday Night Spotlight and we're in The Wertzone.

PW: Recently, wotmania shut down. In previous interviews Pat (Fantasy Hotlist) and Ken (Neth Space) spoke about the “early days.” Can you give those of us in the second generation of sf&f online a summary of wotmania and those early days? What was the attraction that drew so many there?

Adam: Well, I was just a lurker for most of those early days and didn’t start posting there until 2005, although I’d visited on and off since its founding. As the first forum I frequented I remember it being a very optimistic and friendly place at the start. This was before the Wheel of Time series veered heavily off-course with the later books, Steven Erikson and Scott Bakker were still years away from releasing their first books and even George RR Martin only had one Song of Ice and Fire book out. Back in those days (starts smoking pipe) Wheel of Time was widely regarded as the best epic fantasy series out there, despite grumblings over the length even back then with ‘just’ eight books out. There was an awful lot of enthusiasm and energy running around. When the books started going off the rails a bit more, that energy got transferred to the new ‘Other Fantasy’ department, where people like Ken and Larry did an excellent job of promoting other authors and getting people fired up about other books. It was a very interesting and enjoyable community back in those days.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

To rate, or not to rate

It's a discussion I've seen flown around from time to time. In this particular iteration, heavy language was flowing from the outset. In lieu of a recap, I'll give the quick link rapid fire version. Harry Markov, of Temple Library Reviews, has a regular Sunday column called, Reviewer Time, where he reviews bloggers from the genre.

As an aside, yes thanks for mentioning it, I feel somewhat stupid putting my Sunday Night Spotlight on....Sunday. I was aware of Harry's interviews, just not that they were on Sunday. Yeah, yeah, can it!

Anyway, Harry interviews Paul Stotts of Blood of the Muse. In explaining why he rates books as he does, Paul drops a comment some took exception to. James, from Speculative Horizons, had a response to Paul's comment. Jeff, from Fantasy Books News & Reviews, had a response to Paul's comment. Joe Sherry, of Adventures in Reading, had a response, to Paul's comment. Larry, from OF Blog of the Fallen, had a double-barreled response to Paul's comment.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Sunday Night Spotlight - Speculative Horizons

Whether it's an enhanced photo, or a clever remark, James Long of Speculative Horizons always has me laughing. James has agreed to be interviewed and, look at what we got here, it's Sunday Night.

PW: What was the major catalyst for Speculative Horizons?

James: My love for the fantasy genre and my enthusiasm for talking about it. I’ve been a fan of fantasy ever since I was young, and as I got older I enjoyed talking about my favourite books online in various forums. When the genre blogosphere really started to take off, I greatly enjoyed following the various blogs and joining in the discussion they often provoked. I saw how much the individual bloggers seemed to be enjoying themselves, and as time went by I started to realise that running a fantasy book blog was something that really appealed to me – I saw it as a chance to really indulge in my love of discussing the genre, and to hopefully point some people in the direction of the books that I had enjoyed.

Speculative Horizons was subsequently born on 5 January 2008.

PW: What is the funniest story you have to tell regarding Speculative Horizons?