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2013-happy-new-year

The old one may have ended in a severe cold, but then "the only way is up" as Yazz used to sing ^^. Thank you for all your amazing posts and conversations and support when I needed it, I hope I can do the same for you again (although not posts, I guess - Goodreads and my book reviews are totally fulfilling my posting desire), as well.
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On this World Book Day, help Judith Tarr get her newest novel co-op published at Book View Café! For a Kickstarter donation of $5 you get the finished ebook (various formats), that's a bargain for a novel and Book View Café sells worldwide via Paypal - and anyone who can use Amazon Payments can support Kickstarter!

If you haven't read her yet, how come? She's the goddess of historically based fantasy (especially where horses are concerned).

Read more )
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So Booksmuggler Ana gave Code Name Verity a perfect ten and made my day this Friday (it had been one of THOSE days at school) and then I read on various LJs that con-or-bust was just starting again for this year (and admin Kate Nepveu pointed out that they hadn't had as many offers as they usually do).

I've bid and won there before, but I've also wanted to offer a post of my own - my usual problem is that I have some nice used books, but what with all the new and signed books offered that is not very tempting (and the real rarities are so heavy they would cost an arm to send to the US).

Since E.Wein has hinted at sending me an autographed copy of CNV, I've decided to put my just arrived, unread copy of the UK paperback up for auction. This way people outside the UK get the book months early and hopefully I get a few more bids to raise a bit more money for Con-or-Bust. I have a huge link bonanza here about the book and reviews of it.

I even have a bid already ^^, but hope to sell a bit higher than that.
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Considering I really hinted, nagged and mentioned on blog and email, Booksmuggler Ana was really patient with my insistence on her reading CNV (but then I had read reviews of hers of books with similar tropes - good and bad: female pilots - World War II - spies; come to think of it I think the nearest book in this vein had been a disappointment) - but I was SO SURE she would love it that I put my money where my mouth is and sent her a copy via Bookdepository (when stupid Amazon.co.uk cancelled the preorders - Ana lives in the UK), even though we had taken steps to organise a possibility for her to read the book in time for the release week already (*shifty eyes*).

She gave it a perfect 10, called it one of the Top Ten of the Year books and thanked Chachic (who is a renowned Book Blogger herself - just have a look at her incredible Queen's Thief week this year and the star-studded posts and comments) and me for convincing her to try it (so now I'm back to crossing my fingers she'll get into Gen-in-Ethiopia, too ^^).

There's more to read and a possible Book Depository offer after the cut )
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A shout-out to all the people I'd been trying (by leaving mysterious hints about female friendship, female pilot in WWII and lots of tissues needed) to convince to eventually read Elizabeth Wein's Code Name Verity - on a thread of Rachel Manija's, I remember, and wherever else...

Code Name Verity

And may I just give you a further impulse to buy it - especially if you want to know my real life name ^^ - Elizabeth Wein was kind enough to mention my checking her German in the Afterword of the book (and very graciously overlooked the ages it took me to nerve myself up to read a book where Nazi Gestapo tortures one of the heroines: I'm very grateful that they weren't turned into caricature monsters, but remained humans - having made/making some very bad choices and perpetrating horrors onto others).
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There's a new blog post linked at my link aggregation page for the book ^^

This is shout-out to all the people I'd been trying (by leaving mysterious hints about female friendship, female pilot in WWII and lots of tissues needed) to convince to eventually read Elizabeth Wein's Code Name Verity - on a thread of Rachel Manija's, I remember, and wherever else...

Code Name Verity
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A shout-out to all the people I'd been trying (by leaving mysterious hints about female friendship, female pilot in WWII and lots of tissues needed) to convince to eventually read Elizabeth Wein's Code Name Verity - on a thread of Rachel Manija's, I remember, and wherever else...

Code Name Verity

Don't worry - I'll only be doing this until February 10th (when the blog tour ends)

Read more )
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I'm so thankful for my online friends and acquaintances in 2011. Your posts always were great distractions, sometimes were fascinating new ideas and discoveries and occasionally real emotional help and succor.

This was the year that I really used GoodReads to the max and got my reading groove back - and mostly managed to write something about every book I'd read. Apart from comments I haven't written so much regularly since... 2007? At least?

Here's some creative stuff that I really enjoyed on the internet this year:
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As she says in the comment I'll be linking here directly - someone needs to keep a record of this intention and impression. I want to post this so I remember it when people talk about ebooks and their pros and cons. And because I'm afraid she's right.


It’s like watching the Alexandrine Library burn…that everything they created is being threatened by, ironically, the pace of progress, and a world that regarded their work as ‘pulp’…and therefore not to be preserved. Here we have people finally making college courses out of the field—teaching it alongside the development of technology—but they’re having no really fast effect on the preservation of the field, which is decaying at the rate of pulp paper, being flooded in basements, thrown away by heirs who never approved of ‘that stuff’…or just mouldering away unrecorded, lost. Link
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Sandra McDonald's periodic table of women in science fiction...annotated

Bold the women by whom you own books
Italicize those by whom you've read something of (short stories count)(I've also counted non-fiction, or works edited by the individual))
Star those of whom you've never heard

... )
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Okay so maybe I'm the only one who didn't know this yet, but Diane Duane is working on having the books whose rights have reverted to her available as ebooks. The first two of the out-of-print Middle Kingdom/Tale of the Five series Door into Fire and Door into Shadows are available via Smashwords or her site which links to ejunkie.com for only $3.

She's working on bringing out the third one (that the Meisha Merlin omnibus didn't collect, but I bought via the Corgi edition in the 80s), Door into Sunset (which does add a satisfying end-for-now to the trilogy, no real solution to Herewiss power dilemma as this series was projected to have more books), as well. I so wish she had the time and money - or maybe BAEN to give her a contract - to finish that series. Beautiful new covers, too. These books had understated and also starcrossed love with same sex, opposite sex and alien sex partners in a polyamorous relationship in the 80s!! AND a save-the-world plot which worked!!! It is the most excellent crack fantasy epic (with a value of crack=Kaori Yuki).

At the moment she also offers A  Wind from the South completely for free - a book that should have become the start of a series as well.

Addendum: You can tip her via Paypal if you liked A Wind From The South, or you could buy it in print from Lulu.com.
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Not being a paid account I can't make a poll - not that many people read me anyway, heh, but I am quite proud to have read quite a lot of books and short stories this year, even though I have troubles with my right cornea. I loved it when meganbmoore did it last year, so this year I wanted to do it for myself (and see if I read much less... looking at the list I can't think I did, actually). Manga/manhwa are not included.

The overwhelming majority of these were new reads and ebooks. We have fantasy, science fiction, non-fiction, romance of various versions, erotic romances of the straight and m/m variety as well as menage.The books are listed according to grade, from best to worst (A+,A- to D and DNF):

cut for length )
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In honour of Sharon Lee's idea of making June 23rd Science Fiction and Fantasy Writer's Day, I'd like to give tribute to the amazing female sf&f writers I have increasingly discovered since the 90s and especially the ones I've discovered and had contact with in the last two years (Aside: all hail the internet!).




Elizabeth Wein )

You know, I can see I won't be able to cover all the ladies today, so I'll be turning this into a series as time permits.

~ originally posted at bookish.net
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What with my eye trouble in the last two years I feel with fellow people in trouble quite a bit. My eyes are hopefully slightly getting better and I'm taking steps to help that along, but the economy bites us all, healthy or not. Catherine Valente has gotten into trouble (and was linked by Scalzi and Gaiman which has helped enormously), but there are still great offers at the auction site implemented for her [livejournal.com profile] adoptingcat.

It seems Vera Nazarian whom we helped somewhat last winter is in some trouble again (considering the situation with her house and mother and her own health, I'm not really surprised). This is the lady who runs Norilana Books ( http://www.norilana.com/ ), which publishes lovely fantasy, as well as a Hugo-Nominated novealla writer. If you have the money, she's selling an artwork of hers here: http://norilana.livejournal.com/138203.html
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Basically a day after I finished the first book, the second one arrived and I can see now why Sherwood wrote on her LJ that this was actually one big book. It starts right after the end of the first one (so no explanations for readers who come in later, which I actually prefer in my series books).

Sasha remains cautious and the hero keeps kicking himself (deservedly) for screwing up by keeping too many secrets when he met her. Not being a villain he lets her go (but sets one of his trusted friends to track and help her).
Twice a Prince (Sasharia En Garde)

I love the fact that the friend/spy loses her soon after, due to weather and not any special skills by Sasha. I love it when she loses her way out of inexperience, is happy to be rescued from a storm at a military camp of the king and leaves in the morning without ever thinking about the consequences of a report about her showing up (she does use a false name, but her few treasures clearly show the connection to the old royal house). The villainous usurper also does not want to kill the heroine in this one (yay!), he wants her to marry his son and continues to want this (and to try to send his son to find her and woo her, as the prince's supposedly a real ladies' man).
... )
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How rare and delightful: two excellent books read in two days (and not just rare because my eye trouble isn't over yet, only lying low for a while). And they're very different too, so they don't take away from each other.

Once a Princess (Sasharia En Garde)


Once a Princess - now out in print - is part of Smith's overarching Satorias-deles world and set in a time which previous books have already touched on (although I don't think there were any familiar faces so far, the one truly mysterious group showing up obviously has ties to characters we already know, but I haven't read about them yet), which makes certain references to military training or the inheritance of magic powers much easier to understand (I do have a feeling that the situation and flair of the hero had quite a bit similarity to Vidanric of Crown Duel, but as we get pov from him as well it's not as frustrating for the reader as it was then).
... )
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And posted this on the dawbooks community

I so love the fact that Bren-paidhi is back on his world again. I understood the need for the shake-up through the human ship coming back, so that we had initial problems in the first trilogy and the balance that existed had some way to change and a reason for new experiences for him, but the necessary time taken to explore the ship story and the journey into space was ... well... from the plot like a lot of other science fiction stories.

Conspirator (Foreigner #10) (Foreigner)


The reaction of the characters of course was excellent and putting in viewpoints of aliens who had never been in space themselves and brought their own society and customs along and had to live much closer to humans than ever before (since the War of Landing) was good. But I really didn't need another alien race (who obviously will turn up at some point, hmmm).
... )
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The author I've bought most books of this year - except for Elizabeth Bear - has been Sherwood Smith with the novels published in her own worlds (she's been a long-time collaborator of some great names in the scifi genre and has written media-tie-in novels, as well) - whether they have been YA or not.

I first came across her a few years back with an entry in Firebirds: An Anthology of Original Fantasy and Science Fiction by the Firebird YA imprint and right away bought Crown Duel, as her story was a sequel of that. I then ordered the Wren trilogy published by Firebird and quite liked the first two volumes. I bounced off the third because it started with an irreparable tragedy for one of the major characters who already had to suffer from something similar for years and I couldn't handle reading about having to deal with this and the aftermath.

That's actually one of her strengths: her books may have focus protagonists but no matter what age those are, child or grown-up, there are no guarantees that they will survive to the end (with the exception - so far - that if she names the book after that protagonist they haven't died yet). Her young adult worlds are just as hazardous, although the characters there go at their troubles and triumphs with less gray-scale in feeling (sometimes: this is not the case if your parents have died and you are heir to a throne), and more positive energy.

However, even if a character whom the reader loves dies, there's a good chance that they still have other characters to root for without hurling the book at the wall. Smith's books are always ensemble pieces with some starring roles sticking out. She manages to make even the side-characters so interesting and relevant when she highlights their role in her world/plot that you don't mind spending the time with them - there are no fillers, at the end you realise every bit of focus was necessary for you to see and appreciate the whole.
Review of all Inda books released by DAW so far )

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