jump to navigation

£1,000 ‘Ethical Futures’ Short Story Award May 17, 2007

Posted by taryn in news.
add a comment

For non professional writers only apparently? From the news release:

Ethical Futures: £1,000 short story competition about the future of the human race
Imagine a world where people are able to choose from a menu of ‘enhancing’ techniques: IQ, strength, disease prevention, age extension. What would life be like in such a world? What ethical dilemmas might it raise?
Your story will be judged by Justina Robson, author of Quantum Gravity: Keeping it Real series. Dr Anjana Ahuja, Science Notebook columnist for The Times, Cory Doctorow, science fiction novelist.
Competition open to non professional writers and video producers. Entries should be no more than 2,000 words or 10 minutes in length. Closing date: 30 June 2007.

See http://www.theRSA.org/ethical

I am Legend May 16, 2007

Posted by taryn in best books ever, fantasy, horror.

I am Legend

While I was waiting for crappy Kylie Chan to arrive, I delved into some other much better sci fi/fantasy and landed upon I am Legend by Richard Matheson.

This is a great book, well worth a read. Since it was published in 1958, there are bound to be some copies in second hand book stores for a song!

Stephen King himself wrote a glowing introduction to this book and I have to agree – Matheson manages to keep upping the tension and the pace.

“When you thought it had to be over, that your nerves couldn’t stand any more, that was when Matheson turned on the afterburners. He wouldn’t quit. He was relentless.”

I was very dissapointed to read this review over at Book Covers Blog, I think you have to think a little bit about when this book was written – 1958. Sure this story of isolation amidst an end of the world type virus might seem obvious now – think 28 Days Later, Cell, etc etc but it was first.

I really empathised with the hero, he is so flawed, teetering on the brink of madness and I loved the ending – won’t say anything to spoil it but very refreshing.

You can read an extract and a bit of Stephen King’s essay here.

I found this book through the Orion/Gollancz books series, they all have great covers. I love this cover- stylish, simple and scary! The texture is also really rough and the book has rounded edges too. V old school.

The titles in the Gollancz series are:

The Dispossessed by Ursula Le Guin, The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester, Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes, The Forever War by Joe Haldeman, Cities in Flight by James Blish, Ubik by Philip K Dick, Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny, Gateway by Frederik Pohl and The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut. (Thanks to Diary of a Phanatique)

I’ve read most, so I’ll try and add the reviews here.

One of the first books in our book club was The Forever War….thanks David!

The Greatest Mystery: Making a Best Seller May 16, 2007

Posted by taryn in news.
1 comment so far

Check out this article from the NY Times if you’re interested in book marketing, what books sell and why publishers bid for books.

It has some interesting quotes and examples from the US publising industry.

Also, apparently Romance Writers USA does demographics. I wonder if anyone is doing it for Sci-Fi/ Fantasy…

Kylie Chan – White Tiger May 9, 2007

Posted by taryn in don't bother, fantasy.

Ok, why? David/Ellen, why?

Even though I haven’t finished this book, I feel compelled to write a brief review as David has chosen to propose about six books!

I am really struggling to get into this book. Maybe its because of the clumsy language. Maybe its because I have actually lived in HK and know the places the author is writing about — ahem –trying to describe.

Actually, I think its because the story line is so predicatable and cheesy. Nanny in love with her boss who is going to teach her magical judo? Please.

Anyways I am going to read it dammit as I ordered it from Australia – but if you were considering buying it, I would say don’t bother.

Note: I have given up at chapter 3. The sad news is that there is a book two.

I will send them to my 14 year old sister and see if she likes them…

A Storm of Books! May 7, 2007

Posted by davekay in news.

We are reading our way through books left, right and centre!

The current reading is Conn Iggulden’s Emperor series, about the life of Julius Caesar. All four books.

We’ve already read through Naomi Novik’s Temeraire series (3 books) without mentioning it here, oops! The books are great – Hornblower with dragons, which suits me just fine. The sooner they make this into a series like Hornblower or Sharpe’s Rifles, the better.

After Conn Iggulden’s series, I might try to get Ellen to read some William Gibson – Pattern Recognition is a great book too.