Monday 26 November 2007

Space Opera Reading List

As per the other reading lists, this list is not complete, merely a jumping off point for further reading. The books are in no particular order (except for the two anthologies at the beginning).

David G. Hartwell, Ed. - Space Opera Renaissance
Jonathan Strahan, Ed. - The New Space Opera
Ken MacLeod - Newton’s Wake
Brian W. Aldiss - Eighty-minute hour
Catherine Asaro - Skolian Empire series
Lois McMaster Bujold - Vorkosigan series
Elizabeth Bear - Hammered, Scardown, Worldwired
M. Buckner - War Surf
Simon Green - Deathstalker series
Mike Shephard - Kris Longknife series
Sharon Shinn - Heart of Gold
Linnea Sinclair - Finders Keepers, Gabriel’s Ghost, Accidental Goddess, Games of Command, Down Home Zombie Blues
S. L. Viehl - Stardoc series, Blade Dancer
Sharon Lee & Steve Miller - Crystal Soldier, Crystal Dragon
Julie Czerneda - Trade Pact Universe trilogy, Species Imperative trilogy, Web Shifters trilogy, A Thousand Words for Stranger
C. J. Ryan - Dexta, Fifth Quadrant, Glorious Treason, Burdens of Empire
Diana Palmer - Morcai Batallion
Elizabeth Moon - Vatta’s War series
David Weber - Honor Harrington series
Various - Star Wars, Star Trek, Dr. Who, etc.

Monday 12 November 2007

Vampire Reading List

As with the Time Travel reading list posted last month, this list is not meant to be comprehensive, simply to give more ideas of books to read if you liked a particular theme. In with the Vampire books I've thrown a few Werewolf stories. Other vampire books will show up on forthcoming lists. The books are listed here in no particular order.

“…Take care how you cut yourself. It is more dangerous than you think in this country.”
-Bram Stoker, Dracula

Jeanne Stein - Becoming, Blood Drive
Sergei Lukyanenko - Night Watch, Day Watch, Twilight Watch
Barb & J.C. Hendee - Dhampir, Thief of Lives, Sister of the Dead, Traitor to the Blood, Rebel Fay
Octavia Butler - Fledgling
Karen Chance - Touch the Dark, Claimed by Shadow
Rob Thurman - Nightlife, Moonshine
Patricia Briggs - Moon Called, Blood Bound
George R. R. Martin - Fevre Dream
E. E. Knight - Way of the Wolf, Choice of the Cat, Tale of the Thunderbolt, Valentine’s Rising, Valentine’s Exile, Valentine’s Resolve
Carrie Vaughn - Kitty & the Midnight Hour, Kitty Goes to Washington, Kitty Takes a Holiday
Alice Borchardt - Silver Wolf, Night of the Wolf, Wolf King
Orson Scott Card - Lost Boys
Allen Kupfer - Journal of Professor Abraham Van Helsing
Bram Stoker - Dracula
Anne Rice - Interview with the Vampire, Vampire Lestat, Queen of the Damned, Tale of the Body Thief, Memnoch the Devil, Vampire Armand, Merrick, Blood & Gold, Blackwood Farm, Blood Canticle
Kit Whitfield - Benighted
Wm Mark Simmons - One Foot in the Grave, Dead on my Feet, Habeas Corpses
Susan Sizemore - The Hunt, Partners, Deceptions, Heroes
Scott Macmillan - Knights of the Blood, At Sword’s Point
Andrew Fox - Fat White Vampire Blues, Bride of the Fat White Vampire
Stephanie Meyer - Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse
L.A. Banks - Minion, Awakening, Hunted, Bitten, Forbidden, Damned, Forsaken, Wicked, Cursed
William Hill - Vampire Hunters
Raven Hart - Vampire’s Kiss
Robin McKinley - Sunshine
Darrell Schweitzer - Secret History of Vampires
Richard Laymon - Traveling Vampire Show
Jennifer Rardin, Once Bitten, Twice Shy
Jennifer Armintout - The Turning, Possession, Ashes to Ashes
Chris Green - Night Rising
Natasha Rhodes - Dante’s Girl

Wednesday 7 November 2007

Writers of the Future Event

Asked to introduce our guests only a few hours before the event, I went into a flurry of reading their websites and blogs. I learned some interesting things.

I already knew that Robert J. Sawyer had won a Nebula Award (Terminal Experiment) and a Hugo Award (Hominids). But I didn't know he'd won a John W. Campbell Award (Mindscan) or that this year he was given an Honourary Doctorate from Laurentian University. Also this year, he won an Aurora Award for his short story 'Biding Time', which appeared in the anthology Slipstreams. And of course, he was a judge for this year's L. Ron Hubbard's Writers of the Future Contest. Robert J. Sawyer is truly one of Canada's most prominent science fiction authors.

He is also an excellent public speaker, waxing eloquent on the merits of the Writers of the Future Contest, both literary and monetary. The four quarterly winners received cash prizes of $1000 USD, while the Grand Prize winner received $6000 (though, as Mr. Sawyer pointed out, "'s only American dollars, so it's not what it once was."). In addition to money the winners got to spend one week at a writer's workshop for free. They also got to make contacts in the writing industry and join the ranks of those who won the contest in the past. Here's a clip of Robert J. Sawyer pointing out some of those past winners.

(Sorry about the quality of the video. I took it with my digital camera. I'm not sure why it's on it's side...)

As for the winners themselves, Stephen Kotowych, was this year's Grand Prize winner for his short story 'Saturn in G Minor'. This is only the second time in its 23 year history that a Canadian has won the grand prize (the first winner was James Alan Gardner). Stephen's work can also be found in the anthologies Under Cover of Darkness ('Borrowed Time') and Tesseracts 11 ('Citius, Altius, Forius').

And Tony Pi, second place winner for his short story 'The Stone Cipher' has been busy as well. He has stories in Tales of the Unanticipated #28 ('Pinocchio Cantatas') and Abyss and Apex ('Metamorphoses in Amber').

The two award winners read excerpts from their stories and then signed copies of the Writers of the Future anthology for audience members.

For anyone wishing to learn more about the international Writers of the Future Contest, check out their website.

Thursday 1 November 2007

Sci-Fi Fan Letter Issue 15

World’s Biggest Bookstore’s Science Fiction and Fantasy Newsletter November 2007

Writers of the Future Event

Tuesday November 6th join us in store at 6pm as we host two of the winners of this year's L. Ron Hubbard Writer's of the Future Contest. Meet Grand Prize winner, Stephen Kotowych, for his short story 'Saturn in G Minor' and the 2nd Place winner, Tony Pi, for his novella 'The Stone Cipher'. Robert J. Sawyer, a judge of this year's contest and a prominent Canadian Science Fiction author will host the event.

By: James Alan Gardner

Mankind has reached the stars, found fellow sentient life and lives in a utopia where sudden and violent death is unknown but for a handful of people known as Explorers. Explorers reach out to new worlds and in doing so are invariably killed by hostile terrain, plagued by unknown infections, or eaten by native lifeforms.

To keep the psychological strain these deaths have on the rest of society low, Explorers are unofficially picked from the outskirts of society: the handicapped, the deformed and the ugly.

Placed in this impossible situation, one Explorer does all she can to face up to the challenges and expectations.

Superb premise and a superb read.


The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse
By: Robert Rankin

Well, if you’re looking for a story that follows the standard fantasy formula, you may not want to pick up this book. The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse takes some of the stories that we grew up with and adds a twist that will leave you laughing and thinking that Robert Rankin is twisted. This is a story of mystery, love and control over Toy City.

Toy City is plagued with the murders of the rich and famous with no rhyme or reason. It is up to Eddie bear and a new comer to the city, Jack, to solve the cases and unravel the riddle of why this is happening. Their only clue is a hollow chocolate bunny left at the crime scenes. Meanwhile, Jack is trying to come to grips with the fact that the toys are alive and have their own city to live in, and you often wonder if Jack has a deeper and darker purpose to his presence in Toy City.

If you love a book with action, sex, crazy and in some cases literal murders, you have found the right book. But, whatever you do, don't read this book in a public place or you may get the crazy person look from everyone around you. Just remember that the truth about the murder victims comes to light in Chapter 4!

- Sheila

By: Brandon Sanderson

Told from the circling viewpoints of the three main characters, Elantris is a well written High Fantasy.

Prince Raoden wakes one morning to discover that he’s been damned by the curse that destroyed Elantris, once the golden city of the blessed, now a decaying mass outside the capital. Exiled to Elantris, Raoden begins to learn the magic once practiced there as he attempts to discover why Elantris fell.

Princess Sarene of Teod arrives to meet her betrothed, only to be told that Raoden is dead and she is legally his widow. She is immediately thrust into court intrigues of which she is ignorant.

Hrathen, high priest of Fjordell, has come to convert the people of Arelon. This is their last chance. If they don’t accept his teachings, the Fjord army will wipe them out.

Brought to a satisfying ending, Elantris is a story that will stay with you long after you’ve finished reading it.

- Jessica Strider

Coming in December

War Hammer: Only in Death - Dan Abnett
Metal Swarm - Kevin Anderson
Captain’s Fury - Jim Butcher
First Born - Arthur Clarke & Stephen Baxter
Sorcerers’ Plague - David Coe
Inferno - Ellen Datlow
Star Wars: Rule of Two - Drew Karpyshyn
High Deryni - Katherine Kurtz
Dragon Harper - Anne & Todd McCaffrey
Rise of the Royal Blood - Robert Newcomb
Morcai Battalion - Diana Palmer
Starship: Mercenary - Mike Resnick
Sister Time - John Ringo & Julie Cochrane
Lifehouse Trilogy - Spider Robinson
Endless Blue - Wen Spencer
Voyage of the Snake Lady - Theresa Tomlinson
Borne in Blood - Chelsea Quinn Yarbro

Trade Paperback:
Shadow Bridge - Grogory Frost
Dragon Outcast - E.E. Knight
Star Trek: Creative Couplings - David Mack
Blue Sword - Robin McKinley
Escapement - K.J. Parker
Another One Bites the Dust - Jennifer Rardin
The Terror - Dan Simmons
Soldier of Sidon - Gene Wolfe

Mass Market:
War Hammer: Armour of Contempt - Dan Abnett
Patron Saint of Plagues - Barth Anderson
Alpha - Catherine Asaro
Final Impact - John Birmingham
Devil Inside - Jenna Black
Lady of Avalon - Marion Zimmer Bradley
Knighthood of the Dragon - Chris Bunch
Scar Night - Alan Campbell
Mistress of Winter - Giles Carwyn & Todd Fahnestock
1634: the Ram Rebellion - Eric Flint & Virginia De Marce
Eifelheim - Michael Flynn
Blood Bowl: Rumble in the Jungle - Matt Forbeck
Forgotten Realms: Neversfall - Ed Gentry
The Future We Wish We Had - Martin Greenberg & Rebecca Lickiss
Mechwar: Last Charge - Jason Hardy
Vampire’s Kiss - Raven Hart
Starcrash - Elysa Hendricks
Forgotten Realms: Crypt of the Moaning Diamond - Rosemary Jones
Dragon Lance: Black Talon - Richard Knaak
Star Trek: Forged in Fire - Michael Martin & Andy Mangels
War Hammer: Defenders of Ulhtuan - Graham McNeill
March Into Darkness - Robert Newcomb
Dragon Lance: Secret of Pax Tharkas - Douglas Niles
War Hammer: Hour of the Daemon - Aaron Rosenberg
Thraxas at War - Martin Scott
War Hammer: Desert Raiders - Lucien Soulban
Star Wars: Allegiance - Timothy Zahn
Blue-Haired Bombshell - John Zakour