bibbles and dribbles…

I’ve been reading quite a bit lately while finishing up "Blaze of Glory" and starting to send it out. Received a nice rejection from the agent who requested a partial, but that’s fine – I don’t expect that in this economy with publishers pulling back from taking too many risks that a superhero novel is going to be a hot commodity… yet. I’m sure it’ll find a home soon enough!

Some of what I’ve read and enjoyed/not enjoyed:

The Difference Engine by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling – I figured that since I was hanging out in a steampunk sim in Second Life and enjoying it that I’d see what the original start to the craze was all about… but I wasn’t impressed. Maybe it’s because it was published over a decade ago and so many other books have come out since then, but it just didn’t work for me. Weak female characters, a few sex scenes that really didn’t do much for the book and a lot of confusion along the way and it was a rough read. But that’s just my take; obviously it’s become one of the staples of steampunk and I can see that when it was first published it would have been a shock to the system and generated a lot of imagination from other authors.

1421: The Year China Discovered America by Gavin Menzies – I picked this up on a whim after seeing a show on the History Channel about the Great Fleets of China that were sent out and mapped a whole lot more of the world than we first thought – and then were recalled to China and destroyed, along with many of their records as the country went back into seclusion for centuries afterwards. As you can guess from the title the proposal that many of the native people in the Americas have Chinese blood may be a heck of a leap, but you can’t really dismiss the evidence he gives for their navigation across the oceans long before those pesky Europeans got around to it. Given that the Chinese culture has lasted a heck of a lot longer than our own Western one, I don’t find it surprising that they may have done much more than we first thought. Still working through it but an interesting read if you want something VERY different from what you were taught in school.

Undead on Arrival by L.A. Banks – Part of her Shadow Wolf series, I’m snapping this up as soon as it gets on the shelves – it’s a great new series that puts a different spin on the usual werewolf storyline with excellent characters that you just fall in love with as soon as you open the book. I’m hoping she spins this into a long, long series ’cause I just can’t get enough of Sasha Trudeau and Hunter. Now if she could only do a crossover with Patricia Briggs…

Red Kiss by Deidre Knight – A sequel to her first Gods of Midnight book, Red Fire, this is a series that’s also on my hit list. Immortal Spartans? I’m SO there, baby! Add in some great writing, hot men and a lot of mythology and it’s an excellent read for those of you who are sick of the usual paranormal stuff.

As you can tell, I read a lot of genres.

*smirks*

And, thanks to my newest issue of Scifaikuest I’m looking into a new poetry form – the Threesome.

No, not THAT. Although I’ll put in a vote for ANY Lauren Dane book thanks to her ability to make me believe that threesomes can work… but I digress.

A Threesome is a new type of poetry form where you basically create a Sudoku puzzle with words. That makes sense. Think about it… I’m looking forward to trying to riddle this out!

And… that’s it for now!

Books, Books, Books…

Well, it’s been a great year for movies AND books in my opinion – sure we got a FABOO Iron Man (insert RDJ fangirl swoon here) and looking forward to more excellent comic-based movies but there’s some great books out there for those of you looking for something a bit different.

Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs is set in the Mercy Thompson world – and if you haven’t met her then you’re missing out on a wonderfully crafted world of shapeshifting, werewolves and magic. I just finished this one, the first spin-off so to speak, and I can’t wait for more. If you’re looking for a great way to spend some time in a different reality plus some hot sexy werewolf men… well, drop by the garage!

And I’m about to start on the newest Julie Kenner book, Deja Demon – her fourth in a series that started off with Carpe Demon. Imagine what would or could happen if Buffy, our favorite vampire slayer, decided to retire and get married and have a normal life. Except, as usual, things don’t always go to plan. With excellent characterization and dialogue that just won’t stop I’m dying to get into this newest book! And anyone who’s a Kim Possible fan and mentions it in her books, well… that clinches the deal for me!

I’m still slogging through The World is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman, but that’s because it’s non-fiction and a bit hard to digest quickly. Although the audiobook is a godsend during my Wii Fit step sessions and I can focus in better on the concepts. Still highly recommend this if you’re looking for the future wrapped up in an easily understandable package.

Nothing more to report on the Blu Phi’er Publishing problems, other than a discussion on how the best of intentions can often turn a small press into a nightmare for the authors. It’s sad to see how many people get taken in by sweet words about how good their book is and how the publisher is right behind them… and then it turns out to be a horrible contract; lies about distribution and the like and the author is left holding the bag. 

The saddest thing is, to me, that these people aren’t evil. But they know little if anything about publishing and figure that because they can run a computer or a business in another field that it all translates over – and that’s just not true. Publishing is a full-time job with a whole lot of dedication needed and skills that can be only acquired through research and experience – andanyone who says otherwise is tooting smoke, IMO. Publishing companies have been started by housewives, computer programmers and disgruntled authors with no idea of how the system works or how they can make it work for them. And in the end so many of them fail that it’s sad. 

Again – check out your micropresses. Some of them may be honest, hardworking souls who really care about getting your book to the public. But there are those, and plenty of them on the Absolute Write boards, who don’t know what they’re doing and just want to play at being a publisher. Why give them YOUR book to play with?