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Why? Audible Studios, why?!

  The Honor Harrington series by David Weber is one of my favourites, to such an extent that I usually buy both the ebook and audiobook version.  I won't be doing that with the fourteenth entry, Shadow of Victory.

 

  I've always been very happy with the narrator of the audiobook version, Allyson Johnson.  Unfortunately Audible Studios in their wisdom has decided to change the narrator and it's one I've had a bad experience with before.

 

  The narrator of Shadow of Victory is Kevin T. Collins who tries to make everything sound dramatic with the result that nothing stands out.  If there was a scheduling problem I'd have much preferred to wait for Allyson to be available instead of Kevin especially when she's done the previous thirteen entries in the series.  To change the narrator so far into a series seems to be a lose/lose proposition.  Anyone who is not happy with Allyson will not have made it to book 14 and any fans of Kevin's narration won't start a series on book 14 either.

A supplementary book website: Fictfact

  Fictfact is a website for keeping track of book series and your next read within a series.  One feature I like is your own book release calendar that only shows releases within book series you are reading.

 

  It's not perfect I find that new releases by indie authors can get missed but it's a painless process for you to add a book to a current series or add a new series.  Fictfact is not for social interaction or discussion, you can do so but it's very limited.

 

  I find www.fictfact.com to be a useful website as I have many series on the go and it's nice to be able to see what my next read should be.

World Book by Alex Serebryakov
World Book by Alex Serebryakov

This is what a good book does for the reader. 

Sleuths, Spies & Sorcerers: Andrew Marr's Paperback Heroes

For those that missed it the BBC has just started a short series on the detective, spy and fantasy genres in books.  This is the link to the first episode http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p040pvpp

 

  Unfortunately it's region locked for viewers in the UK only.

Warrior King. Everything I expect from Evan Currie.

Warrior King - Evan Currie

  Warrior King by Evan Currie is the fifth book in the Odyssey One series and it's everything I've come to expect from this series, both good and bad.

 

  On the good side it's fast paced space opera with some good action and we do learn a bit more about the people who controlled the Drasin in the earlier books.

 

  The bad side is the book has errors, I don't mean typos but continuity errors that an editor or readers of advanced copies should have caught.  Here are a few examples:

 

 

- At the end of the second book in the series there is a meeting where intelligence gathered by the Odyssey is discussed.  In Warrior King it becomes apparent that this meeting never happened except that later in the book it did as the gathered intelligence is specifically referred to by a captain of the Priminae.

 

-  Captain Weston supposedly never reported his encounter with Central.  Except that in previous books he did and was even tasked with trying to find out more about Central.

 

  The Odyssey One series is fantastically entertaining but little errors have been creeping in since the second book and it seems to be getting worse with Warrior King.  

 

  Warrior King also feels short, partly this is due to the fast pace but it is at least one hundred pages shorter than previous entries in the series.

 

  Overall I found Warrior King to be great entertainment and I really am looking forward to the next book in the series but it's let down by errors and being a bit short.

Dragon award winners

I don't know or care about the politics of book awards.  All I care about is whether or not the winners will be a good read for me and judging by the winners the Dragon awards are far more relevant to me than the Hugos.

Free ebook: Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson

Gardens of the Moon - Steven Erikson

Steven Erikson's Gardens of the Moon is available for free if you sign up for Tor.com's monthly newsletter.  (the link goes to the source I discovered this from not direct to Tor.com)

 

"Bled dry by interminable warfare, infighting and bloody confrontations with Lord Anomander Rake and his Tiste Andii, the vast, sprawling Malazan empire simmers with discontent.
Even its imperial legions yearn for some respite. For Sergeant Whiskeyjack and his Bridgeburners and for Tattersail, sole surviving sorceress of the Second Legion, the aftermath of the siege of Pale should have been a time to mourn the dead. But Darujhistan, last of the Free Cities of Genabackis, still holds out - and Empress Lasseen's ambition knows no bounds.
However, it seems the empire is not alone in this great game. Sinister forces gather as the gods themselves prepare to play their hand..."

 

"Scifi and Fantasy books you absolutely must read this fall"

 So of course I click on the link to find none of the books are of interest to me, maybe your luck will be better.  On the bright side the top comment is about a book I'm very much looking forward to.

One thing I'll never say in my (rare) book reviews.

  I'm fine with book reviews that I don't agree with or aren't informative, etc as it all comes down to personal opinion and not everyone is good at articulating why they do or don't like a book but there's this one review on Goodreads that just triggered me when I read it years ago.

 

  The reviewer gives his reasons for disliking the book then says "please stop writing books like these".  I'm probably overreacting but those words never fail to annoy me.  I'm not arrogant enough to think my taste in books is superior to everyone else or that authors should only write books that please me.  

 

  More importantly if the author had listened to that review many other readers would have been robbed of a book and series that they enjoyed.  No matter how bad a book is, there's going to be someone who like's it and that person should not be robbed of the joy of reading just because the reviewer hated the book.  

 

  

My perfect reading moment

  My baby niece asleep on me, kindle or mobile phone (Nexus 6p great phone) in my right hand and all is perfect in the world.

 

 

Genre snobbery is still alive and kicking

  As I only buy books in digital format these days I decided to donate some books I'd already repurchased as ebooks as well as a a few unwanted books to my local library.

 

 Let's just say the librarian was unimpressed from his body language and the sound of his voice and he made a point of saying they were likely to go to another library or resold.  It couldn't have been the quality of the books, they were all in great condition with no wear and tear on the spine or corners so I have to assume it was down to the genre, they were all science fiction or fantasy books.

 

  After making the donation I decided to look at the science fiction and fantasy section as it had been years since I last visited and was curious to see what was in it.  I was dismayed to find it had shrunk from two bookcases and one of those wire framed carousels to three shelves.

 

  I think that in future I'll be donating my printed books to charity shops instead of the library.

Rising above the noise

A group of 10 indie authors have gotten together to promote their work at this website. http://discoverscifi.com/rising-above-the-noise/ They're promising free and discounted books and you do get a free book (your choice from about 6 books) for signing up to their mailing list.

 

Looking at the author list I recognise a few names, Evan Currie, Nick Webb, Joshua Dalzelle, and Jay Allan.

 

Off-Topic:  Flu sucks, that is all.

A Golden Age comic in book form

Hyperforce - Ralph L. Angelo Jr.

An alien pince crash lands on Earth after his ship is shot down by his pursuers.  This event brings together the superheroic team Hyperforce.

 

  Hyperforce is set on Earth just as superheroes and supervillains are emerging.  I'm not old enough to remember the golden age of comics but this book seems to capture the spirit of that time in comic history when every power was fresh and you knew exactly who were the good guys and the bad guys.  No grim dystopian storyline here!

 

  Hyperforce is a simple fun story with tons of superheroic action.  I particularly like how the uncle and nephew relationship between two of the heroes is dealt with. My only nitpick is that the heroine gets kidnapped too often.

 

  Recommended for anyone who appreciates superhero comics aimed at younger readers (I'd guess early to mid-teens). 

Eric Flint on the Hugos

A bit late but I'd say these are calm, well reasoned comments on the fuss about the Hugo awards.


  For me a Hugo award winner is a book that a couple of hundred voters like, however the taste in books of those voters has consistently shown it itself to not match mine and therefore a Hugo award is irrelevant to me.  I can only recall one book that has both won a Hugo and I like.

Odysseus One sent to edit

Just found out that the first book in the follow-up series to Odyssey One by Evan Currie has been sent to edit.  Evan's not there yet but I think he's got the potential to be one of the masters of space opera/military sci-fi so I'm very much looking forward to the Odysseus series.

10 Writing "Rules" we wish more science fiction and fantasy writers should break

I think authors should be very careful about breaking rule 10 (no "unsympathetic" characters) in the linked article on io9.com

 

It can work but personally I'm far more likely to not buy or finish a book with an umsympathetic protagonist.  I read the sample chapters for Prince of Thorns and thought they were incredibly well written but had no temptation to buy the book because of the protagonist.  Reading a book hoping the protagonist gets killed off is not my idea of entertainment.