Friday, December 9, 2016

Bookcover Spotlight #78

Image result for land of hidden men cover

I like this cover a lot- it has a very elemental, almost primal feel to it. The artist is Frank Frazetta and most of his stuff had that feel. There's moss and vines and it looks like a lost world somewhere. And I've included another (very different) version as well- this one I believe is by Roy Krenkel and features a woman on the run from a big cat as well. I like the details, such as the face in the column and the temple in the background. 

The Land of Hidden Men (Original Title: Jungle Girl):

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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The Long Way To A Small Angry Planet

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers, #1)

This may be my favorite science fiction book this year. It's that good. And it's only after repeatedly seeing positive reviews from bloggers I trust that I decided to get it. I mean, it has a nice cover but I have no idea what's it about, and it's got a weird title. And to be honest the plot is nothing to write home about. There's nothing wrong with it, but it's not super noteworthy either. The crew of the Wayfarer travel around the galaxy creating wormhole tunnels. That's it. They're pretty much working stiffs, not heroes, not fighting in a galactic rebellion or anything like that. They're just living their lives. 

And that's the beauty of it. This is a book about a disparate crew- diversity is the rule here-living together and just trying to get through another day. The galaxy is populated with all manner of alien beings, and they mostly get along or at least coexist. This is a far future when interstellar travel is refreshingly common and people can enhance themselves with cybernetic implants, where imubots in your bloodstream keep you healthy from most things, and where the sky is the limit technology wise. And yet for all the tech, it still comes down to human beings- or in this case, beings (humanity is a relatively low tier member of the galactic community). 

Becky Chambers has created a crew that have come to think of themselves as family- and as readers we get to tag along as they grow and change and live their lives aboard the Wayfarer. It's not a nice ship- it's cobbled together and a bit of a junker, really- but it's home for these people. The crew is a mixed species group- we start out with Rosemary, a girl from Mars who is running  away from her secrets, but before long the perspective shifts to the other members of the crew, and Rosemary is just one of several. That surprised me a bit, I thought initially this was Rosemary's story- but it's the entire crews story, really. Standouts for me included Ashby, the captain of the ship, and Sissix, the reptilian pilot who steals a lot of scenes and seems to be a favorite among the reviewers I've talked to. 

Chambers seems to effortlessly offer up tantalizing information about the galaxy, various races, background bits that make the story so rich. It's a very well realized setting, and there's just something about it- one reviewer said the story made them feel nostalgic for characters they had just met, or something to that effect, and I can see that. There's a family feel to the crew that just feels comfortable. There's not a lot of action here, but there is a lot of dialogue, character development and broadening of horizons as the crew all live together and learn more about each other. 

There is an overarching plotline but along the way many of the chapters feel like vignettes, day in the life pieces, but through those we get to really know these characters- and by the end I was ready for a sequel so I could just keep reading! And the thing I like about SF is the sense of wonder- that's why I read SF. To imagine. With this book you get to imagine a lot. 

Are Some Authors Too Big To Fail?

A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire, #5)

So are some authors too big to fail? I was thinking about this recently as I was contemplating the total lack of an update on The Winds of Winter. The last book, A Dance with Dragons, came out in 2011, and the HBO series is forging ahead with their own ending as the book series seems to have sputtered. Martin has taken a lot of heat for the delays, and for his work habits (he has said he's a pantser, and writes when the muse comes)- he apparently is not an author who makes himself belt out a certain amount of words per day. Others have come to his defense, with Neil Gaiman famously telling fans that "George is not your bitch"- in other words he doesn't owe us anything. 

And I think that's true- if he chooses not to finish his series that's his prerogative. He doesn't have to finish it for us. However, he does have a publishing contract, and therefore a commitment to his publishers. As the years pass I can only imagine the frustration his editors and publishers have with his lack of progress, and blown deadlines. One of his latest updates was that he had a deadline of October last year for the book, and when that was missed he had an end of the year deadline. That was missed too. It's almost a year later and no word on when the book is due.

The other problem is he has no problem updating his Not-a-Blog with his thoughts on other projects and so on. I have no problem with this, the guy has a life after all, but I know for some it just seems like he is coasting and not really working. Which again is his choice. But is he one of the authors that could get away with this, from a publishing standpoint? Other than Rowling and King and a few others, I can think of few authors who have the influence and ability to do their thing the way he does. Does his prominence allow him to get away with stuff most authors couldn't?

I think the answer is clearly yes. Imagine most authors blowing deadlines like this and telling people that the book will be finished when it's finished. I don't know much about publishing contracts (anyone who does, please jump in) but no one is going to cancel The Winds of Winter, since it will sell a bajillion copies whenever it does come out- and I wonder if his editors/ publishers have any leverage at all. He has stated that he thinks the job of an editor is basically to offer good terms and stay out of the way, more or less, again an attitude most authors would not get away with! So if you're Martin's publisher, what do you do?

I guess you just wait, along with the rest of us. So what do you think? Martin has signed contracts to produce books- does he owe it to his publisher to meet those deadlines, or at least produce something in the 5 years since 2011? Do you think he's one of the few that can pull this off? And does this provide a window into his professionalism?    

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Top Ten New To Me Authors


 Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week a new Top Ten list will be posted. Everyone is welcome to join. Link back to The Broke and the Bookish so everyone can check out other bloggers' lists. It's a fun way to get to know fellow bloggers.

This week's topic is Top Ten New To Me Authors in 2016.  

C.J. Daugherty

Resistance (Night School, #4)

Shalini Boland

The Girl from the Sea

Lisa Jewell

The Girls in the Garden

Genevieve Cogman 

The Invisible Library (The Invisible Library, #1)

Kelley Armstrong 

City of the Lost (Casey Duncan, #1)

Jordanna Max Brodsky

The Immortals (Olympus Bound, #1)

Erin Jade Lang 

Rebel Bully Geek Pariah

Seanan McGuire

Laura Burns/ Melinda Metz

Sanctuary Bay

Tuesday Tagline #16


"Ten teens. Three days. One killer." 

Ten teens lol. Not for long! 

Monday, December 5, 2016

Cover Characteristics Snow

Cover Characteristics is a meme by Sugar and Snark- every week a characteristic is selected and we post 5 books with that week's theme.   

This week's pick- Snow

This week we're looking at... snow! With Cover Characteristics on official hiatus it's been all rogue topics all the time around here lately. Kristen at Metaphors and Moonlight came up with this one and it's a great topic for December. 

The Snows of GanymedeToweringImage result for YA book covers with snowImage resultWinter of the Gods (Olympus Bound, #2)The Midnight Star (The Young Elites, #3)Image result for the ice dragon cover artCover of SnowImage result for game of thrones goodreadsRelated imageFrost Burned (Mercy Thompson, #7)Image result

The Snows of Ganymede

Another world. Snow! What's not to like?? 


Always liked this one. 

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Blood and a rose. Nice. 

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I like how this one is like looking up, plus it's a chilling tagline. 

Winter of the Gods (Olympus Bound, #2)

The Midnight Star (The Young Elites, #3)

A pretty striking image - lots of deep blue and stars. 

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This is the Italian version of The Ice Dragon.

Cover of Snow

I like the stark branches and a house in the background- looks vaguely like a thriller? 

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A newer Game of Thrones- seriously how many cover does this series need??? 

Related image

Frost Burned (Mercy Thompson, #7)

I'm not sure how much snow (any?) is in this pic, but it might be my fave. Probably my fave of the Mercy thompson covers too. 

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Eerie- great icy monoliths out in space.  

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Sunday Post #171

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

December huh? I guess, if we have to lol. It warmed up for about one day this week, got into the 50's, and then cooled off again. So all of you in warmer climes- enjoy! It's been rainy and cold most of this week, and we're not supposed to get more than low 40's for the foreseeable forecast. So yay! Good time to get a book out.    

SciFi Month wrapped up and I think was a great success. There was a ton of posts this year and a big thanks goes out to Rinn Reads and Over The Effing Rainbow for being awesome hosts. This event gets better and better every time.  

This week I reviewed Love and Gelato (short version: it was good) and I also wrapped up my SciFi posts with my Top Ten Holiday Gift Guide. That was fun and this week my discussion post will ask Are Some Authors Too Big To Fail? I'm also reviewing The Long Way To A Small Angry Planet and I have to say it's the most fun SF book I've read in a bit.   

Love & GelatoThe Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers, #1)

Song of the week- I love this remix.   

Last Weeks Stuff:

Cover Characteristics looked at titles w/ underwater covers     
Tuesday Tagline 
Top Ten Holiday Gift Guide - Funko Pops and more      
Ten Signs You're In A Sword & Planet Book       
Bookcover Spotlight    

Next Week: 

Cover Characteristics 
Tuesday Tagline    
Top Ten New Authors
Are Some Authors Too Big To Fail?
Bookcover Spotlight 


Image result for no luck for a lady pulp cover


Dead Girls SocietyWeregirl


Regular readers know I  sing the praises of Big Little Lies any chance I get. And HBO is bringing it to the screen. Can't wait. Plus Shailene!!  

Did you see this? Might be the most fun thing I've seen all week. 

I don't remember if I've posted this before or not- if so just watch it again. :) 


More Tipsy reader- this time in Paris. NSFW. 

What's this? Sebastian Stan has his own shield now?  

Pinterest Cyberpunk time


New Day Under New Sky II I love the idea of walking on another world

Very Severe Winter A pack of werewolves apparently- I like this one because of the blue sky and yet it has a desolate feel. You don't often see werewolves in daylight? 


Now that we're in Christmas season I thought I'd share a little holiday cheer. 

Space Hamsters by ani-r