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Messages - Bookstore Guy

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Books / Re: Robin Hobb
« on: August 11, 2011, 10:45:26 PM »
Lord T. asked about Hobbs's content, which none of you fine gentlemen seemed to address, but about which I am most happy to chime in.  I have nearly-Victorian sensitivities, so keep that in mind.  I don't mind a bit of sex and violence in literature, in small doses, as long as there are believable consequences or at least some realism.  I remember some intense sexual situations in the Liveship trio that were shocking to me, with some brutality that bordered on the explicit and gratuitous.  There were eventual long-term consequences, if I remember correctly, but I think there was more insensitivity to the female anatomy than I expect from a woman author.  Girls do not normally enjoy their first sexual intercourse experience, people, no matter how many authors write the usual nonsense to the contrary!  (But who wants to read about that?)  There were believable elements of Stockholm syndrome and other intriguing psychological elements, but I do remember feeling a bit soiled after reading the whole thing.  Tawny Man made it worth any trepidation, for me.  I just loved that. 

I mostly write these kinds of comments to maybe have some impact on a certain group of young aspiring writers and book critics, to maybe prompt/inspire their own investigation and critical thinking patterns.  I believe that good understanding of these sorts of content  issues contribute to the timelessness and beauty of literature in any genre.  It's because I care, children.

I totally thought I did address this, and then I read my comments and see that I didn't.  I did in my mind!!

But yeah, she doesn't shy away from the sex.  It isn't Morgan, Martin or Bakker by any means, but it's there and could totally bother people.

Books / Re: What are you reading, part 3
« on: August 05, 2011, 04:07:49 PM »
I'm pretty sure the completed version will have illustrations, but as for the resolution I have no idea--alpha reader.  I'll ask Larry.

The book itself, however, was my favorite of his works so far.  It was an absurd amount of fun to read.

Books / Re: What are you reading, part 3
« on: August 04, 2011, 09:17:55 PM »
Uh, I've read a lot of stuff lately.

Never Knew Another
God's War
With Fate Conspire
The Immorality Engine
Midnight Riot
Monster Hunter Alpha
Spellbound (the sequel to Hard Magic)
The Girl who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making
Ghosts of War
The Hugo nominated short fiction

Then I have Alloy of Law, some more James Barclay, and some other random ARCs.  Business as usual.

Writing Group / Re: Spanish fiction Writing Group
« on: July 28, 2011, 05:04:54 PM »
Yikes.  I have no idea on this one.  Over at Brandon Sanderson's Agent's website, , there is a page labeled "Subagents".  There is a section on there for an agent in Spain.  Maybe query that agent?  That's the only place I can think of at the moment...

Books / The Complete Borders Implosion
« on: July 21, 2011, 06:57:02 PM »
Larry Correia posted a write-up on his impression of the whole fiasco, and he quotes some of my thoughts at the end of it.  Go check it out and weigh in here and there on what you think of Borders' complete mindset of idiocy.

Books / Re: Robin Hobb
« on: July 13, 2011, 06:58:24 PM »
Yes. It's a serious and huge problem. That is why I do not approve of the Blackout/All Clear award nominations.

THANK YOU!  I thought I was the only one bothered by it (even though I predicted it would happen on my blog).

Books / Re: ARC The Alloy of Law
« on: July 13, 2011, 04:36:01 PM »
As a bookseller at Waldens I was never able to actually request a specific ARC.  Of course I never really bothered contacting Tor publicity.  You may want to jump online and find the email for publicity/review copy queries.

Just a fair bit of warning though, I had trouble getting my foot in the door at Tor as a reviewer.  And I already knew Brandon's publicist from setting up ridiculously awesome signings.  It wasn't until both JV Jones and John Brown personally recommended my blog that Tor suddenly said "Yay let's send you everything!"  It was a joyous day.  Now the Tor publicity department really likes my blog, and I email back-and-forth with them all the time.

I don't know if Peter will give you any additional/different info.  I do know that Tor gets flooded with requests for ARCs of their big authors, and a lot of times they can't accommodate all the requests.  I mean, I got mine, but I requested it in January...

Books / Re: Robin Hobb
« on: July 13, 2011, 04:23:31 PM »
Steve's objections to Dragon Keeper seemed symptomatic of the split and made me wonder whether it would be more satisfying when followed immediately by its second half. But then again, she did just come off the Soldier Son books, which I just could not do. Writers change over time, some for the better and some for the worse.

It's true.  I really wonder what my experience would have been had I read both part 1 and 2 as one book like Hobb intended.  But see that's the problem isn't it?  As a reviewer I don't really get that opportunity.  Neither does the reader if they pick up book one right away.  If I have to read both parts together to enjoy the actual story, isn't that a huge problem?  It's a serious bummer.

But yeah, follow Peter's advice on this one.  Or just read Adrian Tchaikovsky and call it good!

Books / Re: Robin Hobb
« on: July 12, 2011, 04:36:42 PM »
I liked Hobb's early stuff.  Start with Assassin's Apprentice.

Her new stuff, however, I absolutely hated.  It felt pointless.  Of course this is all a matter of opinion.  I got a ton of hate email for saying how much Dragon Keeper was a waste of time and a lacked an actual coherent story (to which I was told that I shouldn't read Hobb's work for story.  Story is just a bonus in Hobb's work).  So apparently some people really like Hobb's new stuff.

In short, the best thing you can do to form an opinion on Hobb's work is give it a read.  If you like it, keep reading.  If you don't like it, stop reading an move on.

Books / Re: What are you reading, part 3
« on: July 12, 2011, 04:13:47 PM »
I need something really good to read.

Nope.  You aren't allowed to read anything really good.  I've claimed that right.

Oh wait!  You get to review the anthology with 2 of my short stories in it! (Obviously I can't review it)  It comes out next month though...

Books / Re: release date of the omen machine
« on: June 27, 2011, 04:46:40 PM »
Really kind of depends.  You could go to my blog and check out the bajillion novels we've reviewed.

I know WriterDan will point as quickly as possible to Daniel Abraham.  I personally enjoy Adrian Tchaikovsky, Joe Abercrombie, and Steven Erikson.

Honestly I have no idea what Peter likes.  Sometimes we agree to the point of feeling a little creeped out, then other times we couldn't be further apart with our opinions.

Edit:  Shiael - I also hope I didn't come across as bashing your taste in reading.  I personally don't care for Goodkind much, but I respect your right to like whatever you want (whatever lets your mind wander).  If everyone liked the same thing life would get boring.

Books / Re: release date of the omen machine
« on: June 20, 2011, 08:07:07 PM »
I'm going on a binge where I only read books I WANT to read.  I need to wash the taste of bad novels from my, uh, eyes.  Or something.

A guy can only take so much punishment before he goes nuts.  I nearly reached that point a month ago.

Books / Re: release date of the omen machine
« on: June 20, 2011, 04:56:40 PM »
August 16th.  I won't be reading or reviewing it for Elitist Book Reviews in case anyone is wondering.  I put myself through a lot of punishment for that blog, but this is one step I'm not willing to take.

That being said however, I fully support anyone's desire to read the novel.  As long as it keeps a person reading, I can't say too much.  To each his own.

Books / Re: Review: Julian Comstock
« on: June 09, 2011, 11:08:48 PM »
Hmm.  Good review.  Overall I'd say we had the same opinions of the novel, though I personally didn't have the slight issues you did with the character development.  I did think that they behaved, at times, in ways that were kinda unbelievable, but really I though all the characters were great.  The tone of the novel--written like a historical biography--actually made me like the characters more.  I felt we weren't supposed to get super close to Julian, since in the end I don't think even Adam felt he completely understood Julian.

Actually I felt the ending was the greatest weakness (and it wasn't even close to being a deal breaker).  I was expecting an Abraham Lincoln parallel that would have fit the story SO well.

But yeah, solid review.  I prolly would have given it an extra 1/2 clock, but you backed your rating excellently.  High-fives.

Also, I voted for this and City & The City for the Hugo last year.  It was far better, I felt, than the other nominations (other than Miéville's obviously).

Movies and TV / Re: What are you watching?
« on: June 08, 2011, 05:08:18 PM »
In the beginnings of an X-Files re-watch with my wife (middle of Season2 at the moment).  I love this show.  This show is the main inspiration behind the YA novel I'm writing.

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