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Book loon. Occasional llama.
Recent Activity
Thanks Steve! I hope you like it - or at least find it interesting. Very interested to see how you come out on O'Hara as compared to JDM - especially the latter's domestic fiction. They both seem to be striving for the same sweet spot of exploring gender/class/cultural issues, and sort of but not quite in the same way. Like one of them was descending from literary heights, while the other was ascending from commercial pulp.
That's really interesting! I mean, to some degree, everyone was kind of awful, but I really did think they all got the sort of... fitting end to what they deserve. Hmm. This may call for making some sort of TABLE. There's great satisfaction that comes from turning books into excel documents... [somewhere out there, an author just screamed]
Hi Erin, This is a brilliant, by the way - and thanks for it (and I've just bought The Bloodbound off the back of this. It sounds great, so, er, double-thanks?). And I completely agree with what you've said. I think the Hobbesian outlook makes a lot of sense. Hell, maybe I'll ditch away my now-repeatedly-correct Protestant/Catholic throwaway line and replace it with Hobbes and Rousseau. Which works much better. Thinking about it - and the impact of the callousness, as you mention - I wonder if that's why some of the earlier, more 'surprising' grimdark tales (I'm thinking Abercrombie and GRRM specifically) worked so well. Because the callousness and the self-interest was still unexpected, as these were books that were 'in conversation with' (I hate that phrase) or playing against readers' assumptions of a high fantasy norm. As the grimdark trend continued, the quest for 'surprise' led to bigger things, but not necessarily better ones... a sort of 'this can't POSSIBLY get worse' mechanic - something akin to power creep in a long-running game. I do think, however, that the realism that 'grimdark' brings is something more than just the brutishness. All of a sudden we have characters with real hunger, torn clothes, sweat, stink, grumpy peasants, failing currencies, crappy lives... Camping is about bugs and waking up with damp clothes and eating beans with rocks in them. All of a sudden, adventuring isn't quite so glamorous. And I think those two aspects are interconnected: if adventuring is miserable, the people that do it will be desperate, which means the world isn't a particularly kind one, etc. It goes in a very nice (or not nice circle). If you'll excuse me, off to change my Twitter bio to "spatter, sound and fury"...
"the greatest Egyptian adventure since 'Scooby Doo in Where's My Mummy'" Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Jurassic London
Hi Ann! A quick response to the first bit. I've been, rightly, called on that over on reddit as well. I very much regret the line. For many reasons, not least of which is the fact that it is a really crappy metaphor. I think there are certain ways it does work - in fact, I think it'd be an utterly fascinating piece to write someday. But generally speaking, it is a throwaway line that needs a lot of explanation. Honestly, I'd delete it, but that's slimy. All the rest in due course, but, great points - and thanks.
Our (rather lovely) limited edition of The Good Shabti is being unleashed upon the unsuspecting world... tonight! Join us at... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Pornokitsch
The Goblin Emperor has been heralded as a "defiantly anti-grimdark" fantasy. But I tend to disagree - that's an oversimplification of both this book and the movement it is being pitted against Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Pornokitsch
Posted 3 days ago at Jurassic London
Posted 4 days ago at Pornokitsch
Black Widow (Richard Morgan) Red Sonja (Gail Simone) Silver Sable (she was so awesome - at least, when I was 12. No idea what happened since then. Do I want to know?) Elektra? (eh. meh. boring pick.) SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH Bonus: Satana (Avengers Alliance version only) (I think Catwoman really is probably the #1 pick of all time in this particular category. And Emma Frost probably has #2 nailed down as well.)
He must also bear in mind the fact that this may be the only thing of his that some reader will ever read. Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Pornokitsch
Something to tide you over until the release of TAMARUQ. Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Pornokitsch
Thanks Mike! Corrected - much appreciated. Weirdly I knew the McCaffrey win too, as I was interested that she won for Weyr Search, but then not for Dragonrider. (Relatedly, the 1968 novellas are a cracking list of books. Glad the category came about for it.)
Hi John! I think SF Signal's 2012 win was really definitely some sort of key moment. That said, I think SF Signal is to other blogs like, say, Locus is to 'semi-prozines'. It is vast, it has a huge team, and it is a major news source... as well as all the bloggy stuff. Damn straight that SF Signal deserved to win, but that could've been written off as an anomaly because of SF Signal being, well, SF Signal. To some degree, Elitest Book Reviews and their nominations might be more emblematic of a long term shift in voter thinking, as they're more like a traditional fanzine (or blog) in size and scale. Similarly, I think we could argue last year - with 4 blogs and 1 traditional fanzine - was 'the year', but last year was a UK year, and for better or for worse, those are often outliers. Still, it is all very much building in one particular direction, and I suspect this year is the year that the trend is firmly established. If blogs dominate the fanzine (and fan writer and fan art and semi-prozine) ballots in a WorldCon in Spokane, I assume that means the norm has 'switched'. (Although theoretically all the LonCon voters are still involved, but, eh. I can't drag out the victory conditions forever.) Until the inevitable rules change. (For the record, I'm for a rules change, as I'd like to see fanzines and blogs separated and both categories continued.)
The not-so-secret history of the Hugo and Nebula Awards. Continue reading
Posted Jan 21, 2015 at Pornokitsch
A collection of eleven literary shorts from the creator of the 87th Precinct. Continue reading
Posted Jan 19, 2015 at Pornokitsch
We're back! And the Force is with us! Continue reading
Posted Jan 18, 2015 at Pornokitsch
Posted Jan 18, 2015 at Pornokitsch
Hi Sean - the long list is still there at - - I just moved the link from the top to the side of the page. (I was convinced I was the only one using it!) I'll figure out a way to get it back in the topnav shortly. Thanks!
Douglas Hulick's Sworn in Steel and Christopher Kellen's The Elements of Sorcery - two of last year's tales of wizardry and derring-do. Continue reading
Posted Jan 15, 2015 at Pornokitsch
Corrected, thank you!
"machinegun tempo, tight writing and unexaggerated hardness" Continue reading
Posted Jan 12, 2015 at Pornokitsch
29 January at the Betsey Trotwood! Continue reading
Posted Jan 10, 2015 at Pornokitsch
Please join us for the unwrapping of this terrific new thriller by Robert Sharp. Continue reading
Posted Jan 9, 2015 at Jurassic London
An impressive early collection from one of the 20th century's best genre writers. Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2015 at Pornokitsch