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Jared
London
Book loon. Occasional llama.
Recent Activity
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For one week only, Speculative Fiction for 99 cents! Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Jurassic London
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Everything from dubsmash battles to Amazon scandals to how to (politely) say BUY MY BOOK. Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Pornokitsch
This might be my new favourite system. 'By personality'.
Toggle Commented Aug 27, 2015 on How are your books organised? at Pornokitsch
"those are arranged by feel" Love this! For a few years we had one glass-fronted bookcase (not fancy, just a Billy variant) and there was a lot of fretting over what would go it in. Valuable books? Old books? Rare books? A specific collection of which we were proud?! Eventually we went with - not unlike High Fidelity - books with the best stories (about them). Found in strange places, gifts from cool people, that sort of thing. (Now that bookcase is gone, and those books are currently piled on the floor until our housework is done and I have discovered true fretting.)
Toggle Commented Aug 26, 2015 on How are your books organised? at Pornokitsch
Posted Aug 26, 2015 at Jurassic London
You're all MY PEOPLE. I love you. Our place is a disaster right now because of housework, but even beyond that, our books are slightly chaotic. Generally speaking, we've got two parallel alphabetical by author arrangements going - because everything is double-shelved, so we've got larger hardcover A-Z in the back row, then a smaller hardcover A-Z in the front row. Which is pretty bonkers, but in a fun way. That's about half the books. The others are all glommed together in granfalloons (they're not quite collections, I've just sort of asked that they hang out together). That's certain publishers (everything from Arkham House to Midwood), a few key authors (we have so many Sayers, McBains and John D MacDonalds that you can't shelve them alphabetically without wreaking havoc) and certain categories of non-fiction. And some formats that get separated out - proofs (because those 'turn over' quickly), art books (so damn big), and old-old books (because I don't like to shuffle them around as much, and they need to be kept out of the sun). Basically, none of it makes any sense, and no one can find anything in it. Including us. But I'm starting to think that's part of the fun - I like searching for books, even on our own shelves, because then you find a lot of things you forgot about...
Toggle Commented Aug 26, 2015 on How are your books organised? at Pornokitsch
Posted Aug 25, 2015 at Pornokitsch
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Posted Aug 22, 2015 at Pornokitsch
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Becky needs your help for Extended Memory! Choose your own (or her) adventure! Continue reading
Posted Aug 13, 2015 at Pornokitsch
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"A joyous, optimistic space opera." Continue reading
Posted Aug 13, 2015 at Pornokitsch
Given the volume of abusive emails I sent you while I was weeping my way through "Normal", that's very generous of you to say.
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Some books are too big to review properly. ZOT! is one of them. Just read it. Continue reading
Posted Aug 12, 2015 at Pornokitsch
"A Game Proposition" is now available as a free audio download from Word Punk! Continue reading
Posted Aug 10, 2015 at Jurassic London
I think Locus has grown since then, but you're right, starting from 662, it still must be a long way from DGLA! Where'd that 36k number come from, by the way? Not doubting it, I'm just annoyed that I'm missing their press releases or whatnot. I completely agree about longlist awareness - and the lack of Hobb was a huge shame in a lot of ways. But (and I know we've spoken and agreed on this in the past) it is unfair to put the burden of promotion on the authors, which is what's happening now. That puts the authors in a weird position 'shill or lose' and doesn't do the award any favours when it comes to looking like a popularity contest. There needs to be some voice from the awards or getting readers or other media involved or something. I also agree the definition of 'Gemmellian fantasy' is what's keeping things narrow - which is odd, as there's currently no actual criteria for it. Looking at this year's longlist, we had everything from Lagoon to Words of Radiance. So either we're open to everything vaguely fantastic, or there's some sort of strict criteria in order to qualify. And I'm not sure where that line is. I mean, if the awards said, ok, we're looking for 'epic fantasy' which means 'big sweeping plots and some magic', we could still be getting more cross-over books from YA, romance, even historical fiction - etc. etc. I guess we get into definition hell. But I suppose all awards have to wrestle with that sort of semantic chaos at some point. Maybe these are all linked... if the award was noisier, and more people knew it existed and got involved with it (even as readers, nominators, blogging-about-it-ers), we'd get more variety, more people thinking about what epic fantasy means, and what makes it excellent.
Toggle Commented Aug 7, 2015 on DGLA: And the winner is... at Pornokitsch
I agree. I think Staveley is a lock, and Sanderson will be tough to beat. Sanderson's lost before, but since Way of Kings won, I think Words of Radiance is probably the front-runner. That said, who knows?
Toggle Commented Aug 7, 2015 on DGLA: And the winner is... at Pornokitsch
Wow. My response to this got really long, so I've killed that and started over. - I tend to think that 'the buck stops here' with awards. I've wanged on about this in the past, but awards aren't beholden to anyone. Unlike authors, agents, publishers (editors & marketers) - awards aren't responsible to anyone else in the food chain, especially in terms of commercial viability. Everyone else, as you noted, tends to play it safe - and probably has to, to some degree. Awards don't. They get to choose the vision of excellence they want to celebrate. - Without knowing how the DGLA communicates with publishers, I don't know how they represent themselves or ask for submissions. And if they do start taking public nominations, it'll be interesting to see how that 'call' is phrased. - I totally agree that this becomes self-fulfilling. If you're holding up the same type of book (or even the same few, repeating authors) and saying 'these define a thing', people start to think, 'ok, that's the sort of thing you're looking for'. - I think there's stuff that can be done about outreach to shore up the voter demographic, about encouraging a variety of publishers and imprints and about crowd-sourcing nominations that could help. - I think Goodreads, Romantic Times and Locus all have popularly-voted awards for fantasy books that have more diverse shortlists. So it clearly isn't impossible. And, iirc, all three of those get more votes. So... what's different here? - I really like the idea of popularly voted fantasy awards, and I'm glad this one exists. I'm sorry that it isn't actually generating more discussion around epic fantasy, and I think the lack of diversity contributes to that lack of conversation.
Toggle Commented Aug 6, 2015 on DGLA: And the winner is... at Pornokitsch
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And 1/7000th of the winner is... Continue reading
Posted Aug 6, 2015 at Pornokitsch
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Why punch someone in the face when you can SUPERCOLOURKICKPUNCH SOMEONE STRAIGHT THROUGH THE FACEHOLE? Continue reading
Posted Aug 4, 2015 at Pornokitsch
It is and isn't. At least, so I think. There are only two major characters at all - Jalan and Snorri, and it is a first person POV, so it isn't one of those 'cast of thousands' fantasies (and the thousands are all dudes). I think there's also a good case for why both of the characters are male as well - Jalan sees Snorri as a sort of role model for traditional Manliness and that colours their relationship. So it isn't 'dudes by default', as much as a story explicitly about the relationship between two men. Of the minor characters, virtually all the major political and magical players we meet are female, including Jalan's grandmother (the Red Queen), her court magic user, and several of the wizardy types that they meet and/or are referenced. And one of the two celestial forces as well. So you don't get the impression that setting is misogynist. (Which is interesting in and of itself, as this is the same world as the Broken Empire, and I had that problem with the previous books. So, definitely - this is very much a book about men, male-bonding, on a quest of manly self-discovery. And that sense, it is definitely male-dominated, but I don't think it fell into the embarrassing camp. Be curious to know what others thought though, as this is, of course, just my take.
Toggle Commented Aug 4, 2015 on Prince of Fools by Mark Lawrence at Pornokitsch
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Prince of Fools has a really strong moral compass, the question is whether or not its hero has the fortitude to follow it. Continue reading
Posted Aug 3, 2015 at Pornokitsch
Amazon in gas stations, measuring the value of culture, luxury, social commerce and Emma Stone. Continue reading
Posted Aug 1, 2015 at Pornokitsch
We're at Nine Worlds! Come do sex games with us! And talk about marketing! Continue reading
Posted Jul 31, 2015 at Pornokitsch