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Jared
London
Book loon. Occasional llama.
Recent Activity
Yes! You're totally right. That whole bizarre alt-history part was a seriously random and stupid tangent. In a book filled with random and stupid tangents. The whole book is so shockingly, horribly bad, I'm still kind of thunderstruck by the experience. The King's Men is pretty good though.
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Two early genre books from Robert Grant and Garrett Serviss. One is much better than the other. Continue reading
Posted 11 hours ago at Pornokitsch
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Here's where we are - and how to find us - at the two big London conventions this summer. Nine Worlds We're there from Thursday night to Sunday night, doing the wild and crazy ALL OF THE BOOKS thing. Generally... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Pornokitsch
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Two books that are both about, um... school? The latest from Charlie Human and a classic from Jean Webster. Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Pornokitsch
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Fourteen new stories of the Age of Reason - out now! Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Pornokitsch
New judges, new books, new management! Continue reading
Posted Jul 23, 2014 at Pornokitsch
Everything you might need for today's "cultural" shenanigans. Continue reading
Posted Jul 20, 2014 at Pornokitsch
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Our very own Troll drinking game! Continue reading
Posted Jul 19, 2014 at Pornokitsch
Love the way you describe Eddings' fantasies - and that's spot on. Honestly, High Hunt is very much what it is - the macho niche of 'kitchen sink' literature. I have a real soft spot for that particular type of literature, and High Hunt is a rare example of seeing it done well. In my mind, Eddings writes a sort of 'cozy' fiction, almost literally, in fact. Books I like to read during the gloomy seasons or when I'm feeling slightly under the weather. As an emotional snuggling blanket, High Hunt feels very much akin to the Belgariad.
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Back before David Eddings set the world on fire (magical blue fire) with the Belgariad in 1983, he fiddled about in literary fiction... Continue reading
Posted Jul 17, 2014 at Pornokitsch
Posted Jul 16, 2014 at Pornokitsch
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The upcoming anthology of near-future science fiction from Jurassic London. Continue reading
Posted Jul 16, 2014 at Pornokitsch
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Irregularity orders! Launch party! Free books! More free books! Continue reading
Posted Jul 14, 2014 at Pornokitsch
I occasionally type random keywords into archive.org or Project Gutenberg, then skip to the later pages (to the unappreciated, undownloaded books) and harvest anything that looks even vaguely enticing. I'm pretty sure I found this one looking for the word "short story" and then spotted that it had Mary Wilkins Freeman in it, who I quite like. It wasn't until I was writing the review - basically about how this was kind of a weird shared world, and that the last story was a bit ridiculous for fixing all the plotholes - that I learned a) there was a Henry James story (!) and b) the whole spiel behind Mary Freeman's story. Which made it all the more exciting. So basically: I'm nuts. But I swear, random keywords into archive.org have given me some of the best reading I've had this year...
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The focus of The Whole Family is the Talbert family, a sprawling group with three generations under a single roof, lots of in-laws and no little amount of drama. Continue reading
Posted Jul 14, 2014 at Pornokitsch
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The new anthology from Jurassic London - 14 tales of order and chaos and reason and the unreasonable. Continue reading
Posted Jul 2, 2014 at Pornokitsch
Totally agree. The gazing & angst weren't without charm - I mean, he came across as a dude I'd happily play D&D with - but it gave the impression of constantly defending D&D. It wasn't necessary and it was really distracting. Plus, the fall of TSR and its key figures felt really... glossed over. More nice than meaty. By contrast, this article in The Believer has largely the same structure (and 1/6th the space), and is much better - http://www.believermag.com/issues/200609/?read=article_lafarge
Posted Jun 30, 2014 at Pornokitsch
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"Turn up, have a drink, hang out with like-minded SFF people, meet some new friends" Continue reading
Posted Jun 18, 2014 at Pornokitsch
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Four recent reads from Non Pratt, William Sutcliffe, John Norman and David Ewalt. OF GOR. Continue reading
Posted Jun 16, 2014 at Pornokitsch
I genuinely never finished one without cheating. I'm not sure I ever even rolled dice. I mastered the five-finger-claw grip, with all my last five choices preserved by fingertip.
Thanks for the kind words! Gavin Guile is a really interesting one - completely agree, he spring to mind for 'epic heroes'. Weeks though, is an awfully clever fellow. Guile initially is offset against whatshisname - pudgy kid - so we have both the epic and the 'peasant' storylines going at once. Also, the Guile storyline is SPOILER about the loss of power, and that's actually a really nice way of adding empathy. We get a taste of the epic level amazingness, but then... cracks appear. And the weakening and what he has to do to cover for it - that's a nice way of humanising someone that's otherwise difficult to connect with. I've not read anything past the first book, but I wonder if Malazan is a good comparison?
I keep wibbling on this one. You're totally right in that, invoking another author is completely fair if you do something new too. And fundamentally, if someone was like IT IS JOE ABERCROMBIE DURING THE FORGOTTEN REALMS' TIME OF TROUBLES, I'd be all 'Yes! Give me that book!' So theoretically, yes? But somehow, in practice, it didn't quite cut it. Possibly because it was too much of the other things and not a fusion of its own. Or maybe those are things that just should never be combined. Or maybe it was just not working in many other ways (see: the Yllandris bit above), and this is the bit that registered? Or... But it really didn't work for me, and although I'm not 100% sure I isolated the exact cause for that not-working,... it still didn't work.
That's a lot of peer pressure... I will definitely be reviewing them, I feel like there's an IOU in here somewhere. Very sad I couldn't cover the series as part of this whole DGLA thing.
Hey, I'm glad folks like it - and very glad to hear that it picks up in the later part of the book. I agree that not having a farmboy-goes-messiah is a lovely change of pace, but, as noted, I just couldn't find a way to care about any of the characters I was presented. I'm not sure that the fact that the world is complex and different is the problem - there are others, even on this list, that manage to pull of that sort of thing without getting bogged down in exposition (War Master's Gate, The Desert Spear, Promise of Blood...) - I think it was the way it was presented. It honestly felt like I was reading the fluff that came with the Eberron manual. Patchy little incomprehensible scenes that were there to demonstrate the new Warforged feats. But, as you say, to each their own - if the style works for you, it works for you - and undoubtedly many many others. Just not me!