30 September, 2015

Giveaway - The Art of Language Invention: From Horselords to Dark Elves, the Words Behind Worldbuilding by David J. Peterson (Creator of the Dothraki language for Game of Thrones)

I've got a great giveaway for one copy of David J. Peterson's new book, The Art of Language Invention: From Horse-Lords to Dark Elves, the Words Behind World-Building. As you well know, and not just because of the title to this post, Peterson is the genius behind the Dothraki language in the Game of Thrones television show. 

As the publicity rep explains:
In THE ART OF LANGUAGE INVENTION, master language creator David J. Peterson lays out a creative, highly accessible guide to language construction for science-fiction and fantasy fans, writers, game creators, and language lovers. A perfect entry point into an art form as old as civilization, THE ART OF LANGUAGE INVENTION is a wild linguistic adventure that will have readers ready to rub shoulders with horse lords and dark elves and perhaps inspire them to create their own languages.
Here's how to enter:
1) Send an email with your name and physical address to onlythebestsff@[replace this]gmail.com.
2) Please provide the following in the subject line: "hetay artay ofay anguageay inventionay"
3) This is US only. *ducks rotten fruit*
4) Snark always helps your chances of winning future giveaways. As if you even can...
5) Remember, only one person wins, I wish I had more!

16 September, 2015

(audiobook) Review - Jurassic Park by Michael Chrichton

I finally took the plunge and Jurassic Park far exceeded all my expectations. I also learned I had pretty low expectations, but I had a great time with this classic that spurred one of my favorite movies as a kid. BTW, anyone else root for the dinosaurs? It makes the movie way less scary, let me tell you.

Here's my review on SFFAudio.com and here's a snippet:

So this book was published in 1990 and this book had maybe a total of 15 to 20 people at risk, not counting the rest of the world that could potentially be at risk by dinosaurs escaping. We’re talking people you’re honestly worried about dying or not throughout the book.
Jump to 2015, Jurassic World, and we’ve got an entire park open with thousands and thousands of people at risk. Does that say something about how our society’s penchant for destruction?

11 September, 2015

eBook Deals - Gaiman, Pratchett, Howey, Clarke, Barnes, Clines, Klima, Frohock, Crouch, McCammon

Tons of eBook deals this month. Thought I'd share.

[$1.99] Unnatural Creatures (short stories) by Neil Gaiman
[$1.99] The Wee Free Men (Discworld #30) by Terry Pratchett
[$1.99] Dust (Silo #3) by Hugh Howey
[$1.99] Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke
[$1.99] The Fountains of Paradise by Arthur C. Clarke
[$1.99] Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke
[$1.99] The Garden of Stones (Echoes of Empire #1) by Mark T. Barnes - My Review.
[$1.99] The Obsidian Heart (Echoes of Empire #2) by Mark T. Barnes
[$1.99] The Pillars of Sand (Echoes of Empire #3) by Mark T. Barnes
[$1.99] Ex-Patriots (Ex-Heroes #2) by Peter Clines
[$1.99] Ex-Communication (Ex-Heroes #3) by Peter Clines
[$1.99] Ex-Purgatory (Ex-Heroes #4) by Peter Clines
[$1.99] Happily Ever After (anthology), Edited by John Klima
[$1.99] Miserere by Teresa Frohock

[$2.00] Pines (Wayward Pines #1) by Blake Crouch
[$2.00] Wayward (Wayward Pines #2) by Blake Crouch
[$2.00] The Last Town (Wayward Pines #3) by Blake Crouch

[$2.99] Stinger by Robert McCammon

25 August, 2015

Review - Armada by Ernest Cline

Armada gave me an epiphany and that's not always a good thing apparently.

Up to the moment I read this book, I'd started to convince myself that really the main thing that mattered to me in a book was readability. How much was a both looking forward to reading a book and how fast were the pages turning for me? Those are two things I thought a great deal of in terms of esteem (and star rating points).

Armada had all that. I did look forward to reading it and I thought the pages turned rather quickly all in all.

But I started to realize that even though I was enjoying myself, I didn't really think all that much of this story. It's rather bland for the most part and so chalk full of 80's nerdery it's almost as if no other nerdery is allowed or considered worthy.

Now, this 80's geekiness works really well in Cline's debut, Ready Player One (How do I love thee? Let me count the ways...), because it's essential to the story. Maybe we should add, because it was new, but I don't know if you can go that far. When the premise revolves around the 80s it just works.

Here, Armada's 80's affiliation has more to do with a kid's dead father's obsession and begins to grate in all the wrong ways. It's as if this geeky kid never realized there were other nerdy things to do ... even though he's obsessed with a very hyper-futuristic video game that all kids his age are obsessed with. It'd've been fine with additional, modern references - 80's references are fine - it's just that it begins to sound like that's the only worthy decade when that's far from the truth and arguably only the beginning of a very many great decades for geekery that only got better.

It's reinforced by the fact that only those other characters who also know 80's lore are considered with it, cool, on fleek (that's what the kids are saying these days right? *cough* *cough*).

To reiterate it's like the emphasis makes it seem like you're only cool (geeky) if you're up on your 80's geekery. If not, you're not actually a geek.

Now, I don't want to act like I didn't like Armada. I enjoyed it quite a bit and I admit that my expectations were nigh-on insurmountable after how much I fell for Ready Player One. I still enjoyed Armada, I just won't be fondly remembering my time with the book like I still do with RPO. It's a fun romp and I've forgone mention of the inconsistencies I saw (I think I gave it a hard enough time as is).

I'll still be scooping up Cline's next book, but probably not with as much fervor. Expectations have been tempered.

3 out of 5 Stars (recommended with reservations)