In The News: City of Stairs Competition

robertjacksonbennett-thecityofstairsTo celebrate the launch of Robert Jackson Bennett’s City of Stairs Jo Fletcher Books is running a competition to win some awesome prizes. From their blog:

To celebrate the launch of City of Stairs we are offering a very special prize.

We have five copies of the book to give away, plus one lucky winner will receive a £100 Red Letter Day experience.*

All you have to do for your chance to win is let us know on our blog, Facebook page or Twitter – with #CityOfStairs – what tangible miraculous object would you create if you were a god of Bulikov? A door which takes you to the past? A knotted cord that brings rain when untied? These are just some of the miracles the gods brought to Bulikov, but what would you add?

Let us know by October 30th for your chance to win.

*Prize will be supplied in a £100 worth of vouchers for Red Letter Days. Full terms and conditions can be found here.

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Recaps and Upfronts – September and October

RecapsAnd that’s September over and done with. As predicted it was manic and while there was plenty of reading there was frighteningly little reviewing on the blog, even less than expected as we got a phone call that Emma had finally been accepted to a different school closer to home and we needed to arrange everything for her to transfer in a week. Needless to say, my first reaction was PANIC! And then I worked the phones like a pro and got it all arranged, but the accompanying stress melted my brain, so I didn’t actually manage to write any reviews for about two weeks.   Continue reading »

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Author Query – Eliza Crewe [Blog Tour]

elizacrewecrushedblogtourWhen Angry Robot’s YA imprint Strange Chemistry closed last June, many of their authors were unfortunately left in limbo mid-series. One of them was Eliza Crewe, whose book Crushed, the second book in the Soul-Eater series, was due to be published in August. Luckily, the rights were reverted back to Eliza and she decided to self-publish the first two books, Cracked and Crushed, and presumably will finish the series that way. While I still need to read both of the books – they’re on my teetering TBR-pile – I wanted to ask Eliza some questions, both about the books and about the process of self-publishing. Today I’m one of the stops on Eliza’s Crushed blog tour and she’s here to answer my questions.

***   Continue reading »

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David Moore (ed.) – Two Hundred and Twenty-One Baker Streets

davidthomasmoore(ed)-twohundredandtwentyonebakerstreetsThe world’s most famous detective, as you’ve never seen him before! This is a collection of original short stories finding Holmes and Watson in times and places you would never have expected!

A dozen established and up-and-coming authors invite you to view Doyle’s greatest creation through a decidedly cracked lens.

Read about Holmes and Watson through time and space, as they tackle a witch-trial in seventeenth century Scotland, bandy words with Andy Warhol in 1970s New York, travel the Wild Frontier in the Old West, solve future crimes in a world of robots and even cross paths with a young Elvis Presley… 

Sherlock Holmes. He’s the ubiquitous detective; the first of his kind and a continual inspiration for modern creators.  While I’ve read many of the short stories, both for pleasure and for classes, my favourite incarnations are the more recent ones — Robert Downey Junior in the recent Guy Ritchie films and Johnny Lee Miller in the TV show Elementary. They are more gritty, less refined versions of this Victorian detective, unlike the more gentlemanly versions of Basil Rathbone and Jeremy Brett. A collection of stories centred on reinterpretations of this iconic character and his companions will always be defined by the area of tension between retaining the classic Holmesian characteristics enough to keep it recognisably a Holmes tale and by giving it a unique spin and an author’s own flair and flavour. In my opinion, Moore and his contributors have reached a wonderful balance between these elements in the stories contained in Two Hundred and Twenty-One Baker Streets, though perhaps a true Sherlock Holmes aficionado, who is more invested in the character, might disagree.   Continue reading »

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Meanwhile… On SF Signal and a small update

towerBefore I get to linking to me on SF Signal, a quick update on the blog silence. Emma started her new school on Monday and she’s doing great. She seems to be settling in well; when I went to pick her up from out-of-school care yesterday, she got mad because she didn’t want to go home yet as she still wanted to play outside in the playground. At the same time we’re all still tired as all get out, so I haven’t been up to much other than chores and reading. I’m hoping to start posting reviews again tomorrow if all goes well. So normal service should resume momentarily.

Now for the true meat of this post!   Continue reading »

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Guest Post: Kameron Hurley On Making People Care

kameronhurley-themirrorempireKameron Hurley doesn’t really need an introduction anymore. She’s a two time Hugo winner, author of what are currently the only three novels in the subgenre of bug punk, and not just an amazing fiction writer, but a brilliant essayist as well. And she’s currently on the last leg of a five-week long whirlwind tour of the internet to promote her latest novel, the epic fantasy Mirror Empire. I’m currently in the midst of reading Mirror Empire and thus far it is awesome. Ambitious, challenging, and giving us characters to love and characters to love to hate. I’m very honoured to welcome Kameron to the blog today with a guest post all about storytelling.

***    Continue reading »

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Author Query – William Ritter

williamritter-jackabyEarlier this month I reviewed the highly entertaining and very atmospheric Jackaby. I had a great time with the story and its characters and I hope to read more about them in the future. I was also able to put Will to the question and have him as an Author Query guest. He sent over the following answers including some of his own art! I hope you enjoy his answers as much as I did. Jackaby is out today, so go check it out!

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Let’s start with the basics. Who is William Ritter?

William Ritter is a husband and a father who teaches High School Language Arts and likes to write stories. His debut novel, JACKABY, is published by Algonquin Young Readers, and will be available Sept 16th.   Continue reading »

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Spotty Service Due to Brain Melt

photo credit: :: gw1 :: via photopin cc

photo credit: :: gw1 :: via photopin cc

Just a quick post to say that reviews might be spotty the next week or two (and have been for the past week) as I’m having trouble finding the mental bandwidth to actually write the reviews. With work being busier than usual, Cat deciding to not sleep through the night for the past month, and having had extremely busy weekends the last two weeks, I haven’t really written up much of my reading as I generally feel like my brain’s melted by the end of the work day. Add in the additional curve ball or getting a call this week that Emma can transfer to a school closer to home and having to do all the arranging for that as well and… you get the picture. But as we’ll be adjusting to a new situation and dependent on how Emma copes, I might be a bit scarce for a week or two longer.

The good news is I have interviews and guest posts lined-up and I have been reading loads. So once I get back up to speed, there will be ALL THE REVIEWS!

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Author Query – Tom Pollock

tompollock-ourladyofthestreetsLast month I reviewed Our Lady of the Streets, the final book in Tom Pollock’s the Skyscraper Throne series. It’s no secret its one of my favourite series of the past few years and I was both excited to learn how the story was going to end and sad that I would be saying goodbye to Beth and Pen. After I finished the book I had questions and Tom was lovely enough to answer them. The resulting interview is below. Be warned though, it is a spoiler-heavy interview, so if you haven’t read the series – and if not, why on earth not? – and want to remain unspoiled, best not read on!   Continue reading »

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Guy Adams – The Rain-Soaked Bride

m4s0n501

guyadams-therainsoakedbrideHow do you stop an assassin that can’t be killed? 

When several members of the diplomatic service die in seemingly innocent, yet strangely similar circumstances, it seems a unique form of murder is being used. 

Toby Greene is part of Section 37, known as The Clown Service, a mostly forgotten branch of British Intelligence tasked with fighting exactly this kind of threat. 

However, the Rain-Soaked Bride is no ordinary assassin. Relentless, inexorable and part of a larger game, merely stopping this impossible killer may not be enough to save the day…

The first book in this series, The Clown Service, took me by surprise earlier this summer. While the concept and its bright cover intrigued me sufficiently to pick it up, I hadn’t expected to enjoy it as much as I did. I was utterly charmed by Toby, his supervisor August Shining, Shining’s sister April and their neighbour Tamar. The Rain-Soaked Bride was already on my TBR-pile and I started it as soon as I could, because I couldn’t wait to get back to Toby and friends.   Continue reading »

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