Review Amnesty: Big Fat Fantasy Edition

reviewamnestyAfter the hiatus I took last year, I have a huge backlog of books I’ve read and need to review and now I’m trying to get the blog back up and running they are staring me in the face and taunting me, all nineteen of them. Some of them I read over six months ago and it is hard to write a review for them in the usual way, so I’ve decided to declare a review amnesty. There are two books I’m planning to co-review with Wiebe, since they are two of his favourite books, two novellas that I can quickly reread and review, but the other fifteen will be split up into three posts and I’m going to just quickly run down each of them and give my thoughts. And then I’ll be able to move on and *bursts into song* Let It Go…So here is the first of the three posts, the one I dubbed the Big Fat Fantasy edition.  Read More …

Author Query – Kameron Hurley

kameronhurley-empireascendantKameron Hurley is one of the hardest working women in SFF. Currently under contract for four books – one with a looming deadline – she also on the last leg of her epic promotional tour for the second book in her even more epic Worldbreaker series. I loved The Mirror Empire and its successor was one of my most anticipated reads for 2015. I haven’t yet reviewed Empire Ascendant, but I have read it and I can tell you this: Hurley is hell on her characters, but in the best possible way. If you haven’t yet gotten your copy of Empire Ascendant, make it your next buy, because it is wonderful. Meanwhile, before you run off to your book retailer of choice, check out Kameron’s wonderful answers to my questions in a very special Author Query.  Read More …

Author Query – Craig Cormick

craigcormick-thefloatingcitiesLast year I very much enjoyed Craig Cormick’s The Shadow Master and I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series, The Floating City. The book was released last month and has received some lovely reviews. Craig was kind enough to agree to an interview to celebrate the release of his latest novel. Enjoy this Author Query and be sure to check out The Floating City.

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Let’s start with the basics. Who is Craig Cormick? 

My website www.craigcormick.com says that I have been writing since I could make up stories and have worked in journalism, communications, teaching and science communication. Also that I like to write across many different genres and styles, from fiction to non-fiction and literary fiction to speculative fiction. – So if I read it online then it must be the truth, right?

I could also tell you that I’m a twin, I have travelled to all seven continents for work – including to Antarctica, but the thing I most love doing in the world is reading books to my six-year-old son and remembering how more real than real stories were when we were young.  Read More …

Guest Post: Susan Murray on Historic Influences

susanmurray-waterborneexileSusan Murray’s Waterborne Exile, the second in her Waterborne series was published earlier this week and to celebrate she’s returning to A Fantastical Librarian with another guest post. I asked Susan about the historical influences on her world and she revealed her roots in historical re-enactment and describes how she imbibed history through osmosis.

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My first thought on seeing this topic was there aren’t any specific influences as such: I haven’t studied a a single historic era and plundered it for plot developments. The Peninsular Kingdoms are not based on anywhere in particular and events aren’t drawn from the Wars of the Roses, or the Hundred Years War or the Civil War. But I realise I’m overlooking a lifetime’s interest in history simply because I’ve been surrounded by it all along. The historical influences are in reality too many to count.  Read More …

Anticipated Books (Summer-Autumn) 2015: Science Fiction & Horror

2015Welcome to the third post in my Anticipated Books series for the second half of 2015. Today I bring you both my science fiction and my horror picks. For some of these I already have an (e)ARC or review copy, so they’ll definitely be read and reviewed. And for the rest, I’ll have to see whether I get the chance to get my hands on them!  Read More …

Anticipated Books (Summer-Autumn) 2015: Fantasy October-December

2015Day two of my Anticipated Books series for the second half of 2015. As usual I had so many fantasy books catch my fancy I had to split them into two posts. For some of these I already have an (e)ARC or review copy, so they’ll definitely be read and reviewed. And for the rest, I’ll have to see whether I get the chance to get my hands on them!  Read More …

Anticipated Books (Summer-Autumn) 2015: Fantasy July-September

2015Welcome to the first post in my Anticipated Books series for the second half of 2015. As usual I had so many fantasy books catch my fancy I had to split them into two posts. For some of these I already have an (e)ARC or review copy, so they’ll definitely be read and reviewed. And for the rest, I’ll have to see whether I get the chance to get my hands on them!  Read More …

Author Query – Danielle L Jensen

danielleljensen-hiddenhuntressDanielle L. Jensen’s Stolen Songbird was one of Angry Robot’s late and lamented Strange Chemistry imprint biggest successes. I very much enjoyed the story and as such was saddened by the fact that we might not get its sequel for the foreseeable future. When Angry Robot announced that they had picked up the entire trilogy and planned to publish Hidden Huntress on schedule, I was stoked. To celebrate Hidden Huntress‘ publication next week today Danielle drops by the blog for an Author Query.

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Let’s start with the basics. Who is Danielle L Jensen?

I’m a human living in Calgary with my other half and our newly minted progeny. I used to work in finance, but it wasn’t a career that rewarded daydreaming about dragons, so I jumped ship and turned to writing. I haven’t regretted that choice once!  Read More …

Guest Post: Susan Murray on Court Politics in Highkell

susanmurray-thewaterbornebladeThis May sees the somewhat delayed publication of Susan Murray’s fantasy debut The Waterborne Blade. I’ve been looking forward to the book and I’m hoping to crack my ARC open sooner rather than later *gives teetering review pile a stern look* When I got to ask Susan for a guest post, I put the following question to her:

As Alwenna is called Queen, but her husband’s rank is left unspecified, I was wondering whether you could tell us a bit more about how Highkell’s court is structured and whether Alwenna is indeed a ruling queen in her own right.

Susan sent me the following as an answer. The Waterborne Blade is out from Angry Robot on 7 May world-wide. Do check it out!  Read More …

Guest Post: Ferrett Steinmetz on Parents in Fantasy

ferrettsteinmetz-flexMarch sees the reboot of Angry Robot Books publication schedule and one of its re-inaugural titles is Ferrett Steinmetz’s Flex. Billed as Breaking Bad meets The Dresden Files, it sounds like it will be a great, entertaining read and I hope to be able to dive into it soon. In the meantime, Ferrett was kind enough to write me the following blog post wherein he discusses the lack of active parents in fantasy and explains why even if Flex will make me cry, I should still read it.

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So my book Flex features all sorts of (literally) psychotic magic systems: as it turns out, if you’re obsessed enough with something, your devotion will wear a hole through the laws of physics. So there’s all kinds of crazy magic flying back and forth: bureaucromancy. Videogamemancy. Musclemancy. Origamimancy.   Read More …