Quick ‘n Dirty: All Due Respect #1

Quick ‘n Dirty is a term used for that first quick search you perform when starting a new research project. It doesn’t have to be exhaustive and all encompassing; it’s just an exploratory search to see what is out there and to collect more search terms before starting a true literature review. I thought it would be a good description for reviews of shorter works, such as short stories or novellas or for less comprehensive reviews of longer works. They may not be as in-depth as I usually try to write my reviews, but hopefully they’ll be a good introduction and indication whether you’d like the stories or books reviewed.

allduerespectIssue 1 of All Due Respect has the best of crime fiction today, including an original story and interview with featured author Chris F. Holm. The rest of the lineup: a brutal story from Thuglit editor Todd Robinson; the deeply disturbing “Amanda Will Be Fine” by Renee Asher Pickup; a revenge tale by the King of Brit Grit, Paul D. Brazill; the strangely satisfying combination of yoga and organized crime from Travis Richardson; a still-beating heart ripped straight out of the Amazon River basin by Mike Miner; and Walter Conley kicks a couple of clueless Connecticut thugs to the curb. Plus reviews of Steve Weddle’s Country Hardball and Holm’s Collector series—and an entire section devoted to the books of legendary paperback publisher, Hard Case Crime. All Due Respect and your eyes: a combination even better than doughnuts and coffee.

When editor Chris Rhatigan approached me about reviewing the first issue of his crime fiction magazine it wasn’t a difficult sell, seeing as the issue’s featured author was Chris F. Holm whose The Collector series I’ve adored from the get go. Plus, while I’ve become better read in SFF and Horror short fiction, crime short fiction was unexplored country to me and I was curious to see how it would work. Read More …

Quick ‘n Dirty: Jared Shurin (ed.) – Ash

Quick ‘n Dirty is a term used for that first quick search you perform when starting a new research project. It doesn’t have to be exhaustive and all encompassing; it’s just an exploratory search to see what is out there and to collect more search terms before starting a true literature review. I thought it would be a good description for reviews of shorter works, such as short stories or novellas or for less comprehensive reviews of longer works. They may not be as in-depth as I usually try to write my reviews, but hopefully they’ll be a good introduction and indication whether you’d like the stories or books reviewed.

jurassiclondon-ashWhen Krakatoa exploded, it shook the world. The volcano rained fire and unleashed floods, but the worst was still to follow. 1883 was a year of darkness and cold, as the global temperature dropped and the skies were wreathed in ash. It was also a year of fiery sunsets and blue moons, where the impossible could – and did – happen…

Ash explores a world where myths come to life and strange creatures wash up in the shallows – a world where survival is only the first of many struggles, and the monsters can take many forms.

The stories of Ash take place in the same shared setting as 1853, A Town Called Pandemonium and the forthcoming The Streets of Pandemonium and The Rite of Spring.

Ash can be read on its own or part of the series.   Read More …

Quick ‘n Dirty: Jared Shurin & Anne C. Perry (eds) – Fire

Quick ‘n Dirty is a term used for that first quick search you perform when starting a new research project. It doesn’t have to be exhaustive and all encompassing; it’s just an exploratory search to see what is out there and to collect more search terms before starting a true literature review. I thought it would be a good description for reviews of shorter works, such as short stories or novellas or for less comprehensive reviews of longer works. They may not be as in-depth as I usually try to write my reviews, but hopefully they’ll be a good introduction and indication whether you’d like the stories or books reviewed.

pandemonium-fireFire collects three unique voices and their interpretation of the Dickensian style. Tom Loock’s “A Tale of Cities Two” sheds new light on a classic story, Harry Markov’s “The Tracks That Tower Over Valleys” is a parable of burning needs and Oz Vance sets the Sparkler of Albion spinning in his grave with his “Sketches by Zob”.

To accompany their anthologies, whose contributors are mostly invite-only, Jurassic London releases chapbooks whose contents are selected via open submissions. They are often available for free and are entertaining expansions of the main anthologies. For Pandemonium: Stories of the Smoke Shurin and Perry must have thought where there is Smoke there is Fire and this fire contains three interesting stories. Read More …

Quick ‘n Dirty: Andrew Fish – Erasmus Hobart and the Golden Arrow

Quick ‘n Dirty is a term used for that first quick search you perform when starting a new research project. It doesn’t have to be exhaustive and all encompassing; it’s just an exploratory search to see what is out there and to collect more search terms before starting a true literature review. I thought it would be a good description for reviews of shorter works, such as short stories or novellas or for less comprehensive reviews of longer works. They may not be as in-depth as I usually try to write my reviews, but hopefully they’ll be a good introduction and indication whether you’d like the stories or books reviewed.

andrewfish-erasmushobartIn this time-travelling romp, Andrew Fish brings a new slant to the classic legend. Erasmus Hobart is the perfect new adventurer for fans of Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett.

Robin Hood was a crook! But was he as good a crook as the legends suggest? That’s what Erasmus Hobart – school teacher, history fanatic, time-traveller – wants to find out. In this, his first adventure, Erasmus takes his time-travelling privy back to mediaeval Nottingham in his quest for knowledge. But with homicidal knights, amorous female outlaws and mischievous squirrels complicating his investigation, will he uncover the truth in time to get back and mark 4A’s history homework?

Erasmus Hobart and the Golden Arrow is a relatively short novel at 212 pages, but it is quite entertaining for all of them. Published through HarperCollins’ Authonomy imprint, it is a delightful retelling of the Robin Hood legend through the eyes of a time-traveling history cum physics teacher. Erasmus Hobart is a young and well-meaning teacher, who has built his own time-travelling machine in a store room off his class room. In the hours after his pupils have gone home, Erasmus tinkers about with intricate calculations and the privy he remodelled into a time machine, all the while hiding what he does from the school’s nosy head master. Inspired by the school play and some questions from his history pupils who he’s teaching about Magna Carta, he travels back to the time of King Richard and King John to find out the truth behind the legend of Robin Hood.

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Quick ‘n Dirty: Tamara Romero – Her Fingers

Quick ‘n Dirty is a term used for that first quick search you perform when starting a new research project. It doesn’t have to be exhaustive and all encompassing; it’s just an exploratory search to see what is out there and to collect more search terms before starting a true literature review. I thought it would be a good description for reviews of shorter works, such as short stories or novellas or for less comprehensive reviews of longer works. They may not be as in-depth as I usually try to write my reviews, but hopefully they’ll be a good introduction and indication whether you’d like the stories or books reviewed.

tamararomero-herfingersA red-haired witch with steel fingers, dragged unconscious from the currents of the Adrenaline River. An isolated researcher suffering from a disease called the Gag. Covens of stoned witches dancing to techno in the forest. A punk whose specialty is replacing body parts with metal replicas. Sleepwalkers who don’t want to wake. Trees hiding a filthy secret—the result of a perverse dictator’s mind. A pink spy-swan, monitoring every move. A lyrical, dark and charming bizarro story of intrigue and discovery from a dimension just beyond ours.

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Quick ‘n Dirty: Steven Erikson – The Bonehunters

Quick ‘n Dirty is a term used for that first quick search you perform when starting a new research project. It doesn’t have to be exhaustive and all encompassing; it’s just an exploratory search to see what is out there and to collect more search terms before starting a true literature review. I thought it would be a good description for reviews of shorter works, such as short stories or novellas or for less comprehensive reviews of longer works. They may not be as in-depth as I usually try to write my reviews, but hopefully they’ll be a good introduction and indication whether you’d like the stories or books reviewed.

stevenerikson-thebonehuntersThe Seven Cities Rebellion has been crushed. One last rebel force remains, holed up in the city of Y’Ghatan under the fanatical command of Leoman of the Flails. The prospect of laying siege to the ancient fortress makes the battle-weary Malaz 14th Army uneasy. For it was here that the Empire’s greatest champion was slain and a tide of Malazan blood spilled. It is a place of foreboding, its smell is of death.

Yet this is but a sideshow. Agents of a far greater conflict have made their opening moves. The Crippled God has been granted a place in the pantheon and a schism threatens. Sides must be chosen. But whatever each god decides, the rules have changed – irrevocably, terrifyingly – and the first blood to be drawn will be in the mortal world…

The Bonehunters is the stunning sixth novel in the Book of the Malazan Fallen series. After the side trip that was Midnight Tides, it was a pleasure to return to the Malazans and some old friends. Meeting the Bonehunters was fantastic and following them along in their coming into their own and to see the myth being born was fascinating.

Thus far Erikson has always had his story lines converge to a giant climax near the end of the book. Not so in The Bonehunters; here we get a huge battle in an epic chapter spanning over 120 pages at about a third of the book in and then another climactic scene near the end of the book. Even after the huge relief of tension after that first battle, the book never loses steam and the story remains gripping.

I completely adored The Bonehunters and it may have been my favourite Malazan book so far. I read it as part of the Malazan Reread over at Tor.com. Unfortunately, I had to drop out after the first chapter of the next book as I just couldn’t combine the reading with the reading I for the blog and with another baby added into the mix. I do intend to go back and catch up one day though. Meanwhile, if you want some really insightful stuff on The Bonehunters go check out the reread. Or if you want some more in-depth reviews of the book, please look at the reviews posted on Nethspace, Yet There Are Statues, and Fantasy Book Review.