Win a copy of Brandon Sanderson's THE HERO OF AGES

Thanks to the generosity of the folks at Tor Books, I have three copies of Brandon Sanderson's The Hero of Ages for you to win! For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe.

The rules are the same as usual. You need to send an email at reviews@(no-spam) with the header "HERO." Remember to remove the "no spam" thingy.

Second, your email must contain your full mailing address (that's snail mail!), otherwise your message will be deleted.

Lastly, multiple entries will disqualify whoever sends them. And please include your screen name and the message boards that you frequent using it, if you do hang out on a particular MB.

Good luck to all the participants!;-)

Solaris contest winner!

The name of our winner has been drawn, and she will get her hands on the 10-book prize pack, compliments of the folks at Solaris.

The prize pack includes:
- Extraordinary Engines, The Definitive Steampunk Anthology — Edited by Nick Gevers
- Sideways in Crime — Edited by Lou Anders
- The Solaris Book of New Fantasy — Edited by George Mann
- The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction — Edited by George Mann
- The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction Volume 2 — Edited by George Mann
- Black Magic Woman, by Justin Gustainis
- Bitterwood by James Maxey
- Kéthani by Eric Brown
- The Dragon’s Nine Sons, by Chris Roberson
- War Machine by Andy Remic

The winner is:
- April Disney, from Everett, Washington, USA (rebelaessedai on

Thanks to all the participants!:-)

New Poll: Who's your favorite SFF artist?

The results from our last poll have been tallied. The question was:

What are your thoughts regarding, Random House's new SFF blog?

231 votes were cast:

- Interesting contributors, insightful content, and neat layout. All in all, a great addition to the SFF Blogosphere. (60 votes, 25%)

- Kind of "meh." I have to admit that I was expecting more from such a powerhouse in SFF publishing. (39 votes, 16%)

- Disappointing. Too little too late, I think. And most of the content can already be found on established sites by independent bloggers. (26 votes, 11%)

- I haven't been paying attention to at all since its creation. (106 votes, 45%)

Well, it's obvious from the results and the low number of votes that Random House's SFF imprints have to do a little more to get the word about Suvudu out there. All the voters are members of the online community, and 45% of them haven't even checked out the website...

Our new survey asks you who's your favorite SFF artist? If your favorite is not among the selections, feel free to leave a comment with his or her name.:-) Here are a few samples from Komarck, Martiniere, Picacio, Lockwood, and Chong.

This week's New York Times Bestsellers (August 26th)

In hardcover:

Sherrilyn Kenyon's Archeron is down two positions, ending its second week on the charts at number 3.

Stephenie Meyer's The Host is down one spot, finishing the week at number 6.

Karen Traviss' Star Wars: The Clone Wars is down three positions, ending its third week on the NYT list at number 19.

In paperback:

Patricia Briggs' Cry Wolf is up two spots, finishing its third week at number 8.

Terry Brooks' The Elves of Cintra is up eight positions, ending its third week on the prestigious list at number 16.

Michael Chabon's The Yiddish Policemen's Union is up four spots, ending the week at number 19.

R. A. Salvatore's The Orc King makes a comeback at number 22.

Jocelynn Drake's Nightcrawler is up one position, ending its third week on the bestseller list at number 31.

John Scalzi's The Last Colony debuts at number 33.

Win a year's worth of speculative fiction titles!

Yes, your eyes are not deceiving you! I'm giving away 55 speculative fiction titles of basically every subgenre out there, which amounts to more than a book to read every week for the next year!

The catch: I don't have enough money to pay for postage, so the winner will have to either come pick up the books (meaning that you are within driving distance of the Greater Montreal Area), or he or she must be willing to pay for shipping (at least 50$-75$ in Canada, and more elsewhere). Sorry, but I was about to donate those novels to a local library and I decided to make someone very happy instead. Hence, DO NOT register unless you are able to come and get the prize pack or pay for postage.

The prize pack includes:

HB: Hardcover
TPB: Trade Paperback
PB: Mass Market Paperback
ARC: Advance Reading Copy

- Star Wars: Order 66 by Karen Traviss (Del Rey) HB
- The Folklore of Discworld by Terry Pratchett and Jacqueline Simpson (Doubleday) HB
- Misspent Youth by Peter F. Hamilton (Del Rey) ARC
- The Bonehunters by Steven Erikson (Tor) TPB
- Toll the Hounds by Steven Erikson (Tor) ARC
- Rite by Tad Williams (Subterranean Press) TPB
- The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss (Daw) PB
- Night of Knives by Ian Cameron Esslemont (Bantam) PB
- Troy: Fall of Kings by David Gemmel (Ballantine) HB
- The Court of the Air by Stephen Hunt (Tor) HB
- Acacia by David Anthony Durham (Anchor) PB
- The Ancient by R. A. Salvatore (Tor) HB
- The Last Theorem by Arthur C. Clarke and Frederik Pohl (Del Rey) HB
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars by Karen Traviss (Del Rey) HB
- Star Wars: The Force Unleashed by Sean Williams (Del Rey) HB
- The Ghost Brigades by John Scalzi (Tor) PB
- Jhegaala by Steven Brust (Tor) HB
- Dzur by Steven Brust (Tor) PB
- Eifelheim by Micheal Flynn (Tor) TPB
- Victory Conditions by Elizabeth Moon (Del Rey) HB
- The Metatemporal Detective by Micheal Moorcock (Pyr) HB
- The Queen's Bastard by C. E. Murphy (Del Rey) TPB
- In the Eye of Heaven by David Keck (Tor) PB
- New Amsterdam by Elizabeth Bear (Subterranean Press) TPB
- The Solaris Book of New Fantasy edited by George Mann (Solaris) PB
- Changelings by Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough (Corgi) PB
- Maelstrom by Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough (Corgi) PB
- Dark Wraiths of Shannara by Terry Brooks (Del Rey) TPB
- The Innocent Mage by Karen Miller (Orbit) PB
- Empress by Karen Miller (Orbit) ARC
- The Martian General's Daughter by Theodore Judson (Pyr) TPB
- Half the Blood of Brooklyn by Charlie Huston (Del Rey) TPB
- Inferno edited by Ellen Datlow (Tor) HB
- The Horror in the Museum by H. P. Lovecraft and others (Del Rey) TPB
- Mad Kestrel by Misty Massey (Tor) TPB
- The Last Wish Andrzej Sapkowski (Orbit) ARC
- Across the Face of the World by Russell Kirkpatrick (Orbit) ARC
- Shadow Bridge by Gregory Frost (Del Rey) TPB
- Lord Tophet by Gregory Frost (Del Rey) ARC
- Foundling by D. M. Cornish (Putnam) ARC
- Lamplighter by D. M. Cornish (Putnam) ARC
- The Essential Batman Encyclopedia by Robert Greenburger (Del Rey) TPB
- Little Brother by Cory Doctorow (Tor) ARC
- Tigerheart by Peter David (Del Rey) ARC
- Orcs by Stan Nicholls (Orbit) ARC
- Bright of the Sky by Kay Kenyon (Pyr) ARC
- A World Too Near by Kay Kenyon (Pyr) ARC
- Pandemonium by Daryl Gregory (Del Rey) ARC
- The Del Rey Book of Science Fiction and Fantasy edited by Ellen Datlow (Del Rey) ARC
- A Darkness Forged in Fire by Chris Evans (Pocket) ARC
- Maledicte by Lane Robins (Del Rey) ARC
- Death's Head by David Gunn (Bantam Press) ARC
- Death's Head: Maximum Offense by David Gunn (Del Rey) ARC
- City at the End of Time by Greg Bear (Del Rey) ARC
- Last Dragon by J. M. McDermott (Wizards of the Coast) ARC

You need to send an email at reviews@(no-spam) with the header "JACKPOT." Remember to remove the "no spam" thingy.

Second, your email must contain your full mailing address (that's snail mail!), otherwise your message will be deleted.

Lastly, multiple entries will disqualify whoever sends them. And please include your screen name and the message boards that you frequent using it, if you do hang out on a particular MB.

Good luck to all the participants!;-)

Jacqueline Carey contest winners!

Our three winners will each receive a complimentary copy of Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel's Justice (Canada, USA, Europe), courtesy of the cool folks at Orbit.

The winners are:

- Deirdre Thornton, from Lucan, Ireland

- Melinda Seckington, from London, England

- Barbara Banovic, from Maribor, Slovenia

Many thanks to all the participants!

David Louis Edelman interview

I've been meaning to interview Edelman ever since I read his scifi debut, Infoquake (Canada, USA, Europe) last spring, but I wanted to wait till I was done with the sequel, Multireal (Canada, USA, Europe) before doing so.

So here is a very interesting Q&A with the author. Give Infoquake and Multireal a shot, by the way. You won't be disappointed!


- Without giving anything away, can you give potential readers a taste of the tale behind both INFOQUAKE and MULTIREAL.

The idea's fairly simple, actually. It's a world about a millennium in the future where programmers are in a cutthroat competition to create, sell, and market software that runs the human body. One of these entrepreneurs, a particularly brilliant and unethical businessman named Natch, suddenly finds himself in possession of a new technology called MultiReal. Its creator claims that the software can "create alternate realities." Nobody's quite sure what that means, but it's very clear that MultiReal has the power to change the world in very fundamental (and very dangerous) ways. So the question is, can Natch hold on to MultiReal in the face of all the business rivals, government agencies and shadowy figures that come after him? Does he want to hold on to it? Will he use the power of MultiReal for selfish ends? And so on.

- Tell us a little more about yourself. What is the "411" on David Louis Edelman?

I'm a web programmer and dot-com marketing guy by trade. I spent most of the '90s working in a succession of high-tech start-ups in the Washington, DC area. I saw the same things that most dot-com workers saw during that period: a lot of greed, a lot of ineptitude, and a lot of wackiness. I also worked briefly for MCI, and did some programming on websites for the FBI and the U.S. Army. Shortly after Y2K, I got fed up with the whole thing and decided to quit my job to write a novel. Since then I've been doing web programming freelance and part-time while I've been writing the Jump 225 Trilogy.

- INFOQUAKE is not your typical science fiction yarn. Can you tell us a little more about the road that saw this one go from manuscript form to finished novel? As an hybrid between a more traditional scifi book and the cutthroat world of financial markets, was it hard to sell the idea to editors?

It was a very hard sell. Not because of the manuscript itself, but because I had no fiction publishing credentials to my name except a story I sold to an online magazine in 1995. I spent a year trying to find an agent with nothing to show for it but a stack of form rejection letters. Finally I went to a friend of mine who runs a small publishing house in Baltimore for advice. He read Infoquake and loved it. He offered to represent me as my agent, and I figured I had nothing to lose. He sent the manuscript around to the big New York publishers, and lo and behold, I ended up at Pyr a few months later.

- What can readers expect from the final volume? Are any other novels planned in the same universe?

The question I get asked most often about the third book is whether it's really the end of the story. I've left so many storylines open in MultiReal that they think it'll take another two books to wrap it all up. But no, the Jump 225 Trilogy will definitely end at the conclusion of the third book. I'm not planning to write any more books in this universe after that, but I won't exclude the possibility in case somebody wants to throw a big pile of money at me.

- What's the progress report on the last volume? Any tentative title or release date yet?

Book 3 is going to be called Geosynchron. I think I'm about 80% of the way through the first draft, and I'm really, really hoping to finish it by the end of the year. As for release date, there's nothing definitive in place yet. Infoquake was released in July 2006, MultiReal was released in July 2008, and I'm going to try to finish Geosynchron early enough so Pyr can release it before July 2010. But no promises.

- Will you be touring to promote MULTIREAL this summer/fall? If so, are there any specific dates that have been confirmed as of yet?

I've been doing a handful of appearances here and there -- I was at Worldcon and Readercon (where Infoquake and MultiReal were part of the con's recommended reading list). I went to New York to appear on the Hour of the Wolf radio show. I'm doing a reading at my hometown Barnes & Noble in Reston, VA in September, then attending Capclave in Rockville, MD in October, and then I've got a number of book club appearances sprinkled in between.

- Lou Anders has brought Pyr to new heights. How would you describe the man and your relationship with him?

Lou has been absolutely terrific. He pulled me out of the agented slush pile and put my debut novel in a lineup next to books by Robert Silverberg, Mike Resnick, Ian McDonald, and Michael Moorcock. Anyone who's met him will tell you that he's clearly not just in this for the money. He really cares about science fiction and has a lot of big ideas about bringing our little niche to a wider audience. Not only that, but he's very interested in nurturing the careers of the authors in his lineup. I don't know how many editors you can say that about.

- Solaris just published the mass market paperback edition of INFOQUAKE on both sides of the pond. You rarely see different SFF publishers release trade and mass market versions of the same novel. How did that deal see the light?

The deal was put together by Pyr and Solaris. Pyr hasn't published any mass market paperbacks yet -- though they're starting soon -- and so this was a great opportunity to get Infoquake in front of a larger audience before MultiReal arrived in the stores. It seems to be working. People had trouble finding the trade version of Infoquake in the stores, but the mass market of Infoquake is popping up everywhere. I had a friend tell me that he saw three copies of the book on the shelves at the airport in frickin' Dayton, Ohio. We're all hoping that some of those mass market readers go on to find book 2 and then book 3 when it comes out.

- A wealth of information pertaining to both INFOQUAKE and MULTIREAL can be found on your website You seem to have been extremely careful to prevent info dumps throughout both your novels. Since too much can be as bad as too little, was it difficult to find the right balance as far as how much technical and historical details to include in the narrative? In retrospect, do you feel that too much stuff might have been cut out to maintain the flow of the narrative?

It was a very hard balancing act. I tried very hard to define all of the new terms in context during the story, so you don't need to refer back to the ancillary material at all. But I wanted to make sure that readers interested in how the multi network functions or how the Defense and Wellness Council was founded could satisfy their curiosity. If I had the chance to write the entire series over again, I'd probably make it four books and take more time to weave the background information into the narrative. Science fiction readers aren't having any problems keeping up with all of it. But I do regret that some non-SF readers seem to be a little intimidated by the sheer mass of material there.

- What was the spark which generated the idea that drove you to write the Jump 225 trilogy?

Working in the dot-coms, definitely. I started out writing a much more humorous novel -- a single novel, actually, that was to be called Jump 225.7. It was more lighthearted and satirical in tone, which is why I came up with all the funny acronyms like L-PRACGs and OCHREs, and silly names like SeeNaRee and the Defense and Wellness Council. I literally finished the first draft of that book on September 10, 2001. Then a few days later I put the whole thing aside and started over. I had darker things on my mind then: the future of Western society, the longevity of capitalism and democracy, the underlying purpose of the human race. So the trilogy has turned out to be a somewhat unique mixture of those two moods.

- What do you feel is your strength as a writer/storyteller?

I feel like I'm very good at the worldbuilding aspect of things. Really, structure in general. The trilogy has layers and layers of metaphor in it, and I'm really quite proud of the way it all works together as an organic whole. My tendency is to wander off into history and background and structure, and sometimes I have to curb that impulse. If I had written The Lord of the Rings, it would have been three whole books of the Council of Elrond, and nobody would have read it.

- Were there any perceived conventions of the science fiction genre which you wanted to twist or break when you set out to write INFOQUAKE and its sequel?

Yes, I wanted to avoid the typical mindless action set-pieces that you find in a lot of bad SF, and bad novels in general. I really wanted to write an exciting novel about business. A lot of authors just use the business aspect as window dressing, and then quickly throw their characters into the same car chases and murder mysteries and gunfights. I wanted to write books that really are about the workplace, where the excitement revolves around product demos and marketing meetings and government hearings and that kind of thing. So that's what I've tried to do.

- How much of an honor was it to be nominated for the John W. Campbell Award?
Oh, it was an enormous honor, of course. There was a fantastic crop of new writers this year, and with people like Joe Abercrombie and Scott Lynch on the ballot I didn't expect to win. Especially since I didn't publish a single word of fiction in 2007, the year in contention. But I'm pleased I did as well in the voting as I did, and I'm very pleased that my good friend Mary Robinette Kowal went home with the award. She looks much better in the Campbell tiara than I would have.

- The fact that there is a website dedicated to your work is an indication that interaction with your readers is important to you as an author. How special is it to have the chance to interact directly with your fans?

Direct interaction is very important to me. So far I've been lucky enough to be able to directly interact with many of the people who've enjoyed my books online, through emails and blog comments and online forums. I've tried to stay active to some extent on social networks like MySpace, Facebook, GoodReads, and LibraryThing, and I've been able to chat with a lot of readers that way. (Links to all my social networking profiles are on my website -- come say hello!)

- Given the choice, would you take a New York Times bestseller, or a Hugo Award? Why, exactly?

No contest, I'd take the New York Times bestseller. Why? Because only a very, very small number of people vote for the Hugos. A few hundred people at most choose each year's winners. But to get to the NYT list, you need to sell thousands and thousands of books. That's a vote of confidence of a whole different order. (Don't get me wrong, I'd wet myself with excitement if I won a Hugo too.)

- What authors make you shake your head in admiration? Many scifi writers don't read much inside the genre. Is it the case with you?

Actually, I've spent most of my adult life reading out of genre. I read a lot of SF as a kid and have only gotten back into it over the past ten years. The authors who have inspired me the most are people like Thomas Pynchon, John Barth, Kurt Vonnegut, Franz Kafka, and Philip Roth. Inside genre, I'm particularly fond of George R.R. Martin, China Mieville, Philip K. Dick, Mervyn Peake, William Gibson, and J.R.R. Tolkien, to name a few.

- Cover art has become a very hot topic of late. What are your thoughts pertaining to that facet of a novel, and what do you think of the covers that grace your books?

Originally the cover for Infoquake was designed to appeal to folks outside of the genre, so your typical fund manager wouldn't feel embarrassed reading it on the subway. But my publisher discovered pretty quickly that the chain bookstores didn't like that cover, and the non-SF readers weren't paying much attention to the book anyway. So Pyr and Solaris both decided to go with the high-tech Stephan Martiniere cityscapes that are on the new editions. The publishers are the ones who have the final say on covers anyway; it's not up to me. But the Martiniere paintings are gorgeous and people seem to really dig them, so who am I to complain?

- More and more, authors/editors/publicists/agents are discovering the potential of all the SFF blogs/websites/message boards on the internet. Do you keep an eye on what's being discussed out there, especially if it concerns you? Or is it too much of a distraction?

Unfortunately, I pay too much attention to the blogosphere to ignore it, and not enough attention to really get a lot of useful information out of it. I do a lot of grazing and general news reading, but I don't delve too much into the SFF-specific discussions. Unless they're about me, of course. Google Alerts have proven a terrible distraction, and I'm afraid I spend much too much time reading the blog reviews and the Amazon comments. Trust me, if you mention the words "David Louis Edelman" just about anywhere on the Internet, I'll get an email about it within an hour or two. And chances are I'll be reading what you've got to say within an hour or two of that.

- Do you have any desire to write outside of the SF genre?

Definitely. I have early drafts of novels sent in contemporary Washington, DC and ancient Rome that I'd love to get a chance to finish one day. Plus a dark fantasy novel that may be the next thing on my plate. But right how I'm just trying to finish Geosynchron.

- With authors such as Alastair Reynolds, Peter F. Hamilton, Iain M. Banks, Richard Morgan and Neal Asher, British SF seems to be flourishing at the moment compared to a general downturn in the genre, particularly in the United States. Why do you think this may be?

Nothing against the Brits, but I think it's largely just a confluence of market factors. You get a few authors writing great, literate, money-making SF in the UK, and suddenly the publishers are pushing it and the critics are calling it a movement. Meanwhile in the US, you have Robert Jordan and Laurell K. Hamilton breaking out, and suddenly all of the publishers are pushing doorstopper fantasy novels and books about sexy vampire hunters. As a writer who networks with other writers, I can't help but take notice of these trends, but I really try to ignore them as much as possible. I'd prefer to be exploring things that nobody else is talking about.

- Honestly, do you believe that the speculative fiction genre will ever come to be recognized as veritable literature? Truth be told, in my opinion there has never been this many good books/series as we have right now, and yet there is still very little respect (not to say none) associated with the genre.

I'd like to think so. The good news is that as the Internet pushes us further and further into our specialized niches, there's plenty of room for scholarly exploration of the smallest subgenres. In fifty years, the concept of genre won't exist like it does today. High culture and low culture will all blend together in a big stew, and the snooty academics in the white towers won't worry about turning up their noses at what you put in your bowl.

- Anything you wish to add?

Just a reminder that you can find excerpts, podcasts, appendices, first drafts, and all kinds of other fun stuff about Infoquake and MultiReal up at the websites and

Paul Kearney contest winner!

Our winner will get her hands on a signed copy of Paul Kearney's latest, The Ten Thousand (Canada, USA, Europe), compliments of the nice folks at Solaris.

The winner is:

- Véronique Marchand, from Montréal, Québec, Canada (Morrigan on

Thanks to all the participants!:-)

The Alchemy of Stone

You all know how much I enjoyed Ekaterina Sedia's The Secret History of Moscow (Canada, USA, Europe) last winter. As things stand, the novel is in my Top 5 of the year and its place seems to be quite secure. Hence, I was curious to see if I would get drawn into Sedia's newest offering as much as I was with her previous work.

Prime Books refers to it as "a steampunk novel of romance, political intrigue, and alchemy." One thing about The Alchemy of Stone is that the book is incredibly difficult to put in a nutshell. There are a number of interesting ideas throughout, but I felt that the author doesn't deliver the way she did with The Secret History of Moscow.

To begin with, the worldbuilding leaves a little to be desired. Sedia introduces the reader to Ayona, a city uncomfortably coming to terms with industrial development. But she offers us little more than a few glimpses about its past and how it shaped the political and social environment of this tale. I feel that a more in-depth elaboration on the history of the conflict and its protagonists would have been apropos.

The Mechanics' inventions continue to alter society as Ayona's inhabitants know it, while the Alchemists attempt to hold on to their ancient traditions. Yet the absence of depth in that regard means that the conflict between the two factions never truly grabs you. The problem is, this conflict is at the heart of the story. If you cannot bring yourself to care, it's hard to get sucked into the surrounding plotlines.

The most fascinating facet of The Alchemy of Stone is its main protagonist, Mattie. She's an emancipated automaton created by the Mechanic Loharri. Though he set her free, he still retains the key to her heart, and can thus control and manipulate her to a certain extent. Mattie's ponderings about the meaning of being alive and free are food for thought.

Unfortunately, the supporting cast is nowhere near as engaging as the automaton. Some characters show signs of brilliance, such as Loharri and Niobe, but they are never fleshed out in a manner that permits them to attain their full potential.

I seldom say this, but The Alchemy of Stone, weighing in at 304 pages, is not long enough. Ekaterina Sedia introduces us to an array of concepts and ideas and characters, yet she fails to expand on most of them is a way that would be satisfying.

Nevertheless, The Alchemy of Stone is an intriguing read. Sedia set up the bar pretty high with The Secret History of Moscow, and her latest work doesn't quite live up to the expectations generated by its predecessor. While The Secret History of Moscow delivered on all fronts, one reaches the end of The Alchemy of Stone with a sense of "what might have been." The potential was there, no doubt about it. I think that the author simply needed to run with those ideas a little more. . .

The final verdict: 7/10

For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe

MEME: Top 48 Science Fiction Adaptations

Just discovered that Rob tagged me. Holy shit, I'm going to suck at this one...

Here it goes:

From Box Office Mojo's list of Top 48 Sci-Fi Films Based on a Book (or Story) (1980- present). Some of the titles on this list look suspicious. (Was Cocoon really based on a piece of written fiction? There's a difference between an adaptation and a novelization.)

Here are the rules.

- Copy the list below.
- Mark in bold the movie titles for which you read the book.
- Italicize the movie titles for which you started the book but didn't finish it.
- Tag 5 people to perpetuate the meme. (You may of course play along anyway.)

And now, the list...

1. Jurassic Park
2. War of the Worlds
3. The Lost World: Jurassic Park
4. I, Robot
5. Contact
6. Congo
7. Cocoon
8. The Stepford Wives
9. The Time Machine
10. Starship Troopers
11. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
12. K-PAX
13. 2010
14. The Running Man
15. Sphere
16. The Mothman Prophecies
17. Dreamcatcher
18. Blade Runner(Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?)
19. Dune
20. The Island of Dr. Moreau
21. Invasion of the Body Snatchers
22. The Iron Giant(The Iron Man)
23. Battlefield Earth
24. The Incredible Shrinking Woman
25. Fire in the Sky
26. Altered States
27. Timeline
28. The Postman
29. Freejack(Immortality, Inc.)
30. Solaris
31. Memoirs of an Invisible Man
32. The Thing(Who Goes There?)
33. The Thirteenth Floor
34. Lifeforce(Space Vampires)
35. Deadly Friend
36. The Puppet Masters
37. 1984
38. A Scanner Darkly
39. Creator
40. Monkey Shines
41. Solo(Weapon)
42. The Handmaid's Tale
43. Communion
44. Carnosaur
45. From Beyond
46. Nightflyers
47. Watchers
48. Body Snatchers

Sorry, but I'm not tagging anyone. You do it if you feel like it!

Musical Interlude: Backpacking Soundtrack

Well, I finally completed my two photo albums. 726 pics in total, which is a lot more than I intended. But I guess I saw too many beautiful things!

One thing about backpacking is that, for me at least, you pick up songs along the way that in the end will comprise the soundtrack of your trip. Unless you're on one of those crazy journeys that will see you visit 12 countries in 2 weeks, actually spending time in one region/country, hearing what's playing on the radio, at the bar, at the mall, in the clubs, etc, will allow you to discover a lot of things that you don't necessarily realize at first glance.

Music is a big part of my life, so I figure it's no surprise that I pick up a few tunes along the way. It doesn't matter whether you like those songs or not. As you keep hearing them, they become burned inside your brain and it's impossible to forget them. Soon enough, they become the soundtrack of your adventure. So much so that, even if you hate the song, the first thing you'll do when you get back is download it.

Here are the tunes that stuck for me this summer while touring around Poland, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania:

This catchy song is a bit special because it's the first tune I remember hearing in Warsaw. It was my very first morning, and I had just realized that no one spoke any English. I was thus forced to go to McD's to get a McMuffin for breakfast, and that song was playing on the screens inside the restaurant. It followed me for the rest of the trip, and seemed to be playing every hour or so in Helsinki.

As the theme for the Euro 2008, I heard this song several times a day for the duration of the soccer tournament and beyond. Odd that this one didn't cross the Atlantic. Given Enrique Iglesias' popularity in North America, I was sure it would make its way to our shores...

I think this song played every night we went out and sat on one of those pleasant outdoor terraces in Wroclaw and Krakow. And I remember hearing it all the time in Riga.

Love Song
Uploaded by RavenTV

I fully became aware of this song when its piano intro got tattoed inside my brain in Helsinki and I couldn't stop whistling it. It was quite popular in the Baltic States, and I heard it several times a day.

As you can see, it's a disparate bunch, but them's the breaks! You don't get to choose what you pick up. These tunes just seep into your subconscious and you're powerless. Like it or not, these 4 songs will forever be linked to all those great and not-so-great moments of my summer of 2008 adventure...

Joe Abercrombie contest winners!

Our three winners will get their hands on a copy of Joe Abercrombie's final volume in The First Law trilogy, Last Argument of Kings (Canada, USA, Europe), compliments of the folks at Pyr.

The winners are:

- Scott Qualle, from Turlock, California, USA

- Jordan Gibler, from Lancaster, California, USA (thornofcamorr on

- Kyle Eaton, from Cumberland Rhode Island, USA

Thanks to all the participants!

Attention all Steven Erikson fans

During our first interview, Erikson told me how much of an impact Glen Cook's books had on him and his own writing. I made a mental note to give the Black Company novels a shot, but it took me until now to do so.

I'm currently reading Cook's first Black Company omnibus, Chronicles of the Black Company (Canada, USA, Europe), and I'm loving it! It's like reading about the adventures of the Bridgeburners without any interruptions!

If, like me, you have yet to discover Glen Cook and you like Steven Erikson's The Malazan Book of the Fallen saga, you might want to check the Black Company out! The books might not be groundbreaking (though they were when they initially came out in 1984), but they are as entertaining as anything you're likely to read in the genre.

If you don't want to spend more money for the omnibus, all three volumes which comprise the book can still be purchased separately. Used editions can also be found for about a dollar or less.

Give the first volume, The Black Company (Canada, USA, Europe), a chance, and I'm persuaded that you'll be as hooked as I was!;-)

New Poll:

The results from our last poll have been tallied. The questions was:

With the travesty that were the recent Dune novels, will you buy Herbert and Anderson's PAUL OF DUNE next month?

481 votes were cast:

- Yes: Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson's books are a worthy addition to the Dune canon. (17 votes, 3%)

- Yes: What can I say? I just can't help it. (24 votes, 4%)

- No: I'll probably get it from the library, or perhaps wait for the paperback edition. (35 votes, 7%)

- No: Herbert and Anderson are milking this franchise for all it's worth, and Frank Herbert must be turning in his grave. (288 votes, 59%)

- No: I've never been a Dune fan. (117 votes, 24%)

Well, I guess we won't need the Supreme Court to interpret this one. . .

Our new survey asks readers what they think of, Random House's new SFF blog. We'll repeat the exercise with in the coming weeks.

Cover art for R. Scott Bakker's THE JUDGING EYE

Hmm, rather bland, isn't it?

Still, R. Scott Bakker's The Judging Eye is one of the most eagerly anticipated fantasy novels of 2009! At least in this house, anyway!

For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe

Win a copy of the US edition of Steven Erikson's TOLL THE HOUNDS

I have three copies of the US edition of Steven Erikson's latest Malazan offering, Toll the Hounds (Canada, USA, Europe), courtesy of the nice folks at Tor Books.

The rules are the same as usual. You need to send an email at reviews@(no-spam) with the header "DRAGNIPUR." Remember to remove the "no spam" thingy.

Second, your email must contain your full mailing address (that's snail mail!), otherwise your message will be deleted.

Lastly, multiple entries will disqualify whoever sends them. And please include your screen name and the message boards that you frequent using it, if you do hang out on a particular MB.

Good luck to all the participants!;-)

P. S. To purchase the gorgeous cover art and other prints, check out

This week's New York Times Bestsellers (August 19th)

In hardcover:

Sherrilyn Kenyon's Archeron debuts at number 1.

Stephenie Meyer's The Host (Canada, USA, Europe) is down two positions, ending the week at number 5.

Karen Traviss' Star Wars: The Clone Wars is down three spots, finishing its second week on the charts at number 16.

In paperback:

Patricia Briggs' Cry Wolf is down six positions, ending its second week on the NYT list at number 10.

Michael Chabon's The Yiddish Policemen's Union (Canada, USA, Europe) is up one spot, finishing the week at number 23.

Terry Brooks' The Elves of Cintra is up three positions, ending its second week on the betseller list at number 24.

Jocelynn Drake's Nightcrawler maintains its position at number 32 for its second week on the NYT list.

Win a limited edition 2009 A Song of Ice and Fire calendar from the Dabel Brothers!

Hey guys!

Thanks to the Dabel Brothers, I have three 2009 ASOIAF calendars signed by George R. R. Martin for you to win!;-) Moreover, those will be graced by an exclusive Jon Snow cover by Michael Komarck.

The rules are the same as usual. You need to send an email at reviews@(no-spam) with the header "ASOIAF CALENDAR." Remember to remove the "no spam" thingy.

Second, your email must contain your full mailing address (that's snail mail!), otherwise your message will be deleted.

Lastly, multiple entries will disqualify whoever sends them. And please include your screen name and the message boards that you frequent using it, if you do hang out on a particular MB.

Quantities are limited, so pre-order yours today by clicking on this link.

Good luck to all the participants!

Mr. Fooster Traveling on a Whim

This tiny book has been staring at me from the piles of books waiting to be donated to local libraries since I received the ARC last winter. Though I was aware that this wasn't something I'd normally get into, Mr. Fooster Traveling on a Whim intrigued me in an odd sort of way.

It's referred to as a "visual novel," written by Tom Corwin and illustrated by Craig Frazier. In a nutshell, it's sort of a children's book for grownups. I feel that this could be a great work to share with a special child, one who's just learning how wonderful books can be. However, unless you're on the decidedly cheesy side, I doubt that most adults will get their fill from it. But as a sharing experience with a son, daughter, or another child, visiting Mr. Fooster's world of whimsy and imagination could be a real treat.

The premise is that questioning your assumptions could set you free. Mr. Fooster leaves his home one morning, and wandering aimlessly he takes the reader to a strange world. During his travels, his curiosity brings him to reflect on a number of quirky questions such as "Why are bathtubs always too short for comfort?"

Frazier's many illustrations add another dimension to this whimsical tale, creating an enjoyable atmosphere that, again, should appeal to children more than grownups.

Weighing in at only 101 pages, this short work can be read in about 15 minutes. One has to wonder why the publisher opted for a hardback release, as the price tag attached to it is simply too expensive to be worthwhile.

Be that as it may, I'd wholeheartedly recommend Mr. Fooster Traveling on a Whim to any parent looking for something to read with their children. To learn more about the visual novel, check out

As I have nothing to compare it to, I can't possibly "score" this work. . .

For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe

Win a matching set of the numbered editions of the deluxe hardcovers for Tim Powers' LAST CALL, EXPIRATION DATE, and EARTHQUAKE WEATHER

Thanks to the generosity of the folks at Subterranean Press, I have a matching set of the numbered editions of their deluxe hardcovers for Tim Powers' Last Call (Canada, USA, Europe, and, Expiration Date (Canada, USA, Europe, and, and Earthquake Weather (Canada, USA, Europe, and up for grabs!

Illustrated by artist J. K. Potter, this collector's set is worth 225$! How's that for a prize!?!

The rules are the same as usual. You need to send an email at reviews@(no-spam) with the header "EARTHQUAKE." Remember to remove the "no spam" thingy.

Second, your email must contain your full mailing address (that's snail mail!), otherwise your message will be deleted.

Lastly, multiple entries will disqualify whoever sends them. And please include your screen name and the message boards that you frequent using it, if you do hang out on a particular MB.

Good luck to all the participants!;-)

Richard Morgan's THE STEEL REMAINS US cover art

Special thanks to Michael for the "heads up!"

Like him, I much prefer the UK cover art. For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe.

George R. R. Martin contest winner!

Our winner will get his hands on a copy of the limited edition of Martin's Starlady/Fast-Friend, compliments of the folks at Subterranean Press. For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe, and

The winner is:

Doug Landis, from Quarryville, Pennsylvania, USA

Thanks to all the participants!:-)


The results of our first poll are in! The questions was:

With the Worldcon winding down in Denver, Colorado, and with the Hugo Awards coming under heavy criticism in recent years, do you believe it's time to rethink the entire process regarding SFF Awards?

298 votes were cast:

- Yes: SFF awards have so little credibility nowadays that they don't hold any sway over what I read. (32%, 98 votes)

- Yes: As long as they rely on such an obsolete and expensive voting system, the Hugo Awards' relevance will continue to dimish. (28%, 85 votes)

- No: The Hugo Awards have been run this way for years, and there is no reason to change its format or voting process. These awards are a genre institution, and they deserve more respect than they are getting at the moment. (10%, 30 votes)

- I don't care one way or the other... (28%, 85 votes)

This week we have a new surbey, this one regarding Herbert and Anderson's upcoming Paul of Dune. For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe.

Let's see what people think. . .:-)

Steven Erikson's TOLL THE HOUNDS is now available on our side of the pond!

Yes, fellow Canucks, the latest Malazan installment has reached Canadian soil!

Our American cousins must show patience (or order it from either Canada or the UK), as the US edition will be published by Tor Books in a couple of weeks!:-) It can now be bought at up to 50% off on Amazon!

For more info about this Toll the Hounds: Canada, USA, Europe.

Another hot summer fantasy title, Richard Morgan's The Steel Remains, can still be purchased at 46% off! For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe.

Poland (June 2008)

For those interested in seeing a little bit of Poland, I have posted a number of photos from my collection on Facebook. The album is public, so feel free to check it out to discover how beautiful Warsaw, Gdansk, Wroclaw, and Krakow can be. And I'm not talking about the women, though that's another incentive for you!:p

This is just a small sample, as I have more than 1200 pics, but hopefully it will entice a few of you to visit what is a wonderful country.:-)

Subterranean: Tales of Dark Fantasy

This latest anthology published by Subterranean Press proved to be an interesting read. Contrary to what the title implies, however, not all short stories are dark fantasy. Then again, the line which separates the various fantasy subgenres has become so blurred in recent years that all the short fiction contained within the pages of Subterranean: Tales of Dark Fantasy might just be dark fantasy after all.

The short stories showcased in this anthology are as disparate in style and tone as the authors who wrote them. Poppy Z. Brite, Mike Resnick, Joe R. Lansdale, Tim Powers, Rachel Swirsky, Darren Speegle, Caitlin R. Kiernan, William Browning Spencer, Kage Baker, Mike Carey, and Patrick Rothfuss have vastly different and discordant voices, which ensures that every single piece has its own "flavor." And it's this wide variety that makes Subterranean: Tales of Dark Fantasy an enjoyable reading experience.

As is the case with any SFF anthology, some short stories are more memorable than others. Though I didn't dislike any piece per se, "It Washed Up" by Joe R. Lansdale is the only one which completely failed to make an impression on me.

While I felt that Brite's "The Gulf," Swirsky's "Monstrous Embrace," and Resnick's "Alastair Baffle's Emporium of Wonders" were less inspired and thus left a little to be desired, I fully enjoyed Power's time-traveling "The Hour of Babel," Speegle's "The Lunatic Miss Teak," Kiernan's "The Steam Dancer (1896), and Baker's "Caverns of Mystery." Spencer's "Penguins of the Apocalypse" just might be the weirdest thing I've read in quite a while. The clash between the Muslim religion and Western culture appears to have been the inspiration behind Carey's "Face," which I liked quite a bit.

As a matter of course, the anthology's pièce de résistance is Patrick Rothfuss' "The Road to Levinshir," a portion of which will appear in the forthcoming The Wise Man's Fear. It shows an older, more mature Kvothe, and is a totally self-contained tale. Needless to say, it should whet your appetite for the sequel to The Name of the Wind!

All in all, the contrasting writing styles of the various contributors guarantee that there is something for everyone in Subterranean: Tales of Dark Fantasy.

The final verdict: 7.25/10

For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe, and

Quote of the Day

You find yourself capable of strange things when you run out of choices.

- DAVID LOUIS EDELMAN, Infoquake (Canada, USA, Europe)

This week's New York Times Bestsellers (August 12th)

In hardcover:

Stephenie Meyer's The Host maintains its position at number 3.

Karen Traviss' The Clone Wars debuts at number 13.

David Weber's By Schism Rent Asunder is down fifteen positions, ending the week at number 33.

In paperback:

Patricia Briggs' Cry Wolf debuts at number 4.

Michael Chabon's The Yiddish Policemen's Union is down five spots, finishing the week at number 24.

Terry Brooks' The Elves of Cintra debuts at number 27.

Jocelynn Drake's Nightwalker debuts at number 32.

Pat's Fantasy Hotlist 2.0

Well, I just finished updating my categories and the links contained within each one. As always, I forgot some people, and I'm sorry for that. But you should know by now that I suck at this, and I will make it up to you when I go through the next update.:-)

I will likely play around with the categories in both righthand columns from time to time, yet this should be the new look for the blog. Many thanks to my friend Pat who found and hooked me up with this great template. I couldn't have done it without him! Not so much because he's a genius, but because I'm a total dumbass!;-)

I think the new look rocks, if I may say so myself!:p Hope you like it too! After nearly 4 years, we needed an extreme makeover.

Sadly for the haters, the Hotlist will continue to feature the same crappy content, courtesy of Yours Truly. You can't win 'em all. . .

Win a 13-book Orbit Prize Pack!

Well, I have another bundle of novels for you guys to win, this time from the nice people at Orbit! This prize pack includes:

- Russell Kirkpatrick's Across the Face of the World, In the Earth Abides the Flame, The Right Hand of God.
- Iain M. Banks' Consider Phlebas and The Player of Games.
- Karen Miller's Empress
- Pamela Freeman's Blood Ties
- Lilith Saintcrow's Working for the Devil, Dead Man Rising, and Night Shift.
- Jennifer Rardin's Once Bitten, Twice Shy, and Another One Bites the Dust, as well as Bitten to Death.

For more info on any of these titles and more, check out

The rules are the same as usual. You need to send an email at reviews@(no-spam) with the header "ORBIT." Remember to remove the "no spam" thingy.

Second, your email must contain your full mailing address (that's snail mail!), otherwise your message will be deleted.

Lastly, multiple entries will disqualify whoever sends them. And please include your screen name and the message boards that you frequent using it, if you do hang out on a particular MB.

Good luck to all the participants!;-)

Carlos Ruiz Zafon contest winner!

Our winner will receive an Advance reading Copy of the Subterranean Press limited edition of Zafon's international bestseller, The Shadow of the Wind. For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe, and

The winner is:

Jaime Shetrone, from Christiansburg, Virginia, USA

Thanks to all the participants!:-)

Hugo Awards 2008: I Want You to Vote!

Hey guys!

Some of you may not have seen it, but I have a new poll pertaining to the relevance of the Hugo and other SFF awards going on at the moment. Feel free to take a second to vote!:-)

These are only preliminary results, but I'm a bit surprised that a vast majority of voters (thus far) care enough that they want to see some changes put into effect. I would have thought that a large chunk of the readers would have lost hope and not care anymore. . .

Here's a list of the 2008 Hugo winners (thanks to Larry for monitoring the whole thing!):

Campbell Award: Mary Robinette Kowal

Fanzine: Mike Glyer, File 770

Fan Writer: John Scalzi

Fan Artist: Brad Foster

Professional Artist: Stefan Martiniere

Best Semiprozine: Locus

Related Book: Jeff Prucher, Brave New Words, the Oxford Dictionary of Science Fiction

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form: Doctor Who, "Blink" Written by Steven Moffat, directed by Hettie Macdonald (BBC)

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form: Stardust (based on the novel by Neil Gaiman)

Best Professional Editor, Short Form: Gordon Van Gelder

Best Professional Editor, Long Form: David Hartwell

Best Short Story: Elizabeth Bear, "Tideline" (appeared in the June 2007 issue of Asimov's)

Best Novelette: Ted Chiang, The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate (appeared in limited edition chapbook form and in the September 2007 issue of Fantasy & Science Fiction Magazine)

Best Novella: Connie Willis, All Seated on the Ground (limited edition book from Subterranean Press; also appeared in the December 2007 issue of Asimov's)

Best Novel: Michael Chabon, The Yiddish Policemen's Union