the Little Red Reviewer

Archive for the ‘Patrick Rothfuss’ Category

not only was yesterday National Buy a Book Day, but I also had it as a vacation day from work. Which meant hubby and I had plenty of time to make it to two bookstores and the library before realizing that maybe we had indeed picked up enough books to hold us for a little while.  sleeping in + buying tons of books? Sounds like the perfect day to me!

here’s what we got:

Diviner, by Melanie Rawn – looks like an epic fantasy that doesn’t take place in fantasy-Europe. Sign me up!

Fool Moon, by Jim Butcher – hubby really liked the first book, and i’m interested in reading more in this famous serious too.

Embassytown, by China Mieville – one of my favorites is finally in paperback!  I’d hoped Embassytown would take the Hugo for best novel, but alas it wasn’t to be.

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The recently announced Locus Awards are awarded every year by a readers poll done by Locus Magazine. These have been going since 1971, and are often an influencial precursor to the Hugo awards, which will be awarded later this summer.

It’s only these last couple years that I’ve been blogging that I’ve paid much attention to awards. Honestly, for the most part, a list of award nominees more often than not elicits a mostly “eh” response from me. Maybe I’ve heard of the authors, maybe I haven’t, and there’s a decent chance I haven’t even read any of the books or short stories that are up for an award.

Good thing I have a scifi/fantasy blog, and have pretty much been reading nothing but scifi and fantasy for the last little while! For the first time, ever, I’ve actually read a small chunk of these. Ok, maybe not a respectable amount, but way more than in previous years. For the first time, ever, my mind is responding with a “sweet! I’ve read that!” or at least a “I’ve heard of that, and I really want to read it!” instead of “meh”.

Here are this years Locus Award winners (bolded) and nominees. If I reviewed the piece, I’ve linked to it. A few questions for you to contemplate as you peruse the list: how many of these author, works, editors, authors and publishers have you heard of? How many of them have you read, or are interested in reading?

The 2012 Locus Awards, as announced in Seattle Washington, June 15-17th 2012:

Science Fiction Novel

Embassytown, China Miéville (Del Rey; Macmillan)
Leviathan Wakes, James S. A. Corey (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
11/22/63, Stephen King (Scribner; Hodder & Stoughton as 11.22.63)
Rule 34, Charles Stross (Ace; Orbit UK)
The Children of the Sky, Vernor Vinge (Tor)

Fantasy Novel

A Dance with Dragons, George R.R. Martin (Bantam; Harper Voyager UK)
Snuff, Terry Pratchett (Harper; Doubleday UK)
The Wise Man’s Fear, Patrick Rothfuss (DAW; Gollancz)
Deathless, Catherynne M. Valente (Tor)
Among Others, Jo Walton (Tor)

First Novel

The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern (Doubleday)
Ready Player One, Ernest Cline (Crown; Century)
God’s War, Kameron Hurley (Night Shade)
Soft Apocalypse, Will McIntosh (Night Shade)
Mechanique: A Tale of the Circus Tresaulti, Genevieve Valentine (Prime)

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This is part Two of my EpicConFusion posts. Click accordingly to read parts ONE, THREE and FOUR

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Ahh, the panels.

This was where I needed one of those time spinner things Hermione has, because at times I had to choose between three different panels that I wanted to go to.  There were that many, and there was that many hours straight of good programming.  I have this undiagnosed blood sugar issue thingy, and it means I shouldn’t go hours upon hours without eating.  When given the choice between going to yet another panel and eating, I chose wisely: I went to the panel (and then started shaking).  They were scheduled to be 50 minutes long, which included  Q&A time, so everyone would have 10 minutes to eat and potty break inbetween. The way it really worked was most panels went over, the next group would have to kick the previous group out, and people were late to their next panel.  Surprisingly, that turned into a win-win for nearly everyone.  I have no idea when the authors got to eat or go to the bathroom.

Highlights of the panels I attended include (and sorry for the horribly blurry photos):
Worldbuilding 101, moderated by Cat Rambo, with Patrick Rothfuss, Peter V. Brett and Brent Weeks – there was discussion of how to introduce the reader to your world, and how much information to give and when. Infodumping is the classic no-no, and the authors seemed to agree that it was best to give the reader less that you think they need to know. . . so they are interested in always wanting to learn more instead of feeling like they are getting inundated with information.  Building the world through characterization, because if you’ve got good characters, you can overcome just about anything.

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I have returned from EpicConfusion!

And it was incredible.  I was in geek heaven. Everyone’s first con experience should be like this.  There were authors hanging around, authors doing organized and well planned panels, authors autographing stuff (not just books!), and plenty of cosplay, humorous music (Rocky Horror Muppet Show!) and every flavor of crazy and fun.  I met so many wonderful folks, authors, artists, other.  Rothfuss was incredibly friendly, Lynch was gracious, Elizabeth Bear said I had pretty hair, Abercrombie may not be aware how irresistible that “British rogue” thing is to American women, Ahmed wins for nicest guy and best hair, Kameron Hurley is insanely interesting, Myke Cole gave me a hug anyways, and Peter Brett let me interrupt his dinner to talk about a panel he’d just done (btw, don’t interrupt peeps who are trying to eat. It was a total asshole thing I did), and Jim Hines is even more hilarious and friendly than I expected, even when he was completely exhausted and I was bugging him. When people found out it was my first con, they told me I picked a good one. I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time, and I was not disappointed.

I’ve so much to tell. . . .  and so many blurry photos to post (wait, what? my camera has a low-light setting? Why didn’t someone tell me that before!).   To keep you from having to slog through stuff you might not be interested in, there will be a post on fun/funny author interaction (that’s gonna be this one, by the way), panels, cosplay and of course, Scott Lynch gets a post all to himself.

I was that girl who faux pas’ed my way through my first con by hijacking conversations and bothering people and talking to anyone and everyone who looked interesting (including the goth cross dresser) and now I’m gonna be that girl who gives WAY TOO MUCH INFORMATION. read at your own risk, and don’t say I didn’t warn you!

There will be a giveaway for peeps who survive all of these ridiculous posts.

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The rules for my “best of” post were simple: I had to have read and reviewed the book in 2011, and it couldn’t be a reread (otherwise this list would taken over by Lynch, Powers, Brust, and others).

In no particular order (saving me the impossible task of choosing my utmost favorites), here are my top reads of the last 12 months. I’m surprised so many of them are new-ish books, as that wasn’t really part of the plan. Enjoy the little teaser then click on the title for the full review.

Grey by Jon Armstrong (2007)  frantic, insane, completely over the top, hilarious, refreshing, and at times completely sick.  This is dystopia like you’ve never read before. This is body modification and mortification, life imitating art to the nth degree, and performance art like you’ve never imagined. This is fashion punk.

The Third Section by Jasper Kent (2011) The third in Kent’s Danilov Quintet, one of the most brilliantly frightening books I have ever read, and brimming with betrayals and violence, seductions and patience, this is the series you’ve been waiting for if you prefer your vampire fiction to be more Bram Stoker than sparkly.

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I got the opportunity to talk a bit about Scott Lynch with my friend John on a local radio show, Arts and More.  and wow, can I tell you, 45 seconds to talk about your favorite author is not a lot of time!

If you found your way to this site from the radio show, welcome.  Please have a look around.  I do mostly Science Fiction and Fantasy, and am currently getting ramped up for my Vintage Science Fiction month, this coming January (note to self: buy more baking soda).

Scott Lynch has been called one of the finest fantasy writers of our time.   His fiction falls smack dab in the middle of what’s become known as Dark Fantasy.  That usually means the good guy is a bad guy, and the bad guy is even worse. It means sarcastic and witty dialog, the anti-heroes make a hobby out of getting beaten up, and thievery, language, violence, and back stabbing (literally) are every day activities. In Dark Fantasy, there are no white hats and dark hats, simply gray hats and grayer hats.  Not so escapist as it sounds at first blush, is it?

in short: Dark Fantasy is good fun, and Scott Lynch is a master at creating it.  When I feel like I’m in a reading rut, he is my go to guy. This isn’t my first time waxing rhapsodic about him.

Scott Lynch’s ongoing fantasy series, the Gentleman Bastard series, starts out in a fantastical Renaissance Venice style city, and is about . . . well, it’s about a lot of things. Friends, crime, revenge, more crime, screwing the bad guys over, some more revenge, and an itty bitty teeny weeny bit of romance.  The first book in the series, The Lies of Locke Lamora, introduces us to the title character, Locke. We learn of his misspent youth, his training with Father Chains, and how he grew up to become known as the Thorn of Camorr, a con artist able to sell salt water to mermaids and spirit necklaces off sleeping duchesses. Lamora makes Danny Ocean look like an amateur.  But there is dark revenge afoot, and of course Locke finds himself in the middle of it all.   The second book, Red Seas Under Red Skies is a little more subtle, a little more mature. and there are lots and lots of pirates.  Along with thousands of other rabid fans, I am hoping the third book in the series, The Republic of Thieves, will arrive soon.

If those reviews caught your interest, you can also find Lynch’s short story In the Stacks, about a group of students who are on a quest to return a book to the right shelf in a magical, wondrous library, in the anthology Swords and Dark Magic.  His serialized novel, Queen of the Iron Sands, is available on his website.

Also, here is a wonderful and recent audio interview with Mr. Lynch done through Orion Publishing. He has a beautiful voice, doesn’t he?

In closing, if you’re not reading Scott Lynch, you  are missing out on something very special.

Oh, and I also talked a bit about Patrick Rothfuss. But you probably already know who he is.  Have you see his The Princess and Mr Whiffle? If not, go find a copy, it’s adorable, and it’s not at all what you think.

Guess who at ComicCon?

Eh,  I finished one book this morning and am about a third of the way through another one.  No reviews even close to be being ready to post, let alone even started.  And I got a busy crazy blog-on-fire week coming up (more on that later, I promise).

Here’s some delicious link soup for you. Tastes like Epic.

Wanna join our read-along for Lord of the Rings? starts this coming week, one book per month till we finish. Sign up here.

Awesome article on Jeff Vandermeer’s Ambergris series, focusing on City of Saints and Madmen.

Neat article/video on blood & guts CGI in HBO’s Game of Thrones (no fake blood was harmed in the making of this show).

Love fest for Joe Abercrombie’s First Law series. Tastes like blood and guts. . .

My buddy Jim got me hooked on Mercury Men, a noirish SF alien invasion 7 minutes per episode webshow on Hulu. Go check it out.

Patrick Rothfuss answers your questions at SDCC.

and Patrick Rothfuss’s epic blog post about being epic at SDCC

Vote for your favorite SFF titles on NPR’s top 100 SFF book list. Everyone gets 10 votes, so make ’em count!

So I finally got my other half to read Patrick Rothfuss’s The Name of the Wind (reviewed here) and The Wise Man’s Fear (reviewed here), which, for the uninitiated are books one and two in Rothfuss’s Kingkiller Chronicles. We both adored The Name of the Wind, and while I found The Wise Man’s Fear to be long yet lovely, the other half had similar complaints as many other reviewers have had: it’s too long, too episodic, Denna is annoying and it’s too convenient that she keeps showing up everywhere Kvothe does, the Felurian bit was fine but went on about 50 pages too long, same with the Adem fighting clan bits.

we discussed it, and I pointed him to Jo Walton’s excellent spoilery threads on TOR, which he read, and then I reread. if you’ve read both books, go read ‘em. if you haven’t read these books, for the love of anything you believe in, do NOT read the TOR spoilery posts, or this great thread over at Fantasy Faction. It will spoil everything. As could, umm, reading the rest of this post.

If you haven’t picked up on it yet, be warned: this post contains spoilers, guesses, predictions, etc that you may want to avoid if you haven’t read these books.

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seriously, who scheduled me to work on a Friday!?  Raise your hand, I want to glare at you!

however, for those of you who are not raising your hand, here are some goodies for you.

Filed under Totally Awesome, we’ve got

Doctor Who premiers on BBC America on April 23rd at, umm, check your local listings. Or you can attempt to navigate the annoyingly flash heavy and painfully photoshopped BBC America website. That site’s got a lot of weird mumbly jumbly time travelly floaty stuff going on. (now read that paragraph out loud in your best Amy Pond voice, you know you want to)

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The Wise Man’s Fear (Kingkiller Chronicles, book 2), by Patrick Rothfuss

Published: March 2011

Where I got it: the library.

why I read it: the first book in the Kingkiller Chronicles, The Name of the Wind, was a game changer book for me.

Plainly said, if you enjoyed the Name of the Wind (reviewed here), you will enjoy Wise Man’s Fear more so. If Name if the Wind didn’t really do it for you, Wise Man’s Fear probably won’t, and more so.

Still on the fence?  It may help to think of The Kingkiller Chronicles as a memoir, not a fantasy trilogy. After all, Chronicler is doing just that, writing down Kvothe’s life, isn’t he?  Kvothe is much more interested in those events, be them mundane or heroic, that shaped him as a person.  And besides, both Chronicler and Kvothe already know the stories and the songs and the legends. This is their only opportunity to get the story right.  Think about what you would put in your own memoir.  You’d put in more than just the “action” moments of your life, wouldn’t you?

Did the book meet my expectations? Yes and more. Was it worth the wait? Yes and even more.

First things first, Rothfuss’s writing is tighter, more mature, and much more polished than in Name of the Wind. The dialog is snappier and funnier.  The plots, subplots, and undercurrents are at the same time both more and less subtle than the first book.

This book is nearly 1,000 pages long.  It took me 5 days to read, and I’m not a slow reader.  And in nearly one thousand pages you can be sure that a lot happens.  But if I made this a plot based review, I believe we’d both be missing the point.

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some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.