Tag Archives: Jasper Fforde

More Awesome Books

This is a Worldbuilders Blog.

As you know, a lot of the books we give away during Worldbuilders come from publishers or the authors themselves.

But over the last couple years, we’ve had more and more books donated by people who are just… well… people. Some work at bookstores, some are hardcore collectors, and some of them are just folks who love Heifer International and want to help out with the fundraiser.

This blog is composed entirely of books from those donors. Some of them are rare or out of print, most of them are signed by the authors.

You’ll notice two things below that are a little different from our previous years.

1. We’re grouping more books into sets. We have so many donations this year that we just don’t have time and space to list them all separately.

2. We’re offering more auctions. While we’re still putting the vast majority of our books into the lottery, most of the blogs will have at least a couple auctions. For example, in this blog  we’ve got two copies of Brennan’s Gold and Books to Die For, so one goes into the lottery, and the other goes up for auction.

And now, on to the books.

  • A hardcover, tenth anniversary edition of American Gods. Signed by Neil Gaiman.

I’m a big fan of Gaiman from way back, and I wrote up my thoughts about American Gods last year for a best SFF books of the decade blog on Tor.com. If you’re curious, you can head over there and read it.

Or, if you like, you can take the word of someone considerably more posh than me….

“More than a tourist in America, but not a native, Neil Gaiman offers an outside-in and inside-out perspective on the soul and spirituality of the country–our obsessions with money and power, our jumbled religious heritage and its societal outcomes, and the millennial decisions we face about what’s real and what’s not.” -Therese Littleton

“Set in a fascinating, unique world rich with detail, Shadow and Bone was unlike anything I’ve ever read.”  —Veronica Roth, New York Times bestselling author.

  • A set of three short story collections: Collected Ghost Stories by M.R. James, signed by Darryl Jones and John ConnollyBull Fighting, signed by Roddy Doyle; and Dark Lies the Island, signed by Kevin Barry.

“[About Collected Ghost Stories] For those who like their flesh to creep, there is an inimitable cumulative pleasure in reading these stories” – Daily Telegraph

“[About Dark Lies the Island] The most exciting Irish short story writer of his generation.” – John Burns, Sunday Times

“Shiner never fails to astound, and this collection highlights everything that makes him one of today’s best storytellers.” – Publisher’s Weekly (starred review)

[Egan] finds a way to balance the complexity of his ideas with enough story and character for the reader to care about them as stories and not just speculative essays on the latest in cosmology, physics or artificial intelligence research..” –  The SF Site

  • Auction: Advance Reading Copies of Best Served Cold and The Heroes. Both sign by Joe Abercrombie.

“[The Heroes is] one of Abercrombie’s most masterfully executed and compellingly readable novels to date.” – Carl Hays

Since both of these books are ARCs, and they’re both signed by the author, they’re fairly collectable. If you’d like to bid on them, the auction is over here.


“French has a knack for motives, always burying them deep within the world she builds.” – Janet Potter, Onion A.V. Club

 

The Leopard rewards you with a finale as unexpected and thought-provoking as any in recent mystery-fiction memory.” — San Francisco Chronicle

 

“This is a thoughtful and at times disarming novel about life, love, and discovery, set during a time when so much of life seems filled with deep portent.” – Chris Schluep

 

“Stephenson’s REAMDE: perfectly executed, mammoth, ambitious technothriller…a triumph, all 980 pages of it.” – Cory Doctorow

 

  • A hardcover copy of The Magician’s Guild. Signed by Trudi Canavan.
“A wonderfully and meticulously detailed world, and an edge-of-the-seat plot, this book is a must for all lovers of good fantasy.” – Jennifer Fallon

 

  • The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the ApocolypseThe Brightnomicon; and The Japanese Devil Fish Girl an Other Unnatural Attractions. All signed by author Robert Rankin.
“It’s easy to see why Rankin has a huge cult following. Drawing on a rich vein of English humour that encompasses Python, Adams and Stanshall, his comedy-fantasies are filled with pop culture references, music hall wordplay and ironic quips galore.”  — BBC FOCUS

 

“Casey handles several plot lines with ease, and she’s come up with an attractive series character in DC Maeve Kerrigan”. – Sunday Times

  • A hardcover copy of  Songs of the Earth. Signed and dated by Elspeth Cooper.

“Songs of the Earth is a fascinating and thoughtful fantasy debut quite unlike many others in the genre and the author has a unique voice that separates her from the competition.” – WALKER OF WORLDS

“Though it’s not the literary SF that has won Silverberg much of his fame, readers who love ancient myths will find much to admire.” – Publishers Weekly

A Matter of Blood is one of the more successful blends of police procedural, horror and fantasy I’ve encountered.” – LOCUS

“Glynn delivers an intricate plot and relentless suspense in this taut, top-notch thriller about the evils that men do.” – Allison Block, Booklist

“[The Istanbul Puzzle is] An impressive debut; well written, beautifully descriptive, and with a smart dialogue and a compelling air of menace throughout.” – The Lancashire Evening Post

“Books to Die For will thrill the individual mystery lover as much as it will prove an essential reference for the shelves of lending libraries. A vast, comprehensive undertaking, it is that rare breed of anthology of interest to both the initiated and the newcomer. Indeed, like the ideal mystery novel itself, this is a page-turner with an addictive quality.” – Irish Examiner

 

This book was mailed around to all of the authors in order for it to be signed.  It has a slight ding in the top of the spine, which is astonishingly little damage considering how often it was handled.

It’s a really unique item, and would make a great Christmas gift for the mystery aficionado in your life. You can check out the auction over here.

“A a slight but enjoyable tale with a light, almost YA feel. Newcomers will get an easy introduction as Arlen, still an apprentice Messenger, takes on his first solo excursion into the demon-haunted night.” – Publisher’s Weekly

This copy of Bryan’s Gold has been signed by Peter V. Brett as well as his cover artist, who, according to an additional the inscription by Brett, “is awesome!”

To bid on the auction, go here.

“[The] character development and Scalzi’s sharp ear for dialogue will draw in new readers, particularly young adults.” – Publishers Weekly

This book is truly beautiful, and the drawing from Vincent Chong on his signature page is amazing.

  •  A hardcover copy of The Prague Cemetery. Signed by Umberto Eco.

“[Eco] demonstrates once again that his is a voice that compels our attention.” – San Francisco Chronicle

  • Auction: A beautiful numbered, slipcased copy of Shades of Grey. Signed by Jasper Fforde.

Okay. First off, I have to stress that this book is NOT 50 Shades of Grey. 

This book is Shades of Grey, by Jasper Fforde. I read it a couple of years back, enjoyed it immensely, and am even now eagerly looking forward to the sequel. If you’d like more details, you can check out my Goodreads review.

Or, here’s a more professional opinion:

“A rich brew of dystopic fantasy and deadpan goofiness” – The Washington Post

They only printed a thousand of these so we’re putting this one up into the auction. To see more pictures or make a bid, you can head over here.

*     *     *

Remember, for every 10 dollars you donate on our Team Page, you get a chance to win these books and many more.

If you’d like to see all the auctions Worldbuilders is currently running, you can find them over here.

Or, if you want to see the other items that have been donated to Worldbuilders, or learn more about the fundraiser itself, you can head over to the main page here.

Posted in Worldbuilders 2012 | By Pat8 Responses

On the Road

Dear Pat,

I won’t be able to make any of your readings over the next two weeks, but I was wondering. How do you get ready for something like that? I’ve done a little public speaking in the past, and it terrifies me. I can’t help but think that it must be a million times worse if you’re reading your own stuff to a huge roomful of people.

So that’s my question. What does an author do to get ready for a public reading?

Best of luck on your trip.

Dan

The truth is Dan, I’ve wondered the same thing myself.

I mean, I know how *I* get ready for a reading. But I wonder what other authors go through when they’re getting ready.

A lot of authors I’ve talked to admit to having public speaking jitters. Some of them downright hate it. But that’s not a problem for me. Public speaking is old hat. I’ve done commencement addresses, sermons, lectures, and more panels than you can shake a stick at.

Plus I used to do improv comedy. And let me tell you, after you’ve done improv comedy, no other type of public speaking will ever scare you. It’s like a trial by fire.

In general, I imagine other authors think about regular things before a signing tour. They worry about who’s going to show up, or what they’re going to read. Maybe they dither over what sort of shirt they’re going to wear.

Me, I worry about my hair.

At least that’s what I’ve been doing for the last several days. I’m about to leave on a little signing tour, 8 readings in 9 days. I’m looking forward to it, and I’m looking forward to seeing who shows up.

The problem is, I haven’t had a haircut in about 8 months. It’s something that never occurs to me until I have to make a public appearance. Normally every 3-4 months I’m forced to brush up against the edges of civilization. I go to a convention, or a wedding, or something, and so I get a haircut to clean myself up for that.

But lately I’ve been so busy with revisions and the new baby that I haven’t done any of those things. And that means almost a whole year without a haircut. That means that I look like a cross between a hobo, John the Baptist come out of the desert, and a particularly shaggy Muppet. I look, in fact, like one of those green men statues. Except not green.

Normally I’m fine with this. But when I make public appearances I feel bad showing up looking all wodwo. I feel like if people show up to see me, I should try to groom myself down to the point where I won’t frighten small children.

But here’s the problem. This week when I tried to make an appointment for a haircut with the only person I trust to cut my hair and beard… but she couldn’t fit me in to her schedule. And I can’t trust some random barber. Last time I did that the fucker sheared me like a fucking sheep.

So now, the day before I drive off to do my signings, I’m faced with an awful choice. Show up looking like the crazy guy at the bus station, or risk a haircut that would make a prison barber wince. I still haven’t decided…

The other thing that I think about before I go on a trip like this is what I’m going to listen to in the car. I’ve become a sucker for audiobooks lately, and this trip is going to put me behind the wheel for almost 40 hours.

So I’ve got a return question for some of you out there. Do you have any good audiobooks to recommend? I’ve already listened to everything by David Sedaris, Neil Gaiman, and Garrison Keillor.

Here. I’ll start things out with a recommendation or two of my own.

The BBC dramatization of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

These BBC audio productions of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy are really great. What’s even better is that they contain different materials than the original books. That means even if you know your the source material inside and out, you can still be pleasantly surprised.

The later ones weren’t done my Adams himself. But I have to say (and this is something that you will probably never *ever* hear me say again) I liked the ending of the final audiobook better than I like the ending of Adam’s original novel.

I know. Blasphemy.

Anyway. Trust me. These are brilliant. Share and enjoy.

Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde.

I listened to this just recently, and I was absolutely blown away by it.

That said, I don’t know how I’d describe the entirety of it to someone.

It’s funny without being goofy. It’s clever without being pretentious. It’s original without being desperate. And it has an element of what I consider the divine ridiculousness: a delightful, subtle, strangeness that is funny while still touching on some underlying truth.

I feel like I should say more about it, but I can’t think of what else to say. Except, perhaps, that it’s probably the best book I’ve read in a year or so. And Sarah really liked it too, if that sways you at all…

So what about you guys? Do y’all have any good audiobooks that you can recommend? I’m going to need a few more before I’m done with this trip….

P.S. I’m asking for audiobooks, mind you. Don’t recommend a book that you liked and you’re thinking *would* make a good audiobook. The narrator makes a huge difference in these things, so don’t tell me it’s good if you haven’t listened to it yourself.

pat

Posted in appearances, audiobooks, Fanmail Q + A, my beard, recommendations | By Pat253 Responses
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