Tag Archives: what should I do?

What Should I do #8: Penny Arcade

I am, to put it politely, terribly sick.

Not helping matters is the fact that I just found out that they’re planning a sequel to the Hobbit.
As frequently happens, Penny Arcade managed to sum up my opinions on the matter pretty succinctly. I’m assuming most of you already read their comic, but on the off chance that you haven’t. Well… you’re really missing out.

What’s Penny Arcade you might ask? Well imagine a Geek Gazette, where they lovingly sift and pre-chew the news so it’s easier for you to consume. Remove 95% of all the bullshit and pretention that would normally go hand in hand with that, then add some brilliant, ridiculous humor. Season with a witty turn of phrase and a rage garnish and there you are – Penny Arcade.

It’s nice for me that PA is out there, expressing my opinions on certain issues. That saves me the trouble of doing it myself, and frees up valuable hours for more writing, or, as is the case tonight, being violently ill.

Later,

pat

Posted in recommendations | By Pat27 Responses

What Should I do #7: New Authors

For the last couple months, I’ve been meaning to bring some books to your attention. I would think to myself: “Self, you should really mention this book to people your blog.”

But then I’d get busy. Or some time-sensitive piece of news would come up, like a book signing or making the New York Times list. Or I’d be distracted by something shiny, or edible, or both.

So, without further ado, here are some authors that you might not be aware of.

David Keck – In The Eye of Heaven.

I read David Keck’s book couple years back and really enjoyed it, but there is a caveat: This is not your typical fantasy novel.

We all know most fantasy novels are set in fairly generic medieval settings. The world Keck creates is different. His world is dark ages. Mankind is not on the top of the food chain, and the world is full of dangerous, mythic forces that are not to be fucked with.

At the same time the story remains very realistic. I don’t think I’ve ever read another book that does a better job of depicting the real hardships of a mercenary knight in the dark ages. His description of an injured knight going to a dentist was delightfully spot-on.

Keck’s writing style is unique as well. His descriptions are brief, almost poetic in places. Very different than the long, ponderous description that is common with so many fantasy novels these days. To use an artistic analogy: this book is more like a Monet painting than a photograph.

Because of this, the story feels almost dreamlike at times, as the main character moves back and forth between the harsh realities of tournament combat and strange dealings with otherworldly powers. I think this element of Keck’s writing caught a lot of readers unprepared, and let to some unfair reviews of his work. You don’t bitch because a Monet painting is blurry. It’s supposed to be that way, that’s the effect the artist was trying to achieve….

The second book in Keck’s series came out fairly recently (In a Time of Treason). But starting a series with the second book is not civilized behavior, and people who do it go to the special hell reserved for child molesters and people who talk in the theater.

Anyway, I really enjoyed liked it. But be warned: This is not your typical fantasy novel.

Anton Strout – Dead to Me.

As a fellow fantasy author and one of the founding members of the League of Reluctant Adults, you would think that Anton Strout would be my friend. In fact, it would be reasonable for you to assume that he has my respect and admiration.

However, nothing could be further from the truth. Strout is, among other things, my mortal enemy. The sordid details of our long-standing feud are multifarious, and I cannot in good conscience list them in a blog that children might read.

Suffice to say that I have many worthwhile reasons to scorn the man, none of which have to do with the fact that he seems to have more luck with the ladies than I do. Nevertheless, I am a gentleman, so I’ll mention his book here. Just to show that I am the better person.

I have not read his first book myself, for obvious reasons, but I’ve heard others say good things. They say that it’s urban fantasy with a strong comic twist. Charline Harris gave him a glowing blurb, so if you like her stuff, you might like his too.

Jim Hines – Goblin Quest.

One of my favorite things is when fantasy authors play with the conventions of the genre. Joss Whedon, of course, is the champion of this. The whole premise of Buffy the Vampire Slayer starts with the question, “What if that ditsy, helpless blond who gets killed in the horror movie actually kicked some ass instead of running away then falling down?”

Hines is good at playing this game too, except he asks a different question: “What do Goblins do when they’re not getting killed by adventurers?”

These are fun books. They’re lighthearted, humorous, and have some good storytelling to boot. Best of all, Hines takes the time to actually create a well-developed world for the stories to take place in, complete with a fresh cosmology, and a unique goblin culture.

Added bonus? Hines has written the next two books in the series: Goblin Hero and Goblin War. They’re already in print, so you don’t have to wait to read the rest of the series, unlike… um… some other authors. Who will remain nameless.

I think I’ll stop at three. If you want more, you can always check out my previous recommendations by clicking on the “recommendations” label down below. Elegant in its simplicity, isn’t it?

Later all,

pat

Posted in Joss Whedon, recommendations, talking shit | By Pat19 Responses

What Should I do #6: The Guild.

In recent news, I got my first piece of hatemail the other day. The author, enraged by the fact that the second book wasn’t going to be published on time, told me he wished a dog would bite me on the balls.

There was more to the letter, of course, but that was pretty much the gist of it.

For those of you looking to occupy yourselves in a more productive way while waiting for book two to come out, allow me to make a friendly suggestion: The Guild.

I stumbled onto the Guild about half a year ago and laughed my ass off. If you play computer games, or know anyone who does, odds say you’ll laugh your ass off too…

Then, months later, one of my friends forwarded THIS LINK to me.

For those of you too lazy to click, it was a blog post someone made about my book. They liked the book, but they had some pointed comments about the sort of covers they put on fantasy novels these days….

Then I looked more closely, and I realized that the person writing the blog was actress Felicia Day. You’ve probably seen her in a bunch of things, but my personal geekery stems from the fact that she played Vi on season seven of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

I know I should be cooler than this, but the truth is, I was overwhelmed with geeky joy at the thought of her reading my book and liking it.

It was only after looking over Felicia’s blog, that I realized she was in The Guild too. Not only does she play Codex, but she actually writes the script for it too….

Anyway, here’s the first episode of the guild to get you started.

Share and Enjoy.

pat

Posted in fanmail, Felicia Day, meeting famous people, recommendations | By Pat18 Responses

What Should I do #5: Cloverfield.

I was hoping to make an announcement about something cool tonight, but I got caught up working on a project and I don’t have the energy to do it justice right now. Tomorrow for sure…

However, It’s been a little while since I’ve answered the perennial question, “What should I do until your next book comes out?” Luckily, a friend dragged me to see Cloverfield on Saturday, and a good time was had by all.

Am I saying you should rush out and see it? No. But I will say the following…

1. I very much enjoyed it.

2. I suspect that people will either love the movie, or hate it. I don’t think many folks will be in the middle.

3. I expect that people who like my book will have a greater chance of liking Cloverfield than the general population.

Why?

Hmmm… That’s hard to say….

You remember those SAT questions they used to give? Like this?

Apple is to Pie, as Nathan Fillian is to _____

A) More different pie.
B) Duck.
C) Firefly.
D) All of the Above.

I don’t do reviews because I detest spoilers. (Speaking of which, feel free to give your own opinions of the movie in the comments below, but I’m declaring it a strict spoiler free zone. Prosecutors will be violated.)

But while I don’t review, I can give you an impression of the movie using this SAT format.

The Wheel of Time is to the Name of the Wind, as King Kong is to Cloverfield.

Not entirely accurate, but I think it gives a general feel for the flavor of the movie.

Maybe it’s the sleep deprivation talking, but these word puzzles are kinda fun. Now I can see why they constantly gave us those tests. Here’s one you can finish on your own.

Kvothe is to Harry Potter, as _____ is to _____.

Oh yeah. This seems like a really funny idea right now, but I know as soon as I open my eyes tomorrow I’m going to cringe in anticipation of what’ll be waiting for me in the comments…

Night all,

pat

Posted in recommendations | By Pat53 Responses
  • Our Store

  • Previous Posts

  • Archives

  • My Twitter

  • Bookmark this Blog

    (IE and Firefox users only - Safari users, click Command-D)