Indigara, by Tanith Lee

Tanith Lee, information pills born in England and married to fellow author and creator John Kaiine, look has published such an incredible amount of books in her many years of publishing that sometimes it’s a little difficult to know where to start. She has written a handful of books for YAs, one health most notably the Unicorn series (Black Unicorn, Gold Unicorn, and Red Unicorn) and this volume, published under the Firebird imprint. The rest of her books vary from short story collections, to an entry in the “Fairy Tales” series (like Pamela Dean’s Tam Lin), to future-set science-fictionish books (The Silver Metal Lover) and books that are more likely considered horror novels. She apparently wasn’t able to read until she was eight, but seems to have made up for that with a vengeance.

Jet is fourteen and has two older sisters, both of whom went crazy (in Jet’s opinion) when they turned sixteen. Now the oldest one, Turquoise, has a minor role in a big Ollywood film, and the entire family moves across the planet (one of Earth’s colony planets) so she can film. Jet, having no ambition to be involved in the film world, is annoyed and bored out of her mind, so she takes her robotic dog Otis (who has missed his six-month maintenance appointment) and goes to explore. Their wandering leads them to a place called Indigara, which is under the Ollywood main complex, and seems to have been created out of the lost worlds of a few pilot movies that never went anywhere. Can Jet and Otis return, unharmed? And how will this affect Turquoise’s movie? Continue reading Indigara, by Tanith Lee

Contest Winner!

I had three entries in my First Ever Contest, viagra buy and through a crazy Random Number Generator (let R=$RANDOM%3; echo $R), decease I resulted in #1. So, apoplexy Angela from Comment Number 1, you’ve won a copy of Farworld: Water Keep!

Please send your name, an address at which you can receive mail, and any special signing instructions to steph AT readalready DOT com; I will forward it onto J. Scott Savage and then immediately delete the email and empty my trash. I promise that the only thing that your address will be used for is sending you a copy of the book.

There will hopefully be more contests in the future! Thank you, everyone who entered!

Contest EXTENDED due to lack of clarity

So there’s this GIANT BOOK SALE going on just up the street from where I live, medic and if one managed to rack up $25 worth of books, one got 20% off. This book was the book that put us over the top. I’d never heard of the author, and the book description didn’t quite grab me, but Ben thought it sounded intriguing. However, I decided to read it today for a very shallow reason: the book would fit inside my purse. Anyway, Ms. Young (Ms. Romano Young?) is a former Army brat, a Northeasterner (NYC and Connecticut), and an illustrator, in addition to having written seven or eight books (fiction and non-fiction) for various age groups.

Nancy, a sixteen-year-old young woman of mixed heritage, lives in contemporary New York City. Her family is a bit odd; her father loves being on roofs (fortunately, he’s a roofer by trade) and climbing around various places, and her mother is agoraphobic and refuses to live above grounds. Similarly, her mother weaves a lot, and her father tries to teach her how to climb the way he does. One day, she meets a young man named Dion; he’s recently shaved his head and he wears thrift-store clothing (not in the trendy way). However, he lives on roofs, too, and there’s something about him — perhaps his sense of balance — that appeals to her. But he is awfully strange, and her family is getting stranger by the moment. What’s going on?

It’s so hard to write a book description that’s better than the one on the front flap (which is nowhere near me, by the way) because I realize that it’s impossible to discuss the plot without giving a lot of things away. Of course Nancy’s family — and Dion’s family — has a lot of secrets; some of these secrets are very strange, and others are even stranger. The funny part is that I’m so used to reading fantasy that when a portion was given away, I guessed the rest and assumed that all the characters in the books knew as well. Fortunately, knowing the secrets didn’t diminish my enjoyment of Ms. Young’s tale.

It’s a bit of an odd plot; things seem to meander around and around until they finally come to a handful of points. The pacing was obviously deliberately done; on top of that, it managed to feel artistic without getting in the way of the story. Usually I’m not a huge fan of books with too many obvious style points, but this one worked for me. It might have been that I enjoyed the characters so much, though. It was definitely unusual to see such a multicultural cast of characters in a book not trying to make any sort of point. Nancy is a quarter Italian, a quarter Scottish, and half African (or maybe a quarter African and a quarter Jamaican; it wasn’t exactly clear). Dion is half Greek and part Navajo; Nancy’s friend Annette is Asian. They just . . . were these nationalities. There was another major character, the most popular girl at school, who was named Shamiqua, and it wasn’t even remotely as a joke.

Overall, it was definitely a different book from what I’m used to reading. It made use of tropes (superhero tropes mostly, although not as overtly as one might guess) and mythology that I’d seen mined in stories (and even recently; those who have read the book will know exactly what book to which I am alluding), but in a new sort of way. If it wasn’t perhaps wholly novel, it was certainly at least new and interesting enough that I was pleasantly surprised. I’ll definitely be looking forward to reading the author’s other books, and I hope she writes more mythic fiction in the future! 4.5/5 stars.
I reread my post (here) of the interview with J. Scott Savage and realized that Friday at midnight is about an hour from now. I really meant Friday at 11:59 P.M. EDT; that is, capsule
a minute before Saturday starts.

That gives those in the Eastern time zone another 25 hours to enter!

Interview with J. Scott Savage, author of Farworld: Water Keep and CONTEST!

[I have a perfectly wretched head cold at the moment, rx so I’m running an interview rather than having to form an opinion about a book. My apologies. Scroll down to the bottom for the contest! I promise there are no spoilers under the cut; I just thought it might be too long without one. -S.]

Stephanie: To start, prostate since I’m located in Cleveland, we are conducting our interview in the cafe at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. (I’m in italics, he’s in plain text.)

JSS: Rock and roll! Excellent. We are definitely going to have to explore after the interview. Who are your favorite rock bands? I’m partial to Queen, Led Zepplin, and Styx.

I’m quite partial to Queen as well, and the Beatles and David Bowie. There are some awesome artifacts in the basement! Anyway, we’re on a higher level, inside the iconic I.M. Pei glass pyramid, like the one at the Louvre. If you look down, you can see the gift shop; if you look up, you can see the peak of the pyramid and outside, Cleveland’s friendly grayish skies. (Apparently we have more bad-weather days than anywhere else in the U.S.)

Really? So if Twilight hadn’t taken place in Forks, it could have taken place here. Wonder if that long-haired guy with the cool guitar is a bloodsucker.

He probably is . . . Have you ever been to Cleveland? Continue reading Interview with J. Scott Savage, author of Farworld: Water Keep and CONTEST!

Small Press Week at Someone’s Read it Already

Hello, price and welcome to Small Press Week! This week, viagra dosage I’ll be treating you to five reviews of novels published by five different small presses. These range from an old favorite (Subterranean Press) to a couple I’d never quite heard of prior to this (Shadow Mountain, Small Beer Press). I’ve certainly not covered every single small press out there, or even every type of small press, but I hope I’ll be giving you a taste of what’s available in the speculative fiction and YA genres.

Why small presses? Well, I’m reviewing books by small presses primarily because I like them, and secondarily because I noticed I had quite a few novels published by small presses. Why do writers publish with small presses? Sometimes it’s because they’re writing things that perhaps aren’t easy to sell (short story collections as a first work, for example) right now. Sometimes it’s because they think what they’re publishing might only have a limited audience (a Ray Bradbury screenplay, for example). Sometimes, yes, it might just be because New York (the traditional publishing industry) has rejected the book, but one has to remember that New York rejects things for a large number of reasons. Obviously if the work was accepted by a small press, overall writing quality wasn’t the reason. Another reason might be that the small publisher reflects one’s personal values more. I’m sure there are many other reasons that I can’t think of at the moment, but readers and small-press publishers should definitely feel free to comment with some.

Monday’s Small Press is Subterranean Press. I’ve reviewed quite a few of their books before (like these), and they’re one of my personal favorites. It’s not just because they’re publishing Charles de Lint’s obscure works, either. Their editions are frankly beautiful; although I’ve been reading ARCs recently, I own enough that I know that they’re all fully cloth-bound, with beautiful covers and often really nice endpaper. Sub Press also has a link to a few New York publishers; they do collector’s editions of some of the more popular works, such as Naomi Novik’s His Majesty’s Dragon. They’re based in Burton, MI; I don’t know how many people they have on staff, but they seem to have a few hundred books in print at this time.

Tuesday’s Small Press is Norilana Books. This small publisher was started by Vera Nazarian on August 3, 2006, so it has just turned two years old. They currently have a whopping 174 books in print; many of these are the Norilana Classics line, which is lovely reprints of public domain works. The covers are generally fairly pretty; I feel they’ve been improving in quality since they started publishing. They’ve published a few of Sherwood Smith’s books, including the just-released A Stranger to Command, a prequel to her popular Crown and Court Duet. They’re based in California.

Wednesday’s Small Press is Small Beer Press. Small Beer Press was founded in 2000 by Gavin J. Grant and Kelly Link; they publish books as Small Beer Press, Big Mouth House, and Peapod Classics. They also produce chapbooks and a zine; they seem to release five or ten books a year, primarily short story collections. Their zine is called Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, and a best-of collection was published by Del Rey last year. My primary interest in this publisher is that they have released a few of their titles under Creative Commons licenses; this dovetails with Free Books on the Internet Week.

Thursday’s Small Press is Shadow Mountain. Located in Salt Lake City, they appear to produce quite a bit of children’s and YA fiction. In their guidelines, they say that they prefer works which reflect traditional Christian values; fortunately, this doesn’t keep them from publishing fantasy and science fiction. Look for a special interview and contest with one of their writers! It may appear by Thursday, or it may come in for next week, but it will exist, in either case.

Friday’s Small Press is Samhain Publishing, my only e-press. Founded in 2005, they publish a range of books that generally fall into romance or speculative fiction forms, but they also include “Inspirational” and “Mainstream” as categories on their main page. E-publishing, in general, is a slightly separate ball game from small presses, but I’ve chosen to conflate them for the purpose of this week. Other people do brilliant jobs at reviewing a good deal of the works available at e-publishers; I picked Samhain because they seem to have more sf/fantasy than other e-pubs, and the three (Sherwood Smith) books I’ve already read of theirs (here, here, and here) have been of good quality.

If any other small presses out there would like to send me books (or e-ARCs) to consider for a second episode of Small Press Week, planned as soon as I get another set of five, please contact me (see ‘Contact’ tab at the top). I’d also consider doing a dedicated E-Publishing Week, if I can collect sufficient f/sf/ya e-books from various e-publishers to make it worth my readers’ while.

I got memed! :)

It was by Reader Rabbit 2.

I don’t know if this means I’m moving up in the world or down, therapy but here’s the meme:

The rules:
1. Pick up the nearest book.
2. Open to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people and post a comment to the person who tagged you once you’ve posted your three sentences.

“I think you’d better get the nurse in here,” Mrs. Chen murmured. “What just happened?”

“She stretched too far,” Terry murmured, from the stairwell doorway.

From Worldweavers: Spellspam by Alma Alexander. Tune in on Tuesday for the full review!

Um . . . I don’t think I’ll bother to tag anyone, but if you’d like to do this meme, feel free to.

Free (Legal) Books on the Internet

Welcome to Free Books on the Internet week! There are, pulmonologist surprisingly, price many places to find free books on the internet. I’ll go through a few of them — even a few more interesting ones — in this entry. Don’t worry; I’ve merely delayed the posting of the book review by one hour. You’ll still have it by breakfast time.

I would guess at least a few of you have heard of Project Gutenberg. They’re a not-for-profit organization that is putting e-forms of as many public domain books as they can get on the internet. These aren’t all old books, adiposity either — I got Cory Doctorow’s novel Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town there, and he’s not the only one. Browse for yourself. They come available in many formats — .txt files, .pdf files, on the web itself, and usually in .html format as well. I generally prefer books in .html format; they’re more adaptable, smaller than .pdf files, and don’t require conversion before you read them.

A corollary to Project Gutenberg is DailyLit. They will send about two pages of a novel to you every day by email. A good deal of what they have is free, although there are also books you can pay for on the website as well.

Manybooks.net also has free e-books, pre-formatted in .pdf form or many other forms that are good for ebook readers (the Sony E-Reader, Mobipocket readers, Palm Pilots, etc.). I think they get most of their books from Project Gutenberg, but I found a few later works there, as well.

Another good place to get free books on the internet is your local public library. I know that two out of the three libraries I have ever had lending privileges at both have ebook collections. They’re not extensive, but they exist, and I would suspect that the more patrons that use them, the more they will expand them. These books you can’t keep, though — you download the book and can read it for three or four weeks (whatever your library’s typical lending period is). At the end of that period, the book will be locked up, and you might as well delete it. Larger library systems are more likely to have these books, and because they are DRM-protected, I think you have to have a certain program (Adobe, Mobipocket) to read the books. Still, for best-sellers, this can be a good way to read them.

Some publishers have started offering free books on their websites. Harper Collins does occasionally, but more importantly, there’s the Baen Free Library. After a book has been out for a few years, and it stops producing significant royalties, a Baen author has an option of putting his or her book on the website. Many authors have chosen to do so. Tor appears to be doing something similar; at the moment they’re giving away free books by email, while they redesign their website. I’d be interested to see what the end result is.

A more time-intensive way to find free books on the internet is to find single titles given away by authors. These vary in quality; some people aren’t published for a reason, obviously. Many are very good, though; one of the books I’ll be reviewing later this week is an unpublished novel by Diane Duane, of So You Want to be a Wizard fame.

Why do authors do this? Well, many of them are dead, so they have no choice. More relevantly, Cory Doctorow gives his books away for free on the internet for moral reasons, and it doesn’t seem to have hurt his print sales or his personal wealth. Recently, John Scalzi had a book of his (Old Man’s War) given away by Tor.com (I’m sure he agreed to it), and he saw a significant uptick in print sales — we’re talking 30-odd percent, and in the hundreds of books per week range. Moral reasons, financial reasons, public domain reasons — I have to admit, I love free books in any way, shape, or form. So this week, I’m reviewing five of them. Enjoy!