Monthly Archives: October 2012
The other day I was having a conversation on Twitter with my reviewer friends Paul Weimer (of SF Signal and Functional Nerds) and Sally Janin (of Qwillery) about a recent debut novel that is causing waves in the publishing industry. The book in question is called Stormdancer and is Jay Kristoff’s first book in the (billed to be) Lotus War series. The premise of the novel is that it is a coming-of-age story of a young girl in a setting that is touted as Japanese Steampunk, and explores her relationship with her somewhat-estranged father and an arashitora, or thunder tiger, or griffin. Our point of discussion was the cultural appropriation by Kristoff in the novel, his particular approach being severely unpalatable to me as someone who, while not very well-versed in, is still quite familiar with Japanese culture. The discussion extended to whether or not a reviewer’s familiarity with the settings/cultures portrayed in a speculative fiction novel play a big part in our perception of how good/bad a novel is.
Another short, zipping-by post for you all. I didn’t mention this in my September Report but I am going to be participating in the National Novel Writing Month for all of November. In a change from last year’s attempt, where I wrote a sort of traditional sword-and-sorcery epic fantasy, I am working on a science fantasy this time. I’m calling the project Ragnarok Chronicles at the moment and the first installment is going to be a novella-length story I’m calling Cloak of Secrecy. This project is a Norse mythology inspired science fantasy set thousands of years in the future, in a galaxy that is dominated by humanity and is devoid of any sentient alien races. I’m still working on that high concept but just like Project Dharmayoddha, this one is really exciting too! Here’s a teaser of my Scrivener screen. Note that I’ve already put in the notes for Part 1 and the first four chapters.
Going to be digging into a lot of Norse mythology for this one since the Norse Gods and the Giants are quite central to the entire narrative. My principal protagonist is a guy named Arnil Tyrias, a high-ranking officer for the CIA/FBI/Police Department analog organisation that I’m calling Sigvalds at the moment. The story will follow him as he investigates a series of murders on the planet Hermandr and comes to a startling conclusion about the role of the gods and monsters in recent Human history, the last 600-700 years.
That’s all I can share at the moment but look out for stuff in the coming weeks!
So, yesterday was kind of an awesome day. At least it began like that. I pushed through a 2000-word movie review for Dredd 3D where I was all praise for the film. It felt good to write a review like that, especially since I hadn’t realized I would have so much to talk about when I started it. And then, in the evening, I got the biggest surprise of all:
As you can see, The Founding Fields has a blurb in this book. Said book being Swords of Waar by Nathan Long and the blurb being from my review of Jane Carver of Waar, the first book in Nathan’s new series that is inspired in part from Edgar Rice Burroughs’ John Carter novels. You can find my review of the book here.
This happens to be the second published blurb for The Founding Fields, the other being from blog owner Commissar Ploss, and this is a huge, huge thing for us. Particularly for me, since that’s MY FREAKIN FIRST EVER REVIEW BLURB. *AHEM* There was much oooh-ing and aaaah-ing when Larry (co-blog owner) informed me about this yesterday and when he sent me that pic above. I’m super, super excited for this. This is like a validation for everything I’ve done in the 13 months that I’ve been reviewing and its all thanks to Ploss since he is the one who set me on this path, to being a more professional reviewer than I’d envisioned myself being when I wrote my first one for this very blog.
So yeah, thanks to Nathan Long for an excellent novel, thanks to Night Shade Books for publishing this piece of awesomeness, and thanks to everybody who’s supported me this far.
Did I also mention that Nathan Long is one of my top favourite authors? Yeah, that too!!
Now I can’t wait for my copy of Swords of Waar to arrive. Epic! I was so over-the-moon about this that I went ahead and bought Jane Carver of Waar then and there from the bookstore. It looks so epic and shiny and beautiful that words absolutely fail me.
And also, shoutout to my friend Justin Landon from the Staffer’s Musings blog who is quoted below me. Cheers man!