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2012 – A Bloody Fantastic Year Ends

So, the year 2012 ended a few days ago, and it’s been an absolute blast, to say the least.

Anyways, to do a small recap of my goals for the year,

  1. Write ~420,000 words of both fiction (various submissions and novel projects) and non-fiction (reviews and blogposts).
  2. Read 400 novels, comics, novellas, stand-alone short stories (still not sure if these SHOULD be included) and listen to some audio dramas and audiobooks.

At the end of October, I was very close to both of those goals, having crossed the ~472,000-word mark, and was still ahead on the reading goals, as I was at 352/400 on September 30th. You can find the November report here.

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Advent Reviews Day 20: Hard Times In Dragon City by Matt Forbeck

I’m a huge fan of Matt Forbeck’s work: whether it’s novels or comics. I have yet to read any of his work that I didn’t like, and he has been the most consistent author for me to date, not to mention that he’s also the one I’ve reviewed the most! That creates certain expectations of course, and Hard Times In Dragon City fulfills those expectations quite nicely. As the first Shotguns & Sorcery novel, this is the fourth in his 12-for-12 project in which he aimed to write one 50,000-word novel a month. I’ve read the first trilogy, Matt Forbeck’s Brave New World, and it’s superb superhero fiction. Exciting stuff!

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Advent Reviews Day 12: The Emperor’s Knife by Mazarkis Williams

As most people who follow my reviews know, I rarely do negative reviews. Part of it is my experience with doing negative reviews, and another is that I consider myself to be somewhat easy to impress (more on all that here). Another part is that I do negative reviews when I feel strongly about the work in question. If a book, for me, is bad, then that means that I consider it to be pretty terrible. Especially when I have some high expectations of it. One such novel was The Emperor’s Knife, the 2011 debut by Mazarkis Williams. Now, I read the novel way back early in the year and this review is somewhat from memory, so if I get details wrong, I do apologize.

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November Report

November ended a few days ago, and so far this year, it was my busiest month ever, in terms of writing; busiest by far, as you’ll see after the break.

Anyways, to do a small recap of my goals for the year,

  1. Write ~420,000 words of both fiction (various submissions and novel projects) and non-fiction (reviews and blogposts).
  2. Read 400 novels, comics, novellas, stand-alone short stories (still not sure if these SHOULD be included) and listen to some audio dramas and audiobooks.

At the end of October, I was very close to both of those goals, having crossed the ~377,100-word mark, and was still ahead on the reading goals, as I was at 304/400 on September 30th. You can find the October report here.

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Advent Calendar 2012

My apologies that this is going out so late, but the whole idea was a very spur of the moment thing so I couldn’t get this ready in time.  Just to recap, this page will link to all the Advent Reviews that go up this month, whether on this blog, on The Founding Fields, or to the guest spots I’ve arranged with some blogger friends. Enjoy, and let me know what you thought about all these stories! I would have made the whole thing snazzier, but can’t figure out how to do side-by-side content in WordPress! Click on the links to go to the reviews.

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Advent Reviews Day 3: Binding by Ray Harrison

Black Library has kicked off another holiday season with their 2012 Advent Calendar. Last year they unveiled a new artwork, this year they are releasing a single short story, usually about a 1,000 words although some in the past have gone quite a bit over that limit, a day, covering both the Warhammer Fantasy Battles and Warhammer 40,000 product lines. Among the first batch of stories is Binding, by new author Ray Harrison, writing about a lone Imperial Fists Sergeant.

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October Report

Well that was October, sort of a hellish month in some respects, and sort of quite awesome too in other respects. Time really does fly by so fast and my procrastination, as always, steals a hefty chunk of it.

Anyways, to do a small recap of my goals for the year,

  1. Write ~420,000 words of both fiction (various submissions and novel projects) and non-fiction (reviews and blogposts).
  2. Read 400 novels, comics, novellas, stand-alone short stories (still not sure if these SHOULD be included) and listen to some audio dramas and audiobooks.

At the end of September, I had made some serious progress towards both of those goals, having crossed the ~337,000-word mark, and was still ahead on the reading goals, as I was at 257/300 on September 30th. You can find the September report here.

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Big, Big Smile On My Face

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!

September Report

And so the third quarter ends and we finally move into the last 3 months of the year. I’m wondering where all the time has gone!!! Lots of good things happened in August and the morale-boosting effect of that lasted all through September, as you’ll see below.

To do a small recap of my goals for the year,,

  1. Write ~420,000 words of both fiction (various submissions and novel projects) and non-fiction (reviews and blogposts).
  2. Read 300 novels, comics, novellas, stand-alone short stories (still not sure if these SHOULD be included) and listen to some audio dramas and audiobooks.

At the end of August, I was quite a bit closer to my goals, having crossed the ~300,000-word mark, out of ~420,000 words and was still ahead on the reading goals, as I was at 207/300 on August 31st. You can find the August report here.

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Reviewing Milestones

Today I hit a huge milestone, mere days after I hit another big one.

On September 3rd, I posted my 100th review to day, the Dark Angels novella Dark Vengeance by C Z Dunn. The novella was written as a tie-in for the release of the 6th Edition ruleset the Warhammer 40,000 tabletop game by Games Workshop, and is based upon one of the scenarios in the mini-rulebook contained within the starter set, and uses pretty much the full model range in it from what I can tell. I had a ton of fun reading the novella and I would definitely recommend it to everybody.

Today, I posted my 100th review of the year, the Young Adult novel Poltergeeks by Sean Cummings, published by Strange Chemistry which is Angry Robot Books’ new YA imprint. Just as with the novella, this was a really, really fun book, a great story that echoes all the popular magic-based TV shows like Charmed, Buffy etc. This is another highly recommended book from me.

On the reading side, this really has been an incredible year so far and the reviewing even more so, barring a few odd blimps here and there. Bring on the end of the year!!

August Report

August is finally over!! Its been a long and tiring month but oh so fun! Extremely productive too, for which I feel like continuing to celebrate. Yeah, it was THAT good.

To do a small recap of my goals for the year,

  1. Write ~420,000 words of both fiction (various submissions and novel projects) and non-fiction (reviews and blogposts).
  2. Read 300 novels, comics, novellas, stand-alone short stories (still not sure if these SHOULD be included) and listen to some audio dramas and audiobooks.

At the end of July, I was ever closer to my goals, having crossed the ~257,000-word mark, out of ~420,000 words and was still ahead on the reading goals, as I was at 167/250 on June 30th. You can find the July report here.

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Why I love Dune

I first came across Dune, if I remember correctly, in late fall of 2002, when I was still in high school, 10th grade to be exact. It was a time when I was really getting to explore the wider world of speculative and contemporary fiction than just Animorphs or Enid Blyton. To give a few examples, this was when I discovered Warhammer 40,000, John Grisham, Dungeons & Dragons, Raymond E. Feist, Isaac Asimov, George Orwell’s 1984 and many, many other things. Dune, and the entire Dune-verse, has been obsession of sorts for me for ages now, going on 10 years, and when I was listening to the first half hour of the Dune audiobook yesterday, narrated by Scott Brick, Orlagh Cassidy, Euan Mortan, Simon Vance & Co., I started to think about why I liked Dune so much.

After all, in the summer of 2007, on my 20th birthday, when I was out and about at The Grove mall in Los Angeles and me and my friends walked into the Barnes & Noble there, I held up the book to them and told them that Dune was the best Science-Fiction novel ever written. An old gentleman who was browsing the same shelves turned to me and said: “You got that right, kid.”

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