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Best of 2013 Part 2a: Books

Since 2013 is now over, its time to do my second “Best of the Best” list, for the second half of the year from July-December. There were some really good reads in this period, and as always, picking the best has been a chore. I always try to keep these lists as diverse as I can and hopefully you agree.

You can check out my top-of-the-month lists on my Reading Awards page and this list is both an extension, and a continuation of what goes on there.

Let’s see what makes the cut and which comes close then! Read the rest of this entry

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February E-book Giveaway (Update)

As I mentioned here a couple days ago, if my February reading list poll hit 500 votes by midnight on January 31st, I would do a giveaway for a few eBooks. Since the polling hit that level a few short hours ago, the giveaway is live.

But first…

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NANP: Muses and Monikers

Very excited to say that today’s guest on Names: A New Perspective is senior editor for Black Library Christian Dunn, who recently took the plunge into the writing world with several pieces of short fiction across a variety of formats: short stories, flash fiction, audio dramas, and novellas. I’ve read most of what he has put out and like several other authors that I’m currently following, he is one of those who have been improving with each work (reviews of Malediction and Dark Vengeance). His perspective on names is one of the more unique ones, and here’s what he has to say on the topic.

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Horus Heresy: Thoughts Part 2

Well, I’ve read the 22nd novel in the series by now, the Shadows of Treachery, and it has sparked off more stuff that I think could feasibly turn into a part 4 for this series. Anyhow, last time I talked about this topic, I covered Dan Abnett, Graham McNeill, Ben Counter and James Swallow. This time its going to be Aaron Dembski-Bowden, Gav Thorpe, John French, and Rob Sanders.

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Fresh Shenanigans

So I have been absent off the blog for a while. My apologies.

It has been a busy couple of weeks. Quite busy. You see, I have been having a blast with the Bolthole forums. The community there is just tremendously great. And the amount of sheer talent over there is unbelievable. Not to mention that there are forums dedicated to asking some of the authors almost any questions relating to their work with BL or their experiences as writers. Even some of the BL staff hang out there sometimes! It is fabulous to say the least.

And most of all, a learning experience as I mentioned in my previous post. My success in getting the short story done and submitted (and hopefully accepted!) will be due to all these amazing people for the most part.

The other thing I have been busy with is particular to the Bolthole. A bunch of the forumites have gotten together to work out a campaign history for an Imperial crusade. Proud to say that I have done my share in contributing to the thread. And elated. Its been another learning experience. This time with the Tau.

And I have come to hate the Tau a little. Just a little, but enough.

You see, its their naming conventions. They are utter ridiculous to say the list and completely bonkers in my opinion. Take a look here. Nevertheless I persevered and came up with fairly simple eleven names for the campaign. Then the matter of fleet assets arose and I volunteered to do the Tau section. Here it gets even better. The convention for naming ships, according to Battlefleet Gothic, is thus: [Sept where vessel is built] [Vessel’s class name] [Personal name of first commander] [Personal name of current commander]. Hardly makes sense to me. Needless to say, the vessels I have come up with seem to be hardly any different from each other. They have no personality I guess. Compared to the names of Imperial vessels. Like the Vinco Redemptor of the Dark Angels, or Tycho of the Blood Angels, or the Lord Solar Macharius and the Guardian of Aquinas of the Imperial Navy. These names have a personality, they represent something. I just don’t see the same with the Tau.

Other than that though, it has been awesome. The Sable Swords strike force was fun to design with a minor discussion involving the use of a battle-barge versus a plain old strike cruiser. But thankfully, with effort, everything is justifiable. The Sororitas are proving to be a little daunting, given the severe lack of background on them really or how a lot of their units actually work on the battlefield. System designing was fun and intense – matching proper (and random) planets together is no easy task. Especially when you are working to a set idea. Its all moving along quite nicely and I am definitely excited with this.

Feel free to check out the thread here.