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12 Days of Best SFF Characters of 2013: Day #1

For this new seasonal list (another one!!), for the best SFF characters I’ve read this year, my first pick is the duo of Gotrek & Felix from Josh Reynolds’ Road of Skulls, a part of the Gotrek & Felix series, a mainstay for the Warhammer Fantasy setting from Black Library (Games Workshop).

Hit the break to see why I picked these two characters.

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NANP: The Resonance of Names

The latest guest on the blog for Names: A New Perspective before the series goes on its holiday break is William King, a friend and author who brought be into the Warhammer 40,000 world years ago with his book, Grey Hunter, which is the third novel in the Space Wolves series featuring a young Space Wolf by the name of Ragnar Blackmane. Grey Hunter is the first Warhammer novel I read, ever and I’ve been hopelessly hooked since. I’ve read a lot of different stuff from Bill since then, including the first in his self-published Terrarch Chronicles series last year, which was quite a good book. Will be continuing on with those books in the coming year, not to mention catching up with all of his Black Library novels as well. While I plan all that out, here’s what Bill has to say on the topic of names.

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Most Anticipated Books of 2014

For two years now, my goal has been to read as many different kinds of novels as I can. I’ve tried out several different genres/subgenres that I normally would not, and the experience has helped me in becoming a better reader and a reviewer. Being a prolific reader and reviewer is all about diversity, in all its different forms. And that’s what I’ve come to value most.

Still, its not that easy, dealing with the diversity, or just the sheer volume of all the reading. When I put together the 2013 list of my most anticipated books (link), I intended to read all of them. But sadly that never happened and somewhere along the way I just lost track. The 2013 list had 51 books on it. The 2014 list has 41 books on it. A much more manageable number I dare say.

We’ll see how the year pans out and whether or not I will indeed be able to get through all them. I remain hopeful as ever. And there will be some more lists going up in the next couple weeks, so stay tuned for those.

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Are Classics Re-readable?

As part of my “Top 25 Series To Read In 2013” reading challenge, I’ve read a fair amount of books this year that can be considered to be classics of science fiction and fantasy, in all their different forms. There is a certain charm to all these novels that has persisted long after they were first published. Whether we talk about Frank Herbert’s space operatic political intrigue epic Dune or Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman’s true-to-style epic fantasy Dragons of Autumn Twilight, I’ve had a lot of fun with these novels.

And that is my question: are they re-readable? I’ve read Dune and Dragons of Autumn Twilight several times since when I first read them in 2001. I think they are rereadable, but I’m not completely sure. Is the question answerable in part with regard to whether the book is good or not? We shall see.

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Best of 2013 Part 1

I did two “Best of the…” lists last year, one for the half-year from January to June, and the other for the half-year from July to December. The lists proved to be quite popular, and I was recently asked if I was going to be doing any more. To which I said yes. I like putting together lists like this. It gives me a chance to reflect a bit on all the good stuff I’ve been reading in novels and comics, or listening to in terms of audiobooks, audio dramas and so on.

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!

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NANP: The Names Dice

Participating in the first guest post for Names: A New Perspective Part 3 is Nathan Long, one of my top favourite fantasy authors (with some excellent sword-and-planet mixed in). I’ve been reading Nathan’s books for almost 6 or 7 years now, and have pretty much read all the work he’s done for Black Library to date. His The Blackhearts Omnibus remains a firm favourite for me, as do his Ulrika the Vampire books (review of Bloodborn, Bloodforged, and Bloodsworn), and his Jane Carver of Waar duology (review of Jane Carver, and Swords of Waar) from Nightshade Books. Just as with Matt Forbeck, Nathan is one of the most consistent authors I know, and his books are always engaging and entertaining. Here’s what Nathan has to say on the topic of names.

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NANP: The Little Black Book of Names

Joining me today on Names: A New Perspective is the great mercenary of words, Josh Reynolds, who has written everything from Sherlockian pastiches to the dark tales of Dracula, from tie-in fiction to a ton of original work, and lots besides. At the moment, he is one of my favourite authors, as I’ve enjoyed pretty much all the stuff he’s written so far for Black Library such as Knight of the Blazing Sun (review) and Gotrek & Felix: Road of Skulls (review soon!). Given his vast body of work, it was inevitable that he would have some really great insights into the topic of names, and this is what he has to say.

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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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51 Most Anticipated Releases For 2013

With regards reading, 2012 was a fantastic year for me. It was the year that I stepped out of my comfort zone and read in genres that I normally would not read, such as urban fantasy (involving angels, vampires, werewolves etc) and historical fiction. It was also the year that I read more than the traditional fantasy, and tie-in fantasy at that. My experiments seem to have mostly been successful as I’ve started to really like reading these kind of books.

My goal for this year is to continue on that same path and read as widely as I can. Which is why this massive list is so huge in scope, with tons of variety. I went through the catalogues for most of these publishers and picked out things I liked,and which caught my eye. Getting through the entire list this year will probably not happen, but then again, never say never!

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NANP: Schemes and Where Was I?

Joining me today on Names: A New Perspective is newly-minted author David Guymer, who’s taken his plunge writing tie-in fiction for Games Workshop and Black Library’s Warhammer Fantasy and Warhammer 40,000 settings. He has only done short story work so far, but he has an audio drama and a couple novels coming out very soon, all of which I’m very excited about. He definitely has a very fresh approach to Warhammer Fantasy, and is taking on some of the heavyweights of the setting, as well as some of the more ignored factions/characters. On the subject of names and their meaning, it’s always interesting I feel to hear from a tie-in author, and this is what David had to say.

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