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NANP: On Choosing Names

Joining me today on the blog for Names: A New Perspective is one of 2013’s biggest debut authors, Jason M. Hough. Published by Del Rey Books/Random House, his Dire Earth Cycle trilogy is about a post-apocalyptic world brought on by the advent of an alien space elevator in Darwin, Australia in the near future. I’ve only read the first two books so far, The Darwin Elevator (review) and The Exodus Towers (review), but I have been impressed by both, and The Darwin Elevator even made my “Best Debuts of 2013” list. Both books are really good explorations of a human society that is struggling to survive in the face of a Resident Evil style viral epidemic and dwindling resources while at the same time also riven by the base natures of individuals who care only about power. I would recommend both books highly and will say that whatever Jason puts out next, I’ll definitely be reading it. In the meanwhile, while I figure out when to read the concluding novel in the trilogy, The Plague Forge, here’s what Jason has to say on the topic of names.

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12 Days of Best SFF Characters of 2013: Day #8

For this new seasonal list of the best SFF characters I’ve read this year, my eighth pick is trio of Leia Organa, Han Solo and Luke Skywalker, who have been the mainstays of the Star Wars universe since its earliest days and have recently starred together in several novels, most notably in Troy Denning’s latest, Crucible, as an old generation of heroes and in Martha Wells’ Razor’s Edge as a young generation of rebels against the galactic tyranny of the Empire. Both novels are among my favourite novels of the year and the portrayal of this trio has been excellent in both.

Hit the break to see why I picked these characters.

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Best Debuts of 2013

In a lot of ways, 2013 has been a fairly good year for debut novels, as much as 2012 was. There have been some really fantastic releases, and they have all continued an unofficial tradition of doing something different with the genres that they have been set in. I can say for certain that of all the debut novels I read this year, none of them have been quite what I expected. Some of these novels have been really, really good while a small handful have been disappointing.

I put together a list at the end of last year in which I ran through my top picks of all the debuts I’d read, and I found the experience to be quite rewarding, and a great help in figuring out just why these novels were so good beyond just writing up the reviews.

All in all, of the 20 debut novels I wanted to read this year as per my list (link), I read 18 of them. Here are the 8 books I consider to be the best of the bunch.

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The Cover Art Mega-Post Part 2

Two weeks ago I did the first of these kind of posts, which can be found here. There were some really fun-looking books on that list that I would love to read (all of them) this year, but given how these kind of things work out for me, especially of late, that is probably not going to happen any time soon. My only consolation is that these covers are so bloody damn good!

Hope you liked the previous post and that you’ll like this one as well.

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NANP: Names As Traits

Today’s guest for Names: A New Perspective is Amy McCulloch, a 2013 debut with her first novel The Oathbreaker’s Shadow released just recently through Doubleday in Canada. Based on the buzz I’ve been seeing about the novel (here and here), I’ve put it on my reading list for this year. Have to say that I’m really excited for it, especially after reading that it is inspired in part from our travels all over the world, and also draws on Mongolian culture. Very, very exciting. And she is also a commissioning editor at Harper Voyager! So, triple the excitement, yeah? Here’s what Amy has to say on the topic of names.

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