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Comics Picks For 12.02.2014

A stable week for a change and this meant that I was able to read some more comics this time. Didn’t get through quite as many as I wanted to, and I certainly didn’t get around to reviewing as many as I wanted to, but that’s fine really. Gotta take a bit of an occasional lighter load I think. Most of the Marvel books I read this week weren’t all that impressive (as the top picks at the end will show), but DC was better. And Vertigo’s newest series looks to be damn good too, can’t wait to check out the second issue of that next month.

And I did manage to begin my Flash New 52 read-through finally with volume 1 last night, so that’s something there. Planning to read a lot of graphic novels this year, mostly in terms of catching up with series I’ve missed out on, so we shall see how it all pans out.

Anyway, here’s another edition of this new feature. Full reading list, as always, is available here and all my comics reviews are available here.

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The Hunger Games: Death and Glory

In recent years, there has been a big shift in Hollywood productions. Slowly but surely, we are getting more movies featuring female protagonists. Many people would point to the Twilight franchise as an abomination and what not, but can you really argue with the results? The industry is in a situation where even such “bad” films can still do their part to raise the point clearly and with distinction that female-led movies can do well at the box office. But the kicker is the quality of such a heroine of course, and that’s where the movie adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ first The Hunger Games novel comes in.

The Hunger Games followed the Twilight trend of adapting young adult novels featuring female protagonists for the big screen, a trend that hasn’t worked out for some other recent adaptations unfortunately. It features a very awesome female lead who kicks all kinds of ass and who is strong by her own merits, by her own doings. She isn’t defined by the people around her. She defines them. Of course, it also helped that the story itself was quite good. I’ve seen the movie a number of times since watching the theatrical release, and it has held up pretty well. The sequel, Catching Fire, released a few months ago, went a few steps further and was equally good at the least.

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NANP: Process of Names

Joining me on the blog today for Names: A New Perspective is the latest author to join the ranks of Angry Robot’s elite, Marianne de Pierres. Marianne is an author of long standing with a big portfolio of work that includes critical hits and award-winning novels such as the Sentients of Orion series and the Parish Plessis series. Her new novel Peacemaker is the one that Angry Robot will be publishing soon, at the end of April, and it one of the many books that I’m very excitedly looking forward to reading this year. Post-apocalyptic fiction is one that I’m beginning to enjoy of late, and I think Marianne’s upcoming will slot right in and prove to be a good one. Fingers crossed! In the meantime here is what Marianne has to say on the topic of names.

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Best of 2013 Part 2c: Monthly Comics

A few days ago I did my best of 2013 list for the books I had read in the second half of the year. In a departure from previous such lists I divided the books and the comics into separate posts so that I didn’t have one massive post up. Massive posts are a bit tough to handle, especially when you are promoting them on social media. And with the split posts, the directions are different and there’s no unnecessary crossover.

So, with the novels and graphic novels already having been covered, I now delve into my favourite monthlies of the year. This is the final “best of” list I’m doing for 2013 that involves reading.

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 Sense of A Name

Stopping by on the blog today for Names: A New Perspective is blogger and (2013 debut) author Ros Jackson with her novella The Secret Eater. Ros is the friend who made me aware of my biases in reading/reviewing, where I paid attention to and promoted male authors far, far more than I did female authors. More than any other person since I’ve started reviewing, she has had the most impact on me because of that one simple fact, and to see her make strides as an author in her own right is something I welcome with open arms. I haven’t had a chance to read The Secret Eater as yet, but its definitely on the radar for the near future, so hopefully I’ll have it read soon. In the meantime, here’s what Ros has to say on the subject of names.

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The Cover Art Mega-Post Part 3

So this is the third such post I have done for the blog. I took a 2-month break in between posts so that I could have some more material to showcase here, and it certainly has helped. There were a lot more books I wanted to cover, but I chose to stick withe magic number 17, the number of books I’ve covered previously.

A lot of the books on this list are next year’s releases, and just as before, they all sound great, even some of the ones that are second or third (or else) in their respective series. I’m not sure if I can put aside the time to catch up to them any time soon but I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to get around to some of them at least. We’ll see how that works out.

In the meantime, enjoy all these great covers and these books! Hope you liked the previous posts and that you’ll like this one as well.

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NANP: Making The Characters Fit

The final guest on the blog for this edition of Names: A New Perspective is author Bryony Pearce. Her second novel, The Weight of Souls, is coming out tomorrow in the US/CAN from Strange Chemistry and has already seen a UK release on the 1st of this month. The book is coming out when Strange Chemistry will soon be celebrating its first full year and it is definitely an exciting time for their various books. I’ve been interested in The Weight of Souls for quite a while now. I love the premise, I love the cover, and as I said in my cover round-up post from yesterday, Strange Chemistry has been putting out some great fiction since their launch, and this book looks set to continue that excellent trend. Today, here’s Bryony talking about the names in her book and what their relevance to the narrative is.

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NANP: Nature of Names

This edition of Names: A New Perspective is going to be coming to an end quite soon and the first guest for these closing stages is this year’s debut author Laura Lam. Published by Angry Robot’s Young Adult imprint Strange Chemistry, Laura’s Pantomime (review) was one of my top favourite reads this year and I even put it on my Top Debuts of 2012 list [Yes, I know the publication date is 2013 but I read it last year, so yeah]. Pantomime was a really wonderful book, very much a fairy tale, and I enjoyed it a lot. Definitely looking forward to the sequel Shadowplay, which comes out next year in January. In the meantime, this is what Laura has to say on the topic of names.

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June Reading List Poll

In January and February, I ran two highly successful polls where I asked all the readers of the blog to help me pick my reading list for the following months. The first one was for novels, the second one for comics. I managed to meet the reading goals for the first of those polls, but am still progressing through the second one, mostly because I’ve been traveling a bit too much of late, and reading time has generally been at a premium due to work and more time devoted to my writing.

However, I should be done with it by the end of this month, so keep an eye out for updates on that.

In the meantime, here’s my next reading poll, and this one is for novels once again. Hit the break to find out more.

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Names: A New Perspective Part 3

The last two weeks have been spent in a mad scramble to get people on board for the next phase of Names: A New Perspective. I really should have gotten this done a month ago, but I kept getting sidetracked by other things (Game of Thrones, finishing edits on Project Dharmayoddha, reading a ton of graphic novels, catching up on my monthly reading, etc), that it just didn’t happen on time.

But, I have the new schedule done and all worked out, and my thanks to everyone who has agreed to participate. The last few guest posts that have gone up have not been mentioned in any of the schedules, since I was mostly just winging it all, but now everything is set for the most part. This is the schedule that I will be referring to in the coming weeks, and I will also be expanding on this one as I contact yet more authors and bring them on board.

Here they are:

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NANP: The Enjoyment of Names

Today’s guest on Names: A New Perspective is Christian Schoon, the debut author of the upcoming YA SF novel Zenn Scarlett from Strange Chemistry, Angry Robot’s YA imprint. I’m on somewhat of a kick for novels set on Mars at the moment, and that’s one of the reasons I’m looking forward to the novel, in addition to the fact that some of the recent Strange Chemistry titles I’ve read have been really fun, so Zenn Scarlett should be continuing that good streak. Here’s what Christian has to say on the subject of names.

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NANP: Names and Naming

Joining me today on Names: A New Perspective is Martha Wells, author of several SFF novels and also a number of tie-in fiction novels, with more on the horizon. I’m particularly excited about her upcoming Princess Leia, which should be really good fun. I’ve just recently finished reading her upcoming YA novel for Strange Chemistry, Emilie and the Hollow World, and it was a damn fine read. In short, Martha is currently a favourite author and one of my next reads will be her Death of the Necromancer, which went out of print a while back and which she has recently self-published. Definitely check out her books! This is what Martha had to say on the subject of names and their importance.

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