Monthly Archives: July 2010

Interview: Ryk E. Spoor

Ryk E. Spoor writes mostly science fiction. His first published novel was Digital Knight, which was published in 2003. More recent works include Threshold, co-written with Eric Flint and Grand Central Arena. More information about his books can be found on his LJ and on his web page.

How did you get started writing?

Just “writing”, as in writing stories for whatever reason? I was six when I wrote a story for school (first grade) titled “Lunuai Luna the Luna Moth”, in which I described the thoughts of a caterpillar going through the process that it did not understand. The teacher had me read it to the THIRD graders, and it was THAT day that it suddenly occurred to me: PEOPLE — like, you know, regular people, that started out as kids — wrote all those books.

Did you plan on becoming a professional writer? Continue reading


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Book Review: Spiral Hunt by Margaret Ronald

307 pp. 

Spiral Hunt (Evie Scelan) Spiral Hunt is a first novel, but it has a very strong and well-defined presence, with an engaging style and interesting characters. This book was also something of a surprise, since most of the urban fantasy I’ve been seeing lately has been urban fantasy romance, where most of the action and characterization is based off of getting the female protagonist hitched up with a male character as quickly as possible. (I’m amazed at how few of these “urban fantasy romances” have anything to do with actual “courtship” or romance. I much prefer a slow build up over the course of a longer story.) This is a straight fantasy adventure with mystery elements, and is very reminiscent of Emma Bull or Charles de Lint’s style of writing. Continue reading

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How I Got Expelled Because of an Antelope

Note: This story is more or less true, though events have been conflated and condensed due to my having a very bad memory for exact dates and times. Also, I am very sarcastic about what happened. Those involved, particularly my parents and other individuals will claim that I made this up. Sadly, they are mistaken.

When I was in grade school, I had many problems, due to being a little too smart and a little too dumb–at the same time. I had few if any social skills, an inability to communicate coherently and in general, very easily confused by very simple things. I may or may not have any of a number of learning disabilities. (I was in “Special Ed” from I think third grade, until my first year in high school. According to my parents and teachers, I was “emotionally disturbed” which is not a diagnosis. You would be emotionally disturbed too, if everything confused the heck out of you, were surrounded by often hostile people, and it took you forever to learn everything.) Continue reading


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Book Review: A Wizard of Mars, by Diane Duane

550 pp.

A Wizard of Mars: The Ninth Book in the Young Wizards SeriesIt should be noted that I am generally not shy about scouting for books in the Young Adult section, even if I’m very far from being a “young” adult. Especially if the young adult novel in question has been written by one of my favorite authors, Diane Duane. The latest installment of Diane Duane’s Young Wizard’s series takes us (back) to Mars, where a team of wizards is investigating the discovery of a mysterious “message in a bottle” found there. Had there at one time been life on Mars? All signs seem to point toward “yes” when various long dormant wizardries become active, drawing the wizardly explorers–and Kit in particular–into a series of magical tests. Continue reading

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Filed under book, Diane Duane, fantasy, Review: Book, urban, young adult

Book Review: Dancing With Werewolves, by Carole Nelson Douglas

390 pp.

Dancing with Werewolves (Delilah Street; Paranormal Investigator)I finally found and read Dancing With Werewolves, which is the first book in a new series of urban fantasy novels by Carole Nelson Douglas. (I’ve previously reviewed both Brimstone Kiss and Vampire Sunrise.) This series combines the tropes of film noir and early detective fiction with the standard “babe with gun” urban fantasy romance, with mixed results. The near “near future with magic” setting (type “surprise, the monsters under the bed are REAL and want EQUAL REPRESENTATION!”) does not mesh very well with the writing style or narrative of the story. This makes it a very hard book for me to get into, but your mileage may vary. Continue reading

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Filed under book, Carole Nelson Douglas, fantasy, Review: Book, romance, Uncategorized, urban

Outline of Thendara House by Marion Zimmer Bradley

This is an Outline, not a serious review orcritique, meant for parody and humor purposes only.Other Outlines can be found here

The Saga of the Renunciates (The Shattered Chain, Thendara House, City of Sorcery) (Darkover)Thendara House is the second book in the Renunciate sequence of the Darkover series. Darkover is a very big paracosm with often-conflicting plots and world building. Feminist issues often come up in this series, given that the Darkovan cultures are strongly patriarchal and women–except for the Renunciates–are considered second-class citizens. Renunciates or “Free Amazons” enjoy greater freedom and exemption from the various restrictions and laws that keep Darkovan women second-class and entirely reliant on their male family members. I’m leaving out the Social Darwinism and the eugenic/ablelist stuff because that needs an article all its own. Continue reading


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Book Review: The Mermaid’s Madness by Jim C. Hines


The Mermaid's Madness (PRINCESS NOVELS)The Mermaid’s Madness is the second in Jim C. Hines’ series featuring re-imagined versions of fairytale characters such as Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella. (I really need to stop starting series with the second book. Unfortunately, I was not able to find The Stepsister Scheme, which is the first book. I am happy to say that the second book is more or less stand alone and you don’t really need to read the first book.) The re-imagining gives the characters a much tougher, darker outlook in some ways, since the “real history” comes from the original, more disturbing versions of their stories. (Talia, aka Sleeping Beauty for instance is a survivor of rape, fitting in with the original story where the event that wakes her up is going into labor, instead of a kiss. She’s the “muscle” of the group in some respects. Danielle, aka Cinderella got help from the ghost of her mother, instead of a fairy godmother. She appears to be the spokesperson/diplomat/leader of the trio. Snow White…is still Snow White, and also a sorceress.) Continue reading

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Filed under book, fantasy, Jim C. Hines, non-earth, revamped fairytale, Review: Book