Category Archives: Book Review

Review: The Atrocity Archives

Hi all.

For anyone who randomly comes across this post, here’s the deal. I’m in a virtual book group. We read books and post our comments about them to a FB group. No, you can’t join.

I started out making just a few notes for that group, but then those notes got too long. So I’ll put all my thoughts about the book here. Just like me to be too wordy for a FB post…

The Atrocity Archives by Charles Stross: My Comments in 3 Parts

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My first live reading of QUEEN OF HUNGER

The main event for me at BayCon over Memorial Day weekend was the Themed Reading: Urban Fantasy panel, at which I read from QUEEN OF HUNGER and got to meet and hear a great crop of other authors working in the same rough genre. They all had FAR more experience than I, which meant I got to read first then sit back and listen. My two favorite of the other authors:

I have to geek-out here for a moment about Colin Fisk. Colin is the author of several of the Cyberpunk 2020 RPG sourcebooks — most notably the 1991 Chromebook. Now I don’t know if any of you are cyberpunk fans, either of the RPG or the genre, but I’ve read my Chromebook so many times the iconic pink cover  isn’t attached any more. It was simply AWESOME for me to get to shake Colin’s hand and tell him how much he’d inspired me. He read from a new short story he’s working on, an intense piece of cyberpunk with a horror edge. I’ve added him to my Goodreads list so when the short comes out I can find it. I’d love to read more from him.

The other reading I really enjoyed was by Jay Hartlove from his novel THE CHOSEN. It is the first of an occult trilogy about Charles Redmond, a man who slowly convinces his psychologist that no, really, he’s sane…there really ARE demons chasing him and the loa of his Haitian Voodoo religion actually ARE alive and well and ready to help him in a fight for the future of the world. As you can imagine, this is right up my alley – Voodoo, horror, vengeance, redemption – all my favorite stuff.

In addition to sharing some great fiction, both men were also encouraging to me as the new author on the block. Let me tell you, when you’re reading from your heart in front of a room full of people, it is great to hear from the pros that you did well. Thanks to both of them for their cheers and support. I look forward to the next exciting pieces of fiction they both produce!

For my fellow gamer geeks — FLASHBACK!

Cover of 1991 Chromebook Cyberpunk 2020 sourcebook

I think I had this book memorized at one point…

What? A whole room full of People of Color at a Sci Fi Convention? This must be the FUTURE!

I’m just settling in after a long weekend at my local Science Fiction/Fantasy fan-run convention, BayCon. It was a great chance for me to read from QUEEN OF HUNGER to a packed room and to get together with other fans and talk about our interests. Best of all for me, I met several other authors who I’m alternately inspired and impressed by. I wanted to give a review of the event but in the interest of short attention spans (and those of us who do our blog reading on our phones on our lunch hours) I’ll cut it into two posts. First – the Fans of Color Panel.

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Women of Color in Speculative Fiction — Tumblr for the Win

If you read the last post, you know that I’ll be reading from QUEEN OF HUNGER at BayCon this Saturday, May 25th. In addition to that open reading appearance, I’ll also be on the Fans of Color in SF/F Fandom panel earlier in the day.

A friend recently linked me to my new favorite Tumblr feed, Fuck Yeah SciFi/Fantasy WOC (yes that’s President Obama throwing the Vulcan sign with Nichelle Nicols. Because I live in the best of all possible worlds). There I was pointed to this particular post about Scott Lynch and his relationship with his black female character in response to a critique about same. Some thoughts.

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Call for Suggested Reading

Now that I’m going to be publishing a book under the aegis of my lucky stars, I’ve started reading other self-published/small press authors. This is my own attempt to not only support other artists in my field, but also to get a feeling for the field itself.

To continue in this little project, I need your help. If you yourself are self-published, or know someone who is, leave me the details of the book in the comments. If the book fits with what I feel like reading, and the price is right, I’ll pick it up. If I have something interesting to say about it, I might just say it here – with a link to the author. I like hearing what other people have to say about my fiction, so it is nice to return that favor to others.

So far I’ve picked up the following (this is not yet a recommendation list, just an information one):

The Shining Cities: An Anthology of Pagan Science Fiction

Under the Amoral Bridge: A Cyberpunk Novel

Poor Man’s Fight

I also have laying around a few small press anthologies that I occasionally return to:

Space Tramps: Full Throttle Space Tales #5

Finding Home: Building Community in Apocalyptic Worlds

Yes, my short story is the closer for Finding Home (all the more reason for me to read all the other stories in the anthology!). My story is called “Jar Cleaning Day” and is completely unassociated with THE QUEEN OF HUNGER. That short centers on Sylvia Crenshaw, a hard-working survivor faced with a novel solution to her entirely not-novel problem. It is a different setting with different characters, but I’m sure sharp readers will make connections – real or imagined.

So you’ve got your assignment: self-pubbed/small press book details in the comments. Give me a list!

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