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review 2017-12-17 12:10
Non-canonical SF author: “The Culture Series of Iain M. Banks - A Critical Introduction” by Simone Caroti
The Culture Series of Iain M. Banks a Critical Introduction - Simone Caroti

"Banks loved metafictional negotiations, complex plots, and deconstructionist approaches, but he also loved story; he tied every subplot, told the tale of every character, and made sure to repay out good faith in him in kind.”

In “The Culture Series of Iain M. Banks - A Critical Introduction” by Simone Caroti


As a wildly innovative, imaginative, popular and subversive novelist, his works are infused with darker elements that give them a forbidden, cultish, underground status, but the fictions that are perceived as being in his more conventional and less evidently speculative mode fail to. It's entirely possible that readers expect SF to be simpler and less demanding based on their previous experience of reading SF, rather than on mere prejudice. After all, you don't have to eat all that much crap before you become unable or unwilling to distinguish it from fudge brownies.
 
Well I've done a systems check this morning and it appears that, yes, the anal probe has caused some slight damage to the self-censorship circuit boards, which may also have caused the nuance software to be over-ridden. This meant that the remains of the message was diverted to the spamsac. I include it here under the Full Disclosure subroutine:
 
"Of course, this logic doesn't just apply to SF. If, for example, someone gave me “Amsterdam”, “Freedom” and "My Brilliant Friend” to read, telling me that it was the best of contemporary fiction, then I would legitimately be led to expect that there was no such thing as a fudge brownie, and that the main requirement for reading contemporary fiction would be to install the Brainfuck 2.0 virus whilst sticking hot knitting needles in one’s ocular sensors." (although in italics, they're my own words) 
 
 
If you're into SF Literary Criticism, read on.
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review 2017-12-12 10:00
Release Day Review! Centaur's Prize (Zodiac Shifters) Catherine Banks
Centaur's Prize: Sagittarius - Catherine Banks

 

 

The centaur’s prized possession was lost and as the guard on duty that night, all blame is placed on Lysander. For punishment, they exiled him to the human’s world, away from his herd and the only life he had known. The only way he can get back to Olympus is to find the lost item. A feat made much more difficult when a gorgeous, tall, and leggy blonde trots into his life.


Mendra is the last of her kind, a Pegasus with the ability to shift into human form or equine form. Her mother told her wild tales about lands with centaurs, satyrs, Gods, and heroes, but she never believed them. Until she met a man like her, a man who could shift into equine form and tells her similar stories. He asks for her help finding a lost item, so he can return to Olympus and his herd. She wants to help him, but she’s afraid to lose the one person who makes her feel like she’s home.


Lysander convinces Mendra to help him, but as they search for the lost item, he isn’t so certain he wants to return home. Life with the humans is so much different than Olympus and his heart aches at the thought of leaving Mendra behind, alone in a world without a herd of her own. Will his arrow fly true, or will they lose more than they ever imagined?

 

 

 

Centaur’s Prize is a delightful short read that readers can enjoy while on the go. The story has some unique and wonderful characters, some thrilling suspense including bad guys, some mysterious secrets and a spicy romance.

 

I was caught from the very beginning as the story begins with a bit of action and I couldn’t stop turning the pages as a bit of mystery and a sizzling romance between Myndra and Lysander keeps spices up the story in fact the only complaint I have is that I didn’t have enough time with these characters.

 

 

Centaur’s Prize is part of the Zodiac Shifters (Goodreads, Website) series

 

Centaur’s Prize is available in ebook at:

Amazon   iBooks   B&N   GPlay   Kobo

 

Catherine Banks can be found at:

Website   Facebook   Twitter   BookBub

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review 2017-10-18 01:42
Soul Possession
Soul Possession - Maya Banks

Jessie is a waitress at the bar that Rick and Truitt go to. Rick and Truitt have both flirted with Jessie and do so each time they see her. Both want to take her home with them, so they proposition her together, and each time she declines. Then one night, she gets falsely accused of stealing and fired. On this night, she accepts their offer. Then, the morning after, she is accused of murder and then soon after kidnapped by a serial killer terrorizing the city.
Whew! There is so much packed in this novella! I did enjoy the ride, lots of hot sex. Good, likable characters. Jessie didn't need saving and I appreciated that. I do think Jessie let Rick and Truitt off a little too easily. I think more groveling was necessary after what they did (or in this case didn't do).

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review 2017-10-16 17:27
Use of Weapons / Iain M. Banks
Use of Weapons - Iain M. Banks

Cheradenine is an ex-special circumstance agent who had been raised to eminence by a woman named Diziet. Skaffen-Amtiskaw, the drone, had saved her life and it believes Cheradenine to be a burnt-out case. But not even its machine intelligence can see the horrors in his past.

 

Somehow, I had come to think of Iain M. Banks’ Culture as a pretty ideal society. This book shattered that somewhat for me, as it contains a lot of war & violence, plus a really cruel twist as the end of the novel. What can you do if you live in the Culture, but you’re not an easily entertained, peace-loving guy? Well, you can sign up for Special Circumstances and become a sort of super-soldier, getting horrifically injured, revived, regenerated, and going off to fight another battle. Even some of the Machine Minds in this one seem to be destructive and cruel.

But Banks accomplished what I think he wanted to—making his readers rethink what the Culture is all about (and maybe rethinking some the assumptions about their own culture). I look forward to tackling State of the Art next.

Book 265 of my Science Fiction & Fantasy Reading Project.

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text 2017-09-13 15:25
Fever By Maya Banks $1.99
Fever (Breathless Trilogy) by Maya Banks ( 2013 ) Paperback - Maya Banks

Jace Crestwell, Ash McIntyre, and Gabe Hamilton have been best friends and successful business partners for years. They’re powerful, they’re imposing, they’re irresistibly sexy, and Jace and Ash share everything—including their women. 

When they meet Bethany, Jace begins to feel things he’s never experienced before: jealousy, and a powerful obsession that threatens him, overwhelms him—and excites him beyond control. 

Jace isn’t sharing Bethany—with anyone. He’s determined to be the only man in her life, and it’s jeopardizing a lifelong friendship with Ash. Bethany will be his and his alone. Even if it means turning his back on his best friend.

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