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review 2017-07-23 16:17
A Country Without (SF) Readers: “Antologia Cyberpunk” by Editorial Divergência
Proxy - Divergência

Published 2016.


“O Neuromante foi publicado por mim em Portugal apenas dois anos depois da primeira edição em língua inglesa. Talvez tenha sido a primeira tradução para uma língua estrangeira. Estremeci de alegria quando o livro veio à estampa. Pensei: agora sim, agora os detractores da FC vão engolir mil sapos.

Infelizmente esqueci-me de que vivemos em Portugal. Num país sem grande futuro, nem mesmo o do Gernsback. Um país sem leitores. Trataram-no como se nem sequer existisse. Ou como se se tratasse de mais umas tantas páginas de lixo escapista. Nas livrarias, foi parar às secções de literatura infantil ou às prateleiras de estudos informáticos. Enfim, não vendeu. Nas Feiras do Livro que se lhe seguiram, foi vendido a retalho por tuta e meia, como se o quisessem oferecer a um pobre. [….] E por não ter vendido, nada de nada, foi razão mais do que suficiente para o Editor me olhar, imbuído de um triste desprezo, me dizer que eu só escolhia coisas muito más, e que por isso teria de pôr fim à colecção de FC. Meu dito meu feito.”


("Neuromancer was published by me in Portugal only two years after the first edition in English. Maybe it was the first translation into a foreign language. I jumped with joy when the translation first came out. I thought: 'Yes, now the detractors of SF must bite the bullet.' Unfortunately, I forgot that we live in Portugal. In a country with no great future, not even Gernsback's. A country without readers. They treated the translation as if it did not even exist. Or as if it were some more pages of escapist junk. In the bookstores, it went to the sections of children's literature or to the shelves of computer studies. Anyway, it did not sell. At the Book Fairs that followed, it was sold to retail stores for nothing, as if they wanted to offer it to the poor. [....] And for not having sold anything at all, it was more than enough reason for the Editor to look at me, imbued with a sad contempt, to tell me that I only chose very bad things, and thus end the SF collection. No sooner said than done.")


In the foreword by João Barreiros in “Antologia Cyberpunk” by Editorial Divergência.



I've been reading some old best-of-the-year SF anthologies lately, bought on eBay, as well as this one by Editoral Divergência, a Portuguese book publishing house; it was the last one of the bunch, and in there the cyberpunk trope seems to be swimming in foreign waters, literal and figuratively speaking. While the cyberpunk stories in these anthologies are generally good, there's a distinct sense of hardening sub-genre assumptions about them -- the shared idea that computer criminals would largely be members of street gangs seems particularly far off. By the 1989 anthology, most of the authors who'd been doing cyberpunk had gone on to other things. What about 2016 when this Portuguese cyberpunk anthology came out?



If you're into SF, read on.

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review 2016-07-16 23:04
Proxy - Alex London

Well, this was disappointing. I wanted to love this, I really did. But it's just very lackluster and overall I would suggest skipping this one.


I like Syd, and kudos to the author for an LGBT character whose sexual orientation isn't the only part of his personality. Syd was cool, very likable. As for the other characters? Well, to start I hate Knox. He's an irritating, selfish, ignorant little shit and he never learns his lesson.

The only decent thing he did was sacrifice himself for Syd, but even that wasn't enough to redeem him in my eyes 

(spoiler show)

And everyone else was just boring.


It started off well enough, but rapidly went downhill. The plot was unoriginal and boring and I actually had to set it down a few times because I was just so uninterested.

Usually I appreciate when there isn't a romance. Usually I like when the main focus is on the action. But not in Proxy. Why? Because the plot is so boring and a love interest for Syd would have made things more interesting.


Tl;dr version- Overall I wouldn't recommend Proxy. It's a cool idea that just failed. And I'm not going to read the sequel.

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text 2015-05-12 15:36
Married by Proxy
Charming the Prince - Teresa Medeiros
High Country Bride - Linda Lael Miller
The Maiden Bride - Linda Needham
An Officer and a Millionaire / Mr Strictly Business - Day Leclaire,Maureen Child
Heartbreak Creek - Kaki Warner
The Marriage Contract - Cathy Maxwell
When the Duke Returns - Eloisa James
No Other Man (No Other Series Book 1) - Shannon Drake
Wedding for a Knight - Sue-Ellen Welfonder
Married to the Viscount - Sabrina Jeffries

I adore any Romance Theme where strangers marry--arranged marriage, forced marriage, mail order marriage, paper marriage, marriage of convience between strangers...and on and on until the break of dawn!


I love two people having to contend with each other. Have to. Such fun for me! 


Married by Proxy is one of these less talked about but lots of fun themes. A proxy marriage is when one or both to the parties to be married isn't there. A proxy stands in.


These marriages are largely illegal now but there are proxy marraige sites popping up all over for the new internet bride boom.  Jailhouse weddings as well. Romantic! 


The thrill of this theme in Romanceland is that the groom often doesn't know he was getting married. Go figure. And the fun begins!


Here are some wonderful love stories that began as proxy marriages. 


1. Charming the Prince by Teresa Medeiros

Lord Bannor the Bold has never feared anything in his life--until the war ends and he finds himself a reluctant papa to a dozen unruly children. He sends his steward out to find them a mother--some meek, plain creature who won't tempt him to get her with child. But his steward returns with a spirited beauty who makes him think of nothing else.

Lady Willow is everything Bannor has sworn to resist. He never dreams she will join forces with those mischievous imps of his to teach him just how sweet surrender can be!


2. High Country Bride by Linda Lael Miller


Tired of waiting for his sons to settle down, Arizona-territory rancher Angus McKettrick announces a competition: the first son to marry and produce a grandchild will inherit Triple M ranch. Now, three distinctly different, equally determined cowboys are searching high and low for brides. 

If Emmeline Harding knows one thing, it's that she can't hold her liquor. And though she's not sure how she came to wake up next to a stack of gold coins in a brothel, she fears the worst. Fleeing town as a mail-order bride, she wonders: how will she ever confess her past to her handsome new husband? 

Freedom-loving Rafe McKettrick is a man of strong beliefs and stronger passions and he'll do anything to win the Triple M -- even marry a stranger. To his surprise, Emmeline's charms beguile him even as the secrets he senses she's hiding ignite jealousy and suspicion. But when a visitor from the past enters the high country, the newlyweds have no choice but to give up on a marriage in name only and seek a union that satisfies them body and soul.


3. The Maiden Bride by Linda Needham


Widowed, Lady Eleanor arrives at the castle of the husband she never met, ruthless warlord Nicholas Bayard. As she explores, a huge shadow overtakes her in the darkness of the tower: an intruder who commands her to leave his castle. Eleanor informs him that she is the wife of the late Lord Nicholas. Shocked to realize that the bride he'd thought had died in the Plague is not only alive, but beautiful and bold, Nicholas hides his identity. But Eleanor is a temptation he cannot resist, and when she learns his true identity, she shows him that love is the greatest miracle of all. Widowed, Lady Eleanor arrives at the castle of the husband she never met, ruthless warlord Nicholas Bayard. As she explores, a huge shadow overtakes her in the darkness of the tower: an intruder who commands her to leave his castle. Eleanor informs him that she is the wife of the late Lord Nicholas. Shocked to realize that the bride he'd thought had died in the Plague is not only alive, but beautiful and bold, Nicholas hides his identity. But Eleanor is a temptation he cannot resist, and when she learns his true identity, she shows him that love is the greatest miracle of all.Widowed, Lady Eleanor arrives at the castle of the husband she never met, ruthless warlord Nicholas Bayard. As she explores, a huge shadow overtakes her in the darkness of the tower: an intruder who commands her to leave his castle. Eleanor informs him that she is the wife of the late Lord Nicholas. Shocked to realize that the bride he'd thought had died in the Plague is not only alive, but beautiful and bold, Nicholas hides his identity. But Eleanor is a temptation he cannot resist, and when she learns his true identity, she shows him that love is the greatest miracle of all.


4. An Officer and a Millionaire by Maureen Child

Mr. January: Hunter Cabot, Navy SEAL

Vital Statistics: Tall, rich and…married?

Mission: Find out who's been sleeping in his bed.

The broad-shouldered military man had no patience with games. Margie—Cabot?—had to go. She'd been masquerading as his spouse for nearly a year, living in his house while he'd been overseas. Now all his skills were focused on payback: it would be sweet, swift and sexy. 

But first he'd have that "wedding night!"


5. Heartbreak Creek by Kaki Warner


Edwina Ladoux hoped becoming a mail-order bride would be her way out of the war-torn South, but as soon as she arrives in Heartbreak Creek, Colorado, and meets her hulking, taciturn groom, she realizes she’s made a terrible mistake. Declan Brodie already had one flighty wife who ran off with a gambler before being killed by Indians. He’s hoping for a practical farm woman who can corral his four rambunctious children. Instead, he gets a skinny Southern princess who doesn’t even know how to cook.

Luckily, Edwina and Declan agreed on a three-month courtship period, allowing them time to get the proxy marriage annulled. Yet as the weeks pass, thoughts of annulment turn into hopes for a real marriage—until the unspeakable happens, and suddenly Declan is torn between duty and desire, and Edwina has to fight for the family she’s grown to love…


6. The Marriage Contract by Cathy Maxwell


He was a man exiled from society - handsome, unpredictable, and proud. Dark rumours surrounded his name. But Anne Burnett had signed a marriage contract binding her to Aiden Black, the Earl of Tiebauld. And although she′d never met him, she′s determined to keep her word and make theirs a marriage in truth. Because a well-bred lady with little fortune to recommend her has no choice.


From the moment she arrived, Anne fell in love with Kelwin Castle and its roguishly handsome laird. By day, he instils a fierce loyalty in his people with his masterful ways...and by night, he tempts Anne to surrender her innocence to him. But while he is willing to offer his body, Aiden refuses to give Anne his heart...making her wonder what prevents him from truly claiming her as his wife.


7. When the Duke Returns by Eloisa James


The Duchess of Cosway yearns for a man she has never met . . . her husband.


Married by proxy as a child, Lady Isidore has spent years fending off lecherous men in every European court while waiting to meet her husband. She's determined to accept him, no matter how unattractive the duke turns out to be. When she finally lures Simeon Jermyn back to London, his dark handsomeness puts Isidore's worst fears to rest—until disaster strikes.


The duke demands an annulment.


Forsaking his adventuresome past, Simeon has returned to London ready to embrace the life of a proper duke, only to find that his supposed wife is too ravishing, too headstrong, and too sensual to be the docile duchess he has in mind. But Isidore will not give up her claim to the title—or him—without a fight.


She will do whatever it takes to capture Simeon's heart, even if it means sacrificing her virtue. After all, a consummated marriage cannot be annulled.


Yet in forcing Simeon into a delicious surrender, will Isidore risk not only her dignity—but her heart?


8. No Other Man by Shannon Drake


Skylar Connor was widowed before she met the man she married by legal proxy. Now she has come to the Dakota badlands for the home and goldmine left her by her late husband. But it is a painted savage who welcomes "Lady Douglas" to the Black Hills. The handsome half-breed son of a Sioux woman and an English lord, he steals Skylar from her stagecoach ... and declares it is he whom she wed sight unseen. Now Hawk has a wife he doesn't want a sensuous vixen who ignites his rage and his desire ... a beautiful schemer he must punish with ecstasy, and let no other man claim.


9. Married to the Viscount by Sabrina Jeffries


Abigail Mercer was thrilled at being reunited with Spencer Law, whom she met once and later married by proxy. But now Viscount Ravenswood denies all knowledge of their union! Too many witnesses have made it impossible for the secretive Spencer to reject his bride without causing a scandal. So he has proposed a marriage in name only until they can locate his mysteriously absent younger brother—who is responsible for everything!—and untangle this messy affair.


Abigail is incensed, irate . . . and irresistibly attracted to this handsome, infuriating man who hides his smoldering passion behind a proper exterior. So the lady will agree to his terms on one condition: Spencer must seal their bargain with a kiss. But he finds that one deep, lingering, unforgettable kiss isn't nearly enough. And keeping his hands off his pretty wife is going to be much harder than he thought.


10.  Wedding for a Knight by Sue-Ellen Welfonder


Even a marriage by proxy can't spoil the joy Lady Amicia MacLean feels when she is wedded to Magnus MacKinnon. With his quick wit and dashing smile, the roguish warrior captured her heart when she was still a girl. It's not until he returns from battle that Amicia discovers the truth: the union was made to fill empty MacKinnon coffers with MacLean gold. Magnus knew nothing of this marriage. Honorable and proud, he intends to rebuild his clan's fortune coin by coin himself-and wants nothing to do with his bonny new bride. But Amicia is not one to give up without a fight. She plans to invade Magnus's bedchamber, offer tantalizing glimpses of what every husband has the right to see, and settle for nothing less than the total surrender of the most stubborn knight in the realm!


Let me know if I missed your favortie Proxy Wedding!


For more Romances on this theme, check out my Goodreads list: Married by Proxy.

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review 2014-11-30 10:58
Brief Thoughts: Proxy
Proxy (Harperteen Impulse) - Mindee Arnett

Proxy is the prequel novella to the Avalon series (the first book of which I just checked out from the library).  I enjoyed Mindee Arnett's The Nightmare Affair and so was curious about this fairly different genre she's attempting.  I've never been a big fan of sci-fi nor the space opera/futuristic types of story lines (though admittedly I have enjoyed such television series as Star Trek and Firefly, or Cowboy Bebop).


The novella details one of the missions Jeth and his crew are sent on by his employer, a large criminal syndicate owned by a man named Hammer.  In order to make enough money to retrieve his family's ship and home, Avalon, Jeth has no choice but to do Hammer's bidding.


The crew is stealing a precious ruby from the Grakkus empire, and it seems that this job is just easy pie until someone on Jeth's crew betrays them.



I'm going to say that this is the first time I've read a space opera story.  Watching television series and movies and anime series seems fairly different as the action in futuristic space settings translate better to me in visual media.


Nonetheless, this novella was quite enjoyable after I got through the initial few chapters of set-up and semi-world building.  I can't say that it was the most exciting thing I've ever read, and the characters seem quite flat and not quite so stimulating.  Everything passed by in mediocrity, though for a novella I'll give it leeway.  With comparisons of this story line and the characters to that of Firefly, I may have begun to create some biases, as Firefly was an exciting, complex series with well-developed, complicated characters and an extremely entertaining story line.  Not to mention the actors brought everything to life.


Going into Avalon, I'm hoping that things can move upwards of the mediocre enjoyable-ness factor.  After all, there's potential in a story such as this, and I'll try not to make too many comparisons to Firefly as I read it.  With more room to work with, hopefully an entire book will do well to bring the characters to life and deliver an exciting story to boot.

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review 2014-11-20 16:59
Proxy by Alex London
Proxy - Alex London

What can I say about this book that won't make me sound like an obsessed fangirl?




Nothing because I REALLY loved this book! It was so engaging and enticing and all the -ings! I loved this world that London created and I love the premise of the entire book. I even loved all of the characters! Yes, even the annoying ones... like Knox. (Actually, Knox pissed me off throughout most of the book but I knew he was going to have development along the way so it wasn't too big of a deal for me. He is an asshole, though, so be warned. XP) I enjoyed the journey the characters went on. It was so much fun and heartbreaking at times.


The writing was pretty good. If I have one critique about this book is that there are so many typos. Way too many. It took the reader out of the reading experience because of it. Yet despite this minor flaw, I highly enjoyed this book and would so read it again. I'm really looking forward to its sequel, Guardian, because I MUST KNOW!!!


If you like dystopians with a few differences that's LGBTQ friendly, then I can't recommend this enough! Read it because you will enjoy it!

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