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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 2017-12-17 02:05
Sometimes it's the family that you make that truly gets you...
Foxglove Copse - Alex Beecroft

'Foxglove Copse' is the 5th book in the 'Porthkennack' series. I haven't read all the books in this series and while I hope to do so at some time I'm really enjoying being able to pick and choose the ones I read without feeling like I've missed anything in the ones that I do chose to read.

 

This is actually my first time reading a book by this author and I really enjoyed this story. Sam Atkins had the life...the money, the home, the job all the material things that are often taken as signs of success but for Sam the price that he's paid for this has been extracted from his heart and soul and when he finds he can no longer pay that price he runs. Divesting himself of his material gains he begins to live the life of a wanderer and six months into his vagabond life he finds himself on the road to Porthkennack. It's a road that not only leads him to the place he'll ultimately call home but the man who will help him begin to heal.

 

Whatever flaws this story may have contained were by far outweighed by the heart of this story. 'Foxglove Copse' is more than a love story it's a story about love. I know it seems like semantics but love is probably the most complicated four letter word in any language and while it has can be defined by just a few words there can be a zillion different meanings and in this story we get to see some of those meanings through the eyes of Sam a man whose family has abused him mentally and emotionally leaving him floundering for a place to seek shelter and call home until he meets Ruan.

 

Ruan is a man whose family loves him unconditionally. Ruan knows what it's like to have that surety that no matter what he will always be loved...he will always have a shelter from the storms that life may bring his way. 

 

Together Sam and Ruan discover that home is where the heart is and both men realize that they can trust each other to protect their heart. But there's more to this story than just the romance between Sam and Ruan there's a mystery because someone's trying to scare Ruan's Aunt Jennifer and as things escalate Sam and Ruan get drawn into the heart of events whether they want to be or not.  People are being stalked, harassed and bullied...people that Ruan cares about, people that Sam is beginning to care about. Somehow events at Aunt Jennifer's farm are connected to things even more sinister and if Sam and Ruan are going to have a future than they need to work together to figure out what's happening and why.

 

While I love a good mystery and this one was more than a little interesting what enchanted me the most about this story was Sam. For Sam this was about more than falling in love. This was Sam's second chance...his chance to find himself and reclaim the part of him that he believed was gone. His faith and confidence were shaken to the core if not non-existent and while Ruan may have helped him. In the end if was Sam who had to dig down deep and believe in himself again if he wanted a chance at a life with Ruan and the promise of home and family that it offered and Ruan came to realize that in Sam, he had a partner and that together they could shelter each other from life's storms. 

 

Equally as important is the role played by family and community in this story. Ruan's parents are loving and supportive of their children which is a real contrast to Sam's family, whom we only get glimpses of through Sam's conversations with his mother and yes, I am using this term loosely and then there is Sam's sister and I'll just say here yes, I wanted to slap-a-bitch here. Seriously she opened her mouth once in this book and it was one time too many. 

 

In the end yes, the mystery gets solved but it's Sam who made me love this book so much. It's seeing him go from a broken man who ran from his family...from an environment that was robbing him of his heart and soul to a man who found love, who was finding himself again and who was creating a family for himself the kind of family that would love him and believe in him...a family that would always have his back. This was the story that enchanted me.

 

'Porthkanneck' is quickly becoming one of those places that I enjoy visiting and I'm sure I'll be going back again soon.

 

*************************

A copy of 'Foxglove Copse' was graciously provided by the publisher via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-12-16 19:05
Review: "Draakenwood" (Whyborne & Griffin, #9) by Jordan L. Hawk
Draakenwood (Whyborne & Griffin Book 9) - Jordan L. Hawk

 

~ 4.5 stars ~

 

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text 2017-12-16 07:05
Cover Reveal - Pretty As A Peach

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-12-16 06:42
waiting for spring vol 1
waiting for spring vol 1 - Anashin

December 4-5

A sweet romantic story of a soft-spoken high school freshman and her quest to make friends, Waiting for Spring will delight fans of earnest, fun, and dramatic shojo like Kimi ni Todoke and Say I Love You. Mizuki is a shy girl who’s about to enter high school, and vows to open herself up to new friendships. Of course, the four stars of the boys’ basketball team weren’t exactly the friends she had in mind! Yet, when they drop by the café where she works, the five quickly hit it off. Soon she’s been accidentally thrust into the spotlight, targeted by jealous girls. And will she expand her mission to include… love? 

Review : This manga was so cute it's about Mizuki who is a shy girl who becomes friends with a group of boys from the basketball team this was such a funny adorable manga very light I love the characters. Mizuki use to be friends with this girl name aya and that character is back .

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