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review 2017-07-18 06:31
Blood Trail (Victoria Nelson, #2) - Tanya Huff

From the blurb:

 

"For centuries, the werewolves of Toronto have managed to live in peace and tranquility, hidden quietly away on their London, Ontario farm. But now, someone has learned their secret—and is systematically massacring this ancient race.

The only one they can turn to is Henry Fitzroy, Toronto-based vampire and writer of bodice rippers. Forced to hide from the light of day, Henry can’t hunt the killer alone, so he turns to Vicki Nelson for help. As they race against time to stop the murderer, they begin to fear that their combined talents may not be enough to prevent him from completing his deadly plan.
"

 

 

This is an entertaining, fun, action-packed, mystery-thriller-urban fantasy novel with strong characters and a decent plot.

 

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review 2017-07-17 09:15
Besieged (The Iron Druid Chronicles) by Kevin Hearne
Besieged - Kevin Hearne

This is a collection of short stories in the Iron Druid universe.  I found most of the stories to be rather bland - same stuff, different day.  There were one or two stories that were different, but most were of the all-powerful druid killing the bad guy variety.  In short, an ok read but I know the author can do better and I wonder if he hasn't got bored with this story.

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review 2017-07-17 03:33
Precursor
Precursor - C.J. Cherryh

Precursor - C.J. Cherryh is the first book of the 2nd trilogy in the Foreigner series and starts a few years after the end of Inheritor.  The shuttle to carry people and supplies between the planet and the space station is recently operational and the ship captains recall Jason with little warning.

 

The early part of the book is a lot of milling around and jockeying for position that drags a bit.  But eventually the pace picks up and the book finishes in a rush like mechetti  following the leader in a satisfying mad race to home.  During Precursor, Bren finally sheds some of his tedious insecurity and Ilsidi charmingly steals the show as usual. 

 

Read as a Free Friday selection for Booklikes-opoly.

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text 2017-07-16 14:21
Sci-Fi LX 2017 - Look Beyond: International Science Fiction Convention at IST

 

Most of my Portuguese SF friends (the Tribe) only read SF in English. I’m one of those cases. But I also read Portuguese SF written in Portuguese. What I don’t do is read Anglo-Saxon SF translated into Portuguese. With a only a few exceptions, most of the guys translating SF into Portuguese are not conversant with the genre conventions. Forget it! The question of the prevalence of English-speaking authors in Portugal is thus unavoidable (because we don’t read SF in translation). In my view (and I presume, in the case of those with good judgment and enough SF reading in the bag), the notoriety of many authors who write in English is mainly due to the fact that this is the language that dominates the literary market around the world. I believe that if many of these Anglo-Saxon SF authors were Portuguese, born in Portugal and writing in Portuguese, hardly anyone would hear of them because they wouldn’t stand a chance in hell of being published. 

 

 

If you're into SF and SF conventions in particular, read on.

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review 2017-07-14 17:32
Smart-Alecky SF: "Skullsworn" by Brian Staveley
Skullsworn - Brian Staveley

“’If I wanted you dead, you would be dead’?” He sucked some blood from between his teeth, then spat it onto the cobbles. “What is that? A line from some mid-century melodrama? You hear that onstage a few nights ago?”

 

In “Skullsworn” by Brian Staveley

 

 

Reasons to avoid some Fantasy:

 

  1. 1 - Trilogies - a story seldom needs 3 volumes, nobody wants to read the 'excluded middle' of tosh, let alone wait for the third volume when they have forgotten the contents of the first - strike George R.R. Martin;

 

  1. 2 - Sequel proliferation. Ditto objection 1 squared - strike Eddings et al;

 

  1. 3 - Formulaic - It's often better to re-read Tolkien, skipping some of his embarrassing attempts at females than read the whole thing again with different silly names - strike all sorts of piffle;

 

  1. 4 - Silly names - countries; cities; people. How about concepts; recipes; politics - invent something - move to include Iain M. Banks 'Culture' - or does invention have to belong to THE science fiction part of SF?

 

  1. 5 - Written by die cast. Surely much is the product of hashish and D&D - this you can make up for yourself;

 

  1. 6 - Poor writing - to wit the obviously much beloved Staveley - whilst his books were entertaining they are limited by his repetitive vocabulary; why can't his educated characters master the conditional subjunctive…?

 

 

If you're into SF, read on.

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