Friday, 11 February 2011

10 Book Challenge

Hi All,

Last week I was looking at my growing book collection and I realized there was a very good chance I will never get a chance to read them all. So I came up with a plan. A crazy plan. I will read 10 books at a time. 21 pages a go. So in a cycle I will go 21 42 63 etc... I'm hoping I won't get utterly lost and lose a sense of what the books are about. So far I've read 21 pages of 10 books. Quite a few times I had to tear myself away from reading more. It has been a good experience so far and I think it is has really rekindled my love for starting a new book. I bet you might be wondering which books they are. Well here's a list and what I think of them so far:

Kill the Dead by Richard Kadrey:

I'm enjoying this book so far. It's about renegade angel bounty hunter who likes to say the word "Ass" a LOT. I like Richard's take on vampires and his kick ass writing style, but can't help but feel there is something lacking. Hopefully the next 21 pages will fix that.

The Rise of the Iron Moon by Stephen Hunt

The royal family seems to be imprisoned in some sort of breeding program. There are clockwork machines that are more advanced than humans, and a prison full of criminally insane guarded by a vetren warden and a new recruit. A lot of threads to follow. Haven't really got a good feel of the book yet, but I have a feeling it's going to be pretty epic.

Language Change: Progress or Decay? By Jean Aitchison

An indepth guide into the state of the English language. The book is from 1981 so it seems prety outdated, but it's interesting so far and look forward to seeing what insights it might have. In my opinion the English language is continuously evolving, and I think that can only mean progress.

Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond
(A short history of everybody for the last 13,000 years)

As the sub-title says this is about the history of human kind. Why it has developed in the way it has. The book has raised some interesting questions so far and I look forward finding out more.

Extras by Scott Westerfield

A YA novel set in a future where your face rank is just about the most important thing there is. The higher your rank the more important you are. The story is about girl with a measly rank of 451,369 and how she tries to get in with the in crowd. With the popularity of Facebook. It doesn't seem that far fetched. The book has a lot of energy and definitely one of my favourites of the 10 so far.

Perseus Spur by Julian May (The Rampart Worlds Book One)

I've had this trilogy of books for a long time and been looking forward to reading them for quite a while. The first book hasn't disappointed so far. A down on his luck ex-government official who was targeted for exposing corruption has fled to a far out of reach distant world. After washing away his sorrows and almost drinking himself to death he was helped back on his feet with some assitence from his sister. All goes well until a suspicious character shows up on one of his charter trips to the local reefs. And his suspicions are heightened when he returns home to find out his house had been eat by a giant sea toad...

Ruler of the Realm by Herbie Brennan (Book 3 of the Faerie Wars Series)

Got this set of books for Christmas a few years back. Been enjoying them immensely ever since. In my honest opinion one of the best/if not the best real world/fairy world crossover books ever. Being YA novels Herbie Brennan has spared none of the gory details and tries to gross you out at almost every turn. And being books full of magic/strange creatures he has done a fine job of keeping it realistic. Being the third book it is hard to say much with out spoilers. So I will say it is on par with the rest of the books and bound to make me want to read more.

Bone Gods by Caitlin Kittredge

Won this book with Kill the Dead through Twitter the end of last year. From the cover it seems like a Twilight clone, but I will tell you now it is far better than the Twilight series could ever hope to be. I could spend all day bashing Twilight, but we both have better things to do, and a lot of people like the books and I can't blame them for that. Plus I haven't read the books so I had better shut up :P. Back to the book. There has been a strange occult murder and Pete (Petunia) has been called into help investigate. What I like the book so far is the dark sense of humour and the noir feel to it. Like Richard, Caitlin has a favourite word and that word is "Shite". I don't know how much time Caitlin has spent in the UK, but she does a pretty good job of reproducing the accents and mannerisms.

Mussolini's Island by John Follian
(The invasion of Sicily through the eyes of those who witnessed the campaign)

This is the first Military History novel I've read. The writing style is very straight forward, but still does a very good job of putting me in the heads of the people involved. It's adding up to be one of my favourites of the 10.

The Shadow of the Torturer by Gene Wolfe

One of the masterpieces of the fantasy genre. Oddly, I'm finding it hard to get into the book. Maybe it's the writing style. I found I had to re-read quite a few paragraphs to actually figure out what was going on, but I'm sure with time I will get used to it and pick up a good rhythm. I'm guessing at page 42, just when I have to switch over to the next book.

Well that's all ten. So far I haven't regretted starting the challenge and I think it might become habit forming. What do you think? It's a good idea? Let me know if you start or have done something similar. And if you have read any of the above books please let me know what you thought of them. Although the less spoilers the better thanks.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

My First Radio Interview

Had a blast with JP Naude on his Power Hour show yesterday. And it was so cool to see the Good Hope Fm studios in person. Everyone was very friendly and professional. I was a bit wracked with nerves near the start of the interview, but picked up confidence. Have had a lot of nice comments about my voice. I think it's what saved the day! Would love to do more in the future. We spoke a bit about my books The Red Stone and the follow up book Zoolin Vale and Chalice of Ringtar. As well as a project I'm working on with three other writers Jani Grey, Lood Du Plessis and Dave-Brendon De Burgh. Crumbling Ruins, a post apocalyptic novel with four characters hellbent on escaping their captors. It's a weird tale that will have you laughing in places and cringing in disgust in others.

If you would like to listen to the interview you can listen to it on YouTube here