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Showing posts from February, 2015

Excerpt: Wastelands 2 Anthology: How the World Became Quiet

How the World Became Quiet: A Post-Human Creation Myth (An Extract)  by Rachel Swirsky Part One—The Apocalypse of Trees During the first million years of its existence, mankind survived five apocalypses without succumbing to extinction. It endured the Apocalypse of Steel, the Apocalypse of Hydrogen, the Apocalypse of Serotonin, and both Apocalypses of Water, the second of which occurred despite certain contracts to the contrary. Mankind also survived the Apocalypse of Grease, which wasn’t a true apocalypse, although it wiped out nearly half of humanity by clogging the gears that ran the densely-packed underwater cities of Lor, but that’s a tale for another time. Humans laid the foundation for the sixth apocalypse in much the same way they’d triggered the previous ones. Having recovered their ambition after the Apocalypse of Serotonin and rebuilt their populations after the Apocalypse of Grease, they once again embarked on their species’ long term goal to wreak as much ha

Book Review: Touch

Touch by Claire North Kepler had never meant to die this way — viciously beaten to death by a stinking vagrant in a dark back alley. But when reaching out to the murderer for salvation in those last dying moments, a sudden switch takes place. Now Kepler is looking out through the eyes of the killer himself, staring down at a broken and ruined body lying in the dirt of the alley. Instead of dying, Kepler has gained the ability to roam from one body to another, to jump into another person’s skin and see through their eyes, live their life -- be it for a few minutes, a few months or a lifetime. Kepler means these host bodies no harm — and even comes to cherish them intimately like lovers. But when one host, Josephine Cebula, is brutally assassinated, Kepler embarks on a mission to seek the truth — and avenge Josephine’s death. Last year I read a book by Claire North, The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August and it was awesome. Plain awesomeness in a book. When I visited Lo

Short Fiction Friday: The Osteomancer's Son

The Osteomancer's Son by Greg van Eekhout, Clarkesworld #101 Last year Greg van Eekhout published his first book in the Daniel Blackland series, California Bones . Which was for me highly enjoyable book and showed a highly inventive new idea in Urban Fantasy: Osteomancy. Special people are able to suck on bones or smoke or digest them in some way and gain special powers associated with those beings. Now I was looking in Clarkesworld issue #101 and I saw that Greg van Eekhout was in it with his story of The Osteomancer's Son . Now the Daniel Blackland series directly came to mind and was hoping to read another blast of a story. Which I got! But I also found out that The Osteomancer's Son isn't actually a prequel to California Bones . It featured as the start of it all!  In The Osteomancer's Son you are introduced to Daniel Ludeking as a young boy who wonders with his father on the beach and stumble on a bone, and not just an ordinary bone, the bone of a Kraken.

Author interview with Mario Routi

Author interview with Mario Routi Author bio:  Mario is a cool, mysterious and slightly sloppy guy. He sneaked to the third planet from the sun more or less forty+ years ago, taking advantage of a tender moment between his lovely parents, using them as his Portal. As a child, he wrestled and boxed every day with his dear brother, but without really hurting each other. During his youth years, he worked hard to persuade friends and teachers that he was just a normal guy who was indeed from this world, and not some dangerous alien. Submitting to the demands of contemporary society, he was forced to study several stuff, here and there, in order to penetrate the business world, escaping a few years later to become an author.  --------------------------------------------- Hi Mario, welcome over at The Book Plank and thanks for taking you time to answer these few questions. BP: First off, could you tell us a bit who Mario Routi is? What are your hobbies,

Book Review: Guns of the Dawn

Guns of the Dawn by Adrian Tchaikovsky Denland and Lascanne have been allies for generations, but now the Denlanders have assassinated their king, overthrown the monarchy and marched on their northern neighbour. At the border, the war rages; Lascanne's brave redcoats against the revolutionaries of Denland. Emily Marshwic has watched the war take her brother-in-law and now her young brother. Then comes the call for more soldiers, to a land already drained of husbands, fathers and sons. Every household must give up one woman to the army and Emily has no choice but to join the ranks of young women marching to the front. In the midst of warfare, with just enough training to hold a musket, Emily comes face to face with the reality: the senseless slaughter; the weary cynicism of the Survivor's Club; the swamp's own natives hiding from the conflict. As the war worsens, and Emily begins to have doubts about the justice of Lascanne's cause, she finds herself in a

Book Review: A Darker Shade of Magic

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab, A Darker Shade of Magic #1 Kell is one of the last Travelers—rare magicians who choose a parallel universe to visit. Grey London is dirty, boring, lacks magic, ruled by mad King George. Red London is where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London is ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. People fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. Once there was Black London - but no one speaks of that now. Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell smuggles for those willing to pay for even a glimpse of a world they’ll never see. This dangerous hobby sets him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs h

Guest Blog: Victoria's Favourite Literary Celebrations

  Victoria's Favourite Literary Celebrations “The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party” in Alice in Wonderland. I’m a fan of wordplay, overlapping dialogue, and this classic scene is so manic and strange and quippy that I had to put it on the list. “The Floating Market at Harrod’s” in Neil Gaiman’s  Neverwhere.  It’s no secret I’m a huge fan of Neil Gaiman’s work, and  Neverwhere  is my favorite of his books. The combination of chilling villains and hidden worlds is magical enough, but the Floating Market was such a wonderful detail, it’s stuck with me long after I put the book back on its shelf. “The Venture Ball” in Brandon Sanderson’s  Mistborn . This scene where Vin and Elend first meet is just delightful, the perfect balance of atmosphere and witty banter and action. Vin is a street urchin posing as a young noble, and Elend is avoiding the entire thing and reading a book. “The Red Wedding” in George R.R. Martin’s  Storm of Swords What can I say? That

Short Fiction Friday: Pockets

Pockets by Amal El-Mohtar Science fiction short story about a woman who starts finding stuff in her pockets A smaller synopsis, is I think, hard to find. But it suits the description of Pockets the most.  Just a small note about Amal El-Mohtar, she is a Nebula nominated author and writes short fiction and poetry, she has appeared in numerous short fiction magazines.  The story of Pockets focuses on Nadia who one day strangely picks up items from her pockets that aren't hers. It starts of with a small piece fudge, followed by lipstick. In both instances she cant recall putting it there in the first place as for starters she doesn't like fudge. These items might be small but one day she picks up an old flintlock pistol. This is a bit of the drop that makes the bucket overflow (it's a Dutch saying). Anyway she sows all her pockets shut in the hope of not finding a stray item anymore, but one day when Nadia is stalking to her friend Tessa, Nadia relates everything that h