Monday, February 25, 2013
Tonight I present to you the World Fantasy Awards.
The World Fantasy Awards are yearly international awards given to authors and artists who demonstrate outstanding achievement in the field of fantasy.
Established in 1975, they have been handed out at the World Fantasy Convention.
The award is considered among the most prestigious in the speculative fiction genre, and is awarded to any work falling within the realm of fantasy, although some media are restricted to certain categories.
World Fantasy Award winners are chosen by a panel of judges, which differs every year.
Here are the winners for best novel since 2000.
2000 - Thraxas - Martin Scott
2001 - Declare - Tim Powers
Galveston - Sean Stewart
2002 - The Other Wind - Ursula K. LeGuin
2003 - The Facts of Life - Graham Joyce
Ombra In Shadow - Patricia A. McKillip
2004 - Tooth and Claw - Jo Walton
2005 - Jonathan Strange & Mr.Norrell - Susanna Clarke
2006 - Kafka On the Shore - Haruki Murakami
2007 - Soldier of Sidon - Gene Wolfe
2008 - Ysabel - Guy Gavriel Kay
2009 - The Shadow Year - Jeffrey Ford
Tender Morsels - Margo Lanagan
2010 - The City & The City - China Mieville
2011 - Who Fears Death - Nnedi Okorafor
Friday, February 15, 2013
Good afternoon constant reader.
You've doubtless heard about food truck centers - trucks converted to purveyors of yummy cuisine, usually found in a one stop area with other food trucks, where anything from burgers, cupcakes, shushi, etc., can be procured and eaten.
Now I want to introduce a new truck concept: The Book Truck.
Specifically The Billy Pilgrim Traveling Library based in Houston, Texas.
The Billy Pilgrim Traveling Library is the project of Chris Grawl and Kelly Allen.The pair has taken a library/bookstore combo and combined it with the food truck concept, and named said truck after Kurt Vonnegut's character Billy Pilgrim. With the truck, the duo intend to fill a need that libraries are not currently funded for.
The book truck works as a traveling library that works on a rent-barter-donate basis.
There is an annual membership fee, running $5 to $20 depending on the plan chosen. The $5 annual charge allows one item to be checked out, $20 allows five. There are no due dates, nor late fees.
Besides items to check out, they plan on offering reference and research services, wi-fi, a reservation system, mixtape trade, and book clubs.
Funding for the book truck came partially from an Indiegogo campaign, the rest out of Grawl's and Allen's pockets.
For the time being, the book truck will be found out and about on weekends, with most emphasis on Fridays and Sundays.
For now the only set time to find The Billy Pilgrim Traveling Library will be tonight, February 15th from 5:30 - 9 pm at the HEB Montrose Market Friday Food Truck meetup, in Houston, Tx, and will be parking at HEB as often as the truck rotation will allow.
In future, the pair would like to schedule the book truck to appear at other sites of culture, tried and true truck friendly locations, museums, and coffee shops.
The Billy Pilgrim Traveling Library will accept donations – books, CDs, DVDs, VHS, audio cassettes, vinyl, monetary gifts, or volunteer time.
This entire endeavor reminds me of times when I was growing up that my mother would take me to visit the book mobile that parked in a parking lot close to where we lived. I would peruse the shelves and carefully make my selections. The last clear memory I have of checking something out from the book mobile, is checking out a book on dinosaurs by E.L. Rey, creator of Curious George. Not too long after these visits, they built a branch library.
In this day and age of diminishing budgets for libraries, I think the book truck is a fantastic idea.
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
I'd like to introduce you to the Agatha Awards.
The Agatha Awards are bestowed for mystery and crime writers who write via the same method as author Agatha Christie - closed setting, no sex or violence, and an amateur detective. The award is presented at an annual convention in Washington, D.C.,and are handed out by Malice Domestic.
Here are the winners for best novel since 2000.
2000 - Storm Track - Margaret Maron
2001 - Murphy's Law - Rhys Bowen
2002 - You've Got Murder - Donna Andrews
2003 - Letter From Home - Carolyn Hart
2004 - Birds Of A Feather - Jacqueline Winspear
2005 - The Body In The Snowdrift - Katherine Hall Page
2006 - The Virgin Of Small Plains - Nancy Pickard
2007 - A Fatal Grace - Louise Penny
2008 - The Cruelest Month - Louise Penny
2009 - A Brutal Telling - Louise Penny
2010 - Bury Your Dead - Louise Penny
2011 - Three-Day Town - Margaret Maron
Friday, February 8, 2013
Ship of Destiny
Available from Amazon as a Kindle book
Good evening constant reader.
If you're looking for some imaginative science fiction which ends up being an apocalyptic tale with an ending full of promise, then this is the book for you.
Ship of Destiny begins in the future, with Lynette, Ken, Steve and Olivia on their way to Blue Spirit Lake after going through the rigors of college. They have graduate school ahead of them, but for now are settling for a little rest and relaxation. Diving into deep pools and camping out under the stars is just what they need.
One dive excursion reveals what looks like a cave entrance hidden by some vegetation. Lynette decides to investigate, but is held back by Steve. Once they return to shore, Lynette lets Steve know she is none to pleased and decides to return and investigate.
They discover an underwater cavern, complete with beach, and start to explore their new surroundings.
Lynn is looking around and finds...a ship. A metal ship with a dull metal finish, almost like a fighter jet, but warm, like it is alive.
The quartet sets to investigating the ship, trying to decipher the symbols it's inscribed with and sussing out what kind of metal the ship is made out of.
At one point, Lynn, tired and weary says:
“You could help us out, you know.” Lynn spoke to the ship. “We are a lot nicer than the government will be if they discover you. Besides aren’t you tired of being in this dark ole cave by yourself?”
YES, I AM!
The sentient ship is just the beginning of a tale that spans years.
To say much more will give away too much of the story.
It's one part first contact, one part space opera, and one part apocalypse.
I like this book a lot.
The pacing is good, the characters are interesting and I got a sense of being in another time and another place in the future that was familiar and alien at the same time without being weighed down with too much otherness.
I've read some science fiction where the tech starts taking over the story to the point the story gets lost. Ship of Destiny is a good science fiction story that doesn't allow technology to get in the way.
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Friday, February 1, 2013
Good evening constant reader.
I call your attention to the British Fantasy Awards.
The British Fantasy Awards were first presented in 1972 by the British Fantasy Society.
In 1971 author Ramsey Campbell made the suggestion that the Society present an award in honor of the recently deceased August Derleth.
That following year at the BSFA’s Chessmancon (the annual Easter convention), Michael Moorcock received the August Derleth Fantasy Award for his novel The Knight of Swords.
For several years after this the awards presented by the British Fantasy Society were collectively known as The August Derleth Fantasy Awards – including the addition of several other categories.
The BFS decided it should promote itself to a larger audience, and in 1976 the August Derleth Fantasy Award became the British Fantasy Awards, with the rule that the original category of Best Novel retain the August Derleth title.
I give you the British Fantasy Awards, best novel beginning with 2000:
2000 - Indigo - Graham Joyce
2001 - Perdido Street Station - China Mieville
2002 - The Night of the Triffids - Simon Clark
2003 - The Scar - China Mieville
2004 - Full Dark House - Christopher Fowler
2005 - The Dark Tower VII: The Dark Tower - Stephen King
2006 - Anansi Boys - Neil Gaiman
2007 - Dusk - Tim Lebbon
2008 - The Grin of the Dark - Ramsey Campbell
2009 - Memoirs of a Master Forger - William Heaney aka Graham Joyce
2010 - One - Conrad Williams
2011 - No award
2012 - Among Others - Jo Walton