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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Horror and Fantasy Authors' LiveJournal:

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Sunday, May 6th, 2012
9:21 am
April Review Round-Up

Here are the reviews posted during April. Please note, this is not a comprehensive list of books I read in April, but rather the books I had the time to review before month's end.

1) Elizabeth Bear: Grail: Worth Reading, with Reservations
2) Maggie Stiefvater: The Scorpio Races: Excellent
3) Bill Willingham: Fables: Deluxe Edition: Book 1: Good Read
4) Sean Stewart: Mockingbird: Couldn't Put It Down
5) Patricia Briggs: River Marked: Good Read
6) Octavia E. Butler: Bloodchild and Other Stories: Couldn't Put It Down
7) John Green: The Fault in Our Stars: Couldn't Put It Down
8) Bill Willingham: Fables: Deluxe Edition: Book 2: Couldn't Put It Down
9) Kenneth Oppel: This Dark Endeavor: It's a Gamble
10) Lois McMaster Bujold: Paladin of Souls: Couldn't Put It Down
11) Ann Aguirre: Devil's Punch: Good Read
12) Bill Willingham: Fables: Deluxe Edition: Book 3: Good Read
13) Kit Whitfiled: In Great Waters: Good Read

As always, comments and discussion are most welcome. :)
Sunday, April 1st, 2012
4:28 pm
March Review Round-Up

Here are the reviews posted during March. Please note, this is not a comprehensive list of books I read in March, but rather the books I had the time to review before month's end.

1) Grant Morrison: Joe the Barbarian: Couldn't Put It Down
2) Mark Budz: Idolon: Worth Reading, with Reservations
3) Maria V. Snyder: Touch of Power: Worth Reading, with Reservations
4) Gail Carriger: Timeless: Couldn't Put It Down
5) Rebecca Guay: A Flight of Angels: Good Read
6) Elizabeth Bear: Chill: Worth Reading, with Reservations
7) Martha Wells: The Cloud Roads: Good Read
8) Margo Lanagan: Black Juice: Worth Reading, with Reservations
9) Seanan McGuire: Discount Armageddon: Couldn't Put It Down
10) Rick Yancey: The Monstrumologist: Good Read
11) Nick Spencer: Morning Glories: Deluxe Collection: Volume 1: Couldn't Put It Down

As always, comments and discussion are most welcome. :)
Saturday, December 31st, 2011
11:51 am
Tell me about your year
I remember when I joined this community ages ago. I was just figuring out that I wanted to be a writer, that I was a writer. I still had more college classes to finish and had planned to wrap up my degree before making a good go of it. I've taken some steps since then. I've had several non-fiction publications, sold a poem and a flash fiction piece. I circulate several stories from slush to slush hoping they will find a home.

I miss the discussion that used to take place here. I've posted some reviews here and I know a couple of other folks have too, but I don't see much else in the way of traffic.So tell me...How are things going for you? What has the year been like in your writing life? Have you read any good books this year? What are you working on?
Sunday, December 11th, 2011
4:41 pm
November Review Round-Up

Here are the reviews posted during November. Please note, this is not a comprehensive list of books I read in November, but rather the books I had the time to review before month's end.

1) George R.R. Martin: Fevre Dream: Good Read
2) Brandon Sanderson: Elantris: Good Read
3) Melissa Marr: Graveminder: Below Standard
4) Alex Bledsoe: The Hum and the Shiver: Worth Reading, with Reservations
5) Laini Taylor: Daughter of Smoke & Bone: Couldn't Put It Down
6) Sam Cameron: Mystery of the Tempest: A Fisher Key Adventure: Worth Reading, with Reservations
7) Susanna Clarke: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell: Not My Cup of Tea (DNF)
8) N.K. Jemisin: The Kingdom of Gods: Good Read
9) Richard Kadrey: Aloha from Hell: Good Read
10) Carrie Vaughn: Straying from the Path: Couldn't Put It Down

As always, comments and discussion are most welcome. :)
Saturday, July 16th, 2011
2:08 pm
New Writer
Hello all. New writer here still in the process of writing the manuscript, but has a self-publishing package paid for and waiting. Looking for help on the process of writing to marketing a book, particularly in editing. Looking forward to hearing anything to be said! ^_^

Current Mood: anxious
Wednesday, March 9th, 2011
5:54 pm
Экспериментальный обмен рекламой с Зоной Ужасов
Хочу пораскручивать дополнительно свой сайт Зона Ужасов (http://horrorzone.ru/). Денег на раскрутку жаль, да и мало их пока, самому что-то кушать надо. Поэтому изголяемся, экспериментируем...
Суть предложения для владельцев ЖЖ и других блогов, дневников etc. сводится к такому простому обмену: один вечный пост в Вашем дневнике с обзором сайта Зона Ужасов и ссылкой на его главную страницу, а взамен создание размещение (в течение одной недели) на многих-многих страницах Зоны (на данный момент их несколько тысяч) баннера, ведущего на Ваш дневник.
Read more...Collapse )
Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011
10:25 am
Destination Future Reviewed

Destination Future is a strong, entertaining 300+ page anthology. It whisks us away as we read, has us fighting for our lives, longing for love and a place to belong, communicating with rainbows, and exploring even our own human experience with a different perspective. If you are a fan of hard science fiction, you are well-covered. If you are not, like me, so well versed in science fiction, you will find plenty here to enjoy just the same. It is a beautiful, at times tragic, often thrilling, and even uplifting anthology.

You can read my complete review on my LJ here: http://xjenavivex.livejournal.com/595922.html

I am posting this review summary and link to my complete review here because one of the creepiest stories in this anthology belongs to another member in this community, kmarkhoover .
Saturday, October 30th, 2010
5:29 pm
Grant, Mira: Feed
Feed (2010)
Written by: Mira Grant
Genre: Horror
Pages: 599 (Mass Market Paperback)
Series: Book One (ongoing)

The premise: ganked from BN.com: The year was 2014. We had cured cancer. We had beat the common cold. But in doing so we created something new, something terrible that no one could stop. The infection spread, virus blocks taking over bodies and minds with one, unstoppable command: FEED.

NOW, twenty years after the Rising, Georgia and Shaun Mason are on the trail of the biggest story of their lives-the dark conspiracy behind the infected. The truth will out, even if it kills them.

My Rating

Must Have: The book does have some flaws: it's a bit long, and certain repetitions of information can get tedious (except for the blood tests: that was important and needed to be reinforced EVERY TIME). But this book, by the end, was a serious emotional kick to the head, and I was marveling by time I was finished. Sure, the villain is a little too obvious, and yes, for a zombie book, you don't get a whole lot of zombie action. But what kept me turning the pages was the similarities between Georgia's and Shaun's world to our own. Sure, there's differences in the way people live their lives, but the similarities are striking, especially in that people, and their governments, don't change, and if we want change, we have to make it happen for ourselves. I loved this book, and while i don't see myself reading it again, I really look forward to finishing the rest of this trilogy. Grant has given us a dark, gritty tale that on one level will feel familiar to readers of the October Daye series (Mira Grant is the pen name for Seanan McGuire), and the detailed level of world-building is similar too. But I far preferred Feed's heroine over McGuire's, but that may be just a personal preference. The point: if you're a fan of McGuire's work, you definitely need to check this out. If you're a fan of futuristic fiction, you should check this out. Fans of zombies in general may be a little put out, but I still think the book is worth reading just to see how society survives and keeps functioning long after a zombie uprising.

Review style: There's so much to discuss! We'll discuss the future of blogging and how it butts heads with traditional media (yes, this applies to a zombie book), as well as how contemporary issues and pop culture are so at home in this book. Also, a distinct look at the heroine and how she runs circles around October Daye of McGuire's urban fantasy series. Also, I want to discuss the weird feeling I had while reading, that this book is more YA than not, even though the protagonists aren't teens. Spoilers, absolutely. I can't talk about this book without discussing the things that hit me the hardest, so please DO NOT READ THE FULL REVIEW if you haven't yet read this book. Trust me, you'll thank me later. The full review is linked to my journal below, so if you HAVE read the book, hop on over! As always, comments and discussion are most welcome!

REVIEW: Mira Grant's FEED

Happy Reading!


Book club selections @ calico_reaction. Hop on over! We'd love to have you!

November: The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin
December: Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay
Wednesday, October 20th, 2010
6:24 pm
Kadrey, Richard: Kill the Dead
Kill the Dead (2010)
Written by: Richard Kadrey
Genre: Urban/Dark Fantasy
Pages: 434 (Hardcover)
Series: Book Two (ongoing?)

The premise: ganked from publisher's website: James Stark, a.k.a. Sandman Slim, crawled out of Hell, took bloody revenge for his girlfriend's murder, and saved the world along the way. After that, what do you do for an encore? You take a lousy job tracking down monsters for money. It's a depressing gig, but it pays for your beer and cigarettes. But in L.A., things can always get worse.

Like when Lucifer comes to town to supervise his movie biography and drafts Stark as his bodyguard. Sandman Slim has to swim with the human and inhuman sharks of L.A.'s underground power elite. That's before the murders start. And before he runs into the Czech porn star who isn't quite what she seems. Even before all those murdered people start coming back from the dead and join a zombie army that will change our world and Stark's forever.

Death bites. Life is worse. All things considered, Hell's not looking so bad.

My Rating

Worth the Cash: to those fans who enjoyed the first, Sandman Slim. I don't recommend reading Kill the Dead without the first book under your belt though. There's too many off-handed comments made referencing the first book and it's world-building that don't get explained, so if you haven't read said first book, you're going to be a bit lost and a lot grumpy. But it's an enjoyable sequel, and I'll be happy to pick up the next in the series, whatever and whenever that might be.

If you're interested in the first book, Sandman Slim, check out Free Fridays at Barnes & Noble's book club. You can click here for a free electronic copy, which also includes an excerpt to Kill the Dead. Can't get much better than that, can it?

Review style: There's actually not a whole lot I want to talk about, save for comparing this to the current urban fantasy trend (aka, Buffy-Lit) and why this is a breath of fresh air for some urban fantasy readers. I'll talk about how this works as a sequel, and then nitpick a few issues. Oh, and zombies. We'll talk zombies. No spoilers, so feel free to read the full review at my LJ. As always, comments and discussion are most welcome. :)

REVIEW: Richard Kadrey's KILL THE DEAD

Happy Reading!


Book club selections @ calico_reaction. Hop on over! We'd love to have you!

October: Feed by Mira Grant
November: The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin
December: Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay
Friday, May 7th, 2010
10:27 am
Novel Newbie
I plan to start my first novel next month. I've been living in the short story world until now. At this point what would you be doing to prepare? What habits do you have involving novel writing that you've found to be productive?
Wednesday, April 28th, 2010
5:28 pm
Friday, March 26th, 2010
6:49 pm
Gaiman, Neil: The Sandman

The Sandman (1989-1996)
Issues 1-75
Written by: Neil Gaiman
Cover Art: Dave McKean
Illustrated by: Various

The premise: Given the nature of the series, I'm not going to attempt to provide a summary. However, Neil Gaiman has a fabulous quote summing the whole thing up, so I'll provide THAT to you instead: The Lord of Dreams learns that one must change or die, and makes his decision.

My Rating

Must Have: If you're already a Neil Gaiman fan, what exactly are you waiting for? If you haven't read this, run, don't walk, to your nearest bookseller and get the whole series. Sure, it's a different reading experience than American Gods or Coraline, but just because it's a comic book doesn't make it any less important. I still maintain that you cannot call yourself a TRUE Neil Gaiman fan if you haven't yet read The Sandman (and that's not saying that because I have read The Sandman, I am a true fan--I like his work, but he's not a must-author for me).

If you're a reader of comics and graphic novels, then by all means, give this a shot. Note that there will be DC Universe cameos at the start of the series, but all of that DC Universeness fades as the series goes on, with one notable but very important exception. But definitely, get your hands on this. It's just as important, IMHO, as Watchmen and just as epic (but in a COMPLETELY different way) as Preacher. This is a classic, and besides, the issue "A Midsummer Night's Dream" won a World Fantasy Award. How can you say no to that?

Lastly, if you haven't read Gaiman before and you're a casual to non-reader of comics, I offer this advice: it's your call. My first experience with Gaiman was American Gods, and that gave me enough credit to be willing to read this series even if I never read another Gaiman novel or short story as long as I lived. But where you start is up to you, and your comfort level in reading graphic novels. But I will say this: if you're a fan of the types of epic stories that history and mythology can create, then you need to sit down and give this a shot. I think the story itself is a MUST, but how you experience it and in what edition is entirely up to you.

That said: I will happily re-read this series one day. It's one of those that once you get to the end, you want to go back and look for all of the little details you missed. And that, frankly, is simply enjoyable.

Review style: even if I wasn't trying to avoid spoilers, there's no way in HELL I'd spoil this series for you. Instead, I want to talk about the reading experience, offer advice on HOW to read the series, discuss the art and the problem of having multiple artists between story arcs. We'll talk about what makes it epic as well as why Gaiman's of multiple, various, and competing mythologies simply works in this series. I'll discuss the story itself in the most vague, generic way possible, so have no fear. :) I'll also provide a list of available editions and the appropriate order, because this is one series that's necessary to read in order.

So, if you'd like the full review, please click below to go to my LJ. As always, comments and discussion are most welcome. :)


Happy Reading! :)


Book club selections @ calico_reaction. Hop on over! We'd love to have you!

March: To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis
April: The Alchemy of Stone by Ekaterina Sedia
May: Natural History by Justina Robson
Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010
11:43 pm
Hill, Joe: Horns
Horns (2010)
Written by: Joe Hill
Genre: Horror
Pages: 368 (Hardcover)

The premise: ganked from BN.com: Ignatius Perrish spent the night drunk and doing terrible things. He woke up the next morning with a thunderous hangover, a raging headache . . . and a pair of horns growing from his temples. At first Ig thought the horns were a hallucination, the product of a mind damaged by rage and grief. He had spent the last year in a lonely, private purgatory, following the death of his beloved, Merrin Williams, who was raped and murdered under inexplicable circumstances. A mental breakdown would have been the most natural thing in the world. But there was nothing natural about the horns, which were all too real. Once the righteous Ig had enjoyed the life of the blessed: born into privilege, the second son of a renowned musician and younger brother of a rising late-night TV star, he had security, wealth, and a place in his community. Ig had it all, and more—he had Merrin and a love founded on shared daydreams, mutual daring, and unlikely midsummer magic.

But Merrin's death damned all that. The only suspect in the crime, Ig was never charged or tried. And he was never cleared. In the court of public opinion in Gideon, New Hampshire, Ig is and always will be guilty because his rich and connected parents pulled strings to make the investigation go away. Nothing Ig can do, nothing he can say, matters. Everyone, it seems, including God, has abandoned him. Everyone, that is, but the devil inside. . . .
Now Ig is possessed of a terrible new power to go with his terrible new look—a macabre talent he intends to use to find the monster who killed Merrin and destroyed his life. Being good and praying for the best got him nowhere. It's time for a little revenge. . . . It's time the devil had his due. . . .

My Rating

Worth the Cash: I keep debating on whether or not this is a good novel for Joe Hill newbies to start out with. On one hand, it's not quite as relentless: it has moments of dry, demented humor, a love story that's worth watching, and a cleaner ending than Heart-Shaped Box. On the other hand, Heart-Shaped Box is so relentless starting out that it's hard to pull away, and the story that unfolds is really compelling. The ending is a bit abrupt there, though, so I think that if you want to read Joe Hill, but you don't want to start with his short stories (20th Century Ghosts), or his comics (Locke & Key), then Hills is the place to start. I think I liked it a wee bit better than Heart-Shaped Box, but truth be told, I've reached the biased point when it comes to Hill as author: I'll read anything he writes, and it'll take something REALLY bad before I'm unhappy with his work. But this isn't bad! It's good! It's both similar and different to HSB, and I think fans of Hill should be pleased, especially in regards to the characterization. And, of course, the joy of the horns themselves. I love some of the commentary in this book, but fair warning: it may not be for everyone.

Review style: I'm aiming for no spoilers, so let's see: we'll discuss the humor of the book, without spoilers, why I liken this to magical realism (it's not a very strong argument), as well as how the use of flashbacks help rather than hurt the book, and then play devil's advocate and do the opposite: explain how the flashbacks hurt instead of help. I also make a sorry attempt to compare this technique to a symphony and a progressive metal concert. ;) And there's not much else to talk about here short of getting into those pesky spoilers, so let's leave it at that, shall we? Feel free to read the full review over at my LJ. As always, comments and discussion are most welcome. :)


Happy Reading! :)


Book club selections @ calico_reaction. Hop on over! We'd love to have you!

March: To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis
April: The Alchemy of Stone by Ekaterina Sedia
May: Natural History by Justina Robson
Sunday, February 7th, 2010
1:36 pm
Website Updated Again
I (finally!) updated my website. Sorry I was lax on this, no excuse. Mea culpa.

But I've got lots of new stuff on there, new links for writers, some new editorials, and a brand new sample story "Sailing Through Changpi" which was first published by Continuum SF in 2004. Hope you like it!  :)

Updated Website
Saturday, December 26th, 2009
12:07 am
FEAR in Review: Top Horror Books of '09
Hey guys, saw this on FEARnet.com and wanted to share. Most book sites have their top book of 2009 lists, but FEARnet has their top HORROR books of '09, which I thought was pretty awesome.

And now, without further ado...
FEARnet's Top 9 Horror Books of '09!
Thursday, December 3rd, 2009
10:53 pm
Andrews, Ilona: Magic Bites
Magic Bites (2007)
Written by: Ilona Andrews
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 260 (Mass Market Paperback)

The premise: plucked from the authors' website: Atlanta would be a nice place to live, if it weren’t for magic . . .

One moment magic dominates, and cars stall and guns fail. The next, technology takes over and the defensive spells no longer protect your house from monsters. Here skyscrapers topple under onslaught of magic; werebears and werehyenas prowl through the ruined streets; and the Masters of the Dead, necromancers driven by their thirst of knowledge and wealth, pilot blood-crazed vampires with their minds.

In this world lives Kate Daniels. Kate likes her sword a little too much and has a hard time controlling her mouth. The magic in her blood makes her a target, and she spent most of her life hiding in plain sight. But when Kate’s guardian is murdered, she must choose to do nothing and remain safe or to pursue his preternatural killer. Hiding is easy, but the right choice is rarely easy . . .

My Rating

Give It Away: close to worth the cash, but I've been told the second book is better, so maybe I was predisposed to read with caution. And don't worry, I'm reading the second book whenever I get my hands on it. Despite some of the odd plot problems and some confusion on my part regarding the world-building (and a heroine who needs lessons from Miss Manners), I was entertained by the story, which moved at such a fast pace that I pretty much finished the book in 24 hours. One note of warning to potential readers is that this urban fantasy is more dark fantasy than not, and if you're more in the paranormal romance camp, you'll probably want to stay away from this one, because it is NOT paranormal romance, and has more horror than you may care for. It didn't bother me, but after reading some reviews on Amazon, I learned it bothered others. The world-building is pretty solid and original, and I hope later books get into it more. There's a lot of promise here, so I'll be happy to read the second.

Review style: As far as plot goes, it's a rather simple story and for that matter, a short book. Spoilers are inevitable for this one, so if those bother you, then there's no need to click the link to my LJ below. But if you've already read it and/or spoilers don't bother you, then swing on by! As always, comments and discussion are most welcome. :)


Happy Reading! :)
Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009
9:06 pm
Priest, Cherie: Boneshaker
Boneshaker (2009)
Written by: Cherie Priest
Genre: Steampunk/Alternate History
Pages: 416 (Trade Paperback)

The premise: in order to truly appreciate what Priest is doing, I'm giving you not one, but TWO premises. The first is the overall premise for the series/world-building, and the second is the actual premise of the book. I think that's fair.

The Clockwork Century: explanation plucked from Subterranean Press's website, the preface for Priest's short story, also set in the Clockwork Century universe, Tanglefoot.: Stonewall Jackson survived Chancellorsville. England broke the Union’s naval blockade, and formally recognized the Confederate States of America. Atlanta never burned.

It is 1880. The American Civil War has raged for nearly two decades, driving technology in strange and terrible directions. Combat dirigibles skulk across the sky and armored vehicles crawl along the land. Military scientists twist the laws of man and nature, and barter their souls for weapons powered by light, fire, and steam.

But life struggles forward for soldiers and ordinary citizens. The fractured nation is dotted with stricken towns and epic scenes of devastation–some manmade, and some more mysterious. In the western territories cities are swallowed by gas and walled away to rot while the frontiers are strip-mined for resources. On the borders between North and South, spies scour and scheme, and smugglers build economies more stable than their governments.

This is the Clockwork Century.

It is dark here, and different.

Boneshaker's Premise: Rumors of gold in the frozen Klondike encouraged the Russians to seek a machine that could actually drill for it. Leviticus Blue took up the challenge and built the great Boneshaker. But before the Russians could get a hold of it, it went on a test run through the city of Seattle, not only destroying several blocks of the city, but it released a blight of gas that turned anyone who breathed it into a rotter (aka the living dead). Now, years later, the son of Leviticus Blue is determined to prove his father wasn't a criminal for his actions, and he sneaks into the now-walled city of Seattle to get that proof. His mother, Briar Blue, terrified for her son's safety and what he might find, goes after him. But nothing easy within the walls of Seattle, as there's more than just the undead to outwit and outrun, and Zeke and Briar will need everything they've got to survive those who have a peculiar and deadly interest in them.

My Rating

Worth the Cash: it's definitely an entertaining read, and a well-written one. For anyone curious about steampunk as a sub-genre, it's a great place to start, because Priest has a sensible, practical approach to it, all the while telling a fun story. Fun might be an odd word to describe a book that reeks a bit of horror, but it's all good. I could easily see this made into a movie, and to be honest, I hope it happens. There's something wonderfully visual about this book, and the story lends itself to the big screen. While it's not my favorite Priest book (that honor goes to the Eden Moore trilogy, but that may be bias talking as the trilogy's setting is two hours from where I live), it's very good and I'm happy to have another Priest book under my belt.

For those of you still not sure if Boneshaker is right for you, you can sample the Clockwork Century universe by reading Priest's short story Tanglefoot. The only relation to Boneshaker is the world itself, as no characters overlap and nothing references the events, let alone spoils the events, of the book. It's a good little read, with shades of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, and I think you'll enjoy it. You can also check out her Clockwork Century website, which features news of all the books and short stories taking place in the universe. Priest is an entertaining blogger anyway, so you shouldn't be disappointed.

As for my part, Priest remains one of my favorite authors, and I'm happy to continue with her books, steampunk or no. She hasn't kindled a great love within me for steampunk or anything, but I'll read whatever she writes provided it's well-written and entertaining. She hasn't let me down yet.

Review style: No spoilers. I'm going to talk about, and I may say some things that might lead you to figure out certain plot points, but I won't outright spoil anything. :) If you're paranoid, don't bother clicking the link below, but if you're not, the link goes to my LJ, and there's a much longer discussion about the book. As always, comments and discussion are most welcome. :)


Happy Reading! :)
Thursday, November 19th, 2009
3:18 pm
The Red Tree - Caitlίn R. Kiernan greygirlbeast
The Red Tree by Caitlin R. Kiernan

I loved this book. I highly recommend it. You can view my review here.

From the Amazon product description:

Sarah Crowe left Atlanta, and the remnants of a tumultuous relationship, to live alone in an old house in rural Rhode Island. Within its walls she discovers an unfinished manuscript written by the house's former tenant-a parapsychologist obsessed with the ancient oak growing on a desolate corner of the property. And as the gnarled tree takes root in her imagination, Sarah risks her health and her sanity to unearth a revelation planted centuries ago...

I also suggest you check out more of her work.
Monday, October 19th, 2009
10:46 am
The Birthing House - Christopher Ransom
I've posted my review over at A Slice of Life. You can comment here or there.
Tuesday, October 13th, 2009
10:43 am
my new story was accepted!
My new Haxan story "Till Death Do Us Part" was accepted by The Western Online.  The story has dark fantasy/horror overtones. It's up now if you want to read it. Hope you like it!

"Till Death Do Us Part"

Current Mood: happy
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