A Time Travel Tagging

I was recently tagged by Lynn over at Books & Travelling with Lynn. The subject is all about books and time traveling, in one way or another. I really enjoy these tag posts as they often give me something to talk about without having to use a lot of brainpower. Here are the Q&A.

SummersOwlDanceWhat is your favorite historical setting for a book?

It’s hard to pick just one. I’ve read plenty of stories set in ancient Greece (Mary Renault), Roman murder mysteries & ‘celebrities’ (John Maddox Roberts, Conn Iggulden), and the 1800s of the American West (David Lee Summers, Cherie Priest). Also, the Tudor era attracts me. In fact, I’m currently wrapped up in Three Sisters, Three Queens by Philippa Gregory.

AsimovStarsLikeDustWhat writer/s would you like to travel back in time to meet?

Isaac Asimov is near the top of my list. His books feature prominently in my childhood/teen years. I read his Lucky Starr series but also many of his adult novels. For kicks, I’d love to meet Homer and put to rest the age-old argument on whether Homer was male or female or collection of authors. I wouldn’t mind meeting Pearl S. Buck. Her novel, The Good Earth, was required reading in both the 5th and 9th grades (I moved and changed school districts, so that’s why I got hit twice with this classic) and I loved it both times. She had a very interesting life and it wouldn’t just be her books I’d pester her with questions about, but also her travel and years living in China.

LynchTheLiesOfLockeLamoraWhat book/s would you travel back in time and give to your younger self?

There’s so much good stuff out today! Apart from a few classics, most of the ‘safe’ or required reading I had access to as a kid was boring and often felt fake or like it was missing a big element of life – you know, all the gooey, messy bits that make all the good parts that much better. Luckily, I had full access to any SFF novel in the house and there were plenty of those. So to supplement my childhood bookshelf, I would give myself Andy Weir’s The Martian, Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn series, and The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch.

Chupacabra
Chupacabra

What book/s would you travel forward in time and give to your older self?

I would speed ahead to my future self and hand her a copy of Robert E. Howard’s stories. His writing is some of the best I have enjoyed and yet several of his stories, Conan or otherwise, have certain sexist and racist elements that really repel me. This book would remind me that humans, including myself, are flawed and that things change over the years, such as views on a woman’s proper role in high fantasy adventure. Yet despite these shortcomings, a person can still love a story, or a person, or a country, etc.

ChaneyTheAmberProjectWhat is your favorite futuristic setting from a book?

I always enjoy closed systems and several feature in SF stories. These are domed cities (Logan’s Run by Nolan & Johnson), underground villages (The Amber Project series by JN Chaney), underwater towns (Lucky Starr & the Oceans of Venus by Isaac Asimov), very large space stations (The Expanse series by James S. A. Corey), etc.. There’s the wonder of discovering these places, seeing how they are supposedly working and will go on working forever, and then watching it all come apart in some horrible way that means death for most of the people in the story. Yeah, welcome to my little demented side.

 

Grahame-SmithAustenPrideAndPrejudiceAndZombiesWhat is your favorite book that is set in a different time period (can be historical or futuristic)?

For fun, I wouldn’t mind visiting Seth Grahame-Smith’s Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. I really like the idea of making polite ball jokes, decapitating zombies, working out in the dojo, and politely trading British insults over tea. Honestly, I think that is the only way I would survive the Victorian era.

RobertsTheKingsGambitSpoiler Time: Do you ever skip ahead to the end of a book just to see what happens?

Back when I was eyeball reading printed books (I do mostly audiobooks now) I had a ritual. I would start a book and at that moment that I knew I was hooked, that I had fallen in love with the story, I would turn to the last page and read the last sentence. Most of the time this didn’t spoil anything, but every once in a while there would be a final line that gave away an important death or such.

PriestMaplecroftIf you had a Time Turner, where would you go and what would you do?

Actually, I do have a Time Turner. My husband bought it for me at the start of September while he was at an SCA event. It was right after we learned that I was quite sick but a few weeks before we learned just how sick. So, lots of bitter sweet emotions tied up with that piece of jewelry.

Anyhoo, if I had a working one, I would go everywhere and do everything. I would start with planning things that Bill and I have wanted to do together (like celebrating Beltane in a pre-Christian era) and then add in things that I have always wanted to do but which my be a big snooze fest for Bill (such as Charles Darwin’s Beagle voyage).

JonasAnubisNightsFavorite book (if you have one) that includes time travel or takes place in multiple time periods?

Currently, I’m enjoying the Jonathan Shade series by Gary Jonas. Time travel really becomes an element in this urban fantasy series in the second trilogy with Ancient Egypt featuring prominently. I also adore Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. I finally read a Stephen King novel, 11-22-63. The characters were great even as the underlying premise was only so-so for me. The Dinosaur Four by Geoff Jones was a fun, crazy creature feature.

ButcherColdDaysWhat book/series do you wish you could go back and read again for the first time?

The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher, for sure. I’ve read the early books several times each and I get a laugh out of them each time. Also I would like to experience Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey all over again for the first time. That book showed me how prudish some of my ideas were when I first read it. I wonder what it would show me now? Perhaps the same thing, if indeed this book has had as big an impact on who I am as I think.

Tagging Other People

So in general with these fun tagging posts, I never want anyone to feel obligated to play along. As usual, if any of you want to play along, I definitely encourage you. You can answer any of the questions in the comments or you can throw up your own blog post and then let em know about it so I can come read it. Here are some people who I think would like this particular time travel subject:

David Lee Summers

Under My Apple Tree

Beauty Is A Sleeping Cat

On Starships & Dragonwings

The Lies of Locke Lamora Part IV

LynchTheLiesOfLockeLamoraWelcome everyone to the read along of Scott Lynch’s Gentlemen Bastard series. Anyone is welcome to join us over at our GoodReads Group! Check out the info at the end of the post.

This week’s hosted by Over the Effing Rainbow. We’re covering the fourth & final section noted below, so beware of spoilers if you have not read that far. I’m doing the audiobook version (which is awesome) but I apologize now for any misspellings of names and such. This is actually my second read along of the book and a third reading of the book.

1. Locke returns to finish the Salvara con, after a bit of a trying start. What did you think of the clothes con at Meraggio’s? Entertaining interlude, or timeline nuisance?

The first time I read this, I was very eager to see how things ended and I felt like this clothing heist was a nuisance. But with a reread, I enjoyed it a lot more because it was clever and funny (later when Merragio recognizes his own clothes on Locke at the fancy party). Also, it is a real question for the guys – all their stuff has been burned and what little they have under the alias is locked up tight at the boarding house.

Still, Jean has his Face of Asaguia (spelling?) that he had for some reason. And then I wonder why the guys never developed small stashes throughout the city as Locke and his Streets friends did way back before Locke came into Chains’s keeping. It’s a small plot point and one I am just pondering now on this reread.

And I think this is the first time we have seen Locke screw over a common working man – the waiter whose clothes he borrowed. Yes, he did give him money and head start out of town, but this guy has to leave his whole life behind and might very well be captured, tortured, and killed anyways. Plus, we don’t know if he has a family that might be harmed in all this mess.

2. The plot is back on, and before long Locke and Jean are facing the Falconer – with better results, this time… What were your thoughts on how this confrontation turned out?

Ha! OK, like a bloody, gruesome Ha! But a Ha nonetheless. Locke’s kept his given birth name to himself all these years, which I find interesting. I think last read along, we all did some guessing as to what that could be – we know it’s 5 syllables and probably something slightly embarrassing.

Anyway, it’s a good thing Locke had that small edge and also a good thing the Falconer didn’t have anything else planned as a back up. I felt the Falconer’s punishment was sound. He kept claiming it was all business but we all know he took too much pleasure in his part in the plan. Plus, Locke did leave him alive, so he didn’t break that cardinal rule – Don’t kill Bondsmagi unless you want to live another 100 years as their experimental torture subject.

3. So it turns out that Capa Raza did indeed have bigger fish to fry than just Barsavi. What did you make of Locke’s decision between going after Raza/Anatolius and saving the nobility?

So obviously Locke made the good and right and true decision. He’s a hero and he himself can no longer doubt that. And just a tiny bit of me thinks that Locke really wanted to show up Dona Forchenza (who stuck a needle in his neck not all that long ago) and the rest of the nobility that’s in the know. After all, his efforts to save not just the bulk of the classy in Camorr, but all their children as well makes the high and mighty Spider and her Midnighters look like fools. Yeah, so I think some part of Locke couldn’t pass up that opportunity. How often does such a thing just stroll up anyways?

4. “I just have to keep you here… until Jean shows up.” Locke gets his chance at revenge after all… Thoughts on this final showdown?

I thought it was very fitting that Locke had the Spider send the plague ship (which is really the treasure ship) to the bottom of the bay – Bug, the Twins, and Nazca all deserved a death offering, and a damn fine one at that.

What a bloody mess! Locke was clever to play the ‘Wait til Jean gets here’ card so believably. He took his time engaging the Grey King, let him mess about with the swords, and then allowed the villain to beat him pretty badly before playing it. I think Locke really was hoping Jean would turn up but this worked out well (barring the surgery and physical therapy Locke now obviously needs).

Other Tidbits:

I really enjoyed all the insults traded with the dogleech that is seeing to Locke throughout this section.

I had forgotten that little snippet about how the whores came to be rulers of their own business, but I definitely found it amusing. I’m not exactly sure how it tied in to the bigger picture, but Lynch is so entertaining that I find I don’t mind a few blind alleys in his works.

Oh my! Jean and those Wicked Sisters of his! His fighting abilities, as shown against the Berrangia Sisters, were practical, brutal, and impressive!

When Locke is parting from the Salvaras and Dona Forchenza, he makes fake polite pleasantries, saying things like he hopes they can all be friends even tho he lost the Salvaras a fortune – and Dona Salvara offers to make him a permanent ornament in her alchemical garden. Ha!

Dona Salvara is an alchemical bomb technician! How cool is that! As a side note, there was some discussion last week about how Camorr is a ‘man’s world’. Did this last section change your opinion on that?

Info on the Read Along for Book 2, Red Seas Under Red Skies

So we’re gearing up for a read along of Book 2 starting May 5th. You can catch more info over on the GoodReads SF/F Read Alongs page. Anyone is welcome to join in the fun.

The Lies of Locke Lamora Part III

LynchLiesOfLockeLamoraWelcome everyone to the read along of Scott Lynch’s Gentlemen Bastard series. Anyone is welcome to join us over at our GoodReads Group! Check out the info at the end of the post.

This week’s hosted by Wendy at The Bibliosanctum. We’re covering the third section noted below, so beware of spoilers if you have not read that far. I’m doing the audiobook version (which is awesome) but I apologize now for any misspellings of names and such. This is actually my second read along of the book and a third reading of the book.

1. Camorr is clearly a man’s world. One of the three female characters who could hold any sway was cruelly fridged, while another remains notably absent. Will Sabetha swing in to save or seize the day? What are your thoughts on Donã Vorchenza’s role?

First, I don’t think of Camorr as a man’s world. We have seen women in nearly all the roles – priests, street fighters, guards on both sides of the law. We have the Berangia sisters, the mother-daughter team on Black Alchemy row, etc. Very few of these women are placed in any romantic sense – the prostitute (sort of), Sabetha (kissing Locke we all are lead to believe), and the conned man’s wife and even then, they have more depth than the average passing love interest in the fantasy genre. So, I wouldn’t place this fantasy in with all the other numerous fantasy books that minimize female characters.

That said, I was little crushed when Nazca was taken out of the picture so early on.

When I first read this book, yes, I really hoped that Sabetha would come in at the end and help make things right. There’s so much build up about her and mystery around her storyline.

Everyone should have a great auntie Vorchenza. She’s awesome. I love her critique of the candied cookie house her chef insisted on making for her. At her age,  she’s still very spry and a little mischievous.

2. Apprenticeships, fighting, farming–the Gentlemen Bastards have undergone some significant training (save for physiking!) and testing. What do you think of Chains’ teaching methods? Do you think he adequately prepared them for their future in Camorr?

I think Chains is giving them as many tools as possible. Their various apprenticeships will help the remaining few blend in and disappear  – or get close to their enemies and annihilate them. Chains gave them a safe base of operations, and they no longer have that. So now, more than ever, they will have to rely on all they have learned – from  butchering farm animals to certain rites of the various priesthoods. I think Chains’s training will allow them to leave Camorr more easily if they so choose.

3. Pour out a forty for those lost. Share your thoughts on the passing of the Bastards and Barsavis.

Wow. Several hard scenes here. When Bug, Jean, and Locke returned home to find it ransacked and the twins dead, that was tough. But then when Bug basically sacrifices himself for Jean and Locke, that was even tougher. Locke is so going to need therapy for this.

When the remaining Barsavis were taken out, it was dramatic and a game changer, but I was not attached to any of them (other than Nazca who was taken out a few days earlier).

4. Everything in this book has been a series of long cons. Do you think taking the Capa’s throne is the end game for the Grey King? Or is there still more in store?

We still have ~100 pages to go, so I expect we’ll see more. The first time I read this, I wasn’t sure if Jean and Locke would be able to do anything about the new Capa Raza (Grey King)  at this time or if that show down would happen in Book 2. But I knew something would happen, and probably something significant because we have so much left of the book and I felt the author would want to top what we had just witnessed with something more.

 

Other Tidbits:

I like how everyone is so polite to those folks who are in charge of operating the lifts for the towers.

Jean is rather a worried hen over Locke when he is sick or injured. It’s quite endearing how protective he is of the smaller man.

I have donkeys, so I can  attest to the disgustingness of equine piss. There’s sometimes more solid, jelly like bits in it too. I feel very sorry for both Nazca and Locke. But, as a side note, I do have to wonder who collected all the horse piss and how?  How much do you pay for a barrel of horse piss?

Wraithstone and the Gentled beasts of burden – messed up or practical?

Ok, that creepy hand thing that has Jean’s name stitched into it – totally wrong! I would hate to fall foul of such a trap.

 

Info on the Read Along

Here’s the schedule:

Wk1 / 7th April: Prologue and Book 1, hosted by There’s Always Room for One More
Wk2 / 14th April: Book 2, Ch 4-6, hosted by There’s Always Room for One More
Wk3 / 21st April: Book 2 Ch 7-8 and Book 3, hosted by Wendy at The Bibliosanctum
Wk 4 / 28th April: Book 4 and Epilogue, hosted by Over the Effing Rainbow

You can catch the weekly questions and links to folks’ weekly posts over at our GoodReads group SF/F Read Alongs. Have a look  around and you’ll see we have other upcoming SFF read alongs planned. As always, you’re welcome to be lurker, a commenter, or do your post.

The Lies of Locke Lamora Part II

LynchLiesOfLockeLamoraWelcome everyone to the read along of Scott Lynch’s Gentlemen Bastard series. Anyone is welcome to join us over at our GoodReads Group! Check out the info at the end of the post.

This week’s hosted by There’s Always Room for One More. We’re covering the second section noted below, so beware of spoilers if you have not read that far. I’m doing the audiobook version (which is awesome) but I apologize now for any misspellings of names and such. This is actually my second read along of the book and a third reading of the book. I also apologize for posting late – medical issues have me busy, tired,  and not as organized.

1) Last week we saw the Capa in theatrical mode taking young Locke’s oath on his enchanted shark’s tooth. This week we see the former scholar carving up the surviving Full Crowns and swearing vengeance on the Grey King. What do you think of his responses to the Grey King’s assaults?

I think the Capa was prone to paranoia in the first place. He is this crime boss and I expect that to reach that position and hold it for so long, you have to have a well-developed sense of paranoia. However, he’s lost the fine tuning of it and no longer knows who to trust about what. For instance, he’s put trust in Locke. 😉

Scott Lynch doesn’t skimp  on showing us how brutal life is, does he? The Capa’s responses all around show that. Sage Kindness, his head torturer, is a twisted soul!

2) We get our first glimpse of magic this week. What do you make of the Bondsmagi (and especially of the Falconer and Vestris)?

Chains gave us a great overview of the bastards. It’s really their fucking attitude that makes them so dangerous – they kill anyone who kills a Bondsmagi (even inadvertently) and they also take out all their family and friends. So, yeah, who would ever mess with a Bondsmagi? *looks sideways at Locke*

The Falconer has an inflated ego if I ever saw one. He is pretty touchy about being called names, and that’s all that Locke has done so far. So I tend to think of him as a powerful idiot at this point. Vestris… hmmm.. I wonder how much  is her own attitude and how much is her owner’s? Can scorpion hawks make decent pets? We may never know.

3) The Gentleman Bastards make plans for a hasty exit, but resist the urge to drop everything and go, because reasons. Seemingly entirely reasonable reasons. Do you think our boys are right to stay?

That’s hard to say. If they dropped everything right now, would those loose strings attract attention from Capa Barsavi? Would the Grey King be totally miffed? Would either bastard track down the Gentlemen Bastards and kill them? I can understand the hesitancy all around to cut out and run. They have lots of loot to transport, so it wouldn’t be swift. They are all from Camorr (at least as far back as they can recall, right?) and this is their home. Plus, they are stubborn. They have put a lot into their elaborate scam and also Locke doesn’t like backing down from a bully if he can outwit him.

Still, it’s a fucking Bondsmage and the Grey King. And a scorpion hawk. And sleepy-time mists.

4) We’ve now seen a lot more Eldren architecture, including the spectacular rooftop ‘rose garden’ Don Maranzalla trains his students in. Do you think the Elderglass is a creation of magic, science or something else entirely?

I love the rose garden! It was a great way to get Jean trained up. And his wicked sisters! Ha!

I think the Elderglass is a creation of science and aliens. yep. I think large alien bugs came to Earth and set up shop in Camorr and nearby. They then used their saliva to partially digest local materials, turning them into Elderglass. So, in a way, all that Elderglass is like wasp or ant vomit – super strong and can last for years. Also, it can be made into any shape.

Other Tidbits:

Bug never talks about his time in the Shallows, which makes me think it was pretty bad. Yet he seems the purest or naivest or kindest of the group, doesn’t he?

Did you enjoy young Locke’s body snatch? And he got paid to do it too!

Who has tried the winning combination of beer and peach tarts for dinner? I think it depends on the type of beer….

I’m going to miss Nazca. I remember the first time I read this book, I was shocked by her sudden and gruesome exit from the story. But maybe I can have her boots… since she’s not using them?

Info on the Read Along

Here’s the schedule:

Wk1 / 7th April: Prologue and Book 1, hosted by There’s Always Room for One More
Wk2 / 14th April: Book 2, Ch 4-6, hosted by There’s Always Room for One More
Wk3 / 21st April: Book 2 Ch 7-8 and Book 3, hosted by Wendy at The Bibliosanctum
Wk 4 / 28th April: Book 4 and Epilogue, hosted by Over the Effing Rainbow

You can catch the weekly questions and links to folks’ weekly posts over at our GoodReads group SF/F Read Alongs. Have a look  around and you’ll see we have other upcoming SFF read alongs planned. As always, you’re welcome to be lurker, a commenter, or do your post.

The Lies of Locke Lamora Part I

LynchLiesOfLockeLamoraWelcome everyone to the read along of Scott Lynch’s Gentlemen Bastard series. Anyone is welcome to join us over at our GoodReads Group! Check out the info at the end of the post.

This week’s hosted by There’s Always Room for One More. We’re covering the first section noted below, so beware of spoilers if you have not read that far. I’m doing the audiobook version (which is awesome) but I apologize now for any misspellings of names and such. This is actually my second read along of the book and a third reading of the book. I also apologize for posting late – medical issues have me busy, tired,  and not as organized.

1) We get a lot of detail about the city, from architecture and geography to social structure and the Secret Peace – not to mention the food! What do you make of Camorr?

Camorr reminds me a little of Venice – rambling tight streets, multi-tiered houses (some quite old) and water every where. Also, all the street gangs make me think of the various Italian gangs in some Shakespeare plays.

I love the mystery of the Elder glass. How was it made, who made cities out of this stuff, and who could break it apart and basically wipe out all but the few bits of elder glass left? Someone Locke and crew don’t want to tangle with, that’s who!

2) What are your first impressions of the Gentleman Bastards? They are liars and conmen (and proud of it) – but do you think our thieves have hearts of gold?

When I first read this book, I was initially concerned that I wouldn’t particularly like any of the main characters. for instance, I have tried twice to get into the The Stainless Steel Rat series but the main character is pretty narcissistic. That’s not to say that Locke and Chains and the twins and even Jean don’t have large egos, but they are also very entertaining. Chains’s stories and lessons are filled with creative cussing and wisdom. Locke is a touch narcissistic, true, but he’s also loyal to his friends and I believe he has certain lines he won’t cross (that’s how those two bullies in Shades Hills got killed).

So yeah, I’m a wannabe Gentlemen Bastard.

3) Do you find the split timelines a useful device for filling in background without a lot of exposition? Which timeline are you enjoying the most?

I really enjoy my time with Chains, especially since we already know this early on that he won’t be around forever. Plus Chains has big plans for his students and he has this interesting past that is hinted at. He’s this odd, yet awesome, mix of brutal straight talk and supportive advice. Everyone should have an uncle Chains.

4) Has anything taken you by surprise so far?

The shark fighting ladies! The Capa’s theatrical shark tooth! All the glorious food and drink!

 

Other Tidbits:

I wish I had had steel toed boots as a kid.

Bug in the barrel being rolled home. It was great to see all the guys so worried about him, but also great that they still taunted him a little getting him home safely.

I really like the idea of an alchemical brandy that let’s you enjoy all the flavor, maybe let’s you get a little tipsy, but leaves you free from hangovers the next day. Hooray!

I wonder if the boys have to dress in disguise to go fancy grocery shopping, since their temple is suppose to be fairly meager and they have to avoid catching the Capa’s eye with over spending.

 

Info on the Read Along

Here’s the schedule:

Wk1 / 7th April: Prologue and Book 1, hosted by There’s Always Room for One More
Wk2 / 14th April: Book 2, Ch 4-6, hosted by There’s Always Room for One More
Wk3 / 21st April: Book 2 Ch 7-8 and Book 3, hosted by Wendy at The Bibliosanctum
Wk 4 / 28th April: Book 4 and Epilogue, hosted by Over the Effing Rainbow

You can catch the weekly questions and links to folks’ weekly posts over at our GoodReads group SF/F Read Alongs. Have a look  around and you’ll see we have other upcoming SFF read alongs planned. As always, you’re welcome to be lurker, a commenter, or do your post.

Upcoming Read Alongs and More

Chupacabra has spotted something!
Chupacabra has spotted something!

Heya Folks! We’re wrapping up the read along of Kushiel’s Scion by Jacqueline Carey and planning the read along of Book 2, Kushiel’s Justice. Looks like we will be starting that read along March 20th. I’ll put out an official post once we have that settled. If you’re interested in joining, just leave me a comment and I’ll add you to the weekly emails.

WardDarkLoverAlso going on right now is a fun group read of J. R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series over on Facebook. It’s 13 books and we’re going to try to do 1 book a week, but that might get modified as we go forward. The awesome Cyndi Marie is organizing this read along. So if you have read series and want to join in the fun discussions (and little contests with prizes) or if you are simply craving some vampire romance, go check that out.

McGuireALocalHabitationIf urban fantasy is more your style, I’m very excited to say that we’ll be continuing the October Daye series (by Seanan McGuire) with Book 2, A Local Habitation. I really enjoyed Book 1 and it has been a test of my will to wait for the read along of Book 2 to start. You can find all the info and keep up with discussions posts over at the GoodReads SF/F Read Alongs Group. Lisa of Over the Effing Rainbow has organized this one. Just because I am really excited about it, here’s the schedule:

Week 1: Saturday 5th March, Chapters 1-8 hosted by Over The Effing Rainbow
Week 2: Saturday 12th March, Chapters 9-16 – hosted by Lynn’s Book Blog
Week 3: Saturday 19th March, Chapters 17-25 – hosted by Books By Proxy
Week 4: Saturday 26th March, Chapters 26-end – hosted by The Bibliosanctum

LynchLiesOfLockeLamoraNext, Imyril of X+1 blog is organizing a read along in April of The Lies of Locke Lamora, which is Book 1 of The Gentlemen Bastard series by Scott Lynch. I love these books! I’m sorely tempted to participate, but I will have to see how much is on my plate. Plus I did a read along of these books before with The Little Red Reviewer. Hopefully, Book 4, The Thorn of Emberlain, will be out later this year so it would be great to reread them…. Argh! The torture of having too many great books to read! Again, you can find out all the details over on the SF/F Read Along group.

Luxor as a bookstand.
Luxor as a bookstand.

I also want to take a moment to send a big thank you to Paul of Audio Book Reviewer who heard I have been ill. He mailed some audiobooks to me to help me while away the time. I’m very excited to be digging into these. I have a little confession – I have never read a Star Wars book. Yep, this SF fan hasn’t read a single Star Wars book. Now, thanks to Paul, I have Kevin Hearne’s Heir to the Jedi, and I love his Iron Druid Chronicles. Thank you Paul!

In January, I unexpectedly spent nearly a week in the hospital. Pneumonia was one culprit. Pulmonary hypertension was another. And it looks like I have another lung issue going on but I won’t know until I talk to the specialist (pulmonologist) in early March. I’ve been on 24/7 oxygen since I went into the hospital.  My face is very tired of being leashed to an oxygen unit. Anyway, I was pretty tired when I got out of the hospital, but I’m getting back into blogging. My life is lots of audiobooks, a little bit of questionable TV, and Sid Meier’s Civilization IV.

Authors, Please, Take Your Time

Smudge does not snuggle books, even really good ones.
Smudge does not snuggle books, even really good ones.

No, really. I mean it.

I read a lot, and my eyes & ears aren’t confined to one or two genres. There are many, many authors that I buy their latest on the day it comes out. Yes, I love the anticipation of wondering what will happen to some of my favorite characters, trying to second guess the author on where the plot will go.

But I can also wait. I want that next long-anticipated book to satisfy not only me, but the author. It is their art and should meet their standards first, and the fans’ standards second.

I have been blogging since 2010 and the book blogging world is by and large welcoming and enthusiastic. If you read, there’s a place for you here. But I also see A LOT of pressure being put on authors to turn out that much needed, much wanted next-book-in-the-series NOW. Scott Lynch, Patrick Rothfuss, George R. R. Martin, and the next book in The Stormlight Archive series by Brandon Sanderson are just a few that spring to mind.

LynchLiesOfLockeLamoraNow all the authors I have met have been human, and as humans they have all the crap going on in their lives as the rest of us. They have families, illnesses, joys, obligations, sorrows, vacations, hobbies, and pets, maybe even jobs (other than writing). In short, they have lives.

Patrick Rothfuss had a post in 2008 explaining why Book 2, Wise Man’s Fear, was taking so long by pointing out scenes and characters that weren’t in the original Book 1, The Name of the Wind, until several revisions in. His post is excellent in showing how enhanced Book 1 was by him insisting that the book meet his standards first. And he is right. I fully agree The Name of the Wind would not have been as enchanting, as deep without certain side characters and scenes.

RothfussNameOfWindGeorge Martin and Brandon Sanderson have been busy entertaining millions of people; George Martin has had an active hand in the hit tv series The Game of Thrones and Brandon Sanderson gave us the climatic ending to the decades-in-waiting series The Wheel of Time by the deceased Robert Jordan. Scott Lynch, author of The Gentlemen Bastard series (The Lies of Locke Lamora & Red Seas Under Red Skies) has been living his life, paying his bills, and fighting personal illness. In short, none of these folks are lazy or are blowing off their fan base.

Even before A Song of Ice and Fire series became really big with the tv series, George Martin was receiving pressure from his fan base to work on the series, and nothing else (another excellent post from the author’s view point). John Scalzi posted in 2009 about authors, their secret lives, and yes, they are human. Patrick Rothfuss mirrors this in his post explaining that he has a life, is obsessive, and giving fans some hints on how to be supportive instead of snarky dicks. Patrick Rothfuss has this great humorous post about the revision process. Go, have a look, learn how complicated it is.

SandersonWayOfKingsHere’s my take. If you are obsessing over the release date of the next book by a beloved author, if you are stalking them on the interwebs, if you are leaving unhelpful, pressuring comments and fanmail – EXPAND YOUR READING HORIZONS. There are many, many awesome authors out there with books calling your name. Spread the love. Before you know it, you’ll have plenty of great books from favorite authors, even if those authors individually take 2, 4, 7 years (or much more) between books. It is unreasonable to expect greatness to be turned out according to your time table. Please, let the authors work their magic on their time table.

Here is an example list of authors and their books, showing years between publications.

Jean Auel: The Clan of the Cave Bear (1980), 6 books in series, ending with The Land of Painted Caves (2011)

Diana Gabaldon: The Outlander series & Lord John series – up to 4 years in between books.

J.R.R Tolkein: The Hobbit (1937), The Fellowship of the Ring (1954)

JK Rowling: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows (2007), Casual Vacancy (2012)

Ken Follett: The Pillars of the Earth (1989), World Without End (2007)

Guy Gavriel Kay: up to 4 years in between books

Octavia Butler: Parable of the Sower (1994), Parable of the Talents (1999)

Neil Gaiman: American Gods (2002), Anansi Boys (2005)

Conn Iggulden: The Gods of War (2006), The Blood of Gods (2013)

Isaac Asimov: The Robot Series, 1954 – 1985, 4 books

Peter S. Beagle: The Last Unicorn (1968), The Last Unicorn (lost version ) (2007), Two Hearts (sequel to The Last Unicorn) (2011)

Elizabeth Bear: The Stratford Man (2008), One Eyed Jack (2013)

Marion Zimmer Bradley: Avalon series 1979-2009, 7 books

Caleb Carr: Up to 14 years between novels

William Gibson: The Blue Ant trilogy – 2003-2010

Karin Lowachee: 5 years between Cagebird and Gaslight Dogs

So, with all that said, who are some of your favorite authors that you have faithfully waited for?