karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (Balthasar)
He had attempted to programme the cheese to hover an inch or two above the floor.
karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (Captain Future)
or those who want to sample his writing:
He's been nominated for two Hugos, one for Palimpsest (best novella) and one for Overtime (best novelette). You can download/read them on the net from those links for the duration of the Hugo voting.
karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (Captain Future)
Various people on the internet who I think are cool have been recommending Cherie Priest's new novel Boneshaker.
Well, they weren't lying, it's a great book. The characters are interesting and make you care for (or hate) them, there's suspense, action, tragedy, comedy and a plot that just grabs you and drags you along until it's done.

The book is set in an alternate history Seattle during the Civil War. Large parts of the inner city are destroyed as a new invention (the titular Boneshaker) goes haywire. Not only is there considerable damage but the accident also releases a poisonous gas that turns everyone who comes into contact with it into ... zombies (or rotters, as they are called in the book). This being set in the steampunk era, there are dirigibles and airships, wonderful contraptions made from wood and brass and of course masks and goggles of all types and sizes.

Find out more about the author on her blog (on her website linked above or on LJ [livejournal.com profile] cmpriest) or via Twitter (@cmpriest).

And here's a fancy banner )
karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (Default)
I'm reading [livejournal.com profile] cmpriest's awesome Steampunk Zombie novel Boneshaker atm. It's really good and I'll probably finiish it tonight instead of watching TV...
Spending over two hours on trains and tubes yesterday meant I managed to get through another fair chunk. And this is what it looks like:



Bigger )
karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (Beer)
For winning the newcomer category of the Deutscher Phantastik-Preis (German Fantasy Awards) for her book Das Obsidianherz (which I can highly recommend to anyone who reads German). Hopefully, this means that she'll be able to find a publisher for the English version (which she wrote herself)
karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (Default)
I started reading Unnatural History (which was a giveaway at Constitution) on the train yesterday. Set in an alternative, steam/dieselpunkish London in 1996, it's extremely derivative and contains pretty much all turn of 19th/20th century mysterious/scifi/fantasy concepts in a weird but strangely cool mix of Victorian adventure/mystery and pulp story, complete with all relevant character stereotypes. The protagonist, Ulysses Quicksilver, is a mix of The Shadow and James Bond (agent of Her Majesty's government and a bit of a cad).
It's rubbish but highly entertaining rubbish. :D

I'm amused by the negative comments on amazon who all miss the point.
karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (Default)
My book arrived today so I've got six weeks to read and review it. Erk.

Oh, anyone else got theirs? Mine was slightly damaged (a scratch across the front cover and a crease on the back cover). I wonder if they're doing this to get rid of damaged stock cheaply?
karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (Richard killing)
To those of you who read Looking for Group and have read [livejournal.com profile] jonnynexus' Game Night (download Chapter 1 now if you haven't), Richard and Draag are different incarnations of one and the same character, aren't they? The only difference is that one is an undead warlock and the other a "paladin". :o)

It occurs to me that there must be shitloads of Richards/Draags out there, if two independent parodies choose the concept for one of their characters. Scary, really.
karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (Default)
I wanted to upload a photo of the nice starter Mum made today but for some reason this laptop claims the pics are corrupted so it'll have to wait until I'm home.

Lunch was a salmon "tart" (a mix of cream cheese, chopped salmon, horseradish and herbs, topped with salmon and fringed with cucumber slices) with fried field salad; roast wild duck with potato dumplings and three salads and a choc mousse with raspberries as dessert. Yum.

I'm now reading Glennkill, a whodunnit with sheep. (no idea what the English title refers to) It's set in Ireland but originally German. [livejournal.com profile] jupiter_jones recommended it and when I spotted it at the bookshop in Nuremberg station, I picked it up. It's good, funny, and the sheep have wonderful personalities but I can't help of thinking of the flock in Shaun the Sheep. ;o)

The Book

29 Jul 2007 01:42 pm
karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (Default)
I finished it just before 5 this morning because I couldn't stop. I thought about stopping because I have really important Stuff™ to do today but I knew that first thing would be to pick up the book again so it didn't really matter. It's good, it's long but it doesn't drag and most of it made sense.

just a few comments and questions )

ROFLMAO

1 Feb 2007 01:52 pm
karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (Mad)
Bill Yosses, the new pastry chef for the White House, also wrote this book!
karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (Balthasar)

I was distracted by sorting through the prints and watching Garth Marenghi's Darkplace last night that I didn't get round to posting about the Heffers thing.

I arrived in plenty of time to find locked shutters so I waited around a bit until [livejournal.com profile] devalmont appeared who left again to look for [livejournal.com profile] _ebb_ at "his" shop. While he was gone she arrived so we chatted for a bit until he got back. [livejournal.com profile] _ebb_ introduced me to a children's book by SF Said called Varjak Paw which is quite wonderfully illustrated by Dave McKean. [livejournal.com profile] simonsatori arrived and said hi and then left for Heffers to see what he was supposed to be doing.
The doors opened, we got our ticket and I bought two copies of [livejournal.com profile] simonsatori's book, Assumptions and Carnations (I got yours, [livejournal.com profile] robinbloke) and then generally milled about.
I think there was some general confusion as to what was actually supposed to be happening and most people seemed to browse the shop until it became clear that it was a chat and mingle with the authors rather than any kind of organised talk thing (which at least I had assumed).

So after getting [livejournal.com profile] simonsatori to sign books for [livejournal.com profile] robinbloke and me and chatting for a bit, I asked SF Said about his books and found out that he's a really nice bloke (and, despite his Middle Eastern ancestry looked and seemed thoroughly British to me, only helped by the fact that indeed looks like Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall as so keenly pointed out by [livejournal.com profile] scy11a). I asked him how he managed to get Dave McKean to illustrate his novel and his simple reply was "By asking him and being really really lucky". Apparently, his publisher had asked him who he would like and Said said, oh McKean would be nice so they sent the manuscript to McKean who read it to his daughter (who randomly was in the perfect target group at the time) and they both thoroughly enjoyed it and that was that... Lucky Bastard...
I also spoke to one of the authors (name escapes me) who was using a puppet on a string to promote his books. That puppet had come from his parents' puppet theatre whose characters and plays he loosely based his books on (or at least some of the characters were the same).

We ended up chatting to SF Said again and he mentioned that they are working with Dave McKean and the Henson Company on an animated film of the first Varjak Paw book (very early stages, they just got the first draft of the screenplay back) which could be terribly exciting. He was also mean because he mentioned that they had been doing short stories on flickr but then wouldn't tell me the user name which led to the odd moment of me writing my name into a brochure for him as I didn't have any of my cards on me. Bah. I need to make another run, anyway, one that's just photography.

I didn't really speak to any of the other authors which was a big of a shame, I think but the argument in my head was that my reading pile is too high already and I would have felt bad if I hadn't bought any books. I also felt a bit inadequate as I didn't know any of them and starting a conversation with "So, what are your books about, then?" would have been awkward, at least for me. They might have been happy to chat, I'm sure. Oh well.
karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (Balthasar)
Right after work, I went to the Heffers at the Grafton for a talk by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell, the author and illustrator of the wonderful Edge Chronicles books. It was really good and quite funny, too. Interestingly, the guy who looked like an artist was the writer and the bloke who looked like a shabby author was the illustrator. ;o)
Their first collaboration was a series of children's picture books called Rabbit and Hedgehog. After the fourth one Chris said, "they're all very nice and the story is nice but shouldn't we try to create something darker?" - Paul: "The fifth book was called Roadkill [waits for the giggles to die down] ... but was rejected." That's a pretty good indication as to how the rest of the talk and Q&A session went.
They talked about the design process which is a true collaboration, i.e. Riddell isn't just drawing pictures after the story is done, it's a shared thing. Sometimes Riddell draws something which inspires Stewart to write a story around it (that's how the Edge Chronicles started, the main illustration in the front cover of the books - the edge jutting out - was first) or Stewart has an idea and Riddell puts it into a drawing. Both have input and Riddell's kids are the first to hear and critique them.

For those who read the books, the third part in the Quint trilogy (Curse of the Gloamglozer, Winter Knights) will be called Clash of the Sky Galleons and will be out in September and then, sometime next year, will be a tenth book tieing everything together and answering open questions. There's going to be a 91/2th book, too, which will contain Cloud Wolf and other short stories as reissues in one book.
They're reissuing all the books with new covers, too and we were the first to see them. :o)

While Stewart was talking, Riddell "doodled" a banderbear on a flipchart sheet, occasionally turning around to emphasise a point or explain his parts. Very very impressive. He started with the tiny ears, btw. He also had one of his "doodle journals" with him, basically a sketchbook with a full page illustration idea on each page. If he were to auction one of these, I'm sure they'd fetch a decent price...

After the Q&A, Stewart read and excerpt from the current book (Winter Knights) and then the haphazard queuing for the signing started. All good.
karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (Balthasar)
Chris Riddell and Paul Stewart are going to be at the Grafton Centre Heffers on the 27th of April (7:30, IIRC) to talk about their books. It's a ticketed even so you need to go to the Children's Dept of the Grafton Heffers and pick one up. They're free, though.
I would assume they're touring so they might be at a Heffers near you, too.

Hehehe

14 Feb 2006 03:00 pm
karohemd: (Devil)
How to Survive a Robot Uprising

Looks like a fun little book. :o)
karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (Gargoyle)
I only just got rid of two boxes full and already have a stack of new ones to get through:
The Sparrow (just started), Children of God, Anansi Boys, the two latest Edge Chronicles books and [livejournal.com profile] wicked_wish's Two and Twenty Blackbirds.

I think I need to find a job in London so I can read on the commute...
karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (Balthasar)
I'm not sure if I've written about the series of fantasy books written by Paul Stewart and superbly illustrated by Chris Riddell, so I'll do that now as I've just finished another book.

I first came across it when I was in Dublin with nothing to read and Beyond the Deepwoods caught my eye as I was browsing a book shop. As soon as I started reading, I was hooked as it's not the usual high fantasy style. Other than humans, there are instead of elves, dwarves, orcs and the like various wonderful and unusual creatures (including myriads of different goblins who aren't all evil and completely new creatures like the banderbears). Everything else is a bit stranger and weirder, too. There are no magic users but (weird) scientists. Nature as a whole is really rather freaky.
An interview with the authors can be found here.

The best book to start with is the trilogy Beyond the Deepwoods/Stormchaser/Midnight over Sanctaphrax starring Twig.
There are two other unconnected (as yet and they are set a number of years apart) storylines, one starring Quint (beginning with The Curse of the Gloamglozer) and the other starring Rook Barkwater, starting in The Last of the Sky Pirates and continuing in Vox (which I just finished) and Freeglader.

The books are written for kids (9-11) but are very enjoyable and actually quite deep. Disturbingly, they are also quite violent and graphic. For example, in Vox, there are lot of graphic descriptions of injuries, brutality/torture or a goblin who has his belly ripped open in battle and desperately tries to hold his guts in...

All the books contain loads of superb illustrations by Chris Ridell which underline the weirdness of the world and characters.

Highly recommended.

HP6

25 Jul 2005 12:14 am
karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (Balthasar)
Thank you, Ms Rowling, for restoring my respect for you, thank you for a wonderful book I had to force myself to put down so I could get a few hours of sleep.
No thanks for keeping me from all those things I should have done over the weekend. :oP

Now please make sure that the seventh one will at least be just as good and you don't do another OotP.

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