Sleeps With Monsters: Is This the Book I Wanted to Read?

A difficulty haunts me, now, when I’m reviewing or otherwise critiquing books: am I judging the book I in fact read, or the one I wanted to read? Sometimes they’re the same thing. Often they’re not, and the question of how much I resent the novel in front of me for not being different in these specific ways becomes a live and pressing issue.

Part of that’s because I need to reconcile myself to living with my brain on some degree of burnout for the foreseeable future. (It’s dreadfully frustrating to feel duller and more stupid than one used to be all the time.) Part of it, though, is that I’ve been spoiled in the past while by the number of books I’ve read in which queerness was both present (prominent) and unremarkable. It seems I’ve come to expect an acknowledgement that people like me can (do more than merely) exist with the pages of a narrative. When I don’t find that in the books I’m reading, it’s a constant nagging disappointment. Like I said, I got spoiled.

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Series: Sleeps With Monsters

Steel Crow Saga Sweepstakes!

Four destinies collide in a unique fantasy world of war and wonders, where empire is won with enchanted steel and magical animal companions fight alongside their masters in battle in Paul Krueger’s Steel Crow Saga – and we want to send you a copy!

 

A soldier with a curse
Tala lost her family to the empress’s army and has spent her life avenging them in battle. But the empress’s crimes don’t haunt her half as much as the crimes Tala has committed against the laws of magic . . . and against her own flesh and blood.

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Joe Abercrombie’s A Little Hatred: A Book at War With Its Past

What must it feel like to live in your own legend?

This is one of the key themes of Joe Abercrombie’s books: characters swept up in their own narrative, sometimes willingly, more often not. The burden of being a Named Man or a hero; the heart of the narrative, the one in the spotlight and the storybook.

[A Little Hatred continues the theme…]

Rereading The Ruin of Kings: Chapters 62 and 63

CAKE OR DEATH, Tor.com? Cake? Well, we’re OUT of cake! So instead, have a RROK Goddess of Death with your afternoon tea, won’t you? I thought you would!

This blog series will be covering The Ruin of Kings, the first novel of a five-book series by Jenn Lyons. Previous entries can be found here in the series index.

Today’s post will be covering Chapter 62, “The Gryphon Ring”, and Chapter 63, “Tea with Death.” Please note that from this point forward, these posts will likely contain spoilers for the entire novel, so it’s recommended that you read the whole thing first before continuing on.

Got that? Great! Click on for the rest!

[possibly with his friend Terry. RIP, sir]

Series: The Ruin of Kings by Jenn Lyons

Tamsyn Muir on How She Got Her Lesbian Necromancer Novel Shaped Up and Other Highlights from Her Reddit Books AMA

Tamsyn Muir’s epic-sci-fi-fantasy-necromantic-comedy debut, Gideon the Ninth, published last week. (From the writer herself: “Everyone agrees that Charles Stross put it best when he described it as Lesbian necromancers explore a haunted gothic palace in space! although I also really liked it when he just said Skeletons!”) To celebrate, the Nebula/World Fantasy Award/Shirley Jackson-nominated author dropped by r/Books for an AMA, and it’s chock-full of writing advice, fun facts about the world of the Ninth House trilogy, forthcoming book news, jokes, skeletons, big influences, thoughts on the HYPE, and more.

Check out the highlights below, and head on over to the AMA itself for more genre-busting goth goodness!

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Spock and the Myth of “Emotion Versus Logic”

Look, I’m just saying that Spock was wrong.

Not about everything, of course. But about his developmental crux, the war going on betwixt his delightfully pointed ears. People love to talk about Spock’s struggle to reconcile the two natures within him—the rational, staid pragmatism of Vulcan and the wild, untempered emotionality of Earth. The half-vulcan half-human spends his entire life trying to accommodate these halves, and seems to wind up somewhere in the middle. He takes what’s best from both of his ancestral cultures and knits them together beautifully, evolving into a mature and centered being.

Except that’s not what happened at all.

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You Wouldn’t Believe How Lonely You Get: Five Terrible Ways to Live Forever in SFF (And One That’s Actually Pretty Good)

Science fiction and fantasy are full of horrible ways you can die, but the genre has also been pretty inventive in horrible ways to live forever. There’s something about the fantasy of never dying that brings out the pedant and the cynic in us all. What would you do with all that time? Wouldn’t you lose your humanity? Surely there’d have to be an awful downside? And, of course – what terrible thing would you do to get it?

In Greek myth, Tithonus asked for eternal life, but forgot about eternal youth, and shriveled up into a grasshopper. Immortality always has a gotcha clause. Maybe it’s just too good to be true, or too painful to imagine, given that it’s not something we’re ever going to get. Either way, if you really want to live forever you’d better read the small print.

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Reading the Wheel of Time: The Rise of the Evil Bubbles in Robert Jordan’s The Shadow Rising (Part 4)

Perrin and Faile find the halls of the Stone surprisingly busy with both off-duty Defenders as well as servants making their way to and fro. Perrin keeps his head down unless he is right in the light of a torch, not wanting people to observe his eyes glowing gold in the dim parts of the hall. No one has mentioned his eyes, of course, not now as servants bow as they pass or at other times—not even Faile has asked him about them—but Perrin still feels uneasy whenever someone seems to notice his golden gaze, and when they don’t say anything, it reminds him of how apart he is from other people.

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Series: Reading The Wheel of Time

Download a Free Ebook of New Spring, a Wheel of Time Novel by Robert Jordan, Before Sept. 21

For three days battle has raged in the snow around the great city of Tar Valon. In the city, a Foretelling of the future is uttered. On the slopes of Dragonmount, the immense mountain that looms over the city, is born an infant prophesied to change the world.

Moiraine Damodred, soon to be raised to Aes Sedai, must find this child.

Each month, the Tor.com eBook Club gives away one (or two, or five last June!) free sci-fi/fantasy ebook to club subscribers. For September 2019, the Ebook Club pick is Robert Jordan’s stand-alone Wheel of Time novel NEW SPRING.

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Wheel of Time Showrunner Rafe Judkins Makes Tribute Video to Robert Jordan

Earlier today, Wheel of Time showrunner Rafe Judkins took to Twitter to announce that the TV adaptation will start filming.

In the short video post, Judkins noted that the WoT’s first day of principal photograph also coincides with the 12th anniversary of author Robert Jordan’s death. Judkins states, “So as much as I’m excited about this new endeavor that we are all embarking on, I am also quite humbled and honored to remember the man who began all of this. Tai’shar Rigney.”

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SFF Horse Breeds: Tiny Horses

A while back, one of the regular commenters asked about horses that aren’t ridden—what about them? Since every breed of domesticated equine that I know of has had someone at least try to ride it (and then there’s the whole zebra question), there really isn’t any kind of horse that hasn’t had a human on its back at some point. The really really big ones can be uncomfortable to sit on, to say the least—try straddling your overstuffed sofa to get a sense of what it’s like, then imagine the sofa as mobile in a number of different directions at once, and sentient on top of that—but in terms of ability to carry the average human, there’s no question that a horse that size can do it.

The other end of the size spectrum is a different matter.

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The Name of All Things Sweepstakes!

Jenn Lyons continues the Chorus of Dragons series with The Name of All Things, the epic sequel to The Ruin of Kings – and we want to send you a copy!

 

You can have everything you want if you sacrifice everything you believe.

Kihrin D’Mon is a wanted man.

Since he destroyed the Stone of Shackles and set demons free across Quur, he has been on the run from the wrath of an entire empire. His attempt to escape brings him into the path of Janel Theranon, a mysterious Joratese woman who claims to know Kihrin.

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