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Archive for the ‘Bookery’ Category

Jane Austin & Zombies Has Arrived


I bought a copy of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies for J., secretly knowing that I could steal it from him when he wasn’t looking. Then Steph called dibs on it when we all went out to dinner, and now I’m 3rd in line. Still, I’ve been sneaking peeks, and I can say this much:

Reader, it’s awesome.

These are the stories – and heroines! – I wanted to read about 20 years ago.

Why I Wrote God’s War

I’m on page 92 of The Electric Church. I picked this one up because it’s about a Gunner, an assassin, who gets hired by the government, puts together a team, and goes after a religious organization. This should sound a tad familiar to those who’ve been following God’s War. The main character is snarky and poor and uneducated but good at what he does. Huzzah! Good times.

So now, as said, I’m on page 92 and our wise-cracking white male hero just put together his team for the job.

And, you’ll never guess it!!

His team?

Our wise-cracking white male hero’s team?

Wait for it….

It’s full of wise-cracking white male heroes!!

No, I’m serious. I’m on page 92 and the only woman in here with a first and last name paired with any kind of power or authority (or, you know, action) is the one he “accidently” killed at the beginning of the book.

I think, at one point, there were some people described as yellow. And some people from Ireland. I think there was a (male) Hispanic sounding character named at one point.

This is the sum total of cultural diversity in NYC 2050!

Oh man.

See, this is why I HAD to write books.

At some point they have to have a token woman character as the love interest, right? RIGHT?? And maybe she’ll be Hispanic or something, right? RIGHT???

Oh well.

My Kind of Jane Austen

I never really got the whole Jane Austen thing. They were amusing books, sure, and well written, but I could take or leave them.

I admit that I’d heard of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies several weeks ago. I thought it was a stupid joke. Then I thought it sounded silly. I mean, come on, what is that, a mashup of Jane Austen and Zombies? What the hell does that mean?

Today I found a sample of what it means, and I have to say it:

This is my kind of Jane Austen.

Urban Fantasy Vs. Brutal Women

Though often annoyed, I’ve been trying to resolve myself to getting a sex kitten urban fantasy cover for God’s War (complete with moon, over the shoulder glance, and back tattoo). I wasn’t sure how to sell “Brutal ass kicking woman” on the cover who isn’t all sex-kittened up. They all want to draw a sex kitten.

Then, this morning, I saw this:

And I went, “Oh hells yes!”

I like what this cover does. It’s gritty and dark and the main character isn’t looking off to the side or over her shoulder in that stupidly flirty, useless way you see on the urban fantasy covers. You’re not being invited to oogle her. She’s not being presented as an object. She’s staring straight at you, just the way somebody who can fuck some shit up would. Add in the blood with that full on stance and oh yeah… this isn’t a half bad portrayal of a brutal woman.

Granted, I’d prefer my heroine a little more physically imposing, and less pretty (she’s got the face and body of a runway model, not a warrior).

This is how I prefer my book heroines. I don’t want her in skin tight clothes (they did go with leather here – you can’t win em all), I don’t want her to flirt with me. I have no interest in seeing her half-clothed and “vulnerable” to “make up” for her supposed toughness. I’m sorry, but showing a half-clothed woman on your cover doesn’t convince me you’ve got a strong, complex heroine. I want her to be SCARY. I want to believe she’s going to fuck shit up. Those are the heroines I’m interested in (and interested in writing).

If I see one more vampire fucking novel cover, I might die. I really have no interest in reading another novel about the protagonist’s deep personal angst about whether she should go to bed with the vampire, the werewolf, or both.

I want higher stakes, more complex characters, and heroines that don’t all read the same. And I want that reflected on book covers. Because let me tell you, there’s a half ton of books out there on the SF/F shelves I’m just not picking up… based entirely on the cover. So sad.

For discussions about what led them to finally pick this cover (and oh yeah is this the best of the bunch), go here.

Bloodsong

There’s this scene in the book where the kid goes to kill the mutant “dragon” (who turns out to be less and more of a monster than he suspects), and he ends up tearing and clawing his way into the guts of this creature that won’t die, clawing and swimming up through its guts and tearing out its hearts while the creature tears into its own body even as the flesh tries to knit back together, trying to claw the kid out of its own flesh.

And at the end of this scene, I found myself a little stunned at breathless and was like, “Wow.”

I still think Bloodtide will turn out to be the better book, but man, I love these books. I need to read more Burgess.

Took a long time for him to come onto my radar, mainly because he’s marketed as a “young adult” writer.

Ummmm?

Whatever sells the books, I guess.

Highly recommended if you love some post-apocalyptic shenanigans. Mutants and nuclear fallout and fantastical fantasy tropes with SFish rationalizations and kingdoms and family feuds and in-your-face prose oh my!

Bookery: It’s a Small World

Was browsing the bookstore with my date last night and saw a copy of David Schwartz’s Superpowers. I had been picking up and talking about books and authors for sometime as we browsed the shelves, but when I picked this one up, the date said, “I think I’ve heard of this.”

He works at a comic book store, so this didn’t surprise me.

I babbled about Dave Schwartz for a bit and my date said, “You know what, I think I heard him on NPR. He seemed like a really nice guy.”

Man, bookery gets around. “Actually, yeah, you probably did,” I said. “He had a spot on there, I remember. He’s a total sweetheart of a guy. It’s about kids in Madison with superpowers. I think you’ll get a kick out of it.”

My date bought the book. Note that it generally takes 3-4 brain taps about a book before you buy it, which was why it was interesting to watch the power of media and personal recommendations play out right there. He’d heard of the book on NPR and also listed somewhere online, and then I pimped it. Third time’s the charm.

This made me terribly happy, because there are far too many people I know who write books that aren’t up my alley, and then I never read them. And then I feel like a Bad Writer.

But hey, I’ve learned that just because it may not be my kind of book doesn’t mean I can’t pimp it. And, knowing my date, I think he’ll really dig this book, the little comic-book nerd, Terry Pratchett-reading, Dresdan loving little goof that he is.

Sweet beans.