31 July 2011

30 Days of Genre - Masterlist!

Alrighty then, so that was the 30 Days of Genre!

Started by Bibliotropic and picked up by such funky peeps as Floor to Ceiling Books, The Erudite Ogre, A Fantastical Librarian and SMZb (go check out their answers!) - here's the 30 Days (and then some) that was:


Day 1 – Very first genre novel.
Day 2 – Your favourite character.
Day 3 – A genre novel that is underrated.
Day 4 – Your guilty pleasure book.
Day 5 – Character you feel you are most like (or wish you were).
Day 6 – Most annoying character.
Day 7 – Favourite couple in a genre novel.
Day 8 – Best fan soundtrack.
Day 9 – Saddest scene in a genre novel.
Day 10 – Best writing style, or the style that resonates most with you.
Day 11 – Favourite genre series
Day 12 – A genre novel everyone should read.
Day 13 – A genre novel you’ve read more than five times.
Day 14 – Favourite book trailer from a genre novel.
Day 15 – The cover from your current (or most recent) genre read.
Day 16 – Genre novel with the most intriguing plot
Day 17 – Favourite antagonist.
Day 18 – Favourite protagonist.
Day 19 – World/setting you wish you lived in
Day 20 – Favourite genre.
Day 21 – Genre novel with the most interesting character interactions
Day 22 – A sequel which disappointed you.
Day 23 – Genre novel you haven't read, but wish you had
Day 24 – Favourite classic genre novel.
Day 25 – A genre novel you plan on reading soon.
Day 26 – Best hero.
Day 27 – Most epic scene ever.
Day 28 – Favourite publisher of genre novels.
Day 29 – A genre novel you thought you wouldn’t like, but ended up loving.
Day 30 – Your favourite genre novel of all time.

30 July 2011

30 Days of Genre - Day 30

Day 30 – Your favourite genre novel of all time.

Charles de Lint - Spirit Walk.

My first De Lint, and a rather lovely one to be getting going with. There's something very appealing about Tamson House with it's eclectic community of people and the close merging with the spirit world. I love the mixture of Celtic and Native American mythology that gets woven in, the characters are lovely - particularly Esmeralda Foylan and Whiskey Jack - and there's just so many beautiful elements to it that taken as a whole it becomes this enchanting patchwork story that hits something deep.

29 July 2011

30 Days of Genre - Day 29

Day 29 – A genre novel you thought you wouldn’t like, but ended up loving.

Hannu Rajaniemi - The Quantum Thief

It's hard SF. I don't do hard SF. And yet... I landed a copy that had to be read for BFS purposes, so, I read it expecting not to understand word one... but, actually, it's quite an easy read. It's got an excellently conceived world, with some fab character interactions. The detective story elements hang together beautifully, it's brain twisting and has a thoroughly enthralling story. And, just generally, it's bloody fantastic.

28 July 2011

30 Days of Genre - Day 28

Day 28 – Favourite publisher of genre novels.

Ooh, there's a dangerous question! Gotta be a flip between Orbit and Angry Robot who both have a knack of picking up some excellent authors and make their lovelies available on Kindle. That last is now a very important factor in my book buying decisions and publishers as I'll hesitate over physical copies of books but show me a nicely priced e-book (of any format) and I'm in there.

So - Orbit - manage to come out with scads loads of cool series ranging from the urban fantasy to trad fantasy stuff to funky space sci-fi/space opera - their books tend to make for great comfort reading and there's so many of them! Meanwhile, Angry Robot is just plain fun and have a knack for putting out all kinds of the off-the-wall stuff.

27 July 2011

30 Days of Genre - Day 27

Day 27 – Most epic scene ever.

How do you judge epic, anyway? Do you go for the wide sweeping epicness such as, well, pretty much the whole of David Gemmell's Legend. (Which is the cheat's way of saying that I can't find my copy to pinpoint a particular scene, but I do distinctly remember that there was plenty to be found in the epic scene department.)

Or do you go for the 'OMG, that was so epically cool' aspect? Because in that case it would be that scene in Deadline, which I'm not going to spoil, but if you've read it, you know the one I mean. Chapter 27. The Coda. It's short and a total gut punch, coming, as it does, after the characters had been adjusting to the world as it was, and then, everything changes... (Damn you, Mira Grant!)

26 July 2011

30 Days of Genre - Day 26

Day 26 – Best Hero

Crumbs. Tricky one. So, the definition of a hero, as splattered about in multiple places (the definition, not the hero, that is), is that your hero is a person of distinguished courage or ability, admired for their brave deeds and noble qualities.

Noble qualities then. Yeah, this is going to cause problems. Noble qualities tend to bore me. Scoundrels are more fun. Like the Marquis de Carabas in Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere. Noble in title, perhaps, definitely distinguished in ability, but you wouldn't call him a hero or admired for brave deeds. (Although Paterson Josef could totally make you believe otherwise. ;-) )

I guess Jack Churchill from Mark Chadbourn's Age of Misrule books could technically count - except for the whole finding him an extremely irritating character thing. Although this affliction didn't manifest until the later Kingdom of the Serpent trilogy so taking him just on Misrule, he could just slide in.

Livak from Juliet McKenna's Tales of Einarinn? Not noble, but definitely courageous and admired for her ability and brave deeds. Yep. She's definitely a hero. And I think we have a winner!

16 July 2011

30 Days of Genre - Day 25

Day 25 – A genre novel you plan on reading soon

Leaving aside the very many books I have to read for assorted BFS purposes... the next up on the TBR pile are:

Aliette de Bodard - Harbinger of the Storm

Kameron Hurley - God's War

Terry Pratchett - I Shall Wear Midnight

Jaine Fenn - Consorts of Heaven

Marianne de Pierres - Nylon Angel

Lauren Beukes - Zoo City

15 July 2011

30 Days of Genre - Day 24

Day 24 – Favourite classic genre novel

Hmm, I think it would have to be The Hobbit. It had something of a lasting effect on my childhood. I first encountered it at primary school when we had it read to us by a teacher whose name I have, alas, forgotten. But he did all the voices and so I can't read gollum and the trolls without hearing his version of them.

And the songs! As a wee lass I loved the songs in the book to the extent where I'd make up tunes for them and go around the house singing them. And then when we got a computer program that could read out the written text... well, that was hours of fun typing them in then changing the spelling to get the right inflections.

Ooh, and translating the runes at the front was also a favourite thing. Once I'd worked out the alphabet (and was very proud at having cracked it) I spent an entire summer writing secret things in runes. (It is quite possible that The Hobbit is responsible for turning me into a huge nerd!)

And that's before you get to the riddles and the map (maps in books was a new thing for me then) and the dragon and the sneaking around invisible and the spiders in the forest... and I went through two copies of the book before I ever got near The Lord of the Rings.

12 July 2011

30 Days of Genre - Day 23

Day 23 – Genre novel you haven't read, but wish you had

Lud in the Mist by Hope Mirrlees. It's on my shelf looking at me, last time I tried it I got as far as one page then got distracted... (This happens a lot with the more classic genre books... I have a tendency to total focus!fail!)

11 July 2011

30 Days of Genre - Day 22

Day 22 – A sequel which disappointed you.

Can we make it plural, because then I can go for the easy answer and pick the later Anita Blakes. Pr0nification ahoy!

Not that the earlier Anita Blakes didn't have flaws - the obsessional description of clothing and hair being one of the major irritants, but at least there was a plot somwhere in there. And then... then came the ardeur, and the long haired groupies and the power ups and the orgies that led to more power ups until any decent plot was relegated to the epilogue.

Which is shame, because initially there was potential for some interesting stories in the Blake-world. There was the balance of assorted preternatural group politics and how an out-ed spook world mixes with regular human types. There was the potential interference from the black ops groups, the potential of lots of lovely conflict as assorted law organisations dealt with new kinds of perps, and yet... orgies. And power ups. Such a waste.

06 July 2011

30 Days of Genre - Day 21

Day 21 – Genre novel with the most interesting character interactions

Had been having trouble deciding on this one - then I read the very excellent Desdaemona by Ben Macallan (which, if you haven't read it yet, do so, pronto!) - so, answer sorted!

The main interactions being between lead chap Jordan and the titular character Desdaemona - deliciously argumentative and snarky, with some growing affection and nifty surprises thrown in for good measure. Also worthy of note are the interactions between Jordan and his brother Asher, and then the trio together, being pure gold. Could have happily read more of them.