Category Archives: Books and Reading

The Big Book of Earthsea

Tehanu Frontispiece by Charles Vess

What is most exciting to me about this edition of EARTHSEA is THE PICTURES. Charles Vess is painting a wraparound cover and a full-color frontispiece for each of the six books (and, says he, “the title page will be in color, if I have anything to say about it.” To which I say Amen!) Then he’ll be drawing some fifty black-and-white vignettes for chapter heads, ten or a dozen full-page illustrations, and a bunch of smaller pictures throughout the book. Continue reading

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Immersive fiction: history and other worlds


An on-going exchange about writing historical novels intersected with my reading of an ARC which the research into houses and weapons and clothing is impeccable . . . but everyone in early 1900s Great Britain sounds American. Occasionally modern American. … Continue reading

Posted in Books and Reading, Culture, fantasy, historical novels, History, Research, science fiction | Tagged , , | 31 Comments

Arabella of Mars release day!

Arabella of Mars sails into the world today from Tor Books. This rollicking adventure, written by BVC author David D. Levine, was read in draft by several BVC authors. “Regency space opera in its best form! An intrepid, intelligent heroine, wonderful … Continue reading

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Beware the Unclean Books

I get it. I understand that it’s a dangerous world out there and some parents want to protect their kids from it as long as possible. I get that they want to share lists of books that don’t have sex, … Continue reading

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Archie: A Review

A while ago, I bought a collection of the updated, new Archie Comics written by Mark Waid.  I like Waid’s writing, and I was curious to see what he was doing with this new version of Archie. The digest contained … Continue reading

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Reading: What makes YOU believe?

Recently I wrote up a blog post about Fourth Street Fantasy in Minneapolis, which I attended a couple weeks ago. Several people indicated interest in some of the panel topics, like: “Truth, Lies, and Meta” How do you get readers … Continue reading

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Brexit and Bold as Love

Bold as Love

Some years back, I stumbled across Gwyneth Jones’s Bold as Love, an amazing novel that begins with the break-up of the UK and ends up replacing the royal family with rockstars while merging science fiction with fantasy. I quickly became … Continue reading

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Curious Incident Followup

I test-drove The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time with my ninth graders.  We read and discussed the book in a single week.  For my largely special-ed classes, this was a fast, fast read.  Because of the language, the … Continue reading

Posted in Books and Reading, literary criticism, YA | 1 Comment

In Praise of Fanny Price

I have been doing one of my semi-regular Jane Austen re-reads. Every time I find new things: This time I was chagrinned to realize the extent to which certain film versions had overwritten Miss Austen’s original text in my mind–not … Continue reading

Posted in Books and Reading, Characters, regency, Writers on Writing | Tagged , | 25 Comments

Heroes, Protagonists, and the Beau Ideal

Not long ago I got into a discussion about John M. Ford, who I find always worth rereading. The particular book that sparked things off is The Dragon Waiting, about which I commented that I found the main character to be … Continue reading

Posted in Books and Reading, fantasy, historical novels, History | Tagged , , , , , | 28 Comments