Monthly Archives: July 2007

Joe Abercrombie: author of The Blade Itself and Before They Are Hanged
Joe Abercrombie is a British dude. A British dude who just so happens to be making waves in the Fantasy field at the moment. His first novel, The Blade Itself, was released to critical (and fan) acclaim in 2006, with many in the UK and Canada putting it right near the top of the genre right behind Scott Lynch’s The Lies of Locke Lamora. Soon to be released in The United States, it is sure to garner similar critical success.

The sequel to Joe’s first novel, Before They Are Hanged was recently released in the UK and Canada and faired just as well, if not better, with fans and critics alike, firmly placing Joe, who is hard at work on the concluding novel of the trilogy, Last Argument of Kings, as an author that everyone should be keeping an eye on!

Joe writes stories brimming with charming, charismatic characters who readers just love to hate! If you’re a fan of the sharp wit in Joe’s novels (or even if you haven’t read them), I don’t think you’ll be disappointed by Joe! He’s just as dastardly and biting as any of his characters! So, without further adieu, I leave you with the interview.

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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Author: J.K. Rowling

Publisher: Raincoast Books; 1st edition
Release Date: Jul 21 2007
ISBN-10: 1551929767
ISBN-13: 978-1551929767

No one needs to be reminded at how firmly the Harry Potter phenomenon has gripped the globe. The first six novels have sold millions upon millions of copies and have created new readers out of young and old alike. So it must have been daunting indeed for author J.K. Rowling when she sat down and first put her fingers to her keyboard to begin work on the seventh, and final, installment of her mega-successful series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. How does an author, with so much pressure on her shoulders, begin to draw together the strings previously laid down through thousands of pages? In Rowling’s case: you plan.

And it sure shows.
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Being a writer is different these days. No longer are writers confined to their little cabins in the woods, shut out from all social contact until their next book tour. Instead they are now a part of a rapidly growing community of bloggers, messageboard fiends, and Internet Celebrities: and they’d better be ready and willing to take part in discussion with their fans, respond to criticism of their own works or just shoot the shit with friends they have never met in person, or they just might be left behind in the dust.

There seems to have been a tremendous shift in focus in recent days from publishers and authors alike, a shift that is taking authors off their untouchable pedestals and placing them down among their fans, in an effort to show just how real and genuine these authors really are. No longer are the days when the only contact a fan could have with their favourite authors is regulated to a yearly tour stop… if they come to your area at all.

This Internet phenomenon is an evolution of the old word-of-mouth advertising that has fueled book sales for hundreds of years. But in this new Internet-savvy world, instead of a fan being able to reach a dozen or so of their friends, blogs and message boards are now allowing this word-of-mouth to reach the eyes and ears of literally thousands of other readers. A simple post from a well established blog such as Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist, or a favourable review from a popular website like SFFworld can go great lengths in bolstering the buzz or appeal around an author’s latest work. New Fantasy authors such as David Anthony Durham, Scott Lynch and Patrick Rothfuss have benefited greatly from the positive buzz associated with their novels throughout the Blog-o-sphere.

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Like the fellow who meme’d me (Neth from Neth Space) I’m not a big fan of chain letters (which is essentially what this is). They always scared me as a kid… because they told me I’d be cursed if I didn’t send it to 27 people… and when you’re only 10 you definitely don’t know 27 people. In any case, out of respect for Neth and my fellow bloggers, I suppose I should follow along with the crazyness.

So, here goes.

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With the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows only hours away, I, like millions of other folk on the planet, am bursting at the seams with anticipation. In preparation for this, and my review that will come as soon as I finish the book, I thought it would be prudent to let my readers know a little bit about my thoughts on the Harry Potter series and what it means to me.

So, to that effect, below you will find a review/pontification on the first six novels in the Harry Potter cycle. I’ve kept any major spoilers out of the review, and there are absolutely no spoilers at all about book 7 (I’m as in the dark as anyone, I’ve made it my life duty over the past few weeks to avoid anything that remotely resembles a spoiler), but there are what some might consider very mild spoilers of general events in the first six novels, mostly concerning the general direction the series has taken. Potter-newbies should be able to read the review safely, but I thought I’d warn you just in case!

*** Warning: Mild Spoilers for Harry Potter books 1-6 *** Click “Read More” to find the review

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