Yearly Archives: 2010

Well, it’s official. I’ve joined the team over at the inestimable SF Signal, a blog that needs no introduction. John DeNardo, the mastermind behind SF Signal was kind enough to approach me and see if I’d be interested in joining them. I jumped at the opportunity.

You won’t be surprised to find out that John’s asked me, along with the wonderful Jeff Patterson, to help increase the art coverage on SF Signal, a position I hope to use as a venue to promote many of my favourite artists, both established and upcoming. Also, it looks like I’ll be taking over the reins of the famous Book Cover Smackdowns; so, if you’ve got any covers or artists you think are particularly great, let me know!

The SF Signal Podcast

One of the other big draws for me is the SF Signal Podcast. I’ve been a big fan of the podcast since it launched, and being a contributor means I’ll have the chance to join the rest of the crew each week. Talk about a fanboy moment.

What does this mean for A Dribble of Ink? Well, besides more exposure, not much. I won’t be changing the format much at all; if anything, it’ll open up doors to bring more great content to the blog. I also plan to port most of the content and articles I post over at SF Signal to A Dribble of Ink after a suitable amount of time, so even if you don’t read SF Signal (seriously, though, you should!), you’ll still be able to read almost everything I write.

In the meantime, you can check out my first article, On Genre Diversity (Or, Why Mark Charan Newton Was Right), a response to Mark Charan Newton’s call for bloggers to diversify their reading habits.

Corvus by Paul Kearney

It is twenty-three years since a Macht army fought its way home from the heart of the Asurian Empire. The man who came to lead that army, Rictus, is now a hard-bitten mercenary captain, middle-aged and tired. He wants nothing more than to lay down his spear and become the farmer that his father was. But fate has different ideas. A young warleader has risen to challenge the order of things in the very heartlands of the Macht. A soldier of genius, he takes city after city, and reigns over them as king. What is more, he had heard of the legendary leader of the Ten Thousand. His name is Corvus, and the rumours say that he is not even fully human. He means to make himself absolute ruler of all the Macht. And he wants Rictus to help him.

Though my experience with The Ten Thousand was troubled (and well documented), I look forward to taking another look at Kearney’s work, especially now that I’m a more discerning reader and reviewer. For what it’s worth, The Ten Thousand has, despite my reservations, stuck with me longer than most other novels, which is reason enough to read Corvus.

Solaris has posted the opening chapter of Corvus as a downloadable PDF. Also, if you download it, you might just find a nice (if ironic) surprise on page two!

Clash of the Geeks from Wil Wheaton and John Scalzi

Wil Wheaton, John Scalzi and Subterranean Press are proud to announce the publication of Clash of the Geeks, a special and fantastical electronic chapbook featuring stories by Wheaton, Scalzi, New York Times bestseller Patrick Rothfuss, Norton Award winner and Hugo Best Novel nominee Catherynne M. Valente, Hugo and Nebula Award nominee Rachel Swirsky and others, for the benefit of the Michigan/Indiana affiliate of the Lupus Alliance of America. The chapbook is free to download, but voluntary payment is strongly encouraged, via Paypal or by tax-deductible donation forms, both linked to later in this entry. All proceeds from this chapbook will go to the Michigan/Indiana affiliate of the Lupus Alliance of America. Please enjoy the stories, link your friends to this page — and give!

Seriously. Look at that lineup. For my money, Swirsky’s near the top of the heap of young writers, and, well, you don’t need me to tell you who Scalzi, Rothfuss or Wheaton are. On top of that, you get a great song from John Anealio, who’s a good friend of A Dribble of Ink. And it’s a fundraiser for a great charity? What’s there to lose? I’ve got a bunch of great new short fiction to read and I feel good about myself. Win-win.

So, go grab a copy of Clash of the Geeks. It’s free, but I highly recommend you support the cause a toss a few buck their way, too.

From the Little, Brown website:

Humanity has colonized the planets – interstellar travel is still beyond our reach, but the solar system has become a dense network of colonies. But there are tensions – the mineral-rich outer planets resent their dependence on Earth and Mars and the political and military clout they wield over the Belt and beyond.

Now, when Captain Jim Holden’s ice miner stumbles across a derelict, abandoned ship, he uncovers a secret that threatens to throw the entire system into war. Attacked by a stealth ship belonging to the Mars fleet, Holden must find a way to uncover the motives behind the attack, stop a war, and find the truth behind a vast conspiracy that threatens the entire human race.

I’m not shy about my love for Daniel Abraham’s Long Price Quartet. Though I’ve only read the first two volumes (I’m pacing myself, otherwise I’d devour the whole thing and look back in sadness at what I’ll never get to experience again for the first time), it’s easily one of my favourite series off all time. If the final two volumes are of an equal quality to the first two, I have no qualms saying it’s the finest finished series published in the last 25 years. Needless to say, I’m excited by both The Dragon’s Path, the first volume in The Coin and the Dagger, published under Abraham’s real name, and Leviathan Wakes, the first volume in The Expanse Series, a Science Fiction cycle he’s writing alongside Ty Franck under the pseudonym ‘James S.A. Corey’. Then, of course, he’s also got an Urban Fantasy series that he writes under the name ‘M.L.N Hanover’. It’s kinda unfair that the guy can write so fast and produce such quality. For all the praise Brandon Sanderson gets, Abraham’s accomplishments are no less noteworthy.

To me, a reader whose experience with Science Fiction isn’t nearly what it should be, what intrigues me most about Leviathan’s Wake is Abraham’s restraint in his vision of the future. There’s no interstellar travel, as seems to dominate much of Space Opera, and neither does it look like he’ll be relying on aliens to wow his readers. Like The Long Price Quartet, it seems like Abraham discovered a story he wants to tell and then found the suitable setting in which to tell it, rather than letting the setting dictate the plot.

Of course, we’ll get a stronger impression of Leviathan Wakes as its June, 2011 release date draws closer.

Towers of Midnight by Robert Jordan and Brandon SandersonThe Great Hunt is over. For a few weeks now, Brandon Sanderson has been running a world-wide scavenger hunt, challenging his readers to find a handful of stickers hidden in various locations across the planet. The final sticker was found (sorta) in Venice, Italy.

After the strong critical response to The Gathering Storm, the first of the Sanderson/Jordan posthumous collaborations, anticipation is high for Towers of Midnight, the penultimate volume in The Wheel of Time series.

For those interested, the excerpt, a chapter called The Seven-Striped Lass, is available on Sanderson’s official website, or in a prettier form on Dragonmount.