Monthly Archives: February 2012

PRINCE OF THORNS by Mark Lawrence

Prince of Thorns

By Mark Lawrence
Pages: 336 pages
Publisher: Ace Hardcover
Release Date: 08/02/11
ISBN: 0441020321


On page five of Prince of Thorns, I almost stopped reading. By page 12, I went to my computer to read a few reviews from some trusted bloggers/critics to reassure myself that it was a book I truly wanted to give a chance. By page 40 of Prince of Thorns, I couldn’t put it down.

So, why’d I hate it?

The novel begins in such a caustic, morally insensitive way that I was almost instantly reminded of Stephen Donaldson’s Lord Foul’s Bane, the first book to bring me such ire that I almost literally threw it into the fireplace. I finished Lord Foul’s Bane, on the strength of two trusted readers, but ended up hating the novel so much that I haven’t touched Donaldson since. That experience rang though my head as I began Prince of Thorns. The protagonist/narrator, Jorg, was just such a little fuck, so insensitive and hard to relate to, that I couldn’t fathom reading an entire novel centred around him.
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The Wheel of Time, A MEMORY OF LIGHTWell, it’s official, and likely to annoy some fans of The Wheel of Time:


A Memory of Light will release on January 8, 2013, in the final month of the Year of the Dragon.

Consider that the first draft of the novel has completed for a few months (and some parts of it, including the ending, for years), a lot of us expected that the book would hit shelves this holiday season, somewhere between September and November. To see it pushed into 2013 is a bit of a surprise. No surprise gifts underneath the Christmas tree, I guess. Oh well, though, at least that gives me a few extra months to catch up to the series and read the final volume alongside the rest of the fans.

Now, the real question is, when will we get the cover art and who will be the artist responsible?

Muddy Colors on the Art of FanzinesThis is a great post by Arnie Fenner on the Muddy Colours blog about the history of Fanzine art.

In the pre-Internet era, young artists, writers, and entrepreneurs often combined their interests to produce fanzines (or “semi-pro zines” if they paid for content), small press publications that filled a void in the marketplace and actually advanced the appreciation for the subjects (comics, SF, film, horror, etc.) highlighted in the magazines. Artists and authors were able to hone their craft or, if they were already working professionals, experiment with subjects or ideas they normally didn’t have the opportunity to explore; publishers wet behind the ears were able to learn the ins and outs of the business while refining their design and editorial skills; readers were able to get something more than what the professional houses were putting on the news stands. Win, win, win.

Fanzines are the precursor to blogs like A Dribble of Ink and use a medium that really allows the editors to embrace Fantasy and SF artwork, something that many blogs struggle with. It’s a great read, especially if you love the art aspect of the genre as much as I do. For that matter, Muddy Colors is a must-follow blog for those interested in art. It features great content from Daniel Dos Santos, Donato, Justin Sweet and many other artists.

AND BLUE SKIES FROM PAIN by Stina LeichtAs a former art student, I’m a visual person, but music has always played a big role in my life. One of my earliest memories is of sitting in the back of my parents’ car with “Hit the Road, Jack” playing on the radio. My parents had just had an argument where my father had walked out the door and then turned around and come back. That song perfectly fit a moment I’d lived through not twenty minutes before. My mother says I might have been two years old at the time — tops. Ever since then, I’ve associated songs with certain events in my life. So, it was a natural transition from real life to novel scenes.

I used music to help me travel back in time to the ‘70s. While I was writing Of Blood and Honey, I dumped anything I remembered hearing in addition to anything I might like from the era into a huge playlist. (Of course, Charles de Lint had more than a few suggestions, thank goodness.) I usually run through the giant list a few times until a select few frame up into something that tells the story of the novel I’m working on. That becomes my final list. Here’s the list for Of Blood and Honey:
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