Oct 14 2012

Warning: Readers Have Comfort Zones

Posted by Mathias

Writers sometimes get a little too crazy.  One thing we often do is try to show how smart we are by using what are known as ten dollar words.  I call it the Plethora Rule.  What is the Plethora Rule?  It is best described from the scene that made me realize long ago that fancy words are not always good.  Here is that scene from ¡Three Amigos! that introduced 90% of people who know what plethora means to the word:

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Sep 30 2012

Sci-Fi And Fantasy Suggestions From Audible.com

Posted by Mathias

Today I got my monthly “recommendations” from audible.com in terms of sci-fi and fantasy books. I thought I would present them to everyone else.

NOTE: On a personal basis I disagree with two of these suggestions. First is The Farseer: Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb. This book is so slow that I still haven’t been able to complete it. Second is The Scar By Sergey & Marina Dyachenko. To read my take on it, click here. (more…)

Sep 29 2012

Book Review: Daniel O’Malley’s The Rook

Posted by Mathias

Myfanwy (the w is silent) Thomas has no memory of why she is surrounded by dead people wearing rubber gloves. So starts the story told by Daniel O’Malley in The Rook. The Rook is a paranormal sci-fi / fantasy about covert British (and American) operatives who have supernatural abilities and deal with supernatural phenomena.

The story follows Myfanwy as she slowly discovers who she is. Who she is is a member of said paranormal agency, holding a position known as a Rook. She has been attacked and her memories stolen. Fortunately for Myfanwy, her former self had some prewarning that she was going to lose her memory. So the prior Myfanwy Thomas left the new Myfanwy Thomas a series of letters explaining all that she knew. (more…)

Sep 14 2012

HarperCollins Imprint, Harper Voyager Opens Up For Submissions – My Thoughts

Posted by Mathias

It was kind of exciting when I heard that Harper Voyager was opening itself up for direct submissions for its e-book publishing department.  Harper Voyager, the Sci-Fi & Fantasy imprint of HarperCollins, is looking for, according to its site, submissions to fill an apparently gaping void in publication schedules of ebooks.

“Currently, we are looking to acquire enough content to release a new Harper Voyager digital title each month,” the company announced.  How many months however is a mystery.  It could be a year, two years, or a couple of months.  No one knows how many books they are looking to acquire.  Even so, expect Harper Voyager to get flooded by authors with big dreams when they open up the submission process on October 1st.  The submission period ends October 14th.

However, my initial excitement has been kind of tempered since reading this.  What follows are my thoughts as I have worked through whether or not Under the Darkened Moon, if polished in time, might in fact get submitted. (more…)

Aug 22 2012

Kind of Depressed Over This

Posted by Mathias

I just realized my Tickler List is over 90 entries long, all sci-fi and fantasy. Each one of those entries is a story I want to tell. Some are short stories. Others are single novels. Others still are series.

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Jul 09 2012

The Problem With “Young Adult”

Posted by Mathias

I don’t know about anyone else, but I am really frustrated by the category Young Adult, aka YA, in fiction. I swear, if you ask ten different people to define “young adult” you get ten different answers.

The basis is usually the same and the actual definition is that the story must appeal to a teenage audience and be marketed towards them. But then things diverge quickly from there. Some people claim that the main characters themselves must been teenagers (i.e. Young Adults). Some people claim that the characters don’t need to teenagers, but that they must deal with the problems teens face. Some claim that it is ONLY a distinction in how the book is marketed, i.e. to Young Adults as previously stated. Some people even claim that a story being written in cinema style third person omniscient POV makes a story YA.

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Jun 18 2012

Submit a book review!

Posted by Mathias

Have you written a review of a fantasy or sci-fi book?  I’m willing to consider publishing it.

PLEASE!  SERIOUS REVIEWS ONLY!  If the write up is nothing except you gushing with repeated OMGS, endless praise for how it the novel was “the best book ever!!!!” or, on the other side of the spectrum, needless bashing, I don’t want it.

What did you like?  What didn’t you like?  What were the strengths?  Were there any weaknesses?  Be honest, not a kiss ass or jack ass.

If you have a blog, twitter account, facebook page, etc I’ll give you a link back to you sites.  Within reason of course.  I’m not going to link to 10 different pages and profiles!  So let’s keep the links back to three or less ok?

I am especially interested in helping to promote independent and self-published authors.

Authors, please don’t review your own books and submit them!  Please!  I’m begging you NOT to do this.  But if you know someone that read it and like it, then by all means encourage them to submit a review to me at [email protected]

I am not promising that I will publish all reviews I recieve, simply soliciting them.  Nor am I saying they will go up within a minute, an hour or even a few days of them hitting my inbox.  What I am saying is that I will consider them if you want to submit them.

And in case anyone is wondering, no, I WON’T hold you to my stringent grading standards for books whereby almost nothing gets five stars.  You can have your own opinion on that matter.

Posted in Book Reviews | 1 Comment
Dec 05 2011

Lazy Days

Posted by Mathias

Despite taking a vacation day on Friday from work (have to use them up) and having a long weekend, I did not do a single thing writing related on any of those three days. This of course broke my rule of doing something, anything writing related at least once each day and which I had maintained rigorously since deciding to start writing sci-fi and fantasy.

I spent the weekend working around the house and fixing lots of little things that needed fixing instead. This post will hopefully get me back into the mode of writing which I am hoping the Christmas season and all it entails will not derail me from.

Jul 16 2011

Where do I start?

Posted by Mathias

Well, I am sitting here today wondering where to start. I thought I would just sit here at the keyboard and brainstorm a little bit letting my thoughts come out and see if they lead me to a conclusion.

I have a bunch of half completed novels from years past. But that just not seem like a good starting point to me as an unestablished author in the fantasy/sci-fi field. Finishing up an existing transcript and sending it out without any credentials in the fantasy and science fiction genre would probably be a fool’s errand.

I think my best bet would be to try and get a short story or two or three or four published in a reputable publication. I have a lot of short stories that I have written in years past. But reading them over, and knowing what I know now, they need a lot of work. The basic stories are good, but they could use some tweaking, but some of the prose is not its best.
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