Susan Boyle’s Got Talent

19 04 2009

Adding all the youtube views quickly goes over 50 million.

Heres a link to a full length, High Quality & Wide Screen version, of Susan Boyle’s audition. It has gone past 2 million views

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luRmM1J1sfg

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April Reader News

14 04 2009

Funny what they choose to release on 1st April.

1) K.E. Mills second novel in the Rogue Agent Series – and I have read it already – see the review

2) Robert Jordan’s final Wheel of Time novel “A Memory of Light” to be release in 3 parts. Brandon Sanderson who is writing the final episode expects the final book to be very long – to do justice to Jordan’s series.

Links worth reading are:
Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist
TOR’s Press Release
Brandon’s reasons for multi volume release

Reader’s of WoT should be pleased that the parts are expected to be released in late 2009, 2010 & 2011 – supposedly giving Brandon time to “get it right”. Much better release schedule than long time readers have come to expect for past releases.

Universal Pictures acquired the movie rights to The Wheel of Time in August 2008, and currently have plans to adapt The Eye of the World as the first movie.  The last four volumes in the series have reached #1 on the New York Times bestseller list and the 11 Wheel of Time novels published so far have sold more than 44 million copies worldwide, 15 million in North America alone, making Robert Jordan today’s pre-eminent fantasy storyteller. The new comic series one of the most highly anticipated in recent years. WoT Comic

3) and over Easter, David Gemmell Legend Award short list announced

ABERCROMBIE, Joe – Last Argument of Kings (Gollancz)
MARILLIER, Juliet – Heir to Sevenwaters (Tor UK)
SANDERSON, Brandon – The Hero of Ages (Tor US)
SAPKOWSKI, Andrzej – Blood of Elves (Gollancz)
WEEKS, Brent – The Way of Shadows (Orbit) – the only one I have read. It’s the one I voted for too.

gemmellaward.com/profiles/blogs/the-short-list

Online reading:

Excerpt from THE SOLARIS BOOK OF NEW SCIENCE FICTION, VOLUME 3

Subterranean’s Online magazine Spring 09 edition
A pair of novelettes by Ken MacLeod and Liz Williams. In addition, new reviewer Gwenda Bond covers a hot new zombie novel. The List of articles is not complete, but down the line, they’ll have another novelette, by Joe R. Lansdale, as well as a long novella by Paul McAuley and a new story set in Jack Vance’s Dying Earth by Lucius Shepard – which reminds me that I need to finish his short story collection.





K.E.Mills: Rogue Agent #2

13 04 2009

KE Mills - Witches Incorporated

Witches Incorporated
ISBN-13: 978-0732286057 (HarperVoyager)
Trade Paperback 01-Apr-2009

“A mess. Well, that was one way of putting it. Monk Markham. His Sister. Princess Melissande. That bloody bird. And unpredictable potentially lethal Gerald Dunwoody’s stubborn friendship with all of them.”

Following the debacle in New Ottosland (in Rogue Agent #1), Gerald is on his first assignment following initiation into Ottosland’s secret service. He’s not to contact his friends while on assignment. No-one’s to know he is more than a 3rd grade wizard.

The girls (Reg, Mel & Bibbie) are just starting out as “Witches Inc” and end up on a case where they bump into Gerald.

The interaction between the girls is quite comical – maybe next time I will laugh out loud – was a close thing! – a big smile anyway.

“If this business has taught us anything, it’s taught us that we’ve not begun to plumb the depths of his abilities” – Sir Alec

It’s an action packed romp throughout. Highly recommended reading. I eagerly await the next installment of this ‘barely controlled mayhem’ – the adventures of Gerald Dunwoody and his friends.

The quoted snippets are from the book.





Mad March – Reading

5 04 2009

I started out the month reading the short fiction of Lucius Shepard, took a break to read “Don’t Make Me Think” by Steve Krug. Took a break from that too when I had an urge to read some Weber.

So for most of March, I have been slowly re-reading
David Weber-Shadow of Saganami

The Shadow of Saganami
by David Weber
ISBN 978-1416509295 (Baen)
Paperback, 2005

This is book 1 of the Saganami Island series. The hardback of book 2 “Storm from the Shadows” was released this month, and the cliff hangers at the end of that will have you “hanging” in wait for its sequel.

Shadow of Saganami follows the adventures of a few Saganami Island graduates on their snotty cruise. For a little more background, read “Crown of Slaves” by David Weber & Eric Flint

They only have one thing to support and guide them: the tradition of Saganami. The tradition that sometimes a Queen’s officer’s duty is to face impossible odds … and die fighting.

Verdict:
Not quite so riveting as Weber’s Honnor Harrington Series, but has a great battle scene and ending – tear jerker. A bit of a trial getting through the first half though, due the the extra detail inserted – just wanted to get on with the story.

There are no treecats – something you love about Honor Harrington’s adventures. At least the ship has a fierce cat name – hexapuma (nasty kitty). For more reviews, see amazon.com

Other Reading:
I did get to finish “Don’t Make Me Think” by Steve Krug – a good/interesting read. It’s about the design of websites. When you enter a website, it should be obvious on what it’s about and navigation should be easily discoverable. The associated website is titled “Advanced Common Sense” @ sensible.com

I read a couple more Lucius Shepard stories and was side-tracked into reading K.E.Mills’s Accidental Sorcerer – see the review. Lucius Shepard’s writing reminds me of Ray Bradbury… but the reasons why will have to wait until I finish the book – April maybe!! … I have just picked up Philip Palmer’s “Debatable Space”.





K.E.Mills: Rogue Agent Series

5 04 2009

KE Mills - Accidental Sorcerer KE Mills - Witches Incorporated
1) Accidental Sorcerer
2) Witches Incorporated

The Accidental Sorcerer
ISBN-13: 978-0732287634 (Voyager)
Paperback 01-Sep-2008

Witches Incorporated
ISBN-13: 978-0732286057 (HarperVoyager)
Trade Paperback 01-Apr-2009

The Accidental Sorcerer: For the life of him, Gerald Dunwoody can’t seem to keep a job or a roof over his head. When disaster strikes again it looks like his days of being a wizard are over for good … until his friend Monk, genius of the government’s secret research department, helps him to get appointed as Royal Court Wizard to the King of New Ottosland. His offsider, Reg, an ensorcelled bird with a mysterious past, isn’t so sure this is a good idea. But Gerald’s choices are limited. It’s New Ottosland, or starve.

But once Gerald arrives it quickly becomes clear that King Lional isn’t the vain, indolent young man he first appeared to be. And with the passing of time, it becomes even clearer that Lional’s plans may not, in fact, be in Gerald’s best interests.

Witches Incorporated: Gerald is deep in training for his first official assignment – a case of espionage with international consequences. Melissande, meanwhile, has gone into business … she’s opened a new witching locum agency. A one-stop shop where magical problems are solved – for a reasonable price. Managing her own business should be a breeze after negotiating the tough tides of New Ottosland politics. The future is looking good. Good, that is, until Witches Incorporated is offered a job that puts Melissande on a collision course with Gerald. Before long, any kind of future is looking increasingly unlikely.

The Author:
K.E.Mills is Karen Miller. Miller says she is writing under this pen name because it’s not epic historical fantasy, and instead of being a self-contained multi-volume series, it’s a series of self-contained adventures featuring continuing characters. Plus the tone is a bit different to her other work. karenmiller.net

Verdict:
Book 2 has just been released, and I look forward to reading it.

Book 1 was very-hard-to-put-down. It was also a quick read. The above blurb from Karen’s website covers the subject well. The Accidental Sorcerer is a good tale, and it left me with an “Introduction to an open ended series” feeling. The story escaped cheezyness/cringe-factor and was action packed to the end. Definitely a different tone to her other work. Recommended reading.