Monday, January 26, 2015

Blasts from the past or story reviews and art images

Well a new thing I planned on for this blog was to showcase both art from the past masters from my personal image collection and reviews of the stories that stick out to me in an anthology.

Anthologies are of course a collection of short stories. The difference between say the collection I am putting out this week, Mythos of Love, and the anthology Space Opera is a very basic one. A collection is just that, a collection of tales written by the SAME author. An anthology is a collection of short stories written by many authors.

The anthology, Space Opera is in fact a collection of twenty stories written by twenty different authors. This collection from 1996 has some of the very best authors from science fiction and fantasy. Masters of the genres who, in some cases, have already passed over the rainbow bridge to the next life. From Anne McCaffrey to Marion Zimmer Bradley these tales are what I want in an anthology. Unlike the book I just reviewed over on my blog, this collection is well worth the read.

Now as to the story that touched me the most.Calling them Home by Jody Lynn Nye just stuck with me. A fifteen page tale, yet it had everything I love in fiction. A character who is different, for a science fiction character that is.

The story is about a woman who works alone at a beacon station. Basically like a lighthouse in space, she runs the place and helps keep traffic moving in the great deepness of space. When systems go down she has to figure out some way to help those out there who might get lost and damaged by a space storm (okay there was a better name for it but I don't remember that part) She uses her own voice and the songs she has collected to guide ships home. A truly interesting take on the lighthouse keeper in my mind and one that rests inside my memory.

It doesn't look like she has released any of her short stories as singles but if you are interested in getting some of her work, she is on Amazon just like me!

Jody Lynn Nye Amazon author page

And like last week I thought I would put up some art from my massive collection of images. All rights of course belong to the original artist and not me. This week I thought I would put up some of Wayne Andersoon's work. This amazing artist has a very unearthly flair to the pieces I have seen. With faeries what else could a fan of fantasy want?

Monday, January 19, 2015

ARrrrggghhhhhhhh lets try this one more time

Some days you just can't get your post to take. Today is one of those days.

So how about I just put up some fabulous art from the 70s and 80s that graced science fiction and fantasy novels?

Fine art from the great Boris Valejo. Look for more soon.

Monday, January 5, 2015

A look back at how I read and review

Well with 2014 finished up I thought I would actually do a big look back. As I have commented in other blogs I have been reviewing what books I read as I can. See as a writer I know how important it is to have honest reviews of your work out there. I don't trash talk in my reviews and I certainly don't just give pollyanna high level reviews.I rank things from two stars to five stars on a scale that can be confusing to a lot of people but makes total sense to me.

I look at the overall story, the flow from scene to scene, if the dialog seems real to the characters, if the characters have some little bit in them that makes them relatelbe and most importantly was it a good story.

Now I looked back to my first reviews back in 2006 till now. 756 titles that I have either reviewed or ranked since 2006 in many different genres. I have read mysteries, fantasy, science fiction, westerns and romances, just to name a few.

Of the reviews only twenty of the books ended up with two star reviews. I have done 87 three stars, 157 four stars, 16 with 4.5 stars and 472 five stars....looks like I have been a very very lucky reader in that most of the books I have had to pleasure of reading have been worth five stars.

So why did I spend two whole days going back over all the reviews and rankings I did over four different sites? Let me tell you, to reaffirm what I know as a reader and a writer, that there is all kinds of amazing stories out there. That you need but pick up a book, an ereader, turn on your computer and read. There is a world of good fiction out there. Not just Traditionally published books or indie published, hard copy or ebooks, it is fiction, fiction of all kinds that makes it worth reading.

See I saw an news blurb about Zuckerberg, the creator of Facebook putting together his own page for books and a reading challenge of one book every two weeks and what does he pick for people to read? A nonfiction book about how to be a rich man? Really...with the power he has he could be opening people up to realms of imagination and he does a book about how you can be a successful enterpener...that is so typical and expected. I had hoped a young man who founded something pretty much like science fiction all those years ago would have more imagination.  Sadly nope.

So if you read my blog, do this. Pick up a fiction tale. I don't care what genre, don't care what length, what format but do it. Read something that is out of the imagination of a writer. Wrap yourself in the story, stretch the muscles that you let atrophy from your childhood and imagine. Then review that book, that short story and let the world know just how amazing that story was and how it made you feel.