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My First Steps Within The Ruin of Kings

The first thing I ever did when I got online in terms of writing was talking about books so I thought it was apt that I start off with a post about what I’m reading.

jenn lyons

I spent several years running a book review site and in the years since I left that game I’ve still been a fan and reader of speculative fiction who while not reading every announcement and galley/arc since, I still would wager definitely pay more attention than the average fan or reader, which is a product of both my natural interest and simply that I have the time to do so.

Jenn Lyons’ The Ruin of Kings has buzz that’s rather unusual but I think it speaks to something that I felt growing up a kid reading epic fantasy and I feel is perhaps more true now.

The King or Queen of epic fantasy runs the room.

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Netflix’s The Dragon Prince – Sunforged is my 2018 Style

I wish I could waste your time beginning this by diving into deeper meanings and thematic weight present in The Dragon Prince but the first thing that comes to mind is just an honest this thing is awesome.

dragon prince

What makes it fun is that it emanates a sheen of effortlessness that only comes with the exact opposite, being painstakingly well thought out and executed. A bunch of people gave a shit.

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Send To All: My Love for Netflix’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

This is a bit of a delayed reaction but I think perhaps even better for it because two full months after Netflix released To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before my crush for it is confirmed as full blown love.

lara jean and peter

I’m not really into reviews, it’s a trade I was at one time in (if you see my blurb in a favorite genre novel of yours published circa 2006-2012, I apologize) but I do want to highlight some aspects of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before that really stood out to me and had me looking both back and forward with unmitigated joy.

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Before Game of Thrones and A Song of Ice are Fire Books -The Daenerys Targaryen Asimov Debut

Emilia Clarke has been heating up watercooler talk for 7 years now in HBO’s monster hit adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire book series, that the world calls Game of Thrones.

game of thrones

Even as a veteran multiple double digit rereader of all of the books in the series that jumped on the literature before the turn of the century, I never thought that I’d see the day that “Khaleesi” would enter pop culture vernacular, a thought that was smashed when I got my 8-year old niece an “I’m not a Princess I’m a Khaleesi” t-shirt and she knew what it was.

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pre-Annihilation chat w/ Jeff VanderMeer in Ambergis and… Predator?

I’m back combining a couple of interviews again, like I did with the Malazan duo of Steven Erikson and Ian Cameron Esslemont, this time with the great Jeff VanderMeer.

jeff vandermeer

It includes and interview I conducted with Jeff around the time his novel Shriek: the Afterword was coming out, which to this day is perhaps my favorite of his novels, and

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an Epic Fantasy Come True – Steven Erikson and Ian Cameron Esslemont Interview Combo

This is me combining two interviews I conducted with Steven Erikson and Ian Cameron Esslemont and representing them in one convenient place. Back in 2008 I was able to interview the architects of my favorite book series of all time – The Malazan Book of The Fallen –  one of the handful of entertainment/art that I truly obsess about and love.

steven erikson

You also can check out my gut take and review after completing the Malazan Book of the Fallen.

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The Long Price Before The Expanse w/ Daniel Abraham & My Thoughts on A Shadow in Summer

I’ve been combining appropriate and related content into single posts lately and this is an interview I conducted with Daniel Abraham in 2006 with my review of his debut novel, A Shadow in Summer, following it.

daniel abraham

Abraham has gone on since to be the co-creator of The Expanse, which is a dope science fiction tv show that started on Syfy and has since moved on to Amazon, based on his novels as James S. A. Corey (the pen name of Abraham and his writing partner Ty Frank).

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Glorious Bastards – Love For Scott Lynch’s Locke Lamora and Red Seas Under Red Skies

I’ve been repackaging some of my older writing and combining them and today I have my reviews of both The Lies of Locke Lamora and Red Seas Under Red Skies, the first two books by Scott Lynch and in the Gentlemen Bastards series. You can check out my thoughts on Lynch’s third book The Republic of Thieves as well if you want to.

scott lynch

Before you get to the reviews though I do want to add some thoughts that may or may not be of interest but The Lies of Locke Lamora was the first new novel I sniffed out during my days of owning a science fiction/fantasy book related website.

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In Vellum – Hal Duncan in His Own (Ten Thousand) Words

In the course of my time as book reviewer/author interviewer I’ve (publicly) traded most words with Hal Duncan and this combo post of the three interviews is my proof lol.

hal duncan

I thought we covered just about everything in these 10000 words where we talk about Vellum, Ink, Escape From Hell!, and touch on a ton of topics on science fiction, fantasy, and genre in general, but I was wrong because he went on to do these crazy must read columns for us.

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Matthew Stover Reveals Caine’s Bookshelf To Me – Also Caine Black Knife and Blade of Tyshalle Takes

Way back in 2005 I interviewed Matthew Stover after reading a book that blew my, his Blade of Tyshalle, which was a sequel to Heroes Die which at the time I had not read (and went back to).

matthew stover

In my opinion Blade of Tyshalle remains an underrated absolute neo-classic of both fantasy and science fiction, and prefer it over Heroes Die (which was recently written about over at Tor) which is also awesome. It is a remarkable, visceral, smart piece of speculative fiction and I feel like you see it in this interview I conducted with him.

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David Anthony Durham Tells Me Of Mixing Middle Earth & Curry Tinged Trinidadian Breezes

This is another combo post of an interview I conducted with David Anthony Durham and a review I did of his first epic fantasy novel Acacia.

david anthony durham

At this point Durham was already an accomplished writer in historical fiction and I remember being able to tell how much more confident it was than many fantasy novel debuts I read that often, even the good ones, feel stunted with this kind of sheen of just happy to be here juvenile male fantasy fulfillment that both comes from good and maybe not so good places.
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Kicking the Shift with Steph Swainston in The Year of Our War

Another combo I’m repackaging here in the form of an interview Steph Swainston and a review of her debut novel The Year of Our War.

steph swainston

I conducted this interview with Steph in 2005 and I saw awhile back ago she quit writing (at least as a profession) for reasons that seem quite reasonable (time and isolated grind) and also, if I’m reading correctly due some experience with fandom or what was at the time the initial wave of fan journalists/blogs/reviewers that were popping up around that time.

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Deadpool – Badass of the Week

deadpool

Deadpool is a criminally deranged, psychopathic ninja mercenary with a mutant healing factor, a withering sarcastic wit, an encyclopedic array of pop culture references, and unfettered access to katanas, hand grenades and automatic weapons, which he uses to kill everyone ever.  He’s like Snake Eyes, Wolverine, and David Spade’s Hollywood Minute mashed into the body of an Olympic athlete, then combined with the impulse control of Charlie Manson – and the end result is that he’s so fucking awesome at pummeling people into meat juice that he somehow manages to be an effective assassin even though he sneaks around heavily-fortified military facilities in a fire-engine red jumpsuit.

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