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Re: Miscellaneous Musings It was also rather amusing when Scott had his back to the room and we all burst out laughing because Pat Rothfuss was standing behind him, dancing about and making faces. As soon as Scott realised he chased Rothfuss across the room and threatened to shave his beard off!
March 18, 2015, 05:37:16 AM
Re: Miscellaneous Musings

Yeah you Aussies don't get off the hook for it either  :P

I'd never mistake an aussie rules pitch for a rugby pitch though, don't understand how that's possible. It's like mistaking a cricket pitch for a tennis court  :o
It's not the pitch, it's the entire sport that they get mixed up. Robin Williams did this monologue about Australian Rules, it was very funny, but to anybody who knows anything about Australian Rules it's quite obvious that what he was referring to was rugby, only he kept calling it Australian Football. Rugby rules in NSW and a good part of Queensland, but the rest of the country are Aussie Rules followers. We call rugby cross country wrestling.

March 20, 2015, 04:31:36 AM
Re: [Mar 2015] - Rogues - Submission Thread The hardest part about this was deciding what sort of rogue to write about: a lover, a gambler, a thief, a killer, etc... In the end I did pick one and the result is an 814 word (a new record in brevity for me!) story called Your Money or Your Life. Twitter handle is @ChrisElfy. Hope you enjoy.

Spoiler for Hiden:
Your Money or Your Life

“Your money or your life!” the demand thundered over the birdsong. The raucous laughter of a kookaburra perched in the branches of the old gum tree underlined the bushranger’s challenge. The tree hung over the rutted and well travelled dirt road out of the Ballarat diggings to the city of Melbourne, with its banks and trading houses.

Bridles jingled and strained axles complained, as the carriage driver reined in, to bring his vehicle to a halt in front of the mounted figure in the middle of the road.

He was small for a bushranger, although he bore the requisite bushy red beard, and he held the pistol in his hand like he knew how to use it. The bright green mask, and the horse he sat astride, identified him as the notorious Captain Fortune, a bushranger who had been plaguing the roads out of the diggings for some time now.

Despite the presence of the weapon, it was always the horse that drew people’s attention. Tall and rangy, it was bone white, it had rolling red eyes, and even though it was summer, and the sun beat down, making the road ahead shimmer, steam seemed to come from the creature’s nostrils, as it snorted and danced restlessly across the dirt track.

An irritated and insistent rapping came from inside the carriage, and very soon a florid, sweating face, surrounded by an impressive set of white whiskers appeared out the window, and barked, “See here, driver! What the deuce is going on? Get this carriage moving again, now! I have urgent business in Melbourne.”

Fortune’s eyes twinkled behind his mask. He patted the horse and nudged it towards the occupant of the carriage. “Top o’ the mornin’ to ye!” the bushranger greeted the red faced businessman in an unmistakably Irish accent. “I’ll be havin’ that cane o’ yers fer starters. Nice shiny gold top it’s got.” And he snatched the expensive walking stick from out of the shocked man’s pudgy hand. “Now, your money or your life,” he said still in the same avuncular, conversational tone, and he placed the barrel of his gun under the man’s nose.

‘Ladies,” Fortune said, tipping his hat at the two women in the carriage, as the man divested himself of all his valuables, and dropped them in a bag that the bushranger held out. The horse turned it’s head towards the driver and snorted warningly. Fortune swung the revolver around lazily. “Now, ye don’t want to be a hero, son,” he advised. “Ye’ve already got five holes in yer head. I wouldn’t want to add another one.”

The man gulped and his hand strayed from the rifle he had been reaching for, back to the reins.

“That’s a good boy,” Fortune crooned. “I am sorry ladies, but I’ll need yer jewelry as well. Nothin’ personal, ye understand, it’s just how we bushrangers work.”

The iron haired matron in the carriage pressed back against the leather interior, and her mouth opened and closed, but she did as she was bid. The other occupant, a young woman with a peaches and cream complexion, and hair the colour of the gold that the miners all broke their backs searching for, seemed almost amused by the robbery. She smiled as she removed her jewelry, and dropped it into the waiting sack.

Fortune’s eyes challenged her. “I may have to steal a kiss as well,” he said, before standing up in his stirrups, leaning forward and kissing the blonde lady on the lips. She fell back on the seat, tongue licking the just kissed lips, nose twitching at the smell of tobacco and sweat, the feel of the bushranger’s red whiskers still tickling her soft cheek. “I can die a happy man, lass,” Fortune said, turning his mount back to the front of the carriage.

The driver sweated, and gulped as the bushranger looked up at him. “The gold,’ Fortune said in a flat voice, his eyes hard behind their mask.

“Ggold,” the man repeated, a bead of sweat sliding out from beneath his cap, and cutting a clear channel down one dusty cheek.

Fortune sighed. “I know ye’ve got it, so why don’t ye save us all some time and bother, and simply hand it over, then ye can be on yer way.”


“Ye know, Phantom,” Liam O’Shaughnessy said, as he swung down out of the saddle, and began to unload the horse. “This bush ranging gets easier and easier each an’ every time I do it. A man could get to like this life.”

Although at a height 3 feet, five inches, an enviably luxurious fiery beard, and an Irish brogue so thick you could cut it, Liam O’Shaughnessy matched the descriptions victims had given of Captain Fortune, not a person in the diggings ever suspected him. Leprechauns just didn’t do that sort of thing.

March 21, 2015, 12:41:22 AM
Re: What are you currently reading?
Finished two books.

The Waste Lands by Stephen King. I almost gave up on the Dark Tower series after being disappointed with the second book. I liked this one a lot better, though. The plot grinds to a halt at times, but when King writes suspense, he writes it so well. His imagination is also quite something.

Happy Hour in Hell by Tad Williams. I've heard that a lot of people didn't like this one, but I did. That being said, it was an uncomfortable read. However, I think that was the intention. Williams was writing about Hell. It should be an uncomfortable read. I don't mind that it was quite different from the first book. It actually reminded me a bit of The War of the Flowers, which I also enjoyed (though this one was darker).

Despite being the second book in Williams' Bobby Dollar UF trilogy, Happy in Hour was really very different. You're right Ryan in that it wasn't necessarily fun, but it did showcase Williams' incredible imagination, and I can see the comparisons with the fae world he created for The War of the Flowers.

I just finished Tooth and Claw by Jo Walton that was such a different type of book, a Regency romance in the Jane Austen style only about dragons and told by them. Easy to see why it won the World Fantasy Award. I've picked up Rachel Caine's Thief of Shadows which appears to be the story of Romeo and Juliet only told from the point of view of Benvolio Montague.

Thanks both for the Bobby Dollar info - I have just downloaded it( with gritted teeth as I am almost foreseeing nightmare) but  now I just have to know...  BTW when I say 'read' here on forum it should be understood to equate with 'listen' as I do use audible a lot, but I think other members do as well.
You're not alone with the audiobook thing. I've never been able to listen to audiobooks, but it is an efficient way to get reading done. I found the 2nd Bobby Dollar book was in some ways almost like an UF updating of Dante's Inferno, hopefully that's not too spoilerish.

March 21, 2015, 10:41:29 PM
Re: "Similar to X" / "On a par with Y" - on book covers I do kind of like what Angry Robot do with their books, though. They have a small section on the back called File Under. It has a major category, which is say Science Fiction, and then a few sub categories which are often elements of the book and can be quite amusing as well.
March 22, 2015, 02:14:58 AM
Re: What are you currently reading? I find the comment about the confusion with The Mirror Empire and it's characters interesting, because I didn't really have that issue. Gardens of the Moon on the other hand, my head was spinning with that one. It was also one of the problems I had with Tooth and Claw. I knew who all the characters were, but because they had very similar names I had trouble keeping track of them all, and some of the titles were a little confusing as well.
March 22, 2015, 11:33:34 PM
Re: Love letter to Jen Williams - spoiler free Copper Promise I've been thinking of getting this one. So little time, so many books, but after seeing this it's going straight to the top of my must buy and read list.
March 24, 2015, 01:09:27 AM
Re: "Similar to X" / "On a par with Y" - on book covers One of the author recommendations I liked the most was George R.R Martin's for Leviathan Wakes by James S.A Corey. He said that Corey wrote with the energy of a brash newcomer and the polish of a seasoned pro. It's funny if you know that James S.A Corey is actually the pen name of Ty Franck (the brash newcomer, and he was Martin's assistant before publishing the book) and Daniel Abraham (the seasoned pro, who had two at least two series, one epic fantasy under his own name and a UF one under another pseudonym, out, and had just embarked on another epic). Even if you don't know the joke, it was still a decent recommendation.
March 25, 2015, 04:05:25 AM
Re: What are you currently reading?
Just finished Soda Pop Soldier, thanks to @Elfy for mentioning it. Definitely in the same vein as Ready Player One, and probably a little more accessible to most people since it includes far fewer cultural references. SPS was really fun, though I didn't think it was quite as good as RPO. I noticed a few issues with editing here and there as well - for example some repetition of near-identical sentences within a single paragraph happened a few times.
The joke about Aliens was good. I had a brief conversation on Twitter with the author after I posted a positive tweet about the book. There's another one about that world coming out at some stage, it will be a prequel, although he also has sequels in mind if the demand is there.
Yeah I liked that bit aswell. Sounds good to me, would definitely be interested in both prequels and sequels! :)
His initial idea was for a sequel, but the publishers wanted a prequel to follow Soda Pop Soldier, so that's how he had to go.
Interesting, wonder why they preferred a prequel  ???
He didn't elaborate, but it may have been that they had indications people wanted to see how the world got the way it was in Soda Pop Soldier. I managed to get a copy of The Copper Promise by our own Jen Williams (sennydreadful) and have just started it. I have to give a shoutout to one reviewer from a site called sleeplessmusingsofawellgroomedmoutstachedman. It's a mouthful, but an awesome blog name.

March 27, 2015, 05:42:43 AM
Re: which urban fantasy novel are you planning to read next?
Reading Skin Game by Mr Butcher  :)

Take your time to enjoy , Eclipse, I am suffering desperately from Dresden withdrawal as well as missing Atticus- neither have hinted at more yet. I believe Jim Butcher is going to be in England for Eastercon 2015 though - so envious :(
It's not Dresden, but Jim Butcher does have The Cinder Spire, the first volume of a new steampunk series, coming out in October of this year I believe.

March 27, 2015, 05:51:29 AM