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Re: Your Year in Books - 2016 It's not very many but it's the biggest annual total I've had for years!


December 14, 2016, 09:03:51 AM
Re: Your 2016 Bests 1. What was your favorite book that you read in 2016 (released in any year)?

Easy one.
Senlin Ascends Josiah Bancroft

2. What was your favorite book that you read that was released in 2016?

Tough one...
Chains of the Heretic. Jeff Salyards

3. What was your favorite 2016 debut?

Didn't read one, but I'm half way through Path of Flames by Phil Tucker and that counts and is good.

4. What book are you looking forward to the most in 2017?

The Hod King by Josiah Bancroft.

December 23, 2016, 06:21:31 PM
Re: Your 2016 Bests
1. What was your favorite book that you read in 2016 (released in any year)?

Easy one.
Senlin Ascends Josiah Bancroft

man.  i'm just going to have to push through that one.  there's just too much light and noise surrounding it to skip.

i'm just having such a hard time with the glacial, tangled, almost purple prose.



maybe it's just me.

If you're repeatedly (i.e twice :) ) calling prose, that is near uniformly praised for its brilliance, tangled and purple, then it may well just be you.

*BUT* that is in no way a fault. It's just how your tastes run.

In truth, it has been an age since I tried Mieville and I wasn't taken. A quick Google reveals he is often called purple but that a lot of folk like his shade of it. To my tastes Bancroft is a world away from purple and gives a near perfect mix of clarity and beauty in his prose. It's one of the big reasons I'm so taken with the book.

December 24, 2016, 12:09:14 PM
Re: Your 2016 Bests
I read Senlin Ascends until an airship appeared, then I stopped. Airships are a dealbreaker for me.

It's possible we've had this conversation before. Or, more extraordinary, you're the second person to say the same thing. In any case, my reply the first time was to express total bewilderment at the fact that the presence of a mode of transport could make someone close a book.

In fact I blogged about it:


"Consider it again. Literally, if there is an airship in it ... I'm out. The presence of a mode of transportation seals the deal. Forget how compelling the story is, how vital the characters, how powerful the prose. How you might need to put the book down and breathe away the excess emotion. Nope, it has hot air in a bag. I'm out..."

December 24, 2016, 04:23:49 PM
Re: Your 2016 Bests

They descended through shale foothills, which he said reminded him of a field of shattered blackboards, through cypress trees, which she said looked like open parasols, and finally they came upon the arid basin.

also, keep in mind, this is just my feeling from the first page or so, but, man, after reading that, my eyes rolled so hard i'm pretty sure i could see my own ass.

Before I get into this I hands up straight off acknowledge that I can in no way talk someone into liking writing they don't like any more than I can talk them into liking olive or sprouts if they don't like the taste.


Let me tell you why my eyes don't roll at that line.

It is not a line of description. It's far more than that. Perhaps it takes a writer's eye, and perhaps that makes Bancroft a writers' writer ... but I'm sure his appeal is wider than that.

That line is a report on how our two main characters described the scenery to each other. So it serves in a purely informative sense, but more than that it illuminates the person/s doing the describing (seeing) which is what all great description does. Description is not the mechanical delivery of colour, texture etc, it should simultaneously be casting light on the observer (the character) - what they notice, how they see it, how it echoes in them, are all powerful and vital elements. A writer always tries to get any line to do as much work as it can, to deliver as much bang for its word count as possible. So good description cuts two ways.

Here we have content and form. The description selects similes that reference and illuminate the pair. Senlin is a teacher, hence shattered blackboards. Mayra is a woman of certain standing in a small town in a faux Victorian age and hence parasols. Moreover it illuminates the relationship between them and their characters. Nobody talks like that, and hence they are engaging in simile as an intellectual exercise, a game between two bookish people comfortable enough with each other to pursue such ends.

And when you can easily write two paragraphs about one line ... well, there's a lot going on underneath the hood! 

December 24, 2016, 04:36:59 PM
Re: slow starts?

Prince of Thorns - Starts off with a huge battle, blood flying everywhere, etc

Actually it's the aftermath of a battle and you don't get to see a sword swung until chapter 8!

February 10, 2017, 09:18:14 AM
Re: "Red Sister", Mark Lawrence (no spoilers)

Also, those who didn't like the previous books for all the violence, please give this one a try.
Yes, there are fights, but it's above all, a book about feelings, about acceptance, about finding your path in life.
It's a book that should be mandatory reading for all young girls.

Also for old girls. And men. And those defying categories. MANDATORY!

I'm very glad you liked it.

The US release is today and UK on Thursday, so hopefully you'll have more people to talk to about it soon!

April 04, 2017, 05:54:08 PM
Re: Mark Lawrence's Broken Empire Book Mark
I couldn't find any book mark on the internet for the Broken Empire books, so I went ahead and used Jason Chan's award-winning and fantastic artwork together with one of Mark Lawrence's many brilliant quotes to create this.

Size: 5.5cmx18.5cm

Hope you like it, and feel free to share it with other fans of the books!  :)

Download here: http://tinypic.com/r/2rqobio/8

I really should have some made up ... would have to ask JC for permission first...

April 09, 2017, 12:52:39 PM
Re: SPBO 2 We have a winner!


April 27, 2017, 09:59:39 PM
SPFBO 3 is open for entries! Spread the word, we need 250+ or we all get the year off.


May 04, 2017, 07:58:49 PM