January 28, 2020, 03:16:30 AM

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Messages - Lanko

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1
Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: What books did you read in 2019?
« on: January 02, 2020, 07:44:27 PM »
Just read 17 books in 2019 out of the goal of 50. And most were in the least ~3-4 months. And maybe half was non-fiction.

What I've read:

- Circe by Madeline Miller
- A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan
- Dracula by Bram Stoker
- Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
- A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine
- Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City by K.J. Parker
- Ironhand's Daughter duology by David Gemmell (Ironhand's Daughter and The Hawk Eternal)
- Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir
- Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Non-fiction:

- The Barcelona Legacy by Jonathan Wilson
- Soccernomics by Simon Kuper
- Red: My Autobiography by Gary Neville
- This is the One: Sir Alex Ferguson by Daniel Taylor
- Talent is Overrated by Geoff Colvin
- The Special One: The Dark Side of José Mourinho by Diego Torres

2
Top 5:

  • A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine
    Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir
    Circe by Madeline Miller
    Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

Only read 17 books this year, and probably half were not even fantasy, so it'll be just Top 4, really.

3
Monthly Writing Contest / Re: New Year's Resolution for 2020
« on: January 01, 2020, 09:34:27 PM »
To get Eclipse to not ressurrect old threads.

Try to read an average of a book a week (52 a year - managed only 17 last year).

Commit more time to writing.

4
Bird Box by Josh Malerman a few years ago.

Thanks to this thread, actually went to GR to remember the author's name and discovered it was made into a very sucessfull Netflix series and there's a sequel coming in May.

5
I remember there were special titles on occasion, that's how I got my Jiin Wei title  ::)

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: What are you currently reading?
« on: December 31, 2019, 08:42:00 PM »
Finished Six of Crows yesterday. 3/5

Fun and quick, with some interesting events.

But I'm gonna agree 100% with @cupiscent , the characters' ages do stretch credulity way too much, unless you don't think about it, which I couldn't really do.

For example, Nina. She's a 16 year old who works in a brothel, though her job is magic that she uses to relax people. She even completely comforts (with talking) men and women who lost partners of 20+ year old relationships. When asked about her job she offers wisdow of someone who seen it all...
Then you proceed in the story and also discovers she's military with years of training, fought in a war and is an idealistic patriot or something.
Between the military and the brothel, she was captured and enslaved in a ship, which wrecked, survived with one of its crew members and proceeded to the city of the protagonist. So it was months of traveling, months of trying to get her guy out of jail and more time until she caught the eye of the MC and became his spy and more time until we reach the time the story starts.

So basically for everything to fit, she would have volunteered to the army at around age 10, received training for a few years, fought in a major war around 12-13, was captured around 14, stayed in the city of the protagonist until meeting him at 15 and then the story starts when she's 16.

A similar vein for all the other character's backstories. Kaz is a master criminal at 16, and started around 12-13 to bring down hardened experienced criminals and Inej is a master assassin at 16 who like Nina was also captured and enslaved, but did work at a brothel as a prostitute, and just like Nina, to make the time fit she would have done so around ages 13 to 14 at least until she was recruited by Kaz and trained from the info in the book. Two of the other three members of the crew are also 16 year olds masters of something - the other is 19.

I wouldn't doubt the ages were different and the publisher requested them all to be changed to 16 just to classify it as YA.

Despite even ignoring all these, the path of the story was unfortunately pretty predictable too.
Spoiler for Hiden:
No one died at the heist (though Nina's condition was a surprise), every pair was pretty much in love with each other, and obviously everyone knew the merchant wouldn't hold the deal.

But again, despite all this, it was still enjoyable enough to get at least a 3* and some loose ends and circumsntances were good enough to make me check how this ends in the next book (it's a duology).

7
Nearly time for our January read.

@Lanko and @Magnus Hedén

Will you be reading with us?

I'll try!

8
Merry Christmas for everyone!

9
Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: What are you currently reading?
« on: December 14, 2019, 12:22:26 AM »
I started City of blades, book 2 in Robert Jackson Bennett's trilogy.

Fantastic sequel. The POV character felt much better (not that the previous was bad, but Mulagesh is better).

Are the books interconnected? The first book had some unfinished business :)

Yes, though there is some time span and the POVs in each book are different, though key characters reapear (and new ones also come to play).

10
Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: What are you currently reading?
« on: December 12, 2019, 08:26:03 PM »
I started City of blades, book 2 in Robert Jackson Bennett's trilogy.

Fantastic sequel. The POV character felt much better (not that the previous was bad, but Mulagesh is better).

11
Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: Low expectations to page turner
« on: December 11, 2019, 12:28:33 PM »
Most of my page turners were like this, when I went into them without expecting much, if anything, while a lot of books that were super hyped turned into massive disappointments.

12
Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: What are you currently reading?
« on: December 10, 2019, 01:59:31 PM »
I've been so absent from reading and books this year and the end of the previous that only yesterday, by random chance, I discovered there's a new Game of Thrones book. Released last year, by the way, and that probably everyone already read it.

I know it's a sidebook, but still got Fire and Blood (A Targaryen History) by GRRM.

Well... I wasn't expecting the "History" in the title to mean it would really really read like a History book... barely 10% in and I'm already considering dropping it...
He published a couple of bits of this in some of the Gardner Dozois anthologies before the book came out. They were very boring. I wound up skim reading the second one. I doubt I could deal with an entire book full of that.

I remember reading some of them. Yeah... more than 700 pages of that.

So I dropped it and picked up Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, which has been in my TBR forever and a friend reminded me of it. I heard it has heists, a gang, bloody violence... seems like a very favorite book around, with multiple POVs.

And the cover is cool too.

First chapter is mostly teen boy angst, worrying about his moustache not growing and in love with a teen girl he barely sees and thinking mostly how to get her attention.
Second chapter is about a 17 year old gangster boss (though not his POV) massively outplaying adult crime bosses so effortlessly like he's the 40+ year old full of life experience and them the 17 year olds.

Oof.

At least the action looked nice, the writing is good, the magic has potential and it's mixed with having guns around too.

13
Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: What are you currently reading?
« on: December 09, 2019, 10:27:43 PM »
I've been so absent from reading and books this year and the end of the previous that only yesterday, by random chance, I discovered there's a new Game of Thrones book. Released last year, by the way, and that probably everyone already read it.

I know it's a sidebook, but still got Fire and Blood (A Targaryen History) by GRRM.

Well... I wasn't expecting the "History" in the title to mean it would really really read like a History book... barely 10% in and I'm already considering dropping it...

14
Confidence, really. Maybe energy too.

Time I have or could make it if I really wished to. I certainly make it for a lot of other things. Talent? Talent is overrated. Constant practice will build up craft and style much more than any muse.

Time enters the equation under a different measurement, I think. The amount of time required, specially for a beginner, who'll most likely come across advice, "rules" and whatever of all kinds all the time, to create ONE work, can be deterring, specially if you have a lot of obligations out there and is mostly by yourself to make ends meet.
Better do something "useful" that earns more and is less risky. These doubts may erase whatever is left of your will to do it.

Since writing novels do not have a "school" like business, architecture and the other visual arts, learning it "properly" will mostly be an adventure by itself with plenty of trial and error thanks to the all kinds of stuff out there I mentioned earlier.

But this doesn't make just writing harder, but it makes the other part of being a writer almost invisible: the career.
Besides one idea for a story, what else will you do next? If you're going traditional, do you know at least the basics of the ins and outs? If you do make the cut, you're gonna have to at least deliver one book a year, and hope it's good enough to keep you there. Even if it IS good, it might still not be enough for various unpredictable reasons, unless you really hit the magical spot and can get more leeway.
If you're going self published, you'll need even more faith and specially energy to publish AND market it around, arrange covers, editors, etc, and your output will most likely need to be higher than one book a year on average.

Eh... just do it and worry about it later? Well, this might work for some... or paralyze others by the lack of direction.

15
Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: What are you currently reading?
« on: December 07, 2019, 12:56:36 AM »
Finished Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir. 5/5

Oh, the premise caught my attention immediately. But the other Goodreads reviews are brutal. Hmmm.

I agree some may feel it starts a little dense and that the switches from creepy, serious and brutal space magic parts with others with dialogue and comedy YA may put some people off, but I thought it was so well handled it added to the story instead of being a disaster haha.

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