The four books I read this time are all interesting, and from just two publishers.

K. E. Mills' The Accidental Sorcerer is a fantasy, set in a world that has an early electric age feel with a lot of magic. Gerald Dunwoody is our title character who has all the good fortune of a plague victim without the blessed death at the end. We start off the book with him in the middle of a magic wand factory that is about to explode. Politicians and bureaucrats being the same everywhere he is blamed for it despite evidence to the contrary. This job was of course his last shot at success and the explosion yet another disaster in an life that could be the highlight reel from I Love Lucy. A fun book overall with a some interesting insights hidden amongst the litter of fantasy tropes.
Three Urban Fantasy's also got onto the list, and all three are written by people from different areas of the nation. Each has recognizable regional quirks that make their work distinct.

Anton Strout's Dead To Me features a thief gone straight who has decided to use his ability to read objects for something other than lining his pockets. As part of proving that there's no saint like a reformed sinner he's joined a pseudo government agency. Strout's Big Apple is replete with scenes that demonstrate all the shades of gray that color scale life in any large group. Some of Simon's superiors are not as nice as even Simon's low opinion of them, some are not as pure as he'd believe, it's a mantra we see more than once to good effect. The quips about New York life, and various denziens of the city are a hoot.

Jennifer Rardin;s Once Bitten Twice Shy is the first UF i've read from Orbit, and the first book by the author. Jaz Parks is like the author from the Midwest, although i doubt the authors boss is a vampire. Jaz, is a CIA assasin, and she's good at her job, aside from wrecking cars and her boss's nerves. Jaz has a personality that utterly fits her battle scarred experiences to her her pragmatic midwest roots.

Mark Del Francos Unshapely Things is quite the tour of Boston, and his imagination with a well concealed smattering of New England common sense. Connor Grey is medically, or at least magically retired Druid who has to eek out a living working as a private investigator with the shreds of his once formidable power. Connor's Boston is one where Elves, Fairies and other creatures of legend have come to live. Unfortunatly someone is making ritual killings in his neck of the woods. Connor Grey is not the type to stand around and let things like this happen, especially when he can do something and irritate the powers that be at the same time.

A fun, and contrasting four books.

edited since i conflated the real and pen names of the first author.
This video reminded me of some of the stories I've seen that have rather sharply juxtaposed elements, some working well, some working horribly most working for only a very small slice of the market. I suspect this video falls into one of the latter to categories.

Thanks Mel

onyxhawke: (Default)
( Nov. 17th, 2008 01:07 pm)
I'm curious as always and was wondering what writers groups and forums people belong too. I'm familiar with some, like Realms of Fantasy, Critters, and Absolute Write, but I was wondering where else people have gotten in the past or do now get and or share advice.       
The human mind is capable of doing amazing things. When you think of if, it's rather amazing we haven't made more technological advances. The first airplane was designed without the aid of computers, and the general principles of aerodynamics are not much changed since that time. Someone decided that the funny stuff growing in a petri dish might make a real good medicine, and it has. Both of these were the results of specialized thinking. General thinking though is what has lead to the far ranging works of Leonardo da Vinci and his contributions not just to art, but to engineering, mathematics, botany and more. Ben Franklin was another generalist contributing in social and physical sciences.
cut for length and pics ).
The big mistakes that sink a book are not nearly as interesting to me as the little ones that can tip the balance either way. One of the little things that always leaves me bemused is how people in stories go straight from summer into winter without more than a passing mention of fall. While its true that New England and other places sometimes feel that way, as a rule it just isn't true. The pictures below were taken in the last day or two, and at this time of year we have those lovely thirty to forty degree temperature swings that make sweatshirts appropriate at morning and eve, and short sleeves comfortable the rest of the day. The area I live in is march and hills, and more marsh mixed with occasional lands decent for farming.

I find it curious how often I see this in fiction. Nothing seems to happen in the fall in books. The weather is boring if discussed at all, and it rarely fits the climate area that is supposed to be right for the place. Travelers will head north, and about four weeks after they leave someplace temperate they are immediately buried to the horsebelly in snow. No changing leaves, no animals shedding, no birds migrating, not a hint of fall dew, nary a mention of frost, just one to another.

So for those of you who live in places without real weather:

marsh mixed foliage

wide mixed folaige, marsh slight hill

tight view of marsh mostly colored

elevated view, water tower

onyxhawke: (Default)
( Oct. 9th, 2008 10:11 pm)
Dreamhost, has taken leave of their senses and is taking volunteers to move to their new servers. I took advantage of their generous offer to give people who volunteered unlimited bandwith and unlimited storage.
If you notice my website is down, please post a message here it comes to my phone so i can cal and pimpslap ask what's wrong the nice folks there. If you have Dreamhost you may want to volunteer.
onyxhawke: (Braaaaaains)
( Oct. 3rd, 2008 12:04 am)
The Lords of the Internet of made it easier for me to post to multiple places at once. Hence, for those of you that hate LJ and read via RSS, but like Blogger or Vox, you can now find me in those places as well.
onyxhawke: (Default)
( Sep. 22nd, 2008 01:51 pm)
I thought having an unstable, or non working computer was annoying. The semi stability may be just as bad. I'd had the old computer, and the version of Office, and Firefox installed for years. Over that time between the agency, ebooks, message boards, mailing lists and the like I've imputed a couple thousand words, names, and such into their spell checkers. Now I spend half my time writing checking to see if something I've been using since Clinton was president is really spelled right.
onyxhawke: (Braaaaaains)
( Aug. 25th, 2008 07:47 am)
For those of you on Facebook who have friended me, how hard is it to find my occupation? Or intuit it? I had a post in a group that shall remain nameless deleted because they said there was no mention of my being an agent in my profile.
I actually managed to leave my house a bit early today. Which is good, otherwise i would have ended up dithering around and packing another ten pounds of stuff into my bags. Not stuff i needed, but merely stuff I saw and couldn't resist the challenge of trying to fit it into my bag. My drive down to the shuttle was fine. I got there early, the shuttle was clean, nearly empty and on time. I got to the airport and despite hellalot of people in front of me (okay, about 15) i was seated in Legal Seafoods at Terminal C 13 minutes after stepping uff the shuttle. This is several kinds of marvel at Logan. Normally it takes people twenty minutest to understand they do need their ID, and it is helpful to remember what city they are flying to. I adore competent travelers!.

I ate. for the first time in about 22 hours and the food was excellent even for Legal Seafoods. I saw hellalong lines at the check point. Marvel of marvels, it took less than 15 minutes to go from back of the line to shoes back on. I adore competent travelers!.I get to my terminal and there is something new. Something glorious and new. Something glorious and powerful and new. I speak of course of the power outlets installed int he new bench seats that not only don't have stains and rips, have power outlets..I nearly leaped for joy. Instead, i sat down,. plugged my laptop in, hit the power button and heard The Call.

Yes, the call telling me my flights gate had been changed. I was ok with this. Really. Then I got to that gate, where there were also clean, unripped, powered chairs and found out sorry no connection for you ! Yep, the 13 minutes someone had booked between my landing in JFK and leaving for Denver wasn't gonna work with the delay of the incoming flight. The nice, nice man offered me a direct flight. I said 'Sure, you're the best!' and nearly did a happy dance.Then he even called and got my bags moved. If he'd been a woman i would have proposed. Then he told me the bad news.My  shiny direct flight doesn't leave until about three hours after the flght i was supposed to be on. Oddly, this new flight landed only about 35 minutes after the flight i should have been on. I went meh and trudged off to the bar. Here, my challenge is to remain sober enough over the next couple hours to be allowed to board my flight.

Sadly it is way to lound to do slush or anything productive.
onyxhawke: (Default)
( Jul. 19th, 2008 12:31 am)
I'm continually bemused by the amount of people who friend me and actually stick around. I see comments from people who I don't know, and who haven't commented before or in a long time and it kicks the curiosity up another notch.

So why are you here? Almost everyone has been here a month or more, and I'm kinda curious as to how you got here and what you find among my blitherings interesting enough to keep you waylaying electrons to bring you my mutterings.

On 6/23 I received a requested resubmission to my main business address. Since then I've sent and received about 500 messages from that address. This doesn't count the email address that I receive slush to, most of which gets responded to there as well. It doesn't count the email address that the comments on LiveJournal and Facebook are sent to. This also leaves out the two client works I've read and commented on in that time, the begging of cover quotes for a book. On top of this there is the time I spend sending out books, writing the cover letters, giving gentle toe prods to writers who mope and pretending I'm keeping track of industry news. On top of all this is course my personal email. The email for the 4H club I'm an assistant leader in, and of every once in a while that odd thing where I lay down and be (mostly) still for nigh on four hours at a time. 
onyxhawke: (Default)
( Jul. 7th, 2008 10:13 pm)
In the past couple day's I've talked to and read the blogs of more clients at once than I normally manage. The odd thing I noticed is that in differing ways I and my clients are quite similar. One just posted on how little he thinks of Angelina Jolie's acting skills, and i was not aware she had any. Another client and I were discussing movies that we loved and directors we hated. Both of us loved Batman Begins and hope Dark Knight will not be a let down, and we're also of the opinion that M. Knight Shamalan and Quentin Terentino have each produced their one good movie in their career and can retire with our thanks anytime. A fourth client and i have a similar love for the behavior of politicians across the globe and skew heavily towards the same political range. A fifth is also a fan of snarking and small groups or being alone, we're planning to go hide over a lunch or two at WorldCon.

I wonder how much of this is simply coincidence, and how much of it is that they simply have to have a few similar traits in order for them to write something I will want to represent. It's certainly not that we are all the same age, as my clients range from their early 20's to the 50's (of those i know the age of, and I don't actually care how old any of them are). Location is also not factor since at the moment there are clients in five countries and the closest two to me are in Ohio and North Carolina.


onyxhawke: (Default)


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