Jumpdrives & Cantrips


End of Summer

Well, around here the leaves are falling, it’s getting blustery, and things are starting to smell crisp again. I love fall because all the colours start changing around and it’s great weather to curl up with a book or a movie–so is winter, but it’s nice to go out and not partly freeze at the same time.

In any case, here are a few tidbits that I’ve happened upon lately:

  • Neil Gaiman is on tour doing readings of The Graveyard Book; sadly he can’t be everywhere his fans are. The wonderful bit of news here is that he’s posting readings of the chapters one by one in order and you can catch them over at Mouse Circus. Not too shabby!
  • Kelly Link‘s 2005 collection, Magic For Beginners, and her first collection, Stranger Things Happen, are now both available for download as free reads via Jelly Ink Press. Revel in the words here for the former, and here for the latter!
  • Patricia Briggs fans may want to check out a preview of the Mercy Thompson graphic novel by Dabel Brothers. Also, the series has been optioned for film (no word on actual production) and Ace Books will release her novella “Alpha and Omega” in electronic format so you don’t need to buy a whole collection just to read it (very good news in my opinion). See for yourself over at Hurog.com.
  • If you’re into epic SF and human-alien relations, take a look at Michael R. Hicks‘ self-published book In Her Name. He offers an excerpt of the first four chapters to tickle your fancy, which other reviewers have certainly enjoyed (Fantasy Book Critic being one of them–review here).

I’ve managed to finally get my hands on a few books I’ve been waiting for in the last little while, so it’s likely you’ll see a review of at least one in the coming week…



Miscellanious bits
March 10, 2008, 1109
Filed under: news | Tags: , , , , , ,

In light of the computer recently spitting me out of writing my review of Dun Lady’s Jess, managing to erase the entire thing, and turning the screen into vertical green & black lines, I now resort to a news tidbits post *grin*

The Swivet mentions that Tanya Huff sold an urban fantasy book called One Woman’s Junk. I’m interested to see what she’ll do with these themes… See full info here.

More free eBooks! Jeff Vandermeer’s The Situation via Geekdad at Wired. Also Neil Gaiman‘s American Gods is up and running here.

This stuff is just so cool! Everyone knows that neurons don’t grow back, but a group of researchers has been using microchips to try and regenerate nerve cells. And if you ever wanted the chance to explore the International Space Station, have a look around.

And after Dun Lady’s Jess, I’m looking to review Airs and Graces by Toby Bishop (another horse-related fantasy), and more of the Jani Kilian books.



Nebula Awards, KeyCon, and other tidbits
February 25, 2008, 2058
Filed under: news | Tags: , , , , , ,

So the SFWA’s Nebula Awards final ballot for 2007 are out and up for predictions. After all, we just finished the Academy Awards, and by golly, this is at least a little more intriguing if not as flashy (picturing some of the male authors in fancy evening gowns makes me snerk gleefully). I suck at predictions, and actually haven’t read all that many of these (some day, some day)–what do you folks think?

For those keeping track, the free Neil Gaiman book will be American Gods, available for download on Feb. 28. Or so says the author in his journal.

Holly Lisle’s Hawkspar has shown up on various online booksellers for pre-orders. I loved Talyn, so I’m very excited to read Hawkspar.

And in local Winnipeg con news, I stumbled on KeyCon’s 25th year line up. Guests include: Eric Flint, Jane Yolen, Tanya Huff, and Jennifer C. Wilkes (who is working on 4th ed. D&D). Nick DiChario and Robert J. Sawyer will also be in attendance. I almost always miss this con, but I’m hoping to maybe pop in for at least some panels this year (perhaps with my entire Huff library in tow for signings…). In any case, it makes me happy to see some interesting names coming to my little bit of prairie this May.

I also wanted to thank Graeme of Graeme’s Fantasy Book Review for including me in his Sunday link spectacular. Go visit him and say hello!

For amusement’s sake, something abominable and something articulate (er… kind of).



Snippets and Science Fiction Movies
February 16, 2008, 1945
Filed under: news | Tags: , , , , , ,

This weekend is looking pretty good for staying in and not doing all that much. Today we had so much freezing rain that our windows looked like privacy glass… So here’s a few snippets of interesting things, while I curl up to read some lovely, lovely books.

  • Neil Gaiman discusses British vs. American language usage in his writing, plus updates on the eBook voting. (if you haven’t voted, you still can!)
  • The beautiful new cover for Holly Lisle’s new young adult fantasy, The Ruby Key (release date May 2008), now appears on her main website.
  • Nalo Hopkinson will be working with Red Deer Press to start a “reprint imprint” of fantasy books, mainly featuring Canadian authors. This sounds great–I’m excited to see where this goes! (SFScope article)

Beyond that, Sci Fi Wire looks at the top science fiction movies (via AFI’s top 50 list) and wants to know what readers would consider their top 10. Speaking of top science fiction movies, there are quite a few that I love that didn’t even make their list. So, here are some of my favourite science fiction movies that did not hit the top 50:

  • The Fifth Element: One of the best movies of all time.
  • Serenity
  • GalaxyQuest: Hilarious take on SF and fandom.
  • Twelve Monkeys
  • The Core: Because people die when they should, and I love schlock movies.
  • Treasure Planet
  • Sunshine: Ok, not a fan of the slasher part, but still good despite it.
  • Stargate
  • Flight of the Navigator
  • Cube
  • Groundhog Day: *BUZZ* “Then put your little hand in mine…”
  • The Cat from Outer Space: More for nostalgia than anything else.
  • Howard the Duck: The effects were horrible, but an amusing movie.

I know that I’ve probably even left out other great movies… Which movies do you love?