Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Memory of Light - Draft done!

Brandon Sanderson tweeted saying he's done with draft one of A Memory of Light, the final Wheel of Time book!
We know that he isn't touching parts of the story that have already been written by Robert Jordan. We also saw a lot of improvement between the previous two books, and certainly we shall see a fantastic series ending novel!
There is a lot happening in the books just now, building towards the climax - Rand's mind is whole, the men's Black Tower is a crazy place, Semirhage, Graendal, Mesaana lie defeated, the White Tower stands united; On the flip side, Moridin's grand plan is yet unveiled, the Aiel undead is a surprise twist, we still don't know the song the Leaf People have (and perhaps the travellers are looking for...) AND MORE. There are tons of unresolved questions and prophecies, so this book is really going to have a lot riding on it.
Second half of 2012 is the release!

You can read my review of Towers of Midnight here
Read a review of The Gathering Storm here
Never heard of the Wheel of Time before? Go right here!
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Monday, December 26, 2011

Holmes for the Holidays

The recent Holiday vacation season gives me a week off, and I've just spent a large chunk of it reading Laurie King's Sherlock Holmesian mysteries. I'm still on the first one, and it is pretty interesting!
This Holmes reading time coincides with the recent spate of promotions around the newest Sherlock Holmes movie by Guy Ritchie...AND far more interestingly, the trailer for the BBC Holmes is out - I present to you: Steven Moffat's brilliantly rendered Sherlock series (part 2) beginning 01.01.12

P.S. This is my first embedded video on this blog, so do let me know if it does/doesn't work in your browser. We loved watching the first series (split into three parts as it airs on BBC). Each part corresponds to one of the Sherlock mysteries from the Arthur Conan Doyle books. Very different from Guy Ritchie's Sherlock, and a "must see"!
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Friday, December 23, 2011

Neil Gaiman and The Sandman novels/comics

The amazing Neil Gaiman is back with "The Annotated Sandman" - the first volume is out Jan 10th from Vertigo Comics.
If you haven't heard or read The Sandman comics yet - I would HIGHLY, highly recommend that you go find them at your nearest library right now. I would say book store or library, but they were always too expensive for my then-student's pocket.
Blurb from The Sandman: 
Meet the Endless, a family of immortals that govern all aspects of life and death throughout the universe. However, one of theirown lays captured--Dream, the Lord of Sleep. As Dream makes his escape and returns to his duties after 70 years of imprison-ment, he encounters countless characters from myth, legend and comics, from Lucifer himself to the tragic Greek hero Orpheusto the HELLBLAZER John Constantine.

Right. The blurb tells you nothing.
It doesn't say that the Sandman graphic novels are amongst the most creative works of art you will ever see, anywhere. Just wait till you get into Book 2, and begin to see the genius of the story and characters!

The Annotated Sandman will do a page-by-page discussion on each Sandman comic. The first three pages are available here at tor.com, and we get a sense of the crazy detail and historical references that the Annotation covers.
Read this only after you read Sandman, this would be a great second/third read of the Sandman comics.
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Friday, December 16, 2011

Not feeling so well today

I meant to have a nice post today about one of my latest reads (I've been re-reading Elizabeth Moon, and reading Rick Riordan for the first time), but I'm feverish and lethargic.

Perhaps the new Avatar:The Last Airbender Comic I got courtesy NetGalley will be entertaining enough? 
It picks up where the anime series from Nickelodean ends, and is by Gene Luen Yang. I sure hope so!
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Friday, December 9, 2011

SFF = Science fiction & fantasy

The weirdest conversation I've been in recently started with me talking about my love for SFF novels, and then degenerated into "Oh, SFF stands for...".

Really, how do you describe fantasy to someone who seems to think it is only Twilight or Harry Potter?
Sounds juvenile any way you do it.
*sigh* This is how I felt: (see picture ->)


P.S. I do read YA too, and Harry Potter is awesome. I'm not saying that I think YA is juvenile, just that Fantasy does include other styles of writing too.
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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Missing: One McCaffrey

The recent passing (21st Nov,2011) of Anne McCaffrey will affect all SFF readers everywhere. While she isn't my "all time fav" author, her books have been part of my reading repetoire, and I'm sure, part of many other scifi-fantasy lovers' reading lists.

Her DragonRiders of Pern stories defined dragons in books, and set the bar for other authors to beat. While reading her books now might feel a little trite, it is only because she was the first to write in that style, and has been inspiration for many other popular writers.
A good place to start would be the Harper Hall books.

Not just Pern: If you haven't read any non-Pern McCaffrey books, may I suggest the Acorna series, or the Planet Raiders series, or the Crystal universe. Yes, she was a prolific writer with a long career!

Need inspiration?
Here are some of the best covers, in a Tor post written by the cover illustrator himself, Michael Whelan: 
The Inspiration of Anne McCaffrey (Tor.com)
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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Teaser Tuesday - Fury 02 - Green-Eyed Envy

The Teaser Tuesday is back - after a couple of months of no memes here on E-Volving Books.
I just finished Drink Deep (Merit, an UF Vampire series) and am halfway through the second book in a Fury series by Kasey Mackenzie. I picked it up because an urban fantasy around Furies was new, and thought it might be worth checking out.
"Recognition hit Harper like a punch to the stomach. She staggered a crooked step back, brushing up against Scott behind her and Penn to her right."
Mini Review:
The first book was decent, but this novel isn't nearly as kick-ass. The heroine isn't going full fury-mode and fighting very much so far. The mystery she is solving doesn't appear to require typical detective skills, and the plot devices are weak.
My rating: Meh.
To join into the TT fun, visit the link below!
Teaser Tuesdays
Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along!
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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Kindle Fire - Launched 15th Nov!

The big giant Amazon has launched the Kindle Fire, a Tablet!
There's been tons of speculation on the divide between the Kindle and a full-throttle tablet - or more commonly, "Kindle vs.iPad".
This isn't a surprise - Barnes & Nobles launched the Nook Color, and the news around the Amazon competitor launch has been all over the place.
Retailing at $199, reviews rave about the reading and store-browsing ease, but say that the browser is laughable.

This ties in with  my experience of the Kindle - works great for reading, but the browser is "experimental" and weak.

MY personal checklist on ebook readers/tablets has to be battery life and overall weight of the device. I'd like to go for days without recharging - hours of reading shouldn't take a toll on my hands or my device.
Sadly, it looks like those two qualities aren't to be found in the Kindle Fire.

Overall, Amazon should be more concerned that they will cannibalize sales of the Kindle Dx - Most customers would pick the iPad/Blackberry Playbook/Samsung Galaxy Tab over the Kindle Fire.
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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Buying the new Kindle - For Indians

The 6" Wifi-only Kindle is only $139, but we Indians like even better deals. The same Kindle, with the ads or as is officially known, "Kindle with Offers" retails at $114, or about $25 cheaper. That works out to $25 or Rs.1000+ off. Worth it? Let's find out!

1. In India, the 3G version will anyway not be used, as the 3G network is not supported for free. WiFi only will suffice, as long as your home is enabled.

2. These offers/ads only show up on the main screen or when the "sleep" mode is enabled.

What does that mean for you?
To begin with, most Kindle readers will not need to switch the WiFi on. Personally, I prefer to switch the WiFi off and so prolong battery life (atleast 15-20 reading hours).

You can use Calibre to organize and share books with your Kindle. 
 Download, Convert and Send to Kindle, all in one!

Thanks to Sumit for asking the question that prompted this post!
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A fresh look?

The new dynamic template that Blogger has released made me curious enough to test drive it for a week or so.
It is way more sober (boring?) compared to my previous orange and book-themed look, but perhaps also more professional. 
Let me know what YOU think - I am still concerned that the "Friends and Followers" section has disappeared. While I'm working on customizing this a little, why not explore?
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Monday, October 17, 2011

Review: Touch of Power by Maria Snyder

In this new yet-to-release series by Maria Snyder, of Poison Studies fame, we explore a world that has turned against healers. I've enjoyed all her other books so far - they have strong, principled heroines, who end up key to the battle between good vs. evil.
Publication Date: 27th December, 2011

The Story:  A terrible plague has wiped out large swathes of peoples across the country, and the kingdom has dissolved into several weakened states. Each healer who tried healing a plague carrier died in turn of the plague. With only 100 healers or so in the guild, the Healers Guild proclaimed that they would not heal the plague carriers, and instead tried to find the cure. However, this proclamation resulted in massive anti-healer sentiment, and began a wide scale persecution of the healers. Now only one healer remains - Avry.

Avry has been on the run, but now must choose sides in the war for the weakened states. The power plays between the various contending factions mean that a healer is a valuable piece on the board, and Avry's choice plays a key factor in which faction might eventually triumph.

Plus:Avry and other characters are really interesting to read, and their motivations unveil gradually as the plot develops. I'm keen to read more about them, if there are other books planned. She keeps her secrets to herself, which is a nice refreshing change from heroines that blurt them out to the first hero that comes along!

Minus:  I'm seeing a lot of fantasy that has pages and pages dedicated to travel, travel rations and the countryside - it seems to be a staple of the genre, but I'd like to see something creative here!
Overall: A solid, engrossing tale.
You can read an earlier review of Maria Snyder's Storm Glass here

Thanks to Harlequin and NetGalley for providing the review copy.
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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Guest Post: Jeremy Robinson and Kindle Giveaway

Welcome to Jeremy Robinson’s Great Kindle Giveaway and Blog Tour.

“Hurray for free Kindles!” you say, but who the hell is Jeremy Robinson? Allow me to introduce myself. I’m the author of eleven mixed genre novels, published in ten languages, including the popular fantasy YA series, THE LAST HUNTER, and the fast-paced Jack Sigler series (also known as Chess Team—not nearly as nerdy as it sounds), PULSE, INSTINCT and THRESHOLD from Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press. I’m the co-author of an expanding series  of novellas deemed the Chesspocalypse, which take place in the Chess Team universe. If that doesn’t wet your whistle, I’m also known as Jeremy Bishop, the #1 Amazon.com horror author of THE SENTINEL and the controversial novel, TORMENT. For more about me, or my books, visit www.jeremyrobinsononline.com.

I have watched for years as my fellow authors held online events called blog tours. Some would visit ten blogs. Others, as many as ninety. And every day they would bring something different, waxing eloquent about a multitude of topics. When I finally decided to have a blog tour of my own, and settled on doing each and every weekday in October, my first thought was, “This will be cool,” which was immediately followed up by, “Holy crap, I can’t think of something interesting to say twenty times in one month!” I can barely think of something worthwhile for my own blog just once a month. The solution is what follows; each blog participating in the tour could ask me ANY three questions. That means, if the subject matter bores you, I’m not to blame! Huzzah!

But fear not. There are other rewards for sloughing through the questions and answers. I’ll be giving away two Kindles to two randomly selected readers who sign up for my newsletter. Details on the giveaway can be found below. On to the Q&A!

1. What were your favorite memories of writing your latest book?

The last novel I wrote was THE SENTINEL under the Jeremy Bishop pen name. In general, my favorite moments of any novels are those that get a reaction out of me while I’m writing, whether that be squirming in disgust, feeling angry, crying, or laughing out loud. Those are the scenes I know are going to be good, and they’re usually the ones I hear about. In THE SENTINEL there were a lot of laugh out loud moments because the books was written in first person and the main character, Jane Harper, is sarcastic. But the best moment in the book, for me, made me squirm. I don’t want to give the details of the scene away, but there is a moment when the…loose veil hiding the awful truth is torn away—physically. That’s incredibly vague, but I’d love to hear from readers who think they’ve found it.

2. You took a bold step, going at the entire publishing route on your own - did you have someone who mentored you through this process? Did it feel like a risk?

Learning how to self-publish, and self-publish right has been a long learning process. But it’s not unfamiliar to me. I first self-published in 2005, before e-books were on anyone’s radar. That first book sold very well and I started a small press, Breakneck Books, which has morphed into Breakneck Media. I changed the name because I now produce print books, e-books, audiobooks, iPhone apps and iPhone games. I became a “mainstream author” in 2009 when I signed a three book deal with Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press, and have since signed on for another two books. So I’ve got my greedy hands in both cookie jars right now, having one hardcover novel published every year and putting out a slew of self-published books as well.

As for the learning process, it’s trial and error. My first cover was good, but not great. My first books were riddled with typos. I now hire an editor. I’ve learned to keep my standards really high to ensure that the books I’m producing are indistinguishable from the big publishers. But the publishing landscape is changing fast and I’m finding myself having to adapt constantly. I’m never not learning something new, whether it is cover design techniques (I do most of my covers), e-book format, online marketing and even storytelling. So, I really went it alone. And I actually recommend that. What works for one author might not work for another. Each author has to discover their own techniques, their own niche, audience and voice. Experience trumps “schooling” any day.


Hope that was as good for you as it was for me. Now how about that kindle giveaway?

Here’s the deal: to be entered to win one of two free kindles all you have to do is visit my website—www.jeremyrobinsononline.com—and sign up for the newsletter. That’s it. The first kindle will go to a randomly chosen newsletter signup on October 31. For the second kindle, there’s a catch. The second giveaway will only be triggered if one of my kindle books hits the Amazon.com bestseller list (top 100). So pick up some books (most are just $2.99 a pop) and spread the word! If one of the books squeaks up to #100 for just a single hour, the second kindle will be given away to another randomly chosen newsletter sign up on October 31.

*When you sign up for the newsletter, be sure to include the name of the blog that referred you in the field provided. I’ll be giving away two $50 Amazon.com gift certificates to the blog that refers the most sign-ups and another to the blog who referred the first kindle winner.

** I will announce winners via Twitter, Facebook, my blog, and newsletter (which you will be signed up for!) but I’ll also e-mail the winners directly—I’ll need to know where to ship those kindles!

Thanks for spending some time with me today. Hope you enjoyed the Q&A, and good luck with the kindle giveaway!

-- Jeremy Robinson
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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Teaser Tuesday: Alpha & Omega 02 by Patricia Briggs

I'm in a re-read mood now, and this will always make me turn to the best Urban Fantasy authors out there - Patricia Briggs, Ilona Andrews, Jim Butcher, Kim Harrison and others.
This teaser is from Patricia Briggs' fantastic Alpha & Omega books (werewolf), Book 2 - Hunting Ground:
"What would it feel like to love music as she did and not be able to sing or play? Or worse, to be proficient but never cross the line between a collection of notes and pitch and rhythm to real music?
To know that you were missing it by just a hair but have no idea how to take it from metronome correctness to power and true beauty."
- said by Anna, the rare Omega wolf.
Mini Review:
I love Patricia Briggs! I hope you pick up one of her books - the Mercy series is intriguing with a strong female lead, she has some interesting couplet books (2 books per series) titled Hurog something, Raven something...you know how the naming convention works in sequels, right?
These Alpha & Omega books narrowly overlaps the Mercy series, you will see some familiar characters in greater depth. Solid action-packed sequences, and character-building of a rape victim and more! Come read.

To join into the TT fun, visit the link below!
Teaser Tuesdays
Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along!
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Monday, October 10, 2011

Giveaway - Win Two Kindles!

The author Jeremy Robinson will be writing a guest post on this blog in two days, as part of his October blog tour.
If you sign up for the newsletter, you get a chance to win one of two brand new kindles!
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Friday, October 7, 2011

Review: Terry Pratchett's Snuff - Discworld #39

Genre: Satire, Fantasy, Police/Detective work

Grade: A+ (gold standard)
Why I picked it up: Because Pratchett is a god of writing and I will blindly read anything he writes, anticipating some daft comedy.

The Story: Terry Pratchett's latest Discworld novel features Sam Vimes forced to visit the family countryside Manor by his wife. Out of his comfort zone of the streets of Ankh Morpork, Vimes sets out to explore the pastoral village with his son, 6 year old Young Sam. 
 Taking the hero into a new location and having a murder happen is a tried and tested plot device (think Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers). This is even better here in Discworld, as the location is just like pastoral England, but with Goblins! He gets mixed up with local magistrates, a one-man constabulary - and wins the day after a chase across caves, land and a wild river; what fun!

I loved the tongue-in-cheek reference to Jane Austen that was sneaked into Sam's meetings with the local populace.
(Read and find out!) 
I'd recommend this to:  Everyone!
Please remember, you can read this series out of order - don't be intimidated by the sheer number of books in Discworld!
Digital galley received courtesy of NetGalley & Harper Collins Publishers. 
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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Where do you go for reading suggestions and inspiration?

Just as writers are familiar with writer's block, all readers go through dry periods of no reading  - does this sound familiar to you?

When your favorite author's books are all read, when a long fantasy series is completed, when your library just seems to far away to go to, or when you don't have that ONE great book to read, what do you do?
Do you put away reading for a while and turn to something else; focus on work or a hobby for that evening or week, maybe?

I end up randomly browsing news sites, or Amazon, looking for new authors or books. Still, I've recently found NetGalley to be a fount of inspiration! Just that thrill of reading books prior to their release is enough to get me started up again.
Another good source of recommendations and ideas are the lists at GoodReads, usually if you pick a genre, you are bound to get author suggestions. LibraryThing also works for a lot of people. And of course, the tried and true method of asking a friend IRL!
Where do YOU go for that reading itch?
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Saturday, October 1, 2011

Top 10 books lost to TIme

The Smithsonian Mag has an interesting article on the Top 10 books that have been lost over the years - including several books that formed part of the Bible.
The list also includes the "holy grail" of Shakespeare lovers - his missing play Cardenia.
Read at the source below for the entire list:

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Glenraven by Marion Zimmer Bradley & Holly Lisle

The teaser from one of the earlier chapters:
"A whispering voice inside her head said, Don’t argue, don’t disagree, don’t ask questions. If you do, you’ll change your mind, and you mustn’t change your mind. Just … come. And then the voice added something that she couldn’t ignore and couldn’t turn away from. It said, If you don’t do this, you’ll never know."
You can read the first chapter for free here

Really Mini Summary:
Two modern women in a medieval European culture - pretty good stuff!
Engrossing enough that I'm picking up book 2 next.

To join into the TT fun, visit the link below!
Teaser Tuesdays
Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along!
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Monday, September 26, 2011


The past month has been incredibly busy here in the Real World :)
Hopefully you stuck around - I 'm back and will be posting at my usual pace from today!
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Monday, August 29, 2011

Coming up - September is Terry Pratchett month here!

This week E-Volving Books is launching a Terry Pratchett month, starting Sept 1st.

A celebration of all things Pratchett - Discworld, DEATH and Music with Rocks in.

I love his books, and have read them all several times over. I recently read through most of his backlist in the last month, for the Nth time, and thought I should spread the love.

This will be jointly hosted, more on that tomorrow!
If you are interested and want to take part, do sign up by leaving a comment below. Feel free to do whatever you like to share the joy that is Pratchett's stories. 
If you like challenges - the challenge is to read and review 4-5 books by Pratchett this month! A potential/new fan? Your challenge is 2-3 books.

Create a post on your blog, link back here to this post.

Plan for Week 1: Talking of Captain Sam Vimes
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Teaser Tuesday: The Steerswoman's Road

This is a book I've just finished, had a great time reading, and wanted to share with you.
From the first line of Page 27:
"I thought everyone had to answer a steerswoman." 
"Nobody has to answer anyone; people answer because they want answers in turn. If you deny any steerswoman's questions, no steers­woman will ever answer yours again."
Mini Review:
The author was recommended on Tor.com as having written this brilliant series. I hadn't ever heard of either the series or the author before, but fantasy recommendations are always worth trying :) What I really enjoyed was the sneaky way the story starts off as fantasy and then you slowly unveil the science behind what is called "magic". 
You might recall the famous saying - A sufficiently advanced science is magic. So true in this series.

Blurb: If you ask, she will answer. If she asks, you must reply. A steerswoman will speak only the truth to you, as long as she knows it—and you must do the same for her. And so, across the centuries, the Steerswomen— questioning, searching, investigating—have slowly learned more and more about the world through which they wander.

To join into the TT fun, visit the link below!
Teaser Tuesdays
Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along!
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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Free short stories - Sharon Lee and others

The wonderful Baen Publishing house has a really strong collection of short stories (about 6 so far) which is available in multiple formats. You can either read these online, or download a Kindle-friendly, html, palm, microsoft reader or other device's version.
They are all available FREE!
The stories I'm planning to start off with is Tanya: Princess of the Elves by Larry Correia.

Oh, and Sharon Lee's new Liaden short story, currently available here, will also go into this collection by Monday next.

More about Baen and their philosophy of free here
Click here for a recent review of one of Sharon Lee's magical books, Carousel Tides.
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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Is the hardback book dying?

The time between hardbacks and paperbacks is progressively decreasing, and ebooks now release at almost the same time as the hardback. My recent purchase of Kate Daniel's latest by Ilona Andrews was the same day as the hardback, but I got it at 1/2 the cost.
We know more buyers are doing this, as Amazon recently reported that ebooks were outselling hardbacks by 143 to 100 (Publishers Weekly).
Ebooks also accelerate the paperbacks release dates - several publishing houses now release paperbacks within 6 months of the hardback release. 
“I really do think that e-books are part of the reason for this trend of hurrying up that paperback,” said Carrie Kania, the publisher of Harper Perennial and It Books. “You don’t have to wait for a lower-priced version of that book now. I think we need to move more quickly in general.”
Traditionally, the gap between hardback and paperback releases was 1 year.
Still, I would rather wait the three-odd months to the ebook release, and perhaps get it from my library, unless the author was a favorite of mine (Terry Pratchett, Brandon Sanderson, Patrick Rothfuss, Ilona Andrews among others).
Lots of interesting books have recently released directly as trade of mass market paperbacks - Scott Westerley's Uglies series did crazy good business in this format, perhaps justifying the no-hardback decision taken. Does this mean we are seeing a trend where the end lies in no hardback releases? 
Who knows!

Further reading? (nytimes)
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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Teaser: Terry Pratchett and Dark side of the Sun

The book I'm reading in my daily commute today is Terry Pratchett's The Dark side of the Sun.
From the first line of Page 27:
As he walked toward the domes he was aware of the silence. It spread out from him like a wake, from man to man.
(Bonus Teaser below, because this is a fantatic quote)
"I perceive a possibility of an immediate chronological sequence of events which includes a violence," said Three. He stepped back, "I express preference for a chronological sequence of events which precludes a violence."
Mini Review:
The author is one of my favorites, and while this isn't his best work, I am doing a very diligent re-read of Terry Pratchett's entire catalogue.
Highly recommend you start with either Night Watch or any book in the DEATH series, don't worry about an order or timeline. His books are hysterically funny, great to read and re-read, and very imaginative.

To join into the TT fun, visit the link below!
Teaser Tuesdays
Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along!
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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Simon and Schuster ebook sales now 15% of revenues

The recent Q2 results for CBS corp included the Simon and Schuster results too, under the Publishing section. While overall revenues went down in the past year, the ebook and digital sales grew and more than doubled in revenue. Which means that those sales now count for 15% of their business!

I'm excited - I hope this translates into easier ebook sales in multiple countries.
Wouldn't it also be great if ebooks are released on the same day as the hardback release, but priced lower? I know that cannibalization of hardback sales by ebooks is a real and prevalent issue but Publishers ought to start figuring out ways to combat this aside from Price. 
"Publishing revenues for the second quarter of 2011 decreased 3% to $183 million from $189 million for the same prior-year period, as strong growth in the sale of more profitable digital content was offset by lower print book sales.  Digital content revenues for the second quarter of 2011 more than doubled last year's second quarter digital sales and represented 15% of Publishing's total revenues.  Best-selling titles in the second quarter included The Greater Journey by David McCullough and The Original Argument by Glenn Beck."
Read the entire results here (cbsatlanta.com)
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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Teaser: Charlie Stross and Halting State

The book I'm on today is a first-person crime fiction/near-futuristic thriller novel by Charlie Stross, called Halting State. It was a finalist for the Hugo and Locus awards in 2008 as best novel of the year.

Kindle Location 219 (of 4834 locations - FYI the kindle does not do pagination like books) 
Behind you, Bob's got both his handcams out as well as his headcam, and he's sweeping the room like a cross between the Lone Gunman and a star-crazed paparazzo: It's policing, but not as your daddy knew it.
You're going to have a word with the lad afterwards, remind him he's a cop, not a cinematographer.
Mini Review:
The author is new to me, and I've barely started this book. I can't say much at this point, except perhaps the reason I picked Halting State up. 
The reason is 1) A glowing review from www.cybermage.ae and 2)Desperation for a new and exciting author!
Do read a recent post, perhaps a review of the latest Buffy graphic novel by Joss Whedon.
Read more about Charlie Stross at his blog here: http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/
To join into the TT fun, visit the link below!
Teaser Tuesdays
Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along!
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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Avatar: The Last Airbender Re-Watch!

This lazy Saturday morning I was looking at Tor.com for inspiration on blog posts, and discovered that they are halfway through an Avatar: The Last Airbender re-watch.
Now, to some people, this might not be a call to action - but clearly they are not Avatar fans!
Avatar: The Last Airbender (link to Wiki) is an Emmy award-winning animated TV series, with much critical and fan acclaim. Every episode has been carefully drawn and is an emotional and fun journey - while the first few episodes are more whacky and young, we get to meet and grow with the characters.
Aang, the last Airbender, might be the only one left who can battle the vicious Firebender army that wants to conquer the world.
He has help, of course: The Waterbender Katara and her brother Sokka who discover Aang and his flying pet bison.
What is awesome about all the fighting in this anime, is that each technique has roots in actual Chinese Martial Arts, with different styles embodied in different techniques in the anime.
I'm going to re-watch this series, and you should watch the episodes too!
More info from Tor.com here: Link to re-watch page
Please note that I am only referring to the anime TV series in this post, not the ghastly movie.
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Friday, July 22, 2011

Blogger Hop #25 - After one month

It's time for another Book Blogger Hop, courtesy of Crazy for Books!

Book Blogger Hop
“What's the One genre that you wish you could get into, but can't?"
Poetry maybe? There really isn't much I don't read - but super serious "Literature" like Salman Rushdie, The God of Small Things (Arundhati Roy) have been hard to get into. I never did finish any of those books.

So Poetry, some Literature, that sort of thing.

New to E-Volving Books? I'm on the cusp of 300 followers, and I will follow back! Be my 300th :)
I love to read, review, write about news in Speculative Fiction - YA or epic fantasy, typically. I have a Kindle, though I still read paper books for variety!
I'm currently looking for a blogger who wants to do a post exchange (your choice of topic)
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Thursday, July 21, 2011

News: Ebook covers for the Wheel of Time

The artist for the Final Wheel of Time ebook has been announced! It is Michael Whelan who will be bringing life to the cover of A Memory of Light. (Tor.com)
I got carried away with the awesomeness of the previous covers: You can see the stories and the making of the cover videos here:
Finally, the brilliance of the Towers of Midnight ebook cover in all its glory shows the scene above where Perrin is crafting The Hammer (a fitting name I just made up). The image shows the exact moment when Perrin is done creating this masterpiece, and his eyes seem aflame. You can see the wolf emerging out of the hammer - like Perrin's soul has just united and accepted his wolf. The banner behind him and the war camp scene sets the background part of the image.
My favorite of all the WoT ebook covers so far - this is the perfect scene from the book, at the best angle, with such intense strength in Perrin's eyes.
New to the series? Read my review of the entire series here.
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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Crippled God - The Malazan Book of the Fallen

I've been making my way through the epic to end all epics: The Malazan Book of the Fallen.
This is the final tome, #10, in Steven Erikson's award-winning series. I'm in the last stretch, with maybe 50 pages to go.
Page 75 (of 928 pages) 
'If it weren't for me you'd still be clinging halfway up that cliff, a clutch of bones with birds nesting in your hair and spiders in your eye sockets.' 
'If it weren't for you I'd never have tried climbing it.'
'Yes you would' 
'Why do you say that?'                                    
'Because, Stormy, you never think.'

Mini Review:
The Malazan series is for a reader with stamina and patience. The books are long-winded, and span millenia, numerous races, Gods and more.  
(This is my excuse for having a longer than 2 sentence teaser). In the end, it is all worth it!
I'd recommend this series to fans of fantasy, Stephen King's The Dark Tower series, war stories.

Do read a recent post, perhaps a review of the latest Buffy graphic novel by Joss Whedon.
To join into the TT fun, visit the link below!
Teaser Tuesdays
Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along!
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Sunday, July 17, 2011

New look - Book Re-design

There is a new look coming to Evolving Books! I'm backing stuff up, but I need help finding a good template to use.
The colours should be cleaner, with a white background and orange (or pink) highlights.
Where do you suggest I start looking?
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Review: War for the Oaks by Emma Bull

War for the OaksWar for the Oaks by Emma Bull

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Really brilliant! Quite innovative, and I love the artistic, music-oriented vibe that flows in this book.
Have enjoyed re-reading War for the Oaks a couple of times too.
I want more Eddi, and the band! Her personality, her passion for music and the sheer enthusiasm she brings to this book is refreshing.

While this book was written in 1987, it stands true even today, while still encapsulating the sheer rock and roll era of the 80's.
This is fantasy, with a fae twist, and set in a modern world. If you like music, rock, dancing, this book is for you.

View all my reviews
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Monday, July 11, 2011

Kindle purchase questions you may have: A play by play

A friend of mine was wondering whether to buy a Kindle or some ebook device, this mail conversation is what followed: (reproduced with permission)
My friend: "You have a Kindle, right?
Would you recommend I buy it? My main concerns are: it should be userfriendly (not too complicated) and it should be easy on the eyes - I am short sighted and my eyes strain when I read from a backlit screen.
One other factor is that I should be able to read non-purchased/downloaded books on it."

My reply: Long time no hearing from you - so glad you mailed me.
Let's get this out of the way : I *heart* my kindle. (that's why my blog is mostly dedicated to it and ebooks :D)

We should take this up point by point -
1. User friendly - really simple, too simple sometimes :)
Just drag and drop book from laptop to device, read book.
You can also check out Calibre: Paen to Kindle and Calibre

2. Backlit - The Kindle does not have a backlit screen.
Good points: Easy on the eyes, and very clear writing, just like on a page. No touchscreen means that the ink contrasts better with the white background.
Flipside: You need an extra light if it is dark (bedside one, or you can buy a cover from Amazon with a small light)

3. Non-purchased books - Of course you can! You download as usual, use Calibre as your library so it converts all formats (pdf, rtf, html etc) to mobi (Kindle format) so you can shift to the Kindle, reading the same book.

Follow-up Mail/Question from my friend: 
"I'm definitely getting it. Somehow I don't trust Infibeam's Pi, given that my priority is to make sure my eyes do't have additional strain. Did you buy the cover from amazon too, 'coz their covers cost half as much as the kindle itself! Was just wondering if there are cheaper options available."
(Deepali's note: You can read my post here for alternate covers - Skins for your ebook reader - Style over Substance)
Yes, I got the cover from Amazon - those are sturdy leather covers.
It was pretty expensive!! Try other options too...but make sure you plan for lights of some sort.
A bedside lamp, or a clip-on light of some kind is essential :)
That's All, Folks!
My word-for-word reply to questions you probably have too.
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Friday, July 8, 2011

Review: From Here to Absurdity

From Here to Absurdity: Pink Flamingos, Vibrators, and other Comical Events by David Hunter
Pages: 307
Genre: Non-Fiction/bio. 
Grade: A
Why I picked it up: The Galley was sent to me for review by the publisher, and I enjoyed the short blurb that was sent as a teaser.
Even though I RARELY read non-fiction, these stories were funny, thought-provoking and completely held my attention.

The Story: Written in a series of short stories, each based around a facet of the author's life.
His military basic training sojourn was described realistically, and thoroughly entertained.
Then I saw he took Ben Franklin and examined his human side, his foibles, his indulgences, and described a well-researched idea.
Some excellent historical research is a hallmark of this book, and made me think. Assumptions I'd had around Thomas Edison, the Pope, and legends that surround some people were questioned and firmly thrown out. The author talks about the Church, red states, the thin line walked by cops, tidbits from his experience as an officer and cop, surgery, love/hate campaigns, and the secret of writing!
This is no cookie-cutter "It" book - there is completely original writing, and great reading material to be had!
I'd recommend this to: Readers bored of run-of-the-mill books and want something fresh and thought-provoking.
Meet the author at:  "David Hunter in his Own Write"  http://radicalorthodox.blogspot.com/
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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Teaser Tuesday #40 - Ciji Ware's A Race to Splendor

This is one of those books that got onto my reading list from someone's Teaser!
 Chapter 9, Line 1:
"The following day, Thursday, hundreds of individual fires across some five hundred city blocks converged into one monstrous inferno fed by super-heated winds. By Friday evening, both the sun and the moon glowed a malignant blood red."
Mini Review:
Has a strong woman protagonist, fighting to prove herself as a female engineer  & architect in a man's world (early 1900's). The background of the 1906 California fire is central to the theme of the story.
Very true to form in describing the San Francisco of the early 20th Century. Loved the historical facts and well-researched story line. Less romance than expected, which is pretty good for a change. I woudn't classify this as your typical historical romance, this is heavy on the character building and low on the romance :D What fun!
Do read my previous post, a review of the latest Buffy graphic novel by Joss Whedon.
To join into the TT fun, visit the link below!
Teaser Tuesdays
Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along!
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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Review: Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 8 Volume 1

From the Publisher: Since the destruction of the Hellmouth, the Slayers-newly legion-have gotten organized and are kicking some serious undead butt. But not everything's fun and firearms, as an old enemy reappears and Dawn experiences some serious growing pains. Meanwhile, one of the "Buffy" decoy slayers is going through major pain of her own. 
The Long Way Home (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 8, Vol. 1) 

Grade A-:
The comic picks up right where the TV series stops - Season 7 ends, Season 8 is seamlessly picked up in comic book format.Since I missed some episodes in season 7, a quick wikipedia refresher helped me remember some of the newer plot twists (Recommended). It is written by Josh Whedon, the creator of Buffy, who has plenty of street cred.
Plus: While the narrative is different, stylistically it is true to the fast-paced, dramatic visual format of the TV series. GREAT GREAT cover art - almost photographic in detail, beautifully drawn. In each section of the comic (Part 1, Part 2 and so on) there is a mini-cover art page, which is stellar work. You can look to the right for a sample.
Witty one-liners that punch through into the heart of Buffy-ness? Action scenes that used Buffy's Scythe? All here and more.

Minus: Felt more like a TV-type pace, than a comic book. There were some cuts in scenes which felt too contrived, had to flip back and forth to get a grip on what was happening. Luckily, being a comic book, this is easy to do! 
Really, almost a positive here, is that you can go back and forth, set the pace at which you read and re-read this story.
My one gripe is that I felt Buffy didn't look too Buffy-like in the comic, I certainly couldn't see Sarah Michelle Gellar there. Covers excepted, of course.

Finally, at 139 pages, this is good value for money.
I'd recommend this to: People who grew up with Buffy on TV, and would like more! 
Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to read this. I've already requested for the 2nd of 8 Volumes that make up Buffy Season 8.
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