Stacking the Shelves (236)

Stacking the Shelves

Today’s monster Stacking the Shelves brought to you (and me) by the release of the 2017 Hugo Packet. For those wondering what that is, why that is, or both, here’s the quick recap. The Hugo Awards are nominated and voted upon by both the attending and supporting members of Worldcon (World Science Fiction Convention) for that year. (I am a supporting member of Worldcon 75 in Helsinki. Not going; too far, saving pennies for 2019 in Dublin). It used to be the members’ responsibility to find copies of the nominated works to read before voting. How many and whether everyone did or does is an open question, but as usual I digress. One of the joys of ebooks is that it is relatively inexpensive for publishers to provide ebook copies to the voters of all the nominated works. Considering that a supporting membership currently costs $40, and that the value of the ebook copies of just the best novel nominees is WAY more than $40, it’s a steal. (For those who want the books but not the membership, this year Tor is offering a package of all of their nominated works for $20. Still a steal)

So I’ve listed just the tip of my iceberg here, the best novel, novella, novelette and related works that I didn’t already have. I also picked up the best short story and best graphic novel nominees. You get a lot for that $40 along with the right to vote for the ones you like best. Or vote against the ones you liked least. I intensely disliked All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders, but it got nominated. Taste is individual, and that seems to have been a book that no one was neutral about, either readers loved it or like me, found it completely derivative. We’ll see what happens at Worldcon in August.

For Review:
A Conspiracy in Belgravia (Lady Sherlock #2) by Sherry Thomas
Glass Houses  (Chief Inspector Gamache #13) by Louise Penny
Lowcountry Bonfire (Liz Talbot #6) by Susan M. Boyer
So Great a Prince by Lauren Johnson
Urban Enemies by Jim Butcher, Kevin Hearne, Kelley Armstrong, Seanan McGuire Jonathan Maberry and others, edited by Joseph Massise
You Say It First (Happily Inc #1) by Susan Mallery

Received in Hugo Packet:
The Art of Space Travel by Nina Allan
The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle
A Closed and Common Orbit (Wayfarers #2) by Becky Chambers
Death’s End (Remembrance of Earth’s Past #3) by Cixin Liu
The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe by Kij Johnson
The Jewel and Her Lapidary by Fran Wilde
Ninefox Gambit (Machineries of Empire #1) by Yoon Ha Lee
A Taste of Honey (Sorcerer of the Wildeeps #2) by Kai Ashante Wilson
This Census-Taker by China Mieville
The Tomato Thief (Jackalope Wives #2) by Ursula Vernon (from Apex Magazine)
Too Like the Lightning (Terra Ignota #1) by Ada Palmer
Touring with the Alien by Carolyn Ives Gilman (from Clarkesworld)
Traveler of Worlds: Conversations with Robert Silverberg by Robert Silverberg and Alvaro Zinos-Amaro
Words are My Matter by Ursula K. LeGuin
You’ll Surely Drown Here if You Stay by Alyssa Wong (from Uncanny)

Borrowed from the Library:
The Lost City of the Monkey God by Douglas Preston
The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher

Stacking the Shelves (150)

Stacking the Shelves

I managed to resist the impulse to buy out the Dealer’s Room at WorldCon last weekend. I had a much more difficult time resisting suggestions in some of the publisher’s showcase presentations I attended. All the Birds in the Sky is from the Tor Showcase, and Fated is from the Ace/Roc showcase. Just before the Ace/Roc presentation, I finished Jim Butcher’s new steampunk book, The Aeronaut’s Windlass (awesome, the review will be up when it publishes) and I was looking for something that, honestly, I wouldn’t need to write up. I was getting lots of reading done but no time or energy to write up reviews at the end of the day. And I’ve learned that piling up six or more books to “brain dump” at the end of the week doesn’t work very well.

Adding insult to injury, I came home with “con crud”. This is not an official term, although it ought to be. When the skies over Spokane looked like Mordor on Friday due to the nearby forest fires, I thought my sore throat was just a reaction to the very bad air. No such luck. On Saturday the skies cleared up, but my throat didn’t. It’s been a long week. It’s a good thing I always have plenty to read!

For Review:
All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
Exit of the Ascended by Neal Tyree
Wicked Ever After (Blud #4) by Delilah S. Dawson

Purchased from Amazon:
Covered in Paint (Art of Love #5) by Donna McDonald
Cruising Speed (Art of Love) by Donna McDonald
Fated (Alex Verus #1) by Benedict Jacka

 

The Sunday Post AKA What’s on my (Mostly Virtual) Nightstand 8-23-15

Sunday Post

Sasquan_Official_Raven_Mascot_by_Brad_FosterThis is weird. I’m writing this before we leave for Sasquan, but by the time you read it, we’ll be on our way back. From here, I’m hoping that our suitcases won’t be overloaded with books, but that may be a vain hope. I try to resist picking up print books in the dealer’s room, because most of what I see I either have an eARC, or I’m willing to wait to get as an ebook. Howsomever, the one thing that is still better with print is signed books. For that, you need a physical copy. I know John Scalzi will be at Sasquan, which means a print copy of The End of All Things is definitely in my bookish future. As for the rest, we’ll see.

Because I’m writing this so far ahead, it is possible that next week’s schedule will be affected by what I manage to read (and OMG write up) while we are at the Con. In other words, contents may shift as the week (or the box) settles.

clear-off-your-shelf-August-202x300Current Giveaways:

Four books from my shelves in the Clear Your Shelf Giveaway Hop
A Pattern of Lies by Charles Todd (paperback ARC)

pattern of lies by charles toddBlog Recap:

A- Review: Daring by Elliott James
B+ Review: Tales: Short Stories Featuring Ian Rutledge and Bess Crawford by Charles Todd
C+ Review: Three Moments of an Explosion by China Miéville
Clear Your Shelf Giveaway Hop
A Review: A Pattern of Lies by Charles Todd + Giveaway
Stacking the Shelves (149)

blood and metal by nina croftComing Next Week:

The Nature of the Beast by Louise Penny (review)
Tequila Mockingbird by Rhys Ford (review)
The Last Time I Saw Her by Karen Robards (review)
Blood and Metal by Nina Croft (blog tour review)
If Only You Knew by Kristan Higgins (blog tour review)

Review: The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy by Sam Maggs

fangirls guide to the galaxy by sam maggsFormat read: ebook provided by the publisher via Edelweiss
Formats available: hardcover, ebook, audiobook
Genre: nonfiction, humor
Length: 208 pages
Publisher: Quirk Books
Date Released: May 12, 2015
Purchasing Info: Author’s Website, Publisher’s Website, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Book Depository

Fanfic, cosplay, cons, books, memes, podcasts, vlogs, OTPs and RPGs and MMOs and more—it’s never been a better time to be a girl geek. The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy is the ultimate handbook for ladies living the nerdy life, a fun and feminist take on the often male-dominated world of geekdom. With delightful illustrations and an unabashed love for all the in(ternet)s and outs of geek culture, this book is packed with tips, playthroughs, and cheat codes for everything from starting an online fan community to planning a convention visit to supporting fellow female geeks in the wild.

My Review:

I wish this book had been around when I first started going to science fiction conventions, a long time ago (and in a galaxy far, far away). Not so much because of the information as the affirmation – that it is more than ok, in fact it is downright marvelous, to be a geek girl.

And I’m here to tell you that you can be a geek girl forever. Your tastes may change a bit, and more new neat things come along every day (and at a faster rate than ever) but being proud to love what you love is a joy that lasts a lifetime.

There is a lot of joy and enthusiasm in this book, along with a ton of information and some important and serious reality checks. All in the spirit of fun and to help fangirls enjoy their fannishness in safety as well as happily.

The book includes lots of “shout outs” to women who have and are continuing to make important contributions to geek culture in all kinds of ways, from video games to geek clothes to maker communities to mass entertainment.

One of the things I loved most was the affirmation that being a feminist is important for geek girls. Being a feminist means that you believe in and act on the concept that women are equal and should be treated equally, along with the acknowledgement that there are still some nasty corners of the internet in general and geek spaces in particular where that isn’t happening and that there are still battles to be won.

The description of online trolls, their various types and how to deal with them (sitting back and being quiet is NOT the answer) while still participating in online communities had the appropriate doses of humor while still making the point that there are things you can do, and ways that you can expose the trolls to the light.

As all fangirls know, trolls hate light.

One of the fun things in the book was the descriptions of the various big fandoms, what they love and what they fight among themselves about. I found myself more than a few times.

What can I say? This is my tribe.

Reality Rating B: The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy is light and fun, and is pitched at a young adult/new adult audience that is curious about fan culture, especially fangirl or geek girl culture. The thing that it does best is that it affirms, enthusiastically and often, that being a girl geek is not merely acceptable, but downright awesome.

Those of us who are a bit older remember being laughed at much too often, by mainstream culture because we were geeks, and by fan culture because we were female. As a refreshing change of pace, this book celebrates that intersection.

While I appreciated the descriptions of the big geek gatherings, like San Diego Comic Con and SXSW, the part of geek culture that was almost completely left out are the fan-run local conventions and WorldCon (WorldCon 2015 is in Spokane, WA).

It’s not just that this is the part of fandom with which I am most familiar, but that it is also one of the easiest ways to get in on the ground floor. If you read SF or Fantasy, this is a place to find a lot of like-minded people who are also into SF media and anime. And the entry fee is usually much, much cheaper than SDCC and there are probably one or two (or more) local cons within driving distance multiple times per year, wherever you live in the U.S.

For those of us who are introverts, and there are a lot of us in fandom, it is a much lower pressure environment in which to meet up with your friends and meet some of your favorite authors.

The emphasis in the book is on the big media cons of various types, and for those geek girls whose entry into fandom is through books, it is easy to feel left out. While some of the huge cons, DragonCon in my own Atlanta being an example, do have tracks for book authors and readers, not all of the media cons like Emerald City Comic Con (in Seattle) cover that particular waterfront.

The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy is a book for young women who are looking for ways to share what they love, and the ways that they love it, with like-minded people. The tips and tricks on surviving at cons and how to handle yourself during autograph sessions and photo ops with your favorite stars are spot on.

There is a lot of fascinating stuff about cosplay. Not just how to get into it, but how much fun it can be and a million other reasons why people have so much fun dressing up as their favorite characters. Refreshingly, for a book aimed at young women, this section is also full of body-positivity. The author encourages anyone and everyone to be who they want to be because they want to be it.

For my personal taste there was a bit too much about cosplay in general. Other people’s interests may vary. The important thing about the cosplay section for me was the emphasis on “cosplay is NOT consent” and tips and how to handle (and report) when someone steps over that line.

I also occasionally found the language of the book just a bit precious, but I fully recognize that I am not the intended audience.

In addition to the cosplay info, there’s also a piece of this book pie for every different type of fan and fandom. Just the explanations of what means what and who ships who (and why) are loads of fun. I’m a big fan fiction reader, and there were still plenty of terms that I had been skipping over and finally learned the meaning of.

In short, this is a book that celebrates geek culture, and especially female participation in geek culture. We are fans, we love what we love enthusiastically and want to share.

***FTC Disclaimer: Most books reviewed on this site have been provided free of charge by the publisher, author or publicist. Some books we have purchased with our own money or borrowed from a public library and will be noted as such. Any links to places to purchase books are provided as a convenience, and do not serve as an endorsement by this blog. All reviews are the true and honest opinion of the blogger reviewing the book. The method of acquiring the book does not have a bearing on the content of the review.

The Sunday Post AKA What’s on my (Mostly Virtual) Nightstand 4-12-15

Sunday Post

You still have a few hours left to enter my 4th Annual Blogo-Birthday Celebration Giveaway. I’m giving away four(4!) $10 gift cards or books, so that’s four chances to win. But time is running out!

The big piece of bookish news this week has been the continuing fracas over the nominee slate for this year’s Hugo Awards. If you are looking for balanced coverage of the mess, take a look at either George R.R. Martin’s Not a Blog entries or File 770’s posts. I am planning to attend WorldCon this year in Spokane, which means that yes, I was eligible to nominate. I’m glad that I did this year, even though very few of my nominations made it to the final ballot. I am definitely planning to vote. I think I’ve figured out what I’m going to do, but there are lots of thoughts still running around my head. This has been a big topic of discussion around our house this week. While it certainly makes the evening walks go faster, it is also an exhausting piece of chaos, and there are not going to be any winners at the end, possibly including whoever takes home the actual Hugo rockets. If anyone does.

I thought seriously about writing a blog post on this mess, but I have decided not to. What I wrote for my own amusement was cathartic but probably not helpful to anyone except me.

Besides, I believe that Robert A. Heinlein, who seems to be the patron saint of the Puppies, said it best in The Notebooks of Lazarus Long:

If you are part of a society that votes, then do so. There may be no candidates and no measures you want to vote for…but there are certain to be ones you want to vote against. In case of doubt, vote against. By this rule you will rarely go wrong. If this is too blind for your taste, consult some well-meaning fool (there is always one around) and ask his advice. Then vote the other way. This enables you to be a good citizen (if such is your wish) without spending the enormous amount of time on it that truly intelligent exercise of franchise requires.

In the meantime, here is what’s happening on Reading Reality…

blogo-birthday-april6Current Giveaways:

Four $10 gift cards or books in my 4th Annual Blogo-Birthday Celebration!

Winner Announcements:

The winner of the $10 bookish prize in the Fool for Books Giveaway Hop is Danielle S.
The winner of a paperback copy of Never Too Late by Robyn Carr is Natasha D.

doc by maria doria russellBlog Recap:

4th Annual Blogo-Birthday Celebration + Giveaway
B+ Review: Wildfire at Larch Creek by M.L. Buchman
B+ Review: The Fifth Heart by Dan Simmons
C Review: Bite Me, Your Grace by Brooklyn Ann
A- Review: Doc by Mary Doria Russell
Stacking the Shelves (130)

 

 

 

bookseller by cynthia swansonComing Next Week:

The Dream Lover by Elizabeth Berg (blog tour review)
The Bookseller by Cynthia Swanson (blog tour review)
One Bite Per Night by Brooklyn Ann (review)
BiblioTech by John Palfrey (review)
Ivory Ghosts by Caitlin O’Connell (blog tour review)

The Sunday Post AKA What’s on my (Mostly Virtual) Nightstand 4-27-14

Sunday Post

hugo_smFor those of you interested in science fiction and fantasy, the nominations for the 2014 Hugo Awards were announced last weekend. If you enjoy the genre, purchasing a Supporting Membership in the annual WorldCon is always a bargain, even though you aren’t planning to attend the Con. Why? Because everyone who has a supporting membership gets to vote on the Hugos, and in order for the voting to be informed (or at least the possibility thereof) every supporting and attending member receives a packet of the nominated works in all categories in the ebook format of their choice. This year, in addition to Ancillary Justice, Neptune’s Brood, Parasite and Warbound, the ENTIRE Wheel of Time saga by Robert Jordan was nominated for best novel and will be included in the packet. All 14 volumes. A supporting membership costs $40 US, and it’s worth it just for the ebooks of the best novel category alone. But the packet also includes all the best Novella, best Novelette, best Short Story nominees, and etc., etc. It’s a steal.

And I hope that next year The Forever Watch is nominated. It was awesome.

Current Giveaways:

Dash of Peril by Lori Foster (print, US/CAN only)
Nightmare Ink by Marcella Burnard (5 ebook copies)
Ladder to the Red Star by Jael Wye (ebook)

Winner Announcements:

The winner of The Last Time I Saw You by Eleanor Moran is Mai T.

forever watch by david ramirezBlog Recap:

A+ Review: The Forever Watch by David Ramirez
B+ Review: Ice Red by Jael Wye
Guest Post by Author Jael Wye on Love and Mars + Giveaway
Guest Post by Author Marcella Burnard + Giveaway
A- Review: Dash of Peril by Lori Foster + Giveaway
B+ Review: Sing for the Dead by PJ Schnyder
Stacking the Shelves (86)

 

 

king of thieves by jane kindredComing Next Week:

Don’t Blackmail the Vampire by Tiffany Allee (blog tour review)
King of Thieves by Jane Kindred (blog tour review)
The Garden Plot by Marty Wingate (blog tour review)
The Collector by Nora Roberts (review)
Ladder to the Red Star by Jael Wye (blog tour review)

The Sunday Post AKA What’s On My (Mostly Virtual) Nightstand 9-8-13

Sunday Post

And we’re back!

I know, it didn’t really look like we left, but that’s the joy of scheduling posts. Except that last Sunday’s Sunday Post almost posted full of XXX, because that’s the way I left it when we left town. I meant to fill it in, and almost forgot. WorldCon was a blast.

Loncon3 logoYes, we’re going to London next August, no matter how scraped the pennies have to be. This was so much fun I’m still bouncing up and down with glee, in spite of having been back for almost a week.

The Way the Future Was by Fred PohlThe Con experience ended on a mournful note. When we got home Monday night, word was percolating through that the great SF Grand Master Frederik Pohl had passed away in Illinois just as the Con was ending in San Antonio. One of the marvelous things about SF is just how accessible most of the pros are. Pohl used to attend all the Chicago cons every year, so I heard him read and speak two or three times a year for several years. He’ll be missed.

Before I move on to the regular recap and schedule of upcoming events, one last, but probably not final, comment about WorldCon. Galen posted a Worldcon wrap-up on his blog, Meta Interchange. I pretty much second everything he said, but it would have taken me five times as long to say it. 😉

Current Giveaway:

Suzanne Johnson tourwide giveaway: First prize (1) iPad 2; Second prize (5) $20 Gift Cards to Winners’ online retailer of choice; both prizes open internationally ENDS September 10, 2013

Winner Announcement:

The winners of the ebook copies of The Love of My (Other) Life by Traci L. Slatton are Shelley S. and BookLady.

Elysian Fields by Suzanne JohnsonBlog Recap:

Promo: Surprise Brazen Release: Wicked Heat by Nicola Marsh
Labor Day 2013
B+ Review: The Mystery Woman by Amanda Quick
B+ Review: Cast in Sorrow by Michelle Sagara
B+ Review: Finding Camlann by Sean Pidgeon
A- Review: Elysian Fields by Suzanne Johnson
Guest Post by Author Suzanne Johnson on Supernatural New Orleans + Giveaway
Stacking the Shelves (57)

Bones of Paris by Laurie R KingComing Next Week:

The Bones of Paris by Laurie R. King (review)
Hellfire by Jean Johnson (review)
Tempt Me, Cowboy by Megan Crane (blog tour review)
Medium Rare by Meg Benjamin (blog tour review)
The Arrangement by Mary Balogh (blog tour review)

 

 

Stacking the Shelves (57)

Stacking the Shelves

This isn’t all there is. There’s a box of books shipping via turtle express from San Antonio and I have absolutely no recollection what’s in it. We sincerely tried not to pick up too much, but, there were a certain number of irresistible freebies going around (not exactly free when you factor in the cost of the trip) and it’s important to support the hucksters in the dealers’ room.

Hellfire by Jean JohnsonI couldn’t resist buying a print copy of Jean Johnson’s Hellfire just so I could get her to sign it. I say this and I already had an ebook copy. Author signed copies are the one place where print is absolutely better. Jean was terrific on all her panels (and I think I went to at least half of them, maybe more) and the book was awesome. My review will be posted Tuesday.

Final note, the last book in the list, A Slight Trick of the Mind, is a Sherlock Holmes novel by Mitch Cullin. It has just been announced that a movie is being made from this novel with Ian McKellen as the retired Holmes. That’s right, Gandalf (and Magneto) is also Sherlock. Simply fantastic news, even if it is possibly a sign of the oncoming nerdpocalypse.

Stacking the Shelves Reading Reality September 7 2013

For Review:
The Cat, The Devil, and Lee Fontana by Shirley Rousseau Murphy and Pat J. Murphy
Everlasting Enchantment (Relics of Merlin #4) by Kathryne Kennedy
The King’s Grave: The Discovery of Richard III’s Lost Burial Place and the Clues It Holds by Philippa Langley and Michael Jones
Legend of the Highland Dragon by Isabel Cooper
The Lotus Palace (Lotus Palace #1) by Jeannie Lin
The Perfect Match (Blue Heron #2) by Kristan Higgins
The Prince of Lies (Night’s Masque #3) by Anne Lyle
The Secret Life of Miss Anna Marsh (Marriage Game #2) by Ella Quinn
The Seduction of Lady Phoebe (Marriage Game #1) by Ella Quinn
A Study in Ashes (Baskerville Affair #3) by Emma Jane Holloway
Take Over at Midnight (Night Stalkers #4) by M.L. Buchman
Tempt Me (Underbelly Chronicles #3) by Tamara Hogan
What Not to Bare by Megan Frampton

Purchased:
Haste Ye Back (1 Night Stand) by Wendy Burke
Medium Well by Meg Benjamin
The One He Chose (1 Night Stand) by Wendy Burke
Still Fine at Forty by Dakota Madison
Wise Men Say (1 Night Stand) by Wendy Burke

Borrowed from the Library:
Perdition (Dred Chronicles #1) by Ann Aguirre
A Slight Trick of the Mind by Mitch Cullin

The Sunday Post AKA What’s On My (Mostly Virtual) Nightstand 9-1-13

Sunday Post

This will be a very quick Sunday Post because we’re still in San Antonio at WorldCon. We’ve already decided that we’re going to scrape our pennies together to go to London next year. This whole vacation idea is awesome! And the extra-special bonus of getting to pal around with Cass from Book Lovers has been a real treat!

Spokane won the bid for the 2015 WorldCon. We’ll be able to drive instead of fly. Woohoo!

How the Light Gets In by Louise PennyBlog Recap:

B+ Review: The Hero by Robyn Carr
B+ Review: The Best of Daughters by Dilly Court
B Review: Calling the Shots by Christine d’Abo
A+ Review: How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny
B Review: Big Sky Wedding by Linda Lael Miller

Cast in Sorrow by Michele SagaraComing Next Week:

The Mystery Woman by Amanda Quick (review)
Cast In Sorrow by Michelle Sagara (review)
Finding Camlann by Sean Pidgeon (review)
Elysian Fields by Suzanne Johnson (blog tour review)

On My Wishlist – WorldCon 2013 Edition

LoneStarCon 3 Logo

As you read this, we’re at WorldCon. I haven’t gotten tired of saying, or typing, that yet. And probably won’t. Last year, we were in Atlanta at Dragon*Con wishing we’d gone to WorldCon in Chicago.

We did have attending memberships in Chicon, but we lived in Atlanta. A con that didn’t require airline tickets trumped a con that did. C’est la vie.

This year, we’re in San Antonio, but back home in Seattle, we’re missing our first Bumbershoot. If we get to Loncon3 next year, we might manage both. For some reason, the Brits don’t share our fascination with Labor Day weekend.

There are, of course, a few books that I’ll be unable to resist while I’m in San Antonio. In some cases it’s not that I don’t already have them, it’s that I have a chance to tell some of my favorite authors how much I love their work, and get signed copies.

But we’re only bringing one suitcase with. I wonder if there’s a shipping place near the convention center? (Especially since the list below does not include Galen’s list!)

Among Others by Jo WaltonThe Incrementalists by Steven Brust and Skyler WhiteJean Johnson – Hellfire (Theirs Not to Reason Why #3)
Gail Carriger – Curtsies & Conspiracies (Finishing School #2)
Michelle Sagara – Cast in Sorrow (Chronicles of Elantra #9)
Tanya Huff – The Silvered
Elizabeth Bear –One-Eyed Jack (Promethean Age #5)
Jo Walton – Among Others
Steve Brust – The Incrementalists

Hellfire by Jean Johnson

Curtsies and conspiracies by Gail CarrigerCast in Sorrow by Michele Sagara

 

 

 

 

 

one eyed jack

The Silvered by Tanya Huff

 

 

 

 

 

Tor, Baen, Pyr, Angry Robot, and 47North all have presentations of their upcoming publications. I’ll try to be there for as many as possible, especially since some smart cookie scheduled the Tor, Baen and Pyr shows back-to-back in the same room!

Who would you stand in line for? Which authors are your favorites?