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  1. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob B View Post
    Funny you should mention that, the US editor said she did a fairly thorough re-edit on the book before putting it into production for US audiences.
    Interesting; so I am going to get it from the library and see if it improved...
    Flashes of brilliance, but huge plot gaps and lack of balance made this a disappointment. I am still weighing if I will get the sequel now from the UK or just check it out from the library when it gets published here.

  2. #47
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    Hmm, yeah, interesting. I agree around the "flashes", although for me there weren't a lot of them. There's one chase scene early on that I would qualify, but the rest of the book doesn't seem to meet that high water mark.

  3. #48
    I'll be very interested to read your review of The Ancient, Rob. There was a time when I could not get enough Salvatore, but for whatever reason his glory days seem to have passed imo. His most recent outings, [most of which have been part of his Forgotten Realms story arc from Wizards of the Coast], have seemed ... somehow uninspired. Its like they were assembled on a production line; a production line known for solid constructions and genuinely devoted to and experienced at its work, but still a production line. I was going to pass The Ancient up, but we shall see.

    A mildly related note: Tor seems to be gathering up a number of Wizards of the Coast's more successful shared world writers for original IP work. [Bear with me; this gets around to upcoming releases sort of.]: Salvatore's Saga of the First King; Ed Greenwood's duology about the niflgar dark elves, [not sure I'll bother with the second of these: "Dark Vengeance", August or September this year]; Elaine Cunningham, [the best writer to ever set pen to paper for the Forgotten Realms line in my personal opinion, though not nearly as successful as Salvatore sales wise], though her urban fantasy series through Tor doesn't seem to have really taken; and Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, who've got a new six volume deal for a series called Dragonships of the Vindras, first book "Bones of the Dragon" was supposed to be out this August but seems to have been delayed. Wonder why Tor's gathering all this WotC talent?
    ________
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    Last edited by mjolnir; April 29th, 2011 at 02:03 AM.

  4. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by mjolnir View Post
    Wonder why Tor's gathering all this WotC talent?
    Because shared worlds are HUGE sellers? Those familiar with these authors might very well be tempted to grab their new books with TOR.

    I was wondering what Elaine Cunningham was up to these days.

  5. #50
    So I've posted my April 2008 SPOTLIGHT HERE and as usual there's a nice mix of traditional fantasy and SF alongside horror, historical thrillers, crime noir and those titles that can't be labeled. Of this bunch my early nod goes to Jack O'Connell's "The Resurrectionist" which is just an amazing book. Will probably end up as one of my favorites releases in 2008 Here's the blurb:

    The Resurrectionist by Jack O’Connell. Release Date: April 8, 2008. Part classic noir thriller, part mind-bending fantasy, Jack O'Connell's “The Resurrectionist” is a wild ride into a territory where nothing is as it appears. It is the story of a father's love for his son, a journey driven by hope and anticipation, and by a belief that there had to be an answer. Gripping, startling, wildly original, and ultimately incredibly tender, “The Resurrectionist” is a masterpiece of invention that takes the familiar and makes it wholly new again…"

    Check out the book website HERE for more info...

  6. #51
    \m/ BEER \m/ Moderator Rob B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjolnir View Post
    I'll be very interested to read your review of The Ancient, Rob. There was a time when I could not get enough Salvatore,


    Salvatore's Saga of the First King; Ed Greenwood's duology about the niflgar dark elves, [not sure I'll bother with the second of these: "Dark Vengeance", August or September this year];
    The Ancient takes place many, many years before the DemonWars saga, which was published by Del Rey, FWIW. Though you probably know that. I'm about thirty pages into the book so far.

  7. #52
    Registered User Werthead's Avatar
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    Finsihed off the 75-page 'preview' of Richard Morgan's The Steel Remains that Gollancz sent me and eagerly awaiting the rest (hoping it turns up tomorrow).

    Absolutely incandescent stuff. Morgan's writing is on fire and he has a lot of great - and totally messed-up - ideas going on in this new series.

    Interesting to see how people react to it. For very different reasons, it's as controversial and thought-provoking as Black Man.

  8. #53
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    Adam: If it helps, I'm just over halfway through and in my opinion it is absolutely brilliant so far. I'm just hoping it doesn't all end in tears, as there's a lot of plates spinning so far.

    There's a lot of Elric in there but I'm also seeing Gene Wolfe and Jack Vance.

    Absolutely brilliant, but not for the fainthearted. This one will definitely challenge some readers, though. I think it's superb, myself.

    Mark / Hobbit
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  9. #54
    Registered User Werthead's Avatar
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    Cool stuff. I'm just irritated that the combination of being in Ireland and having the weekend come up means that I haven't got the full book yet Hopefully it'll turn up tomorrow morning and I can plough through the whole thing quickly.

    Another release I'm looking forwards to is Rome Burning by Sophia McDougall. The hardcover came out last year but I'm waiting for the paperback. The first book of the trilogy, Romanitas, set up the premise (what if the Roman Empire survived until the modern day?) quite well but the characters were a bit weak and the telepathy subplot was a bit out of place. The reviews for Book 2 seem to be universally stronger.

  10. #55
    I'm very curious about this one, though I may wait a bit before reading and reviewing it (I'm waiting to hear back from Simon Spanton about this). Of course, my galley is still in transit somewhere over the Atlantic -- sometimes I think that UK publisher send me stuff via swimmers!

    What I'm afraid of is that Morgan will have tried so hard to be different that it will end up being offputting...

    Either way, it should be an interesting read. But my gut feeling is that the more "mainstream" SFF readers will not get into it, as was the case with Black Man/Thirteen.

    Hope I'm wrong. . .

    Patrick

    Quote Originally Posted by Hobbit View Post
    Adam: If it helps, I'm just over halfway through and in my opinion it is absolutely brilliant so far. I'm just hoping it doesn't all end in tears, as there's a lot of plates spinning so far.

    There's a lot of Elric in there but I'm also seeing Gene Wolfe and Jack Vance.

    Absolutely brilliant, but not for the fainthearted. This one will definitely challenge some readers, though. I think it's superb, myself.

    Mark / Hobbit

  11. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Werthead View Post
    Another release I'm looking forwards to is Rome Burning by Sophia McDougall. The hardcover came out last year but I'm waiting for the paperback. The first book of the trilogy, Romanitas, set up the premise (what if the Roman Empire survived until the modern day?) quite well but the characters were a bit weak and the telepathy subplot was a bit out of place. The reviews for Book 2 seem to be universally stronger.
    It's very rare that I really hate a book - usually I do not like it, I do not read it, only if I have some expectations I keep trying - but Romanitas was one such book that I thoroughly hated - it was so bad in so many ways, from the characters to the setting that I am amazed the sequel was finally published; I thought after all the hype preceding this series and the very cool reception that it died, but it seems that junk dies very hard...
    Big, big junk. Even if paid I would not touch the sequel.

  12. #57
    Registered User Werthead's Avatar
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    The first book had massive problems but also showed a lot of promise. The fact it took three years rather than the promised one for the sequel to appear suggests some pretty heavy rewriting and editing was going on, and the much more positive reviews for the sequel do seem to suggest that was successful. The sequel also seems to have done quite well. It was in the Top 10 hardcover section of my local bookshop from the end of August to just a couple of weeks ago (it seemed to do rather better than Ken Follett's supposedly eagerly-awaited World Without End).

  13. #58
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    Dipped back into the Gemmell back catalogue this weekend as I left my copy of 'Reaper's Gale' at home while I headed into the country. Found an old copy of David Gemmell's 'Wolf in Shadow' and read it in about two days. Absolutely stellar work. Some of the action set-pieces are peerless, I think you could make the case that Gemmell's style actually suits the western mythos even better than the sword and sorcery worlds he normally worked in.

    I'm looking forward to 'The Steel Remains' as well. I'm absolutely hoping he regains his earlier form: I'm not convinced that the reason that 'Black Man' received a mixed welcome is because it was somehow more challenging than the average reader was able for, I think it was flat-out a weaker piece of work from Morgan. Fingers crossed. At least he can't throw in some noam chomsky style anti-american polemic this time around (...can he?)

  14. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ouroboros View Post
    I'm looking forward to 'The Steel Remains' as well. I'm absolutely hoping he regains his earlier form: I'm not convinced that the reason that 'Black Man' received a mixed welcome is because it was somehow more challenging than the average reader was able for, I think it was flat-out a weaker piece of work from Morgan. Fingers crossed. At least he can't throw in some noam chomsky style anti-american polemic this time around (...can he?)
    If Black Man would have been Morgan's debut or if it's your first Morgan book, you will be impressed. But for someone who read all of Morgan's work, Black Man is just repetitive. When I read it, I could not believe sometimes the plot twists, how they mirrored one or other of his other books, from the main "real" villain to the main twist.
    I have high hopes for The Steel Remains, and if it is as original as described by people reading arcs, I think it will be a real treat.

  15. #60
    Give me liberty! Ouroboros's Avatar
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    Well, Morgan did comment on what he perceived as 'bitching' about 'Black Man' on the news section of his website, and he took the stance that a majority of people who said they didn't like it must have been dissapointed that it wasn't another 'Altered Carbon'. I'm sure that was true of some people, but as he says himself, it's not like his direction didn't change with the later Kovacs novels and the publication of 'Market Forces'. This is partially why I think it was a bit of a cop-out on his part to write off a lot of the criticism levelled at 'Black Man' as being a result of a chunk of his fan-base having failed to mature with him or be somehow stuck in the past.

    He did allude to some unhappy readers expressing a disatisfaction with some of the political commentary in the book. I think he's certainly on to something there, to some degree- at least in my case.

    You can't have read the Kovacs trilogy and 'Market Forces' without being aware that Morgan is politically quite far to the left. Maybe it was inevitable that when he let his personal politics gain a fuller expression in 'Black Man', with the usual Chomsky and Klein inspired criticisms of Western (particularly American) foreign policy, class divisions and consumerism, he was going to automatically alienate a lot of people. The point I've always made is that I can put up with silly politics if there's something else to keep you hooked. Morgan carried this off with his back catalogue, but not with 'Black Man', which also fell flat for me in terms of the way it was plotted and characterised.

    Still, I'm cautiously optimistic that 'The Steel Remains' won't afford as much scope for Morgan to be tempted into soapboxing, given that the subgenre doesn't lend itself to political commentary quite so easily. I look forward to his adopting a gritty, morally relative view of the traditional epic fantasy formula, but I wonder also if he isn't being a bit presumptuous in assuming that what he's doing is really edgy to the point that he is going to shock and upset a lot of readers. It seems to me that this ground has been trod over quite a lot recently. Aren't there oodles of slightly skewed re-workings of the traditional elements of the genre? As far back as Michael Moorcock, and certainly more contemporary authors like Matt Stover, Steph Swainston, Michael Swanwick and indeed even the really big boys like Erikson and GRRM arguably.
    Last edited by Ouroboros; April 7th, 2008 at 12:02 PM.

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