This is looking surprisingly good. But what else would you expect from the director of Monsters?
The Pretender: Rebirth contest has just concluded and we’ve tallied up our contestants. We had 130 re-tweeters and 33 blog posters which is a new record for one of our contests not to mention a new record for comments in a blog post. Well done, everyone! We put all those names into a spreadsheet and, using a random number generator, we picked our 5 lucky winners:
Congrats to all our winners! If you are one of our prize winners please send your full name and snail-mail address to us at “info [at] worldswithoutend [dot] com” so we can send you your prize right away. Be sure to mention The Pretender in your email so we know which prize you’re claiming. If you’re not one of our winners I’ll bet Steven and Craig would love it if you bought a copy for yourself. Just saying.
Our thanks to creators Steven Long Mitchell and Craig Van Sickle and all the folks at ThePretenderLives.com for making this contest possible! Perhaps we’ll be able to do this again when The Pretender: Saving Luke comes out next year!
We posted a dozen great reviews in the blog for November and it’s time again to cast your votes for your 3 favorites. As always, there are 3 prizes awarded each month. We’ll keep the poll open until December 20 so you’ll have time to read all the reviews.
- Imago by Octavia E. Butler – Rae McCausland (ParallelWorlds)
- The Shore of Women by Pamela Sargent – Scott Lazerus (Scott Laz)
- Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie – Nathan Barnhart (Skynjay)
- Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor – Steff S. (MMOGC)
- The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell – Stephen Poltz (spoltz)
- The Best of All Possible Worlds by Karen Lord – Rob Weber (valashain)
- Love and Romanpunk by Tansy Rayner Roberts – Emily Sandoval (ersandoval)
- Wild Seed by Octavia E. Butler – Nadine Gemeinböck (Linguana)
- To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis – Clare Fitzgerald (thecynicalromantic)
- Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones – Lynn Williams (lynnsbooks)
- This Alien Shore by C. S. Friedman – Carl V. Anderson (Carl V.)
- Ombria in Shadow by Patricia A. McKillip – Allie McCarn (Allie)
This is the penultimate review poll in what has been a fantastic reading challenge and we think you’ll be impressed with this month’s reviews. So much quality in there it’s going to be hard to pick favorites but pick we must. Please help us spread the word about the review poll and encourage your friends to come over and vote. A lot of effort goes into these great reviews each month so show some love for our reviewers and vote!
Speaking of great reviews, last month we passed 600 reviews for the challenge to land at a whopping 624 total! We are just as thrilled as we can be to pass that milestone – thanks to everyone for the surperb effort.
General Stats After 11 Months:
Time Remaining: 22 days
Books Read: 1,146
Books Reviewed: 624!
Now it’s time to finish the Women of Genre Fiction Reading Challenge strong. We’ve got one more month to go so get those last minute books read and tagged over the holidays. We’ll have one last review poll come January right as we ramp up the new challenge for 2014. What’s it gonna be? We’re putting the final touches on the 2014 plan now so stay tuned for more info in the coming weeks.
Allie McCarn (Allie), reviews science fiction and fantasy books on her blog Tethyan Books. She has contributed many great book reviews to WWEnd including several Grand Master reviews featured in our blog. Allie has just kicked off a new blog series for WWEnd called New Voices where she’ll be reviewing the debut novels of relatively new authors in the field.
Editor’s Note: This review counts for November.
“Ombria is a place of both shadows and light, life and death, past and present. Some doorways may lead you to a familiar tavern, while others may leave you among ghosts or taking tea with a dangerous sorceress.
When the Prince of Ombria dies, the small world of his court becomes a very dangerous place. His cruel great-aunt Domina Pearl quickly moves to control the heir, an innocent little boy named Kyel. She also throws the late Prince’s mistress, naïve Lydea, out into the streets to die.
However, not everything is under Domina Pearl’s control. Lydea survives the night, and remains determined to help the little boy who has become the new Prince. The royal bastard Ducon, usually lost in his drawings, must now find a way to preserve Kyel’s life as well as his own. Also, treading fearlessly through their danger is Mag, a ‘waxling’ servant of the powerful sorceress who lives underground. If Kyel—and Ombria—have any hope, it is in their hands.” ~Allie
This is my 11th novel for WWEnd’s Women of Genre Fiction Reading Challenge. Patricia A. McKillip is a name I’ve heard often, but somehow never got around to reading. This was a pretty short novel, and I finished reading it in two days, while on a train.
Carl V. Anderson (Carl V.) operates Stainless Steel Droppings, a blog dedicated to books, film, games and trail running. Be sure to check out his 2013 Science Fiction Experience reading challenge. Carl can also be found on a semi-regular basis posting reviews and interviews for SF Signal.
Editor’s Note: this review counts for November.
It is the second stage of human colonization–the first age, humanity’s initial attempt to people the stars, ended in disaster when it was discovered that Earth’s original superluminal drive did permanent genetic damage to all who used it–mutating Earth’s far-flung colonists in mind and body. Now, one of Earth’s first colonies has given humanity back the stars, but at a high price–a monopoly over all human commerce. And when a satellite in earth’s outer orbit is viciously attacked by corporate raiders, an unusual young woman flees to a ship bound for the Up-and-Out. But her narrow escape does not mean safety. For speeding across the galaxy pursued by ruthless, but unknown adversaries, this young woman will discover a secret which is buried deep inside her psyche–a revelation the universe may not be ready to face….
I don’t often post book copy in a review, but This Alien Shore, a 1998 novel that was listed as a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, is a layered, character-heavy novel that has so much going on that the prepared synopsis gives a nice foundation from which to build a review.
For Lynn Williams (lynnsbooks) books are much more than a hobby or a pastime they’re really an obsession. If she’s not reading a book, she’s talking about books on her blog, Lynn’s Book Blog, or deciding which books to buy next. Lynn reads all sorts of books, sometimes straying into YA, but her first love is fantasy. Recently she started to cross into science fiction thanks to the suggestions of some very excellent bloggers.
Editor’s Note: This review counts for November.
Just finished reading Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones. This book is just so good that I want everybody to read it. Right now. Not only did I love this, not only did it make me laugh at inopportune times, but I felt annoyed when I had to stop reading and it’s just got me so excited that I want to talk to everybody else about it. I devoured it. I sat reading in my lunch time laughing and giggling and attracting some very strange looks. My colleagues, intrigued, were like ‘what are you reading?’ ‘Howl’s Moving Castle‘, I said. ‘Oh, I didn’t know that was a book!’ The funny thing is neither did I! In fact it would never have occurred to me to be honest. I love the film, I really do. Could I choose between the two? Probably at the moment I’d err on the side of the book, but that’s because it’s still so fresh and is still making me smile. I’ll have to go and re-watch the film to see how it compares. Anyway, thank goodness for Worlds Without End – without their Women of Genre reading challenge I may never have picked this book up and that would have been a damned fine shame!
The story starts with Sophie. The eldest of three sisters she is destined to fail – it’s the strange will of the fairytale land in which she lives, after all, it’s always the younger sister/princess who is the real focus of the story as we all know. Her two younger sisters experience all the fun and freedom and are even sent out into the world to gain meaningful employment whilst Sophie remains at home, working in the hat shop that belonged to her late father and seemingly becoming more diminished and shrunken as time goes on. The strange thing with Sophie though is that she seems to hold deep within herself a magical ability that allows her to infuse everyday objects almost with a life force of their own. Unfortunately, these abilities draw the attention of the Witch of the Waste and certainly not in a good way! The Witch of the Waste is a whole lot of bad, she’s jealous of any other magical ability and so she goes in search of Sophie. Of course, Sophie is no match for this wicked witch who curses her turning her into an old woman and thus starting this wonderful adventure.
So, there’s this coming soon. I liked the first one OK, I guess, but not enough to engender any excitement for the followup. Looks like “more is more” was the film maker’s mantra: more villains, more explosions, more glass breaking, more secret lairs and more angst. I suspect that more is less in this case and I’m starting to think I’d like to know how it feels to live in a world without Spider-Man.
The Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) has named Samuel R. Delany, Jr. the 2013 Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master for his contributions to the literature of Science Fiction and Fantasy. The award will be presented at the 49th Annual Nebula Awards Weekend in San Jose, CA, May 16-18, 2014.
From the official press release:
“Samuel R. Delany is one of science fiction’s most influential authors, critics, and teachers and it is my great honor to announce his selection. When discussing him as this year’s choice with the board, past-presidents, and members, the most frequent response I received was, “He’s not already?” Well he is now.” – SFWA President, Steven Gould
“This award astonishes me, humbles me, and I am honored by it. It recalls to me–with the awareness of mortality age ushers up–the extraordinary writers who did not live to receive it: Roger Zelazny, Joanna Russ, Thomas M. Disch, Octavia E. Butler–as well, from the generation before me, Katherine MacLean, very much alive. I accept the award for them, too: they are the stellar practitioners without whom my own work, dim enough, would have been still dimmer.” – Samuel R. Delany
Delany joins Gene Wolfe (2012), Connie Willis (2011) and a host of other greats who have received the award since Robert A. Heinlein won the inaugural award in 1975. See the complete list on our Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award page.
Our congratulations to Mr. Delany on his award. What do you think of this choice? How many of the Grand Masters have you read?
There are Pretenders among us, geniuses with the ability to become anyone they want to be. In 1983 a corporation known as The Centre isolated a young Pretender named Jarod and exploited his genius for their research. Then, one day, their Pretender ran away…
That’s the opening setup for one of the best shows to come out of 90′s television. Responding to the demands of an extremely loyal worldwide fan base, creators Steven Long Mitchell and Craig Van Sickle are bringing the 90′s hit NBC TV series, The Pretender, back in a series of original novels beginning with the release of book one; Rebirth. In addition to their Pretender novels, the duo will be releasing a series of graphic novels and numerous other types of fiction all inspired by The Pretender mythology.
In addition, Mitchell and Van Sickle are looking to expand the universe into a possible spinoff series and three feature films. They’ve just launched the official website: ThePretenderLives.com, which contains information about the upcoming books and their first graphic novel series that will give fans a look at the origin of The Centre.
As part of their marketing campaign, the folks at The Centre Universe, the publishing house established by the authors for the series, have given us 5 autographed trade paperback copies of Rebirth to give away.
You know the drill: re-tweet this tweet or comment here in the blog to enter the contest – easy peasy. Do both and double your chances! We’ll have a random drawing and announce the winners next Monday so tweet away and don’t forget to tell your friends.
Written by the creators of the cult-hit TV show The Pretender – Rebirth is a slick mystery thriller about a brilliant human chameleon named Jarod who after escaping from the notorious Centre, plunges headlong into his newfound freedom. While also discovering the joys and intricacies of everyday life with the pure wonderment of the man/child he is, Jarod uses his unequaled abilities to literally become anyone he wants to be (a surgeon, a pilot, a physicist, etc.) as well as his dazzling mind over muscle vigilante-like skills to bring down the powerful and corrupt and protect those who can’t defend themselves.
All the while he must stay a step ahead of his relentless pursuers from The Centre.
First and foremost is the sexiest woman on the planet, the complex, bitch-on-wheels, Miss Parker who wants him recaptured at any cost – alive – preferably. Parker is a deliciously cunning woman Jarod has known since childhood and theirs is a truly multifaceted cat and mouse relationship – one driven by Jarod who holds the key to the emotional secrets at her very core, secrets that fuel her relentless drive to recapture him.
Then there is Sydney, Jarod’s surrogate father figure and psychologist who raised and nurtured his genius for The Centre’s disreputable purposes. To Jarod, Syd is both friend and foe, confidante and captor, counselor and betrayer. But Syd’s calm paternal connection to Jarod remains strong, often in conflict with The Centre agenda.
Jarod senses Sydney holds the emotional keys to his core – the truth about his past and the identity of the parents he was stolen from and whom he longs to reunite with.
In Rebirth, Jarod employs multiple sophisticated pretends in his quest to save one missing boy and hundreds of other innocent lives hanging in the balance at the hands of multi-national corporate terrorists and mercenaries.
Rebirth is at once an enthralling tale of one man’s exploration of life around him, intricate suspenseful mystery and intense edge-of-your-seat thrill ride – that captures and reignites the cult hit TV series for both loyal fans of the show and new readers alike.
There are Pretenders among us…
I can’t tell you how excited I am to find out that there are new stories in the Pretenderverse! I loved it when it first aired and I’ve been back to re-visit The Centre this last week in what ended up becoming a Pretender Marathon over Thanksgiving. It’s been great to re-discover the show again after 12 years (thanks, Mallory!) and I’m happy to report that it has held up extremely well: Jarod is still awesome, Sydney is still brilliant, Broots is still under-appreciated and Miss Parker is still driven by her inner demons. I had almost forgotten how wicked short her mini-skirts were!
If you’ve never seen The Pretender, or you just want to see it again, you can watch the whole first season for free on Hulu. I’ve ordered the second season on DVD and I plan to work my way through the whole series and the movies. Once I’m done catching up I’m going to dive into these books!
Our thanks to Steven and Craig and everyone at The Centre Universe for the opportunity to bring this new chapter to our fans!
Clare Fitzgerald (thecynicalromantic) started reading feminist deconstructions of fairy tales in elementary school and grew up to major in literature and something called “discourse studies.” She reads a lot of teen fiction, gothic novels, and retold fairy tales, and is especially interested in feminist issues in fantasy and sci-fi. She reviews books at A Room of One’s Own because otherwise she is liable to forget what she’s read and what she thought about it. She currently works as a technical editor, but aspires to be a vampire witch queen pirate sorceress when she grows up.
Editor’s Note: This review counts for November.
So, recently, in Adventures of Being a Gothy Cliché, I joined a SF/F meetup group specifically to attend their Halloween party. And then I didn’t like any of the other stuff the meetup group was doing. Until I got a message saying that their book for their December book club was going to be Connie Willis‘ To Say Nothing of the Dog, which has been on my TBR list for a while.
Things I knew about To Say Nothing of the Dog:
1. Its title is a reference to Jerome K. Jerome’s Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog…), a book I have not read, but which is supposed to be very funny, and is a travel narrative about… well, exactly what it says on the tin: three men in a boat.
2. Somehow it’s a SF/F book despite being based on a Victorian travel narrative. (I thought it was going to be maybe about three men and a dog on a space boat? So unprepared.)
It turns out, To Say Nothing of the Dog is about TIME TRAVEL, which I would have known if I had read the subtitle of the book, which is “(Oxford Time Travel #2)”. I have not read whatever Oxford Time Travel #1 is, but whatever. It is also about THE VICTORIAN ERA, which is one of my favorite eras. Overall, it is a sci-fi, historical fiction, mystery, comic novel, with a side of romance.