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Worlds Without End Blog

She Who Watches by Anthony Pryor Posted at 7:47 PM by Beth Besse

Badseedgirl

She Who WatchesSome books are just a fail with me.  In general, I hesitate to give a book a low review just because I did not enjoy it, I mean 80% of a review is in the reader’s perspective.  We have all reread a book we once loved and on a second read couldn’t help but wonder what kind of crack we were smoking to have enjoyed the book so much the first time, and visa-versa.  But in the case of She Who Watches, by Anthony Pryor I really do not feel much guilt for this review.

The characters were one dimensional.  The female characters were particularly offensive to me.  There were only two female leads, the first Trish, is apparently the group pump.  Her main and only characteristic is sleeping with all the members of the group, well most of them anyways.  She is possessed by the demon before she gets through all of them.  Her one main scene in the book is the obligatory sex scene with the main character.  I’m not sure why the author felt he needed to cut and paste a scene from Fifty Shades of Grey into his book, but he did.  Trish boils down to little more than a trampoline for the main character.

Anthony Pryor

Anthony Pryor

The other female lead Kay, was mousy and weak.  When she steps up to fight the demon, the main character is surprised, even though in the previous two paragraphs the author goes into details about how one of the male main characters, and even the dog have become more powerful and more committed to destroying the demon after having an experience of seeing a goddess.  My only thought while reading this description was, why would he be shocked that she was moved, he wasn’t surprised when the rest of the group was moved and motivated by meeting a goddess!

The rest of the characters were equally one dimensional.  I felt no vested interest in their wellbeing and by the end of the book was counting how many pages I had left before I could read something else.

But because of who I am, I am going to leave this review on a positive note.  At least the author didn’t kill the dog.

I would like to thank Permuted Press, for providing this book for an honest review.

2016 Locus Award Finalists Posted at 6:38 PM by Dave Post

Dave Post

The finalists for the 2016 Locus Awards have been announced. Here they are for the novel categories:

The Water Knife Ancillary Mercy Aurora Seveneves A Borrowed Man

Locus Science Fiction Novel:

 

Karen Memory The House of Shattered Wings Wylding Hall The Fifth Season Uprooted

Locus Fantasy Novel:

 

Sorcerer to the Crown The Grace of Kings Signal to Noise The Watchmaker of Filigree Street The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps

Locus First Novel:

 

Half a War Half the World Harrison Squared Shadowshaper The Shepherd's Crown

Locus Young Adult Book:

 

For the complete list of noms in all categories check out the official press release from Locus. Winners will be announced during the Locus Awards Weekend in Seattle WA, June 24-26, 2016; Connie Willis will MC the awards ceremony. Our congratulations to all the nominees!

What do you think of these lists? Any surprises? Any favorites?

2015 Shirley Jackson Award Nominees Posted at 6:37 PM by Dave Post

Dave Post

Shirley Jackson Award Eileen Experimental Film The Glittering World Lord Byron's Prophecy When We Were Animals

The nominees for the 2015 Shirley Jackson Award have been announced. The noms in the novel category are:

The Shirley Jackson Awards are voted upon by a jury of professional writers, editors, critics, and academics, with input from a Board of Advisors. The awards are given for the best work published in the preceding calendar year in the following categories: Novel, Novella, Novelette, Short Story, Single-Author Collection, and Edited Anthology. You can see the complete list of noms in all categories in the official press release.

Our congrats to all the nominees! What do you like from this list? Any surprise inclusions?

2016 Arthur C. Clarke Award Shortlist Posted at 6:00 PM by Dave Post

Dave Post

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet Europe At Midnight The Book of Phoenix Arcadia Way Down Dark Children of Time

The shortlist for the Arthur C. Clarke Award for best science fiction novel for 2016 have been announced. They are:

The winner will be announced in August and will be presented with a check for £2016.00 and the award itself, a commemorative engraved bookend.

So what do you think of this list? Any surprises for you? Which is your pick to win?

2016 Hugo Award Finalists Posted at 5:34 PM by Dave Post

Dave Post

Ancillary Mercy The Aeronaut's Windlass The Fifth Season Seveneves Uprooted

The 2016 Hugo Award finalists have been announced. The noms in the Best Novel category are:

See the full list of noms in all categories on the MidAmeriCon II website.

Our congrats to all the finalists. As most everyone expected Ann Leckie’s third Imperial Radch book got a nod and Jim Butcher has made the list again this year but with a book from his new Steampunk series The Cinder Spires. What do you think of this crop of books? Any favorites in the list?

X-Men: Apocalypse | Final Trailer Posted at 12:09 PM by Dave Post

Dave Post

So X-Men: Look Up and Scream er. Apocalypse is a month away. It may be that I’m reaching comic book movie adaptation saturation now cause I can’t be bothered to get too excited here. Sure, I’ll go see it, ’cause it’s what you do but I’m not in any hurry. What do you think?

Marvel’s Doctor Strange Teaser Trailer Posted at 10:02 AM by Dave Post

Dave Post

Don’t know anything about the character of Doctor Strange but this looks like a lot of fun and you can’t go wrong with Cumberbatch.

HEX – Thomas Olde Heuvelt Posted at 9:13 AM by Beth Besse

Badseedgirl

HexHorror books come in two basic types, there is the “grab-you-by-your-throat” and the “slow burn.” Done well, both novels can be terrifying, and if a novel is able to give the reader both in the same book, that author should be dubbed a master of their field. Well I say hat’s off to “Master” Thomas Olde Heuvelt for the American debut of his novel HEX. I was hooked by this glorious piece of work from the very start. I finished it in 4 days, and probably would have finished it sooner if pesky things like work, food, and sleep had not gotten in my way!

This novel brings to mind Stephen King. Not so much in writing style but in his ability to strip away the picturesque façade of Small-Town “America.” Black Springs is a typical Up-State New York town. If you read the book jacket you go into this novel knowing that the town is hiding a secret from the rest of the world. Katherine, The Black Rock Witch, has been haunting the village for over 300 years. She appears randomly anywhere in the town, and when I say anywhere I mean in the townspeople’s living room while enjoying a movie, or in their bedroom while making love. The residents of the town have learned to cope with her appearances. There is an entire quasi-military organization called “HEX” to deal with her, and deal with her they do.

HEX grabbed my attention for the very beginning. The best way to describe this novel is like frying food. I know, bear with me. When a cook first puts the oil on the heat, there really is not much to see. I mean, they know the oil is heating up, but there is no real action. Then the cook will start to see the occasional bubble lift to the surface or a wisp of smoke, but add the food and all that energy and force that has been hiding below the surface flares up in a riot of bubbles and foam. The reader knows there is a terrible problem forming in Black Springs, heck the characters know it also, but like the reader, they are powerless to stop it.

What drew me to this story was the dichotomy of small town life and modern technology. HEX had established a high-speed internet service for the entire town and all residents were issued a smartphone so they could have access to an app, documenting the location of the witch. The entire town is complicit in keeping the secret of the witch from the larger world. Because this novel is set in present day, the reader is able to watch the members of the community, and HEX specifically, deal with the possibility of the witch’s discovery through technology.

Thomas Olde Heuvelt

Thomas Olde Heuvelt

Why is it so important to keep this witch secret? Because the curse is more than the witch. People who are born in the town and people who move into the town can never leave. If they try to leave, even for an extended vacation, they become suicidal until they return to the town. At some point in the history of the town, the elders managed to sew-up the witches’ eyes and mouth, and bind her hands in chains. This was because listening to her causes the residents to also become suicidal. The couple of times residents tried to remove the bindings, there were deaths in the town.

In the end it is technology and misunderstandings that is the downfall of this community. As a reader, I spent most of this novel alternating between horror and sadness for the residents of Black Springs, all the residents, the living and the dead.

Now this is a translation of the 2013 Dutch original, and the author chose to “Americanize” it as opposed to a direct translation. This version of the novel is set in an American village. I don’t speak Dutch, so I have no way of telling how close this comes to the original, but this was a version of the novel written by the author himself, so I am going to go out on a limb and say that the spirit of the original is going to be included in this translation.

The English translation of this novel is being released on April 26, 2016. Run — do not walk — to get this book. I promise you will not be sorry.

Thank you, Tor Books, for providing this book for an honest review.

ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY Official Teaser Trailer Posted at 11:23 AM by Dave Post

Dave Post

“Reckless, aggressive and undisciplined.” Pretty much sums up the last movie’s production mantra. I’m glad to see the Death Star yet again because it’s not a Star Wars movie with a giant planet killing machine of some sort. All kidding aside, this look pretty cool. What’s with Mark Hamill in the bit at the end?

2015 James Tiptree, Jr. Award Winners! Posted at 6:25 PM by Dave Post

Dave Post

The New Mother Lizard Radio

The 2015 James Tiptree, Jr. Award, for works of speculative fiction which explore and expand gender, has been announced.

Winners:

Honor List:

Our congrats to Eugene Fischer and Pat Schmatz and all the Honor List members.  You can read more details about each selection on the official Tiptree website.

What do you think of this list?  Any favorites in there?