Well, it’s that time again. Time for WWEnd’s 3rd annual trip to WorldCon! This time it’s being hosted by LoneStarCon 3 down in San Antonio, Texas – our neck of the woods. We’re making the drive from Dallas this morning and hope to be in Lockhart, Texas, Barbecue Capital Texas, in time for lunch at Black’s. (We’ll hit Kreuz Market on the return leg.) From there it’s just another hour to San Antone.
As we did for the last 2 WorldCons we’ve got a fan table to show off the site, make new friends and give out some Hugo Award bookmarks. If you’re going to the con make sure you stop by and say hello and pick up some bookmarks. They’re great for getting autographs – especially if you’re an ebook reader. We love to meet WWEnders in person! Oh, there will be candy too, or “nerd bait” as they say at the conventions. How can you resist?
We’ll be posting about our trip here on the blog, on Twitter and on Facebook so keep an eye out for those reports. And, of course, we’ll be live-tweeting the Hugo Awards from the ballroom so don’t miss that.
One of the great things about this year’s event is that our whole crew is going. Rico, Chris and even Jonathan for his first convention. In addition we’ve got WWEnder Charles Dee coming down with us. We met Dee through the site a few years ago and lucky for us he was a local. He’s been a huge WWEnd supporter and a great friend and we’re looking forward to hanging out with him this week. He’s no stranger to conventions, he was in the book industry for years, but this is his first science fiction convention. We’re going to push him and Jonathan into a Filk session and close the door so they get the entire experience.
Since we’re all going to be out of pocket there won’t be a lot of non-con posting on the blog until we get back. So no Jo Fletcher Friday this week or new books added or site updates etc. We’ll catch up next week on all that stuff. Cheers!
Congrats to our winners:
If you are one of our prize winners please send your mailing info to us at “info [at] worldswithoutend [dot] com” so we can get your books in the mail right away. Please mention which book you’ve won in your email.
Our thanks to Lynda Hilburn and Jo Fletcher Books for donating the prizes.
Besides having been brought up watching Star Wars as well as Lord of the Rings later on, Pat Doherty (Patremagne) has been a science fiction/fantasy fan in literature since the age of 15 when he picked up a Dragonlance novel. He is now a hopeless addict to reading and getting lost in new worlds. When not reading, Pat can be found playing and watching sports, primarily the Boston Bruins, and posting reviews and other ramblings on his blog, A Bitter Draft.
I’ve been meaning to read Elizabeth Bear for some time now, and after taking up Worlds Without End’s Women of Genre Fiction Reading Challenge, Range of Ghosts came out on top of that list. I was almost put off immediately after reading the first few pages – the premise is great, but the prose seemed uncomfortably stuffy. Luckily, around the second chapter or so, it either toned down a bit or I got used to it – either way, I’m happy that it did.
Temur is the grandson of the Great Khan, a noble of the steppes in every sense of the word. Range of Ghosts opens up with Temur near-death on a battlefield, surrounded by the bodies of the dead and dying, his dreams of glory shattered. After the Khagan Mongke died, the Khaganate was plunged into civil war, with Temur’s relatives waging it. Normally, following a battle, the souls of the dead are put to rest in the Eternal Sky. Unfortunately for Temur, nobody put the souls to rest, and those ghosts are used to track and haunt him throughout the story. Once-Princess Samarkar forgoes her right to the Rasan Empire as well as her ability to bear children in order to become a wizard. Somewhere along the way, the paths of Samarkar and Temur meet. But the characters and the plot, while decent, were nothing truly outstanding or complex. What really made this story for me was the world.
This announcement is a little late but the Women of Genre Fiction Reading Challenge July review poll is now closed and we have our three winners! Once again, Rico had to step in and give us a tie-breaking vote, this time for our 3rd place winner.
July WoGF Review Poll Winners:
Congrats to Scott, Allie and Rae and thanks to everyone who participated in the poll. Our winners will find an Amazon gift card, $25, $15 and $10 respectively, waiting for them in their email inbox.
There are still 5 more months of prizes to be awarded so if you didn’t win this time you still have plenty more chances.
Jo Fletcher Fridays rolls on. This week we have paranormal fiction author Lynda Hiburn‘s book The Vampire Shrink up for grabs. This is the first book in her series Kismet Knight, Vampire Psychologist and there are 2 hardcover copies available to our 2 lucky winners.
You know the drill. Re-tweet this tweet, like or share it on Facebook or comment here in the blog for your chance to win. Do all three and triple your chances! We’ll have a drawing and announce the winners next Monday so tweet away.
Kismet Knight is a young psychologist with a growing clinical practice, and she’s always looking for something to give her the edge in her chosen career. When her new client turns out to be a Goth teenager who desperately wants to become a vampire, Kismet is inspired to become the vampire shrink, offering her services to people who believe they are undead. Kismet herself, as a scientist, knows it’s hokum, but she’s looking at it in a purely psychoanalytic light, already imagining the papers she’s going to write on this strange subculture.
That’s until she meets the leader of a vampire coven, a sexy, mysterious man who claims to be a powerful 800-year-old vampire, and she is pulled into a whirlwind of inexplicable events that start her questioning everything she once believed about the paranormal.
What people are saying:
“Lynda Hilburn’s Kismet Knight series takes off with an incredible start with The Vampire Shrink. It’s hot, sizzling, sexy with a hero to die for . . . this is a great new take on the vampire genre. I highly recommend this book to all readers of vampire romance and urban fantasy.” — Night Owl Reviews
“The Vampire Shrink is an interesting, fast paced book that had me hooked until the very end. I’m looking forward to the next installment.” — FictionalFantasy.com
Good luck in the contest and don’t forget to check back Monday to see if you’ve won and every Friday for more free books from JFB!
Thom Denholm (Thomcat) works in the software industry and as a baseball umpire. In his spare time, he has kept up a steady stream of reading, fiction and non-fiction, since he was old enough to enter a library “summer reading” contest. He first read “A Wrinkle in Time” before it was extended into a series, only coming back to read the subsequent books recently. He joined WWEnd last year, too late to really dive into the GMRC but signed up for the WoGF challenge immediately, and he’s looking forward to a functioning “random author picker”. : )
Karen Joy Fowler‘s first novel was Sarah Canary, and this well recognized work was added to the list of Science Fiction Masterworks just last year. I left one spot open on my list of authors for the Women of Genre Fiction reading challenge, and upon discovering the setting of this book, it was added to the final slot.
First off, there are editions of this book with a foreword or an epilog, and reviews a plenty warning not to read either. The Plume trade paperback edition seems to lack both, at least by that name, and besides has a nice easy typeface.
Mechanically the book has Roman numeral sections with bits of relevant history. Each sets the tone for the few numbered chapters that follow – an introduction to the action, as it were. Most are set in my own state, what was Washington Territory at the time. The facts in these sections are rarely brought back into play later in the book, giving this novel an episodic feel.
One of the motivating factors behind the Worlds Without End Women of Genre Fiction Reading Challenge was a desire on our part to improve our author gender balance on the site. We built WWEnd around the big awards so we could get the most familiar books and authors into our database first. While that was a solid strategy to get the ball rolling one of the unfortunate results was a real lack of women authors going in. When we expanded to cover the “best of” lists like the SF Mistressworks we started getting more and more women into the site but it still didn’t do enough to right the ship.
The WoGF Reading Challenge is our concerted effort to do something positive to address the issue here and perhaps out in the community at large. From the outset we set ourselves the goal of adding at least 100 new women authors to the site over the course of the year and we’re happy to announce that we’ve reached our goal already.
Better than 80% of these authors are the result of member requests. We asked you who you wanted to see and you responded with well over 100 author requests in the first couple weeks (with more being requested all the time) and we’ve been plugging away at that list ever since. The other 20% are the result of new awards and lists we’ve added to the site. The Mythopoeic Award in particular was a big contributor.
We’ve still got a long way to go in our quest for gender balance but this is nice milestone for everyone involved in the challenge. Thank you all for your support of the WoGF!
So, what do you do when you reach a milestone? You set out towards the next, of course! I think we can reach 150 for sure so let’s move the marker out to 175 to make things interesting. So many more authors, so little time. Wish us luck!
Steff S. (MMOGC), is an avid reader with an eclectic taste in books. While just about anything can catch her eye, she has a particular soft spot for fantasy and science fiction, and especially loves space operas and stories with interesting magic systems. Besides reading, she enjoys adventuring in the virtual words of MMORPGs, and first started blogging about games before branching out to contribute her book reviews at The BiblioSanctum with her friends.
I think 2013 has seen me branching out into more sub-genres of fantasy than any other year, thanks to participating in events like the Worlds Without End’s Women of Genre Fiction Reading Challenge. Once, Mary Robinette Kowal fell into the category of “An author I’ve never read before, but would really like to” and so the book I chose for the challenge was 2012 Nebula Award nominated Glamour in Glass.
Someone once told me that when writing a review, it helps to think about what makes a book different and why readers should care. For this one, the thing that struck me right away was the setting. But while I may have read fantasy fiction aplenty that takes place in this time period, this is the first time I’ve actually ventured into something with strong elements of Regency romance, complete with the stylistic conventions that bring to mind the works of Jane Austen. This is also the first time I’ve ever heard the term “Fantasy of manners”. Hooray for discovering new things!
If you are one of our prize winners please send your mailing info to us at “info [at] worldswithoutend [dot] com” so we can get your books in the mail right away.
Our thanks to Ian McDonald and Jo Fletcher Books for donating the prizes.
Guest Blogger and WWEnd member, Rob Weber (valashain), reviews science fiction and fantasy books on his blog Val’s Random Comments which we featured in a previous post: Five SF/F Book Blogs Worth Reading. Be sure to visit his site and let him know you found him here.
Who Fears Death, by the Nigerian-American author Nnedi Okorafor, is my seventh read for the Women of Genre Fiction Reading Challenge. Not bad considering I only started in May. At this pace I may finish the challenge after all. Who Fears Death was one of the more interesting books that came out in 2010 so of course I missed it back then. It was nominated for a Nebula and the Locus Fantasy Award and won the World Fantasy Award. Okorafor tackles some very difficult themes in this book, stuff that I haven’t come across in many other works of speculative fiction so it is not that surprising the book received so much attention. Thematically this is a very unflinching look at the combination of problems some parts of Africa are facing these days. Structurally, I was less impressed with the later stages novel, which is firmly grounded in a number of overused Fantasy clichés.
The novel is set in a post-apocalyptic version of Sudan, where the light skinned Nuru people are waging a war of genocide against the dark skinned Okeke. The main character, Onyesonwu, is born from the rape of an Okeke woman by a Nuru man. Her mother flees the violence and Onyesonwu grows up in a region relatively unaffected by the violence. As an Ewu, a half blood child born of violence, she is something of an outcast in Okeke society. It is believed that a child born of violence can only be violent herself. The situation doesn’t improve when Onyesonwu starts to display extraordinary powers. This combined with her rather temperamental character seem to prove the superstitious Okeke right. She is destined for great things, that much is clear.