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Worlds Without End Blog

Jo Fletcher Fridays: Traitor’s Blade by Sebastien de Castell Posted at 10:12 AM by Dave Post

Dave Post

Jo Fletcher BooksThe Astra giveaway we did a few weeks back went so well we’re back already with another one to prove it wasn’t a fluke. We have 5 autographed hard cover copies, that’s right, hard cover, of Traitor’s Blade by Sebastien de Castell from the awesome folks at Jo Fletcher Books.

This is the first book in de Castell’s four book series, Greatcoats, and it looks like a winner.  Nothing like swords and a blood splatter to or two to get you set for a fantasy adventure.

By now you know how this works, all you have to do is re-tweet this tweet:

…or comment here in the blog to enter the contest. Do both and double your chances! It’s about as easy as we can make it. We’ll have a random drawing from our re-tweeter pool and announce the winners next Friday so tweet away and don’t forget to tell your friends and check back to see if you’ve won!  Please note that the books will not be mailed to our winners until the end of February so expect a bit of a delay after the contest.

Traitor's BladeTraitor’s Blade
by Sebastien de Castell

The first in a new action-filled quartet Traitor’s Blade follows Falcio, the first Cantor of the Greatcoats.  Trained in the fighting arts and the laws of Tristia, the Greatcoats are traveling Magisters upholding the King’s Law.  They are heroes.  Or at least they were.

When the Greatcoats stood aside and allowed the Dukes to take the kingdom and impale their King’s head on a spike that all changed.  Now Tristia is on the verge of collapse and the barbarians are sniffing at the borders whilst the Dukes bring chaos to the land.

The Greatcoats are scattered far and wide, reviled as traitors, their legendary coats in tatters.  All they have left are the promises they made to King Paelis, to carry out one final mission.  But if they have any hope of fulfilling the King’s dream the divided Greatcoats must reunite, or they will again have to stand aside as they watch their world burn . . .


What people are saying:

“A wild dance of fights, treachery, and jaw-dropping surprises.” — Dave Duncan, Bestselling Author of King of Swords

“De Castell combines the best of Joe Abercromie and Alexandre Dumas.  He can break your heart and spike your adrenalin with the same sentence.  Riveting.” — Violete Malan, Author of Path of the Sun and The Storm Witch

Sebastien de CastellAbout the Author:

Sebastien de Castell had just finished a degree in Archaeology when he started work on his first dig.  Four hours later he realised how much he hated archaeology and left to pursue a very focused career as a musician, ombudsman, interaction designer, fight choreographer, teacher, project manager, actor, and product strategist.  He lives in Vancouver, Canada, with his wife.

The best of Joe Abercrombie and Alexandre Dumas?  This I gotta read!  What do you think?

2,500 Book Reviews and Counting! Posted at 12:40 PM by Dave Post

Dave Post

Last week we reached a new milestone on WWEnd:  2,500 book reviews!    You may remember we just celebrated our 2,000th review in September.  Since that time we’ve been bringing in well over 100 reviews a month which is just amazing!

A good many of these reviews are the result of our reading challenges and our new Roll-Your-Own Reading Challenge promises to bring in more reviews than the 2013 Women of Genre Fiction did.  After only 1 month we already have 55 reviews!  The challenges have also been a driving force in bringing in new members who often bring with them a back catalog of reviews to share with us.  We’ve got 88 new WWEnders for 2014, mostly for the RYO, and we expect that number to keep growing.

This is a great achievement for our community and we have to say thanks to all our members who have been contributing their time and talents to WWEnd.  This is also a good time to recognize our top 10 reviewers.  You can see by their numbers just how far above and beyond these folks have gone in supporting our community.

Oh, and the 2,500th review?  That was submitted by none other than Charles Dee Mitchell, our number one reviewer by a long way, for Conscience of the Beagle by Patricia Anthony.

Thank you all again and here’s to the next 2,500!

Book Giveaway: Wolves by Simon Ings! Posted at 1:46 PM by Dave Post

Dave Post

GollanczToday we have something really special to give away from the fine folks at Gollancz: 5 autographed paperback copies of Wolves by Simon Ings!  The cover art is stunning and artist Jeff Alan Love has designed the covers for a collectable set of paperbacks re-launching Simon Ings’ backlist: Hot Head, Headlong, City of the Iron Fish, Hotwire and Painkillers, (Gollancz, February – June 2014).

From Gollancz:  Wolves is set tomorrow and round the corner (Simon’s debut was a much more ‘conventional’ twisted cyberpunk tale) but manages to carry a heavy load of genuine strangeness and terror. This is a novel about how crazed WE can become and how our technologies can make that craziness sharper and deeper. It’s also a novel about two childhood friends and the strains put on their friendship as their lives go off the rails.

It is not, I have to warn you, a bundle of laughs, but it is written with clear insight and wit and great intelligence. And the prose is to die for.

We’re proud to be publishing this book. If you like J.G. Ballard and Philip K. Dick we think you’ll love reading it. I loved it enough to buy five of Simon’s backlist (all that I could get) for Gollancz and they’ll be coming out from us through the first six months of 2014.

Hot HeadHeadlong City of the Iron Fish Hotwire Painkillers

In case you’ve forgotten how to play this game, all you have to do is re-tweet this tweet:

…or comment here in the blog to enter the contest. Do both and double your chances! It’s about as easy as we can make it. We’ll have a random drawing from our re-tweeter pool and announce the winners next Monday so tweet away and don’t forget to tell your friends.

by Simon Ings

The new novel from Simon Ings is a story that balances on the knife blade of a new technology. Augmented Reality uses computing power to overlay a digital imagined reality over the real world. Whether it be adverts or imagined buildings and imagined people with Augmented Reality the world is no longer as it appears to you, it is as it is imagined by someone else. Ings takes the satire and mordant satirical view of J.G. Ballard and propels it into the 21st century.

Two friends are working at the cutting edge of this technology and when they are offered backing to take the idea and make it into the next global entertainment they realise that wolves hunt in this imagined world. And the wolves might be them.

A story about technology becomes a personal quest into a changed world and the pursuit of a secret from the past. A secret about a missing mother, a secret that could hide a murder. This is no dry analysis of how a technology might change us, it is a terrifying thriller, a picture of a dark tomorrow that is just around the corner.

What people are saying about Wolves:

“Ings’ return to full-throttle SF is a cause for celebration. His gift for edgy slipstream fiction makes comparisons with both JG Ballard and William Gibson apposite. Bleak, brutal and uncompromising . If there’s any justice in the world it’ll win awards.” 4.5 star review — Jonathan Wright SFX

“…a moving take of the movers and shakers of technology. Overall grade: A” — Patrick Hayes Sci-fi Pulse.Net

Simon IngsAbout the Author:

Simon Ings is the author of six previous novels and two non-fiction titles and has been published by both genre and literary lists. His debut novel HOT HEAD was widely acclaimed. He writes non-fiction for Faber, contributes to NEW SCIENTIST and is the editor of ARCFINITY magazine. He was born in 1965 and lives in London.

You can follow Simon on his blog:

Best of luck to you all.  Be sure to come back next Monday to see if you’ve won!

RYO Review: The Forever Machine by Mark Clifton and Frank Riley Posted at 7:28 PM by Megan AM


The Forever MachineRYO_headerThere might be a story somewhere underneath all this twaddle, but Clifton and Riley chose to tell the wrong one.

You would think the combined effort of two authors would enhance the narrative, correct the mistakes, and plug the plot holes. Two perspectives, two brains, two sets of eyeballs… it should amount to a more perfect work, but instead, like all classroom group work, the product fizzles with a fragmented story, cut-and-paste wisdom, and retroactive elaboration. And one writer probably did most of the work, while the other guy flirted with some girls at another table.

Well, that’s been my experience with group work.

The Story:  Professors Billings and Hoskins are on the run after creating Bossy, a controversial supercomputer with powerful, yet untested potential. The professors depend on telepathic student, Joe Carter, to help them evade the government until they can test out Bossy on a human being. But Joe may have other interests in Bossy that he isn’t revealing.

Read the rest of this entry »

RYO Review: Theft of Swords by Michael J. Sullivan Posted at 6:10 PM by Wendy B.


Theft of SwordsRYO_headerRiyria means “two” in elvish and the two in question are Hadrian Blackwater, the master swordsman, and his shadow partner, Royce Melborn, the brooding master thief. The reputation of Riyria precedes them such that even the local guildsmen know not to cross paths with them, and their skills are so great, that their resume boasts many references from lords and ladies who have used their subterfuge and even assassination services. But when Hadrian falls for a big score that goes against all their rules, unsurprisingly, they end up on the wrong end of a sword. Blamed for the murder of the king, they are set for execution, until the princess gives them a way out: kidnap the prince and take him to a mysterious prison to find a mysterious prisoner.

Theft of Swords collects the first two books in Riyria Revelations series, The Crown Conspiracy and Avempartha. These stories contain a lot of possibility, but as you can tell by my three star rating, they fell short for me. The plot and characters are set up to be amazing, but some how, they failed to truly cross the line into the realm of being memorable. They are missing the “something more” that should make them truly spectacular.

Read the rest of this entry »

JFF: Astra by Naomi Foyle Winners! Posted at 2:24 PM by Dave Post

Dave Post

Our Jo Fletcher Fridays contest has just concluded and we have the results! We had 69 retweets and 9 comments on the blog as well as a handful of likes on Facebook. Well done, everyone! We put all those names into a spreadsheet and used a random number generator to pick our 5 lucky winners:

AstraRob Weber
Paul Baughman
Aryth Mourn



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 Astra in your email so we know which prize you’re claiming.

Our thanks to Jo Fletcher Books and Naomi Foyle for making the contest possible. Keep an eye out for more free books. Next week perhaps? That’s a hint, folks.

RYO Review: The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. Posted at 8:50 PM by Stephen Poltz


The Sirens of TitanRYO_headerI loved Vonnegut in high school. In my Modern American Lit class, we read God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, Welcome to the Monkeyhouse, and of course Slaughterhouse Five. On my own, I read Jailbird and Slapstick. Picking up one of his earliest novels thirty-five years later, I realized I had forgotten what a bizarre, dark writer he was.

The Sirens of Titan has a crazy, convoluted plot that is quite difficult for me to describe. It’s about Malachi Constant, one of the richest but also most spoiled and morally bankrupt people on earth. When his fortunes collapse, he takes an offer to go to Mars to become an officer in their army. Constant’s adventures on Mars, and later Mercury and Titan seem to be manipulated by Winston Niles Rumfoord, a man who apparently knows the future, and moves through space making appearances on earth every 50-some-odd days. Besides Constant, Rumfoord manipulates the people of earth, starting a new religion, the Church of God the Utterly Indifferent, turning Constant into a sort of anti-messiah. Also in this mix is Rumfoord’s suffering and spoiled wife Beatrice, and a robot alien named Salo from the planet Tralfamadore (Vonnegut uses this planet in several of his works). And, well, let’s just say, you have to read the book to really get it.

Read the rest of this entry »

Women of Genre Fiction Reading Challenge December Review Poll Winners! Posted at 5:05 PM by Dave Post

Dave Post

Women of Genre Fiction Reacing ChallengeFor the very last time here are the winners for the Women of Genre Fiction Reading Challenge December review poll!

December WoGF Review Poll Winners:

Alix Heintzman1st Place: Alix Heintzman (alixheintzman)
Hild by Nicola Griffith
Megan AM2nd Place: Megan AM (couchtomoon)
Palimpsest by Catherynne M. Valente
Scott Lazerus3rd Place: Scott Lazerus (Scott Laz)
Forays into Fantasy: Arabian Fantasy and G. Willow Wilson’s Alif the Unseen

Congrats to Alix, Megan and Scott and thanks to everyone who participated in the poll. Our winners will find an Amazon gift card, $25, $15.00 and $10.00 respectively, waiting for them in their email inbox.

An thus the 2013 Women of Genre Fiction Reading Challenge comes to an official end. It was a great challenge and we want to say thanks to everyone for all the great reviews. Of course the Roll-Your-Own Reading Challenge is underway for 2014 and it includes the 2014 WoGF along with 19 other challenges so there’s more reviews coming and more chances to win prizes. If you haven’t joined a challenge for the new year, what are you waiting for? Take your pick from the 20 member created challenges already on offer or roll-your-own!

Rosetta Wakes Up (Livestream) Posted at 11:43 AM by Rico Simpkins


Rosetta is the first spacecraft designed to orbit and land a probe on a comet <gulp>.  It is waking up right now, after over two years of sleep.  Because Rosetta is so far away, ESA and NASA are using the 70-meter Goldstone Antenna to listen for her faint signal. They expect to hear something around noonish CT, give or take a half hour.  Above is the live feed, embedded.

Noah’s Suprising Relevance Posted at 5:35 PM by Rico Simpkins


This puts me in mind of Howard Curzer’s argument that the current climate crisis bears striking similarities to the beleaguered hero of Genesis:

“Noah is told by a highly creditable source (God) that climate change (40 days and nights of rain) will cause a dramatic rise in sea level (the Flood) which will, in turn, cause enormous loss of life. Noah’s response may provide guidance for us.”

Can’t wait to see it?  We recommend prepping with Margaret Atwood‘s excellent environmental dystopia, The Year of the Flood:

“The times and species have been changing at a rapid rate, and the social compact is wearing as thin as environmental stability. Adam One, the kindly leader of the God’s Gardeners–a religion devoted to the melding of science and religion, as well as the preservation of all plant and animal life–has long predicted a natural disaster that will alter Earth as we know it. Now it has occurred, obliterating most human life. Two women have survived: Ren, a young trapeze dancer locked inside the high-end sex club Scales and Tails, and Toby, a God’s Gardener barricaded inside a luxurious spa where many of the treatments are edible.”