The Campbell Award for best new writer is voted on and presented with the Hugo Awards -- to be eligible, you must have made your first professional sale in the previous two years. Read the rest
Lara writes, "The Alpha SF/F/H Workshop For Young Writers is running a scholarship drive February 16-23. Make a tax-deductible donation to change a teen writer's life!" Read the rest
Jason writes, "An indie film company here in Denver called Mythos is crowdfunding an adaptation of China Mieville's short story 'Familiar' with full cooperation from Mieville himself (he's even contributing to some of the rewards). The Kickstarter campaign ends on November 15." Read the rest
A map of Middle-Earth annoted by Tolkien himself has been found tucked in an old copy of Lord of the Rings—and it reveals that Hobbiton is on the same Latitude as the professor's beloved Oxford, England. Read the rest
When the wonderful science fiction writer Ellen Klages (previously) tells a fantastic tale about a shuttered library where seven eternal librarians tend the shelves, it doesn't come out reminiscent of Borges's library, nor Pratchett's -- rather, like all of Klages's work, it becomes a story about human affection and destiny. Read the rest
"The Art of The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien" is a new collection of the drawings, maps, diagrams, and sketches that Tolkien drew to help him navigate Middle-earth, and the entire complex universe he created for his novels. Edited by Tolkien scholars Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull, the hardcover book contains nearly 200 images, the majority of which have never been published before.
Originally written as a web serial, this novel about a gamer transported into the world of MMORPGs is hilarious! I read The Bathroom Knight as a novel, and so I can only review it as such. I think it'd have been even more fun as a serial, a format I greatly enjoy.
Charles Dean rapidly sets up a fantastic fantasy world! Darwin, our extremely unique protagonist, really loves to play MMORPGs. So much so, he even plans to spend Christmas immersed! After beating up a burglar who interrupts his holiday fun, Darwin is magically transported into a game, and must quest to save the realm and figure himself out.
I liked Dean's take on gaming. He both shows the fun and camaraderie of gamers, and the terrible aspects of a "trapped-in-a-game, must level-up" mentality. Character development is pretty good for a freshman novel, and while the use of RPG vernacular occasionally baffled me, mostly it was easy to understand. I think Dean has done a fantastic job having fun with a genre, and not taking it seriously, at all.
This is a fun read. I bought it for my Kindle as Dean has apparently spent time, energy and money working with editors. In web serial format the novel is available here free.
A case of mistaken identity lands Durham, a going no-place palace guard, a job with a troop of dwarvish treasure hunters. Seeing his big chance to make something of himself, our hero joins the Dungeoneers.
Durham is a pretty boring guy, but a common spelling mistake sends him, a lowly guard who rarely needs a vocabulary, on an adventure in place of the Keeper of the Vault! Added to a crack team of dwavish treasure seekers, Durham would be completely out of his element, if he had one. Seeing his opportunity to finally be the hero, Durham is positive he'll make something of himself. No one else shares his optimism. The gang of dwarves he is sent to aid see him as a bad luck charm, the only human woman around thinks he is comic relief, and he doesn't know a damn thing about recovering treasure.
This indie fantasy is a lot of fun. The novel has some light editing errors and isn't perfect, but author Jeffrey Russell has written a fantastic example of the fantasy quest/adventure. I'll be hoping for more!