“The Breathers” by S. G. Browne

A couple of months ago, during the middle of summer, an author stepped into the store, met with me and signed his stock.  It was S. G. Browne, author of the zombie romantic comedy The Breathers: A Zombie’s Lament.  We started chatting and now he’ll be coming up to do a signing at the Borders store on December 19th from 1PM-4PM.

I also received a review copy of the book and am about a hundred pages into it and really enjoying it.  It’s a book about a world where zombies have existed for some time, but in very small populations.  No one knows who will turn into a zombie when they die, it seems to be random.  The problem is the zombies are treated worse than hated animals, and have no rights or respect from anyone.  And while they can’t necessarily feel things like pain, they do still have feelings.  The story is told from the viewpoint of a recently made zombie, Andy Warner, and how he deals with this life change, or rather undead change through coping mechanisms like seeking rights and recognition for zombies, as well as attending weekly meetings for the Undead Anonymous group.

So far its a very entertaining read that puts a whole different spin on the zombie story which is still be written and rewritten and published.  Zombies are still very much in, the good thing is Breathers is a refreshing twist and chance to the usual zombie romp.

Breathers

If things go as planned, I shall also be interviewing S. G. Browne for BookBanter to see what he has to say and thinks about his book, how he came up with it, and what he’s working on now.

Black Friday Adventures

Spent the beginning of my day, before work at 3PM, baking a couple of items for the pot luck and in between zipping out on my journey to find an external harddrive of a least a terabyte capacity.  I began with Walmart, checking out some of their deals, then on to Office Depot, two different Targets, and ending with Staples, all to no avail as each one was out of stock of the particular sale harddrive that I was searching for.  Fortunately some of the deals are available to order online, so we’ll see how that turns out.

And my day ended on a high note with coming home from work early, as there was a thunderstorm that seem to literally frighten all the customers away and it just died down to nothing.  Very strange.

Wyrd Progress Update X

Just wrapped up the last short scene for Chapter III of Wyrd, so glad that’s out the way.  Next it’s a short interlude on Artorus’ past and then on to Chapter IV. And now for a little work in progress:

They were quiet for the rest of the short trip, rocking gently on the waves, as the boat headed for the growing island ahead, the light fading, the darkness rising; the waves lapping at the hull like the thuds of a war drum, in syncopation, with regularity.

Artorus hoped it wasn’t portentous.

WORDS: 453

PAGES: 2

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

It’s been a pretty great year for me so far, and BookBanter has been doing incredibly well, giving me the chance to interview and talk with some of my favorite authors that I’d never expected to ever talk to, let alone meet.

So I am thankful for . . .

– All the publishers, editors, publicists, and agents who granted me the chance to interview one of their authors for BookBanter.

– All the authors that I was able to get in contact with and arrange to interview for BookBanter.

– Facebook for being such a great tool to get in touch with said authors.

– All my readers and listeners over the years, up to now, who listened to, enjoyed, and continue to support BookBanter.

– All the authors, publishers, and agents who have been so supportive to me.

– Cheryl Morgan for organizing my fabulous day at the World Fantasy Convention.

– Ken Scholes, Jeff VanderMeer, Garth Nix, and Guy Gavriel Kay for organizing their busy schedules at the World Fantasy Convention to allow me time to interview them.

– Jared Emerson-Johnson for providing so much support and help with BookBanter.

– Mevio for finding me and partnering with me to make BookBanter more than just a dream.

– Podbean for continuing to do a great job of hosting the BookBanter episodes.

– Go Daddy for hosting the BookBanter website.

– WordPress for doing a superb job of making this blog look great.

And here’s to another great year of BookBanter going above and beyond, gaining new readers and listeners, and beating my goals!

“Catching Fire” by Suzanne Collins

Just finished, literally, Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins; the incredible sequel to Hunger Games.  They really need to put a warning on these books — as I’ve been telling everyone I get hooked on them — to not read them at night, or you’ll just be stuck into the wee hours of morning reading the entire book, wanting to, needing to get to the end to know what happens.  That’s just what happened to me and now I really want book 3 which won’t be out until September or October 2010.  Le sigh.  But what a final climax and cliffhanger.  Wow once again for Suzanne Collins, she sure knows how to tell a story and keep you riveted to every word, sentence, paragraph, and page.

Upcoming Book Reviews for Episode 21

The following book reviews will be appearing on the BookBanter site with the new episode which will be up on December 1st:

Depraved

Depraved by Bryan Smith

City of Night

Dean Koontz’s Frankenstein: Book Two City of Night by Dean Koontz

Dead and Alive

Dean Koontz’s Frankenstein: Book Three Dead and Alive by Dean Koontz

Leviathan

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

Scott Westerfeld’s “Leviathan”

Tomorrow I’ll be working on my review for Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld, before I begin putting the next episode of BookBanter together, so I wanted to get a few thoughts down about it before I write the review, plus I’ll add a few thoughts and ideas that likely won’t make it into the review.  It’s why there’s a blog.

Levithan is an alternate history set during the beginning of World War I, kicking the book off with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, leaving Prince Aleksander on his own.  He lives in a strange world of Clankers: giant mechanical machines of varying sizes.  Back in jolly old Britain is Deryn Sharp, who is training to be an airman in the British Air Service.  Yep, that’s right, airman; only men are allowed in the service, so Deryn cuts her hair short and keeps herself disguised.  Britain is on the side of the Darwinists, who have giant beast that are a genetic amalgamation of different creatures.  The Leviathan of the title is in fact a giant gene-crossed sperm whale upon which Deryn is an airman.  The Levithan finds itself caught in an impressive air battle with the German Clankers, causing it to flee into the alps where it conveniently crashes not too far from Prince Aleksander, which is how the two main characters meet.

The book reminded me in a number of ways Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials, no surprise really with the alternate history/fantasy world.  And my main complaint with the book would be while the setting was epic and impressive like Pullman’s world, the complex undertone and storyline wasn’t there, if anything the story seemed a little too simple.  But at the moment I’m putting this down to Leviathan being the first book in the series, where the second will open up the stage to something epic and mind-blowing like His Dark MaterialsLeviathan also reminded me of Naomi Novik’s successful Temeraire series also.  With how much story and set-up Westerfeld has done, the next few books in the series — I think — are really going to blow this whole thing out of the water, so to speak.

The other great thing about Leviathan is the work and care that has gone on with the book design, with the eye-catching Steampunkish cover, the type layout, the beautiful illustrations, the inlay design.  It’s a work of art that anyone would appreciate on their bookshelf.

Leviathan