The Last Post of the Year

As the last few hours of the year wind down to a close, I think of the many book read, books reviewed, authors interviewed, events attended, dreams achieved, writing done, and incredible things that have happened this year. Overall not too bad.

I had originally planned to have the new BookBanter Episode with Salman Rushdie up some time tomorrow, but with how things are going, with New Year’s plans, it’s just not going to happen. So at the moment it looks like it should be up Monday afternoon or at least by Tuesday. So stay tuned for that. Also coming next week will be posts on: The BookBanter Top Ten Reads of the 2010, a full list of books read for the year, and a post on goals for the year, as well as a selection of book reviews for the new year, if you’re wondering what to read next.

But for now, have a great time, stay safe, and keep reading.

See you on the other side . . .

10/28 On the Bookshelf . . . “The Medieval Traveler,” “The Confession,” “Paradise War,” “Foundation, Foundation and Empire, Second Foundation”

Medieval Traveler The Confession Paradise War Asimov

Received this interesting quarter of book to read and possible review.  We’ve got your medieval history, your law thriller, your interesting fantasy, and your classic scifi.  Having never read Asimov, I’m certainly looking forward to it; figured if I make myself review some classics, I’ll finally get round to reading them.

Magical Realism Meets Video Games: An Interview with Salman Rushdie

Salman Rushdie

Salman Rushdie

Salman Rushdie is an author that most people know in one way or another.  He is the winner of the Booker Prize (what has been called the British equivalent of the Pulitzer), he has been appointed a Knight Bachelor by Queen Elizabeth II, and has had a fatwā issued against him for his book The Satanic Verses.  His latest book is Luka and the Fire of Life, a fantasy tale about a boy whose father is sick and it is necessary for the boy – Luka – to travel into a fantasy world and capture some of this “fire of life” to cure his father; but he is up against unbeatable odds: no one has ever made through this fantasy world and survived; no one has ever managed to capture the fire of life; and no one has ever made it back to the real world with the fire of life.  The book was written for his second son, after he originally wrote Haroun and the Sea of Stories, for his first son; they’d each asked for a story they could read and enjoy.

During our interview, he admitted to originally wanting to be an actor, then decided on becoming a writer, which was certainly not something that was easy for him, and took him many years to hone and perfect until he became a bestselling author with Midnight’s Children.  As for his use of magical realism in his work, Rushdie talked about his being raised on eastern culture, religion and mythology, and that in wanting to make his stories new and different from everything else, magical realism was an ideal fit.  Luka and the Fire of Life employs elements of video games, and while this book was written for his son – an avid gamer – Rushdie admitted to he and games not really getting along, other than fun apps on his Iphone.  The last time he and a video game had any sort of relationship was with the original Super Mario Brothers.

Salman Rushdie hopes readers first and foremost are entertained with an original story when reading his books, but while he doesn’t seek to use overbearing themes or messages in his work, he does hope readers will see something in his characters that will make them stop and think about themselves and their own lives.  As for what Rushdie is working on next, he doesn’t have any novels in the works, but is about a third of the way through what will likely be a fascinating memoir.

The audio interview with Salman Rushdie will be available on January 1st in Episode 40 of BookBanter.

You can read the full article here.

BookBanter Episode 39 with N. K. Jemising FIXED!

There was a sound issue with BookBanter Episode 39 featuring the interview with N. K. Jemisin.  Basically when you go to the interview, we all of a sudden turned into chipmunks!

It’s now been completely fixed and updated.  So just go to the BookBanter site, or you can follow this direct link.

Thanks for you patience and thanks to N. K. Jemisin for catching it!

BookBanter Episode 39 with N. K. Jemisin

N. K. Jemisin

N. K. Jemisin

N. K. Jemisin is the author of The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms and The Broken Kings, the first two books in the Inheritance Trilogy. In this interview, Jemisin talks about how she got started writing, where she got the idea for “The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms,” and what the final book in the trilogy will be about. She also has some advice for writers looking to get published, and goes in to detail about another big project she’s working on.

To hear the episode click on the title at the top of this post.

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms The Broken Kingdoms

“The Broken Kingdoms” by N. K. Jemisin (Orbit, 2010)

Broken Kingdoms

After getting a strong introduction of gods, godlings, politics and the complex world in The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, the first book of the Inheritance Trilogy, debut author N. K. Jemisin throws the reader right back into the thick of this incredible fantasy with a new character and different viewpoint to this unique and dangerous world.

Oree is blind, but has the ability to see magic and people with magic abilities, such as the gods and godlings.  She spends her days creating original works of art with her special abilities in the city of Shadow beneath the towering World Tree.  Oree gets by with the selling of her work and is able to navigate around the city with little problem.  Then she discovers the corpse of a godling in an alley; after a cursory examination, she soon finds out that the godling has been murdered.  She begins her investigation to find out who did it, while two groups begin pursuing her: one is a fanatical religious group looking for a scapegoat to blame for the murder; the other can only be the people behind the murder.

The Broken Kingdoms is a surprising second book to the trilogy, as it has little to do with most of the original characters of The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, and is set a decade later.  Yet, perhaps it is this which makes The Broken Kingdoms that much more interesting and compelling, as it is another story in this distinctive world from a completely different viewpoint and storyline.  The book is a welcome sequel that reveals Jemisin’s talents as a writer both with strong characters and good plot, leaving readers anxiously awaiting the conclusion to the trilogy.

CLICK HERE to purchase your copy from Bookshop Santa Cruz and help support BookBanter.

Originally written on December 13, 2010 ©Alex C. Telander.

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Hundred Thousand Kingdoms

12/8 On the Bookshelf . . . “Songs of the Dying Earth”

Songs of the Dying Earth

Originally released last year by Subterranean Press in limited edition, as of December 7th, Songs of the Dying Earth is now more widely available from Tor books.  Edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois, it features original stories by the likes of Neil Gaiman, George R. R. Martin, Tad Williams, Glen Cook, Kage Baker, Robert Silverberg, and many more, including an original novella by Dan Simmons.  A 22-story collection I’m looking forward to reading.

Vampire Apocalypse: An Interview with Justin Cronin

Justin Cronin

Justin Cronin

An article covering the interview with Justin Cronin from August, 2010.

When given the chance to interview Justin Cronin before one of his readings, I wasn’t sure what to expect. He was on the tail end of a long two-month tour, and while I was sure Cronin would be perfectly nice, I didn’t expect him to be too wordy in his answers to questions he’d no doubt responded too many times in the last eight weeks.  While chatting with Cronin as we were preparing for the interview, I mentioned this, inquiring how he was feeling at the end of a long, exhausting book tour.  He said that he’d spent the previous week back home, though had spent each day doing up to ten interviews on radio, TV, and by phone.  Perhaps the interview was going to be a short one.

But after Cronin’s lengthy response to the first question, I knew we were in for a treat.  He answered each with interest and gusto, revealing his love for this book, explaining its depths and complexities and how much fun he clearly had writing it.  While he always knew it was going to be a long novel, he didn’t let this affect him, wanting to get all the details right with a lot of research from weaponry, to the science of viruses, to actually visiting each and every place mentioned, as well as driving and plotting out the distances covered for accuracy.  The second book in the trilogy will not be out until the summer of 2012, with the conclusion being released in the summer of 2014; Cronin has indicated that each of these books will be quite different from The Passage, as he doesn’t just want to write the same book. He will also be returning to various points in the time line, giving avid readers some answers they might not have expected.

As to whether Justin Cronin has satisfied the two reasons for writing The Passage, after entering into a bidding war among publishers, he received a considerably large advance, and the book has gone on to be a national bestseller, with a movie in development by Ridley Scott’s company.  And, because his daughter has played such an important part in developing the story, she no doubt considers this an “interesting book,” though it will be some years before she will be allowed to read it.



You can find the complete article here.