BOOK REPORT: Essential Sci-Fi, Book Tours, 24-Hour Bookstore & More!

Swarming a Book Online
What happens when a bunch of fans decide to become truly fanatic against a book.

The Most Anticipated Books of Spring 2013 
Publishers Weekly presents it’s most anticipated books for spring 2013, stretching into early summer.

Bejing to Open 24-Hour Bookstore 
China is to become one of the first place’s on the planet where you can get a book any hour of the day.

Macmillan to Start E-lending Program 
The big publishing giant Macmillan is joining a host of other publishers in starting an e-lending program with libraries.

[CONTINUE READING . . .]

Bookbanter Column: The Power of Character

Readers can be divided mostly into two categories, and a smaller number into a third.  There are readers who choose, read and enjoy books for the story, the plot, what the whole thing is about; get caught up in it and stay hooked to the very end, enjoying the entire tale.  Then there are readers who pick and read books for characters, for unique people they become fascinated in reading about, knowing that they drive the story and keep reading to find out where and how the characters will end up.

And then there are the readers that enjoy books for both character and story equally.  But we’re not going to talk about that contingent today.  Today we’re focusing on those readers who look for books that are character-driven.  They are the type of people who study and seek out people interacting in their lives, and relish reading about it on the page, seeing what makes people tick, how they will act and react in certain situations, and how when two or more are brought together in a specific situation, what exactly will happen.

Unsurprisingly, there are writers like this too; likely because they are these same types of people.  It is people they like to write about, and not so much the story, as they let their characters drive said story, not always certain where they are going to take it, but always excited about the ride.  Two particular authors who do this and do this very well, as shown by their international bestsellerdom, are Haruki Murakami and John Irving.

[CONTINUE READING . . .]

“Fables: Werewolves of the Heartland” by Bill Willingham, Craig Hamilton and Jim Fern (Vertigo, 2012)

Fables Werewolves of the Heartland
starstarstarstarstar

Fables is back once again with its next installment, this time with a standalone graphic novel that has been rumored about for some time, in Werewolves of the Heartland.  Taking a little break from the goings on of Fabletown, The Farm, and the other worlds, we focus on Bigby traveling through America’s heartland.

Bigby Wolf is on a big new mission: to find a new town, a new place to house all the fables in the mundy world, because after everything that’s happened with Fabletown, they can’t stay there much longer.  Traveling through the great state of Iowa, he finds a small quaint place called Story City, what better name for a potential future home for all the fables?  But Bigby detects strange scents on the air, some that are familiar, and others that just don’t seem right.  Cautiously, he ventures into Story City.

The first thing Bigby notices about this town is that all of its inhabitants are werewolves, and what’s more they all seem to know who he is, as well as about his great legacy.  But then he is suddenly imprisoned, and begins to learn that not all are fans of him; some want his hide; some want him dead so that they can gain his powers.  What none of them seem to realize is that Bigby is also the seventh son of the North Wind, and possesses powers they can only imagine.

Werewolves of the Heartland shows Willingham at his best, as he draws you in with interest, and then blows the plot wide open with back story that goes deep into the past when Bigby was fighting in World War II and revealing his forced part in a terrifying Nazi experiment that has now led to the werewolves of Story City.  Readers and fans will not be disappointed.

Originally written on January 7, 2013 ©Alex C. Telander.

To purchase a copy of Fables: Werewolves of the Heartland from Amazon, and help support BookBanter, click HERE.

Book Report: Kobo’s #1, CBS Gets King, & More

Kobo Record 
Kobo has hit 12 million registered users and is the bestselling e-reader internationally.

Under the Dome Premiere Date 
The TV adaptation of Under the Dome, based on the bestseller of the same name by Stephen King, is set to debut on June 24 on CBS.
A Memory of Light #1 
The final book in the Wheel of Time series, A Memory of Light, has hit #1 on the New York Times bestseller list.
National Book Award Changes 
The National Book Award is changing is nomination system, adding a longlist and expanding its voting pool to include booksellers and librarians.

Writing Goals Achieved in 2012

As we now slough through the cold January of 2013, it’s time to look at how I did with my writings goals I set for myself around this time last year.  The original post can be found here.

GOAL #1: Hit Page 500 of Wyrd.  The goal for the manuscript I’m working on, Wyrd, this year is to hit page 500.  One might say this should be the end of the book with how it’s going, but I have a feeling I’m going to hear page 500 and have more story to tell, so we’ll just have to see.

Okay, while I didn’t hit page 500 of the Wyrd manuscript as I’d hoped, I did essentially achieve my writing goal of finishing Part Three of the book, which was a huge long chunk.  I’m now at on page 455 and am pretty confident I’ll be hitting and passing page 500 at some point in 2013.  You can find the Wyrd progress report post here.  Also as predicted, the manuscript is nowhere near complete, and probably isn’t even at half way.

GOAL #2: To be half ready with White HorseBy this I mean to have the manuscript half-edited, or either in a second or third draft, but at the halfway point of being completely edited.  I have a feeling I might get more done than this, but want to hedge my bets with the other projects I’m working on.  One thing I do know about this manuscript is that I’m going to change the name.

This did not happen.  I did get part way through a re-read, which I will continue with in 2013 and working through an edit, but with the number of goals I set up for myself for 2012, I feel I once again stretched myself too thin.  I also had some big changes in my life in 2012, including getting a new job and moving, which totally changes my planned writing schedule and makes it hard to create a new one.  But work will continue with White Horse in 2013.

GOAL #3: Begin work on second Four Horsemen book.  White Horse is the first book in a four-book series involving four separate and distinct post-apocalyptic worlds.  This goal is to get started on the second book, whether it’s with research, outlining, or writing out the first couple of pages, but to get it started in some way.

Er . . . yeah, see above for this.  I could say I started a very little bit on this with thinking about it in my mind, and a few things have started to take shape, but nothing really concrete yet.  It’s possible towards the end of 2013 I may start working on this in some capacity, but we will just have to wait and see.  I once again know a big life change coming in 2013, so I’m going to be a lot more lenient with my 2013 writing goals.

GOAL #4: Write 2-4 short stories. Since this worked well for last year’s goal, I’m setting it again for this year.

I got one full short story written this year, and it ended up being a pretty long one – was over the length of two regular short stories, so that should count!  I also have a couple of ideas in my head still wanting to get on the screen, so maybe in 2013.

GOAL #5: Self-publish two short story collections.  This is already in process, I have the cover and layout set for the first collection, called Unquiet Slumbers for the Sleepers, and hope to self-publish it on Smashwords later this month.  The second collection, In That Quiet Earth, I plan to self-publish  in March or April.

This got done and both short story collections were self-published over the course of the year and widely read.  They can be downloaded for free through Smashwords: Unquiet Slumbers for the Sleepers and In That Quiet Earth.

GOAL #6: Self-Publish Kyra: The First Book of EnchantusMy young adult fantasy book that I’m currently in the process of getting ready for self-publishing.  I don’t plan to get this self-published until the summer, say June or July.

This also happened, and was very happy with how the process went, and it was a very educational one.  Kyra: The First Book of Enchantus can be purchased in both ebook and print edition.

GOAL #7: Start work on the the second book of Enchantus.  Depending on how things go with self-publishing Kyra, but if things take off and it sells well and there is demand for the sequel, then I plan to start work on it in some way, whether it’s outlining and/or writing.  I would really like to do this and am excited to see what story would come out of it.

With the slow moving process of self-publishing Kyra and it’s not hitting any real sort of goal in sales, yet!, this is on indefinite hiatus until that changes.  But I will continue to promote and push Kyra through 2013.

GOAL #8: Give Nothing is an Accident a home. By this I mean, by the end of the year, Nothing is an Accident will need to be either available to readers in some way, or in the process of reaching that goal.  I’m still querying it to agents, and the next step will be looking into small presses, and the final step would be to self-publish which, if it becomes necessary, would probably be happening in fall, like September or October.

I had some great responses from agents through the year for this manuscript, and one very close acceptance.  I had planned to self-publish Nothing is an Accident in the fall, then in the summer of 2013, but now it is in a “to be determined” state as I think about and figure what I want to do with it.

And there you have it.  Not a bad year looking back in what I wanted to achieve, what I actually got done vs. what I didn’t, but then if there’s one thing I’ve learned with setting myself these writing goals at the beginning of each year it’s that I pretty much don’t complete them all by the end of December, but I do achieve the ones I really wanted to and cared about.

Next week we will have my writing goals for 2013.

Bookbanter’s Top Ten Reads of 2012

2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson: From the author of the Mars trilogy, as well as many other bestsellers, comes a science fiction novel that pushes the boundaries of the genre through story and character and writing to keep the reader hooked from start until finish.  2312 is a lengthy book that will stay with you long after you have turned and read the final page. Continue reading . . .
Little Star
Little Star by John Adjvide Lindqvist: From the international bestselling author of the chilling and horrific Let the Right One, Handling the Undead and Harbor comes a new novel that appears innocent and charming at first, but eventually leads the reader down a long dark path, covered in blood and filled with bodies.  Little Star will lull you into enjoyment and then terrify you all the way to the end. Continue reading . . .
Libriomancer by Jim C. Hines: Libriomancer is one of those books that feels like it should’ve been written a lot sooner, given its subject matter, and yet when one is done reading it, one is left wishing they could read it over again for the first time.  From the author of The Princess novels, Libriomancer is the first in the Magic Ex Libris series that will hopefully make Jim C. Hines the well-respected and appreciated author that he already is. Continue reading . . .
Wind Through the Keyhole by Stephen King: To the delight of many fans across the globe, Stephen King returns to his familiar Mid-World in this new Dark Tower tale with The Wind Through the Keyhole.  King has fun here, with the book set between the fourth volume, Wizard and Glass and the fifth, Wolves of the Calla, as he tells a story within a story within a story. Continue reading . . .
Lucky Bastard by S. G. Browne: The bestselling author of Breathers and Fate returns with another entertaining and funny book that is well keeping in the style of one S. G. Browne.  Readers who have come to enjoy Browne’s particular style, humor, and characters will be delighted in this latest offering with Lucky Bastard. Continue reading . . .
Redshirts by John Scalzi: Most scifi fans are familiar with the curse of the “redshirts.”  For those who are not, it applies to the original Star Trek show where any minor character in an episode wearing a red shirt ultimately ended up getting killed on an away mission before the end of the episode.  Bestselling author John Scalzi takes this humorous concept to a whole new level in his appropriately titled novel Redshirts. Continue reading . . .
Death of Kings by Bernard Cornwell: In the sixth book of Bernard Cornwell’s Saxon Tales, he makes it clear with the title that this is the most important book of the series, as it’s the one where Alfred the Great finally passes from this world, leaving this torn country with an uncertain future, and it will be up to his successor to decide what to do. Continue reading . . .
Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed: Saladin Ahmed has been on the writing scene for a little while, publishing stories in the likes of Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show and StarshipSofa, as well as receiving praise from the likes of Publisher’s Weekly and Locus.  And now he arrives with his first novel, the surprisingly slim, but action- and detailed-packed Throne of the Crescent Moon, the first in the Crescent Moon Kingdoms series. Continue reading . . .
The Death of King Arthur translated by Simon Armitage: Simon Armitage’s translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight was a delight to read and well-received by many readers (it remains one of the top read reviews on BookBanter), and now Armitage is back with his new translation of The Death of King Arthur, appearing in 1400, also known as The Alliterative Morte Arthure; it is imbued with the passion and panache of Seamus Heaney’s translation of Beowulf. Continue reading . . .
Kill Decision by Daniel Suarez: Bestselling author Daniel Suarez delighted readers with his gritty and hard-edged take on technology gone haywire with Daemon and Freedom, and now he’s back with his next techno-thriller, Kill Decision, scrutinizing the subject of unmanned drones that cover our skies when we’re not looking.  Suarez certainly seems to be fortifying a bridge between the late, great Michael Crichton and Tom Clancy, which fans of either or both will thoroughly enjoy. Continue reading . . .

BOOK REPORT: Print Lives, Barnes & Noble Dies? And More!

Book Report

The Bestselling Books of 2012
Publisher’s Weekly brings us the bestselling books of last year; prepare to be shocked and outraged.

Don’t Burn Your Print Books
Wall Street Journal on why print books are here to stay.

The Wheel of Time: The Last Chapter 
Tor.com presents a YouTube video on the end of the Wheel of Time series.

Reading the Final Scene of the Wheel of Time 
Brandon Sanderson on the end of the series.

[CONTINUE READING . . .]

Bookbanter Column: “The Book Dump, or What People Are Reading”

Bookbanter Column

From February through July of this year, a good solid six-month period, I worked in the book department at Dimple Records in Sacramento.  Most of my job consisted of unboxing, sorting and shelving thousands and thousands of books that had been purchased for the company through their used book buyback program, available at all of their retail stores.  There were literally boxes and boxes of books coming into the warehouse each day from the various stores, and it was my job to organize them and get them put on the shelf in the right sections.

Another warehouse consisted of many rows of shelves all sectioned and organized by subject and genre.  For the first few months I quickly filled up these shelves, and then when they were full and all set to go, the books and shelves were taken to the Citrus Heights store location, which was remodeled and organized to accommodate all these new books.  There were approximately 15,000 used books made available at the Citrus Heights store.

And then my work began again from scratch, as I began filling up all news shelves for what would eventually become the first (of hopefully many) Dimple Books book stores which opened its doors in July.  At this store there were over 30,000 used books.  In my time with Dimple I sorted through and organized over 50,000 books.

[CONTINUE READING . . .]

Books Read in 2012

It’s the beginning of a new year — 2013 — which means it’s time for a round up of what books I read over the course of the twelve months of 2012.  My annual goal was to read 100 books, be they print, ebook, audio or graphic novel, and I was delighted to achieve this goal, totaling up at 107.  Below you will find the complete list.  For books read in 2011, go here.

NUMBER

TITLE

AUTHOR

GENRE

EDITION

1

The Death of King Arthur

Simon Armitage

History

2

Hex

Allen Steele

Science Fiction

Audiobook

3

Wintertide

Michael J. Sullivan

Fantasy

ebook

4

Spontaneous

Joe Harris

Graphic Novel

5

The Last Unicorn

Peter S. Beagle

Fantasy

Audiobook

6

Percepliquis

Michael J. Sullivan

Fantasy

7

Crucible of Gold

Naomi Novik

Fantasy

8

Hood

Stephen Lawhead

Fantasy

Audiobook

9

Lucky Bastard

S. G. Browne

Fiction

10

Scarlet

Stephen Lawhead

Fantasy

Audiobook

11

Death of Kings

Bernard Cornwell

Fiction

12

1Q84

Haruki Murakami

Fiction

13

Tuck

Stephen Lawhead

Fantasy

Audiobook

14

The Crack in Space

Philip K. Dick

Science Fiction

15

The Once and Future King

T. H White

Fantasy

Audiobook

16

A Study in Scarlet

Arthur Conan Doyle

Mystery

Audiobook

17

A Sign of the Four

Arthur Conan Doyle

Mystery

Audiobook

18

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

Arthur Conan Doyle

Mystery

Audiobook

19

The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes

Arthur Conan Doyle

Mystery

Audiobook

20

Hound of the Baskervilles

Arthur Conan Doyle

Mystery

Audiobook

21

Throne of the Crescent Moon

Saladin Ahmed

Fantasy

22

Valley of Fear

Arthur Conan Doyle

Mystery

Audiobook

23

The Return of Sherlock Holmes

Arthur Conan Doyle

Mystery

Audiobook

24

His Last Bow

Arthur Conan Doyle

Mystery

Audiobook

25

Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes

Arthur Conan Doyle

Mystery

Audiobook

26

Winter King

Bernard Cornwell

Historical Fiction

Audiobook

27

Enemy of God

Bernard Cornwell

Historical Fiction

Audiobook

28

Excalibur

Bernard Cornwell

Historical Fiction

Audiobook

29

The Kingdom of Gods

N. K. Jemisin

Fantasy

30

The Penultimate Truth

Philip K. Dick

Science Fiction

31

1491

Charles C. Mann

History

Audiobook

32

Triggers

Robert J. Sawyer

Science Fiction

33

Forest Laird

Jack Whyte

Historical Fiction

34

The World Without Us

Alan Weisman

Anthropology

Audiobook

35

The Warded Man

Peter V Brett

Fantasy

Audiobook

36

The Maze Runner

James Dashner

Young Adult

Audiobook

37

A Bridge of Years

Robert Charles Wilson

Science Fiction

38

The Scorch Trials

James Dashner

Young Adult

Audiobook

39

The Twenty-One Balloons

William Pene du Bois

Middle Reader

40

Poisoner’s Handbook

Deborah Blum

Science

Audiobook

41

The Beasties

William Sleator

Middle Reader

42

Furies of Calderon

Jim Butcher

Fantasy

Audiobook

43

The October Country

Ray Bradbury

Short Stories

44

Academ’s Fury

Jim Butcher

Fantasy

Audiobook

45

After the Quake

Haruki Murakami

Short Stories

46

Cursor’s Fury

Jim Butcher

Fantasy

Audiobook

47

Game of Thrones

Daniel Abraham

Graphic Novel

48

Captain’s Fury

Jim Butcher

Fantasy

Audiobook

49

Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman

Haruki Murakami

Short Stories

50

Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

Haruki Murakami

Fiction

51

First Lord’s Fury

Jim Butcher

Fantasy

Audiobook

52

Feed

Mira Grant

Horror

53

After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall

Nancy Kress

Science Fiction

54

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Rebecca Skloot

Science

Audiobook

55

Over the Edge of the World

Laurence Bergreen

History

Audiobook

56

Princep’s Fury

Jim Butcher

Fantasy

Audiobook

57

A Game of Thrones Graphic Novel

Daniel Abraham

Graphic Novel

58

Deadline

Mira Grant

Horror

59

Patient Zero

Joe Ledger

Horror

Audiobook

60

A Princess of Mars

Edgar Rice Burroughs

Fantasy

61

Prague Winter

Madeline Albright

Biography

62

The Illustrated Man

Ray Bradbury

Science Fiction

63

The Wind Through the Keyhole

Stephen King

Horror

64

The Great Influenza

John M. Barry

History

Audiobook

65

Demonologist

Andrew Pyper

Horror

66

Kill Decision

Daniel Suarez

Thriller

67

Redshirts

John Scalzi

Science Fiction

68

Bloodline

James Rollins

Thriller

69

The Hollow City

Dan Wells

Thriller

70

Arkham Asylum

Grant Morrison

Graphic Novel

71

Walking Dead 15:We Find Ourselves

Robert Kirkman

Graphic Novel

72

Libriomancer

Jim C. Hines

Fantasy

73

2312

Kim Stanley Robinson

Science Fiction

74

Snow Crash

Neal Stephenson

Science Fiction

Audiobook

75

Legion

Brandon Sanderson

Fantasy

76

When Will You Rise?

Mira Grant

Horror

77

Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

Junot Diaz

Fiction

Audiobook

78

Ashes of Honor

Seanan McGuire

Fantasy

79

V Wars

Edited by Jonathan Maberry

Horror

80

Red Rain

R. L. Stine

Horror

81

A Book of Horrors

Edited by Stephen Jones

Horror

Anthology

82

Mortality

Christopher Hitchens

Biography

83

Little Star

John Ajvide Lindqvist

Horror

84

The Secret of NIMH

Robert C. O’Brien

Childrens

85

Good Omens

Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett

Fantasy

86

Rainbows End

Vernor Vinge

Science Fiction

87

The Fifty Year Sword

Mark Z. Danielewski

Fiction

88

Bad Glass

Richard E. Gropp

Horror

89

The Passage

Justin Cronin

Horror

90

The Twelve

Justin Cronin

Horror

91

The Emperor’s Soul

Brandon Sanderson

Fantasy

92

I Saw Zombies Eating Santa Claus

S. G. Browne

Horror

93

Penny Arcade 8: Magical Kids in Danger

Jerry Holkins, Mike Krahulik

Comic

94

Revenge

Yoko Ogawa

Short Stories

95

The Left Hand of Darkness

Ursula LeGuin

Science Fiction

96

Pirate Cinema

Cory Doctorow

Young Adult

97

The Hobbit

J R R Tolkien

Fantasy

98

Diverse Energies

Tobias Bucknell

Science Fiction, Anthology

99

This is How You Lose Her

Junot Diaz

Fiction

100

A Fit of Shivers

Joan Aiken

Young Adult

101

The Blood Gospel

James Rollins

Mystery

102

The New Deadwardians

Dan Abnett

Graphic Novel

103

Spunik Sweetheart

Haruki Murakami

Fiction

104

Fables: Werewolves of the Heartland

Bill Willingham

Graphic Novel

105

Fairest

Bill Willingham

Graphic Novel

106

1356

Bernard Cornwell

Historical Fiction

107

Anomaly

Skip Brittenham

Graphic Novel

BOOK REPORT: Book News for the Week of Janaury 6th

Book News, Publishing, Alex C. Telander, Forces of Geek, FOG!

 

Wattpad Revolutionizes Storytelling  
Have you heard of Wattpad?  I hadn’t either until I read this great article from Publishers Weekly.

New 1984 Edition  
Penguin is releasing a new edition of George Orwell’s 1984 with a censored title and author.
 
Great Season for Indies
A number of independent bookstores are reporting they had one of their best holiday seasons ever.

Weak Nook Sales 
Barnes & Noble did not have a good season, neither in their stores nor with their Nook ereader sales.

[CONTINUE READING . . .]