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.

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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.

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

Fables Werewolves of the Heartland
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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.

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