“The Time Traveler’s Almanac” Edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer (Tor, 2014)

Time Traveler's Almanac
starstarstarstarHalf Star

If you’re any sort of fan of time travel, whether it’s Back to the Future, H. G. Wells’ The Time Machine, or even Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure; or perhaps you enjoy discussing, debating and at times lambasting the possibility and impossibility of time paradoxes; then you need to get yourself a copy of The Time Traveler’s Almanac.

Well-known editors Ann and Jeff VanderMeer do a magnificent job of grouping the many time travel stories together into categories, and breaking them up with nonfiction articles on different aspects of time travel. The greats are of course included in this fantastic anthology, including Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, H. G. Wells, George R. R. Martin and Ursula K. LeGuin. But there is also a plethora of other, lesser known authors all with their own individual and unique stories on time travel.

There’s the one about a person who travels through time in New Delhi seeing its many forms and the variety of inhabitants throughout its history. The story about a cheap, wonderful apartment in a fancy area of San Francisco, the catch is you have to live in it in the past. One of the most moving stories is “Red Letter Day” set in a world where you receive a letter from your future self on the day of your graduation about how you should lead your life; and what it means for those who don’t receive a letter.

The Time Traveler’s Almanac features 70 stories and has a little bit of everything that can be sampled slowly over time – as I did – or gobbled up as quickly as possible. You’ll be taken to many different worlds, in different times, and no one will be like the other.

Originally written on February 11, 2015 ©Alex C. Telander.

To purchase a copy of The Time Traveler’s Almanac from Amazon, and help support BookBanter, click HERE.

World Fantasy Nominees

World Fantasy Award nominees are up (you can find more info here).  Reviews and interviews are linked below!

 

Best Novel

Best Novella

  • Bone and Jewel Creatures, Elizabeth Bear (Subterranean)
  • The Broken Man, Michael Byers (PS)
  • “The Maiden Flight of McCauley’s Bellerophon”, Elizabeth Hand (Stories: All-New Tales)
  • The Thief of Broken Toys, Tim Lebbon (ChiZine)
  • “The Mystery Knight”, George R.R. Martin (Warriors)
  • “The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers beneath the Queen’s Window”, Rachel Swirsky (Subterranean Summer 2010)

Best Short Fiction

  • “Beautiful Men” , Christopher Fowler (Visitants: Stories of Fallen Angels and Heavenly Hosts)
  • “Booth’s Ghost”, Karen Joy Fowler (What I Didn’t See and Other Stories)
  • “Ponies”, Kij Johnson (Tor.com 11/17/10)
  • “Fossil-Figures”, Joyce Carol Oates (Stories: All-New Tales)
  • “Tu Sufrimiento Shall Protect Us”, Mercurio D. Rivera (Black Static 8-9/10)

Best Anthology

  • The Way of the Wizard, John Joseph Adams, ed. (Prime)
  • My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me, Kate Bernheimer, ed. (Penguin)
  • Haunted Legends, Ellen Datlow & Nick Mamatas, eds. (Tor)
  • Stories: All-New Tales, Neil Gaiman & Al Sarrantonio, eds. (Morrow; Headline Review)
  • Black Wings: New Tales of Lovecraftian Horror, S.T. Joshi, ed. (PS)
  • Swords & Dark Magic, Jonathan Strahan & Lou Anders, eds. (Eos)

Best Anthology

  • What I Didn’t See and Other Stories, Karen Joy Fowler (Small Beer)
  • The Ammonite Violin & Others, Caitlín R. Kiernan (Subterranean)
  • Holiday, M. Rickert (Golden Gryphon)
  • Sourdough and Other Stories, Angela Slatter (Tartarus)
  • The Third Bear, Jeff VanderMeer (Tachyon)

Best Artist

  • Vincent Chong
  • Kinuko Y. Craft
  • Richard A. Kirk
  • John Picacio
  • Shaun Tan

Special Award, Professional

Special Award, Non-Professional

  • Stephen Jones, Michael Marshall Smith, & Amanda Foubister, for Brighton Shock!: The Souvenir Book Of The World Horror Convention 2010
  • Alisa Krasnostein, for Twelfth Planet Press
  • Matthew Kressel, for Sybil’s Garage and Senses Five Press
  • Charles Tan, for Bibliophile Stalker
  • Lavie Tidhar, for The World SF Blog

05/07 On the Bookshelf . . . “Finch”

Finch

When I interviewed Jeff VanderMeer last October at the World Fantasy Convention, I was primarily interested in only one of the two books he’d released around the time, Booklife.  (He was on a rare double-book tour across the country.)  I’d heard about his new fiction book, Finch, and when he talked about it during the interview, it certainly piqued my interest: a small nugget of contemplation that has been growing month by month, with the Hugo Award nomination, and then an award nomination for best cover — and it truly is a beautiful cover.  Thankfully my contemplation is now done with, as I have a copy to review and am very much looking forward to reading this fascinating-looking book that has garnered many positive reviews.

“Booklife: Strategies and Survival Tips for the 21st Century Writer” by Jeff VanderMeer (Tachyon, 2009)

Booklifestarstarstarstar

Jeff VanderMeer is a writer who’s done a little bit of everything, whether it’s publishing compelling fiction, editing his own anthologies (as well as co-editing with his wife, Anne), going on book tours for author appearances, or presenting writer workshops around the country.  He’s the sort of guy who has a lot of say about writing and publishing and advice he can offer just about any level of writer.  Fortunately, he’s done just that in his new book, Booklife: Strategies and Survival Tips for the 21st-Century Writer.

Booklife is a book for any kind of writer whether he’s someone who’s never published anything and is looking to make it in the business, or whether she has a few books under her belt and is looking to make it really big.  Booklife has a little something for every type of writer.  The book is divided into two parts: Public Booklife, which covers how to present both yourself and your work as a writer, how best to organize and carry out successful signings and book tours, and – most importantly – creating and managing your goals so you can really make it as a writer.  The second part, Private Booklife, covers some of the mechanics of writing, how important feedback is – and not just from friends and family, and using some of the lessons from the first part of the book in different and constructive ways to make your writing the best it can be.

And it doesn’t all end when you reach the last page of Booklife, there is the booklifenow.com website, filled with helpful articles, tips and strategies, updated three times a week, and affiliated with Publisher’s Weekly Booklife portal.  Booklife is not just a book, but a whole package experience that gives you ideas and suggestions to help you achieve your goals; it’s not necessary to do every thing this book tells you; it’s up to get what you want out of it, which depends on how much work you put into it.  But Booklife will certainly help you along the way to becoming that bestselling writer you’ve always dreamed of.

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

Originally written on December 11th 2009 ©Alex C. Telander.

“Fast Sails, Black Ships” Edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer (Night Shade Books, 2008)

Fast Ships, Black Sailsstarstarstar

While this may not be the first pirate story anthology, Fast Ships, Black Sails doesn’t hold back, with its captivating cover featuring a classic pirate standing proud at the prow of his ship, while small glowing-eye dragons fly around, a tiny dragon skeleton sits on his shoulder, and in the cloudy distance is what appears to be a ghost pirate ship.  This collection edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer features a combination of classic swashbuckling pirate tales, as well as fascinating stories of the fantastic from authors like Conrad Williams, Garth Nix, Elizabeth Bear, and many more.

In the opening story, “Boojum” from Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette – possibly the best in the collection – we are in space, and the mighty spaceships are living entities that grow and change and have mouths; they are biomechanical.  The authors do an excellent job of creating an interesting world that leaves the reader wanting more.  In Naomi Novik’s — author of the successful Temeraire series – “Araminta, or, The Wreck of the Amphidrake,” the daughter of a very important noble is kidnapped by pirates and thought murdered, but Araminta is a special woman with some unique powers allowing her to outwit the pirates who have taken her hostage.    In Michael Moorcock’s too short story “Ironface,” there are pirates in space and Ironface is the most feared in the solar system, who makes the trip to Venus to accept the expensive bribe that he collects each decade, then his ship, Pain, floats back out into the dark realms of space.

Fast Ships, Black Sails has the perfect pirate story for any reader, as it presents both the classic and the unusual stories of privateers and buccaneers sailing the high seas, as well as the dark matter clouds of the cosmos.

If you liked this review and are interested in purchasing this book, click here.

Originally written on November 21st 2008 ©Alex C. Telander.

For an interview with Jeff VanderMeer check out BookBanter Episode 22.

BookBanter Episode 22 with Jeff VanderMeer

Play Episode

In Episode 22 of BookBanter you will hear my third interview live from the World Fantasy Convention with author Jeff VanderMeer. VanderMeer writes his own books, edits anthologies, and even does writer workshops. His books include City of Saints and Madmen and Shriek: An Afterword, while some of the anthologies he has edited include Fast Ships Black Sails and The New Weird. He has two new books out: Finch, a work of fiction, and Booklife, a fantastic book on writing and how to become a successful writer no matter what level you are.

Featured in the episode are my reviews for Booklife, Last Night in Twisted River by John Irving, The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown, and Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins; to purchase any of these books, click on the covers below :

Canticle Lamentation Depraved Leviathan

This episode of BookBanter is brought to you by Angie’s List. At Angie’s List you’ll find thousands of unbiased ratings on services for home improvements, car repairs, and even doctors. Gain access to thousands of reviews on local service providers for Home improvement Auto Repair, Accounting, Animal Care, Health Care and even Weddings.  Let Angie’s List take away the guesswork. Find the service provider your neighbors gave the highest rating.  Join Angie’s List and use promo code “book” for 25% off your membership!  Just go to Angieslist.com.

I would once again like to thank Cheryl Morgan for getting me all set up at the World Fantasy Convention.

After enjoying this episode, why not check out the new BookBanter Blog, where you can find out about everything related to BookBanter, books, writing, and whatever else I feel like writing about .

I’ll see you next time, on January 1st, 2010, where I’ll be interviewing author Guy Gavriel Kay, who’s new book Under Heaven, is due out April 27th.

Until then, keep reading!

Alex C. Telander.

BookBanter Episode 21 with Ken Scholes

Play

In Episode 21 of BookBanter you get to hear my next interview live from the World Fantasy Convention with fantasy author Ken Scholes. Scholes is the author of the five-part Psalms of Isaak series, the first two of which — Lamentation and Canticle — are now available . Scholes also talks about how he got into writing, what he has planned for the future, some advice for future writers, and how his life has been so wonderfully changed with having twins.

Featured in the episode are my reviews for Canticle and Lamentation, as well as Depraved by Bryan Smith and Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld. If you would like to purchase any of the books mentioned or preorder the new Garth Nix book, simply click on the covers below:

Canticle Lamentation Depraved Leviathan

This episode of BookBanter is brought to you by East Bay and Footlocker, leading world suppliers of athletic footwear, apparel and sports equipment, featuring top athletic brands such as Adidas, Reebok, Converse, and Nike.  Go to East Bay.com and use the code AFBOOK15 to receive 15% off your order, or the code AFBOOK20 to receive 20% off your order of $75 or more.  Or go to Footlocker.com and use the code AFBOOKFL to receive 15% off your order.

I would once again like to thank Cheryl Morgan for getting me all set up at the World Fantasy Convention.

After enjoying this episode, why not check out the new BookBanter Blog, where you can find out what I was up to at the World Fantasy Convention and which panels I attended.

I’ll see you next time, on December 15th, where I’ll be interviewing author Jeff VanderMeer, who’s most recent book is Booklife.

Until then, keep reading!

Alex C. Telander.

BookBanter Update

Just got back from a very long and exhausting weekend, but had a terrific time.  Friday was spent at the World Fantasy Convention, where I interviewed –in person — authors Ken Scholes, Jeff VanderMeer, Guy Gavriel Kay, and Garth Nix.  They all turned out to be fun and fascinating people.  My interviews with these authors will be airing on the following BookBanter episodes:

Episode 20 (November 15th): Garth Nix

Episode 21 (December 1st): Ken Scholes

Episode 22 (December 15th): Jeff VanderMeer

Episode 23 (January 1st): Guy Gavriel Kay

I also attended four panels on different aspects of writing and will be doing a post on each of those panels in the near future.

For now stay tuned, and Episode 19 will be up as soon as possible — furiously working on it right now!

Finally, I would like to extend a great thank you to Cheryl Morgan, who made my attending the World Fantasy Convention all possible.  Cheryl, thank you for giving me the opportunity and I hope to see you again soon.

BookBanter Schedule Change

Due to Seth Grahame-Smith (author of bestselling Pride and Prejudice and Zombies) being too busy over the next couple of weeks, we’ll be unable to do our interview for BookBanter.  I had planned to have my interview with Seth for Episode 19, which will be available November 1st.  But now will be rescheduling for some future date with Seth, so with regards to that interview, stay posted for more info once I have it.

In which case for Episode 19, assuming everything goes to plan, will be my interview with Alan Jacobson, author of the bestselling The 7th Victim, and the recently released Crush.

Also with the addition of Guy Gavriel Kay to the lineup of interviews, the rest of the year and going into January 2010, BookBanter’s schedule is looking something like this:

Episode 19 (11/01/09): ALAN JACOBSON, author of bestselling The 7th Victim and recent release Crush.

Episode 20 (11/15/09): GARTH NIX, author of many books including the bestselling Old Kingdom, Keys to the Kingdom series, and Seventh Tower series, at the World Fantasy Convention.

Episode 21 (12/01/09): KEN SCHOLES, author of Lamentation and Canticle.

Episode 22: (12/15/09): JEFF VANDERMEER, writer, editor, and author of new book on writing, Booklife.

Episode 23: (01/01/10): GUY GAVRIEL KAY, author of a number of books including Tigana and Lions of Al-Rassan.

Episode 24: (01/15/09): S. G. BROWNE, author of Breathers.