February 22, 2005

Five books this time, bringing the 2005 total to 13. Although one doesn't really count since it's a silly romance I just found on my to-read pile and figured I'd read it while walking it downstairs.

The Corset Diaries
Katie MacAlister
paperback from Onyx Books, 2004

I laughed and laughed. One of the funniest (and funnest) seduction scenes EVER. Wonderful wonderful stuff. Romantic. Silly. Comedic. Tart. Bright. Fun.

Sudden Fire
Elizabeth Oldfield
paperback from Harlequin Presents, 1993

Cheesy little romance, but not nearly so stiff and annoying as most of the European ones (which all assume that women are wilting violets who want overbearing pompous ass men). Quick and enjoyable and didn't leave a bad taste in my mouth.

Weather Warden Series
Ill Wind
Heat Stroke
Chill Factor
Rachel Caine
paperbacks from Roc (2003, 2004, 2005)

Oh, go get these!!! Hot!! Fun! Sarcastic! Adventure! They just rolled right on through and dragged me along with them. I read the first two just before Boskone and was thrilled to pick up the third there (and read it by the end of the night last night). I really truly enjoyed these, and heartily recommend them to someone who likes a bit of magic with their mundane, and romance (with twisted entanglements) with their adventure.

Posted by Deb Atwood at 09:58 PM
February 21, 2005
Boskone Book Buying Binge

This past weekend we were at Boskone. As some of you know, we are obsessive book buyers, and we go on binges two-three times per year (Boskone, Worldcon, Albacon). This year, since we're not going to Worldcon, we're rather expecting to go to Readercon for a day membership just to keep up with Larry's stock!

from Small Beer Press
Stranger Things Happen by Kelly Link
Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet #13
Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet #15
Family Reunion (a comic from the novel A Perfect Circle (free)

The Autumn Castle by Kim Wilkins
Orphanage by Robert Buettner
Less Than Human by Maxine McArthur

All three of these freebies look interesting to me, and I was only allowed two at the beginning (one for me and one for Kev) and at the end of the con I went back to see if there were still more so I could beg for the third (which I successfully did). The other two books they had for freebies were both of Karin Lowachee's, which since I owned them already, I simply told everyone else to pick them and read them NOW.

from Larry Smith's table

[the hardcovers]
Bolo! by David Weber
The Family Trade by Charles Stross
Banewreaker by Jacqueline Carey
The Hero by John Ringo and Michael Z. Williamson
When the Beast Ravens by E. Rose Sabin

[the trade paperbacks not from Luna]
Dreams Made Flesh by Anne Bishop
Hello, Gorgeous! by Mary Janice Davidson
"Wicked" Women Whodunit (shorts, including Mary Janice Davidson)

[the Lunas (all trades)]
Elphame's Choice by P.C. Cast
Guardian of Honor by Robin D. Owens
Shadows of Myth by Rachel Lee

I'm apparently missing one Luna book, which Larry didn't have in stock. I'm trying to own all of them (silly me!). I need to figure out which one is missing and get Maria over at FoF to order it for me.

[the paperbacks]
Chill Factor by Rachel Caine
Derik's Bane by Mary Janice Davidson
The Royal Treatment by Mary Janice Davidson
Hard Day's Knight by Katie MacAlister
A Girl's Guide to Vampires by Katie MacAlister
Sex and the Single Vampire by Katie MacAlister
Sex, Lies, and Vampires by Katie MacAlister
Men in Kilts by Katie MacAlister
Human Resource by Pierce Askegren
Stolen by Kelley Armstrong
Bitten by Kelley Armstrong
Industrial Magic by Kelley Armstrong
Dime Store Magic by Kelley Armstrong
Memory of Fireby Holly Lisle
The Wreck of Heaven by Holly Lisle
Gods Old and Dark by Holly Lisle
Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie
The Scoundrel Worlds by Chris Bunch
Star Risk, Ltd. by Chris Bunch
The Doublecross Program by Chris Bunch
Storyteller by Amy Thomson
The Blind Mirror by Christopher Pike
Kris Longknife Deserter by Mike Shepherd
Burden of Proof by John G. Henry
Any Man So Daring by Sarah A. Hoyt
The Nimble Man by Christopher Golden and Thomas E. Sniegoski

Note, I've now noticed that Katie MacAlister writes YA novels as Katie Maxwell, something which I must investigate!

And I'm sure you can see a trend in the above. MOST of the books bought are for me... *grins* I have got a TON of reading to do!!

Posted by Deb Atwood at 10:40 AM
February 12, 2005
Three Books

Three books to add to the list today, bringing the 2005 total to 8 so far.

Ann Brashares' The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
Sarah Zettel's In Camelot's Shadow
Jim Butcher's Furies of Calderon

Possible spoilers behind the cut...

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
Ann Brashares
Hardcover from Delacorte Press, 2001

This book has been on my to-read list (but not the to-read pile) for a long time, ever since another YA-addicted reader at Flights of Fantasy recommended it to me. I had no idea what it was about, but when I saw it at Barnes and Noble in a display with the second and third books... I finally managed to pick it up.

This is not fantasy or SF or mystery or romance. This is a book about four girls who find this pair of thrift shop pants which fit them. All of them, despite the fact that they are all very very differently shaped. They decide the pants are magic, and vow to send them to spend a week with each of them while they are separated for the first time for the coming summer vacation.

At the end of the summer, each of the girls has grown and been transformed and learned something about herself. The style of the novel was hard getting used to at first -- it skips very quickly from girl to girl and makes it hard to settle into any one viewpoint. But by the middle I loved the girls and ached for their decisions. By the end I knew I'd be buying the next book, because I want to see how they turn their lives next.

In Camelot's Shadow
Sarah Zettel
Trade paperback from Luna, 2004

I'm working my way through that stack of Luna books I have, especially since I'll be catching up on those I don't own yet when I get to Boskone. This book of Zettel's is different from the other pieces of hers that I've read, but then again, those were SF and this is fantasy. It was good, but not great. I'm probably not going to put it in Kev's to-read pile -- I don't think it breaks enough out of the fantasy mold for him, although he'd like the Arthurian parts. This follows Gawain and his new ladylove (who *is* a strong character). I like the way it casts Morgan, and I'm looking forward to a sequel (which I assume is forthcoming) to see what happens next. It was, perhaps, a bit lighter and sweeter than I was expecting, which while not unpleasant, just wasn't what I thought I was getting.

Furies of Calderon
Jim Butcher
Hardcover from Berkeley, 2004

Mm, Butcher. Yum! Need I say more?

This is NOT the Dresden novels. But the characters still pop. They still rock through the book. His worldbuilding is wonderful, and I love what he's done with magic and Furies. I definitely want to see more in this world. Adventure, mystery (and I'm still *knowing* there's stuff I have guesses on but no definites yet... he weaves that curiosity well), and a bit of romance as well. Politics. War. All good, all wonderful really.

Just go buy it already.

Posted by Deb Atwood at 09:27 AM
February 09, 2005

This story is inspired by the brilliant red science experiment (Amaryllis) sitting atop Mark's monitor in the office. And to the big boss's sudden thought of "Flower Cam!" today.


(c) Deb Atwood 2005

Cameron sat on the edge of the desk, kicking her heels back and forth in the empty air as she watched her brother tie off the burlap bag and set it aside. He lifted another bag with a picture of a brilliant red bloom on it, set a thick bulb inside, and then tied that one off as well.

"I thought you always said you'd make a name for yourself." Cameron scowled, picking at the edge of the ugly green salvaged desk. Her heels swung back with a sharp rap against the metal legs.

"I am," Kevin said. He chose a bulb from a different pile this time, settling it into a bag emblazoned with the logo AMARYLLIS.NET and a silvery blue flower. "As of last week, I've shipped over 5,000 unique and intriguing bulbs."

Cameron looked at the flower on Kevin's desk, propped in the only clear space -- on top of his monitor. Yellow petals with a touch of orange and gold. Four blooms with no scent, atop a two foot stalk. She shook her head. "I don't get it, Kev. It's just a flower."

Kevin set down the last neatly packed bag into a crate. He put the lid on and stapled it shut. Cameron's gaze followed him as he placed the crate on top of the others, marked the total to ship on a clipboard nearby, then made his way back behind the desk.

He sat on the old leather stool, tucking his feet behind the rungs, and typed out "www.amaryllis.net" for his browser. The homepage for his small garage company, selling designer bulbs, appeared. A smile tipped his lips as he added a nonsense sequence of characters to the end of the URL and hit enter.

A username and password response later and a different page was displayed. He clicked an icon, then turned the monitor for Cameron to see.

Her own face stared back at her, at first scowling, then confused. She pointed at it, and it pointed back. "How?" Her voice came in stereo from the tinny speakers on the monitor.

Kevin grinned. "I said they were engineered. I never said how. As each bulb blooms, nanites build the structure of a camera and a transmitter and a rebounder. The signals bounce back, flower by flower, to me here. Yeah, I won't start seeing things from the farthest ones till the network gets built up between here and there, but I figure I've got time. And getting the new HERB.NET and SPIDERPLANT.NET clippings launched next month is going to fill in a lot of the gaps. The business plan calls to start capitalizing on the information gains in about six months. I should be pulling a profit by year end."

Cameron's mouth closed with a snap. "You... you bastard."

He laughed. "I said I'd make a name. And that's one of them."

Posted by Deb Atwood at 08:30 PM