For those of you who celebrated Christmas, I hope you had a wonderfully festive time with friends and family.
I love this period between Christmas and New Year – it always struck me as a quiet (and much-needed) lull before the year starts in earnest. I’m usually still off work (using up those days before the end of the year – every year I say I’ll plan my holidays better…), but the mad Christmas rush is over, and the most stressful thing on my plate is checking out the Boxing Day sales – usually from the peace and quiet of my living room as opposed to tackling the crowds on the high street
And of course, I can ease back into that blogging habit…
A couple of time-sensitive links to start off with:
- Chachic is hosting EWein Special Ops this week – it’s a celebration of Elizabeth Wein‘s writing and there are some lovely guest posts from bloggers and authors alike (including one by Elizabeth Wein herself!), all very much worth reading. I bought THE WINTER PRINCE as a direct result of the posts (various Kobo coupon codes here if you’re interested), even though I’m not normally a fan of Arthurian fantasy. Plus there’s a giveaway (winners picked Jan 2) of various ebooks and signed copies.
- Book View Cafe is having a 50% off sale until Jan 6. If you’re stumped as to what to spend your hard-earned cash on, I recommend Sherwood Smith‘s books – her YA fantasy CROWN DUEL is probably her most well-known, but I also really enjoyed her other YA fantasies A POSSE OF PRINCESSES and LHIND THE THIEF (released earlier this year, so very much worth it!). Oh, and her take on Regency romance in DANSE DE LA FOLIE. As I had all of the Smith books (if you couldn’t tell), I picked up a couple of Madeleine Robins‘ Regency romances and Linda Nagata‘s THE DREAD HAMMER (which coincidentally was just recommended by Nathan @ Fantasy Review Barn). And umm… a few others.
- I backed this Kickstarter (ends Jan 8 – it’s fully funded now, but they’ve included stretch goals) to fund an SFF anthology called ATHENA’S DAUGHTERS with stories featuring female protagonists by an all-female contributor list (they’ve also raised enough to fund a companion volume called APOLLO’S DAUGHTERS by male authors). The $5 ebook-only level (which is what I’ve gone for) now includes so many other extras that I’ve lost track – and oh, one of them is a free download of Sherwood Smith’s CROWN DUEL that I’ve mentioned above, so you may want to back this one instead if you’re interested). I’ve mentioned Kickstarter before, I think – what convinces me to back a campaign is usually (a) a decent reward – $5 for an ebook feels about right to me, but YMMV; and (b) a level of confidence that the creator(s) can actually deliver (as there’s no guarantee you’ll actually get what is set out).
Other links that caught my eye over the past month or so:
- Are you a map person? I’m not, actually – I couldn’t care less if there was a map in my fantasy books or not, but I gather I’m in a minority. But regardless of my feelings (or lack of) about the necessity of maps, I found this post on making a fantasy world map @ Tor.com interesting. Perhaps I should pay a bit more attention to them now…
- KJ Charles (I liked her debut fantasy m/m romance THE MAGPIE LORD, btw – need to post a review…) posted this fun round-up of bad covers – I think the three-handed woman is a regular on this kind of lists, but I’ve not seen the others O_o
- Juliet E McKenna posted about choosing names for her fantasy books as part of a series on Names: A New Perspective @ Shadowhawk’s Shade. The thought that Kevin was possibly believed to be an unusual name made me smile.
- Andrea K Höst has started a Tumblr to list Hugo-eligible artists - it’s a pretty amazing collection of art already, and she’s only just started.