Recent-ish interview with ML Brennan, author of the American Vampire urban fantasy books (or the Generation V series, as the covers have it) @ SF Signal. I read the first two books earlier this year, and the third (TAINTED BLOOD, out Nov) is most definitely on my to-read list. There are two new(-to-me) UF series that I’m excited about this year, and this is one of them (the other is Rachel Aaron‘s Heartstrikers series, if you’re wondering).
While both centre around fairly common paranormal creatures (vampires and dragons respectively), I really like how they’ve brought something new to the table. Jan @ Notes from a Readerholic pointed out that the main characters in both series have similarities in the sense they’re perceived to be weak to their families, which may be one factor. Also, the protagonists in both are male – maybe I’ve just had enough of the kickass female heroine (TM)? Don’t get me wrong – I still love the take-no-prisoners attitude of Ilona Andrews’ Kate Daniels and Karen Chance’s Dory Basarab; it’s just refreshing to have different characters out there in UF-land.
I found this post (plus comments) @ Ruthless Culture fascinating. The post talks about why there shouldn’t be back-to-back US-based WorldCons (as the title implies…), but then there’s a discussion in the comments around logistics for WorldCon bids – really interesting, including the commercial considerations I’d not really thought of before. Location is obviously a massive factor in terms of attendance decisions – I don’t think I’d have gone if the UK con had been outside London (see FantasyCon = York, for example), so I probably fall into that “London boost” bracket.
(My last mention of WorldCons for a while, I swear.)
I’m not entirely sure this will take off, but it’s a new technology in the world of physical/ebook bundling. Basically, write your name in the (physical) book, take a picture, and you get the ebook via BitLit. I’ve had a look and the catalogue appears rather limited at the moment (biggest is the Joe Hill / HarperCollins promotion for Heart-Shaped Box), but it’s certainly innovative. I’ve really cut down on print books dramatically over the past couple of years (I just need more bookshelves), so I’m probably not part of their target audience. I can see this really working for people who either don’t have that bookshelf real estate constraint I have, or for readers who want to dip their toes into the ebook space?