Monday, December 14, 2009

Holiday Hiatus

Yes, after many hours and days of debate between me, myself, and I, we have come to the conclusion that we need a break. So instead of providing a lot of low-quality content, we'll work toward providing quality content, but at a later date.

Right now, we expect to be back online with reviews and interviews by January 11, 2010. We know that's a long ways off, but we would rather focus on quality over quantity.

So until then, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

PS - And while you wait, enjoy this 17-year-old poem with accompanying artwork.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Christmas Giveaway WINNERS

We had 14 entries for the contest and I'd like to thank all of you for entering. Unfortunately I only have prizes for six of you.

So without further ado, here's the list of winners:

Nicole D.

If you left me an email address or if I find one on your Blogger profile, I'll try to contact you directly. Otherwise, please send me an email at with your mailing address.


Monday, December 7, 2009

Flashforward by Robert J. Sawyer (review)

Title: Flashforward
Author: Robert J. Sawyer
Illustrator: N/A
Pages: 6,433 Kindle locations
Genre: Fiction
Dewey Decimal: F Saw
ISBN: 978-0-7653-2413-9
Cost: $7.75 on Kindle

A while back I picked up Flashforward based on the previews of the ABC television series. And I'm glad I did. But let the reader beware, there are some stumbling points.

First, readers need to know that the book differs from the TV show. And the difference is large. The characters are quite different and the plots and the locations and, well, you get the idea. Granted, I do not know how the TV series will end, but I would guess that it is different than the book.

Second, the book has a tendency to fall into the Star Trek black hole of techno-jargon. There are pages and scenes stuffed into the book that make your head want to explode. Maybe there are physicists out there that enjoy the veracity of the scene (I assume it is all correct), but the general reader is completely lost at times.

Finally, the overall plot is a bit shallow. There are scenes that are good mind you, and there are topics and theories that make you wonder and think about how things could be. I think for me, it was the lack of some important ingredient. I cannot quite put my finger on it, but something was missing. And at times I felt like I was reading a short story that was stretched just a bit to make it a novel.

Now, despite all of these shortfalls, the novel is a decent read. It does not hold water to a lot of the other stories I have read lately, but it was still a fun adventure. I think for me the key was the main idea. What would happen if we all lost consciousness? What would happen if we all got a glimpse of our future? It is this kind of thinking that makes me want more books like this.

So in the end, it was an average read. Nothing too great to scream and holler about, but good enough to keep you entertained. Now it is just a matter of time to see if the TV show can keep up with the book or surpass it.

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Christmas Giveaway

See all of those books? Well, I'm giving them away so keep reading to see how this will work.

I have six books to give away. All of the books I'm sending to you, the reader, are new (except Flash Forward which is close enough). "New" as in I just peeled the stickers off the back from Barnes & Noble.

- Flash Forward by Robert J. Sawyer (mass market paperback, read once)
- Ice, Iron and Gold by S. M. Stirling (mass market paperback, new)
- Shadow's Edge by Brent Weeks (mass market paperback, new)
- Acacia by David Anthony Durham (mass market paperback, new)
- Across the Face of the World by Russell Kirkpatrick (mass market paperback, new)
- The Stepsister Scheme by Jim C. Hines (mass market paperback, new)

This is open to residents of the United States only. I really wish I could include my international readers in the giveaway, but alas, I'm giving until it hurts as it is.

Enter by midnight December 10, 2009. I won't guarantee delivery by Christmas, but I will make every effort to have them in the mail by the 14th. Which means if you win, send me your mailing address quickly.

Enter by leaving a comment below or an @ tweet on Twitter. You can also send mean email (if you know it) with CHRISTMAS GIVEAWAY in the subject line or a TXT (if you know my cell number).

The rest of the books will go to soldiers. So, for each package I send to you the winning reader, I will also be sending a package of books to a soldier overseas (via I'll include the bars of soap you see in the photos as well as any other goodies I can manage (like pillowcases, hand wipes, etc.).

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (review)

Title: A Christmas Carol
Author: Charles Dickens
Illustrator: N/A
Kindle Locations: 1,065
Genre: Fiction
Dewey Decimal: F Dic
Kindle Cost: Free

It has been years, decades even since I have read Dickens. And that being high school, it was something I did not want to do.

So I took it upon myself to brush up a little on this classic Christmas tale before attending the local dinner theater's performance of Scrooge. I am glad that I did as it gave me a little more perspective into all of those other versions out there. Everyone from Marc McDermott to Jim Carey have taken on the role of Ebenezer Scrooge (though George C. Scott is my favorite).

Yet when I finally read the original version from Dickens, it carried a little more weight than the usual movie with cartoons or Muppets. I could see the true story behind it without being blinded by the glitter and glamor of Hollywood.

And with that, I would recommend everyone take a moment and read the story. It is not long and not really difficult to read. In fact, I finished it in just a few days with only a few breaks in between to adjust to the odd grammar.