Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Aliens, Assassins, and a new Arena

My latest review, Fleet of Worlds by Larry Niven and Edward M. Lerner is now up at SFFWorld. This was my introduction to Niven's Ringworld saga, as well as his novel-length fiction. I liked it quite a bit, have others read this and I'm interested to read how it stacks up against his other fiction, both the Ringworld novels and others.

Another very good book I just finished was Steven Brust's most recent Vlad Taltos novel, Dzur. I've been following Brust's witch-assasin and dragon-like familiar since Ace books decided to repackage his early novels in a few nifty omnibus volumes. It has been a few years since I last read one of the Vlad Taltos novels (Issola, to be precise) and I nearly forgot how much fun I have listening to Vlad, er rather Brust, tell me stories.

Brust is a solid writer who should be getting more recognition and deserves a larger readership. When I read The Lies of Locke Lamora last year that something about Lynch's writing reminded me of Brust, not surpising considering both writer's protagonists are known for prodigiously sticking knives in people. That connection came even more strong after reading Dzur. So I can only HIGHLY recommend that people check out Brust's Taltos novels while waiting for the next Lynch book, starting with The Book Of Jhereg (the first Taltos omnibus) or Jhereg (the first Taltos novel).

Brust has acknowledged that his writing was influenced by Roger Zelazny and is an admitted fan of the legend's writing. Much of the plot Zelazny' Amber stories takes place through the conversations of the story's characters, Brust's Taltos novels are as well.

Outside of the Vlad Taltos novels, Brust "reimagined" Satan's revolt in Heaven in the entertaining To Reign in Hell. Brust also wrote a very well received vampire novel, Agyar as well as a collaboration with Emma Bull and one with Megan Lindholm.

Though not explicitly part of the Vlad Taltos series, Brust wrote a few books that take place in the Dragaeran empire, which is the setting for the Taltos novels. Collectively, these are known as the Khaavren Romances and are comprised of The Phoenix Guards, Five Hundred Years After, and The Viscount of Adrilankha, (published in three volumes: The Paths of the Dead, The Lord of Castle Black, and Sethra Lavode).

Like I said, Brust has been writing for a while and should definitely not be lost in the shuffle (so to speak) of all the new emerging writers.

For more information check out his Wikipedia entry.

I enjoyed my first NJ Devils game at the new Prudential Center on Friday. It, of course, didn't hurt that the Devils won 4-0 and Zach Parise got a Hat Trick. The arena is great looking, easy to get to via train and a VAST improvement over the Meadowlands. The seats are a bit small, but the design of everything, the Red/Black color scheme, and stylish concourse/entrance is really awesome.

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