Tuesday, November 04, 2014

SFFWorld/SF Signal Link Round-up: Mind Meld, ML Brennan Interview, and Reviews of Erin Lindsey and Joe Hill

Not much posting here at the good ol’ blog the last couple of weeks aside from the weekly books in the mail posts. Work has been taking my attention and writing reviews and other posts have taken other parts of my attention. Other posts? Yeah, quite a few posts and reviews I wrote went live over the past week, let’s have a look shall we?

The thing I had the most fun doing, in terms of my genre writing, over the past week or two was my October Mind Meld for SF Signal. This was my fifth mind meld and probably the most successful, in terms of participants (12!) and responses. Participants included Richard Auffrey, ML Brennan, Adam Callaway, Kristin Centorcelli, Teresea Frohock, Jaym Gates, Tim Marquitz, Seanan McGuire, Cesar Torres, Ellen B. Wright, Mercedes M. Yardley, and Mark Yon. I asked them this question:

Which novel / writer / movie, that wasn’t specifically a horror novel/writer/movie, spooked you the most?

For this week’s panelists, a double-edged question was asked about a writer/book who/that evoked that emotion of fear. Not a horror writer/novel (for example not Stephen King), but perhaps an Epic Fantasy Novel, Science Fiction story, or Military novel where you found parts of it scary/creepy. To the point you might think to yourself, “I’d love to see a straight-out horror novel from this writer!”

Speaking of ML, Brennan, I posted a great interview with ML Brennan to SFFWorld, author of the Generation V novels. I’ve got the first and third and I hope to get to them soon.


Last week, I posted two reviews to SFFWorld. One was Erin Lindsey’s The Bloodbound the third novel by her (the other two she wrote as E.L. Tettensor), but the first under the Erin Lindsey name. I liked this one very much and hope to see more about these characters.


The majority of the novel is told from Alix’s point of view, with some scenes through her King’s eyes. Alix comes across as an honest, almost-too-good-for-her-own-good protagonist torn between duty and passion. She finds her passion and romantic feelings for her closest companion Liam growing, so she acts upon it. The thing that throws a monkey-wrench into their relationship is the king himself. Rather, Alix acting as headstrong as ever; she goes against the orders of her superior Allan Green and breaks formation to save the King’s life. He wakes to find Alix draped over her. That physical interaction leads to more emotional interaction between the two.

As a couple of reviewers pointed out, there’s a strong similarity to Elizabeth Moon’s Paksenarrion novels. One, this is a good thing because I enjoy Elizabeth Moon’s writing very much. Two, this shouldn’t be a surprise when one realizes they share the same agent.*

On Friday, as part of my sort-of-series of Halloween readings, I posted a review of Joe Hill’s Horns, a dark novel that just helped to cement Joe’s status as a top tier writer for me. At this point, I’m not sure how objective I can be about his writing.


Of the stories, novels, and comics Joe Hill has written in his relatively short career, perhaps the least likely to make it to the screen first is his second novel, Horns. This isn’t a comment on the quality of the novel (because it is an excellent dark fantastic tale), but rather the premise that launches the plot as well as the nonlinear fashion of the novel. First, let’s get that premise out of the way. About a year after his girlfriend Merrin is raped and murdered, Ig Perrish wakes one morning with horns sprouting out of his head. The horns grant him a power not many people would like: people are compelled to speak their darkest truths to him and compelled to act upon his direction.

Joe keeps a strong vein of hopefulness in the narrative. Horns in narrative approach reminded me a great deal of the landmark Alan Moore/Dave Gibbons graphic novel Watchmen. Both stories have a core of a murder mystery, with the murder victim dead prior to the “present” of the novel. As such, those murdered characters (The Comedian in Watchmen and Merrin here in Horns) are a large cloud over the narrative whose past is revealed through flashbacks.

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