Tag Archives: sci-fi

Robin Hobb, Art and Horror.

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510-znU+BAL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_I haven’t been here for a while. Thought it was time, especially since I’ve been buying a good deal of excellent books. Working part-time at Waterstones means I have an amazing opportunity to gather as many books as I can carry and bring them into my house and shut the door. Books are more important to me than buying clothes, except I do insist on good quality pyjamas!  So I am going to catch up, show you all the books I’ve been buying and reading, including ones I had to buy for research for my novel! (Cough.) I must talk about Robin Hobb. Some of you may know her already. She’s brilliant!

5141EMwHyfL._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_A lovely lady in my book shop persuaded me to read The Liveship Traders last year. Fantastic rare ships made of sentient wizard wood and the figureheads come alive and speak. (Ooh why didn’t I think of that.) Now that I know the stories better, I would recommend reading The Farseer Trilogy first. Assassin’s Apprentice, Royal Assassin and Assassin’s Quest. The protagonist is Fitz Farseer. I love him! Robin Hobb’s characters are incredible. Her writing ability and her imagination is impressive. I often wonder how she can keep up the momentum of remembering all of her story plots. I bet she gets through a lot of note books! Follow Fitz in the first series as he grows up and  trained as the King’s assassin. Magnificent! The book covers are beautifully illustrated by the talented Jackie Morris.

9783836538350Next. Hieronymus Bosch, published by Taschen. Oh I love this. His work is so incredible and Taschen always prints a very beautiful book. I am inspired when I look at his paintings. If you take a very close look you see not only spiritual and fantastical creatures but some images are truly bizarre and nightmarish. I think Jung and Freud would have liked this. You could have a field day in psychology over these.  No record has been found of the painter and what he believed in or what kind of person he was but apparently his work has been accepted to teach moral and spiritual truth. They are pretty out there for its time. They must have been shocking and he must have been a very interesting man. He’s a mystery. Lovely.

51Xv9C7RvqL._SX337_BO1,204,203,200_ I recently wanted to buy a good Manga book. I really like Manga but I don’t buy it often. I wanted something dark. I got it. Uzumaki, by Junji Ito. A horror story. I read the back. Kurouzu-cho,  a small fogbound town on the coast of Japan is Cursed. I looked inside. Spiral’s everywhere. Frightened and terrified sad faces. Monster’s. People dying horribly. Yes that’ll do. Bought. The drawings are magnificent and a big reason  I chose it. The art is incredibly detailed and this deluxe edition has been printed really well with lovely paper! If you fancy a special piece of Manga horror, then this is one to have. I’m really pleased with it. Thank you very much. On the shelf.

More books coming soon.

 

 

A Year Off to Write. Dyslexia, Jeff Vandemeer and Cornish YA.

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How brilliant is that? A year off to write my Cornish supernatural fantasy, in my own time, at home. I’m pretty lucky. Living in Cornwall is already amazing and being Cornish and having an ancestral history in a folklore saturated land inspires me.

I’m actually hoping the novel writing will be six months, as I’m already halfway through with sixteen chapters down and the last chapter finished, and pieces of chapters to fit into the puzzle. I am now starting to work through the juicy middle bits.

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The last four years I’ve been the ML for the Cornwall NaNoWriMo, (write a novel in a month). Teaching and encouraging writers to just sit and write two thousand words everyday for four weeks. But I’ve decided to forgo my role this year. I have desires to concentrate on finishing this book I’ve been telling everyone about. I’m getting that look now, the ‘when’s this so called book going to be finished?’ But that’s because I’ve been writing this idea for three years. I’ve just finished a Professional Writing MA and it’s taught me the tools to the craft. So I’m re-writing  with a better idea of how to construct all my creative ideas and put the pieces together coherently.

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I’m dyslexic. If I was to put myself on a spectrum? I’m on the ‘it can take me days to see words in the wrong order, spelling, grammar and especially my tense’ bit of spectrumI’ve become a huge re-writer due to having the extra work, and I make no understatement when I say I rake through pages of my writing. I re-adjust words in a sentence like I’m building a stonewall some days. It’s incredibly exciting and I think for every writer, the experience of when it just seems to work first time does actually happen to me too. Don’t be put off by not having that ‘academic background’ as commitment and the creative side can be the essential part of writing something interesting for the reader. Saying that, you have to work on that craft after you’ve got that creative story down. If there is one thing I’ve learnt in the last year as a postgrad student, it’s that a bad sentence stops the reader no matter how good the story. Enjoy and then work on it!

UnknownSo I shall also be hiring an editor. Yay to editors! Get one that suits your writing though. No good having a non-fiction editor for your Sci-Fi book. They might not be into it!

And finally this book, WonderBook by Jeff Vandermeer. Beautifully illustrated by Jeremy Zerfoss. Just thought I’d add it as it’s way to special not too. I use it for planning and avoiding the obvious. This book is so incredible and very inspiring. If you’re a Sci-fi or Fantasy writer, I’d buy this straight away.

Dark, Urban, Supernatural Fantasy Urges.

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About seven years ago I embraced reading like  I was a woman obsessed. At the time, life was testing me. My career had changed direction, and I had a baby and a teenage son. I was single and at home…a lot.

The ‘catch up on the classics’ lightning bolt hit me. Why? I have no idea, just this deep urge to read the books that I had somehow avoided in my wild teenage days.

So Jane Austin’s library was devoured, Wilkie Collins, The Woman in White, Thomas Hardy, Far from the Maddening Crowd, Tess. Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde. Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray, and so on. My favourite? Dorian Grey. Yes, horror, the supernatural.  I remembered,  as a child I wrote horror stories. A deep sense of grounding overcame me, I needed more. More!

One night, as I watched TV, baby in bed, teenage son in his room ( where he now resided full time and survived on food passed through a gap in the door ) a programme came on. True Blood. Memorised, I fell in love. I went straight to the bookshop the next day, bought all of Charlaine Harris, the Sookie Stackhouse, True Blood novels and ate them up. That led to ‘others’. I remember the staff in the bookshop avoided eye contact, a slight distaste on their lips when I bought more and more Dark fantasy. I got the feeling they wanted to put them in brown paper bags and slide them across the counter. But I didn’t care! Ha ha ha ha ha.

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Reading Dark and Urban Fantasy books did more than entertain me, I became happy. I rediscovered a subject I loved. It wasn’t the sex, vampires that lured me, ( only sometimes )  but the stories of the supernatural. The story telling. Folklore, forests, woods, witches and myths. Over time I knew I had to start writing again, I was thirteen when I last wrote like a mad thing, when my new english teacher told me I was rubbish! Don’t ever listen to Mr Sandercock, he’s not up to much!

Well, I’ve learnt something, that it doesn’t matter, it’s all debatable, always someone who isn’t going to like it. So who cares right? The only person that really cares is me and I love it!

It’s never too late to read, to have books in your life. You just have to find a foundation of genre you love. I now read Non-fiction , Science, Bestiaries. YA, anything that interests and inspires me.

But…I will always, deeply be in love with my dark side.

 

More books what I bought…

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Nobrow, Graphic Novel.

 The lovely book itself is a light-hearted and playful exploration of possible theories of the creation of the universe dreamt up by the contributors themselves. The quality of the paper and the binding is truly lovely. If you are a fan of illustration or even books in general, this is a lovely book to have in the library. You can see some examples of the content on the Nobrow website. I have yet to read this, so watch out for the review. It is amazing in the flesh!

“Faery Tales” by carol Ann Duffy

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A stunning gift edition. I bought this mainly for the cover

Faraway lands of wicked witches, evil monsters. Carol Ann Duffy’s stunning collection of fairy tales.

Once upon a time . . . I bought the same book twice!

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Penguins deluxe edition of Emily Bronte’s “Wuthering Heights”.

The problem I have working in a book shop is I see all the new editions and new releases and have to own them. Yes, I already have “Wuthering heights”, but look at that cover!

I shall be back with more delights. I’m just piling them up, until I pounce and devour them all.

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