joshuapalmatier: VacantThrone (Default)
So, the "Last Hurrah!" signing has come and gone. *sigh* With it came, of course, SNOW! We have had no snow so far this winter. The forecast did not call for snow (I checked the night before). And yet, the day of the signing, after everyone managed to arrive from their various locations . . . it began to snow. With accumulation. *headdesk* But I think a fun and jolly time was had by all and we managed to sell a few books, even though the "crowd" at the mall was not as significant as it might have been on a Saturday. Thanks to everyone who ventured forth and came to see us! And of course to those who purchased books from us. We only gift-wrapped a few, but for those of you who missed us, the bookstore still has signed copies, as you can see in the display:





If you'd like to grab some of those signed copies, give the bookstore a call at (607) 798-7452 and they can get them shipped out to you! But hurry. Since the bookstore is closing, some of those books are going to be stripped *gasp* and sent back WITHIN THE NEXT FEW DAYS!!! So save the books! They're much more entertaining than whales AND they fit on your bookshelves!

We had lots of fun, as I said, and we have some pics to prove it. Here we have the pimp bear:





Followed by me being good to my fans:




***




Here are some of the group author photos, minus Barbara Campbell and Anton Strout, who bailed because of the weather (they wanted to get home before it got really nasty):




***




And lastly, the co-editors of the upcoming After Hours: Tales From the Ur-Bar anthology, being . . . well, co-editors:



joshuapalmatier: VacantThrone (Default)
Everything in this book--the length of the scenes, the quick jumps from character to character, the way the scenes are structured--is designed to make the book MOVE! And that's the sense you get from the very first page. The pace is fast, with multiple plot threads to follow through multiple characters, all woven together and meshing by the end. In fact, the entire first two-thirds of the book is really one long scene, with every twist and turn you could think of (and some you didn't) coming into play.





The Burning Skies is the sequel to The Mirrored Heavens and pretty much picks up four days after the events in the first book. I'd suggest you read the first book before diving into this one, or the action won't make a whole lot of sense. The terrorist group Autumn Rain continues to harass the world, this time on the Europa Platform, a neutral territory that contains New Zurich and New London . . . along with a safe house for the U.S. President. And that's the target: the President. And who is loyal and who isn't as the fighting escalates is what drives most of the tension throughout the novel.

And this is also the book's major drawback: the question as to who is doing what for what reason and why makes it nearly impossible to know who's "good" and who's "bad." I didn't know who to root for, and the twists and turns became so convoluted that I ended up simply sitting back and not trying to figure out who was doing what to whom. Part of the problem was that the twists and turns were so numerous, but another part of the problem was how David J. Williams kept the motivations, etc, hidden by having oblique references to what was really going on at the end of a scene before jumping to another POV character. This has the effect of increasing the tension . . . but also the confusion because there is never a straightforward answer to all of the many questions. And when it's used too much, it can get annoying.

So, in the end, it was an enjoyable ride, but it would have been MORE enjoyable if I'd known who to root for and had been able to follow all of the twists and turns. Will I buy the third book (titled The Machinery of Light I believe, coming in May 2010)? Yes. I'm definitely intrigued by the story, the world that David has created, and the outcome of all of the twists and turns. There's some spectacular worldbuilding here, and some interesting characters.
joshuapalmatier: VacantThrone (Default)
Hey, Christmas is right around the corner! Do you need some cool books to buy for that booklover? Books they might not have seen or read yet? Are they waiting impatiently (like all of us) for that next Jordan/Sanderson or Martin fantasty to hit the shelves? Well give them some damn good fantasy to read while they wait! Here's a reminder about the signing, and also a list of great fantasy novels fans could use to wile away some of those cold winter evenings. Check them out! You might just find a brand new author who can knock your socks off!


The "Last Hurrah!" Signing


Waldenbooks @ The Oakdale Mall
Reynolds Rd., Binghamton, NY
December 5th, 2009
Noon-4pm
Gift-wrapping available!
Featuring:
Patricia Bray; S.C. Butler
Barbara Campbell; Laura Anne Gilman
Jackie Kessler; Joshua Palmatier
Anton Strout


And if you aren't certain what books are up for grabs, here's a list of all of our books in print and available through the store:

Patricia Bray: The Sword of Change series: Devlin's Luck, Devlin's Honor, Devlin's Justice; The Chronicles of Josan series: The First Betrayal, The Sea Change, The Final Sacrifice

S.C. Butler: The Stoneways Trilogy: Reiffen's Choice, Queen Ferris, The Magicians' Daughter

Barbara Campbell: The Trickster's Game series: Heartwood, Bloodstone, Foxfire

Laura Anne Gilman: The Retrievers series: Staying Dead, Curse the Dark, Bring It On, Burning Bridges, Free Fall, Blood From Stone; The Vineart War series: Flesh and Fire

Jackie Kessler: Hell on Earth series: Hell's Belles, The Road to Hell, Hotter Than Hell; Black and White (with Caitlin Kittredge)

Joshua Palmatier: The Throne of Amenkor Trilogy: The Skewed Throne, The Cracked Throne, The Vacant Throne

Anton Strout: The Simon Canderous series: Dead To Me, Deader Still
joshuapalmatier: VacantThrone (Default)
So, today I ended up spending the entire day preparing the guest floor for . . . well, guests. Tomorrow, my brother and his wife will be arriving, probably late, followed by my mother on Friday. (We're having the family Thanksgiving on Saturday.) This required that change the sheets on the guest bed and then move a bunch of the furniture and plants around so that my mom has something to sleep on in a somewhat private area, since the fourth floor is all one big open space with bookshelves sort of sectioning things off. So I started moving things. But moving plants usually means things fall off of the plants, such as dead leaves and blossoms. More things than you would imagine the plant could be carrying in the first place. So this required the vacuum cleaner. I'd move, rearrange, then vacuum that spot. Then move, rearrange, and vacuum another spot. Etc. Then I'd return to the first spot and see that the plants had managed to drop more material onto the floor. This prompted me to attack the plant and remove as much material as possible from the stems and branches and whatever (which put even more stuff on the floor) and then vacuum.

Which of course led to the idea that I needed to vacuum the entire floor. So after everything was moved and the plants rearranged, I vacuumed everything. But one of the plants must have oozed some kind of sap or something, because the floor near where it used to be was sticky. So I got down on my hands and knees and scrubbed the floor. This appears to have made the stickiness worse. I've abandoned this sticky project for now.

But since I'd vacuumed, I felt the need to dust. So I started dusting. I'm not a duster, especially with as many bookcases as I have, so dusting didn't last long, but I did hit all of the major non-bookcase furniture.

This dusting/vacuuming idea led to general cleaning and rearranging and the putting out of all of the food I'd bought that isn't in the refrigerator in preparation for tomorrow. Because what am I doing tomorrow instead of writing? I'm going to cook whatever I possibly can make ahead of time. This may include the first ever apply pie, some pumpkin-shaped cheesecakes with Oreo cookie crumb bases, and some dips. I really think I need to make the dips because dips generally taste better if they'd had some time to sit and flavor. I'm going to make 4 dips: my famous artichoke dip, bacon-bacon dip, beau monde dip (a holiday tradition), and a spicy dip I can't remember the name of currently.

In the meantime, my partner is going to make our own Thanksgiving meal. And sometime late tomorrow, my brother and his wife will arrive and all of the festivities will begin.
joshuapalmatier: VacantThrone (Default)
Today is the LAST CHANCE for you to order your signed copies of books by seven fantasy authors from our Waldenbooks signing!! If you'd like signed copies for yourself or as a gift for someone for the holidays, just send an email to April, the manager of the Waldenbooks, at fireun3@gmail.com or call the bookstore at (607) 798-7452 with the titles of the books you'd like, how you'd like them signed, where to send them, and then if you'd like the gift wrapped by the authors. The shipping will be free. Or, if you live close enough to Binghamton, NY, you can come to the signing and meet the authors and pick up the books yourself! Here's the info on the signing:


The "Last Hurrah!" Signing


Waldenbooks @ The Oakdale Mall
Reynolds Rd., Binghamton, NY
December 5th, 2009
Noon-4pm
Gift-wrapping available!
Featuring:
Patricia Bray; S.C. Butler
Barbara Campbell; Laura Anne Gilman
Jackie Kessler; Joshua Palmatier
Anton Strout


And if you aren't certain what books are up for grabs, here's a list of all of our books in print and available through the store:

Patricia Bray: The Sword of Change series: Devlin's Luck, Devlin's Honor, Devlin's Justice; The Chronicles of Josan series: The First Betrayal, The Sea Change, The Final Sacrifice

S.C. Butler: The Stoneways Trilogy: Reiffen's Choice, Queen Ferris, The Magicians' Daughter

Barbara Campbell: The Trickster's Game series: Heartwood, Bloodstone, Foxfire

Laura Anne Gilman: The Retrievers series: Staying Dead, Curse the Dark, Bring It On, Burning Bridges, Free Fall, Blood From Stone; The Vineart War series: Flesh and Fire

Jackie Kessler: Hell on Earth series: Hell's Belles, The Road to Hell, Hotter Than Hell; Black and White (with Caitlin Kittredge)

Joshua Palmatier: The Throne of Amenkor Trilogy: The Skewed Throne, The Cracked Throne, The Vacant Throne

Anton Strout: The Simon Canderous series: Dead To Me, Deader Still

And there you go! A long list of great books to browse from. I hope to see you at the signing, but if you can't make it, definitely send April a message with what books you'd be interested in.
joshuapalmatier: VacantThrone (Default)
I'd like to announce the sekrit projekt that Patricia Bray and I have been dancing around and hinting at for the past few months: an anthology sale! DAW Books, through Tekno, has officially bought the rights to an SF&F anthology called AFTER HOURS: TALES FROM THE UR-BAR, to be edited by Joshua Palmatier and Patricia Bray. This is an invitation-only anthology and is NOT open to . . . well, open submissions. The invitations have already been sent. Here's the mini-description of the anthology and the types of stories that it will contain:

The first bar, created by the Sumerians after they were given the gift of beer by the gods, was known as the Ur-Bar. Although it has since been destroyed, its spirit lives on--in each age there is one bar that captures the essence of the original Ur-Bar, where drinks are mixed with magic and served with a side of destiny and intrigue. Heroes, villains, poets and thieves may be found within its walls; when the gods visit Earth they stop by the Ur-Bar for a drink.

The entire idea occurred during drinks at a convention among a group of great authors, and for once we wrote the idea down and sold it. The due date is summer 2010, so the best guess for a release date is sometime in 2011. We'll keep you posted when that becomes final, and also when the table of contents has been finalized.

I'm really excited about this. I get to be an editor! It adds something new to my publishing credentials, and I get to work with a bunch of great authors. And guess where all of the anthology meetings are going to be held? *grin*
joshuapalmatier: VacantThrone (Default)
This is a reminder about the signing at the Waldenbooks at the Oakdale Mall in Johnson City, NY, on December 5th from Noon-4pm. But it's more than that. I want to emphasize that you don't have to be there to get the signed books! The manager of the store is willing to arrange shipment of signed books to you, personalized and even gift wrapped if you'd like. All you have to do is contact April, the manager, by email at fireun3@gmail.com or called the bookstore at (607) 798-7452 to make the arrangements. There's no shipping cost and you can make arrangements for the payment with them. BUT YOU NEED TO CALL BEFORE THANKSGIVING!!! So you've only got a few days.

Now, if you CAN make the signing, great! A reminder: FREE GIFT WRAPPING!! By authors who may (or may not) know anything about gift wrapping!! That, in and of itself, will be a blast. *grin* I'm sure we'll also have some candy and other freebies to give away.

Here are the details of the signing if you think you can make it. Keep in mind that Christmas is inching ever closer. Ask yourself who on your gift list might enjoy some great fantasy novels! Signed even!


The "Last Hurrah!" Signing


Waldenbooks @ The Oakdale Mall
Reynolds Rd., Binghamton, NY
December 5th, 2009
Noon-4pm
Gift-wrapping available!
Featuring:
Patricia Bray; S.C. Butler
Barbara Campbell; Laura Anne Gilman
Jackie Kessler; Joshua Palmatier
Anton Strout


And if you aren't certain what books are up for grabs, here's a list of all of our books in print and available through the store:

Patricia Bray: The Sword of Change series: Devlin's Luck, Devlin's Honor, Devlin's Justice; The Chronicles of Josan series: The First Betrayal, The Sea Change, The Final Sacrifice

S.C. Butler: The Stoneways Trilogy: Reiffen's Choice, Queen Ferris, The Magicians' Daughter

Barbara Campbell: The Trickster's Game series: Heartwood, Bloodstone, Foxfire

Laura Anne Gilman: The Retrievers series: Staying Dead, Curse the Dark, Bring It On, Burning Bridges, Free Fall, Blood From Stone; The Vineart War series: Flesh and Fire

Jackie Kessler: Hell on Earth series: Hell's Belles, The Road to Hell, Hotter Than Hell; Black and White (with Caitlin Kittredge)

Joshua Palmatier: The Throne of Amenkor Trilogy: The Skewed Throne, The Cracked Throne, The Vacant Throne

Anton Strout: The Simon Canderous series: Dead To Me, Deader Still

And there you go! A long list of great books to browse from. I hope to see you at the signing, but if you can't make it, definitely send April a message with what books you'd be interested in. Help support good booksellers! Us authors can't survive without them!
joshuapalmatier: VacantThrone (Default)
This is a movie review of 2012 which, as some seem to think, has actually already come out and does NOT come out in 2012. *grin*

First, before I say anything, you must realize that in such movies the first thing you have to do is turn off your scientific and "realistic" mind. I knew this going to the theater and so spent some time turning off that part of my mind (some would say years; decades even).

Now, brain off . . . the movie was great! The science sucked or was glossed over entirely, but of course that doesn't matter because what this group of producers/directors/etc are good at is building a story around all of the events. They did "Day After Tomorrow" and I liked that movie (even though the reason everything gets frozen is totally wrong scientifically). Because the movie was about the father journeying to find his son. This time, the story is a father who's trying to connect to his kids after a divorce. And that was a good story. There were a bunch of side stories as well, but that was the main thread, who we follow through the entire movie.

I was concerned going into this that there would be issues with the destruction of the world and the story because, seriously, you can destroy the world in 20 minutes, so what do you do with the characters (and still keep it interesting visually with destruction) for the other 2 hours and 20 minutes. But they handled the destruction of the world well. It doesn't happen all at once. And the reason it doesn't happen all at once actually makes sense. So all of those disaster sequences you see in the previews? They don't happen all at once. And no, the main character and his family aren't there for all of the disasters (those are why side characters are for after all).

I also have to say that more of the characters in the main group die than I expected. And not in ways I fully expected. I mean, some characters you just know are slated for death the moment they come on the screen. But that wasn't the case here. Some could have saved themselves easily but chose not to (and not necessarily in some altruistic "I'll sacrifice myself to save everyone else" gesture either). Others were just stupid at the wrong moment. Others did exactly what everyone would have done at that moment and died anyway. I give the writers credit for not sticking to the cliche in every moment (although they did for quite a few moments, don't get me wrong). There was also a sense of "we know we're making a Hollywood version of a disaster movie" nudge-nudge as well. Lots of "tongue-in-cheek" ironic moments during the destruction and such.

In the end, I liked the movie. I had fun, and that's what this type of movie is all about. I was on the edge of my seat for quite a few moments, caught up in the story. And sure, I nudged Patricia with my elbow during corny moments, or rolled my eyes at her during really unscientific moments, but I also laughed out loud or snorted and chuckled in glee at times. It's a popcorn movie. If you go with that in mind, then you'll have a blast.

And the moral of the story? Don't be a pilot. You save everyone at the last possible moment . . . but eventually you die.
joshuapalmatier: VacantThrone (Default)
And LO! you can preorder Die Kaempferin from Amazon.de! Bwahahahahaha! It doesn't come out until June 2010, but still. That cover still gets me. Hopefully, it will get the general customers when it hits the shelf as well and they'll go back and buy the first two books as well as the third one and then I become an international bestselling author!!!! Or something. *grin*



joshuapalmatier: VacantThrone (Default)
Well, on stage. Yesterday, Patricia Bray and Tom and I (after spending the morning teaching) hopped into a car, drove to Beacon, caught a train, got off in NYC at Grand Central Station, wandered the city for a while, ate at Bobby Flay's "Bar Americain," meandered to the Schoenfeld Theater, immediately got in and seated, saw the play "A Steady Rain," starring Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig, nearly bid $7000 for their sweaty t-shirts after the show (for charity of course), realized we couldn't catch the 10:17 train so hit a bar, caught the 11:12 train back to the car, and drove home, arriving back in Binghamton around 3am.

It was exhausting. And loads of fun.

The trip to NYC was interesting for a variety of reasons. First, the catchphrase of the car trip was "Pay No Attention To My Tongue." No explanation needed. Then we hit the train. This is the first time I've ever been on a train, which confounded Patricia to the point where she actually didn't know now to respond. I got the blank open-mouthed stare. On the train, we saw an old, ruined building on an island just off the tracks, which was the highlight of the train trip, not even superceded by the man wearing a hospital gown and plastic bracelet who kept asking everyone for spare change. The general opinion was that the people seated next to us on the train wanted to kill us because we wouldn't shut up. We wanted to kill the couple two seats in front of us that really should have gotten a room.

We hit Grand Central, which I've never been in either. Very cool. Why do we not make buildings like this anymore? We had a few spare minutes, so we wandered in the general direction of "Bar Americain," by way of Rockefeller Center. The tree is up, but covered with scaffolding as they decorate it. I was also accosted, a man asking me for change. Twice. We hit the restaurant a little early, but were seated right away.

And then the judges of Top Chef emerged from deep within us. We ordered. I got a few appetizers--pumpkin soup and johnny cakes with pull porked and cranberry sauce--and a side of Brooklyn hash browns. The pumpkin soup was excellent, as well as the hash browns. The johnny cakes were a huge disappointment because every bite tasted solely of cranberry sauce. I never tasted pork or the johnny cakes. *sigh* We also ordered an appetizer to share, a bacon pizza that was good although the taste of the cheese tasted off to me with all of the others flavors. However, Patricia's chicken was good, as well as Tom's salmon. And his sweet potato gratin was excellent. I liked the mayo that they provided for the fries that Patricia ordered, but the fries were . . . well, fries. Nothing special. We hit the desserts (chocolate cream pie for me, and blackberry souffle for Tom; Patricia scrounged from us) which were to die for, and then it was time to head to the theater.

Stuffed, we hit the street, meandered down to the theater, catching the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building along the way, as well as Bryant Park. When we reached the theater, they were letting the line in to be seated, so we found our seats and then waited impatiently for the show to start. We were reminded repeatedly to shut off our cell phones and that no pictures were allowed AT ALL. We chatted with the woman seated next to me, who'd come up from Virginia and said she didn't care what the show was about, she wanted to see Hugh and Daniel and she'd brought her binoculars, which she then produced. We then discussed the bare-chested high-points of numerous movies for both men. We also noted that the audience was definitely skewed toward the younger age group, and that there were quite a few women present.

And then the show started. It was a good show. I got caught up in it, in the two characters, in the story and the relationship between the two cops and how it was changing. Very good writing. I know that they're getting slammed by the critics and I'm not sure why. I thought it was a great play. I haven't seen many, but the writing was great and both actors were good. I thought Daniel Craig was better in his role than Hugh Jackman, but Hugh was great as well.

When the show ended, they thanked us all, saying that this was the first show they'd gotten through where no cell phone had gone off. (I doubt this, but I know that the cell phones have been a huge issue at this show.) And then they auctioned off their t-shirts. The maximum of any previous show was $11,000 for both shirts, signed and dated. I nearly bid on the shirts when it reached $7,000, simply because it was obvious that one of the bidders was willing to go much higher, but someone else beat me to it. It then became a bidding war between the two, reaching $11,000. At that point, Hugh and Daniel made an offer: They give each bidder two shirts, signed and dated, for $10,000 each. So our show hit a new high for the "Broadway Cares" charity last night. They had signed playbills for $60, signed posters for $300, and you could get a signed picture with them backstage for $2000. I should have gone for the picture backstage. It would have been a cool reminder of the whole experience. Instead, I went a got a key chain handcuffs souvenir and donated some money to the general pot.

We'd missed the train back so had an hour to kill, which we did by drinking. Then we caught the train, picked up the car, and I made a valiant effort to keep Patricia awake on the drive home, although I wasn't that successful. She stayed awake, but I hit points where I was seriously trying to nod off. She and Tom dropped me off at about 3am and I immediately crashed. BUT, I woke up around 7:30am and didn't feel like I'd fall back asleep right away, so I went to the gym like I usually do on Saturday morning. Yes, on about 4 hours of sleep, I spent 2.5 hours at the gym.

But it felt good, especially considering how much I ate the night before. *grin*
joshuapalmatier: VacantThrone (Default)
So, tomorrow, after teaching, I will rush home so that Patricia Bray and Tom can pick me up, whence we will drive to Beacon and catch a train into NYC. Our plans? We will dine in splendor at Bobby Flay's Bar Americain, and then proceed to the play "A Steady Rain" starring Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig. What's that you ask? Will I be paying attention to the play? Umm . . . probably not. *grin*

I also learned today that DAW mailed the new contracts to me on November 10th. I have yet to see them. The post office is full of FAIL. If I don't have them by Monday, they're going to resend them, but still. This isn't the first time I haven't received something from DAW through the mail. It's somewhat suspicious and definitely annoying.

In other news, ANOTHER contract is supposed to be on the way as well. Once that's signed, I'll be able to announce the sekrit project that both me and Patricia Bray have been teasing everyone about for months.
joshuapalmatier: VacantThrone (Default)
So . . . apparently Thanksgiving is going to be held at my house this year. Who knew?

Actually, I offered to host it awhile ago, but it didn't seem like it was going to happen . . . and now suddenly it is. Which is fine, it's not like Thanksgiving is tomorrow or anything. And actually my brother can't make it down until the Saturday after Thanksgiving, so we'll be holding the holiday then. I have never cooked a turkey. But it turns out that we don't usually have turkey for Thanksgiving. Apparently, all these years, we've had either a roasting chicken (for the big family events) or individual capons or guinea hens or something (for the smaller get-togethers). So that's easy then. I was getting all ready to make the menu and do the shopping, but talking to my mom on the phone tonight I have discovered that most of the ingredients have already been purchased or canned by her earlier in the year. Olives (both green and black)? Bought. Potatoes? Bought. Green beans for cassarole? Canned. Pickled cauliflower? Canned (and yummy). Apple pie? Well, I guess I'd better learn how to make pie. Roasting chicken? Hmm . . . I guess I do have to buy that. Artichoke dip that is to die for? Got everything for that already. *grin*

So, hosting Thanksgiving for me, my mom, my brother and his wife, and my partner. Can anyone say stress?
joshuapalmatier: VacantThrone (Default)
DAW’s 30th Anniversary Anthology: Science Fiction

Edited by Elizabeth Wollheim and Sheila Gilbert

Introduction by Betsy Wollheim and Sheila Gilbert: Normally I don’t find much of value in the introduction except perhaps the initial idea behind the anthology (which I then use to judge whether or not the authors stuck to that idea, deviated from it, or did something incredibly cool and unexpected with it). This time, though, the introduction actually gives you some incredibly interesting history on how DAW came to be and how it got to where it is right now, with Betsy and Sheila as editors. Perhaps this is more interesting to me than it would be to others, since I’m a DAW author myself, but I honestly think this introduction is as interesting, or more interesting, than some of the stories in the anthology (no offense to those authors). I’d definitely suggest reading it.

The Home Front by Brian Stableford: This is kind of an economic story actually, set in the future. The world is being terrorized biologically speaking and we fight back using . . . potatoes. That makes the story sound silly and it’s much more serious than that, and in the end the story isn’t really about terrorism but how we as humans behave and react to terrorism (especially the biological kind, which can’t really be seen). An interesting story.

Aboard the Beatitude by Brian W. Aldiss: OK, I have to admit that I . . . didn’t get this story. The Beatitude is a FTL ship and the story seems to be exploring some of the affects that FTL might induce on the crew and such. There are also some ambiguous moral issues brought up, since the crew of the ship needs exorbitant amounts of energy to work and it gets that energy by destroying worlds it passes in its flight, some of which are inhabited. But in the end, I just didn’t get the intent behind this story. It’s probably just that I’m not the reader it was intended for.

Odd Job #213 by Ron Goulart: This story was simply fun! The idea is that two private investigators are hired by an android cat to find out what happened to its maker. Hilarity ensues in a tongue-in-cheek kind of serious way. However, reading this story I got the impression that the story wasn’t really meant for the short form and that it should have been developed more. I would like to have seen this as a novel. (And as an aside, there are books out there now, not by Ron Goulart, that are in the same vein as this story.)

Agamemnon’s Run by Robert Sheckley: This was an interesting story about unnamed aliens that get us humans to act out old battles, myths, etc. We’re supposed to follow the “history” if we’re chosen to be one of the participants, especially the “named” participants, like Agamemnon. But they also like it if we can figure out how to change the outcomes. The idea was interesting, but I’m not sure that the story worked as a whole for me. It felt like it needed a little more development.

Grubber by Neal Barrett, Jr.: This story was incredibly interesting, starting off with an alien creature. We end up experiencing this creatures growth to adulthood, through their rather alien eyes. Because of this, it’s a little hard to get into at first, because we’re seeing things through those alien eyes, but as you read you settle into the new perspective. A great story, in my opinion.

The Sandman, the Tinman, and the Bettyb by C.J. Cherryh: And this was another great story. It begins with a man (the Sandman) alone on a ship watching a part of space that has little to no action in general. Of course, action ensues. It’s not “end of the universe” action—an ancient missile fired eons ago is heading toward a space station—but it doesn’t need to be for a short story. The efforts to stop the missile by the people that most of those on the station have forgotten or could care less about is spectacular.

The Big Picture by Timothy Zahn: This was also a good story, about a man on a space station whose friend went “undercover” on the planet below and subsequently vanished. A reporter shows up to find out what happened. An interesting twist in the end, but it’s more about the man and his interactions with the reporter that are interesting to me.

A Home for the Old Ones by Frederik Pohl: This story is obviously set in the world the Pohl created for his books, and there are some assumptions that the reader has already had a background in that universe. I haven’t read that, but the story was still enjoyable. My only problem with it is that it didn’t feel like it ended. I felt like this was a scene or backstory for something that happened in the previous books that those who’ve read it would be interested in and would see where it “fit” into that universe . . . but for someone like me who hasn’t read the previous stuff . . . it just doesn’t feel whole.

Not With a Whimper, Either by Tad Williams: An interesting story here that will make you look at your computer and your chat sessions and IMs and boards and such in a different light. I generally like Tad Williams’ work and this was no exception. It’s written entirely as a chat session on a board between . . . well, geeks . . . and something else. It takes a little while to get used to the format and such, but definitely an enjoyable read.

The Black Wall of Jerusalem by Ian Watson: This one got off to a rocky start for me. The first few sections were just confusing and I couldn’t get into the story. But then it settled and I found myself wondering about this Black Wall and such. The group and the main character of the story ended up being much more interesting than I’d originally thought, and the idea behind the Black Wall also intriguing. I felt there could be more done with this Wall . . . and what was behind it.

Station Ganymede by Charles L. Harness: This story was instantly engaging, with a father and son conflict being played out on a station investigating and doing research over Jupiter. The science was interesting, if a little “soft” in some aspects. The action was predictable (I could see the shape of the story once the key element was introduced) but it was still highly enjoyable. And the relationship changes in the two main characters were perfect, I thought.

Downtime by C.S. Friedman: An intensely interesting story, with an idea regarding where our near future society could be going with some of our technology that’s both subtly horrifying and instantly controversial. I like the fact that C.S. Friedman presents us with both sides of the controversy and idea and, in the end, doesn’t leave us with a nice solid “answer” to the problem. You can see both sides of the human element to the science—why some would hate and fear the technology and the laws that surround it, and others (those on the receiving end) would . . . well, at least appreciate it. I can see this as something our society may have to contend with shortly. Although I’m not sure that the laws in the story that arise around the technology would actually get passed by us. I guess we’ll see, won’t we?

Burning Bridges by Charles Ingrid: This story takes us to a new world and culture and is really a kind of spy/action story, the main character attempting to clear a blood debt, although he’s being forced into it by some rather nasty individuals. The real question is who’s playing who, and who really has the upper hand. Based on the intro, this is set in a world that readers of Charles Ingrid will recognize. Perhaps they’d recognize the main character as well. I haven’t read any of Charles Ingrid’s novels, so this was a brand new world for me, and I found it intriguing. In fact, when I finished, I announced to the world in general that, “I think I’ll have to get some of Charles Ingrid’s books.” *grin* I’d certainly like to learn more about this world.

Words by Cheryl J. Franklin: I’ve never read anything by Cheryl J. Franklin, although I think I have one of her books on my TBR stack. So this was my first introduction to her writing. This is a story about an unsocial security systems specialist who helps out the police and on one particular case she is forced to be a little more social than normal when she takes in the victim’s cat. It’s a nice story with a rather uneasy commentary on how we view our own pets . . . and perhaps how they view us.

Read Only Memory by eluki bes shahar: I’ve never read anything by this author either and by the intro it seems this story is an introduction to the world she uses in her books. Some of the references I didn’t get, but the story itself was easy to follow. Essentially, the main character is drawn into middle of a dangerous game of power and archeology over an artifact called a Library. But the books in this Library aren’t what they seem . . . and neither is the main character.

Sunseeker by Kate Elliott: This story is set in the Jaran universe, although it’s set on Earth. The base story is about a solar ship called the Sunseeker and the group of spoiled young adults from various wealthy families that travel around in it for promotional purposes for the solar array that powers it. But when the ship lands to see an archeological site, it’s attacked. But the REAL story is about one of the young adults and her relationship with her father.

The Heavens Fall by S. Andrew Swann: This is a rather interesting story about a form of punishment called “empathy treatment” that, in the near future, is used to punish convicted criminals. The idea is to force them to relive their victim’s last moments as if they were the victim themselves. Of course, this punishment has some flaws and in this particular story goes horribly wrong. A nice cautionary tale about a seemingly simple and “harmless” technology and how it could be misused.

Passage to Shola by Lisanne Norman: I’ve never read anything by Lisanne Norman and this story introduces you to her world. The main characters are actually aliens here, with Humans being a minority species, with the ability to psychically bond to other alien species. In this story, a bonded Human and alien at the teen age are being transported to a new city by the main character . . . and things go horribly wrong when their ship is hijacked by a vicious—and hungry—alien.

Prism by Julie E. Czerneda: This is another story in which the main character is an alien so far removed from human that, at times, it can be hard to understand and follow her. Julie E. Czerneda is very good at getting across the alien-ness though, probably because of her biological background. Here, we meet two bizarre alien creatures, although the real story is about one of the creatures growing from childhood to the beginnings of adulthood.

Overall, I thought this anthology was stronger than the companion fantasy anthology I’ve already reviewed. I’ve bolded the two titles that I thought were the strongest in this anthology, but I have to say that nearly all of the stories were interesting and well-written. One of the strongest of the DAW anthologies I’ve read so far.
joshuapalmatier: VacantThrone (Default)
Patricia Bray and I just went to see this movie, starring George Clooney, Ewan McGregor, Kevin Spacey, and goats. I thought it was a great, fun movie, with lots of in jokes regarding SF and the SF/geek world. Lots and lots of lines and situations that made both Patricia and I totally crack up. Based on the reaction of the other people in the theater though . . . we were enjoying it far more than they were. I'm sure a good chunk of them were wondering what we were laughing about. And I really think it came down to the fact that we were SF geeks and SF writers, so knew all of the references and innuendos, probably at their deepest levels.

Was it a spectacular movie? No. Was it fun? Yes. Much slapping of the head, shaking of the head, smiling, and genuine laughter. The SF group out there will likely enjoy it more than most. Waste of time? Definitely not. After yesterday's little adventure in signing, this was a nice little relaxer. *grin*

AND THERE WERE GOATS!!!
joshuapalmatier: VacantThrone (Default)
So, the signing yesterday was a complete disaster for the most part, having nothing to do with us, the authors, or the bookstore itself.

Basically what happened was, we get to the bookstore. The books are out, tables set up, CRM there to greet us, etc. We settled into the store, all of the authors arriving, and start the selling. At first, it looks like it's going to be dead, since there aren't many customers and none of them seem interested in fantasy. But then things start to pick up. We're making some sales, chatting with the influx of people, being entertaining . . .

And then the lights went out. Emergency lights came on, but the registers are down, so no one can buy anything. We all automatically assume that the lights will be back on momentarily, so we continue on our merry "buy my books" way, but after a while, still no lights. Word is that the entire section has no power. We start making jokes about the zombie apocalypse. After much longer, still no power. Word comes in that there's been a fire at the Outback (someone ordered a Bloomin' Onion) and in the attempt to control the fire the power to the local grid was cut. The bookstore starts telling people before they even come into the store that there is no power and they can't check out, so two thirds of the potential customers aren't even seeing us at the store. We are managing to sell some copies to those that come in, but they can't actually buy them, they have to put them on layaway behind the counter and come pick them up later. (For a brief moment, the staff was allowed to do some cash sales even without power, but that didn't last long.) We were supposed to stay until 4pm, but when it had been over two hours without power and it hit 3pm, we decided to call it quits.

We signed everything they had in the store, so if you're in the area and want signed copies either for you or for gifts for the holidays, please feel free to stop on by and pick some of them up. The staff was great in the face of adversity and it really sucks that the power went out. Considering how much we sold with the power out, it makes me wonder how many we COULD have sold if everything had been running normally.
joshuapalmatier: VacantThrone (Default)
And here's the cover art, for those that didn't click the link earlier. I give you, the German translation of The Vacant Throne, retitled Die Kaempferin. Gaze upon the awesome:



joshuapalmatier: VacantThrone (Default)

SIGNING! *signing signing signing*
November 7th, 2009
Noon-4pm
Barnes & Noble
Ledgewood Mall
375 Route 10 E
Ledgewood, NJ 07852
973-252-9300
***
with authors
Patricia Bray; S.C. Butler
Barbara Campbell; Laura Anne Gilman
Jackie Kessler; Joshua Palmatier
Anton Strout

Cover Art!!

Nov. 6th, 2009 09:56 pm
joshuapalmatier: VacantThrone (Default)
So, they've posted the cover art for the German translation of "The Vacant Throne," called Die Kaempferin, over here. Once I get my hands on a jpg file, I'll post it, but for now you can follow the link.

I am so freaking in love with the German covers to these books. Love, love, love them.
joshuapalmatier: VacantThrone (Default)
I have just learned, through the publisher's webpage, that the German translation of The Vacant Throne will be . . .

Die Kampferin

I have no idea what that means, and the "a" is supposed to have an umlaut over it, but I don't know how to do that. So apparently the Throne of Amenkor trilogy, in German, will be:

Die Assassine
Die Regentin and
Die Kampferin

Interesting. Now cover posted for the third book yet, but I'll post it as soon as I can. The second book, Die Regentin, is scheduled for release in January, and it looks like the third, Die Kampferin, is set for the end of June. The first two links are to the Amazon.de pages, and the third is for the publisher's page.
joshuapalmatier: VacantThrone (Default)
I got permission from my editor to post the first six chapters of my first novel, The Skewed Throne, the first book in the Throne of Amenkor series, over the course of six weeks . . . and this is the final week! The idea is to give readers a chance to read a significant portion of the book to decide whether or not they might like the book, and hopefully entice them into buying the book as well. Here's the sixth and final chapter to be posted online (along with the link to the first five as well). You'll need Adobe Acrobat Reader (free download here) in order to read it, since it's a pdf file. I found that it wouldn't open in AOL, but it does open in Explorer. It seems to work on most browsers actually.

I'd appreciate it if you could post a link to this blog entry in your own blog or website or on Facebook, to help promote the postings of the chapters. Thanks!

These are the actual page proofs from the book, if you're interested in seeing what those look like.

Skewed Throne: Chapter One
Skewed Throne: Chapter Two
Skewed Throne: Chapter Three
Skewed Throne: Chapter Four
Skewed Throne: Chapter Five
Skewed Throne: Chapter Six

I thought I should remention that all three of the books are available on Kindle now (where before only book 3 was available, which made no sense). Here are the links to the kindle versions: The Skewed Throne, The Cracked Throne, and The Vacant Throne.

Also, I'm currently running a few holiday specials, one for hardcovers and one for paperbacks:

Hardcover Deal: You can buy all three hardcovers of the books for a total of $30! That includes shipping.

Paperback Deal: You can buy all three paperbacks of the books for a total of $20! That includes shipping as well.

If you're interested in any of these deals, contact me at jpalmatier@sff.net and we can arrange payment and get address info, etc. Individual hardcovers and paperbacks are available as well at $15 and $8 respectively (shipping included). Just let me know what you're interested in! All prices are for the US shipping only. I can give you a quote for international shipping if you get in touch with me.

*********************

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