Tuesday, January 29, 2013

What I'm Reading - The Emperor's Soul by Brandon Sanderson

I'm taking a break from the Wonderful World of Scalzi with a novella released in October of last year, The Emperor's Soul by Brandon Sanderson.

In this story, Sanderson returns to the world of Elantris. Sort of. He returns to the world, though not the same country, and though the magic system is similar, it's not exactly the same. Which is awesome, because as fans of Sanderson will tell you, one of the things he does best is to craft magic systems. Of course, he's also amazing at writing complex, interesting characters, and he's a master worldbuilder. Basically Sanderson is the sort of storyteller I aspire to be when I grow up.

But back to this book. It's the tale of Shai, a clever, but captured criminal who's tasked with the seemingly impossible task of Forging a new soul for the emperor in less than one hundred days. She also needs to find a way to escape, because once those one hundred days are up they won't need her anymore . . .

Don't worry if you haven't read Elantris. This great, fast read works wonderfully as a standalone, though I do recommend going back and reading Elantris too. And Warbreaker. And the Mistborn trilogy. And The Way of Kings. Start just about anywhere. With Sanderson it's nearly impossible for me to steer you wrong.

Here's a link to Sanderson's site. The man's very transparent about his writing process (he does also teach), so the site is a great resource for writers as well as fans.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

What I'm Reading - The Last Colony by John Scalzi

In an effort to get more regular with my posts, I'm going to start consuming large amounts of e-bran. Ha-cha! Hello? Is this thing on? Ahem. As I was saying, in the hopes of posting more often I'm going to try instituting a couple of weekly features. They may come and go as I find the ones I like, but if there's anyone else out there, please try to stick with me. I am, at heart, a creature of habit, so this sort of thing really appeals to me. Let's see how it goes, shall we?

Today's feature is What I'm Reading, wherein I shall tell you what I'm reading. Complicated, I know, but I'm confident you crazy kids can keep up with my doublespeak. In the future I think I'm going to make this a Tuesday item. Not sure why -- I guess it just feels like a Tuesday sort of thing.

I realized I was being unintentionally cagey about my new obsession last week, so I'm here to clear up the mystery. My new literary love is John Scalzi, and, more specifically, I've fallen head over heels for his Old Man's War series. This week I'm already on book three, The Last Colony.

Since this is the third book (the first two being Old Man's War and The Ghost Brigades) I don't want to reveal too much. Suffice it to say, Scalzi blows my skirt up something fierce. The Old Man's War series -- a wonderful series deserving of a much snappier title -- is military sf with both charm and a heart. And there is also a plethora of strong female characters, something careful readers (or anyone who has read my bio or any of the other posts on here) will know that I love. These books are funny and entertaining, and I really can't recommend them highly enough.

Also work reading is Mr. Scalzi's blog.