Justin’s gone AWOL again. Last I heard from him, we were talking on the phone and it was hard to understand him because he was ranting hysterically. I thought I heard him yelling “A hack! A hack! Protect your brain, Abercrombie’s a hack!” I heard gunshots, and Justin’s dog barking madly. Here’s the recording from my phone. Then the line went dead. That was days ago and we haven’t heard from him since… Oh, well. Let’s carry on. Here are a few items of interest I scraped up to cover for Justin. As usual, if you’ve got something interesting to share, contact Justin, or just post it in the comments below. fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsfantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews

1) The Million Basic Plots: Debut novelist Ned Beauman laments that the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer message board has evolved into TV Tropes. This is an easy way for an author to discover if his planned plot is unique, but how many original plots can there be? When Beauman discovers that his latest brilliant idea has already been done by Philip K. Dick, he turns to seasoned and successful China Miéville for support.

2) Book Blogger Appreciation Week is over: Congratulations to The Book Smugglers for winning Best Speculative Fiction Book Blog for 2011. They have an awesome blog and we were proud to be on the short list with them. Thanks to those who nominated and voted for us, and thanks to BBAW for a fun week!

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsfantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews
3) Omnivoracious recommends some YA fantasies for fall: We’ll be reviewing some of these, of course, starting with Kelly’s review of Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Coming soon!

young adult fantasy book review Cinda Williams Chima Seven Realms 1. The Demon King 2. The Exiled Queen4) Thieves as heroes: At Fantasy Cafe, Cinda Williams Chima guest posts about thieves as heroes. I’ve always wondered why I hate thieves in real life but adore them as heroes in books and movies. Chima suggests why this might be and I think she’s got it. What do you think?

5) Goths in Hot Weather: I live in Florida and it’s hot and sunny here most of the time. I only wear my Doc Martens in winter, but how do dedicated Goths handle the heat while still maintaining their sense of style? Find out at the blog Goths in Hot Weather. Thanks to Gail Carriger for this fun link. (Now I know what to do with all my photos of hot Goths.)

Well, that’s all I’ve got. If anyone knows what’s up with Justin, please fill us in. I’m not sure what he was ranting about, but if we never hear from him again, I feel certain that his last words were a renouncement of one of his favorite authors.


  • Kat Hooper

    KAT HOOPER, who started this site in June 2007, earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience and psychology at Indiana University (Bloomington) and now teaches and conducts brain research at the University of North Florida. When she reads fiction, she wants to encounter new ideas and lots of imagination. She wants to view the world in a different way. She wants to have her mind blown. She loves beautiful language and has no patience for dull prose, vapid romance, or cheesy dialogue. She prefers complex characterization, intriguing plots, and plenty of action. Favorite authors are Jack Vance, Robin Hobb, Kage Baker, William Gibson, Gene Wolfe, Richard Matheson, and C.S. Lewis.