Tag Archives: will shetterly

2011 BookCrossing Convention Bonus Features – now on sale!

Bring home part of the convention with this exclusive DVD! Included:

Professionally edited by Eleanore Stasheff and featuring music by Binary Souls / Other Dimensions, this is one DVD you don’t want to miss!

Price Guide:

  • In person/at the convention: $2 cash or check
  • PayPal (USA; shipping included): $5
  • PayPal (int’l; shipping included): $8

The small print: PayPal prices include shipping. DVDs are only available in Region 1 format.  All orders placed before the convention will be shipped on Tuesday, April 19, 2011.  You do NOT have to be a BookCrosser to purchase (or enjoy) this DVD.

DVD+shipping

 

 

Please note: We are NOT making any money on this. Purchasing this DVD will not affect the fund meter on the convention website. If by some miracle we manage to cover our production costs, any profit will be given to those who so generously donated their time and resources. We are offering this one-of-a-kind feature because we love it and want to share it. We hope you love it too.

Weekly Geeks

WG 2009-39 is about book recommendations. To be perfectly honest, most of the book recommendations I follow come in the form of books literally shoved into my hands by fellow BC in DC members. We get passionate sometimes, and more than once I’ve shown passing interest in a book, only to get a glowing “OMG you must read this”-style exclamation from whoever brought it. More often than not, I give it a try. And am rarely disappointed. I’ve come across several great authors this way, including Simon Singh, Neil Gaiman, and Catherine M. Petrini. Basically if a book looks interesting, regardless of genre, I’ll give it a shot.

Sometimes the books I read are a random find, such as the infrequent occasion when I catch a BookCrossing book in the wild, or if I happen to win it in a contest. I usually have a large number of to-be-read (TBR) books on my shelves, so it is rare indeed for me to finish my current book and have to go searching for something else to read. If I do, though, there’s always The Book Seer, Literature-Map, and Debbie’s Idea, all of which are fine tools for discovering new books and authors.

The official assignment this week involves reader participation. Since the vast majority of my readership exists solely in my head, I may have to play music to drown out the crickets, but hey, maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised. But anyway. The assignment is to ask for recommendations, and give my own, both within a single genre. So I’m going to choose science fiction/fantasy (SFF) as my genre. Some people may protest and tell me that’s two genres, but I beg to differ. First, several popular authors write books that are difficult to categorize as one or the other (e.g., Anne McCaffrey and Christopher Stasheff), and as Arthur C. Clarke once said, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

First off, I’d love to hear your recommendations. I don’t mean stuff that necessarily aligns with my established tastes, I mean great SFF books in general. What are some titles/authors I simply should not miss?

And now for my recommendations, again in SFF. The WG page suggests I start with something like “If you’re looking for…” which could just mean narrowing it down by genre, but I’m going to narrow it down a little further. So here goes:

If you’re looking for a rowdy yarn set in the far future… Mike Resnick is your man. Most of his books are set within the future chronology laid out in Birthright: The Book of Man, but my personal favorites are Santiago: A Myth of the Far Future and the Penelope Bailey trilogy.

If you’re looking for a beautiful fairy tale… then march right up to Neil Gaiman and Stardust. This is one of the few books I’ve kept and intend to reread. I hear Neverwhere is his best novel, but I haven’t read it yet (though I do have a copy on my shelf).

If you’re looking for a powerful tale of children in an adult world… I cannot recommend Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card highly enough.

If you’re looking for hilarious satire in the guise of SFF… then you want definitely to read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.

If you’re looking for time travel… The Time Machine by H.G. Wells is your best bet. There are other notables in this sub-genre, but Wells tops them all IMHO.

If you’re looking for good YA SFF… I really enjoyed the Borderlands books, especially Elsewhere and its sequel Never Never by Will Shetterly.

If you’re looking for great concept stories… Larry Niven, Arthur C. Clarke, and Isaac Asimov are all excellent choices for expanding your horizons.

And finally, if you’re looking for mythology in the modern world… you’re sure to get a kick out of Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips.

So there you have it.  I’m sure I’ll missed a bunch, but this is a good start.  What glaring omissions do you spot on this page? Have you read any of these?  What did you think of them?

Most importantly: enjoy! :)

Nevernever by Will Shetterly

Nevernever by Will Shetterly: Ron is Wolfboy now, trying to get by in Bordertown while covered in fur and without the ability to speak. This is the sequel to Elsewhere, and is definitely the superior of the two. The story is much more cohesive and feels less dependent on the source material (that is, Terri Windling’s Bordertown story collections). Unfortunately, both books employ the character-endangerment-in-lieu-of-actual-plot technique of storytelling. This only works if the reader is attached to the characters, which is why it feels more believable in the second book than the first. In short, if you liked Elsewhere, you’ll like Nevernever. As for me, while I probably won’t go out of my way to find the other Bordertown books, this was a lovely trip down memory lane in the form of two very quick reads. I can see these books appealing to other adolescents as much as they did to me, but I doubt most adults would get much out of them.

Also posted on BookCrossing.

Elsewhere by Will Shetterly

Elsewhere by Will Shetterly: This book takes place in the Borderlands universe created by Terri Windling, whose stories I have never read. Luckily, there’s little to know: Bordertown is located at the boundary between the World and Faerie, a mostly run-down place where technology and magic both work sporatically. In this story, an impulsive human boy named Ron comes to Bordertown looking for his older brother, and ends up falling in with a crowd of elves, halfies, and other humans trying to bust the stereotype that the races can’t mingle. There’s gang violence and drug abuse and sex and rock’n’roll, as is to be expected in a story about teenagers living on the street. I first read this book about fifteen years ago and I remember liking it very much. I still like it now, except that I had a great deal more difficulty following it this time around. I kept forgetting which character was which, and the ending felt extremely rushed. The story behind Ron’s older brother is muddled and confusing. I think when I read it the first time, I glossed over a lot of the little details that didn’t add up. Or maybe I just missed something this time around. Either way, I did enjoy Shetterly’s writing style, which struck me as a more realistic portrayal of teenagers than I’ve seen in a while. Perhaps the sequel, Nevernever, will clear up some things. I’ve read it before too, but heck if I can remember what it was about.

Also posted on BookCrossing.

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