Would You Read This?

I’m nearly there I think, with my manuscript almost ready to pitch to agents. I’m just polishing the turds and flogging the dead horses. I’ve also been working on a synopsis and a query pitch. After about thirty iterations, I’ve boiled it down to the blurb below. Would you read this novel?

Rorick of Iverley, braggart, heretic and master thief, has been offered a job too good to be true — complete a series of simple cons for an elusive noble in the shivering wastes of the south. It sounds pretty bloody miserable actually, but then he’ll be paid enough money to retire and escape the dangerous life he leads. You see, Rorick is Gifted, able to manipulate the world around him through Song. However, those Gifted folk without noble blood are hunted down by the Choir of Justice and dealt with fatally.

He soon finds himself burdened with an elderly priest, a mute boy, and a beautiful but homicidal smuggler. Painful memories, long buried, are unearthed as he inadvertently helps rekindle an ancient family feud that will trample over the lives of everyone in the Twin Cities.

A prudent thief would drop this job like a hot rock. A prudent thief would run away, as far and as fast as possible. A prudent thief, Rorick is not.

The Genre Fountain

Andy Cowley:

A very interesting piece on classifying literature with genre, and why it’s a shit thing to do.

Originally posted on Robert Jackson Bennett:

All right, so this is something that’s been on my mind for a while.

Actually, that’s not true. This is something that’s been on my mind basically from the start of my career. I couldn’t not have this be on my mind from the start of my career, since the market has made it completely impossible for me not to think about this about once a day or so.

Let’s start here. Here are the things that I have heard CITY OF STAIRS called:

  • fantasy
  • epic fantasy
  • urban fantasy
  • steampunk
  • science fiction
  • mystery
  • spy novel
  • thriller

And there are probably some more that I’m missing.

About 50% of all the reviews I’ve been reading have, somewhere in their first third, a whole paragraph debating what the book is, essentially a discussion on how to label it, and they all have lines essentially saying, “Gosh, it’s hard to say what…

View original 1,001 more words

Stuck

Meh.

I am stuck.

Need a big piece of paper and some crayons. I think I can work it out then. Sadly, being at work, that’s not an option right now.

Ho hum, I await my train journey with anxious excitement.

[Review] Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer

Annihilation (Southern Reach Trilogy, #1)Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The mystery and fear of Lovecraft meets the excitement and scientific discovery of Arthur C. Clarke’s Rendezvous with Rama.

It sounds a strange thing to say, especially given the nationality of the author, but the novel is very American. The blind acceptance of arming everyone to go on a scientific mission I guess is a little jarring for a Brit. It’s not a criticism by any means, just an interesting discussion point on the point that arming civilians is de rigeur in fiction.

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[Review] The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1)The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Absolutely sublime writing. One of my favourite books of all time now. The characters are handled with such care and attention, I felt myself in some severe anxiety at points for their safety.

The world is beautifully realised, and yet almost fades into the background as it becomes so comfortable and familiar, giving you more time to spend with these complex and nuanced people.

I was dragged through the book, almost without noticing, thus is the skill of Mr. Rothfuss. Bought the sequel today…

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[Review] Lost City by Jay Stringer

Lost CityLost City by Jay Stringer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Excellent end to a gritty and relatable series. Eoin Miller is a deftly realised character, and the setting is perfect for a crime story.

It’s such a refreshing change to have something set in a place other than generic USA or London. Stringer’s depiction of life in the West Midlands is insightful, honest, and pretty much spot on.

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What happens when you sit an infinite number of gibbons behind an infinite number of typewriters? Who knows, but one is bad enough. My toil with writing fiction from scratch…

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