fantasy · General · reading · Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesday: Hit Lit: Cracking the Code of the Twentieth Century’s Biggest Bestsellers

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My Teasers:

The common features I’ve identified recur with such frequency, it’s almost as if this books have been spun out of identical genetic matter. I would go so far as to say that these twelve novels are permutations of one book, written again and again for each new generation of readers. True, these twelve novels have radically different settings, different characters, very different plots. But no matter which decade they were written in or what publishing vagaries brought them to the forefront, all have used strikingly similar techniques and themes to provide deep enjoyment to millions.

– Hit Lit: Cracking the Code of the Twentieth Century’s Biggest Bestsellers by James W. Hall

General · reading · science fiction

H is for Hugo

The Hugo nominees were announced on April 7. I am ashamed to say I haven’t read any of them. I’ve heard of them, of course, but I haven’t actually read them.

Best Novel

2011 Hugo Award Trophy
  1. Among Others by Jo Walton (Tor)
  2. A Dance With Dragons by George R. R. Martin (Bantam Spectra)
  3. Deadline by Mira Grant (Orbit)
  4. Embassytown by China Miéville (Macmillan / Del Rey)
  5. Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey (Orbit)

Except for Embassytown and Leviathan Wakes, none of these are on my mental TBR list. So I can’t exactly decide which book should win.

I was better last year; I’d actually read most of the nominees. (Or made an attempt to read them. Before they were nominated even.)

I suppose I am not surprised Leviathan Wakes made this list; it has shown up over and over again on all my various online activities: twitter, G+, my Google reader, random browsing. It sounds like a good science fiction adventure, but I’ve not managed to get it yet. Later.

Deadline is a zombie novel, and I don’t know, but the blurb I read a while back (second or third in a zombie series?) did not inspire me. Can’t remember what it was actually about, though.

A Dance With Dragons, well, I haven’t managed to finish the first book in this series and I haven’t been keeping up with the show. So, no go.

I understand this story was highly anticipated and all that. But I doubt it could stand-alone and for some reason I had the impression the nominees were books that could stand by themselves, if they had to. Maybe Deadline can’t, I don’t know, but it sounds like urban fantasy and books early in urban fantasy series usually can stand alone. So I don’t think it breaks the pattern like A Dance With Dragons.

Among Others seems to be about a girl who opposes her evil witch mother, causes damage in said opposition and is than sent to boarding school by her father for her cheek and there she experiments with magic, promptly attracting her evil mother’s attention. Or so I surmise from the description.

Short Stories

  1. “The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees”, E. Lily Yu (Clarkesworld)
  2. “The Homecoming”, Mike Resnick (Asimov’s)
  3. “Movement”, Nancy Fulda (Asimov’s)
  4. “The Paper Menagerie”, Ken Liu (The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction)
  5. “Shadow War of the Night Dragons: Book One: The Dead City: Prologue”, John Scalzi (

Ha! I have actually managed to read most of these. All except The Homecoming. I am not sure how I missed it. Personally, I want the Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees to win. 😀 Though The Paper Menagerie is good, too. Take note; two of these short stories are from Asimov. Last year Asimov had three short stories nominated.

There are other categories: Best Novella, Best Novelette, Best Related Work, Best Graphic Story, Best Dramatic Presentation: Long Form, Best Dramatic Presentation: Short Form, Best Semiprozine, Best Fanzine, Best Fancast, Best Editor: Long Form, Best Editor: Short Form, Best Professional Artist, Best Fan Artist, Best Fan Writer, The John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer.

I am not sure what the difference between a novella and novelette, except length. But I don’t read a lot of them so I have no opinion on them. Or the other categories. The novel and short story are the ones I pay attention to. But I did see Dr. Who has three nominations. 😉