View Full Version : Book giveaway contest (next: "Jonathan Strange..."

po silvertop the rogue
09-20-2004, 10:17 PM
(Here I go, Delurking again...)

Ok.. for any & all Wenches & Rogues in Northeastern PA (especially the Wilkes-Barre & Scranton areas)... I mundanely manage a bookshop, and review books twice a month for the local Weekender (free) newspaper.
Because of this, I get review copies of a number of books prior to publication, plus two "prize copies" of books I review are given away by the Weekender to the first two people who call in after my review runs... (as a major SF&F fan, I tend to review whatever my little heart desires- as long as my publisher reps can get me prize copies... heh, heh, heh...)
I just thought I'd warn you all that next Wed. (Sept. 29th) my review will either be "Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell" or the new Amber title "To Rule in Amber" (it's *supposed* to be "Jonathan..." but my prize copies have been delayed in the mail. "Amber" has already arrived.)

In addition to these two titles, I'm supposed to be reviewing (in the near future) the next Pratchett ("Going Postal"), Laurell K. Hamilton ("Incubus Dreams"), King's "Dark Tower 7" and some others I won't tempt you with yet... Heh, heh, heh!

The drawback is that winners have to stop by the bookshop in person to pick up the prizes- otherwise I'd invite *anyone* to call in for the freebies.. (sorry!)

Katerinka Kotenoka
09-21-2004, 10:56 AM
You are evil...you're reading the newest Dark Tower book, and the new Laurel Hamilton.... I think I may attack something just out of jealousy! :twisted:

09-21-2004, 11:06 AM
I want the Laurell Hamilton. Can you be bribed, good Sir?

I am immensely enjoying the Jasper Fforde books, btw. I love things that make me think....

po silvertop the rogue
09-21-2004, 05:19 PM
The drawback is that one of the reasons I choose these titles/authors to review is that they're *my* personal favorites as well.. -Meaning that I lust after the books just as much as everyone else, and want to selfishly/lovingly enshrine them in my bookcases at home)- I just get my grubby little hands on 'em anywhere from a few months to a few days earlier than thee.
On the other hand, quite often can wrangle an extra copy of a review title out of my kindly reps. (or occasionally prize-winners don't pick up their copies- and after a month I re-acquire 'em and try to place them into good homes myself... Nikki- your copy of "Something Rotten", the latest Jasper, is one of these abandoned prize copies... I'll hand-deliver it to you when I get to PARF in Oct. and to make you even happier, it's signed- and while I can make no promises I'll see what can be done about Laurell...)

If and when I can acquire extra copies of review titles, I'll happily mention 'em here- (unless you all think this sort of thing belongs under Local 9 PA business?) (would anyone like me to start posting the reviews as they get written?)

Katerinka- Don't attack just *anything*- road trip out here to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton & I'll get out the fencing gear and let you attack *me*! We'll both enjoy it more that way...

Hmm.. Maybe I should create a "Fencing for Reading" tourney? Beat the Rogue= get a book? Now there's an idea! "Anyone wanna fight? I have extra copies of *To Rule in Amber*!"

The Bookworm Swashbuckler...

09-21-2004, 05:47 PM
po do we have to use swords to beat you?

or would you rather we just beat you soundly?


po silvertop the rogue
09-21-2004, 06:40 PM
No, no, no...
This is my homage to "The Pen(word processor/pencil/etc) is(may be) mightier than the Sword"...

I'm also guilty of being a rapier fencing-addict (as Nikki can attest).

If nothing else, we'll at least try to hold the first annual EMMF "Swashbucklin' Bookworm" open tourney next year at EMMF '05... I'll see what I can do about bribing my Pub. Reps. for advance copies of whatever will be available for midsummer '05...

-beat me soundly? beat *me* soundly? You can certainly *try* :lol: (but I never go anywhere without Lundegaard steel... Y'know- it's been far too long since I donated a box of advance reader's galleys to Papa Lars... I used to drop off a box every year, marked "Lundegaard Armory Troll reading library"....)

The Swashbuklin' Bookworm-

09-21-2004, 09:48 PM
I have immense amounts of space down here, you know. Any damned time you want, I'm here for you.

And you'd think that I, of all people, would carry one of Lars' blades, but I actually have a lovely little swept-hilt epee that was made for me about 15 years ago in Florida. Her name is Fidessa. I'd love you to meet her.

09-21-2004, 09:52 PM
I want the Laurell Hamilton. Can you be bribed, good Sir?

I didn't know you like Hamilton's books... COOL!!

I'm a fan!

09-21-2004, 09:59 PM
I want the Laurell Hamilton. Can you be bribed, good Sir?

I didn't know you like Hamilton's books... COOL!!

I'm a fan!

I do, but I do find some of her mannerisms annoying. Still, I'll keep reading.

09-21-2004, 11:30 PM
I've had the pleasure of speaking with Laurell on semi regular occasion. And you'll love Incubus Dreakms. It ties some things up. :D

po silvertop the rogue
09-21-2004, 11:36 PM
In case it hasn't been mentioned yet, a section of Hamilton's "Incubus Dreams" was published as a short-story excerpt in the supernatural/romance paperback "Cravings"... (I think that was the title.. I don't have it here in front of me at the mo')

Oh! I'm sorry- we had meandered our way back to swordplay as well as books!

Nikki, M'dear, M'lady... I would love to meet Fidessa, (in either respect, as somethig to hold and try out, and/or as something to see in the petite and lovely hands of an honored "dance" partner...) - Current plans have Abigail Greywolf & I at PARF Oct 16th & 17th- and I would be overjoyed to dance with thee again like we did at EMMF. (I'll bring the book-prizes! Heh, heh, heh)

...and while we're at it: *One?* One rapier? M'lady- you can't expect to get along with one toy in the toybox! Thou need'st a parrying dagger! Thou need'st a buckler, or some other parrying-prop to hand! How about a cloak (he asked knowingly- considering where thou work'st).. and most importantly thou need'st a second blade! How can you fight case or Florentine without a second blade? (how can you dance with friends unless you have a second blade to loan out? -which is why I travel with three schlaegers [Scene-stealer, Trusty, and Nightshade- as well as an Epee and assorted parrying playtoys) (I *could* talk about my latest parrying toy, but it would cause a certain wench to blush mightily!)

Come to think of it, when have we ever seen Anita with only one weapon (voluntarily, that is?)

Can I be bribed? Yes- quite often, depending on the bribe, and the object desired... I'm not sure if "Incubus Dreams" is on the negotiations table...

Oh! I know! Does anyone here still read Stephen Donaldson? or mayhaps Neal Stephenson? I do have *some* galleys and final copies I can part with (& deliver to PARF)

The Swash-BOOKling Rogue..

09-22-2004, 01:05 AM
Yes, but I don't think I'm going to do the Wax Wench thing again, so don't know how I'd get another blade. Though yes, I must have a main gauche of some kind. Yes, I know. Trust me, I know. I'd love to fight Florentine, but I'm not that good. Yet. I need MORE PRACTISE!

And it's wonderful-- just WONDERFUL-- to have someone mention Stephen Donaldson. I just finished rereading Mordant's Need-- whatever I'd read before it didn't do much for me, and I wanted something I knew was excellent. My first copies of both books got packed away, btu I found two newer ones in a used book store, and promptly devoured them both. As for Neal Stephenson, I adored Snow Crash and The Diamond Age, but I know parts of them slid right past me. And Cryptonomicon was, I hate to admit, a bit of a slog for me. Don't tell anyone.

And we are keeping the weekend open for you, you know, Fidessa and I. I think you might find her grp a bit small, though I know Lars hasn't had too many problems when he swings her about on the rare occasion. The poor thing-- Fidessa, not Lars-- is waiting in the trunk of my car, with my mask. Alas, I have no vest as yet.

We're waiting.

po silvertop the rogue
09-22-2004, 01:48 AM
Hmm- about a second blade- or a main gauche, most people aren't lucky enough to have Lars (or anyone for that matter) hand-sculpt a hilt around their own hand. (besides thee, I can only think of *one* that I know of for sure...) I've picked up tempting pieces right off Papa's wall- and the fit was amazing. (I recall a special one-of-a-kind skull-hilted rapier with a finger-bone hilt-cage....if I only had the cash) -Florentine is my least fav. as well but it's handy on occasion, and you're always welcome to borrow one of mine when we're fencing on the same site.. (or one of the daggers, or anything else.)

If we're confessing literary secrets.... ("bad reviewer! no biscuit!") I agree with you about Stephenson- but for me it's worse, I also thought "Crypto..." was slow, but I enjoyed his other work enough to endure through.. when "Quicksilver" arrived as a review copy, I had major problems finishing it- and even mentioned both to my Harper pub. rep.and in my printed review that it started slow and did not ever really pick up the pace.. When book 2 came out, I could not finish the pre-pub. galley copy, and therefore didn't review it at all! Today I rec'd book 3 (and I honestly have to plans to even try to catch up on 2 or 3...)
As for Donaldson- mea culpa- finished the original 3, and couldn't even force myself past the halfway point in book 1 of the second trilogy. His next release (due Dec. I think) is a return to the series.. and it's sitting on my bookshop desk.. and I haven't the fortitude to even make the attempt. It's yours! (my feeling is that there are so many good new booksbeing released, ones I *want* to read, ones I pretty much *know* will be enjoyable, that I would prefer to read and review those, and steer people in those directions. And since the publishers seem to be willing to let me pick and choose, why not?)

Vest? you don't have a vest? (start unpaid commercial announcement) *You*- with your access to the incredible clothiers - the same wonderful folks who garbed me into *my* practically SCA fencing-list-legal ren-garb.. *you* haven't had something wenchly devastating, yet fencing efficient, made especially for you? hmm... (end of unpaid commercial silliness..)

Y'know what? it's late.. *real* late... I could be sleeping.. I could be reading.. I could be... ummm.. p'raps I shouldn't finish that thought....

-The SwashBOOKlin' Rogue...

09-22-2004, 02:39 AM
Lars didn't make Fidessa-- she was made by an armourer in Sarasota-- Jeff Lee-- who's long since disappeared. Now, my Rose Dagger was a Lundegaard that I modified in the wax myself when I was waiting for him in the Shoppe up in Jersey. I just sent off the waxes for the replacement dagger-- which now have to come back to PARF to get to NYRF!-- to Lars. The original, with its ebony grip and sterling silver hilt and pommel, was stolen with everything else last year. Gah!

Having said that, Lars has indeed done work on Fidessa, as she was left in a slightly unfinished state lo those many years ago. In fact, he still has a little work to do on her, but it's difficult, as he works in bronze, and Fidessa is steel.

And Jay keeps saying he'll make me a vest, but he's been a mite busy, as I'm sure you can guess, so it hasn't gotten done yet. YET. Give me time. Speaking of which, how much time do you have to play? Care to make it a regular thing? There's much interest around here, you know.

Now. As for Donaldson, of what series are you speaking? I never read the Thomas Covenant stuff. He writes anything more about Mordant, I'm there. But what have I missed elsewise?

I just read the first two chapters of the new Anita Blake novel on the website. (BTW, you'd think as popular as she is, someone would make her a decent freakin' site! Was this the winning entry in the local high school's "Intro to HTML" class contest?) My jury's going to be out on it until further evidence. I find I really have to get into the Anita Blake headspace before I suspend enough disbelief to enjoy her stuff. Not the monsters and vampires part, but the endless sex, layers upon layers of cool powers she gets, and the "I'm-not-bad-I'm-just-turned-that-way" rationalising Anita does. Again, we'll see.

And yeah, it's time for bed!

po silvertop the rogue
09-22-2004, 07:42 AM
Sigh. I'm afraid to say that between the day gig at the bookshop, playing Father to a pair of squires (boy scouts, little league, music practice), fencing (every tues. eve and now alternate mondays as well), the occasional SCA event (hey, I took the tabbard and won the local Baronial Rapier Championship last weekend...) and a night gig doing theater (Abigail Greywolf opens in "A Funny thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" this Fri. and runs for three week- meaning I get to babysit the squires solo- and I'm designing and building *2* simultaneous productions of "Xmas Carol" at competing theaters this Nov/Dec., so I'm already in the production meeting/inspirational/pencil sketch phase...)- I can't see getting down to Lancaster other then the one weekend this year.... Goddess, I wish we could! -Just getting down for a full weekend this year instead of daytripping is going to be a triumph of timing and finances...

On the other hand- anyone either in the region or able and willing to travel out this way is cordially invited to join our little fencing seminar (both olympic-sport fencing, plus SCA & historical rapier fencing). On Tues. eve.'s we meet at the Luzene County Community College- and we have access to their fencing equip. closet, and can outfit more fencers than we've ever needed to...

Yes- Laurell's website is not even a joke- a joke is entertaining at least... if it weren't for the preview tidbits, I wouldn't ever wander over.

...and Yes, again- the Donaldson is another return to the Thomas Covenant stuff...

BTW- I just finished what I'm sure will be this holiday's funniest book.. the next Christopher Moore release due in late Oct./early Nov. *The Stupidest Christmas Angel*... Can you say "brain-eating zombie comedy for Xmas?"- Time to talk to my Harper rep & see if they'll send me freebie prize copies so I can do a newspaper review and give some away!

-The SwashBOOKlin' Rogue...

Katerinka Kotenoka
09-22-2004, 11:49 AM
Well darling, I'm not much of a swordswoman in any shape or form. Kinda hard to hold a long pointy thing when your other hand is on a cane so you stay upright! It might be fun to try and see if I don't fall down too many times though. :lol: My fighting style is usually with my hands, cane, knives, or words. And I don't fight fair...I use anything I can. I win my fights that way. Why play fair when I'm already at a disadvantage? :wink:

po silvertop the rogue
09-22-2004, 05:31 PM
Sorry, M'lady- after fencing a week & a half ago a young lady whose foot was broken - and studying under a mentor who habitually brings a cane out on the field with him (he alternates between using it as a rigid-parry and using it to move about...) -I'm not gonna let you sneak out of "dancing" with me *that* easy!

If you really feel you want special attention, you may bring me a note from your doctor- (or even a note from someone in a long white coat *pretending* to be a doctor- I've *heard* 'bout you Wenches, Lady! :lol: :lol: :lol: )

Bringing me a note doesn't excuse you, it just means I'll bring along one of two very good fencing card games I have (one replicates olympic-linear-sport fencing, the other is a wonderful free-style historical bar-brawl rapier duel) - and we'll sit and *play* at fencing...
(unless someone has a good fencing computer simulator? I've never found a *good* one...)

The *Brain-Eating Zombie Christmas* book (the Stupidest Christmas Angel") has been officially greenlighted for a review, complete with giveaway prize copies sometime in Oct./Nov.

Nikki? Alanna? I just finished a book I have to donate to Local 9... "The Secret History of the Pink Carnation"- it's an attempt to do a "Scarlet Pimpernel"-style plot as Bridget Jones-ish *chick-lit*. I giggled all the way through it. (It's due out in Feb. of '05- I have a galley to keep and pass around here by me, and one to send down to all of thee...)

{ahem} "...If all the young lasses were books to be read...
...I'd open their covers and read 'em in bed..."

- The SwashBOOKlin' Rogue...

Katerinka Kotenoka
09-23-2004, 11:28 AM
Honey, we'd have to play cards... I wear a back brace and use the cane to keep me upright. Otherwise, w/out the cane I just use furniture and kinda bounce from thing to thing. Don't think the docs would like to see me in the hospital until my next surgery is actually scheduled! Kinda necessary for less pain... pain being theI excuse I give myself for the amount of books I lay around and read! :D

Fiona Freckl'dbottom
09-23-2004, 12:39 PM
Nikki? Alanna? I just finished a book I have to donate to Local 9... "The Secret History of the Pink Carnation"- it's an attempt to do a "Scarlet Pimpernel"-style plot as Bridget Jones-ish *chick-lit*. I giggled all the way through it. (It's due out in Feb. of '05- I have a galley to keep and pass around here by me, and one to send down to all of thee...)

Sweet! :-D

09-23-2004, 01:08 PM
I realize this may be totally OT now, but I'm about 3/4 of the way through "Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell", and this book is absolutley wonderful. If you don't get one of these giveaway copies, rush out and buy one yourself, because it will be totally worth it.

po silvertop the rogue
09-23-2004, 02:37 PM
Nah- it ain't off-topic until *we* decide it is!

In fact- although i had originally planned to wait until my prize-copies arrived and I had published this review in the Weekender to do this.. What the hell! Here's a sneak peek at my official review... (Please bear in mind I *hate* giving away plot points or spoiler warnings, so I tend not to delve *too* deeply into the later stages of plots in my reviews...)

Where has all the magic gone?

More importantly, What will happen to the prim and proper Victorian England upon Magic's return? *That* is the focus of Susanna Clarke's lovingly crafted fantasy "Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell". In an age where magic is merely the stuff of legend, where charlatans and mountebanks hope to convince the populace that their penny curses and ambiguous fortune-telling routines are real- what can one expect when real, actual magic makes a sudden resurgence? Mr. Norrell is a gentleman hermit, happily hidden away in his rural English estate, collecting volume after volume of rare Magical books... content to explore (and perhaps renew) English Magic from the viewpoint of a scholar, using research and organization (as opposed to actually *using* Magic, except perhaps as a last resort). Jonathan Strange is a headstrong young man, with quick wits and an adventuresome spirit- and while diametrically opposite Mr. Norrell in disposition Strange finds himself “apprenticed” to Norrell. Strange’s willingness to experiment with real magic, and to pass boundaries that Mr. Norrell *publicly* insists should not be crossed, brings the two magicians to a parting of the ways. Can even a country as big as England contain two opposing philosophies? Complications both easily predicted and completely unexpected) evolve and ensue.

Clarke has painted a vivid tapestry in minute detail. It is easy (eventually) to lose oneself in the richness of this world. One hopes that this lush, fully-realized landscape will be home to many more stories to come. It would be a shame to have invested this much imagination for just a single tale. A full cast of intriguing characters (both human and otherwise) run rampant through Clarke’s imagination, only to take up resident in the reader’s mind. If I were pressed to admit a single less-than-perfect facet to “Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell” it is that like a film by Terry Gilliam this book is overwhelming in scope. Having made the stylistic choice to write a fantasy in the English “period” mode (think Jane Austen, or better still Sir Arthur Conan Doyle), Clarke captures the feel of a period novel including character dialogue and the frequent use of footnotes to advance not only the actual plot but to illuminate this world-creation as well). A thick weighty brick of a book (well over 700 pages) that I’m afraid to say *does* start a bit slowly before picking up speed- Clarke rewards persevering readers with an incredibly enchanting tale. Rarely has a first novel generated such interest in the author’s next release...

- The SwashBOOKlin' Rogue...