New Reviews

November 19th, 2014 at 9:27 pm (Path of Night, Phantazein, Reviews)

Some lovely new reviews around the internet!

Screen Shot 2013-10-09 at 9.50.34 AMKyla Lee Ward at Tabula Rasa gives an entertaining review of Dirk Flinthart’s Path of Night, noting: “Flinthart delivers a thoughtful and entertaining take on his material.”

Elizabeth at Earl Grey Editing Service says of Phantazein: “The stories that make up the anthology had a nice mixture of cultures” and “…I’d definitely recommend it…” while Tsana Reads and Reviews declares: “there’s something here for all kinds of fairytalesque fantasy fans.”

We really appreciate all the reviews from our readers – if you have read one of our books, please post (or cross-post) a review on Amazon or Goodreads, as they do help!

Comments

News and reviews

August 31st, 2014 at 2:44 pm (Reviews)

Congratulations to Joanne Anderton whose collection The Bone Chime Song and Other Stories is shortlisted for the Silver Falchion Best Single-Author Collection category. Also appearing on the shortlists is our friend “Livia Day” with her book A Trifle Dead from Twelfth Planet Press. Other Aussies on the list are Max Barry with Lexicon and Amie Kaufman (and Megan Spooner) for These Broken Stars. Well done all!

Speaking of Jo Anderton, she answers Three Questions over here at Maggie’s Blog.

I noticed this lovely review of “Flower and Weed” by Margo Lanagan on Goodreads – thanks Figgy!

To Spin a Darker StairAnd this comprehensive and wonderful review of To Spin a Darker Stair by Intellectus Speculativus, in which he says: To Spin A Darker Stair is an excellent example of how fairy stories can be told in a revisionist manner, and come out of the process truly fascinatingly. 

As Tansy and I are working away on Cranky Ladies behind the scenes, Alex Pierce proves it’s never too late to talk about favourite Cranky Ladies, blogging about Alexandra Kollontai this week! Don’t forget you can catch up on all the posts in the Cranky Ladies blog tour here.

Comments

Book Review: Kaleidoscope by Alisa Krasnostein & Julia Rios (eds.)

June 18th, 2014 at 1:13 pm (Reviews)

I don’t usually review books here on the FableCroft site, but like to periodically do so when it’s a book by one of the authors we have published in the past or is something so brilliant from another small press that it deserves to be shouted from the rooftops! Like this one:

kaleidoscopeKaleidoscope: Diverse YA Science Fiction and Fantasy Stories

ISBN: 978-1-922101-11-2

August 2014, Twelfth Planet Press

Alisa Krasnostein & Julia Rios (eds.)

Kaleidoscope is one of the best anthologies I have read for a very long time. It’s not just the concept, which is both necessary and overdue; it’s not just the stories, which are engaging and beautiful and thoughtful and brilliant; it’s not just the way the authors explore science fiction and fantasy from perspectives all too frequently unseen in fiction; it’s all of these things, and that it seems so natural. In this anthology, every story takes a character (or two or three) who is often “othered” in fiction (and life), and makes their differences a part of the story. Readers will see themselves, they will see their friends, they will see their families, their cultures, their religious beliefs, their sexuality, their physical and mental states and they will see them as normal, as okay, as special. Not othered. Important and relevant and very very good, Kaleidoscope offers a powerful message to our society about difference, and about what we, as readers, want (and need) to see in our stories.

Some pieces, such as Tansy Rayner Roberts’ “Cookie Cutter Superhero”, offer a biting commentary on popular culture, couched in humour and teen spirit; others, such as “Seventh Day of the Seventh Moon” by Ken Liu, take a gentler approach, examining first love with a fantasical twist. Some stories shade darker, as with “The Legend Trap” by Sean Williams (set in his Twinmaker universe, an added bonus for fans) and “Kiss and Kiss and Kiss and Tell” by E.C. Myers; still others take a familiar trope and turn it sideways, like Faith Mudge’s “Signature” and “The Lovely Duckling” by Tim Susman. Some of my favourite works in the book were those that embedded the story in the protagonist’s nature, like the magic of Jim C. Hines’ “Chupacabra’s Song” and Karen Healey’s astonishingly good “Careful Magic”. There are so many wonderful stories in the pages of Kaleidoscope that every reader will find a favourite (or two or three), and every reader, teen or adult, will find at least one that speaks to them in deeper ways.

Thank you to the publisher for my review copy of the book. Kaleidoscope will launch on August 5, 2014 and can be preordered here.

Review cross-posted to Goodreads.

1 Comment

Book Review: Peacemaker by Marianne de Pierres

April 2nd, 2014 at 6:00 pm (Reviews)

I don’t usually review books here on the FableCroft site, but like to periodically do so when it’s a book by one of the authors we have published in the past.

PeacemakerI first encountered Peacemaker protagonist Virgin Jackson in de Pierres’ story “Gin Jackson: Neophyte Ranger” (first published in the Agog! Smashing Stories anthology in 2004, and I liked it so much I reprinted in FableCroft’s Australis Imaginarium in 2010). I was delighted to read Peacemaker in graphic version in 2011, and was a bit sad when that format was unable to continue, so it was with huge anticipation I started on the novel version! And I have not been disappointed.

Virgin Jackson is a senior ranger in a themed conservation park; odd things have started to happen to her, and not just finding herself saddled with a US Marshall who is himself just a little strange. When she first finds a dead body where it’s almost impossible for anyone to be, she is essentially accused of the murder, and then is attacked in her home. Not one to stand idly by and let things happen, Virgin starts to investigate for herself, with the help of friends in useful places, and the odd Marshall Sixkiller. What she finds is not at all what she expects…

There are several changes that have occurred from the original short story to the novel-length edition. Focus is by necessity shifted for the longer form, and while the book is still (in my eyes) very Australian, I can also see where some elements have been altered to give the story a more international tone, and that both works very well on a plot level as well as being a sensible move in terms of audience.

In another incarnation, de Pierres writes crime fiction, and her experience in both a science fictional setting and a mystery one offer a deftness of touch here. Peacemaker rollicks along at a cracking pace, and I found myself holding my breath in anticipation at times, which is always a good sign! The character of Virgin is vivid and wonderfully acerbic, and I found both she and the supporting cast so well realised they really bounced off the page. With that combination, I got to the end of the book and flipped the last page in disappointment, because while the story ended well (albeit definitely set up for the next volume), I simply didn’t want it to stop. Bring on the next instalment!

Thank you to the publisher for my review copy of the book. It is available in ebook from your favourite e-tailer or ask your bookstore about the paperback.

New reviews!

March 22nd, 2014 at 8:06 pm (Reviews)

We’ve been fairly focused on Cranky Ladies for the past few weeks, but of course there is always more going on behind the scenes!

Firstly, we’re almost halfway through the first round of reading for Insert Title Here, and hopefully will have responded to all authors within the next fortnight.

Secondly, new reviews! We love seeing these appear around the ridges, so please let us know by email or Twitter if you write a review of a FableCroft book!

BoneChimeCoverDraftBlack Static #39 has a great round up of recent Australian short fiction anthologies and collections, and Joanne Anderton’s The Bone Chime Song and Other Stories is part of that. The reviewer calls Jo an author “who deftly blurs the lines between horror, fantasy and science fiction”, and looks at each story. Of particular interest, the two original stories have thoughtful comments, and the reviewer calls “Mah Song” rich in detail and says of “Fencelines”, a slowly burgeoning mood of unreality settling over the text as the narrative unfolds. Nice!

Comments

Reviews and news roundup

February 24th, 2014 at 6:30 pm (Reviews)

1890436_10202652074879534_690952886_oA few bits and bobs for linking!

  • Cheryl Morgan congratulates FableCroft and Twelfth Planet Press on their Aurealis Awards shortlistings, and links to the books for sale in the Wizard’s Tower Books store.
  • Over at 13 O’Clock, Alan Baxter reviewed Path of Night, calling it, “excellently written and very well paced” – thanks Alan!
  • Speaking of reviews, Ink Black Magic by Tansy Rayner Roberts was reviewed in the February edition of Locus! Can’t link to it, unfortunately, but Carolyn Cushman said the book is, “a fun fantasy adventure with considerable satire…that brings to mind Terry Pratchett’s Discworld” – thanks Carolyn!
  • Tansy and other Aussies Alex Pierce and Gillian Polack, along with several other well know folks were mind-melded over at SF Signal, on the topic of “secondary characters who take center stage” – some interesting thoughts presented!
  • We’re looking forward to our big Book Party in Hobart on March 9 – who will be there to celebrate with us?
  • While we’re on the topic of parties, don’t forget that tickets to the Aurealis Awards ceremony (and the preceding Conflux Writers’ Day) are on sale! It’s going to be a blast!
  • And finally, submissions to Insert Title Here close on February 28 – have you got your story in?

 

Book Review: The Other Tree by D.K. Mok

February 2nd, 2014 at 12:47 pm (Books, Reviews)

I don’t usually review books here on the FableCroft site, but like to periodically do so when it’s a book by one of the authors we have published in the past. D.K. Mok appeared in One Small Step in 2013 with the story “Morning Star”, a novelette length, far reaching, space-based science fiction story that is thoughtful and exciting by turns. The Other Tree is D.K.’s 2014 debut novel, from the publisher Spence City, and while I’ve seen it noted as urban fantasy, I’m not sure it quite fits that genre marker – it’s one of those books that is tricky to classify as anything but “put it on your to-read list”!

17314951If Seanan McGuire had written The Da Vinci Code, the outcome might have been a little like The Other Tree! Given I adore Seanan’s work and think The Da Vinci Code could have been quite fascinating in the hands of a different author, this is definitely a compliment.

I don’t know much about the heritage behind this story but the religious, scientific and geographic elements, whether real or invented, are believably written, and underpin an action packed yet inherently character driven story.

The book rollicks along very nicely, maintaining tension and gradually unpacking characters along the way. I absolutely loved cryptobotanist Chris and conflicted Luke, and their personal journeys are as important to the novel as the overarching plot. Even the secondary characters are multi-faceted and interesting, although I have to say if I have one nitpick, it was with the random head hopping of perspective in a couple of places. Otherwise though, an impressive debut for a very talented writer! Mok is most definitely on my “want more” list!

Thank you to the publisher for my review copy of the book. It is available in ebook from your favourite e-tailer or ask your bookstore about the paperback.

Tsana’s peculiar best of list for 2013

January 4th, 2014 at 10:56 am (Books, One Small Step, Reviews, The Bone Chime Song)

BoneChimeCoverDraftWe are pretty chuffed to see some FableCroft books appear on Tsana’s Peculiar Best of List for 2013. At this time of year, Top 10 lists and Favourite Read lists abound, but Tsana makes hers somewhat unique with some very individualised entries!

Tsana includes The Bone Chime Song and other stories and One Small Step on her lists, alongside some other brilliant books I loved last year too! Check them out!

Recent reviews and interviews

November 30th, 2013 at 7:12 am (Reviews)

Rowena Cory Daniells interviews Dirk Flinthart on the release of Path of Night.

Jamie over at MDPWeb reviews Path of Night, saying: “It’s raw and violent, sexual and powerful, chaotic and mesmerising. It’s also a hell of a lot of fun!” and also interviews Dirk at Spotlight Report.

Tsana examines Path of Night and notes: “The pacing in this novel is brilliant.” She gives it 4.5/5 stars!

Dirk Flinthart reviews Ink Black Magic by Tansy Rayner Roberts, and reckons it “is both an entertaining fantasy romp in the Pratchett mode, and an absolutely fascinating book for anyone who is interested in the art of writing and popular fiction.”

Let us know if you have reviewed any of our books – we love to hear about it!

If you are a book blogger interested in reviewing our novels or anthologies, please contact Tehani at fablecroft [at] gmail [dot] com.

Lovely new reviews

October 6th, 2013 at 8:49 am (Books, One Small Step, Reviews, The Bone Chime Song, To Spin a Darker Stair)

OneSmallStepCoverdraftA couple of lovely new reviews around the ridges recently. 

Mieneke over at A Fantastical Librarian gave a comprehensive look at One Small Step, saying (among lots of other very nice things): “a very strong collection of stories showcasing the talents of eighteen very talented women.”

Tsana at Tsana Reads & Reviews took advantage of our super World Fantasy Awards discount on To Spin a Darker Stair (just $5 including postage anywhere in the world! Ends 31 October!) and very generously then reviewed the book, saying it “punches above its weight class.”

And although this is a little while ago, I wanted to point out Michelle E. Goldsmith’s glowing review of The Bone Chime Song and Other Stories at Vilutheril.Michelle is very definite about her recommendation: “I urge anyone who loves dark, strange and beautifully written stories to read this collection.” Thanks Michelle!

« Previous entries Next Page » Next Page »