Thursday, March 26, 2009

Reader Appreciation Interview - Tia Nevitt

Mulluane | Thursday, March 26, 2009 | 8 Comments so far
The Bio!

Nope, no bio this time. Tia wants to remain elusive and mysterious, it is one of the reasons why I like her so much!

The Questions!

1.) What magical ability would you like to have and why?


The ability to fly, because it would be so cool. Without any cumbersome wings. It would have to be a psionic ability. Does that count as magical?
2.) What would you do if you had a time machine?


I wouldn't be able to resist a glimpse into the future to see how my daughter is doing and prepare accordingly. Once my worries were taken care of, I'd be off to the past to study ancient Mediterranean cultures up-close and personal. But first, I'd have to learn some Latin and some Greek. The ancient dialects.

(I loved John's answer about going to the dark ages and getting "all Connecticut Yankee on them.")
3.) You are an archeologist and you discover something that no one has ever seen before. What do you think would be the coolest thing you could possibly discover and why?

I think the Rosetta Stone was just about one of the most exciting discoveries ever. It is an Egyptian stone that had the same passage engraved on it hieroglyphic, demotic and Greek. At the time it was found, the Egyptian hieroglyphics were a lost language. Because of the passage in Greek, linguists were at last able to decipher the hieroglyphics.

I'd love to be involved in a discovery like that.
4.) If aliens landed in your backyard, what is the first thing you would ask them?


"How the heck did you get here?"

Seriously. The speed of light seems to be a celestial speed limit, and any efforts to "warp" space would involve improbable spacecraft. If there is intelligent life out there, we seem to be effectively quarantined from each other. They would have to send some sort of sleeper ship our way, and it would take decades to get here, if not hundreds of years.

Yeah, I'm a hard science fiction kind of girl, but I do enjoy space romps.
5.) Who (or what) is your favorite cartoon character and why?


Bugs Bunny. He was good at everything, including singing opera and playing piano. Who wouldn't want to be multi-talented?
6.) If you could have lunch with a famous person, living or dead, who would it be and why?


Mark Twain. I love all his books, so he'd have to be fascinating to listen to. I'd pick up some writing tips from him and then just let him talk.
7.) If you could be reincarnated as an animal (real or imaginary), what would you be and why?


I'm kinda happy being a human. But being a bird of prey wouldn't be so bad.
8.) You are stranded on a desert island, and only one thing washed up on shore with you what (or who) would you want that to be?


A knife. Sure, I'd like to bring some other things, but without a knife, I wouldn't be able to survive. Once I'd built my hut and got to the point where I'm surviving, I'd probably start missing some other things. Without any way to write, my memory would probably improve because it's been observed that people from illiterate cultures have fantastic memories. Once my memory skills are honed, I'd work on a memoir of my survival adventures. I'd call it The Real Survivor.

Hopefully, at some point, I'd be rescued. In that happy circumstance, I'd type out my memoir and add it to the stack of things I'm trying to get published.
9.) Alot of ancient cultures, like the Greeks and Romans, had a god for just about everything. What type of god could you envision yourself as and why?


I wouldn't want to be a god, but I wouldn't mind being an elf. The Tolkien kind. Ageless but immortal, tall, slender without even trying, cool breezes constantly blowing through my hair, the appearance of walking in slow motion all the time while moving quickly, mystical magical powers, a language that sounds like silk rubbing together, a wicked-cool bow.

Plus, I'd be able to leave all the tough stuff to the humans and the hobbits. I'd just waft from place to place, strumming my lyre, dispensing wisdom and looking good.
10.) If you could be a character in a fantasy or science fiction novel, what type would you be? (Wizard, assassin, warrior, spaceship captain, princess, etc...) and why?


I really don't want to kill anyone, so I'd be a tournament knight. Why? All the cool armor. Plus, only nobles could be knights, so I'd be part of a privileged upper class.

The Blog plug!


Tia's blog brainchild is Fantasy Debut. All debut fantasy, all the time.

Thanks to Tia‏ for sharing her answers with us!



Want to join in on the fun? Find out how here: Reader Appreciation Series

Note: This is the last one I have on tap so unless some of you decide to join in, this series is officially on hiatus!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Reader Appreciation Interview - Truscifi‏

Mulluane | Tuesday, March 24, 2009 | 3 Comments so far
The Bio!


I used to be a social worker (which is in some ways very rewarding, but also a huge bummer most of the time) until I decided to spend more time with MY family than with other people's families. Now I stay home with my kid and have lots of adventures.

The Questions!

1.) What magical ability would you like to have and why?
I need two - the ability to breathe underwater, so I can scuba dive without the scuba, and teleportation, so I can go to all the fabulous places I want to see and still be home in time for bedtime.
2.) What would you do if you had a time machine?
Nothing. I'm way too paranoid about paradoxes and tears in space time and eddies in the continuum to mess with time travel (too much Star Trek in my formative years). Unless it was to go dive somewhere that doesn't exist anymore. I have this thing about the oceans, you see.
3.) You are an archeologist and you discover something that no one has ever seen before. What do you think would be the coolest thing you could possibly discover and why?
Atlantis. Lost city, sunk beneath the waves thousands of years ago, possibly inhabited by merfolk...How cool would that be? Actually, that might tempt me to use that time travel machine, too...
4.) If aliens landed in your backyard, what is the first thing you would ask them?
Why the **** they're smushing my vegetable garden. And also, if they come in peace. And if they can breathe underwater. And did they make cockroaches (I have this theory about them being alien terraforming devices).
5.) Who (or what) is your favorite cartoon character and why?
Not too big on cartoons. I liked the Smurfs when I was a kid, but never had a favorite. And cartoons today annoy me.
6.) If you could be reincarnated as an animal (real or imaginary), what would you be and why?
A mermaid. I think I mentioned this thing I have about the oceans.
7.) You are stranded on a desert island, and only one thing washed up on shore with you what (or who) would you want that to be?
A sat phone to call for a ride home, since there is no way I could choose between spouse and child. Unless it's been one of those days, then probably a bottle of rum and some tanning lotion.
8.) Alot of ancient cultures, like the Greeks and Romans, had a god for just about everything. What type of god could you envision yourself as and why?
Hmmm...not a goddess of the oceans, because they're really big and I don't want to work that hard. Maybe a goddess of coral reefs. They're my current favorite undersea environ and they mostly take care of themselves.
9.) If you could be a character in a fantasy or science fiction novel, what type would you be? (Wizard, assassin, warrior, spaceship captain, princess, etc...) and why?
An explorer/scout. With awesome technology/magical powers so I can jump from universe to universe and drink an infinite number of different daiquiris on an infinite number of beaches.
The Blog plug!

I have two - one is relevant here, being a science fiction blog (mostly) - http://truescifi.wordpress.com

The other is more of a journal about my adventures with my kid. Feel free to check it out if you want - http://adventuresathome.wordpress.com
Thanks to Truscifi‏ for sharing his answers with us!

Want to join in on the fun? Find out how here: Reader Appreciation Series

Friday, March 20, 2009

Stardust by Neil Gaiman (Review)

Mulluane | Friday, March 20, 2009 | 3 Comments so far

A Fantasy Book Review

Neil Gaiman

Genre: Adult Fairytale, Romance
ISBN: 0060934719
Publisher: Harper Perennial (June 19, 2001)
Paperback: 272 pages
Excerpt
Publisher's Blurb:
Stardust by Neil GaimanIn the sleepy English countryside of decades past, there is a town that has stood on a jut of granite for six hundred years. And immediately to the east stands a high stone wall, for which the village is named. Here in the town of Wall, Tristran Thorn has lost his heart to the hauntingly beautiful Victoria Forester. One crisp October night, as they watch, a star falls from the sky, and Victoria promises to marry Tristran if he'll retrieve that star and bring it back for her.

It is this promise that sends Tristran through the only gap in the wall, across the meadow, and into the most unforgettable adventure of his life.
I am ashamed to admit that when it comes to fantasy, I am way behind on the current trends. So, I went out for my birthday and grabbed up some of the authors that everybody has read but me. Neil Gaiman was one of these.

I chose Stardust, which is a great example of an adult fairytale. Now I have a fondness for fairytales that goes back to my childhood. When I was old enough to discover libraries and figured out that they let me take books home (provided that I brought them back later), I immediately searched for every fantasy book on the shelves. This of course included fairytales. Even so, when I picked this up, I was not sure what to expect. (I will not read reviews of anything I have not read yet, afraid that they might color my perceptions.) I have read remakes of several fairytales (Juliet Marillier comes to mind) which I enjoyed but I was hoping for something different.

I got my wish.

Neil Gaiman has created in Stardust his very own fairytale. This is not the retelling of an old favorite; this is uniquely his own. The characters are well written, the prose is perfect for a fairytale, and the pacing is almost flawless. The tale does start out a little slowly but it evenly increases in speed right up to the conclusion, which ties everything up so neatly, you can almost see the bow! There is adventure, romance, humor, mystery, and character development. There are witches, a unicorn, ghosts, and other fantastic creatures. There is also some adult language, adult themes and grisly violence but this is an Adult fairytale after all. (I'm alittle surprised that this is labeled as a YA book, maybe 15-16 and up but I would not go under that. My opinion, take it with a grain of salt!)

The copy that I bought has a centerfold showing scenes from the movie (which I also have not seen, I am not much of a movie person.) I understand that older versions of the book have some incredible illustrations. Sadly, I cannot tell you about those, though the centerfold in my copy was pretty cool and an added bonus. (The offer for free popcorn in the back did make me giggle though.)

Dark elements aside, this was a light read, perfect for all the rainy days we have had here lately. As with any good fairytale, you never know what will happen next and nothing is ever exactly as it seems. This makes for a fun, page-turning read and I enjoyed every minute of it! Highly recommended even if my recommendation is coming late in the game. Better late then never right?

Ratings, Reviews, Similar Reads, Buy Books, Affiliate Links

Kindle: Stardust

Ebook: Stardust

Audio CD: Stardust

Buy Book: B&N - Powells - Abe Books

Amazon: US Canada UK

Awards: Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature 1998
Read an Interview with Neil Gaiman From: The Guardian UK
Other Reviews: (Some with mild spoilers but more plot detail)
SF Site - Leap in the Dark
Author's Web Presence
Website - Blog - Forum - Goodreads - Twitter - Facebook

Already read the book? Please share your own opinion in the comments below!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Reader Appreciation Interview - Shaun Duke

Mulluane | Thursday, March 19, 2009 | 4 Comments so far

The Bio!
I'm a college student, which means I basically have no life whatsoever, except that I do, because in order to maintain one's sanity in college one has to have a life of some sort. It just so happens that my life revolves around staring at a computer screen, blogging, reading, writing, and chatting with my long distance fiance. Go figure.

On a less personal note, if such a thing exists, I am an undergraduate student at the University of California, Santa Cruz studying Modern Literature, with an unofficial focus in science fiction (and its neighboring genres). I'm currently working on a research project for UCSC entitled "Otherism: the Dissection of Humanity and the Human in Science Fiction Film"

 (http://wisb.blogspot.com/2008/11/otherism-dissection-of-humanity-and.html

and figuring out where I'm going to go to graduate school to pursue that further (thus far it's looking like England is a go, provided I can find someone to sponsor me or figure out a magic way not to have $40,000 in loans to make it happen).

I'm also insane, despite all that stuff in the first paragraph about having a life to make sure I keep my sanity. I'm fairly certain that my sanity left me a long time ago. I love long walks along the glittering edges of supernovae, alien booze (preferably Gajak, because most of the other stuff is rather flavorless), and transcilodian ergonomic troglydominonics. And if you have any idea what that last thing is, feel free to let me know...

And I blog at the World in the Satin Bag

 (http://wisb.blogspot.com/)

...a lot (about science fiction and fantasy, no less). But enough about me. It's time to answer some more questions about, well, me...

The Questions!


1.) What magical ability would you like to have and why?

Well, I'm going to assume I'm not allowed to have the power to give myself the power to do anything, so, I'll pick something more practical. I would like to have the ability to magically tazer people who are being complete idiots from any distance, with no side effects for the use thereof. Granted, half of the world would get tazered all at once, but I suspect that they would all deserve it for being, well, idiots.
2.) What would you do if you had a time machine?

I'd go back in time and kill myself just to see what would happen, and then I'd go back in time again and stop myself from doing it lest all that space-time continuum garbage get all mucked up. Or I'd go back and talk to dead famous people. I'm not sure which. It's a tossup. Flip a coin for me...
3.) You are an archaeologist and you discover something that no one has ever seen before. What do you think would be the coolest thing you could possibly discover and why?

Coolest thing I could possibly discover? Based on what? The world as it is now, or as it was 60 years ago? I'll answer both!

If we're talking today, I think the best thing ever would be definitive, irrefutable proof that the following is true (based on archaeological evidence in the form of writings, carvings, etc.):

a. Religious people are legitimately insane and need therapy.

b. Religion was all made up by Woolly Mammoths thousands of years ago in order to confuse human beings into being stupid for tens of thousands of years.

Not that all that would necessarily be a good thing, but I would certainly get a sense of joy in watching religious fundamentalists squirm in their seats over that...

And then for 60 years ago: I think it would be nifty to pull one of those cool National Treasure/Indiana Jones discoveries. Preferably the discovery of some ancient, long-lost civilization of space-faring ninja monks. If that isn't cool, then I don't know what is...
4.) If aliens landed in your backyard, what is the first thing you would ask them?

If they need directions to the nearest trailer park...

...or, perhaps, depending on my mood: how much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood...but the first one would probably come up in most any situation...
5.) Who (or what) is your favorite cartoon character and why?

It's been so long since I've really watched cartoons that the only answer I can come up with for this is Stewie from Family Guy. I'd potentially lean towards Brian from the same show or Claus (the fish) from American Dad. Honestly, those are really the only two cartoons I watch on a regular basis and the only ones I deem worthy of my time these days.

As to why I chose those characters, well, I find Stewie to be one of the most interesting cartoon creations introduced to the unsuspecting masses in a while. As much as I appreciate all the faeries, morons, and other cartoon redundancies, I find Stewie's unflinching dedication to the destruction of the world rather uplifting. But, as I said in my bio, I'm insane.

Brian and Claus I chose for entirely different reasons than Stewie. I think Brian is simply interesting as a character primarily because he's a dog that also talks. The fact that nobody questions the talking dog thing is surprising, but it is a cartoon. Claus is basically what I would expect every stereotypical German goldfish to be like, which is, perhaps, why I find him so enjoyable.
6.) If you could have lunch with a famous person, living or dead, who would it be and why?

My grandfather. Technically he wasn't famous, but quite honestly, I don't know of any famous people that I'd really want to meet (except, perhaps, Poul Anderson). My grandfather was a cool guy, though, and generally pretty well known back in Placerville, California. He was a good guy and I'd like to have lunch with him one more time as he was before his many strokes and what not. Sentimental? Sure, but this question didn't ask me to be anything else!
7.) If you could be reincarnated as an animal (real or imaginary), what would you be and why?

Homo Novus, or whatever will be the next evolutionary jump in our species. I'm not particularly interested in subjected myself to a lower level of intelligence, or even a different level of intelligence in which what are, to me, considered to be rather useful modes of communication and emotional connection would no longer exist. So, under no circumstances would I choose something that wasn't an evolutionary step up from where I am now.

And to that whole argument about whether humans are animals: We are. Get over it.
8.) You are stranded on a desert island, and only one thing washed up on shore with you what (or who) would you want that to be?

My fiance with a pair of Amazon Kindles with every book ever made (including ones that haven't been made yet) implanted inside and with unlimited battery life. Yes, I can have both since there is nothing in this question that denies me the right to have one person who happens to be carrying something else. I refuse to be on a desert island without my fiance, and both of us would refuse to be there without reading material. We can fashion our own paper for writing stories out of the coconut trees and what not. Besides, those Kindles would have plenty of books on survival, which we would undoubtedly need.
9.) A lot of ancient cultures, like the Greeks and Romans, had a god for just about everything. What type of god could you envision yourself as and why?

I'd be the kind of god that would be loved for actually being relatively good to my people. None of that annoying punishment crap for good people. I'd be the kind of god that would introduce a radical form of Karma where the good folks would live forever and the bad folks would die off. Then again, I'm sure my definition of good and bad would be far different than what everyone else would come up with, but I like utopias that apply to me.
10.) If you could be a character in a fantasy or science fiction novel, what type would you be? (Wizard, assassin, warrior, spaceship captain, princess, etc...) and why?

Is it possible to be an assassin wizard/spaceship captain/warrior princess? Because that would be cool, don't you think? I'd have magic powers, combined with ninja quickness; I could fly spaceships and I would be a princess who kicks ass.

The Blog Plug!


I run The World in the Satin Bag (http://wisb.blogspot.com/), where I blog about science fiction, fantasy, writing, and the occasional unrelated thing. I spend a lot of time babbling about the genre and chronicling my attempts to get published.

WISB is also the home of my first attempt at a blog novel (and technically my first novel ever finished), which goes by the same name (The World in the Satin Bag). I'm currently working on the sequel, which is proving difficult, but interesting nonetheless.

Other than that, I'm not sure what else to say about my blog. If you're interested in SF/F/writing/etc., then check me out. Leave some comments, subscribe to my blog, and, yeah!

Thanks to Shaun (S.M.D.) for sharing his answers with us!



Want to join in on the fun? Find out how here: Reader Appreciation Series

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Reader Appreciation Interview - John Ottinger

Mulluane | Tuesday, March 17, 2009 | 4 Comments so far
The Bio!

I am a science fiction and fantasy book reviewer whose reviews, interviews and articles have appeared in The Fix, Sacramento Book Review, Flashing Swords, Stephen Hunt's SFCrowsnest, Thaumatrope, and at Tor.com.

By day I am a mild-mannered (though colleagues would disagree) underwriter for a private lender.


The Questions!

1.) What magical ability would you like to have and why?

Being the Forgotten Realms fan that I am, I would like prismatic spray. This ability sprays random magic that can do a bunch of low level spells to a group of characters. Personally, I just think its funny to watch some goblin turn into a rat.
2.) What would you do if you had a time machine?

Head back to the medieval period and go all Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court on them.
3.) You are an archeologist and you discover something that no one has ever seen before. What do you think would be the coolest thing you could possibly discover and why?

Proof that the myth of "dragons" was more than a myth. I would find scientific proof that a real, live, fire-breathing dragon really existed. Secondly, proof of the existence of God, for obvious reasons.
4.) If aliens landed in your backyard, what is the first thing you would ask them?

Wazzup?
5.) Who (or what) is your favorite cartoon character and why?

Scooby-Doo hands down. I mean, he was a dog who could talk, eat what ever he wanted, soved mysteries with musical accompaniment, and according to some sources was constantly high. Who wouldn't love to be him?
6.) If you could have lunch with a famous person, living or dead, who would it be and why?

Tolkien or Lewis. More than talk, I would just want to sit and soak up their wisdom. It would be my treat of course.
7.) If you could be reincarnated as an animal (real or imaginary), what would you be and why?

Dragon, Dragon, Dragon. Take no prisoners, control the world.
8.) You are stranded on a desert island, and only one thing washed up on shore with you what (or who) would you want that to be?

A volleyball.
9.) Alot of ancient cultures, like the Greeks and Romans, had a god for just about everything. What type of god could you envision yourself as and why?

I would probably be a Dionysus, not because I like wine, but because I'm rather Epicurean.
10.) If you could be a character in a fantasy or science fiction novel, what type would you be? (Wizard, assassin, warrior, spaceship captain, princess, etc...) and why?

Wizard. Those guys get to study and then throw magic from far away. None of that distasteful hacking and slashing.


The Blog Plug!

My blog is Grasping for the Wind. http://otter.covblogs.com
I'm a one man show that covers all things fantasy and SF in literature, including doing my own reviews, interviews and articles.
Thanks to John for sharing his answers with us!



Want to join in on the fun? Find out how here: Reader Appreciation Series

Friday, March 13, 2009

Tales of Tralodren: The Beginning (Graphic Novel)

Mulluane | Friday, March 13, 2009 | 1 Comment so far

A Fantasy Graphic Novel Review

Written By: Chad Corrie
Artist: Lee Oaks
Lettering: Matt McDonald
Coloring: Hi-Fi Colour Design
Cover Art: Ed Waysek
(Artist links below)

Genre: Fantasy, Mythology, Graphic Novel
ISBN: 0977604381
Publisher: Aspirations Media Inc. (November 14, 2007)
Paperback: 134 pages
Excerpt (PDF)
Publisher's Description:
WARRING GODS, PRIMORDIAL ENTITIES, DRAGONS, GIANTS AND MORE--WELCOME TO THE BEGINNING OF THE TRALODROEN™ COSMOS!

This is the first graphic novel set in The World of Tralodren™, a fantasy setting made popular by Chad Corrie’s The Divine Gambit Trilogy, which explains the happenings of the cosmos before recorded time. The vast stretch of centuries covered in this tale encompasses the creation of the cosmos, the gods, Tralodren, and everything else in-between.

Readers will be hooked from the first page as they’re pulled into a rich storyline and universe that entertains as well as educates about the ancient past and foundations of the Tralodroen™ cosmos. And while this graphic novel ties nicely into the other novels related to The World of Tralodren™, it can still be read and enjoyed by those new to the setting.

With stunning art by Lee Oaks and a compelling narrative written by Corrie, this is a must have for anybody who enjoys a good story, mythology, and/or fantasy in general.

Welcome to The World of Tralodren™, a place rich in history, faith, and tales of adventure of which this story is but one of many.

This was my first ever look at a graphic novel and I must admit that I was impressed. Far, far cry from the comic books of my youth. The artwork, as stated above, is truly stunning. The colors blew me away with their vibrancy. The story itself is the mythology of Tralodren, and seeing as how I adore mythology, I was a happy reader to say the least. (Did I mention that it also has dragons!)

Now keep in mind that I have nothing to compare this too, this really was the first graphic novel I have ever read. However, if this is an example of what is out here, it will not be my last. Now there were a few things that I did not care for. The story is written in a cursive style that looks elegant, but I found a pain to read. That likely is just me though, the writing is an art form all to itself, but one I had trouble with mainly due to my less then perfect eyesight. There were a few examples of bad editing and a couple of birth scenes I could have lived without, but honestly, the remainder of the composition is so exceptional, my nitpicks do not matter too much. I was struck by how this format is not so much read, as it is experienced.

As I understand is typical of most graphic novels, there are some adult scenes. There are the aforementioned birth scenes, some tastefully done nudity and a few equally tastefully done love scenes. The story itself was interesting, atleast to me as a lover of mythology. It borders a bit on the line between sci-fi and fantasy as it includes several different planets but the fantasy elements prevail.

If you want a chance at a free copy of this novel, Chad Corrie is running a contest on his website. You can find the details here: http://www.chadcorrie.com/. where you will also find alot of indepth info on this and his other books, including interviews with all of the artists who were involved in this novel. If you like graphic novels, love mythology and want to experience how the world of Tralodren began, I recommend getting a copy of this novel. If you are like me and you have never experienced a graphic novel before, well I think this may be a great book to start out with! I want to thank Aspirations Media Inc. for giving me the opportunity to explore a new (to me) fantasy venue.

Ratings, Reviews, Similar Reads, Artist Links, Buy Books

Shelfari Rating 5/5

Librarything Rating 5/5

Amazon Rating 5 out of 5 stars
(3 Customer Reviews)


What Should I Read Next?
Artist: Lee Oaks: Interview

Colored by Hi-Fi Colour Design

Lettering: Matt McDonald

Cover Art: Ed Waysek

Buy Book: B&N - Powells - Abe Books

Amazon: US Canada UK
Read an Interview with Chad Corrie From:
Sci-Fi Fan Letter
Award: Central Minnesota Printing Professional’s gold award for exceptional printing and superb craftsmanship.
Author's Web Presence
Website - Podcast

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Reader Appreciation Interview - MentatJack

Mulluane | Thursday, March 12, 2009 | 1 Comment so far
MentatJack
The Bio!

I'm a web developer for Novica, a website that sells art from around the world and is associated with National Geographic. Since moving to Los Angeles from Virginia, I've gotten a black belt, I've helped a photographer cover the hollywood genre beat, I've taught physics at an eastern medicine school, I was the sole gringo in a Latino short film that aired on Showtime, and I ended up with 2 cats. I read a lot and play too much World of Warcraft.
The Questions!

1.) What magical ability would you like to have and why?

I'd like to be able to absorb knowledge from books by just being near them. I love wandering through bookstores and libraries, and that would make those strolls both more fruitful and ultimately cheaper. I also just like knowing stuff.


2.) What would you do if you had a time machine?

I'm assuming that this is a point in the future where time machines are more common than they are now. I'd probably go back in time to early 2009 and tell myself how to make a time machine. I'd bring a list of books to avoid, so that I can have a higher ratio of enjoyment in my reading.


3.) You are an archeologist and you discover something that no one has ever seen before. What do you think would be the coolest thing you could possibly discover and why?

Right now the only thing that comes to mind is a survey carved in cuneiform. I have a feeling there would be a lot of "How much..." questions. This may be one of those answers that is infinitely more interesting to me than ANYONE else.


4.) If aliens landed in your backyard, what is the first thing you would ask them?

I'd start with simple arithmetic, move on to geometry and then call for the fiancee. She's a budding linguist and would probably get more out of them. She'd also probably get a good cookie recipe out of them. I suspect those would be spectacular cookies.

5.) Who (or what) is your favorite cartoon character and why?

There was a claymation character in dominoes commercials a few decades ago ... I think it was called a noid ... it was a play on the word annoyed. I REALLY like a good pun. Also pizza. Love pizza.


6.) If you could have lunch with a famous person, living or dead, who would it be and why?

Masaharu Morimoto, as long as he's cooking.


7.) If you could be reincarnated as an animal (real or imaginary), what would you be and why?

A living ship, like the ones in Farscape. Flying free in the universe would be AWESOME! So awesome.

8.) You are stranded on a desert island, and only one thing washed up on shore with you what (or who) would you want that to be?

A television crew. I've totally lost track of Lost. I could make my own. I REALLY think my beard would play well on the small screen. Ask anyone, I have an amazing beard. Also, I was a boy scout. I know my knots and feel I could survive very well as long as there were coconuts.


9.) Alot of ancient cultures, like the Greeks and Romans, had a god for just about everything. What type of god could you envision yourself as and why?

I think I would like to be a god of computer languages that start with the letter L. Such a specific god would not be distracted by the generalities that often trip up more power hungry gods. This would also improve my WoW addon coding.


10.) If you could be a character in a fantasy or science fiction novel, what type would you be? (Wizard, assassin, warrior, spaceship captain, princess, etc...) and why?

I would be a librarian. In fact, I may go that way in real life. Dwarvish or Cyborg librarian would be infinitely cooler though.


Blog plug!

I review what I'm reading at http://MentatJack.com

My main goal is to aid myself in remembering what I like about what I read. I'm rather absentminded. Also, I enjoy getting to know other people that enjoy speculative fiction as well. Like Mulluane ...*WAVE*

I also contribute to http://adventuresinscifipublishing.com

Thanks to MentatJack for sharing his answers with us!



Want to join in on the fun? Find out how here: Reader Appreciation Series

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Reader Appreciation Interview - Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

Mulluane | Tuesday, March 10, 2009 | 8 Comments so far
Anne
The Bio!

I'm a Hilo girl -- born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, as were both of my parents. We still live here -- they're in retirement now, while I finished a Master's in Library and Information Science, and am now looking for a job as a librarian or library assistant.

I have a wide variety of hobbies I pursue haphazardly at best, but my main ones are reading (mostly science fiction, fantasy, social science, natural science, and folklore), fantasy role-playing (Advanced Dungeons and Dragons; I both play and take turns at leading), reading usenet newsgroups (mostly alt.books.m-lackey), and maybe music, both singing and playing recorders (fipple flutes or bloc flutes).

I often volunteer in libraries. It helps me feel useful and keep my skills up while I look for a job. I volunteered for years at the University of Hawai'i at Hilo's Mo'okini Library, and off and on for even longer at Lyman House Museum's library. I've also volunteered at Kea'au High School's library, which is run by a former classmate of mine from library school. I enjoyed working together on "real" library work, instead of just class projects.

I do have some handicaps. One or another may insist on interfering with my life, sometimes worse than others. I guess I'll let them run my life when they insist. However, I will NOT let them ruin it.
The Questions!

1.) What magical ability would you like to have and why?

{thoughtful look} Well, if I take "magical" out of the sentence, that's easy. The ability I miss so badly I can taste it some days is the ability to dance. I lost it to increasingly terrible vertigo (a bad sense of balance) in my 20's, and while the vertigo is much better than it was at its worst, I still can't dance. {pause}

However, the ability to dance is not a magical ability. Neither is the ability to tell up from down with more certainty than my sense of balance can manage. {pause} A magical ability that would get me what I want is the ability to heal medical conditions that have stumped modern science. So healing it is, as long as it works on myself as well as on others. {SMILE}
2.) What would you do if you had a time machine?

Go exploring. That's what I do when I have a chance to see something new. I'd hop backwards and forwards, getting a feel for what it's like to be in some places. I would try to pick relatively tame places where none of those adventures which are more fun to read about than live are likely to start, but I always love to poke around, and find out what's around that corner, or inside that building, or what those people over there are doing... {Smile}
3.) You are an archeologist and you discover something that no one has ever seen before. What do you think would be the coolest thing you could possibly discover and why?

I wonder if I should give Mulluane a chance for a do-over on this question. I majored in Anthropology for my bachelor's degree. That meant I had to take Intro to Archeology. That, in turn, meant I've been corrupted by real archeologists. {Smile}

My favorite large find is an impressively large library uncovered in... I think it was Herculaneum, tho it might have been in Pompeii, or another city destroyed in the same Vesuvius eruption. So discovering another large library for it's day would be great, particularly if includes some "lost texts" we barely know title and author of now. {Smile}

I've only heard of one find that got me more excited than that library. It was a particularly well-preserved piece of papyrus with a long text on it... that reportedly turned out to be a shopping list. {Pause} Do you realize how hard it is to find out what people typically ate? Or what they wore when they weren't dressing up? Or how they lived... what they'd need on a typical day in an average week when nothing especially fancy was going on? I'm not kidding. That's the incredible find. I'd trade a few lost Greek plays for a plain old shopping list. But then I've been corrupted by real archeologists. {REALLY BIG GRIN}
4.) If aliens landed in your backyard, what is the first thing you would ask them?

"Are you stuck?"

The dirt in our yard is pretty loose, so there's a good chance they'd sink in and get stuck. Goodness knows cars do that often enough when they try to park in the front. {lop-sided smile}

Tho I don't know how we'd help them get out again if they were stuck in the back yard. It's not as easy as calling a tow truck. {BIG GRIN}
5.) Who (or what) is your favorite cartoon character and why?

Maybe Skywise or Puck from Elfquest, or Disney's Daisy Duck if you want someone more widely recognizable. I'm not really sure. {Smile}
6.) If you could have lunch with a famous person, living or dead, who would it be and why?

Josepha Sherman, author and sometime editor. Not because she's famous, but because she's the very first friend I made over the net, and we've never quite fallen out of touch since. I haven't had a chance to meet her face-to-face in the 13? years we've corresponded, so that would be pretty special. {SMILE}

If it has to be someone I don't know, I'd choose someone who could speak intelligently on a wide range of subjects, like Carl Sagan or Leonardo DaVinci. However, I'd consider either a poor substitute for finally getting to meet Josepha. {SMILE}
7.) If you could be reincarnated as an animal (real or imaginary), what would you be and why?

I'd choose a kitty cat. I'm quite an ailurophile. {SMILE}
8.) You are stranded on a desert island, and only one thing washed up on shore with you what (or who) would you want that to be?

A shortwave radio should do the trick. Not only could I call for help with it, but I could chat with a friend in Florida who's into those while I waited for rescue. {SMILE}
9.) A lot of ancient cultures, like the Greeks and Romans, had a god for just about everything. What type of god could you envision yourself as and why?

I am not goddess material. I'm not even leader material. So me as a goddess of anything is one thing my imagination really isn't up to picturing. {Smile}
10.) If you could be a character in a fantasy or science fiction novel, what type would you be? (Wizard, assassin, warrior, spaceship captain, princess, etc...) and why?

I think I'd enjoy being an archivist in one of those libraries the heroes look up forgotten information in once in a while. I've always enjoyed library work, and I'd never run out of reading material! {REALLY BIG GRIN}

The Blog Plug!

Well, on Blogger I'm here, and at LiveJournal I'm here. Both are largely personal blogs I use more to keep in touch with friends than anything else. However, the blogger isn't private, and the LiveJournal is often not, either. {Smile}

Thanks to Anne Elizabeth for sharing her answers with us!



Want to join in on the fun? Find out how here: Reader Appreciation Series

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Interview - Peter V. Brett: The Warded Man

Mulluane | Sunday, March 08, 2009 | 7 Comments so far

(Wacky Interview Series)


In case you missed the first interview in this series, here is the deal...I read alot of author interviews and they are good, informative, and interesting but rarely tell me all that much about an author's personality. I often find myself thinking, "Well that's all good and everything but I want to know more about the real live person behind the book!"

So, I decided to conduct a "fun" interview; something that will give my readers a good laugh and be fun for the authors. You will not find serious questions covering books, publishing, writing or future plans. Instead you will get a chance to see how they react to a bunch of crazy questions and scenarios.

So this is how I set this up, I gave Peter V. Brett 10 wacky questions, plus 2 bonus substitutes in case he didn't like or want to answer one of the original 10, he answered all 12! So here for your reading pleasure is a look inside of the mind of Peter V. Brett...


Author Peter V. Brett
1) Which magical power would you like to have and why?

A lot of people would go with flashy things like flight, super-strength, or the ability to blow your enemies to bits from afar, but I’ve always been partial to Wolverine-style super-healing. Imagine never being sick or getting hurt. Plus, he doesn’t need to wear a condom, except for birth control. That’s gotta make you popular with the ladies.

That’s more mutant power than magic, though. I’m also partial to teleportation. I really like to BE new and exciting places, but man, do I ever hate airports and long drives. Feh.

2) What would you do if you had a time machine?

I lost my brother in a car crash a dozen years ago. I’ve made my peace with it, but I think if I had a time machine, I would stare at it a lot, pondering how much saving him would alter the time-space continuum. Eventually I would get drunk and say “Fuck it” and jump back to 1997. Who knows? Maybe his being alive would somehow have kept the housing market stable and stopped us from invading Iraq. Star Trek rules say the slightest change to the past can drastically alter the present, but looking at the news lately, how much worse could it get?

3) What was your funniest/most interesting encounter with a fan?

All my fans are on the other side of the world right now, because the book isn’t out here in the US yet. I’m apparently big in Poland. That’s pretty sweet. And I get lots of fan mail from Australia and South Africa. It’s bizarre to be popular on the other side of the planet and totally unknown in your home town.

4) If you had a chance to spend some time with one mythical being, what would it be and why?

I’ve got a list of questions for God, beginning with demanding an explanation for the platypus. I mean, really. What the heck was he thinking? That’s what I call lazy writing. Maybe Earth is just a first draft and he’s working on revisions.

5) If aliens landed in your backyard, what is the first thing you would ask them?

Probably if they would mind waiting a few minutes while I changed out of the pants they just made me piss.

6) What quirky habit do you have that often gets you teased by your peers or family?

Like many authors, I am obsessive about minutiae. I had a girlfriend who used to sneak into my closet and make half my hanging shirts face the opposite direction from the rest, because it amused her to see how long it would take me to notice and fix them.

Everyone used to tease me for being a nerd, too, but now that is chic. Thank you, Bill Gates and Peter Jackson!

7) What did you want to be when you grew up?

A fantasy author, believe it or not. It’s my high school yearbook quote. It took me almost 20 years since then to make it happen, but here we are.

8) If you could be reincarnated as an animal, what would you be and why?

I’ve always wanted to fly, so I might go with a hawk or eagle or some other badass bird of prey, but I’m not sure how I would do in an aerie with no cable TV or high speed internet. My cat has it pretty easy. Maybe that’s a better choice.

9.) My readers want to know what you had for breakfast. Not sure why exactly...

Ham, egg, and cheese on a toasted poppy bagel. Made it myself. Would have gone with sesame, but we were out of those. Still delicious.

10) Why in the world did you consent to doing this wacky interview? I mean there is not one question here about your books, your writing or your future plans!

It’s actually really nice. I’ve done a lot of interviews recently, and they all ask the same questions. I hate writing the same thing over and over, so I try hard to change it up every time, but that can get really tedious when you’re trying to write about your path to publication for the tenth time without cutting and pasting from a previous interview. This is much more fun!


Bonus Questions!


11) Who is your favorite comedian or cartoon character and why?

I’m a big fan of Jon Stewart’s Daily Show. Never miss an ep. I get really frustrated by the fluff and misinformation that passes for news these days, and Jon does an excellent job of letting the hot air out of the major networks.

Batman wins hands down as favorite cartoon character, because he is awesome.

12) How would you describe your sense of humor?

Deadpan sarcasm?


Thanks Peter for consenting to do this interview!


Be sure to look for Peter V. Brett's debut novel:
The Warded Man: Book One of The Demon CycleThe Warded Man: Book One of The Demon Cycle

Which is being released in the US on Tuesday, March 10, 2009!

You can find more info on the book at Peter's website: Peter V. Brett

You can also read my review and find other useful links here: The Warded Man


Other Wacky Interviews




Thursday, March 5, 2009

Reader Appreciation Interview - Edifanob

Mulluane | Thursday, March 05, 2009 | 8 Comments so far
Reader
The Bio!

I'm 49 young/old happily married guy and father of a 17 years old daughter. And we all three share our life with two crazy cats - a tomcat called Pablo and a she-cat called Lili. Please look at: http://legolasperlenuniversum.blogspot.com/search/label/Schmuser

Since 1991 I work as a programmer for the German subsidiary of a Japanese company. In the meantime I 'm member of the European IT of the company. So from time to time I visit other subsidiaries in order to work together with my European colleagues.

I like to read fantasy, sleuth, steampunk, mystery and also other if they are interesting...
But mostly I read fantasy and mystery.

Beside reading I like
- to visit medieval fairs and markets
- hear music (olides from the sixties, pagan-metal, gothic, and more)
- play games on PC, PS2, Wii)
But in the meantime there is not much time left for gaming........

My favourite town is London. 2007 my wife and I spent one week in London. We will go again for several days weeks in 2009.

I like to go shopping which is highly appreciated by my wife but not by my wallet.

In former times I was a shy boy and I was used to give one word answers: YES, NO, MAYBE. Nowadays I like to communicate. Some times I feel like a chatterbox.

In April 2008 I started to dive in the wonderful world of social networks and blogs.

In the meantime I’m member of Goodreads, Wonderlands, David Gemmell Legend Award and The Dragon Federation.

Beside this I read a lot of blogs on a regurlarly base.

So I’m fully stretched and I love it…….

Some of you maybe know me under my screen name ediFanob which has a deeper meaning:

When you read it backwards you get Bona Fide which means:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Good_faith

Ah, I forgot to mention: I'm a fan of quotes

QUOTES
"All we have is to decide what to do with the time that is given to us. "
— J.R.R. Tolkien (The Fellowship of the Ring)

"When I have a little money, I buy books; and if I have any left, I buy food and clothes."
— Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus

"Books to the ceiling,
Books to the sky,
My pile of books is a mile high.
How I love them! How I need them!
I'll have a long beard by the time I read them."
— Arnold Lobel


The Questions!


1.) What magical ability would you like to have and why?

At school I wanted to read the thoughts of my teacher :>) Later on it changed several times always depending on books, movies adntv series. Invisibility, telekinesis, fly, teleportation, shapeshifting. But I never wanted to be immortal. Nowadays I would like to have the ability to manipulate time. This is a very pratical wish. Means I hold on time before I start to read. So I could read all the books I want without losing time. And of course during sleep. So I finally can spend 24 hours a day without sleeping.

2.) What would you do if you had a time machine?

Travelling of course! But without changing anything. In former times I wanted to travel into future.

Nowadays I would like to travel to alternative worlds (is this possible with a time machine?) and into the past..

London is my favorite town. I would like to visit London in former times. I would like to be there at the days of Jack the Ripper http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_the_Ripper); During the great stink in summer 1858 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Stink) I also would like to visit the World's Fair Chicago 1893 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World's_Columbian_Exposition);

One flight with aiship LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LZ_127_Graf_Zeppelin)

Just one more: Tunguska event, 30th June 1908 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tunguska_event)

And to be honest there are so many more. But this is a topic for an other blog post. Anyway I just want to gothere without any possibility to change something.


3.) You are an archeologist and you discover something that no one has ever seen before. What do you think would be the coolest thing you could possibly discover and why?

That was a headscratcher. Indiana Jones found a lot of interesting things and not to forget Annja Creed (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rogue_Angel).

I will find a big black box made of unkown material. Nobody is able to open it. Nobody understands what it is made for. Finally the UN decides to remove the box from earth by using a rocket. On 20101020 the rocket lift off and two hours later we will get the answer of question 4.

4.) If aliens landed in your backyard, what is the first thing you would ask them?

You're late. Any problems with your UPS (Universal Positioning System)??

5.) Who (or what) is your favorite cartoon character and why?

I'm afraid you talk about cartoons and not about graphic novels. In case of graphic novel my answer would as fast as an arrow: RORSCHACH from WATCHMEN. He is mysterious and follows his own way. I know he is sometimes violently but that is a part of his personality.

6.) If you could have lunch with a famous person, living or dead, who would it be and why?

First of all this depends on the food. I don't like to eat beings with more than four legs!!

It is also a question of language. I speak an average German and a reasonable mix of Britsh and American English. But I know to use my hands and feets plus some pantomimic capabilities.

After thinking a short while I found the person I would like to have lunch with: ADA LOVELACE (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ada_Lovelace) And you ask me why. Ok, she lived in London. So we would have a lunch in London. She worked together with Charles babbage. That means she worked with mechanical general-purpose computer. That reminds me at steampunk. And I'm a programmer.

7.) If you could be reincarnated as an animal (real or imaginary), what would you be and why?
Again I have to decide because I have two favorite animals: WOLF and OWL. So I would like to be a shapeshifter. During day I would be a wolf and at night an owl.
8.) You are stranded on a desert island, and only one thing washed up on shore with you what (or who) would you want that to be?

First thought: It should be my glasses because I'm heavily shortsighted. Second thought: My GOODREADS bookshelf which contains 1342 books. But how can I read them wihtout my glasses? Third and final thought: My wife!! I still love her after all these years. We always have much to talk about and she is nitty-gritty. And in this case I don't need my glasses :>))

9.) Alot of ancient cultures, like the Greeks and Romans, had a god for just about everything. What type of god could you envision yourself as and why?

I would be the god of never finish games. I played so many games in my life (mostly jump & run, adventures, rpgs,) but as far as I remember I finished only one or two. I always play until I face the final enemy.
10.) If you could be a character in a fantasy or science fiction novel, what type would you be? (Wizard, assassin, warrior, spaceship captain, princess, etc...) and why?

I'm a man but I prefer female characters in books and games. I don't have a real explanation for this. I think it's mostly toescape all these rules in our „normal“ life. So I would like to be a female wood elf archer and my profession is assassin/thief. I'm not a worthy hero. I like to operate in the shadows and from distance.

WOOD ELF race description:
http://www.elderscrolls.com/codex/races_woodelf.htm

The Blog plug!

I'm just an active reader. I don't have a blog.
Thanks to Edifanob for sharing his answers with us!



Want to join in on the fun? Find out how here: Reader Appreciation Series

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Reader Appreciation Interview - LibraryDad

Mulluane | Tuesday, March 03, 2009 | 8 Comments so far

The Bio!

I was born in southern California but prefer to tell people I'm from Virginia since that's where I grew up. I spent a few years in college in north-western Pennsylvania and a few years working on North Carolina before moving back home to Virginia. My hobbies outside of reading include genealogy and the self-abusive sport of running.



The Questions!


1.) What magical ability would you like to have and why?

Stopping time. Why? Because I've always wondered what the women's shower looks like. And so I can read all those books on my shelf.
2.) What would you do if you had a time machine?

Become King of the World. Or be like Doc Brown and go back to the Wild West to see what life was like. Maybe pick up some information on my family history from first hand sources. And test that theory that meeting yourself could result in the end of the world (or death like on LOST).

3.) You are an archeologist and you discover something that no one has ever seen before. What do you think would be the coolest thing you could possibly discover and why?

Wow. And I thought these would be easy questions. My snarky answer would be finding proof that you didn't use spell check on this question. But my serious answer would be to find proof of alien life or a previous incarnation of advanced technology. Like digging below the layer of the cave man to find a metro tube (kind of like Planet of the Apes). Or to dig below a temple in Mexico to find an alien body.

4.) If aliens landed in your backyard, what is the first thing you would ask them?

Assuming you're peaceful, may I go with you?

5.) Who (or what) is your favorite cartoon character and why?

A Smurf. I grew up in the 80s and, while it was a close call between a Smurf or a Gummi Bear, I think kicking Brainy would be more fun than drinking Gummi Bear juice.

6.) If you could have lunch with a famous person, living or dead, who would it be and why?

Jimmy Stewart. He is hands-down my favorite actor and I've never met him. I think I'd like to eat lunch with him just to see if he really is that sappy, average kind of guy he plays in the movies.
7.) If you could be reincarnated as an animal (real or imaginary), what would you be and why?
Another hard question. After much thought, I'd have to go with the Cassowary, the deadliest bird on the planet. Why the Cassowary? Because, well, it's the deadliest bird and it lives in Australia! I've never been there and I'd prefer to have people leave me alone. I'm just hoping they don't taste good.
8.) You are stranded on a desert island, and only one thing washed up on shore with you what (or who) would you want that to be?

Sure I could wish for a survival kit or something, but I'm being realistic. Or at least trying to stay true to the question. So if I truly wanted to survive, I would want a hatchet or knife.

9.) Alot of ancient cultures, like the Greeks and Romans, had a god for just about everything. What type of god could you envision yourself as and why?

Behold! My name is Averagus and I am the God of the Average Man. I doubt I'd have a large following, but I've always felt like an average person. Maybe Averagus would help out those other average guys be not so average.
10.) If you could be a character in a fantasy or science fiction novel, what type would you be? (Wizard, assassin, warrior, spaceship captain, princess, etc...) and why?

Seeing as I sport a five-o'clock shadow most days, I don't think I'd make a good princess. But I do enjoy people-watching, so I'd have to go with the assassin. The wardrobe has an added bonus since black is very slimming.



The Blog plug!

Library Dad
My intent behind Library Dad is to:
  • Find inspiration to visit and support their local library
  • Find free or cheap books to read at their local library, bookshop, or online
  • Learn how to find hidden gems at their library
  • If people enjoy it because of (or despite) this, great! I'm having fun so far and I'm starting to really enjoy the news around the reading/writing industry.
    Thanks to LibraryDad for sharing his answers with us!



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