Saturday, January 30, 2010

Craziness and Hijinx!

Wow! I slept in on the wrong day. All my virtual friends are scrapping over this Macmillan vs. Amazon battle of giants.

Apparently, Macmillan wants Amazon to charge more for its ebooks. So Amazon got mad and pulled ALL of Macmillan's books. That includes Tor Books and St. Martin's Press - Robert Jordan and Janet Evanovich, respectively.

I would really love to weigh in on this more right this second, but unfortunately I have a gaggle of real friends who are going to be showing up at my house at any moment to go to a beer tasting this afternoon. I have to say, I would rather follow this debacle than go to a beer tasting at the moment, and I'm not sure if that makes me a hopeless loser or part grown-up. For now I'll just link to some of my favorite people's opinions.

Cory Doctorow at Boing Boing, who is published by Tor.

The Haydens at Making Light. This blog is run by Teresa and Patrick Nielson-Hayden, who are both editors at Tor. They often have Tor writers and other editors in their comment section, which is the best part of their blog (as they freely admit).

John Scalzi, another Tor author.

Agh! I have to get ready! I hope it will all be resolved by the time I get home. This is like Jerry Springer for publishing geeks like me.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Santa Olivia

Title: Santa Olivia
Author: Carey, Jacqueline
Review Date: January 28, 2010
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Pages: 352
Price (Trade Paperback): $13.99
Publication Date: 5/29/2009 0:00:00
ISBN: 978-0446198172
Category: Fiction

Jacqueline Carey’s departure from her usual elegant world-building and florid prose is surprisingly successful in her first foray into urban fantasy.

Loup Garron is not your average girl, especially in this army-occupied town that lies in the buffer military zone between US and Mexico. Her father escaped a genetic lab that had successfully crossbred humans and wolves - producing human weapons with incredible strength, dexterity, senses, and most importantly, a complete lack of fear. Loup’s ancestry is a closely kept secret, as her inheritance of these abilities makes her a resource the occupying army would love to exploit in its war against the unseen enemy, El Segundo. When their mother dies, Loup’s brother is unable to care for her on his own so she is placed in the church orphanage with the rest of the town’s unwanted children. Quickly deciding she needs an ally to warn her when she should be cautious, Loup decides to trust the other kids with her secret, and when one of the group is brutally attacked they realize they have their own secret weapon. Faced with continual injustice, bound by ever-increasing rules and regulations, not knowing whether there really is an enemy the army is there to fight, they decide to bring to life the myth of Santa Olivia. However, possessing superhero qualities is not enough to save her when the town faces the ultimate betrayal of their only hope, and Loup has to make a decision that will decide the course of her life and the fate of her people.

Carey's new prose style may be quick and dirty, but somehow that does not make it less sensuous - and sensuous prose combined with a breakneck pace makes for a thrilling read. Though the main character is not as well-fleshed out as she could be, the secondary characters make up for it by being complex and unique. Loup’s lack of fear makes for interesting and unintended consequences, especially in her relationships. The erasure of human rights throughout the novel in the name of national security draws easy parallels with current events. Santa Olivia may not be what fans are used to from Carey, but it will leave them wanting more.

Monday, January 25, 2010


I thought some of you might be interested in this: Frederick Pohl's blog has a post up about he and Isaac Asimov's childhood friendship through science fiction fandom. It's really more about Asimov than about their friendship, and really not more information than you could get from any one of numerous biographies, but how cool to read about him through Pohl's eyes.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

My Reading and Non-Reading World

This is my first class in this program. I am still a little breathless that I am taking a class where not only do I get to read fun books and write about them, but the purpose of reading these books is to hone my skills at helping other people find books they want to read. And that I have to read good books and advise others for a grade.

Ok…breathe Carri, breathe…Ok.

See, I used to manage a used bookstore in Kokomo, and my absolute favorite part of that job was helping people find things to read. I wrote a blog post about it on the bookstore's blog. Now that I haven’t worked there for almost two years my skills might be a little rusty, but I’m really looking forward to practice.

My name is Carri Genovese, and as I said this is my first class. I graduated from IU Kokomo about four years ago with a Humanities degree and several minors. I live in South Broad Ripple (or Meridian Kessler, depending on who you ask) with my husband and two cats. We love our house and our neighborhood, sadly though, we are renting and should really probably buy a house because it’s cheaper and that’s what grown-ups do, so I am currently in the process of visiting lots of houses we can afford in neighborhoods I don’t like as well as mine. I left my job as assistant manager of a great local costume shop, Costumes by Margie, to start the program, so I am currently unemployed. I don’t mind it too much, but I will have to get a job soon so that my friends stop making housewife jokes.

My reading habits are eclectic, but I do veer heavily towards science fiction and fantasy. I love reading women like Virginia Woolf and Dorothy Parker, and I also enjoy non-fiction like Malcolm Gladwell and other social psychology type books. I love finding and reading wacky non-fiction books on random subjects I know nothing about. My collection includes books on abandoned mine shafts, winning carnival games, people who live in the tunnels beneath Las Vegas, and old time medicine shows. I am compelled to buy field guides to imaginary creatures whenever I see them. I love folklore, and really any aspect of story-telling, be it through fiction, graphic novels, video games, or any other medium. I believe strongly in free access to information, another reason I am excited about the program.

My husband and I role-play with a group of friends on a weekly basis, so I spend some time reading role-playing books to try to get a leg up on the GM. Mark writes role-playing games so one of my favorite things is finding books that will help him in his research. And then I get it for him, and he doesn’t read it soon enough, so then I read it and tell him the important parts.

Things I do that aren’t reading – I like camping and hiking, especially difficult trails that make you watch where you put your feet. Since I quit smoking in August, I’ve recently discovered that I enjoy exercising now that I can breathe. I’m trying to be a runner but I’m scared of ice. I was doing much better in September and October. I am a strict vegetarian but I’m not pretentious about it, and I really like bread and good cheese and good beer. I have a great respect for people who make things, like gardeners and engineers and seamstresses, and every once in a while I enjoy trying a hobby that grows from one of those, but it usually doesn’t last. I own gardening tools, a sewing machine, knitting needles, and a circular saw; I haven’t made anything from any of them but I might someday. I love spending time with my friends and family, laughing, and board games.

I am really looking forward to starting this program and specifically this class.