Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A Grand Master has passed on...

Jack Vance, (1916 - 2013) passed away at his Oakland CA home on May 23rd. He was 96. Vance who is best known for his Dying Earth novels and the Demon Princes. He was named the 14th Grand Master of Science Fiction in 1997.
Vance lived a colorful and varied life, he missed the attack on Pearl Harbor by a month and was turned down for military service due to poor eyesight. He ended up serving in the Merchant Marine after memorizing an eye chart to pass the medical exam. While at sea he wrote his first science fiction story.
Before becoming a full-time writer in the 1970s, he worked as a seaman, surveyor, and carpenter, among other occupations. Vance was a talented musician and released a jazz album just a couple of months ago.

For more on Vance and his work visit the official website:

Monday, May 27, 2013

An apology....

Dear reader;

I have really been too busy reading and working toward a degree in computer graphics to post here.

Shortly after my last post I discovered the joys of the Kindle...I have been devouring e-books every since and I have some reccomendations for you.

From sword and knife smith Michael "Tinker" Pearce and his wife bring us Diaries of a Dwarven Rifleman , book one of a series. I found the tales of Engvyr Gunnarson adventures from youth to maturity entertaining and quite believable, with a somewhat different take on dwarves, goblins and humans. Well worth the time.

I also suggest the Mongoliad Trilogy, the first three books in the Foreworld Saga. Its a shared universe the brainchild of Neal Stephenson, Greg Bear, Mark Teppo, Nicole Galland, Erik Bear, Joseph Brassey. and Cooper Moo. A fantasy set in an alternate history at the time of the 13th century Mongol invasion of the west. The three books are full of action and adventure. There are also stand alone side quests (stories and novellas that follow a secret order called the OMVI that is

bound by honor to protect humankind. The stories travel through various times from the Classical to the Victorian Age. I haven't read any of them yet, when I do I will tell you about them.

My latest read on my Kindle The Spinward Fringe Series by Randolph Lalonde, pure space opera. It chronicles the fight of a valiant skipper and his crew agaisnt corporate baddies.. a good read all around.. I just finished books 0 through 5 he's working on number 8. There was also a 3 book prequel, its pricey these days and IMHO you can get into the series without them and not be lost. Lalonde has a blog here:

In the vein of "Space Opera" I also endorse Defiance on the Sci-Fi channel. I know they changed itbut I detest syffy.

That's it for the good news now for some comments on bad news. By now I guess you've heard Scottish author Iain M. Bank's cancer and the death sentence he is dealing with. He's completed and delivered his final book "The Quarry" and its expected to come out later this year. More on this at his web page:

I am certain that I am among many who will miss his tales of "The Culture", which I have been reading since forever.

Following this, Portland OR author Jay Lake announced he has terminal cancer. From his blog post: “the short form version is that I have a large mass in my peritoneum, two inches or more in size, along with another somewhat smaller mass. These are more omental tumors. Multiple masses of various sizes spread throughout my liver, some of them confirmed tumors, some of them suspected. Also two spots in my right lung which are suspected tumors. Tumors this widespread are not subject to surgical treatment. Not to mention which my liver is too fragile for further surgery in any case.”

He is going to start the drug Regorafenib later this month, which may arrest tumor growth enough to provide six to twelve months of life extension. After the Regorafenib treatment, he expects “about three months of decent quality of life, followed by six to nine months of decline, ending in death. In the mean time, of course, I will have to tolerate the rather substantial side effects of the drug.

“In other words, I will most likely die within nine to twenty-four months from now, depending on Regorafenib’s effectiveness. I will never again be out of treatment or free of cancer.”

Lake won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in 2004, and has been nominated for one Nebula Award, two Hugo Awards, three World Fantasy Awards, and 26 Locus Awards, as well as others. Lake has a story nominated for the Nebula, Locus, and Hugo this year, and plans on attending all three awards ceremonies, health permitting.

He has a blog here:

That's it from me for now.. I promise I will post at least once amonth from now on, keep reading!