Friday, July 27, 2007
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
I have to admit that I have been ignoring the many reviews posted over the last couple of days, because, having recently finished Relentless, I know what to expect from Fearless, and don't want to spoil what is yet to come.
So here, instead, are a few of the non-review posts that, if you haven't read so far, you might like to:
Christopher Hopper describes almost meeting Robin;
Gene Curtis discusses book trailers, a promotional device used in the marketing of Fearless;
Hanna Sandvig asks What makes Christian fiction Christian? and promises to critique the cover art today;
and Beth Goddard has a big interview with the author.
A full list of participating blogs can be found in yesterdays post.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
You probably know by know that the CSFF Blog tour is supporting the release of Fearless by Robin Parrish. You probably also know that I haven't read it, because not reading the books is my adopted role in the tour :P .
But Fearless, as you also know, is A Sequel, and I have recently finished the first volume of the Dominion Trilogy, Relentless.
The story begins like this:
Collin Boyd stepped off the Metro bus on his way to work, and across the street he saw himself strolling down the sidewalk.
Collin, it seems, has been 'shifted', and in addition to losing his own body, it transpires that he now inhabits the body of a total stranger. All of which seems faintly ridiculous, as does the apparent ease with which Collin Boyd accepts his new identity, even insisting that his sister calls him by his assumed name, Grant Borrows.
Perhaps I'm being a bit unfair. The body-swap thing is a bit comic-book for my taste, and is never adequately explained, but since SFF fans are accustomed to a degree of suspension of disbelief.
As for how easily Collin settles into Grant's identity, well, so much is going on in this guy's life that he probably hasn't got a minute to worry about who's face he is wearing. From the first assassination attempt, the pace is indeed relentless, helped along by the rapid passing of chapters - Parrish packs no fewer than 64 chapters into 442 pages (presumably that stems from its beginnings as a serial?). Which, in theory, I like because that makes it easy to pick up and read in odd minutes here and there. In practice, I could always find time to squeeze in another chapter before going on to whatever else I had to do.
The story follows the new Grant Borrows as he tries to figure out what has happened to him, and why so many people are so intent to destroy his new body. Along the way he discovers that he has the power of telekenesis - the ability to move, and frequently destroy, stuff by the power of his mind. He comes across a group of Shifted individuals - the Loci - who have also inherited various super-human abilities (as well as, presumably, new bodies, which none of them seem to talk about). He even does a spot of amateur genealogy. And then, towards the end of the book, the action steps up a gear as it builds to the climax, which was not exactly where I thought it might be (although I was clipping through the story so quickly I didn't have much chance to worry about what might be coming).
Relentless fills an odd niche in the world of Christian SF & Fantasy, somewhere between superhero sf and Whedon-esque urban fantasy. There was at least one scene straight out of Buffy, some very Star Wars moments, and the superhero premise somewhere between X-Men, The Fantastic Four and Heroes (which admittedly I know by reputation only, as it arrives on the BBC tomorrow). And, oddly, only a single passing mention of God, about 400 pages in, although the characters all seem to swear like Christians, leading to one slightly jarring occurrence of the word 'frightfully'.
I usually like my Christian fiction a bit more obvious than Relentless, but I can honestly say that I found this book to be a page-turner, and I will be reading Fearless soon.
Trish Anderson Brandon Barr Wayne Thomas Batson Jim Black Justin Boyer Grace Bridges Amy Browning Jackie Castle Valerie Comer Karri Compton Frank Creed Lisa Cromwell CSFF Blog Tour Gene Curtis D. G. D. Davidson Merrie Destefano Jeff Draper April Erwin Beth Goddard Marcus Goodyear Andrea Graham Russell Griffith Jill Hart Katie Hart Sherrie Hibbs Christopher Hopper Jason Joyner Karen Dawn King Tina Kulesa Lost Genre Guild Rachel Marks Rebecca LuElla Miller Eve Nielsen John W. Otte John Ottinger Lyn Perry Rachelle Cheryl Russel Hanna Sandvig Chawna Schroeder Mirtika Schultz James Somers Speculative Faith Jason Waguespac Daniel I. Weaver
Monday, July 23, 2007
This month's CSFF blog tour is to mark the release of Fearless by Robin Parrish, the second book in his Dominion Trilogy.
Robin Parrish is the man responsible for the INFUZE ezine, where the first volume of the trilogy, Relentless, first appeared as a serial, and where you can now find his blog. You can also find him at http://www.robinparrish.com/.
I will post a review of the first book of the trilogy, Relentless, later in the tour. Because I haven't read the latest book.
For now, here are your further stops on the tour...
Trish Anderson Brandon Barr Wayne Thomas Batson Jim Black Justin Boyer Grace Bridges Amy Browning Jackie Castle Valerie Comer Karri Compton Frank Creed Lisa Cromwell CSFF Blog Tour Gene Curtis D. G. D. Davidson Merrie Destefano Jeff Draper April Erwin Beth Goddard Marcus Goodyear Andrea Graham Russell Griffith Jill Hart Katie Hart Sherrie Hibbs Christopher Hopper Jason Joyner Karen Dawn King Tina Kulesa Lost Genre Guild Rachel Marks Rebecca LuElla Miller Eve Nielsen John W. Otte John Ottinger Lyn Perry Rachelle Cheryl Russel Hanna Sandvig Chawna Schroeder Mirtika Schultz James Somers Steve Trower Speculative Faith Jason Waguespac Daniel I. Weaver
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Which probably interests precisely none of my regular readers. But if I'm wrong, do drop by.
I'm also trying to tidy up a bit here, and add a few more blog buddies, but then I find myself going off topic with links too... Oh well, maybe it doesn't matter. Maybe I'm just filling space.
I'll have a sf-related Friday review. Promise.
Monday, July 09, 2007
Well, I say a quick link, but it looks like you could spend hours at galaxiki.org, playing God with fictional solar systems.
I had a little nose around at the weekend, but I didn't play with any of the planet customising features or anything.
Unfortuantely the rules prohibit the use of 'names, characters or stories from exisiting science fiction stories on Galaxiki solar system pages' otherwise I would have been happily creating the planets from Countless as the Stars. It is quite possible, of course, that that rule applies to naming a planet Vulcan or Viltvodle VI, and that the planets I created myself might be allowable. But I don't suppose they want me imposing my Creed on their nice shiny galaxy.
Anyway, if you've got too much time, and want a new kind of world-building tool, go have a look.
Thursday, July 05, 2007
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
The Fantastic Four is not a team of comic-book superheroes. They were not created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. They are writers of Christian fantasy fiction, soon to embark upon a mission across 12 cities in the Eastern USA, where they hopefully won't be exposed to any cosmic rays.
- Mr. Fantastic (Wayne Thomas Batson), the leader of the group by virtue of having been a teacher in a parallel world, and author of the best-selling young adult fantasy series The Door Within.
- The Invisible Woman (Sharon Hinck), probably not Mr Fantastic's wife, and probably not even invisible. I am reliably informed that she is a wife, home school mother of four and writes Women's Fiction Alternate Reality Fantasy. I'm guessing that at least qualifies her as a woman.
- The Human Torch (Bryan Davis), author of the Oracles of Fire and Dragons in our Midst series of young adult fantasy novels.
- And finally, everybody's favourite, ever-lovin' blue-eyed Thing, Christopher Hopper. Known for his great courage, strength and endurance; his skin is monstrous, craggy, orange, and looks as if made of rocks. Despite (or perhaps because of) this, he manages to be an international speaker, recording artist, youth pastor and author of The White Lion Chronicles. And if he ever finds out where I live, it will be clobberin' time.
For slightly more reliable author biogs, and more information about the tour, visit www.fantasyfictiontour.com.
If you surfed in here looking for Rise of the Silver Surfer, you want www.fantasticfourmovie.com.
Monday, July 02, 2007
Since I know there are going to be those visiting who won't have seen the latest Doctor Who yet, I will try to whet your appetite without spoiling it.
But first let's just say it wasn't all good. As I said, the opener, 'Smith and Jones', was a bit silly; the Dalek episodes completely lost the plot, and even the largely excellent finale went a bit wierd at one point.
The second half of the series, however, was as good as Doctor Who has ever been. The episode '42' turned out not to be about the ultimate answer, but rather a play on '24'. An interesting twist on the format, rather than the best Who ever.
Following that the double-header from 1913, considered by many pundits one of the series' all time high points. 'Blink' was, well, blinkin' scary. And after that, the three-part story arc leading to the climax.
Actually, the story arc is woven right through the series, quite subtly to begin with, until the (otherwise fairly unremarkable) episode 'Utopia' brings them all together and kickstarts the finale.
The final episode even brings in big spiritual themes of forgiveness, and the power of prayer, albeit briefly. If you've seen it, and fancy getting a lesson on evangelism from it, check this out. (Unfortunately it will spoil the ending if you haven't seen it.)
Captain Jack comes back too, to share a few unexpected lines with the new Doc and his new companion, and we get to find out how he got the immortal gig before joining Torchwood.
And John 'DI Tyler' Simm (did I ever mention I've met him?) was an inspired piece of casting.
All in all, Season 29 (or series three, if you prefer) contained some of the best individual Who episodes yet, the most coherent (if subtle) story arc so far, some nice nods back to the Baker years (for those that remember), and a brilliant climax with plenty of neat twists and little surprises.
Christmas special should be interesting, too!