Year Endings and Beginnings

December 30, 2016 at 8:58 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

For many people 2016 has been a stressful, busy and torturous year. Man changes have occurred leading fear and dread for the future there has been much sadness. I won’t speak to the politics or other events. That isn’t the focus of this blog.

The sadness stems from the loss of many artists of various areas such as music, books and movies. The year is ending with the death of Carrie Fisher the beloved Princess Leia from “Star Wars.” The fantasy genre has lost several authors this year with Richard Adams the author of Watership Down. Hopefully we’ll make it to 2017 without any further losses.

This year for the blog has been very scattered. Life events and work kept me away from keeping up with the blog on a regular basis. I hope to do a better job in the future. So here is the hope for the new year of 2017.

For new beginnings, you might want to try some new books in different sub genres of fantasy. Here are links to epic fantasy and urban fantasy books:

Epic Fantasy:  http://www.unboundworlds.com/2016/12/want-read-epic-fantasy-heres-start/

High Fantasy:  http://www.unboundworlds.com/2016/12/want-read-high-fantasy-heres-start/

Urban Fantasy:  http://www.unboundworlds.com/2016/11/want-read-urban-fantasy-heres-start/

Until next year, may the gifts of fantasy and wonder be yours. Happy New Year!

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Some New Links of Interest

December 2, 2016 at 3:54 pm | Posted in Announcement, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A short post for today as I try to get back into the blog on a regular basis. Recently I’ve discovered some new links that have interesting articles and content about fantasy and science fiction.

Unbound Worlds is a site from the publisher Del Rey. The site contains interviews, articles and other content related to the genres of fantasy and science fiction. The site can be found at:  http://www.unboundworlds.com/

The Portalist is a site from Open Road Integrated Media. The site contains many articles and other content about books, movie, TV shows and other media in the fantasy and science fiction genres. The site can be found at:  http://theportalist.com/

Good Intentions Gone Awry

November 28, 2016 at 4:39 pm | Posted in Announcement, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Hello,

I want to apologize for not getting posts on the blog this past month like I said I would. Good intentions got shoved out of the way by various things. Like many people, for me, it was the presidential election. I’ve been on an emotional rollercoaster most of the month. It started with the shock at the winner, followed by denial and worry for our country, and ending with plenty of anger. I’ve come to acceptance at this moment and I’m taking a wait and see attitude. The anger is still there, but on slow burn. With that said, I plan to refocus my effort on the blog for December.

Thank you for your patience.

New Beginnings

September 30, 2016 at 5:09 pm | Posted in Announcement, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Hello,

I’m back after a long hiatus of neglect. This is a new beginning of regular blog posts. (I hope.) Today starts with a new article about where to start. Enjoy.

Why I Read Fantasy

June 3, 2016 at 8:02 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“I am a reader not because I don’t have a life but because I chose to have many.” (unknown) People love to read what speaks to them. This can be nonfiction, fiction or any other of a variety of media. They can be interested in a specific genre. I have been a reader all my life. I read plenty of different things, but the genre that resonates with me the strongest is fantasy.

 

My reading journey began as a child. My mother would read stories to me and I wanted to learn to read badly. Unlike other children who slept with stuffed animals I slept with books under my pillow. (LOL) Reading was important for me because I wanted to learn about animals, which I loved with obsession. I went through my horse phase reading any book about horses and stories about them. Later on I discovered science fiction while growing up with TV shows like “Star Trek” and “Lost in Space”. I devoured sf books for many years. Then in college, I discovered Lord of the Rings, fell in love and have read in the genre ever since.

 

I love the many subgenres available in in fantasy. Epic fantasy impresses me with  grand stories of battles to save a world. Arthurian fantasy has many different versions of telling a story that continues to resonate in today’s world. Mythic fantasy provides epiphanies and experience of the numinous aspects of life. Urban fantasy brings magic into the real world for some great, memorable stories of how life would be different for us.

 

It is hard to put into words why I enjoy fantasy so much. I’ve always had a vivid imagination and a strong sense of wonder. Suspending my disbelief for a book or story comes easy for me. As long as there are memorable characters, a gripping plot and wonder, I’m in tor the length of the story. Fantasy fills my emotional understanding of what it means to be human and the concept of the human heart. Other worlds with different cultures are fascinating. Some people say that fantasy is read to escape from reality, but I think that is a good thing because fantasy helps us see the world from different perspectives. To me, the real world could use a little more wonder. Bottom line for me is to experience awe.

 

Reading is important in my life. I’ve learned a lot from fantasy like tolerance and empathy for those who are different. It is hard to try to experience everything the world has to offer, but reading provides this:    “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies,” said Jojen. “The man who never reads lives only one.” (A Dance with Dragons pg. 452 )That is why I read fantasy.

Tim Powers

January 16, 2016 at 8:34 pm | Posted in Articles, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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The Fantasy genre encompasses a broad spectrum of possibilities from Epic to those books with a minimum of fantasy elements. Many authors write in the familiar parts of the genre while others find new territory. Tim Powers is an author that has carved out his own unique niche in the spectrum. He creates unique Fantasy worlds blending history and fantasy elements until there is a doubt whether it could be real or not. His books have wonderful characters and plots. Some of them have won the World Fantasy and other awards. Readers can find interesting new worlds to explore with these books.

Mr. Powers first book was _Drawing of the Dark_. It is the story of the soldier of fortune Brian Duffy in 1500’s Vienna. The Turkish armies are coming to take the city. Brian must save the world from evil by protecting a tavern that makes a famous special beer. He is assisted by a mysterious wizard and King Athur’s spirit. Mr. Powers{ weaves Arthurian elements, the story of the Fisher King and real history to create a book full of action and adventure with some sly humor.

The next book of this author was _The Anubis Gates_, which became an award winner. It mixes time travel, Egyptian mythology and strangeness in Seventeenth Century England. A scholar of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Brendan Doyle, travels back in time and gets caught up in stopping a plot to destroy the English monarchy. He must fight several evil creatures, a band of Gypsies and Egyptian sorcerer. This book demonstrates Mr. Powers talent for writing tight, action filled plots with interesting characters. Historical details give the book a realistic touch to the Fantasy elements.

_Dinner At Deviant’s Palace_ is a different book than the author’s usual. A post apocalyptic Lost Angeles is the setting for this tale. Greg Rivas must infiltrate a cult to save a woman he once knew. The cult is run by the mysterious Norton Jaybush and his members eventually disappear for good. All of this happens at the private club Deviant’s Palace. Mr. Powers creates a dark story with cynical characters and dangerous horrors in a strange future world.

The Carribbean region of 1718 is the setting of the next book of _On Stranger Tides_. Pirates and voodoo magic appear in the tale of John Chandagnac, a bookkeeper caught up with Blackbeard the pirate. They are on a quest for the Fountain of Youth in Florida. Supernatural elements are woven into this pirate story by Mr. Power’s usual unique talent. It has plenty of action and frightening moments.

Horror is the primary theme of _The Stress of Her Regard_. Michael Crawford is a doctor in 1815. He awakens in bed one morning to find his bride’s savaged body next to him. Blamed for the previous deaths of a brotherÄ and other bride, Dr. Crawford flees to Italy to meet Lord Byron, Percy Shelley and John Keats, seeking answers to his curse. This book incorporates the mythologies of vampires, succubi and lamia to provide a detailed, vivid horror story that is one of Power’s best books.

Las Vegas is a fantastical city in the Nevada desert. It is the setting for _Last Call_, a mythic Fantasy that revolves around the Tarot and legend of the Fisher King. Georges Leon is the current King. He tries to maintain his throne by destroying his sons. The mother saves the youngest son, Scott, by throwing him onto a boat passing by on a trailer. Scott is raised by the wizard Ozzie and comes back to challenge his father for the throne to get revenge. The throne is decided by playing poker with magical Tarot cards. Scott gets help from various people including the ghost of Bugsy Siegel. This book has a dark˝ edge, but is filled with good characters and a memorable story.

_Expiration Date_ takes place in Los Angeles of the 1990s. This is a ghost story with Mr.Powers unique ideas about them. Koot Parganas is a young boy who steals a small vial containing the ghost of Thomas Edison. He later is possessed by the ghost, which gives him strange powers, and this makes Koot a target of dark things. Various strange allies help him along the way. The author wrote an entertaining tale of ghosts in a contemporary setting.

In his next book, _Earthquake Weather_, Mr. Powers brings back characters from the last two books mentioned for a new story. The theme of the Fisher King is visited again when Scott Crane, the King of the West is assassinated by a ghost possessed woman. Loyal followers move Crane’s body to a protected home where Koot Hoomie lives. Koot is thirteen and suffers from a wound that won’t heal. He should become the next King, but he is too young. There is a race to restore the King of the West because California is slowly being destroyed by earthquakes, riots, fires and floods. This novel is an intricate blend of plot and characters from previous books. Mr. Powers succeeds again in providing a vivid story.

[His most recent novel is _Declare_. In this book, Mr. Powers creates a Fantasy spy thriller. Allan Hale was a retired former spy until he receives a call in 1963 bringing him back to duty. Mr. Hale must contest with the Russians to complete a mission he failed to accomplish after World War II. The Russians are trying to awaken supernatural entities that sleep on Mr. Ararat. There are several historical events of the Cold War that the author weaves into this book to produce a richly complex tale of espionage with fantastic elements. Mr. Powers created a powerful award winner to add to his works. This book is nominated for 2002 Mythopoeic Award.

Tim Powers is an unique Fantasy author in the genre. He takes historical people and events, weaves them together with supernatural and fantasy elements, and provides entertaining, thoughtful stories for readers. His characters are memorable with interesting human characteristics that make them realistic. The depth of detail and research put into his works demonstrates what an award winning talent he is. He is a real gem of the Fantasy genre.

Happy New Year 2016

January 1, 2016 at 8:57 pm | Posted in Announcement, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Welcome to the new year.

2015 played havoc with my writing, especially with keeping up on my blog. Life events kept me too busy. I’m hoping 2016 will be better, though sometimes the best laid plans. . .

I plan to focus on my writing this year as much as possible I’m going to strive and make the effort to do it. Keeping my blog up to date is a priority along with my fiction writing, so please have patience with me. Stay tuned.

May the gift of fantasy and wonder be yours in 2016!

2015 in review

January 1, 2016 at 2:13 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 670 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 11 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Book Review: _No True Way_ edited by Mercedes Lackey

April 21, 2015 at 3:26 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The stories about the Heralds and Companions of Valdemar have been entertaining many fans for a long time. Not only are there novels set in this fantasy world, but several anthologies have been published over the years. _No True Way_ edited by Mercedes Lackey is the eighth Valdemar anthology to be published. The stories in the anthologies have grown from just tales about Heralds and Companions. In this latest anthology, stories explore other people’s lives in the world of Valdemar. The stories range from pleasant to serious, with interesting characters in each of the tales.

“Written in the Wind” by Jennifer Brozek is a dark story that will give readers the creeps. Twin brother and sister are chosen by Companions on their tenth birthday Milla and Orun tell their Companions of the two possible paths their lives might take. On their journey to the city of Haven, the children are pursued by evil creatures trying to kill them. The story is a tense, suspenseful tale of survival with and unusual , surprising ending. Brozek provides a different aspect of Valdemar.

Mercedes Lackey contributes a new story to the anthology with “Vixen.” This is a story about the healer called Vixen dealing with some past emotional baggage as she travels her circuit. A Companion brings her to a small village to help the Herald Mage Vanyel. While helping Vanyel, they must save the people from a giant, ravenous monster. They receive help from an unusual quarter. The story resolves with a satisfying climax. Fans of Vanyel will enjoy his part in the story.

In “A Wake of Vultures” by Elisabeth Waters, Lena must help solve a problem using her gift of animal Mindspeech. While traveling with a Herald, she comes across a group of vultures that won’t leave a dead human body. The body does not show any signs of decomposition. The vultures won’t leave or let anyone get near the body. A witch shows up, claiming the body as her son. Together, they must find a way to break the spell or more people will die. This is a clever, interesting story in the anthology.

_No True Way_ edited by Mercedes Lackey is another entertaining anthology set in Valdemar. Readers will enjoy the stories of different people in this fantasy world. The stories will not disappoint fans who love this author’s books.

2014 in review

December 30, 2014 at 2:01 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 800 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 13 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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