Sunday Post – 2nd October

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Sunday Post

This is part of the weekly meme over at the Caffeinated Book Reviewer, where book bloggers can share the books and blogs they have written.

100_5117Another fortnight has elapsed since I touched based with everyone here, as last Sunday we were travelling by car from Scarborough to our home on the south coast, after attending Fantasycon. Scarborough is a lovely town and The Grand, which was the main conference hotel, is a large, distinguished looking building. Sadly, the splendour didn’t extend to our room, which was dirty and reeked of cigarette smoke. The staff were completely uninterested in sorting out the situation, so we spent most of Friday evening after a long, long drive, trying to get some satisfaction. Eventually we moved out of the hotel and across to the Travelodge across the way, where the accommodation was warm, welcoming and spotlessly clean, with staff that genuinely cared. Inevitably, this put a dampener on our enjoyment of the Con.

We attended the Grimbold Book Launch and heard Jo Hall read an extract from her fabulous new novel100_5120 The Summer Goddess on Friday evening and later had a bop at the disco. During Saturday, I attended a couple of the excellent masterclasses laid on where industry professionals discussed the current state of publishing and answered 100_5145questions from the small audience. I also very much enjoyed a couple of excellent panels – the first on historical fantasy was moderated by Jonathan Oliver, with Steven Poore, Susan Bartholomew, Zen Cho and Jacey Bedford taking part. The quality of the discussion was excellent and wide-ranging. The second panel I very much enjoyed was entitled This Used to be the Future, chaired by Richard Webb, with Daniel Godfrey, Kim Lakin-Smith, Susan Boulton and Robert S. Malan discussing their approach to science fiction and where they think the genre is going.

We also managed to fit in a walk along the beach and a ride back up the tram up the cliff during a lovely 100_5137sunny afternoon. However, we still had the monster journey back and I was teaching on Monday, so reluctantly we took the decision to cut short our time and leave straight after breakfast on Sunday. We took it easy and managed to avoid the worst of the holdups caused by the accident on the M1, arriving home in the evening. However, we both agreed that we wouldn’t travel so far for a week-end conference again. It was too far to go in the time and left us both very tired.

This has been a busy week, as I am now back in the swing with teaching at Northbrook and Tim, while continuing with my Fitstep and pilates classes. I’m delighted how much I have improved in strength and agility since starting. We have also been busy sorting things out in the house as this week-end, when the grandchildren came to stay, we put them in separate bedrooms for the first time. Quantities of Lego had to be shovelled up and sorted out…

I’ve been editing Netted this week after the massive rewrite at the start of the summer, as well as thoroughly enjoying my reading this week:
The Summer Goddess by Joanne Hall
thesummergoddessWhen Asta’s nephew is taken by slavers, she pledges to her brother that she will find him, or die trying. Her search takes her from the fading islands of the Scattering, a nation in thrall to a powerful enemy, to the port city of Abonnae. There she finds a people dominated by a sinister cult, thirsty for blood to feed their hungry god. Haunted by the spirit of her brother, forced into an uncertain alliance with a pair of assassins, Asta faces a deadly choice – save the people of two nations, or save her brother’s only son.
Another excellent read by this talented author, with a plausible heroine put in a horrible situation and doing the best she can. This page-turner provides plenty of action and adventure with great character progression.

 

 

 

Aveline – Book 1 of the Lost Vegas novella series by Lizzy Ford
In post-apocalyptic America, five hundred years in the future, famine, war, and chaos have created a hellaveline on earth. Outside the isolated city of Lost Vegas, violent skirmishes among the Native Americans – who have retaken their ancestral homes – claim lives by day, while ancient predators awakened during the Age of Darkness hunt humans by night. Inside the city, criminals, the impoverished, and the deformed are burned at the stake weekly. Among those ruthless enough to survive is seventeen-year-old Aveline, a street rat skilled in fighting whose father runs the criminal underworld. On the night of her father’s unexpected death, a stranger offers to pay off her father’s debts, if she agrees to become the guardian of Tiana Hanover, the daughter of the most powerful man in Lost Vegas. Aveline’s skills as an assassin may have kept her alive to date – but she’ll need every ounce of ingenuity and grit to keep herself safe once she enters the household of the most powerful man in Lost Vegas…

This is the first time I’ve come across this prolific, capable author but it certainly won’t be the last – I thoroughly enjoyed this gritty world and Aveline’s spiky personality, woefully misrepresented by the cover.

 

Necessity – Book 3 of the Thessaly series by Jo Walton
necessityThe Cities, founded on the precepts laid down by in Plato’s The Republic by Pallas Athena, are flourishing on Plato, and even trading with multiple alien species. Then, on the same day, two things happen. Pytheas dies as a human, returning immediately as Apollo in his full glory. And there’s suddenly a human ship in orbit around Plato–a ship from Earth.

This is the final book in this extraordinary series. Few authors could consider tackling such ambitious subject, never mind bringing it to such a triumphant close with this uplifting, fascinating book which I will be reviewing this coming week.

 

 

 

My posts last week:
Review of The Dark Dream – Book 4 of the Beaver Towers series by Nigel Hinton

Teaser Tuesday – featuring Aveline – Book 1 of the Lost Vegas novella series by Lizzy Ford

*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of The Summer Goddess by Joanne Hall

*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of Revenger by Alastair Reynolds

Friday Faceoff – The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn… featuring We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler

*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of Aveline – Book 1 of the Lost Vegas novella series by Lizzy Ford

Other interesting/outstanding blogs and articles that have caught my attention during the last week, in no particular order:

22 Interesting Facts About Writing https://interestingliterature.com/2016/09/30/22-interesting-facts-about-writing/ Once more this favourite site comes up with a quirky, enjoyable article…

Bye, bye Rosetta – How To Crash on a Comet http://earthianhivemind.net/2016/09/30/bye-bye-rosetta-crash-comet/ Steph Bianchi charts the final chapter in this amazing slice of human exploration of space.

Awards News – The British Fantasy Society and the David Gemmell Awards for Fantasy
http://www.julietemckenna.com/?p=2287

Of Flying and Writing http://melfka.com/archives/1962

Many thanks for visiting and taking the time and trouble to comment – and may you have a wonderful reading and blogging week.

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40 responses »

    • I found your comment in my spam comment section, Laurel. Fortunately, I don’t get all all that much spam – only a couple of comments a week, so it is really easy to pick out something that doesn’t belong there! Many thanks for taking the time to comment – twice! My feeling about the hotel is that they won’t do a thing about it – when I went onto Trip Advisor, there were nearly 2,000 one-star reviews! Oh well. Scarborough is lovely, anyway.

  1. I’m glad you enjoyed Fantasycon but it’s annoying that the hotel wasn’t great and the staff had no interest in helping you out. I hope you didn’t have to pay for it AND the new place. That happened to a friend of mine who went o/s recently. Their hotel was really unsuitable and they couldn’t get any satisfaction so moved out. They’d prepaid though so lost their money….

    • I marched down to Reception and pointed out that it was known that they allowed smokers in our room and we had specifically stated we are non-smokers, so we got a full refund. Flung at us in sullen silence – service with a smile wasn’t an option in the hotel from Hell… The Travelodge was more expensive as we were staying under special conference rates, which was annoying. All in all, it wasn’t a huge success…

  2. Sorry to hear about your hotel woes. If it was the hotel where I once attended a Mexicon in Scarborough, I’m not surprised. (It was a wonderful Mexicon, though!) Good that you enjoyed the rest of the con, though.

    Did you get to the Alchemy Press launch?

    • No – we missed chunks of the Con, what with arriving later than we’d intended (thanks to an accident on the way up) and the kerfuffle with the hotel took up a lot of our time, too. Were you there??

      • No. We’d been vaguely thinking of going because it’s been a while since we last did a Fantasycon, but it’s a long way from New Jersey . . .

  3. Sorry to hear the hotel put a damper on things, it seems like sometimes a grand old hotel is run well and sometimes not so much. Sounds like a nice con otherwise. The panels sound very nice. Love discussions like that.

    The summer Goddess sounds good, I like the description of that one. Islands and port cities and hungry cults- fun!

  4. Sorry about your hotel fiasco :-/ But that’s cool that you got to go to the con! And it sounds like you got to attend some great panels and events. And that view from the cliff (I think that’s what the picture is?) is pretty. Lol to sorting the Legos. Have a great week!

    • Yes, we did enjoy Fantasycon, but perhaps not quite so much as other years. But you’re right – Scarborough is a delightfully pretty place and it was interesting to compare it to coastal towns where we live. I’ve discovered sorting Lego is great therapy…

  5. Oh my, how I missed FantasyCon! I was already booked and ready to leave, and then my 18-month-old daughter got sick (and me too, as a result). Sigh – this year wasn’t a lucky one for conventions . Hope you’re attending next EasterCon – it’s in Birmingham, so not that far away from you. Happy you enjoyed, though – my friends told me it was great! 🙂

    • To be honest, I haven’t yet decided… Yes – I always enjoy Fantasycon. As for Eastercon, I haven’t yet decided – it’s often hard to get away during the Easter holidays as I am then in fully granny mode. But I WILL be at Bristolcon later this month:)). Any chance of seeing you there?

      • The stars are against me (maybe because we have now 13 astrological signs… Have you read the story on NASA’s website? Just too funny!) Unfortunately no, I’ll be in Italy with the kids pretty much the whole month to visit grandparents. Please do post / tweet about it 🙂

      • Yes! I’m intrigued to see so many folks up in arms about it:)). Ooo… Bristolcon orrrr Italy?? Hm – no contest:). Have a lovely, lovely time, Steph. I’ll be sure to write about it – I have a particularly soft spot for this con – it’s always so welcoming and friendly.

  6. Oh my. Sorry to hear about that hotel. That’s not good. Glad the one across the way was nicer for you. It’s nice to get to book launches and such. Hope this week isn’t to hectic for you. Have a good one!

  7. Awww, that’s too bad about your original hotel accommodations. But at least you found something more suitable (and less smelly) for the rest of your trip, and Fantasycon itself sounds amazing. 🙂

    • Oh absolutely. I’m still amazed – I thought it was currently against the law for hotels to allow smokers to smoke in their bedrooms – and for it to occur on the fourth floor seems like madness.

      • “I thought it was currently against the law for hotels to allow smokers to smoke in their bedrooms…”

        Same here. But some hotels in the States still allow smoking in some rooms. So unless the hotel explicitly states that it’s a non-smoking facility, you have to request a non-smoking room to avoid getting one that… well, isn’t. :/

    • Yes – it happens to be one of the smells that makes me feel physically sick, so there was no chance of being able to sleep in the room. But the con itself was great – so sorry you don’t have a bookish con near you.

  8. I am sorry to hear your initial hotel room didn’t match the beauty outside its doors. What terrible service you received! I am glad you were able to find better accommodations, Sarah. It sounds like you had a nice time otherwise.

    I hope you are having a good week. It’s been a busy one for me too. This weekend my brother and his wife are coming to town along with their dogs and so we’ll have a house full. I don’t imagine much rest while they are here! Take care, Sarah.

    • While it can be lovely catching up with folks, it’s always a lot of work when they come to visit. My granny always used to say, ‘Guests and fish stink after 3 days…’ Hope your guests are the helping kind and you have a great time.

  9. Sorry to hear about your troubles with your room. The smell of smoke turns my stomach, so I too would have had to move out. Glad the rest went better and the tramway view looks amazing.

  10. Fantasycon… Some time ago I hoped I’d be able to attend it and get to meet you, but life prevented it. I’m glad you had a great time, and I see that your life doesn’t slow down a bit.
    Did you build anything from that Lego? :>
    Also, thank you for the mention. I appreciate you take time to read my posts.

    • You’re welcome:). I always enjoy reading your posts. Maybe our paths will cross in the future – I surely hope so. There was too much Lego to sort – which is actually a very soothing activity:).

      • I certainly hope we’ll get to meet in person one day. I hope that in a couple of years, when I finally settle over here and save up some money, I’ll be able to take off a month or so and visit all my friends all over Europe.
        As for LEGO, I can relate. Sorting things and putting them in order is always soothing.

      • That would be wonderful:). I’d love to meet you, too! Yes… I have more LEGO therapy ahead of me – the grandchildren were picked up a tad earlier than I’d anticipated so Oscar’s museum and kingdom he was building is still sprawling across the spare room and landing floor…

    • Yes… to be honest, I could do with it being a little LESS interesting. I keep waiting for this boring middle age I was promised – and it hasn’t happened yet.

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