Category Archives: holiday activity

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.

A Christmas Present – from me to you…

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For years I’ve been Games Mistress to the Family Gathering – which at one time ranged from my grandmother in her late nineties to my small granddaughter. Five generations of us. Hm. Tricky. So I devised these multi-choice quizzes that meant everyone could take part. I’ve also included the answers, with the correct version underlined. It took some time compiling it, and if you wish to use it for your own Christmas festivities, feel free to do so. Merry Christmas!

Christmas Quiz

1. What is blennophobia?

a) Fear of the colour white     b) Fear of fish    c) Fear of slime     d) Fear of zinc

2. Where is the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes?

a) Malbro’ country    b) The moon Europa   c) Alaska    d) South Island, New Zealand

3. What is the commonest surname in Spain?

a) Garcia    b) Campo   c) Blanco    d) deCruz

4. How many times have the Olympic Games been cancelled due to war?

a) Never    b) Once   c) Twice    d) Three times

5. What does a belly-man do?

a) Tattoos tummies    b) Is a food-taster   c) Assembles pianos    d) Looks after ballast on a ship

6. Which mammal lives longest?

a) Gorilla    b) Man   c) Blue Whale    d) Sloth

7. Which festival was the first greeting card manufactured for?

a) Christmas Day   b) Easter Day   c Mothering Sunday    d) St Valentine’s Day

8. Where do Vectians live?

a) The Virgin Islands    b) The Isle of Wight   c) The Channel Islands    d) The Isle of Man

9. In 1949, many precious manuscripts in the Vatican Library were discovered to be destroyed. How?

a) Monks had doodled in the margins    b) Damp had rotted them   c) Termites ate them    d) Paper wasps had nested in them

10. In which film did James Bond drive a white Lotus car underwater?

a) The Spy Who Loved Me    b) Live and Let Die   c) Thunderball    d) Goldfinger

11. What freak weather killed 23 people in Rostov, Russia in July 1923?

a) A tornado    b) Mud slide after a rainstorm   c) Giant hail stones    d) A tsunami

12. What is 555 in Roman numerals?

a) VVV    b) VCDM   c) DLV    d) LVD

13. From which planet do Dr Who’s daleks come?

a) Davros   b) Skaro   c) Gallifrey   d) Silurian

14. Who sang the original version of “Blue Suede Shoes”?

a) Elvis Presley   b) Buddy Holly   c) Little Richard   d) Carl Perkins

15. Which part of the body was the guillotine originally designed to cut off?

a) Head   b) Hands   c) Feet   d) Fingers

16. Whose national anthem is called “Thousand-Year-Old-Land”?

a) Ethiopia   b) Finland    c) Bosnia    d) Egypt

17. How many nobles used to be in £1?

a) None – a noble was worth £1-2s-6d    b) 2   c) 3    d) 4

18. What is the name of the Flintstone family’s pet dinosaur?

a) Fido   b) Dino   c) Boom-Boom   d) Thumper

19. What part of the body does Bright’s disease affect?

a) The heart   b) The eyes   c) The kidneys    d) The liver

20. Why were brasses originally worn by horses hauling heavy loads?

a) To ward off the evil eye   b) Their jingling warned people they were coming   c) To make them look good   d) To keep the flies away

Christmas Quiz 2008 – Answers

1. What is blennophobia?

a) Fear of the colour white   b) Fear of fish   c) Fear of slime   d) Fear of zinc

2. Where is the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes?

a) Malbro’ country   b) The moon Europa    c) Alaska    d) South Island, New Zealand

3. What is the commonest surname is Spain?

a) Garcia   b) Campo   c) Blanco    d) deCruz

4. How many times have the Olympic Games been cancelled due to war?

a) Never   b) Once   c) Twice    d) Three times

5. What does a belly-man do?

a) Tattoos tummies    b) Is a food-taster   c) Assembles pianos    d) Looks after ballast on a ship

6. Which mammal lives longest?

a) Gorilla    b) Man   c) Blue Whale    d) Sloth

7. Which festival was the first greeting card manufactured for?

a) Christmas Day   b) Easter Day   c Mothering Sunday    d) St Valentine’s Day

8. Where do Vectians live?

a) The Virgin Islands   b) The Isle of Wight   c) The Channel Islands   d) The Isle of Man

9. In 1949, many precious manuscripts in the Vatican Library were discovered to be destroyed. How?

a) Monks had doodled in the margins   b) Damp had rotted them   c) Termites ate them   d) Paper wasps had nested in them

10. In which film did James Bond drive a white Lotus car underwater?

a) The Spy Who Loved Me   b) Live and Let Die   c) Thunderball   d) Goldfinger

11. What freak weather killed 23 people in Rostov, Russia in July 1923?

a) A tornado   b) Mud slide after a rainstorm   c) Giant hail stones   d) A tsunami

12. What is 555 in Roman numerals?

a) VVV   b) VCDM   c) DLV    d) LVD

13. From which planet do Dr Who’s daleks come?

a) Davros   b) Skaro   c) Gallifrey   d) Silurian

14. Who sang the original version of “Blue Suede Shoes”?

a) Elvis Presley    b) Buddy Holly   c) Little Richard   d) Carl Perkins

15. Which part of the body was the guillotine originally designed to cut off?

a) Head   b) Hands   c) Feet d)    Fingers

16. Whose national anthem is called “Thousand-Year-Old-Land”?

a) Ethiopia   b) Finland   c) Bosnia    d) Egypt

17. How many nobles used to be in £1?

a) None – a noble was worth £1-2s-6d    b) 2   c) 3    d) 4

18. What is the name of the Flintstone family’s pet dinosaur?

a) Fido   b) Dino   c) Boom-Boom   d) Thumper

19. What part of the body does Bright’s disease affect?

a) The heart    b) The eyes   c) The kidneys    d) The liver

20. Why were brasses originally worn by horses hauling heavy loads?

a) To ward off the evil eye   b) Their jingling warned people they were coming   c) To make them look good d) To keep the flies away