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Peter Higgins, author of Wolfhound Century

Myke Cole, author of Shadow Ops Series

John Brown John, translator of the Zamonia Novels

Jim C. Hines author of Libriomancer

Nick Harkaway author of Angelmaker (review here)

Martha Wells author of The Cloud Roads

David Tallerman author of Giant Thief

Mazarkis Williams author of The Emperor's Knife

Rob Ziegler author of Seed

Steven Gould author of 7th Sigma

Douglas Hulick author of Among Thieves (review here)

Mark Charan Newton author of Nights of Villjamur (review here)

Kameron Hurley author of God's War (review here)

Brent Weeks author of The Black Prism (review here)

Anthony Huso author of The Last Page (review here)

Brandon Sanderson author of The Way of Kings (review here)

Lou Anders Editor of Pyr Books

Ian Tregillis author of Bitter Seeds (review here)

Sam Sykes author of Tome of the Undergates (review here)

Benjamin Parzybok author of Couch (review here)

Kristine Kathryn Rusch author of Diving Into the Wreck (review here)

Ken Scholes author of Lamentation

Cherie Priest author of Boneshaker (review here)

Lev Grossman author of The Magicians (review here)

Character Interviews

Alexia and Lord Maccon from Gail Carriger's Soulless

Lord Akeldama from Gail Carriger's Soulless

Eva Forge from Tim Akers's The Horns of Ruin

Atticus from Kevin Hearne's Hounded


The Daylight War by Peter V. Brett

A Memory of Light by Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson

Scoundrels by Timothy Zahn

Cold Days by Jim Butcher

Year Zero by Rob Reid

Alif: The Unseen by G. Willow Wilson

Scourge of the Betrayer by Jeff Salyards

Redshirts by John Scalzi

Control Point by Myke Cole

Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway
My BlogCatalog BlogRank Wikio - Top Blogs - Literature

GUEST POST | Ken Scholes on Libraries and Memory, Knowledge and Power

Art  by Marc Simonetti

I’ve always loved libraries…and librarians.

It started in my elementary school, even before I fell in love with reading. A room full of books – many of which had pictures! At first, it was just the picture books that drew me in but once I started reading, I just couldn’t stop. When I learned that there was an even bigger library than the one in my school, I was elated. I checked out as many books as I was allowed and churned through sometimes one or two books a day, and even more in the summer.

So around the time the time the writing bug bit me, I decided that a real writer should probably work in a library, surrounded by books. At the age of fourteen, I started showing up at the Enumclaw Public Library, filling out applications regularly even though the librarian told me (in a very friendly but quiet voice) that I had to be sixteen to work for the library. Still, I was back every so often to try again. For two years.

Persistence paid off and when I turned sixteen, I started working as a library page, shelving returned books and doing whatever odd jobs needed doing. It was Heaven. No fines for late books and at the front of the line for anything new and exciting to come in. And pick of the litter when it came to books being disposed of. I still have some ancient volumes of Shakespeare in my personal library from that time.

Yes, I’ve always loved libraries.

Which is why, on the first page of the first chapter of my first novel, I blew one up.

And somehow, despite this, the American Library Association put that first novel, Lamentation, on the RUSA Reading List for Best Fantasy.

Maybe it’s because of how seriously my protagonists took this devastating act of terror and the hole its destruction left in their world. Or maybe because re-building the library became an important aspect of the story. No matter the reasons, I’ve had a lot of support for the series from libraries and librarians and I’m glad for it.

When I conceived the notion of the Great Androfrancine Library, it was initially just the background for a short story. It wasn’t until I started stitching together the two stories that became the beginning and middle of Lamentation that I saw clearly the re-building of the library – or the notion of a hidden replica of the library. I was drawing a bit from the murky soup of history – the destruction of the Library of Alexandria in Egypt, which is not quite as easy to pin down as legends would have us believe. That library appears to have gone through a series of events that eventually led, over time, to its loss. In reality, no one seems certain exactly what happened and when though speculation points widely to various events between approximately 50 BCE and 650 AD.

But in my world, I wanted it gone quickly, along with its Androfrancine keepers, and I wanted to explore how that kind of loss would play out while my characters sought to solve the puzzle of who destroyed Windwir and why. The “light” of human knowledge and accomplishment, dug painstakingly from the ruins of the Old World and stored away for safekeeping, suddenly snuffed out, and the glue that held a carefully monitored society of survivors suddenly burned away.

And there’s a deeper exploration there:  What happens when one group of people controls the flow of knowledge and what happens when another group takes away that knowledge?  Because knowledge is power but it is also memory.  And if you control or eliminate that memory, the river of history flows in favor of whichever group holds that power to impose their own recollection of how things are and should be.
As we progress deeper into the Psalms of Isaak, we see that it’s about much more than a destroyed library – it is about a sudden and unexpected war of cultures with blurry lines of motivation and intent on both sides.  And moreso, it is about how people react to those sudden, violent changes.

So like I said, I love libraries.  And librarians.  I think the world is a darker, colder place without what they do for us.  So I’ll try to go easier on them in my next series.  


KEN SCHOLES is the author of the acclaimed series The Psalms of Isaak, which comprises Lamentation, Canticle, Antiphon, and now Requiem.  He lives near Portland, Oregon, with his wife, Jen West Scholes, and their three-year-old twin daughters. Visit him on the web at

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New Procurements (Including Book Expo Swag)

My summer is already off to a busy start, but you know it is getting to be that season when Book Expo hits. I managed to spend a good chunk of Thursday and most of Friday at the Javits Center seeing what's on deck for the book industry for the next six months. I was a bit pickier than in years past in terms of the galley grabbing, but there was plenty to be had. I did have to back away from a couple giveaways as you don't want to get in the middle of a frothing mad librarian-bookseller galley grab fight. Trust me, you don't.

The biggest hit for me is that little number at the top which is Neil Gaiman's Fortunately, the Milk. My wife actually nabbed it and lo and behold it is signed. This indebted me to my wife, but I was able to balance the scales the next day by getting her a copy of Elizabeth Gilbert's new novel The Signature of All Things. I only managed to go two signings the first of which was for Paolo Bacigalupi's Zombie Baseball Beatdown and managed to run into Jim C. Hines while leaving the line. The Bacigalupi's is his first middle grade novel which I'll give a read and pass on to my nephew who I got it signed to. Also, Bacigalupi's next adult novel The Water Knife has a finished second draft so we should see that pop-up in the next year or so. Paolo said they don't have a US publisher yet, but given his rise over the years I doubt he'll have a problem finding one here.

The Universe Versus Alex Woods by Gavin Extence is a coming of age story I've had my eye on and it is, I believe, the second release from the newest Hachette imprint Redhook. A couple years ago Alan Weisman's The World Without Us blew me away so I was quite glad to get a copy of Countdown, which is the flip side sequel exploring what humanity would need to do to survive on the planet long term. From Orbit I got Shaman by Kim Stanley Robinson, his sort of historical novel about life 30,000 years ago and Mira Grant's Parasite, which is a start to a new series about parasitic symbyotes that cure all diseases, but want to be free. Necessary Errors by Caleb Crain is a debut about young expatriates in newly democratic Prague circa 1990. I already owned One Last Thing Before I Go by Jonathan Tropper, but since he was there singing I couldn't pass up getting a copy. My last grab was The Incrementalists by Steven Brust and Skyler White which is about a shadowy group that has been around for a very longtime slowly changing the future in small ways. All in all a nice haul. The pile of books waiting for me at home wasn't bad either.

The first three in this stack were purchases. The Gist by Michael Marshall Smith is a lovely novella, which is  an interesting experiment. There is the original story then a French translation followed by a retranslation into English. Before you decry me for not having read The Princess Bride by William Goldman please know I have, just not in a very long time. But when I learned my wife had never read it I made it a point to get a copy for our library. I think I'll give it a read this summer as it is one of the most enchanting stories ever, in any form. I also had to get a copy of Martha Wells'Emile & the Hollow World. Had to I tell you. In the review copy department I received Love Minus Eighty by Will McIntosh, which I'm already devouring. It is fabulous so far and also one of the most beautiful packaging jobs I've seen this year. It is a paperback with a rice paper cover slipped over so the image bleeds through. Brilliantly done. Ecko Rising by Danie Ware is a cross genre novel not on my radar until I received the copy, but it sounds quite interesting:
In a futuristic London where technological body modification is the norm, Ecko stands alone as a testament to the extreme capabilities of his society. Driven half mad by the systems running his body, Ecko is a criminal for hire. No job is too dangerous or insane.

When a mission goes wrong and Ecko finds himself catapulted across dimensions into a peaceful and unadvanced society living in fear of 'magic', he must confront his own perceptions of reality and his place within it.

A thrilling debut, Ecko Rising explores the massive range of the sci-fi and fantasy genres, and the possible implications of pitting them against one another.
Joyland is Stephen King much anticipated carnie themed mystery set in the 70's. I haven't read a King story in a few years, but just may dip into this one. Last, but certainly not least is Shift by Hugh Howey. I must admit for having fallen hard for Wool, but this prequel is making me a bit trepidacious as it could ruin everything that was setup. Still I can't help myself.

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