Thursday, September 24, 2020

Opening Lines: A Deepness in the Sky

Some novels have the ability to draw you in from the start. A single line or paragraph can grab your attention in such a way that the novel just demands to be read. Opening Lines is a feature where I'll share some of the best opening lines that hooked me.

The manhunt extended across more than one hundred light years and eight centuries. It had always been a secret search, unacknowledged even among some of the participants."

A Deepness in the Sky by Vernor Vinge

After thousands of years searching, humans stand on the verge of first contact with an alien race. Two human groups: the Qeng Ho, a culture of free traders, and the Emergents, a ruthless society based on the technological enslavement of minds. 

The group that opens trade with the aliens will reap unimaginable riches. But first, both groups must wait at the aliens' very doorstep for their strange star to relight and for their planet to reawaken, as it does every two hundred and fifty years.... 

Then, following terrible treachery, the Qeng Ho must fight for their freedom and for the lives of the unsuspecting innocents on the planet below, while the aliens themselves play a role unsuspected by the Qeng Ho and Emergents alike.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

New Arrivals: A Misplaced Book Haul

At the end of March, before the world went all crazy, I received one last package of review copies from Jonathan Ball Publishers (a HUGE thank you to them!). In all the madness I never got round to sharing images of the books. This makes this a somewhat misplaced book haul. Coming across the picture brought some much needed joy and reminded me of the awesome books still waiting on Mount TBR.

The titles I received were: The Letter for the King by Tonke Dragt, High Fire by Eoin Colfer and Infinity Son by Adam Silvera.

Reading for the Subjective Chaos Kind of Awards took priority, but with that now over I can't wait to dive in!

Monday, September 7, 2020

Subjective Chaos Kind of Awards 2020: The Winners

After much deliberation and loads of chaos among the judges it's finally time to announce the winners of the 2020 Subjective Chaos Kind of Awards. These are the best science fiction, fantasy and short works published in 2019 as determined by the SCKA panel of eight book bloggers. Deciding on the ultimate winners was not an easy task. 
The winners of the 2020 SCKA awards are...

Cover for A Memory Called Empire
  • A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine

  • Realm of Ash by Tasha Suri

  • David Mogo, Godhunter by Suyi Davies Okungbowa

  • The Rosewater Trilogy AKA Wormwood Trilogy by Tade Thompson

  • The Deep by Rivers Solomon


Huge congratulations to all the winners! Your sedimentary monoliths of excellence* will be winging their way to you in a non-ballistic fashion. Treasure them, they are more than deserved!
* Due to shipping costs monoliths have been shrunk into pebble form for better manageability and easier conveyance.

Saturday, September 5, 2020

A Decade of Blogging

It was the Spring of 2010, a far happier, more innocent time for us all. Something must have been in the air, because that was the time a bunch of geeky South African book lovers decided to try out this whole book blogging thing. It all happened more or less spontaneously and as luck (or fate) would have it a bunch of us launched our respective book blogs around the same time.  At that time book blogs were a relatively new concept and especially in South Africa the book blogging community was just starting out. Working with publishers was pretty much unheard of and review copies were something reserved for mainstream media outlets.

Worlds In Ink officially launched on 5 September 2010 with a truly horrendous review of Iain M. Banks' The Algebraist. (Trust me. It's bad. The review, not the book. You definitely don't need to go looking for it). When I decided to become a book blogger I didn't quite know what I was letting myself in for. While I'm a voracious reader, writing has never been something that comes naturally to me. Especially with English being my second language expressing myself adequately and coherently can be an agonising process with literal hours spent shifting words around trying to find the perfect phrase. And it never seems good enough. I think that's one of the reasons I've never been a very prolific blogger, but I'd like to think that, at the very least, I've improved immensely since that very first post.

Many of the people who started out at the same time as I did have moved on to other things. Somehow, against all odds, I'm still plugging away at this blogging thing and still enjoying what I do. These past ten years have been a truly amazing journey. I've met some awesome people along the way and forged friendships through this shared love of books. Friendships which would have never been possible otherwise.

And of course the blog wouldn’t even exist without the brilliant publicists and publishers with whom I've had the pleasure to work with over the years. Pan Macmillan SA will forever have a special place in my heart for being the very first publisher willing to take a chance on my little fledgling blog. The wonderful folks at Jonathan Ball Publishers continue to spoil me with a treasure trove of books (actual physical review copies!) on a regular basis and each time a parcel arrives from them I can't help but squee in delight. A huge thank you also has to go to Umuzi, Penguin Random House, Tor UK, Tor, Forge, Hodder, Gollancz, Solaris and Tachyon Press and all the other international publishers who make digital  review copies available to us folks at the tip of Africa. Words aren’t adequate to express my gratitude for all your continued support over the last decade.

I still can't believe that I've been doing this for ten years. A decade seems like an eternity and yet the time just flew past. I hope that I'll be able to do this until I go to the great library in the sky when Mount TBR inevitably crushes me to death. Until then there are books waiting to be read...