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Joyful Girl

Andrea Blythe's blog about writing, reading, and everything else

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An assortment of bookish things. . .
andrea reading
Newly Released
Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente (catvalente) is now available. The cover is gorgeous, very reminiscent of woodcut drawings, and the story -- a modern retelling of the Slavic folktale, “Koschei the Deathless” -- looks rather kick ass, too, as you can in this exceptionally done book trailer.

Valente also has a list of ways that people can help her promote her book on her blog, all of which is great advice for helping out any of your favorite authors when they release a new book.

Coming Soon
Naomi Clark (naomi_jay) is currently finishing up edits and formatting for her book Wild, which will be released on the kindle. This book has been in the making for five years, and she's venturing back through her blog as a restrospective look at some of her challenges and thought processes along the way. (Now that she's releasing books on kindle, I'm considering finally getting one. E-readers never held an appeal before, but now I must partake in the awesome that is Naomie's writing.)

Also, the official flap copy and cover of Ganymede by Cherie Priest (cmpriest) has been released. Eeee! It looks great. I do love this steampunk series and I can't wait for the next book to come out.

Speaking of Steampunk... a quick review:
Steampunk II: Steampunk Reloaded is a rather good collection of steampunk tales. It has it's ups and downs, but overall the stories are enjoyable. Along with the stories, there are a couple of interesting non-fiction pieces and a round-table interview about the future of steampunk.

Here are a few of the stories that I especially enjoyed:
  • In "The Unblinking Eye" by Stephen Baxter, Europe has advanced steam technology, but has never ventured toward the new world. Rather it is the Incas, who have developed their own advanced technology, and have ventured into lands unknown, colonizing each new territory they come across. come to pay Europe a visit.
  • Caitlin R. Kiernan tells the story of a maimed young woman, who has been outfitted with steam-powered limbs in "The Steam Dancer."
  • "The Mechanical Aviary of Emperor Jalal-ud-din Muhammad Akbar" by Shweta Narayan, presents a new take on a traditional folktale, involving the beautiful clockwork birds of the Emperor's aviary.
  • "Wild Copper" by Samantha Henderson can barely be labeled steampunk genre. It's more of a fairy story, in which a girl offers to serve Oberon to save her brother. Steampunk or not, this is still a great tale.
  • An lonely orphan builds himself a mechanical friend in "Tanglefoot (A Clockwork Century Story)" by Cherie Priest. But his souless begins to take on a life of its own.
  • "The Anachronist's Cookbook" by Cherie Priest Catherynne M. Valente (listing the wrong author goes down as the worst typo ever; so, so sorry) rails against the accepted politics of a steampowered era as it presents the exploits of an angry and vicious young woman.
While there were a couple of stories that I was not a fan of (i.e., "A Secret History of Steampunk" by The Mecha-Ostrich and "Flying Fish Prometheus" by Vilhelm Bergsøe), overall I enjoyed this collection of steampunk fiction and art. In fact, I would say it's better than the first installment of this anthology series.

[Cross-posted to
my webpage. If you feel inclined, you may comment either here or there.]

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Yes, get a Kindle! I can't believe I held out as long as I did now that I know how glorious it is! I'm not giving up my print books but it's actually changed the way I read, the location I read and what I read. Of course, once I catch up with fanfic *blushes* I"m sure I'll use it to read books once again.

Fanfic, huh. Well that's certainly a fun way to approach it. :)

I'm still hemming and hawing over the kindle though. I don't really have the money for it right now, so I will probably have to wait a wee longer anyway. I'm sure I'll get one eventually.

I've found that I'm not nearly obsessed quite as much about how many books are in my bag at any given time or how long I'll be away from my shelves. There is a sense of freedom to have so many choices in such a little package. I pull it out when I maybe wouldn't have pulled out a book.

And waiting just means that they'll fix all the little quirks so your edition will be that much better!

I can see how that would be a benefit. You could always just download another book as soon as you finished reading the last one. You might never run out of reading material that way. :)

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Hmmm. I've heard of that, too. It's an idea.

I guess the bigger issue for me is that I don't like reading off a screen. I have a harder time relaxing into the experience of reading when it's with a screen than when it's with paper.

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Oh no! Worst mistake ever! Thank you, thank you for pointing that out.

Also, you're wonderful. :)

retelling of the Slavic folktale, “Koschei the Deathless”
So what is tale founding on: is it "Koschei the Deathless" or "Marija Morevna", as in promotion video, or both, or other tales?

According to the book cover, its based on the legend of "Koschei the Deathless", but Marija Morevna is the character's name in the story. I understand there is also a Russian folktale called "Maria Morevna</i>, but I don't know how much of a role it plays in the story. You would have to ask the author.

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