Busy Busy and Paragenesis

Hello Imaginary Friends,

I’m juggling multiple things at the moment. This weekend is Comiccon Holiday edition, we have another event the week after, I’m doing a bunch of other creative work and finally I have NaNoWriMo, which is kicking my butt.

So in the spirit of not wasting time here’s the first 1000 words of Paragenesis: The Copper Tarnish.

Old Cover from when I thought the book wouldn’t be part of the Aetherverse.

Enjoy and Later Days,

Éric

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Darkness and Angst

Hello Imaginary Friends,

I’m currently reading Deadhouse Gates by Steven Erikson. This is a huge book but unlike a lot of other huge fantasy books a lot happens. Most of what happens is pretty horrifying.

There have been descriptions of babies on pikes, crucified children, eye balls exploding… Gory and chilling stuff. It’s also extremely well written to only shock and not scar the reader. The emphasis is always on the characters and not on the horrific things that happen.

Arguably the stuff that happens in this book is worse than anything that happened in the Story of Ice and Fire, at least the first 3 books I read, but it’s not done to disturb the reader but instead as part of the world building and realities of the world.

Thankfully, for me, this book doesn’t waste much space on angst. The characters are forced to deal with their scars and horrors as they are shoved from one death defying moment to the other.

Yes the book makes me cringe and some descriptions had my skin crawling but it’s written in such a way that it won’t keep me up at night. (Some of the mythology and story twists might but that’s a good thing.)

So far the book is amazingly written but definitely not my style. I still have a third to finish but military horrors are not my thing. I can see why this would be someone’s favourite series. It takes a lot to keep me reading when it’s so far from my preferred style to read. A lesser story or writing style with the same elements would have me quit two hundred pages in.

Later Days,

Éric

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Dear Dragon – I’m Sorry

Hello Dragon,

You’re half way here. Right now you’re swimming around in your mother as if you were a fish. I can’t feel you move yet, but she does, and it somehow makes you more real.

Dragon19-weeks02

We found out that you’re going to be a girl. At least, your sex designation at birth will be girl.

I have never doubted that I wanted to have you; even when you were a small probability in the far future. I always wanted you. That doesn’t mean I haven’t worried about bringing you into this world.

We (humans) as a race are capable of such horrible things. I will tell you it’s because of fear, insecurity, or sickness, but sometimes it just seems inexplicable. Nothing in all of history has killed more humans than humans themselves. When we don’t attack each other physically, we do it with our minds and words. The world is filled with people who want to make themselves feel better by bringing someone down.

I’m sorry for everything you will have to go through because of other people. Every parent wants to protect their child and hopes these things won’t happen.

There is good in this world though. There is beauty. (and ice cream!) For every terrible thing in this world that humans have created, there is something beautiful. They don’t balance themselves out, but the beauty can help. Music, art, literature, architecture, and science can help you recover. Life is not easy and as a girl it’ll be a little harder.

There are two things I want you to remember. The first is that there’s always hope, as long and you can find the beauty in the world. I will never have to look far for it, as long as I have you and your mother. You are my hope.

The second thing I want you to remember is something I will repeat over and over. Your mother and I love you and we’ll always be there for you when you need it. Life isn’t always fair, humans aren’t always kind, and you will have terrible days; but we will ALWAYS be there for you; even if it’s only in these letters.

Enjoy swimming around and try to stop kicking that nerve that makes your mother uncomfortable.

I love you, Baby Dragon,

Your worried Father

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The Shining by Stephen King – Book Review

Stephen King is a fantastic author, a man that truly understands his characters and how to scare his audience. He’s best known for his horror but has written some amazing science fiction, fantasy, and heartwarming works.

The Shining is probably one of his best known works due to the Kubric movie adaptation.

Below is my review. For more information on how and why I review books read my posts Part 1 and Part 2.

Characters

I liked

There are five main characters in the book and we see a glimpse into each one but we mostly see the development of the Torrence Family. All in excruciating detail. They each feel real and like friends going through a terrible time.

I didn’t like

If you haven’t seen the movie or tv adaptation, you still know how this will end. It’s a large shadow of inevitability. It was amazingly done but the slow decent into madness was almost painful as a reader. I understand that was the goal but it was difficult to read and made me want to stop.

For characters, I give it 5 out of 5

Writing Style

I liked

King has an amazing way of swinging from exist descriptions to crude turns of phrase. Often he even mixes them. When we saw from Jack’s (the father) point of view, it was often filled with clichéd thoughts or crude turns of phrase. Almost as if King was trying to tell us that Jack as a writer wasn’t as good as he believed.

In contrast when we followed Danny (the son) his thoughts were poetic and beautiful. In the way that kids’ minds often are. Showing him to be the real hero.

I didn’t like

Often things were repeated from different viewpoints in what felt needless. The repetition served to remind us what was going to happen and why but it felt like it was overdone. That said it was written for an audience 35 years ago that might not have been as savvy with genre concepts.

I give it 3 out of 5.

Story

I liked

The story was set in one location for most of the book. Despite the stagnation in place, there is always a feeling that something is happening and that we are going somewhere with the story.

All the events are foreshadowed. Everything is structured and the book doesn’t pull any punches in scariness or character pain.

I didn’t like

The moments of joy are all at the beginning and a little at the end. This isn’t a happy story. It doesn’t pretend to be.

I give the story 4 out of 5

Fun

I liked

I loved the characters and the writing. It’s a true classic in horror literature. It was overall very well done.

I didn’t like

I knew what would happen and I didn’t like it. It made reading harder than it should have. Less the fault of the author and more the fault of the reader.

I give it 2 out of 5 for fun

Overall

The book is very different than the movies. Make sure to check your preconceptions at the door.

This isn’t the best Stephen King novel I’ve read but that’s not saying it’s bad. It’s an amazing book. If you like horror and don’t mind a sad book, it’s more than worth the read.

Final score is 70%

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The Shining by Stephen King – Book Review

Stephen King is a fantastic author, a man that truly understands his characters and how to scare his audience. He’s best known for his horror but has written some amazing science fiction, fantasy, and heartwarming works.

The Shining is probably one of his best known works due to the Kubric movie adaptation.

Below is my review. For more information on how and why I review books read my posts Part 1 and Part 2.

Characters

I liked

There are five main characters in the book and we see a glimpse into each one but we mostly see the development of the Torrence Family. All in excruciating detail. They each feel real and like friends going through a terrible time.

I didn’t like

If you haven’t seen the movie or tv adaptation, you still know how this will end. It’s a large shadow of inevitability. It was amazingly done but the slow decent into madness was almost painful as a reader. I understand that was the goal but it was difficult to read and made me want to stop.

For characters, I give it 5 out of 5

Writing Style

I liked

King has an amazing way of swinging from exist descriptions to crude turns of phrase. Often he even mixes them. When we saw from Jack’s (the father) point of view, it was often filled with clichéd thoughts or crude turns of phrase. Almost as if King was trying to tell us that Jack as a writer wasn’t as good as he believed.

In contrast when we followed Danny (the son) his thoughts were poetic and beautiful. In the way that kids’ minds often are. Showing him to be the real hero.

I didn’t like

Often things were repeated from different viewpoints in what felt needless. The repetition served to remind us what was going to happen and why but it felt like it was overdone. That said it was written for an audience 35 years ago that might not have been as savvy with genre concepts.

I give it 3 out of 5.

Story

I liked

The story was set in one location for most of the book. Despite the stagnation in place, there is always a feeling that something is happening and that we are going somewhere with the story.

All the events are foreshadowed. Everything is structured and the book doesn’t pull any punches in scariness or character pain.

I didn’t like

The moments of joy are all at the beginning and a little at the end. This isn’t a happy story. It doesn’t pretend to be.

I give the story 4 out of 5

Fun

I liked

I loved the characters and the writing. It’s a true classic in horror literature. It was overall very well done.

I didn’t like

I knew what would happen and I didn’t like it. It made reading harder than it should have. Less the fault of the author and more the fault of the reader.

I give it 2 out of 5 for fun

Overall

The book is very different than the movies. Make sure to check your preconceptions at the door.

This isn’t the best Stephen King novel I’ve read but that’s not saying it’s bad. It’s an amazing book. If you like horror and don’t mind a sad book, it’s more than worth the read.

Final score is 70%

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