Category Archives: Scott Westerfeld

September 2014 Releases

Done with August 2014 Releases? Here are September 2014 Releases. For future releases, check Reading Wishlist.

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#PTALive Melbourne: Monday 14th April 2014: Possible Rant Ahead

Unpopular Opinion Time! But first, the positive:

-Location: cinema at Melbourne Central
-Set-up: section for book purchasing
-Ordered agenda: slides to keep the presentation on topic and track
-Presenter: Ms. Felicity is old-hand at this, with plenty of experience presenting, and loads of enthusiasm
-Preview of PTA TV: interview with Richelle Mead, who has an announcement coming in a month or so
-Publication schedule: the most informed and varied part of evening
-Shout-out to the Australian YA Bloggers Goodreads Group

I have no doubt that most of the crowd had no quibbles at all, so I’m in the minority here. And I do understand that you can’t please everyone, so you may as well cater to the majority.

“The show everyone’s talking about”, “unmissable”, “[insert over-the-top superlative here]” – I have “Fear of Missing Out” (FOMO) at the best times, but not in these circumstances. The more that people seem to like something, the more I’m inclined to NOT like it. It’s not deliberate; just that our interests are different, and attempts at conversion are useless. I don’t think less of people because they like something I don’t, as long as they respect my views, too. Agree to disagree, and all that.

(Image from Family Guy Wikia.)

But the more something is shoved down my throat, the more likely I am to resist, and to vomit…as opposed to accepting, and learning to love the tentacle. (That’s a Futurama reference, though that doesn’t seem to be part of Penguin Teen Australia’s fandoms.)

I am not a fan of John Green, Hank Green, Nerdfighters, DFTBA, et al. The reasons are numerous and varied, but I figure we’re all stubborn people, and no one is going to change their mind because of something someone else says – so I won’t try to convert you, as long as you don’t try to convert me.

I understand that film adaptations bring more readers to books, and are great introductions for people who aren’t already familiar with the age group, genre, etc. That’s fine. But #PTALive is full of BOOK PEOPLE. Considering the film adaptation is of a book first published in…2012 maybe, by now people have decided whether they’re interested in the story or not. And when we’ve decided we’re not, but the book, the author, and the community are brought up regularly and consistently…it’s really farking annoying. And the constant pushing of it did not change my mind. Instead, I found myself disliking the product more and more.

(Image from Quick Meme.)

I was seething, people. Not aloud. But my eyes rolled, my jaw hardened, and my handwriting turned to all caps with exclamation marks. (Yes, I took notes throughout the event on my Post-It notes. No, I don’t have a smart-phone or tablet; I am poor.) At the end, we were dismissed, so off I went, then we were called back. I returned. Apparently, some guys did a good deed earlier, which is great. But then “Nerdfighters” were mentioned, and I stalked out. Fed up. Completely over it. Had I paid anything more than train fare and meal money, I would’ve been absolutely outraged, possibly demanding my money back because I was so dissatisfied. But it was a free event, so I can’t – and won’t demand – compensation for having to suppress my anger and frustration.

It could’ve been worse.

I like Richelle Mead, and am interested in all her series. I like Vampire Academy, though I’ve only read the first two books. But I’m old-fashioned: only interested in BOOKS – NOT their adaptations, NOT their book trailers. And not “ships”, either – I like world-building, and plotting, but I’m completely over reading about romance and love interests. OVER IT. And there was a lot of freaking talk about “Sydrian”, and the book trailers – because one of the actors was in attendance, and had a short interview. I wasn’t interested, but my affection for the books made this much more tolerable than…well, see my earlier gripe.

There was a little attention given to other books: Top 5, favourites, other publisher’s books, stuff the staff wants to read, and the wonderful publication schedule. If only the rest of the evening had been less fangirly, and more informational and varied as that schedule, I would’ve been quiet content. Unfortunately, there was no mention of Jessica Spotswood’s Sisters’ Fate, which is due out on 14th August in the US and UK…

The event could’ve capitalised on the large audience (350 people, reportedly) to give more attention to the lesser-known books and authors, but for the most part the well-known and popular books hogged the limelight. Though I was on the fence about Scott Westerfeld’s Afterworlds before, I definitely want to read it now.

The publication schedule came with a problem, though: Pittacus Lore. If you haven’t heard of James Frey and the way he treats his “writer sweatshop”, or his upcoming new series that sounds like a total rip-off of… well, the information is online.

And I disagree with the statement that Katie McGarry’s books are New Adult. To me, New Adult is about university-aged characters, whereas McGarry’s are in high school, so they’re more Young Adult.

Giveaways and goodie bags included a Vampire Academy film poster, Sally Green’s Half Bad, and Maya van Wagenen’s Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek, but I declined all these. (No point in accepting things I won’t use.)

P.S. These links are relevant if you’re interested in understanding why I don’t like certain things:

http://bibliodaze.com/2014/04/say-no-to-james-frey-why-im-boycotting-full-fathom-five/
http://bibliodaze.com/2014/03/green-tinted-glasses-filtering-ya-through-a-narrow-lens/
http://bibliodaze.com/2014/02/john-green-privilege/
http://carriemesrobian.com/2014/03/this-is-very-upsetting/
http://www.thebooklantern.co.uk/2013/10/how-do-you-read-book-any-way-you-want-to.html
http://www.thebooklantern.co.uk/2012/09/the-green-brothers-and-white-boy.html
http://www.thebooklantern.co.uk/2012/09/the-green-brothers-and-white-boy_5.html
http://www.thebooklantern.co.uk/2012/07/minority-warriors.html

[REVIEW] Extras – Scott Westerfeld

Scott Westerfeld
Extras (Uglies, Book 4)
Simon & Schuster Pulse (AU: November 2007; UK: 4th February 2008; US & CA: 28th April 2009)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

Aya Fuse wants to be popular and famous, for creating a feed well worth kicking. Infiltrating the mysterious Sly Girls could be her big break, but whilst mag-lev surfing with the group Aya discovers a much bigger story – shape-shifting cylinders she’s sure are missiles. But why are they hidden in the mountain? Who’s responsible? Is only Japan at stake, or the world at large?

I should’ve loved this, and whilst I did enjoy it, Extras didn’t quite wow me. Perhaps this futuristic world is somewhat too high-tech for my eejit brain. There’s a lot to enjoy here, which is a great escapist piece. But as soon as Tally Youngblood enters the picture…It’s been years since I read the three earlier books in this series, and my memory is atrocious anyway, but Tally really pisses me off here. She’s kind of a bitch. But I rather like the Japanese characters and intriguing future.

Tez in the City, Part II

Saturday
-Chatted, signed, photographed with Susan Grant, Liz Maverick, Keri Arthur & Tracey O’hara.

-Liz’s The Shadow Runners is set in Australia in 2176. Not Victoria, but nevertheless I think she was chuffed to be here. And to see for herself if Australia is closer to becoming a penal colony again πŸ˜‰

-Tracey’s Night’s Cold Kiss cover art was revealed, but I’ll wait for her to share it with you first. Go bother her πŸ˜‰

Melanie Milburne‘s surgeon husband sometimes phones her for a chat whilst he’s performing surgery. Who says men can’t multi-task? πŸ˜‰ Melanie also had a trophy on her signing table – I’ll have to check award results.

Amy Andrews has an agent, but looks after her own Mills & Boon business. Her agent deals with Amy’s other works.

-If you’d like to know the mating habits of marine animals and other mammals, consult Lexxie Couper.

Jess Dee has a fabulous South African accent. It’s like the Oz one, only classier. And charming. Makes you want to hug the world. In short: fab.

Sunday
-Chat and photos with Liz, Sue, Kez, Jordana Ryan, Lexxie, Jess, MaryJanice Davidson & Anthony Alongi, and Dianna Love. Didn’t chat with Sherrilyn Kenyon, but had a photo.

-Skipped out early to head to the State Library of Victoria for a free session with Justine Larbalestier & Simmone Howell. Free cupcakes – the icing was so tasty! πŸ™‚

-In times past and present, they’ve made up their own slang. Consult Simmone about the verb “rod”, and Justine the noun “spoff”.

Scott Westerfeld is tall.

Flickr

[COVER ART] Living with the Dead (CA) – Kelley Armstrong & New Pre-Order Links

Cover of the Canadian mass market paperback of Kelley Armstrong’s Living with the Dead. I don’t remember any blindfold, but maybe it’s symbolism…

New Pre-Order Links
Keri Arthur’s Bound to Shadows
A. J. Menden’s Tekgrrl
Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan

Cat with Books on a Hot Day

Just showing the one photo here, so as not to clog your blog reader πŸ˜‰

Anyway, Manny’s going through a tough time, because even though it’s spring, the weather seems to be summer. And we don’t have air-con. So Manny stretches out, but he can’t nap because it’s too damn hot. And he’s only a short-haired. Long-haired cats must be near death.

So, the photos are all here, but here’s the rundown:

Kelley Armstrong’s Living with the Dead: Not particularly enthused, but his eyes are alert.

Laurell K. Hamilton’s Swallowing Darkness: Not sure if he’s cuddling or attacking it. But his eyes are psycho, so I guess the latter. (The book is still in good condition, though.)

Rachel Caine’s Midnight Alley: He’s distracted by something else. Probably because the book only glows in dark, not in the light. Can’t win ’em all…

Scott Westerfeld’s Extras: Again, distracted.

Jennifer Lynn Barnes’ Platinum: Unhappy face.