Friday, May 28, 2010

Review: Shadow’s Son by Jon Sprunk

Assassins in fantasy are a pretty hot thing – not quite to the same level as ‘gritty’, but still quite popular. Shadow’s Son by Jon Sprunk (Book Depository, Powell’s Books, Indiebound) fits squarely into this assassin fantasy fad and should please many SFF fans. Sprunk’s assassins do indeed kick ass, are dark, tough and conflicted, making Shadow’s Son perhaps the closest thing fantasy gets to the perfect ‘beach book’.

From the first line:

A killer stalks in the shadows
the direction of Shadow’s Son is set. Caim is an assassin, and not (quite) the sympathetic, reluctant assassin so often seen. Caim is good at what he does, well paid and enjoys his work, though not in the psychotic way of serial killer. A seemingly simple job goes bad and Caim finds himself thrust into uncharted territory. The daughter of his last target holds the key to the mystery and Caim must confront his own past to survive.

Shadow’s Son has many things going for it, but for me the greatest is probably its length, or more related to what is typical of SFF books, its lack of length. The Pyr version comes in at a mere 280 pages, and the pace reflects this. Sprunk doesn’t waste words; he gets to the point, throws the reader lots of action, and in doing so doesn’t sacrifice characterization or description. In this he doesn’t read like the debut author that he is. In fact there are occasional flashes of really brilliant writing that leave me highly anticipating more of his work.

As I indicated above, Sprunk does his characters well. Caim comes across as a cold-hearted killer, yet not so cold-hearted that the reader doesn’t immediately find himself rooting for him. Sure he is a killer, but there’s the sense that the people he’s hired to kill, aristocracy in an oppressive culture, deserve what they get. As the novel moves forward, the walls that Caim have erected slowly crumble. Caim is balanced against the spoiled socialite daughter of his last target, Josephine. At first Josephine is nothing special, but just as with Caim, it’s interesting to see her develop a backbone and become at least a tolerable maiden in distress.

Of course it’s Josephine that brings me to my biggest criticism of Shadow’s Son – rape. Rape is a controversial character development tool often used in fiction. Some view it as insensitive, others lazy, and still more may delve into a nice lecture on the feminist perspective of rape. The world is brutal and imagined worlds are often set up to be no less brutal. Rape is both a historical and present reality, and perhaps something not out of place in a book about a patriarchal, medieval society focusing on the underworld of assassins. But rape as it is used in Shadow’s Son has very little relevance to character development, and as such, I think it feels out of place and unnecessary. The only way I imagine giving Sprunk a pass on this one is if we get a pregnancy out of it that has some plot relevance in future books of this planned trilogy. In that case, we should discuss Sprunk’s embracing of fantasy tropes.

In Shadow’s Son, Sprunk neither shies away from nor subverts tropes common to this flavor of fantasy. We have the faux-European medieval setting. We have the classic antihero – a sympathetic killer with a brutal and special past. We have the maiden in distress. We have secret societies, corrupt religious powers, and a hidden heir to an empire. Now I’ve said it before and I’m sure I’ll say it again: tropes are tropes for a reason. They are universal in both history and current society and they often seem to touch people at a deeper level. When done badly, a book can quickly unravel. But when done well the reading can be outstanding. Sprunk does them well – his tropes are wrapped up in impressive writing and a breathtaking pace. Things may be predictable, but it doesn’t really matter.

Shadow’s Son is Sprunk’s debut novel and the first in the planned trilogy of the Shadow Saga. It’s a fun, fast read in the fashion of dark fantasy that’s so popular these days and Sprunk wisely does not try to cram it fuller than needed. It stands well enough on its own for people to try out without fear of needing to read forthcoming sequels, but the ending leaves many questions unanswered and a sense of anticipation for the books to come. All in all it’s just the distraction I was looking for amid some of the heavier reading I’ve done of late, and book that I can see pleasing a lot of readers. 7.5/10

Something Completely Different

National Radio Astronomy Observatory Very Large Array (NRAO VLA), Western New Mexico

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Interview with Brandon Sanderson

Late last year a few of us bloggers who originally met on the old Wotmania message board (Adam, Larry, Pat and myself) got together for an interview with Brandon Sanderson, with Pat of Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist organizing the whole shin-dig. It took a while, but Brandon has now answered the questions and they are posted over at Pat’s blog. The questions are a bit pointed and Brandon put quite a bit of thought into the answers he gave. All in all it’s a great interview. Thanks Pat for putting it together and thanks to Brandon for thoughtful replies.

US Cover Art for Towers of Midnight by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson



Well, it’s better than The Gathering Storm (Book Depository, Powell’s Books, Indiebound). Actually, it’s one of the better covers of the series, which I suppose only points to just how bad the cover art is for this series. Thoughts on the cover for Towers of Midnight (Book Depository, Powell’s Books, Indiebound)?

So, I wonder what's in the bag that Mat's holding? My guess - some of Aludra's handiwork.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Review: Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor

Sometimes a book can’t be easily classified, and that can be a good thing. Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor (Book Depository, Powell’s Books, Indiebound), her first novel aimed squarely at an adult audience, is one such book. Is it urban fantasy? Well no, it’s set in mostly rural setting, but certainly shares some characteristics. Is it epic fantasy? There is a quest, there is a group undertaking said quest, there are sorcerers and the equivalent of a dark lord, but few who read Who Fears Death would classify it as epic fantasy. Is it World Fantasy? Well, it isn’t the usual Western fantasy with its European and/or American roots – but World Fantasy is a pretty meaningless term and equally unclassifiable. African Fantasy? The setting is decidedly African and the folklore, customs and conflicts are all rooted in Africa, but does any book deserve to be geographically limited? Is it Feminist Fantasy? Issues of the rights of women lie at the heart of this novel, but should it be so pigeon-holed? How about YA? Who Fears Death is a coming-of-age story, full of teen-angst, certainty and uncertainty, though its heavy weight and timelessness appeal equally to adults. Is it near-future science fiction? Many elements of Who Fears Death fit the near-future sci-fi model, but there is magic and sorcery, which can only mean fantasy, right? Is it post-apocalyptic fantasy? Who Fears Death has the feel of taking place after a collapse of modern society as we know it, but even this fails to capture the book and all its facets. Really, I could keep going, but I think the point is made. Who Fears Death is all and none of these classifications, and it’s all the more wonderful for it.

Onyesonwu is a child of rape and violence. Raised in the desert, she is an outsider both literally and racially in the village she and her mother settle in. Her budding magical powers further isolate her as she seeks to apprentice to the village’s sorcerer, who refuses her because she is a woman. Eventually achieving some of the training she needs, Onyesonwu finds herself exiled from her village and on a quest to confront and kill her father and free the enslaved peoples of the Seven Kingdoms.

Who Fears Death is the coming-of-age tale of an alienated, spirited young woman. Onyesonwu fits this trope like a glove, but this is an example of embracing the trope and doing it well. Onyesonwu is completely believable – bitter, angry, confused, certain and uncertain. And once she discovers the true nature of her conception, it drives her to confront and kill her father (who coincidentally does a pretty good imitation of the ‘evil dark lord’ fantasy trope). Rape in fiction is often a controversial and rather lazy means of characterization. However, rape is a historic and present-day reality, and in the case of Africa, a tragically engrained part of war-driven culture. In places like Darfur there are explicit campaigns to rape women and produce ‘lighter-skinned’ offspring. In Who Fears Death, as much as rape is motivation for Onyesonwu, it is also a reflection of this sort of horrible campaign, it’s own form of genocide.

Who Fears Death is also a story of the strength of the human spirit in such trying times. It is a love story between two young lovers – a realistic version with all of the downs included. It’s the story of a group of friends bonded by womanhood rites as they struggle through adolescence. It’s a story of revelation to the tragedy around and the sacrifice made by the most surprising people. It’s a quest to end slavery and to seak revenge. It’s a condemnation of culturally ingrained oppression of women and brutal rites like female circumcision. But ultimately it’s story of hope for the future and faith that all this can be overcome.

As I keep getting at, Who Fears Death is a lot of things, but most importantly, it’s a beautifully written book in a setting can only be considered unique in the world of fantasy. Okorafor’s writing magically reveals the story, effortlessly endearing characters to the reader, and engineering a story that simply must be read. The African feel of Who Fears Death may be what sets it apart from its contemporaries, and it may be the reason many choose to read or pass it by, but the timeless, human story within is the real reason to pick it up.

The bottom line is that Who Fears Death is the chance that readers should take. It celebrates the true diversity of SFF literature and reveals the struggles of a part of the world often overlooked. It’s a timeless, human tale that I highly recommend. 9/10

Thursday, May 20, 2010

LepreCon 36: Or How I Lost My Con-Virginity and Met George R.R. Martin

Arizona is not one of those places that has lots of SFF-fandom related events. There are a couple of small, local cons but that’s about it. Big-name guests are uncommon and there isn’t much depth to rosters of participants. But this year was a bit different. LepreCon 36 featured George R.R. Martin as its Author Guest of Honor. He alone was enough to get me interested but it helped that the depth of participants was a bit greater than usual with authors like Sam Sykes, Melinda Snodgrass, Emma Bull, Will Shetterly, Michael Stackpole, and James A. Owen.

As the title of the post indicates, I have not been to a con before, so this was quite an experience. In my world it seems that socially I’m always meeting and hanging out with people that are pretty much in my same socio-economic ‘class’ and have similar socio-political beliefs. In other words: it’s comfortable. This con experience got me out of that comfort zone. Yes I knew a couple of people, but none well. I had met a few members of the Brotherhood Without Banners before and I had met Sam Sykes only a few days earlier, but none could properly be called true friends. There were the folks wearing medieval garments and talking chainmail and historic reenactments. There was a huge presence of pirates (where are the ninjas when you need them) a good many aging Trekkies, and the most inept staff at the registration desk (surely Trekkies should at least be able to type). The variety of others ranged from looking like they just came out of their mother’s basement to everyday-looking folks. Anyway, spending the day and into the evening socializing with such a different crowd will certainly stick with me for a while and I definitely had a (mostly) fun time. And I met several people who knew who I was through the blog – that’s always an exciting and humbling experience.

Unfortunately, events with the con that I wanted to attend were rather few in number. I attended a panel on pacing with Sam Sykes, Melinda Snodgrass and G. David Nordley. It was interesting and seemed to go well, though I don’t really have a baseline to compare it to. A bit after, Sam and I retired to the bar for a beer (thanks Sam!). We had a nice time largely spent gossiping about blogs, bloggers, publishers, etc. It was a fun conversation and I hope there will future gossip sessions over more beer. As we were approaching the end of our beer, George R.R. Martin came over and said hi. Sam introduced me and George was familiar with the blog (EXCELLENT!). A short conversation happened mostly about how surprised he was that the con was so small (only about 300 people) and then he moved on.

Sam left and then it was time for George to sign books. I had him sign all 9 that I had brought a long and chatted a bit more (there was no line). I was happy to see that he was freely telling people to come to the Brotherhood Without Banners party later that evening. I then went to see Emma Bull sing (she was Musical Guest of Honor rather than an author guest). It was fun. Later came George’s big panel where he was interviewed by a well prepared and well spoken host (I don’t know his name) and fielded questions from the audience – this went on for 2 hours. It was fun and informative – though as far as I could tell, nothing new was revealed. A Dance With Dragons (Book Depository, Powell’s, Indiebound) is ‘close’ to being done (as he has been saying for the past few months). I suppose a 2011 release is looking more and more likely, though I’d still not bet any real money on it. It sure sounds like George would love to have back that Afterword he wrote for A Feast For Crows (Book Depository, Powell’s, Indiebound).

Later that evening was the Brotherhood Without Boarders party (thanks again Watcher!). There was a keg, a decent assortment of hard alcohol and a beer wench to serve us – though he was a bit green and bosom-less. There were several other parties going on (those damn pirates) along the same hall, so much fun was had. George and Parris showed up a bit late (after their dinner) but immediately integrated. I had a few more fun conversations with George – he really is a very nice guy and very fan-friendly. Though I have to admit that his partner, Parris was the real hit (at least for me). She was very easy to talk with and such a pleasure. She spoke very enthusiastically about the HBO production (not revealing anything) and you can tell that both her and George absolutely love it. Alas, a bit after the naked scantily-clad, body-painted young women walked by I noticed it was way past my bedtime and said my goodbyes. I look forward to meeting both George and Parris again sometime (George of course said I should really consider going to a big convention like WorldCon – I just might).

Friday, May 14, 2010

Something Completely Different

Library at the Strahov Monestary, Prague, Czech Republic

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Book Release Party: Sam Sykes

So last night I attended the book release party for debut author Sam Sykes at The Poisoned Pen bookstore in Scottsdale, Arizona. Sam’s book, Tome of the Undergates (Book Depository, Powell’s Books, Indiebound), was just released in the UK and will be released in the US in September – so only UK editions were on hand (and they were a bit pricey at that). Due to the party being pre-US release and since the big(gest) local SFF convention LepreCon is this week and will also have a book release party event on Friday, it was an event with only modest attendance – mostly friends and family. Of course this made me the outsider.

Anyway, it was a fun time and I got to meet Sam and hold conversations with him for a while. Books were signed. A face was signed. The signing of other body parts was discussed (and thankfully for all present not executed). And for all those curious about the real Sam behind the crass internet persona – well, I met his mother. And I have two words – ‘Mama’s Boy’. Yes folks, you heard it here first, Sam with all his on-line personality is a Mama’s Boy. Just look at the photo – yes that is the ‘Tome of the Undercake’. A proud mother indeed. But before your opinion of Sam is crushed too much, I did hear him swear in front of his mother – Sam Sykes does indeed swear. (If you’re confused at this point, Sam’s Twitter name is
@SamSykesSwears.)

Sam is well on his way into Book 2 (no title was given). He said that he has a full draft that he is now fine-tuning. It hasn't been turned in to his editor yet, so it's still a ways off, but at this rate hopefully it'll be on target for a 2011 release.

What’s Sam doing tonight? Having dinner with George R.R. Martin. Being a young debut author has its perks.

In all seriousness, it was fun little event that allowed me to get to know Sam a bit and support a local debut author.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Order Speculative Horizons and Support the American Cancer Society

I received this message from fellow blogger and friend Patrick St. Denis:


Hey guys,

You may or may not know this, but my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007. Fortunately enough, though it was extremely hard on the family, my mom went through chemo and surgery, and now she's doing great.

Still, witnessing how tough it was for her to get through this ordeal and feeling woefully inadequate in the support I was giving her through it all, I always promised myself that I'd try to do something if the occasion ever presented itself. And it did in the summer of 2008, when the folks at Subterranean Press invited me to compile and edit a speculative fiction anthology for them.

I accepted the gig, but only if a portion of the proceeds would go breast cancer research. Fast-forward today, and the pre-order page for SPECULATIVE HORIZONS has just gone up. And from now till May 21st, 10% of the cover price for each copy sold will be donated to the American Cancer Society.

So if you feel like supporting this worthy cause, please follow the link and place your order. Here's what the publisher had to say about the anthology:

Speculative Horizons is the newest in our series of short anthologies, helmed this time by Patrick St-Denis, best known for running
Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist, the place to go for fantasy news, contests, excerpts, and interviews.

Pat’s gathered an eclectic mix of contributors, including L. E. Modesitt, Jr. (with a new Recluce short story), C. S. Friedman, Tobias S. Buckell, Brian Ruckley, and Hal Duncan, who has written a story so wrenching it’ll rip out your heart and come back for your lungs.

If that’s not incentive enough to
preorder a copy, until the end of day, May 21, 2010, we’ll be donating 10% of the price of each copy sold direct through SubPress to the American Cancer Society."

Don't do it for me, as I've been paid a flat fee to edit this book. So I'm not likely to see another dime unless we get multiple printings. Do it to help raise funds for cancer research. It beats buying a lame T-shirt, after all!

And feel free to spread the word via Facebook, Twitter, your blog, website, etc. The more copies pre-ordered, the more money will be donated to the American Cancer
Society.

Cheers,

Patrick


Well, Pat has long been a friend and supporter of Neth Space and I have say that I think this is great. First we are talking about high quality product from Subterranean Press and a very interesting collection of a wide-range of authors. I really want to see how this anthology comes together. And through May 21st 10% of the proceeds go to support the American Cancer Society. That’s a great deal for $20 (or $45 if you’re so inclined) – a deal that I encourage everyone to take advantage of. You can order your copy here.

More info about the book:

Speculative fiction is wide in scope and styles, and Speculative Horizons showcases the talent and storytelling skills of five of the genre’s most imaginative voices:

In C. S. Friedman’s “Soul Mate,” it’s love at first sight for Josie at the arts and crafts festival when she meets the handsome Stephan Mayeaux. It all sounds too good to be true until her newfound boyfriend starts to act strangely and unexplained occurrences begin to take place around her.

In Tobias S. Buckell’s “The Eve of the Fall of Habesh,” contragnartii Jazim must carry out one final assignment before the armies of the Sea People lay waste to the city he loves.

L. E. Modesitt, Jr. returns to the universe of his bestselling Recluce saga in “The Stranger.” A young herder’s existence will be forever changed by the unexpected arrival of the black-clad man recounting tales of angels living on the summit of the Roof of the World.

In “Flint,” Brian Ruckley introduces us to a young and inexperienced shaman who must venture into the spirit world to discover the source of the sickness which afflicts his tribe before they are all wiped out.

Talk to any cop working for Homicide, Narcotics, or Vice, and they’ll tell you that they get the worst cases imaginable. But in Hal Duncan’s “The Death of a Love,” you realize that they have nothing on Erocide.

Monday, May 10, 2010

My Wheel of Time Re-Listen: A Mea Culpa

So a couple of months ago I posted my reflections on listening to the audio version of The Eye of the World (Book Depository, Powell’s Books, Indiebound). Though my first listen, it is perhaps the 6th or 7th time that I’ve ‘read’ the book (maybe more, I really haven’t kept count). But it was my first re-read since I’ve started the blog and gotten into reviewing, something that has created quite a shift in the way I read and exposed me to an ever-widening variety of books. So it was a fun and revealing reflection. I of course promised that I’d keep doing it for each book as I continue in my re-read…err listen…in preparation for the release of Towers of Midnight (Book Depository, Powell’s Books, Indiebound) this fall (I may even make it). Well, life of course has happened.

I’ve been busy with work, even busier in my personal life, but neither nor both can be truly blamed. The simple truth is that I have been enjoying the re-read immensely and really haven’t wanted to spoil it by writing about it. It’s become my time in the truck when I get to listen to the books, a time that I’m happy to keep close. So, I’ve just started The Fires of Heaven (Book Depository, Powell’s Books, Indiebound), which leaves me with a number of posts to write. I apologize because it’s not going to happen. This is the post where I’ll throw out a bit about each book instead of writing a full post for each.

The Great Hunt (
Book Depository, Powell’s Books, Indiebound). Upon reflection I have to admit that this book is a bit weaker than I remember. As with The Eye of the World there are a few confusing bits that just don’t make much sense. At best, they are inconsistencies. But I do love the broadening of the scope and some of the evolution of the characters. Unfortunately, Mat and Perrin are duds in this one – they react overly petty to Rand’s struggles and Mat still seems just like a rotten little child. But I did enjoy Rand’s subtle shifts and growths as he becomes a natural leader and begins to fit into the role.

The Dragon Reborn (
Book Depository, Powell’s Books, Indiebound). In the past I had always considered this my favorite volume in the series. I doubt that’s really true now. Some of the more annoying aspects of Jordan’s writing really start to drag out. First the repetition – the first 1/3 or so each book is just full of repeat introductions about characters and the world. This gets way old. And the amount of extra descriptions and fluff start to really show, even though they don’t get really bad for a few books yet. I love the descriptions and I generally love Jordan’s writing style, but I still wish it were tighter and that the series were a couple of books shorter.

In this book Mat comes alive through us finally getting to see things from his point of view. I’ve always loved his roguishness, his disdain for authority, and how he still can’t help but do the right thing and even be the hero no matter how reluctant he is about it and how much he denies it. Moiraine becomes more and more annoying to me. I continue to loose respect for her as a terrible and arrogant leader. Her desperation begins to come out, but really she just doesn’t get it and it continues to cause problems. This is probably the most surprising reaction I’ve had in this re-read. The Wonder Girls (Egwene, Elayne, and Nynaeve) all also get a bit more annoying as they take on the Aes Sedai attitude that respect for them is a given rather than something to be earned. This aspect of them really takes off in the following books. But, of the three, I still like Nynaeve the best, even though she is ridiculously stubborn and childish at times. Rand is largely absent and that’s just fine by me. And really people, Faile is not that bad.

The Shadow Rising (
Book Depository, Powell’s Books, Indiebound). The Shadow Rising is Perrin’s book, it’s as simple as that. Yes Mat continues to develop, but it’s not as drastic as either The Dragon Reborn or The Fires of Heaven. And Rand makes big changes towards being dark, arrogant, angry, and hard – he just isn’t very likeable anymore, and of course it only gets worse from here. But Perrin – this is what makes people like him. A simple man who becomes a lord. A blacksmith’s apprentice who leads an army of farmers against hordes of trollocs and myddraal. A man who is willing to sacrifice his own life for those he loves. A man who saves his people, falls in love, and gets the girl. I so wish I could pause his story-line now and not have to deal with the crap with Berelain and the whole bog-down in Ghealdan and Altara to come in future books.

Moiraine of course reaches new lows in this book, though she’s largely marginalized by Rand not listening to her. As I keep saying, I’ve been really surprised by just how little I like her in my re-listen. Arrogant incompetence best describes her even if she is completely desperate and does manage to help out Rand behind the scenes. Egwene continues to become more intolerable in her own arrogance. Such an adolescent child.

I’ve also become convinced that one of the questions that Rand asked the Aelfinn was something like ‘How can I learn to channel Saidin?’. Somehow, something or someone let him know that Lanfear and Asmodean were going to come at him in the Aiel Waste. It was hinted at far too much for him to not have forewarning – and that points to an answer received from the Aelfinn. Since he couldn’t ask about the Shadow directly and he desperately needed to learn of channeling, I think it makes sense that he asked them about it. Of course the question and answer that I’m speculating he got both touch on the Shadow, so that makes me wonder if there really are ‘dire consequences’ for questions that touch the Shadow, and if there are, just what were those consequences.

The scientist in me simply tries as hard as I can to ignore the issues with the Aiel Waste. It’s simply not a realistic landscape, but I can get past it.

Overall, I can see why The Shadow Rising gets pretty high marks in the series – especially with all the conflict with the Forsaken. They are still menacing foes of legend here. It’s only later that they start to become ‘worst bad guys ever’.


Now I’m on to The Fires of Heaven
. Let’s see if it’ll be another 3 books before I write an update. Mea Culpa, but not really because I’m having a blast and that’s all that matters.

Good Times for the Arizona SFF Fan

Living in Arizona I can say that we have few SFF events that I consider worth my time to attend. Even though Phoenix is one of the largest cities in the country, it’s a fly-over for most book tours, conventions are small, book fairs short on SFF authors, and there isn’t really a good bookstore that specializes in SFF books to attract events. The Poisoned Pen makes a reasonable effort, but its focus is mystery with only a handful of SFF events in a year. But, for Arizona SFF fans, times are good with a few upcoming events that I know I’ll try to attend.

First up on Wednesday, May 12th at The Poisoned Pen, there will be a
book release party for Sam Sykes, whose debut book, Tome of the Undergates, was just released in the UK by Gollancz and will be released later this fall in the US from Pyr (Book Depository, Powell’s Books, Indiebound). Only the import will be available, but come on out and support Sam – even if he will probably swear at you. I hope to be there.

This weekend starting on Thursday, May 13th and going through Sunday, May 16th will be the local SFF convention,
LepreCon 36. While its focus is on SFF art, there is an impressive list of authors who will be in attendance – George R.R. Martin (Author Guest of Honor, Sam Sykes, Emma Bull (who is the Musical Guest of Honor), Melinda Snodgrass, Michael A. Stackpole and quite a few other authors that are local to the area and/or part of Martin’s Wild Cards team. And with Martin as the Author Guest of Honor, the local members of the Brotherhood Without Banners are planning fun, drinks, and the usual shenanigans. I will be at least some of these events – I’m just waiting on the con to finalize a schedule so I can coordinate with work and family and figure what I can attend.

And finally over Memorial weekend is the
Phoenix Comicon from May 27-30th. This year they have an impressive line-up of the usual suspects for these sorts of events, including Stan Lee, Felicia day, James Marsters, Ray Park, Levar Burton, John Schneider, Wil Weaton, Mike McFarland, and many others. They also have author guests that include John Scalzi, Diana Gabaldon, Michael A. Stackpole, Sam Sykes, and others. I doubt I’ll make it to this one, but it sounds like a good time.

So, get out of the basement, support Arizona SFF events and have a good time!

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