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Showing posts from February, 2012

Roald Dahl on stamps? Scrumdiddlyumptious!

From Galleycat comes word that the Royal Mail issued Roald Dahl stamps featuring Quentin Blake's artwork. They're beautiful.


The stamps were issued on 10th January though and I guess that means I missed out on buying the First Day Cover.

*sadface*

And in case you didn't know, I've blogged quite a bit about Roald Dahl in the past, do check out my older posts.

P/S
Also can somebody tell me why my rant post about commemorative covers suddenly became the second most popular post? Did someone on a philatelic forum say I was being dumb on the internet or something?

J.K. Rowling's Next Book.

Wow. This is big news.

J.K. Rowling has announced she will be publishing a book for adults with Little, Brown later this year:
"Although I’ve enjoyed writing it every bit as much, my next book will be very different to the Harry Potter series, which has been published so brilliantly by Bloomsbury and my other publishers around the world. The freedom to explore new territory is a gift that Harry's success has brought me, and with that new territory it seemed a logical progression to have a new publisher.  I am delighted to have a second publishing home in Little, Brown, and a publishing team that will be a great partner in this new phase of my writing life."

Chameleonesque.

Apologies for the constantly changing look and feel of this blog.

I'm currently experimenting with the look and feel and messing about with Blogger's template editor. I've yet to settle on something I truly feel reflects what this blog should look like so more changes in the coming days are likely.

For the longest time this blog looked very generic and I've always been wanting to change that and I now feel it is time to do something about it.

The Wonderful Simplicity of an E-reader

One other thing I did not mention in my Kindle Touch review was that I liked how it simplified things and made me concentrate purely on reading, compared to the iPad where I'd read for a bit, then wonder what's going in the Twitterverse or would suddenly feel the compulsion to check the history of instant noodles in Europe on Wikipedia.

That doesn't happen when I'm reading on the Kindle. The device disappears and I'm lost in the book, which is how it should be.

Librarian Bohyun Kim seems to agree:
The greatest problem I had with an iPad ‘as an e-reader’ was that aside from its weight and the eye-straining screen, I could not really concentrate on reading for a long time. I don’t know if this is a non-issue for others with stronger willpower. But for me, this was certainly a big problem. While reading, I would get easily distracted into web surfing, checking e-mails, and reading tweets and Facebook updates.  On the other hand, on this single-purpose device, it …

REVIEW: Kindle Touch

Ah, the e-ink reader. For years I've been wanting to try one out but never knew anyone who owned one. Then when I actually bought one for myself, all sorts of people (including my best friend who never thought it pertinent to tell me he bought one) came out of the woodwork and told me how they were enjoying their own e-ink readers.

In any case, for the longest time I was skeptical over the idea of reading e-books because reading them on a computer was uncomfortable both for my back and for my eyes and reading them on an e-reader was out of the question for me because they were being sold for outrageous prices. I had read about e-readers that used e-ink which used digital screens that were supposed to have the clarity and the sharpness of print on paper and how they were supposed to be comfortable to read on while having the benefits of being digital.

But alas, e-ink e-readers were expensive and I didn't know anyone who owned one. So for the longest time I stayed away from e-b…

Currently Reading.

I am currently (actively) reading these books:

At Home: A Short History of Private Life by Bill Bryson

I loved Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything and when I discovered he had written a book that's the exact opposite of that one, I pounced upon it.

Instead of a macro view of history like the previous book, Bryson instead takes us on a journey that documents the history of normal and mundane household objects, ones we usually take for granted.

What follows is an epic journey across most of the Victorian era with the occasional trip to the height of the Roman Empire and some other notable periods of time in human history. A good read, even if you have only enjoyed Bryson's numerous travelogues.


The Technologists by Matthew Pearl

Matthew Pearl's latest historical fiction will only be released on 21st February but I managed to get my hands on a preview copy.

The book is set in the mid-Ninteenth Century, during the initial years of the Massachusetts Institute of…

Valentine's Special: Get Zombies Ate My Muslim Free!

Give the love of your life the gift of zombies! Muslim-eating zombies!



My short story e-book Zombies Ate My Muslim is free only on Valentine's Day and can be downloaded from Amazon's Kindle Store.

UPDATE:Offer has ended. Thanks to everyone who downloaded the e-book! Hope you enjoy it!

Crowdsourcing Your Novel.

I've noticed a lot of talk about crowdsourcing in the past week, especially with projects funded using Kickstarter. There has also been severalthreads about crowdsourcing novels on the Kindle Boards lately.

Today, an indie author I admire, Lindsay Buroker, wrote a blog post about the whole crowdsourcing thing. She explains a little about what crowdsourcing actually is and how you can use it to fund your own novel as well as how she plans to use it to fund her podiobooks. (Podiobooks are audiobooks delivered as free podcasts.)

A very good read, especially if you're an aspiring author wanting to self-publish and wondering where you could get some money to fund it.

I would like to add a caveat for those thinking to use Kickstarter to fund their projects. If you're outside the US, you won't be able to use it. (People outside the US can give money towards projects, but can't create projects themselves.) Instead, consider Indiegogo.com, which does allows people outside …

REVIEW: Goodbye, Goddess by Breanna Teintze

Goodbye, Goddess by Breanna Teintze is a beautiful and well-written collection of high fantasy short stories that I would not hesitate to recommend to my friends.

I loved how even though the stories were self-contained, the world described in them seemed to be larger than it appeared and while the stories had a small element of "sensawunda" they really focused more on the characters rather than the fantastic.

One of my favourite stories in this collection was about a rogue mage who is reluctantly asked by some villagers to investigate a recent murder. It's at once a fantasy story, a Western story, a whodunnit, rolled into one and even has a big showdown in the end. Brilliant!

My other favourite story is about a village idiot who is asked to slay a dragon. The story is simple, but the loving care in which it is written and the humourous but logical way in which the dragon is ultimately vanquished makes this one memorable.

That's not to say the other stories in the col…

REVIEW: Prehistoric Clock by Robert Appleton

Steampunk. Time travel. Dinosaurs.

These three things make Robert Appleton's Prehistoric Clock a book after my heart. And does it capture it? Does the book provide a fun and engaging story along with its interesting premise?

Yes. Yes it does.

And thank goodness for that. When I read the synopsis, I so wanted to like the book, but I worried it wouldn't live up to its potential.

Set in 1908, Prehistoric Clock is told from the perspectives of three main characters, Verity Champlain, an acting captain of an airship, Lord Garret Embrey, an aristocrat wrongly accused in a conspiratorial trial, and Cecil Reardon, the inventor who creates the time machine that drives the plot behind the novel.

Though Reardon's scientific experiments are sponsored by a shady organisation called the Leviacrum (which we are given to suspect also controls the British empire), he secretly builds a time machine which he intends to use to go back in time to save his wife and son from dying seven years e…