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Discussion: “Your Writing is Worse Than Fanfic”

bad reviews

It happens to all of us. We read the Goodreads reviews. Or the Amazon reviews. Or any other crowdsourced review site. At first, it’s fine. OK, someone liked my book – they REALLY liked my book. Oh, here’s someone else that enjoyed it, but wished it was longer – hey, even that’s kind of a compliment, right? Then you see it. The dreaded one star review. The reader who couldn’t find a single nice thing to say about your labor of love, the thing you worked on for months and months (or even years and years) and gave your heart … Read more

“Between the Lines” by J. Scott Coatsworth

Genre: Gay Urban Fantasy Romance Length: Novella   Brad Weston is the chief of staff for a Republican California state senator, and it seems like he has everything going for him. Sam Fuller, fresh out of college, is also working for the GOP as Weston’s aid. They work hard for their party, even when they face constant homophobia, but neither really knows how bad they’re discriminated against until Weston enters an antique shop, looking for a present for his boyfriend for their anniversary. The enchanted trinket he finds exposes Weston to all the hate in the world, and the revelations … Read more

Review: “Blue on Black” by Carole Cummings

Genre: Gay Steampunk Length: Novel   Bas is a tech tracker, undercover. In his search for a few missing techs, he finds himself in the middle of a thug empire in the desert. Baron Stanslo is hiding more than Bas or the Directorate reckon, and while Bas keeps an eye out for the techs, he discovers a brutal world ruled by a mad man and populated by the oppressed and the bullies who oppress them. Fortunately, he’s skilled enough to become easily accepted into the illusive group; unfortunately, he may not be able to get back out. Blue on Black … Read more

Review: “Urban Shaman” by Lyn Gala

Genre: Gay Urban Paranormal Length: Novel Note: I’m going to come right out and say it. I’ve reviewed Lyn Gala before—because she’s absolutely phenomenal. So this review is going to be totally bias. You’ve been warned. (Okay, I’m sort of joking about this review being a complete fangirl moment. Sort of.) Detective Miguel Rassin, the precinct’s biggest troublemaker, knows he’s being punished when he gets paired with the precinct’s biggest asshole, Detective Rob Jackson. In an act of either complete brilliance or desperation (or both), the captain blesses the duo with the most sensitive case in this part of New … Read more

“Black Dog Blues” by Rhys Ford

Genre: Urban Fantasy Length: Novel   Kai Gracen is an elven outcast in a post-apocalyptic world, where magic exploded into the present day. There are still McDonalds and shitty politicians, but now there are elves and other fantastical creatures (including dragons). Kai gets by as a bounty hunter, going where the humans wouldn’t dare and killing ferocious beasts (including dragons). He was pretty happy too, until the dawn court started to interfere with his affairs, and he got stuck on a run with one of their snotty nobles, as well as with a human girl, who’s possibly carrying the greatest … Read more

“The Queen of Lies” by Michael J. Bode

Genre: LGBTQ+ Epic Fantasy Length: Novel   The story in The Queen of Lies is incredibly complex and detailed, as an epic fantasy should be, and we have several wonderful point of views to explore. There’s Maddox, the arcane student who fucks up his exams and accidentally winds up immortal—at first no one is certain whether they should praise him or condemn him. There’s Jessa, heiress to the throne of a long line of storm-callers. Her mother is conniving and maniacal (I may be downplaying the crazy part). And there are Heath and Sword, who are essentially mercenaries; Heath is … Read more

“Song of Oestend” By Marie Sexton

Genre: MM Fantasy Romance Length: Novel Song of Oestend takes place in an alternate reality and resembles the Old West, but with some odd technologies, ancient mysticism, and ghosts thrown in for fun. I would feel comfortable labeling it as steampunk, paranormal, or fantasy, but I labeled it as fantasy because both steampunk and paranormal fit into that genre. Aren Montrell is a social leper from the city, and to get away from it all, he travels to Oestend for a job as a bookkeeper. Of all the cities he could have chosen, I honestly have no idea why he … Read more

“Greenwode” by J. Tullos Hennig

To all you historical fantasy fans–check this out. The flavor of Greenwode hit me as a historical, but there’s a bit of magic, and it’s loosely based off of the legend of Robin Hood.  Loosely.  Otherwise, the language, the setting, and the voice was all very Old English.  Hennig did a lot of research, and has a section in the back of the book devoted to how much she did. I don’t read a lot of historicals, but I enjoyed this one.  The magic kept things interesting for me, and the language was not something I was used to, therefore … Read more

“Candle, Cup, and Casket” by Desiderii

Note: This was recommended to me by Carole Cummings.  I’d heard that this novel (about 800 pages) was some sort of fan fiction, based off of the TV show “Merlin”.  I’ve seen some of that show, and that series isn’t based in space, and the characters are…different.  I suppose the only reason I’m quibbling over details, is because I think the author could take full ownership of this brilliant piece of literature.   King Arthur in space!  The story is told mainly from Merlin and Arthur’s point of view.  There’s magic and technology, and it’s interesting to see how they … Read more

Jupiter Ascending

What a very, very expensive piece of cheese! If you think about this movie afterwards – and I suggest you don’t – the galaxy-sized plot holes and unanswered questions will make you giggle! However, you get to see every penny of the $175 million budget. It wasn’t spent on a particularly original script. Or, obviously, an acting coach. In fact, if Oscar voters see this before casting this year’s ballot, Eddie Redmayne’s acting will guarantee Michael Keaton the win. Not that Jupiter Ascending doesn’t have it’s own trashy D-list charm. It’s visually stunning – an all-out attack on the optic … Read more