Elspeth Cooper

Purveyor of fine fantasy adventures

Tag: reading

Incentivisation, I haz it

New books receivedToday brought me a modest haul of new books, these being the only ones I could remember from my missing-presumed-lost/recycled/eaten by dust-bunnies “Books to Buy” list. I have made myself a promise that I will not so much as crack the covers until THE DRAGON HOUSE is packed off to my editor.

Since I like reading about as much as I like breathing, I’d better crack on, eh?

I tweeted a picture of this lot as soon as I unpacked them, but for reasons known only to themselves HTC have seen fit to pair their phone’s pre-loaded Twitter client with bloody Yfrog, which has an unspeakably ill-formed splash page and does horrible things to image sizes, hence this post.

I really need to get my arse in gear and sign up with Tumblr or summat for those social-media-on-the-go moments. I am *such* a technophobe. Also too busy Actually Doing Stuff That Keeps The Lights On Around Here, which is likewise responsible for my lack of:

  • blogging regularly
  • self-promotion
  • updating the website
  • learning Scrivener
  • redrawing the map for the Wild Hunt Universe
  • getting a haircut

I don’t know how my fellow writers manage to do all this and hold down a day job.



Fifty Shades of…

Spotlight on gold number 50

. . . Fantasy, of course. What did you think I was going to say?

There has been much talk of late on teh intertubes concerning the fact that so many “Best of . . .” and “Top 100” lists of fantasy and SF writers are male author-heavy, with many people feeling that female spec fic authors are under-represented, marginalised or downright ignored.

In reaction to this, Amanda Rutter started Fantasy Mistressworks (as a sister to the SF Mistressworks site) and put together the following list of 50 Fantasy Mistressworks, based on suggestions from readers.

Curious, I checked out the list and marked in bold the ones I’d read (italics mean I own the book). Drumroll, please . . .

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Book porn

I’ve been threatening to do this for a while. Pile up all the unread books I’ve got and take a photograph of them, just for giggles. So I did, and slightly scared myself. Clearly, I get far too much pocket money.

Ellie's stash of unread books

Here is Ellie’s to-be-read pile, in no kind of order, just how they came off the shelves. That’s over six feet four inches of books. Yes, I have just measured it; no, I do not think that is remotely sad.

This mountain of words does include some books I was given as presents Quite Some Time Ago, and a couple of them I’ve started and put down for whatever reason (Tad Williams’ River of Blue Fire, I’m looking at you here – and Trudi Canavan’s Magician’s Guild, don’t think you can hide at the back).

What it does not include is all the books I will have to re-read before I attempt to conclude various series, like the Dresden Files, and The Wheel of Time. What can I say, I have a terrible thing for completeness.


Still, they do say that the first step in overcoming addiction is admitting you have a problem.



To e-read, or not to e-read?

I have been a strident advocate of real books, but Amazon’s relentless Christmas advertising campaign got to me, and convinced me that I needed a Kindle – even though I didn’t actually want one. Add that to my Christmas loot burning a hole in my pocket, and the result was inevitable.

I have to say, it’s impressed me. Beautifully engineered, it is light, readable, vastly more portable than the chunky hardbacks in my library, great for train/plane/long stay in hospital. But it will not replace the paper book in my heart.

Why? An e-reader doesn’t smell right or feel right and has no substance.  Reading an ebook is just like reading a technical pdf (and I had quite enough of them in my last job, thank you very much). It’s utilitarian. It has no soul. And I can’t take it into the bath.

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Father, forgive me…

…for I have sinned.

I’ve never read George RR Martin.

Don’t ask me why, because I really couldn’t say.  I adore the title of the series “A Song of Ice and Fire”.  I’ve just never found myself motivated to pick up one of his books.  Actually, tell a lie, I did pick up a copy of  “A Game of Thrones” in Waterstone’s once but put it down again before I got to the till.

Before the fantasy establishment mob besieges Cooper Towers with pitchforks and blazing torches, ready to burn the heretic,  let me just say that I am remedying this right this instant.  Since HBO has green-lighted a mini-series based on A Game of Thrones, starring the scrummy Sean Bean, no less, my interest has been piqued.

Piqued enough to go and buy the book.  Gawd knows when I’ll find time to read it, since I’m supposed to be writing one of my own here, but I’ll try.  Really I will.  Now put those pitchforks down before someone gets hurt.


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