Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Review: Twist, by Dannika Dark

Dark's sophomore effort is a great urban fantasy with more of a focus on relationships and romance than the first in the series.  It's teh hot. I enjoyed it so much, I read it twice.  :)

Twist, by Danika Dark, is the sequel to Sterling (Mageri Series: Book 1), a book about a woman who is brutally attacked and turned into a mage and finds herself part of a dangerous, magical side of the world she never knew existed.

This one starts off with Silver chafing a bit under Justus' tight restrictions. She clearly respects him and understands that's he's trying to protect her, but she has her own ideas of how her life needs to be. Throughout the book, she disobeys him to either do things that she thinks is right or that she has a right to do. This dynamic could have come off like a self-centered teenage rebellion against a father figure/love interest, but I think the author succeeded in crafting an arc for the relationship between Justus and Silver that makes sense for two adult characters. She is a grown woman with very understandable issues about control and independence, and he is a controlling, honorable, very old (very hot) man who is uncomfortable with affection and not really human. They don't see eye-to-eye, but they both want their learner-ghuardian relationship to work. I don't know if it worked evenly throughout the book, but overall I liked it. I also liked what the author did with Silver's other relationships in general. More on that in a minute.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Gah - I've been bad

OK, so lately I've been focusing on a development developing:

‘Line Pirates: Bane of the MultiVersal Corps 

Basically, it's an online Real Time Turn (RTT) Collectible Card Game (CCG) with a high-adventure, sci-fantastical military theme.  It also incorporates some elements that are normally found in Role Playing Games (RPGs), namely grid-based strategy and a strong narrative element.  We're aiming for high strategy, but low time commitment - a game played in 15-20 minutes.  We hope to alpha by Dec 2012 and release by June 2013, if we can get sufficient funding.  Check out our wiki for it if you want more details, although at this stage it's really aimed more for us to codify the ruleset than for users to start playing.

Anyway, I just wanted to say that, although it may appear as though I was swallowed by a black hole, I've just been temporarily distracted and will shortly return to my regular reading and blogging obsession.

Oh, and if anyone is interested in participating in beta testing or observing the creation process, let me know.  My partner and I are doing this mostly by email since we live in different parts of the country, so we've gathered a small group of people who want to be cced on everything to see how a game comes to live.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

SFF Stories with Black Leads

This post is focuses on my favorite science fiction and fantasy stories with protagonists whose race and ethnicity is rooted in sub-Saharan Africa and the African diaspora. I'm separating out Northern Africa and putting that with the Middle East, since I figured Egypt and Saudi Arabia have more in common with each other than with the places such as the Congo or Japan.
Related Posts: SFF Stories with Native American LeadsSFF Stories with Asian Leads, and SFF Stories with Middle Eastern Leads.

The Aggregate Stats

  • Total number of works/series/authors on the list: 16/7/6
  • Author with most works on the list: Octavia Butler, with 7 books on the list
  • Most depressing realization: The overwhelming majority of books here have no recognizable black people on the covers. Sigh.
  • Biggest overall surprise: No (non-urban) fantasies. How'd that happen?
and now for...

My Favorites