A Reader's Guide to San Diego Comic Con 2014

Monday, June 30, 2014 0
I am attending SDCC again this year -- and it is less than a month away! San Diego Comic Con is a great place to discover new authors and geek out after meeting favorites.

Typically SDCC publishes the program for sessions two weeks before the event, but the special guests have already been announced and many publishers will start releasing their schedule for signings soon. I am going to use this post as place to combine information as I get it and will update as needed.

Special Guest Authors:

Raymond Fiest
Caitlin Keirnan
Veronica Roth

Other Authors with Appearances Scheduled for SDCC: 

George RR Matrin
Patrick Rothfuss
Lev Grossman
Robin Hobb
Scott Westerfeld
Chuck Palahnuik
Tobias Buckell
Jonathan Moore

Publishers / Bookseller Info:

These booths will be the place on the giant convention floor to get information about upcoming releases and also, if you are lucky, score a few ARCs!

Random House / Del Rey - Booths 1514-1515
Random House Knopf Doubleday group press release: I'm looking forward to Anne Rice's signing on Saturday. I read almost everything in her Vampire chronicles series in high school (when I was probably waaaaay too young to be reading it!). It is exciting to see she'll be publishing something else in the series!

Del Rey / Lucas Books - Booth 2913ARC Giveaway for Star Wars: A New Dawn.

Tor Books - Booth 2707: Schedule released!

Penguin - Booth 1029: Giveaways for Cherie Priest's Maplecroft & Jonathan and Jesse Kellermans' Golem of Hollywood. Also, there will be an exclusive Comic Con Mad Libs giveaway!

Orbit - Booth 1116: Scheduled announced. 

Mysterious Galaxy - Booth 1119: Place to grab a hardcover of an author who is doing autographs or that you just discovered at the con. (They take a lot of my money each year.)

The blog SDCCblog has created a great list for the currently announced autograph times for authors, available here.

Have a tip on SDCC? Leave it in the comments below!

Dark Tower introduction: All things serve the beam...

Sunday, June 29, 2014 0
I was trying to decide how to start this blog -- and then I realized I should just start with what I am currently reading -- and reading obsessively! As someone who reads a lot, I've started making goals for myself at the beginning of each year. This year, I decided to make an annual goal of reading a published sci-fi or fantasy series -- and this year's selection was Stephen King's Dark Tower series. 

The Dark Tower series is set in a weird (but awesome!) world that combines spaghetti Western and Arthurian legend. It follows Roland Deschain, the world's last gunslinger, in his pursuit of the Dark Tower which is the heart / nexus of all worlds. Stephen King has claimed that the Dark Tower series is his magnum opus, and many other works of his contain references to the story. (If the Dark Tower books themselves are not enough, someone has even made a reading order of other books surrounding the series!) And I am quickly becoming OBSESSED with it. Without further ado, I'll start my reviews off with the books of the Dark Tower. 

The Gunslinger:

Rating: 4.5/5 -- Goodreads

The first book in the series, The Gunslinger is a somewhat difficult and misleading entry into the series. You are only introduced to two of the main cast of characters of the series, and you have no sense of the real reach King is attempting with the universe he has created here yet. 

I have read this book twice: once a few years ago and then at the beginning of January this year. Many suggest that if you are going to give the Dark Tower series a try that you don't give up after reading this first book because it is written so differently than the rest of the series. I would fully endorse this recommendation! 

To me, my second reading of the book was a far better experience than the first, and now that I am halfway through the series I can appreciate all that King set up in this first novel. You are introduced to Roland and his post apocalyptic world with fantastical yet gritty elements. You also meet Jake, but I don't think you can appreciate his character fully until later in the series. 

Overall, this book can be a little jarring in its weirdness, but it is worth the effort if you are interested in the much raved about Dark Tower series or a fan of Stephen King. I believe one thing King does best is invoke the reader's emotions -- horror, impending doom, sadness, triumph. He managed to make this reader feel all these emotions in this first book of the series.

Stay tuned -- reviews of the rest of the series and some related works to come!

Welcome to Exploring Worlds!

Growing up I would get in trouble for reading. Not the act of reading itself -- but the way in which I did it. I read obsessively: past my bedtime with a flashlight or at our destination after a long road-trip (in which the drive was also spent reading). The rest of the world disappeared as I explored the world on the page in front of me.
Library Books.jpg via Wikimedia Commons
This blog is a place for me to redeem my childhood self. I will use this blog to review my reading -- most of which is considered science fiction and fantasy. Welcome!

Copyright © 2014 Exploring Worlds
Template by These Paper Hearts