17 January 2013

10,000

I've been very belatedly adding up my numbers, and it seems that at the end of 2012 I hit 10,000 books sold.

To celebrate, I'm going to give away a copy of whatever book the winner chooses!  [Up to and including the doorstop hardcover edition of The Touchstone Trilogy.]  (If you happen to have all my released books, then an e- and/or pb copy of Hunting.)

Entries can be done using the rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

04 January 2013

Web Comics of the moment

I read quite a few web comics, and have also been experimenting with the paid e-comic services such as Comixology and JManga, since I rarely buy the physical ones any more due to the immense amount of space they end up taking*.  JManga turned out to be not worth the money for me, both because their selection is full of sub-genres of manga I'm not interested in, but mainly because 90% of it is region-locked against icky Australians.

But the web comics are there for everyone.  It's always fascinating to watch them grow from their clunky, learning-to-draw beginnings (or swish, polished beginnings), so here's my current bookmarks for those who are looking to read online:
  • Candi.  Comic book artist in college.  You'd be surprised the number of web comics with this self-same concept!  This is 90% non SFF, but with a telepathic flying ferret and Vendetta Squirrels.
  • Ctrl+Alt+Delete.  Hey, I have to read at least _one_ gamer web comic.
  • Oglaf.  Severely, severely, totally NSFW.  But very funny.  [Loved this artist's previous work, Platinum Grit, and hope she finishes it one day.]
  • Goblins.  Funny, D&D from the POV of the monsters.
  • Gunnerkrigg Court.  While I think this story has lost some momentum in the latest book, it is still a very intriguing magic and strange tech story.
  • Plume.  Slowly releasing as a web comic, but also coming out in paper format (thanks to Kickstarter).  Stylish Old West and Artifacts of the Indiana Jones variety, with revenge theme.
  • the adventures of superhero girl.  It's tough trying to make it as a superhero in the shadow of your over-powered older brother.  [On hiatus at the moment, but presumably coming back eventually.]
  • Runewriters. Relatively recent, featuring a shapechanging runewriter, a deaf girl and a very grumpy magician.
  • Minor Acts of Heroism.  The super-powered children of super-heroes.
  • Not a Villain.  Post-apocalyptic plus virtual world game story.  One of my favourites of the moment.  Artist makes a joke of her relatively unpolished style by giving her character drawing skills which...need improvement.
  • Blue Milk Special.  The cynic's version of Star Wars.
  • Shadowbinders.  Another relatively young comic: an alternate world steampunk and magic story.
There are other webcomics I used to read but ended up fatigued by, such as Order of the Stick, MegaTokyo, and Penny Arcade (which I'd dropped before the dickwolves thing, and now couldn't be bothered with).  And there's Girl Geniusxkcd and Hark, a vagrant!, which all seem so widely read I don't think they need links.

Along with all these, I've been quite taken by Korean web comics lately.  Korean manga/manwha I've encountered in the past hasn't been to my taste, but the web comics seem to be an entirely different kettle of fish.  [The web comics have a hit-based income, so they fall into more of a grey area than reading pirated scanlations of paperborn work - just make sure to visit the original pages of new issues before reading any scanlations.  Still would be nice if there was a donation structure - I often donate to the Western web comics, but there's no mechanism for these except clicking at the moment.]

My two favourites are:

Tower of God.  A tower (where each level is basically a continent) which is said to grant wishes if you reach the top.  Much competition involved in getting there.  This is primarily the story of Baam, a boy born in darkness who wants only company.  With so many characters - plenty of interesting females - you're sure to hit on one you really like.  This is immensely detailed and multi-layered and fascinating.

Kubera.  Called "a story without villains" (which, given the wholesale slaughter, I'd say was debatable), it revolves around a girl named Kubera Leez, who has the 'name of a god' (and all the potential power that goes along with it).  She's entirely ignorant of that, though, and starts as a fairly standard 'inflated ditz who is strong' type, but is maturing interestingly (and the flashes of her tortured future self are interesting).  But the array of characters (gods, suras, humans, human mages, mixed-breeds) around her are fascinating, and most particularly Asha, the one-armed uber-mage who saves Kubera's life...but perhaps only to fulfil her plans for revenge.

So that's it for my current web comic roster.  Anything interesting to recommend back?
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* I have an entire bookcase of comics from back when I was collecting mainly Vertigo comics.  I really should do something with them - I know that my complete collection of the original Star Wars series is worth a fair bit.

01 January 2013

The season of compliments...

This is the season of best of 2012 wrap ups and award short lists.  I woke this morning to lovely compliments from Ana at The Book Smugglers and Lexie from Poisoned Rationality naming And All the Stars among their favourites of the year.

This afternoon I see the Cybils have announced their short lists, and And All the Stars has made it on the YA Science Fiction and Fantasy list!  [I'm not sure if Kate M reads this blog, but I certainly owe her some big thanks for the nomination.]  Picture me stunned - I'm certainly in some illustrious company on that list!

A lovely way to start the year. ;)