Thursday, November 14, 2019

Recensioner av "Maskernas stad" och bokserien "DARC AGES - De mörka tidevarven"

Bokbloggen Mest Lenas Godsaker gillade min roman MASKERNAS STAD.
Läs hennes recension HÄR.

"Jag har ju läst de tidigare tre delarna i denna framtidsserie och jag har tyckt att de varit riktigt spännande."

Lenas recensioner av de tidigare böckerna i serien "DARC AGES - De mörka tidevarven":
- Uppvaknandet
- Ödemarkens barn
- Slaget om framtiden

OBS: Hela bokserien finns också på engelska på, med titeln DARC AGES.

Thursday, November 07, 2019

Fantasy Book Covers: The "Rules"

Who wrote the “rule book” for fantasy book covers, anyway? Who decided which fonts are “Fantasy Fonts”… or how “Fantasy Characters” are supposed to look?

The basic rules might look something like this:

1. Book titles must be visually overdone. The more embellishments, the more “authentically Fantasy-ish” they look.

2. A book title must always be shown as part of a series, or nobody will buy it.

3. Human characters, when shown, must conform to the basic RPG classes: Warrior — Elf — Magician — Dwarf.

4. Characters must be armed with medieval weaponry and/or magical objects. (Torches may be acceptable.)

5. Under no circumstances should any human character look older than 40. (Female characters must never look older than 30.)

6. The landscape must never show any signs of cultivation. Readers detest all depictions of farming, gardening and such.

7. Medieval towns, when shown, must be clean and disease-free. Chimneys should not pour smoke, no one has boils, there is never an outbreak of plague or bad teeth.

8. Fantasy characters have always been to the hairdresser five minutes ago.

9. Ugly people must not be shown, unless they belong to "inferior" races.

10. Neither male nor female characters should be flat-chested.

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Introducing the GRANDSTANDING AWARD literary prize

Introducing the GRANDSTANDING AWARD for "excellence in performative moral superiority."

The Rules:

1. First it is awarded to someone who has publicly denounced a writer as morally reprehensible, in the loudest, most uncompromising manner.
(Demanding that the works of the accused should be burned in public certainly qualifies. Calling the accused a "fascist" is taken as read, but you may have to try harder than that -- the competition can get fierce.)

2. Said winner is then denounced for some moral failing (small or large doesn't matter)...

3. The award is taken away and passed on to the most chest-thumpingly self-righteous denouncer of the previous winner...

4. ...then that winner is "found out" and denounced (for something or other)... the award is passed on to the best of the latest denouncers... and so on.

In the end, everyone gets the award because nobody's pure enough to keep it.  (Hence the words "Certified Righteous (for now).")

(Even I might get the award eventually...)


Tuesday, November 05, 2019


THE ATROCITY ARCHIVES (2004) by Charles Stross

This edition also includes the novella THE CONCRETE JUNGLE.

I'm involved in a reading circle. Last month we discussed THE ATROCITY ARCHIVES. We had an interesting chat, some issues came up, but in the end the book didn't make a deep or lasting impression on me.

Basically, it's a mash-up of Len Deighton's Cold War spy thrillers and H.P.Lovecraft's nightmarish fantasies.

A hacker/sysadmin is hired by super-secret British agency "The Laundry" to fight Monsters From Beyond... while he also fights the bureaucracy and middle-management in his own workplace. Instead of preventing World War III, The Laundry tries to prevent a supernatural Judgment Day.

I see why this book might be a hit with IT industry people. It could easily be the wish-fulfilment fantasy of a downtrodden office worker, longing to escape the boredom and exploitation. And if that's what you want, the book delivers.

I also appreciate the refreshing deadpan humor of the protagonist living in unglamorous squalor, wrestling with petty bureaucracy, while desperately trying to save the world. (You won't find any such laughs -- or any laughs at all -- in a typical H.P. Lovecraft story.)

But is THE ATROCITY ARCHIVES more than just a playful genre mix? Does it have something to say? Well... I couldn't find it.

There are references to Nazi atrocities as part of an occult plot to awaken those Monsters From Beyond... and that's where the whole premise fails to really grab me.

See, once you get the reader thinking about Hitler and the Holocaust, while you try to paint such real-life horrors as plot points to support an imaginary (and flimsy) Lovecraftian bogeyman, there's a clash between real and fictional monsters.

Since real Nazis are much worse than non-existent Shoggoths or Cthulhus, reality beats fiction hands down.

The book's frequent references to the Cold War create the same jarring clash between real fears and fictional ones. No tentacled monster can scare me like the threat of World War III actually did -- not because the author isn't trying hard enough! -- but because it's a whole different weight class.

Perhaps the story would work for me if I didn't read history books, or hadn't grown up during the Cold War?

Recommended as light (nerdy) entertainment for fans of mash-ups.


FOOTNOTE: Many of Charles Stross's short stories have been made available for free online reading by the author. They are listed HERE:

#bookstagram #bookreview #bookreviews #bookcover #bookcovers #bookstagrammers #bookbloggers #reviews #books #literature #sciencefiction #scifi #satire #horror #weirdfiction #paranormal #thrillers #spythrillers #charlesstross #theatrocityarchives #lendeighton #hplovecraft #coldwar

Monday, November 04, 2019

φkon - mysig SF-kongress i höstmörkret!

Jag vill varmt rekommendera Club Cosmos' höstkongress φkon (FiKon) den 16:e november.
Club Cosmos' minikongresser är inte storskaliga - men de är mysiga och gemytliga till tusen. Perfekt för en höstmörk helg!

FiKon äger rum i klubbhuset GFF-Gården på Majvallen i Göteborg, HÄR.

Läs mer och anmäl dig till kongressen här:

Svenska Litteraturklassiker (#1)

A.R.Yngve presenterar...
Svenska Litteraturklassiker #1

Sunday, November 03, 2019




Quote from this book:
"In 1998 the Internet showed its propaganda value as a vehicle for the trickle release of damaging information about US President Bill Clinton, but as a medium it lacks the emotive power of most of its competitors."

Oh, really?

EASILY LED was written by a professional advertising executive. Yet it utterly failed to foresee the vast influence and reach of the Internet as a propaganda medium.

In the author's defense, this book came out before the mobile phone, the computer and the Internet were integrated into the smartphone - and years before Facebook and Twitter.

EASILY LED nevertheless contains much interesting history, and an overview of basic propaganda tactics.
Recommended for students of the subject - but only if you add more recent studies of electronic media and "big data" used in present-day propaganda.

For the layman reader
, the value of this book lies in that it might (hopefully) serve as an antidote to the manipulation that we are being subjected to in daily life.

It's not that all propaganda serves a bad cause - but it often leads us away from the calm and reason we need to survive as a species. (For example: You may have noticed that the basic propaganda technique on Twitter is to make people very very angry.)

#easilyled #oliverthomson #bookstagram #bookreview #bookreviews #bookcover #nonfiction #education #media #propaganda #history #tyranny #review