Saturday, June 30, 2007

The Best of Pam’s Pages— Book Reviews

Last week’s post, an impromptu plug for a book I enjoyed quite a lot, prompted a comment from “Elizabeth” who is, I believe, the managing editor of Zumaya, which published the title Tigra, which was the subject of last week’s post. If you look back at last week’s post, in the comments, she thanked me for my review, which is too kind.

In fact, I hesitate to call my efforts here reviews, although some entries come closer than others. I have written reviews for three different internet sites, and I really enjoyed it, but I am not seeking reviewer status right now. On a SF message board which I read and sometimes post messages, one writer commented that the review is usually more of a reflection of the tastes of the reviewer than of the book, and while I like to think of myself as objective, the comment rings true. So, any comments I have made regarding books do reflect my tastes. That said, here are some links to past posts for books which I find worthy of keeper status:

•Linnea Sinclair’s Finders Keepers, a space opera with a romantic side, and the first title I read by this eBook author. My favorite is An Accidental Goddess.

Quick takes, Catherine Asaro’s Skyfall and Neal Boortz’s Fair Tax Book are books which have no relation to each other apart from when I read them.

Paranormal adventure awaits, Warprize and Tiger Eye.

•The superb Lois McMaster Bujold's debut novel, Shards of Honor.

•More short takes in romantic SF, which is one of my favorite genres.

All of these posts still point out some good reading, so do have a look at books I've enjoyed, and revisit some of my favorite posts on Pam's Pages.

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Saturday, June 23, 2007

Summer reading

I just finished Tigra by R. J. Leahy, which is a really entertaining yarn. The main character is Jeena Garza, a former POW who crashes on a primitive planet of Ararat as she makes her escape. There she adopts a tigra cub, a carnivore native to her new planet and a beast which is far more intelligent than she could possibly have imagined.

Leahy’s prose is easy to read, but the book is far more complex than many space operas, and his characters are engaging. The plot moves right along, too. My tastes in fiction are eclectic, but this tale has much to offer: military action, romantic relationships, mysticism, and a bit of anthropology. I highly recommend this story.

Piers Anthony gave it a brief review at his site: HiPiers, and I saw another online at My Shelf as well.

I will admit, that this book surprised me, since it was published by Zumaya, which is a really small press that I approached back in 2004 with Trinity on Tylos. The acquisitions editor suggested that I look elsewhere since their publication schedule was filled for three years. After having read this story, I do wish that Zumaya had put my novel in the lineup.

My love of eBooks continues, so I read the electronic version, but if you prefer print, Amazon offers it as a trade paperback. Again, this is a fine summer read.

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Saturday, June 16, 2007

Visiting at SFSC

Last week I visited SFSC on Sunday afternoon, which was a shorter visit than I would normally make, but I had some other things going on which caused me to only show up for my slot in the dealer room and for the one panel for which I had volunteered. Of course, Sunday afternoon is the time the fewest people are in attendance, since folks from out of town have usually checked out of the hotel by then. However, I had a chance to visit with a few people, rather than merely speak with a lot of them.

Fellow speculative fiction author Christina Barber joined me for my “How to Torment Your Characters” panel. Visiting with Christina is a genuine pleasure, and I hope con goers in our area get a chance to sit in on some of her other events. Despite the late time slot, we had an audience, and I enjoyed the discussion. As we wiled away a couple of hours in the dealer room, we also chatted a bit about our favorite and least favorite con experiences. I won’t do a "tell all" post online, but from a guest’s point of view, sometimes these are rewarding events and sometimes the other con guests are a bit arrogant, especially those with bad reviews.

Hubby participated in the Atlanta Science Fiction Society’s SciFi Jeopardy contest, watched an oldie in the video room, as well as playing a few games in the video game room. He laughingly compared Frogger to trying to get a across the “Damon Gause Bypass” where it intersects with Old Pendergrass Road in Jefferson, which is the biggest traffic challenge in our hometown. We both think the frog has a better chance.

There are some other cons in this area, including the big one in ATL, DragonCon, and the showcase for Baen Books, LibertyCon in Chattanooga. Christina also told me that there is a new one starting up, Conooga, which will be in February of 2008. If you like genre related films, games, or fiction, a con can be a really fun getaway.

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Saturday, June 09, 2007

The Best Fried Green Tomatoes in the World

This blog is about lighter subjects, such as books, films, and other entertainment. Indeed, since one of hubby’s constituents complained “your wife shouldn’t be writing stuff like that online,” I have largely left out references to his work or mine, or to friends and family, unless those friends are fellow writers and/or bloggers. However, this entry is serious.

In the south, we don’t just enjoy good food, we come mighty close to worshiping it. Certain dishes are quintessentially southern, and none more so than fried green tomatoes. Yes, I know of a book (and movie) with that in the title, and they were quite good. However, that’s merely entertainment. No, I am talking about the food, which is entertainment and much more.

During the past week, I accompanied friends and family to the Blue Willow Inn, a beautiful restaurant in historic Social Circle, Georgia. Our reservation was for 12:30 in the Grizzard room, named for humorist and writer Lewis Grizzard, who helped put the Blue Willow on Georgia’s culinary map. The Inn has beautiful grounds with flowers, and this room overlooks the garden. The decorations include memorabilia from the University of Georgia, which was more than Grizzard’s alma mater, and framed covers from his books adorn the walls. Better yet, it is right next door to the room which serves as the buffet. However, of all the delicious dishes I ate, the one which stands out is fried green tomatoes. This is a delicacy which I sometimes cook for various unnamed family members, and those family members seem to really like mine. I’ve never cooked any which compared to those at the Blue Willow Inn. Even if you don’t like the fried green tomatoes (and I can’t imagine that) there are many reasons to try this repository of the best southern cuisine, including fried chicken, chicken and dumplings, and delicious pecan pie.

If you are ever in this neck of the woods, make a reservation at the Blue Willow Inn and find out why southerners are so serious about their cooking.

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