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Why I love... The Belgariad, by David Eddings


When I first started reading fantasy (and to a lesser extent sci-fi), I loved it, of course: the wonderful sense of being transported to another realm, the heroic challenges and the sense that anything was possible. But the initial books I read were very serious.



Why I love... The Drawing of the Dark, by Tim Powers


The first time we experience something, the more powerful it's effect on us. This is true of many things: new love, broken hearts, deaths, the first time we achieve something special for ourselves. I think it's also that way with books, or a piece of music or art.



The Joys of Research, (or, Dipping into Serendipity Land)


I always seem to start these blogs with an apology for tardiness, so let's skip that. Take it as written and read. These past few weeks I've been knee deep in the muck of the trenches, Western Front, 1916. I've spent so much time reading about the ghastly conditions the soldiers endured that my body went out in sympathy; I got ulcers, a sty in my right eye and a head cold. Fortunately no trench-foot, or lice, and no-one is laying artillery barrages on my house.



Trope-farming (or, Clichés and why they work)


Hi there! April was a heck of a month with four weekends out of town including ten days in Australia. Lovely time catching up with friends and family. As you can imagine, not so much writing time, but I'm back in Auckland now, feet under desk, ready to work.


Hugo said "You Go" (or, the perils of democratic awards)


"The Hugo Awards are a set of awards given annually for the best science fiction or fantasy works and achievements of the previous year". That's the first sentence on their Wikipedia page (which illustrates the depth of my research: hey, I'm busy with meeting two book deadlines!).




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