Day: September 17, 2010

Go Read This | Speculative Horizons: Fantasy trappings – is less more?

If you are into sci-fi & fantasy, this is a great discussion

I can’t deny that many of my favourite fantasy series have moderate to minor fantastical elements: Martin’s own A Song of Ice and Fire, David Gemmell’s Drenai novels, John Marco’s Tyrants and Kings trilogy, J. V. Jones’s Sword of Shadows, and most recently Daniel Abraham’s The Long Price quartet.

The reason I like these various series so much is because the focus is almost entirely on the characters; the fantastical elements add texture and depth, but aren’t overbearing. These are fantasies that retain a very strong human element.

via Speculative Horizons: Fantasy trappings – is less more?.

Go Read This | Hachette UK to set e-book prices from Monday | theBookseller.com

Hello Agency pricing, bye bye cheap ebooks?

In an email seen by The Bookseller, Gardners, wrote to retailers telling them of this change from Hachette, which it said would be effective from Monday, 20th September. Gardners provides e-books for retailers including Tesco, The Book Depository and independent bookshops. In an attached agreement document for retailers, it said: “[Retailers] shall agree that it shall not alter the customer price of any e-book without [Hachette’s] prior written consent.”

Gardners said retailers must sign up to the agreement if they wish to continue selling Hachette e-books. The email added: “Please note that due to the stringent requirements in the agreement I am unable to negotiate and this agreement will be applied to every reseller, including Amazon and Apple. These are not Gardner terms, but the publisher’s and may I suggest that should you wish to ‘discuss’ the terms, direct the queries to the publisher.”

via Hachette UK to set e-book prices from Monday | theBookseller.com.

Go Read This | Gamebooks, branching narratives and adventure

Well worth reading and thinking over and over and over!

And it is all these things that make gamebooks great, and unique. While there have been plenty of things that are similar, very few have proved quite as uniquely engrossing or successful at marrying the pretending to the rules as has the branching narrative. The early ‘80s turned out a lot of treasure hunts, and while Masquerade was beautiful to look at, readers weren’t enchanted by the magical escapism so much as caught up in an explosive collision of puzzle fever and expensive prizes. Picture puzzle books came in every shape and size in those days, Fighting Fantasy author Ian Livingstone even wrote one, but none of them had the same power to gleefully hijack your identity as the CYOA and FF-type gamebooks. In fact, in my view, the closest thing to a gamebook isn’t a book at all; it’s not even Dungeons&Dragons. It’s the text adventure video game – and its modern young nephews, the Interactive Fictions and all the text-based online games that seem to co exist happily and modestly in the same niche today.

via Gamebooks, branching narratives and adventure.