Monthly Archives: January 2016

Author Interview: Matt Hill

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Today I am interviewing Matt Hill, author of the new science fiction novel, Graft.

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DJ: Hey Matt! Thanks for stopping by to do this interview! For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself? 

Matt Hill: Hello! Very nice to be here. I’m a writer from Manchester, northwest England, where Graft and my first novel The Folded Man are set. I write what I’d probably call strange crime SF with a bit of body horror on the side. Right now I live down in London with my wife and baby son, and work as a copywriter by day. The fiction writing happens in all the gaps. 

DJ: Graft is being described as “Under the Skin meets The Handmaid’s Tale meets The Fifth Element… with extra limbs.” The Fifth Element is one of my favorite movies of all time – so I got quite excited when I read that! What is Graft about?

MH: I have my agent and publisher to thank for the tagline – but it definitely sets the scene! Essentially, the book’s a near-future thriller about a mechanic called Sol who lives in a lawless near-future Manchester. He and his partner Pete steal old vehicles to break them down for donor parts – but everything goes deeply wrong when Pete jacks a luxury model and Sol discovers an amnesiac, three-armed woman called Y in the boot. Sol learns that Y has been augmented and trafficked across dimensions for reasons unknown, and together they go on the run – in part to try and solve the mystery of her identity, but mostly because the traffickers are a highly organised, vile bunch who want Y back. Continue reading

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Author Interview: J.D. Lakey

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Today I am interviewing J.D. Lakey, author of the science fiction series, Black Bead Chronicles.

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DJ: Hey J.D.! (Oh boy, this could get confusing with my name) XD Thanks for stopping by to do this interview!

For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

JD: I am at heart a sci-fi geek, comic book fan, and occasional mystic. I started to write volumes about myself, most of which I immediately deleted (to protect the innocent.) In this current incarnation of myself, I am a short story writer turned novelist intent on writing (righting?) the wrongs done to women in literature starting with Ophelia and moving on to Kilgore Trout. Once a wife, now just a mother and a grandmother, I was born and raised in Montana, and if you know anything about Montana women, that should speak volumes. Went to the University of Montana and studied Forestry. I have been, on and off, a restaurant cook, a land surveyor, a civil engineering tech, a witch, a printer, and a forest fire fighter. I once had a short story published in a local paper, and wrote a monthly column for a spiritual newspaper under the nom-de-plum Maggie Lightbody. Of all of them, the tech job paid the best.

DJ: What is the Black Bead Chronicles about?

JD: That is a very complicated question. On the surface they are just simple adventure stories that take place in the distant future on a planet that is not Earth. But underneath the surface roils all sorts of subjects. Human evolution. Civilization. Social order. Utopia. Environmentalism. Eugenics. Population control. Empathic connection. Hive mind thinking. The world building is based on a simple “what if”: what if predators evolved brains so intricate they could psychically influence the minds around them? And what if two kinds of humans settled on this planet: those who wanted to eradicate the aliens, and those who wanted to live – well, not in harmony – but with as small a footprint as possible. Continue reading

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Backlist Burndown: Assassin’s Apprentice (Farseer #1) by Robin Hobb

Backlist Burndown is a monthly meme hosted by Lisa from Tenacious Reader where you put aside at least one book from your blacklist every month to read, and then post a review of it on the last Friday of that month.

This is a book that I’m sure two bloggers (Lisa and Kaja) will be happy to see that I have finally read and reviewed 🙂


Assassins’s Apprentice (Farseer #1) by Robin Hobb

Publisher: Spectra

Publication Date: March 6, 1996 (first published 2006)

Edition: Mass Market Paperback, 435 pages

Genre: Epic Fantasy

Rating: 4/5


It would be an injustice to give this book anything less than a 4 star Continue reading

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Book Review: Veil of the Deserters (Bloodsounder’s Arc #2) by Jeff Salyards

Veil of the Deserters (Bloodsounder’s Arc #2) by Jeff Salyards

Publisher: Night Shade Books

Publication Date: June 3, 2014 (first published May 19, 2014)

Edition: Hardcover, 464 pages

Genre: Epic Fantasy

Rating: 4/5


A plaguing fantastic sequel! Continue reading

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Top 9 Published Books in 2015!

Throughout the month of January (more like February now, I guess), I will posting various “best of” lists, ranging from the best books I read that were published in 2015, to my top 5 and 4 stars reads of 2015, to the best short fiction of 2015, and to my favorite foodie quotes!

Today, I am happy to announce my…

Top 9 Published Books in 2015!


9. Voyage of the Basilisk (Memoir by Lady Trent #3) by Marie Brennan

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About the Book:

Devoted readers of Lady Trent’s earlier memoirs, A Natural History of Dragons and The Tropic of Serpents, may believe themselves already acquainted with the particulars of her historic voyage aboard the Royal Survey Ship Basilisk, but the true story of that illuminating, harrowing, and scandalous journey has never been revealed—until now. Six years after her perilous exploits in Eriga, Isabella embarks on her most ambitious expedition yet: a two-year trip around the world to study all manner of dragons in every place they might be found. From feathered serpents sunning themselves in the ruins of a fallen civilization to the mighty sea serpents of the tropics, these creatures are a source of both endless fascination and frequent peril. Accompanying her is not only her young son, Jake, but a chivalrous foreign archaeologist whose interests converge with Isabella’s in ways both professional and personal.

Science is, of course, the primary objective of the voyage, but Isabella’s life is rarely so simple. She must cope with storms, shipwrecks, intrigue, and warfare, even as she makes a discovery that offers a revolutionary new insight into the ancient history of dragons.

My Rating: 3.5/5

Why You Should Read It: If you’re looking for a series with a strong female protagonist – look no further! This series is for you! Plus, DRAGONS.

Read My Review

Continue reading

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Author Spotlight: The Automation by B.L.A. and G.B. Gabbler

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About the Book:

The capital-A Automatons of Greco-Roman myth aren’t clockwork. Their design is much more divine. They’re more intricate than robots or androids or anything else mortal humans could invent. Their windup keys are their human Masters. They aren’t mindless; they have infinite storage space. And, because they have more than one form, they’re more versatile and portable than, say, your cell phone—and much more useful too. The only thing these god-forged beings share in common with those lowercase-A automatons is their pre-programmed existence. They have a function—a function their creator put into place—a function that was questionable from the start…

Odys (no, not short for Odysseus, thank you) finds his hermetic lifestyle falling apart after a stranger commits suicide to free his soul-attached Automaton slave. The humanoid Automaton uses Odys’s soul to “reactivate” herself. Odys must learn to accept that the female Automaton is an extension of his body—that they are the same person—and that her creator-god is forging a new purpose for all with Automatons… Continue reading

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Book Review: Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear

Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear

Publisher: Tor Books

Publication Date: February 3, 2015

Edition: Hardcover, 350 pages

Genre: Steampunk, Western, LGBT

Rating: 3.5/5 Rating


The tastiest steampunk novel you’ll read!
Continue reading

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Audio Book Review: We Are All Completely Fine by Daryl Gregory

We Are All Completely Fine by Daryl Gregory

Narrator: Tavia Gilbert

Publisher: Audible Studios / Tachyon Publication

Publication Date: September 9, 2014 (first published July 21, 2014)

Edition: Audio, 4 hours and 14 minutes
(Paperback, 182 pages)

Genre: Horror, Supernatural, Novella

Rating: 4.5/5


It gave me NIGHTMARES! Continue reading

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PSA: The Bastard Read-Along

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Firstly, I want to tell everybody to go to Kaja (@ OfDragonsAndHearts)’s site to read her review for The Lies of Locke Lamora and to find out more details about The Bastard Read-Along.

Secondly, and the reason for this post, I want to let you all know that my review for The Lies of Locke Lamora will not be posted today, and probably will not be for a few more weeks. I am STILL participating in the read-along, my first review will just be delayed.

I have been having some distractions in life since December that have proven to cause a difficulty with me focusing on my reading. This is why I was only able to read 1 book last month, and why I did not post as often; it is also why I have been late in responding to comments on my blog, haven’t been commenting as much on other’s blogs, and when I do, is why my comments are brief and a lot less personal than normal.

I want to let all of you know though, that I am in perfect health and everything – and the same goes for all of my family, friends, and loved ones 🙂

MyLifeMyBooksMyEscape is NOT going anywhere. I am still reading everyday, it’s just that the amount is way down. Worst come to worst, I have 3 months worth of reviews already written and backed up, and plenty of books hauls, to keep things rolling why I get out this funk 🙂

Fellow Bastard’s Reviews of The Lies of Locke Lamora:

Thanks! 😀

-DJ