Last Chance to Sign Up!

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There are only a few spots left and the class starts this Thursday! If you’ve been on the fence about signing up, now’s the time to do it, before it’s too late! Go here for all the info.

Don’t Forget, I’m Teaching a Class on Horror Writing!

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Don’t forget, I’m teaching this awesome class in June, along with Sheri Holman, Ian Rogers, and Veronica Schanoes! It’s going to be rad — which is a word that people totally still use — and you won’t want to miss it! Sign up today!

The Magician King

The Magician King (The Magicians, #2)The Magician King by Lev Grossman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I found this second book in the Magicians trilogy to be a faster and more involving read than the first (which I also happened to love). With no more summarized years of schooling to sit through, or cocktail parties full of bored, jaded twenty-somethings to endure (I know those scenes were important for understanding the characters, but they weren’t exactly exciting to read about), THE MAGICIAN KING is much stronger in terms of plot and forward momentum. Quentin has grown since the last book, and although he’s still prickly, he’s much closer to being the hero he always dreamed of being. Unexpectedly, I felt less of an attachment to the Brakebills this time around (Janet is barely in the novel, and Eliot mostly keeps to the background), and new character Poppy didn’t do much for me, but in their place I was completely captivated by Julia and her story, as well as her well drawn hedge witch friends. While Julia only cameos in the first novel, here she’s on center stage, and it pays off in spades. Great, funny, epic, and heart-rending, THE MAGICIAN KING tricks you into thinking it’s still Quentin’s story, but really it’s Julia all the way down. I’m looking forward to book number three!

View all my reviews

R.I.P. SF Signal

I was saddened by the news today that SF Signal is shutting down. For nearly 13 years, it has been a great source of news, reviews, and articles about speculative fiction, a nice mix of content by passionate fans and professional authors alike, myself included. John DeNardo, JP Frantz, and their stable of “SF Signal irregulars” created something truly special, and I’m very sorry to see it go.

They’re going to try to keep the archives online as long as they can, but they’re only paid up with their current web host through June. If they don’t find something cheaper after that, their archives will disappear from the Internet, which would be a shame.

Hopefully that won’t happen, but in case it does, I thought this might be a good time to link to my three contributions to SF Signal over the years.

First, back in 2011, I was interviewed by Lee Thomas on the subject of Literary Awards: Be My Victim: Nicholas Kaufmann – A Chat About Awards

In 2013, I wrote a guest post when Dying Is My Business was released: Nicholas Kaufmann on Why Some Boxes Should Never Be Opened

And in 2014, I wrote another one when Die and Stay Dead was released: Nicholas Kaufmann Goes Beyond “The Exorcist” with Demons of a Different Type

I suppose it’s silly to hope for some sort of last-minute change of heart, but the Internet needs more websites like SF Signal — sites that focus on and value speculative fiction instead of just film and TV properties — not fewer. Whatever the future holds, whatever websites might spring up to take SF Signal’s place, they will owe quite a bit to the groundwork John DeNardo, JP Frantz, and the rest of the crew laid down. We have a lot to thank SF Signal for. They’re leaving behind big shoes to fill.

 

 

News & Updates

  • 06/12/2019 — Rat Queens, Vol. 6: The Infernal PathRat Queens, Vol. 6: The Infernal Path by Kurtis J. Wiebe My rating: 4 of 5 stars THE INFERNAL PATH is very welcome return to form after a confusing vol.…Read more »
  • 06/09/2019 — X’s For EyesX’s For Eyes by Laird Barron My rating: 4 of 5 stars This highly enjoyable novella starts off almost as a twisted, satirical take on THE VENTURE BROS., drawing from the same source material — THE HARDY BOYS, JOHNNY QUEST, DOC SAVAGE — before diving into the cosmic weirdness and ecumenically cursed families we’ve come to expect from Laird Barron.…Read more »
  • 06/02/2019 — Scary Stories 3: More Tales to Chill Your BonesScary Stories 3: More Tales to Chill Your Bones by Alvin Schwartz My rating: 4 of 5 stars The stories in this third volume of the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark series are definitely a step up from the second volume, and include a handful of stories that are on par with the first.…Read more »
  • 05/31/2019 — More Scary Stories to Tell in the DarkMore Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz My rating: 3 of 5 stars I found the stories in this second volume of Alvin Schwartz’s Scary Stories series to be less memorable or interesting than the stories in the first.…Read more »
  • 05/29/2019 — Scary Stories to Tell in the DarkScary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz My rating: 4 of 5 stars I was surprised to find that SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK was a collection of folk tales and campfire tales from around the world rather than the original stories I was expecting, but that turned out to add to my enjoyment whenever I recognized a story.…Read more »

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