Welcome to the Library Bizarre!

If this is your first time here, please consult the ‘about the library’ section to learn what this blog is all about. Otherwise, feel free to scroll down and get involved in voting for the next book for review or reading the ones I’ve already done. Perhaps I’ve covered something you’ve already read or a book you’re thinking of buying but are hesitant to do so without someone’s opinion on it.

Regardless of if you’re a new reader or someone whose been here many times before, I would like to welcome you to the Library Bizarre. I hope your time here is an enjoyable one.

-Kikoskia

Vote results – Selection two, vote one

The voting for the fifth book to be read on the Library Bizarre has closed and it was a lot closer then I thought it would be initially. The results are as follows:

The Blue Sword – 43 votes

Dramocles – 36 votes

Clash of Star-Kings / Danger from Vega – 28 votes

The Unicorn Dancer – 18 votes

This means that The Blue Sword is the winner and will be the fifth book reviewed.

Thank you to all who voted and don’t worry if your selection wasn’t picked, it’ll be one of the two choices available in the final vote of this selection.

I shall begin reading the book very soon. When I do finish the book I’ll start writing the review. Here’s to hoping it’s a good read.

-Kikoskia

Vote for the fifth book to be read

As it is the start of the second selection for the Library Bizarre, four books are up for the vote for being read. The books are as follows:

Clash of Star-Kings by Avram Davidson / Danger from Vega by John Rackham

The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley

Dramocles by Robert Sheckley

The Unicorn Dancer by R.A.V. Salsitz

Voting will end on 11/01/17. Be sure to vote before then and remember, if your selection isn’t picked it’ll be one of three to vote for next time; they’ll all get read eventually.

As a note, Clash of Star-Kings / Danger from Vega are two stories in a single book and as such, they will be reviewed together.

Click here to cast your vote! (Voting closed)

Click here to see the front and back covers of each book

Let the voting commence!

-Kikoskia

 

Deathhunter

Deathhunter by Ian Watson is the book that’s responsible for this blog in a way. I saw it in the window of an antiquarian bookstore in Lincoln, curiosity caught by the name but mostly the artwork on the front cover. The store was closed when I first saw it, but fortunately it opened after lunch. It had narrow corridors between shelves full of books of all kinds, neatly organised if a little dusty. I left with the book and proceeded not to read it for many years, the first of many books that I’d buy. It made sense to put it among the first selection of choices for review, the thinnest book of the four; the blurb promised a fantastical adventure in a far future society with one of the blandest named protagonists for such a journey. The book was nominated for the Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel, likely in 1981 which was its year of publication. I was curious to see if the artwork on the book had any connection to goings on in the story, dubious of that possibility. What I found within the pages of Deathhunter was far from what I thought I’d uncover but it did answer one of my questions: the artwork on the front had everything to do with the book.

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Far-Seer

I’m the first to admit that my reason for picking Far-Seer by Robert J. Sawyer was the cover. ‘Is this a book about sentient dinosaurs?’ I asked myself, reading the blurb to confirm my theory. It was one of a number of books I left that antiquarian bookstore with, the first of a trilogy. I knew nothing of the author and did no research on him or the book before beginning to read, my own theories on the plot in place. I found out later that the book won the Homer award for best novel in 1992. This raised a curious point in my book selection process; every book so far on the Library Bizarre has won an award of some kind in its life, showcasing how few authors I’ve read in my time. In my youth there was Tolkien and Asimov, Douglas Adams and a smattering of David and Leigh Eddings books. Other random authors were littered throughout but in my twenties my reading stopped, due to work and other obligations. It’s only recently that I’ve picked up the hobby once again, looking back now at names I might’ve known better had I kept at it. Perhaps this book might have been known to me, perhaps not. Read more

Vote results – Selection one, vote three

The voting for the third and by extension final book to be read on the Library Bizarre has closed and it was quite a close one this time. The results are as follows:

Deathhunter – 26 votes

Far-Seer – 29 votes

This means that Far-Seer is the winner and will be the third book reviewed. After it has been reviewed, Deathhunter will be read and reviewed.

Thank you to all who voted. I have already begun choosing books for the second selection of four, ready to be voted on after these two have been reviewed.

I shall begin reading the book later this evening. When I do finish the book I’ll be sure to let you all know here. Here’s to hoping it’s a good read.

-Kikoskia

Vote for the third book to be read

With The Forgotten Beasts of Eld read and reviewed, only two books remain from the first selection. It’s now time to vote for which of the two will be read and reviewed first.  The books are as follows:

Deathhunter by Ian Watson

Far-Seer by Robert J. Sawyer

Voting will end on 11/10/16. Be sure to vote before then and remember, if your selection isn’t picked it’ll be reviewed after the one voted for.

Click here to cast your vote! (Voting closed)

Click here to see the front and back covers of each book

Let the voting commence!

-Kikoskia

The Forgotten Beasts of Eld

The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia A. McKillip initially stuck out to me in the antiquarian bookstore I got it from not due to its name or plot. It was because the head, tail and fore edge of my copy are red. I don’t know if that was how it came originally or if someone had meticulously coloured it in, either way it resulted in me pulling it from the shelf to look at and eventually buy. I knew nothing of the author, nor that it was published in 1974 and won the 1975 World Fantasy Award. This book shows well my typical criteria for picking the books I purchase from stores like that from the many possibilities. I often buy by what’s on the outside rather than the words within. Perhaps this was the method that the original owner of my copy did in years past, I could certainly see why that would be the case. The cover’s imagery promised a high fantasy setting and the back blurb told of ‘a wondrous quest across shimmering, fabled Elwold and beyond’, expecting a journey of peril, mystery and daring action.

While reading it was indeed a journey, it was less one of actual distance but instead emotional growth of the protagonist.

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Vote results – Selection one, vote two

The voting for the second book to be read on the Library Bizarre has closed and it was quite a close one this time. The results are as follows:

Deathhunter – 27 votes

Forgotten Beasts of Eld – 34 votes

Far-Seer – 33 votes

This means that Forgotten Beasts of Eld is the winner and will be the second book reviewed.

Thank you to all who voted and don’t worry if your selection wasn’t picked, it’ll be one of the two choices available in the final vote of this selection.

I shall begin reading the book later this evening. When I do finish the book I’ll be sure to let you all know here. Here’s to hoping it’s a good read.

-Kikoskia

Vote for the second book to be read

With Inverted World read and reviewed, three books remain from the original selection of four. Thus it’s time to vote for which of the three will be read and reviewed next.  The books are as follows:

The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia A. McKillip

Far-Seer by Robert J. Sawyer

Deathhunter by Ian Watson

Voting will end on 28/09/16. Be sure to vote before then and remember, if your selection isn’t picked it’ll be one of two remaining for next time; they’ll all get read eventually.

Click here to cast your vote! (Voting has now closed)

Click here to see the front and back covers of each book

Let the voting commence!

-Kikoskia

Inverted World

‘I had reached the age of six hundred and fifty miles.’

As far as first sentences in a story go, the one in Inverted World took me completely by surprise by throwing a question at me immediately; what did it mean to be that old? Was the protagonist human? What was significant about that age? And so the 1974 novel pulled me in right from the start, lured with the promise of answers. I’d picked the book up initially from an antiquarian bookstore because the cover caught my attention and the brief blurb on the back sounded strange. I knew nothing about its author Christopher Priest or the award that the book won; it won the BSFA in the year it was published and was nominated for a Hugo Award the year after. What I did know was that there was a twist ending according to the reviews on the book, a surprising revelation to be given before you’ve even read the first line. I expected a light and silly read into far-fetched science fiction and instead was presented with a world that had to be seen to be believed and disbelieved.

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