A highly detailed historical overview of women's rights from pre-biblical times through current times. While many of author's generalizations about whA highly detailed historical overview of women's rights from pre-biblical times through current times. While many of author's generalizations about what defines masculinity or femininity or questionable, thus making the entire premise of alphabet literacy being a root cause of misogyny questionable, the book nevertheless leaves readers with plenty of food for thought. ...more
If you want the short version of my review, here it is: I loved this story.
Now for more: The first line of Green Zulu 51’s jacket copy is “A war of miIf you want the short version of my review, here it is: I loved this story.
Now for more: The first line of Green Zulu 51’s jacket copy is “A war of millions is fought by individuals,” and this gets right to the center of the brilliance that is speculative fiction author and former US Navy officer Scott Whitmore’s military science fiction novella. I enjoy a good space battle—with fighters contesting not only enemies, sometimes aliens, and incredible futuristic weapons, but also the zero-g properties of outer space, the distance scales that ensure rescue from outside could never happen, and the uncertainties and unknowabilities of things like dark matter and wormholes—as much as the next person, but at the end of the day, no story can really keep my imagination occupied for long if the people living that story aren’t interesting, authentic, and "real." Whitmore is a master at painting the stories he tells with vivid clarity and attention to every little detail, as well as bringing the people within them to dramatic life. The characters in GZ51 are all people you'll feel like buying a drink for and spending hours with just listening to their war stories. They are each unique, interesting, surprising, and deeply substantive, which is a pleasant turn for a story that isn’t quite novel length about an intergalactic war.
GZ51 is told in a style that puts readers directly inside the minds and boots of its main characters, a hotshot fighter pilot who isn’t even old enough to drink legally, a grizzled war veteran with more survival instinct in her little finger than most platoons have in their full ranks, and a tired administrative clerk who faces a losing battle that has nothing to do with guns and tactics. Whitmore engages all the senses and brings his battle scenes flying off the page, while skillfully weaving in the psychology and histories of his characters, leaving readers feeling almost as if they’ve been there, done that right beside each of them.
For such a relatively short tale, GZ51 leaves no stone unturned in exposing the intricacies of war from its zoomed-out view of historical, political, and cultural genesis, to the zoomed-in and intimate view of the goals, hopes, and fears of each of its characters, who must fight it in their own ways. Incredibly entertaining and highly recommended. I wish I could give it 10 stars. ...more
Few books on publishing that I've read have packed this much information into such a succinct and well-laid out guide. If you are indie or even traditFew books on publishing that I've read have packed this much information into such a succinct and well-laid out guide. If you are indie or even traditionally published, a novelist, memoirist, or blogger, you will undoubtably find hunks of useful, even vital, information in this book. The author is a business lawyer as well as a novelist and has an engaging, easy-to-understand style packed with the authority of her trade. I consider this a must-read for all indies, which will give you a boost up in understanding the legal side of your craft. I found the section on collaboration particularly thought-provoking. ...more
Worst book ending I've ever read. The novel started well but ended pointlessly. Too bad. Could have been great, but was merely as if the author couldnWorst book ending I've ever read. The novel started well but ended pointlessly. Too bad. Could have been great, but was merely as if the author couldn't figure out where to go with the story and gave up....more
Whether you're a casual writer looking for ways to improve, or a serious writer wanting to strengthen skills you already have, this book is a must.
I'Whether you're a casual writer looking for ways to improve, or a serious writer wanting to strengthen skills you already have, this book is a must.
I've been wanting to take a novel writing class from David Farland for years, and wanted to learn to be a more disciplined outliner for even longer than that, so finally reading his Million Dollar Outlines was a perfect synthesis. Not only did the book fit the bill for thinking through and outlining a story, it went far beyond that. David also includes an in-depth and well-explained look into all of the nuts and bolts of a good novel: from characterization, to million dollar plots, to creating winning conflict, to building emotional resonance into your story. All intensely important components of any tale that is meant to have expansive appeal to readers, and laid out in easily groked and understood chunks. Plus, it contains an added highlight: excerpts from a conversation recorded in the late 70s/early 80s between Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, and screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan as they hashed out the plot for Raiders of the Lost Ark. Pure gold!
I am a heavy highlighter in almost every nonfiction book I read, and here are a few of the myriad great tidbits from Million Dollar Outlines. I'm sure I'll read it at least three more times, it's so full of great advice.
"Budrys points out: if the hero does not have to make three attempts to resolve a problem, then the problem was not difficult enough in the first place."
"Every story should start with promises made—promises that you must keep."
(On creating conflicts) "If a person is at the root of his own problem, it hints at secondary problems—internal conflicts."
"Look at truly great stories and you will see this pattern emerge: The author often pulls off a complex resolution rather than working toward a simple resolution."...more
A helpful guide to understanding the nuances of Amazon's algorithms and practices for independent authors. It contained less information about specifiA helpful guide to understanding the nuances of Amazon's algorithms and practices for independent authors. It contained less information about specific promotional and marketing strategies than I wanted (i.e., a clear and step-by-step marketing guide), but a great deal of info on how to make the most of KDP Select and Amazon's categories. Useful and informative, definitely recommended reading for any indie author. ...more
Such an incredible resource for any fiction and creative nonfiction editor! I can't recommend it enough for anyone who isn't sure if they're doing theSuch an incredible resource for any fiction and creative nonfiction editor! I can't recommend it enough for anyone who isn't sure if they're doing the most for their editing clients. So many useful ideas for how to improve communication and introduce new ideas without making an author question their own talents or abilities. I love cheering for people, and this book could almost be named "The Cheerleader's Guide for Working With Authors." A great book!...more