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Sword and Laser Video Show > Indie Recommendations

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message 1: by Walter (last edited Dec 02, 2012 01:28AM) (new)

Walter Spence (WalterSpence) | 313 comments Since Veronica and Tom opened this can of worms -- um, topic of conversation -- in their recent video, and since a bit prior to that I was the kid in the back of the schoolroom waving his hand in the air by bringing up this subject in another thread, I'm going to risk yet one more case of hoof-in-mouth disease and offer not one but TWO! suggestions for Indie reads (I'm similarly restrained after dinner when it comes time for dessert.)

I'm recommending two books here because I figure we should have both a Sword and a Laser offering. These suggestions were cannabalized from the aforementioned thread, so I won't take credit for either, but instead simply echo both Stan and Linguana's recommendations.

For Sword, Zero Sight by B. Justin Shier.

For Laser, Wool Omnibus by Hugh Howey.


message 2: by Rob, S&L Forum Mod (new)

Rob (robzak) | 2517 comments Mod
I've got Wool on my list, but I don't remember how it got there. Lol.


terpkristin | 2735 comments Wool is on my list, too, ever since Luke reviewed it on SFBRP. I've also seen it highly recommended in these parts.


message 4: by Phil (last edited Dec 02, 2012 09:02AM) (new)

Phil | 365 comments I have what may be a stupid question. What exactly does "indie" mean? I assume it means not published by a major house like TOR but if not is it widely available all over the world? Are they only available electronically because some people (me included) don't use e-readers. I'm not trying to knock down the idea but anything chosen should be easily accessable to everyone.


terpkristin | 2735 comments That's a good question, Phil, and I have no answer except that I've seen lists of "indie" books that include those available in physical form or PDF...


Walter Spence (WalterSpence) | 313 comments I have what may be a stupid question. What exactly does "indie" mean?

I'd like to hear Veronica and/or Tom's definition of the term, but when I use it, I'm typically thinking of a book which has been completely self-published (the author has either formatted the book himself or herself as an ebook, or paid a second party to package the manuscript as an actual physical book, or both).

Additionally, a book distributed by an outfit such as Smashwords would, I think, count as an indie publication.

Basically, such a book would be sold completely on-spec (no advances have been paid, the author bears at a minimum the lion's share of the expense of preparing the book for mass publication/distribution, if not the entire cost, etc.)


Sky Corbelli | 290 comments Yep, I'd say that "indie" means independent, or as http://indiereader.com/ puts it, "A book that an author has paid, in full or in part, to produce."

As far as physical books go, that's a problem for indie authors, because they typically don't have access to large press resources.

To take an example, Lindsay Buroker is an indie author (who's stuff I recommend), a successful one. As in, it's what she does for a living. Her first book is free... as an ebook. But with print on demand, it costs something like $12 in paperback. And that's actually a pretty good price for a physical copy of an indie book.

Back to the topic of recommendations, in addition to The Emperor's Edge I would also advise checking out the following indie books:

Bad Radio: Urban fantasy with a distinctly Lovecraftian horror flavor.
The Shadowed Path: Roman-esque fantasy in a very dark world.


Rocky Perry | 13 comments I hate the term "indie". It really means writers who get no respect:)

Luke Banderloft and The McFarven Pirates


Leesa (leesalogic) | 244 comments I tend to lump self-publishers and small press publishers together under the independent publisher umbrella. They are all entities that publish independent from the Big Six.

Every year in the DC area, we have SPX, Small Press Expo, for comics, and we get both self-publishers and small press publishers.


Lance White | 2 comments I highly recommend Shadeskin which is an anthology written by 3 independent authors in Louisiana. It's a creative and cleverly written book, since the stories take place in Louisiana. I'm certain that the authors are working on a trilogy. Right now, the e-book is only 3 dollars and can be found on Amazon.


Rocky Perry | 13 comments I don't put small press or novelty press in this group at all. They are just authors who are trying to play the traditional publishing game in some pseudo way. True "Indie", a term I hate, or self-publishers like myself have no interest in being like traditional published authors in any way. Playing that game tarnishes the real and direct relationship I have between readers and myself.


message 12: by Susan (last edited Dec 03, 2012 03:59PM) (new)

Susan Coburn | 1 comments I second the recommendation of Shadeskin
Huge page turner for me. Loved the characters. Hope you are right and that there is more to come!


Laura | 1 comments I read Shadeskin as well!!! Very unique in topic and style of writing... Three different writers each with their own twists! LOVED it!!


Gregory Stoakes | 2 comments Death or Redemption: The Chronicle Scrolls
I would like to recommend my book for Sword and Laser. It is an epic fantasy/apocalyptic horror story with extremely strong characters and a terrific storyline. Action packed, with a deep world creation; there will be much about this book you will not expect.

Please take a look, I truly believe you will enjoy it as much as those that have already reviewed it.

Thank you

Gregory Stoakes


Dale | 1 comments "I recommend Death or Redemption. Great Book."


Elizabeth Donlin | 1 comments I also recommend Death or Redemption. Was a great "edge of your seat" book, that had me falling in love with characters that one SHOULD despise.


Scott (smrathburn) | 31 comments I have to throw any support I can behind Wool. I read them all just before the omnibus edition came out. I really enjoyed them. I will continue to follow Howey's work.


Steveg | 2 comments I would highly recommend Death or Redemption by Gregory Stoakes. Its a great read packed full of unexpected twists and turn. Great characters and a deep storyline. Well worth a read.


Gini Cooling | 3 comments I would also like to recommend Death or Redemption by Gregory Stoakes. Really enjoyed book 1, looking forward to book 2.


Debbie Rushby | 1 comments I recommend this book! It's a decent read and well worth it.


Christopher Cotillard | 1 comments Death or Redemption: The Chronicle Scrollsby Gregory Stoakes. Without a doubt the best epic fantasy novel that I read in 2012. Can't wait to get my hands on book 2...


Rik | 501 comments terpkristin wrote: "Wool is on my list, too, ever since Luke reviewed it on SFBRP. I've also seen it highly recommended in these parts."

I just finished it last night. It was fantastic.


Beth | 11 comments Thanks all for the recommendations! I would love to support indie writers, but it is hard to distinguish the wheat from the chaff. Does anyone know of an indie-only review blog or something similar?

I read an interview with a writer whose name I don't remember who said that people equating "indie publishing" with vanity presses was no longer applicable. She compared what she was doing to indie music or indie film-making: there may be entries that aren't to everyone's taste, but they may be more original or risky because the "gatekeepers" aren't there to be concerned about making millions. An author has to sell far fewer books to make a living if the majority of the profits are actually going to them.

So thanks again for the recs!


message 24: by Walter (last edited Dec 14, 2012 07:38AM) (new)

Walter Spence (WalterSpence) | 313 comments I would love to support indie writers, but it is hard to distinguish the wheat from the chaff. Does anyone know of an indie-only review blog or something similar?

Beth, I'm not aware of a single indie-only review blog which is considered the standard by the community at large. Here on Goodreads, though, in conjunction with the AAP (Association of American Publishers), awards were recently given to the 2012 winners of the Independent Book Blogger Awards. You might want to give the finalists for adult fiction a look-see. I've included the link below.

http://www.goodreads.com/blog/show/36...

If I find a truly outstanding blog that, in my opinion, stands out from amongst the rest, I'll forward the pertinent info here.


Beth | 11 comments Walter wrote: "If I find a truly outstanding blog that, in my opinion, stands out from amongst the rest, I'll forward the pertinent info here. "

Thank you for the fantastic link, Walter! I guess I was looking for a blog other S&Lers read and like, as that would be a good sign that the reviewer's taste was similar to mine.


message 26: by Rik (last edited Dec 15, 2012 04:29PM) (new)

Rik | 501 comments Here is a good page turning book: The Breach by Patrick Lee. Its sort of like the X-Files meets 24 meets Fringe. I bought it not expecting much on an Amazon daily deal a while back and was engrossed by it. Its not the deepest book in terms of character development but is a full throttle sci fi thriller that will keep you interested. A great plane trip type of book.

Anyway, plot wise its about a Breach to some other dimension that the government discovered. This is mildly spoilerish except you'll know all this within the first 50 pages. They can't enter it but occasionally things come out of it. Sometimes they are useless but other times they are objects with bizarre powers and some of the objects are sentient. A team is assembled to study these objects and their effects and where they come from. Other groups want to get their hands on these too which leads to a lot of the thriller aspects and by the end you'll find there are conspiracies within conspiracies going on.


Robert Collins | 69 comments Beth wrote: "Thanks all for the recommendations! I would love to support indie writers, but it is hard to distinguish the wheat from the chaff..."

There's not one review blog, sad to say. There's so much out there now that no one blogger could handle it. In fact, when a book blogger says they're ready to review indie books, they get swamped with requests.

There is one site I can suggest, though it's listings, not reviews: Book Junkies (http://book-junkies-library.com/). It features indie authors, so it might be worth your time to explore.


message 28: by Walter (last edited Dec 16, 2012 01:50AM) (new)

Walter Spence (WalterSpence) | 313 comments I guess I was looking for a blog other S&Lers read and like, as that would be a good sign that the reviewer's taste was similar to mine.

Beth, while finding a suitable blog for this purpose might take some time, another option which will be available in the months ahead might work for this purpose.

In the coming year, Amazon will be conducting its 'Amazon Breakthrough Novel' competition. A significant number of the submissions to this contest will, I imagine, meet most of the reasonable criteria for independent novelists. One of its categories will be sf/fantasy/horror. The highest placing entrants in said category for this contest could (once it has been concluded) provide that separation of 'wheat from the chaff' you are looking for (at least, in terms of providing a previously-vetted selection to make your job(s) easier).

Hope that helps.


Walter (walterwoods) | 144 comments I started reading Wool this month and really like it. I'd recommend a short(er) indie called Containment.


James H. (jhedrick) | 123 comments Definitely a Sword rec, but Anthony Ryan's "Blood Song" is excellent. Not sure if it qualifies as 'independent,' depending on your definition, but it was self- published through Amazon I believe. One of the better epic fantasies I've read in a long time. Looking forward to the 2nd entry.


Rocky Perry | 13 comments This Indie book rules and is free today:

UK link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B005LE6EAU
US link: http://amzn.com/B005LE6EAU


Sarah Nguyen | 6 comments Okay, I have to preface these suggestions by saying that I'm biased towards lasers over swords.

I'm a big fan of Scott Sigler and while he did create his own "publishing house" I still consider him Indie. So I'll throw his super fun story, The Rookie, in here.

My second suggestion is for a much less known but equally fun story, Prism: Shadow of the Fates, by Thomas Trask.

(I also really enjoyed Wool, but that's been mentioned already ;) )


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Books mentioned in this topic

Zero Sight (other topics)
Wool Omnibus (other topics)
The Emperor's Edge (other topics)
Bad Radio (other topics)
The Shadowed Path (other topics)
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Authors mentioned in this topic

Lindsay Buroker (other topics)