Cybils Fantasy/SciFi Shortlist 2008

Well, it is near two weeks since the peep of the year and have you heard anything from me..?!

I am very chuffed to break silence (as it were), do as others have done and post up a shortlist from the up and coming Cybils Awards in my own chosen genre, Fantasy & Science Fiction:

Cabinet of Wonders written by Marie Rutkoski, Macmillan
Graveyard Book written by Neil Gaiman, HarperCollins
Magic Thief written by Sarah Prineas, HarperCollins
Savvy written by Ingrid Law, Penguin USA
Airman written by Eoin Colfer, Hyperion
Curse Dark as Gold written by Elizabeth C. Bunce, Scholastic
Explosionist written by Jenny Davidson, HarperCollins
Graceling written by Kristin Cashore, Harcourt
Hunger Games, The written by Suzanne Collins, Scholastic
Wake written by Lisa McMann, Simon & Schuster

... and (*drum roll*)

Lamplighter written by some weird fellow surrounded by notebooks in a darkened room, Penguin USA.

A true and dare I admit astonishing honour - (watch for my over-use of this word in Book 3... :( - to be included amongst such lights. Congrats to us all, to the judges for hour upon hour of reading to get to this list, to anyone who dares attempt to write a book - shortlisted, awarded or otherwise - and to you most excellent folk who read! Thank you R.J. Anderson for pointing my shortlisting out to me; thank you Laini Taylor-Di Bartolo for you great summary and to you all for your continuing support.

Only a couple of weeks away from the 2008 Aurealis Awards too.

My head is so swollen at the moment I am having trouble fitting through doors and cannot drive my car. Of course, ego takes a big hit when confronted by the daily struggle with the English language, which often feels a lot like...

English language & Plot not doing what it ought to: 1 - D.M.Cornish: nil.

Never-the-less, we are getting there folks!

Klesita (welcome to you!) was asking... "Is it true that Jim Henson Co has the rights of the series? Do you still retain some kind of rights over the script that will allow you some control over the final product? It would be a shame if the movie trashes this beautiful/fearful/incredible world and its inhabitants..."

Yes, the Henson company does indeed have the rights to MBT; no, I think they have to right to make the story what they want it to be, and if I get any say in how it turns out it will be purely on the condescension of the director etc. I too am nervous of what the final product my morph into; I reckon at this very moment the Henson Company are probably nervous how I actually end the story (and me along with them) - so nerves all round.

Ben Bryddia ponders... "Do they have land mines in the Haacobin Empire? You know, big ceramic or porcelain spheres full of mordants, just waiting for some hulking unterman to step on, and crack open? Which makes me wonder, are there any poisonous potives of the gas variety?"

Not in the way we have landmines, no. More like buried or hidden bombs with long fuses, and with or without potives. There are devices known as belchpots (amongst other names): large cauldron-shaped pots of cheap iron or clay with a metal base plate and filled with black powder (sometimes called cannon char) and lots and lots of langridge (or langrage, read: shrapnel). These pots are then buried into the soil, their mouths pointed in the desired direction of the blast, and when needed are set off with a long fuse. Variable and messy, but very cheap and relatively simple to produce.

Most repellents and the like work on a rapid expansion in air principle, so it that sense much of a skold/legermain's arsenal is somewhat gaseous, if not to start with, certainly once "deployed". There are a few pure gas potives, but they are rare due to difficulties of storage (usually in a tightly stitched animal bladder of some variety).

Breakfast today: Apricot Fruity Bix

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