Hobby Hole: GAH! Too… Busy….

For as hectic a week as I’ve had, I’ve gotten very little writing accomplished. I think, in fact, I only wrote about 600 words or so. Pathetic right?

Can’t say I did much else toward my writing career, either. I’m still waiting on agents, have no further news about marketing or review for Sanity’s Flaw—though I will insert a shout out here to Steve for pick up a copy (hope you like it and pimp it out on your show!)—and haven’t done much of anything else worth talking about here.

I need to find more time to write somewhere. Wouldn’t it be nice to have that “Time out” power from Saved by the Bell? Man, that would come in handy.

Anyways. Hm. What to write about? Well, okay, how about we do some quick reviews?

I originally intended not to do this kind of thing in this blog. In fact, I’ve gone out of my way not to mention the things I’m reading outside of a few other Hobby Holes. But, in the last few weeks I’ve had three conversations with three different people who asked me if I could recommend a book to them, what I’ve been reading lately, etc. So, I figure, if people are asking, maybe others are looking for something similar, you know?

While I don’t plan on making this a regular feature (I’ll still highlight the really standout works in future Hobby Hole entries when I feel they deserve it), maybe a yearly or bi-yearly roundup would be useful?

Here’s what 2012 brought me, in chronological order all the way to what I finished this morning:

Flashforward by Robert J. Sawyer

I wasn’t the biggest fan of the show, so I wasn’t completely bummed when it was cancelled, but I won a copy of this book via twitter and just had to read it. It’s actually quite different than the show, and not a bad sci-fi yarn to boot, though certainly not the best.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

I probably had to read this for school once. But I never did because I didn’t do that. For some reason. So, reading it now, I get why it was important at the time of its release and continues to cause ripples, but it wasn’t my cup of tea in the slightest.

Startide Rising by David Bring

Part of my college curriculum thanks to the infamous Leigh Grossman, this was one of his weaker suggestions and I doubt I’ll be reading anything more from this author. If you like talking dolphins, though, HOO-BOY!

Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King

As with King’s other collections, this one manages to chill to the bone. The last story especially, which, as a writer, still causes me to openly cringe months later.

Expendable by James Alan Gardner

I honestly don’t remember much of this book. After reading the Amazon description, I do recall the general description, but it obviously didn’t make much of an impact. I think I remember maybe enjoying it, though.

The Walking Dead Omnibus Vol. 1 by Roebrt Kirkman, et al.

If you’ve never read anything of The Walking Dead, what are you doing here? Go read it. This version isn’t the cheapest or the easiest to read, but it’s likely the most definitive and looks like a beauty up on the shelf.

A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

I wanted to read this after I heard such great things about the HBO series and wasn’t disappointed in the least. This first book of the series is great and made me quickly run to devour the remaining titles available to me.


A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin

Again, more than enough political intrigue kept me interested throughout this book, especially as its style evolved and harkened back to The Wheel of Time, for which I’m patiently waiting an end. However, the plunge away from realism started to bother me while I read and served as little better than distraction.

A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin

Sigh. In this third book, Martin just went too far. I mean, there were some great scenes and I consumed the chapters like a starving man given a fresh pizza. But that ending? Ugh. It certainly left a sour taste in my mouth and did not leave me wanting to read more. I’ll likely pick up the last few books when the series catches up or I get the random opportunity, but I won’t go out of my way for them.

The Great Train Robbery by Michael Crichton

My wife was really excited I was reading this, and it was enjoyable enough. Understandably, though, it reads less like a modern tale and more like a classic due to its subject, but my taste has veered away from that simplistic style so it wasn’t my favorite Crichton by far.

The Walking Dead Omnibus Vol. 2 by Robert Kirkman, et al.

More The Walking Dead, and though I enjoyed it, I liked the first volume much more. I still don’t get why people love the Governor and Michonne so bloody much.

The Wizards of Odd by Peter Haining, et al.

A fun little diversion if you like wizards and hobbits. There’s even some sci-fi thrown in for good measure.

The Walking Dead Omnibus Vol. 3 by Robert Kirkman, et al.

This volume more than any other reminded me of the television version. That’s not a bad thing, but it’s not the greatest thing either. I’m waiting for volume four to drop in a few weeks, but as of now think the comic probably peaked very early.

The Shining by Stephen King

I really don’t think I read this. Don’t recall it in the least. I assume this was inserted by mistake for some reason, but if not…. No. I didn’t read this. Hm. Did I read this?

Valve Presents: The Sacrifice and Other Steam-Powered Stories by Various

This was fun. If you’ve played and loved Portal, Half-Life or Team Fortress, you’ll find plenty here to enjoy. I’ve only played one and a half of those and I still loved it.

The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor by Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonansinga

If you’ve only watched the television show, don’t read this as it only makes sense in the comic book world. It’s a good back story, though it has an almost predictable twist, and I quickly picked up its sequel, which is currently sitting on my shelf.

Rising Sun by Michael Crichton

The whole time I was reading this I wondered why it hadn’t been adapted into a movie. Turned out, it had. Needless to say, it’s in my Netflix queue now.

Secret Warriors Omnibus by Jonathan Hickman, et al.

I started reading this series when it was originally released, but stopped about 16 issues in after realizing it would read much better as a collected edition. I was right, but the story seemed less “genius” and more “confusing authors wants to confuse the reader” on the second go. I’ll probably give it another go at some point, though.

11/22/63 by Stephen King

This was great. Seriously. And as a time travel junkie, I was very pleased he not only focused on the main objective, but also firmly established rules. I wasn’t sure he would, but it made the journey all the better.

Atlantis by Greg Donegan

Basically throwaway pocket fiction, I enjoyed this enough back in 2000 that I picked up its sequel, but now would probably not have done that.

Hellboy Library Edition Vol. 1 by Mike Mignola and John Byrne

I have four volumes of this, but this is the first I’ve read Hellboy. While a pleasure to read, I liked the movies more so far, though I think I’ll appreciate these early issues more the further into the storyline I delve.

I Am Spock, by Leonard Nimoy

I’m a Trekkie. I’ll never deny that. So this was bloody perfect, though I wish he’d issue a new edition given his involvement in the new Star Trek film. I tweeted at him to find out if he would, but haven’t heard back. Holding my breath on that one….

Atlantis: Bermuda Triangle by Greg Donegan

Like I said above, I enjoyed the first one enough to pick up the sequel. I think the only reason I didn’t buy the third was simply that I never saw it available. While I’m somewhat interested to see where the story goes from here, it’s generic enough that I doubt I’ll ever do that. You know, unless I stumble across a copy somehow.