Posts Tagged ‘Ebook’

I have recently finished reading “Vampire State of Mind” by Jane Lovering.

Vampire State of Mind - Jane Lovering

Vampire State of Mind – Jane Lovering (via Amazon)

The blurb reads:

“Jessica Grant knows vampires only too well. She runs the York Council tracker programme making sure that Otherworlders are all where they should be, keeps the filing in order and drinks far too much coffee. 
To Jess, vampires are annoying and arrogant and far too sexy for their own good, particularly her ex-colleague Sil, who’s now in charge of Otherworld York. When a demon turns up and threatens not just Jess but the whole world order, she and Sil are forced to work together.
But then Jess turns out to be the key to saving the world, which puts a very different slant on their relationship. 
The stakes are high. They are also very, very pointy and Jess isn’t afraid to use them – even on the vampire she’s rather afraid she’s falling in love with …”

You might think, oh no, not another vampire novel, another Twilight. Well, you are wrong! This is an awesome book, with the whole new idea of vampires being fully integrated into normal human society and accepted by humans (for the most part). There are also zombies, werewolves, ghouls and other supernatural creatures, all of whom have equal status in the human world. The laws and rights regarding all species are interesting to discover, as humans have never really liked sharing their planet with other dominant species.

The book is set in York, which is great because i used to live there and i can mentally picture all the places it mentions! It brings across a whole new side of the city, besides the tourism side, describing what it is like living there with all these Otherworld creatures. York has plenty of ties with different times in history, from Romans to Vikings and beyond, so why not bring it up to date with these supernatural creatures living there too!?

Humans have created a synthetic blood in order to keep the vampires satisfied and to protect the humans. New laws are enforced in order to keep the peace, as obviously there is always someone who will turn against the others. No-one wants a repeat of the early violence described when the Otherworld creatures were trying to be recognised as equal and so on.

Jessica is a fascinating character, tasked with enforcing the laws and tracking down the creatures to make sure they toeing the line. Her uncanny knack for identifying creatures, which puts her in the 5% of humans who have this ability, hints at a deeper part of her own identity, which comes under conflict after a few home truths come to light, changing her life forever. Her relationship with the vampire Sil is interesting, and she tries to ignore the fact she is falling in love with him, but as the novel progresses it becomes clear that there is something between them, shown in their behaviour towards each other. Jessica is feisty and fiercely independent, and constantly uses “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” as her bible for keeping tabs on the Otherworlders, which is amusing!

I give this book 8/10 because it breathes new life into the sub-genre which has been taken over by sappy vampires brought about by Twilight and brings the Otherworld creatures firmly onto the world stage as equals to humans. The book is witty and clever, with a great paranormal romance story but with enough sci-fi elements and real issues to make it a really great read. The setting of the book and the characters themselves make up a great plot, and the climax is really good. Totally worth a read if you want real vampires!

Note: I read this on Kindle.

Hello,

A few weeks ago, i posted a blog telling you about the project we are doing on my MA Publishing course, in which we are publishing a book of stories on parenting.

‘Blessing and Bother: How to Have Children and Live to Tell the Tale’ is going to be published this summer by UCLan Publishing, and is basically a selection of stories on parenthood.

If you would like to submit your story to us, the deadline for submissions is fast approaching on Monday 28th February 2011.

For further information and guidance, please visit UCLan publishing website at UCLan Blessing and Bother Call out – website

For my original blog post on this project, please see Calling all first time parents – looking for submissions

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Image via Wikipedia

Is going digital all its cracked up to be?

Like everything else, digital does has its downsides, and although the following are more speculation than anything else, they are things to think about if we carry on down this path.

How empty is our world going to be in the future, if we no longer have books cluttering up our bookshelves?? If books are replaced by Ebooks, the world will seem very strange.

Maybe one day every human will have one machine that does and has everything:

  • Able to read any book in existence as an Ebook, whether its the Bible or the latest bestseller.
  • Able to watch videos of anything in any place
  • Able to listen to music from anywhere in the world
  • Able to access TV channels and programmes from anywhere in the world
  • Aable to order stuff from anywhere
  • Able to access news and information from anywhere about anything

and the list goes on!

Interestingly, the mobile phone started as a huge brick-like contraption (just like the first computer was huge too), and has gradually shrunk over the years as technology has improved. However, now touchscreens are the big thing and seem to be getting bigger and bigger in size! The Iphone is pretty big as it is, but then we have been introduced to the Ipad and the other copycat devices, all with large touchscreens. Maybe one day there will be a touchscreen which is the size of a wall!

The possibilities seem to be endless.

But one wonders if we are spending too much time and effort on these technologies.

For one thing, we are losing out in other areas, for example music records, LPs, and CDs are being phased out….we are losing the actual physical object which we can hold and have signed by the artist. The same thing is happening with books, with each Ebook that is released, we are losing the physical object.

Another worry is that we are becoming increasingly dependant on devices which need a whole lot of energy, and that energy isnt all coming from green sources. I can’t imagine how much fuel is needed to make the electricity to charge these devices. Poor Mother Nature must hate us for our greedy sucking-the-Earth-dry approach to living. What happens when the fuel sources run out? What happens when there’s long term powercuts and we will no longer be able to access all this information on our phones and various other devices?

Something else to consider is that with all this technology, we are slowly losing our ability to think creatively, and losing our imagination. I think that maybe digital technology could destroy the creative mind and not allow the brain to construct mental images as you read a book.

Is our evolution as a species being prevented by this abundance of technology which we rely on? We humans haven’t changed or evolved in thousands of years!

There is also the worry that our ability to interaction with other people in real time is being affected because we can find out so much about people from their online profile, such as Facebook, and the use of email and IM means we don’t see each other’s reactions. The way we interact with our children is different now, with mobiles and computers taking us away from each other, and computer games and so on making us less inclined to sit and chat properly with each other.

It could be that the introduction of special enhanced Ebooks for children – with features such as being able to record the parent/grandparent/carer’s voice reading the story and pictures and games – could destroy the vital bonding between the parent and child,  especially if the parents just leaves the child with the ebook to read by themself, while the parent goes off to bed or work (obviously the child won’t be fully abandoned, i just mean, that the interaction will be much less).

I’m not saying that these things are definite, but it is important to consider the implications and potential consequences of our actions now.

It’s something to think about, certainly, and i wonder what others think of these, and if you have any issues to add to the list.