Saturday 30 November 2013

Atlantis - Has the BBC sunk itself over this?

This is a pivotal year in the BBC's history. 50 years of Dr Who and the longest running science fiction series. The BBC have produced some pretty good programmes over the years and I admit to finding Merlin quite quaint. However, what were they thinking with Atlantis? It purports to be a modern day chap (Jason) falling into the sea and awakening in the mythical city of Atlantis. OK - fantasy, so no problem there.

However, they could have spent some money on a script! The plots to date have been pretty dire. They pick a topic, OK this week they will fight in an arena, and that is it. They fight in an arena. That's the plot. It's hardly compelling stuff. Jason seems quite wooden and barely passes surprise when he is introduced to Medusa. Wow, isn't that the women with the snake hair? OK - I know that bit hasn't happened yet! This week's episode is Pandora's box so I can see some pretty neat links growing here. However, last week's plot on the Sirens was simply about gusts of wind for all I could see so I am not holding my breath over Pandora's box. (Don't open it chaps!)

I think this programme is a great shame when taken into account this is Dr Who's 50th anniversary. It epitomises the low standards to which the BBC has fallen. If only the CEO would give up his £600k salary (Did I say £600k? I'm sure I read that somewhere) then they could afford to pay a script writer, or three, or 20 even! Then there's the CEO's toadies, the managers, the senior managers and the managers sub-managers. Goodness, are we the tax payer footing all that? And then there's the repeats. Well how else do they pay for the CEO? BBC2 has about 90% repeats on a Saturday. That's jaw-dropping. So where does all the saved money go? Atlantis? have you seen the costumes and then there's the script. we seem to be back to the start.

Finally, Atlantis - prime time telly??! What! Surely it's a kids programme. No doubt the BBC will tell us that it's on late as most 10 year old like to watch it before snorting coke and going down a nightclub. Myself, I think I'll start reading.

Friday 29 November 2013

Happy Thanksgiving from the UK

For all my US friends and visitors: a Happy Thanks Giving to you all. 

Please don’t forget the back taxes you owe the UK for the French Indian Wars. I’m happy to collect on behalf of the UK government. Please give generously. J

Thursday 28 November 2013

Top 100 Fantasy Books - Useful Sites

reviews prophecy kings david burrows

Lee, who runs this site has spent a lot of time and effort putting this together. One hundred books is quite an achievement; to log each one, comment and then prioritise these. Hate it or love it - in terms of which is at 1 and which is at 100 it's a very useful list of some very entertaining books.

Anyone else know of any other top 100 sites worth visiting?

Love of History - historical novels versus fantasy

OK I admit that fantasy isn't the only genre I read. I also really enjoy historical fiction, which in a lot of novels bears a remarkable resemblance to fantasy. There's usually swords (unless it's later period history where it might even be guns!) and occasionally dragons - although that's usually reserved to superstition and fear (so no real dragons then...humph).

Reading historical fiction has given me a real love of history. I started off with Bernard Cornwell's books set in the Napoleonic period. These are fast paced books and a very lively plot. There's also some very neat twists as well. I nice feature is there's hundreds of his books (slight exaggeration!)

I love books about Rome and Romans. Simon Scarrow tells a lively tale (can you see a common theme?). Tales about Egypt are truly sword and sandal what's not to like. There's also gods to contend with, either real or imaginary.

Surprisingly I have started to gain interest in areas of history I never thought possible. That's certainly true of Napoleonic, but when you hear tales about outnumbered troops in desperate circumstances it can really make you blood boil. Good stuff.

Wacky Interview - What Have I done?

OK I agreed to this, but it's a bit like wearing make-up and high heels and then walking down the high street (bear in mind I'm male!!)...all of a sudden I feel as though the world is looking at me - weirdly. My fault I suppose. Check out the reason for my embarrassment by clicking the link. Let me know what you think.

Sunday 24 November 2013

Dr Who - The Day of the Doctor. Plot Hole??

Excellent film and very entertaining and quite moving. Dr Who is getting quite complicated and given it's 50 year history it has lots of prior plots to call on.

However, what I didn't understand is an old Tom Baker appearing at the end. That makes no sense at all. Tom Baker's Dr morphed into the next doctor. Therefore he can't get old...can he?

Also, what was the reference to the 13th Doctor?

OK John Hurt is the 12th but who on earth is the 13th?? Clearly, lots to look forward to. Overall - brilliant stuff. I particularly liked the 3-D version where Matt Smith introduces it, by mistake, as the 100th anniversary and it being in 12-D. I can't wait for that!!

Saturday 23 November 2013

Front Page News - Prophecy of the Kings, tension filled, edge of your seat, pace!

Terrific reviews. Please take a look. I am very proud of these.

Series Breakdown. This is an action packed, fast paced tale that packed a whole lot of punch in just a few pages. Book one sets the scene, covers the worldbuilding and introduces most of the main characters. Book two increases the pace as it focuses almost totally on action and conflict. Book three continues the action, rushing towards a crescendo of an ending which evolved out of a series of twists I never saw coming. The ending itself was an equal mixture of happy and sad not to mention largely unexpected.

What I liked. Pretty much everything. I loved the premise of alternate realms. I loved the interplay of dragons, demons, dwarves, heroes and magic. I liked the fact that though there was a prophecy, it was not used as an excuse for everything that took place. Much the opposite. It hardly played a role at all except to explain why the main characters came together how and when they did. Beyond that, the outcome rested squarely in their hands. I never got the impression that some all powerful, all knowing prophecy dangled them along like puppets on a string. I also enjoyed the tension filled, edge of your seat, pace of the entire story.

Prophecy of the Kings by David Burrows (Series Summary)

Desolation of Smaug - Less than 3 weeks to go!!

Oooh, not long now.

really looking forward to this :)

Dr Who - 3D. The Day of the Doctor.

Off to see it in 3D tomorrow so no spoilers!!

I saw An Adventure in Space and Time yesterday. I really enjoyed it but I think it would only really appeal to people who saw the original first series. I was perhaps too young when it came out but would have been 7 when it ended, I have vague memories of the first doctor and certainly the programme seemed to stir those. It was very moving and poignant. Very sad towards the end if they portrayed it correctly. I can see that the role would have been very difficult to let go of.

Sunday 17 November 2013

The Hobbit - Extended Version

Watched the extended version of the Hobbit. Extended or not - an amazing film. I so love Riddles in the Dark. Absolute epic.

The link contains a lot of spoilers so beware!!

Interesting website


Thursday 14 November 2013

Great dragon artwork!!

Click this link for some really nice dragon artwork. Could be straight out of Prophecy of the Kings book 3. Shastlan should be in there somewhere.

Some very good artists on this site.

Wednesday 13 November 2013

Final Excellent Review from Mulluane.

Another excellent review from Dragons, Heroes and Wizards blog site.

The pace continues to be fast but steady for most of the story. There were a few twists I didn't see coming and one I expected but never saw. Ummm, how do I explain that without a spoiler. Well, lets just say that there was possibly an easier way out of the Demon problem only David Burrows did not take it. And I respect him all the more for that. All too often a writer introduced a "convenient" magical solution which solves everything and takes the believability of the tale and tosses it out the nearest window.

Not this time. Every time our heroes got a foot up, David Burrows knocked them back down, dusted them off and then shoved them under the closest bus. It was truly fun to watch and I enjoyed every tension filled minute of it

Brilliant and thanks Mulluane :)


Sunday 10 November 2013

New competition. Win Legacy of the Eldric, a fantasy tale

This competition is dead simple. Go onto Facebook and like my page - then email me and I'll enter you in the prize draw. My Facebook page is

Click here for my email address

Check out my latest review here

Good luck. I'll post the winner here in early December.


Saturday 9 November 2013

Wee timorous beasties - Australia

A couple more photos of indigenous lifeforms Aus style:

Spiders and lizards in Brisbane, and lots of them too. Unfortunately I didn't have my camera available for a really large spider. The one above is titchy by comparison.

Friday 8 November 2013

Nearest I've come to a rainforest. Gorgeous.

I've always wanted to visit a rainforest and I think this is as close as I'll get. Brisbane botanical gardens. Gorgeous place and not to far from a coffee stop. :)

X-men: Days of future Past

This is a cool site with a trailer for new movie. Can't wait. Great series of films.

Brilliant. Really Excellent Review - Thanks

Check this out at,+Heroes+and+Wizards)

Wow. This was a pleasant surprise. What a really nice review and so eloquently put. I especially liked the analogy about sitting around a camp fire telling a tale. I take part in Saxon/Viking re-enactment ( so that particularly appealed to me. I felt this was a very honest review.

"What I liked. I struggled with this book/series a bit. Not because I did not like it, but because I did - alot. But why did I like it exactly? It had no deep lovably flawed characters like Robin Hobb's stories, nor did it give me the warm fuzzy feeling I'd get from reading Anne McCaffrey. It didn't even have witty repartee like a David Eddings novel. Then I realized it. It was so simple. What it had is one heck of a good story. What it had was demons and dragons, sword and sorcery, danger and strife. What it gave me was the type of story I did not want to put down and when I did, I looked forward to returning because I wanted to know what could possibly happen next.

And did I mention the dragon? Oh yes, I got my dragon. A glorious, powerful, magnificent beast it was too."

I have a growing list of excellent reviews and several of these are from reputable Fantasy blog reviewers. This review in particular meant a lot to me. Brilliant :)

Tuesday 5 November 2013

Announcing October's Winner - Legacy of the Eldric

Well done Karen B. An email is on its way notifying you of your win and a book will follow. Apologies to those who didn't win on this occasion and better luck next time.