Tag Archives: paperbacks

Shattered Worlds Challenge – a surprising Scourge

The Scourge is available only in Shattered Worlds. Click to get your copy of the collection.

This week I read A G Henley’s The Scourge. This took me by surprise in a lot of very good ways. What seemed at first to be a pre-industrial fantasy world turned out to be set in a post-apocalyptic future. There were other twists like that, but I don’t want to give away any spoilers. But in short, very little was quite as it seemed. Narrator Fennel was ideal to experience this story with us, because you really couldn’t always believe your eyes (Fennel is blind, so doesn’t have the option to trust her eyes!).

And that’s the only reading-for-pleasure I’ve managed this week. I have been busy with my own books, though: proofing the paperback of The Clockwork War, the Kindle version of An Airship from Ashes, and revising The Tinker Queen ready for editing while working on the first draft of finale The Immortality Device, so it’s all go in my house!

Paperbacks of Clockwork WarIf you’ll forgive me a bit of self-promo, I’m delighted to say that The Clockwork War is now available as a real life ink-and-paper book. If that’s what floats your boat, check it out.

I’m looking forward to next week when I should have more time for reading. Check back next week to see what I’ve picked from Shattered Worlds.


I love paper books, as my overflowing bookshelves will attest. But I also have two eReaders (for Kindle and Kobo) and the feature I love best is their ability to let me read a preview before deciding to buy a book.

It’s the equivalent of scanning the first page or two in the bookshop, but with the benefit of offering the choice of Kindle and Kobo’s enormous libraries – both vastly larger than the stock of most bookshops.

I bought a book last week without first reading the preview and very quickly regretted it – after about three pages all I’d got was some semi-naked men (it was a paranormal, and we all know how little werewolves like wearing shirts!) standing around and posturing. I could have saved myself the bother if I’d just started with the preview instead of rushing into an unwary purchase.

The only thing I don’t like about previews is that they appear to grant a licence to the provider to nag me afterwards. If I read a preview and like it, I’ll buy the book, don’t worry about that (occasionally, to be fair, I’ve read an eReader preview and then bought the paperback, which I suppose Kindle and Kobo could be aggrieved about, like Waterstones objecting to providing a browsing experience for shoppers who then buy online), but if I’ve decided I don’t want the book after all, the last thing I want is e-mails reminding me that I can buy it with “just one click.” To go back to the bookshop comparisons, this would be like a bookshop employee picking out the book I’ve just slotted back onto its shelf and wandering around the store at my heels asking, Am I sure I wouldn’t like to buy it? Really? But I liked it enough to pick it up, didn’t I?

What would be really useful is to send me a mail saying, “It seems this wasn’t quite what you were looking for, but if you’re interested in this genre/style, why not try X, Y or Z?”

I guess this happens to a degree in the marketing mails I get, so maybe it’s just a change of emphasis – rather than, “Readers who liked this also liked…” maybe they should try, “Readers who put this one back chose to buy X, Y and Z instead.”

Inspired marketing, or lunatic idea – any opinions?