martinlivings: (Default)
Wow, my first formal review for many years [1]... I hope it turned out okay! And if not, sorry [profile] kaaronwarren!

http://www.asif.dreamhosters.com/doku.php?id=slights

[1] Some might remember that I used to do this quite a lot. Specifically, from 1992 to 1996, issues 10 to 23 of Eidolon. Damn near ruined my ability to read for pleasure for about ten years afterwards, I might add. This time around, it was an unsolicited review of a book I bought for myself. I don't think I'd ever go back to reviewing anything given to me, unless I got to choose it!
martinlivings: (Carnies)
Firstly, [personal profile] mondyboy reviews the current batch of Twelfth Planet Press publications HERE, including New Ceres Nights, which gets glowing coverage, and scores me a mention:

Martin Livings pulls no punches with "Blessed Are the Dead That the Rain Falls Upon", which is easily the most violent and grim story in the collection - which was no problem for me because I like violent and grim and Martin writes it very well

Aww... but I thought it wasn't actually that violent and grim! In fact, I found it strangely touching. Boy, if he could have read my original ending, before [personal profile] girliejones and [personal profile] editormum put me in my place... ;)

Plus I just found out that I haven't been rejected yet for Festive Fear. Not an acceptance per se, mind you, but still, better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, or a rejection, for that matter. More news as it comes to hand.

Oh, and BUY MY BOOK ONLINE NOW! Sorry, I'm contractually [1] obligated to add this to the end of every post I make from now on. :)

[1] well, it's an informal contract with my distributor... who is also me...

New review!

May. 9th, 2009 08:56 am
martinlivings: (Swing)
  • "There Was Darkness", as reprinted in Australian Dark Fantasy and Horror Volume 3, has been reviewed in Scary Minds.

    Martin Livings offered a sort of postscript to John Wyndham's The Day of the Triffids that reads like a fantasy till it really hit the horror sizzle in the final paragraphs. I've still got a chill going down my spine over that one.

    Always nice to get feedback like this. :)

    Whoa, while I was there, I also spotted a wonderfully positive review of Carnies that had previously escaped my atention:

    http://www.scaryminds.com/reviews/book02.php

    If you miss out on this novel you will be howling at the moon in frustration. Run, don't walk, to get a copy right now!

    Wow... just... wow...
  • martinlivings: (Carnies)
    I've been hanging out for this... thanks to [livejournal.com profile] girliejones for the link!

    http://www.asif.dreamhosters.com/doku.php?id=new_ceres_nights

    Alex makes me happy by saying:

    Criminality is again a major issue, along with high tech, for Martin Livings’ “Blessed are the Dead that the Rain Falls Upon”. Once again taking us into the underbelly of New Ceres society, and this time connecting it viscerally with the aristocrats, this tale of the snake disguised as a flower is a delightful take on the detective noir genre; I could imagine (a younger) Harrison Ford playing the detective’s (sorry, constable’s) role. While some of the stories treat technology in quite straightforward terms (can’t have/want to have), it’s problematised in this tale by not being a passive object. It’s another of my favourites.

    *poing poing poing*

    And, of the collection itself, she says:

    Overall, this is a superb anthology, and one that I highly recommend. Coming out of a shared online world, it is to be hoped that there will be more authors who are inspired to take up the stories, ideas, and characters suggested by these thirteen authors – and there is so much that is hinted at and swept over! – so that New Ceres’ history, and its future, become as fully fleshed out as they deserve to be.

    Nice work, [livejournal.com profile] girliejones and [livejournal.com profile] editormum!!!!

    I really should get around to reading it myself, shouldn't I???
    martinlivings: (Carnies)
    As noted by [livejournal.com profile] amandapillar, Voices has received an overall positive review at Dark Wolf's Fantasy Reviews. I didn't get much of a mention, compared to a few other stories, but still...

    “Bedbugs” by Martin Livings – Allison will discover in a strange way the destiny of one of her room’s previous guest. It is an interesting story, with two physical abuses that will superpose in a new disturbing image.

    Yay! :)
    martinlivings: (Eat Flesh)
    Dear Steven,

    I might have once berated you for your miniseries Jekyll. In fact, I definitely did. I might have intimated that anyone, literally anyone, could have made a better adaptation of the source material. Certainly, no-one could make a worse one. Surely.

    I was wrong.

    Last night we watched Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde, starring the usually-reliable Dougray Scott (who we once bumped into in a hotel in Mauritius, but that's not important right now...). We thought it might be cool. At the very least, it would be better than Jekyll.

    Again, I was wrong.... under a cut for spoilers... )

    The Forbidden Kingdom with Jet Li and Jackie Chan, on the other hand, was a lot better than I was expected. Fun, light, sometimes clever, often cliched, but always entertaining.
    martinlivings: (Life is Pain)
    So, I'm avoiding doing my writing today, just can't seem to get my head around it (I shouldn't have taken the weekend off, I've lost my flow!). And, as such, I thought I'd mention that we saw "Quantum of Solace" over the weekend.

    The general consensus I've seen in my f-list was that it was very good.

    I beg to differ... )

    Gawd, do I have to get back to my chapter now? No, please don't make me...
    martinlivings: (Default)
    http://asif.dreamhosters.com/doku.php?id=canterbury_2100

    Martin Livings’ “The Dead Priest’s Tale” is one of my favourites in the whole anthology...

    *poing poing poing*
    martinlivings: (Default)
    Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] benpayne for pointing me towards this one... 2012 gets a mixed, but overall positive review here:

    http://thefix-online.com/reviews/2012/

    I think the comments about the early stories are a little harsh, I've really enjoyed them so far (just finished David Conyers' "Soft Viscocity", and didn't mind the propoganda too much... well, it was a little heavy-handed at the end, yes, but the story was still strong!). But they do say, well, not un-nice things about "Skinsongs":

    “Skinsongs” by Martin Livings is a sad story about the fleeting nature of stardom. Agatha is a rock star, creating music from the skin and bone patterns of her face. But once recorded, there are no other songs to be made. As her fame fades, she prepares to make the ultimate and extremest sacrifice to reinvent herself and regain her former status. How far will someone go for the sake of fame? Unlikely? Tune in on the early weeks of American Idol or any other reality show.

    Neat. And, considering the concept was largely inspired by "Australian Idol" [1], very apt. :)

    One and a half acceptances and a pleasant review... that makes for quite a nice Wednesday, really!

    [1] and, to be more specific, Chanel Cole... though that side of things comes through more in the novel than the short story!
    martinlivings: (Zombie Martin)
    Yet another great review of 2012 here!

    Martin Livings’ “Skinsongs” - I don't think I've ever read a bad story by Martin. And this didn't change the trend. Loved it.

    Thanks, [livejournal.com profile] mondyboy! *giggles like a schoolgirl*

    Jeez, I'm so glad I submitted to this and got accepted! When it comes to books which I sneak into, I think it's getting the most positive reviews I've seen since Daikaiju. And it's making Carnies look like a great big pile of crap by comparison. Thanks, [livejournal.com profile] girliejones and [livejournal.com profile] benpayne! :)

    I'm going to read it soon, I promise... right after I finally finish Fantastic Wonder Stories, I'm just caught in the middle of Shane Jiraiya Cummings' novella in that. Once I slog through the rest of FWS, I'll get right onto 2012. It sounds awesome!
    martinlivings: (Genius)
    There's been a nice review of Fantastic Wonder Stories over at the Tin Duck award winning review site ASif (plug plug, [livejournal.com profile] girliejones!). I haven't read the whole review, as I'm still working my way through the collection myself (and, to quote Maxwell Smart, loving it!). But the reviewer, Alexandra Pierce, said rather nice things about my story, so I'm a happy boy:

    “There was Darkness”, by Martin Livings, is an interesting take on the post-apocalyptic world where people have turned to extreme religion for solace.

    (cut for minor plot spoilers)

    This is a really well written piece: to write without actually describing what something looks like must be a demanding exercise.


    From what I've read of this book so far, it's an awesome collection, and I'm pleased and proud as punch to have had the opportunity to be a part of it. If you haven't bought it yet, go online and order a copy. Tell Russ I sent you.
    martinlivings: (Default)
    I really should check the ASif site more often, shouldn't I?

    http://www.asif.dreamhosters.com/doku.php?id=australian_dark_fantasy_and_horror_2006

    They saved the best for last, with the Tin Duck Award nominated story “Hooked” by Martin Living (sic). The parallels between this story and a certain well known children’s tale are immediately apparent, but it is the subtlety with which the common threads and iconic characters transposed into an adult world, which (I hope it was by design) brings the collection full circle. As we see a return to the point Josephine Pennicott illustrated in her initial piece, that fairy tales were originally entirely too adult for children’s eyes. “Hooked” was my favourite of all the stories, a high point finish to a collection of excellent fiction.

    My only complaint? Misspelling my name, as usual. :)
    martinlivings: (Default)
      Livings weaves a complex tale of alliances and counter-alliances. He exposes these groups as being less than homogenous, revealing internal powerplays and struggles, often with bloody conclusions. It is this complexity, and attention to characterisation, that sets Carnies apart from the average horror novel. There are the usual buckets of blood and gore, but it is what goes on around this that makes the book an excellent debut...

      ...

      Carnies is the most impressive debut novel I have read in some time. It captures a novelist making the transition from short stories, finding his feet with pacing while knowing how to develop an idea.

    Yes, like [livejournal.com profile] ashamel, I selectively quote from a very nice review of Carnies, which has just gone online here:

    http://ticonderogaonline.org/011TOL/reviews011.html#four

    Thanks, [livejournal.com profile] punkrocker1991! Plus, of course, you should read the rest of the always-excellent content at Ticonderoga Online, the latest issue is here:

    http://ticonderogaonline.org/011TOL/index.html
    martinlivings: (Writing Good)
    Okay, to keep myself honest, I'm gonna write reviews of every book I read this year. But, to keep myself sane, I'm gonna restrict the reviews to five words or less. :) So let's start with the book I bought at the airport at Heathrow, with the intention of reading it on the plane, but ended up reading it back in Perth instead. I just finished it a few minutes ago.

    American Gods, Neil Gaiman
    I liked it. A lot.

    Next, once I've actually read them: Prismatic by Edwina Grey, followed by Pilo Family Circus by Will Elliot.

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