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Showing posts from September, 2015

This Song: Warriors

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"Warriors"
by Farao

This Song: FOOLS

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"FOOLS"
by Troye Sivan

This Song: Down Low

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"Down Low"
by Alex Winston

Princess Fears

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So, while I was going through some old boxes to unearth more teen novels, I came across some writing of mine.  I kept early drafts of "Hunters of the Dark" and a lot of older books that I wrote in my early teens that are probably god-awful.  I came across a notebook of poems and I thought my readers would get a kick out of it if I posted one.  It's dated 8/7/99 -  I was nineteen, a little old to be writing about princesses, but there it is.  And I wrote the time as 1PM, which I found cute.  Anyways, here's a little taste of nineteen-year-old me.

"Princess Fears"
Am I worthy?  Is it true?
Will my foot slip in the glass shoe?
Do I deserve to wear the crown?
I wonder as I gaze at a peasant's frown.
Will I feel a pea through a hundred beds?
Am I worth it when townsmen bow their heads?
I think of how I might disappoint and fail.
And the look of the king as the queen grows pale.
Can I spin straw into solid gold?
If I don't, will I fall into a monster's hold?
What…

Manga Monday: One-Punch Man

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One-Punch Man (Volume 1)
ONE and Yusuke Murata

One-Punch Man is an action-packed manga from Viz, that turns the superhero genre on its head.  The story follows Saitama, a scrawny bald kid, who lives in a world where supervillains attack constantly.  He decided to fight back one day (just for fun) and practiced enough that with one punch, he can take out any villain he faces.

This is quite a parody of superheroes.  It's a book with tons of violence and destruction, yet it's always resolved very quickly, with one punch from our hero.  It's always a sort of anti-climax, the story really being about the build-up.  The villains are over-the-top - stupid muscle guys who make absurd mistakes, or over-sexualized women in ridiculous outfits with magical powers - but the variety of villains keeps things interesting for the most part.  One of the problems with this title could have been its repetitiveness, but once we saw a few of these built-up scenes that ended abruptly, some seconda…

This Song: Blue Skies

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"Blue Skies"
by Lenka

YA Pioneers: Janice Harrell

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YA may have blown up over the past decade, but it used to be a small section of bookstores.  In the early nineties, it consisted mostly of "teen thrillers," which mostly featured dark mysteries and serial killers, although there was some supernatural fare as well.  The authors of those days were ahead of their time and built an audience in teenagers, and paved the way for the YA that is beloved by so many today.

In the late-eighties to mid-nineties when teen thrillers were thriving, the internet was just getting its feet wet, so there wasn't a lot of information to be found on-line about the books coming out around this time.  I didn't have a really reliable source to find out when new books were coming out from authors I enjoyed, which is a weird concept given how everything is at people's fingertips today.  I asked bookshop clerks about books often, and would really just sort of rely on them to stock the books I loved on their shelves.

YA Pioneers Janice Harrell…

YA Pioneers: Daniel Parker

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YA may have blown up over the past decade, but it used to be a small section of bookstores.  In the early nineties, it consisted mostly of "teen thrillers," which mostly featured dark mysteries and serial killers, although there was some supernatural fare as well.  The authors of those days were ahead of their time and built an audience in teenagers, and paved the way for the YA that is beloved by so many today.

All YA books at this time were sold in mass market paperback format, a cheap way to mass produce books for readers.  It's the same type of smaller paperback format that many mysteries and romance novels are published in today.  They're pretty disposable, and if unsold, rather than ship books back to publishers, bookstores strip the books of their front covers and mail those back for credit, as proof that it hasn't sold.  It's cheaper to do it this way than pay for shipping heavy books.  In the front of these books, there's usually a warning about …