Conventions are a fascinating beast, a unique place where creativity, art, fandoms, and consumerism all smash together in a riot of color and costuming. Take the dealer hall, for example, where the sensory overload can be quite intense! Booth after booth of artists, writers and merchandisers all vie for your attention as you walk the aisles. Each year there is a new marketing ploy to try to catch the attendee’s attention, and hey, every con goer likes a little swag! So what was the new tactic this year?
This year at San Diego Comic Con the ploy was free novels. There were people standing at their booths just handing out books, for free. Yes! Truly a bookworm’s paradise, some (evil) genius marketing director said, “Hey, let’s give out free books. Then they’ll read them and get hooked on our authors!” This was probably followed by a hearty ‘mua-hahaha’ or other equally evil genius sort of laugh.
While the reading trend moves inevitably onward toward digital media, very few geeks will turn down the written word when it being handed to them at no cost. On top of that, the (evil) marketing geniuses further sweetened the pot by having some of the books signed on the spot by the authors themselves. I admit, I fell for the trap. Hard. Free novel hunting became one of my primary focuses while in the dealer hall. By con’s end, I had collected nine books in total of varying authors and genres. Now that SDCC 2015 is over and I have returned home, I find myself tasked with reading all these books (it seemed like a marvelous idea at the time).
It sets before me an interesting challenge, reading all the books despite their genre, author or narrative style. Some of these books are not ones I would typically pick up off a shelf. Some books have been out for quite awhile, and some are new releases. Some look amazing, and some…well not so much. Nonetheless, I have vowed to read each and every one and to review them all (because I am a glutton for punishment). Perhaps in the end we shall learn whether or not that line about a ‘gift horse’ is true after all.
The books I will be covering are: Cold Magic by Kate Elliot, Wandering Star by Romina Russel, Departure by A.G. Riddle, The Shadow Revolution by Clay & Susan Griffith, The Guns of the South by Harry Turtledove, Thorn Jack by Katherine Harbour, No Mercy and Born of Fury by Sherrilyn Kenyon, and Press Start to Play, a compilation featuring Andy Weir, Marc Laidlaw, Seanan McGuire, Austin Grossman, Holly Black, Rhianna Pratchett & Hugh Howey
Coming soon: Book #1 Cold Magic” by Kate Elliot