Tuesday, June 27, 2006


It's my birthday. Feel free to send presents.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

I May Not Know Art, But I Know What I Like Department

I’ve just finished reading Legacy of Morevi: Book One of the Arathellean Wars, by Tee Morris. It’s the sequel to Morevi: The Chronicles of Rafe and Askana by Tee Morris and Lisa Lee. Tee Morris is going solo this time, picking up where the story where it left off.

In the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Ireland is the Rift, an anomaly of time and space. On the other side of the Rift is the continent of Naruihm, home to the Realm of Morevi. Rafe Rafton, former privateer to the court of Henry VIII has traded the love of the sea for the love of his life, Askana Moldarin, First Queen of Morevi, and their daughter Ashtari.

However, all is not well in Morevi. Though Rafe has willingly given up his dubious title of pirate captain of the Defiant, being the Queen’s Consort is more difficult for his pride to handle than he expected. Morevi is a kingdom ruled by women who consider men an inferior, but necessary evil. Under the tutelage of the High Regent Dirare, his daughter has adopted the same attitude, treating her own father like a servant, better seen and not heard. Rafe believes the best way to solve this dilemma is to marry Askana. However the reign of Askana Moldarin is still young, and she herself had led the overthrow of the former male dominated regime. The marriage would be a political disaster. In addition, privately, despite her love for Rafe she still harbors some of the prejudice of her people.

Otherwise, life is good, until an emissary for the elves invites Askana, Rafe, and a delegation of the Ladies of the Blood to the Elven capital. There has been a change of leadership among the elves and it is not for the better. Worse, Bayliss, the new captain of the Defiant presents evidence that the Elves have allied themselves with the Spanish.

War is coming to Naruihm and the only way to stop it is for Rafe and Askana to cross the Rift and seek out their old ally, England.

Legacy is filled with swashbuckling adventure, devious court intrigue, unique creatures and enough twists to keep you wondering what’s going to happen next--except for the ending, of course. It is, after all, Book One.

I found Leagcy well-written, entertaining and Rafe and Askana likeable characters with just enough rough edges to keep them human. The history of the Tudor era and Morris’s fictional world combine seamlessly and sometimes one forgets this is a fantasy.

The Elven protagonists are a bit over the top and have the ability to use magic, but the race is as mortal has humans and die just as easily. Many other characters populate the pages within, both good and bad and like life, with their own agendas.

If there are any complaints, it is some of the dialogue. Though totally within character, the long-winded Errol-Flynn-as-Robin-Hood-esque chatter did get tiresome. Ocassionally a character notices a clue that, given the situation, might bear more scrutiny than is given. Finally, Morris seems unable to sense where a chapter should end. I mean come on; a person has to sleep.

These, of course are minor and forgiveable faults.

Legacy of Morevi: Book One of the Arathellean Wars, published by Dragon Moon Press is available in trade paperback and sells for $19.99US/$24.99CDN. If you want to the pre-story, you can listen to Morevi: The Chronicles of Rafe and Askana, as a free downloadable podcast on podiobooks.com

Dull Pirates

This past weekend our town held its annual, County Town Carnival. The theme this year was Pirates of Cullen Park. Apparently, the carnival council had some extra money in the coffers because they made some T-shirts for the mostly high school staff who ran the games and rides.

The shirt was yellow with a little pirate shouting, "ARRRRRGH MATTE!"

Evidently, the Pirates of Cullen Park aren’t too happy with the carnival’s dull color scheme. I wish I had brought my camera.

Monday, June 12, 2006

BookExpo Canada

BookExpo Canada 2006 was amazing. Once again the people at Writers of The Future and Galaxy Press have given me an opportunity I would never have had. I thank them and especially Elise Toth for making it happen.

Unfortunately, security wouldn’t allow strollers onto the floor because of the pedestrian traffic, so even though they came, my wife and daughter couldn’t attend. But being the trooper she is, Kathleen made the sacrifice and volunteered to take Ellery shopping at the nearby Eaton’s Center, the largest mall in the province of Ontario. I found out later that she happened upon an outdoor dog accessory show a few blocks away from the convention center. She and Ellery spent hours wandering around looking at all the animals and weird products for pet lovers. Then they went shopping.

As I said, the BookExpo was amazing. Elise Toth met us at the entrance with free passes. She introduced me to Tony Pi, the second place winner of the second quarter of this year’s WoTF contest. I’m very much a first-impressions kind of guy and I liked Tony right off the bat. The three of us went to the Galaxy Press booth. Elise wanted a picture of us with Robert J. Sawyer, Nebula and Hugo winner, and one of the judges’s for the WoTF contest.

So we began The Search For Sawyer.

Elise led us through the crowds to Red Deer who publishes the Robert J. Sawyer line of SF novels. We discovered Rob wouldn’t be around for another two hours. Since Elise had to go, Tony and I decided to explore the show together.

Right off the bat Tony gets himself a free package of spaghetti, a novelty gift for Spaghetti Western, a biography by Maria Cioni. After that the hunt was on for the swag. Bookmarks, pens and pins, Caesars, Perrier and Champagne, muffins, chocolate and apples; if it was free we took it, drank it or ate it.

Then Tony spied Robert Sawyer. It happens that Tony was a student in one of Rob’s workshops so they knew each other. We returned to the Galaxy booth and took some pictures. Rob had to go do his own thing and Tony and I were on our own again. We talked about the contest and writing and possible future signings and con panels we could do together. We also met Mark Ladouceur and Karin Sumner-Smith who have stories in Julie Czerneda's anthology, Mythspring.

After that we met up again with Elise who wanted more pictures with Rob Sawyer. We went to his booth and scored four signed books from the RJS imprint from Red Deer Press; Rob’s, Iterations, Karl Schroeder’s, The Engine of Recall, Nick DiChario’s, A Small and Remarkable Life, and Marcos Donnelly’s, Letters From The Flesh. Now how cool is that? And pictures too.
Soon after I signed a copy of WoTF XXI for Tony, then bid Elise good bye for the last time. I’m looking forward to meeting her again in San Diego.

Tony and I scrounged for some more free stuff, which brings me to my rant about the publishing industry.

What does the publishing industry have against fridge magnets? As an advertising gimmick, magnets are way better than business cards with a book cover printed on them, and are a lasting reminder because they are stuck on the fridge. They are visible, functional, and in my older daughter’s case, fun to play with when you got a couple minutes to kill before school.
So, publishing industry, think about it. Fridge magnets. They’re, ahem, attractive.

Rant over.

Before long it was time for me to rendezvous with my wife and daughter. I said goodbye to Tony Pi and off I went.

Fridge magnets not withstanding, I liked BookExpo Canada. I got some free stuff, met very nice industry people and more importantly, made a new friend.

I don’t know when I’ll be back, but if the opportunity arises, I’ll be sure to bring a bigger bag.

For some pictures go to www.mikerimar.com

Mike Rimar

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Thanks to The Writer’s of The Future and Galaxy Press me and my wife Kathleen are going to BookExpo Canada, www.reedexpo.ca/bookexpo, at the Toronto Metro Convention Centre, www.mtccc.com.

I’ve never been to the BookExpo before, though a number of years ago I worked for a Manga Distributor and we went after the show had closed to pick up some books. From that experience alone I could tell this thing is a huge industry event. It should be interesting.