Geeky Book Chat Club – come and talk to me in the comments!

So what is this?

Well, in short, I like to talk about books, and sometimes this blog can feel like me waffling on to myself, when I really want to hear from you people. What I’m going to do, I think, is pop up a series of bookish questions and you can choose to answer one, or some, or all! Or just throw in some random thoughts, insults, recipes – those are also welcome.

There might be a bit of a delay in my replies/publishing of comments if I’m stuck on the bus or something, but let’s give it a whirl. Our first Geeky-Book-Chat Club is a go!

Did a book change your life when you were a kid? Which book?

Which writers need more love? We all know who the big names are – who are the smaller names doing brilliant work we need to know about?

If you’re a writer, is there a particular book that put you on that path?

Which fictional character would you most like to spend a debauched evening with?

Which fictional character would you most like to push off a cliff?


There we go! Please do comment and give me your lovely words of wisdom.


25 thoughts on “Geeky Book Chat Club – come and talk to me in the comments!

  1. I read far too many books to name just one that put me on the path to writing, although Ursula Le Guin was a big influence in my teens and early twenties.

    As for an evening of debauchery, I’d choose Lord Seregil of Rhiminee from Lynn Flewelling’s Nightrunner books – he’s handsome, intelligent, charming and well-connected, but has been known to get his kit off for a bet 😉

  2. “Which fictional character would you most like to spend a debauched evening with?”

    Locke Lamora. Or Jane True (Nicole Peeler’s ‘Tempest’ series). But probably definitely Locke, provided there is no limit on that debauchery… 😀

    • Wow, can you imagine a night out with the Gentlemen Bastards? That is bound to get messy. And possibly lethal.

      Can’t wait for the new one, by the way. Plus it’s a lovely excuse to re-read Lies of Locke Lamora and Red Seas Under Red Skies.

  3. A couple of books changed my life. ‘Redwall’ by Brian Jacques gave me somewhere to escape from some crappy stuff that was going on, meanwhile ‘The Borribles Go for Broke’ by Michael De Larrabeiti helped me realise that I didn’t need to be ashamed of being a scruffy little council estate troublemaker, no matter what my teachers kept telling me. I just needed to make the *right kind* of trouble.

    No matter where I leave a comment, no matter how often I say it, I always say that Christopher Fowler deserves more love, attention and success. A brilliant writer who flies entirely too far under the radar of most readers, which is a terrible shame.

    While I’m still on the path towards being a writer, rather than a proper writer with publication credits and what have you, of the many books that had an influence the lion’s share of credit probably goes to ‘Chase the Morning’ by Michael Scott Rohan. I try to capture the energy and exuberance of that novel in everything I write.

    I’m not sure I’d want to spend the evening with most of the characters I read about. The majority of them are pretty unpleasant individuals. If pushed, I’d say Jyp the Pilot from the above mentioned ‘Chase the Morning’. So long as none of the other characters are present. That’s when things tend to get all stabby, sea voyagey and black magicy. I’m a quiet sort these days.

    Push off a cliff? I’m far too nice for that sort of thing. I’m scandalised that you’d even ask! That being said, if a certain army officer with anger management issues from Joe Abercrombie’s ‘The First Law’ was wandering near a cliff edge in the dark, then I may not give him too loud or clear a warning. Purely from the shock of seeing him in danger, you understand.

    • Thank you for the comment, Dan the Funky Scarecrow! I absolutely agree about Christopher Fowler, he needs to be better known amongst the general genre crowd; he was also one of the judges for the Campaign for Real Fear competition which saw my flash story end up in Black Static – needless to say I was dead chuffed!

      Of course if you’d rather say, give a fictional character a stern look than push them off a cliff, that is fine. Perhaps we reserve the cliff treatment for the Joffreys of this world.

  4. I’m not sure it changed my life , but David Eddings’ Elenium Trilogy really cemented my love of Fantasy. I’d read a few Terry Brooks novels, but it was Sparhawk and Co. that really captured my attention.

    The book that made me want to start writing seriously was Perdido Street Station by China Mieville. The idea someone close to my age was creating fiction like that was a great booster. I’d always imagined authors as guys in their forties fifties until that point.

    • Funnily enough, Perdido Street Station had a big impact on me too. It was the first time I really considered exactly how nonexistent the boundaries in Fantasy are – it really isn’t just elves and rings and so on – you can do what ever you like. It was like he took the blinkers off.

      It’s true that I write traditional fantasy now, with your swords and beards and mead (and I love it), but I know my world isn’t limited.

        • There are a ridiculous number of ideas per page. The mind boggles.

          The Scar is my favourite of his – equally deeply weird but almost darker, somehow. The images and feelings prompted by that book stayed with me a long time.

          • OMG! I love the Scar too. It has the most amazing battle sequence of epicness ever. Have you read Embassytown? Quite different but still ace. I have the City and the City sitting on my shelf as a treat for the future…I better sit down now and stop waving my arms.

          • I’ve not! I’ve actually been circling Embassytown for some time, I suspect because I’m in some sort of mourning for the Bas-Lag books. I’ve still got Kraken to read too!

  5. Not sure if it was life-changing, but the fantasy book I have the strongest early memories of was Master of Whitestorm by Janny Wurts. I’ve no idea how it would hold up to my standards today, but thinking about it still gives me tingles of awesome.

    Megan Whalen Turner doesn’t seem very well known and she writes really good faux-Greek crossover fantasy novels that always have really good twists.

    In terms of my own writing, my influences vary wildly from day to day, depending on what I’m reading/watching/playing at the time. It’s all a bit of a melting pot.

    I don’t really do debauchery, sorry!

    As for who I’d push off a cliff, it tends to be more entire books than individual characters…

    • Now that is a juicy dangler to end on! 😉 I won’t ask you to name individual books though, I’m not quite that mean…

      You’ve given me a couple of new writers to look at there. Hooray!

      • Oh it’s no secret. I rate stuff on Goodreads. The only books I don’t bother rating are those by people I know. It’s mostly so I can remember great books for recommendations though.

        I didn’t get on with Janny Wurts’ other solo stuff, but her collaborations with Raymond E Feist were pretty stupendous.

  6. I don’t know about a book, but books in general (and comics) were a big influence on me. Dune, V for Vendetta and Watchmen were big hitters. (And as the secrets out I used to love the Dragonlance books)

    Hmm, writers that need some more love. Jennifer Williams springs to mind (The Copper Promise) and Iain Broome (A is for Angelica).

    There are a lot of fictional characters I’d like to spend a night with but that’s probably a pub conversation!

    Oh and I’d love to push Catelyn Stark off a cliff. She wound me up no end.

        • He is an absolutely irredeemable little shit, which is brilliant writing of course. Funnily enough I didn’t like Catelyn either, which is odd when you consider that I have a soft spot for some absolute bastards in ASOIAF (Cersei, Jaime, The Hound). Perhaps it’s because they were so morally dodgy yet still contained a slither of something admirable, whereas Catelyn was ultimately a good person with a slither of deep unpleasantness to her (I’m thinking mainly of her treatment of Jon Snow here).

          Another vile character I would push off a cliff: Dolores Umbridge. Good lord, she made me so angry.

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