Monday, August 27, 2007

A Winner, Short Story Sunday, And Purple Poppets!

Let's take care of business first! It's time to pick a winner for the book giveaway for The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo. So without further ado, the winner is BECKY of Becky's Book Reviews (one of her many blogs ;). Becky's very cool and I'm happy to send this book her way. She's an Orson Scott Card fan, which automatically makes her one hip chick in my book! Send me the address you want the book sent to, Becky and I'll ship it out to you. My email is chrisa511 at gmail dot com.

I guess today officially kicked off the RIP Challenge for me with Short Story Sunday. I read the first two stories in the Wizards anthology which were Neil Gaiman's The Witch's Headstone and Garth Nix's Holly and Iron. Nix's story was a bit disappointing. It was a high fantasy story told in a short story format which was it's main problem. Pretty cool concept...2 kingdoms battling for a crown, one uses "holly" magic, the other uses "iron" magic, main character can use a bit of both, but the problem was that I really just didn't care about the characters. I think the story was just too big to fit into 30 pages. This story may have worked better as a novel. Two major characters died in the story, and you can tell that it was supposed to be an emotional scene, but it wasn't, because I as a reader wasn't attached...I may have been though if he would've introduced us to the characters a bit more. And I know that Nix is capable of doing this as I LOVED his Abhorsen trilogy. I'd like to see this story told in a longer format, I really think it has potential.

Gaiman's story on the hand was excellent! It's the story of a boy named Bod (short for Nobody) who lives in a graveyard and is raised by the spirits of those who have passed on. He meets the ghost of a witch who was buried in a potter's field with no headstone. Bod feels bad for the witch for not having a headstone and decides to leave the graveyard after finding an item that may be worth some money in the hopes of buying her one. This story is actually the first chapter of Gaiman's future book, The Graveyard Book, and I am super excited about this one now! The latest news from his blog was that he had begun typing it from the written progress is being made!

And finally, I predicted in a previous post that it was going to happen! If you let the red and blue poppets hang out together, well....purple poppets will eventually come along, and it seems that they have. Lisa Snellings-Clark has some very cool items up on eBay right now including Little Purple Poppets! I've already bought one for myself of course ;) There are 6 left as of this post, but I'm sure she'll post more if those sell out, so keep checking if you want one. They're quite cool!


Jean Pierre said...

congratulations becky!

that gaiman story sounds very cool. i've been looking forward to "the graveyard book" for the longest time! i'm glad the first chapter is good.

purple poppets! yay!

Rhinoa said...

Someone else recommended Wizards to me recently but I am going to hold out until the paperback comes out. Off to go check out purple poppets, they sound adorable!

Nymeth said...

First of all, congratulations Becky!

I actually really liked Garth Nix's story, but I see what you mean - I do wish it had been longer. That tends to happen with short stories, and I think I'd have felt similarly about "The Witch's Headstone" if I didn't know there was a novel coming. But fortunately there is!

Wow, purple poppets! Purple is my favourite colour, so I think I'm going to take this as a sign that it's time I get a poppet of my own.

Kailana said...

Oh, yay, purple poppets. I will have to go look later. :)

I have considered getting Wizards several times, but I am not hugely into short story collections, so I will probably wait for paperback. I think it is like you with the Nix story, I want things to be longer. You just get used to a character and then you are done and on to other characters. It's hard to get attached to short story collections, for this reason, for me.

DesLily said...

Congratulations to Becky! She will love Despereaux!

Hey you!.. I'm ahead of you on reading Wizards! But not for long if I know you! lol.. I wasn't thrilled with the first two stories..Gaimans was ok but didn't really draw me in.. now the THIRD STORY I loved! and the next few after that I liked too!

Debi said...

You must stop doing this to I feel I must go buy Wizards...

And by the way, if I'm remembering correctly, today's one of your interviews, right? Good luck!

Chris said...

JP, Gaiman story rocks! You should check it out...very cool. And yes, purple poppets deserve a yay :)

Rhinoa, I can't fully recommend Wizards yet, because I'm not done, but there are some great authors! So far, I'm liking 1 story out of 2. The purple poppets are indeed adorable.

Nymeth, I just couldn't get into Nix's story for some reason. I think that it had too much of an epic feel for me that it was just too short and too crammed. Gaiman's on the other hand worked as a short story, but will work as a chapter as well. It is definitely time you get a poppet!!!

Kailana, I usually enjoy short stories. I think that you'll like this one if you check it out. There are some amazing authors in it and the genre is right up your alley!

Deslily, Good to know! The third and fourth story are on the plate for next Sunday, so now I know that I have some good reading ahead of me!

Debi, Maybe you can check it out at the library? ;) Yes, I'm actually leaving right now for my interview! Thanks!

Carl V. said...

Glad to see you enjoyed Gaiman's tale in Wizards. It is fantastic. I cannot wait to listen to him read it on the M is for Magic audio.

I am only part way through the Nix story but I can see what you are getting at. High fantasy short stories really have to be well done to excel in that format.

Aren't there some cool Poppets up for auction right now? Amazing. I have Poppet news to share as well, maybe tomorrow!

And congrats to Becky. You will LOVE this book Becky, I guarantee it!

Chris said...

Carl, You know I have two copies of M is for Magic and didn't even realize that The Witch's Headstone was in it :p I might have to scoop up the audio version too just to hear that.

Yeah, the Nix story just didn't do it for me...I think that high fantasy has enough problems with character development as it is, even more so when done with a short story format. Though there are authors who can pull it off well. I think that Martin did a great job with A Game of Thrones and Nix even did a great job with his Abhorsen series.

The poppets are very cool. I want that black one, but it'll sell for way out of my league I'm sure!

Kim said...

Congrats to Becky!

I got home too late to see the purple poppets but I look forward to the poppet pictures I know will be forthcoming from you ;)

Chris said...

Kim, There will definitely be purple poppet pictures in the future ;)

Traci said...

I need to read more Neil Gaiman. I've only read Coraline, and loved it. The fall will come for both of us southerners soon enough and we'll be able to enjoy the creepy books and stories even more.

I ended up enjoying The Higher Power of Lucky. It was a cute and quick read.

Thanks for the RIP challenge support and I can't wait to read all of your reviews!

Chris said...

Traci, In my opinion, any Neil Gaiman is a guaranteed great read. My favorite of his is American Gods, and it would be perfect for the RIP Challenge if you finish early and you're looking for something extra!

Glad you enjoyed The Higher Power of Lucky, I thought it was great too!

Looking forward to your reviews too :)

Janet said...

Congratulations to Becky!

That Gaiman story sounds fantstic...maybe it's the one that will open my eyes to him :-)

LOVE the purple poppets!

Chris said...

Janet, It's a great story, I can't wait for the full length book to come out! The purple poppets rock ;)