I needed to replace my dictionary/thesaurus recently (the kitten destroyed my old one). I was going to just pop onto Amazon and get it but I remembered I had points on my Waterstones card and decided to cash those in. It was only a couple quid and I doubt I’ll add to them in the near future simply because I haven’t shopped in Waterstones for a long time. Each time I go in there for a book I’m finding it very uninspiring. Dictionary aside, I can’t remember the last novel I brought in Waterstones. I think the last comic was the paperback of Civil War 2.

One of the reasons I don’t shop there is I never find anything I want to read. The Science Fiction, Horror, and Fantasy sections seem to be being squished into one which is dominated by Fantasy. And most of the books in the horror section are still the heavyweights in the genre, there was a lot of King.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Those books deserve to be there. Stephen King is the writer of his generation and one of the all time greats, but there should also be room for other voices in the genre. The person who served me even agreed about how much of the big names were there and that was it. I can’t speak for Science Fiction as I haven’t read any in quite some time and I’ve never been a fantasy reader.

I’m also not reading much mainstream fiction at the moment. Most of the books on my to-read list have been books I’ve brought at Horror Cons or from discovering writers via podcasts like Arm Cast and The Horror Show With Brian Keene. Some of the more mainstream ones I’m listening to the audiobooks of anyway. And to be honest, most of the books I’m hearing that appeal to me aren’t in shops, definitely not here in the UK so most of the books I’m buying, outside of cons, are via amazon. You’re not going to get extreme horror, or books by small publishers or indie authors in Waterstones or, well Waterstones is the only real bookseller here in the UK now. We’ve got places like The Works and WH Smiths that sell books in addition to supermarkets but that’s about it.

I haven’t wondered around a bookstore in awe for a long time. That excitement of searching for something to pull me into a new universe hasn’t been there for years. I get that buzz from going to the cons and finding books at those to read. That, to me, is where I’m getting the fix I need.

What Is Happening To The Specialist Shop?

I’ve just had a text off of a good friend of mine saying that he’s heard a rumour that both Gamestation and Game over here in the UK are about to close down.  Add to that the continuing rumours that HMV are also on rocky ground ( I think that Waterstones are part of HMV as well) then I find myself thinking ‘Where am I going to buy Games, DVD’s and music from?’  I know some of you will be saying ‘Err online you retard.’  Which is all good and well, if you know what you want.  I love going into HMV or Waterstones and just looking at the selections and trying to find that hidden gem.  I would never have read Joe Haldeman’s The Forever War had it not been for a random look in Waterstones one day.  Yes, the internet is a great thing and there are lots of bargains on there but does it have to be at the cost of these High Street shops?  Maybe their demise will give birth to more independent shops but with the savings that the internet gives are they going to survive?


My ‘To Read’ Pile

I have almost finished reading H.G. Wells novel War Of The Worlds, so I’m half thinking about the next book that I will read.  Now here is where I have hit a little bit of a road block because I have twenty six books waiting to be read! (Must stop buying books) No I dont mean that, I think that I just need to learn how to read quicker.

Although I love Science Fiction I think that I’m going to read something which is not sci-fi.  Of the last six books that I’ve read five of those have been sci-fi and I think I’ve OD’d on Sci-Fi so I’ll probably read one of the Kathy Reichs books that I havent read yet or Dan Browns Lost Symbol.  Although I do have Scott Sigler’s The All-Pro…………but that’s Sci-Fi, And I have Phillip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream Of Electronic Sheep? Again that’s Sci-Fi.  Okay maybe I’m not Over Dossed on Science Fiction but I do think that I’ll read a non sci-fi novel next as it’ll give me a different world to delve into.  I know that sci-fi is probably the genre that has the most possibilities of discovering new worlds but I think that being remineded of how our world is may give birth to some new ideas.  Although I write mainly sci-fi much of what I write is set in todays world so seeing how other people write it opens up my mind a little.

Something I thought that I always needed out of a novel is a good, strong story line.  If its not igniting my imagination then it’ll take me a longer time to read a book, but my short story series that I am putting together is turning out to be much more character driven.  I’ve written seven or so of these stories and they are told from the first person in a sort of monologue.  So maybe not having a strong plot, but strong characters will have the same effect on me and make me want to turn the pages faster.  Which, at the end of the day is something that every writer wants.  Last year I had my fantastic proof reader say that something that I wrote ‘choked her up’ (Brought out emotions), which is also something that every writer wants.

Back to the ‘To Read’ pile.  I am a spontaneous book buyer, there is nothing that I like more then to go into a bookstore, normally Waterstones and browse through the sci-fi section, and when I do this I always buy a book, but also when I go to my local Sainsburys I often buy a book or two there.  This is where I tend to get my Kathy Reichs books from, but because there are often 2 for £10 type deals I’ll often walk off with one by an authour that I wouldnt normally buy but I’ve not had one which I’ve regretted buying.  That is the one thing that cannot be done with online purchasing.  I am a little old fashioned in this sense,  I do like feeling the book in my hands, the weight of it and being able to read not only read the write up or the first few pages but any random little segment of it that I want.

I’ve written this over a few days as I’ve had a few things to sort out but I’m steering towards reading Scott Sigler’s The All-pro, then Dan Brown’s Lost Symbol.

What I’m Reading

Just a quick little post about the fiction that I am currently reading.

I have just finished reading Scott Sigler’s ‘The Starter.’ This is the second in the Galactic Football League series and rolls on nicely from the First ‘The Rookie.’ We are following Quentin Barnes through his journey from a Rookie to where ever Sigler wants to take us on this ride. Someone (no idea who) described this as “Any Given Sunday” meets “The Godfather” meets “Star Wars” Its set in a HUGE universe with a number of different species. Most of which have fought massive wars with each other, but there is a species ‘The Creterakians’ who have pretty much overrun the entire known galaxy through sheer numbers are able to keep all the species at peace with each other, but as a way of uniting the species they endorse the future version of american football. One part of the galactic football game that Sigler has here that is my favourite is that a player can kill another player on the field of play, which is okay as long as it is a legal tackle.

The world that Sigler has created here is huge and I cannot do it justice here because it has a massive scope for endless stories. “The Crypt” is another Sigler work which is set in this universe. Please check out the Authors website:


I have mentioned Scott Sigler here before and he still stands as one of my favourite authors. I loved this book and how the story has progressed and I am eagerly looking forward to the third instalment “The All-Pro.”

I’ve now started reading “Metro 2033” by Dmitry Glukhovsky. I found this in Waterstones and was drawn in by the title and once I read the blurb I thought ‘Hell yeah!’ and brought it there and then. I’m really looking forward to reading this and I’ll let you know what I think once I’ve finished it.