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Showing posts from December, 2011

Happy Winter Solstice!

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Here in the northern hemisphere today is the winter solstice... midwinter, the shortest day of the year... and it’s time to celebrate! For this is the darkest hour. From now until midsummer, the days will get longer and the nights shorter, which means you’ll soon have more sunshine (well, daylight anyway) to frolic with your loved ones, which can only be good thing.

The solstice actually happens at a set time that varies slightly according to your human calendar. This year it happened at 5.30am this morning, but I had to poke my author with my horn to get her out of bed to post this for me... and you know how long it takes authors to wake up and smell the coffee, let alone write anything half decent… but she's up now, so here are a few interesting solstice-y things the unicorn has unearthed.



If you’re in Ireland, you might be celebrating the solstice at Newgrange, which is an ancient celtic tomb that my author has been inside (she had to duck, and there wasn’t any room for me …

Books... the last chapter? No, it’s the sequel!

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I was just about to turn off the TV and curl up in my warm unicorn stable last night, when an Imagine programme called “Books - The Last Chapter?” came on, which you can watch on the BBC's iplayer HERE. That title made half the glitter fall off my horn, I can tell you! I immediately started worrying for my poor author, and what she’s going to do for the next 20 years of her working life if books are truly about to close and never open again.

In keeping with the doom-laden title, there were depressing pictures of large, boarded-up bookshops, followed by three representatives of the publishing industry gloomily discussing their roles in the digital age. You can look up their names, but let’s call them Bigwig Publisher, Bigwig Agent, and Bigwig Author. All three looked worried, even when the author declared that authors would still need publishers in the digital age (“and agents!” shot Bigwig Agent in a telling moment of sheer terror). “And agents”, Bigwig Author added, though it wasn…

Warrior Princesses

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What is a unicorn to do? I just can't seem to stop my author writing on other people's blogs these days!


Remember Xena? Well, my author used to be glued to the TV when this series came on, which might be why she wanted to be a warrior princess... meet some more girls with swords, including a very special heroine for 2012 over on The History Girls.
And don't forget to vote for paper or ebooks on the right of this blog... voting closes 31st December!

RIP Anne McCaffrey

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At the start of this year, I signed up for the Anne McCaffrey reading challenge proposed by Caroline at Portrait of a Woman to bring some wonderful fantasy books to a new readership. Little did any of us know then that the great author would no longer be with us by the end of the challenge... the great Anne McCaffrey died at her home in Ireland last week, aged 85.
I was reading one of the collaborative novels she published ("Acorna", written with Margaret Ball), but not enjoying it as much as her earlier books. So rather than review that one for the final quarter of this challenge, I’d like to highlight again some of the Anne McCaffrey originals I fell in love with as a teenager.
Upon hearing the sad news, I immediately cast down my current bedtime read ("Eclipse" where Bella gets seriously irritating trying to choose between her vampire and werewolf boyfriends), and ran to my bookshelf for some nostalgia. I straight away grabbed “The Crystal Singer”, which I reviewe…