What’s a Buzzin’ in the B-Hive

Well it’s another week in the B-Hive, so there is lots to tackle!

Tales by Bob News: I have finally gotten back on the wagon with my writing! With the new shift and how generally busy life has been I hadn’t been able to put many words to paper. But that’s in the past! I am now about 4k words into a new Valko tale, one filled with all manner of monsters, good and ill, mystical and human! I am hype!

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Books, Beards, Booze News: If you missed the announcement, you have until Nov 25th to read the amazing short story Fandom for Robots. That is if you want to be up to date with the deep dive Derek and I will be unleashing on you fine folks! Also, this week you won’t actually be hearing Derek! It’s looking like, due to schedules either it will be Superfan Tonya and I, or if worst comes to worst I’ll run solo and just ramble on about the news or some such!

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Cousin Brody’s Weekly Book Recommendation: Eyyyyyy! Brody here with my weekly Bro-tastic book you should read! This time I sling you Brorney to the Center of the Earth! Brofessor Dad, a son named Axel, and a badass named Hans go on a road trip into the center of the freaking earth. If that’s not stereotypical bro, then I don’t know what is!

What am I reading at the moment: Audiobookwise, I am still on book two of the Gentleman Bastards series. Kinda stalled out on it while I catch up on podcasts. I am also reading the excellent short story collection Rogues, edited by GRRM. Hope to make some real headway on that this weekend.

Shameless Plug of the Week: Love the podcast? Love me? Why not buy a shirt and show just how much! Get one here!

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Changing things up!

So I have decided, what with the new work schedule and taking a look at my stats, to go to a once a week schedule on here. My time is slightly more in demand, and so to that end instead of several smaller posts each week I intend to do one longer one every Wednesday afternoon. The exception to this will be podcast blogs of course, as they just sort of auto generate when the podcast gets uploaded and published.

The irony that I am posting about this on a Sunday is not lost on me.

The Guys Get Judgmental

Bob announces the next short read (Fandom for Robots by Vina Jie-Min Prasad), Derek is a psychic (though still wrong), and they review a few books they have both read and loved.

Check out this episode!

Book Review: The Ritual

After watching a movie first thing I do is wiki it. I want to know if there is a planned sequel, did I miss something, was it based on a book, etc. So when after watching the Ritual I saw that it was a book first, I zipped over and picked up the kindle version here. And boy was I glad that I did!

Worldbuilding: Set in the modern day, with just a layer laid atop it just doesn’t leave much room for elaborate worldbuilding. What there was, was solid however. The grim forest setting was damn near palpable in places. 4.

Characters: The characters felt real, their motivations genuine. I had a problem however, and will acknowledge this is more of a me thing, and not an actual problem with the text: I hate characters that spend a long time disabled in some way. Be it hobbling along from a gun wound, or staggering almost dead through a desert, any character I follow at length I hate for them to be intensely damaged. And that happened a lot in this book. 3.

Prose: A real strength of this book, the prose was on point. The words painted a picture, which in turn went a long way to building the horror. 4.5.

Plot: The best part of this book. It was similar to the movie, but different in such delightful ways. 4.75.

Total: 4.06

Interstellar Ginger Beer!

Booze, that has a strong sci-fi feel, made of ginger.

It’s like you managed to craft up bottled Bob! But you didn’t Interstellar Ginger Beer Co. did!

So I haven’t had it yet (I am on the prowl to pick up a sixer or two though this very weekend), but I had the pleasure of meeting one of the two men behind this brewery, Daniel Sims. Delightfully bearded, he approached me about having Books, Beards, Booze pop on up to their tap room in Alabaster for their Harvest Festival! So November 17th come out and say hello, and more importantly, try some of these beers! Check out these names!

First Contact. Martian Mojito. Sunspot. Space Mule.

I haven’t been this hype about something in a loooong time!

 

Scary Stories Deep Dive!

The guys go deep on the classic childrens series ‘Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.’ Yeah, those ones with the messed up artwork. Get your own copy here.

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Book Review: Scattered, Smothered, & Chunked

Going forward I intend to get a little more in depth on my book reviews, rather, there will at least be more structure to them. To that end after talking with Derek, we’ve decided to base our reviews on the four pillars of fiction: Plot, Characters, Worldbuilding, and Prose. Each category will get a rating from 1 to 5, which will give an overall average!

So first up I have the excellent Scattered, Smothered, and Chunked by John G. Hartness! A collection of short stories about Bubba the Monster Hunter, this book is a fun as the title and leading character would lead you to think!

Plot: What begins as a series of standalone stories begins to morph into a larger overarching storyline that left me wanting more, far more! I think this is where Hartness’s greatest strength lies, and is why I give it a rating of 5.

Characters: Bubba at first seems a hyper-stereotypical redneck cliché. But as the stories progress I found a surprising depth to him as a character. As you peel back the layers on his worst traits, and find out the origin of why he is the way that he is, he became real to me. I would like to see more of Skeeter going forward would be my only quibble. I would be interested to see him outside of the context of playing sidekick to Bubba. 4.25.

Worldbuilding: As a book that takes place in our own world, just a more monster filled version thereof, there isn’t much to be done in the way of worldbuilding. I do like that Hartness worked in some monsters somewhat outside the ‘normal’ bevy of baddies, like the Rakshaha. And some of his spins on the more typical horror fair were enjoyable as well. 4.

Prose: The prose is punchy and pulpy. Hartness is no Rothfuss when it comes to chaining together words, but there aren’t any glaring problems. The words convey what they need in a workmanlike and humorous way, which really is what you want in a book like this. Too flowery and it would have clashed with the tone and feel of the book. There were a few typos I noticed, but nothing outrageous. 3.75.

Final Score: 4.25

Treat yourself to a copy here.