A Book Review, an Award & ROWdate 1-22

Hi everyone! It was a fantastic week and there is a ton of stuff on the plate to share. First up is a review of one of the three fiction titles I’m reading this cycle. Following that is a bit ‘o information on an award I received this week and of course, the ROWupdate anchors the program.

Review of “This Immortal” by Roger Zelazny

Published in 1966, “This Immortal” shared the Hugo Award for Best Science Fiction Novel of the Year with Dune. Yep, this 216 page book stood shoulder-to-shoulder with an epic. The story is set on an alternate and future Earth, devastated by a nuclear holocaust and kept alive as a museum by the alien Vegan species. The hero is Conrad Nimikos, Minister of Culture, Arts and Monuments, but trust me, this is not your typical museum director, he is the highest ranking person on Earth. He is also hundreds of years old (at least), a virtual immortal protector of Earth and humanity.

For a history and archeology buff like myself the book was a fun read. The setting moves from the Greek Isles to the Pyramids to a grove of Satyrs and beyond. Zelazny paints a world where the potential for humans to pass into the night is as strong as the need to ensure that they do not. Our culture, as a species, is a beautiful one filled with rich diversity and well worth fighting to preserve.

The story line moves along smoothly with well-developed characters, intrigue, political machinations (both human and alien) and interesting twists. There were a few spots that felt forced but the overall flow of the story, not to mention the travelogue quality of the settings, makes up for it. I’d recommend “This Immortal” if you’re looking for a fun read with aliens, supernatural beings, mutants and a good story built around why preserving our human heritage is worth the fight.

And now a message from the Award Department…

The fabulous Shea MacLeod bestowed me with a Kreative Blogger award over the past week. Shea is a great friend and blogger who finds the smexy (yes, that is a word…don’t look it up *grin*). Shea is a member of the Indie Eclective and writer of the Sunwalker Series and Dragon Warrior series; everything’s better with dragons. I agree.

I’m supposed to give ten facts about me that you may not know. Here they are:

1) I’m 6’4″ (hard to tell that in my pic)

2) I’m a trained singer, classical and jazz bass voice. Yep, I can totally sound like Barry White.

3) My senior year in high school I was selected to both the All-State Madrigal and Jazz choirs. I couldn’t do both and so accepted Dorothy Paige Turner’s vote and grooved the Jazz.

4) I have watched every episode of Deadliest Catch and dream of one day getting to spend a season on a crab boat in the Berings Sea. As research for a book, not to crab, I am not nearly in good enough shape to do that job.

5) I have traveled to 45 states but never been out of the United States. This is something I plan to change in the coming years. England, Italy, Turkey and Japan are at the top of the list.

6) I know 1000 recipes for pork chops, including one that uses Mr. G’s potato chips. Amazing what one learns during their bachelor years.

7) I have, on occasion, participated in archeological spotting projects that use volunteers pouring over satellite images to find sites for field workers. I haven’t found anything spectacular yet, but its only a matter of time.

8) For those that think I never sleep, I do. Four to five hours a day. As I tell those that know me “I’ve never been skilled at sleeping.”

9) I was once hit in the throat by a June Bug while going eighty on a motorcycle. Although I no longer ride the memories live on.

10) I collect dragon statues, big ones, small ones, glass and ceramic. My collection is modest but there is a story for every one of them.

And now to pass the award on to five lucky folk:

1) Mary Jo Gibson of This Write Life for bringing fantastic museum, antiquities and art reviews that inspire stories.

2) August McLaughlin for in-depth articles focused around our health and continued well-being.

3) Lynn Kelley for providing a range of posts from parenting advice to how to make a leather breastplate.

4) Ellie Soderstrom for having the widest variety of interesting and entertaining posts of any blogger out there.

5) Gloria Oliver for covering everything from movie reviews to virtual travel in the gaming world to conventions, photography and more.

Congrats! You all are fantastic *smile*

Without further adieu, the ROW update.

– 7k of fiction per week. Yep, got it and more. Have to say I’m loving this and by the end of the year you all will be seeing me in “print”, finally *grin*.

– Turn in WWBC assignments on time. This is on hiatus currently due to schedules but should be moving forward soon.

– Treadmill for 30 minutes 5 times a week. I walked six times this week bringing my Marcia Richards health challenge to 24 of 32 walks. I have 8 to do over the next 9 days to complete the challenge and no worries.

– Read 3 fiction books during the round. The review up top is for the first. I also completed the second one, High Crusade by Poul Anderson and will review that next week. I’ll be starting the Tiger Warrior by David Gibbons later today.

– Keep up sponsor duties. All good there.

Hope you all had a great week.

Peaceful Journeys!

About Gene Lempp

Gene Lempp is a writer blending elements of alternate history, the paranormal, fantasy, science fiction and horror for dark and delicious fun. He unearths stories by digging into history, archeology, myth and fable in his Designing from Bones blog series. β€œOnly the moment is eternal and in a moment, everything will change,” sums the heart of his philosophy. You can find Gene at his Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, WANATribe, Google+, Pinterest and StumbleUpon.
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32 Responses to A Book Review, an Award & ROWdate 1-22

  1. Laura Drake says:

    Good thing you don’t sleep, Gene — you have no time for it! I envy of your word count, but you can keep your pork chop recipes… Congrats on your award!

    Soldier on — you’ll get there!

    • Gene Lempp says:

      Thanks, Laura. Some people need more sleep than others, I’ve never been certain whether to see my lack of need as a blessing or a curse *grins*. Have a great week.

  2. Ali Dent says:

    Congratulations on your award. How fun was the jazz choir? Hope your plans work smoothly this week, Gene.

    • Gene Lempp says:

      Ali: Thanks. The All-State Jazz experience was awesome. We were directed by the head of the U. of Michigan music department with pointers from Jazz great Dorothy Paige Turner.

      Renee: Yep, it felt like a 60 calibur bullet and I had a two-inch diameter bruise for a week or so. Not easy to hide in the summer when turtlenecks are not an option. Thanks for the support πŸ™‚

  3. Fantastic! Confrats on being “smexy” and making your goals.

    Hit in the throat by a June bug at 80 mph, eh? Must have felt like a bullet!

  4. EllieAnn says:

    So cool, Gene! You’re a motorycycle riding dragon collecting professionally trained singer and archeologist. Oh, and awesome writer! What a guy! =)
    You’ll have to share some pork chop recipes here!
    Thanks so much for your award and words about my blog, they are SO kind. I really appreciate you.

    • Gene Lempp says:

      Yep, and I can dance, kinda, meaning I don’t fall down often *smile* I have to say your blog is one of my fav’s, an “always read”, deep and thoughtful or light and clever you’ve got it Ellie. Keep up the great work and enjoy the well-deserved award πŸ˜€

  5. Marcia says:

    Gene, you are smexy! Tall, great voice and a (former) biker! As a former biker myself, I say ‘Ouch!’ Just getting hit by mosquitoes is unpleasant, let alone a June bug!
    Archeology has always been a fascination of mine, so I find your experiences in finding sites for archeologists enviable!
    Great word count…I hope you’ll release excerpts later this year. No doubt you’ll hit the mark on your walks…I see a quiet dinner with your wife in your future.
    Wishing you another fabulous week ahead!

    • Gene Lempp says:

      Marcia: *grins* Thanks. We all have hobbies, I find that being a biker in my mind while searching Mongolia from the safety of satellites is far less painful then a June bug. And yes, I will be enjoying that quiet dinner with her soon πŸ™‚

      Nicole: Hmmm, now there is an idea I hadn’t thought of. Thanks, Nicole, adding that to the list πŸ˜€

  6. I would just like to put this out there: “A Bachelor’s 1000 recipes for pork chops: how to impress your lady friends”. New non-fiction project in the making? With 7,000 words a week, I’m sure you could finish this in no time. πŸ™‚

    Impressive work Gene!

  7. Melinda says:

    I’m curious now, how did you know it was a June bug going that fast? You didn’t…swallow it…did you? *shudder*

    Well done on the word count! Here’s to another productive week!

    • Gene Lempp says:

      LOL! Great question. One, it was large enough I saw it coming in. Two, it nearly put me in the gravel (so to speak). Once I stopped, I went back and found what was left of it. I did have a helmet on (NEVER ride without your safety gear!). Thanks for the support, Melinda πŸ™‚

  8. Me!? I’m so touched & honored, Gene. Thank you! Wish we could hear some of that Barry White… πŸ˜‰ Does the maestro take requests??

    • Gene Lempp says:

      August: Yep, you. All five of you are “always reads” for me. I rarely get to comment due to time constraints but each of you is a precious and informative respite in my day. Maybe one day I’ll do a voice recording for the site so you can hear me for a change. Good suggestion πŸ™‚

      Stacy: Thanks, Stacy. Everything is a work in progress, keep striving to your best potential πŸ™‚

      Jane: Right with you. The passing of Captain Phil was a sad day for many of us, although the hard road of his son’s afterward was probably more difficult. I’m glad you’ve been able to find a few other writers through me, there are so many excellent ones out there. Thanks for the congrats πŸ™‚

      Lauren: Okay, two votes for the chops, hmmm, will have to consider this more deeply. Thanks for the support, Lauren πŸ™‚

  9. Stacy Green says:

    Another fantastic update, Gene. Great job on managing your writing and exercising. That’s something I’m always working on. Congrats on the award!

  10. Jane says:

    Wow, you are such a fascinating person! Thanks for sharing more about yourself. Deadliest catch can truly turn into an addiction and I was deeply saddened by Captain Phil’s passing. I do appreciate the work you do with the weekly roundup, I am now following several blogs and writers introduced by you. Last but not least, congratulations on the award!

  11. You find out such interesting things about people when they’re given those awards! I’m with Nicole, and I’d buy that cookbook! Glad things are going well for you – great progress!

  12. Jenny Hansen says:

    I agree with Nicole on the pork chop book. I can see the cover in my mind. And DUDE, 6’4″??! I am SO glad you told us that. I’d have freaked out when we met and I had to look up like you were a member of my family (The Bag Whore brother is 6’7″ and my mom was 6’1″…I don’t know what happened to me!).

    Awesome post – you’re so great at organizing your awards, something which I aspire towards. πŸ™‚

    Have a great week!! p.s. I KNEW you didn’t freaking sleep. Barry White. Huh.

  13. Wow – amazing week Gene. You are nailing all your goals. Your word counts are ahhmazing and are walking up a storm. Woot woot!
    Congrats on the fab award!!

  14. Em says:

    I love the facts about you! I said ‘No way!’ when I read you are 6’4 and then looked at your photo to see if I could tell! I’m tired, that is my excuse! Also amazing you have been to 45 states, I have never been to America so lots of catching up to do!

    Glad things are going well with your goals and 7,000 words is an amazing word count! Well done and keep up the good work!

  15. kerrymeacham says:

    Keep up the ROWgoals, bro. Nice work. Your list is pretty cool. It’s great to learn more about you. Have a great week. ~clink~

  16. Congrats on a great week, Gene, and your blog award!! Your blog is definitely award-worthy – one of my faves, even though I lurk more than I comment. Hope this coming week proves to be as productive. πŸ™‚

    • Gene Lempp says:

      Jen: I have no idea how to write a cook book so it could be an interesting experience. It is on my list for sure. Yeah, I’m tall and if I warm my voice up properly I can come close to Barry’s tone. Although no one can match the master πŸ™‚

      Natalie: Thanks for the cool support πŸ˜€

      Em: At least I got you to look at my Gravatar, lol! Yeah, I’m tall and traveled quite a bit in my twenties. Still do when I can although time constrains mobility these days. Thanks for the support πŸ™‚

      Kerry: Thanks, ROWbro!

      Myndi: I’m much the same. The never-ending demands of the schedule (work, kids, writing, etc) means that I have to lurk more often than I’m able to comment. The price of striving to accomplish more and reach my long range goals. Thanks for the support πŸ™‚

  17. Wow. Gene you’re doing so great!
    I wish I could only sleep 4-5 hours each night. I would get so much more done … but if I try anything less than 7 hours, I’ll be cranky all day long.
    Have a great week!

  18. Congrats on the award! Double congrats on surviving the June bug incident on your motorcycle. Ouch! And now I know how you manage to do so much…you put in 3 or 4 extra hours while the rest of us snooze! Have another wonderful week.

  19. Okay Gene, your quite an amazing guy. I’m new to the ROW as you probably know and I’m slowly getting around trying to get to know you all. And you are everywhere Gene and now I know why. Four to Five hours of sleep? Wow. What a great list of bloggers! I love their blogs too. Well, I thought I would drop by and say hi since I’m also in WWBC with Donna Newton too. I hope to get to know you better Gene. I’m trying to widen out my circle of blog friends. Thanks for an encouraging post. And I liked #6. πŸ™‚

  20. Jess Witkins says:

    Congrats on the award Gene, very well deserved! Now it makes sense how much you do, you’re rarely sleeping and you’re really tall.

    Nice ROW update too! Out of curiousity, what are the five states you haven’t visited yet?

  21. Congrats on the blog award, Gene. And your goals work with word count? Amazing! Good for you on the commitment and focus to fitting it in.

  22. Juli Hoffman says:

    WOW! A very successful week! Great job meeting your goals and your word count. Congrats on getting the Kreative Blogger award too!

  23. Congrats, Gene! The award is well-deserved.

  24. J Holmes says:

    Congratulations on a well deserved award. Glad you survived the june bug incident. Ouch.

  25. lynnkelleyauthor says:

    Wow, those are some mighty interesting facts about you, Gene. I don’t know how you get by with so little sleep. Thank you sooooooo much for passing this award on to me. I’m super honored that you thought of me.

    I’m so glad to hear that you’ll be in print by the end of the year. Woo hoo! I’m looking forward to that.

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