Obsidio cover reveal

The third cover for the Illuminae series was revealed by Entertainment Weekly today and I am beyond excited for it.

I’ll let the cover do the talking.

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Photo from Entertainment Weekly (note the watermark 🙂 )

HOW GORGEOUS!

The cover is very dark in comparison to the bright blue and red of the first two covers, which makes me wonder whether we’re going to be faced with an even darker story.

The type on the front ‘live a life worth dying for’ is quite ominous as well, and makes me wonder just how dangerous it may be for our characters.

I’m both excited and nervous to read this finale. I can’t wait to see how all the characters interact and what amazing ideas Kaufman and Kristoff will come up with for their finale, and I have high expectations considering the first two books have done nothing but impress.

However I am also worried about the emotional turmoil I might be left in when this series is over.

Let me know whether you like the cover or if you’re excited to read this. Do you have any theories about how this finale will all play out?

Obsidio will be released March 13th, 2018.

 

Tolkien’s novel published after 100 years

 

After a hundred years since J.R.R Tolkien began working on his book ‘Beren and Lúthien’, it was finally published yesterday on June 1st.

The novel was edited by Christopher Tolkien, Tolkien’s son who also edited the posthumous novel ‘The Silmarillion’.

The book gives us a closer look at the story and romance of Beren and Lúthien, an elf and a human, who featured heavily in ‘The Silmarillion’.

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Official cover for ‘Beren and Lúthien’ labelled for reuse from Google.

Tolkien scholar John Garth said that the novel was written after Tolkien returned from the Somme in World War I.

“He’d lost two of his dearest friends on the Somme and you can imagine he must have been inside as much of a wreck as he was physically.” Mr Garth said.

Mr Garth also said Tolkien watched his wife Edith dance in a glade of white flowers on a trip to East Yorkshire, which later become one of the pivotal scenes in the story.

That is why many, including myself, believe it was a dedication to his wife.

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Tolkien’s grave where his wife and himself are named Luthien and Beren. Photo by Mike Knell, used from flickr with permission

Tolkien has been one of the most influential fantasy writers of our modern times, and much of Tolkien’s work is inspired from the horrors he experienced in war.

I won’t deny that he is a product of his time, but he makes beautiful comments on the human condition, and of our capacity for destruction and recreation.

This gift for story-telling and powerful metaphor about human nature is so evident in his more famous works ‘The Hobbit’ and ‘The Lord of the Rings’.

I am excited and eager to pick up a copy of ‘Beren and Lúthien’ from my local QBD bookstore and decide for myself whether it’s a truly great fantasy story with new twists and authenticity, or if it simply relies on Tolkien’s past success and fame.

I hope that this new novel stays true to Tolkien’s wonderful allegories for human nature, whilst also innovating and expanding on these concepts.

After the news last week about recovering Sylvia Plath’s poems, and more news this week about an undiscovered Edith Wharton play being found in Texas archives, literature is alive and thriving with discoveries from the past greats of story-telling.

Is anyone else as excited as me about all these discoveries and new content? Or do you think we should stick to enjoying new and modern works?

Sylvia Plath poems discovered

Two Sylvia Plath poems have been discovered by academics this week after remaining hidden in one of her old carbon paper notebooks for 50 years.

The academics who discovered it, Gail Crowther and Peter K Steinberg, also found two unseen photos of Plath.

Steinberg used Photoshop to recover the poems and a picture of a woman staring into a pool of water at her own reflection.

The first poem to be revealed is titled ‘To a Refractory Santa Claus’, and makes me wonder if it will provide any further insight into a 1961 BBC interview where Plath spoke about her childhood and how she believed in magic up until the age of nine.

“At nine, I was rather disillusioned,” Plath said.

“I stopped believing in elves and Santa Claus and all these little beneficent powers, and became more realistic and depressed.”

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Sylvia Plath and her husband Ted Hughes, photo by Teddie Phillips

 

Plath and her ex-husband Ted Hughes had also caught the attention of literature lovers earlier this year, in April, after letters Plath wrote alleging Hughes was abusive surfaced.

Hughes widow Carol Hughes however said the letters were “absurd” and not to be taken as truth.

This is a reminder that when looking at historical texts like this we must always be engaging with them critically.

Plath was an incredibly intelligent woman, but she was also very mentally unstable in the weeks leading up to her suicide so it will most likely always remain unclear whether her letters about Hughes were the truth.

I personally believe that there is an eerie type of rawness to her claims, but I’ll let it remain a mystery for now.

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Sylvia Plath on campus at uni, taken by Judy Denison

Discovering these two new poems, and insights into two famous and influential people is incredibly exciting, and it makes me hope that we can reveal new facts about other literary greats and figures in history.

The technology we now have and what we can do with it is utterly amazing, and I believe we are in a whole new age of discovery of the past of humans and of literature.

Let me know what you think, are you excited to read Plath’s new poems? Or are you just sceptical?

 

Why to buy books locally

Amazon, the world’s largest book seller, has recently come under fire from authors and creatives for not paying them appropriately for their work.

As a struggling university student studying Creative Writing, I’m always looking for a cheap way to buy books whilst also supporting the wonderful authors who provide us with entertainment.

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Libraries are still the best place to get books. Photo taken by Mark爱生活

Incidences like this with Amazon (along with outrageous international shipping prices) only strengthen my belief in supporting our local booksellers.

I used to think The Book Depository was a good alternative, until three of the books I ordered didn’t arrive and I realised the company had been bought by Amazon in 2011.

Personally, I now only buy books from Australian owned companies, like Booktopia, or just buy from my local bookstore.

I understand buying from international booksellers, the books can be cheaper and you can often find a much larger variety, but as someone hoping to publish my own novels in Australia one day, I find myself morally obliged to support our local publishers.

If I want something a bit more niche, like the latest copy of the Library Wars manga, I’ll look up one of my favourite Melbourne based stores, Minotaur, and still be able to support Australian business.

At the end of the day, my local library has always been the book supplier I hold dearest to my heart, and who in my eyes, can do no wrong.

Let me know what you think.