Lofty Aspirations

I'm excited to report that I've accepted a full-time position that starts next week. It is very exciting and I'll be working in an e-publishing capacity. I plan to report in when able, and talk about things I am able to discuss on this public forum.

I've certainly been tuned in to all the exciting developments in the e-book world and am glad to be taking an active leap into the future with this position. This will not change the fact that I am, and will always be, a print lover (or 'p-book' as one friend reported on her

I also plan to continue reviewing books here, as I certainly will have more time to read as I get back to a regular commuting schedule, maybe even with a bit more frequency. We'll have to see how it goes. Stay tuned.


A Cozy NOOK and a trip to B&N

Yesterday's annoucement from B&N about their new e-reader THE NOOK adds another rapidly developing element to this digital reader arms race. At first glance at the site description, it looks pretty sweet, innovative, and user-friendly.

As I am uber-interested in the e-reader developments (as many of us publishing types are) for more reasons than I can list right now, it'll be interesting to see how this development plays into holiday book buying and gift giving. Eyes peeled for product reviews.

Speaking of B&N, last night I went by the Union Square store where Eoin Colfer, author of the Artemis Fowl books, was there to talk about penning his Hitchhiker's Guide book: And Another Thing. He was quite charming and very funny as I imagined he'd be. He talked about the experience of reading the first Adams book in the 70s and how he embraced the new project as a tribute to the late author.

Overall, it was a good night, as I got the change afterwards to talk shop with my pal Pete at Old Town Bar, my favorite bar in the city. We talked about SF/F, job opportunities, working at home, and World Fantasy Con which I am sadly not attending this year.

Thanks for listening to another tale from the road of this journeyman. Now the My Chemical Romance is playing and I need to get back to work~


Live Chat: R.A. Salvatore

Earlier this evening I was one of many fans who dropped by Suvudu.com to participate in an author chat with SF/F author R.A. Salvatore, hosted by the dynamo that is Shawn Speakman.

Bob (Mr Salvatore prefers 'Bob') was a gracious guest who joked around with fans and answered many questions about the Forgotten Realms books he's written, his own Demon Wars novels, his infamous Star Wars novel, as well as various other things dwarf-related and not. Also, just released was his newest Forgotten Realms novel: The Ghost King - which I must get already. (slacker!)

I've had the pleasure of meeting Bob several times over the years at several comic and book conventions and he is just the nicest guy. In full disclosure, I also sold many of his books while an editor for the Science Fiction Book Club, and it was my pleasure to do so as I've been a fan of his since high school (when I was reading his books instead of whatever I was supposed to be reading in school at the time).

I mentally planned a few Salvatore-related future posts, stories I'd like to share about my experiences reading his work, and getting to meet him in person for the first time, which I'm sure many fans will appreciate.

For now I'll leave you with a link to the author chat, courtesy of the good folks at Suvudu. Enjoy.


Calling the SURFER..

If the person who commented for the giveaway, and calls themself "Surfer" please contact me via email so that I can get your email and address info for your prize pack [see post below for details]. I'd like to send your prize out but can't do so without contact info. Gracias!


The LEGO Star Wars Visual Dictionary prize pack Winners are...

I wanted to thank everyone who took the time to comment on the LEGO Star Wars Visual Dictionary blog post and be part of this event even in this small way. It has been a fun discussion--and I really enjoyed everyone's stories, comments, and Star Wars love. And don't forget to pick up this book, it makes a great gift for the little (or big) Star Wars LEGO fan in your life.

To those of you who were unable to comment, maybe because at work they block your ability to do such things I only have to say--so sorry. Maybe next time you can figure something out and be part of the fun. For those that did comment, I really do appreciate it, and know how many sites, blogs, and other things are grasping for your attention.

Now, for those lucky few who took the time to leave me a comment, I have 8, count 'em *8* winners. Four of you have won one of the DK Publishing prize packs, and four of you have won my own personal personalized Bookrastination prize packs.

[The window display at Boomerang toy store in NYC, during the 10.10.09 launch event.]

If I list you as a winner, please email me with your (real) full name, street address, and email address so that I can have both DK and myself send out the prizes. You can email me at jayf44 [at] gmail [dot] com. I've written it this way to avoid spammers, I can also be reached through the "view my entire profile" link on the blog home page.

[Troopers & Fett keeping the sidewalk traffic moving, as a young Luke Skywalker checks out the book event table!]

Also, to draw out the suspense a bit more, if anyone is wondering how I picked the winners, I assigned everyone a number and rolled a good old 20-sided die and rolled away until the randomly assigned numbers came up. I worked my way down the list of prizes that way. It seemed appropriate for some reason. Maybe because I'm a little nerdy. And the winners are:

Grand prize winner of the DK MEGA PACK is: Marci
And the three winners of the DK MINI PACKS are: Mike, Surfer, and Kelly S.

Special (randomly assorted) Bookrastination prize packs will also be going to: John & Lisa HF., PunkyMonkey, Anne-Marie R., and PTUT.

[The view from inside the Boomerang toy store in Tribeca. Another excuse to show Boba Fett on back cover. And how often do you see Stormtroopes on NYC streets anyway?]

Again, thanks all for playing. Also, be sure to email me ASAP with your contact info so I can get the prizes out to you over the next two weeks. I am sorry to all of those who did not win prizes this time around, check back from time to time where I'll be sure to give away some other book-related goodies and comics.

I'd like to say thanks to my good friends at DK Publishing for allowing me to participate in the special 10.10.09 launch event, with a special shoutout going to Nancy L.--you rock!

I'd like to thank the nice folks at Boomerang for letting me hang around and snap photos (which I've randomly inserted throughout this post). I'd also like to thank the Stormtroopers, and Biker Scout, who appeared curtesy of the 501st Legion.

And no thank you would be complete, without thanking Boba Fett himself, who appeared representing the Mandalorian Mercs--it was great meeting all of you, hope to see you on the road or on the convention circuit.

This giveaway was fun and I plan to randomly do giveaways when I find the time. The launch event was also fun, I hope there are more like it in the future, and if so I hope to cover them. Now, it is back to reality for a while...


10-10-09 LEGO Star Wars Visual Dictionary launch successful.

Hi all. The book launch event for the LEGO Star Wars Visual Dictionary today was a blast. I'll write a full review soon, but here are a few pics from the Boomerang toy store in Tribeca to hold you over. Monday I'll be picking GIVEAWAY winners as well - stay tuned!

First is the lovely salesperson who set up table featuring the LEGO book. Two stormtroopers and a biker scout were on hand, and Boba Fett himself, greeted the little ones in honor of the release of the book. I'll include links to the store (Boomerang) and the men in costume as well in the next post. Their uniforms looked great.


Found my...

..concept sketch Boba Fett. All white. He blends in with stormtroopers just fine and even comes with an alternate helmet. Another fine piece in the collection. Have a great weekend!

I'll be sure to report in from the 10.10.09 lauch event for the LEGO Star Wars Visual Dictionary.


My Boba Fett Collection or, well, most of it

I've been a collector of Star Wars toys my entire life. Back in the 70s when I was a little kid in Brooklyn I remember playing with the original Death Star Playset. When one of the pieces broke, I remember scotch-taping a Lincoln Log to repair a broken part of the playset.

Over time I've began to focus my collecting. It was after meeting this guy Ray who loved the design of Star Wars & especially the Empire, and he made me realize you don't have to buy every single Star Wars toy to be a fan... just your favorites.
At that point, I decided to start focusing (somewhat) my collecting. I began with Boba Fett. I sought almost every version of Boba Fett released, including a San Diego Comic Con Star Wars exclusive signed by Fett actor Jeremy Bulloch himself [meeting him is a highlight from my convention going life-not pictured coincidentally, still packed away somewhere]. I've always been a fan of the Empire, the bad guys, the Imperial Fleet, Stormtroopers, AT-AT drivers, etc.
But I love the Bounty Hunters. And Fett was ‘the boss and the hitman’ [if I may use a line from a favorite Clutch song]. Initially I was going to take individual pictures of each Boba Fett figure that I have, then I felt that would be TOO LONG. So here is a group shot of what I could locate quickly. And on the right, is the back cover of the LEGO Star Wars Visual Dictionary, I flipped it around because the back featured LEGO Boba. [The other book is a great pop-up book I found a while back featuring Mr. Fett as well].

I set up a Fett collage of all my figures, and even found a case of Star Wars trading cards where I kept all of the Fett ones separate. I think it makes for quite a cool collection. I even allowed the new special edition Luke from the new book to hang out for the portrait [left corner of pic].
And what I realized is that sometimes if you’re a collector of things, be they books, comics, toys, or all three [like me] it is fun to pick a theme within a theme and run with it. That lets you focus your collecting power and once you showcase all the stuff together, it makes for a pretty cool collection. In this case, one Boba Fett.

Then I realized, to my dismay, that I did’t have a LEGO Boba Fett. Although I found in my collection a LEGO Jango Fett, part of a LEGO pen my wife had gotten me. So at least one LEGO Fett down. And now I’m on a mission. That’s right, I’ve put a bounty on a LEGO Fett. [Below picture is Jango talking to the new LEGO Luke, apologies for bluriness]. For AMAZING LEGO photos check out the LEGO a day blog, part of the 10.10.09 Blog team. His site is awesome.

And I will get my man, whether that is frozen in carbonite, or as a LEGO.

Also, let's not forget 10.10.09 – the launch of the LEGO Star Wars The Visual Dictionary.

And if you haven't posted a comment on my last blog with the GIVEAWAY about your favorite Star Wars character, get to it. There are a bunch of great comments but I'd love to hear more and you might win some cool prizes... wich may include unopened figures from my personal Star Wars collection, in addition to the great items provided by DK Publishing.

Oh, and don't get me started on my Imperial Army collection... for another time.


LEGO® STAR WARS The Visual Dictionary 10.10.09 Launch!

Take the simple joy of LEGO brick building and pair it with Star Wars action figures and playsets, and wham! – LEGO STAR WARS! Being a life-long Star Wars fan, collector, reader, lover (it’s true) it was a treat when I was asked to blog about the DK Publishing launch event for the exciting new book: LEGO® STAR WARS The Visual Dictionary.
On 10.10.09 DK Publishing will coordinate a nation-wide in-store launch event for this exciting new book featuring LEGO Star Wars. See all event details [here].

Also follow them on Twitter - @DKPublishing
Friend their book page on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/LEGO-Star-Wars-The-Visual-Dictionary/92548342590?ref=nf

But I’m getting ahead of myself, because if you’ve read this far, you’re in for a treat… my first STAR WARS GIVEAWAY! That’s right, the good folks at DK Publishing, have generously provided me – in relation to the promotion of the LEGO STAR WARS The Visual Dictionary – with a bunch of Star Wars loot that I can give away here on my blog, to my loyal & hopefully new readers. [Please note this blog giveaway is not affiliated with the in-store events on 10.10.09, each store will have it's own event, prizes, etc. I'm only attending as a fan to snap a few pics and be part of the blog team covering the event.]

My blog GIVEAWAY details are: I’ve decided to make the first giveaway on Bookrastination quite simple. Post a comment to this blog post and tell me: “Who your favorite Star Wars character is and why?” Just a few quick sentences will do the trick, and I’ll pick a few a of my favorites and a random bunch will win prizes. [All comments for this GIVEAWAY must be posted and received by (correction):10/12/09 to be considered for prizes.]

It’s simple. Post a comment. Talk about Star Wars. Who doesn’t like talking about Star Wars? And maybe win some neat prizes. Parents, feel free to help post with your little ones [ewok, jawa, or droid] – just be sure to share any [potential] prizes with them!

PRIZE DETAILS: Aside from some assorted goodies I’ve been sent in the “exclusive event kit” to giveaway, which include: 1 copy of the new book, a few t-shirts, sticker sheets, buttons, and collectable post card packs.

DK Publishing has also assembled four additional prize packs that they will send directly to the winners [I’ll coordinate that for you lucky few] those details are: One (1) Mega Pack includes: (1) copy LEGO Star Wars Visual Dictionary; (1) 10/10/09 T-Shirt; (1) Postcard pack from San Diego Comic Con; (1) Darth Vader Minifigure. Three (3) Mini Packs, each mini pack includes: (1) copy LEGO Star Wars Visual Dictionary; (1) 10/10/09 T-Shirt.

Good luck!

The LEGO® STAR WARS The Visual Dictionary shares so many details & descriptive visuals for fans of all ages using amazing photos of LEGO Star Wars figures, playsets, and vehicles.
Bonus: The book has flip-action corners so when you fan through the pages, it makes little moving pictures. I kid you not, this book is fun. Check out some sample spreads.

What an amazing Death Star LEGO set, and I love the variations on the Hoth Rebel Soldiers below. [I'll be hearing he Imperial Probe Droid in my head all day now...]

See the 10.10.09 DK Publishing book site, for more details where you could win a Nintendo Wii as well as a see list of stores participating in the launch event in your area. I plan to stop by the day’s events at the Boomerang toy store in Manhattan. I’ll be attending this as a guest, and part of the blog team, only there to enjoy and report back on some of the fun. I will not be giving away anything at the store events, simply there as a reporting blogger. Oh, but I'm sure the participating stores will have plenty of goodies on hand to give out to Legions of the Empire, I mean, adoring fans of all-things LEGO Star Wars.

Next post Thursday: Tales of a Bounty Hunter Toy Collection.

Then my Launch Event Post [Saturday]: Pics and highlights from the in-store launch event!

DEAR CYBORGS by Eugene Lim, a little review

I had read a great little article on LitHub.com about this new novel from Eugene Lim and went to seek it out. Soon after I had acquired...