Best Horror of 2016 – Honorable Mention

I’m pleased to announce that my short story “The Howard Family Tradition” was chosen as an honorable mention for Best Horror of the Year Volume 9 by editor Ellen Datlow.

For a full list of who else was chosen you can check out her site.

The story is not in the book linked above, but it is listed in there somewhere. If you are interested in reading it you can still get it where it was originally published in WeirdBook #32.

George R.R. Martin is not Kind to Hands: Hand and Arm Injuries in Game of Thrones

In Game of Thrones and the rest of the Song of Ice and Fire series we know that he is not kind to those that hold the title of King’s Hand, for sure. But I’m talking about actual hand injuries and arm injuries. Have you ever noticed how many injuries to those extremities are inflicted upon characters?

For some reason, I have. And for some further unknown reason, I have decided to make a list. And here they are, in no particular order: SPOILERS FOLLOW!!!

  • Jon Snow burns his hand on a lantern when fighting a white walker.
  • Caitlin Stark cuts her hands on a knife while defending herself from Bran’s assassin.
  • Theon Greyjoy has his finger flayed by a Bolton.
  • Sandor “the Dog” Clegene gets his arm burnt white fighting Beric Dondarrian.
  • Great John Umber gets his fingers bit off by Grey Wind.
  • Davos had parts of his fingers cut off by Stannis.
  • Jaime Lannister gets his hand cut off by Vargo Hoat.
  • Qhorin Halfhand, you guessed it, has half a hand due to a Wildling axe.
  • Victarion Greyjoy injures his hand in a duel. Then has a weird mage set it on fire to heal it.
  • Ghost finds a lone hand in the woods, leading the Night’s Watch to a two corpses.
  • Arya gets her hands scratched up pretty good while trying to catch cats.
  • Urrigon Greyjoy lost half a handplaying The Finger Dance, the axe game of the Iron Islands. (Countless hands and fingers have been lost by people playing that game…)
  • Lady Hornwood chews off her own fingers because her dear husband, Ramsey Bolton, locked her in a tower with no food.
  • Marillion the singerĀ  confesses to killing Lysa Arryn, and as punishment gets a few fingers cut off.
  • Narbo, a theif in Braavos, gets stabbed in the hand a prostitute, losing the use of three of his fingers. Poor guy can’t pickpocket anymore!
  • Tanselle had her finger broken by Prince Aerion in The Hedge Knight.
  • Way back when, some guy named Silver Denys tried to tame the wild dragon Sheepstealer, and got his arm bit off in the process.
  • Lancel Lannister obtains an arm injury in the Battle of Blackwater Bay. It turns him religious.
  • Nymeria bites Little Shit Joffrey’s arm, hopefully inflicting great pain.

 

There are probably many more! Maybe some day I’ll create a comprehensive list. It will be the most useless Game of Thrones list ever. If you would like to contribute any I missed, please leave your suggestions in the comments.

Also, I found an appropriate Q+A from Mr. Martin in this interview:

I have a question that’s been bothering me for six books now – what’s with hands? How come characters keep getting hand injuries?

GRRM: Well, actually hand injuries were very common in the Middle Ages. When you fight with swords and axes and do a lot of hand labour, you get a lot of hand injuries. In fact, even leaving out the swords and axes you get a lot of hand injuries. my father was a longshoreman, a stevedore, and I know they would always get hand injuries. They would wear protective gloves, but they would still get injuries. There are other touches of realism; my characters who fight in repeated battles in these books tend to get scars. They lose noses and ears and become disfigured, and that’s a consequence of those battles. That’s where the icon of the Scarred Warrior comes from. Every time you go into a fight you risk emerging a little less pretty than when you went in.

The Must Reads

I was thinking recently of what books I consider must-reads. Books that I can wholeheartedly recommend to anyone, regardless of their personal preferences or reading habits. These may not be my favorite books (some are), but they are books that I think are important, entertaining, and make the reader a better person in one way or another.

What follows is a list of those books. Feel free to argue with me or leave your own additions in the comments.

Ender’s Game – Orson Scott Card

This started when I was writing about Ender’s Game in my last post. So I’ll kick this list off with that one. A commentary on war and the cost of winning, and a thrilling read to boot.

To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

A classic for a reason. The story of a sad time in history (depicting events that probably still happen, unfortunately), but a story still full of hope and innocence.

Lord of the Flies – William Golding

Another classic for a reason. On the surface a great story of survival, but layered with interesting ideas and comments on civilization and religion.

Sandman – Neil Gaiman

A series of ten graphic novels (and some miscellaneous additions) that chronicle the life of the titular character, a member of a family that influences the lives of everything in the universe. It really is incredible the journey that Gaiman takes the reader on throughout this series.

In the City of Shy Hunters – Tom Spanbauer

I was tempted to put three Spanbauer books on this list, but I decided to narrow it down to just one. And this one speaks to me the most. It’s the story of a young mid-western man searching for his lost lover in 1980’s New York City. This book feels like Spanbauer poured out his entire heart and soul into every sentence. It’s dazzling.

Maniac Magee – Jerry Spinelli

A young orphan boy becomes a local legend because he lives his life ignorant of the racial issues in the area. It’s a book for children that will probably help adults more. Children aren’t racist unless adults make them so.

That’s all for now. I’m sure I’ll think of more as time goes on. And I might be adding the Game of Thrones series as well. I’m waiting to read all the complete series first.

GoodReads

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I am now a member of GoodReads as a reader and a writer. Even if I’m not up on cataloging or social networking, I do enjoy the website data immensely. It’s like the IMDB for books. My favorite thing to do is just to tag books I want to read so I don’t forget. It’s a great tool.

Check out my Author Page, I have added a link to it up to the right.

I also get to use Widgets! Pardon me while I play with m widgets.

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P.R. O’Leary’s books on Goodreads

Frightmares: A Fistful of Flash Fiction Horror
Frightmares: A Fistful of Flash Fiction Horror

reviews: 1

ratings: 11 (avg rating 4.82)


Sand: Strange Tales: Year One
Sand: Strange Tales: Year One

ratings: 1 (avg rating 5.00)