Because of the move, I can't give it the attention it deserves, but the feature site for this month's blog tour is The Sword Review, an e-zine dedicated to sf and fantasy stories and articles. They also appear to have really good cover art.
Okay, okay, I'll take time out of my busy schedule of washing windows, packing boxes, and steam-cleaning corn chip fragments (Snuffles's fault, not mine) out of the carpet in order to tell you a little bit about what I've seen at The Sword Review. Specifically, I read "Tiama--a Story of Hope" by David R. Downing. And, in fact, that's about all I read.
To be honest, it underwhelmed me. I found it "deficient in action," to steal a phrase from Ebenezer Elliott's assessment of Montgomery's World Before the Flood. "Tiama" has a kernel of a good idea, following the (miraculous?) rescue of a town being slowly buried by encroaching desert. Downing writes in the story's discussion forum that "Tiama" is loosely based on a real town fighting off sand from the Sahara. The image of sand covering civilization reminds me of J. G. Ballard's famous and surreal "The Cage of Sand," in which Martian sands bury Cape Kennedy while dead astronauts float overhead in wrecked spacecraft, but the resemblance is superficial. The primary deficiencies of "Tiama" are its lack of interesting characters and its dry narration, which sounds almost like a summary out of a history book. Besides that, the motif of a blind seer walking out of the desert reminds me of Children of Dune, and I'm afraid I simply can't give a glowing review to anything that reminds me of a Dune sequel.
For its good points, the story is a genuine and mildly inspiring look at persistence in the face of adversity, and the author's voice, while a little rough, is pleasant. So go check it out yourself.
Your blog tour: it keeps going and going and going....
CSFF Blog Tour
D. G. D. Davidson
Kameron M. Franklin
Heather R. Hunt
Lost Genre Guild
Kevin Lucia and The Bookshelf Reviews 2.0 - The Compendium
Rebecca LuElla Miller
John W. Otte
Daniel I. Weaver