Rowland, Jennifer A B jennifer.rowland at ic.ac.uk
Wed Oct 30 07:16:34 EST 2002

>  I wonder if you  might visit the
> Firebird website (www.firebirdbooks.com) and let me know what 
> you think of the site, the list, the future selections, the covers ... and

> if there are any books or authors I should consider, either for Viking
hardcover or
> Firebird reissue, or both!

Should I email this or send it to the list? Oh, what the hell, the list can
have the benefit of my Great Wisdom as well.

The site seems fine to me. The front page is a bit difficult to read with
the background, but the links down the side are clear. One thing though, I
wasn't sure until I read the FAQs that the featured titles were everything
you've published to date rather than a selection, and after a few more
months going through them to see "previously featured titles" will be a bit
click-intensive. Maybe a plain list of "Books published to date" would be a
good addition.
The list looks good- seeing that you do several of my favourite authors made
me have a look at the excerpts of the ones I don't know. (I don't much like
Brian Jacques, so I was sorry to see so many of his in the future schedule,
but that's not your fault :P)It was nice to see several "First time in
paperback" books.
The covers... none of them are so awful that they'd put me off the book. I
never like the kind of ones that Michel Bohbot does, "realistically"
illustrating a scene from the book, I think because if you don't care much
for, say, battles, seeing one on the front can make you think, oh, boring,
when if you got into the book you'd be perfectly happy to read the battle
scene. And the artist never sees the characters the same way as I do. So I
think a picture trying to show some of the themes or the landscape is
better, as the other artists on your covers do. They seem to give a more
mysterious, fantastic feeling to the book, not "Look, there are going to be
a series of Eddings-type adventures". But again, that's personal taste.

Books that you could consider... several publishers seem to be bringing out
good old stuff at the moment, Mahy's Changeover is coming next year for
I'm not sure how many of the books on my to-get-hold-of list are actually
OOP and how many are just rare in this country. Barry Hughart's Bridge Of
Birds. Rosemary Edghill. Rosemary Sutcliffe. Sheri S. Tepper's Jinian series
(I think they're a lot more readable than her later, fatter, more preachy
stuff). Sherwood Smith's Wren books to add to the Duel ones, and Dean's
Juniper, Gentian and Rosemary. Maybe you could get Lois Bujold's next
fantasy so we don't have to wait a year for it after it comes out in
America? Or a few of the Australian authors who never seem to be published
over here? (drifts off into dreamworld where books are available all over
the world as soon as the author writes the last word). 
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