Cold Iron & Rowan-Wood

December 10, 2010

Best of 2010, and Christmas Giveaway – Erekos by AM Tuomala

Filed under: meta — Tags: , , , , — Sam @ 1:49 pm

Now closed! Congratulations, Penelope Friday!

This year’s Best Of post is early, because I’ve managed to arrange a special treat for you! But first, the results. I’ve read enough Really Good Books this year that I’m splitting the nomination in two, for Best From Large Publisher and Best From Small Publisher. (Er, that’s “large” as SF&F imprints go, which is not “large” in absolute terms.) NB: I’m including self-published pieces, and pieces only published on the web, under “small publisher”. Any suggestions for a better name for the category gratefully received!

Out of all the good books from large publishers, Catherynne M Valente’s The Habitation of the Blessed utterly blew me away, and sails away with the nomination to some fantastical shore. In second place, if I were awarding second prizes, we have The Meat Tree, a re-envisioning of the story of Blodeuwedd by Gwyneth Lewis.
Honourable mentions also go to Pennterra by Judith Moffett, and to Jasper Fforde’s Shades of Grey.

I’ve read fewer from small publishers this year, and that’s something I want to remedy in 2011. On the other hand, there have been a couple of books that were absolute standouts by any measure, and the winner is Erekos by AM Tuomala. Second prize would go to Akačehennyi on a Diet of Dreams, by Kayleigh Ayn Bohémier, a blog novel published by the author under a Creative Commons license.

Erekos cover

I liked Erekos so much, I want to share the love—and the publisher, Candlemark & Gleam, agree with me, so they’ve donated a copy for me to give away. It’s a digital-only book, and you’ll get your choice of either direct digital delivery (ePub, PDF, or mobi format) or a special gift package with all three formats on a CD, so you have something to put under the tree this Christmas. This is a worldwide offer, but if you choose the CD option we can’t guarantee getting it to you by Christmas unless you live in the US. We’ll try our best, though!

The competition will be open till midnight GMT on Wednesday 15th December, and all you have to do to enter is comment below and tell us who your favourite goddess is. Mythological or fictional, we don’t mind. You can also enter by Twitter, if you use the hashtag #erekos—please spread the word!


  1. I think this sounds like a fantastic book. My favorite goddess has always been the Egyptian Isis, but I’m open to being convinced otherwise in Erekos :)

    Comment by Angela Perry — December 10, 2010 @ 7:46 pm

  2. Gaia, without a doubt. It may well be that when James Lovelock starts talking about Gaia, his scientist friends back slowly away and look for a stick, but I for one do believe that the planet is more robust than the climate change scientists and others claim.
    If we personify the planet as a goddess, so much the better. It enables us to understand the hypothesis better.

    Comment by Ian Halliday — December 11, 2010 @ 10:08 am

  3. Oooh interesting! As for my favorite goddess, I can’t pick just one, but I have a soft spots for an obscure Japanese goddess named Rafusen, Hestia from Greek Mythology (she’s completely underrated), and Lakshmi. =)

    Comment by Ashfae — December 11, 2010 @ 11:13 am

  4. The book sounds intriguing! I’m not sure I have a definite favourite goddess, but Ellen Galford’s version of Bride/Bridget/Brigantia is quite thoroughly fabulous. I’ve probably overdosed on Isis by now.

    Comment by Elettaria — December 11, 2010 @ 1:15 pm

  5. Athena definitely. I have Erekos in my To Read file already, but more people certainly need to know about it.

    Comment by Stevie Carroll — December 11, 2010 @ 11:15 pm

  6. I have a strange affinity with Kali, who in my head is a small, dark, combat boots-wearing goddess who’s going to take no shit from anyone.

    Um, apart from the ‘short’ thing, she has nothing in common with me, which is why I’m unnerved by the affinity.

    Comment by Penelope Friday — December 12, 2010 @ 12:45 pm

  7. It’s kind of a toss-up between Tara and Elbereth.

    Comment by Eve — December 12, 2010 @ 3:52 pm

  8. I think it would have to be Macha, goddess of ancient Ireland, associated with war, horses, sovereignty, and the sites of Armagh and Emain Macha in County Armagh, which are named after her.

    Comment by Murf61 — December 12, 2010 @ 5:25 pm

  9. Astarte, I think. She brings together a number of things that most polytheistic religions separate, and I’m interested in how widespread her influence was.

    *waves at Penelope, to whom I have not spoken in ages*

    Comment by Aishwarya — December 12, 2010 @ 5:27 pm

  10. Epona, partly because I remember seeing the alleged carving of her in Burford Church when I was very young.

    Comment by violent_blue — December 12, 2010 @ 6:29 pm

  11. Artemis is my favorite, she is so independent and strong. I wish I could spend all my time hunting in forests. . .

    Comment by Katie — December 14, 2010 @ 3:48 am

  12. I was always quite taken by Artemis myself. If I don’t win the book, I’ll be sure to buy a copy once I get my new e-reader…

    Comment by Kevin — December 15, 2010 @ 12:33 am

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