Adventures in Unhistory by Avram Davidson Review

Imagine if you will that, when you were younger, you had an older relative — a grandfather or great-aunt — who was something of an armchair historian regarding mythology. Every now and then, when you were visiting, you’d make your way to their study, sit in one of the overstuffed chairs by the fire, and ask a question. “Where exactly did Sindbad sail?,” you’d ask; or, “who was Prester John?” or “were there really ever dragons, rocs, or unicorns?”

 Avram Davidson

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Mark Charan Newton Interview – The Legends of the Red Sun

Mark Charan Newton is an urban fantasy author who’s currently two novels into his writing career and, judging by the sheer tonnage of critical acclaim which now includes a place in Library Journal’s top 5 best SF/F of 2010, is only just getting warmed up. For those of you already familiar with his work, Nights of Villjamur and City of Ruin, I suspect he needs no introduction…but I’m going to do it anyway.

mark charan newton

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Dan Abnett Interview -In the Black Library

For me this is the interview to end all interviews.

Dan Abnett

It’s not often one gets to interview a personal hero; I suspect this is mostly because heroes don’t enjoy mopping up fanboy drool, and frankly, who can blame them? This is going to be a little different from my other interviews, because while the others have been with relatively new talent, Dan Abnett has been writing for around 27 years and has done everything, and I do mean everything, from Marvel comics to Mr. Men, as well as a phenomenal novel set in a world of his own creation.

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The Book of Atrix Wolfe by Patricia A. McKillip Review

The award winning Patricia A. McKillip is one of the prominent authors within fantasy fiction, but whereas notable masters of the genre like J.R.R. Tolkien and George R.R. Martin work on an epic scale, McKillip’s fantasies are more intimate and dreamlike. The Book of Atrix Wolfe can in many respects be likened to the detailed and colourful tapestries of the late medieval period, where vividly archaic figures of humans, animals and mythological creatures are intertwined with a myriad of organic ornamentation.

The Book of Atrix Wolfe

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Escapement by Jay Lake Review

Escapement is the sequel to Jay Lake’s critically acclaimed novel Mainspring, wherein he maps out an alternate Earth anno 1900. Lake has quite cleverly constructed a world that for the most part resembles ours yet differs in one very important aspect – Lake envisions the universe as an enormous clockwork whose brass mechanisms are, mostly, visible to the naked eye. Thus Earth is powered by a mainspring, hidden in its core, it circles around the Lamp of the Sun on a brass rail and it is divided by an enormous equatorial wall, topped by a brass gear train that physically connects the planet itself to its orbital trajectory around the sun.

Escapement Jay Lake

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Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey Review

Kushiel’s Dart is Jacqueline Carey’s highly successful debut and the first instalment of a trilogy that chronicles the exploits of Phèdre nó Delaunay – exquisite courtesan, talented spy and god-touched masochist. The book received the 2002 Locus Award for Best First Novel, and it established Carey as one of the new and innovative talents within the fantasy genre.

Kushiels Dart

*You can read a guest blog by Carey  and an interview with Jacqueline as well.

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Ten Things About House Targaryen for Game of Thrones Fans

Back to Game of Thrones as a lot of people read my Ten Things about Dorne and House Martell and a similar post about House Stark so I thought it might be worthwhile to go back to Westeros and do something similar around for the HBO watchers. I’ve been reading George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire since the mid-90s but these are spoiler free and does not detail anything anyone who is even a passive reader doesn’t know. Just some added information or historical footnotes that may or probably won’t enrich the Game of Thrones experience.

game of thrones

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10 Things About House Martell and Dorne in HBO’s Game of Thrones

A new episode of Game of Thrones is coming at us Sunday but we were briefly introduced to Dorne last week. Dorne’s a bit of a new flavor from what we have seen of Westeros thus far, something that I guess was evident when we saw Prince Oberyn arrive at King’s Landing being all kinds of awesome. Nothing below is anything even the most passive book reader does not know, nor is it something that will spoil anything for TV watchers (with perhaps the caveat that you are already aware of the Sand Snakes) but if you are exceptionally easy to offend because internet, please stop reading.

game of thrones
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Ten Things About House Stark of Game of Thrones

Back to some Game of Thrones . A lot of people read my 10 Things about Dorne and House Martell so I thought it might be worthwhile to go back to Westeros and do something similar around hump day between episode reviews for the HBO tv watchers. I’ve been reading George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire since the mid-’90s but like with the previous one I’m not listing anything that isn’t pretty spoiler free and not anything anyone who is even the most passive of readers doesn’t already know. So no minds blown, just information that may but probably won’t enrich the Game of Thrones watching experience.

game of thrones

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The Ant King and Other Stories by Benjamin Rosenbaum Review

Imagine Borges and Dali hanging out at Pee Wee Herman’s playhouse, and you have a brief inkling of what Rosenbaum’s fiction is like. The Ant King and Other Stories is Rosenbaum’s debut collection of short fiction, which features pieces have been that have nominated for genre awards, and have appeared in a slew of venues, from Interzone, Realms of Fantasy, and McSweeney’s.

The Ant King and Other Stories

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Jessica Bendinger Interview – Bringing It On

A couple weeks ago I had the pleasure of speaking with Jessica Bendinger, screen writer, director, and now author.  Her best-known work, at least in my age demographic, is writing Bring It On.  Jessica also wrote and directed Stick It, with Missy Peregrim and Jeff Bridges, and last December she published her first novel with Simon & Schuster, titled The Seven Rays.  It’s a young adult caper into karma and destiny and love and teenage hilarity, and I got the scoop on her inspirations, intentions, and more in our conversation…which you can read below!

Jessica Bendinger

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How My Load Got Shot – Jedidiah Ayres Guest Blog

I just read a review of the film F*ckload of Scotch Tape that ended with this paragraph:

“In the end, F*ckload of Scotch Tape is the cinematic equivalent of a repeated kick to the nuts with just enough of a break here and there to give you some hope that maybe, just maybe, the next kick won’t come. But that next kick always comes, and it’s not going to stop. This is not an easy flick to experience, and I don’t know if the word ‘enjoy’ is the right one to use, even though I can’t dismiss the merits of the film even if it made me feel like shit. Stinky, watery shit. Fuck, you’re going to kick me in the nuts again, aren’t you?”

jedidah ayers

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Books Punch Your Face – The Crime Midsummer Reading List

Eight noir novels to help fill your endless summer with a sense of overwhelming dread and paranoia.

Inherent Vice

Okay, so I’m the professor who wakes up three weeks before the end of the semester and hits everybody over the head with a pile of mandatory reading assignments that everybody has to crowbar in between midnight finals cram sessions and kegstands, but you know, only if they hope to make it out with a passing grade.
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The Posthumous Donald Westlake: It’s All Bullshit

Donald Westlake, ever the prolific author, has had two novels released since his death on New Year’s Eve of 2009, both brought to us by the stellar Hard Case Crime imprint.  The first, in 2010, is called Memory, and was thought to be his only “lost” novel, until crime writer Max Allan Collins unearthed a manuscript for The Comedy Is Finished, which was published earlier this year.

donald westlake

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Honky Tonk Heroes – Benjamin Whitmer Guest Blog

There was a time when being an admirer of Cormac McCarthy was more than a little like being a member of a cult.  It was before Oprah, when the only way you’d have heard of him was by word of mouth. There were no movie adaptations, and if you knew anything about his life, it was that he was living in a cheap hotel room in El Paso working on his next novel.  Which, you figured, was just as it should be.

blood meridian

Depending on your particular bent, you could stay up all night discoursing on either Suttree or Blood Meridian — nobody’s ever been known to love both of those books equally — much to the irritation of friends and family alike.

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