I must begin this review with a teensy confession. I bought this book by mistake. I was actually after Iron Company by Chris Wraight, and what with the very similar covers and the fact that I was in my local Games Workshop and was distracted by all the shiny toys…you get the idea.
Secret Warriors was a title that spun out of the massive Marvel event of yesteryear, Secret Invasion. It could have been the usual dreck, a spin off title with the usual creative team but instead it became a massively different beast. Secret Warriors became a good comic, possibly even a great one, and as it nears the halfway point of Hickman’s finite four year plan I thought it only sensible to look at why this comic is a little different from the standard monthly Big Two storytelling structure and delivery, and why you should go out and get yourself into this longform tale of spies and secret histories.
Karl Kerschl is another comic artist who has dipped his toe into the big pond, he’s worked for DC on a multitude of titles, but his real magnum opus is coming in his longform webcomic. He works with the TransmissionX Comics studio where he often collaborates with fellow webcomic master Cameron Stewart, who I featured in an article about his seminal web-work, Sin Titulo, previously. Kerschl’s masterpiece is called The Abominable Charles Christopher, a tale about a strange beast known as Charles Christopher who might be a yeti type of creature, or perhaps just a confused bear, but what I am certain of is that he’s exceptionally well written and completely lovable.
Cameron Stewart is an artist who has become well known due to his collaborations with Grant Morrison on Seaguy and Batman & Robin as well as working with Jason Aaron on the Eisner winning Vertigo mini, The Other Side. He’s got a very clean style and he’s also a bit of a writer, but you’d have to follow his Eisner winning webcomic, Sin Titulo, to know that. Why should you follow this webcomic? Well, it might just be the best thing going for free out there.
Shana Abé is a bestselling author normally found in the Romance section, but whose latest books are fantasy (or at least fairy tale) crossovers. She’s also a personal favorite of mine–verify on our favorites page, if you doubt–and has just finished up her fabulous historical-fiction shapeshifter series that started with 2006’s The Smoke Thief and continued through five books to last month’s The Time Weaver. I was beyond pleased when she agreed to an interview and completed my trifecta of conversations with my favorite writers.
Robert Freeman Wexler’s latest novel is The Painting And The City, out from PS Publishing, and it was recently named one of the top 10 science fiction novels of 2009 by Booklist. He has also published a novella, In Springdale Town, (PS Publishing 2003 and reprinted in Best Short Novels 2004, SFBC, and in Modern Greats of Science Fiction, iBooks), a novel, Circus Of The Grand Design (Prime Books 2004), and a chapbook of short fiction, Psychological Methods To Sell Should Be Destroyed (Spilt Milk Press/Electric Velocipede 2008). The following interview was conducted by Brendan Connell via Skype and e-mail during the month of June, 2010.
We are pleased that Kit Reed, the author of Enclave, has agreed to be interviewed for us. She is also the author of many other books, many of which are mentioned in this interview, like The Midnight Children, Thinner Than Thou, The Baby Merchant, and the prestigious Tiptree finalist collection of stories, Seven for the Apocalypse. She has also been nominated for the World Fantasy Award.
The fact that Warren Ellis has a run on any X-Men title should be enough to merit pause and reflection. That he was then able to craft a science fiction dirge about mortality and creation after the pop sensibilities of Joss Whedon and John Cassaday’s run is a feat unto itself. Reading through the first two arcs of Ellis’ run I was struck by the notion this comic was completely about death. On many levels. The death of a dream, the death of creation, and ultimately, the death that always comes for us and the choice we must make in its face.
Adam Rex is an amazingly talented children’s illustrator, as well as being an author of both children’s and YA novels. I had the pleasure of meeting him in person last month at BEA, and I made sure to line him up for an interview later before we parted ways. His new novel, Fat Vampire, is due out next month, and it ‘s not your typical vampire novel. Nor is it your typical coming of age novel.
Here I’ve got Adam talking about his inspiration for the story, his influences as a writer, his view of what it would be like to live forever (hint: it’s not all sunshine and roses), and much more. Sink your teeth in and enjoy!
Author David Moody created an online sensation when he published his horror novel, Autumn, via the Internet, racking up more than half a million downloads and spawning a series of sequels. When he published Hater, producer Mark Johnson (the Narnia films) and Guillermo del Toro (director of Hellboy 1 & 2, Pan’s Labyrinth) asked David for the rights to make it into a movie. How’s that for success right out of the chute? Hater is a modern-day zombie story, sans the zombies.
For reasons I cannot adequately explain, even to myself, I prefer to read fantasy over science fiction, but I prefer SF movies over fantasy. So I don’t actually read a lot of true science fiction novels. The Forever War is a book my SF-reading fiance tossed my way as an outstanding novel that also presaged or even directly influenced several of my favorite SF pieces (Ender’s Game and the short film Letters from a Distant Star, to name two). He also threw it at his best friend who is neither a grand reader nor much of an SF reader–and he actually finished it, which kind of speaks to the book’s qualities to engage and retain your interest.
It’s just been announced that T’Challa, the Black Panther, King of Wakanda, is going to become the new Man Without Fear protecting Hell’s Kitchen. This turn of events will transpire after the Shadowland event centering around Daredevil becoming the leader of the, usually evil, ninja cult The Hand.
I’m assuming if you’re reading this you like Twilight and have already read the other books, yes? And you want one of two things from me here–a recommendation about whether this new novella is worth picking up and paying the $9-$14 for (discount dependent), or a discussion of OMG What It Revealed. In the interests of pleasing everyone (myself included!) I’ll do both. Clearly delineated, so if you’re in the first camp you can get your recommendation spoiler-free, and then come back later to talk about it.
Let me start by saying that this isn’t a book I would normally pick up. It tells a dark tale from the perspective of what I’ll call the “bad guys.” I could not conceive of a sympathetic “bad guy” character, someone or someones whose story I would care about. However, what prodded me to break my own rules and challenge my perceptions was the author.
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is the first book in a new series (The Inheritance Trilogy, which lends itself to some potentially hilarious confusion with The Inheritance Cycle) by a new author, and I think that shows. The story and the world had quite a fascinating premise, but it was executed with mixed results, at least for me.
One of the most keenly anticipated books of the bestselling Horus Heresy series, A Thousand Sons tells one half of the epic story of the destruction of Prospero, the Thousand Sons’ homeworld, from the perspective of the Thousand Sons themselves.
It was only after watching a great deal of House M.D. that I discovered that Hugh Laurie had penned a novel (published about a decade ago, now). I was intrigued. Clearly the man is an exceptional actor, but, as we all know, a great actor does not a great author make. Certainly both an actor and an author will have an understanding of the structure of a good story and the ingredients for interesting characters. Writing, however, is an art unto itself.
An art that Mr. Laurie is clearly in possession of.
Mike Lee’s Fallen Angels is the eleventh book in the hugely popular Horus Heresy series and continues the story begun in Mitchel Scanlon’s excellent Descent of Angels. Did I just say excellent? Yes. I know that this is the mother of all minority opinions, but the first novel suffered from the all too common “it wasn’t what I was expecting so I hated it” review phenomena.
Empire in Black and Gold is the debut of British author Adrian Tchaikovsky and the first installment in a trilogy titled Shadows of the Apt. In his debut Tchaikovsky gives us a heroic narrative where a small group of travellers offer resistance against overwhelming odds – a narrative pattern typical of epic fantasy.
This being my first review for BSC, I wanted to say one thing straight away: objectivity is a myth. I have none. My reviews will be guided almost exclusively by my enjoyment, or not, of the book in question. My job, as I see it, is to explain to you, dear reader, what I liked and didn’t and why.