The Pauper Prince and the Eucalyptus Jinn April 22, 2015 The Pauper Prince and the Eucalyptus Jinn Usman Malik He will inherit the Unseen. The Ways of Walls and Words April 15, 2015 The Ways of Walls and Words Sabrina Vourvoulias Can the spirit truly be imprisoned? Ballroom Blitz April 1, 2015 Ballroom Blitz Veronica Schanoes Can't stop drinking, can't stop dancing, can't stop smoking, can't even die. Dog March 25, 2015 Dog Bruce McAllister "Watch the dogs when you're down there, David."
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April 22, 2015
Daredevil, Catholicism, and the Marvel Moral Universe
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April 22, 2015
The Old Guy Action Comeback: I’m Getting Too Old for This Sh*t
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April 20, 2015
The Net is the Meat: Bruce Holsinger’s Middle Ages
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Spring 2015 Anime Preview: The Hellish Life of a Pizza Delivery Boy
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The Disney Read-Watch: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Mari Ness
Showing posts by: rajan khanna click to see rajan khanna's profile
Nov 6 2014 11:00am

A Slippery Tightrope: Hawk by Steven Brust

I envy Steven Brust. He’s been writing stories about Vlad Taltos since 1983, so for over 30 years now, and yet he manages to keep things new and interesting. Even more, he’s created a 14-book series that you can read in almost any order. Sure, you appreciate deeper layers the more of them you’ve read, but I’d say you could easily pick up Hawk, the latest in the series.

And if you do, I’d dare you not to go back and start reading the earlier novels, especially as Hawk ends one period in Vlad’s life and promises a new one.

[How? Well, I’ll give you a few hints...]

Nov 5 2014 6:00pm

A Siege on Golgotha: The Shotgun Arcana

R.S. Belcher The Shotgun Arcana review

As a weird western fan, I’m always on the look out for new weird westerns, especially good ones. So when R. S. Belcher’s The Six Gun Tarot came out, I was hopeful that it was one of the good ones. That novel, which introduced the western town of Golgotha and detailed the city’s defense against an ancient evil, exceeded all of my expectations.

The even better news: its sequel, The Shotgun Arcana, continues Belcher’s strong showing in the genre.

[Imagine Buffy's Hellmouth, only in the Wild West...]

Sep 17 2014 4:00pm

Falling Sky (Excerpt)

Rajan Khanna

Falling Sky Rajan Khanna excerpt Ben Gold lives in dangerous times. Two generations ago, a virulent disease turned the population of most of North America into little more than beasts called Ferals. Some of those who survived took to the air, scratching out a living on airships and dirigibles soaring over the dangerous ground.

Ben has his own airship, a family heirloom, and has signed up to help a group of scientists looking for a cure. But that’s not as easy as it sounds, especially with a power-hungry air city looking to raid any nearby settlements.

To make matters worse, his airship, the only home he’s ever known, is stolen. Ben finds himself in Gastown, a city in the air recently conquered by belligerent and expansionist pirates. When events turn deadly, Ben must decide what really matters—whether to risk it all on a desperate chance for a better future or to truly remain on his own.

Check out an excerpt from Rajan Khanna’s debut novel, Falling Skyavailable October 7th from Prometheus Books.

[Read an excerpt]

Aug 28 2014 11:00am

The Soft Apocalypse of The Getaway God

The Getaway God Richard KadreyWhat do you do when the Old Gods are returning to Earth after millennia, and you have the thing that will open the door? That’s what Stark has to figure out in The Getaway God, the sixth book in Richard Kadrey’s Sandman Slim series. The enemies are at the door and he has no idea how to stop them.

That Stark even wants to stop the apocalypse and willingly enlists in the cause is a sign of growth in the character. Over the course of six books, Stark has come to care not only for the people in his life, but for the world. Additionally, he’s a bit wiser, not so quick to pull the trigger or make things go boom. The Stark of The Getaway God is at least a little more thoughtful...

[So how do you get Elder Gods to go away? Trick or treat doesn’t seem to cut it...]

Aug 19 2014 5:00pm

So Brass! Alan Gratz’s The League of Seven

The League of Seven Alan GratzIn The League of Seven, Alan Gratz imagines an alternate America in the 1870s where electricity (or lektricity, as they call it) is forbidden and has been replaced by a mix of steam, clockwork and gas. A world of steam-powered submarines and airships and aether pistols.

And monsters. Many, many monsters. As young Archie Dent soon finds out.

[So what is the League?]

Jul 11 2014 5:00pm

Dreamlike Confabulations: All Those Vanished Engines

All Those Vanished Engines Paul Park review

Paul Park’s latest novel, All Those Vanished Engines, is nothing if not ambitious. Part family history, part science fiction, the whole thing weaves together into one surreal metafiction.

The novel is separated into three parts. The first part, “Bracelets,” is set in an alternate version of post-Civil War Virginia where North and South are still divided and the Yankee forces are led by a Queen of the North. We start out seeing the world through the eyes of Paulina, a young woman who is writing a story about the future, about a war with Martian forces and a boy named Matthew. As the chapters progress, alternating between Paulina’s time and her fictions, the lines begin to blur and suddenly it seems maybe Paulina is the fiction as both stories bleed into each other. The result is something surreal and dreamlike and sets up the tone for the rest of the novel.

[Read on for more...]

May 27 2014 2:00pm

Breaking into the Underworld: Skin Game by Jim Butcher

Jim Butcher Skin Game Dresden Files

Harry Dresden, wizard and sometime champion, is back with a brand new adventure in Jim Butcher’s Skin Game. This one teams him up with one of his oldest and deadliest enemies as well as dragging a few old friends into the mix. The mission? A heist unlike any other.

[Warning: This vault contains spoilers. Crack it at your own risk…]

Dec 18 2013 6:00pm

Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas: A Henson Classic

Emmet Otter's Jugband Christmas: A Henson Classic

Jim Henson’s work has been an important part of my life, from Sesame Street to the Fraggles and beyond. It’s no surprise, then, that he also created my favorite holiday movie of all time — Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas.

[Head full of good thoughts / Belly full of grub / Money in your pocket / When there ain’t no hole in the washtub...]

Oct 24 2013 1:00pm

The Chronicles of Amber Reread: The Short Stories (Part 2)

Roger Zelazny Manna From Heaven Chronicles of Amber

This is it—the last post in the Chronicles of Amber reread. We’ve now been through it all. The only thing remaining is the final short story contained in Manna From Heaven, and a commentary on the whole collection.

As mentioned previously, Roger Zelazny died before he could truly finish the series properly. What remains leaves plenty of room for speculation (which I hope you’ll join me in). Without further adieu, let’s jump in.

[All good things must come to an end...]

Oct 17 2013 3:00pm

The Chronicles of Amber Reread: The Short Stories (Part 1)

Roger Zelazny Chronicles of Amber Manna From HeavenIf you’ve been keeping up with The Chronicles of Amber reread so far, we’ve gone through ten books—five each for Corwin’s and Merlin’s series. But Roger Zelazny continued the Amber adventures in a series of short stories that pick up from Prince of Chaos and seem to set up a new storyline in the Amber universe. Unfortunately, Zelazny died before he could complete the story, but here, at the end of the reread, we’re going to take a look at these stories which have been collected in the book, Manna from Heaven.

[Click through for a brand new POV for the series...]

Oct 4 2013 2:30pm

The Chronicles of Amber Reread: Prince of Chaos

Roger Zelazny Chronicles of Amber Prince of ChaosIt’s here—Prince of Chaos, the last book in Zelazny’s second Amber series, and the culmination of Merlin’s story. It’s hard to choose favorites sometimes, but in rereading the book I think that it may be my favorite of the Merlin books. Why? Well, why not read on after the cut?

[It begins, appropriately enough, with a king...]

Sep 26 2013 3:00pm

The Chronicles of Amber Reread: Knight of Shadows

Roger Zelazny Chronicles of Amber Knight of Shadows

We’re back with another post in the Chronicles of Amber Reread, still covering the adventures of Merlin in Knight of Shadows. Though the series was a bit slow to start, this book accelerates things considerably, packing a lot into its pages—including a few things I wasn’t crazy about.

[Read More]

Sep 19 2013 3:00pm

The Chronicles of Amber Reread: Sign of Chaos

Roger Zelazny Chronicles of Amber Sign of ChaosIn Sign of Chaos, the midpoint of the second series, Merlin’s story finally begins to gather some steam and Merlin makes some headway in the various mysteries and adventures in which he finds himself involved. We also get to meet a few more of his relatives, a couple of Chaos creatures, and...the Jabberwock?

[Twas bryllyg, and ye slythy toves did gyre and gymble in ye wabe...]

Sep 12 2013 3:00pm

The Chronicles of Amber Reread: Blood of Amber

Zelazny Blood of Amber Chronicles of AmberOur last reread launched the second Amber series, this time focusing on Merlin, son of Corwin. Merlin found himself caught up in a series of strange occurrences leading him to be trapped in a cave like his namesake. In Blood of Amber, Merlin’s adventures continue.

[Contains spoilers for all of the books so far.]

Sep 5 2013 5:00pm

A Little Myth Can’t Be Wrong: The Woken Gods

The Woken Gods Gwenda Bond Gwenda Bond’s The Woken Gods takes place in a world similar to ours, but where gods—the deities of our ancient mythologies—have awakened. Humanity has a perilous arrangement with the gods, and of course all kinds of people are trying to work different angles on this. Seventeen-year-old Kyra lives in a transformed Washington, D.C., home to the embassies of divine pantheons and the mysterious Society of the Sun. But when she encounters two trickster gods on her way back from school, one offering a threat and the other a warning, it turns out her life isn’t what it seems...

[Read More]

Sep 5 2013 3:00pm

The Chronicles of Amber Reread: Trumps of Doom

Zelazny Chronicles of Amber Trumps of Doom “It was a pain in the ass waiting around for someone to try to kill you.”

Corwin’s story may have finished with The Courts of Chaos, but in 1985, Roger Zelazny returned to the world of Amber for Trumps of Doom, the first in a new series of Amber novels, this time focusing on Corwin’s son Merlin. This series is a bit more polarizing than the previous series was. Why? Well, read on and find out...

[Spoilers for all the Amber novels up to this point beyond the cut...]

Aug 30 2013 10:00am

Bloody Valentine: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown Holly Black

It’s probably true that a lot of people are suffering from vampire fatigue, especially with the pretty, sparkling vampires of Twilight and the pretty, brooding vampires of The Vampire Diaries and the pretty...well, you get the idea. But The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, Holly Black’s latest novel, reads like a love letter to old school vampires. And it works.

[The only thing that sucks or bites here are the vampires...]

Aug 29 2013 3:00pm

The Chronicles of Amber Reread: The Courts of Chaos

Roger Zelazny Courts of Chaos Chronicles of Amber

Welcome to the fifth installment of the Chronicles of Amber reread, covering The Courts of Chaos, the final book in the first series and climax of all of the novels to date.

[All of Amber is at stake, so know that there are spoilers beyond...]

Aug 22 2013 3:00pm

The Chronicles of Amber Reread: The Hand of Oberon

Roger Zelazny Chronicles of Amber The Hand of OberonWelcome to the fourth installment of the Chronicles of Amber reread, this time focusing on The Hand of Oberon. By now the greater threat facing Amber has been revealed and it’s up to Corwin and his family to try to figure out how to combat it. 

[Click through for the one, true Amber and all of its spoilers...]

Aug 21 2013 2:00pm

Collateral Damage: Blockbusters and the Changing Narrative of War

Star Trek into Darkness

Earlier this summer I saw both Star Trek: Into Darkness and Man of Steel in the theaters and I was struck by some similarities between the two films. For one, both films took inspiration from films that were popular when I was a kid. Nostalgia seemed a key element to their appeal.

What was disturbing, though, were the ways in which these movies differed from the movies of my childhood and the ways in which they seemed all too similar to some very real death and destruction occurring right now.

[Lots of spoilers for Star Trek: Into Darkness, Man of Steel, and Pacific Rim beyond the cut...]