Mike Resnick's PI John Justin Mallory appeared in Stalking the Unicorn in 1987, over a decade before the urban fantasy craze. Mallory returned in several short stories and two recently published books.
Alec, there is at least one big thing left unresolved in the story that suggests a sequel is possible. But what isn't clear to me from their press release is whether other books in the "Earth One" series are also set in THIS continuity (ie the "earth one continuity") or whether each Earth One book is its own animal. So I don't know whether the forthcoming Batman tale will be set in this same universe or its own unique universe.
Apology for the typo. Have asked that it be fixed, but now I too have an image of an exploring planet hurling threw the universe SPACE 1999 style. Imatorar at #4 and Clay at #5, I agree with you both, but the book really has made me think. Maybe by bending Superman so much JMS has me thinking about the character in a way I haven't before, even if ultimately by bending him so much, he broke him. I wouldn't want this to be adopted by the regular continuity, any more than Azzarello's Joker-as-Tony-Soprano, but as non-continuity takes, both are interesting.
These are gorgeous. Want book badly. I have his Batman framed on the wall behind me right now in fact.
"One of Our Bastards is Missing" was one of my favorite pieces of short fiction last year.
Second prize is a full set of all Pyr books published to date, just over 90 titles.
Milo - Awesome! I think the Spectrum annuals should be in there too. Rutherfordr - I just tested them. They all worked.
Unfortunately, ebook rights on this series reside with the UK publisher, so it will be up to them. We have authorized Kindle to convert some 60 Pyr titles (with more being authorized every month), 26 of which are available now. We are in talks with several other ebook format providers and expect to be able to unveil them soon(ish). ("Soon(ish)" in publishing seems to mean "in about two weeks," with the caveat that you repeat "in about two weeks" every two weeks for as long as necessary.)
Thanks all. I devoured this book at a rapid (for me) pace. I've spoken to Tim about what *would* happen in a sequel, so I really hope we get to read that too. Meanwhile, ces @3 - The City and the City is screaming to me from the bookshelf. I am on a sword & sorcery reading kick now, but will read it soon(ish).
Hey, Caz. My pleasure. Hopefully this will bring you some more listeners and Mark readers. (Though if it brings you readers and Mark listeners, that would be wild).
Smonkey @ 3 - very, VERY aware of Blaylock, Moorcock, others. As well as the many examples of steampunk in games, comics, etc... between then and now. But there has been an explosion in recent times. Still it's true that any movement or trend has always existed and just gets its turn being noticed. The "new space opera" and the "new weird" aren't new, just taking their turn at the front of the class. DrG @ 6 - they tie up very well, which impressed me mightily.
Thanks Marc. I think we are in a post-continuity world! (Actually, it's interesting to watch the end of the "one time line" idea in Star Trek, which dies about midway through TNG. Cause and effect follows it out during DS9 and Voyager.)
Loving these posts. I've had maps on the brain all week long before I saw this. For one, I made my own for a personal project, and for another, just got the map of Golarion for the Pathfinder RPG, so this is perfect timing. Thank you!
Hey, thank you both. I'll definitely read the book (at some point, got my own slush pile to wade through). I'm seriously interested in it.
Nicholas - thanks for the clarification. Interesting how the post has spun off this discussion. JA & Bob - thank you both. Okay, I'm grudgingly admit to liking a larger part of Sunshine. I thought the bit about fixing the solar dish was incredible, and liked the majority of the film leading up to the ending. I did object to the whole mystification of the sun, the idea that just getting next to it would drive you mad, etc... I understand they were trying to say something about the divine, but it didn't work for me. And what they found when they got there disappointed. I think I was hoping for a sort of Abyss type ending with life in the sun or something. I did admire the way it was a mash-up of 2001, 2010, and Event Horizon. Anyway, glad people are interested in Moon, despite my spinning us off into discussions of star fields and sunshines!
Yeah, looking at his quote, it's a bit hard to know, though I wonder if that was a longer quote cut down. His talking about cameras made me feel like it was "with a camera" that he meant. However, even if he's got it wrong, this is the kind of wrong I can forgive. It's a thousand miles away from *touching the sun!!!* etc... Or, for that matter, having a supernova threaten the entire GALAXY, which another film did recently.
Oh, no, I didn't mean to imply that you were implying that at all. And in fact, in one interview he talks about how it was his dad who turned him on to science fiction literature to begin with and pointed him at authors like Ballard, Gibson, and PKD, which isn't surprising at all, but very good to hear.
Again, sucks that everyone will have seen it before I can.
Tudzaxi, thanks for that. He did mention that he supposed a camera could be made to capture it, so it looks like Jones is correct and I am misrepresenting him.
Very aware of his dad, but wasn't when the movie first caught my eye. And didn't mention it here because I figured he'd be sick of answering questions about his father and wanting to be taken seriously as an artist in his own right. That being said, if dad contributed the soundtrack to any Jones-helmed future SF epics, cool.
Cover art, should be pointed out, is by Brian W. Dow.
One thing I forgot to mention is that Fu Manchu somehow controls the Thugge, which explains why O'Neil said Ra's al Ghul did too & yet did nothing with it. And yeah, Goats are AMAZING!!
Robotech - yeah, the fact that his abilities owe their origin entirely to the east speaks well, though mythologizing/mystifying the east is its own kind of stereotype. My wife and I had to put up with a lot of "those people are just so smart" comments when we first got together, largely from people for which it would be too much effort to try and explain why this was also an offensive stereotype. Nod and smile. Jedikalos - isn't the video amazing? Interestingly enough, the CD also has the track "Lovecraft in Brooklyn," a reference to another ur-pulp master with some rather lamentable opinions about non-Westerners.
You know, I haven't read the original Shadow stories, though I do have two of the facsimile reprints around here. My introduction to the character was via Denny O'Neil, encountering him first in Batman and then going to what O'Neil/Kaluta stories I could find. I loved the Howard Chaykin graphic novel, and read the short-lived Andy Helfer/Bill Sienkiewicz series that followed. Didn't think much of the Alec Baldwin film, but that pretty much sums up my Shadow knowledge. I'm planning on checking out the original soon though, and, on this same pulp-fiction kick, just downloaded two Doc Savage novels to my iPhone. I've been talking with my friend writer/editor George Mann about Sexton Blake, and it does seem that Rohmer was a cut above (or rather below) the attitudes of the day, and was perhaps deliberately pandering to sensationalist attitudes at the time rather than just reflecting them.
I'm expecting book 2 to arrive in the post any day and am so eager to see it.
I like Fantasy Book Critic's monthly cover run down, and I go in to the store once a week to eyeball new releases. In terms of choosing what to read, I really like author interviews to give me a feel for their sensibilities.
Interesting. Had not heard of Yakub before, but reminds me slightly of The Children of Hurin.
Richard @ 3 - Not yet, but soon. Talia @ 4 - Very glad you enjoyed it. Interesting that paperback makes you suspicious. I love hardcovers myself as a book buyer/collector, but more and more am being told by readers they don't want hardcover prices!
How can you worry with that description? He's still writing it - and frankly I can't wait to read it!
Yeah, I guess that when I look at something like The Invisibles, which is probably my favorite comic series ever, I just want a bit more, but I'm not faulting anyone who enjoyed this. I'm reading a lot more comics this year than I have since the 90s, and I'm starting to differentiate between big, lasting, graphic novels that stand up against, well, actual novels, and monthly comic books, which serve a different purpose. So I'm enjoying reading Batman regularly again, while not expecting *everything* to be Dark Knight.
SteelBlaidd @ 3 - That is really wild. Evo Schandor @ 4 - I love this: Is he Alan Moore? No, but luckily I don't think he wants to be, unlike so many other writers out there nowadays. Exactly, Moore can go on being Moore. He's the best at it! MrCJ @ 7 - It's sad that mere differences of opinion over comic books lead you to character assaults. I should add for everyone else's benefit that Grant Morrison's The Invisibles remains my favorite all time comic book series and his Doom Patrol one of my favorite runs, certainly Top Ten for me. I'm not anti-Morrison, but his take on Batman really isn't for me, and what I've seen of his recent work hasn't impressed me as much as his earlier offerings. That being said, I'd love to be pointed towards some good recent Morrison. (I dug his X-Men very much.) Scott Parker @ 9 - what you said! dcole78 @ 10 - I absolutely detested Dark Knight Strikes Again. Took me multiple sessions to even finish it. I've got problems with it even being written, as it un-writes the brilliant "last" Batman story (remember Moore's "end of a legend" introduction?), but also multiple problems with the level of execution, which was down severely from the original. I have tried to read his All Star Batman and Robin without being able to get more than a page into it at a time. (I may try again for review here.) However, you confuse Miller and Moore. It was Moore that wrote Killing Joke and Watchmen, certainly two of the best comics ever. But Moore has never written anything less than brilliant. I have not read his entire oeuvre, but I have read a LOT of it and I have yet to be disappointed.
If you do, let me know your reaction. They were definitely setting a pawn out there to see if we'd capture it.
Thanks. I will hunt it down. I've been thinking about Dr. Fate a lot lately too.
BlueTyson - thanks for that. I might actually check it out. DaveRobinson - Thanks. I'll put it in the list!
Hey Tero, My pleasure. I hope they come out with the final half of the series, myself. I'd love to have it complete in trade paperback, though I do still have my original single issue run.
Not trying to take love from Black Gate. There's no reason not to read them there, and then again in context/order when the book comes out. James is certainly worth collecting and reading more than once!
A few of the stories fall inside the timeline of the second book, This Crooked Way, and will be appearing as part of that narrative.
Hey, thank you both. I know I'm biased, but then, I wouldn't have acquired the book (and two follow-ups) if James hadn't knocked my socks off. So far, just about everyone I've personally given it to, from author-friends, to a foreign publisher, to our copyeditor, to two local friends who are big fantasy readers, have all had the same reaction. Interestingly, someone thought he was writing gamer-friendly fiction. I say interestingly, because Enge has never played RPGs. But I suspect it's because RPGs and Enge share the same source influences (Leiber, Morcock, etc...). I think he has tonal similarities to Joe Abercrombie and narrative similarities to Scott Lynch, and the way that the Arthurian mythos is a (very) slight element in this non-Earth, secondary world is fascinating too. I even get a sort of Doctor Who vibe from this wandering broken hero with a troubled past. Anyway, thank you both for your comments. I'm eager for more people to discover Enge's genius and appreciate the help spreading the word.
Seth, not at all. I was just explaining why comics-reviewing is my chosen bailiwick here, or part of it. I'm going to be doing more author profiles too, which are distinct enough from reviews. I will say though, that we have a host of big budget SF cinema coming down the pike, and the success of this is usually a rising tide lifting all boats. I expect that when the new Trek is the huge hit I'm expecting, the net effect will be very positive.
Seth, not an unpopular one with me. It's just that my day job is editing an SF&F book line (www.pyrsf.com) and reading manuscripts for that leaves very little time to read books published by my fellow publishing imprints/houses. And even if I did manage to read more than one or two books a year outside the Pyr line, I think it would be bad form to critique the offerings of my fellow editors. I will *always* call out good material when I see it regardless of who publishes it, but I don't think it's my place to regularly review books. Reviewing comics helps me avoid the myopia that would set in if I never read beyond my own imprint, without taking too much time away from my submissions pile, and I feel that, being a different medium to novels, I can provide criticisms without overstepping. But if you are looking for more novel recommendations, always happy to oblige.
I have always been big on Moorcock, and was heavily influenced by Robert Anton Wilson's Illuminatus! in the 90s, as well as PKD's Valis, so I really responded well to The Invisibles, which borrowed liberally from all three and worked them into a then-contemporary context. And I like his Doom Patrol very much, or did, but I think the shine has worn off for me, or that his strengths are perhaps becoming weaknesses. Aspects of R.I.P. read more like a parody of Morrison than Morrison.
Brian2 @ 4. I think we're actually in pretty clear agreement, and the Robin Hood example is why I'm so upset that Frank Miller went back into The Dark Knight Returns. Remember Alan Moore's introduction to the original trade paperback edition? And I do think that Morrison's shtick has it's place. It's more effective in his All Star Superman, because there he doesn't let his "everything and the kitchen sink" approach get in the way of storytelling. It's still there, but in service to narrative. Here, I felt narrative was in service to it. And there's nothing wrong with a postmodern approach or any new take on any character, but if a tale fails to entertain first and foremost, then it fails to do anything.
Son of the Demon is one of my all time favorite Batman stories. I am well aware of it. But its resolution, coupled with Batman's statement here about twisted eugenics experiments, means that it doesn't fit into Morrison's continuity, at least not as it was written. Re: "unstable/destabilize" - thanks! I'll fix later when I'm in the office. I finished this piece at 5am so was obviously a little blurry.
@Troylis I think there are some moments where the movie draws on specifically cinematic references, which are more important for it to function as a stand-alone film (and my wonderful wife, who went into the film with no knowledge of the comic, did think it was a great stand-alone film). Well said! You've articulated something I was trying to express about film-specific nuances.
@cmpalmer - it's an interesting mix of critics faulting it for not straying from the source material and fans criticizing it for straying too much. I thought it was wonderfully faithful while addressing the separate needs of film. I am eager to see the promised 4 hour version on DVD though, and wonder if that won't move it a step closer to the comics. I'm still marveling at the casting too.
@Hentosz - thanks for the link. Downloading to iTunes now! @neutronjockey - I agree wholeheartedly re: kids. Appalled to hear there were little kids at showings several friends of mine attended.
Thank you! I've since talked to more people who never read it but enjoyed it, as well as more SF&F writers who did read it and loved the film. Moore hates Hollywood and DC both (with good reason), so his disagreements predate this film either way.
Again, I think given where some of the earlier attempts at translating this film to the screen were headed, it's a miracle, and a pity Moore can't see the difference between this and League of Extraordinary Gentleman, because there IS a difference.
Yup. It's not necessary to have read it first - Chris' work can be read in any order, but once you read a few, it's like discovering pieces of the puzzle and slotting them into place.
ndgmtlcd - what I am is a very slow reader, and a very broad reader. And I believe when someone comes across as smart, articulate, interesting, and unique in an interview, there's a good chance those qualities will be reflected in their prose as well (the inverse is also true.) To commission a *novel* from an interview would be a rather bad decision, but to take a chance on a single short story, in a book of 16 or so, when I was intrigued by the thought process of the author in question, who was already a published, critically-acclaimed writer of hard SF, wasn't really that much of a gamble. And I did go with the *shorter* of the two works. What's more, I read a *lot* of author interviews. I find then generally more useful than book reviews personally, when it comes to determining if someone's work is liable to click with me. (Note to authors - having 3 or 4 sample stories up on website, also good.) Furthermore, I have learned across 7 anthologies (and two more in the works), that editor's have to guard against myopia creeping into their judgment and strive to allow for stories outside their comfort zone. So when I construct an anthology, I'll anchor it on 3 - 5 "sure bet" stories, spaced very literally like a scaffolding to hang the book on. But I'll have 1 or 2 in there that are in there specifically because of what they may teach *me*. However, your estimation of my reading skills aren't what's important here. If you pick up any of Adam Roberts work, I thank you.
Mythusmage - have you ever read any of Mike Resnick's John Justin Mallory stories? That's exactly how the Cat Person Felina acts. Dotan - thanks, corrected. You stare at your own prose too long, you see only what you think you meant, not what you wrote. Andyl - very much appreciate the clarification.
Hey Aaron - ***without spoilers*** the payoff at the end of On was amazing! Hey, Eldritchoo - Projections is near and dear to my heart. I love reading writers on writers and the genre in general, and wanted to aggregate some of my favorite essays. Then several of the people I asked to contribute, including Adam, asked if they could do original material. It started as two books, one on film and the other on literature, but I didn't have an even 50/50 split, so the publisher and I decided to combine it into one book. Some critics objected to this; others thought the book lacked a clear POV. It had a POV - the POV is "I love talking about SF&F, don't you?". I still pull it out and read bits of it aloud, like Swanwick's letter to a grandchild not yet born, explaining the importance of writing SF. That one makes me tear up every time. Anyway, I'm sure Monkeybrain has cases of them. Lou - agreed. And like I said, we published Gradisil (we being Pyr Books), Solaris published that gorgeous edition of Splinter, and Gollancz shipped their edition of Swiftly here directly (far as I can tell). Nice name, too.
ELeatherwood - thank you. That was my intention. Not collapsing your floor exactly, though. Kabada1 - thank you very much for confirming this!
Yes, but they reference some panels from the comic book of the same era. They also reference classic shots from Batman's early days, and one from Dark Knight Returns.
I haven't been able to bring myself to read any of this yet.... so dreading it.
Thanks, Jay. I tried to work in, but didn't have room for, one of my other favs - that collapsible motorcycle that hangs from the roof under a scalloped tarp. Love to see that show up elsewhere (movie?).
I always took it that his identity was purposely never revealed as Batman is not a man but an inspiration or icon. That's how I read it too. Bonus: my copy also includes concept sketches and a Batman-during-the-Third-Reich tale that shouts out to von Mises. As does mine, though I haven't read the Batman Chronicles tale yet.
Magnificent! Saw this in the store last weekend and new immediately who it was. Really love seeing this behind-the-scenes look. Thank you Dave and Irene!
Thank you. Honestly, I'm starting to think of it as The Killing Joke for Lex Luthor. And since I didn't think Joker was that, I think I'm correct here. Only time will tell though...
Yes, yes - Steed and Peel are very definitely in the mix, as well as a touch of Mulder and Scully.
The Fifth Element is one of my all-time favorite films. Yes, it's silly as fuck, but when it appeared it was a wonderful counterpoint to the endless retread of Blade Runner and Aliens that Hollywood is still stuck in today. So much SF visually is all about people in coveralls walking through drab corridors and dark rubber sets. Alien was 1979. H.R. Giger isn't cutting edge anymore. I love The Fifth Element for its color, its exuberance, its exoticism. The news that Luc Besson may make another SF film really cheered me up. Meanwhile, I've always been fascinated by the parallels with Babylon Five, right down to a shadowy enemy and winged aliens in encounter suits.
If I may...from an old Steve Martin routine: "OK, I don't like to gear my material to the audience, but I'd like to make an exception, because I was told that there is a convention of plumbers in town this weekI understand about 30 of them came down to the show tonightso before I came out, I worked up a joke especially for the plumbers. Those of you who aren't plumbers probably won't get this and won't think it's funny, but I think those of you who are plumbers will really enjoy this. This lawn supervisor was out on a sprinkler maintenance job, and he started working on a Findlay sprinkler head with a Langstrom seven-inch gangly wrench. Just then this little apprentice leaned over and said, 'You can't work on a Findlay sprinkler head with a Langstrom seven-inch wrench.' Well, this infuriated the supervisor, so he went and got Volume 14 of the Kinsley manual, and he reads to him and says, 'The Langstrom seven-inch wrench can be used with the Findlay sprocket.' Just then the little apprentice leaned over and says, 'It says sprocket, not socket!' [Worried pause.] 'Were these plumbers supposed to be here this show?'
Jack Nicholson didn't do it for me at all. He was just some old fat guy who turned into the Joker for the last week of his life. Now, Jack Nicholson circa The Shining would have done it. However, the Joker of Batman: Mask of the Phantasm and the Joker of Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker - that's my Joker!
Irene, I almost called you out by name in this piece. This show is definitely for you. I'm not sure it's for me, though I'm enjoying it. The 1966-68 series though - I cannot wait till that is in a DVD boxed set! Pablo - I am with you on the no-oval, but that's the other Batman. This is very definitely the yellow-oval Batman. You nail it with Sprang meets Kirby.
Henry, for what it's worth I think you've nailed it. Jason, when you say Maybe it's a matter of my own idealism more than a matter of plot structure. I just felt a bit cheated by the hopelessness..., I think you are spot on. The ending seemed pretty damn final to me. There might be room for Joe to show Fero catching up to Bayaz one day, in some yet-to-be-conceived book written many moons from now, but I don't think the story demands it, and if Joe never revisited these characters, I don't think anything would be left dangling. I thought the ending was very much an ending, of everything, just maybe not the happy ending that a lifetime of reading idealistic fantasy engenders one to expect.
Well, you can track the Doctor's willingness to use violence, particularly against the Daleks. The 4th Doctor is given the mission to retroactively prevent their creation and can't do it. The fifth Doctor wants to shoot Davros, their creator, and can't do it. The sixth Doctor turns Davros over to the Daleks. The seventh Doctor destroys their entire homeworld. And the 8th or 9th Doctor commits genocide in the Time War according to the new series' backstory. I was always fascinated by the Valeyard, who shows up in "Trial of a Time Lord," as he was said to be "an amalgamation of the Doctor's darker nature, culled from between his 12th and final incarnation.
I should add - that is Greg Bridges art on The Blood Debt. Stunning stuff.
Thanks all. Irene - the Cenotaxis art is by Sparth. Blue - odd you should mention the Age of Misrule. We'll be bringing that out in Spring 09 over here.
Thanks for this elucidation. Perhaps I came off as selling them short since I was shyer with my own line than with others. The books drew comparisons to Ursula K Le Guin, China Miéville, and Philip Pullman all. Book one (for those following us) starts off in the present day, when the world is broken and magic returns. A lot of the action takes place in a fractured afterworld - which is where the comparisons to Gaiman, especially American Gods, comes in. Then book two really starts a trilogy-inside-a-quartet, where adult versions of the characters introduced in The Books of the Change being a traditional three-book quest in a broken future world (that is the source of the Le Guin comparisons). The villain, Yod, first letter in the unpronounceable name for God in Hebrew (YVHV) gives us our Pullman. They are incredibly rich books in a rich world, and I thank you for saying so.
What is interesting to me is the way this character evolved organically over so many years. Also, in that very first episode, when they are carrying with them a wounded cave man, the Doctor argues that he is slowing them down and should be abandoned. The humans refuse, where upon the Doctor picks up a rock when they aren't looking and is apprehended about to smash the man's skull in. At several points in the show's history, the Doctor indicated that he was less than good before he became known as "the Doctor." Certainly Hartnell's Doctor improved with time. At least once he admitted to Barbara that he valued her company as as he "learned by observing" and one reading of the show is that exposure to these initial companions is what makes him into a hero over time.