Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sunday Comics (Feb 24th)

This week I've got three Marvel books for you.... The first is one that is about my favorite of all the books I gat these days.....

I have been a fan of Carol Danvers from back in her Xmen appearances in the eighties. She has been through a tremendous about emotional BS since those days and the title handled these days by Kelly Sue Deconnick the partner of the marvelous writer Mark Fraction is such a hero on her own. Among the numerous comics starring a woman these days Captain Marvel stands out as a personal story loaded with emotional weight and passion tied to the character of Carol it's a title grounded in what it is to be a person and to care about others. I missed out on the early issues if this and am sad not to have them.





I missed much of John Hickman's Fantastic Four and FF and am much the lesser for that because the few I've read are great speculative fiction. I did get on to the Avengers run he just started and though its been a slow build of something really big I'm glad I've had a chance to see some of it. The titles hat he is writing,avengers and New Avengers really tie together and reading one without the other I think the will be plots that will fall between the gaps.

This issue and the last one are spotlighting new female characters and how they became what they are now and how they mesh with the Avengers team. These stories also forward the ongoing story that has big implications I think so its going to take patience to get the most out of this. I have faith though.... And John has great little character bits that are worthy of the Joss Whedon movie the Avengers....





Jason Aaron is a writer I have little experience with but as with lots of the Marvel Now writers he seems to be taking the reigns of a franchise and running with it. Thor, which is a title I've both loved and disliked over the different writers, has returned with a violent and powerful story. Told over three different eras of the god of thunders life this is a title like Avengers.... It's a slow burn but like chilli peppers its the kind of burn hat I love.

As of this the fifth issue the story is getting its hooks into me and I'll be on board for this one as long as its this good..... I think this will read better as a whole as I think the marvelously Kirby like Captian America Now title will.... I'd love to have the money to get them both to be honest.....


Saturday, February 23, 2013

WANTED.... Feb. 26

People who have known me for a while know that I'm kinda nuts for British fiction, tv and comics and even the UK covers of novels. So yeah I'm a long time Doctor Who fan, I often prefer UK writers of SF & F, dig 200AD and the like. I'm not sure what it is maybe its the lure of the different or just my crow like attraction to the shiny but I do get exited when a new British speculative fiction writer comes on the scene. Fade To Black by Francis Knight sounds to be right up my alley with the promise of a weird imaginative setting along the lines of China Mieville and the promise of dark adventure, corruption and dark magic you could say I'm going to give it a shot.

The fine people at Orbit have provided some enticements like some teasers of the book for free, interviews and such here to get you hooked too.

This is dystopic, its noir, its about faith and about belief. There is a lot of modern commentary in this that I see with the magic and the emergent behavior of people and it all makes dark depressing sense. I loved this book for everyone it is, it's not perfect but it is such a good read.



Wolfhound Century is the kind of novel that pulls for so many genres that its hard to typify in terms that can be easily approached. Peter Higging pulls from Russian folklore as much as he is pulling for weird fiction as he is from thriller crime fiction and dystopia. He is writing a crime story that could easily be called a spy novel. I'm not surprised that Peter F Hamilton, Hannu Rajaniemi and Richard Morgan all blurbed this novel since it crosses so many genres. Wolfhound Century is not out till March and in the US it will be hard cover only for the moment but because like Fade to Black it crosses so many speculative genres I can only say that's switch Fade fans of weird fiction Wolfhound is worth the money and more importantly the time. Peter Higgins is a great thriller writer reminding me of Perdido Street Station with his soviet, red paranoid era fiction. It's a novel a wish I'd not started before a full day of work. I want to have the time to devote to these character and this second world thriller....

Not expected till a month from this week it's a bit of a way off but here is the post from Orbit books


Ill get you more next week....


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Sunday Comics....(feature idea)

This is by far the all out funniest comic I have read in a while. Ok, to be honest it might not click with people who are unfamiliar with the less then A list marvel characters Valkyrie and Misty Knight but given the website and Wikipedia you could read some comics history without breaking the pocketbook. Fearless Defenders by Cullen Bunn ( see last nights Wanted.... for another Cullen Bunn called The Sixth Gun comic that is alsopretty great) captures the whimsical fun of movies like Evil Dead, Army of Darkness and the Indiana Jones series in graphic format and I do not even mind the cost of entry in anime where comic collecting is no longer even a moderately expensive hobby.

The "Defenders" title has always been kind of a strange and non team team book from its beginnings back in the seventies with Doctor Strange, The Hulk, Namor and the Silver Surfer. That is a lot of potential power and it never really fell into the Superman trap of having to come up witha reason as to why the hero(s) might fail. In the eighties the team got bigger and more team like with the group that included Valkyrie, Xmens Angel, the Gargoyle and odd new characters like Cloud many of which are now sadly absent. I did not read the most recent incarnation because of its cost but I think I will have to remidee that mistake somehow since I'm really enjoying Red She Hulk right now and Iron Fist is one of my all time favorites. That brings me to one of the leads in this new era Misty Knight was Danny Rand, Iron Fist's, girlfriend who was kind of a mix of a blackspoiltation private eye and the bionic woman which was was cool but mostly just a background character in the Powerman and Iron Fist book. I know she's been a bigger player in the last few years but its great to see her as a lead character in this book as a PI and Adventurer in her own right.

I also liked seeing one of my old favorites from the good old Defender days in the character of Valkyrie, the comic opens with her and a one page narration that kind of makes me wish I had read the Fear itself storyline that leads into her current situation, being the lone shield maiden of Asgard. The ominous tone of that page contrasts well with the otherwise fast pulp adventure tone of the reast of the issue. The interplay between Ms. Knight and the Teutonic warrioress defys their male counterparts, they meet, trade quips rather then fisticuffs and get on with business, that being fighting the undead around them. We don't get the testosterone melee that made my laugh out loud in the Avengers film mainly because of the predictability of the buddy fight thrown down. The beats between the lead characters here are much less brawn though its still a great melee. Along with Journey into Mystery and Captain Marvel this is another female centric title that breaks with many of the problems that some other heroine comics have, ones that will remain un-named here.

I for one am was hooked by this one; Cullen Bunn writes women characters that don't just act like men with breasts and female pluming. Sure it is a very pretty comic to look at that I will admit but its more the that. It's a return to fun in storytelling and hat I welcome over the relentless grimness of some books.


Saturday, February 16, 2013

Wanted February 16th



Going to dive right in since thinking much has lead me to missing deadlines I myself set.

Next week an epic fantasy novel that promises to be a bit China Mieville like and from the preview I read exciting and engaging in the opening chapter. I can not wait to get into the meat of this novel and its US cover it so pretty.

Here is the article that was posted today at the Tor website and well I want a copy all the more.

John Joseph Adams is one of the three best original anthology editors in the game today Ann I have had my eye on this one for the last few months. Some of my favorite short fiction authors are being featured in this one Seanan McGurie, Genevive Valentine, David D Levine, Carrie Vaghn, Laird Barron, Mary Robinette Kowal's and Jeffrey Ford to name a few. It promises to his the mad scientist types from superhero comics, science fiction, tv shows and video games addressing the foibles and fun of the villain of so many stories and with so many good names 14.95 s a bargin.

This one is already on the shelf and Borderlands Books in San Francisco is holding a signing on Saturday February 23rd at 3pm. John Joseph Adams and Seanan McGuire will be there and id expect it to be a great time. Their signings are the best I've been to and I'm so sad that I'm stuck here at home and working....

This may not be out till the last week of this month but the third week of this moth there were few things that I saw that attracted my attention like this one. Along with urban fantasy I enjoy what I would call historical urban fantasy like that of Mark Chadborn's Swords of Albion series. This book from Solaris looks to fit into that same category. Here is the back cover copy for you to read to see it its your kind so things too:

1653: The long and bloody English Civil War is at an end. King Charles is dead and Oliver Cromwell rules the land as king in all but name. Richard Treadwell, an exiled royalist officer and soldier-for-hire to the King of France and his all-powerful advisor, the wily Cardinal Mazarin, burns with revenge for those who deprived him of his family and fortune.

He decides upon a self-appointed mission to return to England in secret and assassinate the new Lord Protector. Once back on English soil however, he learns that his is not the only plot in motion. A secret army run by a deluded Puritan is bent on the same quest, guided by the Devil’s hand. When demonic entities are summoned, Treadwell finds himself in a desperate turnaround: he must save Cromwell to save England from a literal descent into Hell.

But first he has to contend with a wife he left in Devon who believes she’s a widow, and a furious Paris mistress who has trailed him to England, jeopardising everything. Treadwell needs allies fast. Can he convince the man sent to forcibly drag him back to Cardinal Mazarin? A young king’s musketeer named d’Artagnan. Black dogs and demons; religion and magic; Freemasons and Ranters. It’s a dangerous new Republic for an old cavalier coming home again.

So till next Saturday that is what would be on my Wanted wall.... Have a good week....


Tuesday, February 12, 2013


Well today's lack of meaningful content is all my fault. Hope for a better outcome tomorrow.....

Monday, February 11, 2013

Time management issues

Hello, I know your looking for my review of this

Well due to being called into work early I have to put off that review till tomorrow so you can expect possibly some extra content tomorrow.... Sorry for the delay and I hope it will be worth the wait...

Take care all



Saturday, February 9, 2013


Before we get to the books that have become a part of my wanted list and may someday be a part of my library I wanted to lock in some reviews that I will be getting to this week. Monday I will be publishing my review of RS Belcher's excellent first novel Six Gun Tarot and Thursday I will be doing another two from the hip with Mike Resnick's Doc Holiday books The Buntline Special and The Doc and the Kid.

Now my Wanted List...

Catherynne M Valente is one of my favorite authors she has written lots of short fiction i have really enjoyed and some novels I very much want to read. Six Gun Snow White is a novella that Subterranian Publishing will be printing towards the end of this month and as a mixture of the Fairy Tale, magic and western it's right up my alley and also along the lines of the reviews I plan tonfocus on this month.

For people unfamiliar with her fiction she has several short stories available to read for free on the Internet through venues like Lightspeed and Clarkesworld magazines. She also was the editor of the online magazine Apex which durring her tenure bought many short stories I very much enjoyed. She is deft at creating stories that blend elements of old fables and mythology with modern storytelling concepts like cosmic horror and steampunk. Her fiction is more then a mash up and well makes it hard to describe it other then to day she is a modern dark fable writer. Tor books posted a previe of Six Gun here.

Hope that like several other of Subterranian books this will get a larger print run in the future as a trade paperback since it sounds so good and more people should get the chance to read it.


The next book I just found out about earlier this week and was a project funded through Kickstarter last winter. Looking at the website here it looks like there is more then just a physical book to look forward to; there is a multi media app/book that has voice over and animated images (again you can see these previewed on the web site. The writer P.C. Martin wrote this Holmes Steampunk James Bondish mystery novella that is apparently around now and I'm quite tempted to try and find one. She is apparently quite a fan of the works of Conan Doyle and according to reviews wrote in his style in the novella.

As an aside I have been re-reading the Holmes cannon because of my enjoyment of the shows Elementary and Sherlock and the amount of time it's been since I read any of the stories. Really enjoying revisiting the Baker Street consulting detective. I'm going to at least give it an extended look.


This is the fourth volume of the weird western comic by Cullen Bunn and illustrated by Brian Hurtt. Sixth Gun is a weird western kind of along the lines of the novel I'll review Monday but with a totally different feel; its not so much a steampunk story as it is a horror tale as HP Lovecraft might have told if he wrote westerns rather then gothic cosmic horror. It has a widely mixed cast of characters including strong women and characters of color that are more then just white males in another guise. The art sets the mood for the comic along the lines of the stylistic reality ala Mike Mignola both real and fantastic at once. I have to be honest I've only read the first volume but it is something I want a complete collection of....

Bunn has a history of doing comics with pulp sensibilities including a series that followed a favorite of mine - Iron Fist from the marvel universe. Along with Jonah Hex the Sixth Gun is a good reason the check out western comics....








Thursday, February 7, 2013

Used e-Books???

Today through two bloggers I read daily... Chuck Wendig and John Scalzi commented on an article that Chuck linked to that says Amazon is planning to sell "used" ebooks. I felt the reactions of both of them were well thought out and well reasoned. In thinking about it myself it occurs to me that it may be because they are only selling a license to read a file rather then the file itself this may be slightly legally possible. Over the last five some years Amazon has pretty much made me never want to use them unless there is literally no other way to get something and the last time I got something from them was for MK Hobsons kickstarter published book.

I'd encourage people to use independent stores like Weightless books the Kobo store and actually buy books and ebooks new since that way the people who created it get something and avoid the 800lb gorilla in the net....


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A Busy and emotional day....

Today I had a post planned but life and movies got in the way so I will write about that and the things I am reading at the moment and a book I just must get a copy of.

For the last several days my MacBook has been waiting to go to the local computer store, Connecting Point Computer Centers is your in the Southern Oregon Rogue Valley. Couple months back my battery gave up the ghost and this week my ac adapter did too. I feel lucky that it was just that because a new adapter is much cheaper then any other issue it might be. I mention this because the people there are quite helpful and James in the service department is quite thorough when he checks our your machine when its ill. I give the store high marks and its always coolest to shop locally.

Getting home much later then I'd hoped due to getting some new duds for work and a trip to Trader Joes for food and such instead of writing about the book that will get reviewed tomorrow or Friday we watched a couple of movies. I have the pleasure to know a filmmaker from den Haag and we watched the final cut of a movie we have seen at several stages of editing. It's his longest film to date and has a narrative but it is by no means conventional in its storytelling. The title is Stray Dogs of Talad Noi and follows the lives of several real people in a small area of Bangkok Thailand; its very good and actually a fairly different film then the cut from some months back which was both surprising and cool at the same time. Like both of the films quite a bit. If you like experimental film you may want to try and track it down.

The other movie we watched was one from the late eighties called Orphans starring Albert Finny Matthew Modine and Kevin Anderson. It's a story that is often funny and incredibly moving overall. Describing it more I would give things away but I am sorry I did not see it when it was originally out; its one of those movies that you hope has a lasting impact on you. I do give the movie a big thumbs up but it is one where tissue may be in order..... at least I'd hope it would be.

Now as to what I have been reading. This week Natural History of Dragons hit the shelves, I know because getting to work Tuesday there was one in the shop window. I had read about the book and as a fan of Downton Abby, don't mock me its great soap opera, and with its "elevator pitch" seeming to be "it's Downton Abby with dragons" I was very interested in it. I had downloaded the eBook preview but had heat to crack the cover so to say.

Reading the preview was a joy and reminded me if reading Mary Robinette Kowal's "Shades of Milk and Honey". Natural History is told as a memoir so its all in the head of the protagonist Isabella, a wonam of the upper class, in a second world fantasy setting resembling Edwardian England. The writing style seemed very personal and self referential to books and lectures I as a reader had to imagine being familiar with. I found the little I got to read charming and I'm very interested to finish it. Here is a link to the preview through the TOR website give it a read it may be something up your ally too.

I'm also reading and ARC of the dark horse comic The Massive which is a post environmental apocalypse story that is mainly suspense and partially mystery and has me hooked to see the development of the tale.

The story of the Massive skips about in time giving you the heroes of the tale up till a cliffhanger, the telling of the disaster, then a bit more of the present day then back to the early relationships of the heroes. It's a slow burner as a thriller but I can say that by the time of the first scene change I was inboard for the ride.

So may be a bit of a mess today but somedays are like that and nothing you'd planned come to be but having the AC adapter die on Monday did pretty much suck so.... Well hope you enjoyed my details about the day and do check out Marie Brennan's new book it's not like much else out there and as I said what I've read was pretty good....


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Jagannath Stories wins William L Crawford award for Fantasy fiction

Jagannath Stories the short fiction collection by Swedish author Karin Tidbeck was announced as the winner of the 2013 William L. Crawford award for fantasy from among some very great short listers. I bought a copy of this because of all the praise Jeff Vandermeer gave the speculative and weird fiction authors he got exposed to when he visited the Scandinavian area a cole years back. I plann to revie this book at length when I have finished it but from the selection of stories I've read it is pretty fantastic and worthy getting awards. Her stories, short though they are left me with both a that feeling of not so much dread that haunts American weird fiction but possibly haunted is a better word if you add an odd hopeful atmosphere. Her fiction resonates well well with me as a fan of China Mieville, Jeff Vandermeer, Catherynne M Valente and Jeffrey Ford.

Among the other short listed works was "Throne of The Crescent Moon" by Saladin Ahmed that is one of my favorite books from 2012 and one that I reviewed here. Both Rachel Hartman's "Seraphina" and Kiini Ibura Salaam short fiction collection "Ancient, Ancient" are books that I would much like to read and since Roz Kaveney's "Rituals" is in this company I have to check into it too.

I know with the Nebula's the Hugo's, the Tiptree and assorted awards its always nice to see a list of past winners to see the legacy of it so here is a list of past winners....

Prior winners include Jonathan Lethem, Charles de Lint, Greer Gilman, Judith Tarr, Kij Johnson, Joe Hill, M. Rickert, Daryl Gregory, Christopher Barzak, Jedediah Berry, Karen Lord and, last year, Genevieve Valentine.

So Karin and the other short listers have some great company....

Alabaster and Blood Oranges...


Dancy Flammarion, the albino monster hunter called Alabaster, is a combination of the kickass monster hunter like Buffy and the lone vigilante that is among the few that can see the horrors that live among us like Nick from Grimm. She may well be insane seeing herself as the tool of a many faced flaming sword wielding seraph, doing "gods" will in erasing the monsters from the lands of the southern US. She's a totally believe able young woman struggling to hold on to the few prescious items from her troubled past and and very much lie Bruce Banner from the 70s Hulk tv show possibly misunderstood and definitely dangerous. After reading the graphic novel Alabaster :wolves I'm hooked on this knife wielding pulp heroine.

"Wolves" takes Dancy into a southern town that seems in perpetual gloom, that there may be to way to leave even greyhound service is apparently stopped. Dancy has only a talking red wing blackbird for companionship until the other late teen girl shows up. The tale includes a great "bromance" and buddy fight knife fights in various settings including a mass combat in a church. The story involves history of the south and the darkest most evil parts of it. The dark and moody art fits it so well and Steve Leiber draws believable young women that don't pose in back aching poses.

Caitlín R. Kiernan is a writer I remember wanting to read years ago when her acclaimed novel Silk came out and rediscovered when her later novel The Red Tree was on everyone's to read or best of list a couple years back too and because of net galley I finally got the opportunity to give her graphic novel through Net Galley and I think I've found another urban horror writer to follow. She gives her characters real and relatable needs and desires. The story of Dancy Flammarion, albino monster hunter with an angel companion in the contemporary United States gives a great introduction to modern American gothic fiction. Dancy is a character out of Caitlín's novel Threshold from the late 90's aged a few more years and more weary and more suspicious of her own perceptions. I so much want to read the older stories now.

The art and the story's atmosphere mesh so well, Steve Lieber, both a dark brooding and often bloody. His characters are realistic without heading into the uncanny valley and so appealing even when filthy and wounded. His monsters and his seraph are equally disturbing in their almost humanity both slightly alluring and repulsive.

Caitlín deftly throws in moments of levity within all the gothic pulp horror, just enough to make both the satire and the horror effective This story of Dancy and her possibly many faced "guardian angel" traveling the south much like the Bill Bixby Hulk with few possessions and a none too peaceful past following her. I think the story is easily accessible to a nubie like me and fans of something among the lines of the Angel series with just a but more grit will likely love it.

The tale takes Alabaster into unsafe places, one where she faces werewolves, festering wounds, temptation, friendship (if you could call it that) and betrayal. There is an unintentional ancient evil created by witchcraft, books to foul to speak of, and tons of great art and story with characters that are often surprising and wonderfully flawed people. This fun fest of knives and blood and werewolves comes out laterthis month in a likely to be gorgeous hard cover volume from the people at Dar Horse Books.... I'm likely going to track down the first volume in this series. Dancy is a character that's easy too like though she may be a totally unreliable narrator but that is kind of half the fun of pulpy stories like this.

And hey what's that mention of Blood Oranges above about?

Well the night I finished up Alabaster and was looking up books from Caitlín I came across a mention of a new novel from her, under a pseudo name, one that looks like terribly great fun and is also due this month. The book, penned under the name Kathleen Tierney, looks to be a book that will "take the piss" when it comes to urban fantasy heroines being all that proficient and clever. Here is the blurb see what you think...

My name’s Quinn.

If you buy into my reputation, I’m the most notorious demon hunter in New England. But rumors of my badassery have been slightly exaggerated. Instead of having kung-fu skills and a closet full of medieval weapons, I’m an ex-junkie with a talent for being in the wrong place at the right time. Or the right place at the wrong time. Or…whatever.

Wanted for crimes against inhumanity I (mostly) didn’t commit, I was nearly a midnight snack for a werewolf until I was “saved” by a vampire calling itself the Bride of Quiet. Already cursed by a werewolf bite, the vamp took a pint out of me too.

So now…now, well, you wouldn’t think it could get worse, but you’d be dead wrong.

Just the concept sounds like great fun to me.... Here is the link to the original post on Tor for you to check out too. It does a much more thorough job of selling it then I ever could.... Souns like salacious adult comedy with some incidental violence thrown in for good measure. I have hopes it will live up to fun it sounds like....

Anyhow I know it's not totally in line with the western them I'd posited for the month but Alabaster does happen in the south and to completely pulp adventure so it kind of fits....

Take care and beware those werewolf scratches, they aren't the cleanest of creatures...

Click here to check out the solicitation on Dark Horse Comics for the graphic novel and view a preview of the book

To read about the history of the Alabaster character and the creation of the comic click here

For Caitlín R Kiernan' s web site whe you can check out her recent novels including The Drowning Girl and the Red Tree simple click the link on her name


App issues

Hello I'd like to apologize about my lack of content yesterday... I have a post that should have automatically loaded but between app issues and my own possible techtardedness my review and wanted post was a scent and now may be lost. Today I hope to clear up that issue and get two posts not including this one up....

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Blogs worth your time

By my own fault today has not been the best of days for me. I thought I would share a post about some book blogs that are worth the time of day even when this blogger has had a day where all he wants to do is curl up and hope tomorrow is a better day....: ....

Mad Hatters bookshelf and review

Book Smugglers

SF Signal

These are the three that give me the most information beyond the publishers and authors sites ..... They are the places I go for information in the morning ....

Guess today is a minimal me day but consider hat a good thing since I have little to say...

Saturday, February 2, 2013


I'm pulling this idea from a couple of review blogs; Book Smugglers has there weekly On Our Radar column and Tynga Reviews has Stacking the Shelves post. I've linked their blogs in the names and I think both do a great job covering all that is great and worthy in both YA adult speculative fiction. I'm going to be mainly hitting books just out or soon to the hitting the shelves and this month is such a huge month of books it's kind of surprising.... Please note I'm hitting my highlights but there is a complete list at SF Signal

First a couple out as of last month


From British writer Gareth L. Powell comes Ack Ack Macaque which seems a crazy steampunk revision of World War Two but even if you read the prologue and the first chapter that you can find here giving it a read will probably tell you if your up for it... Seemed pretty cool to me; I love things that blend genres and this seems to be a mixture on frappe.



In 1944, as waves of German ninjas parachute into Kent, Britain’s best hopes for victory lie with a Spitfire pilot codenamed ‘Ack-Ack Macaque.’ The trouble is, Ack-Ack Macaque is a cynical, one-eyed, cigar-chomping monkey, and he’s starting to doubt everything, including his own existence.

A century later, in a world where France and Great Britain merged in the late 1950s and nuclear-powered Zeppelins circle the globe, ex-journalist Victoria Valois finds herself drawn into a deadly game of cat and mouse with the man who butchered her husband and stole her electronic soul. Meanwhile, in Paris, after taking part in an illegal break-in at a research laboratory, the heir to the British throne goes on the run. And all the while, the doomsday clock ticks towards Armageddon.

So sit back, peel a banana and enjoy.

The next book just hit the shelves this last week and is one of the ones I'll br reviewing next week, it is by a comic shop owner here in the USA and is a book that I quite loved hitting hat sweet spot between weird western, pulp horror and modern character complexity. The book is Six Gun Tarot...


Nevada, 1869: Beyond the pitiless 40-Mile Desert lies Golgotha, a cattle town that hides more than its share of unnatural secrets. The sheriff bears the mark of the noose around his neck; some say he is a dead man whose time has not yet come. His half-human deputy is kin to coyotes. The mayor guards a hoard of mythical treasures. A banker’s wife belongs to a secret order of assassins. And a shady saloon owner, whose fingers are in everyone’s business, may know more about the town’s true origins than he’s letting on.

A haven for the blessed and the damned, Golgotha has known many strange events, but nothing like the primordial darkness stirring in the abandoned silver mine overlooking the town. Bleeding midnight, an ancient evil is spilling into the world, and unless the sheriff and his posse can saddle up in time, Golgotha will have seen its last dawn…and so will all of Creation.

R.S. Belcher’s The Six-Gun Tarot is “an astonishing blend of first-rate steampunk fantasy and Western adventure.” (Library Journal, Starred Review)

By the middle of the next week I'll be hitting this with a review but know that overall this audacious western horror has my endorsement....


For those fans of BBC period dramas like Downton Abby (I must admit to loving this soap opera personally) should give thas next volumes look. I for one can not want to get a look at this novel and based on Marie Brennan's past fiction I have high expectations...

You, dear reader, continue at your own risk. It is not for the faint of heart—no more so than the study of dragons itself. But such study offers rewards beyond compare: to stand in a dragon’s presence, even for the briefest of moments—even at the risk of one’s life—is a delight that, once experienced, can never be forgotten. . . .

All the world, from Scirland to the farthest reaches of Eriga, know Isabella, Lady Trent, to be the world’s preeminent dragon naturalist. She is the remarkable woman who brought the study of dragons out of the misty shadows of myth and misunderstanding into the clear light of modern science. But before she became the illustrious figure we know today, there was a bookish young woman whose passion for learning, natural history, and, yes, dragons defied the stifling conventions of her day.

Here at last, in her own words, is the true story of a pioneering spirit who risked her reputation, her prospects, and her fragile flesh and bone to satisfy her scientific curiosity; of how she sought true love and happiness despite her lamentable eccentricities; and of her thrilling expedition to the perilous mountains of Vystrana, where she made the first of many historic discoveries that would change the world forever.

Marie Brennan introduces an enchanting new world in A Natural History of Dragons.

I'm also a great fan of the American gothic weird that is the province of Canadian David Lynch, the storytelling traditions of the Twilight Zone and Outer Limits and HP Lovecraft and King. American Elsewhere tickles that fancy in so many levels with a great and original protagonist.....


Ex-cop Mona Bright has been living a hard couple of years on the road, but when her estranged father dies, she finds she's had a home all along: a little house her deceased mother once owned in Wink, New Mexico.

And though every map denies Wink exists, Mona finds they're wrong: not only is Wink real, it is the perfect American small town, somehow retaining all the Atomic Age optimism the rest of world has abandoned.

But the closer Mona gets to her mother's past, the more she understands that the people in Wink are very, very different - and what's more, Mona begins to recognize her own bond to this strange place, which feels more like home every day.

And last for this week I have to go to my favorite of all the smaller publishers today PYR; Lou Anders and his staff choose by and large my favorite books these days, the ones that give me the most thrills the most laughs and the most tears overall. This month sees an urban fantasy series set in the Elizabethan age get another installment.... The Swords of Albion series has been a favorite of mine since the Silver Skull that I reviewed a couple years back and this looks great...


James Bond adventure in the court of Queen Elizabeth!

1593: The dreaded alchemist, magician, and spy Dr. John Dee is missing. . . .

Terror sweeps through the court of Queen Elizabeth, for in Dee's possession is an obsidian mirror, an object of great power which, legend says, could set the world afire. And so the call goes out to celebrated swordsman, adventurer and rake Will Swyfte—find Dee and his looking glass and return them to London before disaster strikes. But when Will discovers the mirror might solve the mystery that has haunted him for years—the fate of his lost love, Jenny—the stakes become acutely personal.

With London under siege by supernatural powers, time is running out. Will is left with no choice but to pursue the alchemist to the devil-haunted lands of the New World—in the very shadow of the terrifying fortress home of the Unseelie Court. Surrounded by an army of unearthly fiends, with only his sword and a few brave friends at his back, the realm's greatest spy must be prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice—or see all he loves destroyed.

And yes I know I said one but since this is another January book and a superhero steampunk adventure that's so genuinely a love letter to all those genres I have to add it.... Andrew Mayer is someone I personally know loves comics and the man can write....


Steampunk superheroes in Victorian-era New York!

The Society of Paragons is gone—destroyed from within by traitors and

enemies. With the death of The Industrialist and the rebirth of the Iron-Clad as a monstrous half-human creature known as "The Shell," Lord Eschaton now has almost everything he needs to cover the world in fortified smoke and rebuild it in his image—everything except for the mechanical heart of the Automaton.

The device is nearer than he knows. Just across the East River, hiding in a Brooklyn Junkyard, Sarah Stanton is trying to come to restore the mechanical man to life. But before she can

rebuild her friend, she must first discover the indomitable power of her own heart and save herself. Only thenwill she be able to forge a ragtag group of repentant villains, damaged Paragons, and love-mad geniuses into the team of heroes known as "The Society of Steam."


So that is your first Wanted wall in this genre lovers virtual sherif office..... Till next week look for the things you love and read....


Friday, February 1, 2013

A New Leaf

February is going to be an experiment for me.... I plan to post content daily here about speculative fiction and a fair number of reviews and columns. The overall idea is that I want to form better writing habits, expand my readership and and most of all get some exposure for books that may get overlooked. I've got a lot (and really I mean a lot) of books that I read over the last two years that I intend to revisit with reviews over the next few months.

This month I've got a a couple of themes I'm going to hit. I have my usual focus on the steampink and the weird that ill hit, along with the great pulp fiction revival that is going on but I hope to get a roll going with all the awesome weird western book out the right now. Weird westerns are quickly re-becoming a favorite genre of mine. In the 90's I was a big fan of Joe Lansdale and his blending of western and horror that reached its apex with Jonah Hex short graphic novels. So you'll be seeing some of these if not all over the coming month....

The most recent entry in the genre is the awesome and audacious Sux Gun Tarot by comic shop and award winning short fiction writer RS Belcher....






Another and very different entry from the last several years is the series written by Mike Resnick with his Doc Holiday centric weird tech and native magic series that starters with his treatment of the OK Corral shoot out called the Buntline Special (most likely to get the two from the hip treatment)











Please the click to buy it now but I wanted to add MK Hobson to the mix because the weird romantic adventure to the mix since this belongs in this company and I have yet to give it a full review and I did quite love the book...



In addition there will be reviews of the RPG related genre novels from Evil Hat books, some of the marvelous novels from the small Canadian horror publisher ChiZine which also has some excellent westerns that I touched on before and will revisit soon....


Anyway it's ambitious and a risk but as with the first book I mentioned I want to be audacious....RS Belcher has inspired me....expect that review this week....


See you tomorrow for a Stacking the Shelves article.....