Jul
15
2018
1

The ‘Miss Melee Volume 1’ Kickstarter.

This Kickstarter will collect the first six issues of the superhero webcomic Miss Melee into Volume 1 .

(more…)

Jul
14
2018
0

Book of the Week: “Spinning Silver.”

Just remembered that Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik is finally out, so I went and downloaded it.  So far, so good: I gather that it’s a retelling of the Rumpelstiltskin legend, and so far it’s coming along nicely. Can’t wait to finish it.

Jul
07
2018
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Book of the Week: The Black Chamber.

It is difficult to write anything about the background to SM Stirling’s The Black Chamber without casually breaking my own rules about not discussing certain topics.  Suffice it to say that, as an introductory book to an action series, it is quite good; plenty of fights and derring-do and super-tech (for 1916) gadgetry and whatnot.  It is also made reasonably clear that this alternate history (Teddy Roosevelt wins in 1912 after Howard Taft has a heart attack) is not quite the Progressive (note capitalization) Earthly Utopia that the heroine thinks that it is; quite a few rather ominous things and societal trends are lightly alluded to, in a way that allows the reader to raise an eyebrow at the implications. I look forward to some interest as to how the next few books in the series turn out, because there are some indications that it’s going to be set in an altogether pleasant world.

Jul
06
2018
2

RIP, Steve Ditko.

Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, Squirrel Girl. Steve Ditko was an extremely private person, and it is unclear if he had any family or loved ones.  But I will be a lucky man if I ever create something half as iconic as Spider-Man. That character is one of the images that they will remember from our era.  There are worse legacies to have; in fact, there aren’t that many that are better.

Via @kennethhite.

Jul
03
2018
1

In the Mail: Black Chamber.

Just in the proverbial nick of time, too. Something like 7:58 PM Eastern time.  I had Black Chamber and The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol. 8: My Best Friend’s Squirrel coming in the same shipment, and I would not have been amused if they had come actually late. I was not amused that they didn’t show up this morning, honestly. …God, we are all so spoiled by modern society, aren’t we?  “How DARE they take until evening to get a book delivered to my door the day it was published! How DARE they, given the discounted price of the book and the shipping I didn’t have to pay!”  It was very silly of me to be annoyed, honestly. I’ve got it good, after all.

Jun
30
2018
5

Book of the Week: The Valley of Shadows (Black Tide Rising).

I picked John Ringo’s and Mike Massa’s The Valley of Shadows (set in Ringo’s Black Tide Rising zombie apocalypse series) not because it’s out.  It’s not out. It won’t be out until November.  But it is being published by Baen, which means that they will release the E-ARC sometime… soon? Maybe?  Maybe putting it out there now will remind somebody else to pull the trigger on the E-ARC, and then I can get it, and then maybe this twitch in my eye will go away.

Come on, Baen.  It’s been a while since the last Black Tide Rising book. Have a heart.  Release the E-ARC. Let me give you my money.

Jun
29
2018
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In the Mail: Fieldwork.

Fieldwork is a novel by Mischa Berlinski that is not science or other genre fiction (it’s about hill tribes in Thailand; I’ve yet to get more than three chapters in), was a National Book Award Finalist, and does have a Stephen King blurb on the front cover.  Yes, normally that would be three strikes and you’re out, but I was sufficiently intrigued by somebody on Twitter raving about the book that I thought that I would give it a try anyway.  It is surprisingly readable, so far!  Not something that I would expect from non-genre fiction, to be honest, but I suppose that it’s unreasonable to assume that they’re all substandard.  I suppose that I am, in the end, a bit of a literary snob — so this should be a lesson to me. (more…)

Jun
28
2018
2

Choose the form of the Destructor: the new Vampire: The Masquerade is up for preorder.

[Expletive deleted].

[Expletive deleted], [Expletive deleted], [Expletive deleted]-y [Expletive deleted]. This is bad, man.  This Vampire: The Masquerade preorder has tiers.  Tiers are dangerous.  You start off at the lowest one, and you figure that this is fine — and then you start looking at the higher tiers, and realizing that all you need to do is put in a little more to get a good deal on something that you’re going to get anyway.  And there’s your new baseline, neighbor.  It all ends with you trying to explain to your wife why you spent eight hundred bucks on a limited edition hardback with leather covers and hand-written pagination.

I’ll tell you the answer. It’s because you are weak. And because this version of VtM is Ken Hite’s baby, and it’s going to help feed his book habit.  And, yeah, because it looks so very, very pretty.

Jun
28
2018
4

RIP Harlan Ellison.

Harlan Ellison was an acid-tongued, verbal bruiser of a reviewer and critic who used to flense his opponents before he defenestrated them.  He was not a fighter who liked the taste of his own blood in his mouth; he liked the taste of other people’s blood in his mouth, and was happy to indulge himself in getting some whenever possible.  There are a lot of people out there who will be happy to give their true, unvarnished opinion of Harlan Ellison — but only because he’s now safely deceased, and thus won’t show up at their front doors with a broken-off stop sign and the unnatural grin of the Undead.

None of this should be taken as a criticism, because absolutely none of it is.  I might not have watched the classic Doctor Who if it wasn’t for this man. Rest in Peace, Harlan Ellison.

Moe Lane

Jun
27
2018
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New over at Atomic Robo: the Nicodemus Job.

I am absolutely grooving to this Real Science Adventures story from the Atomic Robo folks. The Nicodemus Job is set in Constantinople during the beginning of the First Crusade, and it’s a revenge caper.  You got the Dried Out Investigator, The Wise Older Rogue, The Young Hotshot Rogue, The Forger With A Heart Of Gold, And The Philosophical Bad-Ass, all coming together for One Last Job to take out the Big Bad who they all have history with. It is all very tropy, but as TV Tropes itself has said: Tropes Are Not Bad.

Check it out. I’m finding the ongoing story very appealing.

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