Book of the Week: The Hunt For Red October.

I got turned on to Tom Clancy novels by a buddy in college. The Hunt For Red October was maybe the first one I read, because of the movie (which is, of course, excellent, and not least because it boasts a remarkably good cast). It was about then, I think, that I started coming to the (at the time) uncomfortable realization that maybe Ronald Reagan wasn’t an amiable dunce after all.  …Much followed, from that.

And so, adieu to Hard Magic. Continue reading Book of the Week: The Hunt For Red October.

Book of the Week: Hard Magic: Book I of the Grimnoir Chronicles.

I chewed through Lartry Correia’s Grimnoir Chronicles this week, starting obviously with Hard Magic. I’m making this one the BotW despite the fact that my favorite scene happened in Warbound; it’s a good trilogy generally. Definitely worth a read, if you like Depression-era magic dieselpunk pulp.  Bizarrely, there are people who don’t.

And so, adieu to The Alamo.

Infamous Dracula ‘translation’ Powers of Darkness now translated *from* Icelandic.

The short version: when Bram Stoker’s Dracula got translated into Icelandic, back in 1901, the translator took it upon himself to add a lot of… stuff to it.  Secret societies, serial killings, Norse mythology, and the title became ‘Powers of Darkness.’ Those of you who picked up The Dracula Dossier will know that Ken Hite used all of this to good effect when he converted Dracula into an long-duration British intelligence operation, but even at the time Powers of Darkness was still an Icelandic text.  Well, now they’ve translated it into English.

And, hey, it’s on Kindle. Because this is what Kindle is for: getting obscure books more or less on electronic demand. I love the future.

Book of the Week: The Alamo.

This is my week for getting back to books that I inexplicably put down and didn’t pick up again.  In this case: John Myers Myers’ The Alamo (I don’t need to explain to you what the book is about, right?).  I wonder how Mr. Myers felt about the fact that — despite the fact that he was primarily a writer of history, with a focus on the American West — he’s remembered today primarily for Silverlock.  Then again, it’s not like he didn’t write Silverlock, now is it?

And so, adieu to Sweet Silver Blues.

Book of the Week: Sweet Silver Blues.

Sweet Silver Blues is Glen Cook’s first book in his Garrett, PI series. It’s basically hard-boiled detective fiction set in a fantasy medieval city, only not in a gimmicky way because it takes seriously the detective portion of it and the doesn’t use the fantasy portion of it to cheat on the plot.  The series also has the nice quality of allowing the setting to keep evolving; the world is significantly different at the end of the latest book than it was at the beginning of the first. Check it out.

And so, adieu to The Berlin Project.

Happy World Dracula Day!

Via Ken Hite. It’s the 120th anniversary of the first printing of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, which is one of those books that more or less shaped the development of its particular genre without ever actually quite meaning to. Obviously, the vampire legend existed before Stoker; for that matter, the vampire novel existed before Stoker.  But there was something peculiar about his book that made it linger in the cultural consensus.

Possibly it’s because Dracula is fairly easy to bring to film? (Ironic, that.) It — unlike most of the previous entries in the vampire fiction genre — has a reasonably comprehensive blot, and imagery that doesn’t require a heavy special effects budget.  I don’t know if that’s a good enough reason to explain why Dracula went to Hollywood, and then never looked back; but I’d certainly argue it over a beer.

The ‘Built on Strange Ground’ Kickstarter.

I’m kind of bumping the Built on Strange Ground Kickstarter: I obliquely referred to it last week, but it should have its own entry. It’s a collection of comics and stories that purport to be “true, personal experiences of strange places, haunted sites, mysterious neighbors and local lore.”  Whether you believe in that sort of thing or not; who doesn’t like a good haunted house story? Also, the guy who does Sword Interval has a comic in here, so there you go.

Book of the Week: The Berlin Project.

Gregory Benford’s The Berlin Project asks the question: What would have happened if my* father-in-law had had the chance to have the high-speed centrifuge method be chosen as the Manhattan Project’s primary method for uranium enrichment? And the answer is apparently We would have had the Bomb in time for D-Day.  Which is arguably true, and certainly interesting. And probably a better situation all around, assuming that you weren’t living in… well, read the book.  Although you’ve probably guess what happens, just from the title.

And so, adieu to The Weapon Shops of Isher.
Continue reading Book of the Week: The Berlin Project.

In the Mail: The Sword Interval, Volume 1.

The Sword Interval is a supernatural webcomic that I’ve grown highly fond of; it features professional monster hunters and exorcists in a world with far too many of both.  One of the nice things about it is that the author (Ben Fleuter) tries to come up with new things that are scary, instead of going to the old favorites.  Not that there’s anything wrong with old favorites, but it’s nice to have fresh nightmares come into the mix.

The Kickstarter is long done, but Ben Fleuter is part of the Built on Strange Grounds Kickstarter, which looks promising as well.  Check it out.  You can also buy the book here for twenty bucks; check that out.  Hey, I’m providing a link to buy something sans affiliate revenue link; I must like it, huh?