Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Monday, April 23, 2012
Friday, April 20, 2012
One of my favorite fantasy covers is the one made by Marc Simonetti (one of my favorite fantasy artists for that matter) for the French edition of Patrick Rothfuss’ “The Name of the Wind”, published by Bragelonne. It is one of the best examples of top quality in book covers. Well, now the respective book cover pales a little, because Marc Simonetti managed to surpass his amazing work with not one new wonderful book cover, but two. Bragelonne opted to publish the French edition of Patrick Rothfuss’ “The Wise Man’s Fear” in two volumes, the first due to be released in August and the second in October. Bragelonne also chose to follow the line of the first cover and asked Marc Simonetti for two new artworks. The results can be seen now and are hardly in need of any comment. They are simply stunning!
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Friday, April 13, 2012
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Noir crime fiction seems to gather a new dimension lately, with the newly added paranormal elements that tend to become a trend. I do not have much of a problem with it, after all, I was and still am a great admirer of noir fiction and the new touch gives it an interesting flavor. It even manages to conquer a little my dislikes for overly-used vampires and zombies themes. And there is one anthology that might contain these themes, but still sounds appealing. Liz Grzyb and Amanda Pillar’s anthology, “Damnation & Dames”, called for submissions of stories which show the paranormal and noir crime worlds colliding; you might find werewolf femme fatales, vampire hardboiled detectives, alcoholic psychic journalists, zombie bankrobbers, ghostly gendarmes, demonic insurance salesmen, down-on-their-luck djinns, double-crossing mummies, or even fae with a love for red herrings and selected 16 such short stories for the final line-up. As I said vampires and zombies don’t do the trick for me anymore, but noir crime does and this is the element that attracts me the most at “Damnation & Dames”. More so, another journey into the Australian speculative fiction sounds very good, especially when one of the guides, Amanda Pillar, offered me some very interesting similar travels before in which I discovered some of the names featured on this line-up too, Felicity Dowker, Rob Hood, Pete Kempshall and the extremely talented Lisa L. Hannett and Angela Slatter. And since Liz Grzyb and Amanda Pillar’s “Damnation & Dames” was released by Ticonderoga Publications the past week-end we do not have to wait anymore for this anthology to be published. I will have a review of the collection as soon as “Damnation & Dames” will be available on the Book Depository and I’ll be able to order a copy.
“The Third Circle” by Lindsy Anderson
“Three Questions and One Troll” by Chris Bauer
“Burning, Always Burning” by Alan Baxter & Felicity Dowker
“Blind Pig” by Jay Caselberg
“Silver Comes the Night” by M.L.D. Curelas
“A Case to Die For” by Karen Dent
“Outlines” by Dirk Flinthart
“Prohibition Blues” by Lisa L. Hannett & Angela Slatter
“Sangue Sella Notte” by Donna Maree Hanson
“Walking the Dead Beat” by Rob Hood
“The Awakened Adventure of Rick Candle” by Joseph L Kellogg
“Sound and Fury” by Pete Kempshall
“One Night at the Cherry” by Chris Large
“Be Good Sweet Maid” by Penelope Love
“The Black Star Killer” by Nicole Murphy
“Hard Boiled” by Brian Grant Ross
The residents of Australia, Canada, Great Britain, New Zealand and USA can also enter by April, 30 in a book giveaway on Goodreads for a chance to win a copy of “Damnation & Dames” edited by Liz Grzyb and Amanda Pillar.
Monday, April 9, 2012
Among my favorite fantasy book covers are the Raymond Swanland’s beauties adorning the Pyr editions of James Barclay’s quartet of novels from the “Legends of the Raven” series. I mentioned more than a few times that I am a great admirer of Raymond Swanland’s unique art touch and I am always thrilled to see his artworks when they come at such high quality. And once again Raymond Swanland has made my heart sing. This time, with a new series of covers for the same James Barclay, but for the three novels in the “Chronicles of the Raven” trilogy and their new French editions due to be released by Milady, an imprint of Bragelonne, this month. I have to congratulate again Bragelonne for making yet another excellent choice for their book covers, choosing this time to follow the line of covers from the Pyr editions of James Barclay’s “Legend of the Raven” and bringing three new wonderful artworks from the amazing Raymond Swanland.
Friday, April 6, 2012
There are plenty of labels that throw me away from books in the blink of an eye, vampires and zombies being the most recent and unappealing trends for me. There are other labels that work in the opposite direction though and I find myself sometimes stranded for a while in a trend that is attractive to me for one reason or another. Naturally, there are exceptions from these rules. One such exception was Alden Bell’s “The Reapers are the Angels”, one of my top favorites of 2010 and recent times, a novel with zombie elements fortunately overpowered by its beauty and central character, Sarah Mary Williams aka Temple. It seems that this year I will make another exception for a novel featuring zombies, “Exit Kingdom”, because I recently discovered that a new novel by Alden Bell, a pseudonym used by Joshua A. Gaylord, will be released.
“Exit Kingdom” is centered on Moses Todd, one of the main characters of “The Reapers are the Angels”, but takes place before the story from the same novel. I am certain of this because of a few elements I found in synopsis that are betraying due to their connection with the events taken place in “The Reapers are the Angels”. I will not say more in case you didn’t read Alden Bell’s novel yet. The synopsis promises something interesting, after all I said that I have themes to which I can hardly resist, post-apocalyptic fiction being one of them, but my experience with Alden Bell’s “The Reapers are the Angels” would have been enough to stir my curiosity for “Exit Kingdom”.
Now, I am not sure about some pieces of information regarding Alden Bell’s “Exit Kingdom”. The novel is scheduled to be released by Tor UK in September, but I found a different title by Alden Bell scheduled to be released by Tor Books US in May, “Somewhere I Have Never Travelled”. This one has no description however and, although I am not entirely sure, I think that we are talking about the same novel, but with a different title. After all, it would not be the first time when the UK and the US publishers go for a different title. I hope to get hold of this information and the actual release dates for an update of this post. Until then, here is the synopsis of Alden Bell’s “Exit Kingdom”.
In a world where the undead outnumber the living, Moses Todd roams the post-apocalyptic plains of America. His reprobate brother, Abraham - his only companion - has known little else. Together, they journey because they have to; because they have nowhere to go, and no one to answer to other than themselves. Travelling the bloody wastelands of this ruined world, Moses is looking for a kernel of truth, and a reason to keep going. And a chance encounter presents him with the Vestal Amata, a beguiling and mysterious woman who may hold the key to salvation. But he is not the only one seeking the Vestal. For the Vestal has a gift: a gift that might help save what is left of humanity. And it may take everything he has to free her from the clutches of those who most desire her.
LATER EDIT: Through the courtesy of Joshua A. Gaylord aka Alden Bell we know that “Exit Kingdom” and “Somewhere I Have Never Travelled” are two separated novels, with “Exit Kingdom” due to be released on September and “Somewhere I Have Never Travelled” at a later date. Thank you very much for the update, Joshua/Alden!
Thursday, April 5, 2012
“Christmas®” by Carlos Silva (Science Fiction)
“The Little Guide of Heaven, by Tristan de Sapincourt” by Afonso Cruz (Science Fiction)
“The Fall of Rome, before the soap opera” by Luís Filipe Silva (Science Fiction)
“Genesis – Apocalypse” by Roberto Mendes (Science Fiction)
“Life is a Dream” by José Manuel Morais (Horror)
“The Evil in our Rio” by José Pedro Lopes (Horror)
“The Machine” by Álvaro de Sousa Holstein (Fantasy)
“The Chord of Souls” by Carina Portugal (Fantasy)
“The Fall” by Carla Ribeiro (Fantasy)
“The Last” by Joel Puga (Fantasy)
“The Room” by Marcelina Gama Leandro (Fantasy)
“While Sleeping” by Nuno Gonçalo Poças (Fantasy)
“A Question of Place” by Pedro Ventura (Fantasy)
“Red” by Regina Catarino (Fantasy)
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Monday, April 2, 2012
The past week-end, at the World Horror Convention held in Salt Lake City, Utah, the Horror Writers Association announced the winners of the 2011 Bram Stoker Awards:
Superior Achievement in a Novel: “Flesh Eaters” by Joe McKinney (Pinnacle Books)
Superior Achievement in a First Novel: “Isis Unbound” by Allyson Bird (Dark Regions Press)
Superior Achievement in a Young Adult Novel, (tie): “The Screaming Season” by Nancy Holder (Razorbill) & “Dust and Decay” by Jonathan Maberry (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
Superior Achievement in a Graphic Novel: “Neonomicon” by Alan Moore (Avatar Press)
Superior Achievement in Long Fiction: “The Ballad of Ballard and Sandrine” by Peter Straub (Conjunctions: 56)
Superior Achievement in Short Fiction: “Herman Wouk Is Still Alive” by Stephen King (The Atlantic Magazine, May 2011)
Superior Achievement in a Fiction Collection: “The Corn Maiden and Other Nightmares” by Joyce Carol Oates (Mysterious Press)
Superior Achievement in an Anthology: “Demons: Encounters with the Devil and his Minions, Fallen Angels and the Possessed” edited by John Skipp (Black Dog and Leventhal)
Superior Achievement in Non-Fiction: “Stephen King: A Literary Companion” by Rocky Wood (McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers)
Superior Achievement in a Poetry Collection: “How to Recognize a Demon Has Become Your Friend” by Linda Addison (Necon Ebooks)
Superior Achievement in a Screenplay: American Horror Story, episode #12: “Afterbirth” by Jessica Sharzer (20th Century Fox Television)
Lifetime Achievement Awards: Rick Hautala and Joe R. Lansdale
Specialty Press Awards: Derrick Hussey of Hippocampus Press and Roy Robbins of Bad Moon Books
HWA, in conjunction with the Bram Stoker Family Estate and the Rosenbach Museum & Library, also presented the special one-time only Vampire Novel of the Century Award to Richard Matheson for his modern classic “I Am Legend”
Congratulations to all the winners!