Goth Chick News: Look Behind Pennywise – If You Dare

Thursday, May 25th, 2017 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Pennywise the Story of It-small

2017 seems to be the year that clowns replace zombies in the dark subconscious of the general collective, thanks entirely to the nightmare-inducing remake of It, due out September 8.

But before Bill Skarsgård donned the red nose, it was Tim Curry looking up at us from the sewers and giving us the screaming heebie-jeebies. As good as the new version may (or may not) end up, we’ll never completely get over the emotional scars left by Curry.

So it is with great anticipation that I tell you Dead Mouse Productions Ltd and Cult Screenings UK Ltd, makers of Leviathan: The Story of Hellraiser and You’re so cool, Brewster! The Story of Fright Night, are gearing up to produce a fully independent retrospective into the making of the 1990 TV miniseries of Stephen King’s IT. Exploring the series’ cultural impact over the last 28 years, the upcoming documentary Pennywise: The Story of IT, is being directed by Chris Griffiths and is set to “tell a story heard by few and showcase a wealth of behind-the-scenes footage and photos seen by even fewer.”

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The Barnes & Noble Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog on the Best SF and Fantasy Books in May

Thursday, May 25th, 2017 | Posted by John ONeill

D’Arc Robert Repino-small Extinction Horizon-small The Caledonian Gambit-small

I’m never going to get through my May reading list. Heck, I’m not even going to finish compiling my May reading list.

But that’s okay, because the good folks at the Barnes & Noble Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog made one, and it’s better than mine anyway. In fact, it’s got a whole bunch of great titles — by Timothy Zahn, Robin Hobb, M.R. Carey, Gregory Benford, Robert Jackson Bennett, Jack Campbell, Gini Koch, Faith Hunter, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Isabelle Steiger, Robyn Bennis, and many others — including a bunch of stuff I didn’t even know about.

For those who missed it when we discussed it here earlier, there’s also some long-anticpiated books by several notable Black Gate contributors, including Martha Wells, Ellen Klages, and Foz Meadows.

The B&N article was authored by Jeff Somers. Here’s some of the highlights.

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New Treasures: Olympus Bound by Jordanna Max Brodsky

Thursday, May 25th, 2017 | Posted by John ONeill

The Immortals Jordanna Max Brodsky-small Winter of the Gods Jordanna Max Brodsky-small

I saw Winter of the Gods at the bookstore last month, and was captivated by the striking cover. I didn’t realize it was the second novel in a series until today, when I did a little more homework. The first volume, The Immortals, was released in hardcover by Orbit last year; it’s now available in paperback.

Winter of the Gods, the second volume in the Olympus Bound series about the ancient Greek gods in their new home in Manhattan, arrived in hardcover on Valentine’s Day. The third volume will be titled Olympus Bound; it doesn’t yet have a release date.

Here’s the summary for Book One.

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A Fantastic Art Collection at the Museo Lázaro Galdiano, Madrid

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017 | Posted by Sean McLachlan

20170520_110752

Madrid is famous for its world-class art museums, but residents to this city know of many more, smaller museums that are also worth a look. Some, like the Museo Cerralbo that I covered in a previous post, are private collections in mansions-turned museums. Another of these is the Museo Lazaro Galdiano, which is the product of a wealthy collector of that name from the turn of the last century. His mansion in central Madrid is filled with more than 12,600 works of art.

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An Homage to Classic Superheroes: After the Golden Age by Carrie Vaughn

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017 | Posted by John ONeill

After the Golden Age-small Dreams of the Golden Age-small

Superheroes rule at the box office, and have for nearly a decade. They’ve pretty much conquered television as well. And of course, they’ve been the predominate genre in American comics since the 1960s.

But novels? Not so much. For whatever reason, the massive popularity of American superheroes just hasn’t translated to prose. There have been some solid attempts, however, perhaps most notably Peter Clines’s Ex-Heroes series and George R.R. Martin and Melinda Snodgrass’s long-running Wild Cards shared universe (now in development for television at Universal Cable Productions).

One of the most interesting to me personally is Carrie Vaughn’s two-volume series After the Golden Age, about the children of famous superheroes, struggling to find their way in the world and form their own fledgling supergroup. Publishers Weekly called the first novel “A loving homage to classic superheroes,” RT Book Reviews says it’s “More than a superhero story… an adventurous story that is much more about the emotions than the ability to fly,” and Locus gave it a very enthusiastic review, calling it “A thrilling yarn… good old-fashioned comic book fun.”

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We All Need to Read More Le Guin: The Language of the Night by Ursula K. Le Guin

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017 | Posted by Steve Case

The Language of the Night Ursula LeGuin-small

The Language of the Night: Essays on Fantasy and Science Fiction
Ursula Le Guin, edited and with introductions by Susan Wood
Perigee Books (270 page, $4.95 in trade paperback, April 1979)
Cover by Mike Mariano

I need to read more Le Guin. It’s a deficiency I freely acknowledge and feel only slightly better about by adding that we all need to read more Le Guin. I know her through her short stories and the Earthsea books (which I will stack up next to the Narnia books any day), but I still have not read The Left Hand of Darkness or her other important science fiction works. I don’t have much of an excuse except time and the fact that I want to be what Le Guin calls a real reader. I want to be someone who truly digests, or rather, responds to what has been read; not, as I spent a good portion of my reading life, someone who simply goes from one book to the next, a consumer of literature, but still only a consumer regardless of the quality of what was consumed. So I read a book like Le Guin’s book of essays slowly, and I try to respond, synthesize, and recollect what she says not only about reading and writing science fiction and fantasy but also about human nature.

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May 2017 Lightspeed Magazine Now Available

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017 | Posted by John ONeill

Lightspeed May 2017-smallI often forget that, in addition to doing double duty as editor of two leading magazines (Lightspeed and Nightmare) and one of the most celebrated and successful anthologists in the industry (Cosmic Powers, What the #@&% Is That?, The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy), John Joseph Adams also edits his own line of novels for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. In his editorial in the most recent issue of Lightspeed, John brings up up to date on the exciting novels he’s bringing our way.

My latest novel acquisition for John Joseph Adams Books is Upon a Burning Throne and The Blind King’s Wrath, the first two books in a new epic fantasy series by Ashok K. Banker, about a group of siblings battling for control of a vast empire while a powerful demonlord pits them against each other… In July, we’ll be publishing two books: (1) Carrie Vaughn’s novel, Bannerless — a post-apocalyptic mystery in which an investigator must discover the truth behind a mysterious death in a world where small communities struggle to maintain a ravaged civilization decades after environmental and economic collapse; and (2) Sand by Hugh Howey, a reissue of his acclaimed indie-published novel.

In September, we’ll be publishing Retrograde by Peter Cawdron, a hard SF novel about an international colony of astronauts on Mars, who have been prepared for every eventuality of living on another planet except one: What happens when disaster strikes Earth?

In October, we’ll be publishing Machine Learning: New and Collected Stories by Hugh Howey, a short story collection including three stories set in the world of Hugh’s mega-hit Wool… In November, we’ll be publishing Molly Tanzer’s Creatures of Will and Temper — a Victorian-era urban fantasy inspired by The Picture of Dorian Gray, in which an épée-fencing enthusiast and her younger sister are drawn into a secret and dangerous London underworld of pleasure-seeking demons and bloodthirsty diabolists, with only her skill with a blade standing between them and certain death.

A bit further out, in Spring 2018, we’ll have The City of Lost Fortunes by Bryan Camp, about a magician with a talent for finding lost things who is forced into playing a high-stakes game with the gods of New Orleans for the heart and soul of the city.

This month’s Lightspeed offers original fantasy by Adam-Troy Castro and Kendra Fortmeyer, plus fantasy reprints by Greg Hrbek and Amal El-Mohtar, as well as original science fiction by Bruce McAllister and Susan Jane Bigelow, alongside SF reprints by Tobias S. Buckell and Seanan McGuire. The non-fiction includes author spotlights, Book Reviews by LaShawn Wanak, a review of The 100 TV show by Jenn Reese and Christopher East, and an interview with Steven Barnes by Christian A. Coleman.

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Even More Metal on Metal: Swords of Steel Volume III

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017 | Posted by Fletcher Vredenburgh

For the third time in two years, Dave Ritzlin has gathered metal musicians and gotoie_2311445pWjU2VwKten them to turn their talents toward full-throttle swords & sorcery. (My reviews of the previous two volumes are here and here). Unlike last year’s installment, which too often wandered astray, the brand new Swords of Steel Volume III is almost all S&S. Serious, skull-splitting, blood-spilling, adrenaline-pumping S&S.

Following a short introduction by Mark “The Shark” Shelton (Manilla Road/Hellwell/Riddlemaster), the book kicks off with its best story — “Thannhausefeer’s Guest” by Howie K. Bentley (Cauldron Born/Briton Rites). I didn’t like his story “All Will Be Righted on Samhain” in the first collection, but I did like his “The Heart of the Betrayer” in the second.

The sole survivor of a ship sunk by enemy attack washes ashore, unconscious and suffering from amnesia, on a lonely island. When he first awakes, a woman in white whose name flickers at the edge of his memory, walks the beach beside him and tells him what he must do:

Rolling his head to one side, he glanced at her, his vision wavering in and out. Flaxen hair framed her pale-skinned classic beauty with high cheek bones and full red lips that seemed to have never smiled. Her icy blue eyes looked through him upon dim netherworld vistas far beyond the realm of man. She appeared familiar, but he didn’t know who she was. They had walked for only a moment when she languorously raised her right arm and pointed to the colossal citadel at the top of the hill in the distance. “You must go there,” she said in the monotone of a black lotus dreamer.

When he reaches the citadel he falls unconscious again. This time he comes to in a bed, still unable to recall his name, receiving medical attention from a beautiful, red-haired woman. Because he came from the sea, she names him Manannan after the ocean god.

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Voracious Volume One: Diners, Dinosaurs & Dives

Monday, May 22nd, 2017 | Posted by MichaelPenkas

Voracious volume 1Kill Hitler. Obviously.

But what’s the second thing you’d do if you had access to a time machine? And keep in mind, I mean “had access to a time machine” and not “built a time machine.” Because if you built a time machine, then you’d be super-aware of not stepping on any butterflies and the bootstrap paradox and causal loops. And then you’d know that the best thing to do with a time machine is nothing because the ramifications are potentially universe-destroying.

But I digress. The second thing you’d do if you had access to a time machine is go see dinosaurs. At least, that’s what you’d do if you were a guy. Most boys were fascinated by dinosaurs when they were young and, even when we’re all grown up, there’s some primitive part of our brains that thinks, “I gotta see a dinosaur some time.” It’s a really primitive part of the brain, of course. The reptile part.

Voracious deals with the Hitler in the room quite easily. When Nate Willner inherits a fortune from his mysterious dead uncle, he also inherits his secret time machine. And the time machine has only pre-set coordinates, so Nate can’t go Nazi-hunting. Instead, he gets sent directly to the age of dinosaurs.

Six panels after a beautiful two-page spread illustration of dino-times, Nate is panicking and running for his life from some very large (and very obviously herbivorous) dinosaurs. Since the time suit he’s in is equipped with weapons, he reacts to the first dinosaur that follows him by setting it on fire. And while the implications of murdering a lifeform in the past is lost on him, Nate does notice that the burnt pterodactyl smells delicious.

Being a professional chef, Nate does the only logical thing: bring the dead dinosaur back to the present, cook it up and eat it. Once he confirms that dinosaurs are delicious, Nate decides to use the money he inherited to open a restaurant and the time machine he inherited to acquire lots of free meat that’s unlike anything his customers have ever tasted. Hi-jinks ensue.

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Future Treasures: The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2017, edited by Rich Horton

Monday, May 22nd, 2017 | Posted by John ONeill

Rich Horton Years Best SF 2017-smallThe Year’s Best season is now in full swing. Jonathan Strahan‘s volume arrived April 18th from Solaris, and Neil Clarke‘s April 4th from Night Shade. Couple that with the 2017 Nebula Awards Showcase released last week from Pyr, and you have the beginnings of a decent SF library.

So why would anyone who has those volumes need another Year’s Best?

Simple, really. Where else will you find Lavie Tidhar’s groundbreaking novella “The Vanishing Kind?” Or Paul McAuley’s “Something Happened Here, But We’re Not Quite Sure What It Was?” Or Carrie Vaughn’s Hugo nominee “That Game We Played During the War?” Or Jason Sanford’s Nebula nominee “Blood Grains Speak Through Memories?” Or Cat Rambo’s almost-Nebula-nominated “Red of Tooth and Cog?”

Nowhere but in Rich Horton’s upcoming Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2017, coming next month from Prime Books. This is Rich’s ninth volume, and over the years he’s proven to have both excellent taste and genuine skill ferreting out future classics in out-of-the-way places (such as private Patreon feeds, and the Beloit Fiction Journal.) He may well be the most widely-read of all the Year’s Best editors, and it shows in his Table of Contents every year.

Speaking of which, here’s the impressive TOC for his 2017 volume, with fiction from Charlie Jane Anders, Ian R. MacLeod, Genevieve Valentine, Rich Larson, Kameron Hurley, Carlos Hernandez, Chaz Brenchley, Adrian Tchaikovsky, and many others.

“Seven Ways of Looking at the Sun-Worshippers of Yul-Katan” by Maggie Clark (Analog)
“All that Robot Shit” by Rich Larson (Asimov’s)
“Project Empathy” by Dominica Phetteplace (Asimov’s)
“Lazy Dog Out” by Suzanne Palmer (Asimov’s)

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