A Tale of Three Covers: Only the Dead Know Brooklyn

Saturday, June 24th, 2017 | Posted by John ONeill

Only the Dead Know Brooklyn Chris Vola-small Only the Dead Know Brooklyn Thomas Boyle-small Only the Dead Know Brooklyn Thomas Wolfe-small

Chris Vola is the author of two previous novels, Monkeytown (2012) and the self-published E for Ether. His first mainstream release is the horror/thriller Only the Dead Know Brooklyn, published last month by Thomas Dunne Books.

If the title sounds familiar, perhaps it’s because you’re remembering the crime novel by Thomas Boyle (Cold Stove League, Post Mortem Effects) about the kidnapping of Whitman scholar Fletcher Carruthers III. It was published in hardcover by David R Godine in 1985, and reprinted in paperback by Penguin in 1986.

Or perhaps you’re thinking of the famous short story by Thomas Wolfe (which you can read here), about four guys on a subway platform in a heated discussion on how to get to Bensonhurst, narrated in a thick Brooklyn dialect. It was originally published in the June 15, 1935 New Yorker magazine, and collected in paperback by Signet in 1952 under the same title, with a spectacular cover by Ruth Nappi. To this day, readers are still debating what the story is about.

Whatever the case, you have to admit it’s a killer title, and I can’t blame Vola one bit for poaching it. Here’s the description of his novel.

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The June Fantasy Magazine Rack

Friday, June 23rd, 2017 | Posted by John ONeill

Analog-Science-Fiction-and-Fact-May-June-2017-rack Game-Informer-290-June-2017-rack Magazine-of-Fantasy-and-Science-Fiction-May-June-2017-rack Pulp-Literature-13-rack
Apex-Magazine-May-2017-rack Locus-magazine-June-2017-rack Weirdbook-35-rack The Scholast in the Low Waters Kingdom-rack

Lots of interesting stuff in our magazine coverage this month. Adrian Simmons reviews the March/April issue of Analog, with fiction from Catherine Wells, Michael Flynn, Tom Ballantyne, Adam-Troy Castro and Alvaro Zinos-Amaro, and many others. For fans of Asimov’s SF and Analog, we shared the good news about Dell Magazines’ Science Fiction Value Packs, a great way to get packs of back issues at ridiculously cheap prices.

And in a far-ranging interview, our roving reporter Joe Bonadonna grilled Adrian Simmons and David Farney of Heroic Fantasy Quarterly on their earliest influences, what they look for in short fiction, and their long-range plans for the magazine.

Check out all the details on the magazines above by clicking on the each of the images. Our late May Fantasy Magazine Rack is here.

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Future Treasures: Graveyard Shift by Michael F. Haspil

Friday, June 23rd, 2017 | Posted by John ONeill

Graveyard Shift Michael F. Haspil-smallAll that talk about the recent crop of supernatural detectives on the market has me hankering to sample a new one. And lucky me — next month Tor will publish Graveyard Shift, a gritty police procedural featuring a former pharaoh who squares off against an ancient vampire conspiracy.

It’s the debut fantasy novel by Michael F. Haspil, arriving in hardcover from Tor Books next month. And you have to credit him with a certain daring right out of the gate. It’s not many horror writers who would steal the title from Stephen King’s most famous short story collection, first published nearly 40 years ago. Will modern readers even care? My guess is no, but I guess we’ll find out.

Alex Menkaure, former pharaoh and mummy, and his vampire partner, Marcus, born in ancient Rome, are vice cops in a special Miami police unit. They fight to keep the streets safe from criminal vampires, shape-shifters, bootleg blood-dealers, and anti-vampire vigilantes.

When poisoned artificial blood drives vampires to murder, the city threatens to tear itself apart. Only an unlikely alliance with former opponents can give Alex and Marcus a fighting chance against an ancient vampire conspiracy.

If they succeed, they’ll be pariahs, hunted by everyone. If they fail, the result will be a race-war bloodier than any the world has ever seen.

Graveyard Shift will be published by Tor Books on July 18, 2017. It is 352 pages, priced at $24.99 in hardcover and $11.99 in digital format. Not sure who did the cover, but I like it.


What Do I Know?(1)

Friday, June 23rd, 2017 | Posted by Violette Malan

Dick_FrancisMost of us have, at one time or another, been given the advice “write what you know.” Even people who don’t write themselves have heard it. Sometimes this advice gets people writing furiously away – and sometimes it leaves them scratching their heads, saying “But, um, I don’t know anything.”

I think it was Lawrence Block who pointed out that we all know something. We know what loss, grief, sorrow, joy and frustration feel like. We know what it’s like to be human, to be a sibling, a parent, a child, a lover, a person who’s been hired, or fired, and a person who didn’t vote for that guy. It’s when dealing with this kind of knowledge that we become most aware that story is king. Without a story to give this knowledge context, you got nothing.

People do mine their own professions for story and character backgrounds. Dick Francis was a jockey and a pilot. Dashiell Hammett was a Pinkerton detective. Patricia D. Cornwall was a medical examiner. Kathy Reichs a forensic anthropologist – and the list goes on.

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Unbound Worlds on 7 Great Occult Detectives

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017 | Posted by John ONeill

Greywaker Kat Richardson-small Ben Aaronovitch Midnight Riot-small Simon Green Something from the Nightside-small

Matt Staggs seems to be most productive blogger over at Unbound Worlds, the house blog of Penguin Random House. He’s certainly produced most of my favorite stuff over there recently, including 4 Epic Fantasy Novels Written Before The Lord of the Rings, Have a Look at D&D Creator Gary Gygax’s FBI File, and 3 Great Novels to Read After You’ve Seen Wonder Woman.

But the piece I find myself returning to multiple times in the past two weeks is his June 5th article “7 of Urban Fantasy’s Great Occult Detectives,” in which he showcases some of the recent heroes and heroines who’ve followed in the footsteps of famous ghost hunters like Carnacki The Ghost Finder, Jules de Grandin, Aylmer Vance, John Thunstone, Titus Crow, and many others. Staggs proves this proud sub-genre is far from dead, and his proof includes series from Jim Butcher, Daniel José Older, Seanan McGuire, Laurel K. Hamilton, and others. Here’s a few of my favorites from his list.

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Delivering on the Promise of a True Open World: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017 | Posted by Matt Drought

The Legend of Zelda Breath Of The Wild-banner-small

The Legend of Zelda series is one of the most iconic video game series of all time. Nintendo has continually released new iterations since the launch of the original in 1986. Each new release brings with it new concepts, new art, new and interesting twists on game mechanics. Every release stands on its own; each feels like a completely new and different game.

The newest iteration of The Legend of Zelda series is subtitled Breath of the Wild. The game is commercially available on the Wii U and Switch. It opens with a familiar Legend of Zelda story: A great evil has taken over the world of Hyrule and you, Link, the legendary hero, have been resurrected to fight it. This fight however, isn’t yours alone, as you will meet many different characters who will offer assistance in battle against the great evil, Ganon.

The game begins with Link awakening in the Shrine of Resurrection, bereft of his previous memories. You have spent the previous 100 years in the Shrine of Resurrection. You are given a Sheikah Slate and clothes. Once you leave the shrine you are shown a large open world, filled with mountain peaks, rivers, fields, forests, and an imposing volcano. The camera pans over and shows you a crumbling temple, with a mysterious and mystical figure, waiting for you.

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A Fast-Paced Blend of Space Opera and Military SF: The Outriders Series by Jay Posey

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017 | Posted by John ONeill

Jay Posey Outriders-small Jay Posey Sungrazer-small

Jay Posey is an interesting guy. His work is known to millions around the world — millions of gamers, anyway. He was the Senior Narrative Designer at Red Storm Entertainment, creator of the million-selling Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon and Rainbow Six franchises. He branched into novels in 2013 with Three, the opening volume in what eventually became the Legends of the Duskwalker trilogy, a futuristic weird western set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland peopled by augmented humans, cyborgs, and the deadly Weir. It became the bestselling series at Angry Robot, and helped put the imprint on the map.

His newest effort is the Outriders series, featuring a crack team of nearly immortal super-soldiers in clone bodies. Bull Spec magazine called it “Military science fiction with a twisty plot and a complex political landscape… A great read for lovers of science fiction adventure!”, and SFF World labeled it “A high-paced blend of near-future space opera and military sf… good fun.” The first volume was published as a paperback original last year by Angry Robot; the highly anticipated sequel arrives next month.

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Clockwork Gunslingers, Soul-Sucking Ghosts, and Vampire Cowboys: Straight Outta Tombstone, edited by David Boop

Wednesday, June 21st, 2017 | Posted by John ONeill

Straight Outta Tombstone-smallNow I know you love a good Weird Western. And you’ve probably noticed, as I have, that there’s been a dearth of them recently.

But fret not… David Boop’s anthology Straight Outta Tombstone — with brand new stories by Jim Butcher, Alan Dean Foster, Robert E. Vardeman, Phil Foglio, Michael A. Stackpole, and others — arrives next month to set things right. Here’s Boop from his Foreword.

Collected here are stories from my idols, my mentors, my peers and my friends. When I sent out invitations, I asked each author to give me their favorite and/or most famous characters in all-new stories set in the Old West. They did not disappoint.

From Warden Luccio to Bubba Shackleford, they came. We get a visit from Mad Amos, and Dan Shamble shambles by. A barmaid lives up to her name “Trouble,” and a dragon named Pete wants to court the sacrificial girl, not kill her. Chance Corrigan, Hummingbird and Inazuma, Bose Roberds. Never before have these characters shared the stage like this. Cowboys and Dinosaurs. Adventurers and Aliens. Time-Traveling Bar Maids and Clockwork Gunslingers. Vampires. Zombies. They’re all in here…

Do you remember the Wild, Wild West TV series? Maybe you read Jonah Hex, the Two-Gun Kid or other cowboy comics. Did you, like me, watch old B-movies and serials such as Valley of the Gwangi and The Phantom Empire on Saturday afternoon TV? How many of you snuck to the living room once your parents were asleep to see Billy the Kid Versus Dracula during a late-night movie monster marathon on Halloween? I certainly did.

Sounds just like what the ole doc ordered.

Here’s the complete Table of Contents.

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Smugglers, Alien Vampires, and Dark Dimensions: The Best of C. L. Moore

Wednesday, June 21st, 2017 | Posted by James McGlothlin

The Best of CL Moore-small The Best of CL Moore-back-small

The Best of C. L. Moore (1976) was the sixth installment in Del Rey’s Classic Science Fiction Series. After taking a break from the fifth installment to let J. J. Pierce edit, Lester Del Rey (1915–1993) returned to edit and give an introduction to this volume.

You may recall that Dean Ellis (1920–2009) did the cover art for the first four installments in the series with Darrell Sweet handling the fifth, though still in the style of Ellis. But the fabulous cover art of The Best of C. L. Moore was done by “The Brothers Hildebrandt” (twin brothers Greg [1939–] and Tim [1939–2006]) and represents something of a departure from the artistic precedence of Ellis and Sweet. It’s a portrait of the main character in Moore’s story, “No Woman Born.”

Catherine Lucille Moore (1911–1987) was one of the greatest science fiction and fantasy writers of the Twentieth Century. Writing under the name C. L. Moore, she was one of the first truly successful women writers in genre fiction, gracing the early pages of Weird Tales and Astounding Stories. She was also was famously married to another well-known sci-fi writer, Henry Kuttner (1915–1958), whom she collaborated with on many stories. However, all but two of the tales in The Best of C. L. Moore were written before her time with Kuttner. As with the previous books published while the featured author was still alive, Moore has a small afterword at the end.

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June 2017 Locus Now on Sale

Wednesday, June 21st, 2017 | Posted by John ONeill

Locus magazine June 2017-smallLocus is one of the few magazines I read cover to cover. It’s packed full of news, interviews, conventions reports, color pics, enticing ads, and especially reviews of interest to me. For over 40 years it’s provided the most reliable and comprehensive coverage of the SF field on the market.

The June issue is crammed full of good stuff, including:

  • A lengthy interview with John Kessel (The Moon and the Other)
  • Winners of the Nebula and Bram Stoker Awards
  • Complete US and British Forthcoming Books
  • Review columns by Gardner Dozois, Rich Horton, Gary K. Wolfe, Faren Miller, Russell Letson, John Langan, Adrienne Martini, Liz Bourke, and others

One of the most interesting features for me was a spotlight on Scott H. Andrews, founding editor of  the excellent Beneath Ceaseless Skies. Here’s a snippet:

I started BCS in 2008 because the F/SF short fiction field had no dedicated home for literary or character-driven secondary-world fantasy. There were lots of great literary fantasy, slipstream, and magical realism, and decades of great literary SF, but rarely were magazines publishing character-centered or stylistically bold fantasy set in invented worlds.

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