Due to an unexpected last minute change in my working schedule I have to leave in a business trip this afternoon until 27th of February. I do have two reviews finished already, of Cate Gardner’s “Strange Men in Pinstripe Suits and other curious things” and the second issue of Phantasmagorium, edited by Laird Barron, but I am unable to post them before I leave on my trip. I will have my laptop with me, but I can’t make any promises since last time the Internet mobile connection was very poor to say the least. However, I will have these reviews posted at my return and hopefully a couple more. See you soon!
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Today, IDW Publishing will release “Road Rage”, a four issue comic book that adapts Richard Matheson’s “Duel” and Stephen King and Joe Hill’s “Throttle” stories to the comic format, under the same title as the audiobook that collects these two stories. I am a fan of Stephen King and Joe Hill, no secret there, and I loved their first collaboration and the story born from it, the excellent “Throttle”. I cannot say the same about “Duel”, because I am not familiar with the story, but “I Am Legend” is among my top favorite books and a true classic. There is no wonder then that I am thrilled to see this comic book adaptation coming up.
“Throttle”, the first of the two stories unfolding in “Road Rage” comic book, is adapted by Chris Ryall and the artist Nelson Dániel. “Road Rage: Throttle” #1 is released today on both print and digital editions, accompanied by variant covers and a temporary Tribe tattoo, with the second issue due to be released in March, followed by “Road Rage: Duel” in April and May. On Stephen King’s website you can find some more information about the comic book adaptation as well as production assets and a black and white preview of “Road Rage: Throttle”, while on Nelson Dániel’s DeviantArt account you can see two pages in color and plenty of other works of the artist.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Since I’ve posted about the 2012 Galileo Awards I am thinking of the Romanian speculative fiction scene and the encouragement such awards bring to the local Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror writers. Last year the Galileo Award for the best volume has been won by the least likely candidate in my opinion, Oliviu Crâznic’s “…and at the end remained the nightmare”. So I thought about this issue for quite a while now. Especially after Horia Ursu asked me an interesting question in the post about the 2012 Galileo Awards nominees, “So we have 100+ people voting on 16 books (that's the number of original publications + anthologies) and about 200 stories. Other awards are voted by a jury of 3, 4, 5 or 6 people, and have to consider the same amount of books and stories. With these comparative numbers in mind, please, tell me which awards are more representative of the Romanian SF&F scene's tastes?” Well, with such numbers thrown into play and in the light of Galileo Awards first year winners I am wondering if quantity means quality? Not necessarily. It speaks of popularity, but it also needs a further back-up for quality. I am not expert and I will not pose as one. I will speak as one voice of Romanian fandom, but for me there were three volumes last year that surpassed the winner by far in most of its aspects, Michael Haulică’s “Fantastic Stories”, Mircea Opriță’s “Sunday Stories” and Liviu Radu’s “The Modifiers”. I see the same thing happening this year too. Therefore I cannot think that if not another opinion on the matter is needed. As I said in my previous post, that of a jury from the Romanian speculative fiction publishing.
Coincidently I stumbled upon a piece of news these days that helped me get some peace of mind on this matter. It seems that the Vladimir Colin Awards are resurrected once again. After the first four editions, held in 2000, 2001, 2006 & 2008, the fifth edition will be held this year, for the works published between January 2008 and December 2010. A jury presided by Mircea Opriță and formed by Liviu Radu, Lucian Vasile-Szabo, Cătălin Badea-Gheracostea and George Ceaușu decided the winners (you will find them at the end of this post) and will held the award ceremony in Bucharest, at 24th of February. I am happy to see this initiative too, because it is very good to see that there is demand for speculative fiction in Romania. It is also very good to see that everyone involved in the speculative fiction market, from fans to editors and authors, encourage through initiatives such as Galileo Awards and Vladimir Colin Awards the local talent to write and publish. We still have a long way to go though. We need publishing houses, such as Millennium Books, to consider more the Romanian speculative fiction authors, we need to be more united and stop the constant bickering and grumbling and we need to give these awards more significance. Galileo Awards to become a true voice of the Romanian fandom and Vladimir Colin Awards to be more transparent and not the exclusive judgment of a closed jury circle. But the start for making the Romanian speculative fiction stronger is looking good already.
2011 Vladimir Colin Awards winners
Best Novel: “Vindecătorul” (The Healer) by Sebastian A. Corn (Cartea Românească, 2008)
Best SF Short Prose: “Rock Me, Adolf, Adolf, Adolf” by Silviu Genescu (Bastion, 2009)
Best Fantastic Short Prose: “Între Bariere” (Between Boundaries) by Doru Stoica (Millennium Press, 2009)
Best Non-Fiction: “Istoria Benzii Desenate Românești 1891-2010” (The History of Romanian Comics 1891-2010” by Dodo Niță & Alexandru Ciubotariu (Vellant, 2010)
Congratulations to all the winners!
Monday, February 13, 2012
- “The Seventh Fool” recounts the comic misadventures of a charming con man who outsmarts both his gullible target—and himself.
- “The Waiting Sea” encapsulates the entire life history of a navy veteran haunted by the sea and by the faceless voices only he can hear.
- In “Ponce,” a poverty stricken St. Louis family encounters a mysterious blue-eyed dog—a dog that serves as a conduit to the undisclosed secrets of the universe.
“Song from a Forgotten Hill”
“And Dragons in the Sky”
“Appointment in Samarkand”
“The Devil’s Tooth”
“In the Wind”
“The Seventh Fool”
“The Waiting Sea”
Friday, February 10, 2012
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
As I started this week with the wonderful art of Marc Simonetti it is only fitting to continue it in the same note. Especially since almost immediately after seeing the new cover art bearing Marc Simonetti’s trademark I discovered that this summer Marc and George R.R. Martin unite their efforts for A Song of Ice and Fire 2013 Calendar. I saw the 2011 and 2012 editions of these calendars, illustrated by Ted Nasmith and John Picacio, but I am looking forward to this edition in particular because I am familiar with what Marc Simonetti did for the A Song of Ice and Fire before. A series of covers for the new integral French editions of George R.R. Martin’s series released by J’ai Lu two years ago and plenty of illustrations that can be found on his website or on his deviantART account. But nothing compares with the feeling such art gives to the viewer when it is properly displayed, that is why I am eagerly waiting for A Song of Ice and Fire 2013 Calendar to be released so I can finally display Marc Simonetti’s amazing work to a place of honor in my office.
Monday, February 6, 2012
Thursday, February 2, 2012
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
I love when my daily Internet wanderings bring forth new little gems. My constantly groaning book shelves do not. The reason for this conflict can be easily seen in my latest discoveries. Two anthologies that not only are looking exceptionally tasty, but I don’t imagine myself not having a copy of each of them when they will be released. Which are these anthologies that sent me tumbling to my very long wish list? “A Season in Carcosa” and “The Grimscribe’s Puppets” edited by Joseph S. Pulver, Sr. and due to be released in the summer and fall of 2012 by Miskatonic River Press. As the editor Joseph S. Pulver, Sr. says on his blog, in a post a year old but that is still news to me, “A Season in Carcosa” features tributes to Robert W. Chambers’ “The King in Yellow” with a similar direction as Ellen Datlow’s “Lovecraft Unbound”, while “The Grimscribe’s Puppets” (what an attractive title) features tributes to the master of weird fiction, Thomas Ligotti. For now, there is little more information to be found, but that doesn’t mean I can’t already eagerly wait for these two anthologies to be released. Even more, since the current list of acceptances includes three of my favorite modern writers, Gary McMahon, Cate Gardner (who’s “Strange Men in Pinstripe Suits and Other Curious Things” proves to be a delight so far) and Joel Lane, and the book covers are made by the unequalled Daniele Serra, it seems that I don’t need any more reasons to follow the news about the upcoming “A Season in Carcosa” and “The Grimscribe’s Puppets”.