Author Archive

Journey Into Mystery with The Mighty Thor

Thor: The Dark World opens on November 8th. With that in mind, I thought I’d take a look at some of Thor’s more recent adventures for the Kirkus Reviews blog.

From the Post:

I was more than a little skeptical of the first movie. Thor was never one of my favorite characters growing up. First, he talked funny. All ‘thou’, ‘thee’, ‘verily’, and whatnot. Second, well, he just wasn’t accessible to me as a reader. I couldn’t identify with him – he was a god, after all. Truth told, I enjoyed the alternate Thor versions Beta Ray Bill and Eric Masterson (Thunderstrike) in the comics more than I did Thor himself. But the movie converted me. They stripped away all the things about Thor I didn’t care for or identify with. They brought his humanity to the forefront and made the character likable, and accessible, without losing the core of who he is and what drives him. Yes, they changed up his backstory (Don Blake became a one-liner joke), but in this situation, I was actually for those changes. With that in mind, I offer up 5 graphic novels featuring Marvel’s God of Thunder, Thor to get you ready for The Dark World.

Click on over to the Kirkus Reviews Blog to read the rest of the post.

In episode 212 of the SF Signal Podcast, Patrick Hester records a live interview from WorldCon with author Trina Marie Phillips.

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In episode 211 of the SF Signal Podcast, Patrick Hester welcomes back Jay Garmon, Paul Weimer, Fred Kiesche and Jeff Patterson to talk about books we want to read before the end of the year.

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In episode 210 of the SF Signal Podcast, Patrick Hester sits down with Gail Carriger, author of The Parasol Protectorate Books, Soulless, Changeless, Blameless, Heartless & Timeless, and the new YA Finishing School Books, Curtsies & Conspiracies, and Etiquette & Espionage.

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In episode 209 of the SF Signal Podcast, Patrick Hester sits down with Howard Andrew Jones, author of these great books:

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In episode 208 of the SF Signal Podcast, Patrick Hester welcomes two of our newest Irregulars, Sarah Chorn and Ria Bridges, along with a couple of long-term Irregulars, Larry Ketchersid and Lisa Paitz Spindler to discuss three books we want to read before the end of the year.

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In episode 207 of the SF Signal Podcast, Patrick Hester sits down in the food court at Worldcon to chat with David Boop.

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In episode 206 of the SF Signal Podcast, Patrick Hester welcomes Mary Robinette Kowal, John Joseph Adams, Matt Forbeck and Tobias Buckell to talk about kickstarters in general and the new Help Fund My Robot Army: an anthology of improbable, futuristic, magical & alternate-world crowdfunding projects.

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Gail Carriger’s Soulless The Manga: Volume 1

Soulless, the first book in Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series, turned four years old this week, so over on the Kirkus Reviews Blog, I thought I’d take a look at the Manga version of the book.

From the post:

Miss Alexia Tarabotti lives in Victorian England.  She enjoys high tea, reading books, the company of her very best friend, Ivy Hisselpenny, and the vampire, Lord Akeldama.  Alexia’s family sees her as a spinster, too old to marry, and a bit of an oddball for not caring one-whit about it.  She lives with her mother, step-father, and two step-sisters.  When a starving vampire attacks her at a social event, he is shocked to learn that Alexia is a preternatural, a ‘soulless’ being who has the power to render the supernatural mortal through touch.  She is forced to kill the vampire, which only complicates matters.  Lord Maccon, a werewolf, a member of the Bureau of Unnatural Registry, and the Earl of Woolsey, arrives to investigate.  He and Alexia spar verbally, but she is sent home.  The next day, she is invited to visit the Countess Nadasdy, Vampire Queen of the Westminster Hive…

Click on over to Kirkus Reviews Blog to read the rest of the review.

In episode 205 of the SF Signal Podcast, Patrick Hester sits down to chat with Betsy Dornbusch – Author of the Seven Eyes fantasy series, and Sentinel urban fantasy series, as well as an Editor at Electric Spec Magazine.

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Video: The Wonder Woman Movie We All Want To See

Rainfall Films has put out a short film featuring Wonder Woman kicking ass the way we know she can, and must.  I seriously hope DC is paying attention, because this is the Wonder Woman movie we’ve all been waiting for.  Now just make it an hour and a halfish longer…

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In episode 204 of the SF Signal Podcast, Patrick Hester sneaks into an unused programming room to chat with the editor, publisher, and several contributing authors of the Beyond the Sun anthology, out from Fairwood Press.
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In episode 203 of the SF Signal Podcast, Patrick Hester sits down to chat with Laureen Hudson – Editor for Hunt Press, a small press based out of California.

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In episode 202 of the SF Signal Podcast, Patrick Hester welcomes Lynne M. Thomas (2013 Hugo Award winner – Best Fancast), Michael Damian Thomas (2013 Hugo Award Nominee – Semi-Prozine – APEX Magazine, and John Kilma (Hugo Award Winner – Electric Velocipede 2009) to discuss the genesis and journey of the Glitter & Mayhem (APEX Books) anthology from conception to publication launch party at Worldcon in San Antonio, Texas.

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VIDEO: The Making of Pacific Rim’s Prologue

John D. showed this to me, and it’s worth sharing. Say what you want about Pacific Rim - go on, it’s okay – but you have to admit, the giant Jaegers (mech) and Kaijus were fairly awesome. This was the first film that made me think two very cool, live-action adaptations were now possible: a Mechwarrior film, and a Robotech film.

In the video below, we see how the FX for both Jaegers and Kaijus were put together. The layers and detail is just awesome. Check it out after the jump.

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The SF Signal Podcast (Episode 200!): 2013 WorldCon Wrap-Up

In episode 200 of the SF Signal Podcast, Patrick Hester, Gail Carriger, Matthew Sanborn Smith, Karen Burnham and John DeNardo chat about their adventures at this year’s WorldCon in San Antonio, Texas.
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Sunday Cinema: From The Future With Love (A Short Film)


This comes to us via GeekyTyrant – a very well done short film from director K-Michel Parandi about privatized police forces in New York City, 2095. Don’t have the right coverage plan? Better upgrade, or the police might not be able to help you. The production value on this film makes it look slick and solid, on par with what we’ve seen from Hollywood these days. The concept reminds me (a little) of Judge Dredd.

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Saga, Vol. 1

In honor of it winning the 2013 Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story, I thought I’d go ahead and take a look at Saga: Volume 1 this week on the Kirkus Blog.

From the post:

From the mind of Brian K. Vaughan (Y: The Last Man) and illustrated by Fiona Staples (Mystery Society, North 40), Saga: Volume 1 (978-1607066019) tells the tale of two star-crossed lovers out to leave their past behind and start a new life together.  Alana is a winged-being from the world known as Landfall.  Her world is at war with the inhabitants of their moon, called Wreath.  Drafted to fight in that war, Alana eventually found herself working as a prison guard where she met Marko.  Born of Wreath, Marko, too, was a soldier.  His race has horns and can wield magic, whereas the people of Landfall are technologically superior.  Somehow, the two fell in love and decided to desert their respective armies and build a new life together.  That new life is complicated by the arrival of Hazel, their child, who represents something neither side of the war thought possible; genetic compatibility.

Click on over to the Kirkus Blog to read the rest of my review.

Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files: Welcome to the Jungle and Storm Front

Today at the Kirkus blog, I take a look at three graphic novels based on Jim Butcher’s smart, sarcastic and difficult to kill private eye/Wizard, Harry Dresden.

From the post:

The idea of adapting novels into comics has been around for a little while now, and quite frankly, is the source of my column here at the Kirkus blog (most weeks). Not everyone approaches it the same way. Butcher launched his adaptations with a brand new story written specifically for the comics – Welcome to the Jungle (978-0345507464), which takes place immediately before the first Dresden Files novel – Storm Front. More on that in a minute. Welcome to the Jungle sets up the Dresden Files universe. Karrin Murphy is the head of Chicago PD’s Special Investigation unit. Ron Carmichael is her partner. Whenever anything weird comes up, they call in one Harry Dresden, Wizard. On this particular day, a mysterious death at the zoo is weird enough to make that call.

To read the rest of the post, click on over to the Kirkus Reviews blog. Go on. Do it. I dare you…

REVIEW SUMMARY: A decent offering marred by an art style so grotesque as to be horribly distracting.
BRIEF SYNOPSIS: After battling a menagerie of his enemies, The Flash (Barry Allen), wakes up to find the world has changed. Atlantis is at war with the Amazon’s of Themyscira, who have destroyed Europe, and claimed the United Kingdom as their own. In this alternate world, it’s up to Barry Allen and this world’s version of The Batman to set things right again, or die trying.

MY REVIEW:
PROS: Decent story; nice to see Barry’s version of The Flash in an animated feature; this Batman is interesting (not all alternates have been); another fun romp through the ‘what if’ catalogue of stories.
CONS: The physical representations of the heroes (the art) is weird, grotesque and distracting; even without having read the original comics, the twist was predictable.
BOTTOM LINE: As a fan of the animated movies DC has been pumping out, this one is much better than the previous few and well worth your time.

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