BlackGuard and BlackGuard II are a pair of Sci-fi Cyber Noir short films.
In Blackguard, agents of a clandestine agency must apprehend a rebel who isn’t what she seems.
In Blackguard II, a pair of telepathic law enforcement begrudgingly investigate a typical equipment malfunction.
Maurice Broaddus and Jerry Gordon, co-editors of the Bram Stoker and Black Quill nominated Dark Faith anthology series, are turning to Kickstarter to fund their latest partnership, Streets of Shadows. The new anthology promises to blend the best of crime and urban fantasy.
Maurice and Jerry sat down with contributors Kevin J. Anderson, Seanan McGuire, Brandon Massey, Kristine Kathryn Rush, and (not surprisingly) themselves to talk about blurring genre lines and getting away with murder. You can support their Kickstarter by clicking here.
In 2005, Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo published the first Trese comic. Not a cop, but working with them, Alexandra Trese and her faithful assistants solve the crimes that can’t be brought before a judge. Manila is her city, left to her by her father and his father before him, and she’s going to protect the people in it by whatever means necessary. When you live in a Manila where all of the old Filipino folklore is true, that involves making deals with some monsters, and destroying others.
Originally the Trese komiks were photocopied ashcans, passed around through fans and sold whenever you could find the author or artist to buy one. The graphic novels are published by Visual Print Enteprises, a small press in the Philippines. Their financial success, popularity, and awards led Tan and Baldisimo to sign with Flipside Publishing Services Inc., which is currently releasing the individual issues as eBooks. But even now, as huge as the komik’s creators are at home, they’re still considered outsiders, unknown by most US readers.
Those of you who are just hearing about Trese for the first time have been missing out on something amazing.
REVIEW SUMMARY: Gangster noir meets clockwork-punk and spy thriller in this captivating genre mash-up.
BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Clock repairman Joe Spork finds himself pitted against seemingly insurmountable odds when he unwittingly activates a doomsday weapon.
PROS: Original, humorous, lovable characters, and charmingly quaint.
CONS: Takes some time to build up steam and ends rather weakly.
BOTTOM LINE: This is a delightful genre mash-up, the likes of which you are unlikely to find anywhere else.
Joe Spork is a clock repairman, working out of his grandfather’s old warehouse and hiding from a criminal legacy. Joe’s father was the most notorious gangster in all of England in his day, a King of Crooks. Joe has chosen a different path, the path of his grandfather the clock repairman. All his adult life Joe has followed the law and tried to be as inconsequential as possible. But when Joe inadvertently starts the apocalypse it seems as though the universe is conspiring against him. If Joe is to survive and escape the clutches of violent monks and determined government agents operating in the legal grey he will need to fall back on the heritage he has tried so desperately to bury.
The first book in John Urbancik’s new supernatural noir series, DarkWalker, is available as a free Kindle eBook for Kindle devices and software.
Here’s the synopsis:
Jack Harlow walks untouched through the dark. He sees the things that exist there—the ghosts, the vampires, the demons—he sees them and knows them, but they cannot touch him. Until the night he interferes to protect the woman he loves. Now, his untouchable nature is inverted. The creatures of the night are drawn to him, and aim to collect his soul as a prize.
The ebook is free only through June 6th, so hurry!
Daniel Polansky is a debut author born near Baltimore. His first book is Low Town, published by Doubleday in August 2011. He’s already working on the sequel. You can keep in touch with him via his website DanielPolansky.com, Twitter (@DanielPolansky), and facebook at facebook.com/DanielPolanskyAuthor.
Recently, we had the chance to speak with Daniel about his novel and the writing process.
SF SIGNAL: I read on Niteblade.com that Low Town took nearly two years from start to finish. Was there any particular seed of an idea that germinated to become Low Town? Or was it just an accumulation of ideas and characters until you realized you needed to write that first draft?
DANIEL POLANSKY: Truthfully, I woke up one day and just started writing blind. I had a good idea of the Warden’s voice, and a vague sense of the sort of mood I wanted to evoke, but in terms of such minor issues as plot, character, setting etc – I really had no idea. Things sort of came together and then suddenly I had a draft. And then I realized (largely because I didn’t bother doing the requisite planning) that the draft made no sense, and I began to revise it furiously.
REVIEW SUMMARY: Darkness abounds in this novel that blends detective, noir and fantasy.
BRIEF SYNOPSIS: In the slum of Low Town one man struggles against his past, faces what he has become and deals with a sordid mystery that he is compelled to solve.
PROS: Realistic; intriguing character struggle.
CONS: Climax lacks punch; visual detail and some character elements lose consistency; mystery somewhat lacking.
BOTTOM LINE: Dark, different, with a character that is tough but likable. Read it for the character and ignore the mystery.