DC reportedly has at least seven movies in development. Marvel has movies planned out to 2028. Star Wars kicks off a new trilogy next year and has at least two spinoffs already in development. Then there are the upcoming TV shows — Gotham, The Flash, Agent Carter, Daredevil… With that in mind, we asked our esteemed panel…
It was the recent Mind Meld on Favorite Convention Panels, combined with the romance of the phrase “All of time and space. Everything that ever happened or ever will…,” that inspired me to ask our panelists this question:
Here’s what they said:
Read the rest of this entry
REVIEW SUMMARY: Hot on the heels of a weekend spent at ConQuest 44 in Kansas City, MO, which featured both George R.R. Martin and Artist Guest of Honor John Picacio, I review the latest Wild Cards stories acquired and edited for Tor.com by Martin himself. Artist John Picacio provides the accompanying art for both novelettes.
BRIEF SYNOPSIS: In the Wild Cards world of Jokers and Aces, two troubled individuals attempt to come to grips with their genetic traits and a world in which they are not entirely welcome.
PROS: Each author captures a strong sense of place; characters whose voices fit well; the first story sets up the Wild Cards world for those unfamiliar with the concept.
CONS: Cherie Priest’s story could have stretched on longer for a more fulfilling ending; Paul Cornell’s style was initially jarring until you realize just how well it fits the protagonist he created.
BOTTOM LINE: I am one of the newbies I referred to above. These two stories were my first foray into the Wild Cards universe and I knew next to nothing about this shared world until I read these stories. I was drawn to read these because of the serendipity mentioned in the opening and also because I have long been a fan of Priest’s writing and follow Paul Cornell on the SF Squeecast and thus have been curious about his writing. Both stories are told with the precision and skill of seasoned authors and, as hand-picked representatives of GRRM’s creation, they do a really nice job of making an uniformed reader like me sit up and take notice. As stand alone stories they each have strengths, but they also have weaknesses that I believe are more a product of being a part of a long-standing series than anything else. Overall these two stories are a good introduction to the world of the Wild Cards and I suspect fans of the series will have much to like in this new material.
BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Four police officers investigating a mobster’s death are sucked into the arcane and hidden world of London.
PROS: Excellent police procedural elements; believable and realistic portrayal of what such individuals would do with such a gift.
CONS: A couple of the breaks in POV away from the officers, especially a flashback sequence, don’t feel as strong as the remainder of the book; subject matter may not suit certain readers.
BOTTOM LINE: An extremely strong, page-turning novel.
Being a undercover police detective (UC) or an analyst in the London police force is not easy. If it’s not dealing with mobsters and the lowlifes in the department, there’s corruption, bureaucratic incompetence and rigidity, and the general daily grind of what it means to be a police officer. So when an unlikely encounter gives you the ability to see ghosts and other otherworldly things, it’s just one more problem for you to have to deal with. It’s disconcerting, if not bloody terrifying, and it reveals that there are things that do go bump in the night. So, as an officer in the London police force, what do you do?
You keep calm, carry on, and do your bloody job. Even if your remit is now wider, and stranger, than you could possibly have ever imagined.
I talked about Demon Knights, the Paul Cornell-scripted series from DC, in this column not so long ago, and thought it’d be fun to follow that up with a chat with the man himself. Here’s that chat, but first just a word or two of intro.
Paul Cornell’s got a pretty remarkable body of work under his belt, from the writing point of view. He’s a screenwriter, novelist and comics writer of very considerable experience. He’s also a knowledgeable and sincere fan of all things science fictional, as regularly demonstrated on the Hugo-winning SF Squeecast, where he’s a regular.
The two comics series that currently have his name on them are the aforementioned Demon Knights from DC (though since this discussion, it’s been announced he’ll be handing over those writing duties to a successor shortly) and Saucer Country, his creator-owned series from DC’s Vertigo imprint. Also imminent is the first in a series of novels, London Falling, more info on which will be revealed in what follows.
On with the talk …
Last year DC Comics – one of the two corporate behemoths dominating the monthly comics market in the US – cancelled all their superhero titles, some of which had unbroken runs stretching back decades, and relaunched with 52 new #1s. It was a Hail Mary pass, prompted by long-running and cumulatively punishing declines in circulation. (Marvel, DC’s great competitor, is similarly afflicted and they’re also going to try something dramatic, if less ambitious, relaunching 20+ of their titles starting in October).
As a result of the DC relaunch a heap of collected editions is starting to emerge, all introducing new storylines, characters and/or status quos, all notionally good starting points for the new or lapsed reader. As a semi-lapsed superhero aficionado, I figured I’d test these fresh waters, in a quest for nothing more complicated than fun.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, I failed to adhere to my self-imposed quest parameters, getting thoroughly distracted by non fun-related things like the structure of certain famous movie endings, the power of nostalgia and the objectification of women in superhero comics. Indeed, despite only trying to talk about a couple of comics, I got distracted at such length that I’ve split what was going to be one column into two.
Today, then, you get the first installment, which is the one in which I get sidetracked by movie endings.
- Slate finds the graphic novel version of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 worrisome. [via Locus Online]
- Interviews & Profiles [some of these via Bibliophile Stalker]:
- Mur Lafferty interviews Cory Doctorow.
- Meanwhile, At Your Library video-interviews Cory Doctorow.
- @Wow.com: Catherynne M. Valente
- Electric Velocipede interviews John Langan.
- Josh Vogt interviews T.A. Pratt.
- The Crotchety Old Fan interviews Nick Mamatas.
- @PJTV.com: John Ringo.
- @Whatever: Lev Grossman.
- @Stomping on Yeti: Jay Lake, author of Green.
- Over at Suvudu, David J. Williams talks about the demise of Mundane SF.
- Sue Lange talks Steampunk at Polka Dot Banner. Check it out and get a free copy of the a shared-world steampunk anthology Shadow Conspiracy, just by posting a comment!
- Ellen Datlow tells us she’ll not only be attending, but she will be delivering a eulogy at Edgar Allan Poe’s funeral.
- David Weber talks about worldbuilding.
- Lou Anders shows off the cover for This Crooked Way by James Enge.
- Point Reyes Cypress Press has published the memoir-biography Search for Philip K. Dick, Revised 2009, with new material, by Anne R. Dick.
- Advice for Writers: How to Give Public Readings by Mary Robinette Kowal. [via Nancy Kress]
- M-BRANE is in full support of the new GreenPunk movement.
- Jeremiah Tolbert says Be a Positive Force in Fandom, Not an @$$hole. Nick Mamatas responds.
- Scott Edelman continues posting video recently obtained from the 2000 Nebula Awards ceremony, this time with Best Short Story Category. Hilarious stuff.
- Nick Abadzis (Laika) is writing a Torchwood comic strip.
- Are you ready for a remake of Outland?
- Our UK friends can get a sneak peek at Doctor Who‘s Greatest Moments from the BBC.
- Zombaritaville zombifies song lyrics. Cool. [via Boing Boing. Speaking of whom, check out their print advertisement from 10 years ago.]
- Niteblade interviews Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling, editors of Troll’s Eye View.
- Suvudu has posted a video-interview with Max Brooks, author of World War Z.
- Green Man Review presents a special edition about Kage Baker. [via Locus Online]
- Over at BSC, Sarah Zettel discusses Harry Potter and the Golden Age of Science Fiction.
- Jo Walton reviews John Brunner’s The Crucible of Time: “The amazing thing about The Crucible of Time isn’t that it does an alien point of view, or a point of view of such very alien aliens, or that it covers such a huge span of time as the alien planet suffers so many disasters–it’s that it does them all together and makes it work as a coherent story. It’s fun.”
- David Herter has posted the cover to his forthcoming novel October Dark, inspired by Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes. [Thanks, Christopher!]
- Print on Demand: A New Future for Our Print Magazines?
- Paul Cornell discovers uses for a spare Tom Baker head. He’s got a spare?!?
- Cracked lists 5 Amazing Buildings of the Future (And How They’ll Kill You).