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Book Buzz: Opening the DC Vault

Plus two doses of the year's best fantasy

By Tim Janson     September 29, 2008

The DC Vault Encyclopedia
© N/A
As mentioned last week, we have a slew of new releases in every category. There’s going to be some tough purchasing decisions that need to be made. We have two anthologies of the best fantasy literature of the year, one from St. Martin’s/Griffin and one from Wildside press. Games Workshop gives us Dan Abnett’s latest Warhammer 40,000 novel, Dark Horse books has two new novels out for their Alien/Predator lines, and a new Saint-Germain novel from Chelsea Quinn Yarbro. 
Over in non-fiction there are several big releases coming this week including the DC Vault from Running Press and Obsessed with Star Wars from Chronicle Books. With so much material this week I’m including just one capsule review but it’s a good one, the Silent Hill trade paperback from IDW.
New In Fantasy
The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror 2008 Ellen Datlow (St. Martin’s Griffin)
As in every year since 1988, the editors tirelessly scoured story collections, magazines, and anthologies worldwide to compile a delightful, diverse feast of tales and poems.
On this anniversary, the editors have increased the size of the collection to 300,000 words of fiction and poetry, including works by Billy Collins, Ted Chiang, Karen Joy Fowler, Elizabeth Hand, Glen Hirshberg, Joyce Carol Oates, and new World Fantasy Award winner M. Rickert. With impeccably researched summations of the field by the editors, Honorable Mentions, and articles by Edward Bryant, Charles de Lint and Jeff VanderMeer on media, music and graphic novels, this is a heady brew topped off by an unparalleled list of sources of fabulous works both light and dark.
The Universe Twister Keith Laumer & Kenneth C. Flint (Baen)
Lafayette O’Leary was barely scraping by as a draftsman until an experiment with self-hypnosis catapulted him into the world of Artesia, an exotic land complete with swordplay, beautiful princesses, and very large and hungry dragons. And unless O’Leary could somehow become the hero he had always dreamed of being, he was going to be a dragon’s lunch. And that was only the beginning, as O’Leary began to understand the secret of the multiple universes, each with its own opportunities for exciting adventure—and very evil adversaries and terrifying dangers . . .
The Universe Twister appeared previously as the separate novels The Time Bender, The World Shuffler and The Shape Changer. This is the first time the complete trilogy has been published in one volume.
Personal Demon Kelley Armstrong (Spectra)
In her acclaimed Women of the Otherworld series, Kelley Armstrong has created a scintillating realm where the supernatural and the human coexist on the edge of darkness, romance, and eternity. Now Armstrong tells the captivating tale of a young woman with an insatiable lust for danger. She can’t help it. It’s in her blood.
Tabloid reporter Hope Adams appears to live the life of an ordinary working girl. But in addition to possessing the beauty of a Bollywood princess, Hope has other unique traits. For she is a half demon—a human fathered by a demon. And she’s inherited a hunger for chaos. Naturally, when she’s chosen by a very dangerous group for a very dangerous mission that will take her through Miami’s hot spots, she jumps at the chance. But Hope is a little too good at this job. And soon she’s in a little too deep. To save herself, she’ll have to unleash her most primal instincts—and open herself, mind and body, to everything she most fears . . . and desires.
One Bite With A Stranger (The Others, Book 6) Christine Warren (St. Martin’s)
When Regina’s friends insist on setting her up a “Fantasy Fix” to help her get over her cheating ex, she dreams up some kinky out-of-this-world encounters that they could never possibly bring to life. But the next thing Regina knows, her friends have got her laced into a shiny black corset, tight leather pants, and a sexy pair of stilettos. It’s time for some downtown vampire-fantasy fun. The Vampire Ball in Manhattan’s East Village isn’t really Dmitri Vidâme’s idea of a good time, but as a member of the Council that governs the Others, he has to keep an eye on all the young vamps who prey on the pretenders. After he feasts his dark eyes on fiery Regina at the bar, he knows that he must have her. But for the first time Dmitri meets a woman who is more than a match for his indomitable will. And he may be the fantasy Regina hoped for… until she—and her feisty friends—discover her sexy new lover’s bloodsucking secret…
The Knight of the Red Beard (Cycle of Oak, Yew, Ash, and Rowan) Andre Norton, Sasha Miller (Tor hardcover)
Having rebuilt the NordornLand from rubble, Ashen and Gaurin rule justly and fairly over a reinvigorated land. Beloved by their kingdom, they now turn their attention to the next generation of Nordorn royalty. Responsible Bjaudin, heir to the throne, focuses on his studies and Hegrin, Queen of Rendel, rears her own growing brood. But the youngest siblings, Elin and Mikkel, seem destined to alter the future of the NordornLand—for better or for worse.
Thirteen-year-old Elin craves power, and believes her new alliance with the evil Ysa may help her achieve it. Eleven-year-old Mikkel stows away on a Sea-Rover ship, hoping for a brief adventure. But when the ship is attacked, Mikkel is taken prisoner, and soon his bonds to the NordornLand are the last thing on his mind.
Through births and deaths, celebration and wars, Ashen and Gaurin have worked tirelessly to bring peace and prosperity to their kingdom. But it appears that this era of peace may be at its end. This final installment of the Cycle of Oak, Yew, Ash, and Rowan brings the series to a thrilling climax worthy of these fascinating characters.
Key to Redemption Talia Gryphon (Ace)
In Romania, the estate of master vampire Aleksei Rachlav has become the headquarters for those paramortals who stand against Dracula’s army. And soldier and paramortal psychologist Gillian Key finds herself with a new group of clients. One is straight out of legend—a disfigured, masked man who haunts a Parisian opera house— and who becomes Aleksei’s rival for Gillian’s heart.
Half a Crown Jo Walton (Tor hardcover)
In 1941 the European war ended in the Farthing Peace, a rapprochement between Britain and Nazi Germany. The balls and banquets of Britain’s upper class never faltered, while British ships ferried “undesirables” across the Channel to board the cattle cars headed east. Peter Carmichael is commander of the Watch, Britain’s distinctly British secret police. It’s his job to warn the Prime Minister of treason, to arrest plotters, and to discover Jews. The midnight knock of a Watchman is the most dreaded sound in the realm.
Now, in 1960, a global peace conference is convening in London, where Britain, Germany, and Japan will oversee the final partition of the world. Hitler is once again on British soil. So is the long exiled Duke of Windsor—and the rising gangs of “British Power” streetfighters, who consider the Government “soft,” may be the former king’s bid to stage a coup d’état.   Amidst all this, two of the most unlikely persons in the realm will join forces to oppose the fascists: a debutante whose greatest worry until now has been where to find the right string of pearls, and the Watch Commander himself.
Fantasy: The Best of the Year 2008 Rich Horton (Wildside Press)
The best stories of the year: here is a collection of the best fantasy prose written in 2007, by some of the genre's greatest authors, and selected by Rich Horton, a contributing reviewer to many of the field's most respected magazines. 
Bite the Bullet (Crimson Moon, Book 2) L.A. Banks (St. Martin’s)
Sasha Trudeau considers herself a soldier first and a werewolf second. But while her secret government-sanctioned task-force faces its greatest challenge so far, Sasha faces something much more primal: the undeniable pull of the moon—and her own desires. With rogue wolves savaging both the human and paranormal worlds, Sasha’s team of elite operatives has one job: destroy the rogues and isolate the deadly toxin that’s poisoned their blood. But the challenge is far more complicated than Sasha could have imagined. Soon she is thrust into a full-scale supernatural war for supremacy—and the only man left who Sasha can turn to might be the biggest danger to her of all. . .and in more ways than one.
New In Science Fiction
Worlds Asunder Kirt C Hickman (Quillrunner Publishing Hardcover)
Edward "Chase" Morgan, NASA's accident investigator at Lunar Alpha Base, plans an uneventful retirement--until the crash of the Stellarfare Phoenix kills the United States Secretary of Energy and turns Chase's last case into a fight to avert war. Evidence of deliberate sabotage and Chinese government involvement suggest that this is the first in series of a political moves designed to undermine America's interplanetary clout. Events escalate as both sides break decades-old treaties. But when Chase learns that someone fabricated the evidence, he suspects conspiracy. Now he must find proof before the expanding crisis tears all of the colonized worlds asunder.
Titanicus Dan Abnett (Games Workshop Hardcover)
When the vital forge world of Orestes comes under attack by a legion of Chaos Titans, the planet is forced to appeal for help. Titan Legio Invicta, although fresh from combat and in desperate need of refit and repair, responds, committing its own force of war engines to the battle. As the god-machines stride to war, the world trembles, for the devastation they unleash could destroy the very world they have pledged to save. Savage Titan action on an apocalyptic scale and dark political intrigue meet head-on in this Warhammer 40,000 epic.
Necropath: Book One of the Bengal Station Trilogy Eric Brown (Solaris)
Bengal Station: an exotic spaceport that dominates the ocean between India and Burma. Jaded telepath, Jeff Vaughan, is employed by the spaceport authorities to monitor incoming craft from the stars. There, he discovers a sinister cult that worships a mysterious alien god. The Church of the Adoration of the Chosen One uses drugs to commune with the Ultimate, and will murder to silence those who oppose their beliefs. The story follows Vaughan as his mistrust of his fellow humans is overturned by his love for the Thai street-girl Sukura, while he attempts to solve the murders and save himself from the psychopath out to kill him.
Aliens: No Exit (novel) B.K. Evenson (Dark Horse Books)
After thirty years of cryogenic sleep, Detective Anders Kramm wakes to a changed world. The alien threat has been subdued. Company interests dominate universal trade. Terraforming is big money now, with powerful men willing to do anything to assure dominance over other worlds.
But Kramm has a secret. He knows why The Company killed twelve of its top scientists. He knows why the aliens have been let loose on the surface of a contested planet. He knows that the information he has is valuable, and that The Company will do everything it can to stop him from telling his secret to the world.
Haunted by memories of the brutal murder of his family, Kramm is set adrift amid billion dollar stakes . . . with aliens around every corner, waiting for him to make a mistake.
Predator: South China Sea (novel) Jeff Vandermeer (Dark Horse Books)
On a remote South China Sea island, a deadly hunt is underway . . . but not the kind of expedition the participants expected. In this remote jungle-covered island somewhere between Thailand and Indonesia some of the most exotic animals in the world have been gathered as the prizes in a challenge of human against nature. The hunters come from all walks of life: a South African arms dealer, a Romanian ex-wrestler, two former KGB agents, a wildlife TV host, a Thai pirate, and John Gustat, a billionaire with a mysterious past. Each has come to the island for personal reasons, some secret, some deadly. But when the encampment's owner, ex-Khmer Rouge Colonel Rath Preap, finds the fences cut and his security men missing, it's clear that the game has turned. And as the hunters battle for survival, they discover there is another creature out for blood--a Predator with an unstoppable lust for conquest.
Mutant Chronicles Matt Forbeck (Del Rey)
By the end of the twenty-third century, Earth is a plague-ridden, war-ravaged cesspool dominated by megacorporations whose ruthless armies fight one another for power and for the very scarce resources there are left.
Capitol fighters Mitch Hunter and Nathan Rooker are battling the opposing forces of the Bauhaus corporation when a cannon blast exposes and destroys an ancient stone seal in the ground. From the bowels of the Earth crawl hordes of necromutants with razorlike boneblades for arms, hideous humanoids that thrive and multiply by commandeering the bodies of dying soldiers. Mitch barely escapes–only to discover that both the rise of the mutants and the “Deliverer” who will save humanity has been prophesied. Unless Mitch and a group of warriors from each of the megacorporations succeed in reaching the hidden horrors and wiping out the mutant scourge, ouir world will literally become a hell on Earth.
Extraordinary Engines: The Definitive Steampunk Anthology (Solaris)
From The Golden Compass to online communities like Brass Goggles, Steampunk’s mix of retro Victoriana and modern technology is the hottest trend in science fiction.
Extraordinary Engines: The Definitive Steampunk Anthology brings together original stories by the foremost writers of Science Fiction and Fantasy. Edited by Nick Gevers, this collection includes Jeffrey Ford James Morrow, Robert Reed, James Lovegrove, Marly Youmans, Kage Baker, Ian R. MacLeod, Margo Lanagan, Keith Brooke, Adam Roberts, Jeff VanderMeer and Jay Lake.
Ex-Kop Warren Hammond (Tor Hardcover)
In this hardboiled science fiction thriller, Juno, having been booted off the police force, is barely getting by as a low-level bagman and photographer for the scandal rags. But it gets worse: his wife is in critical condition at the hospital and Juno doesn’t have the money to pay her bills. Desperate for cash, Juno agrees to help his ex-partner, Maggie Orzo, solve a difficult case. A young girl sits on death row, accused of brutally murdering her own parents. She’s confessed to the murders, but Maggie isn’t buying it, so she sends Juno out to get some answers. Working with Maggie, Juno comes into contact with her new partner, Ian. As dirty as they come, Ian is eager to rise in the police force no matter what the cost. Somehow Ian, a vicious serial killer, and the girl on death row are all connected. It is up to Juno and Maggie to find out how before more people die.
The Wall of America Thomas M. Disch (Tachyon)
Surreal and satiric, this collection of short fiction pays a mesmerizing visit to the shadowy zone that lies between present everyday life and a perilous near future that is frighteningly tangible. In "The Wall of America," the Department of Homeland Security has put up a border wall between the U.S. and Canada, but the NEA has plans to turn it into the world’s largest art gallery. After the Rapture, working-class life for "A Family of the Post-Apocalypse" is not as different as one might imagine, despite the occasional plague of biker-gang locusts. Between addiction and art is "Ringtime," where a criminal is trapped in a recursive compulsion to visit other people's memories while he is forced to record his own for an eager audience. A Somali schoolgirl living in post-WWIII Minneapolis goes on a bloody crusade to rid her town of a familiar predator, one who might just be a monster, in "White Man." Vivid, starkly imagined, and strikingly articulate, this disquieting compilation is a journey that skillfully straddles the line between absurdity and irony.
New in Horror
Water Witch Deborah Leblanc (Leisure)
Dunny knew from an early age what it meant to be an outsider. Her special abilities earned her many names, like freak and water witch. So she vowed to keep her powers a secret. But now her talents may be the only hope of two missing children. A young boy and girl have vanished, feared lost in the mysterious bayous of Louisiana. But they didn’t just disappear; they were taken. And amid the ghosts and spirits of the swamp, there is a danger worse than any other, one with very special plans for the children—and for anyone who dares to interfere.
River Runs Red Jeffrey J. Mariotte (Jove)
Within the caves of a small Texas town lies a pool of strange, luminescent water. Twenty years ago, three teenagers were inhabited by a malevolent force living in the caves. Now, they’ve returned to the site as combatants in a supernatural war that flows through the raging currents of the world’s rivers.
The Keep F. Paul Wilson (Tor)
“Something is murdering my men.”
Thus reads the message received from a Nazi commander stationed in a small castle high in the remote Transylvanian Alps. Invisible and silent, the enemy selects one victim per night, leaving the bloodless and mutilated corpses behind to terrify its future victims.
When an elite SS extermination squad is dispatched to solve the problem, the men find something that's both powerful and terrifying. Panicked, the Nazis bring in a local expert on folklore--who just happens to be Jewish--to shed some light on the mysterious happenings. And unbeknownst to anyone, there is another visitor on his way--a man who awoke from a nightmare and immediately set out to meet his destiny. The battle has begun: On one side, the ultimate evil created by man, and on the other...the unthinkable, unstoppable, unknowing terror that man has inevitably awakened.
Ghost Whisperer: Revenge Doranna Durgin (Pocketstar)
On a chilly spring night in Grandview, reformed tough guy Gordon Reese makes a final break with his old ways, bidding farewell to his roughneck buddies at The Whetstone Bar. But a vicious killer makes certain that Gordon's farewell will be final indeed. And now the haunting begins.
Gordon's murder has sparked a return to his violent ways, and his embittered spirit is quickly learning how to physically unleash his fury. He hunts down Craig Lusak -- the last man to see Gordon alive -- and begins to terrorize him mercilessly in a rage fueled by vengeance, anger, and unrelenting bloodlust. Problem is, Gordon may be haunting the wrong man.
When ghost whisperer Melinda Gordon begins to investigate the murder, she discovers a terrified Lusak, who, though desperate to ward off his ghostly tormentor, is secretive about his involvement with Gordon Reese's death. Melinda's interference provokes the killer to begin stalking her, and she becomes the next target of his obsessive homicidal rage. For each minute that the murder goes unsolved, Lusak grows weaker and Melinda faces increasing danger. In the ultimate battle between good and evil, will Gordon Reese overcome his demons in time to save Melinda from his killer, or will Gordon's unquenchable thirst for revenge lead her to a horrific end?
Found You Mary SanGiovanni (Leisure)
“Found you.” Those two simple words were like a death sentence to Sally. She recognized the voice, straight from her nightmares. The grotesque thing without a face, the creature that thrived on fear and guilt, had nearly killed her, like it had so many others. But it was dead…wasn’t it? Sally is about to find out that nightmares can become real, that your deepest secrets can prey on you, and that there’s nowhere to hide…for long. In the small town of Lakehaven something has arrived that can’t see you, hear you or touch you, but it can find you just the same. And when it does, your fears will have a name. (SEE A REVIEW OF FOUND YOU IN THE SEPTEMBER 16TH BOOK BUZZ COLUMN)
A Dangerous Climate: A Novel of the Count Saint-Germain Chelsea Quinn Yarbro (Tor Hardcover)
The vampire Count Saint-Germain, disguised as a missing Hungarian nobleman, is on a spy mission in the heart of Czarist Russia. Almost by the power of his will alone, it seems, Peter the Great is wrestling the city that will one day be St. Petersburg out of swampland. Representatives of the heads of all European states are living in tiny, frigid, wooden homes as they jockey for power and influence over the Czar. When a man shows up claiming to be the Count Saint-Germain, the vampire must figure out how to protect his title and wealth without revealing either his true identity or his True Nature.
Cthulhu's Dark Cults (Chaosium)
New Lovecraft-inspired anthology with stories from Shane Jiraiya Cummings, David Witteveen, William Jones, John Goodrich, Cody Goodfellow, Penelope Love, Peter A. Worthy, Oscar Rios, John Sunseri, and David Conyers.
The Screaming Tower (The Ebonacht Trilogy) James Lowder (Elder Signs Press)
Superstition shrouds the island of Thran and keeps the fear-plagued inhabitants subservient to the reclusive tyrant, Lord Ebonacht, and the denizens of the unseen Twilight Court. Only Janus, an orphan whose own mysterious past is discussed in frightened whispers, rails against the tales of the Strangerfolk and the other creatures that are rumored to stalk the night. His quest to prove the old stories false will bring him face to face with the prisoner of the Screaming Tower and reveal secrets about the world — and himself — far more terrible than those hinted at in the grimmest of legends.
Johnny Gruesome Gregory Lamberson (Medallion Press)
Johnny Grissom—nicknamed "Johnny Gruesome" by his high school classmates—is a heavy metal hellion who loves to party, watch horror movies, and get into fights. One winter night, Johnny's car, The Death Mobile, is discovered submerged beneath the icy surface of Willow Creek, with Johnny's waterlogged corpse inside. The townspeople believe that his death was accidental. But soon the murders begin—horrible acts of violent vengeance that hint at a deepening mystery and terror yet to come. A headless body is discovered at the high school, a priest is forced to confront his own misdeeds, and a mortician encounters the impossible. The sound of a car engine and maniacal laughter fill the night, and one by one, Johnny's enemies meet a grisly demise. The students at Red Hill High School begin to fear for their lives—especially Johnny's closest friends, who all harbor a dark secret.
Institutional Memory Gary Frank (medallion Press)
Standing five-stories tall in a relatively small city, the Howard Phillips building is like any other building: it is secretly inhabited by an entity from another plane of existence that feeds off the energy of the people who work within its walls. Unfortunately, the life form inhabiting this particular building has been infected by a sort of virus of hate; as companies move out and its inhabitants dwindle this alien intelligence has chosen to use fear as a means of obtaining sustenance. It is up to Jon, Marcy, and Bettie to stop this haunting presence before it’s too late.
House of Bones Graham Masterton (Severn House Hardcover)
No one lives for very long in the houses they buy from Mr Vane. Neighbours complain of noises that chill the blood, and then deathly silence. Maybe the occupants have moved away. But then maybe they haven't... John has just joined Mr Vane's estate agency. He thinks houses are for living in happily-ever-after. He has no idea about the hidden forces inside Mr Vane's properties, nor about their strange appetites. But he's about to find out...
The Graveyard Book Neil Gaiman (Harper Collins Hardcover)
Bod is an unusual boy who inhabits an unusual place-he's the only living resident of a graveyard. Raised from infancy by the ghosts, werewolves, and other cemetery denizens, Bod has learned the antiquated customs of his guardians' time as well as their timely ghostly teachings-like the ability to Fade. Can a boy raised by ghosts face the wonders and terrors of the worlds of both the living and the dead? And then there are things like ghouls that aren't really one thing or the other.
Deadly Night Heather Graham (Mira)
The Flynn brothers have inherited more than a New Orleans plantation. They've inherited a ghostly presence… and a long-kept secret. Aidan Flynn, a private investigator and eldest of the Flynn brothers, scoffs at the haunted-house rumors—especially since Kendall Montgomery, a tarot card reader who has been living in the mansion, is the one to tell him the tale of a woman in white. But when he finds a human bone on the grounds and another by the river, Aidan delves into the dark history of the Flynn plantation. Forced together to uncover the truth, Aidan and Kendall realize that a serial killer whose victims seem to vanish into thin air has long been at work…and that their own fates are about to be sealed forever unless they believe in the unbelievable.
New In Non-Fiction
The DC Vault Matin Pasko (Running Press)
In 1935, popular culture was forever transformed when DC Comics published the first book of “all new, all original” comic material. To the delight of millions of readers everywhere, the modern comic book was born, and from its pages came leaping an exhilarating cast of characters.
Now The DC Vault unlocks DC Comics’ most fascinating secrets and deeply buried treasures, presenting a colorful array of historic and never-before-published memorabilia, including early sketches, covers, memos, press materials, and much more. From a working reproduction of a 1942 Junior Justice Society of America decoder, to a series of Public Service Announcements starring Superman and Batman, to the original pencils and inks for Wonder Woman #63, this dazzling chronicle contains more than 25 plastic-encased archival pieces for readers to pull out and examine—all while learning about the artists, writers, and world-famous super heroes that make up the DC Universe. Whether you’ve been collecting Superman comics since the ’40s or have just discovered the amazing Sandman saga, you’ll revel in this vibrant treasury!
The Encyclopedia Of Superheroes On Film And Television John Kenneth Muir (McFarland & Co. Hardcover)
It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a complete guide to over fifty years of superheroes on screen! Each entry includes a detailed history, cast and credits, episode and film descriptions, critical commentaries and data on arch-villains, gadgets, comic-book origins and super powers, while placing each production into its historical context. Four appendices list common conventions and clichés of superheroes on screen, incarnations, a sampling of memorable superhero ad-lines, and the best, worst, and most influential superhero productions from 1951 to 2003. Mr. Muir’s Horror Films of the 1970s (2002) was selected as one of the thirteen "Reference Books of the Year" by the American Library Association. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Cheap Tricks And Class Acts: Special Effects, Makeup and Stunts from the Fantastic Fifties John J.J. Johnson (McFarland & Co.)
In the 1950s Hollywood unleashed a wave of monsters; everything from demon aliens and dinosaurs to blobs and bloated bugs infested theaters and drive-ins. Lost worlds were discovered, unnatural terrors shook the screen, gigantism ran rampant. Moviegoers were left with one question: How did they do that? This work uncovers the cheap and challenging behind-the-scenes production secrets of the fantastic films of the 1950s. Special technical effects, visual effects, menacing makeup, stunts, fantastic sets and film locations are all covered in detail along with the many men and women who shared in these occasionally brilliant and usually outrageous efforts. Also included is a lengthy checklist of the prominent makeup, stunt, prop and effects artists of the era, with a listing of their fantastic film credits.
Cheap Scares! Low Budget Horror Filmmakers Share Their Secrets Gregory Lamberson (McFarland & Co.)
This guide details the entire process of creating and selling a horror movie, from rough outline to film distribution. The author draws on his experience writing and directing micro-budget movies to show aspiring filmmakers how to create horror films and get them distributed, with an emphasis on storytelling and marketing. Chapters cover screenwriting, freelancing as a writer, collaborating, budgeting and pitching projects to industry decision-makers, and feature interviews with other screenwriters, directors, producers, actors, an entertainment lawyer, and a marketing executive for a DVD distributor. Production stills, sample screenplay pages, and sample budgets are also included.
Zombie Movies: The Ultimate Guide Glenn Kay (Chicago Review Press) 
Featuring chronological reviews of more than 300 zombie films—from 1932's White Zombie to George A. Romero's 2008 release Diary of the Dead—this thorough, uproarious guide traces the evolution of one of horror cinema’s most popular and terrifying creations. Fans will learn exactly what makes a zombie a zombie, go behind the scenes with a chilling production diary from Land of the Dead, peruse a bizarre list of the oddest things ever seen in undead cinema, and immerse themselves in a detailed rundown of the 25 greatest zombie films ever made. Containing an illustrated zombie rating system, ranging from "Highly Recommended" to "Avoid at All Costs" and "So Bad It’s Good," the book also features lengthy interviews with numerous talents from in front of and behind the camera.
Vampire Films Colin Odell (Pocket)
Creatures of the night: they repel, they fascinate, and they seduce. On film, they offer both mass market appeal and rich veins of material for film students. Vampire movies are almost as old as film itself. Constantly remade and reinvented for each new generation, the films, like the vampires themselves, adopt many shapes—from the faithful adaptation of Francis Ford Coppola's Dracula to the art movie approach of Werner Herzog's Nosferatu remake to the high school horror of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This handy book traces the vampire film from its beginnings to the present day, acknowledging on its way all the classics of vampire cinema from the original Nosferatu right up to 30 Days of Night and beyond.
Silver Scream Volume 1: 40 Classic Horror Movies 1920 – 1941 Steven Warren Hill (Telos Publishing)
From somnambulist kidnappers stalking the streets of an expressionist nightmare to an ambulatory alien vegetable terrorising the crew of a futuristic spaceship, fantasy and horror film has explored every facet of human (and not so human) nature. From the earliest days of cinema, visions of blood-thirsty vampires, musty mummies, fanged wolf men, invisible men, insane phantoms and bolt-necked patchwork monstrosities have stalked, stomped, crept and lurched their way across popular consciousness.
In these books we journey back to the very start, when the silver screen was silent and the horrors were presented in flickering black and white. We explore the development of eighty key films, with detailed analysis and biographies of all those involved in their creation from the writers and directors through the composers, cast and technical crew.
Revisit the days when the names of Lugosi, Karloff, Lorre and Chaney ruled the cinemas, and when the myths and legends of iconic monsters were created and developed. Come with us back to the time of the Silver Scream...
Inside the Hub: The Unofficial and Unauthorized Guide to Torchwood Stephen James Walker (Telos)
Torchwood. Protecting the Earth against alien threats in the 21st Century - the time when everything changes. Created by Russell T Davies and starring John Barrowman as Captain Jack Harkness, Eve Myles as Gwen Cooper, Burn Gorman as Owen Harper, Naoko Mori as Toshiko Sato and Gareth David-Lloyd as Ianto Jones, Torchwood is dark and gritty, rain soaked and blood drenched, sexy and thrilling. Its first season covered subjects as diverse as a sex-addicted alien mist, a powerful Cyberwoman, a telepathy-inducing pendant, an invisible man and alien Weevils.
In this, the first factual book to be published on the series, noted TV historian Stephen James Walker charts the story of Torchwood, complete with character profiles, cast and production team information, behind-the-scenes details and a comprehensive guide to each of the 13 episodes, looking at the key elements and the many links to Doctor Who that permeate the show.
Inside the Hub is every fan's one-stop guide to the secret world of Torchwood.
Obsessed with Star Wars Benjamin Harper (Chronicle Books)
Even the most die-hard Star Wars fans will find themselves challenged by this entertaining new approach to the details of the saga. This fourth volume in the popular addictive Obsessed With series again includes an innovative scoring module right in the book so a player can select questions by number or at random and keep score. With 2 500 original questions covering little known facts entertaining quotes and tough trivia from all six episodes Obsessed With Star Wars will have readers dominating the galaxy in no time.
New In Graphic Novels/Trade Paperbacks
American Dream: Beyond Courage (Marvel)
As the star-spangled splendor struggles to find a balance between her personal and super-hero lives, a hunt for a missing fiancée unexpectedly leads American Dream into a battle with an unstoppable new super-foe and terrifyingly new kind of terrorist. Collecting AMERICAN DREAM #1-5.
Dark Tower: The Long Road Home (Marvel)
The second collection of the best-selling comic-book series, inspired by Stephen King’s epic The Dark Tower! Gunslinger Roland Deschain has seen the death of his lover Susan Delgado. And the Big Coffin Hunters who burned her at the stake are now in pursuit of Roland and his ka-tet Cuthbert and Alain. The friends are forced to flee into the desert with the deadly posse in hot pursuit….and Roland is in a coma! Don’t miss the next chapter in the saga of the Gunslinger whose quest for the Dark Tower will shake the foundation of reality itself! Collecting DARK TOWER: THE LONG ROAD HOME #1-5.
Serenity: Better Days (Dark Horse)
Serenity: Better Days follows everyone's favorite space cowboys in a thrilling, action-packed adventure, where Mal and his crew take on a heist that promises a big payoff. But when one of Serenity's crew is taken captive and tortured, the gang must put their enduring differences aside and work together to save one of their own, even if it may mean losing the cash prize of a lifetime.
Joss Whedon returns to the world of his blockbuster film Serenity, reuniting with Brett Matthews and Will Conrad, his collaborators on the bestselling 2005 series Those Left Behind.
The Spirit Volume 2 (DC Hardcover)
The second volume of Darwyn Cooke's Eisner Award-winning new SPIRIT tales collects issues #7-13 of the ongoing series, and includes short stories by some of comics' biggest names!
Blue Beetle vol. 4: Endgame (DC)
Featuring a story that ties into "The Sinestro Corps War," this volume collects BLUE BEETLE #20-26. This title also includes the special Spanish language story, along with the script translated into English.
Capsule Reviews
Silent Hill: Sinner’s Reward TPB (IDW)

This trade collects the four-issue mini-series, as the successful videogame franchise is adapted into graphic format. Jack Stanton is a mob hitman who decides he’s had enough of the life and decides to escape. Trouble is, he’s escaping with his Boss’ wife, Jill, Mr. Conway isn’t about to let her go. He sends a group of his men to get them back, one way or another. A shootout at a service station puts Jack and Jill (get it…going up the “Silent Hill) on the run to the cursed town.

Tom Waltz’ story is a morality play, jumping from present to past. The lovers didn’t arrive at Silent Hill by accident. They’ve sinned greatly in their lives and Silent Hill intends to give them their just rewards. Waltz manages to elicit sympathy for a pair who clearly doesn’t deserve it and some punishments are worse than death. Steph Stamb’s moody, painted artwork perfectly captures the look of the video game where something bad seems to lurk around every corner. Grade A


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AMiSHPiRATE 9/29/2008 7:02:39 AM
Hey Tim, you really shouldn't be using so many linking verbs. They make your writing come across as weak and ineffectual.
Wiseguy 9/29/2008 10:56:41 AM
I need to renew my barnes and nobles member card. Like to check out that DC Vault and Encyclopedia of S.H. on tv and film.
tjanson 9/29/2008 1:54:38 PM
Amish, since you flame everything I do it renders your opinion as ineffectual.
AMiSHPiRATE 9/29/2008 7:47:54 PM
How can you say that? After all I do for you? I go out of my way to bash your article for your overuse of linking verbs, then I intentionally use a linking verb where it need not exist. I set you up to slam me down for hypocrisy and yet... *sigh*<br /> <br /> Pat Ferrara knew what it was about.
tjanson 9/30/2008 10:59:59 AM
Well Pat's gone so you are stuck with me. Get over it.


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