Two new Lovecraftian Anthologies Announced (Mania.com)

By:Tim Janson
Date: Sunday, February 22, 2009

 

First off, if you haven’t already done so, I hope all of you check out my article on the Top 20 Horror Writers of all-time: Top Horror Writers Please feel free to give it a dig or a band and leave a comment. It took me far longer to do this list than the Greatest Sci-fi writers list as it was just so close between so many writers. As one astute reader noted, I left out the great William Hope Hodgson from the honorable mention list. A brain meltdown on my part as I am a huge admirer of his work. Most pleasing to me was there weren’t many differing opinions on who should be on the list…just difference in order. For the record…I love Robert McCammon and am happy to see him writing again after a ten year absence. If not for that Gap, McCammon may have made the Top Ten.
 
In the News…
 
Some good news regarding book sales this week from the Association of American Publishers, book sales in December were up 9.7% and while Christmas gave sales a boost, it’s nice to see the business going up instead of down. The biggest jump was in young adult titles, another good thing to see…
 
 
The UK’s PS Publishing has announced a new anthology book of Lovecraftian Horror edited by noted Lovecraft and horror scholar S.T. Joshi. The anthology will feature stories by Laird Barron, David J. Schow, Caitlin R. Kiernan, Darrel Schweitzer, Brian Stableford, Norman Partridge, and more…
 
 
Further fun for Lovecraft fans…editor extraordinaire, Ellen Datlow, has another Lovecraft anthology coming out. This one is from M Press and due out in October. Among the writers contributing stories to this anthology are: Caitlin R. Kiernan, Marc Laidlow, Laird Barron, Brian Evenson, Joyce Carol Oates, Michael Chabon, Anna Tambour and William Browning Spencer. And people wonder why I put Lovecraft #1? When’s the last time we’ve seen an anthology of Poe-inspired tales?
 
 
 
 
Top Picks In Fantasy
 
Spell Games T.A. Pratt (Bantam Spectra)
 
Mad sorcerers, psychic vampires, an army of vengeful demons, Marla Mason would rather face them all than a flesh-and-blood ghost from her dysfunctional family past: her con artist brother, Jason. As Felport’s chief sorcerer, Marla would ordinarily consider it her duty to protect her town from such an unscrupulous ne’er-do-well. As his sister, things are a lot…trickier. Now, as Marla attempts to train an apprentice oracle whose magical wires have gotten crossed, Jason is setting up an elaborate sting and drawing her ever-so-corruptible partner Rondeau into the ruse.
 
Their patsy is a filthy-rich wannabe mage and their bait is something so valuable, so dangerous, so sought after, it probably doesn’t exist. But now word’s gotten out that the Borrichius spores do exist and instead of a sucker Jason and Rondeau have a much bigger–and much deadlier–fish on their line: a reclusive sorcerer whose devotion to the mushroom god and command of vegetal magic could bring a fungal apocalypse to Felport. It’ll be the mother of all bad trips unless Marla can pull off the ultimate magical switcheroo…and somehow live to tell about it.
 
Death’s Daughter Amber Benson (Ace)
 
Calliope Reaper-Jones so just wanted a normal life: buying designer shoes on sale, dating guys from Craig’s List, web-surfing for organic dim-sum for her boss...But when her father—who happens to be Death himself—is kidnapped, and the Devil’s Protege embarks on a hostile takeover of the family business, Death, Inc., Callie returns home to assume the CEO mantle— only to discover she must complete three nearly impossible tasks in the realm of the afterlife first.
 
Deader Still Anton Strout (Ace)
 
It’s been 737 days since the Department of Extraordinary Affairs’ last vampire incursion, but that streak appears to have ended when a boat full of dead lawyers is found in the Hudson River. Using the power of psychometry—the ability to divine the history of an object by touching it—agent Simon Canderous discovers that the booze cruise was crashed by something that sucked all the blood out of the litigators. Now, his workday may never end—until his life does.
 
The Alchemist’s Code Dave Duncan (Ace)
 
The legendary Maestro Nostradamus may be able to glimpse the ever-changing future, but even he cannot see the danger that is about to envelop him and his daring apprentice Alfeo when Nostradamus is hired to find a foreign spy by Venice's ruling Council of Ten. The only clues they can offer him are the spy's intercepted messages, encoded in a seemingly unbreakable cipher.
 
But Nostradamus soon detects evil influences working against him, and realizes the spy can only be caught by occult means. He turns to his able apprentice, the young swordsman Alfeo Zeno, whose unique talents may prove essential to unraveling the truth.
 
Top Picks in Sci-fi
 
Star Trek: Titan: Over a Torrent Sea Christopher L. Bennett (Star Trek Books)
 
As the Federation recovers from the devastating events of Star Trek: Destiny, Captain William Riker and the crew of the U.S.S. Titan are ordered to resume their deep-space assignment, reaffirming Starfleet's core principles of peaceful exploration. But even far from home on a mission of hope, the scars of the recent cataclysm remain with them as they slowly rebuild their lives.
The planet Droplet is a world made mostly of water without a speck of solid ground. Life should not exist here, yet it thrives. Aili Lavena, Titan's aquatic navigator, spearheads the exploration of this mysterious world, facing the dangers of the vast, wild ocean. When one native species proves to be sentient, Lavena finds herself immersed in a delicate contact situation, and Riker is called away from Deanna Troi at a critical moment in their marriage.
 
But when good intentions bring calamity, Lavena and Riker are cut off from the crew and feared lost. Troi must face a life-changing event without her husband, while the crew must brave the crushing pressures of the deep to undo the global chaos they have triggered. Stranded with her injured captain, Lavena must win the trust of the beings who control their fate -- but the price for Riker's survival may be the loss of everything he holds dear.
 
Galaxy Blues Allen Steele (Ace)
 
Since being expelled from the Union Astronautica space fleet, Jules Truffant isn’t having the best of luck. His first attempt at starting a new life lands him in prison on the colony world of Coyote. But now, instead of being deported back to Earth, he’s offered another chance to get his act together—on a diplomatic mission that puts him squarely in the path of a black hole.
 
Dawn Of War II (Warhammer 40,000) Chris Roberson (Games Workshop)
 
Led by a newly promoted sergeant who is determined to prove himself, Blood Ravens Space Marines arrive on a desert world to recruit additional warriors to their Chapter only to find it overrun with alien orks. After blunting the main ork assault, the Blood Ravens launch a series of raids into the enemy’s territory only to discover that at the root of the attacks there waits a much deadlier horror…
 
City Without End Kay Kenyon (Pyr hardcover)
 
On this stage unfolds a mighty struggle for dominance between two universes. Titus Quinn has forged an unstable peace with the Tarig lords. The ruinous capability of the nanotech surge weapon he possesses ensures détente. But it is a sham. In what the godwoman Zhiya calls a fit of moral goodness, he's thrown the weapon into the space-folding waters of the Nigh. This clears the way for an enemy he could have never foreseen: the people of the Rose. A small cadre led by Helice Maki is determined to take the Entire for itself and leave the earth in ruins. The transform of earth will begin deep in a western desert and will sweep over the lives of ordinary people, entangling Quinn s sister-in-law Caitlin in a deepening and ultimate conspiracy.
 
In the Entire, Quinn stalks Helice to the fabled Rim City, encircling the heart of the Entire. Here he at last finds his daughter, now called Sen Ni, in the Chalin style. Outside of earth-based time, she has grown to adulthood. He hardly knows her, and finds her the mistress of a remarkable dream-time insurgency against the Tarig lords and more, a woman risen high in the Entire's meritocracy. Quinn needs his daughter's help against the woman who would destroy the earth. But Sen Ni has her own plans and allies, among them a boy-navitar unlike any other pilot of the River Nigh a navitar willing and supremely able to break his vows and bend the world.
 
Quinn casts his fate with the beautiful and resourceful Ji Anzi who sent on a journey to other realms holds the key to Quinn's heart and his overarching mission. But as he approaches the innermost sanctuary of the Tarig, he is alone. Waiting for him are powerful adversaries, including a lady who both hates and loves him, the high prefect of the dragon court, and Quinn's most implacable enemy, a warrior whose chaotic mind will soon be roused from an eternal slumber.
 
Better to Beg Forgiveness Michael Z. Williamson (Baen)
 
Celadon, a poor nation on a poor planet, engaged in civil war and a haven for every type of villainy in space, is ripe for cleanup. The military could pacify it handily, but it would take a statesman to fix it. But some statesmen have ethics, which politicians and megacorps find inconvenient. President Bishwanath compounded the sin by being astute, ambitious and capable. Something had to be done, because a working nation isn't much use for pork and graft. When the word comes down that he is dead, the politicians move on with a new plan, re-allocating resources, and finding a new, more pliable president to put in place. There are three problems with this solution. Bishwanath is not dead. His mercenary bodyguards are more loyal than the politicians. And if they're not on contract, there are no rules.
 
Top Picks in Horror
 
Voracious Alice Henderson (Jove)
 
Madeline Keye’s gift—to touch someone and see flashes of the past—has set her apart from family and friends. She finds sanctuary in the wilderness, until a backcountry hike in Glacier National Park turns into a hunt—with her as the prey. Because something that’s not human is out there. And it’s hungry.
 
Dark Mountain Richard Laymon (Leisure Horror)
 
For two families, it was supposed to be a relaxing camping trip in the California mountains. They thought it would be fun to get away from everything for a while. But they’re not alone. The woods are also home to two terrifying residents who don’t take kindly to strangers—an old hag with unholy powers, and her hulking son, a half-wild brute with uncontrollable, violent urges. The campers still need to get away—but now their lives depend on it!
 
Crimson Gord Rollo (Leisure Horror)
 
The small town of Dunnville is no stranger to fear. Evil has stalked its dark streets once before, twenty years ago, leaving in its wake a legacy of blood and madness. These days, no one in the town likes to talk about it much. Some folks deny it ever happened….
 
But four boyhood friends are about to discover the truth, though no one will believe them. Their parents think they’ve been listening to too many scary stories. But what the boys have released from an icy well is no legend. It’s very real indeed, and it will soon terrify Dunnville to its very core. Unspeakable horror is running free…and the nightmares of the past are about to begin again.
 
Zombie Cop (Image comics Graphic Novel)
 
Zombie Cop is the story of Joe Mundy, a doomed cop in the early stages of zombiehood, trying desperately to cling to the last vestiges of humanity long enough to solve the mystery of how the zombie plague came to his city. Alternately funny, horrific, and tragic, Zombie Cop leaves the reader wondering just what it means to be human, and how far gone someone needs to be to let go of everything he ever cared for.
 
Anno Mortis: Tomes of the Dead Series Rebecca Levene (Abaddon Books)
 
40 AD, Rome. Slaves are disappearing, the bodies of the dead are being stolen and mysterious shipments arrive from Egypt in the dead of night. Behind it all are the powerful Cult of Isis, searching for a way to breach the barrier between life and death. The only people who can stop them are a gladiator, a slave and an over-sexed teenager - and a stranger who just may be a god.
 
Top Picks in Non-Fiction
 
Schoolgirl Milky Crisis: Adventures in the Anime and Manga Trade Jonathan Clements (Titan Books)
 
Schoolgirl Milky Crisis (n.) 1. A silly name for a generic anime show, made up to protect the innocent in Jonathan Clements' long-running insider column about the Japanese comics and cartoons business. (n.) 2. A hugely entertaining collection of nearly two decades of articles, speeches and interviews by Jonathan Clements, manga and anime translator, sometime voice actor, and co-author of the Anime Encyclopedia.
 
Mixing reviews, cultural commentary, insights into classic manga and anime titles, interviews and profiles of Japan's top creators, and hilarious insider stories from the anime trade, Clements is your guide to this fascinating and often very strange world, with new illustrations from fan favourite artist Steve Kyte.
 
The Art of Pixar Short Films Amid Amidi (Chronicle Books Hardcover)
 
While Pixar Animation Studios was creating beloved feature-length films such as Monsters Inc. Ratatouille and WALLïE it was simultaneously testing animation and storytelling techniques in dozens of memorable short films. Andre and Wally B proved that computer animation was possible; Tin Toy laid the groundwork for what would become Toy Story; and Mike's New Car exposed Pixar's finely tuned funny bone. In The Art of Pixar Short Films animation expert and short film devotee Amid Amidi shines a spotlight on these and many more memorable vignettes from the Pixar archive. Essays and interviews illuminate more than 250 full-color pastels pencil sketches storyboards and final rendered frames that were the foundation of Pixar's creative process
 
 
Capsule Review
 
The Wolverton Bible  (Fantagraphics Hardcover)
 
Basil Wolverton is one of the legends of comic art, noted for his grotesque drawings that appeared in Mad Magazine, DC Comics’ “Plop”, and posters for Topps. He worked a number of years for Timely/Marvel comics as well. Less known, however, were illustrations he did for Plain Truth Magazine depicting the Old Testament Bible, commissioned by the Worldwide Church of God. This is the bible as only Wolverton can depict it, filled with apocalyptic drawings of cataclysmic events, insidious demons and other beasts, and the universal evil that men do.
 
This is all told in Wolverton’s unique art style, highly detailed and yet caricaturized at the same time. The book contains over 450 illustrations in all as well as additional 170 Wolverton illustrations including numerous cartoons and general zaniness. For fans of comic art, particularly extreme, underground-style art, this book is a tremendous boon as it shows a genius illustrator at the pinnacle of his ability. Grade A
 

 

 



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