The Weekly Book Buzz: Brian Lumley's New Necroscope Book (Mania.com)

By:Tim Janson
Date: Sunday, July 19, 2009

 

A few pretty big news stories this week…
 
…Horror great Brian Lumley returns to his best known creation, Harry Keough, the Necroscope featuring three new novellas, published for the very first time in the U.S.
 
…First as we reported earlier in the week, Doubleday has released the cover jacket to Dan Brown’s latest book, The Lost Symbol which will be out this September. The new novel new novel is largely set in Washington, D.C., though it's a Washington few will recognize," said Jason Kaufman, Brown's longtime editor. "As we would expect, he pulls back the veil-- revealing an unseen world of mysticism, secret societies, and hidden locations, with a stunning twist that long predates America." I wonder if Nicholas Cage will star in the film adaptation…
 
…Also announced this week by Quirk Books is the follow up to their surprising horror/comedy parody, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. The new book is called Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters (You can’t make this stuff up). This book will feature less of Jane Austen’s original novel, about 60% and more monster content. This book will also be out in September.
 
…Titan Books is one of my favorite publishers as they put out fantastic tie-in books to film and television. Titan will have a huge presence at the San Diego Comic Con this year. Among the highlights are:
 
 
 
 
For a complete rundown of Titan’s lineup, please visit this link: Titan Books at SDCC
 
… Golden's Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi: Omen debuted at number 18 on the N.Y. Times Bestseller list while Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan’s The Strain complete its fifth week on the list at #32. Read Mania’s review of The Strain here: Strain Review
 
 
New In Fantasy
 
 
The Kingdom Beyond the Waves Stephen Hunt (Tor Hardcover)
 
Professor Amelia Harsh is obsessed with finding the lost civilization of Camlantis, a legendary city from pre-history that is said to have conquered hunger, war, and disease with the creation of the perfect pacifist society. Without official funding, Amelia is forced to accept an offer of patronage from Abraham Quest, the man she blames for her father’s bankruptcy and suicide. She hates him, but he has something that Amelia desperately wants--evidence that proves that Camlantis existed and that the Camlantean ruins are buried under one of the sea-like lakes that dot the murderous jungles of Liongeli.
 
Amelia will blackmail her old friend Commodore Black into ferrying her along a huge river on his ancient U-boat. With an untrusty crew of freed convicts, Quest’s force of fearsome female mercenaries on board, and a lunatic steamman acting as their guide, Amelia’s luck seems to be going from bad to worse. Her quest for the perfect society has a good chance of bringing her own world to the brink of destruction…
 
The Gods of Amyrantha Jennifer Fallon (Tor Hardcover)
 
The Tide is turning and the Tide Lords’ powers are returning with it. Cayal, the Immortal Prince, hero of legend, was thought to be only a fictional character.   Cayal sure wishes that he was a piece of fiction—anything that would help him shuffle off this mortal coil. But even though he longs for a final death, things in the world keep pulling him back. Such as Arkady Desean, an expert on the legends of the Tide Lords who has discovered the truth about Cayal…and captured his heart. Yes, the Tide Lords will walk upon the earth once more and, with the power that surges through the cosmos, stand poised to wreak havoc on all that humans hold dear. Cayal will have to decide if he wants to go on living just a little longer and if he is willing to risk his fellow immortals’ wrath in order to save the world.
 
The Calling David Mack (Pocket)
 
No one would guess by looking at Tom Nash that he's extraordinary, and that's just fine with him. A tall, broad-shouldered jack-of-all-trades from Sawyer, Pennsylvania, Tom has a knack for fixing things. He also hides a secret talent: he hears people's prayers. Stranger still, he answers them. Maybe it's because he's a handyman, but Tom feels compelled to fix people's problems. Which is all well and good -- until the soul-shattering plea of a terrified girl sends him on the darkest journey of his life....
 
Heeding the call and leaving his home for New York City, Tom discovers a secret world beyond the range of mortal perception -- a world of angels and demons and those who serve them. With the guidance of a knowing stranger named Erin, Tom learns that he himself is one of The Called, born with a divine purpose and a daunting task: to help the powers of Heaven in the war against the agents of Hell, an army of fallen angels known as the Scorned. Thrust into an epic battle of the sacred and the profane, Tom Nash must find the girl who prayed for his help -- because her fate will determine whether humanity deserves to be saved, or damned for all eternity....
 
New In Science Fiction
 
The Stars Blue Yonder Sandra McDonald (Tor Hardcover)
 
Chief Terry Myell died and became a god. Now he’s back to life, careening around space and time at the behest of a voice that told him to save all of mankind. Helping and hindering this quest are his elderly wife, his young wife, grandchildren who haven’t been born yet, romantic rivals he hasn’t even met, a descendant from two thousand years in the future, and an alien nemesis who calls itself the Flying Doctor. Life in the military has never been so complicated. Commander Jodenny Scott would agree. She’s seven months pregnant and trying to come to peace with her husband’s death. When Myell reappears with tales of time travel, she’s not sure what to believe.
 
But with an invading army bearing down on Earth’s last fleet of spaceships, there’s not much time for debate. When the dust clears Jodenny is stranded in an Australia she never imagined, and Myell’s more desperate than ever to rescue her—from aliens, from treachery, and from history itself.
 
Death's Head: Day of the Damned David Gunn (Del Rey)
 
Fueled with high-octane testosterone and noteworthy for a kill rate more customary in computer games than in works of literature, David Gunn’s novels take no prisoners and make no apologies. Like war itself, they are raw and violent, horrifying yet mysteriously moving. These qualities also characterize Gunn’s hero and narrator, Lt. Sven Tveskoeg, a killing machine whose DNA marks him as less–or perhaps more–than human. Whatever he is, he is always as enthralling as he is lethal.
 
Sven has survived everything a hostile universe can throw at him. But he’d be the first to admit that it isn’t smarts that have kept him alive for so long. And it’s not luck, either. Because luck wouldn’t have seen him plucked out of obscurity to serve in the army of Emperor OctoV, a machine-human hybrid who appears to be a teenage boy but is actually immeasurably older. Maybe Sven has survived out of sheer orneriness–although his artificially intelligent, unmistakably sarcastic, and more or less sociopathic sidearm might argue otherwise–but Sven isn’t one to ponder such questions.
 
In Day of the Damned, Sven and his band of misfit auxiliaries have arrived at Farlight, capital of the Octavian Empire, for a little well-earned rest and relaxation. Sven visits his old friends Debro and Anton, whom he liberated from the prison planet of Paradise, and their teenage daughter Aptitude, whose husband he assassinated and who now has a major crush on him.
 
But what begins as a respite quickly turns into a bloodbath as civil war erupts. And behind the double crosses and Byzantine betrayals threatening to topple OctoV from the throne he has held for thousands of years are the United Free, a galaxy-spanning empire with the technology of gods and the morals of schoolchildren.
 
Star Trek: The Next Generation - The Last Generation (IDW Graphic Novel)
 
For the first time ever, IDW Publishing proudly joins forces with Simon & Shuster's Pocket Books division to deliver a Myriad Universe title in conjunction with the Star Trek alternate-universe prose novels of the same name. Starfleet is no more. The Federation lies in ruin & the Klingons have conquered Earth. But a resistance, led by Jean-Luc Picard, seeks to free humanity from Klingon rule. Now, finally, it may have the means to do it: An android named Data, who has scrutinized the timeline & discovered that things are not as they should be. A crucial moment, buried in the past, has gone awry‹and as the Klingon warlord Worf closes in, time itself is running out...
 
Arrowhead: Afterblight Chronicles Series (The Afterblight Chronicles) Paul Kane (Abaddon Books)
 
In the years following the Cull Englan has reverted back tot he Middle Ages, ripe for invasion by the Frenchman De Falaise and his group of mercenaries. Ex-policeman Robert Stokes lost everything to the virus that ravaged these isles. Retreating into the forests near Nottingham, he has become a hunter, living off the land and avoiding any form of human contact....until now.
 
New In Horror
 
Necroscope: Harry and the Pirates: and Other Tales from the Lost Years Brian Lumley (Tor Hardcover)
 
Harry Keogh, the first Necroscope, is arguably Brian Lumley’s greatest creation. In the Necroscope series, readers saw Harry learn to use his powers to talk with the dead and travel instantaneously to any point in space and time. They saw him take arms against the evil, twisted, metamorphic alien vampires who sought to feed off humans and enslave mankind. They saw him suffer a great personal loss and then recover his family, and later his humanity, through a new love. And they saw Harry wage the grimmest battle of his life—against the vampire he himself was becoming!
 
Even after Harry’s story was done, Brian Lumley continued to write books about Harry’s legacy—the other Necroscopes who inherited his weird talents. But Harry himself would not go quietly into that darkness that lies beyond an author’s imagination . . . and now Brian Lumley has written three new novellas about Harry and his supernatural adventures, which are published for the first time in the United States in Harry and the Pirates.
 
New In Non-Fiction
 
G.I Joe: The Rise of Cobra: Mission Dossier Paul Ruditis (Gi Joe) (Titan Books)
 
Directed by Stephen Sommers (The Mummy) and starring Dennis Quaid (Far From Heaven), Christopher Eccleston (Heroes) and Sienna Miller (Stardust), G.I. JOE: THE RISE OF COBRA explodes into theaters summer 2009.
 
In this glode-spanning action adventure, an elite international unit of special operatives known as G.I. Joe, operating out of The Pit and led by General Hawk (Quaid), take on an evil organization, led by the notorious arms dealer Destro (Eccleston).
 
This full-color companion to the movie contains intel on all the G.I. Joe team members and their shadowy enemies, as well as details on the amazing locations the slick, cutting-edge technology and vehicles, and the fantastic stunts and special effects.
 
Reviews
 
Prince Valiant Vol. 1 1937 – 1938 Hal Foster (Fantagraphics)
 
 
Premiering in 1937, Hal Foster’s Prince Valiant is one of the longest running newspaper comic strips, going strong for over 70 years and outliving its famous creator who passed away in 1982. Fantagraphics, the gold standard when if comes to collecting and reprinting newspaper strips, has released the first volume of Prince Valiant, covering the years 1937 to 1938 in all-new remastered color, the result is breathtaking!
 
Foster is truly one of the great comic illustrators who ever lived but has never got his just due it seems because he didn’t work in the traditional comic book medium. One needs only to read the first few pages of the book to grasp his incredible ability. There was no comic strip in the 1930s or today that is a visually striking as Prince Valiant with its incredible attention to detail and brilliant narrative. Foster presented a panoramic view of Arthurian times and he laid out his strip in film director fashion, beautifully staging his panels.
 
The first book tells how the young Prince, still a boy, came to the British Isles as an exile along with his father and a handful of loyal subjects. He’s trained in the arts of war and quickly proves adept in battle. Early on he fights and defeats the bestial Thorg and returns him home to his mother, a witch named Hoirrit. Horrit prophesizes great sorrow and ill will for the young Prince. The story truly takes off when Valiant eventually travels to Camelot and the Court of King Arthur, befriending the Knights of the Roundtable. 
 
This is graphic storytelling at its finest and a true treasure! Grade A

 
Urban Gothic Brian Keene (Leisure Horror)
 
 
When you think of haunted house stories you normally think of stately New England homes or gothic southern plantation mansions or the like. In Urban Gothic, Brian Keene sets his story smack dab in the heart of downtrodden Camden, New Jersey, and twists the standard forbidden home tale into a blood-soaked struggle of survival.
 
Three teenage couples are returning home to the suburbs from a rap concert when the group’s defacto leader (and the guy driving the car) decides to take an ill-advised detour into Camden in the hopes of buying some pot. When their car breaks down on a near deserted street, they are confronted by what they believe are a group of local gang-bangers. They promptly take off running and approach a house at the end of the street that even the local toughs give a wide berth. Taking refuge inside the old, abandoned Victorian home, the group finds themselves trapped inside. They become the quarry for a misshapen clan of cannibals who have preyed on anyone…or anything, that comes to close to the home.
 
They’ll scatter throughout the maze-like home, filled with traps and savages who make the mutants from The Hills Have Eyes look like the local church choir. Hulking Noigel carries a pipe with a block of cement on the end that he uses as a hammer and Scug, a repellant horror who wears the skin of the women he’s butchered…and they are two of the less grotesque denizens of the home! Outside, the black youths who approached them are now feeling guilty about chasing them into the old house. They don’t know what’s inside, but they know its no good whatsoever.
 
Keene’s story begins in high gear and hardly lets up. If anything, it perhaps starts out too quick and turns into a battle of endurance as the six teens try and survive their ordeal. Keene changes the stereotypical view we might have of kids from the inner city and it was that racist view which put the kids in danger in the first place. Gory beyond belief but a hell of a ride! Grade A-


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