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Running the Property Dispute Gauntlet

A look into the Dabel Brothers' history, their partnership hiccups, and the illustrative trends in media distribution.

By Pat Ferrara     March 31, 2008


THE HEDGE KNIGHT by George R.R. Martin
© Marvel Enterprises

In 2001 the Dabel Brothers founded a publishing company in search of a niche. Under the name “Roaring Studios” Ernst, Les, Pascal and David Dabel took their love of comics and fantasy to a new height, capitalizing on the vacancy of book-to-comic adaptations and a little known story in Robert Silverberg’s Legends anthology. Armed with veteran artist Mike Miller and commissions to such renowned cover artists as the Brothers Hildebrandt and Boris Vallejo, the Dabel Brothers successfully translated George R.R. Martin’s novella The Hedge Knight into graphic novel format and, at long last, found their niche.

Now seven years later, Dabel Brothers Production is still doing what they’ve done best: adapting best-selling sci-fi and fantasy authors’ work into new mediums. Their next target is Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files, which continues this week in traditional book format with the hardcover release of The Dresden Files: Small Favor. Come April 16, however, the contemporary fantasy series will also be enjoyed in comic book guise when ‘Welcome to the Jungle #1’ hits the shelves.

The Brothers’ burgeoning success, however, has been somewhat countermanded by the very big, and very public, potholes they’ve hit along the way. Since the beginning of DB Pro’s journey to become a self-publishing studio they’ve cycled through no less than six commercial partnerships, ending negotiations with Image Comics, Devil’s Due Publishing, Hasbro Entertainment, Alias Enterprises, Red Eagle Entertainment and, most recently, Marvel Comics at a rate of almost one business break-up per year. Because of their rocky history with other media publishers, it’s easy to see why Ernst Dabel recommends that anyone interested in comic book production should “get a good lawyer to look over contracts before you sign them.”

But blaming the Dabel Brothers’ numerous partnership calamities on bad luck or industry naiveté would be overlooking their main problem: the book-to-comic adaptation market is just too damn profitable.

It’s no secret that production companies have been stockpiling any and every comic book property they can get their hands on since a string of theatrical success stories in the past decade, yet the big-wig distributors were a little slow getting their fingers into properties that have a future going into the comic book medium rather than out of it. That is until the Dabel Brothers broke open the market by applying the same strategy in a, no pun intended, novel way. Now everyone wants a piece of the pie and no one is thinking twice about browbeating the Brothers out of the club so they can get a bigger slice for themselves. Although the good soul who updated DB Pro’s wikipedia page describes the Marvel break-up as an “amicable split,” the fact that the comic giant is retaining Dabel’s legal rights does lend a lot of weight to Merin’s opinion that the Brothers got shortchanged in the deal.

And while bigger distributors are leveraging for higher percentage royalties the source material suffers. Like the stall with Tolkien’s HOBBIT movie adaptation, many of the properties the Dabel Brothers originally tried to adapt are now frozen in a legal stalemate. Robert Silverberg's The Seventh Shrine, Raymond E. Feist's The Wood Boy, Tad Williams' The Burning Man, and Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time may never see the light of day as a complete Dabel Brothers comic.

The goal of any story is, admittedly, to reach the widest audience possible and to that end mass syndication will always be the natural evolution of a published work. But when every publisher tries to turn a sci-fi, fantasy or horror book series into a franchise at the expense of the series itself, well, that just aint right. Especially when honest, hard-working entities like DB Pro, who are entrusted with the care of our beloved series, get continuously derailed before their creative endeavors reach fruition.

Perhaps the Dabel Brothers’ arduous journey is merely indicative of an overexposed publishing market, one fueled by the hyper-consumerism that is America’s flag more than anything else. Or maybe the Brothers’ numerous partnership debacles are the result of a shrinking property pond, one where the waters of ‘fan base-established’ series are quickly drying up. One thing is for certain though Ernst, Les, Pascal and David, your works will always be appreciated here on Mania.com. Don’t give up the fight!

This Week’s Top Picks:

Robert Buettner’s Orphanage

Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files: Small Favor

Tom Kratman’s Caliphate

Patrick Rothfuss’ The Kingkiller Chronicle: The Name of the Wind

New in Hardcover:

Unholy Domain, Dan Ronco (Kunati Inc.)

A decade after a lethal computer virus called PeaceMaker roared across the internet leaving hundreds of thousands of people dead, a war is raging between science and religion, the world wallows in a global depression, and the United States government is paralyzed, unable to intervene. The secretive and powerful Domain is poised to take humankind to the next level of evolution through artificial intelligence, and the fanatical Church of Natural Humans has marshaled their forces to stop them. David Brown, the son of PeaceMaker's creator, believes that his father was set up to take the fall for the catastrophe, and was murdered to keep him quiet. Determined to clear his father's name and avenge his killers, David stumbles into the war between the rival factions. Hunted by both sides, he unravels his father's secrets and discovers a genetic capability within himself that may change the path of human evolution. This fast-paced, techno thriller depicts a world of violent extremes, where religious terrorists and visionaries of technology fight for supreme power.

The Stone Gods, Jeanette Winterson (Harcourt)

A glimpse into unlikely love braved in the face of the void. On the airwaves, all the talk is of the new blue planet–pristine and habitable, like our own 65 million years ago, before we took it to the edge of destruction. And off the air, Billie and Spike are falling in love. What will happen when their story combines with the world’s story, as they whirl towards Planet Blue, into the future? Will they–and we–ever find a safe landing place? Of immense imaginary and emotional scope, The Stone Gods is Jeanette Winterson at her prescient, playful, muscular best. An interplanetary love story, a traveller’s tale, a hymn to the beauty of the world, this is a novel that will change forever the stories we tell about the earth, about love and about stories themselves.

The Dresden Files: Small Favor, Jim Butcher (Roc)

Harry Dresden’s life finally seems to be calming down. The White Council’s war with the vampiric Red Court has reached a period of tentative peace, no one has tried to kill him for almost an entire year, and the worst problem he’s had lately is working out how to remove the stains on his carpeting. For once, the future looks fairly bright. But the past casts one hell of a long shadow. An old bargain has placed Harry in debt to Mab, monarch of the Winter Court of the Sidhe, the Queen of Air and Darkness—and she’s calling in her marker. Dresden still owes the Winter Queen two favors, and it’s time to pay one of them off. Just one small favor he can’t refuse—one that will trap Harry Dresden between a nightmarish foe and an equally deadly ally and strain his skills and loyalties to their very limits. It figures. Everything was going too well to last…

Moon Flower, James P. Hogan (Baen)

Something strange is happening on the planet Cyrene, which is in the early phases of being "developed" by the mammoth Interworld Restructuring Corporation. Terrans from the base there have been disappearing. Myles Callen, a ruthlessly efficient "Facilitator," is sent to investigate. Also with the mission is Marc Shearer, a young, idealistic quantum physicist, disillusioned with the world, who's on his way to join a former colleague, Evan Wade. On arrival he finds that Wade too has vanished and doesn't want to be found by the Terran authorities. Wade has arranged contact via the Cyreneans, however, and accompanied by two companions that he has befriended, Shearer embarks on a journey to find his friend that will change Cyrene -- and Earth itself.

Implied Spaces, Walter Jon Williams (Night Shade Books)

Aristide, a semi-retired computer scientist turned swordsman, is a scholar of the implied spaces, seeking meaning amid the accidents of architecture in a universe where reality itself has been sculpted and designed by superhuman machine intelligence. While exploring the pre-technological world Midgarth, one of four dozen pocket universes created within a series of vast, orbital matrioshka computer arrays, Aristide uncovers a fiendish plot threatening to set off a nightmare scenario, perhaps even bringing about the ultimate Existential Crisis: the end of civilization itself. Traveling the pocket universes with his wormhole-edged sword Tecmesssa in hand and talking cat Bitsy, avatar of the planet-sized computer Endora, at his side, Aristide must find a way to save the multiverse from subversion, sabotage, and certain destruction.

The Houses of Time, Jamil Nasir (Tor)

David Grant has a singular talent--he can affect the course of his dreams. Quite by chance, he discovers the existence of the Trans-Humanist Institute and their lucid dreaming lessons. He discovers that under the tutelage of Dr. Thotmoses he has more control over his dreams. However, his talent soon runs away with him and he visits dreamplaces while awake. The waking world and the dreaming world collide. Grant ends up sedated in a hellish mental institution…but escapes through his lucid dreams, which he is beginning to control--though the control is far from perfect. Grant discovers, to his horror, that Dr. Thotmoses belongs to the Caucasus Synod Western Orthodox Church, and that they have been grooming him because of his fantastic dreaming talents. Only someone with his talent at manipulating reality and dream can bring their prayer to the Divine Presence in the universe. Many have tried this journey, few have succeeded. Those who have returned successful are rewarded beyond their wildest dreams.

Galaxy Blues, Allen Steele (Ace)

A new science fiction epic from the national bestselling and Hugo Award-winning author. Expelled from the Union Astronautica space fleet and facing charges of grand theft, Jules Truffant agrees to sign up as shuttle pilot aboard the freighter Pride of Cucamonga in exchange for amnesty. After botching Pride's mission to RhoCorenae and upsetting an alien culture in the process, Jules must take part in a voyage across the galaxy to place a probe squarely in the path of a black hole as it plows through an inhabited star system.

Caliphate, Tom Kratman (Baen)

Demography is destiny. In the 22nd century European deathbed demographics have turned the continent over to the more fertile Moslems. Atheism in Europe has been exterminated. Homosexuals are hanged, stoned or crucified. Such Christians as remain are relegated to dhimmitude, a form of second class citizenship. They are denied arms, denied civil rights, denied a voice, and specially taxed via the Koranic yizya. Their sons are taken as conscripted soldiers while their daughters are subject to the depredations of the continent's new masters. In that world, Petra, a German girl sold into prostitution as a slave at the age of nine to pay her family's yizya, dreams of escape. Unlike most girls of the day, Petra can read. And in her only real possession, her grandmother's diary, a diary detailing the fall of European civilization, Petra has learned of a magic place across the sea: America.

The Doubled Edge: And Less Than Kind, Mercedes Lackey & Roberta Gellis (Baen)

When it became certain that Edward VI was dying, the duke of Northumberland, who had been ruling England in his name, made a plan that would let him hold onto his power. He dared not let Mary come to the throne because she was fiercely Catholic and he had espoused the Protestant cause. He did not want Elizabeth to rule because he knew her imperious nature would never defer to him. But there was more than one puppet master at work: The evil elf-lord Vidal Dhu had no intention of losing the flood of power the misery of Mary's reign would bring the Dark Court, and intervened so that Mary was proclaimed queen. Urged by her Chancellor and the Imperial ambassador to order Elizabeth's death, Mary chose a different to insure that Elizabeth would never reign. She must marry and bear a child to be the Catholic heir. Vidal Dhu, replete with power from the pain and terror of Mary's burning of heretics, agreed with Mary. Vidal Dhu had very special plans for that child. And since Oberon and Titania had disappeared, there now was no one except the double pair of twins to stand between the mortals of England and the rule of Evil.

New in Paperback:

The Kingkiller Chronicle: The Name of the Wind, Patrick Rothfuss (DAW)

Told in Kvothe's own voice, this is the tale of the magically gifted young man who grows to be the most notorious wizard his world has ever seen. The intimate narrative of his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, his years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime ridden city, his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a legendary school of magic, and his life as a fugitive after the murder of a king form a gripping coming-of-age story unrivaled in recent literature. A high-action story written with a poet's hand, The Name of the Wind is a masterpiece that will transport readers into the body and mind of a wizard.

Warhammer 40k: Wolf’s Honour, Lee Lightner (Games Workshop)

Following on from events in Sons of Fenris set in the nightmare future of the 41st millennium, can superhuman warrior Ragnar Blackmane redeem his honor and rejoin his battle-brothers? This is the gripping conclusion to the Spear of Russ story arc, a popular Space Wolf series.

Isavalta: Sword of the Deceiver, Sarah Zettel (Tor)

The Hastinapura Empire has ruled the world of Isavalta for five hundred years, but is now threatened by the capriciousness of its own ruler, Emperor Chandra. Chandras actions especially distress Samudra, his well-respected younger brother, who has returned to the palace after a years absence to find that the world he knew is gone. Before returning, however, Samudra has one last order: to take princess Natharie of neighboring Sindhu to live in the powerful Hastinapura court as a political trophy. At the court, Natharie learns of plots that threaten to pit her homeland against Hastinapura in a disastrous war. Appalled by the power and brazenness of Samudra, she realizes, as each day brings war ever nearer, that the powerful prince may be her only hope to prevent a war that could destroy them all.

Master of Men: The Spider & Robot Titans of Gotham, Norvell Page (Baen)

Two complete novels in one volume of the adventures of the mysterious masked crime fighter known as The Spider, hunted by the underworld and the police alike. In one, the Spider battles an army of giant robots that has New York City under siege -- a storyline so fraught with action and peril, that the very creators of Superman had borrowed it for one of the Man of Steel's comic strip adventures. It also was the inspiration for the major motion picture, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. In the second novel, the spider battles a criminal mastermind who threatens the entire northeast with thousands of poison-fanged vampire bats unless his terms are met. Can even the Spider -- hunted by the law as never before after faked evidence has branded him as the master of the killer bats -- unmask the identity of the Vampire King before thousands die horribly? Plus a special bonus third novel -- The Octopus, another pulp character created by Norvell W. Page, but this time a diabolical villain, bent on seizing control of the nation unless the only man who knows of the danger can stop him. But can a mere man stop a mastermind whose very appearance, from which comes his name, is anything but human?

Orphanage, Robert Buettner (Orbit)

Mankind's first alien contact tears into Earth: projectiles launched from Jupiter's moon, Ganymede, vaporize whole cities. Under siege, humanity gambles on one desperate counterstrike. In a spacecraft scavenged from scraps and armed with Vietnam-era weapons, foot soldiers like eighteen-year-old Jason Wander-orphans that no one will miss-must dare man's first interplanetary voyage and invade Ganymede. They have one chance to attack, one ship to attack with. Their failure is our extinction.

Nebula Awards Showcase 2008, Ed. by Ben Bova (Roc Trade)

This annual tradition from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America collects the best of the year's stories, as well as essays and commentary on the current state of the genre and predictions for future science fiction and fantasy films, art, and more. This year's award-winning authors include Jack McDevitt, James Patrick Kelly, Peter S. Beagle, Elizabeth Hand, and more. The anthology also features essays from celebrated science fiction authors Orson Scott Card and Mike Resnick.

The Martian General’s Daughter, Theodore Judson (Pyr)

Welcome to the End of Empire. Set over two hundred years from now, in a world very much like Imperial Rome, this is the story of General Peter Black, the last decent man, as told through the eyes of his devoted (and illegitimate) daughter, Justa. Raised on battlefields, more comfortable in the company of hard men of war than with women or other children, Justa must keep the truth of her birth hidden. Her father regards her as an embarrassment, a reminder of his one and only indiscretion. Yet she is a remarkable woman-one whose keen mind wins her an education at the feet of Emperor Mathias the Glistening himself. All his life, General Black served the noble emperor, and, out of loyalty to the father, continues to serve his son after Mathias's death, even as the son's reign degenerates into an insane tyranny worthy of Nero or Caligula. As the rule of the empire passes from father to son with disastrous results, a strange metal plague begins slowly destroying the empire's technology, plunging the realm into chaos and the world into war. Amid the destruction and upheaval, General Black must decide whether to turn his back on the men and institutions who never loved him nearly as much as he did them, or whether to save his most trusted ally and adviser, his best friend and only real family.

Judge, Karen Traviss (Eos)

The Eqbas have come, bringing justice, change, hope to some…and death to many. Seeking to punish the human gethes who caused the near destruction of an ocean-dwelling race in the distant Cavanagh’s Star system, the Eqbas have finally landed on Earth. But another, equally important obligation has drawn them across the galaxy: the salvation of this environmentally ravaged world, a mission that could entail the annihilation of billions of humans. Former police officer Shan Frankland has come as well—along with her two lifemates, one alien and one human—carrying in her blood the parasite that makes her virtually immortal. Though she once vowed never to let the powerful contagion reach the homeworld she left nearly a century ago, she feels compelled to play an active role in the unfolding drama—and to follow the catastrophic events that have devastated civilizations and defined her life to their shocking, inevitable end.

Horus Heresy: Legion, Dan Abnett (Games Workshop)

The latest novel in the Black Library's flagship SF series which tells the story of the Horus Heresy – introduces the story of the Alpha Legion and their primarch Alpharius and details the trials of the Imperial army.

Edenborn, Nick Sagan (Roc)

Edenborn begins with a stark vision--a microbial apocalypse called Black Ep has wiped humanity from the globe, yet not all is lost. Six individuals have survived the epidemic and are now committed to the task of rebuilding a peaceful civilization. But not everyone shares the same vision, and soon two very different societies begin to form. As we follow a child from each "family" someone--or something--begins to threaten their innocence. And as the mystery mounts, a mutated strain of Black Ep makes a deadly return. Now the architects who gave breath to this new world must scramble to protect their children from a two-front assault. It's a race against extinction, and Nick Sagan keeps us riveted to the page.

Beyond the Gap, Harry Turtledove (Tor)

Count Hamnet Thyssen is a minor noble of the drowsy old Raumsdalian Empire. Its capital city, Nidaros, began as a mammoth hunters' camp at the edge of the great Glacier. But that was centuries ago, and as everyone knows, it's the nature of the great Glacier to withdraw a few feet every year. Now Nidaros is an old and many-spired city; and though they still feel the breath of the great Glacier in every winter's winds, the ice cap itself has retreated beyond the horizon.

The Asteroid Wars: The Aftermath, Ben Bova (Tor)

In the wake of the Asteroid Wars that tore across the solar system, Victor Zacharius makes his living running the ore-carrier Syracuse. With his wife and two children he plies the Asteroid Belt, hauling whatever cargo can be found. When the Syracuse stumbles into the middle of a military attack on the habitat Chrysalis, Victor flees in a control pod to draw the attacker's attention away from his family. Now, as his wife and children plunge into the far deeps of space, Victor has been rescued by the seductive Cheena Madagascar. He must do her bidding if he's to have a prayer of ever seeing his family again. Elverda Apacheta is the solar system's greatest sculptor. The cyborg Dorn was formerly Dorik Harbin, the ruthless military commander responsible for the attack on Chrysalis. Their lives and destinies have been linked by their joint discovery of the alien artifact that had, earlier, profoundly affected industrialist Martin Humphries. Similarly transformed by the artifact's mysterious powers, Apacheta and Dorn now prowl the Belt, determined to find the bodies of the many victims of Harbin's atrocities so that they can be given proper burials. Kao Yuan is the captain of Viking, owned by Martin Humphries, who's determined to kill Dorn and Elverda because they know too much about the artifact and its power over him. But Viking's second-in-command, Tamara Vishinsky, appears to have the real power on board ship. When Viking catches up to Apacheta and Dorn, their confrontation begins a series of events involving them, the Zacharius family, and Martin Humphries and his son in the transformation of the human solar system…

The Ring of Fire: 1635 Cannon Law, Eric Flint & Andrew Dennis (Baen)

Rome, 1635, and Grantville's diplomatic team, headed by Sharon Nichols, are making scant headway now it has become politically inexpedient for Pope Urban VIII to talk to them any more. Sharon doesn't mind, she has a wedding to plan. Frank Stone has moved to Rome and is attempting to bring about the revolution one pizza at a time. Cardinal Borja is gathering votes to bring the Church's reformers to a halt in their tracks, on the orders of the King of Spain. Meanwhile, trouble is brewing in the streets, shadowy agitators are stirring up trouble and Spain's armies are massed across the border in the Kingdom of Naples, Cardinal Barberini wants the pamphleteers to stop slandering him and it looks like it's going to be a long, hot summer. Except that Cardinal Borja has more ambitions than his masters in Madrid know about, and has the assistance of Spain's most notorious secret agent to bring about his sinister designs.

An Unexpected Apprentice, Jody Lynn Nye (Tor)

Halfling Tildi Summerbee has led a typical, unexciting life, tending the house for her brothers while they manage the family farm. Her days are boring, but happy...until a Thraik attack decimates her family. In an effort to provide for Tildi, the town's leaders prepare an arranged marriage and take control of her farm's assets. After all, a female halfling is incapable of handling such matters on her own. Tildi sees things differently. In order to escape her arranged marriage and overcome the prejudices against the "weaker" sex, she decides to pass herself off as a man. Assuming the guise of her brother Teldo, Tildi disappears into the night. She plans to accept Teldo's position as an apprentice to a great wizard. But she soon finds that the rest of the world isn't very welcoming to halflings. And that she is surrounded by fantastic dangers. Dangers that are more than a match for a wizard's apprentice. 

The Knights of Myth Drannor: Sword of Dragonfire, Ed Greenwood (Wizards of the Coast)

Jump into a new adventure by fan-favorite Ed Greenwood! Florin and his friends have finally made a name for themselves--only to find themselves the pawns of both dark and noble forces in a battle for power. Together, the Swords of Eveningstar must untangle the webs of lies that surround them before the threat to the kingdom eclipses their abilities to defend it. Swords of Dragonfire is the second title in an exciting new trilogy by best-selling author Ed Greenwood, the creator of the Forgotten Realms setting. This novel is a fast-paced sword and sorcery adventure worthy of a place on your shelves next to Conan and Fafherd and the Gray Mouser.

The Silver Sword, David Zendell (Tor)

Valashu and his companions continue on the quest to find The Lightstone. Many battles, much introspection, and a strong love subplot complicate our hero’s journey.

Shadowmoor, Ed. by Susan J. Morris (Wizards of the Coast)

Unleash the Magic! Established authors and exciting new writers collaborate on this anthology of Magic: The Gathering stories, all set in the lush world of Lorwyn. Included within its pages is a novella by well-loved authors Scott McGough and Cory J. Herndon. As with previous Magic titles, Shadowmoor gives readers a sneak peak at what will be coming out in the next Magic: The Gathering set.

The Anvil of Time: The Sellsword, Cam Banks (Wizards of the Coast)

Strike the Anvil of Time! Vanderjack is a mercenary with a troubled past and a sword haunted by ghosts. Hired to rescue a nobleman's daughter from behind enemy lines, the sellsword finds himself a pivotal player in the liberation of Nordmaar from the Red Dragon army. The Chronicler is charged to use the ancient Anvil of Time to travel back along the river of time and find the lost stories that fell between the pages of the history books of Krynn in this new series created and guided by the creative mind of Tracy Hickman. Together with a group of exciting new voices for the fantasy genre, Tracy Hickamn Presents the Bridges of Time breathes all new life into the venerable Dragonlance world.

The Percheron Saga: Odalisque, Fiona Mcintosh (Eos)

Once a captive of merciless desert slave traders, Lazar fought his way to freedom—and to an exalted role as Spur of Percheron, guardian of his adopted city, and confidant and protector of the Zar, Joreb. But now the Zar is dead and his fifteen-year-old heir, Boaz, must assume the mantle of leadership—guided by trusted advisor Lazar, the "mad" dwarf jester Pez…and Boaz's cruel, ambitious mother, who truly holds the reins of power. In the midst of roiling court intrigue, a young girl arrives to fill a space in Boaz's harem—and inflames unexpectedly strong feelings in both Boaz and Lazar. But the odalisque, Ana, will not be satisfied by the closeted, stifling world of the harem. And, unbeknownst to all, the gods themselves are rising up in cyclical battle—as the struggle begins within and beyond the palace walls for the imperiled soul of Percheron.

The Citadel: Obsidian Ridge, Jess Lebow (Wizards of the Coast)

This time the castle is the monster! Obsidian Ridge hasn't been seen in Faerun for hundreds of years. It's a legend, a fairy story--until it appears, silently and without warning over the kingdom of Erlkazar, blotting out the sun. Steered by the madness of a cunning wizard, the citadel and its vast array of shadowy monsters will destroy all of Erlkazar unless the wizard gets what he wants: the princess of Erlkazar as a bride. But he'll have to battle the king's personal assassin, a loyal courtier, a complicated killer, and the princess herself to bring his plan to bear. Obsidian Ridge continues the Citadels series with another story that explores the darker side of that iconic fantasy structure, the castle. Each book in the Citadels series is a self-contained fantasy in the Forgotten Realms world and can be read in any order.

Godspeaker Trilogy: Empress, Karen Miller (Orbit)

In a family torn apart by poverty and violence, Hekat is no more than an unwanted mouth to feed, worth only a few coins from a passing slave trader. But Hekat was not born to be a slave. For her, a different path has been chosen. It is a path that will take her from stinking back alleys to the house of her God, from blood-drenched battlefields to the glittering palaces of Mijak. This is the story of Hekat, precious and beautiful.

Devil’s Cape, Rob Rogers (Wizards of the Coast Discoveries)

Heroes with a Southern Gothic edge. If New Orleans has earned its "Sin City" nickname for its debauchery, then its nearby sister Devil's Cape has earned its "Pirate Town" moniker for the violence and blatant corruption that have marred the city since its founding. A city where corruption and heroism walk hand-in-hand, and justice and mercy are bought and paid-for in blood, Devil's Cape is a city like no other. Devil's Cape is a novel like no other. It blends the gritty crime novel with a heavy dose of the supernatural and weaves a tale of superhuman heroes and villains. Briskly written and highly readable, Devil's Cape will appeal to a wide audience.

Blind Spot, Terri Persons (Berkley)

FBI Agent Bernadette Saint Clare’s gift of sight allows her to see things others can’t. But some things are better left unseen. Not always easy to work with, Agent Bernadette Saint Clare has been assigned and reassigned to FBI offices all over the country. Not long after she’s placed at a desk in the basement of the off-site St. Paul office, she’s called on to do what she does best: use personal effects found at a crime scene to see through a killer’s eyes. In some cases her sight has been astoundingly accurate; in others it has been less than perfect. The agent in charge of this case, Tony Garcia, aware of Bernadette’s spotty record, is unsure if he should follow her lead, and the tension between them makes for an uneasy alliance. To make things more complicated, she becomes involved with her new upstairs neighbor. But there‘s something about him she can’t quite put her finger on—especially when he offers her a key clue to the killer’s identity. A complex novel filled with quirky characters on the right and wrong sides of the law, Blind Spot reminds us that life is filled with leaps of faith both great and small.

Warhammer: Ancient Blood, Robert Earl (Games Workshop)

Driven out of the Empire, nomadic feral vampires make an epic trek through the Black Mountains in search of their ancient homeland, ignorant of the vampires kin that trail them as prey.

New in Audiobook:

The Dresden Files: Small Favor, Jim Butcher (Penguin Audio Unabridged)

Harry Dresden’s life finally seems to be calming down. The White Council’s war with the vampiric Red Court has reached a period of tentative peace, no one has tried to kill him for almost an entire year, and the worst problem he’s had lately is working out how to remove the stains on his carpeting. For once, the future looks fairly bright. But the past casts one hell of a long shadow. An old bargain has placed Harry in debt to Mab, monarch of the Winter Court of the Sidhe, the Queen of Air and Darkness—and she’s calling in her marker. Dresden still owes the Winter Queen two favors, and it’s time to pay one of them off. Just one small favor he can’t refuse—one that will trap Harry Dresden between a nightmarish foe and an equally deadly ally and strain his skills and loyalties to their very limits. It figures. Everything was going too well to last…

The Incredible Shrinking Man, Richard Matheson (Blackstone Audio Unabridged)

Inch by inch, day by day, Scott Carey is getting smaller. Once an unremarkable husband and father, Scott finds himself shrinking with no end in sight. His wife and family turn into unreachable giants, the family cat becomes a predatory menace, and Scott must struggle to survive in a world that seems to be growing ever larger and more perilous, until he faces the ultimate limits of fear and existence.

This is the terrifying novel that inspired the classic Hugo Award-winning motion picture, also written by Richard Matheson. Narrated by Yuri Rasovsky.

Check back next Monday for all the latest info on current sci-fi, fantasy, and horror book releases. Questions or comments? Hit me up at Pferrara.mania@gmail.com.

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

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smegforbrain 3/31/2008 6:20:20 AM
The Dabels are nice guys (I've met and chatted with Les and Ernest), but their track record speaks for itself. I can only speak of their situation with Marvel, as I've been able to get more info about that particular partnership over all the others, but they seemed very happy with it... until something went wrong. Still, I don't think Marvel had the proverbial gun to the Dabel's collective head. "Raymond E. Feist's The Wood Boy, Tad Williams' The Burning Man" Issue #2 (of 2) of The Wood Boy was supposedly published in a special trade / one-shot with The Burning Man. I've never laid eyes on this, so I don't know if it was ever released. But if tit was, The Wood Boy was completed, albeit in a crappy manner.
isgrimner 3/31/2008 7:07:32 AM
I have The Burning Man trade, and it is pretty good. Then again, my screen name (with slight misspelling) is taken from a Tad Williams book, so I was predisposed to liking it. As far as Robert Jordan's work is concerned with The Dabel Bros, I think they were in partnership with Red Eagle Entertainment to do the New Spring comic. It never got finished (and I never got a refund for the unfinished issues) and in one of Jordan's last blog posts he mentioned that the rights to his works would soon transfer back to him. At least that seems to be what I recall him writing. I do know he was really dissapointed with Red Eagle.
kaybar 3/31/2008 10:11:18 AM
I've heard great things about Rothfuss' Kingkiller Chronicles, but also haven't had the chance to dig into it yet. Merin did you get to meet him at a booksigning event? Yea isgrimner I also saw that post that RJ was deeply dissatisfied with Red Eagle Entertainment, those guys are a bunch of hacks just trying to pimp out his material to make a quick buck. They were never in any way connected to the creative end, just a broker for any WoT-related merchandise. smeg I can understand what you're saying because, in terms of announced projects and actual completed projects, yeah the Dabels don't have a great track record with getting their proposed comics into print. But it seems like midway through a property the administrative end falls apart, and although Marvel may have dropped a bunch of money in the Dabels' lap to justify holding onto their distribution rights, it feels like they got undercut. I just hope their Dresden Files adaptation does well, Chris McGrath's cover art on the first issue looks pretty damn cool: http://www.jimbutcheronline.com/bb/index.php/topic,5945.0.html
chirop1 3/31/2008 2:36:56 PM
Obligatory "Martin needs to shut his trap and get back to writing Dance" comment.
scoundrel 3/31/2008 3:39:41 PM
SF author Tobias Buckell, who's debut novel Crystal Rain was supposed to be adapted by the Dabel Bros., posted on his blog why the adaptation never happened. http://www.tobiasbuckell.com/2008/01/09/crystal-rain-comic-book-falls-through/ Honestly, among other things, I think the Dabel Brothers are not very good businessmen.
kaybar 3/31/2008 4:53:03 PM
Thanks for that link scoundrel, goes to show you there are definitely at least two sides to every story. I'm beginning to think that the Brothers, though their hearts may be in the right place, just don't have the business savvy attitude to prevent overextending themselves.
smegforbrain 3/31/2008 4:56:18 PM
"I've mentioned elsewhere my suspicions about the Dabel Bros / Marvel deal - but have always tempered it with "no one is raising a stink about it so it probably wasn't that bad."" Well, to be honest about it, Marvel has no reason to complain, and I really do think that such behavior is beneath the Dabel's. I met them at SDCC, and I recall hearing a lot about how the bros were in meetings with Marvel at the time. At a guess, I'd say that's probably when the pooh started to hit the fan. "it feels like they got undercut." Perhaps. We'll probably never know for certain. DBPro went for the exposure that Marvel would give them, and in the end, they did get a lot published in that year or so. But I've heard stories that suggest that DBPro has never been on solid financial ground (beyond the fact that they change publishers every year), so it wouldn't surprise me if the are at least somewhat at fault here.
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