Monday, June 26, 2006
Here is what Jason Sizemore kindly said of my story:
"The Dealer's Hands" by Paul Abbamondi is a short and effective piece of horror. Two friends buy plastic molds of people's hands from a mysterious dealer out of a barn. Any experienced reader of horror can tell you this isn't a good idea. Tragedy ensues, and Abbamondi has written a nice climax that leaves the reader slightly horrified by what they have just experienced.
I am a pleased writerly fellow.
Saturday, June 24, 2006
Another update on what I'll be reviewing soon! Of course, not in this order.
- The Sword Review, May 2006 issue
- Absolute Uncertainty by Lucy Sussex
- The Fortress of Glass by David Drake
- Four and Twenty Blackbirds by Cherie Priest
- Dreams and Visions edited by M. Jerry Weiss and Helen S. Weiss
- Jigsaw Nation edited by Edward J. McFadden and E. Sedia
- Dark Days by Steve Niles
- Ending an Ending by Danny Birt
- The Forest King: Woodlark's Shadow by Dan Mishkin & Tom Mandrake
- The Flock by James Robert Smith
Whew, lots to read!
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Tim Eldred's Grease Monkey is a bold entry in the graphic novel world, taking leaps and bounds where others might simply hop or skip, worried they might knock over something or make a mess or have the entire fandom cult hate them. Grease Monkey bolts forward, forgetting anything it ever knew about stereotypes, cliches, and overly-done plotlines.
On the focal point space station, Fist of Earth, our two main characters meet for the first time: there's Robin Plotnik, a young lad, enlisted as an assistant mechanic for his term, and then there's the true heart of the story, "Mac" McGimben, an intellectually-enhanced gorilla who is also the lead mechanic for the all female fight squadron known as the Barbarians. The rest of the cast--the love interests, the strict superiors, and the backstabbers--is rounded out over the course of twenty-five episodes. The prospect of war lingers in the background, and on the Fist of Earth fighter pilots train rigorously. It is during these stressful times that Robin and Mac experience life...
One of my favorite aspects of Grease Monkey is that there are no "look-at-me-I'm-a-hero" heroes or "look-at-my-frown-I'm-a-villain" villains. Not even the superenhanced simians are anything special. They're just on par with the human pilots and so forth. That's not to say that some characters will not act heroic or do some bad things, but it's nice that not everyone is so cut and dry.
Eldred's writing and artistic style flow seamlessly as one, and though at times I found some of the writing to be more compelling than the art, it never once became a problem. The panels are drawn in what I can only describe as an older-styled theme, which, when you realize this piece of genius has been in the works since the early 1990s, makes sense. It seems that nowadays everything is all about the art and special effects; it's a relief to see a product so deep with history and characters and plot and humor, without it relying on the artwork to carry it on through. Granted, the art is spectacular, but there's just so much more to appreciate within Grease Monkey's pages.
Some of my favorite episodes were all four parts of "Rewards," a circular look into the loving relationships of Mac and Admiral Stettler, and Robin and Kara. Eldred commented in his historical notes that Robin is based a lot on him and his experiences, including his love life. Other strong episodes were "Election Day," a surprising look into interstellar politics, and "Art Lovers," the introduction to everything Grease Monkey.
For fans of behind-the-scenes extras, the graphic novel also comes stuffed with liner notes, a brief history of Grease Monkey (dating back to the early 1990s), and some preliminary sketches. Tim Eldred is open and honest, which makes learning about the evolution of a monkey mechanic all the more interesting.
No number rating system. No this deserves a 1,204 out of 10. Or this is an A+++ (which it is). Like the monkey's shirt says--this is No Crap. Just buy the damn book, sit back, and enjoy the experience!
For those interested, FantasyBookSpot is holding a contest to win a copy of Grease Monkey AND a personalized sketch to go along with it! Yee-haw, is right!
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Monday, June 19, 2006
Friday, June 16, 2006
- Tim Pratt sells two novels, Blood Engines and Ferocious Dreamers, to Bantam Spectra!
- Paul Melko sells his novel Singularity's Ring to TOR!
- Elizabeth Bear & Sarah Monette sell their novel A Companion to Wolves to TOR!
- Tansy Rayner Roberts sells her novel Seacastle, which is part of a YA shared world, to ABC Books!
Am I missing any? Let me know!
Thursday, June 15, 2006
Well, pout no more! Second chances are your best friend.
Head over to FantasyBookSpot and read about the latest contest for July where you could win another copy of the book. And all you have to do is send a private message to Jay. Hot dang is right!
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Sunday, June 11, 2006
Thursday, June 08, 2006
Books to buy
- Sarah Monette - Melusine
Cherie Priest - Four and Twenty Blackbirds
- Neil Gaiman - Neverwhere
- John Scalzi - Old Man's War
- Scott Lynch - The Lies of Locke Lamora
- Cory Doctorow - Standard Eastern Tribe
- Jim Hines - GoblinQuest
- Matthew Hughes - Black Brillion
Also, I'm not allowed to add to this list until all books have been crossed off. This is me, live, disciplining myself for you all to see.
Monday, June 05, 2006
Enjoy! It'll be up for two months! Also, if you search around the Interrogation Room link, you'll find my answer to the question of "What makes a good story title?"
Saturday, June 03, 2006
- Year Zero by Jeff Long (got about midway through it, but the plot kind of petered out so I lost interest. I will say that I loved The Descent though)
- The Wishsong of Shannara by Terry Brooks (can't remember why I didn't finish it)
- Elixir by Gary Braver (kind of boring)
- Northshore (Volume 1 of The Awakeners) by Sheri S. Tepper (I actually enjoyed this from what I remember, but I think other more interesting books came along)
- The Eternity Artifact by L.E. Modesitt, Jr. (good plot? no. sympathetic characters? nu-huh. keep reading? nope.)
- The Heat Seekers by Katherine Ramsland (hated the writing style of it after three chapters)
I'm sure there are more than this though. I'll have to look later on.
Let me know about any books you started, but never finished! I'm curious as to why!