I can appreciate how prolific Walter Mosley has been and it appears he's now taking advantage of e-publishing potential for releasing shorter narrativ...moreI can appreciate how prolific Walter Mosley has been and it appears he's now taking advantage of e-publishing potential for releasing shorter narratives. And Jack Strong is this.
Its biggest allure is that there's more to it. It ends all too quickly after a single caper, and this is when you realize that it wasn't a novel as you thought it was. But that's okay because the possibility for future installments is there in the conclusion.
The idea of a multitude contained within a single living vessel is not quite new, but that's not important. What's important is the delivery, and Jack Strong delivers, as its eponymous narrator puts the pieces of the puzzle, literally revealed on his flesh, together to find redemption.
There's hope for continuation as a kindle serial, and I'm thinking Mosley would do to give every Jack Strong story a sub-title belonging to the name of the voice seeking redemption or revenge. (less)
The words wash over you, but you don't necessarily understand all the meanings. Perhaps you just don't know enough, or it operates on a frequency well...moreThe words wash over you, but you don't necessarily understand all the meanings. Perhaps you just don't know enough, or it operates on a frequency well below ordinary awareness to seep into your consciousness. In any case, you ride on through because the words keep coming in a discordant yet beautifully maintained secret rhythm.
Irreverent but soulful, hearkening to a lost past and an equally lost present, Congotronic fuses the old with the new to create a future of thoughts boiling in the minds of its readers.
You drown in it and before you know it, you've finished the book. (less)
A surprisingly engrossing read which defies expectations. It grabs you by the proverbial testicles and… nives.
Supernatural Enhancements encompasses s...moreA surprisingly engrossing read which defies expectations. It grabs you by the proverbial testicles and… nives.
Supernatural Enhancements encompasses suspense, comedy, mystery, cryptology, and horror, thus taking this novel to an entirely different order of story. Comprised of “found footage”, a series of transcribed video footage, letters, and notes, Cantero skillfully maintains comedic timing throughout the book without losing grip of the suspense.
A real treat because, though it is a ghost story, it becomes so much more. I guarantee you, however clever you feel you are, you didn't see it coming. (less)
A town, of course, which is so utterly lost that you lose yourself trying to find yourself. There's the Finder, who drags the...moreWhere do lost things go?
A town, of course, which is so utterly lost that you lose yourself trying to find yourself. There's the Finder, who drags the lost from the dust, who bears a strong resemblance to JM Barrie's most famous lost boy, and there's the Missing Man who sends you home once you've found what you needed.
While the first two thirds of the book is interesting enough, I believe it is at its most powerful during its conclusion. A big part of loss is accepting the inevitable while using it to transform yourself. We deal with loss and death everyday, all around the world. There are millions of deeply personal tragedies and it is a kind of reassuring solidarity to know there are others who share your pain.
After reading this book, it's nice to know that lost things can find their way home, and that being lost just might, for some, be home. (less)
When literary authors tackle science fictional themes, with compelling and transcendental results. (Tolstaya's The Slynx, Moody's Four Fingers of Deat...moreWhen literary authors tackle science fictional themes, with compelling and transcendental results. (Tolstaya's The Slynx, Moody's Four Fingers of Death, Lethem's Fortress of Solitude, Kevin Barry's City of Bohane).
The hard science fades away to background noise and it becomes all about the people whose issues are grounded in extraordinary situations. The pastor Peter Leigh is such a character, finding himself on an alien planet millions of miles away, the final candidate in a exhausting and comprehensive personality compatibility campaign. He has left behind his wife, and the typed dialogue between the two is what charges the narrative.
Despite the hectic lifestyle that descends onto a household with children who are nearing the end of their school year, I just could not put down this book. Peter's compassion and interest when he meets the natives of Oasis, the alien planet to which he has been transported, is nothing short of what you would expect from Jesus himself. You can't believe there is a man like that, and the fact becomes the more shocking as snippets of his past is revealed. You feel his joy with his new congregation, and his pain at being divided from his heart's other half as life becomes increasingly difficult for her. We see his struggle to convey understanding of the Bible and its parables into analogues fitting for an alien history and consciousness.
There is so much more to this story that I won't deprive with spoilers the reader of the opportunity to touch upon for the first time. All you need to know is, the righteous man has the same pitfalls in life as any one of us, and the way you face them is how you define your humanity in alien situations. (less)
Having had his fill of mucking about in the affairs of Heaven and Hell, Robert Kroese directs his attention towards the space opera. Rex Nihilo is our...moreHaving had his fill of mucking about in the affairs of Heaven and Hell, Robert Kroese directs his attention towards the space opera. Rex Nihilo is our martini tossing hero, the Han Solo of this narrative, a lad so uncanny in his decision-making that it's difficult to determine if he is a great fool or a great genius. (Once the character of Nihilo was established, my brain conjured the face of Jean Dujardin). His story is narrated by Sasha, the love child of Threepio and Chewbacca with a remarkable ability to rationalize loopholes around the morality of robotic laws (ubiquitous in sf ever since Asimov).
Kroese is in fine form here, obviously earning his comedic chops over a thousand karmic lifetimes. I don't laugh out loud in public, but I did. Rex Nihilo is the perfect vehicle for creating and pointing out incongruities. Starship Grifters is basically a deconstruction of Star Wars and its failings. The Stormtrooper kill rate, for one, is addressed. See if you can keep a straight face. Starship Grifters lead up to a conclusion I sure as hell did not see coming.
Looking forward to more Rex Nihilo stories—Kroese is the funnybone Ian Fleming. (less)
It's been too long since I've read a space opera this engaging. James SA Corey is my new favorite author. I am just so glad that I've found The Expans...moreIt's been too long since I've read a space opera this engaging. James SA Corey is my new favorite author. I am just so glad that I've found The Expanse when its like three or four books deep in the series so I don't have to wait too log to devour the sequel.
Leviathan Wakes entertains in so many ways. It's funny. It's thoughtful. It's far-reaching in its concepts. The future is vividly realized. You kind of wish Corey is a time traveler come into the past. A giant himself, Corey also knows he stands on the shoulders of giants when he makes subtle references SF and literary masters of the 20th century—obvious ones are Bester, with whom he opened the novel, Herbert, Quixote, Dan Simmons. God knows I probably missed a lot more. There's also an almost perverse pleasure in rendering commonplace sayings archaic when viewed in juxtaposition with the future created in this book.
I would argue that Holden and Miller are the same person, only adapted to the physical and moral constraints of their respective environment. An Earther with a strong core family, humanity is dear to Holden. A Belter raised in an asteroid with space and its ensuant hazards pressing in, Miller holds a different attitude about his fellow human beings. No matter, both are essentially good people, though their methods differ. As the novel progresses the two complement and contrast each other. Miller has been added to my list of favorite anti-heroes. I never thought he was crazy; hell, I went as far as to sympathize and empathize with him.
Corey has awakened a world-building leviathan in his literary career opener and I look forward to consuming further volumes.
I've said it before and I'll say it again. Stokoe is a genius. He might be an oxymoron because he's an angry Canadian but whatever makes him who he is...moreI've said it before and I'll say it again. Stokoe is a genius. He might be an oxymoron because he's an angry Canadian but whatever makes him who he is, is a good thing for us.
Finally collecting all the adventures of Johnny Boyo and Deacon. Stokoe's distinctive style and attention to detail shows us that cooking could be so much more. So much more...
Vol 1: A Space Trucker Opera. AFter a fight with space ninjas, Boyo gets stranded in space. His sexual deviant partner Deacon finds a ride to a hellish rock which happens to be Boyo's old stomping grounds. Boyo reunites with an estranged love and pays his old culinary tutor a visit. In the process he is challenged to a cook-out. The charm of this is the ingredients are insane, and the cooking process is even more insane. It speaks of a creative force impressive enough to continue onto a sequel.
Vol 2: Cooking doesn't feature too much here but when it does, it's deeply deviant. The focus is on a drug they take that sends them to lala land for an indeterminate period of time. Stokoe must have lost hours of his life towards penciling and inking this volume. I can see why there hasn't been another sequel, but irony is, he went on to do Orc Stain and Godzilla, each of which are much more ambitious works in their respective ways.
If you're jacked into the weird, you won't be disappointed. In fact you'll be disappointed when you are left wanting after you quickly burn through Stokoe's entire body of work, which is unfortunately limited. Quality over quantity, don't you agree? If you're easily offended, read it anyways. I think that's the point. (less)
As always Mignola delivers in the art department, and sends us to an atmospheric underworld that has the queer distinction, for a place of fire and br...moreAs always Mignola delivers in the art department, and sends us to an atmospheric underworld that has the queer distinction, for a place of fire and brimstone, of belonging deep in the sea.
The narrative is another story. For someone who hasn't exactly kept up to date to the series, you get a little lost, and tiny asterisked footnotes aren't exactly Virgils. Mignola draws on Dante, Dickens, Shakespeare to tell the true beginning of Hellboy's legacy. You know Hellboy. He's a good dude at heart. If he says he ain't gonna storm the Gates of Heaven, he ain't... but fate has a different think in mind.
Why am I not surprised Matt Fraction is responsible for this? This book is an example of the change of consciousness that has overtaken mainstream com...moreWhy am I not surprised Matt Fraction is responsible for this? This book is an example of the change of consciousness that has overtaken mainstream comics. Ten, twenty years ago it was all spandex and superpowers, and in Sex Criminals... well it's sometimes spandex and a superpower.
When you're screwing, you feel as if time stops... except for Suzie and Jon it's quite literal. Fraction's portrayal of the two is real. You feel the confusion a teenager has when those hormones just start pouring in. The exploration phase, where you feel shame, maybe, and once you get over this, true pleasure, from getting away with it, mostly, probably. All this awesomeness wouldn't be possible without Chip Zdarsky, Canada's answer to Frank Quitely.
Fraction goes a little further. This Bonnie and Clyde of the nookie are actually robbing banks to finance a library. So whoever said sex doesn't make you smarter was a whole lot of wrong. Of course, things that feel this good don't last too long... you can't be sex criminals without the sex police.(less)
Backwoods people have been scaring people ever since the Clampetts left their good ol' American Jungle for urban livin'. There's also the eyes in the...moreBackwoods people have been scaring people ever since the Clampetts left their good ol' American Jungle for urban livin'. There's also the eyes in the hills, chainsaw wielding maniacs, the cries of deliverance that go unheard in the South's heart of darkness.
I think it's the resourcefulness in utilizing their environment toward foodstuffs and personal needs, and a stereotypical lack of conventional taste style-wise, that intimidates the ordinary joe. Now, couple this with methamphetamine, and you've got some real bastards.
The swollen red sun that sinks at the horizon of Gasconade County, Missouri, is a swollen tick that bursts to paint a sky that seems to darken like drying blood. A small act of corruption is committed by a good person, and you know what they say about good intentions being road to hell. This sets into a chain motion of accident, misunderstanding, and the kind of shriftless brutality you get from a man deprived of his go juice. A Swollen Red Sun is a book that makes you happy that you live in a place with drive-by shootings.
Channeling Cormac McCarthy at parts, and showing as a redneck noir at others, A Swollen Red Sun is perfectly laid out for a movie deal. I could see the Coen Brothers picking this up for their next project. In fact I hope they do. (less)
From the man who killed God comes another exploration of religious themes through atheism, or in this case, logical positivism.
We all wish we could b...moreFrom the man who killed God comes another exploration of religious themes through atheism, or in this case, logical positivism.
We all wish we could be as cool-headed as pulp writer Kurt Jastrow when approached by lobsters from outer space who wish to annihilate the viewership of a certain television show based on the illogical qualities of religion. The prospect of such a genocide of fellow humans is enough to force any moral and rational human to shoulder the responsibility of ensuring such a thing doesn't come to pass, even if it requires you to skew your religious worldview. Thus is the conundrum faced with aplomb and a level-headed instinct for survival by Jastrow's crush, Connie Osborn who happens to helm Not By Bread Alone, the Sunday broadcast show responsible for the impending genocide.
I blew through this immensely entertaining novel. A recurring theme is raging against the dying light, taken from Dylan Thomas's poem, and it can be attributed to several things: reason, love, and actual death. We fly though verbal slapstick reminiscent of that era. (A lot has been lost in our age of CGI-soaked mindless entertainment; we have traded genteel substance for style.) The heart races as we bear witness to the birth, from the minds of our intrepid duo, Morrow's analogues of Adam and Eve, of a completely new philosophy of logical positivism, rising from the ashes of the Judeo-Christian religion.
With a genius move by Morrow, we are turned onto our heads with a laugh out loud, incredulous moment which translates slowly in the denouement into a somber yet touching affair in which Dylan's famous denial of that final darkness rings true. (less)
It's about time Hawkeye's got some real attention. Generally the most under-appreciated of the Avengers because of his lack of any real superpower, a...moreIt's about time Hawkeye's got some real attention. Generally the most under-appreciated of the Avengers because of his lack of any real superpower, a fact Fraction doesn't let us forget.
Here's Hawkeye, all too human, living in a shithole of an apartment filled with people he cares about, and living a life that's drastically different from his super and rich fellow Avengers. He spends nearly every moment away from the job helping others, often in bad judgement, but like the adage goes, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. As a result he's become this beaten, exhausted human being.
The creative team here is shaking up the typical comic book layout, allowing for more atmospheric moments in which the pictures speak for themselves without any speech bubbles or description boxes. There can be as many as 15 per page, and the way it's coloured steeps a bit of the noir into it.
This has by far become my favorite Marvel Superhero book, would be even if I wasn't already a self-admitted Fraction fanboy.
The insistent cry of temptation. A bad place and a bad time. One temporary lapse of judgement.
It's all that's needed to take down Tony Stark. The mili...moreThe insistent cry of temptation. A bad place and a bad time. One temporary lapse of judgement.
It's all that's needed to take down Tony Stark. The military wants to get him for operating a multi-million dollar weapon under the influence? His old enemies, Stane, and then some are tearing him down in pieces with skirmishes all over the world.
Fraction plays a subtle game here, punishing Tony Stark for his transgression during Fear Itself, all the while promising that things will get better.(less)