essentialsaltes: (agent)
 A Darker Shade of Magic is a rollicking fantasy yarn. Not too deep, but pleasantly put together. Four parallel earths exist, and special magicians can travel between them. Each has a version of London, but otherwise they are quite different. Grey London is fairly indistinguishable from our own -- magic is largely dead. One of the magicians is tricked into receiving a Macguffin from Black London (which has been eaten up by magic), but before he can return it (somehow) to where it belongs and can't hurt anyone, it is lifted by a lightfingered guttersnipe wannabe pirate lass. Naturally, there are other interested parties, and a violent magical chase ensues through various Londons. Good summer fun, but I doubt I'll continue the series, despite the blandishments of the publisher.
essentialsaltes: (islam)
A collection of short stories, about half set in distinctly Islamic settings, often a mix of the near-future and the 1001 Nights. Others range further, from the Old West to a more traditional sword and sorcery land. All very good stories, with strong character focus, with the possible exception of one supervillain-themed bagatelle that didn't quite work for me. Maybe just because it's fresh in my mind from being last, but I really dug the sword and sorcery milieu of 'Iron Eyes and the Watered Down World’. It starts as a love-letter to Fritz Leiber -- and you will always earn high marks from me for that -- and then wanders off into territory Fritz would never have trod in Nehwon.
essentialsaltes: (PKD)
Jerry Weist's science fiction and fantasy art and book collection. Frazetta, Emsh, Virgil Finlay... I haven't even gotten to the books yet.
essentialsaltes: (Nazgul)
A pretty neat anthology of fantasy/spooky stories from the early 1940s [my cheapo garage sale find is the 1954 Cardinal reprint], edited by Philip Van Doren Stern, who wrote the story that was eventually filmed as It's a Wonderful Life.
Being a pretty early anthology, it has an interesting mix, including both the obvious genre luminaries (Wells, Poe, Dunsany) and more mainstream authors - EM Forster, O Henry, and a surprising (if not very good) story by F Scott Fitzgerald.
Highlights (tough in a group of mostly excellent stories):
Max Beerbohm's "Enoch Soames"
Wells' "The Man Who Could Work Miracles"
Robert Louis Stevenson's "The Bottle Imp"
Ralph Straus' "The Most Maddening Story in the World" [a better English club story than the Dunsany, despite its all too accurate title]

NSFW

Apr. 6th, 2011 02:41 pm
essentialsaltes: (Balrog)
I considered photoshopping this into this, but I'd only feel bad about myself afterwards.
essentialsaltes: (skelly)
The Ebb Tide is a slender new entry in the fabled history of Professor Langdon St. Ives, which Blaylock (one of the original steampunks) has set down in several previous novels back in the 80s and 90s. Or rather I should say that Jack Owlesby set down St. Ives' adventures at the time, and Blaylock has been fortunate enough to discover these records, and magnanimous enough to share them with the rest of us.
The adventure breezes by smoothly, but definitely a light entertainment. But it's always a treat to visit Blaylock's plausibly zany Victorian era, no matter how oxymoronic 'plausibly zany' is. And I've long been a fan of JK Potter's work, and he contributes several nice pieces of interior art, along with the cover. Another lovely book from Subterranean Press.
essentialsaltes: (Nazgul)
Calling all artists. SomethingAwful has announced the WTF, D&D!? Fantasy Artwork Contest:

•Pick a monster out of the 1st Edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual.
•Draw, paint, or render your monster of choice in any style you choose, erotically ... The funnier and more erotic the better. Graphic pornography will be disqualified. Emulating classic D&D artwork styles will be judged positively.

Spice up that gelatinous cube with a huge rack. Illustrate Jubilex' junk. Leucrotta crotch. Sensuous strangle weed. The awful possibilities are limitless.

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