Bill Chats with D.B. Jackson

Recently I reviewed D.B. Jackson’s historical urban fantasy Thieftaker and Mr. Jackson was gracious enough to take the time to answer my questions about the novel. Here he offers...

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The Witches of Karres: Pure fun!

The Witches of Karres by James H. Schmitz The Witches of Karres by James Schmitz is classic, old school science fantasy. Originally published in 1966, this is the story of Captain...

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Bone by Jeff Smith: The Lord of the Rings of Comics

Bone by Jeff Smith This review is my 50th column for Fanlit, so I want to mark this personal milestone by writing about the most important epic fantasy comic in existence. I know a...

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Great SFF Deals!

We’re always looking for money-saving deals on books, comics, and audiobooks and we bet you are, too. Let’s use this page to alert each other about great deals. Just leave a...

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Recent Posts

Terry and Bill chat with Kameron Hurley (and give away two books!)

Today we welcome Kameron Hurley, the author of THE WORLDBREAKER SAGA, published by Angry Robot Books. The first two volumes are The Mirror Empire and Empire Ascendant, with a third, The Broken Heavens, expected to see publication in August 2017. Hurley’s saga deals with race, gender, sex roles, war, survival, slavery, genocide and many other hot topics in the context of war between and countries and between alternate worlds, with a number of philosophical issues raised along the way. We discuss the difficulty of writing about more than two genders, moral choices, and the challenge of writing about numerous societies and races and their counterparts in an alternate universe.

One lucky (and random) commenter with a U.S. address will win a copy of both The Mirror Empire and ... Read More

The Sword of Summer: Rick Riordan goes Norse

The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan

Rick Riordan, who has enthralled millions of readers with exciting tales of teenagers and their interactions with Greek, Roman and Egyptian gods and goddesses, turns to Norse mythology in his latest book, The Sword of Summer, published October 6, 2015.

Magnus Chase is sixteen years old and has been homeless for two years, since his mother died. Magnus remembers the door of their apartment splintering and wolves with glowing blue eyes bursting in as his mother shooed him out the fire escape. His mother had always told him to avoid his uncles, especially Uncle Randolph ― but Magnus runs into Randolph, who somehow convinces him to accompany him to retrieve an ancient sword from the waters below Longfellow Bridge in Boston. Magnus magically calls the sword to himself. Unfortunately, it’s a corroded, slimy, barnacle-encrusted piece of metal with no hilt.... Read More

Crooked: The best book I’ve read this year

Crooked by Austin Grossman

Austin Grossman’s Crooked is the best book I’ve read this year. I expected good things from Lev Grossman’s twin brother, but not much otherwise as I am not — was not — a big fan of Nixon or, indeed, of American history in general. Let’s be real, I’m an unpatriotic Europhile who prefers reading about the Tudors to the Kennedys, who will always find the Norman Conquest more interesting than the American Civil War. But by the end of the first chapter, I was breathless, thrilled, entertained and excited beyond my wildest expectations. Also, obsessed with Richard Nixon.

Crooked tells the story of Richard Milhous Nixon’s rise to power, complete with childhood in Yorba Linda, fight against the Communists as a young senator, Vice... Read More

Star of Gypsies: A beautiful story about exile, wandering, and coming home

Star of Gypsies by Robert Silverberg

In 3159 AD humans have spread across the universe, colonizing other planets. The spaceships that took them to the stars were piloted by the special “magic” of the Romany people. The Romany “Gypsies” have always been mistreated by the people of Earth who never realized their true history and nature. The Gypsies are not actually human. They are the remnant of an ancient race who escaped from their home planet thousands of years ago when it became inhospitable to life after its sun flared. According to prophecy, after the third solar flare the sun will be stable and the Romany can return home. Meanwhile, while they wait, the Gypsies have roamed the Earth and have used their skills to help humans get to space.

But it’s been so long, and as the Romany people have begun to settle down and get comfortable on other planets, their urgency to return home is diminishing. Because of this complace... Read More

The Monstrous: You can’t go wrong with Datlow

The Monstrous edited by Ellen Datlow

Whenever I see Ellen Datlow’s name as editor on the cover of an anthology, I know I’m in good hands. Datlow has a made a thirty-plus year career of choosing good stories and developing collections that take different aims at the theme. The theme of The Monstrous is monsters, and Datlow makes sure to explore all facets of that word with this mostly-reprint anthology from Tachyon Press.

There are twenty stories in the book. One is original to the anthology. The reprints include one classic horror story and a few that read as dated to me. Datlow’s standards of excellent writing and good characterization stand throughout the book.

I’m going to discuss two pieces out of sequence, because they left me puzzling. The Monstrous includes ... Read More

Two Years, Eight Months, and Twenty-Eight Nights: Magical Realism with a Folktale Feel

Two Years, Eight Months, and Twenty-Eight Nights by Salman Rushdie

From the moment I started listening to Salman Rushdie’s new book, Two Years, Eight Months, and Twenty-Eight Nights, I was enchanted. I wasn’t sure what to expect, not ever having read a Rushdie book before, but his leisurely, indirect storytelling style reminded me of a fairy or folk tale, like the 1001 Nights that Rushdie cleverly takes his title from.

Two Years, Eight Months, and Twenty-Eight Nights tells the story of the jinnia Dunia, her lovers, her countless human/jinn progeny, and their efforts in the war between the worlds of humanity and the jinn, who have entered our realm and begun sowing chaos, violence, and madness. Dunia, who has fallen in love with two human men and, in consequence, all of huma... Read More

Who Goes There?: An influential, entertaining novella

Who Goes There? by John W. Campbell, Jr.

Three mad, hate-filled eyes blazed up with a living fire, bright as fresh-spilled blood, from a face ringed with a writhing, loathsome nest of worms, blue, mobile worms that crawled where hair should grow…

John W. Campbell’s novella Who Goes There?, first published in 1938 in the magazine Astounding Science Fiction, formed the foundation for the thrice-made movie The Thing. John Carpenter directed the 1982 film starring Kurt Russell and it holds a significant place in my childhood memories as it was the first horror movie I was able to watch all they way through. The movie is dark and creepy, and incorporated some realistically disgusting special effects for its day and age. That version was preceded by the 1951 The Thing From Another World a... Read More

The Undying Monster: Film vs. Book

The Undying Monster by Jessie Douglas Kerruish
It was around five years ago that I had the pleasure of watching the 1942 horror thriller The Undying Monster on DVD. I was moderately impressed with the film, enough to write the following:

"B material given A execution" is how film historian Drew Casper describes 20th Century Fox's first horror movie, 1942's The Undying Monster, in one of the DVD's extras, and dang if the man hasn't described this movie to a T. The film, a unique melding of the detective, Gothic and monster genres, though uniformly well acted by its relatively no-name cast, features a trio of first-rate artists behind the camera who really manage to put this one over. And the film's script isn't half bad either. Here, Scotland Yard scientist Robert Curtis (James Ellison) comes to eerie Hammond Hall, a brooding pile on the English coast, sometime around 1900, to investigate some recent attacks ascribed to t... Read More

Sunday Status Update: October 11, 2015

This week, Red Sonja comments on her freshly redesigned costume.

Red Sonja: Well, that's done it. I have officially laughed along with the last "chain-mail brassiere" joke I am willing to bear. I've decided to upgrade. Conan's doing pants now too (even a shirt once in a while, when he can bear to cover over his beloved pecs), so it's not like the fad's still going strong or anything. Yes. I'm doing this. I'm getting older and wiser and more prag... pragtical? Whatever. I am going to go straight to the armorer and buy as much extra chainmail as I can afford!

Later: So, yeah, good news and bad news. The bad news is that the prices of chain mail have gotten ridiculous in the last few years. So my chain-mail bra is now sort of a chain-mail... jerkin. Read More

GIVEAWAY! Ten copies of City of Blades by Robert Jackson Bennett

We are excited to announce a super Giveaway!

Fantasy Literature is working with Penguin Random House to give ten lucky winners with a US mailing address a copy of Robert Jackson Bennett’s newest fantasy novel, City of Blades, which will be released to the public in January.

2014’s City of Stars generated lots of buzz, making the short list of the Locus Awards among other honors. We loved it!

Now, Bennett returns to the world of Shara and Sigrud with a sequel set in another of the god-built cities. This time the city is Voortyashtan, the city built by the god of war, and the emissary sent there is General Turyin Mulaghesh:

A generation ago, the city of Voortyashtan was the stronghold of the god of w... Read More