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Bernd Perplies

Bernd Perplies was born in Wiesbaden/Germany in 1977. After graduating in Movie Sciences and German Literature he started working at the Film Museum in Frankfurt am Main. At the same time he became a freelance geek journalist and translator, writing for movie magazines as well as science fiction and fantasy publishers. His first full fledged novel was published in 2008. Since then he has penned more than 30 science fiction, fantasy and steampunk novels, earning him about a dozen nominations for prestigious German genre awards. He won the RPC Fantasy Jury Award in 2010 and was awarded the Deutsche Phantastik Preis twice (2013 and 2015). Bernd Perplies lives with his family near Stuttgart and he still can’t believe that he was allowed to write the first “Star Trek” novel trilogy ever originally published in Germany.

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Black Leviathan: Starts decently but becomes too scattered

Black Leviathan by Bernd Perplies, translated by Lucy Van Cleef

Vengeance is a tale as old as a time, and female characters have been killed in order to set male characters off on a protagonist’s journey since well before there were refrigerators (almost before there was ice). But it takes a particularly audacious ambition to use Moby Dick as an explicit inspiration for a coming-of-age fantasy set in a world where sky ships hunt dragons and one captain becomes maniacally obsessed with killing one such dragon. And for a little while there I was thinking Bernd Perplies, author of Black Leviathan (2020) (translated in the US by Lucy Van Cleef), might be able to match execution to ambition. But while the story ends up being relatively entertaining, issues toward the close and an overall surface-level narrative had the execution falling short.

The story opens with a... Read More