I’m a genre person drawn to fantasy, steampunk, and science fiction, but I had the opportunity to pick up a free download of Shadow of the Knight. On a whim, I got it and discovered it was a nice break from my usual routine. A solidly written, fast-paced psychological thriller, it explores the dark descent of a woman trying to improve her life after surviving an abusive relationship.
Miguel Fliguer’s Cooking with Lovecraft blends the concept of Eldritch-style stories with the ever-popular themed cookbook. The 96-page work consists of a mixture of short stories and creepy recipes full of ingredients only found in Lovecraft’s twisted world. The flavor of every piece varies slightly, but they are all tied together with the theme of food or other gastronomical experiences in a very Lovecraftian style.
Ever since I was a kid, I've loved sports. Growing up in the Midwest, it was a way of life. Saturdays were for watching my beloved Michigan Wolverines play football, and Sundays were spent watching every NFL game that was available to us. But over the years, I've realized something: Sports, and football in particular, are difficult to explain. That is even more true when trying to speak to someone who barely knows anything about the sport. So, when I found out that there was a book dedicated to explaining my favorite sport to those who don't know anything about it, I was pretty excited. Thankfully, author Matthew England took on the task.
Fans of Lovecraft literature can be divided into two major factions. The first category are the Lovecraft purists, those folks who hold the works penned by H.P. Lovecraft himself as the only canon worthwhile to read and posit that successor works simply fail to capture the cosmic nihilism of the original texts. The other camp is composed of the Cthulhu Mythos fans, the readers hooked into Lovecraft via its most prominent and popular icon. This camp prefers stories that contain the most recognizable elements, such as the presence of Cthulhu, mentions of Miskatonic University, and throwbacks to the town of Innsmouth. This is a Lovecraft universe shaped by August Derleth beginning in the late 1930s and has been refined and expanded on by other authors since.
Private investigator Nick Moss doesn’t know what a missing tween, a stolen toad familiar, a kidnapped lovely lady with a gill man admirer, and a fifty-foot giantess with a potential vampire admirer have in common, but he knows he has a serious problem. As the hairiest (and only) human PI left in Los Angeles after the Night War, Moss’ access to…certain sectors…of society is a little limited unless he embraces his inner figurative wolfman and pals around with the lycanthropic cops; however, as his cases become more entwined, the intrepid detective explores the parts of the City of Devils after dark that he never wanted to go. Will he find answers to his missing individuals’ cases, and, if he does, will Moss or his clients want the full details?
I have this really big pile of unread books and comics in my office, but I was delighted when the anthology The Sea is Ours: Tales of Steampunk Southeast Asia finally got to the top. It came from a successful Indiegogo campaign that I backed some time ago, and it feeds into my desire to read Steampunk set anywhere but in England. (Full disclosure: One of the editors took my “Crowdfunding for Independent Creators” class.) Coming from an aesthetic very different from British-dominated neo-Victorianism and Steampunk, these stories explore technology, alternate history, and retrofuturism from a Southeast Asian viewpoint. I’m happy to say that each of these stories succeeds in their own way.
Bullet Gal has been making appearances in Andrez Bergen’s work for a long time now. She started out as a seemingly minor character in his noir superhero novel, Who Is Killing the Great Capes of Heropa?, who turned out to be more important than you thought. She then found her way into one of his later novels, Depth Charging Ice Planet Goth, before starring in her own 12-issue comic, a prequel to Heropa. Now, Bergen has adapted that comic into its own novel, and it all comes full circle.
I would love to live in Robert J. Peterson’s imagination for a day. His novel, The Odds, is an imaginative post-apocalyptic chess game to the death blended with The Hunger Games in a universe filled with mutants, monsters, and cell phones more deadly than any bomb. In other words, entirely awesome. My second venture into a Peterson world, Omegaball, is no less imaginative, out there, and highly entertaining but in a completely different way.
Every youngster wants the chance to be chosen for an incredible quest to save the world, but what if you sort of stumble into it thanks to a wacky family friend, a mysterious house, and a vacation in one of the US’s most haunted cities? Lucas and Parker Chance’s family vacation to see their ‘Aunt’ Ruby in New Orleans introduces them to Nicole “Cole” Wells and a quest to help preserve the balance between good and evil. There are clues to find, puzzles to decode, nefarious villains to evade, and, of course, more than a few beignets to enjoy in this fun YA romp that doubles as a love letter to a sultry city of the Deep South!