Cthulhu. Azathoth. Nyarlathotep. Zoth-Ommog. Yog-Sothoth. Gla’aki...? The various deities, gods, and great ones H.P. Lovecraft created in his day have taken on a life of their own, transcending from short stories and novellas to appearing in board games, comic books, and other media. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu is no doubt the most famous of them all, yet even other authors’ creations have found longevity, such as with Lin Carter’s Zoth-Ommog.
When I first volunteered to review this book, all I knew about it was that it was an anthology of Steampunk stories, including one story by an author whose work I enjoy (Madeleine Holly-Rosing, creator of the Boston Metaphysical Society comic). That alone was enough to pique my interest. But as it turns out, Some Time Later is more than that.
In Ten Dead Comedians, Fred Van Lente puts a twenty-first century comedic spin on Agatha Christie’s classic mystery, And Then There Were None. Van Lente’s plot and language are clever and witty throughout the pages, as the comedians get killed off one by one on a deserted island. The characters are brilliantly developed throughout each chapter. They include a variety of different types of comedians—from a podcaster to a late night host. Van Lente does a great job highlighting and maintaining each character’s original style. There are really reminiscent of current, real-life comedians (though I don’t know about Oliver Rees…). The characters aren’t particularly fond of one another, which brings about frequent comedic banter. And they each have their own individual vices, making their deaths perhaps less tragic.
A couple of years ago, I had the pleasure of being able to read and review the first edition of M. Holly-Rosing’s comprehensive guide to crowdfunding creative projects. It was full of useful information, marketing and promotion tips, personal stories of both success and failure in crowdfunding, and just about anything else you could possibly need to help budding creators on their way to launching their own successful Kickstarter campaigns.
Disaffected and spoiled Snaldrialooran teen Ixdahan Daherek became an unexpected hero during his exile to Earth in Heart of Earth and found himself drawn back towards greatness when he stumbled across a plot for universal conquest in his second adventure, Heart of Mystery; however, nothing could prepare him for the sheer megalomaniacal wackiness of the Zoktylese plan to subjugate “non-sentient” worlds to cultivate more fields of the root that form the basis of their diet. Add in the fact that Ixdahan has become a little less, well, corporeal due to events at the end of the previous book, and the youngster is struggling to come to terms with his new situation while he transitions from youth to man.
One never quite knows when something will change their life. We all have those moments, whether good or bad, but sometimes the cause of the change can be quite surprising. But, a fictional television show? How could that ever impact anyone in a meaningful way? This is the topic of Family Don’t End with Blood: Cast and Fans on How Supernatural Has Changed Lives (edited by superfan Lynn S. Zubernis).
Gwen Hensley thought her arrival in the small Kansas town would bring hope and the comfort of family, but something dark from her family’s past tracked her grandmother, Lizzy, down and murdered her before the young woman and her raven familiar, Lewis, arrived. The young woman must come to grips with her loss, a new environment, burgeoning magical abilities, and the truth of why her mother ran from home, but can Gwen really survive the knowledge of betrayals and twisted bonds?
Charles "Chuck" Higgins was at the wrong place at the wrong time when he bumped into an inebriated space traveler named Joppenslik "Jopp" Wenslode. Quickly captured by the Prime Partners Intergalactic Consortium, Chuck and Jopp are forced to work together, hauling cargo between space destinations. Their friendship is solidified when Haaga Viim and his crew of mercenary space pirates attack Jopp and Chuck’s cargo ship, causing them to crash on an outpost planet. The madcap adventure takes off from there, and after some plot twists and red herrings, the pair solve their crisis.
In his previous book, Stay Younger Longer, author Ryan Hyatt conjured up a world not so far from our own, where eco-politics carried more weight than they should, the search for the next party was everyone’s greatest quest, and California set the standard of living for the nation.