Archive for the ‘Authors’ Category

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Stan Sakai Interviews Usagi…Or Does He?

February 22, 2011

The interview’s conclusion can be found here at Dark Horse’s official site.

I thought this was a lot of fun and wanted to be sure to share it with you guys.

Ah, and while I’m here, please pick up the latest issue or trade-paperback of Usagi Yojimbo. I’d pick it up for you if I could, it’s that good!

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An Interview with Peter S. Beagle

January 19, 2011

CBR has a great interview with Peter S. Beagle about his critically acclaimed novel The Last Unicorn, the upcoming Blu-Ray release of the classic animated feature of the same name, his breadth of short stories and upcoming projects:

More than being one of the most beloved and critically praised fantasy novels in recent decades, “The Last Unicorn” was also adapted into a wildly popular animated film in 1982 and has since been released in a restored Blu-ray edition. Most recently, the novel was adapted into a comic book miniseries from IDW Publishing. Beagle spoke with CBR about the project, taking a look back and forward at his long and storied career.

The full article can be found here and proved to be a very interesting read. I wholeheartedly recommend that fans of The Last Unicorn, or those simply looking for a great fantasy writer to follow, that they track down Beagle’s other works as well as he’s, ahem, definitely no one trick pony. Come Lady Death, which he cites in the article, is one of my favorite short stories in fact and given how prolific he’s been as a writer I’ve no doubt you’ll discover any number of gems that you’ll be proud to have in your collection. I know I have and that I continue to look forward to more.

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On J.R.R. Tolkien’s Birthday…

January 3, 2011

A hearty “thank you” for all the memories, and for a life full of devotion, wit, and fantastic imagination on his 119th birthday.

I don’t drink myself, but I’d happily raise a tall glass of milk for this grandfather of fantasy today!

Tolkien Wisdom: “I do not love the bright sword for it’s sharpness, nor the arrow for it’s swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend.”

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The Way of Kings (Audio Reminder)

October 27, 2010

Like so many other Brandon Sanderson fans, I pre-ordered The Way of Kings: Book One of the Stormlight Archive in tome form, and was extremely impressed with the production values that went into the hardcover (though how my shelves will hold the weight of this hefty multi-volume series is beyond me) but with Michael Kramer and Kate Reading (of Wheel of Time fame) providing voice work  for Macmillan’s audio version of the series I couldn’t help but purchase it in audio as well to experience what they bring to the table.

Eleven chapters into the audio book and I think these two fine voice actors have manged to get even better since my last outing with them in the Wheel of Time series, they’ve really managed to bring the characters to life with their incredible ranges, and it’s been a joy all this week to get in the car and listen for an hour or two each day on my drive to and from work (it’s also been a great way to get my mind off of this week’s mid-terms, if for a little while).

If you’re interested in experiencing the book this way, remember that Audible.com has the book for only 1 credit (a book of this length usually costing 2) until October 31st. Happy Halloween!

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Douglas Clegg’s Neverland On Shelves Today

April 13, 2010

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know the good people in the public relations behind New York Time’s Best Selling Author Douglas Clegg’s newest novel Neverland, at both Wunderkind and Vanguard Press, who were kind enough to send me an advanced reading copy (unfortunately I just received it this past week and haven’t had the opportunity to peruse the contents just yet) of the book. And while I’ve had my face planted firmly in the other wonderful novel that they sent, Guy Gavriel Kay’s Under Heaven, I did have the opportunity of inspecting the book and I’ve got to tell you that it feels great in your hand, that they’ve paid great attention to detail with a striking cover, and old-fashioned pages that make it feel as if you hold a classic in your hand.

And maybe it is, if the praise propelling the momentum of the award winning author and his newest work is an indication:

Neverland is a masterpiece of dark suspense that will forever haunt your dreams.”

— Douglas Preston, New York Times bestselling author

“Clegg (The Vampyricon) crafts a haunting story redolent with the influence of Arthur Machen, H.P. Lovecraft, and other classic horror writers. His credible rendering of the internal lives of children and their imaginations give this flight of dark fancy a firm and frightening foothold in reality.”Publishers Weekly

“Douglas Clegg . . . could have hung out with Robert R. McCammon, Bentley Little and Stephen King. These are guys who know America, and know how to literally scare up the best and worst aspects of the American character and slap them into a ripping yarn full of monsters, terror and enough action to keep the pages turning late into the night.”

— Rick Kleffel, book commentator for NPR

Says Clegg himself on writing NEVERLAND:

“This novel, my favorite of anything I’ve written, is about absolute innocence embracing the wildness—and darkness—of the imagination. I was able to explore the destructive nature of family secrets, and how children sometimes create rituals of power as an escape from the world their parents have made.”

But imaginative games are not always innocent . . . and when Beau travels to the Retreat, his grandmother’s forbidding home on Gull Island off the Georgia coast line, resigned to a boring family vacation, he finds that his cousin, Sumter, has other plans.

Sumter has found a run-down shack hidden in the woods, a place “where you ain’t supposed to go,” a place forbidden to them that smells of socks, dead sea creatures—and dread; Sumter christens it Neverland.

Fascinated and terrified by Neverland but thrilled to have made a secret life for themselves in a shack full of old Playboys, smuggled beers, and forbidden words, Sumter and his cousins create a hallucinatory world of dark fantasy, a world ruled by a god of shadows, who Sumter calls “Lucy.”

But the shack is the key to a terrible secret, and the world the children create away from their parents, bound to each other by blood oaths, is anything but innocent. As tensions build at the Retreat and the adults start on their gin and tonics earlier each day, Sumter’s games begin to invoke a nightmarish presence that cannot be contained within the bounds of imagination any longer . . .

The excitement that the publishers have for this book is palpable and the buzz its been receiving is infectious, so I’m really looking forward to tearing into that first chapter to see why its putting such a smile on so many faces. If you’ve got a moment or two, please enjoy the trailer above and then jump on over to Douglas Clegg’s official site for the chance to enter and win a grand prize of an Amazon Kindle, or B&N Nook. You can also read a special excerpt of the novel, and conveniently purchase the book while you’re there.  And I’ve got to say, if you value the people behind the scenes who ultimately get these books in your hands, consider giving this one a shot because they’re going above and beyond to support something they feel is really special. It’s evident in their enthusiasm to share it.

Anyhow, I’ll have more to share of my own about my experiences with Neverland in a future post.

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Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn & Ravens

January 19, 2010

Who knew that Peter S. Beagle’s first novel, A Fine and Private Place had much to do with ravens? Well, I didn’t at least, and so I’ll have to busy myself reading it (a story Beagle penned at  age 19 no less) now that I’ve managed to track down a copy of his fantasy collection, The Fantasy Worlds of Peter Beagle, which also features one of my favorite childhood tales, The Last Unicorn. In addition, the collection also features the short stories Come, Lady Death and Lila, The Werewolf, both of which sound great.

But all of these will have to wait until I can tear through The Last Unicorn, as well as his 2005 novelette, Two Hearts, where Beagle once again returns to the world of the Last Unicorn as well as one or two of its principle characters. Also of interest to fans, IDW will be adapting TLU in comic form beginning this April, so keep an eye out for that in the months to come.

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Storytelling in Six Words You Say?

October 26, 2009

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Wired recently recounted that Ernest Hemingway once penned a story a mere six words long, which went: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” According to the article Hemingway considered it his “best work.”

Well, Wired challenged some top flight talent to come up with their own and I thought that was a lot of fun and that you might enjoy a few of them. From Wired:

Gown removed carelessly. Head, less so.
Joss Whedon

Machine. Unexpectedly, I’d invented a time
Alan Moore

Easy. Just touch the match to
Ursula K. Le Guin

Computer, did we bring batteries? Computer?
Eileen Gunn

And now my own humble attempt…

; )