Decline of civilization in reality and genre fiction.

A Brexit rant & graphic novel review. Today’s motto:

deadpool-never-underestimate-the-stupidity-of-idiots

Law & Justice in Poland, Brexit in the UK, Trump… I don’t think that on Earth 2016 we can dismiss this possibility, it’s getting more and more crazy and disgusting. If the forces of evil score triple win, time will come to migrate from the planet…

And a sneak peek into aforementioned graphic novel:

sal03

The declining civilization is actually Carthage, about 300 million years in the future 😉

Continue reading

Advertisements

John Guy Collick, Thumb (2013)

Thumb

Today a review of a fairly short, rather weird (or should I say: extravagant) book that not many people had heard about. Collick was a lecturer in literature and philosophy, a co-producer of Japan movies, author of non-fiction and TV scripts long before he became a SF/fantasy author. Thumb is his debut in the field, and the first installment in the Colossus sequence. I believe it had been self-published at first (or maybe I’m prejudiced by looking at the cover ;)); or maybe simply not advertised. The fact is, I learned about this book from Adrian Tchaikovsky’s blog; it was one of the books he recommended, and the premise intrigued me enough to buy it (Yay, Kindle!). I said the book was fairly short – it’s self-explanatory when you look at the number of pages – 357; I also said it’s rather weird. And that bit requires much longer explanation on the blog where even New Weird is treated like something mundane…

Continue reading

Michael J. Martinez, The Venusian Gambit (2015)

Just last week I reviewed one excellent, trilogy-concluding book from Night Shade Books. It’s not entirely a coincidence that this week I’ll write about the final instalment of another Night Shade trilogy, Michael J. Martinez’s The Daedalus Series. It’s title is The Venusian Gambit and it makes a nice conclusion to a very fine series.

The nineteenth and twenty-second centuries collide for an explosive finale in the jungles of Venus

That’s exactly what happens and Martinez delivers third book that is just as good as previous tomes. Which is good, and bad – I hoped for some improvements. Still, The Venusian Gambit was a pleasure to read and a book I happily recommend.

WP_20160620_002

Now the story is complete and anybody to whom the premise of hardcore s/f combined with steampunkish Nelson in space through alchemy alternative sounds cool – can safely grab volume one.

Continue reading

Patricia Briggs, Fire Touched (2016)

fire touched_front mech.indd

The newest installment in the Mercy Thompson series, Fire Touched, had hit the shelves mid-March. It’s the ninth book in a series that originally was supposed to have only eight installments, and currently is planned to end after ten, but seeing the popularity of Mercy’s adventures it’s rather probable that it will be longer. Much longer.

The series about Mercy Thompson is the most popular – and most beloved by fans – of Briggs’ works, and for a couple of reasons. One of them can be found here ;). The other is that Mercy Thompson series is a successful combination of very good worldbuilding, likeable, intriguing and psychologically believable characters, adventure, romance and a bit of politics. The creation of characters in Mercy’s world is indeed Briggs’ strong suit: from the main heroine, Mercy, a typical underdog, through the werewolves: Adam, Bran, Samuel and the rest (and I need to put Ben and Honey here ;)), to the fae and the vampires, and even to the local police or various federal agents. The same can be said for the convoluted, realistically drawn relationships which bind the lot of them together, setting them apart or against each other, forcing them to take a side. This is what I read those books for: to see how Mercy will get in trouble, and what will she do – and all the people (and non-people) around her – when she gets in there.

Continue reading

Jeff Salyards, Chains of the Heretic (2016)

The final book of trilogy I really enjoyed. It’s sad the story is concluded, but better to be left craving for more than finish a veery long series out of sheer tenacity, plagued by boredom and embarrassment. Fantasy should probably be written in trilogies or series of trilogies 😉

Spoiler alert! This book is very good 🙂

Four years since the publication of Bloodsounder’s Arc’s first instalment, Scourge of the Betrayer in 2012 we got a 509-page final story.

WP_20160614_004

(I like the matte dust jacket a lot, and it’s easier to photograph than glossy jackets of volumes one and two…)

Continue reading

Frank Miller, David Mazzucchelli, Daredevil: Born Again (1986)

dd fire

Widely considered the best Daredevil comic storyline ever (just check the tvtropes site if you have any doubts), Born Again also holds the 11th place on the list of 100 Greatest Marvels of All Time. Ostensibly, this is the graphic novel which saved Daredevil series from closing down. And also the one which very heavily influenced the recent Netflix TV series and most probably will continue to do so.

A story in 7 parts, clearly designed as a whole, with one overarching story masterfully linked to Roman Catholic concepts of sin, guilt, salvation and redemption, plus the requisite and remarkably tasty additions of Apocalypse and Armageddon. That Catholic inspiration is very strong not only in the narrative, but also in the visuals; Mazzucchelli directly links Daredevil’s experience to the life and death of Christ, creating poignant images of Pieta, a bit unorthodox Holy Trinity or of the dead body of Christ. There are even very emotional portrayals of Mary, mother of Jesus, and Mary Magdalene. And a few mysteries along the way.

Continue reading

Daredevil (2015-present)

Piotrek: Daredevil. “The Man Without Fear”. One of the better known Marvel superheroes, created, no surprise there, by Stan Lee. His MCU cameos are sometimes annoying, but his is an impressive resume.

Back to Daredevil though. Matt Murdock is one of the most inspiring Marvel heroes. The only child of a single, poor father, blinded young, when a radioactive substance got into his eyes, he managed to create a dual persona of ace attorney and protector of New York’s innocents.

His blindness does not make him helpless. Just the opposite, as a result of the accident in which he lost his vision the rest of his senses were supernaturally heightened. This allowed him to become the protector of his neighborhood, New York’s Hell’s Kitchen district.

daredevil_2015_tv_series-wide

Ola: Daredevil, a TV series from Netflix, was the first in a planned string of MCU Netflix entries, soon to be followed by Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, Punisher and Luke Cage, and leading to the team-up Defenders. I had watched a few MCU TV series, from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. through Agent Carter to Jessica Jones, and I can say with full responsibility that Daredevil is by far the best of the lot.

Continue reading