Jay Faerber, Copperhead (2014-…)

Wow, that was the longest break ever, for various reasons.  Sorry. Shit happens…

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There is more to comics than Marvel & DC. There is weird European stuff and there are things like Saga or Copperhead. And many many others. But I wanted to call everybody’s attention to Copperhead.

Still a new thing, published by Image from late 2014, with only two collected volumes out on the market.  Written by Jay Faerber, illustrated by Scott Godlewski, this space western features a single mum who becomes sheriff of a small town on a peripheral desert planet. Full of proven tropes, sometimes reversed, sometimes played straight, a great read for genre lovers.

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My Summer Reads A.D. 2016

My vacation is coming, so instead of a full review a short list of recommendations.

I don’t really know why, but my summer readings tend to be rather heavy – SF, military fantasy, everything that is long and massive and emotionally wringing. Everything that I don’t have much time to read during the year. This year I plan to read quite a few heavy, massive doorstops, and a couple of classic SF novels. Starting with grimdark favorite The Darkness That Comes Before, going through SF/fantasy mix with fairies, Little, Big, and on to classic SF: Flowers for Algernon and A Canticle for Leibowitz, below’s my list of summer readings.

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China Miéville, The Scar (2003)

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I don’t believe we need to introduce China Miéville on our Reenchantment blog… After all, we’ve already reviewed a number of Miéville’s works to date, from Kraken and Railsea, through Perdido Street Station and Un Lun Dun to This Census Taker. A published academic in the field of international law and Marxism, a socialist, and an awards-winning fantasy author, Miéville is something of a celebrity. But before you shun him as not being geeky enough, read something he wrote. It’s really worth it.

The Scar, winner of 2003 British Fantasy Award and Locus Award, is Miéville’s  second novel set in the Bas-Lag universe, depicting events only slightly related to what had happened in Perdido Street Station. At 717 pages it can be safely called a really long novel, and that length is tangible, almost palpable, even if you read it on Kindle ;). It is a hefty book, starting slowly and slowly gaining momentum – or, more precisely, several momentums – an equivalent of Cameron’s Aliens with its strange cascade of climaxes.

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Tanith Lee, Night’s Master (1978)

Tanith Lee has been on my radar for quite some time. A British writer, famous first for her Birthgrave Trilogy, I was introduced to her by Andrzej Sapkowski, author of literary background of famous video game franchise, whose Manuscript Discovered in a Dragon’s Cave (nonfic never translated into English) is a nice journey through genre’s history and tropes.

I started with something else though, first volume in Tales from the Flat Earth series. Short collection of interconnected stories went into my Audible wishlist after someone recommended it on r/fantasy. I was happy to listen to it and will read the rest, sooner or later.

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 What do we get? A few stories set in a world where the Earth is flat and populated by people with their medieval/fantasy civilizations, beautiful, but indifferent gods above and passionate, but evil demons below. First among them, Azhrarn, is cruel, whimsical, but has a certain roguish appeal, of a kind I usually don’t understand but many modern readers enjoy 😉

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Neil Gaiman, Andy Kubert, Marvel 1602 (2003)

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In the wake of last night’s match (Poland vs. Portugal in EURO2016, for those who didn’t watch, it was 1:1 and Poland lost in the penalties) I decided it was high time to take a closer look at certain aspects of alternative reality. Let’s indulge into a bit of “what-if”, shall we? 😉

Neil Gaiman is known mostly as an author of very popular and critically acclaimed fantasy/horror novels, such as American Gods, the Hugo, Nebula and Locus awards winner, but he’s also a great comic book writer. His series The Sandman, an imprint of DC’s Vertigo, had been one of the most influential – and popular graphic novels of late 90’s and 00’s. But this post is not about The Sandman ;), besides I’m sure Piotrek has much more to say about it than I ever will. No, this post is about a one-off job Gaiman did for Marvel in 2003, a few years after The Sandman ended.

Marvel 1602 is a traditional, albeit a bit tongue-in-the-cheek, what-if story. In an alternative reality, Marvel superheroes live in the Elizabethan times, fighting against threats from this and other worlds. The main story arc revolves around the discovery that their sole existence, which happened 400 years too early, is inseparably linked to a lethal threat to their whole world.

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