Thursday, April 28, 2011

Two Free Magazines, Free Comics, Reviews, Etc.

Two cool magazines today as well as other good fiction (including audio and flash). Quite a bit of good reading altogether. Several cool comics, including a complete, online graphic novel. My take on three recent fantasy adaptations ["Like anyone cares" Lt. Bob]. And More. Today's illustration is for A Game of Thrones, briefly reviewed below.

Issue #21 of Apex Magazine is now available free online with.
The Eater” by Michael J. Deluca.
"Not like the Eater, who walks among us bouncing and gangly like a marsh bird with a broken leg, grey but full of life, showing us those things he may show whose place the Speaker’s words will take."

Biba Jibun” by Eugie Foster.
"Papa said that Mama left because she was one of the obake, the spirit folk. She tricked him into marrying her when he was a rich man and could buy her French perfume and trinkets from Cartier’s."

The Button Bin” by Mike Allen.
"Yet why would he worry? In a throwback town like this, with every house from a 1950s-era postcard, crime remains distant, alien, a single murder strange as an apocalypse."

Ghosts of New York” by Jennifer Pelland.
"Poets and sages like to say that there is clarity in certain death. That a calm resignation settles over the nearly deceased, and they embrace the inevitability of the end of life with dignity and grace."

Issue #151 of Aphelion is up with "D.A.V.E." by Dean Giles, "Genesis" by Ché Francis Monro, "Debtor" by Noah Zachary, "Sacred Logs and Crocodiles" by Walter G. Esselman, "Rapid Transit" by E. S. Strout, "swodahS" by J. E. Deegan, "Liam's Bridge" by Mary Brunini McArdle, "Death with French Bread" by Chris Sharp, "Finding Our Voices" by Richard Tornello, "In Their Eyes" by Ian Cordingley, and "Pretty Little Foxes" by Lester Curtis.

@Book View Cafe: "Arroyo de Oro" by Pati Nagle (1999/2009).
"By time I got there it was almost 11:30. I left the field office as soon as the call came in, but downtown Albuquerque is a long way from "Arroyo de Oro." That's what they call the strip. It runs right up the Sandia Reservation on the north edge of town, and it rivals Las Vegas for glitz."

Serial Fiction The conclusion of "Two Pieces of Tarnished Silver" by Erik Mona - Chapter Two: Breaking Fast.
"'You seem to know a lot about us,' Aebos said warily, rubbing his meaty hands clean on a bit of shirt stolen from one of the dead crewmen at the top of the stairs. 'But we don't know anything about you.'"

Classic SF
@Munseys and Project Gutenberg: "Deepfreeze" by Robert Donald Locke, from Imagination Stories of Science and Fantasy (Jan. 1953).

"Life and the future belong to the strong—so Dollard laughed as he fled Earth and Mankind's death agony. But the last laugh was yet to come...."

@SFFaudio: "Warrior Race" by Robert Sheckley. "Destroying the spirit of the enemy is the goal of war and the aliens had the best way!" Available there in an MP3 download, in a pdf scan of the original story from Galaxy Magazine, and with a link to the story at Project Gutenberg. Thorough as always.

@Daily Science Fiction: "Writing on the Wall" by Vaughan Stanger.
@Every Day Fiction: "Answers" by C.L. Holland.
@365 tomorrows: "Pilgrimage" by Roi R. Czechvala.
@Eschatology: "A Visitor to Zennor" by Les Merton.
@The New Flesh: "Wild Ride" by Laura Eno.
@Aphelion [Poetry]

@Secret Sanctum of Captain Video: The conclusion of the Time Machine. SF / Classic.

@Diversions of the Groovy Kind: Jason Monarch #1 (1979) B&W Sci-Fi.

@The Comic Book Catacombs: Dr. Voodoo in "Quest For the Golden Flask:Part II" from Whiz Comics #18 (June 1941). Well illustrated adventure.

@Parishi's Vision: Flash Gordon in "Plant Attack" and "Death Trap" Space Opera Sci-Fi.

@Digital Comics Museum: Eerie Tales #1 (Nov. 1959) B&W horror / suspense magazine.

Online Comic
"The Phoenix Requiem" by Sarah Ellerton, a complete online (800 page!) graphic novel. [or start at the beginning] "The Phoenix Requiem is a Victorian-inspired supernatural fantasy story about faith, love, death, and the things we believe in." Very well drawn. [via]

Dave's Views
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One (blu-ray). The beginning of the end. The film does nearly as good a job as possible in adapting the material, though the first half of the seventh book is far from the strongest material in the series.

Good: Captures the mood of the book. Engrossing. Very good cinematography.

Bad: S . . . l . . . o . . . w. The film, like most of the latter HP films, is better if you've read the book. They cut out the scene of Dudley saying goodbye (and the version in the extras is only a dress rehearsal).

Grade: B+

A Game of Thrones on HBO is a solid adaptation of George R. R. Martin's material. After two episodes, the series is off to a good start. All the strengths (and weaknesses) of the novel are here.

Good: Acting, reasonably faithful to the story, cinematography.

Bad: You already need a scorecard for all the characters and it's only going to get worse, much worse. My there's a lot a skin here.

Grade: A-

Camelot on Starz is, at least in theory, a retelling of the various Arthurian legends. Thus far, however, it seems to be more about finding excuses for nudity and sex scenes. Oh, and there's a sword named after a girl Merlin killed.

Good: Very good acting. Beautiful scenery, costumes, props, etc.

Bad: Miscasting (Jamie Campbell Bower as King Arthur? Really?), Arthur and Guinevere come off far worse than in any classic version of the myths, odd changes (The whole Excalibur storyline is a strange interpolation at best), and enough gratuitous sex that no one would be surprised if Misty Mundae guest starred.

It may get better, but after three episodes it seems a waste of all the acting talent. Grade C-

"Please argue with Dave. He gets so arrogant when he thinks people agree with him! And he's usually wrong. Except about to much gratuitous nudity. Keep your clothes on! Humans are ugly enough dressed." Lt. Bob.

Other Coolness
@Apex Magazine: “An Introductory Guide to the Nebula Awards” by Michael A. Burstein.
@SF Signal: Podcast #46 Interview with Daniel Abraham.
@Online Degree “10 Most Believable Natural Disaster Movies

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