CROWNED by Mary Soon Lee

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Rhysling Award winner Mary Soon Lee has created a fantastic world that is marvelous in scope. Drawing upon elements from Asian and Celtic culture while incorporating dragons, bloody wars, horsemanship, kingship and other tropes of the genre, she never ignores the human cost of heroism. Gorgeous black-and-white illustrations by M. Wayne Miller complete this first book of The Sign of the Dragon , an epic fantasy in verse.

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Available from Dark Renaissance Books.

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Alice’s Wonderland: A Visual Journey through Lewis Carroll’s Mad, Mad World!

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Alice’s Wonderland dives down the rabbit hole and looks at the dazzling ways that Wonderland has been imagined by artists, filmmakers, writers, and more. Get a behind-the-scenes looks at how the books were created, meet Alice Liddell, the inspiration for the fictional Alice, and view the original manuscript copy of Alice in Wonderland, illustrated in Carroll’s own hand.

The fantastical world imagined by Charles Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll) – where a white rabbit carries a pocket watch, a crying baby morphs into a squealing pig, and a flamingo is used as a croquet mallet – has inspired countless artists to produce some of their best work. Illustrators such as John Tenniel, chose to tackle the work directly, producing illustrations, films, and shows that strive to accurately depict Wonderland. Others, such as artist Salvador Dali and director Tim Burton, freely adapted Dodgson’s creation, using it as a springboard for their own incredible interpretations. Lushly illustrated paintings, artwork, and sketches, Alice’s Wonderland explores how artists in different fields like art, music, theater, film, and more have interpreted Carroll’s works through the ages. A must-have book for any Alice fan.

Buy it on amazon

An interview with the author:

Visit Cathy on twitter and her website.

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the amazing ANDROMEDA 3 cover reveal!

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Cover Design, Illustration, and Typography by Paul DiNovo

Source Material, Edward Poynter

Books are dreams.

We are lured by the cover, the copy, occasionally the endorsements, the spell of the first pages: books are dreams. They make promises that we want to believe.

Every time we take a book from the shelves or the table, dusty at the library or moldy from a flea market or yard sale, every time we open an unread book, we hope the bound paper in our hands contains the power to take us somewhere else.

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So here’s to dreaming and believing in new stories and new books, from the interior dreamer to the exterior reader, here’s to an amazing artist and designer I count myself lucky to call friend and ally. We’ll meet again soon in the semi-funny pages.

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My Sunday Reading

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Don’t sneer. It’s a serious problem for some of us.

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Rejoice, Children of the Golden Dawn: LOVE IS THE LAW!

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And it’s been a long time coming!

In 1989, punk-rock girl “Golden” Dawn has crafted an outsider’s life combining the philosophies of Communism and Aleister Crowley’s black magic. One fateful day she finds the dead body of her mentor in both politics and magick shot in the head, seemingly a suicide. But Dawn knows there’s more going on than the Long Island cops could ever hope to uncover. In setting out to find the murderer herself, she will encounter dark and twisted truths for which no book, study, or basement show could have prepared her. Award-winning prose author Nick Mamatas crafts a raw, hilarious, original mystery!

From a review on NPR: CROWLEY MEETS CRIME

But where Mamatas especially shines is in the integrity of his themes. What seems at first to be a random patchwork coalesces into a grand, mad pattern — nothing less than the secret history of the modern world, one that feels far less absurd given the vicissitudes of history over the past 25 years. Dozens of concepts are tossed into the mix — Satanism, Trotskyism, Objectivism, Women’s Liberation, Glasnost — but they’re viewed through the cold, cruel eyes of Dawn, who treats the whole of 20th century thought as a corpse to be dissected.

Accordingly, Mamatas makes a Frankenstein’s monster out of the detritus of the modern age, a shambolic free-for-all of esoterica — from sex magic to the films of Maya Deren — that recalls the comics of Alan Moore and Grant Morrison. Some of the scenes even take place in a comic shop. But Love Is the Law never dips into cartoonishness, even when the going gets outlandish — up to and including basement concerts by a ritualistic, avant-garde band called Abyssal Eyeballs. (The band members don’t dress up as giant, unblinking orbs, and the name is explained as a Nietzsche reference, but the allusion to The Residents doesn’t feel like an accident.)

— Jason Heller

Nick Mamatas at Worldcon — A Discussion of Sorts

Audio! Mamatas, Son of Greek Gods, Speaks in Real Sound Waves About About His New Book!

Here

DRAX SAYS:

I truly hope that this is the book that pushes Nick Mamatas through the infuriating roof that separates semi-obscure “cult writers” into the realm of popular recognition and success. He deserves it; he’s such a good writer.

In January of this year I was lucky enough to attend a reading of Nick’s. I asked him, Does Harlan Ellison know about you, does Harlan know about your work? I asked this because I believe Nick Mamatas is a “child” of Harlan Ellison, obviously influenced by him and possibly (probably) his successor. Nick seemed a little befuddled by my question; he didn’t need Harlan’s recognition. But that wasn’t the point of my question.

Nick Mamatas is easily, far and away, a better writer than Harlan Ellison.

Behold this excerpt from LOVE IS THE LAW:

Boris Yeltsin, a capitalist alcoholic, climbed one of the tanks and gave a stirring speech. Like magick, the troops change sides. The girls go wild, hooting and pumping their fists. They’re in fucking prison in capitalist America, and they still believe every stupid lie about freedom the television tells them. I give myself a gold star for my accurate forecast. Maybe later, when the CO turns the TV off for the night, they’ll go back to their gang formations and to their grand hobby of broomhandle sex to pass the time. That night, to the echo of someone’s orgasmic screaming, I look up in the ceiling and think about how useless it is to be correct sometimes. It’s so difficult to do the right thing, even when you can sense the spirit of the age, even when you believe you know where the waters of history will flow.

But then I think of my father’s face and realize that the red smear across the boiled bones of his skull was the last thing I was ever sure of.

Ladies, boys, and robots, LOVE IS THE LAW is available now.

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Takato Yamamoto — NECROPHANTASMAGORIA

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Takato Yamamoto’s latest collection of illustrations, NECROPHANTAS- MAGORIA, is otherworldly, eerie, sexy, disturbing, and gorgeous. Of course.

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Man, it’s been too long since Yamamoto’s beautiful lines have graced these hollow pages!

Books and prints can be ordered from AkaTako.net.

Many thanks to Kill The Ponies and Ghoul Next Door.

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Weekend Read: GLITTER & MAYHEM

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Welcome to Glitter & Mayhem, the most glamorous party in the multiverse.

Step behind the velvet rope of these fabulous Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror tales of roller rinks, nightclubs, glam aliens, party monsters, drugs, sex, glitter, and debauchery.

Dance through nightclubs, roller derby with cryptids and aliens, be seduced by otherworldly creatures, and ingest cocktails that will alter your existence forever.

Your hosts are the Hugo Award-winning editors John Klima (Electric Velocipede) and Lynne M. Thomas (Apex Magazine), and the Hugo-nominated editor Michael Damian Thomas (Apex Magazine).

Join glittery authors Christopher Barzak (One for Sorrow) and Daryl Gregory (Pandemonium) on the dance floor, drink cocktails with Maria Dahvana Headley (Queen of Kings: A Novel of Cleopatra, the Vampire) and Tim Pratt (Marla Mason series), and skate with Seanan McGuire (InCryptid series), Diana Rowland (Kara Gillian series), and Maurice Broaddus (The Knights of Breton Court series). The fantastic Amber Benson gets the party started with her floor-rattling introduction (Calliope Reaper-Jones series).

We’re waiting.

Drax says: I had intended to submit a story for this collection earlier this year. I didn’t. The usual excuse: I “ran out of time.” So I am very interested in the shape and sound of the debauchery to be found in this anthology.

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END OF SUMMER SPECIAL, FROM HERE TO ETERNITY: “DOOMTROOPERS” and “DESCENT” Now 99¢ at BARNES & NOBLE, iTUNES, and SMASHWORDS

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It will take a day (or so) for B&N and iTunes to catch up, but you can purchase digital copies of these “spectacular” books at Smashwords for less than a buck right now.

Carry on, wayward sons and twisted daughters, and everyone in-between.

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Weekend Reads

KM

THE KILLER MICE by Kit Reed

Transcribed from front flap copy:

This volume of fifteen stories, both science fiction and fantasy, introduces an up-and-coming author to the Gollancz SF list. Kit Reed is a very clever writer indeed, managing to achieve three-dimensional characterisation and valid atmosphere within a limited number of words—and she is brilliant at horror and irony.

Used copies of this excellent collection may be purchased here.

GM

GUN MACHINE by fucking Warren Ellis, finally!

I know, right? This book pubbed on Jan 1st of this year. It’s already in paper. And I’m only getting to it now.

Warren Ellis reimagines New York City as a puzzle with the most dangerous pieces of all: GUNS.

After a shootout claims the life of his partner in a condemned tenement building on Pearl Street, Detective John Tallow unwittingly stumbles across an apartment stacked high with guns. When examined, each weapon leads to a different, previously unsolved murder. Someone has been killing people for twenty years or more and storing the weapons together for some inexplicable purpose.

Confronted with the sudden emergence of hundreds of unsolved homicides, Tallow soon discovers that he’s walked into a veritable deal with the devil. An unholy bargain that has made possible the rise of some of Manhattan’s most prominent captains of industry. A hunter who performs his deadly acts as a sacrifice to the old gods of Manhattan, who may, quite simply, be the most prolific murderer in New York City’s history.

Drax says: I so intensely hated the first four pages of this book it was sick—and this comes from an ardent WE fan and supporter. The first four pages are over-edited, hyper-cynical, cliché-ridden, and easily dismissed; the fact that GUN MACHINE entered The New York Times Bestseller List on its first week of publication both supports and refutes my estimation of this book’s opening pages: crass commercial clichéd crap. HOWEVER, once Warren the Mage has spilt the appropriate noise required to draw flocks of listeners, he slyly (and quickly) reveals magic and wonder and mystery, and I was hooked.

I am relieved that WE really is a good novelist. More power to him. Scope it.

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Warren Ellis Interviewed in The Paris Review

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Illustration by Molly Crabapple

Somewhere, on an NSA server in Utah, there sits an email from Warren Ellis threatening to strangle me to death with my own intestines.

Our all-caching surveillance state is something that might have been thought up by Ellis himself. A writer of novels, comics, essays, and movies starring a machine-gun-toting Helen Mirren, Ellis looks more deeply than most into our potential futures. Born in working-class Southend-on-Sea, he is best known as the writer of the canonical graphic novel series Transmetropolitan. A decade before the Internet-enabled explosion of independent journalism, Transmet corrupted a generation of young reporters, giving them the notion that journalism was the bullet that could “blow a kneecap off the world.” In January, he published bestselling Gun Machine, which exploits genre conventions to explore the ghost cities that exist in both high finance and the minds of the insane. Most recently, Ellis released Dead Pig Collector, a novella about love and body disposal, as a Kindle Single with FSG. He is currently at work on his first book of nonfiction.

We’ve been friends and sometime collaborators for a decade. When I told him I’d like to interview him for The Paris Review, he demanded proof that the editor hadn’t confused him with the violinist Warren Ellis of The Bad Seeds. When Sadie emailed to confirm that she realized he was, in fact, the bestselling author, he wrote me back: “I DIDN’T SAY ‘BEST SELLING’ YOU HORRIBLE INFANT!”

Ellis wears a field hat, drinks very old whisky, and chain-smokes Silk Cut cigarettes. He is forty-five years old.

You’re semi-crack-addicted to information. Whenever we talk, you have a podcast, the Economist, some ambient drone music, and a reader full of links open. Dead Pig Collector was inspired by an article you read on Chinese garbage disposal. Tell me about your information consumption.

This is going to be just another way for you to insist I listen to the sounds of insects having sex and calling it music while you pollute your apartment with the strains of some idiot with a ukulele wailing about consumption and sodomy.

We call that culture. As an Englishman, you wouldn’t understand.  

What would you know about culture?  You come from the town that gave the world the cronut.

 Cronuts are tasty. As an Englishman, you wouldn’t know what that word means.

We have a joke in this country about American food. It goes like this: “American food.”

Read the entire interview by Molly Crabapple in THE PARIS REVIEW.

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