Sunday, October 31, 2010

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

Nearly three decades ago, folklorist Alvin Schwartz published a book I loved and treasured as a kid, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, the first of three horror anthologies that would go on to become the single most challenged book series of the nineties. What any Schwartz fan can tell you is that most of the animosity against the series was not due to the stories themselves, which were, in fact warm-milk tame, but rather the uber-eerie sketches of artist Stephen Gammell. Gammell's nightmarish inkscapes imparted the every page of the children's books with an oddly unsettling menace.

Poetry: "The Raven"

John De Lancie of Star Trek fame is producing the Master Series videos for QMx, which he describes as "the classics of science fiction, fantasy and horror, performed by some of the best-known names in genre entertainment."

Via GeekDad via io9

Friday, October 29, 2010

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Video: Bookstore Dominoes

Looking for an innovative way to attract attention, the Arizona book chain "Bookmans" unleashed this viral video on the internet. The video show how Bookmans secretly abuses their books behind closed doors - by using them as dominoes.

Photo: AIU Library

AIU Library
Akita, Japan
Source: jjreade Flickr Photostream

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Book Trailer: Black Gate Magazine

Last week, Black Gate Magazine released a teaser trailer created by Magill Foote and Sam Rahn. The opening shot reminds me of the cover of The Way of Kings.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Stephen Fry on the Correct use of Language

Matt Rogers of put created this kinetic typography animation set to an audio file from Stephen Fry's website in which Fry rails against grammar pedants.

Photo: Book Porn

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Photo: Royal Portuguese Reading Room

Real Gabinete Português de Leitura (Royal Portuguese Reading Room)
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

The interior of Real Gabinete Português is four stories tall, capped with a stained-glass cupola and illuminated by an elaborate chandelier. Built in 1837 by the Portuguese, the reading room contains over 350,000 volumes, many of them from the 17th and 18th centuries.

Source: Soldon's Flickr Photostream [Translation]

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Longest Fantasy Series

Victor Stanciu of the Walk Into Mordor blog has compiled an amazing list of the longest fantasy series by page number using web scraping and Amazon’s API.

The list is a bit mind-blowing personally in light of just how many pages of the series on this list I've read. (Did I really read nine thousand pages of Pern?  How many hours is that?) It's also eyebrow-raising in that the series that top the list aren't necessarily the ones I would have guessed.

I've lifted the first twenty results and posted them below for the sake of discussion, but, before you peek, try guessing which series made it into the top ten.  Drop a comment below to let us know how many you got right.. Read the entire list at Walk into Mordor, and make sure to give Stanciu a head nod in the comments for this great bit of innovation.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Cover Art: The Book of Transformations

The Book of Transformations by Mark Charan Newton

After an earlier draft of this cover was met with a lot of negative reactions around the web, it was revision so that, like Nights of Villjamur, the hardcover edition will just feature a cityscape.  I think it's a definite improvement, but now I feel bad for the model in the previous version. It's not her fault the photographers went for cute over tough. Read more about the book at Mark Charan Newton's blog.

Nicholas Negroponte says books will be Gone in Five Years

Nicholas Negroponte of the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) Association predicts that books are going the way of the phonograph. I'm not sure I buy the time frame he's talking about, but he makes a few good points.

Video: R.A. Salvatore Appearance

Suvudu: R.A. Salvatore Gauntlgrym Event from Suvudu on Vimeo.

R.A. Salvatore, the author of The Icewind Dale Trilogy and The Dark Elf Trilogy, is now on tour to promote his latest book, Gauntlgrym: Neverwinter, Book I. This video was taken during his appearance in Seattle.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Cover Art: Spellbound by Blake Charlton

Tor Books has released the cover art for Spellbound by Blake Charlton, the sequel to Spellwright.  The cover art is the work of Todd Lockwood, whose work reminds me very much of many of Michael Whelan's better covers.


Interview: Edward Nawotka

This video is a part of Media Bistro's “The Book Futurists” series, which features interviews with digital publishing pros.  In this interview, Publishing Perspectives editor-in-chief,  Edward Nawotka.  Nawotka says that digital publishing is less of a sinkhole and more of a portal.  He thinks that print books will never go away, they will just be expanded by digital options.

Source: MediaBistro

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Cover Art: The Greyfriar

Release: November 2, 2010

"Great writing, intriguing antagonists and one scrappy heroine make this a worthy addition to the steampunk genre. ... Princess Adele makes a great role model for tween and teen girls – not to mention some adults – and the Greyfriar is everything a steampunk hero should be." RT Book Reviews

Table of Contents: The Way of the Wizard

John Joseph Adams has just posted the table of contents for the upcoming anthology The Way of the Wizard, which will be released November 16, 2010.  Judging by the quality of the writers he's recruited, this collection is going to be outstanding.  Contributors include Susanna Clarke, Neil Gaiman, Ursula K. Le Guin, and George R.R. Martin.

Cover Art: The Dragon's Path

Here's the cover art for The Dragon's Path by Daniel Abraham, the first book of the The Dagger and the Coin Quintet, which is coming April 7, 2011. Given the quality of Abraham's The Long Price Quartet, I'm looking forward to this new series. It's definitely going on the ol' reading list.

Video: Esquire iPad App Demo

Mashable's Christina Warren previews the Esquire app with Josh Koppel, chief creative officer of Scrollmotion. Read a review at Mashable.

I know, I know. I'm not an Esquire reader, either, but I love the way that this demo magazine looks. Why can't all e-books be designed to look this slick?! This is exactly what I imagine when people discuss e-textbooks, not the formatted-on-the-fly PDF files that publishing houses are churning out now.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Cover Art: The Edinburgh Dead

The Edinburgh Dead by Brian Ruckley

According to Fantasy Hotlist, Ruckley's next book is due out next summer.

Dust Jacket Copy: The year is 1827. For Adam Quire, an officer of the recently formed City Police, Edinburgh is a terrifying place. It is a city populated by mad alchemists and a criminal underclass prepared to treat with the darkest of powers. But nothing can prepare him for the trail of undead hounds, emptied graves, brutal murders and mob violence that will take him into the darkest corners of the underworld and to the highest reaches of elegant Edinburgh society.

Book Trailer: Soul Stealers by Andy Remic

Here's the book trailer for Soul Stealers: The Clockwork Vampire Chronicles, Book 2 by Andy Remic, evidently created by the author himself.

November 2010 Fantasy and Science Fiction Releases

Here's a list of the the Fantasy and Science Fiction books scheduled to be released in November. It's going to be a hell of a month, with the next book in Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series, a collection of stories from George R.R. Martin, and Tad William's latest Shadowmarch entry all hitting shelves within just days of each other. Make your list and adjust your budget accordingly!

Above His Proper Station – Lawrence Watt-Evans
Echo – Jack McDevitt
Empress of Eternity – L. E. Modesitt, Jr.
Hull Zero Three – Greg Bear
The Human Blend – Alan Dean Foster
Knot Gneiss (Xanth) – Piers Anthony
Microcosmic God, Volume II – Theodore Sturgeon
Midsummer Night – Freda Warrington
On the Banks of the River of Heaven – Richard Parks
Shadowheart: Volume Four of Shadowmarch – Tad Williams
Songs of Love and Death – George R. R. Martin
Star Trek: U.S.S. Enterprise: Haynes Manual – Ben Robinson
Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi: Vortex – Troy Denning
Surrender to the Will of the Night – Glen Cook
Sword of Fire – William McGrath
The Ultimate Egoist, Volume I – Theodore Sturgeon
Towers of Midnight – Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson
Trio of Sorcery – Mercedes Lackey

Friday, October 8, 2010

Interview: Peter F. Hamilton

Pan Macmillan Books offers this two-part interview with science fiction author Peter F. Hamilton. In this video, Hamilton discusses his perspectives on tomorrow's technological and cultural trends and his latest book, The Evolutionary Void.

Interview: Stephen King

Here's a video of Stephen King's appearance on the Vampires Revival Panel at the New Yorker Festival last weekend. The panel was moderated by Joan Acocella, author of the vampire essay, "In the Blood." Speaking on the panel are philosophy professor Noel Carroll, horror novelist Stephen King, film director Matt Reeves, and Twilight screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg.

Sadly, you need to pay to see the entire video, but you can read more at the New Yorker website.

Photo: Expresso Bar

D'espresso in New York was designed by Nemo Workshop to look like a library flipped on its side.  The ceiling, floor, and a wall is covered in tiles that have photographs of books printed on them.  The opposing wall is covered in what appears to be parqay flooring.  It's a fantastic theme, but they need to bolt a globe and some couches on that floor-wall. Via.

Photo: Billboard

Source: Christal Sedlock

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Book Trailer: Gauntlgrym by R.A. Salvatore

Two of the most popular Dungeons and Dragons franchises finally meet when R.A. Salvatore unleashes Drizzt Do'Urden upon the city of Neverwinter in this, the first book in a new trilogy. Now, if only we could convince him to throw Raistlin into the mix, I'd be in hog heaven. Gauntlgrym by R.A. Salvatore hits shelves today!

Art: Uses Of Enchantment

"Aria: Uses Of Enchantment" by Jay Anacleto

Monday, October 4, 2010

Interview: Margaret Atwood

BigThink is offering this great piece in which Mararet Atwood talks about technology, Twitter, Canadian humour, books, and, best of all, writing.

Cover Art: The River of Shadows

U.S. Version
U.K. Version

I always find the differences between American and British covers. Evidently, us yanks prefer instruments of death to seascapes. I would assume it was just some random marketing decision, but I distinctly recall the same thing happening. The American version bore images of the compass, the knife, and the spyglass, while the British version feature character illustrations. What's up with that?

The River of Shadows by Robert V. S. Redick hits shelves February 15, 2011.

Source: Robert V. S. Redick’s Blog

Interview: Guillermo Del Toro on Vampire Lore

Guillermo Del Toro, co-author of the The Strain Trilogy, talks about vampire lore in a plug for the release of The Fall, the second book in the trilogy. Read our review of The Strain, the first book in the series at The Great Geek Manual.

OpEd: How to make Vampires Scary Again

Stephen King, who has to be the single most widely published horror novelist in the world by this point, kicks off the month right by offering some bald truth on how to make vampires scary again in his introduction to his original comic book American Vampire (out this week). King established himself as an authority on vampire fiction with the release of the 1975 horror classic Salem's Lot, but last year, he openly expressed disdain for Stephenie Meyer, saying that she 'can't write worth a darn.' So it comes as no surprise that the piece makes a few not-so-subtle digs at Twilight.

Here’s what vampires shouldn’t be: pallid detectives who drink
Bloody Marys and only work at night; lovelorn southern gentlemen;
anorexic teenage girls; boy-toys with big dewy eyes.

What should they be?

Killers, honey. Stone killers who never get enough of that tasty
Type-A. Bad boys and girls. Hunters. In other words, Midnight
America. Red white and blue, accent on the red. Those vamps got
hijacked by a lot of soft-focus romance. That’s why I was so excited
when Scott Snyder—a writer I knew from his excellent book of short
stories, Voodoo Heart—mentioned to me in an email that he was in
talks with the folks at Vertigo about doing a vampire comic series.
His take was unique, his enthusiasm infectious.

Read the rest of the article at Entertainment Weekly >>>


If you stuff yourself full of poems, essays, plays, stories, novels, films, comic strips, magazines, music, you automatically explode every morning like Old Faithful. I have never had a dry spell in my life, mainly because I feed myself well, to the point of bursting. I wake early and hear my morning voices leaping around in my head like jumping beans. I get out of bed quickly, to trap them before they escape.
— Ray Bradbury

Photo: Beware of the Book

Watch out!  Free-ranging ideas on the loose.