Monthly Archives: March 2015

Too Many Irons in the Fire

too-many-irons-in-the-fireJust a quick update.  This past week has been Spring Break, and I’m still waiting for the break part to begin.  This week has involved several days of unexpected travel.  (No, I didn’t go to the beach.  Or the mountains, either.)

I’m less than 75 pages from finishing several books, including the next title in the BAF series I’m doing for Black Gate.  I’m about halfway through Neil Gaiman’s Trigger Warning, and I’m making progress on a book for a major post that I’m not ready to talk about.

So, no, I haven’t dropped off the face of the Earth.  I’ve just got too many things going on.

A Review of The Last Great Hero: The Age of Heroes

Last Great HeroThe Last Great Hero:  The Age of Heroes 
Scott J. Robinson
ebook, 184 pages, $2.99 Amazon Smashwords

I’d like to start this review by thanking Scott Robinson for the review copy of The Age of Heroes.  This novel was different from your typical fantasy, and that’s a good thing.  I have to wonder if the fact that the author is from Australia has something to do with that.  The Australian authors I’ve read in the last year or so have been doing some things that I find refreshing and different from what I’ve seen from American and British authors.

Rawk is a hero, the greatest.  He’s 55 years old, and he’s about to find out that it’s time to grow up.  Over the course of a little more than a week, Rawk discovers that maybe being the greatest living hero isn’t such a good thing, especially if he wants to continue the living part. Continue reading

A Saint Patrick’s Day Observance, Robert E. Howard Style

Swords-smSwords of the North
Robert E. Howard
The Robert E. Howard Foundation Press
$50 nonmember, $45 members

Robert E. Howard was enamored of the Celts, so I thought I would look at a pair of stories featuring his Irish pirate, Cormac Mac Art.  Cormac is an Irishman who has been banished from the Emerald Isle.  He’s thrown his lot in with a group of Vikings led by Wulfhere, a giant of a man.  Cormac resembles a Conan prototype in the way he is described.  He’s got the haircut, and whereas the rest of the Norsemen are bearded, or at least mustached, Cormac is clean shaven.

These two stories are straight historical fiction without any fantastic elements.  They’re still solid pieces of writing, full of battle and carnage, with a few twists thrown in. Continue reading

RIP Sir Terry Pratchett (1948-2015)

Terry PratchettI’m swamped with work and family commitments at the moment, so this isn’t going to be a full tribute.  But I wanted to take a moment and mark the passing of one of the greatest writers of humorous fantasy to work the field.

Sir Terry Pratchett died earlier today of Alzheimer’s.  The author of the popular Discworld series will be sorely missed.  Adventures Fantastic extends to condolences to his family, friends, and many fans.

Weirdbook Press Release and Cover Reveal

jpeg copy of front cover issue 31Weirdbook editor Douglas Draa has kindly sent me the press release announcing the revival of Weirdbook along with a copy the cover of the next issue, the first under his editorship.  He was fortunate enough to acquire an unpublished piece of art by Stephen Fabian.  That’s it on the right.

The press release is below.  Some of you will be glad to know the magazine is open to submissions.

Weirdbook Press Release

After a more than 17 year hiatus, Weirdbook is returning!

David A. Riley and Douglas Draa are, under Paul Ganley’s stewardship, reviving the legendary magazine.

Their intention is to offer the finest in Weird, Horror, Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, Sword Sorcery, and even odd fiction.

The debut issue #31 will appear in August 2015.

In keeping with Weirdbook’s long tradition, the first revival issue will present a never before published cover by none other than Mr. Stephen Fabian himself.

Submissions are now open!

David A. Riley: Publisher and Senior Editor
Douglas Draa: Managing and Fiction Editor
Paul Ganley: Editor emeritus
David A. Riley is a Horror author and publisher and Douglas Draa is an author and former on-line editor for Weird Tales Magazine.

Weirdbook is Back!

Douglas Draa (formerly of Weird Tales) announced yesterday that Weirdbook is returning.  Weirdbook was an annual publication which ran from 1968 to 1997.  The artists and writers who appeared there reads like a who’s who of fantasy and horror writers and artists of the late 20th century.weirdbook_1997spr_n30

Draa will be the fiction and managing editor and David A. Riley will be the senior editor and publisher.  Draa and Riley have gotten the blessing Weirdbook founder Paul Ganley for the relaunch.

Here’s what Draa had to say about the editorial policy:

As far as content goes, we plan on offering the best genre fiction available. This includes weird, horror, weird SF, dark fantasy, Sword & Sorcery, and everything in between.

Our goal is to ENTERTAIN and not to impress the critics.

Now a magazine with an editorial policy like that is one I can get behind.

Weirdbook‘s blog is here and Facebook page is here.  I don’t know when Weirdbook will be open to submissions, but I’ll post an announcement when it is.

The first post on the blog is entitled “The Start of Something Beautiful: Weirdbook is back.”

I couldn’t agree more.

Lovecraft Letter to Publisher of Weird Tales

H._P._Lovecraft,_June_1934For those of you who have an interest in H. P. Lovecraft, I came across this today via The Passive Voice.  It’s an 8 page single spaced letter housed in the Harry Ransom Collection at the University of Texas, where much Robert E. Howard material is stored.

James Machin was researching Arthur Machen when he decided to check on any H. P. Lovecraft material that might be in the archives.  There was one letter dated February 2, 1924, from Lovecraft to J. C. Hennenberger, the publisher of Weird Tales.  As you might imagine, it’s a long letter that touches on many things, including two unwritten novels by Lovecraft.  I’m not sure if this is an unknown letter or not.  I’m not an expert on Lovecraft, and certainly not Lovecraft correspondence, by any means.

The entire letter as well as Machin’s comments about it can be read here.

Larry Niven Named SFWA Grand Master

And about time, too.  Niven is one of the most influential authors of science fiction and fantasy of the last century.  He’s written or cowritten such classics as Ringworld and The Mote in God’s Eye.  My most recent reviews of his books are The Goliath Stone with Matthew Joseph Harrington (review here) and Bowl of Heaven with Gregory Benford (review here; really need to read Shipstar).

Niven will be presented with the Award at the Nebula Awards Banquet this Junes.  For more details, the SFWA press release is here.

Adventures Fantastic would like to offer Mr. Niven congratulations on being named a Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master.  Well done, sir.  Well done.

Dark Screams Volume 2 is a Solid Horror Anthology

Dark Screams Volume 2Dark Screams Volume 2
Brian James Freeman and Richard Chizmar, ed.
ebook only, $2.99
release date March 3, 2015

I’d like to thank Brian James Freeman for providing the review copy of Dark Screams Volume 2. He and Richard Chizmar set themselves a high standard with the first volume, and it’s good to see that they have maintained that level of excellence.

The Dark Screams series is an ebook-only horror anthology series in which each volume contains five stories by five of the best practitioners of horror fiction working today. I’d only read one author, Richard Christian Matheson, prior to reading this book, although I was familiar with the names of all but one contributor.  Here’s what you get in the second volume. Continue reading