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Showing posts from November, 2017

Interview: Q&A with Joseph M. Reynolds, author of Make Dust Our Paper

During the Fall, I received a copy of a book that has had surprising staying power in my mind. Initially, I had mixed feelings, some ambiguity regarding the work. When it clicked with me, it really fell right into place.

Make Dust Our Paper has reserved a permanent place in my collection.

Like the nosy reader I am, after reading I emailed the author with a few followup questions about the plot. Ultimately, he answered my questions then he agreed to be interviewed about his novel and other topics. The holiday season is terribly busy for people, so I really appreciate that he was able and willing to take the time.

With that, much thanks to Joseph M. Reynolds!

Synopsis of Make Dust Our Paper:
"Carrigan approaches the millennium New Year craving climax and culmination. What he finds instead is constant anti-climax, and lack of definitional consequence for his failures and failings and genius. A conceptual heir to Fitzgerald's This Side of Paradise, this novel explores everything …

Scarecrow Princess: I have a suggestion to read instead of this.

I am utterly disappointed with this Lion Forge ROAR release.

An Italian import, I read the English translation of this Graphic Novel. I was initially drawn in by the plot description and atypical artwork. Unfortunately, The Scarecrow Princess has some inexcusable issues that block me from suggesting it to other readers.
The Scarecrow Princess (Federico Rossi Edrig)160 pagesLion ForgeISBN-10: 1941302424ISBN-13: 978-1941302422
So beyond this is a pretty negative review. I suggest you skip this book and read Nilah Magruder’s M.F.K. instead. While I have not yet read MFK, is on my short list of seemingly amazing work I need to prioritize.

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Fatal flaws, lets discuss the biggest of them. We wont even talk about the rest.

I was annoyed that the creators of this comic chose to so strongly sexualize the fourteen year old female protagonist. But it is more than just sexualizat…

Quarry's War: Vietnam war vet, Hitman, Lover of ladies

Starting Nov. 29th, the HardCase Crimes comic monthlies begin to release for Max Collin’s Quarry’s War. Don’t care for Single issues? They have the first trade paperback slated for July 2018.

Quarry has a long history:
- 5 pulp novels released in the 70’s and 80’s
- A pulp revival in the 2000’s with 8 new novels.
- Cinemax (skin-emax?) tv series launched in early 2017.

The first issue covers a bit of Quarry’s backstory- this comic has a split viewpoint, both as a sniper in several Vietnam tours and as a domestic Hitman. One page is 1972, the next 1969. Alternating consistently, each is a distinct plotline. In ‘72, Quarry is prepping to kill a gangster.. in ‘69, he is hiding on a hill searching for a way out of a firefight. It is unclear if the entire series will be presented in this way.

The upcoming release date is exciting as Titan has been pushing out teasers for Quarry’s War about six months now; Emails, ComicCon,  advance copies through a recent press release. If you have been p…

Trumpeterville: A meh and blah sandwich with pickles

What a confused mess our world is in. Daily, we are inundated with examples of where we as a Human race can improve ourselves. These examples really make themselves known when world leaders seem to be comparing their delusions and Despotism. 
As it is a highly efficient tool in political commentary, Satire is a strong component in the deluge of Trump-centric books published since the 2016 election. Satire is not only efficient, it is effective; it gives extra power to ideas and concepts, while using the most minimalist of approaches. Occams Razor in action.
With that stated, this book is loosely satirical. It took reality, very minorly modified it, and slapped the label onto it. In actuality it renamed the individual parties and allowed real life to lampoon itself.
I expected more effort. Trumpeterville (Dean Gessie)46 pagesAnaphora Literary PressISBN-10:1681143798ISBN-13:978-1681143798 Buying books through these links cost readers no additional money, but help support this site. 
I wa…

DayBlack Vol 2: Page after page of black ink and red blood

Keef Cross! You slapped me in the face with a wiffle paddle of love.
I was late to read Volume 1 of DayBlack, only learning of the comic series a few years after it was released. At the time of review, I made comments about how long it was between issues. I made a comment akin to ‘blah blah several more years before volume 2’.
I know it was just your marketing calendar, BUT, you seemingly timed the announced release of Volume 2 about three(?) days after I ran my mouth... I felt the sting of the pain stick and the force of the beating, but not until after hearing the ferocious mouse squeak of air through its holes. I will refrain from that mistake in the future.
DayBlack, vol 2 (Keef Cross)
96 pages
Rosarium Publishing
ISBN-10: 0996769234
ISBN-13: 978-0996769235

Purchasing books through links on this page  will cost you no additional money but WILL help support this site.
Digital available now, Pre-order dead tree book avail.
Use the site search to locate the first volume review if inte…

Firefly, Back from the Black: someone needs to beat some sense into The ‘Verse

When I say the verse, I actually mean the universe we live in. Been a long time since fans made it known we Browncoats have pockets full from gettin paid and a liking to spend some cash. How lucrative does something need to be before the rights owners will allow a reboot of something? We get it, there is a legitimate conflict of interest for tv copyright holders vs movie copyright holders.

‘Spose it doesn’t matter much. 16 years from the Battle of Serentity till series start. 15 years since cancellation of Firefly. Can’t change the outcome of the war or the minds of TV executives. Can’t force a person to catch money being thrown at them..

Long winded intro complete. Fans keep making content that is Firefly centric.
Witness the shiny cuteness..
Firefly: Back from the Black (Joey Spiotto)
160 pages
Titan Books
ISBN-10: 178565375X
ISBN-13: 978-1785653759
This is a pretty great coffee table book. The only real words in it are from the Author introduction discussing how he was late to Firefly …

Interview: Q&A with Khaled Talib, 'Gun Kiss' author

I recently had the opportunity to interview Crime/Thriller author Khaled Talib. He allowed me a few minutes of his time to pick his brain about both his upcoming Thriller Gun Kiss as well as to ask him about the writing and publishing process in general.

I was pleased to get some insight into his upcoming novel and dig deeper into what makes Khaled tick. We also learned about some launch week giveaways and events that will be happening, so scroll to the end for details on how to participate and enter contest

The launch window leading up to a book release is crunch time for many last minute details. I am grateful for the late night responses it likely took in order to answer my questions!

Slated for release on 12/01/2017

Synopsis of Gun Kiss:

When the Deringer pistol that shot Abraham Lincoln is stolen and ends up in the hands of a Russian military general, covert agent Blake Deco is tasked by the FBI to head to the Balkans to recover the historical weapon. Meanwhile, the United States…

Speculative Taxidermy: Buy aspirin at the same time, you might need it

This is a hard book to talk about. The subject matter itself requires a person to remove their tinted glasses before viewing and I had a hard time doing this. As a viewer of the subject, I am supposed to have strong feelings. Reading this on the train to work, it was a hard gamble if I would be able to pull myself out of the strange headspace it put me in and be functional through the day.
In many ways, this book itself was Taxidermy. It had a scaffolding of data and reference material to give it form, but in the end was an illusion of skin; It put on a pleasant appearance, but once studied, was found to be hollow in areas while over-stuffed in others.
Speculative Taxidermy: Natural History, Animal Surfaces, and Art in the Anthropocene (Giovanni Aloi)304 pagesColumbia University PressISBN-10: 0231180713ISBN-13: 978-0231180719 Buying books through this link will support  this site but cost you no extra money. Consider picking up a copy for personal use OR to donate to your local librar…

Towish posture corrector: watch a video that accentuates my manboobs.

Recently I was given the opportunity to test out a shoulder brace that is touted to correct posture.

I figured ‘Hey, no skin off me. Test it out, give some feedback.” I figured worst case scenario, I have something that looks somewhat like a gun holster available to me going forward. Huzzah for next Halloween!

The product did turn out to do what it was designed for. Fatal flaw? Not designed for people who are larger. While comfortable when worn, it needs a rework to be suitable for bigger folks. Nothing 20 minutes and a sewing machine couldnt fix but when you buy something you generally don’t do it with “I can fix it” in mind.

Recommended wearing for this product was in stints of  a couple hours with time increasing as you used it more frequently. If it were intuitive to put on, I could se this being the case, unfortunately while it was comfy to wear, my primary take away from the experience was that fat people were an after thought in their design. Could have been solved with longer…

Silent Minority: When hating the Hero is as confusing as liking him

I really enjoyed Silent Minority, but I kinda hated that I did. It was a nice sandwich of ideas. I had great hope for it but while clever is a good description, heavy handed is also a bit accurate, as is disingenuous. So what’s up here? A positive review that feels like a negative review?

The answer: as is common with fringe fiction, I was offended just the right amount to make me enjoy the book while also desiring to throw it against the wall.

Touche Mr Thompson.. Well played.

Unfortunately, Silent Minority had a few flaws I became hung up on and they are casting a heavy shadow on my enjoyment. I do not regret reading it. Bizarro never truely lets me down, BUT I am a smidge disappointed.
Silent Minority (Jeremy Thompson)212 pagesCreateSpaceISBN-10: 1545061068ISBN-13: 978-1545061060 Buying books through this link will support
this site but cost you no extra money. Consider picking up a copy for personal use OR to donate to your local library.

Quick plotline level-set:

Vic Dickens is a per…

How to Make Friends with a Ghost: A depressingly realistic look at platonic soul love

Q: Who will meet you when you die? A: Forget about family. If you are lucky enough to have a Ghost friend, he or she will. For the first time you will share a non-corporeal form with you and able to hold hands. You can skip jump, high-five, and more.

This book a thinly veiled view on the short time we have and the permanence of true friendship...
How to Make Friends with a Ghost (Rebecca Green)40 pagesTundra BooksISBN-10: 1101919019ISBN-13:978-1101919019Buying books through this link will support
this site but cost you no extra money.
Consider picking up a copy for personal use OR to donate to your local library.
I loved this book. LOVED.
Contrary to mass review and much marketing, this is not a Halloween story. Anyone review you read which makes the comparison or mentions this as a spooky story didn’t get it.

Being that this illustrated book was released in September, I felt that the goal of the publisher was to make a few bones in the thematic fall marketplace. I could not in good…

Review: SoYan 3D Printing Pen - How to make a mess of plastic things.

Review of the SoYan 3D Printing Pen - based on a free product provided for review purposes
Pretty cool product and lots of fun, while it is **** out of 5 - a far cry from perfect. sucks that is comes with such a small amount of material. Hard to make cool stuff when you run out of plastic. Hard to work with cord, always seems to be in the way. Feels artificially light which makes it artificially feel less durable than it actually could be.

The big highlights:
* It worked as expected
* The cord made it difficult to use
* Unlike a glue gun, it has no "holder", so I was concerned about setting it on a table top and ruining the table.
* The sample plastic line feed ran out quickly and was frustratingly minute. I wish they would have supplied more in the box as I ran out and can only make so many things with just yellow.

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