Author Archive

China Miéville’s Railsea

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China Miéville’s Railsea

The secret to reading a China Miéville story is this: he’s going to give you an impossible premise to accept. It’s going to be weird and unrealistic and against all laws of nature, but you’re going to have to believe that that’s the way this world works. Once you accept it, your reward is a very tightly-woven creation built on an internal logic that always makes sense within the boundaries of his world.

And the first impossible premise of Railsea is this: you can’t walk on the ground.
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Review: China Mieville’s Perdido Street Station

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Review: China Mieville’s Perdido Street Station

China Mieville’s newest book actually came out a couple months ago, but I’ve been saving it for the long flight I’ve got to take next week. So in the meantime I’ll just do a little review of the book that turned me on to his writing in the first place: Perdido Street Station.

I’ll say right from the get-go that I don’t feel this is a steampunk story, though I’ve heard a few people call it that. Steampunk tends to cover a pretty wide range, so I get why people lump Perdido in there. But I think its only steampunk element is that it takes place in an extremely high-tech world that never got further than the steam engine. Instead of planes, you have dirigibles. Instead of robots, you have steam-powered “constructs” clanking past with coal-burning boilers inside. There’s plenty of clockwork and trains and “computers” that are programmed with levers and punch-cards, but that’s where the steampunk element ends. There isn’t much of a Victorian feel to anything, there’s an almost modern industrial grittiness to the world, and the aliens all over the place detract from any steampunk vibes.

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Adam Warren Video Interview

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Remember when I said I was done flooding the internet with articles about Adam Warren? How three book reviews and an e-mail interview were more than enough? Well, I lied.

Because when you get offered a chance to interview the Adam Warren, at Comic-Con, in person, you take it. Yes I’m a crazy fangirl, and I don’t care, because he’s awesome.

Join us as we talk with artist and writer Adam Warren about the newly released Volume 7 of his sexy superhero series Empowered.

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San Diego Comic-Con: Yay for Unexpected Preview Nights!

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San Diego Comic-Con: Yay for Unexpected Preview Nights!

I wasn’t planning on picking up my Comic-Con press badge until Friday morning, since I work until 8pm most nights. This means I’d had no plans on attending the Wednesday Preview Night.

But last night I got word that I’d be helping out with an interview Friday morning. As in first thing Friday morning. As in 8:30am, which is also the earliest you can possibly pick up a badge. As in: “Oh. I think that means I need to get my butt downtown in a hurry because by Friday morning it’ll be too late.”

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Review: Ultimate Iron Man Volume 1

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Review: Ultimate Iron Man Volume 1

After four separate posts about Adam Warren I figured I’d take a break from the 24-Hour Adam Warren Station (“All Adam Warren, All The Time”) and write about somebody else. Not that I couldn’t go on and on about the guy’s art, but I’m edging into creepy-fan territory, and people are starting to talk.

So I finally saw Avengers last week, and afterwards I was seriously hyped up on a superhero high. I floated around on this dreamy cloud, remembering all my favorite bits (Hulk’s transformation, Tony’s quips, Hawkeye’s arms, etc.) and talking non-stop to all my friends about what a completely amazing movie it is. It really was like being on some drug. A really awesome drug.

So when the crash came (less than a day later) it hit hard, and I was just jonesing for more Avengers. I figured it was a little too soon to go see the movie again (though that will happen, trust me) so I hit the library to get a quick comic book fix.

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Review: Adam Warren’s Empowered Volume 7

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Review: Adam Warren’s Empowered Volume 7

A few readers may stop by this column to get a balanced critique of Adam Warren’s Empowered Volume 7. I’ll tell you right now: you ain’t gonna get it. This isn’t so much an article by a book reviewer as it is a love-letter to a comic by a fangirl. I’m about to sing this praises of this book until I run out of synonyms for “awesome.”

There’s a little something for everybody in this volume: sexy stories, skimpy costumes, bad singing, beer drinking, kidnapping, cross-dressing, ghosts, jerks, immortal aliens, zombie superheroes, love that lives forever, psychopaths who just won’t die, bondage, beheadings, flashbacks, foreshadowing, and one hell of a kick-ass ninja fight scene. (Just typing that sentence made me tired, reading the book will wear you out.)

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Interview: Adam Warren

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Interview: Adam Warren

When I write I usually try to keep the tone friendly yet somewhat professional. If you’ll excuse me I have to drop that for just a second:

I interviewed Adam Warren! He’s so awesome! Yay! (Thanks, I had to get that out of my system.)

I sent Adam several questions about his series Empowered (of which Volume 7 was just released this past Wednesday) and he was nice enough to respond with some really great answers. I tend to forget that he’s not just an amazing artist, he’s also a fantastic writer. But before I drop off a fangirl cliff again, I’ll let him speak for himself.

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Review: Empowered Volumes 1-6

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Review: Empowered Volumes 1-6

As I’m writing this, we are days away from the release of Adam Warren’s Empowered Volume 7. (If you’re reading this on May 30 I’m probably at the comic shop right now buying my copy.)

I’d hoped to have a review of the book already written, but the preview copy I’d been very generously given has a giant security watermark on every flipping page. Intellectually, I think that’s a great idea; you wouldn’t want a pristine bootlegged copy to get into the wrong hands. But I’ve been waiting over a year for this book to come out, and it’s worth it to me to wait an extra four days and buy my nice, pretty, un-watermarked copy, and then enjoy the heck out of it.

But I wanted to acknowledge the release date with some kind of review, so I decided, why not; I’ll review Empowered Volumes 1-6 all at once. How hard can it be?

I sure like to make things difficult for myself, I really do.

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Review: Scissors, Paper, Stone

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Review: Scissors, Paper, Stone

Sorry for the lag time between reviews. I’d been hoping one of the books I’ve been reading would turn out to be so amazingly awesome I’d just have to write the best review ever. Sadly, this was not the case. (Looking Glass Wars was just a little underwhelming. You too, Dead Witch Walking.) So I dug through my bookshelf, looking for something super wonderful that more people just have to read.

Why hello there, Scissors, Paper Stone, I think you’ll do nicely.

In a recent Comic Issues Podcast we talked about “gateway comics,” books that can get you hooked on a new genre, author, series…whatever. And Scissors, Paper, Stone is the perfect Adam Warren gateway comic.

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Review: Mostly Harmless

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Review: Mostly Harmless

(For anybody who’s wondering, I promise I’ll eventually review a book written in the past five years, it won’t always be these decades-old books. Honest. I promise.)

Like many people I read the first four books of Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guild series and stopped there. I’d heard the fifth book, Mostly Harmless, wasn’t as good, wasn’t funny, and that I wouldn’t like the ending. And I’d loved the fourth book so much, especially the ending, so I thought “why ruin it?”

Recently, though, I met someone who seemed appalled that I’d gone twenty years and never finished the series. “You have to read it,” he said. And since he seemed so enthusiastic, I read it. So for anyone who never read the fifth book but wondered “can it really be that bad?” the answer is: no. It’s much much worse.

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