Target Practice – Cleopatra in Space #1 (Kid’s Sci-Fi Graphic Novel)

Title: Target Practice | Series: Cleopatra In Space #1 | Creator: Mike Maihack | Publisher: Graphix | Pub. Date: 2014-4-29 | Pages: 172 | Genre: Kids Science Fiction | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 3 out of 5 | Source: Library


Target Practice (Cleopatra in Space #1)

A funny, action-packed graphic novel featuring a young Cleopatra — yes, THAT Cleopatra — who’s transported to the future and learns it’s up to her to save the galaxy!

When a young Cleopatra (yes, THAT Cleopatra) finds a mysterious tablet that zaps her to the far, REALLY far future, she learns of an ancient prophecy that says she is destined to save the galaxy from the tyrannical rule of the evil Xaius Octavian. She enrolls in Yasiro Academy, a high-tech school with classes like algebra, biology, and alien languages (which Cleo could do without), and combat training (which is more Cleo’s style). With help from her teacher Khensu, Cleo learns what it takes to be a great leader, all while trying to figure out how she’s going to get her homework done, make friends, and avoid detention!

Book cover for Target Practice - Cleopatra in Space #1

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The Only Thing Left Was Their Underpants Review (Kids Sci-Fi)

Title: The Only Thing Left Was Their Underpants | Series: Professor Sparky Sciencey Adventure #1 | Author: John Kelly | ASIN: B06XQLKHBJ | Genre: Kids Sci-Fi | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 4 out of 5 | Source: Kindle Unlimited


The Only Thing Left Was Their Underpants

On the planet Duplex an unknown (but probably evil) genius is dematerializing members of the Extreme Cleverness Society leaving only their underpants behind!

It’s time for Professor Sparky, scientific genius and sausage dog*, to interfere without being asked. With Ellie-Ann along for the thrills (and to stop him accidentally killing himself or blowing up the planet) he sets off to prevent more professors from being dematerialized.

It doesn’t go well.

But there is LOADS of exciting stuff about Quadflapple birds, worm-holes, indescribably foul-smelling dog-food, exotic-patterned underpants, reverse-o-alchemy, indoor explosions, lava-cats, and splunge-diving to keep you entertained along the way. – Goodreads

Book cover for The Only Thing Left Was Their Underpants

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This is Sci-Fi, Issue 13: Transformers, Transformation & Hecate

The banner for the bi-weekly This is Sci-Fi post on Sci-Fi & Scary

This is Sci-Fi, Issue 13  is a sampling of science fiction news across the mediums. From movies to books, to real life, and any bits in between that I can think of to list. This is by no means a comprehensive list of what’s happening, but it should whet your appetite!

Your Weekly Science-Fiction Inspired Quote:

“Reality is shaped by the forces that destroy it.”
― D. Harlan Wilson, The Kyoto Man

Science Fiction Movies

Science Fiction Movie Suggestion for the Week:

Movie cover for Barbarella

 

Barbarella is your science fiction movie suggestion of the week. I picked it because you just haven’t lived until you’ve seen Jane Fonda attempt to do a semi-sexy strip tease in zero G.

Barbarella synopsis: Barbarella, an astronaut from the 41st century, sets out to find and stop the evil scientist Durand Durand, whose Positronic Ray threatens to bring evil back into the galaxy.

Starring: Jane Fonda, John Phillip Law, Anita Pallenberg

 


Science Fiction Movies Opening this Week (June 23rd):

Movie poster for Transformers: The Last Knight

Transformers: The Last Knight Synopsis: Humans and Transformers are at war, Optimus Prime is gone. The key to saving our future lies buried in the secrets of the past, in the hidden history of Transformers on Earth.

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Anthony Hopkins, Josh Duhamel, Laura Haddock

Thoughts: Er… Well, lookit, it’s the another Transformers movie directed by Michael Bay.

…yay?

 

 


Movie cover for The Bad BatchThe Bad Batch synopsis: A dystopian love story in a Texas wasteland and set in a community of cannibals.

Starring: Suki Waterhouse, Jason Momoa, Jayda Fink

Thoughts: I’m not so sure I like a pair of winky-face shorts on the cover for a movie that bills itself as part sci-fi. Not a ‘must see’ first impression, yeah?

 

 


Trailer to Watch: Spider-Man: Homecoming releases next month. Let’s be honest, it’s probably going to be another case of them trying way too hard to be funny, packed with predictable action, and whatnot. But, hey, if you dig that sort of thing, watch the trailer on IMDB.


In Theatres Now:

  1. Wonder Woman Review
  2. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2Review

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Science Fiction Books

New Releases

Book cover for Hecate by J.B. Rockwell   Book cover for Shattered Minds  Book cover for Transformation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Hecate — JB Rockwell — Release Date: June 23rd, 2017

Black Ops—the intelligence arm of the Meridian Alliance Fleet came calling with an offer Henricksen couldn’t refuse: a ship—an entire squadron of ships, actually—and crew to command. A chance to get back to the stars.

Too bad he didn’t ask more questions before accepting the assignment. Too bad no one told him just how dangerous this particular skunkworks project was.

They call the ship the RV-N: Reconnaissance Vessel – Non-combat, Raven for short. A stealth ship—fast, and maneuverable, and brutal as hell. On the surface, Henricksen’s assignment seems simple: train his crew, run the RV-Ns through their paces, get the ships certified for mission operations and job done. But an accident in training reveals a fatal design flaw in the Raven, and when an undercover operative steals classified information from a Black Ops facility, the Fleet Brass cancels the tests completely, rushing the faulty ships and their half-trained crew into live operations. On a mission to recover the Fleet’s lost secrets.

Out of time and out of options, Henricksen has no choice but to launch his squadron. But a ghost from his past makes him question everything—the ships, their AI, the entirety of this mission, right down to the secrets he and his crew are supposed to recover.

Shattered Minds (Pacifica) — Laura Lam — Release Date: June 15th 2017

She can uncover the truth, if she defeats her demons

Ex-neuroscientist Carina struggles with a drug problem, her conscience, and urges to kill. She satisfies her cravings in dreams, fuelled by the addictive drug ‘Zeal’. Now she’s heading for self-destruction – until she has a vision of a dead girl.

Sudice Inc. damaged Carina when she worked on their sinister brain-mapping project, causing her violent compulsions. And this girl was a similar experiment. When Carina realizes the vision was planted by her old colleague Mark, desperate for help to expose the company, she knows he’s probably dead. Her only hope is to unmask her nemesis – or she’s next.

To unlock the secrets Mark hid in her mind, she’ll need a group of specialist hackers. Dax is one of them, a doctor who can help Carina fight her addictions. If she holds on to her humanity, they might even have a future together. But first she must destroy her adversary – before it changes us and our society, forever.

 

Transformation (Transcendentals #3) — James Gunn —  Release Date: June 20th, 2017

Planets at the edge of the Federation have been falling mysteriously silent. The arrogant and recalcitrant bureaucracy running the Federation grudgingly allows two transcended humans, Riley and Asha, to investigate. They join forces with the Earth’s Pedia, a global A.I., along with Tordor, a Dorian representative of the Federation, and Adithya, a member of a splinter group vowing to destroy the Pedia. No one on the team trusts one another.

They must find a common ground and the answer to the planetary silences in order to confront an enemy more ancient than the Transcendentals and more powerful than any Pedia.


 The ‘Old’ Sci-Fi Has It: (Covers link to Goodreads)

Book cover for Old Man's War Book cover for Golden Age  Book cover for a Wrinkle in Time

 

 

 

 

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The Sci-Fi Zone

We’re on to The Best of Season Four in the Twilight Zone. In season four the Twilight Zone switched to an hour long format so there are less episodes. Really, though, the hour long format just doesn’t work very well with Twilight Zone. Part of it’s charm and what packs a punch is the shorter time slot. With the hour long (well, forty five minutes without ads) needs a lot of filler to make the forty five minutes. Also, with the longer time slot the season itself is shorter so this list, in result is not quite ten favorites but the ones listed are very, very good.

1. The Printer’s Devil – One of Burgess Meredith’s few villain roles and he plays it with a gleeful creepiness.

2. He’s Alive – An excellent episode and eerily apropos to the chaos that is the present. I think it will make for some good conversation when it comes up in the Twilight Zone Tuesdays.

3. Of Late I Think of Cliffordville – I have to be honest. The story in this one is fairly good but the real star attraction is Julie Newmar as Miss Devlin. One of the sexier, flirty devils to grace the television. Coyly flirty she definitely steals the show.

4. Jess-Belle – It has a plot with a sung folktale as background about a love triangle between Jess-Belle, Billy Ben Turner and Ellwyn Glover. A favorite part is a double entendre laden  exchange between Jess-Belle and Ellwyn Glover.

5. Passage on the Lady Anne – A husband and wife take a passage on an older boat, the wife desperately trying to save their marriage. Things are not exactly what they seem on the ship, nor are the passengers.

6. The New Exhibit – Ok, wax figures are creepy enough but the obsessive husband in this episode is creepier still.

7. The Thirty-Fathom Grave – I rather like ghost stories set at sea and the main character does his part perfectly.

8. On Thursday We Leave for Home – A man who has kept his pioneers together through meteor storms and hard farming is not very happy to relinquish his power when a ship from Earth comes to take them home.

 

 

 

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Sci-Fi Polls Time!

What's your favorite sci-fi spaceship?

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Science Fiction on the Web

The Han Solo film lost both its directors, and then quickly gained …well.. this guy. – From ScienceFiction

The Smithsonian posted a pretty neat write-up of the latest Future Con.

If you are a supporter of more science fiction for kids, check out this Kickstarter from BoingBoing

Motherboard talks about the silent science fiction film that brought rocket science to the masses.

Interactive medical drones are no longer science fiction reports Huffpost.

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Join us in discussing Ender’s Game on July 19th!

Date: July 19th

Time: 8 PM EST

Location: The Sci-Fi & Scary Forums

Book: Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

If you want to participate, and need a reminder, click the green tabby at the top of the page, and sign up for Sci-Fi & Scary’s Newsletter.

 

Cavern of the Damned Review (Creature Horror)

Title: Cavern of the Damned | Author: Russell James | Publisher; Severed Press | Pub. Date: May 22nd, 2017 | Pages: 129 | ASIN: B071LMZFHJ | Genre: Creature Horror | Language: English | Triggers: Arachnophobia, claustrophobia | Rating: 4 out of 5 | Source: Kindle Unlimited


Cavern of the Damned Review

Broke and desperate, paleontologist Grant Coleman gets the chance of a lifetime exploring a long-sealed cave, the fabled home of a gigantic creatures.

NPS Ranger McKinley Stinson discovers a rancher’s prize bull has been butchered by an airborne killer, and tracks the blood trail back to the re-opened cavern. But as she’s about to arrest the trespassers, the unstable roof collapses, trapping all.

Their only way out is at the cave system’s far end. But an eco-system of terrifying mega fauna stands between them and freedom. Death, double-crosses, and a slew of monstrous cave creatures take their toll as the group battles to what they pray is an exit.

Will anyone survive this cavern of the damned? – Goodreads

Book cover for Cavern of the Damned

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Flyby Five: 5 Times the Robot or AI Wasn’t Evil!

Flyby Five Banner

This whole post comes from the mind of JB Rockwell , who loved the idea of Flyby Five and was happily tossing ideas at me. When we got to this particular one, I (not so) jokingly said “You’d have to do this one, as I don’t think I can  think of five. The robot or AI always goes evil.” Well, she proved me wrong, and got a Wayne’s World “We’re not worthy!” gif in thanks. – The commentary is mine (Lilyn’s) though.

(Psst, may be minor spoilers if you haven’t seen some of these films.)

Flyby Five, where we abandon all sense of seriousness and do silly lists about whatever pops into our heads. This segment will be posted every Wednesday we feel like posting it. This is not a serious list, nor is it a “Top 5” list. And there is every possible chance that some of these lists or the language in these lists may not be PG-13 friendly. You have been warned. -L&G

5 Times the Robot or AI Wasn’t Evil

 

1. R2D2 & C3P0 from Star Wars – I can’t believe these two never popped into my head. The quintessential ‘good’ robots, R2D2 and C3P0 are so sweet and innocent I can’t even find anything snarky to say about them!

5 Times the Robots/AI Wasn't Evil
Image Credit: StarWars Wikia

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2. Bishop from Aliens – After the Ashhole, pretty much everybody was expecting Bishop to be just like his evil predecessor. But, nope, much to our surprise (or lack thereof, because who would really pull that same trick twice in a row?) Bishop was a good guy.

5 Times the Robot/AI Wasn't Evil
Image Credit: AVP Wikia

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3. Wall-E & Eve from Wall-E – Of course these two were going to be on this list! Kids movie or not, Wall-E and Eve are two of the most adorable robots around. And, let’s face it, Eve kicks serious buttocks when she needs to!

5 Times the Robot/AI Wasn't Evil
Image Credit: Pixar Wikia

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4. GERTY from Moon – Voiced by Kevin Spacey, Gerty is one of the more gritty/rundown looking electronic companions you see on sci-fi movie sets. Still, you can’t beat the simplicity. Gerty did some not-so-nice things, but it was only following orders, and in the end it comes through, even going so far as to have SAM do something to it’s system.

5 Times the Robot/AI Wasn't Evil
Image Credit: Reddit – Still from Movie

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5. TARS from Interstellar – Tars is one of the coolest robots in terms of looks! I remember the first time I saw him moving in Interstellar I went all goggle-eyed. Yes, I’m easily amused, but still… Cool robot!!

5 Times the Robot/AI Wasn't Evil
Image Credit: Pinterest

If you can think of any other times the robot or AI didn’t turn out to be evil, feel free to list them in comments!

 

 

Warm Bodies Review

Title: Warm Bodies | Author: Isaac Marion | Publisher: Atria Books | Pub. Date: 2011-4-26 | Pages: 256 | ISBN13: 9781439192337 | Genre: Post-apocalyptic romance | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 3 out of 5 | Source: Library


Warm Bodies

A zombie who yearns for a better life ends up falling in love—with a human—in this astonishingly original debut novel.

R is a zombie. He has no memories, no identity, and no pulse, but he has dreams. R doesn’t enjoy killing people; he enjoys riding escalators and listening to Frank Sinatra. He is a little different from his fellow Dead.

Not just another zombie novel, Warm Bodies is funny, scary, and deeply moving. – Goodreads
Book cover for Warm Bodies

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Ten Books That Define Me (Us)

A banner with the words The Top Ten Tuesday List on it.Imagine that you could introduce yourself to someone by showing them your bookshelf. What ten books would you put on that shelf that would give people a glimpse into who you are? They might not be all your favorites, but books that resonated with you in some fashion.

The Top Ten Tuesday topic for this week was supposed to be about series you wanted to start. Er, that doesn’t work too well for us since we can’t think of a single series we want to start. So we chose to gleefully derail the train for this week, and instead do something else. But, as usual, Broke and Bookish is responsible for bringing you the topics every week. They can’t help if it if we occasionally don’t listen well.

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These are the Ten Books That Define Me (Lilyn)

Book cover for Stone Cold BastardsThe Book: Stone Cold Bastards by Jake Bible

The Reason: The violence tempered with humor that pervades the book. I am not someone who screams and shouts when I get upset, but I do have a violent streak that’s only tempered with some very dark humor at times.

The Review.

 

 

 

 


 

Book cover for The Johnson ProjectThe Book: The Johnson Project by Maggie Spence

The Reason: The logical way the family in the book handle the responsibility of their cure for humanity appeals. Appeals so much. This amount of common sense makes me happy.

The Review.

 

 

 

 


 

Book cover for The Mammoth HuntersThe Book: The Mammoth Hunters by Jean M. Auel

The Reason: This is two-fold. The first is Ayla herself. She’s intelligent yet naive. She has trouble grasping social cues and often wants to just do the thing that it makes sense to her to do. I identify strongly with Ayla. The second is the rich detail that Auel uses to paint her pre-history world. Though I am not one that loves the thick fantasy books, I love sinking into one of these books and living in that pre-history world which is so believable.

 

 

 

 


 

 

The Book: House of Robots by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein

The Reason: Because House of Robots appeals to my inner child on a massive level. This series is pretty much perfect in my opinion.

 

 

 

 

 


 

Book cover for Naked in DeathThe Book: Naked in Death by J.D. Robb

The Reason: Eve and her inability to grasp why the hell humans act so…human. (Are you sensing a theme here?) She’s a complete hardass that’s tormented by her past, and it would be much easier if people just did the logical thing (and also didn’t try to kill each other.) Plus, she’s got a violent streak. Oh, and there’s Roarke, who is pretty much the definition of “Let us engage in act of coitus! Multiple times!” for me.

 

 

 

 


 

 

Book cover for Just One Damned Thing After AnotherThe Book: Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor

The Reason: I’m pretty sure Markum is my spirit animal. Beyond that, the unbridled enthusiasm that Max brings to anything she’s fascinated with, the absolute clumsiness she exhibits, and the snark that slips out of her mouth on an every-other-word basis. If there was anyone that came closest to being me in book form – it’s Max. With a side of Markum.

The Review.

 

 

 

 


 

Book cover for MagoniaThe Book: Magonia by Mariah Devanah Headley

The Reason: My daughter. Reading this book will make you understand how love and pain and life and the threat of death can all twine together so closely its almost impossible to tell one from the other.

The Review.

 

 

 

 


 

 

Book cover for Damocles by S.G. Redling - 10 Science Fiction & Horror Books Written by WomenThe Book: Damocles by S.G. Redding

The Reason: Because it captures one of the primary reasons I love science fiction. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love a good military sci-fi, and a good sci-fi horror fic or flick can never go wrong. However, Damocles is all about the wonder and the possibilities in meeting an alien race. It’s gorgeous and touching and imaginative and… perfect.

The Review.

 

 

 

 


 

Book cover for The MartianThe Book: The Martian by Andy Weir

The Reason: Watney’s snark coupled with his inability to give up. That’s it in a nutshell. Mostly his snark, though.

The Review.

 

 

 

 


 

 

Book cover for Apocalypse CowThe Book: Apocalypse Cow

The Reason: The puns, the horny cows, it’s all there. If you don’t at least snicker looking at the cover for this book, then I’m afraid we simply don’t stand a chance of being friends.

The Re-Moo Review.

 

 

 

 


 

Book cover for Knight of a Trillion Stars

The Book: Knight of a Trillion Stars

The Reason: Because it’s proof that I’m female? Nah, this one gets included just because its my favorite book, and I think that even if I can’t ‘identify’ with it or anything like that, the fact that it is my favorite does mean it deserves a place on this list. As long as whomever is looking at my shelf keeps in mind that it’s the only romance book on here. So, y’know, pulling the mooshy-gooshy with me has a slim chance of ever actually working. And I mainly like this book for the *-ahem-*. Well, it’s not for the exquisite plot, I’ll tell you that much. Not exactly a Catcher in the Rye type novel, yeah? Heh.

The Review.

 

 

 


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These are the Ten Books That Define Me (GracieKat)

The Book: Complete Collection of H.P. Lovecraft – H.P. Lovecraft

Reason: This should surprise exactly no one that knows me but I love the Cthulhu Mythos. I love most of the stories that don’t even have anything to do with the actual Mythos (except the Dream Cycle, I just can’t get into those). After getting tired of D. Seuss and Goodnight Moon I started reading Lovecraft to him. Worked like a charm. Plus, I find the deep ocean terrifying. Who knows what could be lurking down there?

 

 

 

 

 


 

The Book: Shock Rock – edited by Jeff Gelb

Reason: I love horror, I love music and I love short stories. Put them all together and hot damn!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Book: Out of Tune – edited by Jonathan Maberry

Reason: Ok, this might seem like a bit of a repeat but hear me out. Shock Rock is more about modern music while Out of Tune is based more on folklore and balladry, which is the root of all modern music. Plus, people who talk about modern music being violent and filled with sex have obviously never encountered a murder ballad or raunchy tavern song.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

The Book: A Pleasing Terror – M.R. James

Reason: I love classic horror and a lot of the stories are either completely dark or humorous. James has a knack for keeping his stories can be extremely dark or have slight touches of a dry humour to them that I enjoy very much. I don’t mind a bit of lap-stick comedy now and then but in general I prefer dry, caustic humour that can scorch as easily as it can make you laugh.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 The Book: The Supernatural in Modern English Fiction – Dorothy Scarborough

Reason: I like reading about the history of things. Well, I’ll qualify that. I like learning the history of things I really like. At the end I was making a list of all the stories I wanted to look for. If anyone else has any more that they know of I’d love to hear them because I’ve read all of mine several times.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 The Book: Mansfield Park – Jane Austen

Reason: I really love Jane Austen and the reason I chose Mansfield Park in particular is because it gets dumped on so much. The heroine isn’t bright and sparkly and witty. She’s quiet, very timid and shy. I can certainly relate. Before I was the dazzling personage you see before you I was very shy with no confidence at all. I like Fanny a lot. Even though she is all of those things listed she also has an inner strength that I find endearing. She doesn’t cave in to peer pressure and does not bow to pressure to marry someone she is not in love with.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 The Book: 365 Silver Screams – Bryan Senn

Reason: I love movies. A lot.  If you were to look at my movie shelves that’s almost the only kind of movie I have. I have been falling behind a bit in my movies but I’m very  stuck in my routines and I’m very adverse to change so I like to re-watch things a lot. Which brings me to another thing I love…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 The Book: Silent Hill 2 –  Sadamu Yamashita

Reason: I love video games and of all the different types or genres I love survival horror. They usually have unique stories to them. My first foray into the genre was the Silent Hill series. Silent Hill 3 as a matter of fact. Of them all I love Silent Hill 2 the best. It’s filled with intriguing characters, great music, symbolism and one hell of a twist at the end. I won’t mention it here, suffice it to say that it was the first game to make my jaw hit the floor in shock. If you’re curious, the second game to make me do that was the end of Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly.  Thus, my obsession with horror games had begun.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 The Book: Dracula – Bram Stoker

Reason: This is one of the first horror novels I ever read and as such it holds a very dear place in my heart. It also got me hooked on vampires. Throughout my teen years I devoured a ton of vampire books, movies and more. I’m not really sure why Dracula has been pegged as the start of the ‘sexy’ vampire (personally, I think Anne Rice holds that dubious distinction). If you really listen to the descriptions he does not sound sexy. At all. Distinguished at times, perhaps but sexy? C’mon! He has stinky breath and hairy palms. And we all know what that means. Don’t even get me started on the movie: Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Or, by all means ask, just be prepared for a rant a mile long.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 The Book: The Virgin Suicides – Jeffrey Eugenides

Reason: I generally don’t stray too far from my horror zone but when I do I prefer off-beat, somewhat darker titles. It’s a book that has no real conclusion or closure. It’s a bit different in that you know the end from the very beginning but are wondering what happens along the way. There is a ‘captive princesses’ theme with the neighborhood male teens fancying themselves the knights in shining armour. I’m not really sure what genre this book is in. If I had to choose one it would probably be of the avoidable tragedy dramatic variety. It’s also told in a distantly obsessive way that’s interesting to me.


Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love Review

Title: Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love | Author: Sarah Vaughn | Illustrator: Lan Medina | Publisher: DC | Pub. Date: 2017-6-6 | Pages: 160 | ASIN: B072HXGLHV | Genre: Paranormal Fantasy Graphic Novel | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 3 out of 5 | Source: Received a copy from Netgalley for review consideration.


Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love

Boston Brand is a dead man walking. More than walking, actually—his uncanny abilities enable him to float, fly and seize control of the bodies of the living. He’s no mere ghost. He’s something more powerful, more heroic. He is Deadman! And he’s about to meet Berenice—a living woman with powers of her own.

Berenice’s complicated life and loves have driven her to the haunted halls of the sprawling mansion known as Glencourt Manor. It’s a place where the forces of darkness are known to gather—a house where a person with Berenice’s power to talk to the dead could accomplish great good…or unleash incredible evil.

Separated by the boundary between life and death, yet able to walk between both worlds, Deadman and Berenice must work together to unravel the mystery of the Manor and defeat the dark forces that threaten to erupt. Mystery, murder, resurrection and romance await. The only question is, are their hearts and souls strong enough to survive?

Unlock the answer in DEADMAN: DARK MANSION OF FORBIDDEN LOVE, from acclaimed creators Sarah Vaughn (ALEX + ADA), Lan Medina (FABLES) and José Villarrubia (SWEET TOOTH). This Gothic tale of passion and betrayal is an all-new twist on the character of Boston Brand. Collects DEADMAN: DARK MANSION OF FORBIDDEN LOVE Books #1-3. – Goodreads

Deadman Dark Mansion

Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love Review

I went into Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love completely blind. I had never heard of the character Deadman/Boston Brand before. I don’t think I’ve ever read anything by either the writer or illustrator for this book. So, yeah, completely unfamiliar with all aspects of it.

The art for Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love was simple yet effective. Very straightforwardly illustrated for the most part. It served to make Deadman himself stand out that much more. The color choices went along well with the illustration style. However, one area that gave me a lot of trouble reading Deadman was the white words on the light blue background that relayed the main female character’s internal thoughts. The white on red of Deadman’s was a bit easier. Because I read this as an epub, it was hard to find a ‘just right’ setting that enabled me to easily see the character’s internal thoughts and not have to scroll inch by inch down through the pages. It made for a somewhat uncomfortable reading experience that left me with a minor headache every time I tackled the story. A more clear font might have made a world of difference.

I liked the diverse representation in Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love. Berenice is (appears to be, at least) bi/ possibly pan-sexual, and Sam is non-binary as well as African American. I also appreciated the fact that that Berenice wasn’t your typical model-looking knockout so often found in comic books. She was actually rather plain and dressed in clothes normal women actually wear.

As for the story itself, it was interesting. Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love is sort of a superhero and gothic ghost story mashup. It takes place inside an old mansion that had been closed up for over 150 years. The story is dark with a definite air of mystery to it. The interactions between Brand and Berenice are fun. The twist with one of the other characters caught me by surprise. (It was a good thing, as some of the other elements of the book aren’t exactly subtle.)

Given the headache that I suffered through to finish Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love, I can’t say I’ll ever pick up another volume. However, fans of paranormal fantasy and superhero novels should definitely give Deadman a shot. If it wasn’t for the headache, I would have enjoyed the story a lot more than I did. It’s not the most well-written or meaningful, but it is entertaining nonetheless. And the message of acceptance is a nice one. 

 

African American Science Fiction and Horror Authors

Today is somewhat popularly known as Juneteenth. For me, it wasn’t even a holiday I knew existed until I moved to the city. Which is kind of odd, because it’s been around for quite long time now. Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States (from Juneteenth.com)

So, for Juneteenth, we’re going to take a brief look at African American Science Fiction and Horror Authors. I’ll state from the outset that this isn’t a comprehensive list. I didn’t spend nearly as much time digging for authors as I could have. I chose to list 15 total, splitting it among those who seemed to write primarily science fiction, primarily horror, and those that crossed genres. However even though it’s not comprehensive or extensive, I think this is a pretty good starting point for anyone who wants to explore African American Science Fiction and Horror Writers’ works.

Some of these writers are known also for their afrofuturistic work in general.

Afrofuturism is a cultural aesthetic, philosophy of science, and philosophy of history that combines elements of science fiction, historical fiction, fantasy, Afrocentrism, and magic realism with non-Western cosmologies in order to critique not only the present-day dilemmas of black people, but also to revise, interrogate, and re-examine the historical events of the past. – Wikipedia

I’ve linked their names to their websites when possible, Goodreads page when not. I’ve also listed the most well-known work I could find, when possible, for each author. (Some may not always be possible because they contributed primarily to anthologies.)


African American Science Fiction Writers

  1. Samuel R. Delany – 4 Nebulas, 2 Hugos
  2. Nisi Shawl – James Tiptree Jr Award
  3. Bill Campbell
  4. Nnedi Okorafor – Hugo, World Fantasy Award, Nebula Novella, Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa, Carl Brandon Parallax Award, Macmillian Writer’s Prize for Africa
  5. Andrea Hairston – James Tiptree Jr Award, Carl Brandon Parallax Award

 

Small Sci-Fi and Scary Divider

African American Science Fiction and Horror Writers

 

  1. Chesya Burke – Twilight Tales Award for Short Fiction
  2. Tananarive Due  – American Book Award, NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literature, Carl Brandon Kindred Award
  3. Tenea D. Johnson – Carl Brandon Parallax Award
  4. Octavia Butler  – MacArthur Fellowship, 2 Nebulas, 2 Hugos
  5. Linda Addison– First African American winner of the Bram Stoker Award (has won 4 times).
  6. Nalo Hopkinson – John W. Cambell Award, Locus Award, Sunburst Award x2, World Fantasy Award, Gaylactic Spectrum Award *

Small Sci-Fi and Scary Divider

African American Horror Writers

  1. Jemiah Jefferson
  2. Helen Oyeyemi – Somerset Maugham Award, PEN Open Book Award
  3. Dia Reeves
  4. Michael Boatman
  5. Brandon Massey– Gold Pen Award

 

*Okay, so it was actually 16, not 15. But when I was trying to whittle the middle list down to just five, I realized I couldn’t do it! I needed to include every one of them!

A few of these names I was familiar with (some only passingly so), most I was not, though.

 

How many names on this list have you read? How many were you familiar with even if you haven’t read them?

 

Fathers in Horror

I think it’s interesting (and typical) that while Mother’s Day originally started as a day for church-goers to visit their “Mother Church”, Father’s Day has apparently been an honouring your father thing from the beginning. It originated in the Middle Ages, and is traditionally celebrated on March 19th. Of course, the US has to do things different.

I digress. Anyways, for our Top Ten Tuesday list this week, we did a Father’s Day special. The topic we did was Our Favorite Dads in Sci-Fi & Horror. And it was ridiculously difficult to come up with ten! We ended up having to go with just five. And that’s kind of mind-boggling to think about. Why is it so hard to find evidence of good dads in sci-fi and horror? Both of them would be strengthened by having a few more father figures that readers could look up to in the book. Doesn’t every bookworm have at least one book role-model that they look up to? In my case (Lilyn), it was finding good father figures in books and movies that convinced me that not all dads were horrible human beings. Yes, I knew they were just figments of someone’s imagination, but those people had to have had at least some good experiences with fathers, right?

For this post, we’ll be briefly addressing fathers in horror.

(Note: Most of the following post comes from GracieKat, folks. I’ve made no secret of the fact that Miss L is not a healthy child, and yesterday was a bad day for us. I didn’t have the time or energy to properly contribute to this. I’ve added a bit here and there, but that’s it.)

Fathers in Horror

There always seems to be a distinct lack of fathers in horror. In scary stories for kids, parents missing seems to be for plot purposes. After all, how can they get in their adventures with constant parental supervision? If they are present it’s usually a single parent that has to work often enough so the kids are left to their own devices. Sometimes the horror is the parents. And that tends to be the best case scenario. Once you get into adult horror fiction, it’s not exactly sunshine and roses.

Dads in particular in horror are quite often portrayed as, at the worst, abusive. At the least, neglectful, unobservant or skeptical of what their children are telling them. Taking a look at our Top Ten Tuesday list for our fathers you’ll probably notice that quite a few of them are a father figure, rather than the biological father. It’s good to show this because just biology doesn’t determine whether the person is actually a “father” or not. But it kind of makes me wonder why a child/teen character can have a father figure but not an actual father to help them. Parents are generally held to a higher standard of caring for their children. whether or not that’s always the case.  Father figures fill that role nicely. They’re able to be there when needed but also can be a friend when that’s needed as well.

Book cover for Bobby Singer's Guide to Hunting for Fathers in Horror post

Two of the best that I can think of are Bobby from Supernatural and Harry from the Silent Hill game.

What’s interesting about Bobby is that he’s not just a father to the boys after their father’s death but even before. So, to me, it’s interesting to me as to why exactly they need a father figure to help them with their daily problems and not just being there for the really big stuff. Heck, Dean was laying in bed dying and they couldn’t get their dad on the phone. Bobby is always there for Sam and Dean. Whether it be bullying his way through a phone call pretending to be someone from the FBI to get them out of trouble, or simply showing up to help them hunt when they’re over their heads. He loves those boys.  And in return, the boys are there for him as much as possible.

Harry is also in the father figure category but I find his dynamic a bit more interesting because most father figures fill a very specific role. Harry’s is a bit more complicated in the game. Short form that’s mostly spoiler free (see longer form behind the spoilers thing if curious): Neither of the parents were biologically related to the baby they raised. They found her abandoned on the road. But he loves the kid, and when she requests to return to Silent Hill, he takes her. Revelations come one after another, and it turns out Cheryl was literally the missing piece to someone else. Bad things happen, and Harry ends up raising another baby that he’s given in the town. And that doesn’t end up going too well for him either.

Silent Hill Game Plot Summary/Spoilers!

In the movies he is still a generally good father but as he’s searching Silent Hill he seems to mainly be looking for his wife, rather than their daughter. They also, which was even more disturbing to me, is that they take the character of Dahlia and completely change her for the movie. In the game she’s a manipulative cult member who is also dealing drugs. She also manipulates her daughter to kill people with her powers in exchange for Dahlia’s love and attention. She also keeps Alessa in excruciating physical pain for seven years (through magic spells) to lure back the other half, Cheryl. There is also no father of record for Alessa. Movie Dahlia is made into a sympathetic character who herself was manipulated and regrets it. Harry’s actual character from the game is also changed into a woman. The director does comment on this by saying he wanted to show the mother/daughter relationship and that Harry showed more feminine aspects. My question to this is why not show a very close father/daughter relationship? And why take a horrible mother and lighten her to a tragic character who screwed up a bit by trusting the wrong person?

Here’s where it ties together (I knew I’d get there someday). I wanted to highlight what could have been with Alessa/Heather. Alessa in particular. Perhaps if she’d had a father to look out for her maybe the whole burning thing would not have happened. Or perhaps it wouldn’t. The only other father shown in connection with the cult is an abusive twat nozzle. It could also be why she gets so attached to Harry as each of the girls. Cheryl seems to love him, Heather loves him, enough to want to get revenge for his death. Alessa, even though she’s trying to slow him down from finding her she’s not hitting him hard, just throwing a few monsters in his way. And keep in mind that this is a girl who can kill with just a thought.

Game cover for Silent Hill for Fathers in Horror Post It’s also interesting to note that in the re-imagining that the game changes Harry’s involvement with Cheryl based on the decisions that the user makes in the psych profile. So how you answer directly affects the game and the actions of Harry. At the end it’s revealed that you are actually Cheryl answering the questions. So it makes a difference in Cheryl’s past because of the decisions you make for the character. And they are quite…personal questions from real psychological tests. So it creates a different dynamic to it.

Rupert Giles is one of the only other good fathers in horror that pop to mind. Well, father-figure, really. Though Buffy the Vampire Slayer couldn’t exactly be called horror as much as ‘supernatural’ most of the time. One of the nice things about the show was watching Giles grow into the father-figure role. At first he was the stuffy Watcher. By the end of it, Watcher be damned, he was the Scooby Gang’s dad. You could always count on Giles (even if it was just to tell you that you were being a dunderhead whilst cleaning his glasses.)

There is no doubt that fathers or father figures can have a big impact on a person’s life. A person can get by without them and grow up to be perfectly fine. However, a good ‘dad’ can provide some extra grounding. If you don’t think a father is that important to a person’s development, just look at the sheer amount of times in stories (even fiction outside of horror) where a character is traumatized by his/her father. How many authors write sexual abuse from the father as part of the plot, for instance? We need more good dads and moms in fiction. 

 

Fathers in Horror Questions:

  1. We would love to see a horror book where the main character actually had a dependable father and mother that she or he could rely on. Have you ever read such a book? If it it exists, please let us know!
  2.  Why do you think good parents are mostly absent in science fiction and horror? How many times do you think having a parent involved would have changed the outcome at least a little bit?
  3. Do you have any fathers in horror that we missed on our TTT or in this post? Talk to us.