Monday, March 22, 2010

Reviewing the Mail: Week of 3/20

There wasn't a lot of mail this week, possibly as a result of the massive flooding last weekend. But what did come it fell very neatly, and evenly, into Manichean categories -- two graphic novels and two prose novels; two books that I had already read and two that I haven't. For someone like me, it's very comforting when the world falls into neat boxes like that.

The first thing that hit my mailbox this week was Twilight: The Graphic Novel, Volume 1. It's based on the Stephenie Meyer novel -- and credits her with a by-line, though my impression is that she was a consulting editor at best -- with "art and adaptation" by Young Kim, which certainly sounds like "did all the work" to me. The art is disconcertingly photo-realistic in a pseudo-Ryoichi Ikegami style, with lots and lots and lots of closeups of dead-looking eyes in blank faces. (It probably works better when you're reading the story rather that just poking through it, though.) This doesn't adapt the entire Meyer novel, even though it seems to be about 250 pages (there are no page numbers) -- a Volume Two is promised on the last page. Hachette's Yen Press just published this in hardcover, and I expect they're very happy about this new license to print money.

Next was another graphic novel, Foiled, which was written by Jane (ten zillion books for kids of all ages, and a shelf of awards that stretches from here to Poughkeepsie) Yolen with art by Mike (Parade (With Fireworks)) Cavallaro. I read this last month -- working from PDFs -- and wrote about it for my next Realms of Fantasy column. So it feels like it's in the past to me, even if no one but me and a couple of editors have seen the review yet. Foiled will be published in May by First Second.

And then there was Kage Baker's novel Not Less Than Gods. When I reviewed it about two weeks ago, I thought it was Baker's last novel. I've since learned from Tor (which published this book on March 16th in hardcover) that there's one more Baker novel, a fantasy related to The Anvil of the World, coming this summer. So this is not the last Kage Baker novel -- but don't let that stop you from running right out to get it immediately.

And last for this week is the other book I haven't yet read, a novel from longtime comics writer Steve Englehart called The Long Man. It's the sequel to The Point Man, about immortal alchemical magickian Max August and his battles against the shadowy forces of repression and world-dominating conspiracies. It all sounds very pulpy and comic-booky -- which is just what Englehart knows how to do best. Long Man was also published by Tor on March 16th -- and it's this month's "Sci Fi Essential Book," from the network that changed its name from that to Syfy. (Wonder if the series will change name as well? It's slightly odd to have a tie-in book, even so loose a tie as "we think this is neat," have an outdated corporate logo and name on it.)
Listening to: The Deathray Davies - I Regret The Day I Tried To Steal Daniel's Ego
via FoxyTunes

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