Generation Hope 10

As I mentioned in my review of X-Men Schism #3 I finally clicked who the youngsters were who appeared in several scenes due to the link with this issue. My curiosity got the better of me as I was wondering what I was missing so I bought this issue. Now that I know, well, meh.

It’s great comic if you’ve kept a keen eye on the X-Men I’m sure especially you get to see more from the exhibitions in the Mutant History Museum and we get to see what made Idie enter the fight in Schism #3.It also explores the dynamic of Generation Hope and how the work as a team.

The art by Tim Seeley is great as is his ability to capture facial expressions and mannerisms. The panel layout is coherent as is the dialogue.

But as enjoyable as the whole thing could be I really don’t fancy committing whole heartedly to X-Universe and all it’s interweaving connections right now.

 

Weekly Stock-Take

Comment: Before I begin it’s going to be a quiet week as I’ve been ill and when I haven’t been ill I’ve been required to do non-book stuff. And Bank Hols in the UK has also thrown me out.

Slowly Reading

Going Postal by Terry Pratchett 37% (Kindle) [Last Week: same]

Judas Unchained by Peter F. Hamilton 25% (Kindle) [Last Week: same]

Comment: This is a very poor show. Must try harder.

Actively Reading

Empire of Light by Gary Gibson

Finished

The Voyage of Sable Keech by Neal Asher

666 Charing Cross Road by Paul Magrs

Comment: It’s not out until 10 November so I’ll post a review nearer the time.

Abandoned

None is week.

Listening To

Moon Over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch

Bought by me this week (not counting pre-orders or not yet delivered items)

Guardian Style: Third edition

The Great British Bake Off How to Bake

Comment: have already made Madeira cake and it’s lovely with a cup of tea.

Notable Arrivals From Publishers

Spellbound by Blake Charlton (though this was sent by Civilian Reader who is a star!)

Fated by S.G. Browne

Hounded by Kevin Hearne

Ten Reissues of Will Self’s books (thanks to a competition on twitter by Bloomsbury)

Goals for the Week Ahead

Need to post (and write) my reviews of Generation Hope #10 and The Voyage of the Sable Keech.

I’m hoping to get two or three books read this week. Not sure where to turn my comic book eye next though. Will have a look around.

What’s everyone else reading at the moment?


Regicide uk

Carl meets Annie Risk and falls for for her but Regicide isn’t a love story instead it’s about a map and Carl’s obsession with finding the streets it matches. Though it isn’t really about love or obsession either. What Nicholas Royle does is slowly peels away Carl’s psyche but what it feels like is Carl’s psyche unhinging as you read.

What really stands out is that it gets weird fast and then remains teetering back and forth on the edge of sanity/reality before finally leaping off the deep end. This isn’t an easy at times to follow especially as it’s not clear where Carl ultimately heading.

But through apparent asides and personal revelations Royle is really putting the reader in the same mental space that Carl inhabits and that makes this a haunting and disturbing tale.

It’s not often that books effect me after reading them but this one lingers especially when you start asking how unhinged Carl actually is and when you first started to notice..

Now as this is a meditation on the life of a record store owner as he deals with love and inner demons the way Royle does things is going to effect your connection to Carl. And as this isn’t a straightforward novel in terms of hero or narrative it requires an element of , especially when you’re fast approaching the last few pages with no apparent ending in sight.

But it’s those pages that make, rather than break, Regicide. It’s not a trick ending but it does pull back that final layer that leaves Carl raw in front of the reader.

There are however things that do feel oddities in this strange tale. One is a feeling of being slightly dated or least it being date ambiguous. The plot requires the absence of some pretty everyday technology and then wondering at the beginning why Carl does one thing, even though coherent with later behaviour it jars a little in it’s unexpectedness.

Even though those things stuck in my mind they weren’t enough to pull me out of the story and they are minor considering the effect of the whole book. And it’s nice to see a book that is confident enough to be shorter. Regicide weighs in at under 200 pages and carries more power for that.

Regicide is one of those books that is perfect for dark nights but if you hear a dog bark whilst reading I doubt you’ll want  to go to the window to investigate.

Competition: I ended up with two copies of Regicide so I’ve got one to giveaway (UK only sorry) just leave a comment to enter.

Deadline: 12PM 2nd Sept 2011.

Update: And the winner is:

The Randomiser by Mat Hayward

THIS KING

WHAT IF you could go back in time and change the course of history? WHAT IF the watershed moment you could change was the JFK assassination? 11/22/63, the date that Kennedy was shot – unless . . .

King takes his protagonist Jake Epping, a high school English teacher from Lisbon Falls, Maine, 2011, on a fascinating journey back to 1958 – from a world of mobile phones and iPods to a new world of Elvis and JFK, of Plymouth Fury cars and Lindy Hopping, of a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald and a beautiful high school librarian named Sadie Dunhill, who becomes the love of Jake’s life – a life that transgresses all the normal rules of time.

It’s not out until November but apart from the new cover, which has a nice little SF vide going on, I noticed the page count, 928 of them! It’s going to a tome and half!

pandemonium-fiction.com

We’re very pleased to announce our first anthology of short fiction, Pandemonium: Stories of the Apocalypse.

The collection features stories set at the end of the world, as imagined by some of the biggest names and hottest newcomers in science fiction.

Pandemonium collects over a dozen original stories inspired by the art of John Martin, and will be released this October to coincide with the Tate Gallery’s new exhibition of his work. Martin (1789 – 1854) was a Romantic painter with a taste for sweeping Apocalyptic scenes. Although he never received much positive critical attention, his huge and wildly imaginative paintings were popular with the masses. Since his death, Martin’s reputation has gone through periods of complete insignificence and others of great renown. In short, he’s our type of guy.

Pandemonium will be edited by Pornokitsch’s Anne C. Perry and Jared Shurin, with a foreword by Tom Hunter, director of the Arthur C. Clarke Award. Pandemonium will be available to purchase as an ebook through Amazon or the project website. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Arthur C. Clarke Award, the UK’s most prestigious prize for science fiction literature.

For more information and to join the mailing list, check outwww.pandemonium-fiction.com. A partial list of contributors is already on display, with several more to be announced soon.

This is mega exciting for a couple of reasons. Firstly it’s being edited by Anne and Jared and if their blog is anything to go by then it’s going to be a cracker and secondly it’ll contain my mate Tom Pollock, whose debut novel as been picked up by Jo Fletcher Books. I’ve not read any of his stuff yet so I have high hopes for his short story.

Pandemonium will be on sale in October 2011

X men schism issue 3

Right, I’ve concluded that this isn’t a ‘jumping on’ point for the X-Men. Not that it’s being sold like that but I’ve just figured out who all those youngsters are that wondering around and that’s only due to the link it has with Generation Hope ergo the youngsters are the ‘team’ of that title.

Speaking of children we get a clearer insight into the new Hellfire Club. And there exploitation of the X-Men’s individual weaknesses. Though it does make me think why no one has thought of this tactic before (maybe they have and I’ve not been around to see it).

A couple of questions come to mind including an object that there is one of suddenly multiplying. Why Wolverine so protective of Idie? is another. Plus when did Wolverine become think first and Scott become so mission over people focused?

Another think that is slowly starting to bug my that’s £2.99 for 25 pages with 22 pages of actual story. Is it just me that finds that pricey?

Overall this is turning into a slightly more confusing tale than expected. It’s a story talking to itself if that makes sense. And after this mornings post I’m wondering if it’s worth continuing?

For me the images above say a lot about how comic fans get their comics delivered. They don’t get one or two X-Men comics they get six. Apparently X-Men: Schism that I’m reading leads to X-MEN: REGENESIS (which Newsarama does a good job of covering). To be honest I’ve had my blinkers on and not really considered that Schism would lead to a relaunch of all the X-Men books but it’s naive of me really. I should have known better. Especially as I fell into the trap of buying X-Men Schism #3 and seeing Schism written on Generation Hope #10, which made it’s digital debut with that issue. So it must be important to the main events right?

Photo

And that’s how Marvel/DC get you to buy more than the issues you are interested in. You need to see what is going on off stage and what  is feeding in to the main events themselves.

We’ll see how it goes but this particular experiment may end if I feel that I’m going to buying more than what I want just to feel I’m not missing out.

Speaking disappointments.  It wasn’t a new Dr Strange solo title coming in December it’s a Defenders title. Might be worth picking up but it’s not what I was hoping for.

Sunday Summary: A new weekly feature including my weekly stock-take and other stuff I’ve not found a place to mention this week.

This weeks post contains my weekly stock-take, an instant judgement on a few new arrivals and a note on format changes.

Weekly Stock-Take

Slowly Reading

Going Postal by Terry Pratchett 37% (Kindle) [Last Week: same]

Judas Unchained by Peter F. Hamilton 25% (Kindle) [Last Week: same]

Actively Reading

666 Chasing Cross Road by Paul Magrs (out November)  p97  [last week n/a]

The Final Empire – Mistborn Book One by Brandon Sanderson (pb) p170 (p164 last week)

Finished

Regicide by Nicolas Royle

Comment: Review coming on Friday

From the Way of Wizards:

  • “Family Tree” by David Barr Kirtley
  • “John Uskglass and the Cambrian Charcoal Burner” by Susanna Clarke
  • “Wizard’s Apprentice” by Delia Sherman
  • “The Sorcerer Minus” by Jeffrey Ford

Abandoned

 

None is week.

Listening To

The Voyage of Sable Keech by Neal Asher. 2hrs left to finish it. [last week 4hr 34m left of part 2/2]

Bought by me this week (not counting pre-orders or not yet delivered items)

Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King

The Second Messiah by Glenn Meade

White Noise by DeLillo

Comment: This was after asking Adam Roberts and Mark C Newton on Twitter for the best place to start with DeLillo. X-Men Schism #3 Generation Hope #10 Comment: I’ll explain on Monday why I don’t like having to buy this.

Notable Arrivals From Publishers

Conan The Barbarian by Robert E. Howard

Ready Player One by Ernest CLine

By Light Alone by Adam Roberts

Goals for the Week Ahead

Last weeks goals including starting 666 Charing Cross Road (done!) and finish The Voyage of The Sable Keech (so close to finishing!).

Plans for this week? Read some Conan, finish 666 Charing Cross Road. Post reviews of X-Men Schism #3,Generation Hope #10 and Regicide. Start Moon Over Soho. Move forward with Way of Wizards, Going Post and Judas Unchained.

Instant Judgement Based On Opening Chapters Only

Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence.

 

Judgement: Oh god I feel slightly sick after reading the opening chapter and a bit. Really not my sort of book. Violence and enjoyment makes me sad rather than intrigues me.

Johannes Cabal – The Fear Institute by Jonathan L Howard.

Judgement: I must admit to loathing the first in this series but as book three turned but and I read good reviews of the second (though I read good reviews of book one so that might not count) I thought I’d give him another go. And the opening is definitely interesting so I’ll move it back on the shelves. Cowboys & Aliens Novelisation Judgement:  Man wakes up confused in desert. Sold.

Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

Judgement: Not sure what to make of this one as the main character is a nervous 16 year old on her wedding day marrying a man she has never seen. Not my usual book.

Format Changes

Talking about blogging is boring so I’ll keep this short and sweet. I’ve come up with a bit of an editorial calendar:

Monday

Comics

Wednesday

Short Stories

Friday

Novels

Sunday

Sunday Summary

In practical terms the plan is to put all the news, features, comments, reviews relating to Comics, Short Stories, or Novels to appear on those days and use sunday as a mop-up day.