We all know covers are important for books. Here is a fantastic site that shows what can happen when publishers don’t take that to heart…
See the rest of the mess over at Good Show Sir!
Seriously, this may be one of the coolest posters I’ve ever seen. I will be framing it for my office as soon as it gets here. I got the PDF too, which is very awesomely annotated and noted by the artist with lots of cool tidbits… and it’s HUGE. There are hundreds (if not thousands) of movies, books, comics, and what have you’s listed on this masterful piece of artwork.
“This map is a must for any zombie aficionado. The detail is impeccable, the artistry awe-inspiring. I used to think I knew a thing or two about zombies, but now I see how much more there is out there for me to discover.” — Alden Bell, author, “The Reapers are the Angels”
For handy reference in the laboratory or in the field, the Map of Zombies categorizes every imaginable type of zombie in a visual format. Drawn in the style of a 24″x36″ (61cm x 91cm) vintage medical chart, shipped in a stout 26″ long (66cm) poster tube, it identifies over 350 different types of zombies from horror movies, books, video games, comics, manga and TV. Whether they’re fast or slow, voodoo-spawned, alien or fungus-infected, friendly or cannibalistic, vulnerable to headshots or only to complete dismemberment, the Map will help you identify the hideously rotten creatures before you. Plus special icons for Romance, Comedy, Animal Zombies, Secondary Apocalypse, Zombires (zombie/vampires) and more!
Not only will this be a great piece of art for me to hang, but it’s also a great reference guide for zombies of all types and kinds.
Sadly, my own books aren’t listed, but I choose to believe it’s because Thompson wanted to give them a poster of their own (but really, he probably just hasn’t read them).
Deep in the ocean’s darkness live the Merwin, sinister sea creatures who have never seen the light of the sun. As the city of Mervidia flourishes, its inhabitants scheme and grasp for power. Queen Beryl, the last of the royal bloodline, has been brutally assassinated. The High Houses scramble to seize Mervidia’s crown, posturing for rank and the possibility of having a race other than the ethyrie wear the Fangs for the first time in Merwin history. The blood of a nation is spilt, turning kin on kin and house upon house, all in hopes of sitting on the throne and ruling the Deeps.
If you’re my age, or maybe a bit younger, that word conjures up images of red hair, mean octopi, vocal Jamaican-accented crabs and some songs you will never get out of your head. Ever.
Let me help you with this: read Mervidia. You will never look at
mermaids merwin the same way again. This is a tale not for the faint of heart, nor for those who like a little light reading before bedtime. What it will do is completely change the way you think of deep water – or should I say The Deeps? – and what lies beneath us.
Mervidia is the tale of a time of upheaval in the underwater city by the same name, a hodgepodge collection of seven different races of merfolk, all managing to survive in the crushing depths of the ocean through manipulation, coercion, deception, and more than a little backstabbing, both figurative and literal. In other words, this ain’t no Disney movie.
The book grabbed me from the very beginning, when I saw the amazing cover. The story itself opens with a bang, or rather, a slice, with the assassination of Queen Beryl, of the beautiful and angelic ethyrie race, and takes us on a roller-coaster ride until the very last page. It’s a complex story, with many characters, a rich, diverse political and social structure, and well thought-out characters. Characters who, one is sure, could provide entire additional volumes of backstory, sidestory, and… well, you get the idea. The tight grip on the reader continues throughout, with twists and turns coming at you hard and fast around every corner. Literally until the last pages, which completely blew me away (more on that later).
It’s merfolk, people. I’ve read, quite literally, thousands of books and stories in virtually every genre, and only a paltry handful have even included merfolk of some kind. How could you not want to read a whole book about them? These crafty and wily creatures don’t disappoint, either, with political machinations aplenty for readers who like that sort of thing, and enough action to keep those who prefer more fast-paced books interested. There are a couple slowish spots in the book where the authors could’ve used some quicker pacing, and I did find myself reading some chapters more quickly than others to get back to the characters who interested me more. This is natural, I think, with a book this complex, so I don’t count that as a bad thing. Indeed, I’d say it’s a good facet of this work: there’s something for everyone. I waited quite some time to read this book, being as patient as I could until it was released, and it did not disappoint.
So why not 5 stars? I can’t answer that fully without spoilers, so suffice to say that there is at least one sideplot that’s not wrapped up by the end, and that bugs me. Additionally, I felt that the last quarter of the book read much faster than the previous parts, and not in a good way. It wasn’t rushed, because everything happened with good pacing, but the pacing was so much faster than the rest of the book that it felt off, almost as though the authors were trying come in under a specific word count. Also, and though I have to grudgingly admit it fit with the rest of the story and made sense when it comes to the way things are done in Mervidia, I didn’t like the ending at all. I can understand from an author’s perspective why they would make that choice, and it does make sense in the grand scheme, but I would probably have worked to find a different way to do it. That’s purely a personal choice, though, and should in no way detract anyone from wanting to read this wonderful book.
Summary: I thoroughly enjoyed this book, despite my normal reticence for politically-oriented stories. Surprises in spades, fascinating and mesmerizing worldbuilding, and the clear and precise vision of the story the authors obviously had make this an excellent book for anyone looking for a very different sort of fantasy novel. Highly recommended.
Jay and Katie Barber combine their names to write under pen name, J.K. Barber. The couple lives in Roswell, GA with their children, Maya and Gabe, as well as their four rescue cats. Jay graduated from The University of Georgia with a BA in English Literature, and Katie graduated from The University of Colorado at Boulder with a BA in English Creative Writing. They combine their educations, writing together as a co-author team for projects such as the Chronicles of Aronshae and Mervidia.
In addition to their collaborative work, they also have individual titles: Hidden Path, a prequel to their trilogy written by Jay, and Fallen, a post-apocalyptic angel novel written by Katie. The Barbers enjoy being parents, table top gaming, reading, mixed martial arts, riding motorcycles, and PC gaming.
A little different from my post about the 200 greatest insults of every time, but again, as a writer, threats are very useful. These are some of my favorites from the video below.
Needless to say, NSFW.
Insults are something we’ve all experienced at one point or another, and usually they’re not very pleasant. But in the movies, it’s a completely different story, and as a writer, I find a well-written insult extremely useful. As useful as threats, I’d say.
Here are some of my favorites, from a couple different Youtube videos. What are your favorites?
My favorites from the 1st video:
I’m looking at this like a writing exercise. See my notes below, but feel free to come up with your own–and share them in the comments! Note, for variations that mean the same thing, I’ve combined them.
“Only she told him that she loved him.”
Sad, poignant, and yet uplifting at the same time–as it should be when anyone tells you they love you.
“She only told him that she loved him.”
“She told him only that she loved him.”
If you’ve gotta be told one thing, that’s not bad…
“She told only him that she loved him.”
I’m getting the sense of a ‘working woman’ here, but possibly something different.
“She told him that only she loved him.”
This could be quite a nice sentiment. I’m thinking that scene from Notting Hill–“I’m just a girl…”–for some reason. But it could also be pretty creepy, giving me a serious Misery vibe.
“She told him that she only loved him.”
“She told him that she loved only him.”
“She told him that she loved him only.”
Very similar to #3 up there, but not exactly the same. In this variation, she might actually love only him, but she might’ve told others that, too.
Mouse Guard returns for its third volume: the Black Axe. This prequel set in 1115, fulfils the promise the wise oldfur Celanawe made to tell Lieam of the day his paw first touched the Black Axe. The arrival of distant kin takes Celanawe on an adventure that will carry him across the sea to uncharted waters and lands all while unraveling the legend of Farrer, the blacksmith who forged the mythic axe.
In the previous volume, Mouse Guard: Winter 1152, Petersen takes us all over the world of these sentient mice, above and belowground, through twisting weasel tunnels and soaring hollow trees. In this followup collection of six issues, the artist takes us back in time, with an ever greater adventure.
Celanawe, pronounced khel-an-awe, Guardmouse extraordinaire, is tasked by his order’s commander to follow the instructions of his elder kinmouse. With no little trepidation they set out, and are beset at every side from the very beginning by all manner of obstacles. A rollicking sea-journey, a giant fox, and even the savage and noble ferrets they encounter seek to bar their way, but they will not be denied in their quest to retrieve the Axe.
Once again Petersen shows his commitment to storytelling excellence, alongside his entrancing and captivating artwork. He even had me singing along with the poem crafted during their long journey home. I was reminded of the adventuresome nature of Pirates of the Caribbean while reading this, and found myself drawn into the world not only by the art and writing, but the details, the world-building, every part of it that worked so well together.
If you’ve read the other books, you’ll be perfectly happy with this – it’s more of the great work we’ve come to expect from Petersen. If you haven’t bought your copy yet, why the heck not? Get it today!