Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Book Review - Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child's The Book of the Dead

Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child have stated that they write every one of their Agent Pendergast novels to stand alone, but their newest work, The Book of the Dead could be called the third book in a trilogy that started with Brimstone, continued through Dance of Death, and now ends.

I have read every one of Preston and Child's Pendergast novels, starting with their first collaboration, The Relic. The whole series has been a wild ride that I never want to stop. In each novel, Agent Pendergast and his diverse mixture of friends investigate the unexplained.

The Book of the Dead is no exception. The New York Museum is about to reopen an Egyptian exhibit that was closed in the 20's for fear of a curse. Meanwhile, Pendergast's evil brother, Diogenes is back and causing havoc (the tie-in that makes it part of a trilogy). When people begin dieing and going mad the pieces of a well developed evil plot all fall into place.

The Book of the Dead, like all of the Pendergast novels are genre bending. One moment they can be horror, the next mystery, and the next science fiction. All of the genres are written with expert hands. The science is well researched and the characters are very well developed. If you have never read a Preston and Child novel I would recommend that you start with The Relic, yet The Book of the Dead works well as a stand alone novel or Brimstone would also be a good place to start.

Wherever you decide to jump on, be prepared for an edge of your seat page turner.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Trailer Mania! (Spiderman 3, Pan's Labyrinth, The Backwoods)

Spiderman 3 - I have been trying to see this one all day, but it wouldn't work for me until a few minutes ago. It was well worth the wait. Venom, Sandman, Gwen Stacey, the Black Suit! This one's gonna have it all.

Pan's Labyrinth - Guillermo del Toro's (Hellboy, Blade II) Spanish language horror movie looks very out there and that is a wonderful thing.

The Backwoods - Another Spanish made film, this one staring Gary Oldman. Looks like it my be an interesting thriller.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Two to Die in Harry Potter 7

Ok, this is almost too boring to post here, but this is a fantasy blog, so I guess I'm pretty much obligated to do so:

Children's author J.K. Rowling has revealed that at least two characters will die in the seventh and final installment of her bestselling
Harry Potter series, but was careful not to say who.

More here.

Personally I think it is going to be Harry and Hagrid. Who has a different opinion? Leave your guess in the comments section!

New Snakes on a Plane Trailer

The internet is abuzz with the newest trailer for the next big blockbuster. Check it out HERE and be prepared to be blown away!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

New Orson Scott Card Interview

A nice new interview with Scott Card is up at It's the Story Stupid. The interview took place at the author's OSC Writing Class. I want to go to one of those.

Thanks to Hel for the link!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Tarantino and Rodriguez talk Grind House

An interesting interview with Grind House collaborators Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez over at They talk about the film, their favorite horror movies, and their classic movie inspirations.
Check it out HERE.

Could Wonder Woman be from Bollywood?

The latest Wonder Woman casting rumors have Indian actress Priyanka Chopra as a front runner for the role.

The Bendis interview with Whedon claimed that they were not yet in the casting stage, but the rumors are flying.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Not So Superman?

Jeffrey Overstreet has made a list of top 10 things to think about when you find your mind wondering during Superman Returns:

1. Count just how many actresses would have brought more personality and intelligence to the role of Lois Lane than Kate Bosworth. Let's see... Evangeline Lily, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Natalie Portman, Keira Knightley, Scarlet Johansson, Sarah Polley, Romola Garai, or hey... Parker Posey!
4. Start guessing the many and varied headlines for articles in which Christian film critics hyperventilate with joy over the fact that they've noticed that Superman is a Christ-figure. It's just so much better when movies come loudly broadcasting an obvious parallel with the gospel. That way we don't have to do any thinking or interpreting for ourselves...
7. Try to remember when Pirates of the Caribbean 2 is opening.
9. Count this film's phallic symbols. My goodness.

Read the rest at here.

Superman's Look

Over at Manolo for the Men, Izzy casts a critical eye over Superman's costume:

Could the chic styles of Metropolis have finally rubbed off on the boy from Krypton via Smallville? Most obviously, he has decided to go with a smaller chest shield (now reproduced as his belt buckle) and a more muted red and yellow. [...] He's still wearing his underwear on the outside, but at least they are no longer granny panties.

I can't believe he still has a cape, in this post-Incredibles world!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Brian Michael Bendis interviews Joss Whedon

Brian Michael Bendis (comic writer of Ultimate Spiderman, New Avengers, + a million other titles) interviews Joss Whedon (you know who he is) over at Wizard Entertainment.

They mostly have a nice discussion about comics, but film, tv, Buffy, Firefly, and Wonder Woman all get into the mix. A funny and insightful interview.

Check it out, HERE.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Rob Zombie answers questions about his Halloween

Halloween has a fan interview with the director of the next movie, Rob "The Devil's Rejects" Zombie. He talks about the Carpenter legacy, the music, and how he will use the classic Shatner mask.
Read it HERE.

Descent Trailer

A full trailer for the British - Six models in a cave with a scary monster movie. It does look pretty freaky.
Check it out HERE.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Book Review - Robin Hobb's Farseer Trilogy

Why did I read this series?

This series came highly recommended from Anna as fantasy that didn't suffer from the Tolkien curse. You know that curse. The one where all you can do is throw elves, dwarfs, and humans into some quest. Not to say that some books that have the Tolkien curse (or the smaller D&D curse) aren't good (I think about Salvatore here), but sometimes it is good to read a trilogy with some new worlds and ideas.

What's it about

In the kingdom of the Six Duchies the bastard son of the prince is trained to be an assassin. After his training he goes into service for his king uncovering plots among the royalty. In the meantime the kingdom is also being attacked from the sea by forces that kill or drive mad all in their path.

Throughout the three novels, Fitz, the main character becomes embroiled in the plots around him as he finds out that a royal bastard has no life, but service to his king.

Why you should read it

Hobb is a brilliant story teller who handles a complex narrative very well. The story has rich characters and a harsh world that is both gritty and beautiful. Because the work is a trilogy, Hobb has the time to lay out the stories at a pace that can be at one moment intimate and at others sweeping.

Are there any problems?

The only small problem I had with the series was that some of the books were a little too long. Each book clocks in between 600-800 pages Book 3: Assassin's Quest in particular could have lost 100 pages and would have been a more concise and enjoyable read.

The Cobbler's Monster - 16 page preview

Jeff Amano and Craig Rousseau are releasing the orignal graphic novel, The Cobbler's Monster: A Tale of Gepetto's Frankenstein at Beckett Comics in June. They have a 16 page preview that looks interesting.

There have been a lot of these "let's mix-up the classics" books. Like Bill Willingham's Fables and a few others, this one looks like it is worth a read.

Gnarles Barkley's "Crazy", Star Wars-style

Now, I don't normally care for Star Wars-themed anything, but this rocks!

via The American Princess

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Robert E. Howard's home town celebrates his 100th birthday has a nice article about Cross Plains, Texas and their yearly Robert E. Howard celebration. Howard, the creator of such wonderful pulp characters as Conan the Barbarian and (my favorite) Solomon Kane was a brilliant mind and a great writer.

According to the article,
The first Howard Days was in 1986, the 50th anniversary of Howard's death, a year after Burke and some friends first visited Cross Plains. The next event was in 1989 and has been held every year since with help from Project Pride, and attendance has grown from a dozen to nearly 100 people.

At first, the farming community of mostly retirees didn't know what to make of the self-proclaimed "sci-fi geeks and fantasy fans," some with long hair and tattoos. But the town realized how much the event helped the economy and now welcomes the guests -- who include teachers, doctors and businessmen.

Monday, June 12, 2006

A small interview with Orson Scott Card

The Roanoke Times has a small interview with Orson Scott Card in conjunction with him giving a writing seminar in town. He talks about the Ender's Game movie, but doesn't say much more than we have already reported.

The science behind the Death Star? has posted a scientific evaluation of the destruction capability of the Death Star showing how it could destroy an entire planet. Interesting stuff, but I am too horrible at the math to tell you how correct it is. This looks to be an older site, so you might have seen it before.

They also lay out some nice charts documenting the age old battle of Star Wars vs. Star Trek.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

New Line to Remake Battle Royale

According to Variety, New Line has bought the remake rights to the Japanese SF movie Battle Royale. I knew it had to happen sooner or later and I have a queasy mix of dread and excitement.

The original Japanese film directed by Kinji Fukasaku is a ultra violent look at violence in society. It's not for everyone, but there is innocence and loss just under the surface. Stories of children on the verge of adulthood who love, hate, regret and feel passion about their shortened lives.

Can a Hollywood company capture that, or will they change the overall message into one of authoritarianism and/or terrorism/imperialism as the poor Japanese sequel did?

I have my doubts.

New Trailers - (Heroes, Wicker Man, Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning)

Our Blogger was down for a little while, but we're back now with some cool trailers:

Heroes looks like it will be the coolest NBC series in a long time.

The Wicker Man remake looks very freaky. I haven't seend the original, but I should give it a look.

Let's hope Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning is better than the remake!

Monday, June 05, 2006

Rob Zombie to bring his unique and twisted vision to Halloween

According to The Hollywood Reporter,
Rob Zombie is resurrecting Michael Myers, one of the big screen's favorite horror villains. Zombie will write and direct a new "Halloween" movie, serving up what is being called as a brand-new vision for the long-running horror series.

I have to admit that I am a Zombie fan. His House of a 1,000 Corpses was a gore-fest of a first film and his Devil's Rejects was a screwed up piece of genre that I liked even better than his first.

It will be interseting to see what he can do to an already established franchise.

Will his vision work? Ain't It Cool News has some more thoughts.

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