"Welcome to Count Gore De Vol's Tomb of Dark Delights. I'm J. L. Comeau, horror writer and resident Tomb Keeper. I have been charged with the daunting task of sorting and cataloging the Count's vast library of horror, science fiction and fantasy. Take a torch from the wall and follow me down the stone stairway into the darkness deep beneath the Dungeon. It's cold and damp down here--perfect for the kind of reading we're going to do. Never mind the shambling figures in the shadows, they're probably just some friends of ours looking for a good book. If you click on the cover, you'll be taken to a wonderful place where you can buy the book.
Now, let's reach into the musty stacks and see what we can find..."
(Clicking on the covers gives you more information and prices from Amazon.com and other outlets.)
We’re shaking it up in the Tomb this week with a fantastical work of fiction and
an in-depth non-fiction book about one of my favorite television and film
JOSS WHEDON: THE COMPLETE COMPANION published by PopMatters/Titan Books
One of the most influential television and film creators of the past twenty years must certainly be Joss Whedon. His “Whedonverse” contains Buffy, Angel, Firefly, Serenity, Doll House, Dr. Horrible, Astonishing X-Men, The Avengers, The Cabin in the Woods and more! Do we love this stuff? Hell, yeah! My favorite sf television series and film are Firefly and Serenity, and I don’t know who doesn’t love Buffy and the rest. Come on! This guy has changed the world of entertainment! Want to know all about Joss Whedon, his processes and thoughts about his Whedonverse? It’s all here! Interviews with Whedon’s major collaborators Tim Minear and Jane Espenson are included along with essays and inside info about his many projects, the actors and the people who helped put together some of the most exciting entertainment in the form of TV shows, major motion pictures and comics. This volume really gets into it—female competition on Buffy the Vampire Slayer is investigated, the dystopian future of Joss Whedon’s imagination, the wild enthusiasm of his fans, everything you could possibly want to know about Joss Whedon’s empire of entertainment is here! Ever wonder about the significance of Buffy’s window? Want to know about Nathan Fillion’s misbehavior? The ethics of Mal Renolds? I stayed up all night reading this stuff! Believe me, this book is like a nearly bottomless bag of Cheetos—you just can’t stop reading. Whether you’re a casual fan or a serious student of Joss Whedon’s worlds, you will enjoy every page of this hefty volume. Go get it!
RANGE OF GHOSTS by Elizabeth Bear
Although I am not known as a huge fan of the fantasy genre, I am a huge fan of Elizabeth Bear’s fiction. Ms Bear is a true storyteller of amazing talents; she can write anything, be it science fiction, horror or fantasy. Everything she writes grabs me and will not let me go until I reach the final page. Her characters always ring true, her plots are sure-footed, and her writing dazzles. RANGE OF GHOSTS is the first book in a projected fantasy trilogy, and, whether you love fantasy or think you don’t, I believe you will adore this novel. The story opens with a lost battle, after which young Temur, rightful heir to a vast empire, turns his back on a burning city and walks away, because “…his good dun mare, with her coat that gleamed like gold-backed mirrors in the sun, had been cut from under him.” So begins Temur’s flight across the steppes to evade the hordes of his uncle Qori Buqa, whose attempts to assassinate Temur will end their family’s civil war. But Temur has the blood of his grandfather, the great Khagan, pulsing through his veins. Where once there were a hundred sons and grandsons of the Khagan, only a few remain, and they will battle to the death to claim the empire. During his flight, Temur falls in love with a tribeswoman, Edene, of the nomadic Tsareg clan that shelters him. Buqa dispatches a renegade sorcerer to kidnap Edene, and when Temur discovers that she has been taken, his passions to regain his love and his empire are set afire. What follows is a breathtaking quest that only Elizabeth Bear could have envisioned and created. I urge you to get started on what promises to be an epic fantasy trilogy. For more about the author, visit www.elizabethbear.com.
Who’s ready for some mind-blowing science fiction? Well, strap on your helmets
and clamp on your zero-G boots, because we’re blasting off in T-minus 3…2…1…
DARK ORBIT by Carolyn Ives Gilman
A real-life historian at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, author Carolyn Ives Gilman rocks the intellect with her science fiction novel of strange new worlds where exoethnologist Sara Callicot has arrived at a new planet, a strange crystalline world filled with dark matter, with a team that includes a somewhat unstable member, Thora, whom Sara is charged with keeping in line. Shortly after arrival, however, one of the team is found murdered and Thora goes missing entirely. Although the planet was originally thought to be bereft of life forms, a sentient but blind race of creatures is discovered. Thora, lost in the deep fissures of the planet, is trying to hold on to her faltering grip on reality, but reality is an ever-shifting landscape where the blind inhabitants move through their world using extrasensory abilities. In order to survive and reunite with her teammates, she must learn from the native species and develop her own extrasensory powers. All the while, Sara Callicot is searching and learning in order to find Thora while Thora is battling her own dark impulses and trying to reach out to Sara. Strange and powerful, this is one of those weird, mind-expanding SF novels that were often published during the 60s.
ALL THE BIRDS IN THE SKY by Charlie Jane Anders
Editor-in-Chief of the ubiquitous and cool science website io9.com has written a witty, incisive, and entertaining near-future tale that contains both fantasy and super-tech that is marketed to young adults but which will appeal to adults as well. Narrated in alternating chapters, we follow the lives of two junior high school friends. Patricia can speak with animals and can even turn herself into a bird when she feels like it, and Lawrence, a science nerd who runs away from home to witness an amateur space launch at MIT. A decade passes before these two remarkable people reconnect as adults and, when they do, it is in the Mission District of San Francisco, where they find themselves on polar opposite sides of the battle between science and magic. They do not realize that their meeting is a continuation of a larger circumstance that will either rescue the world or cause the planet to descend into an eternal darkness. The stage has been set by powers neither Patricia nor Lawrence could have possibly realized and, together, the two will decide the fate of the world. Can science save us or will it doom us. This is the question that underpins and propels this fascinating and absorbing novel.
To get even more information about these titles, including some of the best prices on the Internet, just click on each of the book covers and you'll be connected to
To visit the individual writer's website, just click on any underlined name.
About the Tomb Keeper (Or, who is this person of mystery)
J. L. (Judy) Comeau is an award winning short story writer whose work has appeared internationally in major horror and dark fantasy anthologies such as the Borderlands series, Best New Horror, The Years' Best Horror, the Hot Blood series, and the Dark Voices series in the UK. She is an active member of the Horror Writer's Association, and she lives in the Washington, DC area where she also teaches short story writing. Click on FIREBIRD to read one of her most anthologized stories.
To learn more about the Horror Writer's Association, just click on their logo!