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Exclusive Q&A with Mark Buckingham

Eisner Award-winning artist Mark Buckingham talks about his work on Dead Boy Detectives as well as what he's been able to achieve so far on Fables and looking back at what his favorite stories and characters.

DeadBoyDetectives6Charlie Chang: Let’s jump right into Dead Boy Detectives. There was quite a bit of buzz when this book was announced last  year and the art and characters are very interesting. Do you have a favorite issue or favorite panel?

Mark Buckingham: To be honest, my favorites are issues #5 and #6, The Halfway House. I think that’s partly because we brought a new artist into the fold, Russ Braun, who’s one of the guys I’ve worked with a lot on Fables. He helped me to really push us into the type of storytelling I wanted to do. It’s much richer in terms of the art style, of the fact that I’ve been able to explore different types of storytelling approaches and art styles within it. We have things like “The seven rules of being a ghost” which is done as sort of a Manga kids cartoon. We have a Victorian style newspaper comic strip called The Dark Mirror and all of these things we’re folding into the Dead Boys world which is fleshing things out and opening all these avenues for us in terms of storytelling approaches and possibilities. For me, that first story was important, it grounded us, it showed us who the boys are and where they came from. We took them back to St. Hilarions, we had that opportunity to meet Crystal Palace and she’s turned their world upside down so that’s been really positive. Also, that first story was sort of a love letter from me to Neil Gaiman and Matt Wagner because it was very much me homaging and showing my affection for the original Sandman 25 story where those boys appeared. Now, with the stories that are coming afterward we’re definitely reaching out beyond that and developing the world that the boys live in and bringing in other creators to work with Toby and I to explore that world.

CC: It’s a very cool and unique book with interesting characters. How would you describe the way that the art plays on the themes? There’s a murder mystery aspect and a bit of a thriller theme, what does the art do best as far as drawing out those themes?

 

Continue reading "Exclusive Q&A with Mark Buckingham" »

SF and Fantasy Awards Season Heats Up; Hugo and Nebula Awards Still to Come

2312-ksrFrom roughly April through early November, the science fiction and fantasy world speculates on the outcome of several different prominent awards -- ultimately rejoicing or raging at the announcement of the finalist and winners. (Milder emotions are not permitted.) So where are we right now? How is it all trending?

As Omnivoracious previously reported, the Tiptree Award for feminist SF went to The Drowning Girl by Caitlín R. Kiernan and Ancient, Ancient by Kiini Ibura Salaam. Last month, Brian Francis Slattery won the Philip K. Dick Award for best SF paperback published in North America for Lost Everything. Just this past week, in what must be considered an upset, the Arthur C. Clarke Award, for excellence in science fiction published in the U.K., was awarded to Chris Beckett for Dark Eden. Beckett’s novel beat out favorites like Nick Harkaway’s Angelmaker and Kim Stanley Robinson’s 2312.

The Nebula Award and Hugo Award finalists also were announced in the last couple of months. The 2013 Hugo Award ballot for excellence in science fiction was voted on by the members of the World Science Fiction Convention. The winners will be revealed at the World SF Convention, Lonestar Con, in early September. The finalists for best novel are:

 

2312, Kim Stanley Robinson (Orbit)
Blackout
, Mira Grant (Orbit)
Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance
, Lois McMaster Bujold (Baen)
Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas, John Scalzi (Tor)
Throne of the Crescent Moon, Saladin Ahmed (DAW)

By contrast, the Nebula Awards are voted on by members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, a writers’ organization. The Nebula winners will be announced in mid-May at a special banquet in San Francisco hosted by SFWA. Their novel ballot looks like this:

Throne of the Crescent Moon, Saladin Ahmed (DAW; Gollancz ’13)
Ironskin, Tina Connolly (Tor)
The Killing Moon, N.K. Jemisin (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
The Drowning Girl, Caitlín R. Kiernan (Roc)
Glamour in Glass, Mary Robinette Kowal (Tor)
2312, Kim Stanley Robinson (Orbit US; Orbit UK)

Continue reading "SF and Fantasy Awards Season Heats Up; Hugo and Nebula Awards Still to Come" »

Romantic Times Award Winning Books

Award season is here! Romantic Times announced the Reviewers' Choice award winners honoring the best books of 2012. The RT staff of more than 50 reviewers select the nominees and the winners. Below is a list of winners we'd like to give a shout out to. For the full list of awards and winners visit the RT Award Winners and Nominees page.

RivetedRT Book of the Year: Riveted by Meljean Brook
A century after a devastating volcanic eruption forced Iceland's inhabitants to abandon its shores, the island has become enshrouded in legend. But the truth behind the legends is mechanical, not magical--and the mystery of the island a matter of life and death for a community of women who once spilled noble blood to secure their freedom... Read more

Contemporary Romance: When Snow Falls by Brenda Novak
After growing up in cheap motels, moving from town to town with her sister and mother, Cheyenne Christensen is grateful to be on her own. She's grateful, too, for the friends she found once her family settled in California. But she's troubled by the mystery of her earliest memories, most of which feature a smiling blonde woman. A woman who isn't her mother... Read more

Erotica: The Siren by Tiffany Reisz
Notorious Nora Sutherlin is famous for her delicious works of erotica, each one more popular with readers than the last. But her latest manuscript is different—more serious, more personal—and she's sure it'll be her breakout book, if it ever sees the light of day. Zachary Easton holds Nora's fate in his well-manicured hands... Read more

Historical Romance: Thief of Shadows by Elizabeth Hoyt
A masked man, a dangerous woman, and a passion neither could deny. During the day Isabel and Winter engage in a battle of wills. At night their passions are revealed . . . But when little girls start disappearing from St. Giles, Winter must avenge them. For that he might have to sacrifice everything-the Home, Isabel . . . and his life. Read more

Inspirational Romance: The Shadow of the Quilt by Stephanie Grace Whitson
Juliana Sutton’s life looks perfect—from the outside. Until her husband’s untimely death reveals a devastating truth... Cass Gregory is carrying his own dark secrets and feels unworthy to offer comfort to a woman of Juliana’s standing. When circumstances force them together, both Juliana and Cass are wounded and afraid to trust. Read more

Multicultural Romance: Red Hot by Niobia Bryant
Is a real man too hot for a pampered diva to handle?... For Kaitlyn Strong, life has been a fun-filled free ride, all expenses paid by her wealthy father. As for relationships, why would Kaitlyn want to give up the fabulous single life? But after she goes on her most outrageous spending bender yet, she's informed it's time to make her own way. For a shocked Kaitlyn, that means getting a job--and an affordable apartment to go with it. Read more

Romantic Suspense: Sleepwalker by Karen Robards
It’s not that Micayla Lange is afraid of the clinking she hears coming from the first floor of the empty McMansion she’s housesitting for her uncle Nicco. She’s a cop, after all. It’s just that finding out her boyfriend was cheating on her was enough drama for one night. Now she’s alone on New Year’s Eve, wearing flannel pajamas and wielding a Glock 22 as she zeroes in on the unmistakable source of the sound: Uncle Nicco’s private office. Read more

First Series: What Lies Beneath by Andrea Laurence
They say she's Cynthia Dempsey, fiancée of media mogul Will Taylor. But try as she might, she can't recall their high-society life or the man sitting by her hospital bed. Though her body certainly remembers him. Even as she senses the distance between them, the electricity when they touch is undeniable. Read more

Valar Dohaeris: An Interview With George R.R. Martin

Ce81e73f58ec0a7d936214.L._V190608765_The epic fantasy television series Game of Thrones, which returned for a third season on March 31, has been a magnificent hit, winning award after award and attracting larger and increasingly mainstream audiences with each season –- the season premiere netted the show’s biggest audience yet with 4.4 million viewers.  It's been such a boon for HBO that the network announced last month a new two-year development deal with George R.R. Martin, the man behind the books that launched the series. "Valar Dohaeris," as they say. (Translated from the fictional GOT language High Valyrian, this means "All Men Must Serve," and it's also the title of the season's first episode.) In this case, Martin must serve the many facets of his inner muse and take advantage of an opportunity to reach a massive audience with more of his ideas.

This (like many of Martin’s beyond-the-books projects) comes as bittersweet news to some of his die-hard fans who, with rabid anticipation, await his next novel. Though it's been only two years since A Dance with Dragons (Book 5 in the Song of Ice and Fire series) was released, A Feast for Crows (Book 4) came out in 2005 and A Storm of Swords (Book 3, the first half of which is the source for this season on TV) came out in 2000. New projects, some worry, could mean even more time between releases for the final two books: The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring. And the books, after all, are what it's really all about, right?

Well, we can all relax and even rejoice. Amazon recently confirmed that Martin is not too distracted by these other endeavors and is, in fact, actively working on the new novel.

At the risk of exasperating fans further, we do admit that we waylaid Mr. Martin for a brief telephone conversation -- during which he discussed his history with television, how the show affects the pace of his writing, which actor’s portrayal he prefers to the character he wrote, and what to look forward to in season 3. (Note: Spoilers ensue in Martin’s first two responses.)

GameofThrones

Robin A. Rothman, Amazon Books Editor: What about this season are you most excited to see translated from your written description to come to life on screen?

George R.R. Martin: [Spoiler alert] Well, excited and apprehensive is the Red Wedding. I don't know if you want to write about that without spoiling things. I think it will have more impact if it takes people unexpectedly, but certainly that's the scene that both myself and I think most of my hardcore fans are looking forward to with a mixture of anticipation and apprehension. 

RAR: It's so graphic in the novel. You've probably seen it already. Do you feel it captures what you wrote? Were there any major changes to that?

GRRM: [Spoiler alert] I have not seen it. I've been very busy writing the new books and doing other projects this year, so I did not have a chance to visit the set. At one point I was looking at going over there when they were filming it and maybe even being one of the casualties, but I just couldn't find the time to get over to Belfast, so I haven't seen any of it. I've seen no footage this season.

Continue reading "Valar Dohaeris: An Interview With George R.R. Martin" »

October's Kindle Books for $3.99 or Less

For great books at a low price, browse this month's 100 Kindle books for $3.99 or less, a diverse offering available all month. These deals expire on October 31, 2012. Here's a selection of our favorites from October's great collection:

 

Literature & Fiction 

When It Happens to You: A Novel in Stories by Molly Ringwald, $3.99

When It Happens to You--A Novel in Stories by Molly Ringwald

General Nonfiction 

All New Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew, $2.99

  All New Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew

Kids & Teens 

The Secret Zoo by Bryan Chick, $1.99

  The Secret Zoo by Bryan Chick

Mysteries & Thrillers

77 Days in September by Ray Gorham, $1.99

  77 Days in September by Ray Gorham

Romance

Wild Montana Sky (The Montana Sky Series) by Debra Holland, $1.99

  Wild Montana Sky (The Montana Sky Series) by Debra Holland

Science Fiction & Fantasy 

American Gods: The Tenth Anniversary Edition (Enhanced Edition) by Neil Gaiman, $3.99

American Gods--The Tenth Anniversary Edition (Enhanced Edition) by Neil Gaiman

Biography & Memoir 

The Master of Disguise: My Secret Life in the CIA by Antonio J. Mendez, $0.99

The Master of Disguise--My Secret Life in the CIA by Antonio J. Mendez

Kindle Book Collection Bundles

We know every Kindle reader appreciates a great deal, and, with this in mind, we're excited to offer a collection of six new Kindle book bundles.

These bundles include critically acclaimed literary fiction, top-rated romance novels, best-selling thrillers, young adult favorites, and more by acclaimed authors such as Alice Walker, Eileen Goudge, David Housewright, and Patricia Rilley Giff. Each collection features at least three great reads grouped together at one substantially discounted price (up to 66% off, when comparing the cost of the collections to buying each Kindle book in the collections individually):

The Color Purple Collection by Alice Walker

The Color Purple Collection--The Color Purple, The Temple of My Familiar, and Possessing the Secret of JoyBringing together the Pulitzer Prize–winning novel The Color Purple with The Temple of My Familiar and Possessing the Secret of Joy, this collection follows a cast of unforgettable characters as they are drawn into confrontations filled with landmark historical events brought to life on a deeply personal level.

 

 

The Carson Springs Trilogy by Eileen Goudge

The Carson Springs Trilogy--Stranger in Paradise, Taste of Honey, and Wish Come TrueThis addictive series of romance and suspense centers on a small California town.

 

 

 

 

The Holland Taylor Trilogy by David Housewright

The Holland Taylor Trilogy--Penance, Dearly Departed, and Practice to DeceiveIn this gripping thriller trilogy, private investigator Holland Taylor deals with murder, abduction, and revenge in the dark corners of Minneapolis, Minnesota.

 

 

 

 The Dr. Robert Cole Trilogy by Noah Gordon

The Cole Trilogy--he Physician, Shaman, and Matters of ChoiceFor fans of historical fiction, this acclaimed series is the perfect read: It spans a thousand years as it follows the lives of one family with an uncommon gift for healing.

 

 

 

 The Polk Street Mysteries by Patricia Reilley Giff

The Polk Street Mysteries, Books 1-4--The Mystery of the Blue Ring, The Riddle of the Red Purse, The Secret at the Polk Street School, and (Polk Street Mystery)The beloved second-grade sleuth, Dawn Bosco, must put her detective skills to the test in these four mysteries unfolding at the Polk Street School. 

 

 

 

 Five Volumes of Spiritual Wisdom by the Philosophical Library

Five Volumes of Spiritual Wisdom --The Wisdom of the Torah, The Wisdom of the Talmud, The Wisdom of the Koran, The Wisdom of MuhammadThis enlightening collection gathers words of ancient wisdom from some of the world’s most seminal texts.

 

 

 

 

September's Kindle Books for $3.99 or Less

100 Kindle Books for 3.99 or Less banner

For great books at a low price, browse this month's 100 Kindle books for $3.99 or less, a diverse offering available all month. These deals expire on September 30, 2012.

Literature & Fiction 

John Dies at the End by David WongJohn Dies at the End by David Wong, $3.99

A book with a cult following for a reason, David Wong has managed to channel the Lovecraft horror tradition, inject it with humor, and produce a markedly more terrifying result.  

 

 

General Nonfiction

AWOL on the Appalachian Trail by David MillerAWOL on the Appalachian Trail by David Miller, $2.99

In 2003, software engineer David Miller left his job, family, and friends to fulfill a dream and hike thru-hike the Appalachian Trail, the entire 2,172 miles from Georgia to Maine.

 

 

Kids & Teens 

Touch of Frost by Jennifer EstepTouch of Frost by Jennifer Estep, $2.99

Gwen Frost can know any object's history just by touching it. But after she has a magical meltdown, the 17-year-old girl is sent to Mythos Academy, a school catering to people like her.

 

 

Mysteries & Thrillers

Wahoo Rhapsody by Shaun MoreyWahoo Rhapsody by Shaun Morey, $1.99

Captain Winston Weber makes an honest living running fishing charters between Mexico and California. He has no clue his first mate, Weevil Ott, is smuggling marijuana inside the tuna stacked in the boat’s hold, until drug-lord goons come calling.

 

 

Romance

Touch of a Thief by Mia MarloweTouch of a Thief by Mia Marlowe, $3.99

Lady Viola Preston is London's most talented criminal, but she's careful to wear gloves when she steals jewels: touching a gemstone with her bare skin yields disturbing visions--visions almost as unsettling as the cool-eyed stranger who catches her red handed.

 

 

Science Fiction & Fantasy 

I Am Legend by Richard MathesonI Am Legend by Richard Matheson, $2.99

Robert Neville witnessed the end of the world: the entire population obliterated by a vampire virus. Somehow, Neville survived, and he must now struggle to make sense of everything and protect himself against the vampires who hunt him constantly. 

 

Cooking

Put 'em Up! by Sherri Brooks VintonPut 'em Up! by Sherri Brooks Vinton, $2.51

Preserving is back, and it's better than ever. Flavors are brighter, batch sizes are more flexible, and this handy book will guide you through the modern methods that make preserving safer and easier.

 

Be sure to browse August's entire selection of 100 Kindle Books for $3.99 or Less to discover great fiction and nonfiction titles catering to all tastes.

Note: Deals expire on the last day of each month. Individual books may have additional territory restrictions, and not all deals are available in all territories.

Lee Goldberg Calling

Guest post by Barry Napier, winner of the Write a Dead Man Novella contest. Part horror and part action, the short novels in The Dead Man series follow Matt Cahill, an everyday man, as he battles people infected by a mysterious, violent evil.

Barry-Napier-dead-man-winnerIf I’m being honest, I had only read one and a half Dead Man books before entering the contest. But that first book, Face of Evil, is a great kick-off for the series and gives a clear idea of where the series is headed.  A sucker for a good series (as both a reader and a writer), I drafted up my sample chapter, strung a synopsis together, and entered the Write A Dead Man Novel contest.

The concept of books that have the interconnectivity of a good drama TV show has always appealed to me, so needless to say, when I got a phone call delivering the staggering news that I had won the contest, I was floored.

I was stopped at a red light on a Thursday afternoon at a busy intersection with my family. As a mini-meltdown from my son in the back seat rose to a thundering level, my phone rings.

“Hello?”

 “Hi,” comes an unfamiliar voice on the other end. “This is Lee Goldberg and I’m calling to let you know that you’ve won the Write a Dead Man contest!”

I paused for a minute. My son kept screaming. With the look of shock on my face, I think my wife must have thought there was bad news on the other end.

“Oh, hi,” I said rather stupidly.

For the next thirty seconds, Lee went through some details, most of which I only caught fragments of.  Feeling like an idiot, I could hardly speak when he was done. The light turned green. A good thing, too; it’s likely the only thing that unfroze me from the amazing news that I had yet to digest.

Even now, as I tinker with a tentative outline, it hasn’t sunk in yet. There is something that I’m drawn to in the episodic layout of the Dead Man books. They have quick gut punch plot points that promise something much larger in scale while also delivering extensive character development and fresh ideas.

As I plan out this book, I am trying to not only respect and follow the mythology that has already been developed, but to build upon it with my own twists. I am honored to be a part of this great series and look forward to placing Matt Cahill in some uncomfortable situations.

Barry Napier is a humble servant to ambient music, coffee, and the horror genre. His past books include The Bleeding Room, The Masks of Our Fathers, and Everything Theory: Cold Compass. Read the first chapter of Barry Napier's Dead Man novella here.

The Dead Man Series1-5

Book Lust Rediscoveries Pick: "Fool"

Editor's Note: Book Lust Rediscoveries is a series devoted to reprinting some of the best (and now out of print) novels originally published between 1960-2000. Each book is selected by Nancy Pearl and includes an introduction and discussion questions. Fool is the most recent Book Lust Rediscoveries pick.

Guest post by Frederick Dillen, author of Fool.

FoolThere are people who find big, bumbling Barnaby Griswold to be perfectly repellant.

Which is ridiculous.

Barnaby, the protagonist in my novel Fool, is self-centered, greedy and entitled. He’s wasted the gifts his privileged family gave him. His work is to uncover dreadful investments and pump them up and then unload them on the unsuspecting. He does most of this work while drinking largely in New York’s most expensive restaurants.

What’s not to like?

Okay, fine, his wife has gone off, and he barely knows his daughters, but really, Barnaby is at bottom happy. He loves what he does. He’s not a numbers guy, not even exactly an instinct guy; rather he follows the path of greatest foolishness, which he has found to be natural for him and terribly successful. Truth to tell, it’s all fun, and he’s nearly rich enough to give a library to his boarding school.

What’s more, when he loses everything, he tries to do the right thing. No, absolutely he does, although he mostly does it because foolishness coincides at moments with good behavior. Does he sometimes lose his high spirits when he is forced to confront all he’s lost, which was a lot to lose even by his own foolish standards? Sure, but then he sees a ridiculous hope that any sensible soul would be ashamed to notice, and he wanders toward that hope with every expectation of bounty. Also, as a function of his natural happiness with himself, he’s inclined to a happy kindness toward others – except of course when business forbids, and even then he hopes to be liked by the people he’s bilked. The fact is he wants to be liked by everybody. Actually he assumes that everybody does like him.

A dope like Barnaby, sooner or later, you almost have to root for him. All right, you don’t mind seeing him take it on the chin, but then he takes it on the chin with such foolish good cheer, except at times, and we all have times.

What happens, though, when finally he reaches the end, when he is alone and hated and physically beaten, when the horizon holds no hope whatever? What does his foolishness do for him then? Can foolishness lead Barnaby to redemption?

Please. That is asking too much. Despite his amusingly louche charms, Barnaby Griswold will never deserve so much as a shred of redemption.

Will he?

One Big Deal for a Limited Time

 Summer-savings._V145353244_SY100_SX600_

The Big Deal is back. More than 500 Kindle books are now available for as low as $0.99, including literature, nonfiction, thrillers, romance, cookbooks, books for kids and teens, and more. Shop for yourself, or give Kindle books--delivered when you want--to anyone with an e-mail address. (No Kindle required. Books can be read on Kindle or one of our free reading apps.) But hurry--these deals expire on August 23.

The Big Deal's diverse range of categories includes:

Literature & Fiction as Low as $0.99

Literature and Fiction as Low as $0.99

 

 

 

  

 

Romance as Low as $0.99

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Nonfiction Books as Low as $0.99

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Teen Books for $2.99 or Less

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Children's Books, $2.99 or Less

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Health, Mind & Body Books: $3.99 or Less

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