Being a celebrity on Twitter has yielded many things, for many people: it's gotten them sitcoms; an incredible number of followers waiting to see them go off the deep end; and for Family Guy writer Alec Sulkin, a brand new book. Robots Feel Nothing When They Hold Hands is a collaboration between Sulkin - better known as @TheSulk on Twitter - and two other writers for the show, collecting their best tweets with new art in the style of Far Side. We chatted with Sulkin - online, of course - about the book, whether a certain notorious tweet made its way between the pages, and how Twitter led to him having sexual relations with a real live woman:

MTV Geek: You mention it in the book, but how’d you decide on releasing a bunch of Twitter posts in novel-length form?
 
Alec Sulkin: We decided on a book when we realized that we had the best artists in animation working 10 yards from us. We knew they'd be able to bring the tweets to life in a way we never could. Also, we love The Far Side and really wanted to do something like that. Read More...

Comic book fans may be most familiar with Greg Rucka's work on the current Punisher series from Marvel, as well as his critically acclaimed runs on Action Comics, Batwoman, and his creator owned book Queen & Country. But in May, Rucka will be be launching a whole new series... Just not in comic book form. Featuring the exploits of ex-Delta Force operative Jad Bell, the first novel - "Alpha" - thrusts our hero in the middle of a terrorist plot to destroy a theme park. And then things get complicated.

We chatted with Rucka about the novel over the phone, why he needed to embrace cliche with this book in order to reject it, and also, a bit about what's coming up with everyone's favorite skull-wearing vigilante:

MTV Geek: For those who don’t know what Alpha is, there’s a lot of ex-military-ends-up-working-a-shady-job type novels. What makes this one different... Other than of course you writing it?

Greg Rucka: What makes it different? Honestly, this started with me asking myself “what’s the most cliché action story I can think of,” and then trying to take all the pieces of the cliché and breaking them into something new. The book has everything short of a guy saying, “Man, I was three days from retirement, I bought a boat”—you know what I mean? There is an element—it’s not over the top—but there is a certain self-awareness in the story. The scenario is created as plausibly as possible. I mean, I do crazy amounts of research. I want this stuff to “work,” so to speak. I need to be, at least to me, believable—because if I feel if I cannot invest some element of verisimilitude, the reader is absolutely not going to buy in. And the emotional element of the story has to be sincere because if there’s no empathy you lose your audience. So at first blush, this book is about a guy with a gun chasing other guys with guns. But I do think what makes Alpha perhaps distinctive in the genre is both its self-awareness of what it’s doing. I’m certainly not the first guy to go, Hey, terrorist, amusement park, let’s run with it. But it’s the first time in my experience I’ve ever seen anyone run towards it, if that makes sense, the surrealism of the scenario. So there’s that. Read More...

Legendary master of all things horrific fiction, Stephen King, has revealed the plot for his upcoming sequel to (in my opinion, his second best book*) "The Shining"!

The book is called "Doctor Sleep" and is described by StephenKing.com as follows:

Stephen King returns to the characters and territory of one of his most popular novels ever, The Shining, in this instantly riveting novel about the now middle-aged Dan Torrance (the boy protagonist of The Shining) and the very special twelve-year-old girl he must save from a tribe of murderous paranormals.

On highways across America, a tribe of people called The True Knot travel in search of sustenance. They look harmless—mostly old, lots of polyester, and married to their RVs. But as Dan Torrance knows, and tween Abra Stone learns, The True Knot are quasi-immortal, living off the “steam” that children with the “shining” produce when they are slowly tortured to death.

Haunted by the inhabitants of the Overlook Hotel where he spent one horrific childhood year, Dan has been drifting for decades, desperate to shed his father’s legacy of despair, alcoholism, and violence. Finally, he settles in a New Hampshire town, an AA community that sustains him, and a job at a nursing home where his remnant “shining” power provides the crucial final comfort to the dying. Aided by a prescient cat, he becomes “Doctor Sleep.”

Then Dan meets the evanescent Abra Stone, and it is her spectacular gift, the brightest shining ever seen, that reignites Dan’s own demons and summons him to a battle for Abra’s soul and survival. This is an epic war between good and evil, a gory, glorious story that will thrill the millions of hyper-devoted readers of The Shining and wildly satisfy anyone new to the territory of this icon in the King canon.

"Doctor Sleep" hits in 2013!

REDRUM-ER!**


*The Stand wins.

**This doesn't makes sense.

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Nothing is more satisfying than building something with your own two hands-- especially when it's a 1:1 scale AK47 assault rifle! Sure, making a replica firearm out of LEGOs isn't going to be useful when surrounded by zombie hordes, but it also doesn't require a background check. Jack Streat has just authored a how-to book titled LEGO Heavy Weapons that is filled with step-by-step guides on everything from an M-4 to the .50 caliber Desert Eagle pistol. Basically, if you loved any of the weapons you've seen in video games or action flicks (and have a little LEGO building skill) then you can re-create your very own version at home. Granted, it might take a while to collect that many black bricks-- but until then, your weapons shall be like rainbows!

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Widely considered the most important children’s book artist of the past century, Maurice Sendak, the beloved author of “Where the Wild Things Are” and "In the Night Kitchen," died this morning this morning from stroke complications. He was 83.

Known for his work on over a dozen storybooks, Mr. Sendak’s books were perennial reading room favorites with universal themes that echoed in the imaginations of children, both young and old. His work was often considered subversive for undermining the traditional, moralistic standards of children's literature at the time. Book after book, story after story, he introduced us to characters that could be bossy, headstrong, troublemaking, or isolationist.

His lyrical use of language and lavish, self-taught pencil work brought him success with with his story about a young boy named Max who after a night of making mischief in his wolf costume, is sent to his room without supper. Max escapes from his room, by boat, and sails to the land of the Wild Things...a land filled with grotesque and fanged monsters, where the real adventures begin. The story, entitled "Where the Wild Things Are", was published by Harper & Row in 1963. In 1964, the American Library Association awarded Mr. Sendak the Caldecott Medal, considered the Pulitzer Prize of children’s book illustration, for “Where the Wild Things Are.” The book, which has since sold over 19 million copies, has since been adapted in an animated short, a feature film, an opera -- and had its own line of toys. Read More...

According to the Associated Press, legendary children's author and illustrator Maurice Sendak died early this morning at 2:45am at Danbury Hospital in Connecticut. Sendak suffered a stroke on Friday and never regained consciousness.
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Of the few guides/manuals/histories acting as deconstruction of a genre that I've read over the last few years (and both the online and real-world bookshelves are beginning to swell with them), I've sussed out two very clear approaches which work with varying degrees of success: on one side, you have the type that exists absolutely inside the fiction and doesn't acknowledge the reader or that it's fiction at all (Max Brooks' World War Z being the prime recent example here); Matt D. Wilson's The Supervillain Handbook: The Ultimate How-to Guide to Destruction and Mayhem, is a hybrid of that other sort, where the writer not only acknowledges the reader (the "author" of the book, King Oblivion, PH.D frequently calls out the would-be villains reading his guide), but actually draws attention to the popular fiction that inspired it.

Wilson, a regular contributor to Cracked.com, borrows from that site's style of list-style posts, breaking down the chapters in The Supervillain Handbook into numbered how-to's about picking one's costume, choosing a nemesis, finding the right henchmen, and even the different motivations for becoming someone who screams at someone else from the lip of an active volcano while wearing a cape. Wilson's King Oblivion is a member of the International Society of Supervillains (also a thing online), and he speaks to the reader in a mixture of Silver Age bluster and collected self-help speak (one helpful tip in finding a suitable nemesis: "Match your aptitude"). The character's voice is funny, albeit in short bursts (handily, the chapters are short enough where you can choose to hang with King Oblivion at your own easy pace).
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Tuesday, May 1st, you'll finally be able to get closer to Geek Icon Joss Whedon with an in depth look at the method behind his quippy madness, when Titan Books published Joss Whedon: The Complete Companion. The book takes a look at the storied career of the creator, including his work in movies, TV, and of course, comic books.

Lucky you, even though the book doesn't come out until next week, we've got an entire chapter for you focusing on Whedon's run on Astonishing X-Men. It's a fascinating read that draws a line not just between the various great runs on Marvel's Merry Mutants, but also with the events surrounding the book's release in real life history.

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Why let HBO have all the fun?

According to EW, it looks like Syfy is gunning to enter Game of Thrones territory with an adaptation of Stephen King's fantasy novel, The Eyes of the Dragon.

The Eyes of the Dragon is one of King's few straight fantasy novels. It tells the story of Peter, the young heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Delain who must battle an evil wizard and his own brother to take his place as King. The story features connections to King's other works such as King Roland sharing the name of Dark Tower hero Roland Deschain and the evil wizard Flagg sharing the surname with the sinister Randall Flagg from The Stand.
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Little, Brown has given the details on J.K. Rowling's new novel, called "The Casual Vacancy" -- but readers looking for another magical YA tale of the Harry Potter variety might be out of luck!

Referred to by the publisher as Rowling's "first novel for adults," the book is scheduled for a September 27th 2012 release date and will total 480 pages. Here's the plot summary for the "blackly comic" novel, from the Little, Brown site:

"When Barry Fairweather dies unexpectedly in his early forties, the little town of Pagford is left in shock.

Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war.

Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils...Pagford is not what it first seems.

And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations?"

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With a TV mini-series based on Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett's Good Omens still in development (recently confirmed by Gaiman himself on Twitter), this "book title sequence" made by Ariana T. on Vimeo gives us a tantalizing idea of what we might expect. A motion graphics assignment for school based on her favorite book, Ariana used After Effects and Photoshop to put this visually striking video:

Related Posts:
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Best of 2011: Animation on TV

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“The Game of Chaos” illustration by Yehudi Mercado of Super Mercado.

The nominees for The Hugo Awards  -- essentially the Oscars or Grammys of the sci-fi world -- were announced this Saturday. Noms were given to Doctor Who, Game of Thrones, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, and, well, Martin Scorsese's Hugo. The biggest surprise in the bunch? A nod to the Community episode "Remedial Chaos Theory" for Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form. Read More...

Can't get enough of Kim Newman's alternate history novels Anno Dracula? Well, you're in luck, as Titan Books continues their re-release of the groundbreaking fantasy novels with the second book in the series, "The Bloody Red Baron." Oh, and if you've read it before? There's way more material in this reissue, including a brand new Anno Dracula story, and an outline for a film version of the book! Read More...

As usual, let's start things off with ****SPOILER ALERT****!!!!

So at the end of last year, MTV Geek posted how everyone's favorite fantasy author (not to mention the most famous person currently living in New Mexico), George R. R. Martin had put up on his blog a chapter from his unreleased sixth novel in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, The Winds of Winter.   For those of you who didn't read it, the chapter revolves around Theon Greyjoy sharing a couple LOL moments with Stannis Baratheon and company.

With the second season of Game of Thrones getting ready to kick off this Sunday on HBO, Martin must be in a happy, giving mood because he decided in a taped interview to read another scene from Winds.  Below is the full interview, with the reading beginning around the 29:54 marker: Read More...

Are you ready for this Sunday’s Season Two premiere of Game of Thrones? Want the inside scoop on how HBO’s hit show came to be, and what goes on behind the Iron Throne, in book form? Well, you’ll have to wait on that – but like Winter, a new coffee table book called Inside HBO’s Game of Thrones is coming.

The book from Chronicle and HBO is still in production, so we probably won’t get a glimpse of it for the next few months. And in fact, the volume won’t be on book stands until the Fall. But we do have some info for you on what it will contain, right now:

- The book is written by Bryan Cogman, who you might know better as the writer of two season one episodes, and Story Editor on most of the show so far.

- A forward by A Song of Ice and Fire creator George R.R. Martin, followed by an afterword that will be available six years from now. Just kidding.

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