To my mind, "Dune" is probably the most evocative pieces of science fiction ever committed to the page--a universe built on the mechanical skeletons of banned AI, driven by genetically-curated supermen and jihadist mystics in the far-flung future. And back in the '60s and '70s, author Frank Herbert brought in celebrated sci-fi artist John Schoenherr to visualize this universe.
As a lifelong fan of all things creative and comic bookish, I've always been fascinated by the dark corners of popular culture: the overlooked stories, the uncredited creators who defined generations of entertainment, the characters that become household names while the artists behind them languished in anonymity. And over the last couple months, there've been a few books released that focus on particularly deserving subjects. So this column is dedicated to discussing a trio of these volumes – three books that shine light on forgotten (or under-recognized) figures, and add invaluable perspective for any fan with an interest in understanding the landscape and history of mass media.
Fans fell in love with Percy Jackson when he was just a boy on a page, but three years ago he went from book form to the big screen with "Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief." It impressed fans who loved the series so much that a sequel, "Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters" is heading into theaters today. We thought we’d celebrate the release showcasing the reason why those books and movies do well. That’s right, you, the fans! Here are the top 10 pieces of fan art based on "Percy Jackson," both the books and movies.
Varla Ventura likes to investigate the bizarre. After writing “The Book of the Bizarre” and “Beyond Bizarre,” she began work on “Among the Mermaids: Facts, Myths, and Enchantments from the Sirens of the Sea,” a new book that recounts old mermaid tales and gives quirky facts on these hybrid animals. After she turned the book in, Animal Planet aired its infamous fake documentary on mermaids, proving that Ventura’s not the only one interested in these mythological creatures.
I spoke to Ventura about what surprised her most while doing her research, what modern accounts of alleged mermaid sightings are like, and how mermaids in mythology can differ from mermaids in popular culture. She also gave me tips on other pieces of bizarre knowledge, like why you can’t file a lawsuit against the devil (in Pennsylvania).
This week, publishing house Farrar, Straus and Giroux released "Dead Pig Collector," a new shortform fiction story by esteemed author Warren Ellis. And while the release of any new Ellis work is worth noting, the unorthodox format of this project (a 99¢ 'digital ebook single, with no physical edition planned) makes it even more of a special event – this is FSG's first exclusively digital release, and inspires all manner of interesting discussion about the distribution of novellas and short stories as stand-alone releases, and the flexibility of format that digital publication can provide. So, in the excitement around this release, we took the opportunity to ask Mr. Ellis some quick questions about this new story, the method of publication, and his creative process.
Did you know Stone Sour/Slipknot's Corey Taylor spent some time in the midst of ghost hunters, studying the supernatural? That's the basis of his book, "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way To Heaven," where he writes about his own brushes with the unknown
During San Diego Comic-Con, Taylor sat down with MTV Geek's Steven Smith to talk about some of these strange encounters and the fine line between skepticism and cynicism.
Earlier this month, Titan Books celebrated one of writer Edgar Allan Poe's great creations, Le Chevalier C. Auguste Dupin, the protagonist of the first known detective story, "The Murders in Rue Morgue." In the anthology, "Beyond Rue Morgue," a collection of writers returns to Dupin, spinning new tales of the macabre for the first detective--and one of those writers is "Books of Blood"/"Hellraiser" and "Candyman" creator Clive Barker.
After the jump, read an excerpt from his story, "New Murders in Rue Morgue." "Beyond Rue Morgue" is available now in print and digitally from Titan Books.
Between all of the big superhero matchups coming to the big screen and infinite television panels, this story almost slipped through the San Diego Comic-Con cracks: the Chuck Palahniuk Tumblr is reporting that the author, whose "Beautiful You" will be out in 2014, is working on a comic book sequel to "Fight Club."
Are you guys jazzed for Brandon Sanderson's new book "Steelheart"? Well to further stoke those flames of excitement, we're counting down to the Sanderson's interview on MTV's San Diego Comic-Con livestream on Sunday where we'll be revealing a video sneak peek of the book!
The surreality of the situation smacked author Timothy Price with the intensity of one of Godzilla’s roars. There he was, maybe one of the biggest kaiju geeks on the planet, signing autographs at last weekend's G-Fest, the annual Godzilla fan convention in Chicago, Ill. that draws nearly 2,000 fans.
Price had walked the con hall for years as a fan, but this time he returned as a guest promoting his debut novel “Big in Japan.”
Zombies have devoured all areas of pop culture in the last few years that toothless retreads make the genre feel like it’s decaying pretty fast. But a clever concept -- such as with Peter Stenson’s new shockingly personal crystal meth-meets-zombies book “Fiend” -- has the power to refresh the old corpse and get it back to its best shambling form.
By Amber Lena
If you haven’t heard of Marcus Sakey yet, you surely will sometime in the very near future. He is the author of multiple novels including (among other titles), "The Blade Itself," "Good People," and "At the City’s Edge." His latest work, "Brilliance," is an alternate-reality look at the present day as it would be if humans with astonishing abilities of the mind started being born in the 1980’s.
I had the opportunity to chat with Marcus and learn more about "Brilliance" as well as pressing information involving ice cream and James Franco.
In May of this year, Random House released a tenth anniversary deluxe edition of the young-adult fantasy novel "The Book Of Ember," (Read an exclusive excerpt!) a title that has garnered great acclaim from readers, reviewers and educators, and spawned a loyal fan following (and three sequel novels). We got the chance to speak with author Jeanne DuPrau about what surprises lie in wait in this new edition, and what she's working on next.