Writers condemn UK book censorship order

A large group of writers, including Stephen Fry, Jeffrey Archer, Katharine Norbury, Will Self, and others (include me!) have signed onto an open letter condemning a UK court decision that banned publication of a memoir because it revealed that the writer's child has autism and ADHD.

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Massive, tentacle-covered annotated works of HP Lovecraft


Les Klinger's enormous volume has earned critical praise from Neil Gaiman, Gahan Wilson, Peter Straub and Harlan Ellison; the book is big enough to stun an (eldritch demon) ox, and is introduced by none other than Alan Moore.

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SF Book Review: "They Tell Me I'm The Bad Guy," by R.D. Harless

They Tell Me I'm The Bad Guy

RD Harless' They Tell Me I'm The Bad Guy is a fantastic story of a pre-Apocalyptic Earth barely managing its mutant menace.

Don Guillory wants nothing more than to be left alone. For 10 years he's worked in a factory, not even practicing his awesome extra-human power of fire and heat control. Once ran with the baddest bunch of bad ass super criminals in Europe, but now he is leading a quiet life in middle America. Rapidly Don loses his anonymity, his best friend and any hope for a normal life.

Nano technology, quantum physics and plain old violence fill the pages of They Tell Me I'm The Bad Guy. If you are looking for a great anti-hero gets dragged back in but makes good story, RD Harless' first novel is a winner.

They Tell Me I'm The Bad Guy by RD Harless

Scarfolk: creepy blog is now an amazing book

Back in August, I blogged the announcement of the forthcoming Discovering Scarfolk, a book-length adaptation of the brilliantly creepy Scarfolk Council blog, which chronicles the government publications of a English town that is forever trapped in a loop from 1969-1979, a town that's like Nightvale crossed with Liartown USA, written by John Wyndham. Today, it's out!

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Humble Star Wars Bundle with Dark Horse


Name your price for great Star Wars comics in Dark Horse's first-ever DRM-free foray, and support the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund!

Dead Set: Richard Kadrey's young adult horror novel


Richard Kadrey's brilliant young adult horror novel, in paperback just in time for All Hallow's. From my original review:

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Let’s Learn Japanese – an illustrated dictionary with over 1500 Japanese words

For anyone learning how to speak Japanese, this is a fun illustrated “picture dictionary” with over 1500 words that will help build up your Japanese vocabulary. Designed like some of Richard Scarry’s classic books (What Do People Do All Day, Best Word Book Ever…) Let’s Learn Japanese is filled with colorful scenes, each with a theme such as the doctor’s office, the supermarket, colors, the zoo, clothing, etc, and each theme offers dozens of related, illustrated words.

At the end of the book there is an English-Japanese and a Japanese-English glossary and index so that you can look up a specific word when needed. I originally bought this for my husband and I to brush up on our vocabulary before making a trip to Japan, but now my daughter, who is interested in Japanese, pores over the pages as if she’s reading one of her favorite comic books.

Let’s Learn Japanese: Picture Dictionary

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Paolo Bacigalupi's "The Doubt Factory"

From one of science fiction’s most versatile writers comes a caper novel about corporate sleaze and net-savvy guerrilla activists that is as thrilling as it is trenchant. Cory Doctorow reviews Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Doubt Factory.

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Marian Bantjes – Ornate designs that are utterly inspiring and ingenious

Style and design, as in music and food, is idiosyncratic and personal. What inspires one person is merely a shrug for another. My preference is for a minimal style, but designer Marian Bantjes goes for the maximal – maximum decoration, and ornamentation. Ornate is not my style but I find her designs to be utterly inspiring and endlessly ingenious. I’ve spent days studying this large-format monograph of her work, exploring each and every flourish for hours because there is so much to explore. Her productivity is astonishing, the amount of work required for each item is mind-boggling, and the result of all this attention is spirit lifting. She is visually witty. Her flourishes and swirls have meaning. And she has grown her own distinctive style that few can imitate. Besides all this, she is a fantastic writer. This is one of the very few design books you can spend as much time reading as looking. Bantjes has the uncommon ability to be self-aware and critical of her own work, and seems eager to teach others by publishing her dead-ends and failures. I love it when artists “show their work” on the way to the final version. Bantjes discloses everything, and that honesty is the best teacher, and has won me as her fan. Her ceaseless inventiveness in calligraphy and design will delight anyone who inspects it closely.

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Marian Bantjes Pretty Pictures

Cruddy – A dark, ominous and hilarious tale about a 16-year-old’s cruddy trip through life

If you’re like me, you are always on the lookout for a novel that speaks to the homicidal teenage girl on acid inside of you. Well, today you are in luck, unless you’ve already read this 1999 masterpiece by artist/writer/teacher/goddess Lynda Barry.

Best known for her comic strip Ernie Pook’s Comeek, which ran in many weekly alternative papers in the 1980s and '90s, Barry creates characters that are simultaneously heartbreaking and hilarious. In Cruddy, 16-year-old narrator Roberta Rohbeson lives in poverty, “on a cruddy street, on the side of a cruddy hill in the cruddiest part of a crudded-out town in a cruddy state, country, world, solar system, universe.” As the story begins, Roberta has been grounded for a year due to getting caught “tripping on drugs very badly.” In one long journal entry/suicide note, Roberta composes the “famous book” she plans to leave behind: the recounting of a road trip with her violent, alcoholic father, which leaves a trail of death and destruction and concludes with Roberta stranded on a desert highway, her trusty knife Little Debbie as her only companion.

Although Barry departed from her usual cartoon format, the ominous black and white drawings she includes throughout beautifully enhance this dark tale. Nice touches are the illustrated endsheets, which are maps detailing both Roberta’s cruddy hometown and the route of her and her father’s horrifying crime spree, er, family vacation.

Cruddy: An Illustrated Novel by Lynda Barry

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UK psyops created N. Irish Satanic Panic during the Troubles

During the 1970s, when Northern Ireland was gripped by near-civil-war, British military intelligence staged the evidence of "black masses" in order to create a Satanism panic among the "superstitious" Irish to discredit the paramilitaries.

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Scott McCloud's Best American Comics 2014

If there’s one thing Scott McCloud is better at than making comics, it’s explaining comics, which makes him the best possible editor for this year’s Best American Comics. McCloud’s volume is surprising, delightful, diverse, brave and endlessly wonderful.

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Last Unicorn heading to Broadway


Peter Beagle's beloved novel is in development as a touring musical with Josh Duhamel and Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas.

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Steven Brust's "Hawk" - a new Vlad Taltos book!

Hawk, the 14th book in Steven Brust’s Vlad Taltos series, is a moving, funny and tantalizing end-game glimpse of the assassin, reluctant revolutionary and epic wisecracker. Cory Doctorow explains why he’s been reading this generation-spanning series of Hungarian mythology, revolutionary politics, and gastronomy for more than 30 years.

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Molecules: The Elements and the Architecture of Everything

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In 2009, Theodore Gray blew minds with his gorgeously photographed book, The Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe, which sold over a million copies. Five years later, Gray has created this book, which describes what happens when elements are snapped together to make molecules, and the result is a masterpiece (thanks in no small part to Nick Mann’s drool-inducing photographs). Gray organizes the book by categories of molecules — inorganic, organic, acids, bases, soaps, solvents, oils, sweeteners, and other common substances — highlighting their similarities and differences. Suddenly, the physical world makes a lot more sense.

Molecules: The Elements and the Architecture of Everything
by Theodore Gray (Author), Nick Mann (Photographer)
2014, 240 pages, 10.25 x 9.5 x 1 inches, Hardcover

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