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The Art of Ian Miller [exclusive excerpt]

Ian Miller is a fantasy illustrator and writer best known for his quirkily etched gothic style and macabre sensibility. Miller is noted for his book and magazine covers and interior illustrations, including SF fiction covers, a host of illustrations for the Realm of Chaos supplement and the first edition of Warhammer 40,000, work for Fighting Fantasy gamebooks and covers for Terror of the Lichmaster, Death on the Reik, andWarhammer City. Featuring over 300 pieces of artwork spanning decades of Ian’s work, The Art of Ian Miller is a treat for all lovers of great fantasy art – from Lovecraft novel covers to Tolkien bestiaries to Warhammer 40,000 concept art, through a veritable trove of gothic humour, fantasy battles, dragons, beasts and a world of nightmarish visions.

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Snowpiercer: science fiction graphic novel about a train that carries all of Earth's remaining population

Titan Comics has released an English translation of Snowpiercer, the acclaimed French graphic novel that inspired the new movie from Joon-ho Bong. Volume 1: The Escape was released today (January 29, 2014), with Volume 2: The Explorers following February 25, 2014.

Coursing through an eternal winter, on an icy track wrapped around the frozen planet Earth, there travels Snowpiercer, a train one thousand and one carriages long. From fearsome engine to final car, all surviving human life is here: a complete hierarchy of the society we lost…

The elite, as ever, travel in luxury at the front of the train – but for those in the rear coaches, life is squalid, miserable and short.

Proloff is a refugee from the tail, determined never to go back. In his journey forward through the train, he hopes to reach the mythical engine and, perhaps, find some hope for the future…

The original graphic novels have been adapted into an astounding new film directed by Joon-ho Bong and distributed in the U.S. by The Weinstein Company, and due for release in Q1 2014

Sample pages

The Wrong Quarry, by Max Allan Collins: exclusive excerpt

After an absence of more than two years, New York Times-bestselling author Max Allan Collins brings of his most popular characters, the ruthless professional killer known only as “Quarry,” in The Wrong Quarry. Since his debut in 1976, Quarry has appeared in 10 novels and inspired a feature film, The Last Lullaby, starring Tom Sizemore and Sasha Alexander. The new novel sees Quarry going up against an amateur killer operating on his turf. But does the hitman’s hitman have the wrong quarry in his sights?

Quarry doesn’t kill just anybody these days. He restricts himself to targeting other hitmen, availing his marked-for-death clients of two services: eliminating the killers sent after them, and finding out who hired them…and then removing that problem as well.

So far he’s rid of the world of nobody who would be missed. But this time he finds himself zeroing in on the grieving family of a missing cheerleader. Does the hitman’s hitman have the wrong quarry in his sights?

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Space alien sex art: excerpt from Strange Attractors

Strange Attractors includes the work of 70 artists, writers and filmmakers who have created remarkable explorations of possible extraterrestrial life forms and their multifarious sexual desires.

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Shovel Ready: Excerpt from hardboiled dystopian thriller by Adam Sternbergh

Adam Sternbergh’s debut novel, Shovel Ready, “has the grimy neon feel of Warren Ellis’s Transmetropolitan combined with a touch of Philip K. Dick’s gonzo cyberpunk,” says Austin Grossman, author of You and Soon I Will Be Invincible. Read our exclusive excerpt.

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Much Loved - stuffed animal portraits by Mark Nixon

Ted | Age: 24 | Height: 9" | Belongs To: Helen Lyons

Much Loved started as a very simple idea: to photograph some "loved to bits" teddy bears for an exhibition in my studio, which happily has a gallery space.

I got the idea from watching my son, Calum. I was struck by how attached he was to his Peter Rabbit, the way he squeezed it with delight when he was excited, the way he buried his nose in it while sucking his thumb, and how he just had to sleep with Peter every night. I vaguely remembered having similar childhood feelings about my own Panda.

The photographer I admire the most is Irving Penn. His portrait work, from the 1940s and 1950s especially, made me want to become a photographer. With his still-life work, I loved the alchemy of his Street Material series, how he could take pieces of trash and cigarette butts off the street, photograph them, and turn them into works of art. The idea of making an everyday object, something so familiar that it's invisible, become visible again appealed to me.

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Michael Crichton and the Doppleganger (plus exclusive excerpt from early Crichton crime novel)

Calling Michael Crichton multi-talented is like calling a Stradivarius a fiddle. The man graduated summa cum laude from Harvard, he lectured in anthropology at Cambridge, he was a doctor, he wrote bestselling novels from the time he was 27 on (The Andromeda Strain, The Great Train Robbery, Congo, Jurassic Park, Disclosure, Rising Sun, etc., etc.), he wrote and/or directed hit movies (Westworld, Coma, Twister), he created one of the most successful TV series ever (ER), he designed computer games (Amazon) - and if that's not enough, he was nearly seven feet tall and ridiculously handsome to boot. If you had to imagine someone who would not have a reason to wish he was someone else, it would be hard to come up with a better candidate.

Yet early in his career Michael Crichton did choose to be someone else -- a fellow named John Lange.

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The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets

The Simpsons is arguably the most successful television show in history. Inevitably, its global appeal and enduring popularity have prompted academics (who tend to overanalyze everything) to identify the subtext of the series and to ask some profound questions.

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Book excerpt from Crazy 4 Cult movie art show

Crazy 4 Cult 2 is a brand new collection of cult movie-themed artwork from Gallery 1988's annual show. This book features amazing art inspired by movies such as A Clockwork Orange, The Shining, Ghostbusters, Fight Club and many, many more. It's the followup to 2011's Crazy 4 Cult: Cult Movie Art.

Gallery 1988’s annual Crazy 4 Cult art show has quickly become a phenomenon, with huge crowds and high profile buyers like Kevin Smith and Joss Whedon snapping up work by the cream of the underground/urban scene. Following 2011’s critically acclaimed first volume, here’s the eagerly awaited second selection of surprising, beautiful and just plain cool cult movie-inspired artwork. Gallery 1998 has quickly become one of the world’s most talked about art galleries. Opened in 2004 on the famous corner of Melrose and La Brea, by California natives Katie Cromwell and Jensen Karp, the gallery has become the nation’s number one destination for pop-culture themed artwork and the premiere venue to witness the rise of emerging artists before they break. Openings at the gallery have seen upwards of 2,500 people attending in one night, including celebrities such as Guillermo Del Toro, J.J. Abrams, Damon Lindelof, Hayley Williams, Seth Rogen, Michael Cera, Aaron Paul, Neil Patrick Harris, and Joss Whedon admiring the walls. Their annual show Crazy 4 Cult receives worldwide press (faced by the show’s hosts, filmmakers Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier) and over a million website hits on the day of the opening reception.

See images from the book

Growth Hacker Marketing, by Ryan Holiday (excerpt)

Ryan Holiday is a media strategist who started his career as an assistant to Robert Greene, author of The 48 Laws of Power and was the director of marketing at American Apparel for many years.

Last year I interviewed Ryan about his book, Trust Me, I'm Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator. He's got a new book out called Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing, and Advertising, and it's for sale as an e-book on Amazon for $2.99.

Below, an excerpt from Ryan's book.

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The Secret Lives of Married Women, by Elissa Wald [exclusive excerpt]

Hard Case Crime publishes hardboiled crime fiction by Stephen King, Donald Westlake, James M. Cain, Michael Crichton, Mickey Spillane, Max Allan Collins, and other greats. Here's an exclusive excerpt from their new title, The Secret Lives of Married Women, by Elissa Wald. The paperback is only $5.97 on Amazon.

Two identical twin sisters - one a sexually repressed defense attorney, the other a former libertine now living a respectable life in suburbia - are about to have their darkest secrets revealed, to the men in their lives and to themselves. As one sister prepares for the thorniest trial of her career and the other fends off ominous advances from a construction worker laboring on the house next door, both find themselves pushed to the edge, and confronted by discoveries about themselves and their lovers that shock and disturb them.

Elissa Wald is the author of Meeting the Master (Grove Press) and Holding Fire (Context Books). Her work has also been published in multiple journals and anthologies, including Beacon Best of 2001, Creative Nonfiction, The Barcelona Review, The Mammoth Book of Erotica, Nerve: Literate Smut, The Ex-Files: New Stories about Old Flames, and Brain, Child Magazine. Previously, she worked as a stripper, ran away to join the circus, and spent a summer working on a Native American reservation.

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A Cold Season - excerpt from a new horror novel

Here's an excerpt from the new horror novel by Alison Littlewood, A Cold Season.

A dark and disturbing tale from a bold new voice in horror writing: After the battlefront death of her husband, a soldier, in the sands of the Middle East, a distraught Cass decides to move to the bucolic, picture-perfect village of Darnshaw with her teenaged son. Since Cass's website design business can be run from anywhere with an internet connection and Ben could benefit from a change of scenery, a move to the highlands village seems like just the thing.

But the locals aren't as friendly as she had hoped and the internet connection isn't as reliable as her business requires. And when Ben begins to display a hostility that is completely unlike his usual gentle nature, Cass begins to despair. Finally, the blizzards thunder through and Darnshaw is marooned in a sea of snow.

When things look their blackest, she finds one sympathetic ear in the person of her son's substitute teacher. But his attentions can't put to rest her growing anxiety about her son and her business. And soon, she finds herself pitted against dark forces she can barely comprehend. The cold season has begun.

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Author Kim Newman on his new Anno Dracula novel, Johnny Alucard (plus excerpt)

Johnny Alucard is the fourth book in the Anno Dracula series; the earlier novels are Anno Dracula,The Bloody Red Baron and Dracula Cha Cha Cha -- and the definitive Titan editions include the long novellas ‘Vampire Romance’ and ‘Aquarius’.

The premise is that in 1885 Count Dracula came to Britain, as Bram Stoker describes in his novel … but rather than being defeated by Van Helsing, he rose to power, becoming Queen Victoria’s second husband and popularising vampirism as a lifestyle choice at the heart of the British Empire. He also imported all the other surviving vampires of fiction as his retinue of hangers-on and toadies.

All this is in the first book -- which revolves around Stoker’s Dr. Seward, who has become a vampire-slaying Jack the Ripper. The subsequent volumes cover the next hundred years and have a global reach, with Dracula moving from country to country and era to era … and manifesting the ills of the century even when seemingly dead again. In Johnny Alucard, the story moves from Europe to America, and we follow the rise of a Romanian orphan who becomes Dracula’s heir apparent as he conquers such American fields of endeavour as drug-dealing, movie production, serial murder, and covert military intervention in other countries.

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Acadia: A New Sci-Fi Novel (Excerpt)

Enjoy the first chapter of a new novel from James Erwin, creator of Rome Sweet Rome. If you’d like to support it, Erwin has established a crowdfunding project where you can order DRM-free ebooks and hardcopies.

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The 1960s high schoolers who started a major pot smuggling empire

Joshua Bearman (who wrote the "Argo" story for Wired that was turned into a terrific movie) has a story in the July 2013 issue of GQ called "Coronado High." Josh told me, "The story is an epic tale about a group of friends from Coronado High in the 1960s who started the first major pot smuggling empire, with the help of their former Spanish teacher. What started as a bunch of hippies swimming small bales across the border with surfboards turned into a super sophisticated operation, bringing in Moroccan hash, Mexican grass, and Thai stick by the ton. They made more than $100m over a decade, and lived the life of Riley until it all came crashing down.:

Coronado High was co-published by GQ and The Atavist. The GQ article (which runs 10,000 words) will be available online in September, and the Atavist has published Josh's 25,000 word version of the article, which is available for $2.99 now in a variety of formats, including text only version for the Amazon Kindle.

Below, an excerpt from "Coronado High."

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