Friday, June 30, 2023

Book Review: Elvis and Me

Decades after his death, millions of fans continue to worship Elvis the legend. But very few knew him as Elvis the man. Here in her own words, Priscilla Presley tells the story of their love, revealing the details of their first meeting, their marriage, their affairs, their divorce, and the unbreakable bond that has remained long after his tragic death. A tribute to both the man and the legend, Elvis and Me gives Elvis fans the world over an unprecedented look at the true life of the King of Rock 'N' Roll and the woman who loved him.

Timed for the upcoming movie adaption Priscilla, 1985's Elvis and Me will be re-released on August 1, 2023. Berkley Publishing Group provided an early galley for review.

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Book Review: A Second Chance for Yesterday

Nev Bourne is a hotshot programmer for the latest and greatest tech invention out there: SavePoint, the brain implant that rewinds the seconds of all our most embarrassing moments. She’s been working non-stop on the next rollout, even blowing off her boyfriend, her best friend and her family to make SavePoint 2.0. But when she hits go on the test-run, she wakes up the next day only to discover it's yesterday. She's falling backwards in time, one day at a time.

As things spiral out of control, a long-lost friend from college reappears in her life claiming they know how to save her. Airin is charming and mysterious, and somehow knows Nev intimately well. Desperate and intrigued, Nev takes a leap of faith. A friendship born of fear slowly becomes a bond of deepest trust, and possibly love. With time running out, and the whole world of SavePoint users at stake, Nev must learn what it will take to set things right, and what it will cost.

Monday, June 26, 2023

Book Review: Funny Things

Charles M. Schulz was arguably the most influential and popular cartoonist of the 20th century, and he poured many of his own emotions and experiences into the world of Peanuts over its iconic 50-year run. Now, Luca Debus and Francesco Matteuzzi pay tribute to the master by telling the story of Schulz’s life in the medium that made him immortal: the comic strip. Every strip provides a laugh as well as a piece of insight into his remarkable life story. Starting with the last days of his monumental career, Funny Things jumps back and forth in time to narrate both Schulz’s artistic achievements and the personal episodes that formed him as an author and human being, ultimately shaping him into the most beloved cartoonist on the planet. Filled with affection, charm, and poignant insight, Funny Things imagines Schulz through the lens of the very world he created, inviting us all to meet the man behind the blanket.

Sunday, June 25, 2023

Book Review: All Tomorrow's Parties

Many cultural critics would agree that Andy Warhol gave the Velvet Underground their break simply by bringing them under his wing. While they reached a certain level of notoriety and local celebrity in their time and have since acquired a lasting cult following, their success was in large part fostered by Warhol’s patronage. But at the time, this relationship was muddied by a certain level of codependence and an insatiable appetite for fame and irony, leaving Lou Reed to ponder quietly: Would we have succeeded without Warhol's help? This doubt begins to spread like a malignant force, eventually leading to the band’s undoing as they break away from Warhol and, perhaps, give up their golden ticket to success.

Saturday, June 24, 2023

Book Review: The Golden Girls

Over the course of seven years and 180 episodes, The Golden Girls altered the television landscape. For the first time in history, Americans (and, later, the rest of the world) were watching sexagenarians—and one octogenarian—leading active, vital lives. These were older women who had careers, families, lovers, and adventures, far from the matronly television characters of the past.

In The Golden Girls: A Cultural History, Bernadette Giacomazzo shows why this iconic sitcom is more than just comedy gold. She examines how, between all the laughs and the tales of St. Olaf, these women tackled tough issues of the time—issues that continue to resonate in the twenty-first century. From sexual harassment, ageism, and PTSD to AIDS, inter-racial relationships, and homosexuality, Dorothy, Rose, Blanche, and Sophia weren’t afraid to take on topics which were once considered taboo.

Friday, June 23, 2023

Book Review: Star Trek vol. 1 Godshock

Stardate 2378: A bold new era of Star Trek begins! Three years ago, Benjamin Sisko made a courageous sacrifice that left him trapped in the dimension of the mysterious Prophets; now he's returned to his home universe—with powerful, godlike abilities. But his omnipotence is failing when he needs it most. Someone is killing the gods, and Sisko and the motley crew of the U.S.S. Theseus will have to travel to the deepest parts of space to stop them.

Star Trek: Year Five lead writers Jackson Lanzing & Collin Kelly and artists Ramon Rosanas, Oleg Chudakov, Joe Eisma, and Erik Tamayo present a new ship, a new mission, and a lot of old friends! Sisko is joined by Commanders Data and Worf, and Dr. Beverly Crusher, of Star Trek: The Next Generation; Lt. Tom Paris, of Star Trek: Voyager; Captain Montgomery Scott, of Star Trek; and Ben's son, Jake. But there are new faces as well, to surprise established fans while showing new readers the ropes. Collects the prequel short story "A Perfect System" from Star Trek #400 and issues #1–6 of the ongoing series.

Thursday, June 22, 2023

Book Review: Mrs. Plansky's Revenge

Mrs. Loretta Plansky, a recent widow in her seventies, is settling into retirement in Florida while dealing with her 98-year-old father and fielding requests for money from her beloved children and grandchildren. Thankfully, her new hip hasn’t changed her killer tennis game one bit. One night Mrs. Plansky is startled awake by a phone call from a voice claiming to be her grandson Will, who desperately needs ten thousand dollars to get out of a jam. Of course, Loretta obliges—after all, what are grandmothers for, even grandmothers who still haven’t gotten a simple “thank you” for a gift sent weeks ago. Not that she's counting.

By morning, Mrs. Plansky has lost everything. Law enforcement announces that Loretta's life savings have vanished, and that it’s hopeless to find the scammers behind the heist. First humiliated, then furious, Loretta Plansky refuses to be just another victim. In a courageous bid for justice, Mrs. Plansky follows her only clue on a whirlwind adventure to a small village in Romania to get her money and her dignity back—and perhaps find a new lease on life, too.

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Book Review: The History of the Adventure Video Game

Adventure video games have provided players with epic and hilarious storytelling for over fifty years. What started from the humble beginnings of text adventures led to a blast of point-and-click and graphic adventure games throughout the ‘80s and ‘90s. Trailblazers like Roberta and Ken Williams, Ron Gilbert, Tim Schaffer and Dave Grossman brought timeless characters, stories and puzzles to life, lighting the imaginations and wracking the brains of gamers around the world.

This book showcases the companies, games and creators that have made the adventure video game one of the most passionately-adored genres in the medium. In these pages you’ll find histories on influential companies such as Sierra On-Line, LucasArts and Telltale Games, as well as some of the most revered games in the genre. With a bright future emerging as veterans and newcomers forge ahead with new ideas and visual flourishes for adventure games, there’s never been a better time to become acquainted (or reacquainted!) with a colourful and exciting part of gaming history.

Sunday, June 18, 2023

Book Review: Too Late To Stop Now

Allan Jones brings more than 40 stories – many previously unpublished – from the golden days of music reporting. He recalls the world that once was - one of dark excess and excitement, outrageous deeds and extraordinary talent. Long nights of booze, drugs and unguarded conversations which include anecdotes, experiences and extravagant behaviour from the likes of Lou Reed, Elton John, Sting, the Clash, and more.

This volume includes stories of: a band's aftershow party in San Francisco being gatecrashed by cocaine-hungry Hells Angel, Chrissie Hynde on how rock'n'roll killed The Pretenders, what happened when Nick Lowe and 20 of his mates flew off to Texas to join the Confederate Air Force, John Cale on his dark alliance with Lou Reed, and more.

Saturday, June 17, 2023

Book Review: Dark Crisis (On Infinite Earths)

Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and the rest of the Justice League are dead. The remaining heroes are left to protect the world from an onslaught of violent attacks by DC’s greatest villains! Leading the charge is a super-powered Slade Wilson...but this time there’s something dark fueling his rage.

Can the younger heroes, led by the 21st century Superman Jonathan Kent, step out of the shadows of the classic icons to form a new Justice League? And will that be enough to stop a darkness greater than anything they’ve ever faced from destroying everything? The world burns as Pariah and the Great Darkness make their play for planet Earth!

The blockbuster creative team of writer Joshua Williamson and artist Daniel Sampere bring years of stories to an explosive crescendo in this massive, cross-generational saga, the latest in DC’s famed canon of Crisis events—and the next evolution of the DC Universe! This volume collects Dark Crisis #1-7.

Friday, June 16, 2023

Book Review: John Tiffany Vol. 1

John Tiffany is one of the best bounty hunters in the world. Given his precarious line of work, he has found that he can only truly trust four people: Pastor Lovejoy, an unorthodox priest; Wan Chao, an underworld geek; Dorothy, his conservative teammate; and Magdalena, a sex worker he has foolishly fallen in love with. But it seems that one of them has turned against him and now he’s the one with a bounty on his head. It’s a race against time as he tries to survive being a high-priced target and find out which of his confidantes is the traitor.

John Tiffany Vol. 1 collects and updates this raucous action-adventure. Filled with car chases, intrigue, and beautiful women, John Tiffany is exactly the sort of gut punch that fans of international spy stories love. Story by Stephen Desberg, art by Dan Panosian and lettering by Lucas Gattoni. Rated: Mature.

Thursday, June 15, 2023

Book Review: Dark Crisis - Young Justice

Tim Drake, Impulse, and Superboy go missing during the Justice League’s funeral. The only person concerned enough to find them? Cassie Sandsmark, a.k.a Wonder Girl. But...the three boys of Young Justice aren’t on this Earth anymore...they’re on the world of their dreams, one they may never want to leave! If anyone can rescue the boys, it's Wonder Girl! Cassie will help them navigate the strange fantasy world they're trapped in...but isn't Cassie back on Earth?

Dive into the adventure and discover which Cassie is lying with Dark Crisis: Young Justice! Collecting Dark Crisis: Young Justice #1-6.

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Book Review: Dark Justice - Worlds Without a Justice League

The Justice League are dead. Or are they? During an epic battle against Pariah and his Dark Army, Earth's defenders sacrificed themselves to save the Multiverse. The team seemed dead to their world, but Pariah, needing power to fuel his plans, imprisoned the League members on custom-made worlds using his growing powers. Each world is tailored to the innermost desires of the Justice League. What Pariah intends to do with these worlds is a mystery...

Crafted by an all-star creative team including Tom King, Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Tini Howard, Simon Spurrier, Dan Jurgens, and many more, Dark Crisis: Worlds Without a Justice League directly ties into the event Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths, giving readers a look at what happened to the legendary heroes after the shocking events of Justice League #75. It collects the five Dark Crisis: Worlds Without a Justice League one-shots.

Monday, June 12, 2023

Book Review: Justice League vs. the Legion of Super-Heroes

One thousand years in the future, a Legion of Super-Heroes comes together to dedicate their lives to recapturing the great age of heroes of the 21st century. When the heroes discover that reality is falling to a great darkness in both times simultaneously, the Justice League and the Legion of Super-Heroes must team up to stop it all.

Soon, the Justice League are trapped in the 31st century, and the looming terror of the Great Darkness hovers over both time periods simultaneously. Even as the great heroes of the 21st century get to experience the fantastic far-flung future, the mysteries behind the Gold Lantern and the Great Darkness threaten all of existence. What is the secret behind the Great Darkness? And will the greatest heroes of two ages be able to stop it before it's too late?

Two of DC’s top super-teams clash, as threads from legendary writer Brian Michael Bendis’ runs on Legion of Super-Heroes and Justice League collide in a story with both the present and the future at risk! Released December 2022, this collects Justice League vs. Legion of Super-Heroes #1-6.

Sunday, June 11, 2023

Book Review: Parachute Women

The Rolling Stones have long been considered one of the greatest rock-and-roll bands of all time. At the forefront of the British Invasion and heading up the counterculture movement of the 1960s, the Stones' innovative music and iconic performances defined a generation, and fifty years later, they're still performing to sold-out stadiums around the globe. Yet, as the saying goes, behind every great man is a greater woman, and behind these larger-than-life rockstars were four incredible women whose stories have yet to be fully unpacked . . . until now.

In Parachute Women, Elizabeth Winder introduces us to the four women who inspired, styled, wrote for, remixed, and ultimately helped create the legend of the Rolling Stones.

Thursday, June 8, 2023

Book Review: Wild Cards - Knaves Over Queens

Developed by aliens and field-tested on Earth, the virus known as Xenovirus Takis-A was released in New York in 1946, changing the course of human history forever. Most of those infected die — and a tiny percentage become deformed beings known as jokers. A lucky few survivors become aces: superhumans gifted with amazing powers. Now the virus has reached Britain.

There, Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill, gifted with extraordinary longevity, together with the Enigma ace Alan Turing, set up a special organization named the Order of the Silver Helix. They will need all of the wild cards they can find if they are to deal with the terrifying mutations spawned by the virus.

This is the twenty-seventh book in the Wild Cards series, released in August of 2019 from Tor Books. Edited by George R. R. Martin and Melinda M. Snodgrass, Knaves Over Queens features the writing of Paul Cornell, Marko Kloos, Mark Lawrence, Kevin Andrew Murphy, Emma Newman, Peter Newman, Peadar O Guilin, Melinda M. Snodgrass, Caroline Spector, and Charles Stross.

Monday, June 5, 2023

Book Review: All the Demons Are Here

It’s 1977. Ike and Lucy, the kids of Senator Charlie and Margaret Marder, are grown up—and in trouble.

US Marine Ike has gone AWOL after a military operation gone horribly wrong. Now he's off the grid, working on the pit crew of the moody stunt master Evel Knievel and hanging in the roughest dive bar in Montana. His sister Lucy has become the star reporter of a brand-new Washington, DC tabloid breaking stories about a serial killer and falling in with the wealthy, shady British family that owns the newspaper.

As they deal with the weirdness and menace of the time—celebrities, cults, the rise of tabloid journalism, the death of Elvis Presley, the Summer of Sam, and a time of national unease—Ike and Lucy soon realize that their worlds are not only full of compromises and bad choices, but danger. As their lives begin to spiral out of control, they also spiral towards one another. And the decisions they make could mean life and death not only for them—but also their beloved parents.

Thursday, June 1, 2023

Book Review: Wild Cards - Joker Moon

Theodorus was a dreamer. As a child, he dreamt of airplanes, rockets, and outer space. When the wild card virus touched him and transformed him into a monstrous snail centaur weighing several tons, his boyhood dreams seemed out of reach, but a Witherspoon is not so easily defeated. Years and decades passed, and Theodorus grew to maturity and came into his fortune . . . but still his dream endured.

But now when he looked upward into the night sky, he saw more than just the moon . . . he saw a joker homeland, a refuge where the outcast children of the wild card could make a place of their own, safe from hate and harm. An impossible dream, some said. Others, alarmed by the prospect, brought all their power to bear to oppose him. Theodorus persisted . . .

. . . never dreaming that the Moon was already inhabited. And the Moon Maid did not want company.