If you’re a fan of comic books, or movies, or The Saga of Pandora Zwieback (and how could you not be?), Bob Larkin is a painter whose work you recognize immediately; he’s provided covers and movie posters for just about every publishing house and film studio for more than four decades. And if you head on over to the StarWarp Concepts blog, you can read a little write-up I did about this amazing artist and his equally amazing career, in honor of his 65th birthday.
Go check it out now!
A couple of years ago I made a few suggestions for books that Panatics might be interested in checking out: Stephen King’s ’Salem’s Lot, Cycle of the Werewolf, and The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon; Charles Portis’s True Grit; Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes; Anthony Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange; and Giorman Berchard’s The Second Greatest Story Ever Told. You can read my mini-reviews here.
Well, with summer 2014 officially starting tomorrow, what better time for a new list of books you might want to consider? This one’s a little shorter, but they’re still good choices (in my humble opinion).
The Day of the Triffids, by John Wyndham: First published in 1951, it’s a fast-paced, enjoyable science fiction adventure that would seem to have been an influence on the quasi-zombie apocalypse film 28 Days Later (a patient in a hospital wakes up to find himself apparently the only unaffected person in a ravaged London). Except instead of zombies, you have carnivorous plants hunting a human population that’s been mostly stricken blind by the light of a passing comet. But as the lead characters quickly learn, it’s not the Triffids that pose the greatest threat, but the other unaffected humans…
Rosemary’s Baby, by Ira Levin: The 1968 Mia Farrow–starring film adaptation is a horror masterpiece, and Zoe (Guardians of the Galaxy) Saldana starred in a 2014 television miniseries remake that was well received, but Ira Levin’s 1967 source novel is a brisk, entertaining masterpiece of its own. Rosemary and Guy Woodward move into an NYC apartment building with a long history of witchcraft and devil worship—and the current residents have plans for Rosemary… Apart from cultural references that firmly set the story in 1960s New York, the story remains as enjoyably horrific and humorously macabre as it did almost fifty years ago.
The King in Yellow, by Robert W. Chambers: This 1895 short story collection influenced not only writers like H. P. Lovecraft, Grant Morrison, and Stephen King, but also served as a major plot point in the first season of HBO’s acclaimed series True Detective, starring Matthew McConaghey and Woody Harrelson. The conceit is that The King in Yellow, a fictitious two-act play, drives people mad when they read the second act (which is never reproduced in the book). The first four stories in the collection are linked to the play. Download The King in Yellow e-book for free from ManyBooks.net.
And of course…
Blood Feud: The Saga of Pandora Zwieback, Book 1: What, I shouldn’t plug my first Pan novel—on the very site dedicated to the series it’s part of? With its sequel, Blood Reign, soon to make its long-awaited appearance, this is the perfect time to catch up on the start of Pan’s debut adventure (if you or your book-loving friends haven’t already read it, that is). Warring vampire clans! Fallen angels! Monster hunters! Romance! Danger! Pick up a copy and find out why HorrorNews.net called Blood Feud “far and away one of the best young adult supernatural fantasy novels released in the last few years.”
So get to reading—and have a great summer!
Hey, there, lovers of genre television! You may be aware that tonight is the broadcast debut of Dominion on the SyFy Channel. A sequel of sorts to the 2010 Paul Bettany–starring film Legion, the series stars Christopher Egan and Anthony Stewart Head and takes place 25 years into an ongoing war between humanity and God’s army of angels. Well, if angels—either arch or fallen—are your thing, then perhaps we here at ’Warp Central can interest you in a tale of our own that involves those heavenly—and not so heavenly—messengers…
Blood Feud: The Saga of Pandora Zwieback, Book 1 is the first novel in a series of adventures starring a teenaged Goth who has the power to see past the human disguises worn by the ever-growing community of monsters (vampires, werewolves, sirens, etc.) that exist in her world, and especially in her New York City hometown. Blood Feud sees Pan, along with her family and friends, get drawn into a war among rival vampire clans for possession of a rare antiquity: the remains of Zaqiel, a fallen angel who once tried to take over the world!
Blood Reign: The Saga of Pandora Zwieback, Book 2 (on sale later this summer) is the second part of Pan’s epic adventure. Zaqiel is back among the living, badder than ever, and it’s up to Pan and her small band of angel busters—which includes her boyfriend, her best friend, and Zaqiel’s ex-lover, the immortal monster hunter Sebastienne “Annie” Mazarin—to stop the fallen angel from leading his armies of horrors in an all-out assault on humanity.
Visit the Blood Feud and Blood Reign product pages for more information, including sales links and sample chapters.
This past weekend, StarWarp Concepts (and me, naturally) attended the second annual Eternal Con in Long Island, New York. Interested in finding out what happened? Then head on over to the StarWarp Concepts blog and read my show wrap-up!
Next stop on the StarWarp Concepts 2014 convention tour: the Brooklyn Book Festival, September 21 at Borough Hall Plaza, in Brooklyn, NY. See you there!
Thanks for stopping by the StarWarp Concepts booth this weekend, and for your interest in my Goth adventuress, Pandora Zwieback. If you’re here because you spoke with me, then go ahead and download the Saga of Pandora Zwieback #0 digital comic that I showed you; just click on the cover in the right-hand sidebar and save it as a PDF. Not only is it an introduction to Pan and her world, hosted by Pan herself, but it contains two sample chapters from her first novel, Blood Feud. Give it a read.
The Saga of Pandora Zwieback is the critically acclaimed story of a 16-year-old Goth girl who’s spent the last decade being treated for mental health problems because she can see monsters. It’s only after she meets a shape-shifting monster hunter named Sebastienne “Annie” Mazarin, in the first novel, Blood Feud, that Pan discovers she’s never been ill—her so-called “monstervision” is actually a supernatural gift that allows her to see into Gothopolis, the not-so-mythical shadow world that exists right alongside the human world. But before Annie can explain further, Pan and her parents are drawn into a conflict between warring vampire clans that are searching for the key to an ultimate weapon (or so the legend goes)—a key that just so happens to have been delivered to the horror-themed museum owned by Pan’s father.
Pan’s adventure continues in the upcoming second novel, Blood Reign, in which she and Annie face challenges from not just vampires but legions of monsters led by a fallen angel—who happens to be one of Annie’s ex-lovers!
Also on sale right now is The Saga of Pandora Zwieback Annual #1, which features two brand-new adventures of Pan and her friends that are separate from the novels: a full-color comic story, in which Pan and her boyfriend, Javier, run into one of his ex-girlfriends…whom Pan can see is really a mythological siren that can enrapture men with its voice; and a short story that pits Pan, Annie, and Javier against a trio of Elegant Gothic Lolita vampires—in a shopping mall!
And please keep in mind that Pan’s publisher, StarWarp Concepts, is not just a YA fiction house. It also publishes illustrated classics (including J. Sheridan’s Le Fanu’s vampire romance Carmilla, the Brothers Grimm’s Snow White, and Edgar Rice Burroughs’s A Princess of Mars); graphic novels for superhero fans and adult horror aficionados; digital and print comic books; and artist sketchbooks. Give them a visit and check out all they have to offer.
Hopefully I’ll see you again on September 21, at the Brooklyn Book Festival. See you there!
The second annual Eternal Con starts on June 14, and StarWarp Concepts will be there! Artists alley is where you’ll find me promoting The ’Warp; as always, just look for the Pandora Zwieback banner. Also scheduled to appear, at his own table, is art legend Bob Larkin, cover painter of my Saga of Pandora Zwieback novels and spotlight artist of The Bob Larkin Sketchbook.
Eternal Con is being held at the Cradle of Aviation Museum, located on Charles Lindbergh Boulevard, in Garden City, Long Island. Show-floor hours are:
Saturday: 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Sunday: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
For more information, including directions and how to order tickets, head over to the Eternal Con Web site.
Don’t worry, Panatics, the wait is almost over! The highly anticipated Blood Reign: The Saga of Pandora Zwieback, Book 2—the second part of Pan’s debut literary adventure that began in the novel Blood Feud—is on its way (and I deeply apologize for the lengthy delay between books), but in the meantime you can download a free chapter of Blood Reign!
Dying to learn Pan’s fate after Blood Feud’s shocking climax? Well, of course you are! Then get ahold of the preview today and discover how the terror that Pan experienced at the end of Blood Feud is only the beginning of her saga…
Just go to the Blood Reign product page at StarWarp Concepts, scroll down to the free preview, download the PDF, and start reading!
Continuing our review of SWC’s backlist, today we look at our most popular illustrated classic, Carmilla. Written by J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Uncle Silas, In a Glass Darkly), this 19th-century vampiric romance has influenced generations of writers from Bram Stoker to Laurel K. Hamilton, and has been adapted for the screen many times, including Hammer’s The Vampire Lovers and Roger Vadim’s Blood and Roses. The StarWarp Concepts edition features exclusive illustrations by Eliseu Gouveia (The Saga of Pandora Zwieback Annual #1, The Saga of Pandora Zwieback #0).
It’s also part of the Pandora Zwieback “Paniverse,” since Carmilla’s House Karnstein is one of the vampire factions that appear in the novel Blood Feud: The Saga of Pandora Zwieback, Book 1 and the upcoming second book, Blood Reign. Here’s the synopsis:
Before Edward and Bella, before Lestat and Louis, even before Dracula and Mina, there was the tale of Carmilla and Laura.
Living with her widowed father in a dreary old castle in the woods of Styria, Laura has longed to have a friend with whom she can confide; a friend to bring some excitement to her pastoral lifestyle. And then Carmilla enters her life.
Left by her mother in the care of Laura’s father, Carmilla is young, beautiful, playful—everything Laura had hoped to find in a companion. In fact, the lonely girl is so thrilled to have a new friend that she is willing to overlook the dark-haired beauty’s strange actions…which include a disturbing, growing obsession for her lovely hostess.
Carmilla, it seems, desires more than just friendship from Laura….
“The way Le Fanu blends together desire and predation is spellbinding. A true Gothic story, Carmilla is great fun.”—Gothic Beauty Magazine
“Carmilla is a must-read for any true fan of vampire fiction.”—LoveVampires.com
“Like many vampire romances, Carmilla and Laura’s love is doomed and unhealthy, but glorious.”—io9
Carmilla is on sale in print ($10.95 US) at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Books-a-Million. The e-book ($2.99) is available from DriveThru Fiction. Both print and e-book formats can be purchased from the StarWarp Concepts webstore.
Visit the Carmilla product page for the sales links.
Now that I’ve gotten your attention with the first three parts of StarWarp Concepts’ review of backlist titles, are you Panatics interested in checking out the rest of its releases? Then tomorrow head on over to the SWC blog to learn about the dark-fantasy graphic novel Troubleshooters Incorporated: Night Stalkings. Written by the husband-and-wife team of Richard C. White and Joni M. White, and illustrated by Reggie Golden and Randy Zimmerman, it’s the first adventure of a supernatural superhero-team-for-hire; the group consists of a wizard, a sorceress, a female ninja, an armored rock-n-roll roadie, and a werewolf—all fighting demons!
Please support StarWarp Concepts by purchasing one of our books. Thanks!
Coming tomorrow: Blood Reign, the second Pandora Zwieback novel, is on its way! But if you can’t stand the suspense of learning the outcome of Blood Feud’s cliffhanger ending, then stop by here tomorrow for some exciting news!
Continuing our review of SWC’s backlist, today we look at our young adult dark-urban-fantasy comic book The Saga of Pandora Zwieback Annual #1, written by Steven A. Roman and Sholly Fisch, and illustrated by Eliseu Gouveia, Ernie Colon, and Elizabeth Watasin, with cover art by Henar Torinos. Here’s the synopsis:
Pan’s first full-length comic book adventure! Chasing monsters can be a lot of hard work, and Pan tries to get her chaotic life back in order by attending a family picnic hosted by the parents of her boyfriend, Javier. But relaxing becomes impossible when one of Javi’s ex-girlfriends arrives to complicate things. Stupid mythological siren…
“Song of the Siren” features a script by Saga of Pandora Zwieback novelist Steven A. Roman and full-color art by Eliseu Gouveia (The Saga of Pandora Zwieback #0). This king-size special also includes:
“After Hours,” a short tale of the “Paniverse” by writer Sholly Fisch (Action Comics, Scooby-Doo! Team-Up) and comics-art legend Ernie Colon (Amethyst: Princess of Gemworld).
“Shopping Maul,” a Pan short story by Steven A. Roman, about (blood) red-tag sales and Elegant Gothic Lolita vampires, with title page art and color by Elizabeth Watasin (Charm School).
“Roman demonstrates yet again his ability to write in the voice of a teenage girl without resorting to the petty whining and needless angst that seem to plague a lot of the female teenage characters in books today…. I would readily and heartily recommend this comic to anybody.”—Word of the Nerd
“Roman mixes young adult fantasy with some themes like ‘young love’ but also with equal parts of ‘female empowerment’ and lets Pandora be a real and true voice. The art by Eliseu Gouveia is just stellar and makes a perfect match for the main story.”—Comics For Sinners
The Saga of Pandora Zwieback Annual #1 is on sale in print ($7.99 US) at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. The e-book ($3.99) is available from DriveThru Fiction. Both print and e-book formats can be purchased from the StarWarp Concepts webstore.
Visit The Saga of Pandora Zwieback Annual #1 product page for the sales links.
Please support StarWarp Concepts by purchasing one of our books. Thanks!