Today is National Read a Book Day, which is celebrated in the United States every September 6th since…well, nobody seems to know precisely when this “holiday” began, or who started it, but it’s a celebration of reading, so it’s all good, right? And if you’re looking for the right book on this special day, here are a few StarWarp Concepts titles you might want to consider:
Dark Urban Fantasy
Blood Feud: The Saga of Pandora Zwieback, Book 1 is my young adult novel that’s perfect for lovers of dark urban fantasy. It introduces readers to Pandora Zwieback, 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 professional monster hunter Sebastienne “Annie” Mazarin 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. In Blood Feud, Pan, her parents and friends, and Annie are drawn into a conflict among warring vampire clans 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.
In Blood Reign: The Saga of Pandora Zwieback, Book 2, Pan and Annie face even greater challenges as the vampire clans draw up plans to go to war with humanity. Leading the charge is a fallen angel named Zaqiel, whose previous attempt at subjugating the world was stopped by Annie—who, back in the day, was Zaqiel’s lover! But Pan isn’t about to let some ancient monster win the day, not when the lives of her parents and friends—along with those of every human on the planet—are at stake, so she leads a charge of her own. But whose side is going to emerge the victor remains to be seen…
For a Few Gold Pieces More: This collection of ten critically acclaimed short stories by author Richard C. White stars a Rogue With No Name who travels a world of epic-fantasy adventure, looking for treasure—and revenge against the woman who sent him to prison for a crime he didn’t commit (but she did). Think Lord of the Rings meets the “spaghetti Westerns” of director Sergio Leone (A Fistful of Dollars; The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly), with a healthy dose of monsters, magic, and swordplay mixed in. Weighing in at a hefty 420 pages, it sports a cover painting and a frontispiece illustration by fantasy artist Shane Braithwaite, who also provided the cover art for Rich’s 2015 SWC release, the writer’s reference book Terra Incognito: A Guide to Building the Worlds of Your Imagination.
A Princess of Mars: Originally published in 1912, this is the first in author (and Tarzan creator) Edgar Rice Burroughs’s “John Carter of Mars” ten-novel series about a post–Civil War era American who suddenly finds himself on the Red Planet, battling to stay alive against all sorts of alien threats while falling in love with a beautiful Martian princess. It served as the basis for Disney’s 2012 film adaptation, John Carter, and inspired a century’s worth of SF works, including Flash Gordon, Star Wars, and James Cameron’s Avatar. The special StarWarp Concepts edition—available in both print and digital formats—features six incredible illustrations by SWC artist supreme Eliseu Gouveia (Carmilla, The Saga of Pandora Zwieback Annual #1, Lorelei: Sects and the City), and a special introduction by Mars-fiction expert John Gosling, author of Waging the War of the Worlds.
Carmilla is J. Sheridan Le Fanu’s 19th-century classic vampiric tale of love gone wrong. Laura is so desperate for a friend that when a young woman named Carmilla practically turns up on the doorstep of the castle owned by Laura’s father, she thinks her prayers for companionship have been answered. But as she comes to realize, Carmilla isn’t as interested in making friends as she is in spilling blood. Regarded as the one of the earliest female vampire tales—if not the first—Carmilla was an influence on author Bram Stoker in the creation of the vampire brides in his seminal novel, Dracula, and remains a popular character in fiction to this day. Just like with A Princess of Mars, our edition contains six original illustrations done especially for StarWarp Concepts by the super-talented Eliseu Gouveia.
King Kong is our e-book-exclusive Illustrated Classics edition of the 1932 novelization of the renowned motion picture. Written by Delos W. Lovelace, based on the story by Edgar Wallace and Merian C. Cooper and the screenplay by James A. Creelman and Ruth Rose, the SWC edition of King Kong features scenes that didn’t appear in the final cut of the film—including the notorious “spider pit” sequence in which Kong’s human pursuers are attacked by horrific arachnids and insects. What makes our version special is that it contains six exclusive, original black-and-white illustrations by comics artist Paul Tuma, whose pulp-influenced style has appeared in the pages of The Twilight Avenger, Flare, and Dan Turner: Hollywood Detective.
Terra Incognito: A Guide to Building the Worlds of Your Imagination is our popular how-to book for writers and gamers in which bestselling fantasy author Richard C. White takes you through the step-by-step process of constructing a world for your characters, from societies and governments to currency and religion. Included is an interview with New York Times bestselling author Tracy Hickman (Dragonlance) that discusses his methods of world building, as well as his creative experiences during his time as a designer for gaming company TSR, the original home of Dungeons & Dragons.
The Pandora Zwieback novels, as well as For a Few Gold Pieces More, A Princess of Mars, Carmilla, and Terra Incognito are available in print and digital formats. King Kong is a digital exclusive. Visit their respective product pages for ordering information.