The Green Wave

The Green Wave

Cassandra Kelly’s debut novel, The Green Wave, is a most enjoyable one, taking us on a wild adventure with Rosalyn Flynn, Reverend to the Enlightenment Church and airship pilot, from Canterbury to Sydney and far beyond. Along with a cast of characters that are well fleshed-out and equally interesting as the Reverend herself.

Even though the backstories of the characters are kept to a minimum, we are given ample information about them not to be left with tons of questions. Action scenes are descriptive, but short enough to keep you from becoming bored with detail. The author has definitely found that fine line between going in-depth and being overly descriptive.

Continue reading “The Green Wave”

Patterns of Fashion 2: Englishwomen’s Dresses and Their Construction c. 1860-1940

Patterns of Fashion 2

To those who habitually sew historical garments, the Patterns of Fashion series is probably nothing new. To those who don’t: Patterns of Fashions is a series often referred to by costubers, especially those working recreating garments from the past century and before.

Do they live up to the hype?

Continue reading “Patterns of Fashion 2: Englishwomen’s Dresses and Their Construction c. 1860-1940”

Fatale, Book 1: Death Chases Me

Fatale, Book 1: Death Chases Me

Fatale is widely regarded as one of the top-ten horror comics available. Surely, this little noir gem by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips is making good on that promise with their almost surreal detective story.

Book 1: Death Chases Me introduces us to the contemporary leads, but the real star of the story is Josephine. A woman looking like the clichéd femme fatale, but with a dark secret. Immortal and forever beautiful, her strange magic affects men and what seems to be a Lovecraftian cult behind her.

That may sound a little much and bizarre, but the way the story unfolds, with flashbacks to the 1950s mixed in with current events, really works.

Continue reading “Fatale, Book 1: Death Chases Me”

The Times of Scrooge McDuck: The Master of the Mississippi

The Master of the Mississippi

The Master of the Mississippi (1992) is the beginning of Scrooge’s American adventure.

Having worked as a cabin boy for passage across the Atlantic, the 13 year-old lad from Scotland finds his Uncle Angus “Pothole” McDuck — who also sought his fortune in the New World — down on his luck in Louisville, Kentucky. But Pothole wins a steamboat, the Dilly Dollar, in a poker match and hires his nephew as deckhand, introducing him to both a lifelong ally — Ratchet Gearloose, the grandfather of Duckburg’s eccentric inventor Gyro — and lifelong enemies: the criminal Beagle Boys.

Continue reading “The Times of Scrooge McDuck: The Master of the Mississippi”

Death Shall Come

Death Shall Come

A country manor in the middle of nowhere. The largest collection of Egyptian artifacts in private hands. A curse and the duo of Ishmael Jones and Penny Belcourt. Throw these things together and you know you’re in for an excellent murder mystery.

Is there a curse? Is there really a mummy afoot? Or is it something else entirely?

In this fourth book of Simon R. Green’s Ishmael Jones series, Death Shall Come, we are presented with the same formula of “Ishmael and Penny need to solve a mystery”.

Those who have been reading the series from the beginning will inevitably ask themselves the question: How many people will survive this time?

Continue reading “Death Shall Come”

Science Fiction of Antebellum America: An Anthology

Science Fiction of Antebellum America: An Anthology

Friend of the magazine Cory Gross, who blogs at Voyages Extraordinaries, is out with a second anthology of nineteenth-century science fiction, titled Science Fiction of Antebellum America: An Anthology.

The book, which can be ordered on Amazon, collects the earliest satires, hoaxes, macabre tales, lost world fantasies and fairy tales that established the genre of science fiction in the heady days between the American Revolution and the Civil War.

Continue reading “Science Fiction of Antebellum America: An Anthology”

Death of a Bounty Hunter: Free eBook for Never Was Readers

Death of a Bounty Hunter

The publishers of the Amazon top-selling time-travel novel Timeslingers have partnered with Never Was to offer you, our reader, a complimentary copy of their brand-new Weird West adventure, Death of a Bounty Hunter.

All they’re asking in return is a review on Amazon. It’s not an obligation, but they hope you’ll write some words after reading the book.

Blending paranormal, steampunk and Western genres, Death of a Bounty Hunter creates something altogether different.

Continue reading “Death of a Bounty Hunter: Free eBook for Never Was Readers”

The Times of Scrooge McDuck: Of Ducks and Dimes and Destinies

Of Ducks, Dimes and Destinies page

Of Ducks and Dimes and Destinies (1995) is the first of the in-between chapters in The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck. Keno Don Rosa places it before Chapter 1, calling it “Chapter 0”. It was even written and drawn before Chapter 1, but, as Rosa writes in The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck Companion (2006), which collects all the “B” chapters, it would have been “bad form” to release the two stories around the same time, since they both tell how Scrooge earned his Number One Dime. Hence Of Ducks and Dimes and Destinies wasn’t released until after the twelve chapters of The Life and Times.

The title mimics the wording and meter of “The Walrus and the Carpenter” poem in Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass (1871):

“The time has come,” the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of shoes — and ships — and sealing-wax —
Of cabbages — and kings –“

(Rosa never drew a cover for the story, so that’s why I’m showing you the first page.)

Continue reading “The Times of Scrooge McDuck: Of Ducks and Dimes and Destinies”

The Villain’s Guide to Better Living

The Villain's Guide to Better Living

Years ago, I reviewed a little marvelous book I had chanced upon and loved: How to Be a Villain by Neil Zawacki. It’s hilarious, the art is brilliant (very 1960s atompunk) and sure to put a smile on your face, whether you aspire to be an evil overlord or not.

The first volume’s artist, James Dignan, does not return for the sequel, but the art of Bill Brown is very similar and definitely not of lesser quality.

The Villain’s Guide to Better Living will tell you all you need to know about the homes of different types of evildoers. From (olde world) vampires to mad scientists and everything in between, there are many hilarious tips and tricks, magazine-like quizzes (gotta make sure you get that interior right!) and art as funny as the writing.

Continue reading “The Villain’s Guide to Better Living”

The Times of Scrooge McDuck: The Last of the Clan McDuck

The Last of the Clan McDuck

If you’re not familiar with the comics of Uncle Scrooge, you’re missing out. The treasure hunts of the globe-trotting “richest duck in the world” draw inspiration from steam- and diesel-era adventures and inspired George Lucas in making Indiana Jones!

Scrooge’s creator, Carl Barks, who is widely regarded as the best Duck artist of all time, never consciously established a biography for Donald Duck’s uncle, but he did reveal tidbits about the old miser’s younger years through dozens of stories.

In the twelve-part The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck, Keno Ron Rosa masterfully weaves together every detail Barks revealed about Scrooge’s past with real-world history, from the heydays of the Mississippi steamboat to the Klondike Gold Rush. It’s that real-world history we’re going to explore. Hence the emphasis on the “times” of Scrooge McDuck.

The twelve chapters of The Life and Times are best read in order. They form a narrative whole, from Scrooge’s rise to his fall to his redemption. Eight additional “untold tales” (Don Rosa prefers the term “B chapters”) are mostly pure adventure stories and best read after. For our purposes, however, a chronological order makes sense.

Continue reading “The Times of Scrooge McDuck: The Last of the Clan McDuck”