Showing posts from May, 2013

Order of the Scales: Dragons, Destruction and Doom.

Order of the Scales is the third book in the planned trilogy: Memory of Flames set in the Dragon Realms and follows the individual storylines of the different Kings and Queens of the Dragon Realms to a satisfactory closure.  Stephen Deas continues to do what he does best: skyrocket the tale forward in a brutal breathlessly frenetic manner and kill off people you care about, leaving the world a burnt-out smoky ruin with stragglers and fire-breathing dragons for survivors. If anything, the pacing is even better in the third book as we finally get to the big showdown that the Dragon Realms have been waiting for, for the past two books. All that scheming, skullduggery, backstabbing and bloody politicking finally comes to a grand finale – fiery, brutal and shocking one at that – as the battles for supremacy between Kings and Queens and the awakened dragons and the Adamantine Men comes to a head. It is guaranteed fireworks and wholesome entertainment – bloody pitched battles on

Short Story Collection : Wastelands: Stories of Apocalypse Edited by John Joseph Adams

There is always something captivating about the concept of apocalypse, right? Is it that dread, that helplessness? Or as Joseph Adams claims, it appeals to our sense of adventure, that thrill of discovery, the desire for a new frontier? And yet here we are on the other side of the fence thinking that all this is all in a distant future. We all have had dreams of a desolate, deserted Earth littered with abandoned broken down hulks of concrete and asphalt that stretch from nowhere to nowhere or is it visions of a dying world suffocating on noxious fumes and people wasting away from radiation?  Whatever be your imaginations of a post-apocalyptic world – guaranteed they are going to be blown away by the visions of these twenty-two different works of genius from over the last two decades, smartly edited and collated in this one slim volume, aptly called the Wastelands by John Joseph Adams. Wastelands is a definitive collection about an all-too possible bleak future as

Riddick: Coming Soon!

You're not afraid of the dark, are you? sardonic tone dripping sarcasm, dead-pan expression with eyes that glow in the dark, remember Riddick from Pitch Black ? A sleeper hit that almost escaped the radars, Vin Diesel played the convict whom everybody wants dead on a planet where dark rules and he is the only one who can see at night. I LOOVED that movie. Then came part two - where typical Hollywood fashion, they brought in a newer storyline that touted Riddick to be the last of a once proud, now exterminated race of warriors - the only one who can stop a set of marauding villians, set on world ( oh beg pardon - that should be Galaxy?) domination. Big budget, Hollywood action-fare. a little too lavishly done sets, unbelievable premise, bigger star cast. didn't like it one bit. Looks like the team's learnt it's lessons - they are going back to that one planet; where Riddick is left for dead once again and he has got to deal with teams of mercenaries flying in to f

WInds of Khalakovo: Ushering in winds of change for fantasy writing

I still haven’t come to terms with this question, do I love Russian literature? I tried Tolstoy’s epic, War and Peace. Not once but twice. And I failed both times to complete it. Dostoevsky’s short stories made me a fan but his longer books had just too much going on to invest me in as a serious reader, all this at a younger tender impressionable age. As an adult my tastes veered away from the contemporary into speculative and I was yet to find anyone who brought in the flavors or Russia – the strong smells of vodka, the white snow and the bleak grey hopelessness - into Fantasy or Science Fiction. And then came Bradley P. Beaulieu – who has written a deep, well researched fantasy novel set in an alternate world of mountainous archipelago completely inspired by the Russian and East European settings. Then more recently, Peter Higgins brought the love and intrigue back to that Soviet-Russian hitting us squarely between the eyes with his excellent oddball genre-bending Wol

Movie Review: Iron Man-3

Robert Downey Jr. is to Tony Stark, what Sean Connery meant to James Bond in those heady days. He’s become iconic. With the release of Iron Man-3, where he’s flat out exceeded pretty much any linear yardstick of comparisons thrown at him, Downey Jr. has gone to stratospheric heights of Super-Hero Stardom.  The third movie in the Iron-Man franchise from the Marvel Comics stable, Iron Man-3 is an all-stops pulled out flat-out entertainer executed on an grandiose spectacular scale. There is nothing to complain in the movie ( ahem. Barring a few deus-ex-machina moments, but heck, for the sake of pure unadulterated entertainment, I am willing to suspend my disbelief and let Tony and gang have their way!) A hero who is willing to show his human vulnerability and wears it like a shield in fact through the movie, dread-inducing villians ( you got not one, but two of them!), a romantic tension that crackles between the lead pair and a brilliant explosive climax that is a glo