Glen Cook: The Tyranny of the Night / Lord of the Silent Kingdom

I’ve been an admirer of Glen Cook’s writing for many years, ever since I read Shadowline, the first book of the Starfishers series, way back when. I had never run into anyone who had quite that mix of myth and space opera, with the possible exception of Roger Zelazny, and Zelazny was not doing quite . . . → Read More: Glen Cook: The Tyranny of the Night / Lord of the Silent Kingdom

Glen Cook: Working God’s Mischief

Arnhand, Castauriga, and Navaya lost their kings. The Grail Empire lost its empress. The Church lost its Patriarch, though he lives on as a fugitive. The Night lost Kharoulke the Windwalker, an emperor amongst the most primal and terrible gods. The Night goes on, in dread. The world goes on, in dread. The ice . . . → Read More: Glen Cook: Working God’s Mischief

Thoughts on a new illustrated edition of The Hobbit

J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit has a long and colorful publishing history as one of the most beloved fantasy tales of all time. That history continues with a new edition that seems to be aimed at reclaiming the written version of the story as a way to introduce it to young readers. It’s a handsome hardcover . . . → Read More: Thoughts on a new illustrated edition of The Hobbit

It’s Been a Nasty Winter

For some of us, at least. Fortunately, some hardy souls have managed to defy the elements and send in some new reviews, so let’s take a look.

First, Death’s Apprentice from K. W. Jeter and Gareth Jefferson Jones, featuring, among other things, a killer for hire to works for the Devil.

Next up, from steampunk . . . → Read More: It’s Been a Nasty Winter

Capercaillie: At the Heart of It All

I’m still working my way through Capercaillie, which, out of a host of interesting musicians from many traditions, remains one of the most engaging groups I’ve run across. At the Heart of It All, their newest release, seems to pull together a lot of what I’ve found in their earlier offerings into a very coherent . . . → Read More: Capercaillie: At the Heart of It All

Capercaillie: To the Moon

To the Moon was my first exposure to Capercaillie, so of course, it was what’s generally considered their “crossover” album. This is by no means a negative, or even something that’s very obvious: it’s more apparent in the rhythm patterns, the instrumentation (sorry, but no one is going to persuade me that the bouzouki is . . . → Read More: Capercaillie: To the Moon

Literary Matters: Catherynne M. Valente’s Fairyland novels

Twisted fairy tales, revisions and reversions of old legends and mythologies, turning everyday life inside out and at odd angles to itself, bringing Old Magic into a Today World–it’s all the province of names like Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett–and Catherynne M. Valente. As with those authors, Valente has already established cross-media ties; notably, songs by . . . → Read More: Literary Matters: Catherynne M. Valente’s Fairyland novels

On Kristian Blak and Faroe Islands music

Barb Truex penned this lovely commentary for us.

A few months ago I had my first exposure to music from the Faroe Islands, a small group of Nordic islands that lie between Iceland and the Scottish Shetland Islands. I reviewed three recordings from the group Spælimenninir. Getting to know artists better over time as . . . → Read More: On Kristian Blak and Faroe Islands music

John Barleycorn Reborn

Objectivity be damned, it just can’t be done! When presented with a collection of tracks dubbed Dark Britannica, comprising two CDs that when purchased entitles you to 33 extra downloadable tracks (the equivalent of two more CDs), which collectively prove satisfying time after time — sorry, but all pretence at neutrality must be abandoned. This . . . → Read More: John Barleycorn Reborn

Brief Lines: Big Names

One of the benefits of the recent upsurge in novellas being published is the opportunity for big names to play in smaller sandboxes. Works that are perhaps too experimental or too insubstantial for full novel-length projects can get play now, providing readers with more of their favorite authors. Meanwhile, the authors themselves get a chance . . . → Read More: Brief Lines: Big Names