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December 30, 2008

'Tis the Season for 'Best of' lists

The * Best of 2008 * lists have been raving about DHS all-stars. Here are the outstanding authors in January Magazine's Best Crime Fiction of 2008:

EMPTY EVER AFTER, by Reed Farrel Coleman

"Reed Farrel Coleman is a writer at the top of his game. The winner of several prestigious mystery-fiction awards, he never cheats his readers. There are well-delineated reasons his characters do what they do, and his stories leave you thinking. Coleman writes lush back-story, and wry observations are coupled with broad comedic touches that lighten the tone. Gem-like characters pebble the landscape"

ENVY THE NIGHT, by Michael Koryta

"Envy the Night is that rarest of literary creatures: a standalone thriller that you want to see turned into a series. Could it happen? We live in hope."

SEVERANCE PACKAGE by Duane Swierczynski

"In Severance Package, the Pole with Soul offers up...a combination of The Terminator and Die Hard, except this is written by Duane Swierczynski, whose debut novel, Secret Dead Men, centered on a schizophrenic zombie. So this is really Terminator and Die Hard on acid. As a bonus, the novel shows some influence from Swierczynski’s comic-book work. This book makes the list on its weird factor alone."

Over at Mystery Bookshelf, Swierczy's THE BLONDE is one of the Top Ten Best Reads of 2008.

Last, but certainly not least, is GO-GO GIRLS OF THE APOCALYPSE, by Victor Gischler.

Not only is it one of January Magazine's Best books of 2008, but it's also in Bookgasm's Top 10 books of 2008.

"This is the book that surprised me the most. This is a living, breathing world where the worst things you can imagine could happen, do. The scariest part is how plausible it is. I daresay it’s even better than Cormac McCarthy’s slightly overrated THE ROAD, because its satire is a lot smarter. And because of how funny it is, the horror of the world’s situation is even more horrific. I can’t believe how great this book is. Go find out for yourself." - Cameron Hughes

And for anyone out there who doubted go-go girls could be fodder for literary research, the Science Fiction Research Association (SFRA) has some choice words for you:

"Gischler’s book, as it straddles the line between science fiction and Southern studies, presents a vision of the American South that estranges and interrogates contemporary notions of the modern South, and especially, the notion of Atlanta as an 'international city of the future'...Gischler is onto something here...the city’s cultural identity and its landscape have been transformed and fragmented by economic processes...Gischler’s entertaining narrative and rugged, fun prose give us something to consider"

A merry toast to one and all!

These comics are nothing to laugh at...

they are premier series that take things up to a whole 'nother level!

MAGNETO: TESTAMENT is IGN's Best Miniseries of 2008.

"Greg Pak has spent years researching Magneto's past, mapping events in his life with true historical accounts of Nazi Germany and the Holocaust. The result is a tragic tale that not only respects the horrors of that era but lays down a definitive, sympathetic origin for one of the greatest villains of all time."
Catch up on past issues before #4 comes out this Friday!

Greg Rucka and Duane Swierczynski are also featured in Comic Book Resources' Best 100 Comics of 2008:

CHECKMATE (Written by Greg Rucka & Eric Trautmann)
"A diverse cast, political maneuvering and all-out spy action, all topped off with superheroes... an exciting read each month."

THE IMMORTAL IRON FIST (Written by Ed Brubaker & Matt Fraction, Duane Swierczynski)
"Brubaker, Fraction and Aja's run on “Immortal Iron Fist” established the series as a wildly inventive title that blends Kung-Fu action with a wide variety of genres, and current creators Swierczynski and Foreman haven't dropped the ball. Their run continues to be both fun and fascinating."

December 29, 2008

Much love from Maddow

"Genius" has such a nice ring to it, dontcha think?

"I like spy stuff...and I like comics (though I'm not much of a superhero fan). And Queen and Country the comic series by Greg Rucka is fantastic. Rucka's a genius, Ian Mackintosh — Rucka's inspiration — was also a genius. Tara Chace is one of the all-time great/tragic action characters. I came away with the realization that bureaucracy and internal power-struggling isn't a side-show to the real's determinative as to whether or not your "real work" gets done. Spying is something we all ought to want our country to be really, really good at."

- Rachel Maddow (Host of MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show and The Rachel Maddow Show on Air America)

December 23, 2008

Happy holidays

Reed Farrel Coleman’s Moe Prager novels keep winning over converts. Ian Rankin calls them his "Discovery of the Year"!

The Houston Chronicle also chimes in that "the twists and reversals are expertly done, and Moe’s voice, which mixes Jewish intellectual with cop smarts, is company worth keeping."

A perfectly-sized stocking stuffer is David Cottrell's MONDAY MORNING CHOICES, which was featured in THE COSTCO CONNECTION's December issue.

Sean Doolittle's SAFER is already getting readers excited. "Unsettling...Admirably complex", says Publishers Weekly.

The Omaha World-Herald heartily agrees that "this could be the Omahan's breakout novel. That wouldn't be much of a surprise. The only question is what's taken the rest of the reading public so long? It's time Doolittle's name starts popping up beside such contemporaries as Dennis Lehane and George Pelecanos, both of whom have written past blurbs for Doolittle."

Very Short List, an email subscription that recommends must-see gems, plugged Christina Weir and Nunzio DeFilippis' graphic novel adaptation of THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON this month.

"Brad Pitt’s latest blockbuster is based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novella The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, about a man who’s born old and ages back to infancy. The movie comes out this Christmas. But this graphic novel is no less inventive than the film. the graphic novel retains the original time frame — as well as the story’s ties to Fitzgerald’s own, favorite era — and its carefully compressed text and beautifully detailed illustrations evoke that era perfectly. Needless to say, no adaptation can match the experience of reading the novella itself, but this one comes remarkably close."

If you're looking for a less genteel era, dive into Victor Gischler's GO-GO GIRLS OF THE APOCALYPSE for a trip that's "utterly insane, action scene after another, linked together to tell the tale of a man trying to find sense in an insane world...way too much fun to miss out on...sheer entertainment." (SF Site)

ENVY THE NIGHT, by Michael Koryta, is #2 on Oline H. Cogdill's top mysteries of 2008.

She applauds the "sharply plotted Envy the Night [as] one of the year's finest crime novels. Kotya shows a new confidence in storytelling that doesn't follow the predictable lines of the genre and illustrates his affinity for shaping authentic characters."

Another top writer who champions authenticity is Theresa Schwegel. If you haven't read her newest book PERSON OF INTEREST yet, the mass market paperback will be in stores on the 30th!

The Mystery Bookshelf endorses THE BLONDE in its 2008 Holiday Gift Guide for Mystery/Thriller Readers:

"This was the most hilarious story I read all year. I enjoyed Swierczynski’s writing style and fell in love with the characters very quickly. I’m definitely buying this for my friends."

In comic news, Swierczy's Immortal Iron Fist #21 comes out on the 24th.

"Danny Rand was not the first Immortal Iron Fist…and he won't be the last! The year – 3099. The place – a distant planet first colonized a millennium ago by the People's Republic of China. Now, a humanity oppressed by a totalitarian technological tyrant has just one hope for salvation – the kung-fu freedom-fighting of the Immortal Iron Fist! But his coming is nothing more than a prophecy and a silent prayer…and even if the Iron Fist does arrive, he must first defeat the most powerful weapon the evil robot empire has…Robo Fat-Cobra! Hot off the heels of Duane Swierczynski and Travel Foreman's rip-roaring "MORTAL IRON FIST" arc comes an all-new look at the future legacy of the Immortal Iron Fist...with a jaw-dropping cover by Juan Doe!

In January, Duane Swierczynski and artist Mico Suayan come out with their four-issue “Dead of Night Featuring Werewolf by Night” miniseries, from Marvel's mature readers MAX imprint.

Beware, "Marvel's most famous werewolf" is back!