Friday, October 20, 2017

May 2017 New Comics To Watch For

May was a month which was lacking in terms of independent releases from authors, but made up for it with franchises and stuff relating to well known superheroes.

SECRET WARRIORS #1
Written by Matthew Rosenberg
Art by Javier Garron

A SECRET EMPIRE TIE-IN!
Captain America has been revealed to be an agent of Hydra – and he’s coming after Inhumans!
S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Daisy Johnson, a.k.a. QUAKE, wants no part of Hydra, so she goes underground, teaming up with MS. MARVEL, MOON GIRL & DEVIL DINOSAUR, KARNAK and INFERNO to set things right – for the Inhumans, but also for the entire country!
Penned by rising star Matthew Rosenberg (Kingpin, Rocket Raccoon, 4 Kids Walk Into A Bank) and drawn by the immensely talented Javier Garrón (Death of X, Inhumans vs X-Men), SECRET WARRIORS is one part coming-of-age story, one part spy-thriller, all action and all heart. Don’t miss the next (and final?) generation of Inhumans as they take the Marvel Universe by storm!


ALL-NEW GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #1
Written by Gerry Duggan
Art and Cover by Aaron Kuder


A NEW ERA OF COSMIC ADVENTURE BEGINS HERE!
Double ships every month!
The Guardians of the Galaxy have taken off into space once more, on their biggest and weirdest misadventures yet! Kicking things off with the biggest heist they’ve ever tried, we join Star-Lord, Rocket Raccoon and company as they blast their way through the galaxy, the peacekeepers of the Nova Corps hot on their tails. And once they find themselves caught in a war between The Collector and The Grandmaster, there will hardly be time to explain why Groot can’t grow any bigger, what Gamora is searching for or why Drax has sworn off violence! But don’t worry, we will — with a new twice-monthly schedule, All-New Guardians of the Galaxy has space for ALL your Marvel Cosmic needs!

  
ROCKET #1
Written by Al Ewing
Art by Adam Gorham

GET READY FOR A LIFE OF SPACECRIME!
It’s a dirty universe out there, even when you’re not regularly mistaken for trash-foraging vermin. And it’s about to get dirtier. He thought his paws were clean, that he was on the up-and-up. But then an old flame swam back into his life, and he was back in the game... the heist game. If you need a safe cracked, a vault busted or a score taken...ask for Rocket. Just don’t call him a raccoon.








I AM GROOT #1
Written by Christopher Hastings
Art by Flaviano

GROOT IN HIS OWN SERIES, SMALLER AND BETTER THAN EVER!
When the Guardians of the Galaxy get caught in a wormhole, a smaller-than-normal Groot is separated billions of light-years away from the team. Falling to a planet below, Groot discovers he is on an entirely alien and unknown world full of strange creatures and societies. Seriously underdeveloped and with nobody who can understand him, Groot will need to make the journey to the center of this world and find the way back to his family!





JEAN GREY #1
Written by Dennis Hopeless
Art by Victor Ibanez

When a teenage JEAN GREY traveled through time and arrived in the present, she learned the terrible fate that befell her predecessor: Possessed by a cosmic entity called the Phoenix, Jean was trapped in an endless cycle of life and death. Determined to escape that future, Jean set out to write her own destiny. But now, she’s visited by a premonition that the Phoenix is coming for her…and in this new ongoing series by DENNIS HOPELESS (ALL-NEW X-MEN, SPIDER-WOMAN, X-MEN: SEASON ONE) and VICTOR IBANEZ (EXTRAORDINARY X-MEN, STORM), she’s going to fight tooth and nail to escape becoming its next victim!

 
CABLE #1
Written by James Robinson
Art by Carlos Pacheco

WALK SOFTLY...AND CARRY A BIG GUN!
CABLE sees the mighty mutant return on a brand-new mission…with all of time in the balance! When Cable picks up the trail of a threat in the timestream, he sets off on a high-speed, history-spanning chase to save reality as we know it. From prehistory to modern day, whether it’s a six-gun duel at high noon or a high-tech sword fight in an ancient land, Cable is the only man who can keep history from unraveling!






BLACK BOLT #1
Written by Saladin Ahmed
Art and Cover by Christian Ward
 


THE KING OF THE INHUMANS’ FIRST SOLO SERIES!
Black Bolt imprisoned! But by who? And where exactly? The answers to both will shock you! But to learn those answers, Black Bolt must first win a fight to the death with a fellow inmate — The Absorbing Man! Award-winning science fiction writer Saladin Ahmed (Throne of the Crescent Moon) crafts a story as trippy as it is action-packed, with truly mind-bending art from the one and only Christian Ward!






BUG!: THE ADVENTURES OF FORAGER #1 (of 6)
Written by Lee Allred
Art and Cover by Michael Allred


An all-new Young Animal miniseries begins! Forager is just one of the Hive before he breaks out of his cocoon and finds himself in a mysterious house in an unknown realm. There he meets all kinds of strange creatures: a ghostly girl, a talking teddy bear and otherworldly weirdos that have literally jumped out of his worst nightmares. But these interdimensional oddballs are nothing compared to the evil General Electric, who is on the hunt for a reality-bending metal that could alter the fabric of life itself. To stay one step ahead of him and preserve the multiverse, Forager must travel through alternate dimensions to seek the metal and, hopefully, catch up with that cagey stuffed bear. If he does it, will he finally be able to distinguish himself as a New God?
DC’s Young Animal celebrates Jack Kirby’s centenary with this new six-issue miniseries—and who better to tackle this task than the Eisner Award-winning Allred clan! Featuring scripts by Lee Allred (BATMAN ’66), art by Michael Allred (Silver Surfer) and colors by Laura Allred (Lady Killer), BUG! is truly a family affair. 
 


VICTOR LAVALLE'S DESTROYER #1
Written by Victor LaValle
Art by Dietrich Smith

When the last descendant of the Frankenstein family loses her only son to a police shooting, she turns to science for her own justice...putting her on a crash course with her family's original monster and his quest to eliminate humanity.
An intense, unflinching story exploring the legacies of love, loss, and vengeance placed firmly in the tense atmosphere and current events of the modern-day United States.






RAPTURE #1
Written by Katt Kindt
Art by Cafu

On a scarred landscape, two otherworldly armies prepare to battle one last time, vying for control of a massive tower named from an ancient language no longer permitted to be spoken.
One army is led by a primeval force named Babel, whose goal is singular: to breach “Heaven” no matter the cost. The only thing standing in his way is a gray-haired barbaric warrior, filled with rage and regret, a man who sees this battle as his last chance for redemption. But he knows his depleted forces have little chance of victory unless aid comes.
Enter Tama: A 12-year old girl on the crest of a hill overlooking the battle, who has just become humanity’s only hope. The last in an ancient line of mystics who protect the Earth, she has foreseen this battle and knows millions will perish if she’s unable to stop it. Now Tama and her ragtag team of malcontents - Ninjak, Shadowman and Punk Mambo - must somehow defeat an elder god hell bent on piercing the heavens.
This summer, New York Times best-selling writer Matt Kindt and artistic sensation CAFU lead a Tolkien-esque journey into the space between life and death…through the Deadside…and into the many worlds that lie beyond right here with a spellbinding and horrific standalone event!



MISSED FROM LAST MONTH
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SOVEREIGNS #0
Written by Ray Fawkes, Kyle Higgins, Aubrey Sitterson, Chuck Wendig
Art and Cover by Johnny Desjardins, Jorge Fornes, Aaron Conley


The beginning of an epic tale that will change everything you know about some of comicdom's greatest and longest-tenured heroes! Solar, Magnus, Dr. Spektor & Turok! Apart, they've saved countless lives a hundred times over. Together, they form a team that has protected the world in the past, present and future. Now, they will be reunited one last time to face a threat that will forever change their legacy and bring them face to face with their final destiny! Plus! Three backup features introducing the all-new, all-different, never-before-seen heroes, Magnus, Turok and Dr. Spektor. Wait - what?!
 
[ This month is rather a bit dry. It only has a few good Marvel releases, a promising one from DC comics and start of a new standalone event from Valiant among the noteworthy stuff. ]

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Promising Sci-fi, Horror & Fantasy - July 2017

Hmm, so I am slowly catching up on my monthly lists. July does not actually have a lot to offer in terms of fiction either sadly. But there are definitely some promising releases.

"Sungrazer" by Jay Posey from Angry Robot

In a new Cold War between Earth and the colonies on Mars, when devastating weapons go missing, there's only one team you can call - the Outriders. A crack force of highly specialised super-soldiers, their clone bodies are near-immortal.
When a fully-autonomous vessel with orbital strike capabilities goes missing, it's up to the Outriders to track the untrackable. But when the trail leads them to the influential Martian People's Collective Republic, the operation gets a lot more complicated...


[ This is a sci-fi series that seems quite interesting to me and it is from Angry Robot. ]



"The Ghost Line" by Andrew Neil Gray & J.S. Herbison from Tor.com Publishing

The luxury cruise ship the Martian Queen was decommissioned years ago, set to drift back and forth between Earth and Mars on the off-chance that reclaiming it ever became profitable for the owners. For Saga and her husband Michel the cruise ship represents a massive payday. Hacking and stealing the ship could earn them enough to settle down, have children, and pay for the treatments to save Saga’s mother’s life.
But the Martian Queen is much more than their employer has told them. In the twenty years since it was abandoned, something strange and dangerous has come to reside in the decadent vessel. Saga feels herself being drawn into a spider’s web, and must navigate the traps and lures of an awakening intelligence if she wants to go home again.


[ A sci-fi novella from Tor.com and the blurb is also very enticing. ]

"Scourge (Darkhurst #1)" by Gail Z. Martin from Solaris

Epic new fantasy from the bestselling author of The Summoner. In a city beset by monsters, three brothers must find out who is controlling the abominations.
The city-state of Ravenwood is wealthy, powerful, and corrupt. Merchant Princes and Guild Masters wager fortunes to outmaneuver League rivals for the king’s favor and advantageous trading terms. Lord Mayor Ellor Machison wields assassins, blood witches, and forbidden magic to assure that his powerful patrons get what they want, no matter the cost.
Corran, Rigan, and Kell Valmonde are Guild Undertakers, left to run their family’s business when guards murdered their father and monsters killed their mother. Their grave magic enables them to help souls pass to the After and banish vengeful spirits. Rigan’s magic is unusually strong and enables him to hear the confessions of the dead, the secrets that would otherwise be taken to the grave.
When the toll exacted by monsters and brutal guards hits close to home and ghosts expose the hidden sins of powerful men, Corran, Rigan and Kell become targets in a deadly game and face a choice: obey the Guild, or fight back and risk everything.
 


[ Although I have little experience of 'Gail Z. Martin's writing, what I have read from the author makes me wanna read more. A new series is always a chance to dive in again I guess. ]

"The Delirium Brief (Laundry Files #8)" by Charles Stross from Tor.com Publishing

Bob Howard’s career in the Laundry, the secret British government agency dedicated to protecting the world from unspeakable horrors from beyond spacetime, has entailed high combat, brilliant hacking, ancient magic, and combat with indescribably repellent creatures of pure evil. It has also involved a wearying amount of paperwork and office politics, and his expense reports are still a mess.
Now, following the invasion of Yorkshire by the Host of Air and Darkness, the Laundry’s existence has become public, and Bob is being trotted out on TV to answer pointed questions about elven asylum seekers. What neither Bob nor his managers have foreseen is that their organization has earned the attention of a horror far more terrifying than any demon: a British government looking for public services to privatize. There’s a lot of potential shareholder value in the Laundry’s “knowledge assets.”
Inch by inch, Bob Howard and his managers are forced to consider the truly unthinkable: a coup against the British government itself.

[ Hmm, I have heard a lot of good stuff about Charles Stross and this does seem like the kind of Urban Fantasy that I am fond of. ]

"The Five Daughters of the Moon (Waning Moon #1)" by Leena Likitalo from Tor.com Publishing

The Crescent Empire teeters on the edge of a revolution, and the Five Daughters of the Moon are the ones to determine its future.
Alina, six, fears Gagargi Prataslav and his Great Thinking Machine. The gagargi claims that the machine can predict the future, but at a cost that no one seems to want to know.
Merile, eleven, cares only for her dogs, but she smells that something is afoul with the gagargi. By chance, she learns that the machine devours human souls for fuel, and yet no one believes her claim.
Sibilia, fifteen, has fallen in love for the first time in her life. She couldn't care less about the unrests spreading through the countryside. Or the rumors about the gagargi and his machine.
Elise, sixteen, follows the captain of her heart to orphanages and workhouses. But soon she realizes that the unhappiness amongst her people runs much deeper that anyone could have ever predicted.
And Celestia, twenty-two, who will be the empress one day. Lately, she's been drawn to the gagargi. But which one of them was the first to mention the idea of a coup?
Inspired by the 1917 Russian revolution and the last months of the Romanov sisters, The Five Daughters of the Moon is a beautifully crafted historical fantasy with elements of technology fuelled by evil magic.


[ This seems like a promising Historical Fiction and after a long time I am looking forward to a book from this genre. ]   

"Age of Swords (Legends of the First Empire #2)" by Michael J. Sullivan from Del Rey

In Age of Myth, fantasy master Michael J. Sullivan launched readers on an epic journey of magic and adventure, heroism and betrayal, love and loss. Now the thrilling saga continues as the human uprising is threatened by powerful enemies from without—and bitter rivalries within.
Raithe, the God Killer, may have started the rebellion by killing a Fhrey, but long-standing enmities dividing the Rhune make it all but impossible to unite against a common foe. And even if the clans can join forces, how will they defeat an enemy whose magical prowess makes the Fhrey indistinguishable from gods?
The answer lies across the sea in a faraway land populated by a reclusive and dour race who feels nothing but disdain for both Fhrey and mankind. With time running out, Persephone leads the gifted young seer Suri, the Fhrey sorceress Arion, and a small band of misfits in a desperate search for aid—a quest that will take them into the darkest depths of Elan. There, an ancient adversary waits—an enemy as surprising as it is deadly.


[ Second book from the 'Legends of the First Empire' series by Michael J. Sullivan, I really do need to dive into this series and soon. ]
 
"Resurrection (The Horusian Wars #1)" by John French from Black Library / Games Workshop

Inquisitor Covenant and his warband go on the hunt for a traitor within their holy order.
War rages in the Caradryad Sector. Worlds are falling to madness and rebellion, and the great war machine of the Imperium is moving to counter the threat. Amongst its agents is Inquisitor Covenant. Puritan, psyker, expert swordsman, he reserves an especial hatred for those of his order who would seek to harness the power of Ruin as a weapon. Summoned to an inquisitorial conclave, Covenant believes he has uncovered such a misguided agent and prepares to denounce the heretic Talicto before his fellows. But when the gathering is attacked and many left dead in its wake, Covenant vows to hunt down Talicto and discover the truth behind the mysterious cult apparently at the heart of the massacre. In the murky plot into which he is drawn, Covenant knows only one thing for certain: trust no one.
  


[ A new series from Warhammer 40k universe that I am somewhat interested in. ]

"Lorgar: Bearer of the Word (The Horus Heresy: Primarchs #5)" by Gav Thorpe from Black Library / Games Workshop 

The fifth title in The Horus Heresy: Primarchs series, delving into the story of Lorgar, primarch of the Word Bearers Legion and the first of the Emperor's sons to fall to Chaos.
Most devoted of all the primarchs, it was Lorgar who first fell to the lure of Chaos. Once known as Aurelian, this golden son of the Emperor of Mankind found himself an outcast because he worshipped his father as a god. Humbled before the ruins of Monarchia, chastened and brought low, Lorgar yearned for deeper meaning. He found it in the power of Ruin and thus began the descent into heresy. His fate had not always been so. On Colchis, his adopted birth world, Lorgar was not always the zealot, though his path would be nurtured by one: the priest Kor Phaeron.


[ The fifth book in the Primarchs series, hopefully it will be as good as the previous ones. ]

MISSED FROM JUNE
-----------------------------


"Dark Imperium" by Guy Haley from Black Library / Games Workshop

A Warhammer 40,000 novel
The galaxy has changed. Darkness spreads, warp storms split reality and Chaos is everywhere – even Ultramar. As Roboute Guilliman's Indomitus Crusade draws to a close, he must brave the perils of the warp to reach his home and save it from the depredations of the Plague God.
Fell times have come to the galaxy. Cadia has fallen, destroyed by the onslaught of Chaos. A Great Rift in the warp has opened and from its depths spew daemons and the horrors of Old Night. But all hope is not lost... A hero, long absent, has returned and with him comes the wrath of the Ultramarines reborn. Roboute Guilliman has arisen to lead the Imperium out of darkness on a crusade the likes of which has not been seen since the fabled days of the Emperor. But never before have the forces of Ruin amassed in such numbers, and nowhere is safe from despoliation. From the dreaded Scourge Stars come the hordes of the Plaguefather, Lord Nurgle, and their pustulent eye is fixed on Macragge. As the Indomitas Crusade draws to an end, Guilliman races to Ultramar and a confrontation with the Death Guard.
 


[ I don't know how the hell I missed this one. This book looks into the future of 40k universe, as a matter of fact into 42k universe and features resurrected Roboute Guilliman. Should be one of the most important books for this year from Black Library. ]    

Friday, October 6, 2017

Fall 2017 Animes To Watch For

It's been more than 4 years since I did a post regarding Seasonal Anime that seems interesting to me. And, to be honest, I rarely watch animes these days. But this season does have some shows that seem interesting to me. So let's revive a tradition why don't we.

Black Clover

Asta and Yuno were abandoned together at the same church and have been inseparable since. As children, they promised that they would compete against each other to see who would become the next Emperor Magus. However, as they grew up, some differences between them became plain. Yuno was a genius with magic, with amazing power and control, while Asta could not use magic at all, and tried to make up for his lack by training physically. When they received their Grimoires at age 15, Yuno got a spectacular book with a four-leaf clover (most people receive a three-leaf-clover), while Asta received nothing at all. However, when Yuno was threatened, the truth about Asta's power was revealed, he received a five-leaf clover Grimoire, a "black clover"! Now the two friends are heading out in the world, both seeking the same goal!

[ I have read the first volume of manga of this one. While not too original this series does have the fun of a traditional Shounen with interesting concepts that could be explored. ]

Inuyashiki

Inuyashiki Ichirou is down on his luck. While only 58 years old, his geriatric looks often have him written off as a pathetic old man by the world around him and he's constantly ignored and disrespected by his family despite all that he's done to support them. On top of everything else, his doctor has revealed that he has cancer and it appears that he has little time left in this world. But just when it seems things couldn't get any worse, a blinding light in the night sky strikes the earth where Ichirou stands. He later wakes up to find himself unscathed, but he soon starts to notice that there's something... different about himself. However, it turns out that these strange, new changes are just what Ichirou needs to take a new lease on life and now it seems like there's nothing to stop him from being a hero worthy of the respect that he never had before... unless, that is, there was someone else out there with these same changes...

[ 'Gantz' by Hiroya Oku is one of the reasons I started reading mangas, so it is only natural that I am excited about this new anime based on his work. ]

Gintama.Porori-hen

Sixth season of Gintama.
The Amanto, aliens from outer space, have invaded Earth and taken over feudal Japan. As a result, a prohibition on swords has been established, and the samurai of Japan are treated with disregard as a consequence.
However one man, Gintoki Sakata, still possesses the heart of the samurai, although from his love of sweets and work as a yorozuya, one might not expect it. Accompanying him in his jack-of-all-trades line of work are Shinpachi Shimura, a boy with glasses and a strong heart, Kagura with her umbrella and seemingly bottomless stomach, as well as Sadaharu, their oversized pet dog. Of course, these odd jobs are not always simple, as they frequently have run-ins with the police, ragtag rebels, and assassins, oftentimes leading to humorous but unfortunate consequences.
Who said life as an errand boy was easy?


[ This has promised to bring back the fun of Gintama and as a whole of anime. Gintama is Gintama. What more is to say? ]

Kino no Tabi: The Beautiful World - The Animated Series


Based on a hit light novel series by Keiichi Sigsawa, the philosophical Kino's Journey employs the time-honored motif of the road trip as a vehicle for self-discovery and universal truth. Deeply meditative and cooler than zero, the series follows the existential adventures of the apt markswoman Kino along with talking motorcycle Hermes as they travel the world and learn much about themselves in the process. Imaginative, thought-provoking, and sometimes disturbing, Kino's journey is documented in an episodic style with an emphasis on atmosphere rather than action or plot, though still prevalent. 

[ Kino no Tabi was an anime that really was a perfect example of how to tell rich and emotional stories with this medium. It is being remade, wow, a nice surprise indeed. ]   

UQ Holder!: Mahou Sensei Negima! 2


In the decade since the world became aware of the existence of magic, the world has undergone massive upheaval. However, a boy named Touta lives in seclusion in a rural town far removed from these changes. His ordinary life is highlighted by his magic-using female teacher and his supportive friends. When his tranquil daily life is disrupted, he embarks on a unique adventure.

[ Although I haven't ead the first series this one does look like a promising new Shounen to be watching. ]

Juuni Taisen


12 warriors who are burdened with the names of the 12 Chinese Zodiac members fight with each other's lives and pride at stake, all to grant just one wish.

[ Hmm, the writer is the famed 'NisiOisiN', I guess I should check this out. ]  

Thursday, October 5, 2017

July 2017 New PC Games To Watch For

July is an incredibly poor month for PC games in terms of content. I searched very hard to find only three games somewhat interesting.

AntiHero

Antihero is a fast-paced digital board game with an (Oliver) Twist. Recruit street urchins, hire thugs, start a gang, upgrade your guild, steal everything... and bribe, blackmail, and assassinate your way to victory. Includes a story-driven campaign, AI skirmishes, and intense online and offline PvP. The game was released on July 10, 2017 on Microsoft Windows via Steam.

The End Is Night

The End Is Nigh is a platforming adventure video game developed by Edmund McMillen and Tyler Glaiel. The End Is Nigh is a platforming adventure game where the player controls Ash, a small black blob. The game has been described as a spiritual successor to McMillen's Super Meat Boy. The game was released on July 12, 2017 on Microsoft Windows via Steam, with future releases planned for PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch.

Pyre

Pyre is an action role-playing sports video game developed by Supergiant Games for Microsoft Windows, Linux, macOS and PlayStation 4. The game takes place in a high fantasy setting. The player controls a character who has been exiled from society and quickly meets three other exiles. The three exiles discover that the player-character is literate and invites them to join their party, nicknaming them the Reader. The Reader aids the exiles and other exiles met during the course of the game in their travels through the land of purgatory as they look to cleanse their souls via defeating other exiles. The story is told through on-screen narrative passages that include a hyperlink-type system used by the player-character to explore the story further. In addition to guiding the exiles during "Rites" which resemble a sports game, the Reader must determine how to help support or improve the party, by performing activities such as scavenging for supplies, learning more of the world's lore, or mentoring the exiles to improve their abilities. It was released on July 25, 2017.

[ To be honest, among these three, I am only interested in 'Pyre'. A very dull month for gaming indeed. ]

Thursday, September 21, 2017

June 2017 New PC Games To Watch For

Don't know when I'll be able to post next time but here is another PC-games list.

Tekken 7

Tekken 7 is a fighting game developed and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment. The game is the ninth installment in the Tekken series, and the first to make use of the Unreal Engine. Set shortly after the events of Tekken 6, the plot focuses on the fights between martial artist Heihachi Mishima and his son, Kazuya. Across the series it is revealed the reasons why Heihachi tried to kill Kazuya when he was only a child as well as what happened to Kazuya's mother. Besides the main story, Tekken 7 introduces new elements for the fighting system such as the Rage and the Power Crush to increase the characters' powers. Tekken 7 had a limited arcade release in Japan in March 2015. An updated arcade version, Tekken 7: Fated Retribution, was released in Japan in July 2016, and features expanded content including new stages, costumes, items and characters. The same version was released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in June 2, 2017.

Get Even

Get Even is a first-person shooter video game developed by The Farm 51 and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Get Even is a game maintained in convention of a thriller, where action is shown in first-person perspective (FPP). Raising questions about the understanding of justice and reality. The player discovers the story piece-by-piece through exploration of interactive environments.It was delayed one month from its initial release date out of respect for the 2017 Manchester Arena bombing and was released on June 23, 2017.

Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls

Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls is an action-adventure video game developed by Spike Chunsoft for PlayStation Vita. The game is a spin-off of the Danganronpa series of visual novel games, set between the events of Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc and Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair. Unlike the visual novel gameplay of the previous games, Ultra Despair Girls is a third-person adventure game with horror elements, in which players control Komaru Naegi as she tries to survive in a city overrun by Monokuma robots. The game was released on the Microsoft Windows and PlayStation 4 worldwide in June 27, 2017.

Tokyo Xanadu

Tokyo Xanadu is an action role-playing video game for the PlayStation Vita. It was developed and published by Nihon Falcom, out of their desire to create a game of a different type and setting than their two other flagship video game series, The Legend of Heroes and Ys, and has roots in the Xanadu series. t is an action role-playing game, like the Xanadu series, along with elements from the Persona series of Japanese role-playing games. It has a party-based real-time battle system with dungeon exploration. The game was released on September 30, 2015 in Japan and on June 30, 2017 in North America.

[ A very lukewarm month to say the least, but 'Tekken 7' makes it all up to me actually. ]

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Promising Sci-fi, Horror, Mystery & Fantasy - June 2017

June it turns out is a month with some varied releases that cater to my taste. And I do hope that these books live up to the promises.

"Mapping the Interior" by Stephen Graham Jones from Tor.com


Walking through his own house at night, a fifteen-year-old thinks he sees another person stepping through a doorway. Instead of the people who could be there, his mother or his brother, the figure reminds him of his long-gone father, who died mysteriously before his family left the reservation. When he follows it he discovers his house is bigger and deeper than he knew.
The house is the kind of wrong place where you can lose yourself and find things you'd rather not have. Over the course of a few nights, the boy tries to map out his house in an effort that puts his little brother in the worst danger, and puts him in the position to save them . . . at terrible cost.

[ The synopsis makes it sound weird enough to make me interested and the publishers helps too. ]

"The Rebellion’s Last Traitor" by Nik Korpon from Angry Robot

In a dystopian world ravaged by war and environmental collapse, one man fights history to discover the truth about his wife and child.
After decades of war, the brutal Tathadann Party restored order toshattered Eitan City by outlawing the past and rewriting history. Memory is a commodity bought and sold, and experienced like a drug. Henraek works as a Tathadann memory thief, draining citizens memories.
Everything changes when Henraek harvests a memory of his own wife s death, in the hidden rebellion that once tore apart their city. Now he will do whatever it takes to learn the truth even ifit means burning Eitan City to the ground.


[ I got this as an ARC from Angry Robot and am quite intrigued about the setting. ]

"Tyrant’s Throne (Greatcoats #4)" by Sebastien deCastell from Jo Fletcher Books

After years of struggle and sacrifice, Falcio val Mond, First Cantor of the Greatcoats, is on the brink of fulfilling his dead king's dream: Aline, the king's daughter, is about to take the throne and restore the rule of law once and for all.
But for the Greatcoats, nothing is ever that simple. In the neighboring country of Avares, an enigmatic new warlord is uniting the barbarian armies that have long plagued Tristia's borders--and even worse, he is rumored to have a new ally: Trin, who's twice tried to kill Aline to claim the throne of Tristia for herself. With the armies of Avares at her back, led by a bloodthirsty warrior, she'll be unstoppable.
Falcio, Kest, and Brasti race north to stop her, but in those cold and treacherous climes they discover something altogether different, and far more dangerous: a new player is planning to take the throne of Tristia, and with a sense of dread the three friends realize that the Greatcoats, for all their skill, may not be able to stop him.
As the nobles of Tristia and even the Greatcoats themselves fight over who should rule, the Warlord of Avares threatens to invade. With so many powerful contenders vying for power, it will fall to Falcio to render the one verdict he cannot bring himself to utter, much less enforce. Should he help crown the young woman he vowed to put on the throne, or uphold the laws he swore to serve?
 


[ I read the first book in this series which was very good. Been waiting for the series to end before delving into these characters and their world again. ]

"Beren and Luthien" by J.R.R. Tolkien / Christopher Tolkien from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Painstakingly restored from Tolkien’s manuscripts and presented for the first time as a fully continuous and standalone story, the epic tale of Beren and Lúthien will reunite fans of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings with Elves and Men, Dwarves and Orcs and the rich landscape and creatures unique to Tolkien’s Middle-earth. The tale of Beren and Lúthien was, or became, an essential element in the evolution of The Silmarillion, the myths and legends of the First Age of the World conceived by J.R.R. Tolkien. Returning from France and the battle of the Somme at the end of 1916, he wrote the tale in the following year.
Essential to the story, and never changed, is the fate that shadowed the love of Beren and Lúthien: for Beren was a mortal man, but Lúthien was an immortal Elf. Her father, a great Elvish lord, in deep opposition to Beren, imposed on him an impossible task that he must perform before he might wed Lúthien. This is the kernel of the legend; and it leads to the supremely heroic attempt of Beren and Lúthien together to rob the greatest of all evil beings, Melkor, called Morgoth, the Black Enemy, of a Silmaril.
In this book Christopher Tolkien has attempted to extract the story of Beren and Lúthien from the comprehensive work in which it was embedded; but that story was itself changing as it developed new associations within the larger history. To show something of the process whereby this legend of Middle-earth evolved over the years, he has told the story in his father's own words by giving, first, its original form, and then passages in prose and verse from later texts that illustrate the narrative as it changed. Presented together for the first time, they reveal aspects of the story, both in event and in narrative immediacy, that were afterwards lost.
 


[ I have read the shorter version of this story included in 'The Simarillion' and found it to be quite fun. Should be even better reading this full version of the tale. ] 

"You Die When You Die (West of West #1)" by Angus Watson from Orbit

YOU DIE WHEN YOU DIE . . .
You can't change your fate - so throw yourself into battle, because you'll either win or wake up drinking mead in the halls of your ancestors. That's what Finn's tribe believe.
But when their settlement is massacred by a hostile tribe and Finn and several friends, companions and rivals make their escape across a brutal, unfamiliar landscape, Finn will fight harder than he's ever fought in his life. He wants to live - even if he only lives long enough to tell Thyri Treelegs how he feels about her.
The David Gemmell Award nominated author of Age of Iron returns with You Die When You Die - in which a mismatched group of refugees battle animals and monsters, determined assassins, depraved tribes, an unforgiving land and each other as they cross a continent to fulfil a prophecy.
 


[ I have read a lot of good things about 'Angus Watson' on various sites and one of my friend (who kind of got me into epic fantasy) recommended his writings to me. I guess this new series might be the opportunity I was waiting for to start. ] 

"Down Among the Sticks and Bones (Wayward Children #2)" by Seanan McGuire from Tor.com

Twin sisters Jack and Jill were seventeen when they found their way home and were packed off to Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children.
This is the story of what happened first…
Jacqueline was her mother’s perfect daughter—polite and quiet, always dressed as a princess. If her mother was sometimes a little strict, it’s because crafting the perfect daughter takes discipline.
Jillian was her father’s perfect daughter—adventurous, thrill-seeking, and a bit of a tom-boy. He really would have preferred a son, but you work with what you've got.
They were five when they learned that grown-ups can’t be trusted.
They were twelve when they walked down the impossible staircase and discovered that the pretense of love can never be enough to prepare you a life filled with magic in a land filled with mad scientists and death and choices.
 


[ I have only read two books from 'Seanan Mcguire' so far, and both were quite good. Need to check out this series as well I guess. ]

"The Legion of Flame (Draconis Memoria #2)" by Anthony Ryan from Ace

Empires clash and a fell power stakes its claim in the second in a new series from the New York Times bestselling author of the Raven's Shadow Trilogy.
For centuries, the vast Ironship Trading Syndicate relied on drake blood—and the extraordinary powers it confers to those known as the Blood-blessed—to fuel and protect its empire. But now, a fearsome power has arisen—a drake so mighty that the world will tremble before it.
Rogue Blood-blessed Claydon Torcreek, Syndicate agent Lizanne Lethridge, and ironship captain Corrick Hilemore embark upon perilous quests to chase down clues that offer faint hopes of salvation. As the world burns around them, and the fires of revolution are ignited, these few are the last hope for the empire, and all of civilization.
 


[ I haven't read anything from this author yet, but he has been on my tbr list for awhile now. ]

"The Witchwood Crown (The Last King of Osten Ard #1)" by Tad Williams from DAW

New York Times-bestselling Tad Williams’ ground-breaking epic fantasy saga of Osten Ard begins an exciting new cycle! • Volume One of The Last King of Osten Ard
The Dragonbone Chair, the first volume of Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, was published in hardcover in October, 1988, launching the series that was to become one of the seminal works of modern epic fantasy. Many of today’s top-selling fantasy authors, from Patrick Rothfuss to George R. R. Martin to Christopher Paolini credit Tad with being the inspiration for their own series.
Now, twenty-four years after the conclusion of Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, Tad returns to his beloved universe and characters with The Witchwood Crown, the first novel in the long-awaited sequel trilogy, The Last King of Osten Ard.
Thirty years have passed since the events of the earlier novels, and the world has reached a critical turning point once again. The realm is threatened by divisive forces, even as old allies are lost, and others are lured down darker paths. Perhaps most terrifying of all, the Norns—the long-vanquished elvish foe—are stirring once again, preparing to reclaim the mortal-ruled lands that once were theirs....
 


[ Return to the world of a beloved series after so many years. I am torn between whether to start with this new one or the original series. ]


"Forever and a Death" by Donald E. Westlake by Hard Case Crime

A formerly rich businessman thrown out of Hong Kong when the Chinese took over from the British decides to fix his dire financial problems and take revenge on the Chinese by tunneling under Hong Kong's bank vaults and stealing all their gold, then using a doomsday device to set off a "soliton wave" that will turn the ground to sludge, causing the whole city to collapse. Only the engineer on his staff who designed the soliton wave technology (intending it for good purposes, to help with construction projects) can stop him, working together with a beautiful young environmental activist who gets caught up in one of the soliton tests and nearly killed. From the deck of a yacht near the Great Barrier Reef to Australia and Singapore and finally Hong Kong itself, it's a deadly game of cat-and-mouse as our heroes first struggle to escape the villain's clutches and then thwart his insanely destructive plan.

 [ New book from 'Hard Case Crime', a book that was meant to be a James Bond movie, count me in. ]

"The Crimson King (The Horus Heresy #44)" by Grahamn McNeill from Black Library / Games Workshop

Broken by the destruction of their home world Prospero at the hands of the Space Wolves Legion, Magnus the Red and the Thousand Sons retreat into the Eye of Terror. Is there any way for the Crimson King to rise again?
After the razing of Prospero, Magnus the Red spirited the Thousand Sons away to the Planet of the Sorcerers, deep within the Eye of Terra. Removed from the concerns of the galaxy at large and regarding the Warmaster’s unfolding Heresy with cold detachment, Magnus has dedicated his hollow existence to the preservation of all the knowledge once held in the great libraries of Tizca, should mankind ever seek such enlightenment again. But his sons can see the change in their primarch – he is a broken soul, whose mind and memories are slipping away into the tumult of the warp. Only by returning to the scenes of his greatest triumphs and tragedies can they hope to restore him, and allow the Crimson King to be crowned anew by the Ruinous Powers.
 
 


[ Magnus is a character that has always interested me and 'The Horus Heresy' is coming closer to its end as well, should be a blast to read. ] 

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Promising Sci-fi, horror & Fantasy - May 2017

I am so busy these days, it is quite hard to make time to post in my blog. But I did make a bit of time to do the list for the fiction to watch for in May finally.

"River of Teeth (River of Teeth #1)" by Sarah Gailey from Tor.com

In the early 20th Century, the United States government concocted a plan to import hippopotamuses into the marshlands of Louisiana to be bred and slaughtered as an alternative meat source. This is true.
Other true things about hippos: they are savage, they are fast, and their jaws can snap a man in two.
This was a terrible plan.
Contained within this volume is an 1890s America that might have been: a bayou overrun by feral hippos and mercenary hippo wranglers from around the globe. It is the story of Winslow Houndstooth and his crew. It is the story of their fortunes. It is the story of his revenge.


[ A very interesting premise to say the least, and I do have high expectations from Tor.com ]


"All Systems Red (The Murderbot Diaries #1)" by Martha Wells from Tor.com

A murderous android discovers itself in All Systems Red, a tense science fiction adventure by Martha Wells that blends HBO's Westworld with Iain M. Banks' Culture books.
In a corporate-dominated spacefaring future, planetary missions must be approved and supplied by the Company. Exploratory teams are accompanied by Company-supplied security androids, for their own safety.
But in a society where contracts are awarded to the lowest bidder, safety isn’t a primary concern.
On a distant planet, a team of scientists are conducting surface tests, shadowed by their Company-supplied ‘droid — a self-aware SecUnit that has hacked its own governor module, and refers to itself (though never out loud) as “Murderbot.” Scornful of humans, all it really wants is to be left alone long enough to figure out who it is.
But when a neighboring mission goes dark, it's up to the scientists and their Murderbot to get to the truth.
  


[ And this is time a sci-fi release from Tor.com,I am willling to give this one a chance as well. ] 

"Killing Gravity (The Voidwitch Saga #1)" by Corey J. White from Tor.com

Mariam Xi can kill you with her mind. She escaped the MEPHISTO lab where she was raised as a psychic supersoldier, which left her with terrifying capabilities, a fierce sense of independence, a deficit of trust and an experimental pet named Seven. She’s spent her life on the run, but the boogeymen from her past are catching up with her. An encounter with a bounty hunter has left her hanging helpless in a dying spaceship, dependent on the mercy of strangers.
Penned in on all sides, Mariam chases rumors to find the one who sold her out. To discover the truth and defeat her pursuers, she’ll have to stare into the abyss and find the secrets of her past, her future, and her terrifying potential.


[ Will I ever stop putting these Tor.com novellas in my list in such numbers each month? Well, at least until they start disappointing me. ]

"The Carrion Throne (Vaults of Terra #1)" by Chris Wraight from Black Library/ Games Workshop

Inquisitor Erasmus and his acolyte Spinoza root out a shadowy conspiracy on Holy Terra itself, the capital world of the Imperium.
In the hellish sprawl of Imperial Terra, Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor Erasmus serves as a stalwart and vigilant protector, for even the Throneworld is not immune to the predations of its enemies. In the course of his Emperor-sworn duty, Erasmus becomes embroiled in a dark conspiracy, one that leads all the way to the halls of the Imperial Palace. As he plunges deeper in the shadowy underbelly of the many palace districts, his investigation attracts the attention of hidden forces, and soon Erasmus and his acolyte Spinoza are being hunted – by heretics, xenos, servants of the Dark Powers, or perhaps even rival elements of the Inquisition itself. They eventually discover a terrible truth, one that if allowed to get out could undermine the very fabric of the Imperium itself.


[ Ah, an interesting concept from a Black Library 40k main series after awhile, I am quite intrigued. ] 

"City of Miracles (Divine Cities #3)" by Robert Jackson Bennett from Broadway Books

Revenge. It's something Sigrud je Harkvaldsson is very, very good at. Maybe the only thing.
So when he learns that his oldest friend and ally, former Prime Minister Shara Komayd, has been assassinated, he knows exactly what to do and that no mortal force can stop him from meting out the suffering Shara's killers deserve.
Yet as Sigrud pursues his quarry with his customary terrifying efficiency, he begins to fear that this battle is an unwinnable one. Because discovering the truth behind Shara's death will require him to take up arms in a secret, decades-long war, face down an angry young god, and unravel the last mysteries of Bulikov, the city of miracles itself. And perhaps most daunting of all finally face the truth about his own cursed existence.


[ The first two books in this series was among the best of the years they were published in and this one is focused on Sigrud, this one is also bound to be one of the best fantasy books these are to be sure. ]

"Damnation (Burned Man #3)" by Peter McLean from Angry Robot

Shambolic demon-hunting hitman Don Drake is teetering on the edge of madness in this smart, witty urban fantasy novel.
Don Drake is living rough in a sink estate on the outskirts of Edinburgh, doing cheap spells for even cheaper customers while fending off the local lowlifes. Six months ago, Don fled from London to Glasgow to track down his old girlfriend Debbie the alchemist.
With the Burned Man gradually driving him mad, Don meets with an ancient and mysterious tramp-slash-magician, with disastrous consequences. Now his old accomplices must step into save Don from himself, before he damns himself for good this time.
  


[  An Angry Robot series that I am interested in, seems like my kind of urban fantasy. Still need to read the first two though. ]

"Assassin’s Fate (Fitz & the Fool #3)" by Robin Hobb from Del Rey

More than twenty years ago, the first epic fantasy novel featuring FitzChivalry Farseer and his mysterious, often maddening friend the Fool struck like a bolt of brilliant lightning. Now New York Times bestselling author Robin Hobb brings to a momentous close the third trilogy featuring these beloved characters in a novel of unsurpassed artistry that is sure to endure as one of the great masterworks of the genre.
Fitz’s young daughter, Bee, has been kidnapped by the Servants, a secret society whose members not only dream of possible futures but use their prophecies to add to their wealth and influence. Bee plays a crucial part in these dreams—but just what part remains uncertain.
As Bee is dragged by her sadistic captors across half the world, Fitz and the Fool, believing her dead, embark on a mission of revenge that will take them to the distant island where the Servants reside—a place the Fool once called home and later called prison. It was a hell the Fool escaped, maimed and blinded, swearing never to return.
For all his injuries, however, the Fool is not as helpless as he seems. He is a dreamer too, able to shape the future. And though Fitz is no longer the peerless assassin of his youth, he remains a man to be reckoned with—deadly with blades and poison, and adept in Farseer magic. And their goal is simple: to make sure not a single Servant survives their scourge.


[ End of the latest trilogy by Robin Hobb, so much praise for this author on the internet, I need to start reading her and soon. ]

"Lightning in the Blood (Varekai #2)" by Marie Brennan from Tor.com

At the beginning—no—at the end—she appears, full of fury and bound by chains of prophecy.
Once, there was a call--a binding--and so, a woman appeared, present in body but absent in knowledge of her past self. Making the ultimate journey of rediscovery was not without its own pitfalls--or rewards--and now Ree, a roaming Archeron, spirit of legend and time and physically now bound to her current form, has yet to fully uncover her true identity.
Ree has spent her last innumerable seasons on the move--orbiting, in some sense, the lands of her only friend in this world, Aadet, who has become intricately involved in the new post-revolution politics of his people. Swinging back from the forests surrounding Solaike, Ree falls in with another wandering band, some Korenat refugees searching for their own protection on a trade route besieged with the fallout of the recent uprising. The Korenat's plight might not have striken Ree so deeply, but they are accompanied by their own Archeron, who seems to know much more about Ree's own origins than she ever dared to hope.
 


 [ I have read the first book of this series and it made me interested enough to follow the story. ]