This is my personal homage to the late Oliver Sacks (1933-2015), a genius who use the periodic table of elements to trace his birthdays. He reached element 82 (Lead), let’s hope to go further in that path – Einsteinium or Fermium will be good.
You know, it’s “that” time of the year. Yep. The last day, time for check and balances and all that. A time to think about all the excellent stuff we planned and to realize what happened when reality took its toll from it. To tell the truth, it’s also one of the peak dates for suicides.
The news about Chuck Wendig and the end of his work relationship with Marvel have been making the rounds in the social media in the last few days; if you don’t know what’s going on, then please refer here for the public statement by Wendig. By now, I haven’t found any statement available online about this matter from Marvel.
In a nutshell, Marvel decided to fire Wendig for reasons unrelated to his projects and without any prior litigation between the firm and the author. According to Wendig, that happened for his political activism on the social media. It looks like that Marvel evaluated all the adverse reactions about this activism as a serious marketing problem for its products and acted by consequence.
This is for all the fuss about climate change. It will not be pretty, but the situation is dire enough to authorize a bit of extra effort.
Author: Tim Waggoner
Title: The Mouth Of The Dark
Publisher: Flame Tree Press
[Advance reader copy, due to be published on September 6th, 2018]
Synopsis: Jayce’s 20-year-old daughter, Emory, is missing, lost in a dark, dangerous realm called Shadow that exists alongside our own reality. An enigmatic woman named Nicola guides Jayce through this bizarre world, and together they search for Emory, facing deadly dog-eaters, crazed killers, and – worst of all – a monstrous being known as the Harvest Man. But no matter what Shadow throws at him, Jayce won’t stop. He’ll do whatever it takes to find his daughter, even if it means becoming a monster himself…
The reality as we know it, the world we live in, is a bit more complex of what we experience every day. Way more dark. The preamble of this novel is that it coexists with the Shadow, a place that’s barely perceivable for us. But this different level exists and its inhabitants are fully aware of us. For a common man like Jayce, the main character of this book, the shift from our world to the Shadow will be a real shock. But when a father is on the run to find his missing daughter, there’s nothing too scary or too dangerous to stop. Not everything is hostile in the Shadow. There are people like Nicola, a very interesting woman, who are able to exploit the best of both worlds and still have what needed to understand the desperation of a stranded father. Like Virgilio for Dante in the Divine Comedy, she will take the time and the trouble to lead Jayce all the way into the Shadow, no matter how dangerous it could be.
The pros of this book are many, not a surprise giving the craft of the author. All the main elements of this novel, starting with the quest of the main character to find his daughter, work like a charm (pun intended) and the cast of humans and not-so-humans are graphically depicted. The creatures and the humans in the Shadow are remarkable and the mysterious Harvest Man will leave a mark in your memory for a while. Even the action scenes, a weak point for many authors, are definitely enjoyable. A bit of warning for those who are cautious about the explicit sex scenes: you fill find such scenes in this book and they are fully functional to the plot. Just don’t skip it.
The cons of this book are about a few bits in the main character. I don’t want to spoiler anything but there a couple of scenes that are a tad inconsistent with the conclusion of this novel. It doesn’t work against the plot or against the general experience of reading this book, but it’s a little disturbing for the suspension of disbelief.
Vote: 08,00 / 10,00.
Let’s be honest for a while, some words are unfit for a rational human being. I mean, telling somebody that you will never do that is basically a lie and the same happens when you say someone that you will love him or her forever.
This is not about morals or ethics, we will save this kind of discussion for some other day, this is about the true meaning of this two little words and the perceived signification of the same terms in the everyday use. We would really like to love someone forever, and we would really want to be unwavering in our defiance to the things we don’t like. But we are humans, aren’t we?
Writing about Harlan Ellison is almost impossible for me. I was a fan (I still am!), no matter how much controversial or bizarre could have been his behavior sometimes. His works are milestones for anybody who wants to understand what science fiction could be at the top of the game.
There is something special for me, anytime I pick up one of his stories. A sharpness of thought, the feeling of something stronger than words coded between the lines, and more than a bit of apprehension because the story will end up leaving me asking for more.
He will be missed. I can foresee a not-so-distant time in the future when some useful idiot in the publishing industry will blurb about “the new Harlan Ellison”. Well, there will boiling pitch and feathers poured all over this idiot, no matter how high-placed he or she could be.
Thank you, Sir.