Tag Archives: superheroes

Book Review: At the Table of Wolves by Kay Kenyon

11 Oct

Spies and Espionage are a genre of novels that is irresistible to science fiction and fantasy writers who want to mix some peanut butter in their chocolate. Cloak and Dagger, hidden agendas, betrayals, allegiances, loyalty and the glamour and seduction of the spy’s life. James Bond and his competitors, clones and remakes are just a fraction of what can be tapped, especially once someone adds science fiction and fantasy to the mix.

At the Table of Wolves by Kay Kenyon is the newest in that tradition, combining 1930s British espionage with superpowers. In the world of Kenyon’s novel, superpowers, here called Talents, started appearing after the devastation of World War I. How and why precisely this Bloom occurred is not explained in detail. It’s taken as a fact, and the repercussions of that event are playing out, more than a decade later. Intelligence agencies, governments, and just plain ordinary people are dealing with the fact that some people can now show feats of precognition, or reading objects, or seeing crimes, or, perhaps, having the preternatural ability to get people, without their volition, to spill things they would never dreaming of confessing. And it is that last talent that brings us to the heroine of the novel. Continue reading


Movie Review: “Wonder Woman” (See it!)

6 Jun

I grew up reading Marvel comics, not DC, so most of what I know about the lore of Wonder Woman is what I absorbed from the 1970s Lynda Carter TV show plus vague memories of the Super Friends. I’m aware that the character has had many reboots and reinterpretations, but my perspective is that of many viewers who come to the movie with only a small amount of background knowledge. I think most of them, like me, will love it. (Spoilers, with a warning, appear about halfway through this review.)

“Wonder Woman” is a very satisfying film, even if it isn’t perfect. I have some logical quibbles with some of its elements in the beginning, and it is not exactly subtle; however, the notes it hits ring true all the way through. By the end, tears of both sorrow and joy were trickling down my cheeks.

There’s a lot of building up and following through, from the quiet, simple, opening narrative to the firm statement of purpose at the end. It doesn’t have the snappy patter of many Marvel movies, but the emotional payoffs are pretty great. Continue reading

Book Review: The Dragons of Heaven by Alyc Helms

10 Jun

In the darkened streets of San Francisco’s Chinatown, Missy Masters is struggling to take up the vigilante-hero mantle of her retired, estranged grandfather, Mr. Mystic. Missy shares his stubbornness, his intimate connections with Chinese culture, and his uncanny ability to cross into a realm of shadows and exert limited control over the creatures within.

Just as she literally straddles worlds, Missy also dances a line of pretending to be an aged, but expert, male superhero while training to advance beyond her actual novice abilities. She aspires to the strength and moral right that her grandfather embodied while battling against memories of his emotional distance, his personal secrets, and the prejudices common of his generation. Typical of masked superheroes, she has two lives, the separate worlds of Missy Masters and of Mr. Mystic. And she has past experiences, a world away in China, that have led her to be the woman and vigilante of the present. Continue reading

Geekomancer Under Glass – 2014 in Geekdom

18 Jan Ms. Marvel (2014) #1 cover

Happy New Year! Mike Underwood again with some thoughts on what lies ahead for Geekdom in 2014. There’s far more than I could possibly cover here, but please find below a few of the bits of Geekdom I’m most excited for in the first part of 2014.

Return of new TV

Three new SF/F series have caught my interest this season, which is more than I might have expected.  I’ve talked about them before, but I’ll go over each, in brief, with my hopes for the back half of the season. Continue reading

My Superpower: Zack Drisko

8 Oct

My Superpower is a regular guest column on the Skiffy and Fanty blog where authors and creators tell us about one weird skill, neat trick, highly specialized cybernetic upgrade, or other superpower they have, and how it helped (or hindered!) their creative process as they built their project. Today we welcome Zack Drisko to talk about how Not Being Satisfied relates to Ava Snow Battles Death

Ava Snow Battles Death

My superpower is the ability to not be satisfied. If I do a good job at something, instead of being able to enjoy it, my superpower identifies every single flaw and says, “Try again, dick. Maybe you tricked other people into thinking that you have talent, but you didn’t fool me.”

This power might seem uselessly damaging to my self-esteem, and it often makes me a pain in the ass to be around, but here’s the thing: it pushes me to be better. Continue reading

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