A godly, almost saintly, detective must hunt down a demoniac serial killer in Declan Finn’s Hell Spawn, the first novel in the Saint Tommy, NYPD series. Billed as Catholic action horror, it provides a thoroughly Christian backdrop for a police thriller that straddles the line of urban fantasy.
Monday, July 26, 2021
Cirsova, complete with unknown stars, feats of heroism, and quick-paced twists worth of the classic Argosy magazine. Continuing the direction set down by its fifth anniversary, the Summer volume presents a mix of old favorites and new stars, with an eye for longer tales this time. Also, the experiments with illustrations return, with work from Mongoose and Meerkat illustrator Dark Filly and newcomer UsanekoRin gracing the pages. And anchoring the volume is the second issue of the 1980s-era indie comic, Badaxe.
Tuesday, July 20, 2021
Wednesday, July 14, 2021
Tuesday, June 1, 2021
On a cold November night, a grieving father picks up his hunting rifle and shoots his only daughter in the head. The police are mystified. Why was the girl even at the house? Why wasn’t she at the mortuary, awaiting her burial? After all, Mary Winston had been declared dead two days earlier. When John Sinclair goes to Scotland to investigate the gruesome murder, he finds a town in the grip of fear.
Sinclair, by this time, has already seen enough Wrong and supernatural to have certain illusions stripped away. But here he's plunged backwards in character development because tropes... or something. The effect rang hollow.
Ep 3, "Dr. Satanos", felt like showering in sewage. Not sure if it is because this evil was 100% natural man's depravity instead of supernatural monster, or if the author reveled too much in the depravity. Much of the off-screen horror technique was abandoned here.
Ep 4, "A Feast of Blood", gets more Gothic, combining Poe and vampires for an excellent monster mash. Sinclair starts shedding the unearned skepticism and the continued slow burn of who he really is intensifies. Who is this "Son of Light?"
The scene with the cross not working because "You are not a believer" was eye-rolling, as it is a common trope these days, but then the Bible has "Jesus I know, and Paul I know, but who are you?" so, it works? Maybe? Still way too many current-day tropes.
But then this version of John Sinclair is an English-language reboot written by an American, and it reads like American pulp horror, not German. The mood is different.
Sunday, May 9, 2021
The Cosmic Courtship. 1917’s Argosy saw the introduction of Jack Paladin, nephew of a famous explorer, and his attempt to win the hand of the brilliant Miriam Mayne. But when Miriam goes missing, Jack sets out to find her. Even if that means beaming himself to the ringed world of Saturn to retrieve her from a sorcerous space tyrant. The result is a strange, redemptively Christian mix of romance and raygun romance that presages C. S. Lewis’s better-known Out of the Silent Planet. But where Lewis’s Ransom tries desperately to prevent another fall, Paladin and his Saturnian allies seek to redeem and restore those who are lost.
Saturday, April 24, 2021
Year 2036: Humanity is in a crisis. Overpopulation, climate change and terrorism are increasing the risk of war around the world. In this situation, the American astronaut Perry Rhodan is sent to the moon with three comrades – there he surprisingly meets human-like aliens…