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One could argue that the idea of a world where magic works has been done to death in the realm of fantasy fiction. Whether you’re talking about urban fantasy set in the present day or fiction with a more historical bent, it’s a creative vein that has been pretty thoroughly mined.

And yet, when it works, it REALLY works. And Tom Miller’s “The Philosopher’s Flight” (Simon & Schuster, $26) REALLY works.

Published in Buzz
Wednesday, 07 February 2018 14:36

‘The Shape of Water’ beautiful and bizarre

It’s a rare thing for a filmmaker to be able to bring together diverse sensibilities in the service of furthering their own particular voice. Finding the balance between craftsmanship and commercialism is never an easy thing to do.

And when I say commercialism, I’m not necessarily referring to box office success (although that’s part of it). What I mean is the art of making commercial fare – a very different skill set than that used in the making of more indie-minded films.

Guillermo del Toro is as good at walking that line as any filmmaker in his generation. He’s probably the best we’ve seen since the heyday of Spielberg. And “The Shape of Water” is the culmination of that journey, precisely filling the Venn diagram overlap between those styles – equal parts “Pan’s Labyrinth” and “Hellboy.”

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 06 December 2017 11:51

Faerie and the fair - ‘Heart of the Fae’

Fantasy romance reimagines a classic tale

Published in Buzz

Debut novel an entertaining flight of fantasy fancy

Published in Buzz
Wednesday, 02 August 2017 10:49

Tick-tock - ‘The Clockwork Dynasty’

New book offers steampunk take on automata

Published in Buzz

Book marks eighth installment in Stross’ Laundry Files series

Published in Buzz

Novel combines disparate genre elements to excellent effect

Published in Buzz

Series continues with strong third installment

Published in Style

Local author releases fantasy novel for young readers

Published in Buzz
Wednesday, 03 February 2016 09:46

Jim C Hines Revisionary

Jim C. Hines talks fantasy, fandom and fatherhood

Jim C. Hines's "Revisionary" ($26, Daw) hit shelves this week, bringing the final installment of his Ex Libris series. Fans of the series rejoin Isaac Vainia and his companions Lena and Nihidi as they deal with the fallout of the world coming violently to terms with the idea of magic and magic users.

Not only does Hines have an excellent grasp of characterization, all of his characters are brimming with humor, anger and a vibrancy that easily connects with the audience. Partly it's the characters themselves, but it's also part of the rich world he's created. Yes, it's built around the real world - but the problems that crop up around poorly thought out legislation and terrorist attacks that leave citizens in turns terrified and vengeful.

Hines deftly balances humor, gritty realism and a sense of whimsy and dread no mean feat when any one of those things could make the stories feel overwrought or bleed it of its gravity, but he deftly avoids those pitfalls. Hines proves himself to be a master of his craft with this latest book. Once you start, you will be rocketed forward and unable to stop.

Published in Buzz

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