So You Want to be a Wizard?

Long before Harry Potter became a household name (about thirteen years or so), one of my favorite authors on the planet started a series about a teenage wizard. It’s a Young Adult series, but written in a manner and with language that won’t turn off adults. The characters may be children, but the author never treats the readers like kids.

Diane Duane is the author of my absolute favorite book, “Spocks World”. I know I use the words favorite and love a lot when talking about books and authors, but when people ask “If you were stranded on a desert island…” this is the book I would never get tired of reading. I read it in high school and while looking for other books to read, I found another by the same author, “So You Want To Be A Wizard?” and loved it.

When I read the first book in the series, I was around the same age as the main character and unlike some other books I had read, the people who populated these pages felt real. What I mean by that is they behaved and reacted to things in the way you would expect real people to. That’s not always the case in books, and unfortunately even rarer in YA fiction.

One of the best things about the series is the epic scope of some of the stories. Also, as the novels progress, it gets more fantastical (wizard cats and wizard whales!), but thanks to Diane Duanes skill at telling a tale, stays believable. Suspension of disbelief is super easy when the author is this good.

There are currently nine novels in the series, and I’m writing this article not just because the books are great, and anyone who is a fan of fantasy literature should read them (they should) but because right now, the author has a sale going on where you can buy the e-book versions for $19.99 US for ALL NINE BOOKS! Not $19.99 each, the entire collection for twenty bucks.

You can purchase them here. You won’t regret it.

Advertisements

A hero from Jersey City – the other Ms. Marvel

When Carol Danvers used to fight bad guys in a black bathing suit and thigh high boots as Ms. Marvel, I never really paid much attention to her. I mean she looked great, but she always seemed to be defined by things that happened to her, and not by anything she ever actually did in the Marvel Comics universe. She went through several changes of wardrobe, names and powers, and in 2012 she took on the mantle of Captain Marvel. Kelly Sue DeConnick focused more on Carol Danvers military career and abilities as a leader, and far more interesting in the process.

So, the Captain Marvel movie opens in just a few weeks and with all the hype surrounding it’s release I thought I’d draw some attention to Kamala Khan, the teenage girl who picked up the name Carol Danvers left behind. Ms. Marvel.

Continue reading “A hero from Jersey City – the other Ms. Marvel”

The problem with Hawkeye

Anyone wishing that Marvel would announce plans for a Hawkeye movie? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Yeah, I didn’t think so. It’s not that people dismiss him as “just a regular guy with a bow”, Black Widow has no super powers, but people like her, and Phil Coulson’s a normal guy who didn’t exist before the movies, but people LOVE him and he got his own TV show.

So, why do people dislike Hawkeye, or at best just don’t care about him? My theory is he’s just not “Hawkeye” enough.

Continue reading “The problem with Hawkeye”

How do you define “literature”?

I had a difficult time coming up with a title for this article. “Bill Maher is a Tool” and “Irrelevant TV host Seeks Attention” seemed too aggressive.

Around the time of Stan Lee’s death Bill Maher made some disparaging remarks about the mans contributions to literary entertainment and popular culture. Recently he doubled down and attacked the people who buy and read comic books, and enjoy the movies they are based on. Stating that comic books were not literature and the people who enjoyed them were eternal children who refused to grow up.

Continue reading “How do you define “literature”?”

I’d like to see the Time Scout series turned into a TV show

Robert Asprin is one of my favorite authors. I know I say that about a lot of writers but I would easily put him in my top five. Probably best known for his Myth series (books which got my dyslexic son to actually enjoy reading), he also wrote a four volume series with Linda Evans (not that Linda Evans, this Linda Evans).

Time Scout, Wagers of Sin, Ripping Time and The House That Jack Built are the (sadly only) four books that make up the Time Scout series. The premise is this. In the future there is an unnamed catastrophe that fractures time and space sending rips backwards in time that lead to different eras and locations. These portals open and close either randomly, or on predictable schedules. Sometimes clumps of them can be found in one area and stations are built around them called Time Terminals. What do you do with portals in time? Time Tourism!

Continue reading “I’d like to see the Time Scout series turned into a TV show”

Magician: Apprentice, Magician: Master

Like Game of Thrones? Not a fan of the language it uses, but enjoy fantasy tales with magic, politics, bastards and huge armies? Go read one of my favorites.

Originally published in 1982 as a single novel, Raymond E. Feists Magician, was split in half for the North American market and sold as the two volumes I read. Magician: Apprentice and Magician: Master. It is a high fantasy story that is the first in a trilogy called The Riftwar Saga, which then continued to become the thirty volume Riftwar Cycle, and I have read every single one. Oh and it was also a kick ass video game.

Continue reading “Magician: Apprentice, Magician: Master”