(Above: Bruce Pennington’s cover for Wolfe’s “Shadow of the Torturer”)
At a time when TV adaptations of classic works of SF/F are coming fast and thick, Neil Gaiman’s appreciation of the late Gene Wolfe‘s most famous work is also a testimonial to the pleasures of simply reading:
Writing in the Times Literary Supplement, Gaiman called Wolfe’s Book of the New Sun “both the most remarkable SF work of the past five decades, and the nearest thing SF has come to its own À la recherche du temps perdu. It’s a hymn to memory, a Borgesian labyrinth crafted into a whole world, a sequence of mirrors and reflections that allow us to travel the universe of a dying Earth that may live again.”
Watch this space for The Fabulist’s review of Wolfe’s 1972 breakout, “The Fifth Head of Cerberus,” coming up next week.
Heckuva lineup here for the Brooklyn Book Festival coming up Sept. 21 and 22, featuring everyone from Mo Willems and N.K. Jemison to Joyce Carol Oates and Ted Chiang.
“Relax with over 99 hours of ambient noise from sci-fi films,” sampled by one Cheesy Nirvosa. Featured background soundscapes include Rick Deckard’s apartment in Blade Runner, the interplanetary spacecraft Discovery One from 2001: A Space Odyssey, the Starship Enterprise’s engine room, and the medical deck from Alien (minus the screaming). (Via Electronic Beats.)
Seattle-ites, don’t miss the Friends of the Seattle Public Library’s huge comic-book sale coming up July 13! “Thousands of great comics for sale! Mostly from the early 80’s to the present, and also books from the 1970’s! Marvel, DC, and most independent companies (Image, Dark Horse, Eclipse, Pacific, etc.) are represented.”
Here’s a tasty feature showcasing the development of a new Hellboy one-shot — from pencils to inks to final — by comics greats Mike Mignola and Duncan Fegredo. (Via Multiversity Comics)
You’ve certainly read about the Christian religious group that petitioned Netflix to cancel Amazon’s TV-serialization of Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s “Good Omens,” right? (The Guardian)
It’s the final Stranger Things season 3 trailer! And they’re really going full sci-fi gonzo on this one.
“Role-play the past” with experimental archaeologists who attempt to reconstruct and test out viable recipes from ancient times. Atlas Obscura reports on the Pompeii Food & Drink Project for your gustatory edification.
D.C. under their new owners has shut down the pathbreaking Vertigo imprint, which, under the leadership of the great editor Karen Berger through the door open for game-changing works by the likes of Neil Gaiman, Warren Ellis and Grant Morrison.
They’re replacing it with some other sort of adult-oriented imprint and yadda yadda blah blah, whatever.
Vertigo mattered because it showed that innovation in comics and using graphic narrative as a medium for adult storylines, is about more than mere brutality, being explicit or otherwise bucking the late and unlamented Comics Code.
But! The good news is that Dark Horse Comics is giving Berger (who left D.C. and Vertigo in 2013) free rein to develop a new line of creator-owned books under its imprint.
Those oldschool ’60s Batman TV shows are beloved to this day for their campy takes on a serious, and seriously ridiculous, comics legendarium.
Now you can feast your eyes on a technicolor visual guide to all 37 villains from the classic Adam West/Burt Ward vehicle.
The evil quacks of and sinister waddle of Burgess Meredith’s Penguin, the limber athleticism of Frank Gorshin’s Riddler, and, of course, the lithe, leather-clad femininity of Julie Newmar’s Catwoman are so great, it’s almost possible to forget “Gotham” ever happened.
And also! Roddy McDowell’s Bookworm?! Vincent Price’s Egghead! Plus other star turns from Liberace, Tallulah Bankhead, and so dang many more — all right here on the click side. (Via MentalFloss)
Artist David Talaski has turned the tables, and pulled down the short-shorts, in his cheesecake takes on superhero masculinity.
His depictions of Green Lantern, Thor, Starlord, Captain America, Dr. Strange and other hunky piles of beefcake are shy of Tom of Finland, but should delight and amuse anyone who ever wondered why only the female superheros get erotically objectified.
BLACK METAL BARBIE. Note-perfect and beyond brilliant.
Brie Larson had stunt doubles for “Captain Marvel,” and she brings them onstage for the MTV Movie & TV Awards. (Huffington Post)
Joaquin Phoenix’s turn in the forthcoming “King of Comedy”-style origin story for the Joker doubtless borrows from Alan Moore’s “Killing Joke” — but the character demands a serious inhabitation of the role, and the first trailer has shown Phoenix digging deep. The film arrives Oct. 4 and will be rated “R.” (Entertainment Weekly)
Sometimes the universe gives us special gifts, such as this mashup of “The Thing” and Charles Schulz’s “Peanuts.”
Aaaand that’s it for this week! Remember, if you hate social media as much as we do, just sign up for The Fabulist email newsletter; we do all the dirty work of gawking, cutting and pasting for you, and ship it all out via teh electronic mails each Saturday, with a few literary treats tossed in for the benefit of yr branez …