Book Recommendation: Mermaid Anthology

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Forget about Disney’s little mermaid (or even Hans Christian Andersen’s). Don’t let the cover fool you; while the occasional fish-tailed beauty makes an appearance, the mermaids and other sea creatures in Mermaids and Other Mysteries of the Deep, edited by Paula Guran, are just as likely to be genetically engineered navy officers or full-on monsters. And the writers take full advantage of the range of folkloric subjects available. Ships’ figureheads, male mermaids, selkies, and more appear among this anthology’s pages.

These deep-sea myths come to life both prey on humans and fall victim to them. This brilliant anthology makes use of the mermaid and associated myths to tell rich, socially aware stories that question both the power and mystery of the mythical other AND the monstrosity that can live within the human heart. Furthermore, the ocean itself is also often as much a feature of the stories as those who dwell within it. This anthology’s is as much as a love story for or ode to the sea as it is an investigation into the mermaid myth.

If that isn’t enough to make you dip your toes, this fresh, nuanced collection also boasts some big names in the speculative fiction scene, including Neil Gaiman and Elizabeth Bear.

The range and depths of these stories coupled with the impressive talent assembled to tell them make Mermaids and Other Mysteries of the Deep one of my most enthusiastic anthology recommendations.

4 fishtails out of 5

-Sarah

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As Equals to Premiere at The Quilliad Launch

Our new short film ‘As Equals’ directed by Sean Marjoram, will premiere at the launch of The Quilliad‘s 5th issue. We are so proud to partner with this incredible arts journal to bring a multi-media aspect to our arts and poetry geeks’ portfolio. The films’ web debut occurred earlier this week. View the film below:

As Equals – A Poetry and Film Inter-Arts Project.
Poetry by Devin P.L. Edwards. Photography by Sean Marjoram.

Book Review: The Time Traveller’s Almanac (anthology)

wpid-2015-02-09-10.45.27.jpg.jpegWhile suffering from Doctor Who withdrawal, I came across this time travel tome in the science fiction section of Indigo. The authors advertised on the cover (Douglas Adams! Isaac Asimov! Ursula K. Le Guin! George R. R. Martin! H.G. Wells!) would have been enough to pique my interest on their own. The beautiful matte cover (which I have since destroyed by dropping my copy in the tub) impressed the graphic designer in me, while the intimidated size of The Time Traveler’s Almanac promised hours (days) of reading. The tiny font of this 948-page volume is necessary to keep a book containing 72 stories a manageable size.

A quick Google search for reviews of the book revealed overwhelming positivity from the GoodReads community, and the price-to-page-count ratio was more than fair ($29.99 CAN before tax), so I purchased the book and carried it lovingly home, filled with the thrill of a new geeky find.

And it was worth it. While some stories in this anthology are a bit stuffy or long-winded for me, there are others that are clever, poignant, eloquently written. While not every story will suit all tastes, there’s something here for everyone: strange worlds, the mundane-turned-strange, paradoxes, cross-temporal corporations and agencies, the far future, the distant past, lived lived and re-lived, silly adventures, cerebral contemplations, hardcore science fiction, and wistful romance. I found I liked the first half to two thirds of the book best, but it’s possible that I just lost steam near the end after a month-or-so-long marathon of nightly reading. That, or the creativity (sometimes heartwarming, sometimes silly, sometimes tragic) of some of the pieces contained within The Time Traveler’s Almanac (such as Ursula K. Le Guin’s “Another Story or a Fisherman of the Inland Sea”, Connie Willis’s “Fire Watch”, Henry Kuttner and C.L. Moore’s “Vintage Season”, and Tamsyn Muir’s “The House that Made the Sixteen Loops of Time”) left me far pickier by the end of the book than I was at the start. The book contains an impressive eclecticism not only in terms of the content of each story but in terms of the era the stories are from. In a way, some stories contain double the time travel, embodying the values of the time they were written (some were written as early as the 1800s) as well as providing the author’s tale of the future or past. Some stories feel dated, while far more speak to the power of the written word to transcend the eras between reader and writer. I recommend giving each story at least a page before moving on, as some will surprise you.

The book’s boast that it is “the largest and most definitive collection of time travel stories ever assembled” feels entirely justified. In addition to the 72 stories, the book also includes short essays on time travel between sections, ranging from tongue-in-cheek instructions to explorations of scientific theories around time travel. This anthology increased my appreciation for and knowledge of time travel literature and, more broadly, the science fiction genre overall dramatically (and I say this as someone who was exposed to Star Trek in utero). And in addition to being enriching (to borrow the diction of some 19th century authors), it is a fun, wild read, one that I will probably return to many times, doubling back on my own literary timeline.

If you like Doctor Who, science fiction, short stories, time travel, or any of the authors whose work is bound between these sprawling pages, I’d advise that you find yourself a copy of The Time Traveler’s Almanac.

4 pocket watches out of 5.
-Sarah

Review of Veil – Dark Horse Comic

Hello, Geeks.

I’ve been stumbling over which comic to review first. Imagine my surprise when Dark Horse became the winner — I’m normally an Image comic fan. I picked up Veil because the cover art was captivating, because the female protagonist bore a certain unmentionable resemblance, and because of the adorable red-eyed rats. Dark Horse sums up the Veil series fairly well:

A beautiful girl wakes up in an abandoned subway station with no memory of how she got there. When men try to hurt her . . . they wind up dead. Where did she come from? And what is she capable of?

Veil comic, issues 1-4

Veil comic, issues 1-4

The story is well-written and has scant trace of the the comic story tropes that tend to drive me insane. Writer Greg Rucka does a phenomenal job bringing this dark world to life without the need for hokey narrative boxes, and while the seemingly inevitable damsel-in-distress plot-line brings about a little eye rolling, the main writing is good and the art is, well, fantastic.

Veil has yet to progress far enough for a full read, but I’m looking forward to what it can become.

4 blue pencils out of 5.

blue pencilblue pencilblue pencilblue pencilpencil grey

-Devin

 

 

Love and Longing

Love & Longing Cover image

Hi all,

I have a book. I think it’s pretty great, and while it’s not exactly geeky, we geeks do sometimes fall in love, long for love, and fall out of love. This is pretty much the premise of the poetry (yes, it’s poetry).

Remember, we’re not Geek Exactly Media, We’re Geek Collateral Media, which means sometimes we include stuff on the edges. Especially when it’s all written by me.

If you’re ever at art shows or ’zine scene events. Look for us. We sell Love and Longing for only $5 [Only FIVE dollars!?].

Only ’zine geeks will get that.

Cheers,

Devin Edwards