Monday, 23 November 2015

My Susiveri novella published in the Portti magazine 3/15

Last year, my werewolf novella Susiveri (Wolfblood) received accolades on the biggest and oldest SF/Fantasy story competition in Finland, organised by the Tampere Science Fiction Society. I wrote about the prize in my blog at the time and you can find the original article here. Now, the novella has been published in the latest Portti magazine (3/15) and I'm very happy to share with you a look at the illustration that goes with the story.

Friday, 30 October 2015

Review: The Werewolf of Paris by Guy Endore

Vampires have their renown classic in Bram Stoker's Dracula, but werewolves do not have a similar widely acknowledged classic of their own. Or do they? Guy Endore attempted to write just that with his The Werewolf of Paris that was published in 1933. It succeeds for the most part, but there are some problems with the novel that diminish its claim for the title of a true werewolf classic.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Top Five Werewolf Novels for Halloween

What is a Halloween without some good werewolf fiction to read an enjoy? I've read many a werewolf story over the years, some good, some bad, and wished to give a few pointers to those looking for something good to read over the Halloween holiday. So, here are the Top 5 werewolf novels, but I should say that it was very difficult to put them in any order whatsoever, so they are in no means in any order of preference. Whichever you pick to celebrate the holiday, you will NOT be disappointed!

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Review: Blue Moon by Pol McShane

Sometimes taking a risk has its rewards. I usually take care to only download Kindle samples of books that have a respectable number of reviews and I especially avoid books that have only a handful of reviews and they are all five star ones. However, the description of Pol McShane's Blue Moon awakened my interest and I decided to give it a try despite the warning signs. And I'm glad I did: it is clearly one of the better werewolf stories I've read.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Review: The Musketeers Second Season

Last year, I had a few words to say about the first season of the BBC series, The Musketeers, and since I've now seen the second season, I thought that I should say something about it as well. In short, on its second season, the series continues with its free interpretation of history and Dumas' characters. But, given that Dumas himself bastardised history with relatively free hand, this is not something that we can blame the series very much for.

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Review: The Whole Wide World (1996)

Robert E. Howard was a troubled author and many have heard of how he shot himself soon after his mother died - stopping only to write a final poem on the way to his car and the gun he kept there. Scholars have long tried to understand what kind of a man Howard really was, but one point of view comes from the woman who knew him close to the end of his career. In late 1980's, fifty years after Robert E. Howard's death, Novalyne Price wrote a memoir based on her diary, One Who Walked Alone: Robert E. Howard, The Final Years. Based on this, Michael Scott Myers wrote a screenplay and Dan Ireland directed the film, The Whole Wide World.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Review: Wolfshead by Robert E. Howard

Robert E. Howard was a prolific writer perhaps best known for his Conan the Cimmerian and Solomon Kane stories, but he wrote a lot of other stories as well, including westerns and horror stories. In the Forest of Villefère and Wolfshead are his two short stories dealing with werewolves, first published in Weird Tales in 1925 and 1926. They were therefore written in a time when werewolf stories were still in their infancy and manage to take a refreshing look at the genre and steer away from the kinds of tropes that more modern stories tend to be riddled with. Although Howard never specifically sets the stories at any particular time period, it can be assumed from the references to rapiers, arquebusiers and slave trade that they are set in the 16th century.

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Review: The Club Dumas by Arturo Pérez-Reverte

Arturo Pérez-Reverte's The Club Dumas was used as the basis of the 1999 Roman Polanski film The Ninth Gate, but the two have very little to do with each other. So little, in fact, that I only became faintly aware that the two might be connected when I was reading the novel - but I only checked and verified the connection after I had finished the book (out of unnecessary fear of spoiling the story). Whereas the film was a slight disappointment to me back in the day, the novel is one of the best I've read in a long time. Perhaps because what it actually is: a treat to all those readers who love the old serial novels, such as Alexandre Dumas' The Three Musketeers. And, if you've ever taken a look at this particular blog, you'll know that I'm just such a person.

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Review: The Skin Trade by George R. R. Martin

It's been a while since I read something related to werewolves and it occurred to me that it was the high time to do it when I learned that there was such a story by George R. R. Martin that I had not yet read. The Skin Trade is a very long novella that has been published in numerous collections, the latest one being the easiest to find: Dreamsongs, volume II by the author himself. It has also been adapted into a graphic novel by Daniel Abraham and Mike Wolfer. I got my hands on both versions and read them back-to-back in order to really see how the adaptation had succeeded.

Friday, 28 August 2015

Review: The Man in the Iron Mask by Alexandre Dumas

The long journey is now over. I had planned to save the last part of Alexandre Dumas' d’Artagnan Romances until later in the year, but somehow, after reading the previous part, I decided to finish off the series. The Romances consist of three works: The Three Musketeers, Twenty Years After and The Vicomte of Bragelonne: Ten Years Later. The last of these has been published in several different editions that divide the novel into separate books in different ways. I was reading the Project Gutenberg version, which separates the novel into four parts. You can find the reviews of the first, second and third part here, here and here.