Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tannhäuser Tuesday - Wolf Returns

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Pulp of the Week - Cherie Priest's Dreadnought

Cherie Priest

 Dreadnought takes place after the events of Boneshaker and Clementine in Cherie Priest's Clockwork Century series. I guess you have to be a vehicle to get Cherie to name a book after you. The Clockwork Century stories are set in an alternate history American Civil war. The war has been going on a very long time.

This Savage Tale (it indeed qualifies there) introduces us to a Civil War nurse, Mercy Lynch, who is working at a busy hospital. She is caring and competent, assisting the doctors and caring for her patients. It is not easy as the war is brutal and the soldiers on both sides are taking a beating.

After a series of tragic events, Mercy is compelled to take a cross country trip by airship, train, and other means to get to her ill father.

As you may recall, I thought Boneshaker was outstanding. It is my favorite book I've read this year so far. Unfortunately, Dreadnought is merely very good. I think the story took a bit too long to unfold and there were a few detours along the way.

Boneshaker had the benefit of the gripping dilemma of a desperate mother following her son into the heart of Zombieland. The book was also told in two perspectives. Dreadnought is told in a single voice, a single perspective.

Mercy is a great character, but the dead straight, linear path of this book played out a bit too long for me. I think the whole of it could have been 100 pages shorter and it could have had greater impact. As I said above, Dreadnought was very good, but I thought it was missing some additional element to push it to great.

Clementine was much shorter and just as enjoyable. Cherie is building a great world here and I will continue to follow the Clockwork Century books. After reading Dreadnought I got to thinking about the structure of my own stories. Many of them follow just one characters' perspective. I need to be sure that I don't allow my viewpoint to get stale.

However, my stories are short stories. When I do a novel, I will have to be sure to allow another character's viewpoint to lend a different perspective on the story and to provide the pace that converging story lines can give.

I give Dreadnought an 8 out of 10. The book is again graced with a gorgeous cover by Jon Foster and nice design work throughout. As with Boneshaker, Dreadnought's tan pages and brown ink are beautiful to look at and comfortable to read.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tannhäuser Tuesday - BPRD - Liz Sherman

Agent Liz Sherman of the BPRD

I'll try to get the tokens up this week. Please let me know what you think of Liz.

Hellboy is next...


My custom additions to Tannhäuser are not created by, distributed, or endorsed by Fantasy Flight Games. Tannhäuser and all related characters are trademarks of Fantasy Flight Games and © Fantasy Flight Games. Hellboy and all related characters are TM and © Mike Mignola.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tannhäuser Tuesday - Hoax Revealed

Fantasy Flight Games has announced the upcoming release of a new Union character, Caitlin Lamsbury, better known as Hoax.

 The pack comes with four figures for $19.99. The FFG site update says that Hoax is at "the factory" for a Winter '11 release. With any luck we'll see her by spring break.

I like the mechanic of using 4 figures to confuse the opponent as to Hoax's actual location. Twenty bucks seems like a lot for one character, but I think that this is an acceptable price given that for the extra seven bucks you get three clear figures.

This looks to be out in time for summer gaming next year, but hopefully she will get here sooner.

It looks like we will be getting all the TOY designed miniatures eventually. Hopefully they will ship every few months.

Here's a reminder of the two additional expansion figures that were previewed those many years ago...

Monday, October 4, 2010

100,000 is cool

Today the Savage Tales blog hit 100,000 page views!

I have posted numerous board game previews and reviews as well as a whole faction's worth of new Tannhauser material. I am currently working on finishing the Hellboy and the BPRD faction. After that, probably a few new heroes for Tannhauser.

I have added my numerous HeroScape customs library. I am also thinking about Dust Tactics customs using AT-43 figures, though I have not purchased that game yet.

I started this blog to get me writing on a regular basis and I'm pretty proud of how its gone. I've posted over 36 Pulp of the Week reviews including the first 18 Doc Savage novels. I have posted numerous Comic-Con reports. I have also posted a small amount of fiction.

All in all, I am happy that people are reading and keep coming back. Now, if I can just get a reader in Antarctica... Then I'd have all the continents!

Thanks for reading,


Friday, October 1, 2010

Pulp of the Week - Doc Savage #18

The Squeaking Goblin - August 1934

This is a different kind of adventure for Doc Savage and the fabulous five. Instead of the usual tropical locale, it takes them to the less than exotic lands of Maine and the Appalacian Mountain country where a buckskin-clad ghostly figure is killing off the Raymond clan. Doc is called for help with solving the decades old mystery of the Squeaking Goblin.

An old hill-billy feud has restarted pitting the Raymonds against their nemesis, the Snows. Dozens have been killed in the mountain country and the phantom Goblin has terrorized the Raymond clan, leaving no tracks and no evidence of bullets. The shots are characterized by a sharp squeak when they are fired.

How the folk legend of the Squeaking Goblin is tied to European pirates is the mystery that Doc and crew must solve. Of course there is a beautiful young lady, one of the Raymonds, named Frosta Raymond. Like most of the women in these pulp tales, she is feisty as well as beautiful. Could she have taken up the mantle of the Goblin? Or is it the nastiest, lowdown snake of the Snows – a giant named Jug?

Renny gets featured the most of Doc's crew, with Ham the least. There is a mention of Long Tom having a gold front tooth. Some of the locals are the colorfully named Fatty Irvin, Jug Snow and Old Jude.

Doc's plane is mentioned as being bronze in color. He also makes use of an infrared searchlight on that plane.

The language of the period that caught my eye in this story included the phrase, "punk liars" that I like quite a bit. There was also a nickname for cigarettes that I thought was limited to England and is now considered a derogatory term. Additionally, there was an entertaining description of a hill-billy bedroom - "a corn husk mattress" and a "flour sack curtain."

Doc is getting more and more in control of his emotions – "... the bronze man whose emotions were schooled until they did not show..." – but he still feels the pain of the death of those around him. He is not a robot.

There was a place in the story when Doc and his men were worried that the bad guys were monitoring their radio conversations so Doc cut off the conversation. I wondered why they just didn't speak Mayan.

I liked The Squeaking Goblin. It was nice to see Doc in a different setting and the descriptions of the rural mountains and the folks living conditions were interesting. The people either walk or ride horses. There are very few cars on the rutted dirt roads. The accents were phonetically spelled out, as usual, and quite entertaining.

I give The Squeaking Goblin an 8 of of 10. The pulp cover is by Walter Baumhofer and the Bantam paperback is by James Bama. The Paul Orban interior illustrations came from the 86th Floor website.