Webcomics. A Survey. Plus Book Reviews, Promotions and more.
The Lampworks Lamplighter SF & Fantasy News & Reviews
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In this issue
A Few More Webcomics
Following up on my webcomic list last month, here’s another few that I find worth reading. The first is Guthrum, by the Mexican team of Campos and Bachan. It’s the story of a mercenary who finds his job has been made redundant by mages, and is looking for a career change. Beautiful artwork and a refreshingly different outlook.
The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage imagines the founders of modern computing as crime-fighting superheroes. It’s historical, hilarious, and heavily footnoted! It’s no longer updating, but there are enough completed tales to lose you in their pocket universe for many hours.
Finally Girl Genius is an epic in every sense of the word. It has been updating every Monday, Wednesday and Friday since 2002. It’s a story set in an alternate steampunk Europe ruled by mad scientists, known as Sparks. It’s written and drawn by the talented Phil Foglio, who has a sense of comedic timing that is second to none.
Marketing Survey, Earn $$
Do you know that Amazon doesn’t give authors any feedback about what works or doesn’t work on their storefront? What did people look at before saying yes or no? Did they click to the book via People Also Bought links, or does that take them away? I’m doing my own study to try to fill in the missing pieces. If you’d like to help out, I have a short survey for you to fill out after visiting one of my Amazon pages. I have a half-dozen $10 Amazon certificates for the first people to participate. Please email me with your interest at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monsieur Resche is an art thief. He has crossed a bridge into a quaint town, a town that disappeared from Switzerland four centuries ago. Magic is possible there; in fact, all the magic that our world once had has ended up there. A precisely tied knot, an exactly folded paper, or a cunningly drawn figure can unlock wonders and horrors.
Resche has a mind that lets him excel at this new craft, but that brings him to the notice of powerful mages who play a great game of geomancy with tiles the size of countries. And when he looks for the bridge back to Geneva, it is nowhere to be found.
The Fractalist priest offers aid that may not be what it appears, the Jeweler has intricate schemes, the newspaper editor has taken an interest, the Astromancer had good advice before she was murdered, and Resche’s cat just makes wisecracks.
Knots is a compelling story filled with unexpected characters, plot twists, literal location twists, mystery, and redemption.
Have Kindle Unlimited? Read Knots for free on Amazon!
What We‘re Reading
Visit our archive of reviews and recommendations on the Books We Like page of our website. You‘ll find over one hundred recommendations in Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Non Fiction.
I should mention that I don’t just list every book I read here. I limit it to the ones that I liked and can recommend and are good fits to this newsletter audience (I hope). For instance, I just read Foundation’s Fear by Gregory Benford, and while I like the Foundation saga and I like most stuff by Benford, I just didn’t like his Foundation book. I also read through the entire King’s Watch series that I reviewed a few issues back, but didn’t want to take all that newsletter space for more installments in a series. So what you see here is really what I can recommend from my recent reading.
The Space Between Worlds
The multiverse has been opened, and travel to the few hundred worlds closest to our own is now possible. The catch is, you can’t survive the trip to any world that has a version of you who is still living.
The most valuable world walkers — for exploration and trade — are the most marginal people in society. The people who had the deck so stacked against them that their survival is a miracle. Cara can travel to all but two worlds, but this version of her is determined to beat the odds.
Finding all the ways that she managed to die in the other worlds takes a toll on her, and she starts to question which reality she’s in. And everyone has secrets, the company she works for, her mission controller, and Cara herself. Her path to survival and happiness takes her through many different lives that could have been.
What are monsters? Do they come from our subconscious, or do they look at us from the mirror?
I feel myself in the clan of immigrants and hyphens.
Sofia Samatar writes a series of dense, poetic portraits of creatures from mythology accompanied by illustrations by her brother Del. Her language has layers of meaning to unpack as you decide whether she is speaking of the myth, society, or oneself. (Often all three.) Each piece is short, one to two pages, giving you time to consider before turning to the next.
I enjoyed this, but acknowledge it’s not for everyone. Take a look at the free preview on Amazon and decide if it’s for you.
Terra Incognita (Ythaq #1)
A luxury space liner crashes on an uncharted planet, stranding two crew members and a hyper-entitled passenger in the wilds. They begin their trek to find a way home, evading mercenaries, evil rulers, and fanatically litigious villagers. Tired tropes (the capsule eaten by the giant undersea worm … I’ve seen that somewhere) are magnified into satire, while the world begins to look like Gulliver’s Travels. This is a fun romp from French graphic novel publisher Soleil.
Buy on amazon
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The nature of a strange signal leads a young tech apprentice and his uncle to question all they know about their utopian refuge. Now, they must solve the biggest mystery of all: Is there a way out of Dome Six?
Buy via StoryOrigin
The Bone Fields
When the crew of the longship Varúlfr take refuge from a storm on a mysterious island, they are confronted by the relics of an ancient belief, and the remnants of a long forgotten civilisation. As the true horror of the island reveals itself, they’re forced to wonder if they really have stumbled upon Hel’s kingdom… or something worse. In The Bone Fields, Mitchell Lüthi paints a bloody picture of Vikings, the old faith, and the perils of the high seas.
Buy via StoryOrigin
Legends: Book Two of the Rim Chronicles
Edita A. Petrick
The battle for the Rimworlds is just beginning…with one man When no one else around you can see the invasion coming…
Free via StoryOrigin
Chronicles of the Elementals
Sion Zona’s collegiate career ended in one cataclysmic moment. Now, the world’s most powerful empire has framed the Wind Wielder for a crime he did not commit. Chronicles of the Elementals is the Prequel to the upcoming Elementals of Nordica Series. If you love complex plots, non-stop action, elemental magic, and sword and sorcery, make this modern-day epic fantasy your next great read.
Free via StoryOrigin
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