Blast from the past, a comic series from the 70s…

Yoko Tsuno: TWO-IN-ONE: Unterirdische Begegnung / Die Orgel des Teufels
by Roger LeloupHarald Sachse (Translator)

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Two issues collected in one softcover edition, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the German comics publisher Carlsen, translated into German from the original French.

Roger Leloup is a Belgian comic strip artist, novelist, and a former collaborator of Hergé, for whom he created drawings for The Adventures of Tintin. He is most famous for the Yoko Tsuno comic series, which was first published in 1970. (info transcribed from Wikipedia)

The first issue, Yoko tsuno le trio de l’etrange (CROSS OVER, was published in 1972. Yoko Tsuno and her colleagues get sucked into an underground world while scuba diving and meet aliens living in a subterranean colony. It‘s an SF adventure story with quite a lot of action and conflict. The story was not my cup of tea, I skimmed through the last few pages.

The second issue in this collection is L’Orgue du diable, first published in 1973. Katz Castle, a real castle towering above the river Rhine, and its surroundings are the place of action for this one. This part of the Rhine Gorge is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. I have come past this particular stretch by train many times, trying to catch a glimpse of the Lorelei from my train window. The first frame of this comic gives a realistic view of the setting…

(Photo at the top taken from Wikipedia)

Here is the text of Heinrich Heine‘s poem Die Lorelei with an English translation:
https://www.ogn.ox.ac.uk/sites/defaul…

Anyway, back to Yoko Tsuno! Another mystery, this time a less speculative story, about a massiv pipe organ. I liked the artwork depicting real settings. But generally, as mentioned above already, this type of comic is not really my thing. Not bad, but I won‘t pick up any other issues of this series.

Mini holiday

I‘m at a wellness hotel with a friend. We arrived yesterday and will stay till Tuesday. The weather is beautiful, so chances are high that we will be doing things that prevent me from reading. Saying that, I enjoyed listening to Eyes of the Void for a bit this morning, so who knows!

Currently reading…

The Queen of the Damned: The Third Book in The Vampire Chronicles
by Anne Rice

The next book in my re-read of the Vampire Chronicles. I‘m in chapter 3, on page 75 of 573 pages. I‘ve been out a lot with friends this week again, so things are progressing slowly.

I did also rewatch the movie of the same name this week and can honestly say that it is really bad. It wasn‘t quite this. bad in my memory. Bad acting, bad directing, bad accents and I didn‘t feel the presumed romance at all. I am enjoying the book so far though. Let‘s see how much I remember of this one.

On the plus side I got a letter from my brother today and it had a really nice magnetic bookmark in it. Thank you, brother!

I am trying to buy a little less from Amazon and instead buy more local and/or second hand. So while I still bought this paperback online, I did buy it second hand from a German company. Local-ish, no new trees had to die, but still bad for my CO2 footprint. You win some, you loose some. The book was published in 1988, my edition is from 1990. It‘s in pretty good shape for being 32 years old. The edges are a bit scuffed, but the spine is not cracked. It is clean and has this nice “old book“ smell. The print is smallish, but ok.

So, Friday, last workday of the week, yay! No plans for tonight, so I might actually get some decent reading in. Saturday is Free Comic Day here, so I will take a trip to the big bookstore in next town over and see if there is anything there that tempts me. Or maybe I should pick something that I wouldn‘t normally choose…

It’s not a date 

The Best Science Fiction of the Year: Volume Six 

I will update this anthology as I go along…

– YOUR BOYFRIEND EXPERIENCE by James Patrick Kelly — Dak’s boyfriend Jin asks him to go on a date with a playbot that Jin designed. I wouldn‘t call this romance, although Dak‘s relationship with Jin plays a major part in the story. It‘s more about Dak‘s self-discovery with the help of an AI. He ends up in a difficult position. 
The ending had a very ominous and creepy vibe for me. I could imagine this turning into a horror scenario, but that‘s just my imagination running wild, I think. Good plotting and pacing, well developed characters for a short story. Well done. ★★★★★

– LONE PUPPETEER OF A SLEEPING CITY by Arula Ratnakar — probably not bad, but I couldn‘t work up any interest for the story. ★★☆☆☆

Holy timeline!

Under Fortunate Stars by Ren Hutchings

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Holy timeline! There are two of them, right from the start. Or is that one timeline plus flashbacks? Three timelines? And four POVs. But it all makes perfect sense, trust me. There are smugglers and mathematical and physical geniuses, undercover activists, a war in space, aliens, genetic modification, love, heists and more. That‘s all I am going to give away, read the blurb if you want more! Anything else would diminish the fun of finding it out by yourself!

“We could even be completely outside the flow of time.“

You don‘t say! Smart idea to tell the story by jumping back in time by increments and slowly revealing pertinent information to the reader for consecutive chapters. With the odd surprising twist strewn in.

Jereth‘s shaking hands showed up a bit too often for my taste. Other than that I was quite happy with the writing, although I would have preferred more action and faster pacing, especially towards the end. Some bits could have done with less telling and more showing. 

There was quite a lot of navel gazing, which I tend to dislike, but here it fit nicely into the plot and was an integral part of the story telling. The characters were believable, distinct and varied.

Great concept, a love of history and screwy timeline shenanigans. No idea if the science was solid, it worked for me. Satisfying ending with a nice plot bunny. As a debut novel this is excellent.

There are two Q&As about the book on the authors‘s blog here: https://www.renhutchings.com/blog

I would read more by the author and recommend or gift this to others.

I received an advanced copy of this book from Rebellion Publishing through NetGalley. All opinions are my own and I was not required to give a positive review.

Upcoming Reverse Readathon

Our 2022 Reverse Readathon will start at 8pm July 22 and run through 8pm July 23.Our 2022 Fall Readathon will begin at 8am October 22, and end 8am …

Dates for our Upcoming Readathons

I might join this, I‘ll see… I quite enjoyed the recent Dewey‘s Readathon. The starting time is not much better for me though. The regular Dewey‘s starts at 2 PM for me and the Reverse Readathon will start at 2 AM in my timezone…

What have I been up to since the end of Dewey‘s April Readathon last weekend? This:

1 May: 281 pages for Dewey‘s + 39 additional pages, Under Fortunate StarsMythos: The Greek Myths RetoldWitchblade #80
2 May: Under Fortunate Stars, 44 pages
3 May: Under Fortunate StarsMythos: The Greek Myths Retold, 37 pages
4 May: as above, 35 pages. Long day at work and dinner with friends. Too tired to read.
5 May: as above, 45 pages.
6 May: as above, 22 pages. Busy in real life…
7 May: still reading Under Fortunate Stars, finished Mythos: The Greek Myths Retold, started Eyes of the Void, 165 pages.

Books finished: Witchblade #80 / Mythos: The Greek Myths Retold

Magic, mayhem, monsters and maniacal gods 

Mythos: The Greek Myths Retold by Stephen Fry

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The incomparable Stephen Fry takes us through the Greek Pantheon and all its intricacies.

The narration is very well done and it was an excellent refresher. It‘s always amazing to realize how many other god stories and other mythologies have borrowed from Greek mythology!

Every now and then I spaced out a bit, when Fry listed names after names of gods, heroes and various humans, however the retelling of it all was entertaining and very educational.

Further books in the series:
Heroes: Mortals and Monsters, Quests and Adventures — not sure about this one
Troy — very tempted!
The Odyssey — probably time for a refresher about this as well…

Weird stuff coming our way

Witchblade #80 by Ron MarzMike Choi (Illustrator), Joe Weems (Illustrator), Brian Buccellato (Illustrator)

Rating: 4 out of 5.

A freebie for kindle. I knew nothing about the series before picking this up. First published in 2009 and was stuck on my comics TBR pile since 2020. I still know nothing, beside that there are a gazillion issues and versions in this world.

The female MC is a police detective in New York and is attracted to „the weird stuff“. The comic starts with her in a hospital bed, comatose and hooked up to machines, watched over by her old partner, who is on administrative leave.

Another cop comes to investigate and things become mysterious. Not bad. I am interested.

The artwork is ok. The women unfortunately are a little old-school-big-boobs and scantily clad.