Blogs at Amazon

News

Gabriel García Márquez (1927-2014)

Gabriel Marquez Gabriel García Márquez, the Colombian-born author known for his stories that blurred the lines between fantasy and reality--as well as the lines between tragedy and comedy--has died following a bout with pneumonia. As the author of novels including One Hundred Years of Solitude and Love in the Time of Cholera, "Gabo" was instrumental in introducing Latin American literature to a worldwide audience, and was awarded the 1982 Nobel Prize in Literature "for his novels and short stories, in which the fantastic and the realistic are combined in a richly composed world of imagination, reflecting a continent's life and conflicts." García Márquez was 87.

 

 

 

 

 

George R.R. Martin Drops By Before Advance Screening

George R.R. MartinAuthor George R.R. Martin is in New York City this week to promote season 4 of Game of Thrones. The festivities began Tuesday with an official premiere at Lincoln Center.

Last night, he dropped by HBO for a private publishers' advance screening where he introduced the first episode of the season, "The Swords," before heading out to Brooklyn, where 7,000 fans were gathered to watch the same episode at Barclays Center.

"Some have paid $5,000 to be there," he noted with some awe. "Think of how many books they could have bought."

Martin, who typically writes once per season, identified the second episode, "The Lion and the Rose," as his. "But you won't be seeing that tonight," he teased.

Season 4, which draws from the second half of A Storm of Swords, the third book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, begins April 6 on HBO.

People, he said, often ask him, "Did you expect all of this," he told the crowd. "No, I didn't expect it," he answered with mock indignation. "But I like it."

 

Enter the Amazon Books Treat Yourself Sweepstakes

Treat Yourself

The holidays can put a serious dent in your piggybank. But maybe you can get gifts for everyone on your list plus what you really want (books, right?)!

We're randomly drawing one lucky Amazon Books fan's name, and the winner will receive $5,000 in Amazon.com Gift Cards.

Our Amazon Books Treat Yourself Sweepstakes ends 12/9/13, so ENTER NOW for your chance to win.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Must be a legal resident of the 50 U.S. or D.C., 18 or older. See Official Rules.

Good luck!

JFK: 50 Years Later

On the afternoon of November 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was felled by an assassin’s bullet as his motorcade rolled through Dallas’s Dealey Plaza, violently ending the era of American self-assurance. It is the quintessential Where were you? moment, maybe the most written about event ever, but the moment and circumstance were pivotal, so let’s revisit: America’s post-WWII supremacy was being challenged on multiple fronts as communism crept into her backyard, and the embarrassing failure of the Bay of Pigs invasion indicated that while America might be the planet’s most powerful and influential nation, it couldn’t control events just 90 miles south of Key West. Not long after, the Soviets were installing missiles in Cuba, and while that crisis was “won,” Americans became fully aware of the stakes of an escalating Cold War. Ich bin ein Berliner. At home, the country edged toward the cultural seachange of the ‘60s and Vietnam War backlash. Everything won seemed to be crumbling into chaos.

CamelotsCourtJFKConservativeAt the top of it all sat one of the most charismatic (or at least photogenic; ask Nixon) president the country had seen, at a time when media, especially television, was coming into its own as tool to spread (and homogenize) information on a mass scale. He was the first president who wasn’t dad (or at least an inscrutable uncle), the first president to bring an aura of glamour to the White House, with his attractive family and rumored dalliances with famous blondes. Oswald’s ringing shot heralded a new world, one in which all rules seemed destined to be broken and America’s future hung in the balance.

  So there’s no mystery why Kennedy, his brief administration, his personal life (both secret and otherwise), and—of course—the assassination have inspired tens of thousands of books, including several new novels and children's books. The 50th anniversary of his death has spawned dozens more, several taking fresh looks at the inner workings of Kennedy’s White House. Robert Dallek—author of what many consider the definitive JFK biography, An Unfinished Life—penned the best of that bunch: Camelot’s Court shifts focus to Kennedy’s trusted advisors and their influence on the administration’s successes and failures, revealing the often sharp fractures sustained in the arena of clashing ambitions and ideologies. It's an ambitious Team of Rivals approach, but Dallek provides a fascinating, one-of-a-kind look inside the messy mechanics of policy.

LettersOfJFK KennedyYearsNYTFor a lively, challenging reconsideration of that policy, Ira Stoll’s JFK, Conservative examines Kennedy’s legacy through a red lens, concluding that the liberal lion had more in common with Ronald Reagan than many liberals would prefer—or remember. While Democrats point to his progressive stances on health care and education, Stoll notes that his positions on tax cuts (for) and communism (staunchly against) would have rung like church bells in conservative ears.  It’s a clever and audacious spin.

Beyond governmental nuts and bolts, The Letters of John F. Kennedy collects correspondence from the Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, spanning notes to and from cultural and world leaders (including Martin Luther King, Jr., Harry Truman, and Nikita Krushchev) as well as children and private citizens that demonstrate a warmth not often associated with Commanders in Chief. Those looking for salacious details of his private life best look elsewhere, but editor Martin W. Sandler’s selections track Kennedy’s development as a leader in an insightful, personal, and unprecedented way.

LIFEJFKFKennedyYearsMemoiror some, it’s the image of Camelot that endures. Like so many rock stars, JFK died before he got old, before his legacy was tarnished or torn down, and well before the shriek-cycle of modern “journalism,” which builds and destroys political careers sometimes within weeks. Several new volumes revisit the Camelot years in pictures. The Kennedy Years: From the Pages of The New York Times reprints many of the newspaper’s articles and photographs from its coverage of the administration and the events that surrounded it—fascinating for real-time assessments of historically significant events. For a glimpse behind Camelot’s curtain, The Kennedy Years: A Memoir captures unguarded “off-camera” moments through the snapshots of JFK’s personal photographer, Jacques Lowe, accompanied by his personal account to provide a unique, behind-the-scenes perspective, independent of political spin. JFK: A Photographic Memoir by influential photographer (and selfie pioneer) Lee Friedlander poignantly captures public reactions to JFK, from impromptu celebrations of his election to despairing memorials following November 22. For a dramatic record of November 22, 1963, LIFE: The Day Kennedy Died presents its coverage of that fateful day in Dallas, including the recollections of many celebrities, as well as reproductions of every frame of the infamous Zapruder film that launched countless conspiracy theories about the assassination.

Dallas EndOfDaysSpeaking of which: the grassy knoll. Magic bullets. Castro. LBJ. Jack Ruby. CIA. JFK assassination theories are a roiling alphabet soup of plots and motives, and rather than diminish the hysteria, the fifty years since the assassination have given them room to multiply, becoming ever more convoluted.  Those books are well represented in 2013’s new crop, including wrestler/governor/actor/special-ops bad-ass Jesse Ventura’s  They Killed Our President: 63 Reasons to Believe There Was a Conspiracy to Assassinate JFK and the Little Book of JFK Conspiracies, available in a deluxe edition for the discerning conspiracy theorist. Then again, maybe it was LBJ, after all.

But the most interesting new angle isn’t a conspiracy theory at all. Dallas 1963 by Bill Minutaglio and Steven L. Davis casts the city as a character in the plot, a place made inherently dangerous to JFK by so many enemies of the administration—political, religious, criminal, and in the media—that the environment itself was hospitable to tragedy, and perhaps invited it. It’s a dramatic cautionary tale about how extreme ideologies can combine to create a toxic brew. While Dallas 1963 takes in the view from on high, James Swanson hits the streets for a blow-by-blow account of events. End of Days: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy begins three days before Dealey Plaza through Oswald's shocking, audacious murder at the hands of Jack Ruby on November 24. Like his previous book, Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer, End of Days reads like a thriller while providing meticulous detail--the true-crime counterpart to Don DeLillo's masterful, speculative novelization, Libra.

JesseVentura LittleBookJFKKennedy warned that “those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” As it turns out, this is not true for Kennedy himself. There are still lessons to be learned within JFK’s story, lessons about tragedy and resilience, dogma and pragmatism, and what can be achieved when politics of inclusion are chosen over exclusionism. The books will keep coming as long as interest in Kennedy’s ideals and achievements—real or perceived—persists, and as long as we ask What might have been?

 

See more new JFK titles in:

New Chapters for "The Billionaire and the Mechanic"

The Billionaire and the Mechanic Whether or not you follow boating as a sport, you've likely caught the news that history was made this week when the America's Cup was awarded to American billionaire Larry Ellison's Oracle Team USA. The 19-day match (the longest in the competition's 162 years) ended in a 9-8 win against New Zealand, marking a stunning comeback for Oracle, who won 8 straight races to overcome a 1-8 score.

Why are we book people so excited about a sports story?

In May this year, San Francisco Chronicle staff writer Julian Guthrie published The Billionaire and the Mechanic, the story of how Ellison found an unlikely partner in car mechanic Norbert Bajurin and together they prepared for exactly this moment in time.

The timing was perfect; the book came out just in time for this year's competition. But, of course, now there's so much more of the story to tell... and Guthrie intends to tell it. The paperback and Kindle editions of The Billionaire and the Mechanic, due out the end of November, will include two new chapters covering this extraordinary development.

The paperback edition is already available to preorder here. And, in the spirit of the moment, we've rounded up three more books that boating fans might enjoy.

Grand Ambition
by G. Bruce KnectGrand Ambition

 

Sailing on the Edge
by Bob Fischer
Sailing on the Edge
It's Simply...SAILING
by Cali Gilbert
Sailing on the Edge

Defending the Greats For Banned Books Week

For us, cracking a new spine, turning another page, and letting ourselves be transported by the written word is crucial to our happiness. Which is why it's so painful to hear the words "challenged," "banned," and "burned."

It's Banned Books Week Sept. 22-28, and in celebration of the freedom to read, Amazon has compiled an extensive list of book's that have -- in some way, at some time -- been under attack.

For our part here at Omni, each editor has selected one book from the list and has written a "defense," or reaction to the mere thought of its being banned.

We'd love to hear your thoughts on those we chose and more. Offer a defense of your favorite banned book in the comments section below.

Snow Falling on Cedars

Banned Book: Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson
Defended By: Sara Nelson

I guess I don't get why Snow Falling on Cedars is on the Banned Books list in the first place. I mean, I get it: it's about a relationship between a white boy and a Japanese girl. But c'mon, guys: even though the story is set in the mid 20th century, it was published in 1995, something like 30 years after the repeal of the miscengenation laws that had prohibited such interracial marriages. (The kids in the book were never even married, but never mind.) Anyway, I love this book because my son's father is Japanese (I am not) and I have some experience dealing with American attitudes toward that quaint but not forgotten old word MISCEGENATION, and with race in general, I guess. Which even in this so called liberated day and age isn't nothing. So maybe I do get why the book was banned, but I'd like to think we've moved on to a time where if they even had to ban books, they wouldn't even think to ban this one. It offends no one and should move nearly everyone, with its beautiful writing, the compelling mystery at the center of the story, and its irresistible characters.

The Glass Castle

Banned Book: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Defended By: Chris Schluep

It's ironic that people would seek to ban a book about the banning of books. There's a weird circular logic at work. (Like eating all the pretzels out of the Chex mix because you don’t like pretzels.) I once had a discussion with Ray Bradbury about what he was thinking when he wrote Fahrenheit 451. I told him that I thought it was a response to the excesses of McCarthyism. He told me, "I wasn’t thinking about McCarthy so much as I was thinking about the burning of the library of Alexandria 5,000 years before." He wrote the book in a typing room at UCLA in the early '50s -- he said, "I would walk through the stacks at UCLA, look at all those books, and think about more recent events in Italy and Germany, and the rumors about Russia during the war. What could endanger all those books?" Turns out normal, well-intentioned people can.

The Call of the Wild

Banned Book: The Call of the Wild by Jack London
Defended By: Neal Thompson

The Call of the Wild goes like this: a domesticated St. Bernard mix named Buck becomes sled dog in the Yukon and, indulging his wild tendencies, battles other huskies to become the pack leader. A memorable scene is the death match against a foe, from which Buck emerges the bloodied champ, "the dominant primordial beast who had made his kill and found it good." Any kid who's been in a schoolyard fight (I can recall three – never bloody, though I once broke my hand) can relate to Buck's desire to beat the bully, to impress his peers, to win. Call of the Wild is hardly the man's-best-friend story some people assume it to be, which is why the book has sometimes been deemed inappropriate for younger readers. Interestingly, the violence and brutality are precisely what the New York Times predicted, in its 1903 review, would lead to its popularity -- "it will satisfy the love of dogfights apparently inherent in every man." Call of the Wild faced it's harshest opposition in totalitarian Yugoslavia, Italy, and Germany, where it was banned and burned in the late 1920s and early 1930s, due to the author's socialist and "radical" views. The themes of individuality and self-reliance that London promoted were apparently dangerous ideas. Schoolyard boys might just get the idea they could someday become a leader.

The Sun Also Rises

Banned Book: The Sun Also Rises by Earnest Hemingway
Defended By: Jon Foro

As far as banned books go, The Sun Also Rises has a lot going for it: sex, bad words, unsuccessful sex, a girl with a boy’s name, Paris, Pernod--these are just a few of the louche particulars that tend to bunch staid underpants. And, predictably, those underpants were bunched, landing Hemingway’s landmark novel on banned lists in Boston, California, and Ireland at various points since its 1926 publication (we might also assume it was banned in Hemingway’s mother’s house; she reportedly called it "one of the filthiest books of the year," which is better than "of all time," I guess). But the Nazis took it one step further, burning the book along with some of his others (A Farewell to Arms), either because Hemingway was a decadent communist or for his accurate depictions of war (apparently depravity is in the eye of the beholder). It’s unclear. But here’s the thing: while it was banned in Boston in 1930, Ireland (1953) and Riverside, CA (1960) took offense after the Nazis. When anyone bans a book, or burns a book, or takes violent action against the author of a book, they are probably not asking themselves Hey, the Nazis did this. Should we be doing this, too? As for the book itself, some love it while others find it insufferably self-absorbed (I can understand both; I loved it as a young man, though that’s a gray memory and I haven’t tried it recently). But its impact on 20th Century literature is undeniable, even if Hemingway’s terse, direct style has taken its hits over the years. There’s risk in being successful and inimitable: many people will imitate you, and when they can’t, they resort to parody, which at this point is an overtold joke. You think you can do better? Isn’t it pretty to think so?
Slaughterhouse Five

Banned Book: Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Defended By: Robin A. Rothman

I'll own up to a bias for all things Vonnegut. He's my all-time favorite author, and it's not just because I grew up in Indiana, his home turf. It's his imagination, his ability to laugh in the face of tragic events, his ability to craft a perfectly timeless sentence that makes everything okay: "So it goes." But no, not "So it goes" when I think of kids at the age I was when I first discovered him who are denied the opportunity to read him. It seems obscene to me that this book should have to be defended at all, but I can do it in one word: War. Slaughterhouse Five is the satirically sci-fi story of a WWII soldier who's captured by the Germans and held in a slaughterhouse as a POW during the Dresden bombing. But it's not the time-jumping that has caused schools to ban and even burn this classic practically since its publication in 1969. Critics of the book will cite any number of excuses to deny young people the right to read it: violence, profanity, religious irreverence, etc. Again, one word: War. In fiction, these "inappropriate" elements often fall within creative license. But it's even more justifiable here since much of what Vonnegut describes, historically speaking, happened... to him. Which is to say, he witnessed the Dresden firestorm, from a slaughterhouse, as a POW, because he fought against (known for their book-burning skills) Nazis. Too bad for everyone the war wasn't PG-13.

The Glass Castle

Banned Book: The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls
Defended By: Mari Malcolm

I'll bet that the parents who raise a stink in an effort to protect their honors-English high schoolers from Jeanette Walls's memoir, The Glass Castle, don't see the irony of their behavior: Walls and her siblings overcame their chaotic, often dangerous childhood and went on to thrive as adults largely because they read widely and learned the power of stories. Books were their survival maps. When I saw this one on the Banned Books list, I honestly couldn't remember the passages that so offended these parents. I did remember being deeply disturbed by the kind of hunger Walls describes, how she had to sneak half-eaten food from her school garbage cans after hours, how the shame of being hungry ate at her, how her mom let her kids go hungry while saving a chocolate bar for herself. And I remember being in awe of her tenacity, the way all of those kids saved themselves and still managed to love their parents. I've been fortunate enough to never go hungry, but one in four American kids goes hungry every day, including a lot of smart teenagers who might feel uplifted and less alone while reading The Glass Castle.

Persepolis

Banned Book: Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
Defended By: Kevin Nguyen

Last March, the Chicago Public Schools banned Marjane Satrapi's graphic novel Persepolis, which followed her upbringing during the Iranian Revolution. "Banned" is actually putting it a little strongly. The group, led by CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett, deemed the book inappropriate, removing the comic memoir from the seventh-grade curriculum because it included several panels involving torture. And yet, there are plenty of books dealing with similarly controversial themes that don't draw the same negative attention. I recall reading Lois Lowry's Number the Stars in fourth grade during a unit about World War II. Lowry's Newbury Award-winning novel has never, to my knowledge, been banned, despite being about, well, the Holocaust—a subject that might be as objectionable as torture (and perhaps moreso). According to Byrd-Bennett, it was Persepolis's "powerful images of torture" (emphasis mine) that led to its removal from the curriculum. Persepolis, by virtue of being a comic (and a great one!), is composed of strong visuals. If we are teaching our kids about the Iranian Revolution, should we pretend that torture wasn't an important part of it? Should torture not be a powerful image?

Seira Wilson discusses three banned books for young readers in this week's YA Wednesday.

A Look at the National Book Awards Longlists --With Poll Results

The National Book Foundation took a new approach to its award nominee announcements this year, releasing longlists for each of four categories: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Young Adult Literature. The lists each consist of 10 nominees, which will be halved in the next few weeks. The winners will be announced at the National Book Awards ceremony in New York on Nov. 20.

But you don't have to wait that long to learn the winners of public opinion. We presented each longlist as a poll in which our readers could vote for their favorites. The results are in! The full longlists and those results follow. And a big thank you to everyone who participated!

Fiction

Lowlands New York's big publishing houses have swept the fiction category this year, with each nominee representing a different imprint. Three of our Best of the Month picks made this perfectly gender-balanced list: Anthony Marra's debut novel, George Saunders' short story collection, and Jhumpa Lahari's sophomore novel.

From the get-go, our readers kept Lahiri and Saunders neck-and-neck, but ultimately it was Lowland that ended up on top with 28 percent of the vote.

Here's the complete list of nominees:

Nonfiction

Lowlands

Two themes can be immediately gleaned from the Nonfiction contenders. First, all are first-time NBA nominees, except for Lawrence Wright (who was previously nominated in 2006 for The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11). Second, it's almost all about America, Gretel Ehrlich and Wendy Lower offering international exceptions.

Wright was our readers' favorite, taking 31 percent of the votes.

Here's the complete list of nominees:

Poetry

Lowlands Again including many first-time nominees, the veterans here are, within poetry circles, familiar names. Frank Bidart -- a Pulitzer Prize finalist -- has received three NBA nods, and Andrei Codrescu should be known to NPR listeners.

It was Adrian Matejka's The Big Smoke, a collection of poems about heavyweight boxing champion Jack Johnson, that our readers are rooting for, garnering 26 percent of the votes.

Here's the complete list of nominees:

Young Adult

Lowlands

The list includes some great books for younger readers, representing a range of ages, genres, and themes. Four of our own Best of the Month picks (indicated by * below) made the cut. But for our readers, it seems, the clear winner is Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan, which earned an impressive 44 percent of the votes.

Here's the complete list of nominees:

Read our resident YA expert Seira Wilson's take on this longlist here.

Weekend Flashback: J.D. Salinger, Seamus Heaney, Stephen King, Helen Fielding, Dr. Martin Luther King, Marisha Pessl, and more

Because the week can get hectic... Here's what you might have missed recently on Omni.

SalingerSara Nelson spoke with biographer Shane Salerno about chasing the mysterious J.D. Salinger.

"I read what had been written about Salinger and I was troubled by how little was written by people who directly knew Salinger. So the same stories were repeated over and over again. It wasn't like the [Salinger] family said "Here's the closet, and good luck with your book." It was like a detective story: I spent years researching and calling people and one thing led to another." Read More

 

 

HeanyNeal Thompson remembered Irish Poet Seamus Heaney

"Heaney was the author of over 20 volumes of poetry and criticism, and edited several anthologies. Widely regarded as the most important Irish poet since fellow Nobel-laureate W.B. Yeats, the Nobel Prize committee cited Heaney's 'works of lyrical beauty and ethical depth, which exalt everyday miracles and the living past.'" Read More

 

 

PesslRobin A. Rothman explored Character Comebacks as Stephen King, Helen Fielding, John Grisham and Roddy Doyle prepare to publish new books.

"In the next few months, four authors will reunite us with four vastly different fictional characters ... old friends we haven’t seen for years. You might remember them as a kid coming to terms with his supernatural powers, a single gal infatuated with the idea of love, a controversy-courting lawyer trying to do the right thing, and a working class music fanatic grasping at success." Read More

 

 

MLKSeira Wilson presented a guest essay from Kadir Nelson about illustrating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech.

"The 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s I HAVE A DREAM speech is a powerful occasion for me--every time I listen to the speech, it stops me in my tracks. I can remember the first time I heard it. I was in the 5th grade and my class assignment was to memorize and deliver the speech." Read More

 

 

PesslNeal Thompson got to know author Marisha Pessl and her debut's followup Night Film a little better. 

"Pessl spent a lot of time building the detailed world of Cordova, his family, his films, his oeuvre, and his legacy. And she wanted the details of that world feel real. So she watched and studied the works of Kubrick, Roman Polanski, and other psychological thriller directors, as well as horror film director Dario Argento." Read More

 

 

 

MLKSeira Wilson presented an author to author interview between Leonard S. Marcus and Brian Selznick discussing Randolph Caldecott, namesake of the Caldecott medal.

"I first began to understand what an innovator Caldecott was when I read Maurice Sendak’s essay collection, Caldecott & Co.:Notes on Books & Pictures, in which he talks about how much he learned from him about bringing drawings to life on the page." Read More

 

 

 

SalingerRobin A. Rothman got geeky with David Ewalt, author of Of Dice and Men -- the history of Dungeons & Dragons.

"I wrote this book for a mainstream audience. It always bothered me that D&D has a somewhat dodgy reputation, and that so many people have heard of it, but have no idea what the game is actually like. So I set out to explain D&D to the outsiders -- I want them to see what they’re missing, and to understand why those of us who play the game are so devoted to it." Read More

 

 

GNFAlex Carr recapped "What I Read Over Summer Vacation" for Graphic Novel Friday.

"Regular Graphic Novel Friday readers might be aware of my annual summer trip into the Canadian wilderness, where I unplug at a family cabin and read as many comics as I can. This year the weather was especially uncooperative, which made for fine morning, noon, and night reading. Upon my return, a nutritional detox was necessary but I read an especially healthy batch of books, including..." Read More

Segrio De La Pava and Katherine Boo Among 2013 PEN Literary Award Winners

A Naked Singularity

PEN American Center announced yesterday the winners of the 2013 PEN Literary Awards.

The PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize, which is awarded to the author of a debut novel or short story collection, was awarded to Sergio De La Pava for A Naked Singularity. The prize is worth $25,000. The PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Nonfiction, worth $10,000, went to Katherine Boo for Behind the Beautiful Forevers. NPR correspondent Frank Deford was selected to receive the lifetime achievement award.

Visit pen.org for the full list of winners.

The 2013 PEN Literary Awards Ceremony will take place on October 21 at CUNY Graduate Center’s Proshansky Auditorium in New York, NY. The award winners as well as the runners-up will be honored. The Master of Ceremonies will be Andy Borowitz.

Amazon Publishing Announces: Jet City Comics!

Today, Amazon Publishing announced the launch of a new comics and graphic novel imprint, Jet City Comics! We’re launching with a series of comics set in The Foreworld Saga, an alternate history created by Neal Stephenson, Greg Bear and Mark Teppo, and more, and it's full of sword-fighting, quests, and plenty of world-building. The first issue, Symposium #1 by Christian Cameron and Dmitry Bondarenko, releases today and requires no prior knowledge of the Foreworld universe. It’s new-reader friendly, and sets the stage for the larger works in the series, like The Mongoliad.

Beginning in October, we will release three projects from legendary novelist George R.R. Martin: an original comic, called Meathouse Man, and two graphic novel prequels to his A Song of Ice and Fire series (the basis for the gamma-powered Game of Thrones television series). Also coming in October is our visual trip down the silo with the comics adaptation of Wool, the bestselling science fiction sensation by Hugh Howey. We will release issues of Wool on a monthly basis via our Serials program, and then collect it in physical and digital omnibuses later in 2014.

To celebrate today’s news, we asked Hugh Howey and Neal Stephenson to share their favorite comics (see highlights below):

For those of you familiar with Wool, Hugh’s favorites should come as no surprise—running the gamut of big action and literary elements (see his comments below):

  • The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller: This was the book I carried with me everywhere as a kid. I practically ruined my copies. I bet I've owned a dozen editions of this masterpiece over the years.
  • Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons: I know it's cliche to love this book, but I can spend hours flipping through issue #5, checking out the symmetry of the panels.
  • Fables by Bill Willingham and Mark Buckingham and Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughan, Pia Guerra, and Jose Marzan, Jr.: These two series blew me away for their writing and storytelling--Fables, because it was so inventive, and Y for creating an audacious world that I completely believed in. Two of the best series ever.
  • The Infinity Gauntlet by Jim Starlin, George Perez, and Ron Lim: Another short series that I read over and over as a kid. I've never rooted so hard for a villain. It was this series of comics that made so many of us fall in love with Thanos, which is a relationship as messy as his is with Death.

JetCityComics_blkAs for Neal Stephenson, well, his favorites are easy: “Anything with Mister Miracle in it.” Mister Miracle, of course, being the New God created by Jack Kirby in 1971 (see his first appearance in Jack Kirby’s Fourth World Omnibus Vol. 1), and later joined the “Bwah-ha-ha!” heroes in Justice League International. Note: Grant Morrison recently enlisted Mister Miracle in his Seven Soldiers of Victory epic.

Neal also noted that he is a fan of “rock star” French artist Aleksi Briclot, who has about as diverse of a resume as I’ve seen: He is one of the main artists on Magic: The Gathering; he illustrated several Spawn comics; and he recently co-founded DONTNOD Entertainment, a video game development studio behind the recent Remember Me game (see also The Art of Remember Me hardcover, where Briclot pens an introduction).

This is only our origin tale, comics fans, and the adventure will continue in 2013 and beyond. Hop aboard as we prepare for takeoff today, and please let us know how we are doing here.

--Alex

Omnivoracious™ Contributors

April 2014

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30