fantastic-novels

Hello friends! Are you all jazzed-up on Wonder Woman now that the DCU finally has a good movie? That’s great! Me too! But it doesn’t have to end there! Wonder Woman has a long history of great comic books that have long been overlooked my mainstream nerd culture!

While plenty of us have read foundational DC books like Batman: Year One, All-Star Superman, or Watchmen, Wondie has plenty of books that are just as central to her character as well! The above image is a general recommended reading list, and I certainly haven’t read all of them, but I can give a few recommendations on the ones I have!

Wonder Woman, by George Perez

This is pretty much your foundational modern Wonder Woman. Nearly everything about the character as she is today draws from this sensational run. It’s widely regarded among Wondie fans as one of the most quintessential runs in the character’s history. If you want to wholly *GET* Wonder Woman, this is a fantastic place to start.

Wonder Woman by Gail Simone

What can I say about Gail Simone that hasn’t already been said? Deadpool, Batgirl, Secret Six, Birds of Prey, the woman just has so many legendary comic book runs. And her run on Wonder Woman is no different. She wasn’t on the book for a super long time, but her run is one of the best!

Wonder Woman by Brian Azzarello

This one I understand is a bit polarizing among some on Tumblr. I get that there’s a number of people who don’t like the changes Azzarello made to the amazonian culture, specifically how they deal with male outsiders and male children. However, consider that characters are not interesting without flaws, and seeing for once a definite black spot on the seemingly-perfect Amazons was pretty interesting!


In addition, the book has fantastic art style, and does a lot to re-imagine the greek gods in a modern, almost horror-esque way. This run’s take on Wondie is that of a warrior goddess, so if you want a Diana that’s ready to throw down, this is the book for you!

Wonder Woman: Hiketeia by Greg Rucka

Wonder Woman has taken a sworn oath to protect a young girl! But when she finds out that this girl has murdered her sister’s killer, this puts her at odds with Batman, who is determined that the girl face trial! A modern greek tragedy penned by the masterful Greg Rucka, and an absolutely fantastic one-shot graphic novel!

JLA: A League of One by Christopher Moeller

An unstoppable dragon has awoken from its slumber! An amazonian seer has predicted that it will DESTROY the Justice League! To prevent her friends from dying, Wonder Woman must face the dragon ALONE! Even if it means fighting her friends to stop them from helping her!

Wonder Woman: Odyssey by J. Michael Straczynski

A pseudo-elseworlds story about an amnesiac Wonder Woman rediscovering her place in the world and her destiny. Featuring all-star talent, a gripping suspense story, and my personal favorite Wonder Woman costume ever. 

Wonder Woman by Bill Messner-Loebs

Hey, did you know that for a while Wonder Woman was a space pirate? This run is fucking nuts and I love every page of it. If you want a run where some guys are just trying to tell compelling and INCREDIBLY varied Wonder Woman adventures, give this one a shot!

Wonder Woman: by Greg Rucka

There is a current Wonder Woman ongoing! It’s by Greg Rucka, who has previously done great work with the character. It’s called Wonder Woman: The Lies. Full disclosure, I haven’t read any of this. But if you want a Wonder Woman comic that’s currently ongoing, just pick up Volume 1 and start from there. There’s currently three books out, so there’s plenty of reading material. 

Final Thoughts

Really, anything in the guide I posted first is a good read. Comics are an incredibly small medium, and need all the sales they can get. If you’ve seen the movie and you’re hungry for more, there’s a LOT of material. The character’s been around for over 70 years at this point. So please, head down to your local comic shop and pick up some Wonder Woman! Diana believes in you, and I do too!

Fantastic Novels #13, May, 1949.  Cover art by Lawrence Sterne Stevens.

I love how this monster looks like ones I imagined hiding in the house when I was little.  Does anybody have a textless copy of this painting?

Librarian Letters

Ms. Pumpkin Jaq: Please be advised that your familiar, Trix, will be returned to you by the end of the week. He was caught between chapters five and six of your recently returned novel, Fantastic Trees Through the Ages. Please note a two silver coin fine will be placed onto your account for returning Trix to his original form. At the time of

this letter, he was stuck in the shape of a bookmark.

Ms. Arques: Your copy of Lock Picking for Frequently Incarcerated Mischief Makers is available for pickup. Please note: How to Hide Nearly Anything Anywhere is nearing its due date and we can find you if necessary.

Mrs. Strawberry: The books from Atlantis have arrived. My apologies for not listing the titles, I am not able to read the glyphs. They are being held in the water tank at the Circulation Desk.

Ms. Pierreux: The story stones you requested arrived yesterday. A Suspend Fire charm has been cast upon them as they were covered in lava. We have a pair of bat-shaped oven mitts handy should you
need protection to carry them home.

Lemon Peel the Tiny Dragon: A book in the form of a mechanical lizard arrived for you several days ago. Our apologies in this delay, it kept scampering away and hiding. We were finally able to keep it one place by giving it a steady bribe of nuts and bolts.

Mr. Redghost: A large black book with red pages and an unusual smell appeared at the Receiving Dock a few days ago. While we have no record of you requesting it, nor can we read the title or open the cover, it is whispering your name and laughing quietly. We insist you retrieve it as quickly as possible.

Ms. Starwater: Your copy of An Incomplete & Probably Untrue Yet Passionate History of Poltergeists is available for pick up. It has been playing tricks on various patrons since its arrival, please stop by the Circulation Desk so we may share the stories.

Mr. Sourdough: Please keep the copy of Speed Reading for the Busy you currently have checked out. Our records show you have renewed it every two weeks for the last 10 years.

ALL THE PRETTIES! 

Wow, a massive thank you to @berkleypub for this incredible book mail! These are some of my most highly anticipated reads of this summer and I can’t believe I get to devour them all! 

Heroine Worship
is the sequel to Heroine Complex, the fantastically fun superhero novel that came out last year by Sarah Kuhn. It combined UF with super powers and killer cupcakes - as in, they will go full karate on your butt, kind of killer - into a thrilling and fun novel. So as you can tell, I’m pretty excited about the sequel! 

Ash and Quill is the third installment of the Great Library series by Rachel Caine. Set in an alternate world where the great library of Alexandria never burnt down, and where knowledge and books are more valuable than life itself. Ink and Bone was one of those books that surprised me in how addictive it was; but, shame on me, I haven’t yet read book two, Paper and Fire! I’ll have to catch up first! 

And finally, The Space Between the Stars by Anne Corlett. Those of you who follow me on wordpress know how much I ADORED this novel. It’s astounding, I can’t think of any other word for it. By far one of the most beautiful books I have ever read. I’ll be talking a whole lot about this book! ❤️❤️❤️ 

12 Books to Read If You Loved The Handmaid's Tale

The Handmaid’s Tale: 12 books to read after the series

Source: Entertainment Weekly

What to Read If You Love The Handmaid’s Tale

If the season finale of The Handmaid’s Tale has left you with a gaping void in your life, these fantastic novels will provide all the dystopian drama and social-order horror you’re craving.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

The Beast is an Animal by Peternelle van Arsdale

Children are forced to defend their puritanical village from soul-eating monsters that devour adults — but one young girl feels a strange and magnetic kinship with the darkness outside the village, and the monsters that lurk there. Order it here.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

The Children of Men by P.D. James

In perhaps the closest parallel to The Handmaid’s Tale, James’ novel centers on civilization after humans have become totally infertile, leading to panic and widespread depression. But a young woman and her cadre of revolutionaries appear, and so does a bit of hope. Order it here.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

Three children grow up together at an elite boarding school, where they’re constantly told how special and important they are. But as teenagers, they reunite and start to understand what exactly that school—and their “purpose”—actually is. Order it here.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

The Stand by Stephen King

It may not be pollution or STDs like in The Handmaid’s Tale, but King’s classic novel features a super flu (a.k.a. “Captain Trips”) that was modified for biological warfare. It’s leak results in a pandemic that decimates most of the population, causing two separate factions of survivors to then face off against each other. Order it here.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

This brilliant novel follows a group of actors and musicians who travel the ravaged earth, bringing art to the survivors of a global pandemic that wiped out 99.9% of the population. But soon, a cruel prophet and his followers threaten the lives they’ve worked so hard to rebuild. Order it here.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula Le Guin

The Handmaid’s Tale allowed Margaret Atwood to explore what could happen to women in the distant future. The Left Hand of Darkness allowed Le Guin to do something similar as she delved into what a world not influenced by gender might be like through the more androgynous inhabitants of Gethen, one that her protagonist, Genly Ai — a male native of Terra who has been assigned to be an envoy to the planetary system — is confused by at first. Order it here.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

The Bees by Laline Paull

Readers will recognize elements of Offred in Flora 717, a lowly sanitation bee born with unusual abilities that allow her to see just what other bees must do to keep the hive running out of loyalty to their Queen. Her gifts lead her to challenge her Queen’s authority, but when the hive is threatened with destruction, Flora 717 might be the only one with the key to its survival. Order it here.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

Unwind by Neil Shusterman

After the events of the Second Civil War, the basis of which was abortion rights, parents have the option of having their kids “unwound” between the ages of 13 and 18. This results in their organs being transplanted into different donors — a fate awaiting the difficult-to-control Connor, ward of the state Risa, and Lev, a tithe (a baby conceived and raised simply to be unwound). Order it here.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

When She Woke by Hillary Jordan

The dystopian, future-set When She Woke retelling of A Scarlet Letter presents the story of Hannah, a woman living in a not-too-distant future where women’s rights have been stripped away, and the church and state have merged and begun to “chrome” criminals (genetically alter their skin to match the color-coded crime they might have committed) instead of imprisoning them. After Hannah is accused of murder, and her skin chromed red, she attempts to navigate life in America and sets off on a journey of self-discovery. Order it here.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

Smoke by Dan Vyleta

Imagine if every impure thought you ever had, from sexual longing to violent urges, caused visible plumes of smoke to waft out of your body. Then imagine this only happens to the “wicked” lower classes, and the aristocracy takes their lack of smoke as proof of their virtue. That’s the Dickensian world of Smoke. Order it here.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

Woman on the Edge of Time by Marge Piercy

This 1976 classic of both speculative fiction and feminist literature (sound familiar?) centers on Mexican American Connie Ramos, homeless and bereft, who is unfairly sent to a mental institution. There, a messenger from the year 2137 contacts her and she sees a utopian society where men, women, and all races are treated as equal. But she also sees another vision for society, in which people have become commodities. It’s up to Connie to determine which comes true. Order it here.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

The second novel in Johansen’s dystopian-to-the-point-of-medieval Tearling trilogy sees Queen Kelsea Glynn flash back to life before the creation of her kingdom so she can learn how best to save it from a war with the advancing Red Queen. Only her repeated connection to Lily, a woman who was alive years ago, reveals a still dystopian past where women’s rights are strictly controlled by those in power. Order it here.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

Here is Molly, a cyborg killer for hire, a character from the novel ‘NEUROMANCER’. A fantastic novel for all the sci-fi geeks, filled with action and twists. Tons of interesting characters are filled in this novel. Haven’t completed the book yet, but needed to make this character.

Every once in a while, there is a query that stops me in my tracks and makes me want to dive right into a manuscript. Crystal Smith’s pitch for BLOODLEAF did just that. A re-imagining of the Grimm fairy tale The Goose Girl, it follows a princess who finds herself penniless in an enemy city-state after an unimaginable betrayal. There, she is forced to decide if she wants to surrender to her new life or fight for her old one, all while navigating the complicated ties binding her to the enigmatic prince, the unquiet ghost of an ancient queen, and a poisonous plant called bloodleaf that only grows in soil upon which blood has been spilt—and its rare, precious petals that can heal nearly any wound but only bloom after blood has been shed a second time. 

I am so excited to now be representing this fantastic novel and its incredibly talented author Crystal Smith!! Welcome to the PLM family, Crystal! 

(Thank you to Emily and Vanessa at PLM for the help in making the pictured BLOODLEAF flower!)

Urban Fantasy Worldbuilding Asks
  1. If the fantastical element/side of your novel has any kind of legal system, how does it interact, or avoid interacting, with traditional legislative systems (police, FBI, CIA, military, court, etc.)?
  2. What sort of fantastical creatures exist in your urban fantasy world?
  3. How does magic work in your world?
  4. How does magic survive within the modern world?
  5. How has pop culture been affected by the existence of things such as magic and nonhuman beings? (e.g; late-night shows primarily directed toward vampires? Sports fans prefer enchanted TVs because of reasons? Supernatural-specific memes?)
  6. How is magic viewed by the general public, if at all?
  7. What have the traditional governments and nations of the world done to protect, acknowledge, or combat fantastical forces? Are they even aware of the fantasy element?
  8. If it is “today” in suburbia - what would be the most likely thing to shatter the veil for an unaware protagonist? 
  9. Describe a protagonist from your urban fantasy setting, and their connection to the magical side of the modern world. 
  10. How do technology and magic interact in your world?
  11. Is magic regulated in your world. Is there a license to practice, or do magical users have to register. Are there laws that are specific to magic?
  12. What is the main industry (if any) that the presence of magic has had the greatest impact on? If none and magic is unknown by the general populace, is there an industry amongst magical-people that is the most popular magic-based industry?
  13. How has architecture been influenced by the presence of magic in your world? 
  14. How long have the fantastic elements of your world existed? If they’ve been there the whole time, how have they effected the development of modern culture? If they’re recent, how have they interrupted it?
  15. How accessible is magic to the general population of your world, either learning or using it?
  16. Do your characters lead a double life, or are they completely “out” as magic-users/supernatural beings?
  17. What are the limits in your magic system?
  18. What are the origins of your supernatural creatures and/or the magic your characters use?
  19. What real-world locations feature in your story, or at least analogues of real-world places? Why’d you pick there? What affect does it have on the story?
  20. Do the magic users and/or supernatural/fantastical beings in your novel maintain a human-like social structure (marriage, children, holding down a job), or are they lone wolves?
  21. Does religion play a part in your urban fantasy? Do the fantastical creatures and/or magic users adhere to modern religions, have their own religion, have variations on modern religions, or no religion at all? And why?
  22. What is the determining quality of magic in your world? Bloodline? Learning? Artifacts? What specific trait separates magic users and non-magic users?
  23. How much modern technology do your supernatural beings/magic users use? Do they use magic in place of technology (teleportation instead of driving a car) or is technology easier to use than magic (cellphones instead of headache-inducing telepathy)?
  24. What are the lifespans of your characters like (either magic users or supernatural beings)? If they are immortal or unusually long-lived, how does that impact their relationships?
  25. Does magic factor into status in your world? Are magic users at the top of the social ladder? Are normal people looked down on/enslaved? What would happen if a “norm” was born into a noble mage family, or vice-versa?
  26. Is there special precautions against magic users in you world?  Are there anti magic squat teams and special types of prisons?  Any special weapons the normal people use against magic users?
  27. How integrated into the mundane world are the fantasty elements of your novel?  Do your werewolves work 9-5 office jobs or do they live in a pack in Yosemite?  Are your wizards more likely to graduate from Midvale High or Hogwarts?
  28. What kind of interaction is there between religion and the supernatural? Has anybody lost their faith after seeing the supernatural, or on the contrary, has it made them more religious? If the supernatural is “out” to the world at large, how do major religions deal with that? Is it all worked in to religious beliefs, is the supernatural rejected as of the devil, is it pointed to as proof of God’s power, what? How do the supernatural people in your novel view religion in turn?
  29. How often would a normal ‘mundane’ human interact with the supernatural or magical elements in your world? Would they recognize it when it happened or not?
  30. Does your story explain how/why the magic users or supernatural creatures get their abilities/powers? Do any of these people/creatures wonder how they came to be the way they are?
  31. If magic in your world is innate, how does it effect children born with it?  How early can they start using it?  Does it effect their health, either negatively or positively?  Or, if magic in your world has to be gained from an outside force, how old on average, are people when they start using it?
  32. How does science affect magic? Are there magical scientists trying to combine the two elements, or are they utterly alien to one another?
  33. What do the magic people/creatures/etc. in your story think of anyone/thing without magic? Are they neutral, jealous, disdainful, pitying? What do they do when interacting with them?
  34. How does magic affect technology in your world? Are they at odds with each other or are cell phones a great new way to store spells and the like? 
  35. What is the oddest magical hobby in your world? 


Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009) film adaptation of the children’s novel Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl.

They say all foxes are slightly allergic to linoleum, but it’s cool to the paw - try it. They say my tail needs to be dry cleaned twice a month, but now it’s fully detachable - see? They say our tree may never grow back, but one day, something will. Yes, these crackles are made of synthetic goose and these giblets come from artificial squab and even these apples look fake - but at least they’ve got stars on them. I guess my point is, we’ll eat tonight, and we’ll eat together. And even in this not particularly flattering light, you are without a doubt the five and a half most wonderful wild animals I’ve ever met in my life. So let’s raise our boxes - to our survival.

-Mr. Fox

dir. Wes Anderson

(via the-film)