Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Read Just Lately

Lost Cities & Ancient Mysteries of the Southwest, by David Hatcher Childress

The latest in the Lost Cities collection (I need to get the rest I'm missing) and this one is a doozy. Full of all the folktales, cryptids and legends that make the southwest mysterious and magical. As a fiction writer this is one of those books that is a must, an absolute goldmine of its own to grant inspiration and ideas. I had to keep stopping and taking notes whenever new ideas sprang into my head.

I can't recommend these Lost Cities books enough. I would have liked to have seen a little more of some of the legends I personally knew about from Utah/Arizona but then again I know those and a lot of the ones contained herein were new to me.

B.P.R.D. Garden of Souls vol.7, by Mike Mignola, John Arcudi and Guy Davis

The B.P.R.D. series was a little slow going to me in the beginning. I hungered for more Hellboy and that is what was denied me in this storyline with the rest of the characters. I have actually had most of the entire run for awhile now but wasn't super motivated to keep up the insatiable pace I did with Hellboy. That has started to change as I get farther on. The last collection Universal Machine was awesome and while I perhaps didn't like Garden of Souls quite as much it is still a serious page turner.

Abe follows strange clues that lead him to the jungles of Indonesia and we find out a whole lot more about Captain Daimio and this all ties into weird Dr. Moreau type creatures and awakening mummies.

Cahokia, by Timothy R. Pauketat

This gave me mixed feelings. On one hand it started out so very slow and tedious. I was disappointed that it had only a single map as far as graphics/illustrations --why not some of the artifacts it talks about so candidly? why not the fascinating Thebes Gap rock art panel-Its the oldest map in America! I had to hunt and hunt online to actually find the map-very, very cool. (And its only on pdf.) *[so hard I can't even find it again]

An awful lot contained is speculation and not even inspiring speculation-that the game chunkey somehow brought about the ancient American supercity? I find a sport doubtful (at best) at being what made the metropolis come together. Stories about the archaeologists themselves were what you might expect~ except for Preston Holder-he is awesome-he took a break from Cahokia for WW2 and convinced some retired headhunters/cannibals to get back into it and feed on the Japanese! Then after the war he went back to dig.

The last few chapters is what really made the book for me and I have to say that Pauketat is more open to the accomplishments of the ancient peoples than some more conservative diggers. I don't understand why some must deny that the ancients travelled all over the America's and traded everywhere, the evidence is there-get out of your box!

Snake Handlin' Man, by D.J. Butler (great cover by Carter Reid)

Book 2 in the Rock band Fights Evil series. There is no rest for the 'sort of' wicked. This time around our pulpy heroes are relaxing with a cup of java and such when a pregnant waitress gives birth to flying poisonous serpents, the same type mentioned in the bible that Moses had to ward off with his staff. In the RBFE series anything cropping up out of Hell is possible.

A number of Butler's fantastic fight scenes later we meet a snake handlin man and start to learn the awful truth about the snake worshipping cult of Apep. (I love that somebody is writing about Apep=Apophis besides me) These were some of my favorite moments in the book. The blending of myth, pseudo-Christian lore and just whacked out blues rock action.

I can't recommend these ebooks enough if you dig action packed occultic pulp!

The End of the Trail, by Robert E. Howard

I missed out on the Robert E. Howard weekend in Cross Plains, Texas again this year-I will make it one of these days when I can afford it. So I thought I would read the masters work again and this time around considering how many Porter tales I have been sending out, it felt best to read the westerns.

Favorites like The Dead Remember and The Man on the Ground I had read long ago. I also enjoyed Vultures of Wahpeton and I may stand alone but I lean toward the happy ending myself. To me the happier of the two possible endings does not take away from the impact of Corcoran's character nor any of the grimness overall. I couldn't help but think about the true tales of the west (dirty sheriffs like Henry Plummer) and how Vultures compares.

All in all Bison puts together a great collection that I know I will return time and again to.


Keith said...

That Lost Cities series sounds fantastic. I'm gonna have to check it out. Thanks for the tip.

David J. West said...

Oh yeah Keith, I have gleaned a lot of great things from the series and am anxious to get more just to keep that creative outlet fresh.

Lyn Perry said...

You know, I'm not familiar with any of the books you've posted here. Simply amazes me - but in a good way, since one complaint about all these people getting self-published is that there will be too many books to choose from. Hello? There are already too many books to choose from, what's another million or so? lol :)

David J. West said...

I hear you Lyn, that's one reason I try to read as fast as I do-too many books that I want to absorb.

Paul R. McNamee said...

Thanks for the reviews. I need to get on B.P.R.D. soon.

Yeah, there are probably too many good & interesting books out there. And this is a GOOD thing.

Keith said...

A very good thing, Paul. I'd rather have more books than I can read (I already do) than not enough.

Charles Gramlich said...

Vultures is a great tale

David J. West said...

I liked it Paul-but it took a few graphic collections to really get warmed up.

Keith-I don't think that will ever be a problem-I still haven't gotten started on most of your recomendations even though I plan on it.

True that Charles.