Fafhrd is a huge Northern barbarian with a liking for strong wine and direct action. The Gray Mouser is more subtle, a slight, lightning-quick swordsman with some crude magical knowledge. Together, they adventure all over the place, stealing treasures, killing monsters (plus a whole bunch of normal people) and seeing strange sights. Their travels take them across vast oceans and between worlds, but tend to start or end in Lankhmar, a city of thieves and wonders, and involve various mysterious sorcerers and dancing girls.
The pair featured in short stories published over a fifty-year period starting in 1939. These stories were hugely influential, being referenced by countless later authors and forming part of the inspiration for Dungeons & Dragons (and therefore countless imitators and successors). Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser aren’t amazingly well-known now, but they’re part of the roots of the fantasy genre.
Continue reading “Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser – Fritz Leiber (Review)”
Ghost Ship (not to be confused with the many, many other works also called this) has a 16% “TomatoMeter” rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a 28% “MetaScore” on MetaCritic. Its audience scores are somewhat higher, but it’s generally fair to say that this is not a film that met with much positive critical reception or audience enthusiasm. Despite all that, it’s one of the best-constructed and most watchable horror films I’ve seen in ages.
Continue reading “Ghost Ship (2002) – Review”
When his brother is killed by a teenage gang, a retired East End mobster gathers his old crew to settle the score.
Normally I’d go into more detail here, but that’s pretty much the entire concept. It’s a battle of old versus new, hoodies versus suits, respect versus modernity.
Continue reading “We Still Kill the Old Way (2014) – Review”
“In 1914 a large number of British women doctors and nurses formed their own medical units for war service; but, as women, they were rejected by their own authorities so they volunteered for service with Allied armies, and nowhere were their courage and fortitude put to the test more savagely than in Serbia where bitter campaigns raged between 1914 and 1918 in circumstances the equal of those faced by Florence Nightingale in the Crimea.” Continue reading “The Quality of Mercy: Women at War, Serbia 1915-1918 – Monica Krippner (Review)”
Jack Reynolds does not remember why he was in the carriage. All he knows is that he was pulled from its wreckage by the most beautiful woman he’s ever seen.
Rosalind – a widow with a scandalous reputation – is not expecting another Christmas guest, particularly not a mysterious, devastatingly handsome Yorkshire carpenter, but she has no intention of sending an injured man out into the snow.
Continue reading “Joy to the Earl – Nicola Davidson (Review)”
Edgar Allen Poe is one of those authors who casts an extremely long shadow. References to and reimaginings of his work are absolutely everywhere, and despite his relatively small output, he’s someone you need to be familiar with in order to fully engage with all sorts of things.
This book contains manga versions of five of his best-known stories. Each narrative is fully illustrated by a different artist giving their own spin on the story. I was curious at first to see how they managed to do that with The Pit and the Pendulum, given that the story takes place in almost total darkness, but it turns out that one is not included. Continue reading “Manga Classics: The stories of Edgar Allen Poe (Review)”
Handsome, driven, masterful, vaguely Greek, millionaire playboy tycoon Alex Costas has had a string of short affairs with models and starlets, but no woman has ever touched his heart.
Shy, virginal, untouched, pure, attractive (but quietly so, with glasses) Elynn is more focused on her mycology studies than romance. She never dreams that Alex (see above list of adjectives) could be interested in her.
Continue reading “Making Her His – Lucy Leroux (Review)”