Congratulations to cousin Wendy on her upcoming batmitzvah! My young cousin has a big family month coming up, as do my aunt and uncle. Our Thanksgiving this year falls just a week after cousin W’s big celebration. Considering that, everyone has generously decided to loiter in the greater New York area and stop by the happy family’s house for Thanksgiving dinner.

Plans as of yet are known only to the party planning committee, which consists of my aunt, uncle, mom, and grandparents. As a young person my job is mainly to show up and relieve the happy hosts of their food and drink.

The last few years Mom has hosted the mid-western version of Turkey day. Unfortunately our Labs won’t be coming, as they require double beds that my aunt and uncle have already promised to human relatives. I knew I should have RSVP’d sooner!

I’m sure Mom and Dad will take home plenty of left-overs to gloss over any bad feelings Arthur and Clark have from being left behind.


Way back at San Diego Comic Con I saw some promo material for a couple of comic titles based on our current presidential nominees Barack Obama and John McCain. At the time I only considered the novelty of the comics, but Alex, Justin, and Pete have reviewed them on Comic Book Club. Unfortunately the impression they give is not good. In theory the idea of a biographical comic (with an albeit hightened take on reality) sounds interesting, but at second glance makes me reach for the snooze button.

Both the comics are told from realistic perspectives, that is they don’t have fictional powers. I had suspected the rumors of John McCains sleep-beams had been exaggerated.

I will definitely be avoiding these down at Forbidden Planet. Save your money for something interesting.

I’ve been missing a few live tapings of Comic Book Club with my buddies Alex Zalben, Justin Tyler, and Pete LePage. You might remember them from a little show called The Stack on Pulp Secret. I thought a comic book post was in order to fill the void. Today it’s Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Sciver’s Rage of The Red Lanterns.

DC Comics has posted the first few pages of the title as shown above.

Artist Shane Davis via our old friends at Newsarama!

Writer Geoff Johns also via old friends at Newsarama!

Here’s a little technical info on how the Red Lanterns’ Power Rings work (versus the Green/Yellow Lanterns’ Rings).

For those who haven’t seen it, here’s a notable episode of The Stack:

Here’s some more on David Eddings’ Belgariad.

The series tells the story of the recovery of the Orb of Aldur and coming of age of Garion, an orphaned farmboy. Garion is accompanied by his aunt Polgara and grandfather Belgarath as they try to fulfill an ancient prophecy that will decide the fate of the universe. Along the way, various “instruments”, or helpers, of the prophecy join their quest.

The title of each book combines a chess term with a fantasy term. The concept of a Game of Destiny is a significant motif in the story.

Book 1 of 5: Pawn of Prophecy

Book 2 of 5: Queen of Sorcery

Book 3 of 5: Magician’s Gambit

Book 4 of 5: Castle of Wizardry

Book 5 of 5: Enchanter’s End Game

The Malloreon is a five-book sequel that continues the story started in the Belgariad. Belgarath the Sorcerer (1995) and Polgara the Sorceress (1997) are prequels that share the setting and most characters. The Rivan Codex (1998) features annotated background material.

Every once and a while I re-read old books that I’ve always liked. This time it’s David Edding’s epic fantasy storyline starting with the 5 book series The Belgariad, continuing in the 5 book series the Malloreon, and also continuing on in Belgarath The Sorcerer, and finally in Polgara The Sorceress. The original series was penned in the early 80s, and the second series was begun in the late 80s. The original books were some of the Del Rey publishing companies first titles to publish (courtesy of Lester Del Rey).

If I can remember I’ll post reviews of each book (short ones) as I go along.

I think this is my 6th or 7th time to re-read all the books. I read through both series a couple of times before “Belgarath” and “Polgara” were published.

All told it’s approximately over 10,000 pages inside the same universe.

I finally pulled the Graveyard Book out of the smoldering remains of my backpack. It’ll have to wait on my “to read” list until I finish my newest book club selections. October’s selections include:

In the Fantasy category:
Acacia by David Anthony Durham

In the Sci-Fi category:

The Traveler by John Twelve Hawks

Interesting facts about the author:

Both John Twelve Hawks and his American publisher state that he has never met his editor and that he communicates using the Internet and an untraceable satellite phone, usually employing a voice scrambler. No photograph of Twelve Hawks has ever appeared and all biographical information about his background is based on four sources:

-a 2005 article in USA Today
-a 2005 interview by Rob Bedford in SFF World
-a 2006 interview published in Germany in Der Spiegel
-a portion of a 2007 Daily Telegraph article about popular writers

Twelve Hawks’ initial biography on the Random House website was only one line: “John Twelve Hawks lives off the grid.” At some point in 2007, that line disappeared and was replaced with “John Twelve Hawks is the author of the New York Times bestseller, The Traveler.

In honor of my catch-up game of speed posting I’ll introduce (and complete) today’s post with a brief look at important events from October 2nd across the ages. You can just insert this at the end of Stephen Hawking’s book.

1187 Siege of Jerusalem: Saladin captures Jerusalem after 88 years of Crusader rule.
1187 Sultan Saladin captures Jerusalem from the Crusaders
1263 The battle of Largs fought between Norwegians and Scots.
1535 Jacques Cartier discovers Montreal, Quebec.
1552 Conquest of Kazan by Ivan the Terrible.
1608 Hans Lippershey offers Dutch gov’t a new invention, the telescope
1608 Prototype of modern reflecting telescope completed by Jan Lippershey
1608 The first telescope is demonstrated by Hans Lippershey of Middelburg.
1780 John Andre, British Army officer of the American Revolutionary War, is hanged as a spy by American forces.
1788 HMAS Sirius sets out from Port Jackson, Australia, to Cape Town for provisions.
1789 George Washington transmits the proposed Constitutional amendments (The United States Bill of Rights) to the States for ratification.
1792 Baptist Missionary Society forms in London
1833 NY Anti-Slavery Society organized
1835 The Texas Revolution begins with the Battle of Gonzales: Mexican soldiers attempt to disarm the people of Gonzales, Texas, but encounter stiff resistance from a hastily assembled militia.
1836 Darwin returns to England aboard HMS Beagle
1839 New Zealand comes under jurisdiction of the Governor of New South Wales
1851 The pasilalinic-sympathetic compass is demonstrated but proves to be a fake.
1853 Austrian law forbids Jews from owning land
1869 Mahatma Gandhi was born Oct 2, 1869 in Porbander in western India. He died in 1948.
1870 Italy annexes Rome and Papal States; Rome made Italian capital
1879 Start of the Sherlock Holmes adventure “The Musgrave Ritual” (BG)
1889 First Pan American conference (Washington DC)
1889 In Colorado, Nicholas Creede strikes it rich in silver during the last great silver boom of the American Old West.
1901 First submarine commissioned by the British Navy is launched from Barrow, north-west England.