Tag Archives: reading

Review: Faerie Apocalypse by Jason Franks

Have you ever wondered what’s going on in the mind of people who set about pursuing quests in the worlds of magic? Potential lovers seeking the fairest of them all; mages seeking further power; sons seeking fathers; daughters seeking vengeance; those seeking simple distraction and escape from their everyday lives.

Jason Franks has. And he doesn’t think very highly of them.

Faerie Apocalypse plays with the tropes of quests and fantasy violence. He twists the old storytelling standards of cycles-of-three, cunning humans outwitting faerie malevolance, all the same-old-same olds.

Franks isn’t afraid of being pretty damned gruesome with it, either. Many encounters end not merely with violence but with gore so extreme it’s less horrific and more a form of nihilism. If Shakespeare wrote Titus Andronicus in a spirit of ‘I’ll show YOU a revenge tragedy!’, Franks has said, ‘I’ll show YOU a tide of pointless butchery!’.

Except that it’s not pointless. The purpose, mostly hinted at throughout the brutal excapades of the mortals, the mage, the daughter of the warrior queen and the Bad Little Dog is very pointed, but it’s a spoiler to say what it is.

I loved how the inklings that supposed mortal questers aren’t as noble or heroic as they’re cracked up to be turn into certainties that they’re all pretty awful people with little regard for the consequences of their actions. Where they go, death follows, on a scale that humans in the mortal world have wrought with such horrific abandon.

The level of butchery is a bit much at times, but it’s a deliberate choice that is less gratuitous than it seems, by the time you reach the end and learn why. Though the hint is in the title. It is a faerie apocalypse, after all.

I’ll admit that I have a fonder spot in my heart for the wild and wickedly funny Bloody Waters , but it’s good to be reading Franks again and I’m looking forward to whatever comes next.

About Faerie Apocalypse.

Over the centuries the Faerie Realms have drifted away from the mortal world. But for some, the Doors will open. For some, there is a Way to travel there, if they want it badly enough.

If they dream it hard enough.

In this era, only lovers, poets, and madmen can access the Realms of the Land—and for good reason.

A succession of mortals travel to Faerie: a veteran seeking beauty; a magus seeking power; an urchin seeking his wayward father; an engineer seeking meaning. These mortals bring the horrors of our age to the Land, and the Folk who live there respond in kind.

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Five Questions for Tansy Rayner Roberts

Today, Tansy Rayner Roberts answers five questions about her new book:

Tansy Rayner Roberts

1. What’s the name of your latest book – and how did you choose the title?

Girl Reporter – and it’s absolutely the clear, best, most obvious title for this story, given that it’s all about the ‘girl reporter’ trope in superhero stories. I may have been slightly inspired by Kelly Link’s Girl Detective short story from some years ago – I love stories that are named after slightly problematic tropes! (I also published a story called Fake Geek Girl, so.)

2. If you could choose anyone from any time period, who would you cast as the leads in your latest book?

Oooh I like the time travel option, it’s definitely necessary. For Friday, someone with sassiness like 80’s era Nadine Garner, or Melissa Howard who played Rebecca in Dead Gorgeous, that ABC TV show about Victorian ghosts.

For Tina Valentina I’d love an actress who was a big name in the 80s-90’s for that authentic cred – like Claudia Black or Lucy Lawless. Justine Clarke, maybe?

Actually all three of those might be slightly too young, we can also go forward in time, yes?

There are so many options for Griff but my head settled on 90’s Matt Day and I can’t go past that.

Caitlin Stacey is my favourite of everything, I was thinking Solar but actually I can see her as Astra. Clearly I’d have to write her an Astra story to give her a bigger part.

Isla Fisher and Rose Byrne could fight it out for who gets to be Megadethra.

Rachael Taylor as Danni/former Catsuit. Yes, I’m pretty much casting just the women here.

I think Celia Pacquola would do a good job of Astra III.

I want people who have read the story to come back and fill in the blanks here!

3. What five words best describe your story?

Fun, snarky, heroic, action-packed and loving.

4. Who’s your favourite hero and/or sidekick? (Not necessarily a team)

I adore the relationship between Hawkeye and Hawkeye in Marvel comics. The way that Clint Barton dealt with a young woman taking his name and superhero identity while he was dead/out of town… at first he was determined to put her in her place, but they became a great team, and he happily shares the name and status with her instead of insisting he is senior. I like the way that their mentor-mentee relationship is often quite broken and sibling-y because he’s less competent at life than she is. So great.

Another favourite was Barbara Gordon as Oracle, mentoring Stephanie Brown as the new Batgirl.  And of course you can’t really talk about the sidekick relationship without addressing Bruce & Dick from 60’s Batman. “Robin, it’s important to stay in school. Be a good role model. Drink plenty of milk.”

5. What song reflects a theme, character or scene in your book?

Ha this is a ridiculously hard question for me. The Press Gang theme music? All the Crazy Ex Girlfriend theme songs as sung by Megadethra? Remy Zero’s ‘Save Me’, still the absolute best creative decision made by the Smallville production team? Ooh NO I know what it is. It’s totally the Birds of Prey song from Batman: The Brave and the Bold.

(but an honourable mention to this version of Bonnie Tyler’s Holding out for a Hero, as performed by Melissa Benoist on Glee.

About Girl Reporter

From the award-winning author of Cookie Cutter Superhero and Kid Dark Against the Machine comes a brand new novella about girl reporters, superheroes, and interdimensional travel

In a world of superheroes, supervillains, and a machine that can create them all, millennial vlogger and girl reporter Friday Valentina has no shortage of material to cover. Every lottery cycle, a new superhero is created and quite literally steps into the shoes of the hero before them–displacing the previous hero. While Fri may not be super-powered herself, she understands the power of legacy: her mother is none other than the infamous reporter Tina Valentina, renowned worldwide for her legendary interviews with the True Blue Aussie Beaut Superheroes and her tendency to go to extraordinary lengths to get her story.

This time, Tina Valentina may have ventured too far.

Alongside Australia’s greatest superheroes–including the powerful Astra, dazzling Solar, and The Dark in his full brooding glory–Friday will go to another dimension in the hopes of finding her mother, saving the day, maybe even getting the story of a lifetime out of the adventure. (And a new girlfriend, too.)

About Tansy Rayner Roberts

Tansy Rayner Roberts is an award winning blogger, podcaster and fantasy author. She co-hosts the Galactic Suburbia and Verity! podcasts, and is well known for writing feminist commentary on pop culture including superhero comics and Doctor Who.

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