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Forget $500 Million, Amazon’s ‘Lord Of The Rings’ Series Could Cost Over $1 BILLION
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The Movie God   |  @   |  
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Gollum in Lord of the Rings

Well this is just getting insane. Less than one month ago came word that the first seasons of Amazon’s Lord of the Rings would cost more than all three movies in Peter Jackson’s film trilogy. Around $500 million.

But that’s just the beginning of the craziness. Amazon’s adaptation is going to cost hundreds of millions more than Jackson’s trilogy. In fact, it’s expected that once all the costs of producing the show are factored in—including casting, producers, visual effects, and so on—the price tag will be over $1 billion. BILLION. For a television show. It’s going to be the biggest TV series ever produced in terms of price tag.

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Book Review: Welcome to Night Vale: A Novel
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Empress Eve   |  @   |  
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Welcome to Night Vale book banner

Welcome to Night Vale: A Novel
Hardcover | Paperback | Kindle | Audiobook (Digital) | Audio CD
By Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor
Publisher: HarperCollins/Harper Perennial
Release date: January 10, 2017 (Paperback Edition)

If you’re already a listener of the Welcome to Night Vale podcast, then this original novel set in its universe will surely pique your interest. If you’re not familiar with the show, it’s a podcast that’s staged as a radio show set in the bizarre fictional town of Night Vale, where the local library is one of the most terrifying places to visit. The podcast, which releases twice per month, was created in 2012 by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, who co-author this book of the same name.

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Book Review: Back To The Future: The Ultimate Visual History
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Empress Eve   |  @   |  
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Back to the Future: The Ultimate Visual History title

Back to the Future: The Ultimate Visual History
Hardcover | Kindle
Written by Michael Klastorin with Randal Atamaniuk
Foreword by Michael J. Fox
Preface by Christopher Lloyd
Introduction by Bob Gale
Afterword by Robert Zemeckis
Harper Design | HarperCollins Publishers
Release date: October 20, 2015

This month marks the 30th anniversary of Back To The Future, the Robert Zemeckis-directed Steven Spielberg-produced film that went on to become one of the greatest and most beloved movies of our time, spawning two sequels that were equally enjoyed. In conjunction with this milestone, Insight Editions has released Back to the Future: The Ultimate Visual History, a coffee table-sized full-cover hardcover packed with details about the film trilogy, highlighted with behind-the-scenes photos, concept art, storyboards, and a host of removable collectible-type items.

Though Back to the Future was an instant hit when Universal Pictures released it back in 1985, it was a long road from concept to screen for director/screenwriter Robert Zemeckis and screenwriter Bob Gale. Though the filmmakers had a great idea for a film about a time-travel, their initial draft of the script was rejected by over 40 movie studios. A tidbit like that is hard to believe today when we see how deeply rooted the film is in today’s pop culture, but The Ultimate Visual History reveals their lengthy struggle, which also included their multiple attempts to get Michael J. Fox, who was locked in at the time to his schedule on the popular TV sitcom Family Ties, as the lead.

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Book Review: Beyond Redemption
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Olympus Athens   |  @   |  
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Beyond Redemption Michael Fletcher Header

Beyond Redemption
Paperback | Kindle Edition
Written by Michael R. Fletcher
Harper Voyager
Release Date: June 16, 2015
Cover Price: $15.99

What if the power of belief shaped the world? What if your mirrored reflection could become strong enough to plot against you?

The answers to these questions exist in a sad angry world. Beyond Redemption by Michael R. Fletcher is an apocalyptic fantasy world novel, because there’s no way this could ever be our Earth. Three murderous thieving companions travel together from job to job – maybe job isn’t the word. Maybe stealing, killing, and kidnapping are more appropriate words. These three should have no redeeming qualities, yet somehow Fletcher makes you like them. I think he is using the power of belief to do so. Their next job is to steal a god.

Excuse me?

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Book Review: The Monster Book Of Manga: Steampunk
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Lord Hobbitsfork   |  
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Monster Book of Manga: Steampunk review
The Monster Book of Manga: Steampunk
Paperback | Kindle
Edited by Jorge Balaguer
HarperCollins
Release date: February 24, 2015

There’s an old adage, still in use in this day and age, about not judging a book by its cover. It happens to be true. This writer can attest to many a dusty, worn tome that has yielded much more than he assessed at first glance on the shelves of his local library or used bookstore. The great thing about that old adage is that it applies to both sides of the coin; there are also a lot of books out there that promise much on the outside but tend to disappoint once you’ve delved deeper.

For those who have read my articles before, you know that I am an inveterate – and unapologetic – fan of anime and manga, and I am always eager to investigate any resource that purports to teach either the history of – or techniques surrounding – the genres of manga and anime. I’ve been a fan of both genres since before it was considered cool, when the only way you could learn to draw the style was to pick up a pencil and a sketchbook and copy of one’s favorite manga (or, if one was lucky enough, one of the various art books from overseas) and draw freehand from what you saw on the pages.

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Book Review: Metrophage: A Novel
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Olympus Athens   |  @   |  
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Metrophage: A Novel Richard Kadrey Banner

Metrophage: A Novel
Paperback | Kindle Edition
Written by Richard Kadrey
Includes a Q & A with Cory Doctorow
Harper Collins Publishers/ Harper Voyager
Release Date: November 4, 2014
Cover Price: $14.99

Richard Kadrey, author of the “Sandman Slim” series of novels, re-releases his very first effort, Metrophage: A Novel, 20 years after it was first printed, as a signed collectible paperback on November 4th.

This book not only brings back the classic dystopian “Last Ass” (future Los Angeles) with Jonny Gordon, forever injured and in trouble with the law and the outlaws (who’s who?), but also includes a Q & A with Cory Doctorow, science fiction author and journalist, and Richard Kadrey himself.

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Book Review: The Anatomy Of Type: A Graphic Guide To 100 Typefaces
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Waerloga69   |  @   |  
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The Anatomy Of TypeThe Anatomy Of Type
A Graphic Guide To 100 Typefaces
Hardcover | Kindle Edition
Written by Stephen Coles
Harper Design
Release Date: November 13, 2012
Cover Price: $25.99

I love minutia. It’s a fact, I’ll never deny it. Digging into the history of not just what we write but also how we write really intrigues me. So much so that this isn’t my first review of a book that deals with this subject matter. But whereas my first review was really more of a historic journey through the changes that fonts have undergone, this one is a visual guide that truly explains the differences and presents examples of why and how that particular typeface should be used. The Anatomy Of Type: A Graphic Guide To 100 Typefaces is definitely a handy, not-so-little book to have around.

Most people take them for granted. They neither know nor care how this font or that font came into being. Well, this book isn’t for them. It’s for me…well, me and people like me (I know it’s frightening to believe there are others similar to myself, but there are…we are legion). Yep, it’s for every introvert and bibliophile who loves books for more than the words on the page. Of course, it might be for you, too. That’s really up to you, isn’t it? Not sure if it’s right for you? Then allow me a moment to convince you.

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Book Review: Aldo’s Fantastical Movie Palace
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The Book Slave   |  
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Aldo's Fantastical Movie PalaceAldo’s Fantastical Movie Palace
Hardcover | Kindle Edition
By Jonathan Friesen
HarperCollins | Zondervan
Released Date: July 10, 2012

Jonathan Friesen‘s fourth novel, Aldo’s Fantastical Movie Palace (you can watch the trailer below), begins like this: Fourteen-year-old Chloe Lundeen has a scar. It’s a big, ugly scar given to her by her father, Crazy Ray, while testing out one of his many failed inventions. Her scar is the source of all her pain, from the kids at school who taunt her and call her Scarface, to the father whose guilt is so great that he can no longer bring himself to even look at his daughter.

The only solace in the world for Chloe is her great-grandpa Aldo’s movie theater, which she helps her mother run. She describes the movie theater as being a real New York City art deco building plopped in the middle of rural Minnesota. Chloe’s only friends are her cat and her grandpa Salvador, who has no trouble looking at her at all.

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Book Review: Dracula, My Love
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Darkeva   |  
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Dracula My LoveDracula, My Love
By Syrie James
HarperCollins
Release Date: July 20, 2010
Paperback | Paperback (discount*) | Kindle

If when you read Dracula by Bram Stoker you wished you could get into the head of one of the characters and get an intimate first-person account, then you’re in luck. Dracula, My Love is a revisionist novel that retells Stoker’s novel from the point of view of Mina Harker (neé Murray). The author, Syrie James, is no stranger to this subset of the historical fiction subgenre, having produced such novels as The Lost Memoirs of Charlotte Brontë and The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen. Through beautifully written prose, she tackles the chain of events in Dracula from Mina’s mind and presents what happened in a highly defined manner that gives new context to the original.

Thankfully, it’s not told in the epistolary format, through diary entries, or through newspaper clippings. Instead, the reader gets Mina’s recollections after the fact. Although there are some changes and additions to Mina and to her history, as well as the sequence of events, James hasn’t made too many departures from Stoker’s tale and she has, for the most part, lent a sense of discovery that fans will gobble up. She presents a fresh new look that considers many different angles.

Lucy’s sleepwalking problems are more drawn out in this novel, and a focal point of the plot. But if you’re expecting a lesbian makeout scene a la Francis Ford Coppola’s 1993 interpretation of Dracula, you won’t find it in this book.

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Book Review: How To Archer
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Henchman21   |  @   |  
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How to ArcherHow to Archer
The Ultimate Guide to Espionage and Style and Women and Also Cocktails Ever Written
Paperback | Kindle Edition
Written by Sterling Archer
HarperCollins/It Books
Release date: January 17, 2012
Price: $15.99

As Mel Brooks once said, “Merchandising!” You can’t be a successful anything these days unless you have a t-shirt, or a CD, or a book, or a million other knick-knacks for fans of the show to buy. Which is why we can now call FX’s Archer a successful show, due the release of How to Archer: The Ultimate Guide to Espionage and Style and Women and Also Cocktails Ever Written. The book is ostensibly written by series star Sterling Archer and explains how you too can become the world’s greatest covert agent. Or at least how to be the second best, because no one can be a better spy than Archer.

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