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Black Gate 4

Review Roundup

With summer waning, I wanted to take a moment to provide thumbnail reviews of things many of you should find of interest.

 

DVD

Rome - Pretty much a must-see for any fan of sword-and-sorcery or historical fiction. As far as I’m concerned, the two genres are closely related, and I’m sure a fan of either will be a fan of this.Not for the faint-of-heart due to sex and violence… but extremely well written and acted. The story arcs get more and more compelling the deeper into the series you watch. I haven’t been this caught up in a TV series since a friend loaned me the Firefly boxed set.

 

BOOKS

 

Blood of Ambrose – It should come as no small wonder that I enjoyed James Enge’s first Morlock novel. I’ve been a fan of his work since his first appearance in Black Gate. Good stuff, brimming with brilliant world building, witty characters, and swordplay and foul sorcery.

 

Bill Ward and I are planning an in-depth look at some of the fine work coming out from the Warhammer game publisher, and I wanted to provide a sneak peek of the goodness we found within.

 

Blackhearts Ominbus – I’m halfway through Nathan Long’s collection and have loved every minute of it. A dirty dozen type series in a fantasy land, with flawed but likable characters, fabulous pacing, and great action sequences. I have the suspicion that the rest of it will hold up just as well.

 

Eisenhorn Omnibus– Dan Abnett wasn’t satisfied with creating a fabulous lead character in an action-packed space opera; he sendt him to fantastic places and provides a series of detective/investigative stories full of logical turns, surprises, and plenty of action.

 

Witch Hunter Omnibus – I finally got to read C. L. Werner’s first two Mathias Thulman books, full of Gothic menace and brooding castles. I would never have guessed that I would be rooting for a witch hunter, but Werner pulls it off, and delivers plenty of surprises along the way.

 

GAMING

 

Mongoose Games has a license for Traveller, and the core book and first supplements (High Guard and Traders and Gunboats) have been well-handled. I look forward to seeing what more they have planned.

 

Cortex System Role Playing Game, from Margaret Weis games, is the engine behind their Firefly game. It’s a slim, elegant-looking system, and will be reviewed in-depth in the next issue of Black Gate.

 

Goodman Games has a new magazine, Level Up, that seems at least partly inspired by the original Dragon. Adventures and articles on game play and character interaction are included within. We’ll be reviewing in-depth next issue, but my initial impression is one of delight.

 

Howard Andrew Jones

Comments

Margaret Weiss

Only one s.
Thanks, corrected.
BLOOD OF AMBROSE FTW, as they say. I, too, have been a fan of Enge's work through Black Gate, and picked up a copy of Blood of Ambrose at WisCon this year. ATE IT UP! Talked about it here: http://csecooney.livejournal.com/96488.html

Cool post! Makes me want to see Rome.

(Anonymous)

"Rome" is pure awesome; I've watched it a couple of times this year. Myself, I *really* wish someone would make an Alexander the Great mini-series with the same quality on HBO or Showtime!

--Scott Oden