Fan Movie Fun – The Hunt for Gollum

I caught the end of a television show about fan films a few nights ago. I did not realize that this was such a phenomenon, but apparently it is! The show discussed several films quickly, but I wanted to find out more. I’m a huge fan of the LotR books and films. I almost ran off to New Zealand when they were being filmed. So of course I had to check out this fan film: The Hunt of Gollum.


The production value in this movie is amazing, especially when compared to the official films. While the plot may be confusing to anyone not familiar with LotR, the actors are well cast to look like those from Peter Jackson’s version. The voices are spot-on, especially Gollum. Even the music manages to echo that of the trilogy without quite copying its themes. At only 40 minutes in length, it’s worth a look for any fan of Tolkien and the film versions of LotR.

Check out the trailer and then the short film over at youtube.



I have some random links for everyone today!


Here is an article on discussing the recent 2015 Eisner awards and how comics are becoming more diverse in many ways.

I have several book reviews that went up over on Book Spot Central in the last few months. In case you missed them over there, they are:

Yesterday’s Kin by Nancy Kress

ApocalyptiGirl: An Aria for the End Times (graphic novel) by Andrew MacLean

Shattering the Ley by Joshua Palmatier

Fool’s Assassin by Robin Hobb


Looking for a Few Reviewers

Is anyone out there interested in becoming a book reviewer? I’m looking for a handful of new reviewers over at Book Spot Central for genre novels. The site covers mainly fantasy and science fiction, but books with some mystery or romance elements are fine. You can also review graphic novels.

Benefits include the ability to get a Net Galley account where you can find e-book advance review copies of the latest books. If you may be interested, fill out the form below explaining why you want to write book reviews and a link to anything similar that you’ve written (or paste it into the other box if it isn’t available online).

Ken Liu Giveaway at Fantasy Scroll Mag

Hey, my friends over at Fantasy Scroll Mag are having a giveaway for Ken Liu’s first novel, The Grace of Kings. One prize is a signed copy of the book!

Other prizes in the giveaway package include a two-year subscription to the magazine and the Year One anthology e-book. It’s easy to enter, and you can make multiple entries. Check it out here:

Fantasy Scroll Mag Giveaway!

New Fantasy Short Fiction

I have a new short story that just came out at the end of October! It takes place in one of my favorite settings, the City in the Tower. A mysterious Master rules over the population while an ancient battle rages in the snow fields outside. Seretia is a windsinger, a practice forbidden in the City, but one that is valuable to the Master. When faced with a crippling decision, she has no alternative but to seek out the truth behind the Master’s war.

Find Winter Into Spring in the October 2014 issue of Outposts of Beyond from Alban Lake Publishing.


Book Review – Magic Teacher’s Son

Magic Teacher’s Son
Book 1 of The Magician’s Gold Series
By David Harten Watson
Pen-L Publishing 2014

In the debut novel by David Harten Watson, we are introduced to the land of Eldor, a place that contains both familiar and fresh elements of the fantastic. The magic worked by the characters is a creative invention, with just enough rules and structure to prevent a free-for-all of spell-slinging. White magic must be powered by either silver or gold, with spells of longer duration or greater power requiring gold. In opposition to this, sorcery uses bones, blood, or the death of a living creature to fuel its effects.

MagicTeachersSonFrontCover-200Pran is the magic teacher’s son of the title, studying in a one-room schoolhouse outside the village of White River Junction. The novel opens as Pran sneaks out of his home to participate in a Circle of Sorcery, at which neighborhood hooligans gather to practice illicit black magic. Accompanied by his friends, Pran watches Sekar, the leader of the circle, as the teen summons a fire nymph for demonstration. Despite the allure, Pran avoids performing any sorcery himself and manages to escape the ridicule of the older boys.

Pran’s home realm of Eldor is at war with Marakna, a place where sorcery is commonplace. While his older brother is a Magician in the Eldorean Army, the conflict itself has little effect on Pran’s day-to-day life. However, after a chance encounter with a traveling Truthseeker, Pran learns that a terrifying prophecy has just come to light. Within a week, all of Eldor’s gold will vanish, leaving the country powerless to defend itself against the Maraknese sorcerers and possible invasion. Pran has been designated to lead a quest to return some amount of gold to Eldor by traveling with three others to the legendary realm of Earth. As with most prophecies, there are hints and riddles, but not enough guidelines to make the quest a comfortable process.

The first volume of this series follows Pran’s quest to discover his companions and find his way to Earth. David Harten Watson describes this world with prose that is straight-forward, while capturing a true feel for the interplay between teenage characters. The military structure of the magical army was an outstanding touch that allowed the battle scenes to unfold with clarity. Pran is a likeable hero, and this book was a joy to read. It’s about overcoming challenges, friendship and trust, making choices, and protecting your home. Magic Teachers’ Son is a solid introduction to the world that the author has crafted, and I’ll be looking for the next book in this marvelous series.

This Sounds Cool!

Here’s another one. I really like the artwork on the cover and the blurb sounds intriguing.

Stolen by K.A. Krisko. $3.99 from
There are strange beings in the woods, and young Rioletta Eris has seen them. Many doubt her story, but Rioletta eventually realizes she has opened the door to a secret history. For a century, the Councils have relied on their charter to save them from the disaster that ruined their cities. Have they been on the wrong path all along?

Book Review – Darkwalker

by E. L. Tettensor
Roc (2013)
360 pages

Cover_DarkwalkerIn Darkwalker, debut novelist E. L. Tettensor brings us a solid introduction to the character of Inspector Nicolas Lenoir and the fantasy world he inhabits. Based on the front cover subtitle: A Nicholas Lenoir Novel, I expect that there are more volumes forthcoming. However, this initial offering can certainly be read and enjoyed on its own, as it is a complete story with only a few unresolved threads at the end.

At first glance, the book appears to follow the formula of many detective novels, being told from the point-of-view of the hard-working but green sidekick, Sergeant Bran Kody. A child’s corpse has been stolen from a village graveyard, but the Inspector quickly deduces that there are insufficient clues to track down the missing body.

Through the first few chapters, it becomes apparent that while Sergeant Kody admires Inspector Lenoir’s intellect, this attitude is not reciprocated. The Inspector is both arrogant and uncaring, and this jaded attitude frustrates his young assistant. However, author Tettensor deftly switches the viewpoint to show us a glimpse of humanity in the man. Haunted by events of the past, the once legendary Inspector spends his evenings falling into an alcoholic stupor. While he still garners some respect with the rest of the Metropolitan Police, his best days may be behind him.

A second child’s corpse is stolen, but this still does little to pique Lenoir’s interest. He asks questions and travels to the village where this occurred, as his job requires, but finds no substantial leads. While Sergeant Kody continues to work on the case, the Inspector visits Lady Zera’s salon and socializes with the upper class of the city of Kennian until late at night. The Inspector dreads to sleep because he has nightmares of the Darkwalker, a spirit with absinthe green eyes that nearly killed him a decade ago and may still pursue him.

As a favor to Lady Zera, Inspector Lenoir tries to discover the source of some unpleasant rumors about the hostess. When he checks in with Zach, a street urchin who serves as one of his informants, Lenoir learns that the boy disappeared with a stranger earlier that day. With Zach being of the same age as the missing corpses, the Inspector deduces that there may be a connection between the stolen bodies and Zach’s abduction. With the boy’s life at risk, he feels guilty for involving the kid and is finally inspired to take action.

Through the rest of the novel, the story explores the Adali, an outcast and migrant race shunned by many in the Five Villages, the nobility of Kennian, and necromancy and vengeance. The plot kept me interested, and there was real danger to the characters, as well as intriguing magic.

Overall, this was a quick and easy read, with an unexpected and satisfying conclusion. In her first novel, E. L. Tettensor has crafted a solid blend of detective fiction and fantasy, and the best thing about it was that was fun to read.

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