After Origin By Dan Brown I Can’t Wait For Robert Langdon #6

After Origin By Dan Brown I Can’t Wait For Robert Langdon #6

After Origin By Dan Brown I Can’t Wait For Robert Langdon #6, because unlike every other installment in the Langdon series, Origin did not sit well.

The payoff was not enough this time.

The character that became a modern-day Sherlock Holmes in Angels and Demons, Robert Langdon, is the linchpin of Dan Brown’s series that surround the professor with symbols, mysteries, murders, and two thrills, of the hunt or quest and the mortal danger held therein, and of the epic knowledge that comes out when the many secrets are revealed at the stories’ end.

I love the works of Dan Brown.

Rarely has education through entertainment been as intriguing, as puzzling, as revelatory as when The Holy Grail is besieged in The Da Vinci Code, or when myriad lives come so close to extinction in Inferno (Dante would have loved it).

And the character of Langdon drives the story in every book in the series, just as Holmes and Watson do in many of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s tales.

But that comparison reveals the biggest issue I had with Origin: the supporting cast were not even close to on par with Langdon or his previous comrades and nemeses.

Please comment and change my mind here; I love Dan Brown’s work and want to change my mind.

Langdon’s royalty alienating female sidekick takes a backseat early on in the story to an AI.

Let me repeat that for emphasis: an artificial intelligence created by a forty-year-old genius (Musk, meets Jobs, meets Gates, meets Einstein?) who is intriguing but . . .

MAJOR **SPOILER ALERT** to opening chapters to follow.

Origin, Dan Brown, Robert Langdon, book review, tff, da vinci code

. . . the character I was most invested in is killed to open the thriller. And an AI steps in to take his place and to largely supplant the female protagonist and the (at that point) clueless professor.

And yes, the book is thrilling, the suspense, the arc of grandiose mystery and conspiracy, they are all there.

The Fibonacci Sequence is also INCREDIBLY interesting!

So, you had me from the cover – I LOVE IT – and then you lost me while Langdon and his dame run from the murder scene for their lives guided by IBM’s Watson.

Maybe it is the decade or more of research into AI and being surrounded by quite a few people at times that are far more knowledgeable of the subject than I, some of them write semi-autonomous code to get robots to behave certain ways, that spoiled this novel for me.

Maybe it was having reread the classic Neuromancer by William Gibson shortly before I picked up Origin that put such a bad taste in my mouth, because the godfather of cyberpunk’s AI in the 1980’s was a lot more convincing and all-around interesting than Brown’s.

AI is mind blowing, in and of itself, and world changing, and it just felt all too happy to me as that luke-warm character became the fulcrum, even over Langdon, for periods of time.

Robert Langdon’s character should not take a backseat to anyone except his Moriarty or his Irene Adler, because Sherlock would be drawn and quartered before he let Lestrade become the focal point of the game.

The writing was as good or better than it has ever been for Brown.

And he has a tall task every time he continues the series: to match or outdo his previous Langdon stories.

But Dan Brown has pulled off the nearly impossible feat four times before! From Angels and Demons and on he did it . . . until now.

I expect a grandiose differentiating installment when or if Robert Langdon graces us in a sixth novel.

 

The Forgotten Fiction Grade: NAY (NAY! Skip it)


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“After Origin By Dan Brown I Can’t Wait For Robert Langdon #6” was written by R.J. Huneke

 

Dark Across The Bay By Ania Ahlborn Coming From Earthling

Dark Across The Bay By Ania Ahlborn Coming From Earthling

Dark Across The Bay By Ania Ahlborn Coming From Earthling Publications in a S/L edition befitting the thrilling new novel.

The Following TFF Preview Review Will Only Contain **Mild Spoilers** To The Initial Plot Of The Book’s Opening.

Dark Across The Bay, Ania Ahlborn, Earthling publications, fine press, horror, suspense

Best-selling author Ania Ahlborn takes a fractured family to a secluded vacation home where unnerving and horrific hauntings rattle the reader and the Parrishs alike, and then the stalking begins to slowly unravel everyone’s nerves.

Dark Across The Bay bleeds mysterious hints at insidiousness growing rampant, from the creepy island rental besieging the vulnerable family to the stalkers intruding on them.

Before a marriage can formally dissolve, or Lark and Leo can attempt to move on, everyone is brought to the beach house Airbnb off the coast of Raven’s Head, Maine, 1000 miles from their family home, for a weekend retreat.

The island has only the one house and only one way on or off its shores: by boat.

The expansive residence contains wonderful window views out onto foggy waters, but it seems to be off somehow.

It makes for a great setting, as everything from the building itself to its innards seem creepily askew.

It holds myriad secrets that are tucked away, like the odd nooks and hallways full of unsettling amounts of fishing paraphernalia and hidden corner cubbies full of shabby books.

And ‘Mom’ wants ‘family time’ to be devoid of cell phones in the house, and so the modern interconnectivity of the world and its people easily communicating is stoppered bringing further isolation at times. When the phones come to back to life it is alarming.

The characters are each well met in the story, and the relatable, familiar family interactions spark lots of memories of growing up.

You may not like each member of the Parrishs, but they are certainly all intriguing, from the nearly divorced parents almost certain of their fate, to their two children, who are young adults struggling through recent trauma.

Lark is a novice novelist, battling through a bad break-up, and her brother, Leo, is distanced from her (and everyone), as he aims to leave the grief of his best friend’s death behind with an escape to the shores of Thailand.

Ania Ahlborn brilliantly keeps the characters off balance, as well as the reader.

The seemingly discernable arcs of each of the characters become further and further confused as their sense of calm and, at times, outright sense of terror is ratcheted up in stark, unexpected ways.

Who would torment the family of four? Is it personal, and if so, why travel 1000 miles to dole out such cruel punishment? Are there any supernatural elements at play?

The prose is wonderfully written, painting clear, boisterous scenes with visceral jolts to the heart.

Suspense and old fashioned, yet modernized, and innovative mystery meets elements of horror in this fantastic phantasm of a tale.

Dark Across The Bay by Ania Ahlborn is an amazing work from one of speculative fiction’s brightest minds.

Dark Across The Bay, Ania Ahlborn, Earthling publications, fine press, horror, suspense

Her use of world building and literary prowess makes for one hell of a story, and Dark Across The Bay debuts on a fine press publisher with Signed and Limited editions from Earthling Publications.

There are 500 numbered, Smyth sewn, offset printed copies, signed by Ania Ahlborn and Josh Malerman, as well as 15 lettered, offset printed, tray-cased hardcovers, with both the book and the tray-case being hand-made using the finest materials, and signed by all contributors.

The gorgeous cover art and interior art is brought to us by renowned illustrator Vincent Chong, and the book contains an introduction from the author as well as best seller Josh Malerman (author of Bird Box and Goblin).

They still have copies available! Take a look here!

If you are not familiar with Earthling, they have made some of the finest hand-crafted editions of books, each with their own unique feel.

An all-time grail for this reviewer is Earthling’s lettered edition of The Hellbound Heart: 20th Anniversary Edition (2007) novella by Clive Barker, and I cannot wait to see what they have in store for the design of Dark Across The Bay by Ania Ahlborn.

hellbound heart, clive barker, lettered, earthling

We already know the cover art from Vincent Chong is outstanding.

We will conduct a more in-depth review after the book is released, going further into the novel and into the book edition.

But for now this has to be one of the most eagerly awaited suspense and horror books coming this year, and our rating is:

The Forgotten Fiction Grade: YEA (read it! buy it here)


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“Dark Across The Bay By Ania Ahlborn Coming From Earthling” was written by R.J. Huneke

Cemetery Dance Limited Edition AGE NIGHT SHIFT By Stephen King

Cemetery Dance Limited Edition AGE NIGHT SHIFT By Stephen King

Cemetery Dance Limited Edition AGE Night Shift By Stephen King is a deserving fine press production of the author’s first collection of short stories, and there are two added bonus shorts included that were not published by the Doubleday edition!

The short stories are all extraordinary and many are wholly groundbreaking for what horror could evolve to be.

Better put, Sai King’s stories hit on so many different levels and are so impactful that many traditional views of literary prowess were thrown out of the window screaming.

Most of these stories were originally published as stand-alone pieces in men’s magazines.

One exception is the very first story Stephen King got paid for, “The Glass Floor,” that was originally published in the Autumn 1967 issue of Startling Mystery Stories.

That and the introduction in the Bonus section of CD’s Night Shift, alone, is worth the price of admission.

Cemetery Dance Night Shift SPOILERS ahead*

To hear the writer talk about his experience getting rejections and receiving that first check is just remarkable.

This review will touch on two of the short stories held within and give an in-depth look at the small press production of the book itself, the limited deluxe Artist Gift Edition of Night Shift, masterfully produced by Cemetery Dance Publications.

And we will look at two of the weirdest and most fun shorts!

Enter “The Lawnmower Man.”

Cemetery Dance Limited Edition AGE Night Shift, Night Shift, stephen king, chris odgers, Cemetery Dance, fine press

Easily as strange and hilarious and horrific a tale as can be constructed on ancient mythic gods and modern civilization’s obsession with keeping the home’s grass meticulously tended, “The Lawnmower Man” offers mystery, suspense, humor, and an otherworldly sense of dreaming while awake.

How or why someone decided to make a movie using the title alone and throwing out the insanity of the nude grass gobbling antagonist that makes the story is beyond all rational thought, but it happened.

This story proved that like Lovecraft and Poe, King could touch on ancient gods of yore, or wholly make up his own mythology in the modern world, and the charm of it all comes down to the characters caught within.

To date, I can think of no other story remotely like “The Lawnmower Man” – one of the highest compliments I give.

The next work is another favorite of mine that was touched on by TFF before in the One Of Us review, here: “I Am The Doorway.”

Cemetery Dance Limited Edition AGE Night Shift, Night Shift, stephen king, chris odgers, Cemetery Dance, fine press

Another innovative tale is spawned circa the Space Race to the moon and beyond.

It merges science-fiction and the macabre in a painfully realistic manner.

Why does realism come to mind?

Space seems to be a lifeless void and a quiet vacuum, but the reaches outside the earth’s atmosphere are the truest unknown.

The astronaut here recalls little of his voyage to Venus that might note any apparent cause for his current murderous predicament.

But it is the only explanation.

Unlike so many sci-fi voyages and tales, Stephen King attaches the things beyond human understanding.

What could be more terrifying than intelligent entities, that manifest themselves like alien spores, a disease, or a parasite, in the form of eyes that continue to sprout from the searing, itching fingers of their space traveling host.

We cannot send life into space, but that does not mean that rabid rabies-like pathogens, or non-carbon-based life forms cannot live there, cannot hunt there for a way onto the earth to feed.

The astronaut is their doorway to the earth, and as far-fetched as that terrifying premise may seem, its sheer plausibility is solidified in that we cannot for sure say that the Eyes outside Venus’ atmosphere are an impossibility.

Truth be told, I would have loved to hear more about the astronaut in space in the story, but what King leaves to the imagination has me thinking about this one as I reread it again and again, shivering and itching between my thumb and forefinger.

All of the varying dark and spectacular shorts – from “Jerusalem’s Lot” to “Children of the Corn” to “Weeds” (the last bonus story in the volume) – are worth rereading and enjoying alongside the stunning artwork of Chris Odgers in CD’s Night Shift AGE.

For the $95 price-point CD’s Night Shift AGE gets an 11/10 score.

Cemetery Dance Limited Edition AGE Night Shift, Night Shift, stephen king, chris odgers, Cemetery Dance, fine press

Limited to just 3000 books, each of the short stories feature well thought out and deeply impactful original art from Chris Odgers, and they stand out in the oversized deluxe design of 7 X 10 inches.

The faux leather brown of the book and the matching slipcase make the green and gold foil stamping really pop, as does the offset two color interior printing, and the thick, quality paper.

Cemetery Dance Limited Edition AGE Night Shift, Night Shift, stephen king, chris odgers, Cemetery Dance, fine press

There are many bonus materials deservingly given to this book, a piece of literary history, including:

  • a foreword by Stephen King
  • an introduction by John D. MacDonald
  • a brand new afterword by Stewart O’Nan
  • two bonus stories (“The Glass Floor” and “Weeds”) that have never appeared in any edition anywhere in the world

And as CD’s Night Shift Artist Gift Edition is meant to highlight the tales with the paired art, the black and white illustrations are fine art that perfectly encompass the respective works being emanated to strong and stark imagery.

The Forgotten Fiction Grade: YEA (read it!)


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“Cemetery Dance Limited Edition AGE NIGHT SHIFT By Stephen King” was written by R.J. Huneke

 

 

Upcoming Suntup S/L’s: The Silence Of The Lambs & The Wolfen

Upcoming Suntup S/L’s: The Silence Of The Lambs & The Wolfen

Suntup’s upcoming S/L: The Silence Of The Lambs & The Wolfen, signed by Thomas Harris and Whitley Strieber, respectively, highlight genre-defining literary moments with moving art and a design tone that make each of the books’ three editions stand apart.

This is a Spoiler-free Preview of the latest author-signed titles from Suntup Editions.

We will wait to review the stories and the facets of the different limited states, in detail, until after the Suntup editions of the novels come out, but it is worth looking at the exciting flair and literary soul that these two gems offer up in their overall design aesthetic and their stirring illustrations.

suntup, suntup editions, silence of the lambs, hannibal, the wolfen

Because the ARCs of these two beauties are out in the wild, we can briefly review the sneak peak pb’s, if you will.

We are privileged to bring an inside look into the ARC for the Thomas Harris masterpiece The Silence Of The Lambs.

The story ends after 365 pages in this heavy and gorgeously crafted paperback.

As a thank you, Suntup Editions gave their loyal readers, they offered this Gift SOTL ARC, with the reader’s name in it, for free to all who had placed a number of orders over the year; it is truly remarkable.

suntup, suntup editions, silence of the lambs, hannibal, the wolfen

This cover of The Silence Of The Lambs Gift ARC features the Artist Edition slipcase artwork, a stunning representation of the death’s head moth on a gray backdrop.

What never ceases to amaze is that Suntup ARCs are made of a better quality than many a trade paperback sold for retail.

The bright white paper is quality, as is the layout, and of course, the incredible illustrations by Tom Bagshaw.

Each of the three states of the book will have their own motif that captures the spirit of the writing and also works off of the editions of The Red Dragon By Thomas Harris that Suntup made previously.

This is no easy feat and finding a truly innovative, thought-provoking, and moving artist for each work is equally marvelous.

The art that Tom Bagshaw has done for this book is truly special.

The greatness of the story warrants art of this caliber and each piece delivers.

suntup, clarice, suntup editions, silence of the lambs, hannibal, the wolfen

Here is a Preview of The Wolfen signed by author Whitley Strieber and the accompanying art portfolio.

I know little of the story, but a New York City-bound detective thrill ride after a new species of werewolf is the type of noir-horror genre-bender that captures my attention.

And I have no doubt, as with all other Paul Suntup selections, that this book will be quite enjoyable on the fiction front.

We will review it with a Yea or Nay after it is out.

What I am very familiar with is the artist François Vaillancourt’s great work on many novels.

François Vaillancourt, suntup, suntup editions, silence of the lambs, hannibal, the wolfen

Take a look at the illustrations François has created for this incredible book!

There are no words.

The snarling wolves! The snow-spatter! The Brooklyn Bridge? The detailed buildings and backgrounds and shadows!

And accompanying them even the slipcase and traycase and wooden case for each edition is as gritty as the pieces for the book!

suntup, suntup editions, silence of the lambs, hannibal, the wolfen

These Suntup Editions of The Wolfen are going to be deep-rooted horror, thrilling, and impactful.

And with the bevy of astonishing artwork there is an accompanying Art Portfolio available, limited to 300.

The Art Portfolio and the Artist Edition of The Wolfen are still available at Suntup’s site here!

Suntup’s art prints are among the best there are, and TFF will review the Portfolio along with the editions when they come out, as the fiction is given an extra amount of livelihood with this kind of brilliant art and design.

My biggest critique of these books – and it is a big one – is that I have to wait to get the limited editions now; but that is not the publisher’s fault.

So buckle up, hone your favorite fava beans recipes and replace your claw-marked clothes, because the two newest author-signed editions from Suntup promise to set the bar ever higher, and they will hit us all too soon in the coming months.

 

P.S. I want to personally thank Paul Suntup for such a generous and beautiful gift in the ARC of SOTL. It means a lot.

 

“Suntup’s Upcoming S/L: The Silence Of The Lambs & The Wolfen” was written by R.J. Huneke; Illustrations for The Wolfen © by François Vaillancourt and for Silence of the Lambs ©Tom Bagshaw and Photography of The Wolfen by Yegor Malinovskii for Suntup Editions.

The Forgotten Fiction ANNOUNCEMENT SCHEDULE 3-2021 To 8-2021

The Forgotten Fiction ANNOUNCEMENT SCHEDULE 3-2021 To 8-2021

The Forgotten Fiction ANNOUNCEMENT SCHEDULE 3-2021 To 6-2021: we are going keep TFF’s Eager Readers up to snuff with all of the happenings, from book reviews, to guest reviewers, to giveaway contests, to Rune Works reader-inspired creations.

BIG THINGS Coming To TFF!

Seeing how TFF has grown immensely in just a few short months and less than a year since its launch, I want to thank you all for your support and shared enthusiasm for all that we love as bibliophiles.


ANNOUNCEMENT SCHEDULE 3-2021 To 8-2021

 

  • March 30, 2021 @ 12pm EST

    • TFF Book Giveaway Contest Is Announced & Opened To Enter Free

  • April 5, 2021 @ 1pm EST

    • TFF Livestream & Giveaway Contest Drawing

  • April 28, 2021 @ 1pm EST

    • TFF Book Giveaway Contest Is Announced & Opened To Enter Free

  • May 4, 2021 @ 1pm EST

    • TFF Livestream & Giveaway Contest Drawing

  • May 26, 2021 @ 1pm EST

    • TFF Book Giveaway Contest Is Announced & Opened To Enter Free

  • June 1, 2021 @ 1pm EST

    • TFF Livestream & Giveaway Contest Drawing

  • June 30, 2021 @ 1pm EST

    • TFF Book Giveaway Contest Is Announced & Opened To Enter Free

  • July 6, 2021 @ 1pm EST

    • TFF Livestream & Giveaway Contest Drawing

  • July 28, 2021 @ 1pm EST

    • TFF Book Giveaway Contest Is Announced & Opened To Enter Free

  • August 3, 2021 @ 1pm EST

    • TFF Livestream & Giveaway Contest Drawing

  • August 25, 2021 @ 1pm EST

    • TFF Book Giveaway Contest Is Announced & Opened To Enter Free


And so we will be doing a monthly livestream, via Facebook Live, and in that brief time I will share news for upcoming book reviews and RW Cases or other creations, as well as finish each session with a drawing to choose a winner for a free giveaway contest.

What did I just say?!

Well, yeah, every month there will be a free to enter TFF Giveaway Contest taking place the week before the livestream.

I love reading, and TFF will be spreading the love!

stephen king signature, traycase, Custom Book Case, custom slipcase, hand-made, Dolso, the stand, stephen king, bernie wrightson, trashcan man

The prizes will get better and better – wait until you see this month’s contest! – and most often there will be a choice for the winner (or winners, when we mix it up) to choose from so that if we are giving away books you can hopefully get something you do not have.

Quite a few brilliant authors are interested in writing book reviews on all sorts of fiction.

I spoke briefly last week on Elizabeth Yoo’s upcoming reviews of 1960’s Italian fiction that she will blow us away with, but so much more than that is on the horizon, and since I love almost every type of fiction out there, from horror and sci-fi to historical fiction, there will always be a fun variety to peruse.

So in this site’s NEWS section I will post a TFF Quarterly ANNOUNCEMENT SCHEDULE and I will feature them in a pulldown from the site menu under NEWS too.

What is coming up?

stephen king signature, traycase, Custom Book Case, custom slipcase, hand-made, Dolso, the stand, stephen king, bernie wrightson, trashcan man

Well, besides the monthly contests, I will pick a book of the month that either was or is going to be reviewed during the livestream – a teaser, if you will – and I would like to start some Q/A time too (maybe not every time), but I will play that by ear. I love to live in the moment, so we will see where things take us.

Coming up next in book reviews…

In no particular order, except that CD’s NIGHT SHIFT by Stephen King is almost certainly next, here are the book-newcomers to The Forgotten Fiction magazine:

  • NIGHT SHIFT by Stephen King – Cemetery Dance Gift Edition
  • Ready Player One By Ernest Cline – Lettered Edition By Curious King Books
  • Seed By Ania Ahlborn – Numbered Edition By Suntup Editions
  • Crackle and Fire: An Angela Hardwicke Mystery By Russ Colchamiro – By Crazy 8 Press
  • Alice By Lewis Carroll – Numbered Edition by Amaranthine Books
  • Later By Stephen King – Numbered Edition By Hard Case Crime
  • A Scanner Darkly By Philip K. Dick – Suntup Editions Numbered and Artist Editions
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury – Suntup Editions Numbered and Artist Editions
  • More Books by Michael Crichton – requests are open, folks!
  • The End Of Eternity By Isaac Asimov (and pictures of a rare first edition)
  • The Time Machine, The Invisible Man, and The War Of The Worlds, all By H.G. Wells – all Suntup Edition’s Limited Numbered
  • Killer Come Back To Me the unpublished Ray Bradbury book celebrating Bradbury’s 100th birthday by Hard Case Crime

There will be many books that pop up and wedge there way in between the ones above, but these are some of the fiction titles, young and old, to look forward to.

Branching off of both The Forgotten Fiction and my fledgling production company, press and PR agency Rune Works Productions Ltd. are the literary creations crafted by hand in my woodshop, like the TFF Rune Works Book Cases.

Call them traycases, slipcases, or whatever else you want, but do not call them mass produced haha.

These are beloved creations that I have hand crafted for my own library, art to hold my most precious art.

I am busy working on these RW Rare Book Cases:

  • A one-of-a-kind SILENCE OF THE LAMBS 2021 ARC case for the winner of the Unofficial Fans Of Suntup group’s contest, Kyle – this will be a 1 / 1 and like nothing anyone has ever seen
  • THE STAND Case With Licensed Bernie Wrightson Art – for UK and for US 1st printings
  • SECRET Case Project [hint: horror and Ania Ahlborn]
  • CARRIE 1st Edition case
  • FAHRENHEIT 451 case
  • The Gunslinger case
  • The Long Walk case
  • “The Bachman Books” case
  • “Gunslinger” Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction cases
  • A I of I creation customized for an issue of Astounding Fiction from 1953
  • Startling Mystery 1967 and 1969 Case
  • Fight Club cases, with a strip of cartoon film?
  • A Scanner Darkly case for the first edition of Philip K. Dick’s classic
  • Revival Us First Edition for signed copies
  • End Of Watch Us First Edition for signed copies
  • If It Bleeds Us First Edition for signed copies
  • The End Of Eternity Isaac Asimov case
  • And even a non-book case for a rare Star Wars Lego piece!

There are a couple of cases I want to remain a secret for now.

stephen king signature, traycase, Custom Book Case, custom slipcase, hand-made, Dolso, the stand, stephen king, bernie wrightson, trashcan man

These are some ambitious projects that I have undertaken and some will be ready to fly in the near future, while others may take a year or more to develop (some have already crossed into this realm).

These are handmade and planned and collaborated on with usually one person, me, or a very few others, at times.

That takes time.

But I love to make them and I love to see their purpose fulfilled as the books join with them, and much as time is one of our most precious commodities, up there with family and health, I take my time to ensure the quality I feel all of my work, from my written works to my web-made to my hand-made works all are the most they can be.

Be kind to one another, be safe, and go read!

 

Best,

 

~R.J.H.