Michael Tierney Featured at “Illustrated Arkansas: The Art of Comics”

On View ~ October 14, 2022–January 28, 2023
Underground Gallery, Galleries & Bookstore at Library Square, CALS Roberts Library

The Illustrated Arkansas exhibition features artists living and working in the state who have created or contributed to print or digital comics and graphic novels. The exhibition will represent a wide range of illustration styles and media of the comics art form.

CALS is excited to display the artwork of graphic artists and spotlight their efforts in the creation of comics and graphic novels in all their forms.

Michael Tierney’s Wild Stars and work on Beyond the Farthest Star have been showcased at the Underground Gallery, Galleries & Bookstore at Library Square in downtown Little Rock.

News for September 2022

I haven’t had time to really post here in the last several days because SO much has been going on!

On the things to do list:

  • Second Round Edits for Summer 2023
  • Mail out and finish fulfillment of Mongoose & Meerkat Volume 2
  • Setup pre-orders for Mongoose & Meerkat Volume 3
  • Get all of the 2023 art solicits out
  • Start reading the stories we’ve already gotten for Mighty Sons of Hercules
  • Setup pre-order for Mighty Sons of Hercules
  • Figure out where to squeeze in future and forthcoming projects by Cirsova’s “Big Three” [Jim Breyfogle, Misha Burnett, and Michael Tierney]
  • Two other things that I wish I could talk about but I can’t [some secrets must be kept…]

As you can see, I’ve got my work cut out for me, and even working on things absolutely non-stop I can’t help but feel like I’m falling behind.

Other things I’ve had going on…

  • I’ve become a bit of an impromptu regular on the LCS Guys show, since no other LCS Guys except for Michael Tierney have been able to make it on for months now. Last Friday, we talked about a number of things, including how terrible Ingram is! [it’s not just happening to me, RJ shares his own horror stories]
  • Tangent finally got around to reviewing the Summer issue. Maybe they’ll get around to reviewing the Fall soon? If you have reviewed an issue of Cirsova, let us know! We’ll point to your post. Also, we really need more pull quote copy for the hardcover flaps. I’ve gotten a little lazy and re-used the same copy from the last few installments, but it would be easier if we got more reviews!

Kickstarter Updates! An Atlas of Bad Roads and Mongoose & Meerkat

The books arrived middle of last week.

Misha Burnett’s An Atlas of Bad Roads is packed and ready to go. We’re mailing it in two batches this week.

After that, we’ll work on manually fulfilling the international orders.

Then we’ll make the digital stuff available.

Similarly, I’ll be boxing up Jim Breyfogle’s Mongoose & Meerkat this week.

Then I’ll fulfill international orders.

Then I’ll make the digital stuff available.

If you missed the Kickstarter for An Atlas of Bad Roads, you can pre-order the ebook now.

Space Gals and Furry Pals: A review of Library of the Sapphire Wind by Jane Lindskold

Our reviews section spilled over and we didn’t have enough space to review all of the books Baen sent us in the magazine, so we’re running a couple of them here! Be sure to pick up the Fall Issue out now in Softcover, Hardcover, and eBook! The issue currently out has J. Comer’s review of Pournelle’s Janissaries series.

     The late Ursula K. Le Guin authored A Wizard of Earthsea, The Left Hand of Darkness and more than sixty other books. While her SF and fantasy are her legacy, Le Guin also penned her share of nonfiction. In her essay “The Space Crone,”[1] she imagines an older woman (rather than the usual men and boys) as the ideal ambassador to other worlds, as she would know more of human existence. “Into the space ship, Granny,” she urged.

     Jane Lindskold took apart the ‘crazy cat lady’ stereotype in the Man-Kzin tale, “Two Kinds of Teeth,” and she takes Le Guin’s idea and flies with it in Library Of The Sapphire Wind. Three old ladies attending a book club find themselves drawn by magic into a world peopled by anthropomorphic animal-folk (“furries”) and sent on a quest for the eponymous library aboard a flying ship. This author is fond of animal characters, as evidenced by her Firekeeper Saga and its wolves, but her furries are remarkably tasteful. At the library, the old ladies and their furry pals explore the ruined setting, battle the local monsters, and begin to find both wisdom and atonement for the misdeeds of their parents. The humans must be concealed. At a desert necropolis, the story unfolds further. We learn of a missing child, and a long-broken artifact, and a deal. The adventuring party returns to the Library, fights a huge battle, and… The story ends. Huh?

     The story has some issues.  The dramatic tension of teleporting the three heroes into a world without prescription medication, special diets, or therapy is resolved too quickly.  Humans can breathe the air, eat the food, even smoke the ‘weeds’ of an alien planet? Really?  The old-lady heroes are promising but not well developed as characters. And the ending of the novel (which is part of the “Over Where” series) is much too abrupt. This book might appeal to readers of second-world fantasy with furries taking the place of elves and gnomes. I can imagine reading it to kids at bedtime or in classroom storytime, but it needs a stronger ending (perhaps the next book will address this).

     A Facebook meme that has been current across the last five years pays homage to the space crone. It goes, “I’d read the hell out of a series of [books about] a chosen eighty-five-year-old woman who goes on epic journeys throughout a dangerous and magical land, armed only with a cane and her stab-tastic knitting needles, accompanied by her six cats and a skittish-yet-devoted orderly who makes sure she takes her pills on time.”  When I opened Sapphire Wind, I was expecting this, more or less. If I didn’t get it, well, I still like Lindskold’s writing, furries and all. Hoping for more adventures in the “Over Where” from Lindskolsd.    

[1] In Dancing At The Edge Of The World (Grove Press, 1989)

The Little Corporal’s Legacy: A Review of A Call to Insurrection by David Weber, Timothy Zahn, and Thomas Pope

Our reviews section spilled over and we didn’t have enough space to review all of the books Baen sent us in the magazine, so we’re running a couple of them here! Be sure to pick up the Fall Issue out now in Softcover, Hardcover, and eBook! The issue currently out has J. Comer’s review of Pournelle’s Janissaries series.

     One hundred and eighty-six years after his death on St Helena, Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor of the French, is still a household name. While the Duke of Wellington defeated Napoleon at Waterloo, Horatio Nelson remains a more distant romantic figure.[1]  It was a veteran of the Napoleonic Wars, Frederic Marryat, who pioneered the genre of nautical fiction.[2] In later years, meticulous research alternated with sheer melodrama in the works of numerous nautical writers.[3] One favorite is the “Horatio Hornblower” series by Cecil Smith (“C.S. Forester”), later made into movies and a TV series about the Nelson-like hero. Numerous SF authors have paid homage to Hornblower, including Leo Frankowski and David Feintuch, but perhaps the best-known of these Hornblower-in-space series is David Weber’s Honor Harrington. Honor, a gal from the kingdom of Manticore (space Britain), enlists in the Navy, has many adventures with her alien treecat, and ends up a stateswoman, admiral, and diplomat. Harrington proved so successful (fourteen novels and counting) that Weber expanded the series, including novels about Honor’s ancestor Stephanie Harrington and her colleagues. Call to Insurrection is in this latter series.[4]

     And it’s hard to follow without having read the rest of the series (which this reviewer has not done). A nobleman’s family dies in a horrific drunken “accident,” and a character investigates. There is a succession crisis among space Germans (who speak twentieth-century German in the forty-first century[5]) and rebellion which threatens worlds. Someone is killing people in graphic detail aboard the space-German ship. There is a missing heir…or is there? The Germans fight a well-written space battle which was a real pleasure to read. They win, and the Emperor of the space-Germans gets married. It’s obvious that there will be a sequel…

     …and the reviewer scratches his head.  The writing is good, and the storylines are well-drawn, though they don’t really converge.  The characters are not striking, save for Chomps the detective, whom this reviewer liked.  The huge battle at the end is finely-drawn action, but… it’s a Napoleonic sea battle.  And there, the heir of Marryat took this reader out of the story. This was surprising, since the silly rollicking action of Grossman and Frankowski was simply fun.  The present reviewer could merely scratch his head and go huh?

     The reviewer really wanted to like this book, since Weber aided Alex Pournelle in finishing the Janissaries series after Jerry Pournelle’s death.  It’s not a bad novel, honestly, and its authors are professionals.  Its problem is that it’s not a good one.  It’s a shame that its action could not keep this reader’s attention.  The reviewer would be willing to read other work by these authors.    

[1] A readable introduction to this man and his most important battle is Nelson’s Trafalgar by Roy Adkins.

[2] The ur-tale is the Odyssey, of course, but Marryat’s Mr Midshipman Easy contains all the elements of modern nautical fiction: the young middie and his adventures in the Napoleonic era, his rise through the navy and through society’s ranks, a dark-eyed lass whom he woos and weds. Midshipman Easy, and the dark horse of the novel, Mesty the prince-turned-slave, continue to inspire writers even today. Easy rises through the ranks with the help of his pal, and ends up a landed gentleman; Marryat’s humor and wordplay make the novel a pleasant read despite stereotypes and dialect writing.  The curious can find this neglected work at https://gutenberg.org/files/21553/21553-h/21553-h.htm

[3] This reviewer considers the novels of Richard Russ (“Patrick O’Brian”) to be examples of how to write nautical fiction and the work of Dudley Pope to be examples of how not to do so.

[4] Yes, it’s a novel about a friend of the ancestor of the main character.

[5] I may simply be persnickety about this, but Weber has got to know that the Spanish of Borges was Silver Age Latin, two thousand years back.

Cirsova Fall Issue Available Now in eBook!

The physical versions of the Fall Issue have been out for awhile, but now that it’s the 15th, the eBook is out too!

The Impossible Footprint
Daredevil Dylal O’Lal desires the impossible: to put his footprint on the surface of the sun! Though most insist it cannot be done, the existence of a young woman who proves to be wholly impervious to flames suggests his ultimate feat is achievable!

Orphan of the Shadowy Moons (Part 3)
Having escaped enslavement at Arendahj and returned to the Teluchi Islands, Strazis has before him the momentous task of leading a war of liberation! Many rally to Strazis’ cause but his old foe Eirlik has other plans—as does Eirlik’s father!

Vran, the Chaos-Warped
(Book 2)
Ripped by magic from the frozen world of the primitive cavemen, Vran finds himself in even stranger environs! Can he track down the foul wizard Foad Misjak within the halls of a giant castle that is teeming with cannibals and magically animated statues!?

Fight of the Sandfishers
Celzez plans to denounce Teriz, a royal guard of Alness, as a traitor who shirked his duty as the city fell! Jalani hopes Mangos can stop him before it gets him killed!

The Wisdom of Man
John Knox finds a victim of the experiments of a billionaire working to distill tachyons that can freeze time itself! Can he stop the mad project before it’s too late!?

A Long Way to Fall
A murder has occurred on a colony cylinder under hostile occupation: a young officer has been found mangled, every bone broken—how did he fall from the axis?!

Fall of a Storm King
The dangerous job of piloting in Saturn’s rings requires altering one’s perception of time! Luther is one of the best until a minor injury costs him his certification!

Tripping to Aldous
An interstellar police investigator is in pursuit of murderer Richard Morales! But the trail leads to Aldous, an illicit party planet with a hallucinogenic atmosphere!

On the run and dying of thirst on a desert world, Roger Campbell-Thorn finds salvation in a flask of nourishing intoxicant that sends him to the world’s distant past!

The Strickland Line
The Strickland Line has a bug problem! Journalist Harv Wallender is accosted by a nasty critter… Quite the inconvenience! But then the critter starts to grow…!

New Troops for Old: Jerry Pournelle’s Janissaries

My Name is John Carter (Part 13)