Bookcation 2015, Part 3: Wherein I right a terrible wrong, and we stand outside a bookstore in hopes of scraps

My Bride has suffered inconsolably the last day. I forgot a book that should have gone on the last post. She has writhed in agony while also mocking my clear lapse of character. I must right this wrong, ere the end come. 

We also got an advanced reader’s copy of A Bandit’s Tale by Deborah Hopkinson. It looks like a Newsies-era rogue-type story. Just plain fun, it looks like.

Brother to brother… father to son… we’re one for all and all for one!

And now that I have assuaged my Bride, she rests in peace. At long last her struggle has ended.

Or maybe it was my struggle. After all, she was the one mocking me.



After supper we arrived at Half Price Books. As per normal, it seduced us with carts of books outside offering books for just the tiniest morsel of a wallet. Just a little bit, sir. It won’t hurt nothin’. Just come take a look.

I mentioned earlier that I’m a sucker for teen dystopias. I’m also a sucker for books that are clearly self-published and likely to be bad. And when you throw in the author’s autograph? And it’s only two dollars? Well, I had to have it. We found Arrival and University, the first two volumes of The Prime Dragon Series, both signed. Both by Maximilian Von Fallingbostel. Gotta love that name. It looks like a complex yarn. I have no idea if it’s any good, but it’s signed by the author, and that’s almost the same thing.

I’m not so certain of any series that trumpets the series name but not the volume title, but I DID buy an awful lot of Star Trek in the 90’s so I really can’t say anything…
“So, are we have the dragon for lunch, or is he having us for lunch? Anyone? …anyone?”

And then I spied Retromancer by Robert Rankin. The name grabbed my attention like nothing else. And then I read the back…

There is big and evil magic abroad upon the face of the Earth. History has been changed. The Germans have won WWII. America is a nuclear wasteland. And worst of all, the breakfast menu at The Wife’s Legs Cafe in Brentford is serving bratwurst rather than the proper big boys’ British banger. Something is Not Right. And when the world’s all wrong and it needs setting right, who’re you gonna call? Hugo Rune, that’s who. A man who offers the world his genius, and asks only, in return, that the world cover his expenses. And so, with the aid of his faithful acolyte and companion Rizla, the guru’s guru, also known as the hokus bloke, the Lad Himself and the Retromancer, sets out to rewrite history the way it should be. Together they return to war-torn London, to solve the twelve cosmic conundra based on Hugo Rune’s personal tarot deck, each one leading them closer to a final terrifying confrontation. They must match their wits against beautiful spies, advanced alien technology, killer robots and death rays, do battle with an ancient god, and come face to face once more with Hugo Rune’s arch-enemy, the sinister Count Otto Black, all the while finding time to drink ale, talk the toot and dine out in some of London’s swankiest eateries. Without ever paying the bill.

It just sounded like a blast to me. And then I opened its pages… and the rancid sweat of thousands of old cigarettes washed over me. Whoever owned this was a smoker of the cheapest quality but highest quantity, it seems. Is there something I could do about it?

I can! This looks to be a handy little tip. We’ll try it. Otherwise, I’ll never read the book. And I so want to!

It has a zeppelin. Apparently it’s required for books of such pedigree.

My Bride spied four graphic novels, all long out of print. I’ve never read any of them, but I’d heard good things about them all. Magebook is the first act in a story about a modern guy with an enchanted bat and fae and lots of fun stuff. It’s written and drawn by Matt Wagner. I’ve never read his stuff, but he’s fairly well-known in the comics world. So, I figure, it’s about time I read something by him! They happened to have both volume one and two.

It’s a serious comic from the 80’s. Can you tell?
He’s crossed his arms now. It MUST be serious.

Next up came X-O Maowar: Retribution. Take a 10th-century Visigoth, kidnap him by aliens, have him fight in their coliseums until he escapes, steals the most powerful weapon in the universe, and then return him to modern-day America. Thus, the plot! This series was recently rebooted. I loved the first few issues and I’d love to get the collections of those, but for now I can read the “first time around” for it!

This came out during the X-Men craze of the 90’s. Somehow I think that had something to do with how this was named…

And finally I picked up Harbinger: Children of the Eighth Day. Imagine if modern teens had superpowers. Most of them wouldn’t put on spandex to fight crime. This book takes a relatively realistic look at such a thing. I’ve never read this before, but I’ve read an excerpt. One of the teens, a young woman, is so excited by her superpowers she makes herself a spandex suit, complete with cape, and is constantly comparing her powers with other known superheroes. She’s does it just because it’s fun. I think I’m gonna like this series.

Also it has a car.

And then… then we went inside the Half Price. But this is a good place to break, because we got bunches of books inside. More tomorrow!

But first buy them all.

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