Hello there, traveler! Welcome to My Favorite Things, where our writers fill you in on what makes us geek out the most. This week’s column will take you to many different places, whether it’s to exciting conventions, early 20th century England, or throughout time and space itself.
J.L. Gribble’s Favorite Thing is…. The Curiosity Killers!
I’ve always been a sucker for time travel, so I was really excited for K.W. Taylor’s first science-fiction novel from the moment I first heard about it. I enjoyed Taylor’s previous works in both horror and urban fantasy, but The Curiosity Killers (Dog Star Books, 2016) blew me away. This isn’t just any timey-wimey book. Taylor develops an intricate world with all sorts of fascinating and entangled subplots that revolve around mysteries and conspiracy theories that have intrigued us for ages, such as Jack the Ripper, the lost colony of Roanoke, and even the Mothman. Taylor tops all of this off with a steampunk flare as one of her greatest tricks–a future where the traditional Victorian aesthetic of the genre actually makes sense!
Note: This author and I share a publisher, and I was asked to provide a quote for the cover.
Nicole’s Favorite Thing is… the artwork of Jim Ferguson!
Any time you head off to a convention, you find yourself surrounded by dozens of talented artists and wind up wishing you could buy everything. This is precisely what happened to me at Planet Comicon Kansas City. Luckily, I was able to resist the pull of stunning Dragon Ball Z prints and oh-so-many enticing Harley Quinns. But it wasn’t until the very end that I stumbled upon one that I could not ignore. The artist, Jim Ferguson, is a retired NASA video engineer who now recreates scenes from all our favorite movies – from Ghostbusters to Conan – in vivid color and detail. He now makes his living through his art, selling on Etsy, and by going to various conventions. The choices are endless, so everyone is bound to find something they like. As for me? I fell in love with a simple, yet memorable scene – Jack Nicholson’s Joker staring at Alicia’s mask right before stating, “You can’t make an omelette without breaking some eggs.”
Nu’s Favorite thing is… Peaky Blinders: Season 3
My favorite thing this month is season 3 of the BBC/Netflix gangster drama Peaky Blinders. Here’s what IMBD says about the show: “A gangster family epic set in 1919 Birmingham, England and centered on a gang who sew razor blades in the peaks of their caps, and their fierce boss Tommy Shelby, who means to move up in the world.” What drew me into the show was that even though it’s a story about awful people doing awful things, it’s still a show about family. It has wonderful acting and I love how they use modern music (Nick Cave, PJ Harvey, Radiohead, The White Stripes) as the soundtrack.
Venessa’s Favorite Things is… Stokercon!
In May, I attended the first ever Stokercon! For years, the Stoker Awards, the Horror Writers’ Association awards for the best in horror media, had been alternately hosted at World Horror or the HWA conventions. In 2016, the dream of the Stokers having their own home was finally achieved! I’ll be talking more about Stokercon 2016, which was hosted in Vegas, in my monthly column, but what I wanted to mention here as this week’s favorite thing, is that I just registered for Stokercon 2017! There are a lot of great names next year, including George R.R. Martin and Tananarive Due, among others, as Guests of Honor. I’m excited to see what writing workshops they will have available. I’m a big fan of cons, both as a writer and as a fan. Plus, I’ve been a horror reader since I first picked up Stephen King’s The Stand, way back when I was about thirteen years old, so that makes Stokercon one of my favorite things!
Any thoughts on the topics listed above? What’s your current favorite thing? Please let us know in the comments!