Monday, January 20, 2014

Book Review: "Atomic Drive-In"

Long-time G-FAN and Scary Monsters contributor Mike Bogue has released an impressive collection of short stories entitled "Atomic Drive-In." The title story is the longest entry, falling into the 'novella' category, and tells the tale of two friends who are transported through time to a parallel earth that has been ravaged by atomic war. Fans of 1950's science fiction will get a charge out of both the direct and subtle references made to films and characters from the genre. "Atomic Drive-In" is more than just an exercise in nostalgia, however. A number of surprisingly deep themes are explored, suggesting that whether your challenges are personal or apocalyptic, it is always possible to make a heroic choice.
 Bogue's command of the short story form is evident throughout this collection, and he has a gift for creating compelling characters, some of whom are appealingly unapologetic monster movie fans. G-FAN collectors may recognize "Going Back," a poignant tale of love and loss that appeared in issue 58. Also reprinted from the book "Daikaiju 3: Giant Monsters vs. The World" is "A Calculated Sacrifice," a nightmare vision of angry kaiju gods ruling modern-day Japan. Three other stories are included, one of which, "Mrs. Finney's Special Vine," is particularly evocative in its depiction of a friendship in its final days. This is science fiction with soul, and I give it my highest recommendation.
To pick up a copy of "Atomic Drive-In," go here.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Happy New Year!

2014 is here, and there is much excitement in the Godzilla fan community over the leaks and updates surrounding Legendary's film, which hits theaters in a mere four months and nine days.
One hopes that there will be a wave of merchandise and kaiju-related products that will hit the market, in similar fashion to the wave that accompanied Tristar's Godzilla. Some photographs have surfaced online of apparently official prototypes, but they may reflect works in progress as opposed to finished products.
We had a good Christmas here at Monsterland Ohio. The kaiju highlight is pictured above. We presented Grampy with his own framed picture of Godzilla 2000, signed by this past year's G-FEST guests. I received the Johnny Sokko DVD box set and Andy was given a number of issues of Marvel Comics' Godzilla series, including the first. We also supplemented our Marvel Masterworks' "Tales to Astonish" collection, which we sort of "backed into" via the G-FEST Dealers Room last year.
Speaking of which, we have made our registrations for G-FEST XXI. No word on guests or movies yet. After a one-year hiatus my folks will be joining us again, so there is much to anticipate.
The Year of Godzilla is here! Hope yours is happy and fulfilling.