In this post L. Meridian taps in to the beating heart of the book buzz and shares five great books that’ll interest native geeks around the web. From High Fantasy, to slap stick Science Fiction and morbid Comedic Horror, there is something here for everyone.
The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart
Author: Jesse Bullington
What it’s about: In the wilds of Medieval Europe, awash in conflict and disease, twin brothers Hegel and Manfried Grossbart lie, cheat and steal their way across the continent in search of massive fortune they so undeservedly desire. Along the way they encounter supernatural beasts and demons, witches and the most pernicious of the Devils cohorts. Their revoltingly graphic battles described in the most lurid uncensored commentary of which Bullington has proven himself the master. The brothers are as inept as they are determined, and manage to offend and befriend the best and worst of this stunningly grotesque Dark Age.
Why you should read it: While you may have read other novels with plots centralizing on the anti-hero, The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart obliterates the proverbial ‘line’ and Bullingtons narrative of two seriously deluded murderous medieval maniacs is shocking, hilarious, and darkly entertaining. This is not for the weak of heart or stomach, but is nevertheless a literary masterpiece!
Author: Elizabeth Haydon
What it’s about: This Epic High Fantasy is the first of six in the series, and follows three misanthropic misfits who, in seeking asylum from troubles in their homeland, find themselves on the other side of the planet in another time. Rhapsody, a kind, Lirin singer wielding a unique brand of magic, Achmed, a hideously deformed half breed renowned for his assassination skills, and Grunthor, a tender hearted Bolg General bristling with countless lovingly sharpened weapons grapple against an insidious darkness enveloping the world, while carving out a kingdom for themselves inhabited by misunderstood monsters. The three friends for good or ill support each others ambitions, which may or may not always be in the best interest of the locals they mean to rule.
Why you should read it: Haydon has invented a tangible living breathing world in Rhapsody, with some of the most interesting and dynamic character relationships you could ask for. Vivid combat between good and evil is tempered by an epic love story that spans a millennium, and the battles waged by the trio and their mythical compatriots rivals the greats like Jordan and Martin.
Johannes Cabal the Necromancer
Author: Jonathan L. Howard
What it’s about: Johannes Cabal is a charmingly stoic Necromancer who is in something of a jam. He sold his soul to the Devil to learn the secrets of Necromancy, but finds that he needs it back to continue his experiments. He waltzes into Hell to approach Satan about getting it back who, bored and slightly amused, offers another deal. Satan supplies the use of a nefarious carnival with which Cabal must travel the country to collect one hundred souls in exchange for his own. Featuring the classic freak show acts and run by a crew of the Devils own damned minions, Cabal and his begrudging Vampire brother Horst have one year to satisfy the contract, or Cabal will be dragged to hell for eternity.
Why you should read it: This dark comedy is full of morbidly comedic characters and macabre shenanigans that finds Cabal challenged at every turn as it appears the Devil has no intentions of playing fair. Cabals prudish propriety is all the more entertaining given the company and trials he is made to endure, and it is nearly impossible not to root for this fiendishly charming villain. Cabals adventures continue in two more books called Johannes Cabal the Detective, and Johannes Cabal the Fear Institute.
The Sheriff of Yrnameer
Author: Michael Rubens
What it’s about: Cole is just another guy – maybe not the best looking in the Galaxy, but he’s just trying to make his way in the Universe. A smuggler by trade, Cole just can’t catch a break. Now he’s on the run, stealing a ship from his prettier and more popular competitor, escaping the planet of InVestCo 3 to avoid a charismatic tentacled bounty hunter. One mishap after another with the hijacked crew and its delicate frozen cargo forces a landing on the planet of Yrnameer. Just outside the Commercial jurisdiction of the Galaxy, this dusty forgotten planet has a slew of its own problems, and Cole and his reluctant companions must help the unhappy community of Yrnameer to protect themselves against a gang of intergalactic outlaws if they hope to survive.
Why you should read it: The best argument I could possibly give for this book is to offer up some helpful comparisons. The Sheriff of Yrnameer is a delightful mash up of Star Wars and The Hitchhikers Guide where Rubens has captured straight faced British humor with the self important persona of scoundrel Han Solo in a quick witted laugh out loud adventure you wont be able to put down.
Planet of Adventure
Author: Jack Vance
What it’s about: This award winning saga is comprised of three books written between 1968 and 1970. Vance is a prolific writer and any one of his novels are worth a look, but this one became a fast favorite. A small crew of specialists and engineers sent to investigate the potentially inhabited Earth like planet of Tschai experience disaster when some of the crew become stranded on the unexplored world. Adam Reith alone survives and is quickly spirited off by a nearby warrior tribe of primitive Aliens. Reith soon discovers that not only is the planet inhabited by many races of waring alien cultures, but there are human slaves in every one, cultivated when Humanity was in its infancy. Reith determines he must escape the planet to warn Earth about the dangers of Tschai, and thus begins an adventure that spans many diverse Alien cultures and cities as Reith endures slavery, befriends Alien royalty, travels Oceans and deserts, and breaks many hearts along the way!
Why you should read it: Anyone who likes classic Science Fiction will find no wrong in this read, which supplies a variety of exciting forays into unimagined Alien cultures. Adam Reith is the classic no tears all brawn hero who never once feels sorry for himself, or the ladies he leaves in his wake in his quest to warn Mankind about the dangers of Tshcai.