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SciFi-Fantasy Mixed Genre?

June 10th, 2009 Comments off

Today I was wondering whether there’s a genre that could be called SciFi-Fantasy. To use the stereotypes, there would be wizard and elf like characters using modern (or more advanced) technology, flying spacecrafts or travelling through mysterious stargates between worlds… Demons installing daemons in the server room, and god-like super-powerful deities posting videocasts for their “followers”.

Traditionally wizards & Co. always appear in sort-of-ancient settings without any technology. But combining the power of yet-to-be-developed tech stuff and fantastic abilities might make for interesting stories, if e.g. your programming wizard in the office is in fact a master computer programmer and a wizard who operates the machines but occasionally drops an incantation when one of his programs breaks ;)

If you are aware of such literature, please drop me a note — I’d like to read something along those lines.

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New Kim Harrison book: White Witch, Black Curse

May 30th, 2009 Comments off

Ah, the latest book in the series by Kim Harrison about the witch Rachel Morgan and her vampire colleague and friend Ivy Tamwood has become available in Germany (as paperback). This time they are trying to find the murderer of their friend Kisten. I only started reading the book yesterday, but so far it looks promising; I already had a few good laughs.

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Books by Sergei Lukyanenko

May 24th, 2009 Comments off

Do you know Sergei Lukyanenko? The german spelling of the (russian) name is Lukianenko (Лукьяненко), and in Germany he’s becoming more and more popular, at least as far as the local book store is concerned where I get my books.

nightwatch_sLukyanenko has, besides several other books, written a series of four books beginning with “Night Watch“. The world is populated not just with normal humans, but also with “Others”, and they are divided into two sides, the Light ones and the Dark ones. (Anyone thinking of elves and dark elves?) They can enter a place called Twilight that looks like a twisted version of the normal world and it turns out there are several layers of this Twilight. The story doesn’t play in a classical fantasy world, but in modern Russia, and the Others live normal lives, as far as these can be called normal, considering their special abilities. You get vampires, but they are also different from vampires as seen in other stories. The two sides have two organizations, called the “Night Watch” (consisting of Light Others who watch over the Dark ones) and the “Day Watch” (with things the other way round). Life is governed by the Great Contract that all Others have to respect. So the “good” can’t do as much good as they’d like, and the same holds for the “bad”.

I read all four books in short sequence and found them great, from the first to the last page. The characters are well-developed and interesting, and the whole setup is just fascinating.

While the official series ended with the fourth book, there’s a sequel written by one of Lukyanenko’s co-authors, Vladimir Vasilyev (Wladimir Wassilijew, Владимир Васильев) that introduces a third side (to the Light and the Dark) and which was also great to read. (It seems the book hasn’t yet been published in English – following the author’s en.wikipedia.org entry it might be called “Face of the Dark Palmira”.  The german title is “Bewahrer des Chaos”, published April 2009.) Hoping for more :)

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