The Writer's, artist's & reader's Guild

Archive for July, 2014

Free Golden Age Comics

As a step to promote their Amazing Heroes campaign Fresh Monkey Fiction has been sponsored by the Digital Comic Museum to bring you the finest Golden Age Comics for free. Hop on over to: http://digitalcomicmuseum.com/ and register. If you are interested in owning some Action Figures portraying these classic heroes, support the Kickstarter campaign and get access to two Golden Age Comics a week.

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All the Children Shall Lead: Chapter 2

Here is the nest installment in the ongoing Science-Fiction story All the Children Shall Lead. In it we are introduced to some new characters and partial understanding of what this world looks like.

Enjoy it, and feel free to post comments about it.

All the children II

C.M. Marry Hultman

C.M. Marry Hultman


H.P. Lovecraft’s The Terrible Old Man

Yet another group of fans of the old master are trying to put one of his stories on the screen. According to Ryan Smith, the director, everything is basically done and the Kickstarter campaign is designed to show some appreciation to the actors who have worked pro bono. The terrible old man might not be one of Lovecraft’s most famous works, but it is definitely one of the more easy ones to film. Go in and check it out


Review: The Strain premier

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Genre: Horror
Network: FX
Cast:David Bradley, Sean Astin, Corey Stoll et. al

The Strain is, for those in the know (horror readers, comic book aficionados), the most anticipated premier of the season. There hasn’t been a great deal of hype for it mainstream wise and FX has relied on word of mouth to do the hype for them. In truth the show should hype itself quite easily, the story was conceived by Guillermo del Toro and is based on his bestselling trilogy and has also been made into a successful comic by Dark Horse and it contains vampires. Other shows that have been as long awaited i.e. Game of Thrones and Walking Dead have been the blockbusters that the networks expected and The Strain is posed to do the same.

The story itself opens in New York City where a plane from Berlin has stopped on the tarmac. There are no signs of life, the shutters are drawn and the plane itself is cold. Government agencies clamor to control the situation, but the CDC have dibs on the mystery. Dr. Ephraim Goodweather (Stoll), your typical divorced, ex-alcoholic anti-hero, takes charge together with his team. They find only four survivors inside, while the deaths of the rest of the 200 plus passengers is at first completely dumbfounding. The tale becomes more twisting when a coffin-like box is found in the cargo hold and it’s filled with dirt. Now they need to hinder the spreading of whatever the disease is that killed the passengers, but they are clearly unaware of what they are trying to stop.

In New York City an apparently dying man is waiting for the cargo that the plane is carrying for his own purposes and add to this a van Helsing type older man who is getting ready for a final confrontation with an ancient enemy and you have a perfect setting for a great series.

For those who have read the books or the comics it may feel nice to see that, at least, the first episode follows the original story closely, with some minor skips in the narrative.

With the success of American Horror Story FX has almost been given carte blanche to do whatever they please with The Strain, since AHS broke down the door on eroticism and horror there is little that the new show can do to shock the viewers. This does leave open the chance to focus on the story and this is very nice.

There are a few things that The Strain have working for them. Not only is there a very interesting story to build from here. del Toror’s books take the classic vampire and create something new around it. Just like he did with Blade he changes things around just enough to make it original, but not too much so that the horror crowd has something to gripe over. The vampires of The Strain are not your debonaire, well dressed Nosferatu of Anne Rice or glowing teenagers of Twilight; they are as terrifying and ugly as living dead bloodsuckers should be. It is clear to any true reader of vampire fiction that del Toro knows his literary history and respects it.
The cast of the show also seems to be very well chosen, there aren’t any of the bigger names to overshadow the content or any other cast members, it is an ensemble effort, with some actors that the viewer might recognize to give that secure sense of that these guys are good at what they do. The show also has the ability to keep a good pace, unlike counterparts like Walking Dead that has yet to end its run as a comic book and might therefore cause issues when it comes to plan out the length of the series. The Strain books and comics have a clear end and there can then be a long term plan for how the show should be set, giving it much needed balance, something that the Walking Dead suffers from, where the show drags mid-season. With FX as the network the show avoids the most disturbing of images or explicit content. It hints at it and shows enough skin to entice the senses without becoming vulgar or having nudity for nudity’s sake. It’s a smart move and gives parents the reassurance that the show might be scary, but not disturbing.

Overall The Strain might just be the hit of the summer and it would seem that if they stay their course and don’t deviate from the story too much it might run for many seasons, but it would be wise for FX to have the end planned and not to drag it out, because that would only hurt it.

The Strain airs on Sundays on FX

C.M. Marry Hultman

C.M. Marry Hultman


Review: Moment by Mark Chadwick

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Genre: Folk
Label: On the Fiddle
Best Track: Red Sky

When a band splits or a member departs it’s not surprising, maybe even expected or warranted, that a solo album is waiting in the wings. It might serve as an explanation to why the departure happened, as was the case with Peter Gabriel, it could also be a need to put out material that was supposed to be featured on the band’s next album, like Fish’s Vigil in the Wilderness of Mirrors. On the other hand; when an artist in a very much active band releases a solo effort it may seem a bit strange. A listener might wonder what the purpose for this could be, especially if the artist is the primary songwriter of the group as with Ian Anderson in Jethro Tull or Mike Scott, who basically is the only remaining member of The Waterboys.
The Levellers of the other hand is more of a songwriting collective and putting forth a solo album might be the only way for a member of such a band to showcase once individual style as an artist.

Moment is Chadwick’s second effort after his 2010 debut All the Pieces. That album was quite a deviation from The Levellers’ catalog with its closest kin being Truth & Lies and Hello Pig, but also not a very impressive showing from Chadwick. The tracks were similar in structure and composition as well as lyrically stunted and a as a concept rather dull. This doesn’t make for a very good base to jump off from for Moment.

This past Record Store Day Chadwick chose to release a single from the upcoming album, a seven inch version of Red Sky. When Satellite was dropped online in 2010 it seemed like it would set a good tone for the coming album, but alas it didn’t. Red Sky gives very much the same impression, but to the joy of the listeners Moment fulfills the promises the single makes.

All the Pieces was disjointed and at times confusing lyrically without a clear agenda to them Moment is the counterpart. One gets the feeling that Chadwick has put a bit more effort into his solo songwriting or at least decided what he is going to write about. Previously the songs have lacked personality and recognition, whereas Moment if filled with relatable topics and an honesty that strikes dead center at the heart.

Each track on the album has its own story, a tale within itself, about people. This is what makes these songs more approachable and interesting. One gets the feeling that it is all set in or around some dive bar where people come and go, but their stories remain, as if Chadwick has witnessed them first hand. All the Pieces felt as if it was set in a fairground or carnival with everything that entails, but only to a certain extent.
It is also nice that it doesn’t become a Levellers- esque album, but that he makes it his own with a more rootsy folk sound rather than the Clash -punk -folk that the band is known for.

Moment is as a whole a well done deviation for Chadwick and shows that he has the ability to put something out that is worth while without the rest of The Levellers. It works on many levels, as one unity or each song telling its own tale. Unfortunately this album probably won’t make mainstream play, though it should because Mark Chadwick has made a great album.

C.M. Marry Hultman

C.M. Marry Hultman


All the Children Shall Lead – Prologue/Chapter One

With pride we would like to present to you our first serial, a science- fiction tale set in the future. The idea is that we will publish a new chapter once every two weeks, but if you are lucky one might appear sooner.

We now are happy to give you the prologue and first chapter, titled PS9, of our first serial; All the Children Shall Lead and is written by C.M. Marry Hultman. Look for the next chapter in two weeks from today…

All the children I

C.M. Marry Hultman

C.M. Marry Hultman


Shannara Coming to TV

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Terry Brooks posted on his website today that MTV has ordered ten episodes of a show based on his Shannara series.Earlier in the week another website had a discussion going on why no one was picking up the best selling series. The first season will be based on Elfstones of Shannara and is written by Miles Millar and Al Gough. Read the rest of the post at his website:

MTV Officially Orders First Season Of SHANNARA TV Series!

This might make some fans of Terry Brooks happy, but at the Guild we are cautious; remembering such travesties as Earthsea and Legend of the Seeker and let’s face it the Shannara series isn’t the best source material for an epic fantasy show…


Review: Falling Skies Season Four Premier

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Network: TNT
Cast: Noah Wyle, Will Patton, Moon Bloodgood et al.

When a drama or action show goes into its four season it is often with the bated breath of the viewers. What can be accomplished that hasn’t been shown in the three earlier seasons? Will it become redundant and repetitive, like True Blood or Vampire Diaries or will it try to reinvent itself with new cast members and completely different story arcs, very much like the shows Dexter and Breaking Bad, keeping a very basic connection between the seasons. Comedies need not worry about this and are therefore more prone to extended runs as do Criminal Shows devoid of any kind of continuity.

The category of show that Falling Skies belongs to is very dependent on the viewers’ keeping their interest in what happens next. Of course this is true of all dramatic shows or any show at all, but Falling Skies has to fight an uphill battle that other shows might not have to. It’s a Science Fiction show and apart from a handful of shows from the mid-20th century these have always had a more difficult time to find a place amongst the main stream viewers, with the exception of Star Trek or Babylon 5. Maybe because the scenario is so unlikely and that the common viewer has a hard time relating to Science Fiction, why other shows with more or less unlikely settings aren’t as prone to criticism is another discussion entirely and not prevalent here.

What Falling Skies has managed to do so well is drop the story little by little and not reveal the bigger picture, like other TV shows long gone; Flash Forward or Alcatraz. The strength of the cast and the interaction between the characters is also something the writers have managed very well. As the show evolves so do the figures and how they react to the ever changing world around them. The narrative itself is also a strong point. The writers of the show have, as previously mentioned, been very good at not telling the audience the entire story. Sometimes comics released before the season premiers have filled in the blanks and there are events and people mentioned we never see or meet. This coupled with a united America fighting a horde of invaders clearly appeases a more general crowd.
So will season four be able to continue this trend or is it all coming to an end. Unlike a Science Fiction show like V an end does not seem to be close. Shows that have infinite possibilities and plot lines is always more interesting than a show that hints at everything ending once the main character meets the mother of his children.
The main characters are all ambushed and separated within the first minutes leading the tight-knit group to be split in four camps. This gives a new dimension to the main theme of the show; ‘United one can overcome anything’. The storyline is now open to the journey back to unity and rebellion. The story also takes on somewhat of a nod to the Second World War as Tom Mason (Wyle) is placed in a Ghetto-like environment very much like the ones in Poland and his youngest son Ben is being re-educated in the true spirit of the Hitler Jugend.

One must be impressed with the way Falling Skies comes back again and again and it becomes the strength of it all and it seems like every season premier one becomes excited for what may lie ahead, and with all that is going on in the beginning, this might be the best season yet.

C.M. Marry Hultman

C.M. Marry Hultman


Short Story: Min tid med Charles Vayle by Petter Olofsson

We are proud to give to you the short story My time with Charles Vayle, a Parisian tale by the young writer Petter Olofsson. It’s in Swedish, but if you take the time to translate the words it will be well worth it.

Min tid med Charles Vayle

Petter olofsson

Petter Olofsson