Book review: “Those Who Fight Monsters: Tales of Occult Detectives”

Those Who Fight Monsters

A collection of tales by different authors all of the same theme and genre surely is something that either appeals to fans of either of those two, a particular author included or those simply looking to find out a little more about the different franchises out there so they can pick and choose one to try for themselves.

I have to say that Those Who Fight Monsters: Tales of Occult Detectives is not the best choice when wanting to pick up a short story collection of this kind.
Originally I got it up because it includes a Nightside short by Simon R. Green, featuring the infamous John Taylor, as well as wanting to see what else is out there.
Whilst some stories were fun, and one was downright rather disturbing, most of it is a mixed bag and plain forgettable storytelling.

I feel like most authors, Mr Green included, didn’t bring their A-game to this book and most stories included are simply mediocre at best (or point blank badly written and boring). Well I hope that it was a matter of them not bringing their A-game, because if this is the best that most can do (I know Simon R. Green can do a LOT better, I’ve read those books and shorts, but I’m obviously not familiar with most writers included) it’s a sad state of affairs. In any case, neither stories included made me want into the other works of the author.

What is positive is that it’s a good mix of monsters and types of detectives (although the term should really be applied as broadly as humanly possible), ranging from human to superhuman, supernatural and demonic.
But sadly this fact isn’t enough to make this a compilation worth spending money on.

A list of characters and the authors and series behind them:
Danny Hendrickson from Laura Anne Gilman’s Cosa Nostradamus series.
Kate Connor from Julie Kenner’s Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom series.
John Taylor from Simon R. Green’s Nightside series.
Jill Kismet from Lilith Saintcrow’s Jill Kismet series.
Jessi Hardin from Carrie Vaughn’s Kitty Norville series.
Quincey Morris from Justin GustainisMorris/Chastain Investigations series.
Marla Mason from T. A. Pratt’s Marla Mason series.
Tony Foster from Tanya Huff’s Smoke and Shadows series.
Dawn Madison from Chris Marie Green’s Vampire Babylon series.
Pete Caldecott from Caitlin Kittredge’s Black London series.
Tony Giodone from C. T. Adams and Cathy Clamp’s Tales of the Sazi series.
Jezebel from Jackie Kessler’s Hell on Earth series.
Piers Knight from C. J. Henderson’s Brooklyn Knight series.
Cassiel from Rachel Caine’s Outcast Season series.

Support Your Fellow Steampunk: Hullabaloo Steampunk Animated Film

“Hullabaloo is the story of Veronica Daring, a brilliant young scientist who returns home from an elite finishing school to find her father–the eccentric inventor Jonathan Daring–missing without a trace! The only clue left behind points Veronica toward Daring Adventures, an abandoned amusement park used by her father to test his fantastical steam-powered inventions. There she discovers a strange girl named Jules, a fellow inventor who agrees to help Veronica in locating her missing father and discovering the secrets of his work.”

Not only is Hullabaloo one of the upcoming 2D (yes, traditional animation, hurrah!) movies worth looking forward too, the creators are also trying to save the dying art of 2D. Something we at The Gatehouse can only support, especially considering that Hullabaloo promises to be a great new steampunk movie!

Want to know more and/or can spare some cash to support this project?
Click here!

Help Keep Dieselpunks Online

Dieselpunks front page

Dieselpunks front page

Every dieselpunk fan is probably familiar with Dieselpunks, the largest online dieselpunk community, founded by Tome Wilson and a partner website of The Gatehouse.

The community has existed for five years already and not only contains lively discussion and serves as a platform to bring dieselpunks from all over the world together; it is also, by now, an invaluable archive of dieselpunk articles, history, movies and music.

Dieselpunks need your help.

So far, it has been financed entirely by Tome and his team but the cost of covering the community’s hosting and music licensing fees is exceeding what they can pay to keep Dieselpunks online and alive.

To ensure the community’s survival, Tome has started a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds.

He writes, “Running a network like Dieselpunks legally with no advertising or corporate sponsors costs real money, and this fundraiser will ease the burden considerably.”

If every member of the community or every one of its Facebook fans donated just one dollar, it would cover the cost of keeping Dieselpunks online and Tome would have funds left over to expand the site into new territory.

I would love to move away from our current host and onto a larger, more flexible platform. Any funds I receive over the goal of $3,500 can help me make this dream come true.

Please, click here to learn more and consider making a donation. We must not let Dieselpunks fall!

Book review: Simon R Green “Tales of the Hidden World”

Tales of the Hidden World

Tales of the Hidden World is a short story collection of old and new tales by the hand of Simon R Green. It’s a mix of urban fantasy, dark fantasy, zombies, swashbuckling, dystopias and space operas.

This irrevocably makes that the reader will like one tale more than the other, but it needs to be said that there are some gems in here and definitely some characters and settings I personally hope to see more of (my personal favourite is All About the Rendering, of which I dearly hope to be able to read more in the future).

I won’t delve into separate stories, as I don’t want to spoil any of them for those that haven’t read this work yet, but I will say that it’s cool to see the evolution of Simon R Green’s style, and to read the kind of story from him I wouldn’t usually pick up (to illustrate, I am avid fan of his Ghost Finders, Secret Histories and especially his Nightside series, but I don’t read any of the others such as Hawk and Fisher or Death Stalker). The little note of the author attached to every tale is also a nice touch.

What I will say, however, is this. For the fans of the Droods, there’s a story about one of the members of the family in there we’ve come to love and know during the entire series. It’s probably not the kind of tale you’d expect, but I would advise that if you read this series, to read this before the next instalment comes out because else you’ll undoubtedly be rather surprised and wondering what the hell happened to aforementioned character.
And that’s all I’ll say about this, because I really don’t want to spoil it.

In short (no pun intended), for fans of short story collections that are a combination of genres, or of Simon R Green’s writing, Tales of the Hidden World is a book I’d recommend. It may also very well be the kind of work for someone that wants to get into fictional works but hasn’t quite settled on a genre yet, it’s a fine way of finding out what you like best.