A note–I don’t usually do reviews here. But this one had no other place to go, since it’s not on Goodreads or anywhere else. I also wanted to get this up before the Kickstarter for the book expires. So here it is!
I should also add that I was given a review copy of issue #1 in exchange for an honest review as part of a review exchange.
God, just look at that title. Sgt. Sasquatch: The Bigfoot of Liberty, by Glen Richardson. It’s glorious. It promises pulpy action and a story that is full of unapologetic Golden Age comic book schmalz that doesn’t take itself too seriously. And to a degree, that’s what we get with the first issue.
So, here’s the basic plot. Spoilers ahead!
A bunch of U.S. Air Force guys from central casting are flying a random German scientist and a buxom American scientist somewhere just after WWII. The crate the German scientist is carrying has a weird robot-like thing inside it, and it gets loose to cause havoc. The plane crashes, and the German guy gets into a fight with Bigfoot over an obelisk from Atlantis. One of the Air Force guys gets shot in the struggle, as does the Sasquatch. But then the Sasquatch senses the love of the Air Force guy for the buxom scientist and decides to mingle the guy’s essence with his own–creating the title character!
So, the good. I like the action, here–it’s very fast-paced and exciting. It also feels like a nod to all of the batshit-German-discovers-lost-treasures stories that came out after WWII, up to and including the Indiana Jones movies. This is all in that vein. I also thought the art was pretty decent, if still a bit rough around the edges, and the Kickstarter page suggests that future issues will be colored. The art there looks fantastic, so I imagine it’ll just get better from here.
There are some drawbacks. First, this is an origin story, and I am frankly not too interested in origin stories. Origin stories find it necessary to cram all kinds of backstory in without showing the audience why they ought to care about the character after the origin. I looked at the other covers on the Kickstarter site–in one of them, Sgt. Sasquatch is riding a bee! I’d like to read that one a lot more. BEES.
It also took itself a little bit more seriously than I was expecting, which may be a function of having to introduce characters, build the mythos of the world, and get everyone familiar with the basic setup.
However, this is a series that has a lot of potential. Go check it out on the Kickstarter site, and hopefully we’ll see lots more of Sgt. Sasquatch in the future.
Okay everyone, I’m gonna be at Boskone 52 this weekend, and I don’t care how much snow there’s gonna be! I’m on some panels, and I’m doing both a reading and an autograph session. Stop by! Say hi!
Here’s where I’ll be:
The Dark Side of Doctor Who
Friday 16:00 – 16:50, Harbor I (Westin)
We’ve all seen the bright and charming Doctor saving the universe. But traveling through time and space in a blue police box isn’t all sunshine and puppies. Threaded through the rollicking adventures, the Doctor deals with some serious, dark topics that navigate the border of horror. “The Empty Child,” “Blink,” and “Silence in the Library” are just a few of the episodes that slide into dark fiction territory. What makes these episodes so special to the audience, to the series, and to the Doctor himself? What would the Doctor be without this edge of darkness? What other episodes have made us pause and cast a glance over our shoulder to peer through shaded eyes at what might be hiding in the shadows?
Jim Mann (M), me, Ginjer Buchanan, LJ Cohen, Laurie Mann
The Continuing Adventures of the QUILTBAG
Friday 18:00 – 18:50, Harbor II (Westin)
Our media may be starting to feature more characters and situations from the queer/questioning, undecided, intersex, lesbian, transgender/transsexual, bisexual, allied/asexual, gay/genderqueer (QUILTBAG) perspective, but there’s still a long way to go. How do we move from tokenism to full inclusion? We’ll discuss favorite characters, new challenges, and available resources for writers and readers.
John Chu (M), me, Justine Graykin, Julia Rios, Jill Shultz
Off the Air
Friday 19:00 – 19:50, Marina 2 (Westin)
Why does good television fail? Panelists talk about SF/F/H TV shows that died too soon, including Firefly, Alphas, The Tomorrow People, Millennium, Jericho, Almost Human, and more. Were they as good as we think? What are we missing?
Stephen P. Kelner (M), D. Lynn Smith, Don Pizarro, Ken Altabef, me
Autographing: Elizabeth Bear. Susan Jane Bigelow, James Cambias, Andrea Hairston
Saturday 11:00 – 11:50, Galleria-Autographing (Westin)
Finding Diverse Fiction
Saturday 12:00 – 12:50, Marina 2 (Westin)
There is a clear desire for increased diversity within SF/F fiction and fandom. There are also a lot of emerging writers who are bringing diversity to the genre, but many of them are still flying below the publicity radar. Authors and publishers come together to share their “must read” lists and tips on where to find some of the new up-and-coming authors.
Charles Stross (M), me, Don Pizarro, Jarvis Sheffield, Lauren Roy
Reading: Susan Jane Bigelow
Saturday 17:00 – 17:25, Independence (Westin)
Yeah, I feel weird about making one of these. WHATEVER.
Here’s what’s eligible for things this year:
- THE SEEKER STAR. Candlemark & Gleam, 2014.
- “Sarah’s Child.” Strange Horizons, May 2014
- “The Possessed Egg Predicament.” The Toast, May 2014
- “The Radio” War Stories. Ed. Jaym Gates and Andrew Liptak. Apex Publications, 2014.
- “Clicking.” Invisible: Personal Essays on Representation in SF/F. Ed. Jim C. Hines. 2014.
And that’s it! Not a bad batch of things for this year.
Some rough news, SEEKER STAR is having some kind of technical troubles. My publisher, Candlemark and Gleam, is on it, but that means that the release, which was scheduled for today, may be pushed back.
Needless to say, this is how I feel about it:
Please watch this space for further updates–hopefully it’ll all be fixed soon!
And now you can, over at Goodreads!
“What’s up with these Grayline sisters, anyway?”
To celebrate the impending arrival of Book #2, here’s a quick Q&A.
What’s the backstory, here? This story takes place about 300 years in the future, after most people took off from an Earth they’d been told was absolutely doomed for the Family Ternary System. There are three stars in this system, Father, Mother, and Daughter, with a single habitable planet orbiting each. Charming, Earth-like Adastre orbits Father; huge, heavy-gravity Nea orbits Mother; and tidal-locked (one side always facing the star) Haven orbits Daughter.
Who are the Grayline sisters? There are three of them, Marta, Violet, and Elizabeth (Beth). Marta is the oldest, Violet the middle, and Beth the youngest. They live in the city of Muller-Darvan, in the deeply religious and conservative country of Gideon, on Nea.
Sullen Marta is a space pilot who ran away from her country’s restriction and sexism when she was 18, willful Violet wants to get married and take her place as a Gideon Mother, while all dreamy Beth wants is to go to the stars and find the voices that have been calling her since childhood.
That’s how they start out, anyway.
Are there aliens in this? You bet there are. The Abrax are a shape-shifting, mostly-energy species of alien who, uh, “encouraged” humanity to leave Earth 300 years ago. They tend to form deep connections with those rare humans who can mentally communicate with them.
What’s their deal? That’s a secret.
Aw, c’mon. SECRET.
Okay, okay. So can I read THE SEEKER STAR if I didn’t read THE DAUGHTER STAR? Yes! Most of what happened in DAUGHTER STAR does get recapped and explained. There are some references you might miss and a few characters who showed up in DAUGHTER STAR do return, but otherwise it should be fine.
Anything else I should know? Hmm. Ah, I know! This is a trilogy, and each book follows the adventures of one of the three sisters. The first book, THE DAUGHTER STAR, was all about Marta, the current book, THE SEEKER STAR, follows Violet, and the eventual third book, THE FALLEN STAR, will be about Beth.
THE SEEKER STAR is out on Tuesday, November 18th! Check back here then to learn about bundles, giveaways, and more!