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Articles tagged with: Justin Hickey

OLM Favorites: Rarest Spun Heavenmetal

December 1st, 2017
OLM Favorites: Rarest Spun Heavenmetal

A Clockwork Orange turned 50 this year and received the gift of an anniversary edition. Justin Hickey looks anew at the novel Anthony Burgess claimed to have knocked off in three weeks, and which made him famous.

West of Lovelorn

February 1st, 2017
West of Lovelorn

The author of the uproarious debut Radium Baby returns with a surreal and oddly heartfelt riff on the YA genre, set in an Old West that ripples with unreality.

Writhing Bounty

November 1st, 2016
Writhing Bounty

A gruesomely fascinating new book looks at the weird and unsettling phenomenon of venom in animal kingdom. Justin Hickey reviews.

Strange and Dark As It Is

October 1st, 2016
Strange and Dark As It Is

Fantasy author Rjurik Davidson returns with the second novel of minotaurs, magic, and political unrest. Justin Hickey reviews The Stars Askew.

Neither Entirely Real Nor Imagined

August 1st, 2016
Neither Entirely Real Nor Imagined

“The Wonderments” allow the hero of Bill Broun’s spellbinding debut novel Night of the Animals to talk to the animals in Regent’s Park Zoo. Justin Hickey reviews.

Fresh Fellow Travelers

July 1st, 2016
Fresh Fellow Travelers

Coyotes have successfully infiltrated almost every niche of the American landscape and folklore. Justin Hickey tours Coyote America by Dan Flores.

From the Archives: Summer Reading 2012

July 1st, 2016
From the Archives: Summer Reading 2012

As the haze and heat of summer kick into full swing, the folk of Open Letters break out their annual Summer Reading recommendations!

Closing the Buffet

June 1st, 2016
Closing the Buffet

A fascinating new book reveals the wonders that are visible once humans stop thinking of fish as merely food with fins.

I Am Jack’s Contested Legacy

March 1st, 2016
I Am Jack’s Contested Legacy

The book Fight Club – and even more so the movie adaptation – have cult fixtures in American culture. But after twenty years, is there anything left for a sequel to subvert? Justin Hickey reads Fight Club 2.

Sentience Over Skin

February 1st, 2016
Sentience Over Skin

In a distant future without humans, genetically engineered members of other Earth species have evolved societies of staggering – and problematic – complexity.

Our Year in Reading 2015

December 1st, 2015
Our Year in Reading 2015

In the course of the year, many, many books cross the paths of OLM’s editors, and the end of the year is a natural time for reflecting on that endless stream. Our editors each pick a book from their year-in-reading that stood out from the rest.

Me Am Your Smallest Fan

December 1st, 2015
Me Am Your Smallest Fan

Long, long before Superman appeared in Action Comics #1 in 1938, human folklore was rife with super-beings. A new book takes a look at the more-than-human.

Never Have Hands Been So Vital to a Creature

November 1st, 2015
Never Have Hands Been So Vital to a Creature

In Zachary Thomas Dodson’s visionary and inventive debut novel, a violent past and a dystopian future are woven together into a tale of families, legacies … and bats. Justin Hickey reviews Bats of the Republic.

Ecology of the Imagination

October 1st, 2015
Ecology of the Imagination

For over sixty years, the story of humanity’s weird fascination with UFOs has been unfolding across nations and societies. A new book goes beyond easy mockery to ask some, er, probing questions.

Book Review: The Beautiful Bureaucrat

September 19th, 2015
beautiful bureaucrat

A slim new novel works hard at being clever, with mixed results. Justin Hickey reviews “The Beautiful Bureaucrat”

Starship Captains Do It On Impulse (Unfortunately)

August 1st, 2015
Starship Captains Do It On Impulse (Unfortunately)

In fan-favorite Ernest Cline’s new book, a young man raised on video games and cheesy sci-fi movies finds that they just might be the key to Earth’s salvation. But is the 80’s nostalgia of Armada self-defeating?

Steep, Bloody Engagements

July 1st, 2015
Steep, Bloody Engagements

The success of the documentary Blackfish has thrown a spotlight on orcas not as the “killer” whales of the ocean but as victims; a dazzling new natural history broadens the picture to show us truly magnificent alien beings.

Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeeezin’

June 1st, 2015
Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeeezin’

It has three hearts, eight tentacles, and a brain of startling and utterly alien complexity – it’s the octopus, and a heartfelt book takes readers inside the cephalopod world.

Unconditional

April 1st, 2015
Unconditional

An Orwellian dystopia, a deposed humanity, and a cat passionately in love with a dog – Justin Hickey reviews Robert Repino’s fiendishly clever novel Mort(e).

Our Year in Reading 2014

December 1st, 2014
Our Year in Reading 2014

Our unabashedly bookish editors and friends look back on some of the highlights from 2014’s reading.

Stop Their World Spinning

November 1st, 2014
Stop Their World Spinning

Against a pervasive American sports culture, author Steve Allmond pits a devastating critique of the savage violence – and staggering toll in injuries and deaths – of football.

Title Menu: 8 Sci-Fi/Fantasy Classics Hollywood Should Ignore

October 1st, 2014
Title Menu: 8 Sci-Fi/Fantasy Classics Hollywood Should Ignore

As Hollywood looks to science fiction and fantasy novels for the ‘source material’ of its newest CGI spectaculars, Justin Hickey picks ten sci-fi/fantasy books he hopes the studios never find and ruin …

All Manner of Damned-Fool-Bravery

September 1st, 2014
All Manner of Damned-Fool-Bravery

A disaffected British colonial officer with a yearning for heroism is relegated to a doomed imperial outpost where he meets a native boy with a yearning for heroes – and from this unlikely pairing, Nick Harkaway’s Tigerman weaves its fantastic, moving story.

Title Menu: 10 Great “Minor” Works by Major Writers

August 1st, 2014
Title Menu: 10 Great “Minor” Works by Major Writers

The great writers of the ages were hardly (often) one-hit wonders. In praise of diversity, the staff at OLM celebrate the lesser-known b-sides of some pretty well known pens.

Book Review: California

July 14th, 2014
Lepucki_California

After a handily vague apocalypse, a forlorn hipster couple bickers in the woods in Edan Lepucki’s much-hyped debut novel

Title Menu: 12 Hot Summer Reads

July 1st, 2014
Title Menu: 12 Hot Summer Reads

It’s summer at last, and you won’t find any relief from the heat in our editors’ round-up of the hottest books they know.

Wilson 2.0

July 1st, 2014
Wilson 2.0

Daniel Wilson’s first book, Robopocalypse was a straightforward adventure story about robots rising up against their human makers. His new book takes that simple premise and expands on it in complex and timely ways.

Coral Waxwork Classic

June 1st, 2014
Coral Waxwork Classic

Rjurik Davidson’s stunning debut – an epic of espionage, magic, and beasts migrated out of mythology – isn’t the sixth in a series, or the tenth, or the fifteenth; it’s that rare thing in the genre: a stand-alone novel

Echo Chamber Blues

May 1st, 2014
Echo Chamber Blues

Marvel Comics is mopping up at the box office, but what of its rival DC? Our resident expert fisks the also-rans and reminds us about an epic story still waiting to be adapted.

What Passes for Hope

January 1st, 2014
What Passes for Hope

One could argue, from the evidence of cable TV ratings, that we’ve entered the age of the anti-hero. But why are they so popular? Adam Sternbergh’s debut novel provides some unexpected answers.

Our Year in Reading 2013 Continues

December 1st, 2013
Our Year in Reading 2013 Continues

More of our annual retrospective, in which the Open Letters team looks back on the highlights of our 2013 reading.

Spray-Paint It Black

November 1st, 2013
Spray-Paint It Black

Vintage records, black dogs, and lost souls fill Dead Set, a teen novel for readers (of all ages) who are sick of half-hearted Hunger Games clones.

Show Me the Body

October 1st, 2013
Show Me the Body

Throughout its history, humankind has been both terrified by and obsessed with monsters – hence the booming ‘cryptid’ industry, traversing the globe in search of legendary beasts like Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster. A new book looks at the science and psychology behind our modern bogeymen.

Book Review: Assault on Sunrise

September 7th, 2013
Book Review: Assault on Sunrise

In Michael Shea’s new novel, an insane movie producer seeks vengeance on the wily extras who eluded his grasp – it’s a delightful riff on late-night sci-fi movies … and a reminder of what sharp fun good science fiction can be.

Meanwhile, On the Top Shelf

August 1st, 2013
Lee Ozymandias

Alan Moore’s Watchmen is widely regarded as the best graphic novel of them all, and Moore has been outspoken in his condemnation of sequels and spin-offs, refusing to sanction DC Comics’ recent “Before Watchmen” string of mini-series. Was Moore right? Or is there creative life after his masterpiece? Justin Hickey explores.

Summer Reading 2013

July 1st, 2013
Summer Reading 2013

In our annual feature, the Open Letters team offers suggestions for summer reading that take you off the beaten path of blockbusters and beach novels.

Summer Reading 2013 continues

July 1st, 2013
Summer Reading 2013 continues

In part two of our seasonal feature the Open Letters staff recommends another trove of unconventional books – and a few old favorites, too.

Mesophile Planet

July 1st, 2013
Mesophile Planet

They breathe poison gas and eat old bones and stones; they are sightless, deaf, and ageless; they flourish in temperatures that would melt iron or freeze concrete; and they live on the strangest planet in the known universe: Earth

From the Archives: Summer Reading 2012 Continues

July 1st, 2013
From the Archives: Summer Reading 2012 Continues

Our feature continues, as more Open Letters folk share their annual Summer Reading recommendations!

Classics Reissued: The Authority

June 27th, 2013
Classics Reissued: The Authority

A new hardcover reprint presents a pivotal comic book run to new fans and old fans alike. Open Letters talks with its go-to comics expert Justin Hickey about the definitive story arc of “The Authority”

In Paperback: Catching Fire

June 3rd, 2013
catching-fire

The second volume in Suzanne Collins’ phenomenally popular series is at long last available in paperback

Book Review: The 5th Wave

May 11th, 2013
the 5th wave

Is Rick Yancey’s latest teen-targeted sci-fi thriller mere filler for fans waiting on the next “Hunger Games” volume, or is there some meat on its bones?

Book Review: Wolfhound Century

April 23rd, 2013
wolfhound century

A killer stalks a dark-fantasy alternate version of the Soviet Union in Peter Higgins’ fantastic debut novel

Three AM, Outside the Pavilion

April 1st, 2013
Three AM, Outside the Pavilion

If comic book artist P. Craig Russell didn’t exist, we’d have to dream him up. Under the covers with a flashlight, Justin Hickey illuminates a pair of his sublime literature adaptations.

A Little Cryptic, A Little Proud, A Little Mad

February 1st, 2013
storm of wings

In M. John Harrison’s lyrical Viriconium trilogy, the high science of quantum physics meets the low art of fighting giant locusts. Justin Hickey finds a quiet spot to watch the chitin fly.

Our Year in Reading 2012

December 1st, 2012
Our Year in Reading 2012

In this special feature, we look back at some highlights of the reading we did in 2012.

Our Year in Reading 2012 Continues

December 1st, 2012
Our Year in Reading 2012 Continues

In this special feature, we look back at some highlights of the reading we did in 2012.

A Hope in the Undead

October 1st, 2012
WD4 (1)

The Walking Dead, the hit TV series adapted from the zombie-apocalypse comics, offers fans a gripping and subversive take on the accidents of survival.

The Gods Themselves

September 1st, 2012
GovMars

How is Hollywood like a clever boy who never tries? In every way imaginable. The story of two Total Recalls is a sad one indeed.

The Adam of Your Labors

August 1st, 2012
the-dark-knight-rises

Expensive new Batman movies have become a Hollywood ritual, but the character has been thrilling readers – and reflecting a constantly-shifting culture – for seventy years

The Twilight(ing) of the Superhero

July 1st, 2012
spiderman 2 poster

Nerdy teenager Peter Parker was bitten by a radioactive spider – and a super-franchise was born! As a new blockbuster Spider-Man movie hits the summer theaters, Justin Hickey takes us on a tour of the character’s colorful – and often tortured – past!

Endless Forms Most Brutal

June 1st, 2012
Prometheus

As Ridley Scott’s “Prometheus” takes movie-goers back to the world of his “Alien” classics, we take a look at the long and lively history of modern cinema’s most famous monsters.

No Strange Quirk of Fate

May 1st, 2012
Avengers

This month sees the arrival of the long-awaited $250 million dollar Hollywood movie adaptation of Marvel Comics’ Avengers. Lost in all the hype is the rich history of the comic itself; Justin Hickey explores the convergence of pulp and pixels.

Into the Breach: Battle Royale and Hunger Games

April 1st, 2012
HungerGames

The box office record-setting movie adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games is the latest incarnation of an unsettling children-as-prey plot that’s been with us in one form or another for a long time – and never more vividly than in Koushun Takami’s Battle Royale

A Book Every King Should Read

November 1st, 2010
gameofthrones

George R. R. Martin’s epic “Song of Fire and Ice” has sold millions of copies and is about to be a new HBO production. A timely appreciation gives you some idea of what all the fuss is about.