Let’s take a quick look to see what’s arrived in the mail here at the Geek Compound.
Tom Strong Deluxe Edition Vol. 1 by Alan Moore and Chris Sprouse
Comics legend Alan Moore introduces science hero Tom Strong in the first of three deluxe hardcover editions of the popular series illustrated by Chris Sprouse and many of comics’ greatest artists. Tom’s remarkable exploits over a nearly century-long career feature an amazing cast of characters including his wife Dhalua (the daughter of a mighty chieftain), their daughter Tesla, the enhanced ape King Solomon and Tom’s robotic valet, Pneuman.
In this volume, collecting issues #1-12, Tom finds himself battling in different times, worlds and realms, facing off against an eclectic group of enemies like the ruthless Paul Saveen, the mechanized Aztechs and the prehuman Pangaean—in places as diverse as New York, Venus, an alternate Earth and even the past!
Star Wars: Darth Bane: Dynasty of Evil by Drew Karpyshyn
Twenty years have passed since Darth Bane, reigning Dark Lord of the Sith, demolished the ancient order devoted to the dark side and reinvented it as a circle of two: one Master to wield the power and pass on the wisdom, and one apprentice to learn, challenge, and ultimately usurp the Dark Lord in a duel to the death. But Bane’s acolyte, Zannah, has yet to engage her Master in mortal combat and prove herself a worthy successor. Determined that the Sith dream of galactic domination will not die with him, Bane vows to learn the secret of a forgotten Dark Lord that will assure the Sith’s immortality–and his own.
A perfect opportunity arises when a Jedi emissary is assassinated on the troubled mining planet Doan, giving Bane an excuse to dispatch his apprentice on a fact-finding mission–while he himself sets out in secret to capture the ancient holocron of Darth Andeddu and its precious knowledge. But Zannah is no fool. She knows that her ruthless Master has begun to doubt her, and she senses that he is hiding something crucial to her future. If she is going to claim the power she craves, she must take action now.
While Bane storms the remote stronghold of a fanatical Sith cult, Zannah prepares for her Master’s downfall by choosing an apprentice of her own: a rogue Jedi cunning and cold-blooded enough to embrace the Sith way and to stand beside her when she at last wrests from Bane the mantle of Dark Lord of the Sith.
But Zannah is not the only one with the desire and power to destroy Darth Bane. Princess Serra of the Doan royal family is haunted by memories of the monstrous Sith soldier who murdered her father and tortured her when she was a child. Bent on retribution, she hires a merciless assassin to find her tormentor–and bring him back alive to taste her wrath.
Only a Sith who has taken down her own Master can become Dark Lord of the Sith. So when Bane suddenly vanishes, Zannah must find him–possibly even rescue him–before she can kill him. And so she pursues her quarry from the grim depths of a ravaged world on the brink of catastrophe to the barren reaches of a desert outpost, where the future of the dark side’s most powerful disciples will be decided, once and for all, by the final, fatal stroke of a lightsaber.
Madness of Flowers by Jay Lake
The battle has been fought and won, and all have been transformed by the struggle. Imago of Lockwood has become Lord Mayor of the City Imperishable, though at a price beyond his wildest imagination. Bijaz the Dwarf has been imbued with a godlike power and a responsibility he scarcely understands. And Jason the Factor, resurrected from death at the hands of his sister, the Tokhari sandwalker Kalliope, has become the sula ma-jieni na-dia, the fabled Dead Man of Winter.
When a beautiful mountebank named Ashkoliiz arrives in the City Imperishable, accompanied by a group of mercenary Northmen and an exotic and terrible ice bear, the mood of the City turns strange. Amid much pomp and showmanship, Ashkoliiz offers to lead an expedition to uncover the lost tomb of the Imperator Terminus, stirring up the mob with promises of treasure and imperial power… but what will her quest unleash?
Far south in Port Defiance, the rabble-rousing dwarf Onsiphorous endeavors to lure the city’s expatriate dwarfs, slashed and sewn alike, back home, even as corsair raids and a river blockade threaten to not only impede his progress, but cut off trade, communication, and transportation to the City entirely.
Meanwhile, the deadly political struggles in the City Imperishable take a turn for the worse, and Imago must use every ounce of his cleverness and guile in order to maintain power against the vengeful machinations of the corrupt assemblage of Burgesses, not to mention preserve his own life. Political intrigue, adventure, and all-out war await the principles and inhabitants of the City Imperishable. Though it all, the City may endure, but none will remain untouched by the Madness of Flowers…
In the tradition of Perdido Street Station, City of Saints and Madmen, and The Etched City, Campbell Award-winning author Jay Lake returns to the decadent urban fantasy first glimpsed in Trial of Flowers. The trial may be over, but the madness is just beginning…
More in Part II.