Friday, November 27, 2015

Practical Surfactants - Illustrations and Phase Diagram Widget



I've had the pleasure of knowing Professor Steven Abbott for several years now.  His credentials are solid (Oxford & Harvard Chemistry PhD, U. Strasbourg Post Doc in Nobel Prize lab, Senior Manager ICI, Research Director MacDermid Autotype, Visiting Professor U. Leeds, Independent Scientist, Consultant, Trainer, Author) and his personality splendidly high-energy.

His knack for making web-based, interactive models is well-established, especially for coatings, adhesives, and solubility issues. More recently, he has created a package for understanding surfactants/detergents, available online - Practical Surfactants site and now in a Practical Surfactants- Free eBook.  I was thrilled to be able to provide some illustrations for the eBook (i.e. for surfactant curvature) as well as co-developing the Phase Diagram tab which includes some awesome sub-tabs:
Two-Phase Regions and Lever-Rule Widget / Ternary Diagram Basics /
  Understand the Gibb's Phase Rule / Ternary Data Viewer

Practical Surfactants - Online Interface




Wednesday, November 25, 2015

S E Lindberg's You Are A Grim Hero - translated into Italian!

You Are A Grim, Italian Hero 

Last April, I wrote a guest post on the Grimdark genre's roots (1930-and-1980).  I was just notified that the post was translated and reposted this month!  Like dark fantasy?  Check out a perspective highlighting Clark Ashton Smith and Fighting Fantasy.

Original Guest Post in English, thanks to an invitation by Francesco La Manno:
 2015-April "You-are-grim-hero" Post on Panopticonitalia-Hyperborea Blog

Now in Italian, thanks to Alessandro Iascy:
Nov-25th 2015 - Blog Post translated into Italian!

Grazie!



Why & How to Read The Zothique Tales:
·         It's an Aficionado’s duty – know the origins of Sword & Sorcery and Grimdark
·         Short Stories – won’t consume much time
·         The stories are awesomely Grimdark
·         Free – available online thanks to Eldritchdark, a fan website run with permission from CAS’s family. The Zothique tales are ordered as they appear in Necrocomicon’s Press 1995 printing of “Clark Ashton Smith’s Tales of Zothique” edited by Will Murray and Steve Behrends (i.e., chronological order of publication). A great review of these was shared by author Ryan Harvey on Blackgate:

Links:
9-      Xeethra  - Mar 1934
17-   Zothique - poem
19-   Mandor's Enemy - fragment  (fragment)

Sunday, November 22, 2015

High Cough of Silistra - Intense, Sex-Infused Fantasy for Thoughtful Readers

High Couch of Silistra (the silistra quartet book 1)High Couch of Silistra by Janet E. Morris
S. E. Lindberg rating: 5 of 5 stars

Janet E. Morris’s High Couch of Silistra is Intense, Sex-Infused Fantasy for Thoughtful Readers

In 1977, an intellectual female author wrote a debut, fantasy/sci-fi novel featuring a heroine in a dystopic, alien world striving to discover her mysterious past & god-like ancestry; in 2015, her debut novel was reprinted. Some may assume I am referring to Tanith Lee who passed away recently; her 1975 debut The Birthgrave was reprinted in 1977 and this year which I just read/enjoyed/reviewed. However, I am referring to Janet Morris’s 1977 High Couch of Silistra; this reviews her ‘author’s cut’ version, coincidentally released this year. Janet Morris’s style is quite different that Lee’s, though fans of the Birthgrave would certainly devour High Couch.

Intense Sex: One would wrongly assume that High Couch of Silistra is purely a 1970-feminist-movement book; the role of sex, rape, and fertility is posited to make the reader tense. The protagonist Estri is a woman of Silistran origin (alien with human form) and most Silistran’s are reliant on humans to become impregnated, which is a rare event. The culture and expectations of purchased sex, often brutal but sometimes passionate, are constantly present. Somehow, Janet Morris manages to write all this erotic-infused adventure in an intellectual, almost dispassionate voice. This is not shallow romance/soft-pornography. Nor is High Couch of Silistra gratuitous whoring. This is mature-rated, engaging fantasy.

Tension: Without spoiling, note that characters watch their parents have intercourse, men rape other men, and woman lust after men who abuse them. In real life, these situations would appall me. My test for rationalizing my comfort level and reading onward was: if Estri tolerated her predicaments, then so should I. The constant tension between the book’s acceptable behavior and today’s societal norms took me beyond reading the story. It made reading this more than adventure. It made me think. Janet Morris’s intent was to play with controversial sexual and societal themes; she delivered with Estri’s journey, full of codependent genders & races, an intricate alien world, and psychedelic magic.

Cover Art & Interview: In Janet Morris’s 2014 interview on Beauty in Weird Fiction she said that “Human extravagances and limitations are what, for me, Silistra is about, but it is not a series for the erotically-averse, or the intellectually timid.” As a reader/reviewer, I could not agree more with that self-assessment. In that interview she also noted her dislike of the 1977 cover art Boris Vallejo that depicted Estri with a brass bra and Gucci boots. For the author’s cut, she employed artist Roy Mauritsen who presented a more intellectual design for the Silsitra quartet by dividing the Dancing Maenad in (a Roman relief) over the four books (photo by Ana BelĂ©n Cantero Paz).
High Couch of Silistra (Silistra, #1) by Janet E. Morris High Couch of Silistra (the silistra quartet book 1) by Janet E. Morris

Genre & Theme: This futuristic, dystopian world has science-fiction elements (space/time travel, some technology), but leans toward fantasy (alien beasts with hybrid/mythological designs; sorcery like telepathy/mind reading; fighting that is melee/blade-focused). Ubiquitous themes of procreation, fertility, and “shaping” the world add depth.
The Silstra Quartet seriesThe series continues, the remaining three presumably to be released in the near future (since the covers are designed.)

Dancing Maenad a Roman relief over the four books

View all my reviews

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Latte with Tom Barczak - Norman Oklahoma 2015

S E Lindberg and Tom Barczak - 2015 Norman - Heroikan's drink lattes
This month I visited Norman OK for the third year in a row as I participate in a consortium on surfactants run by chemical engineering professors at Oklahoma University (IASR). Last year I took the opportunity to track down Tom Barczak whom I interviewed in 2014 and happens to live there. He has a similar poetic/dark style. Apart from our own endeavors (his Evarun and my Dyscrasia Fiction), our short stories appeared together in Heroika 1: Dragon Eaters this year, an anthology which many are proud of; here is a snippet of Ricky L. Brown's review via Amazing Stories Magazine:


Heroika 1: Dragon Eaters is an anthology of well-crafted work with a wide range of entertaining perspectives. Spanning across cultures, centuries, and even the dimensions of time and space, each contribution has its own distinct charm. In essence, this book is a colorful bouquet of bold stories about one of the darkest primal forces in mythological lore...  Published by Perseid Press and edited by Janet Morris, this collection is due to be released on May 25, 2015. There are seventeen tales in all. Though breaking each one down with literary criticism would take multiple reviews to cover thoroughly, it is advised to just pick up a copy and dive right in because odds are pretty good you'll find plenty to enjoy...

In the Legacy of the Great Dragon by S.E. Lindberg, readers will discover another use for the dragons in getting one’s sight back, but here we cross the fine line between man and god, and see how the twisted significance of the word “legacy” can define both... 

Forged by Tom Barczak is a fairytale adventure with good versus evil, eventually allowing readers to discover the hidden magic of dragons that lies in the soul of a young girl and how “love” works its magic in unexpected ways..."

I highly recommend Tom's work. As I reviewed Veil of the Dragon, his style is poetic, and it is timely to note that this prose can now be heard thanks to the beautiful narration by Neil Hellegers. Check out the audible sample on Audible: 




Thursday, November 5, 2015

Hell Bound - Andrew Weston, Book Tour

The author of Hell Bound (released this Halloween), is on a blog tour! Thanks for guest blogging, Andrew Weston!

So who is he? What is Hell Bound?  Is Daemon Grim coming for us? Below are his own hellish answers, an excerpt, and a book giveaway link! 

First, who is Andrew P. Weston?

Andrew P. Weston is Royal Marine and Police veteran from the UK who now lives on the beautiful Greek island of Kos with his wife, Annette, and their growing family of rescue cats.  An astronomy and law graduate, he is the creator of the international number one bestseller, The IX, and also has the privilege of being a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, the British Fantasy Society and the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers.  When not writing, Andrew devotes some of his spare time to assisting NASA with one of their remote research projects, and writes educational articles for Astronaut.com and Amazing Stories.   Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon Author

What is Hell Bound?
Hell Bound is part of the Heroes in Hell universe, which is a series of shared world fantasy books, within the genre Bangsian fantasy/horror, created and edited by Janet Morris and written by her, Chris Morris, C. J. Cherryh and others. The first 12 books in the series were published by Baen Books between 1986 and 1989, and stories from the series include both Hugo Award winners and Nebula nominees. Janet continued the series through her own publishing company – Perseid Press – from 2011 onward with, Lawyers in Hell, followed by five more anthologies and a novel since then.

The shared world premise of Heroes in Hell (also called The Damned Saga) is that all the dead wind up together in Hell, where they pick up where they left off when still alive. The Encyclopedia of Fantasy states "In the long series of shared world adventures begun with Heroes in Hell, Hell becomes an arena in which all the interesting people in history can come together to continue the relentless pursuit of their various ends.” Brian Stableford commented that the series "adapted the backcloth of Dantean fantasy as a stage for violent adventures with ironic echoes of infernal comedy.

Hell Bound is simply an extension – a continuation of an ever expanding theme. It follows the exploits of Satan’s chief bounty hunter, the Reaper, as he hunts down fugitives from injustice. Of course, with some of the most infamous souls in all history up to no good, you can only imagine the problems that can and do arise.


When devising the character of Daemon Grim, I thought one of the best ways of integrating him – and indeed his entire crew – into the already established universe, was to ensure their “solo’ adventures run in tandem with what’s happening in the anthologies. So, Grim was introduced to us in Doctors in Hell, where we found him on a special mission to recover something very precious to His Infernal Majesty. Hell Bound begins at the conclusion of that very same mission. The next anthology will pick up several months after Hell Bound. Hell Hounds – the next solo novel – commences where that anthology ends, and sets the scene for the next HIH adventure.

Hell Bound (Heroes in Hell) Blurb

In hell, none of the condemned believes they deserve to be there. And that’s fine, so long as they’re not foolish enough to try and do anything about it. For those that do, there’s always Satan’s Reaper–and chief bounty hunter–Daemon Grim.

Feared throughout the many layers of the underverse, no one in their right mind dares to cross him.

However, when Grim discovers that someone has attempted to evade injustice, and seems hell-bent on gaining access to ancient angelic artifacts proscribed since the time of the original rebellion in heaven, circumstances point to the fact they may be doing just that.

The question is...why?

Thus begins an investigation that leads Grim throughout the many contradictory and baffling levels of the underworld, where he unearths a conspiracy that is not only eating its way like a cancer through the highest echelons of Hellion society, but one which threatens the very stability of Satan’s rule.

As you can imagine, Grim’s response is bloody, brutal, and despicably wicked.

Hell Bound – In hell, everyone can hear you scream...



Excerpt


​​Order now via Amazon Hell Bound 
This is the US centric link, but many global Amazon's have it to

Or try this Rafflecopter giveaway (link)


Novel Book Tours