1st Trailer for The Expanse

We’re huge fans of the Expanse series by James S.A. Corey, and we were pretty excited when news broke that the books would be adapted for television on SyFy. What got us even more excited was that Hawk Otsby, of the Burlington area (and who also wrote Iron Man and Children of Men) was attached as the lead writer.

Now, the show is headed for television this fall, and SyFy released their first trailer for the series:

 

What do you think?

Movies You Missed: ‘Black Mirror’

Margot Harrison over on Seven Days has a special edition of Movies You Missed, looking not at a movie, but television show Black Mirror. The Channel 4 show in the UK is possibly some of the best speculative fiction I’ve ever seen. It’s deeply satirical, very dark, and thought provoking.

In our year-end film wrap-up, I noted my dislike for films with curmudgeon characters who grouse about the internet and social media. (That goes for TV, too, Aaron Sorkin!) That doesn’t mean I don’t believe in questioning and satirizing internet culture. Far from it. I just think the critique needs to be done by people who understand the appeal of that culture in the first place, people who can get at it from the inside.

“Black Mirror” is powerful because its creators understand why people enjoy virtual reality. Technology isn’t the villain in this series, as the title indicates. Our many screens stay black until we program them to mirror back our own desires and fears. That’s when things can get out of control.

So far, not one episode has featured an independently malign artificial intelligence (e.g., Skynet). The emphasis is always on the human creator or user.

Read the reset of her thoughts here.

I’ll second everything she said: this was something I’ve heard a bit about over the last couple of years, and now that it’s on Netflix, it’s readily accessible. This isn’t a show that I’d recommend binging though: it’s something better to watch one at a time, with plenty of time to digest what you’ve seen.

South Burlington Writer Lands SyFy Show with The Expanse

News just broke: James S.A. Corey’s (Ty Franck and Daniel Abraham) Expanse series is headed for the Syfy channel, written by South Burlington writer Hawk Ostby (co-writer with Children of Men and Iron Man).

This, needless to say, is awesome. The Expense series is composed of three books at the moment: Leviathan Wakes, Caliban’s War and Abbadon’s Gate, with a fourth, Ciabola Burn, due out later this year. Here’s the short blurb from Entertainment Weekly:

A thriller set two hundred years in the future, The Expanse follows the case of a missing young woman who brings a hardened detective and a rogue ship’s captain together in a race across the solar system to expose the greatest conspiracy in human history.

Read the full article here.

Syfy has greenlit a direct-to-order series with ten episodes in the first season. It looks like they’re going the Game of Thrones route, by adapting each volume as a season. This is excellent to see, because Syfy has been on the ropes for a couple of years now: this would bring them thundering back with a space show. They’ve done some good stuff in the past, such as Battlestar Galactica, and this could be just as excellent. Otsby is a fantastic writer, and he’s been attached to some of the best SF projects to hit the screen in a while.

Hopefully, they’ll keep the mention of Vermont Cheddar Cheese in the series.

Vermont Screenwriter on ‘The Expanse’

File this under AWESOME. Local screenwriter Hawk Otsby (Children of Men, Iron Man, Cowboys and Aliens), along with screenwriting partner Mark Fergus will adapt the James S.A. Corey series The Expanse for television.

The Expanse, written by writing duo Ty Frank and Daniel Abraham (James S.A. Corey together), takes place in a populated solar system and deals with the inter-planetary fallout of alien contact. Three books have been published in the series: Leviathan Wakes, Caliban’s War and Abbadon’s Gate, with three more expected in the next three years.

Vermont, incidentally, gets a nice name check in Leviathan Wakes, where Vermont Cheddar Cheese is mentioned as an expensive, smuggled commodity.

There’s no word on where The Expanse will appear on television, or when. Fingers crossed that it navigates the minefield of the television industry!

Star Trek: Best of Both Worlds at Palace 9

The Palace 9 theater in South Burlington will be screening the two-part Star Trek: The Next Generation episode Best of Both Worlds on April 25th at 7pm, as part of a national, special screening. Tickets will be on sale soon.

The episodes comprised the season finale of Season 3 and the first episode of Season 4 for the long-running Star Trek show and won two Emmy Awards for “Outstanding Art Direction for a Series” and “Outstanding Sound Editing for a Series” and have frequently appeared on best of lists for television episodes and is frequently cited as some of the top episodes in the entire series.

Details here. Facebook event.

BTV Radio Players present The Gloved Fox!

It started with a serendipitous discovery. Early in 2012, Andrew Liptak, the founder of Geek Mountain State, mentioned an upcoming performance by The Intergalactic Nemesis at the Flynn Theater. On a whim, my partner Andrew Rash and I decided to check out this unique, interesting-looking performance art that mixed live radio drama with Foley effects and comic book images projected onto a large screen.

Inspired by this experience, my partner Andrew developed an original superhero-esque character named the Gloved Fox, set her heroic exploits in a 30’s-era city, and started approaching friends and acquaintances with his idea of writing, producing, and directing a live radio drama complete with Foley effects. The response was immediate and overwhelmingly positive. Friends of friends asked how they could take part in this adventure. Actors, radio lovers, sound designers, and aspiring Foley artists all came together and asked, “How can we make this happen?”

Andrew approached Bill Simmon and the staff at VCAM to discuss using VCAM’s equipment to record the episodes with the intention of creating both a video and audio version. Though the episodes were to be designed primarily for the radio/Internet listener, Andrew also wanted to create something visually appealing to highlight the acting and skill that goes into radio theater and Foley artistry. Andrew’s ideas intrigued Bill, and he eagerly agreed to help us figure out how to make The Gloved Fox! possible.

Thus, The Gloved Fox! was born! As of today, we’ve recorded episode 1 – “The Thespian’s Revenge” – and made it available as a video version on Youtube and a downloadable audio version through Google docs. We learned quite a bit about on-the-fly sound mixing with this first episode, as you will hear when you listen/watch (since it was performed in one take without post-editing). Our technical issues revolved mostly around audio mixing and how different types of microphones pick up sounds – issues that we will iron out with future recordings (and the help of a more experienced audio engineer who has joined our team!).

Designing the Foley SFX has been one of the most geekilicious aspects of this project, and as lead of sound design and Foley artistry, I’ve learned a great deal about creating and performing SFX. Our goal is to perform most of the SFX live, relying on pre-recorded sound as little as possible. This goal has led to fantastic sound design meetings where we’ve played with a variety of objects and brainstormed ideas for needed sounds, lengthy research sessions of old-time radio drama Foley techniques, random experimentation with various objects that we encounter each day, and e-mails with the creators of The Intergalactic Nemesis for advice. Some of our happiest discoveries so far: using a large suitcase to simulate car door opening and closing; “random acts of fruit violence” to mimic knife stabbing and neck breaking; and the maker talents of our friends in creating a beautiful and functional “Foley door.” While we still struggle to make the microphones pick-up certain sounds effectively (i.e. the thunder in episode 1), we eagerly continue our experiments as Andrew’s scripts challenge us to explore new ground with each episode.

We are scheduled to record episode 2 “Victims of the Voracious Vamp” and episode 3 “Wrath of the Wraith” on February 1st. Andrew has mapped out 10 episodes for The Gloved Fox!, after which he will write a series of Old West/Cowboy stories followed by a serial adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.

Stay tuned for upcoming episodes – and more “lessons learned” as we explore the world of live radio drama!

Fringe: Welcome to Westfield

The fantastic television show Fringe has visited Vermont once again, with episode 12 of the 4th season, Welcome to Westfield. After investigating a strange event involving a plane crash and electronics problems in ‘Southern Vermont’, the Fringe team finds themselves trapped in a town from which they can’t escape.

This was one of my favorite episodes of the season, because if felt like a throwback to the Season 1 and 2 episodes, where there were a bit more standalone episodes: this one involved the core group, rather than with some of the characters that have been added on over the years.

The problem with this episode though is Westfield. There is actually a Westfield, Vermont, located just off of Rt 100, south of Troy… and just a handful of miles from the Canadian Border, NOT Southern Vermont, as the episode claims in the beginning. Of course, this discrepency can be down to it being an alternate universe, but given that everything else is pretty much the same, I think we might need to send the writers a map of the state.

Vermont was previously featured in another episode, the 12th episode of Season 3. Hm… If there’s a 5th Season of Fringe, maybe we’ll see Vermont once again, in Episode 512. But, given the ratings of the show, that might never come to be.

Vermonter in Ridley Scott’s ‘Prophets of Science Fiction’

Vermonter Josh Pellerin, a high school classmate of mine, mentioned something very interesting the other day on Facebook: he’s playing the part of a young and old Jules Verne in a television series called ‘Prophets of Science Fiction‘, a television series airing on the Science channel. Helmed by Ridley Scott, the show looks at some of the visionaries behind the genre and what influenced them:

What once was just imagination is now real; what was once the distant future is now around the corner. The “Science Fiction” of the past has now simply become “Science”. And the science of the future was strangely prophesied by a group of visionaries whose dreams once may have deemed them renegades and “mad scientists,” have become reality!
In 1950, the term “Robotics” was coined by author Isaac Asimov in his book I.ROBOT — and our collective imagination reeled. In the years since, literature, movies and television have allowed us to embrace the notion that the ideas of a few inspired visionaries could be made real. What is more astonishing is that these ideas have been, are currently and will be put to practice in our everyday lives. Each episode of the upcoming series PROPHETS OF SCIENCE FICTION will focus on how the great minds of Science Fiction imagined our future for us, and how some, in turn, made their fantasies real.
In a dynamic hyper-stylized way that has never been seen before…we will take a tour of what was, and what will be through the eyes of the visionary authors, illustrators, filmmakers, and scientists who have become the PROPHETS OF SCIENCE FICTION!

Josh let me know what his role was:

In August I saw that a production was looking for a young Jules Verne and an old Jules Verne… He was such an amazing visionary and I’m a big fan now. Anyways, upon looking at depictions of him on google images, I thought I kind of bear a resemblance to him. The casting director did to apparently, because the next day I got a phone call asking if I could play Young Jules Verne for “Prophets of Science Fiction”. It was really great to hear. I didn’t even have to audition!

The shoot took place on August 18th at the Hollywood American Legion Post 43. It had a beautiful antique feeling inside. The crew was smaller than I was expecting, being a Ridley Scott production, but they were all efficient and fun to hang around with. I was really impressed with the beautiful make-up ladies’ beard-making abilities. I had to shave off my beard and sideburns for my first scene, gazing out at the moon from French explorer Francois Arago’s study (I hope that’s the right explorer name). I believe I was playing Jules just out of college, eager to learn all I could. For my later scene, where Jules attended the world fair, I was playing about 10 years older. The make-up gal applied hairs to my face just a few strands at a time. No gluing on a single beard. I think it’s the oldschool way of applying beards for films. It took a while, but it looked way better than most fake beards I’ve seen.

The costumes from that time period were also very impressive and fun to wear for the day. It was great imagining myself as this legendary visionary at the start of his career; Sketching out a submarine at the world fair, perusing through Francois’ incredible artifacts and findings from around the world like a kid in a candy store.

He also mentioned that he’s got a small role in a film called Argo, helmed by Ben Affleck, which has some science fictional elements.

The Jules Verne episode of Prophets of Science Fiction airs next Wednesday, the 22nd of February. From the website:

He put a man on the Moon in the Victorian Era. He criticized the Internet…in the 1863. Jules Verne is the ultimate futurist, with a legacy of sci-fi stories predicting everything from fuel cell technology to viral advertising. The extraordinary voyages of Jules Verne span from the center of the Earth to the surface of the Moon, inspiring art, industry, culture, and technology with an enduring question: Where can science take us?

Want to catch up on the show? iTunes has all the episodes released so far.

2011 in [geek] review

Andrew asked me to write a post looking back at nerdy stuff in 2011. I didn’t see every movie or play every video game, so this isn’t an all-encompassing year-in-review post, but as I made my notes preparing to write the thing, I realized it was a pretty full year, as nerdy pursuits go. What follows is a subject-by-subject look at some of the nerdy things that I personally enjoyed in 2011.

SUPER HEROES, SEQUELS & PREQUELS
There were several super hero films this summer (which seems to be typical nowadays). I missed the one most folks were panning (Green Lantern) but I think I caught the rest of them. The production design was lovely in X-Men First Class, but the film suffered from egregious retconning and some fairly blatant racism and sexism (I know the film is set in the 60s when these were bigger cultural problems than they are now, but did they really have to kill the black super hero first? Really?). I think I would have enjoyed seeing a whole movie devoted to scenes of Magneto jet setting around in the 1960s and hunting down Nazis.

My favorite super hero film was Captain America by a mile. It managed to live up to its source material and tell a compelling self-contained story (unlike Thor, for example) and managed to perk up my interest in anticipation of next summer’s Avengers film all at the same time.

My actual favorite genre film of 2011 is a straight up tie between Stephen Soderbergh’s Contagion and Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.’s The Thing. Contagion is really more of a science thriller than a science fiction film. It’s beautifully shot, directed and edited and it will make you hyper conscious of just how much you touch your own face. It’s the 2001: a Space Odyssey of pandemic films in that it nails the science behind the story so well. Narratively, Contagion plays out a bit like Soderbergh’s war-on-drugs polemic, Traffic, as it’s populated by an ensemble cast of loosely connected characters in different parts of the world who are affected by the outbreak in various ways.

The Thing is something special and something I’ve never seen done on film before. Here’s what I wrote in a Candleblog post that I never published:

Remakes are tricky. The problem is that nobody wants to remake crappy movies — everyone wants to remake classics, which is problematic because the classic films are already great. Remakes have an uphill battle trying to live up to these great original films and few succeed. Go ahead. Try and think of a great remake. The list is really short. Indeed some will  argue that John Carpenter’s 1982 version of The Thing is actually the best remake ever (though technically, Carpenter’s film is not so much  a “remake” of Howard Hawkes’ 1952 classic, The Thing From Another World, as it is a retelling of John Campbell’s science fiction short story, Who Goes There).

Prequels are even trickier. Just ask George Lucas. A successful prequel has to not only stand alone as it’s own film, it has to live up to the quality of the film it’s setting up and it has to do so while explicitly revealing the on-screen actions that led to what may have been merely throw-away backstory elements in the original. Think of all the acrobatic shenanigans Lucas had to go through at the end of Revenge of the Sith to get all the characters in the right places for the beginning of Star Wars — wipe the protocol droid’s memory, but don’t bother with the R2 unit, he seems harmless enough; Bail Organa always wanted a little princess; Yoda is the greatest Jedi master in the galaxy but he dropped his lightsaber once so now he must exile himself to a swamp world, etc.

Keep these issues in mind as you watch Matthijs van Heijningen’s new version of The Thing, because this film has done something I think no other film has ever done: it’s both a successful remake and a successful prequel. It achieves the goals of both.

I wouldn’t change a word of that. Van Heijningen made a film that is a loving tribute to the original, recreating the basic plot, tension and (nearly) specific scenes of Carpenter’s iteration. The characters’ names and faces are different, but the monster is the same, the setting is essentially the same, and up until the film’s final moments, the basic narrative is the same, as the eponymous Thing picks off the ice station crew members one by one. So it works as a remake of Carpenter’s film, but it’s also a very specific prequel — so meticulously crafted that an uninitiated viewer watching the films back to back might think they were made at the same time. And despite the perfect attention to detail spent getting all of the various pieces in place for the start of Carpenter’s film, almost none of it feels forced or tacked-on (one exception being the ice station crew member who commits suicide by cutting his own throat, just to establish one shot in the 1982 film). I’m hoping van Heijningen has started a trend and that Ridley Scott’s Prometheus will be the next example of this sort of film.

Honorable mention: Attack the Block.

Special Worst Genre Film of 2011 Award: Transformers: Dark of the Moon (see my review here)

WORDS WITHOUT PICTURES
I’m a terribly slow reader so my best-of list of genre books will be short. I recently finished Stephen King’s 11/22/63, which is part time travel adventure, part historical fiction and part romance, none of which immediately strike me as Stephen King genres. It’s a great yarn but the SF nerd in me kept asking needling questions about the mechanics of time travel that King never bothered to answer.

Speaking of time travel adventures and historical fiction, my favorite SF book of 2011 was Connie Willis’ All Clear, which was part two of a two-part story begun last year (the first part was called Blackout). These books are set in my favorite of Willis’ universes (visited before in Doomsday Book and To Say Nothing of the Dog) in which our heroes journey from the time-traveling future of Oxford, England circa 2060 to various points during WWII and then get stuck there.

On my bookshelf now, waiting to be read next are two other 2011 publications, Neil Stephenson’s REAMDE and Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One. Those will have to wait for my 2012 year-in-review post.

ALIENS, ZOMBIES & DRAGON EGGS
Game of Thrones
is the obvious 2011 champion of genre TV. It’s loving devotion to the source material is inspiring and it’s slow-burn storytelling is something I’d like to see more of on TV. Matt Zoller Seitz (one of the best TV writers working now, IMO) described the second half of GoT season one as “The Godfather with swordplay and dragon’s eggs.” Yup. It’s that good.

2011 was also the year my wife and I finally caught up with Fringe and I can safely say that seasons two and three of that show comprise some of the finest SF TV I’ve ever seen.

I should also mention that SyFy’s version of Being Human turned out to be surprisingly good. (As good at the BBC version? Opinions vary.) Falling Skies is the show V really should have been and Walking Dead had a marginally better season than last year.

I couldn’t do a year-end round up of genre TV for 2011 without mentioning the insipid and blisteringly stupid NBC show, The Cape. Cancellation is too good for this turd. Every copy must be destroyed.

PRESS START
I should mention at the outset that I am not a fan of RPG video games. I like my RPGs the classic way — with dice. I mention this because Skyrim does not top my 2011 list, nor does it even make an appearance. I played a little bit of Oblivion once and let’s just say it doesn’t matter how much better Skyrim is, I’m not going to play it.

I did, however, spend a few too many hours playing LA Noir from Rockstar Games. I’m a sucker for anything even vaguely GTA-related and LA Noir is like GTA in 1940s LA, only you have to question witnesses. If you play it, do it in B&W. It was designed to be played that way and it really adds to the experience.

Dead Island had the best video game trailer of the year, for sure. Game play is your standard zombie romp, but set in a beautiful tropical locale.

The best video game of 2011 for me was Portal 2. I actually finished it (I rarely actually complete video game stories). It one-ups the brilliant original in two important ways: first, it expands on the physics, introducing new ways to navigate the crazy puzzles that are just as fun as the stuff in the first game; and second, the story is greatly expanded, including a compelling back story, new characters (Wheatly FTW!) and some of the funniest writing in any genre of any storytelling medium this year.

MEANWHILE…
I wanted to include a best-of comics section in this post but I read so few comics this year it just wouldn’t be worth a damn. But I’ll take the opportunity to plug my friend Alex’s excellent SF romance webcomic, Artifice. I’ll make it a New Year’s resolution to read more comics in 2012.

MEATSPACE ADVENTURES
I had some pretty great nerdy real-life experiences this year too. In Austin in March during SXSW I saw Harry Knowles from Ain’t It Cool News interview Guillermo del Toro about horror/fantasy movies on the stage of the Paramount Theater. Also at SXSW, I caught a couple of podcast tapings of Doug Loves Movies, featuring Simon Pegg, director James Gunn (Slither, Super), Rain Wilson, Dave Foley, Kevin Pollack and others. That was pretty great. I also saw They Might Be Giants play a show with Jonathan Coulton on a beautiful late summer evening in Norwich, VT. I interviewed biologist Craig Venter for a magazine article last January. Venter is the guy who created “artificial DNA” in a laboratory and was on the team that first sequenced the human genome. And my wife Emily’s knitted creations got some podcast and twitter love from the Nerdist himself, Chris Hardwick.

I’m sure 2012 will be even nerdier. The Myans predicted it! See you next year.

Vermont In Speculative fiction

Vermont is off the beaten path when it comes to science fiction, fantasy and horror stories, unlike the usual haunts such as New York or California, but the state has a rich environment that lends itself well to speculative fiction, especially when it comes to fantasy and horror. Amongst the green mountains, there’s not only a good environment and ambiance for such stories, but quite a bit of history behind the area as well.

Looking around, we’ve been able to come up with a number of instances of where Vermont’s been used as a location for a story, across a number of mediums. Here’s what we found:

Film:


I Am Legend


Will Smith’s 2007 ‘Only Boy in New York’ film, set after a miracle cure for cancer kills off most of the human population and leaves his character alone in New York City uses Vermont in the end of the film: Smith’s character Robert Neville, is killed off, and the two other survivors who found him, Anna and Ethan, flee the city with supplies, headed to Bethel, where a rumored survivor’s colony is supposed to be located, eventually locating a walled town that looks very much like small-town Vermont.

The Jacket
I’ve always thought that this 2005 film was vastly underrated, and should have gotten a bit more attention when it first came out. Set in Vermont in 1992, a year after the Gulf War, Jack Starks, played by Adrien Brody, suffers from amnesia, when he’s accused of killing a Vermont State Police officer after picking up a hitchhiker. Found not guilty, he’s sent off to a mental institution, where his Doctor places him in a jacket, where he travels back and forth between realities.

What Lies Beneath
This Robert Zemeckis film from 2000 is one that I vaguely remember hearing about, set in Vermont. Claire Spencer (Michelle Pfeiffer) and her husband, Dr. Norman Spencer (Harrison Ford), relocate to the state after a car accident leaves gaps in Claire’s memory. There’s accused murders, séances and ghosts, and some interconnected family drama.

Sucker Punch


This isn’t out yet, but it’s worth noting that Zack Snyder’s upcoming film is located in Vermont, Brattleboro, to be precise, where a girl is taken to a mental institution, driving much of the story along.

Television:


True Blood
It’s never featured in the HBO show of outted Vampires, but as the show features much allegory towards the rights of homosexuals in the state, it’s no surprised that Vermont was the first place to legalize Vampire weddings.

Fringe

This past week’s episode of FOX’s fantastic show Fringe (Concentrate and Ask Again), sees the main characters of the show trek up from Boston through New Hampshire on I-89 to Washington, Vermont to find a former associate of Walter’s. The man, a mind-reader, seems to have found the perfect place to find a bit of isolation.

X-Files
Season 7’s episode, Chimera, brings Agent Mulder up to the Green Mountain State to investigate the dissapearance of a woman, which turns into a murder by an angry spirit.

Three Moons Over Milford
This was a very short-lived TV show from 2006, set in Southern Vermont shortly after the moon is hit by an asteroid, with three large fragments headed down to Earth. People in Milford start living each day as if it were to be their last. According to the desYou can watch the entire series on Hulu: http://www.hulu.com/three-moons-over-milford

Being Human (US Version)
This doesn’t fall in the Vermont category, but Vermont falls inbetween in an interesting way: the show is apparently being filmed up in Montreal, to the north of us, while taking place in Boston. Trip up to Vermont at some point for the characters? The Green Mountains are already home to all sorts of strange tales: A Vampire and Warewolf would be positively normal!

Literature:


The Stand, Stephen King
Stephen King’s novel The Stand uses Vermont in its story, introducing the fictional Stoveington, Vermont, home to a Plague Center run by the CDC after one of the characters is discovered to be immune to the superflu that’s causing so many problems. Directions are left at the center when it becomes inoperational.

World War Z, Max Brooks
Burlington shows up a couple of times in Max Brook’s book on his death-by-Zombies book.

HP Lovecraft
Lovecraft’s work features much of New England at various points in a number of different stories.

Infinite Jest, David Foster Wallace
This dystopian novel takes place in the future, with some connections to Canada and New England.

Slaughterhouse 5
Vermont gets a brief mention in Kurt Vonnegut’s classic novel, Slaughterhouse-5: 

“Early in 1968, a group of optmetrists, with Billy among them, chartered an airplane to fly them from Ilium to an international convention of optomerrists in Montreal. The plane crashed on top of Sugarbush Mountain, in Vemront. Everybody was killed but Billy. So it goes.”

The Lottery, Shirley Jackson
This story doesn’t explicitly take place in Vermont, but there were a number of assupmtions that it took place here. According to stories that I’ve heard, people showed up in Vermont at various points, expecting to see the stoning portrayed in the story.

To A God Unknown, John Steinbeck
Steinbeck’s second novel is one that I really enjoyed, and I think that it subtly falls into the speculative fiction category with elements of religion, myth and fantasy set in the California farmland. But, the book starts off on the other side of the country, in our humble state, where Joseph Wayne leaves his home for new opportunities out west, as his father dies back home in the green mountains.

Joe Citro novels
Where to start with Joe Citro? One of the preemminent figures in Vermont folklore, his books take place all over the place when it comes to speculative fiction: Deus-X: The Reality Conspiracy looks at conspiracy theories after a Vermont farmer vanishes, Shadow Child involves a force of evil in the Green mountains, with other books like The Gore, Guardian Angels and Lake Monster all taking place within the state as well.

Vampires of Vermont, Mark Summer
This was a book that I came across, but with little information about it. However, the title suggests that there’s some connection somewhere here.

Casting Spells, Barbara Bretton
This paranormal romance takes place in the fictional Sugar Maple Vermont (apparently near Montpelier), where a Boston cop is brought in to investigate a mysterious drowning. Apparently there’s something to do with witches and all sorts of paranormal phenomena and creatures.

Horns, Joe Hill (NH)


Joe Hill’s novel Horns is one of my favorite novels published in 2010. It’s another that I’ve since reviewed, and author Joe Hill (son of Stephen King) resides in New Hampshire, where much of th ebook takes place. The story is fantastic, one of the best books that I’ve read in years, and it bounces between various familiar locations in New Hampshire and Boston. It’s well worth picking up.

The Magicians, Lev Grossman
This is a bit of a cheat, because most of the novel really takes place upriver in New York, at the magical academy Brakebills, hidden from sight much along the same lines of Hogwarts. While there’s some parellels to JK Rowling’s series, this is more adult-focused. Parts of the plot break out from New York and go elsewhere in New England, to Connecticut (if I remember correctly), and to Maine.

Gaming:
Tribe 8
This role playing game, according to Wikipedia, takes place in a post-apocalyptic Montreal, where thre was some disaster long in the past. Players take on the role of survivors in this world as they’re hunted by demons.

Comics:


Penance Relentless Vol 13: The Garrison.

Part of Marvel’s 50 State Initiative, The Garrison was Vermont’s team of Superheroes, appearing in the issue Penance: Relentless #3, with the characters Fin and Man-Eater comprising the team.