Current Read: Sleeping Giants, Part 1 in a Trilogy by Sylvain Neuvel, 2016

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“This stellar debut novel … masterfully blends together elements of sci-fi, political thriller and apocalyptic fiction.”

– Kirkus Reviews


The Themis Files is a deeply human story about a world-changing alien discovery. Seventeen years ago, a young girl fell through the ground in the Black Hills and found herself in an underground chamber filled with gleaming symbols, lying in the palm of a giant metal hand. Now a physicist, Rose leads a research team struggling to determine the hand’s origins.

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When another giant limb is discovered, Rose quickly devises a method for unearthing the hidden pieces, convinced there is an entire body out there waiting to be found. Halfway around the globe, Kara watches helplessly as her helicopter shuts down over a pistachio field in Turkey. That’ll leave a mark, but she’s about to crash her way into what might be the greatest endeavor in human history. This is a hunt for truth, power, and giant body parts. Written as a series of interview transcripts, journal entries and mission logs, The Themis Files tells the tale of a handful of people whose lives are inexorably linked by the discovery of an alien device and the commotion that follows.

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Prologue

It was my eleventh birthday. I’d gotten a new bike from my father: white and pink, with tassels on the handles. I really wanted to ride it, but my parents didn’t want me to leave while my friends were there. They weren’t really my friends though. I was never really good at making friends. I liked reading; I liked walking in the woods; I liked being alone. And I always felt a little out of place with other kids my age. So when birthdays came by, my parents usually invited the neighbors’ kids over. There were a lot of them, some whose names I barely knew. They were all very nice, and they all brought gifts. So I stayed. I blew out the candles. I opened the presents. I smiled a lot. I can’t remember most of the gifts because all I could think about was getting out and trying that bicycle. It was about dinnertime by the time everyone left and I couldn’t wait another minute. It would soon be dark; once it was, my father wouldn’t let me leave the house until morning.

I snuck out the back door and pedaled as fast as I could into the woods at the end of the street. It must have been ten minutes before I started slowing down. Perhaps it was getting a little too dark for comfort and I was thinking about going back. Maybe I was just tired. I stopped for a minute, listening to the wind throwing the branches around. Fall had arrived. The forest had turned into a motley landscape and given new depth to the hillsides. The air suddenly got cold and wet, as if it were about to rain. The sun was going down and the sky behind the trees was as pink as those tassels.

I heard a crack behind me. It could have been a hare. Something drew my eye to the bottom of the hill. I left my bicycle on the trail and started slowly making my way down, moving branches out of my way. It was hard to see, as the leaves hadn’t fallen yet, but there was this eerie turquoise glow seeping through the branches. I couldn’t pinpoint where it came from. It wasn’t the river; I could hear that in the distance, and the light was much closer. It seemed to be coming from everything.

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Inside front cover of US edition.

I got to the bottom of the hill. Then the ground disappeared from under my feet.

I don’t remember much after that. I was out for several hours and the sun was coming up when I came to. My father was standing about fifty feet above me. His lips were moving, but I couldn’t hear a sound.

The hole I was in was perfectly square, about the size of our house. The walls were dark and straight with bright, beautiful turquoise light shining out of intricate carvings. There was light coming out of just about everything around me. I moved my hands around a bit. I was lying on a bed of dirt, rocks, and broken branches. Underneath the debris, the surface was slightly curved, smooth to the touch, and cold, like some type of metal.

I hadn’t noticed them before, but there were firemen above, yellow jackets buzzing around the hole. A rope fell a few feet from my head. Soon, I was strapped onto a stretcher and hoisted into daylight.

My father didn’t want to talk about it afterward. When I asked what I had fallen into, he just found new clever ways of explaining what a hole was. It was about a week later that someone rang the doorbell. I called for my father to go, but I got no answer. I ran down the stairs and opened the door. It was one of the firemen that had gotten me out of the hole. He’d taken some pictures and thought I’d like to see them. He was right. There I was, this tiny little thing at the bottom of the hole, lying on my back in the palm of a giant metal hand.

 

About the Author & the Series

Author Website…

http://www.neuvel.net/

Interviews…

https://www.newinbooks.com/interview-with-sylvain-neuvel-author-of-sleeping-giants/

Swing Low, Sweet Batpole? … I’m blushing a little now that I’ve laid eyes on the “Batjunk” … 🙈🙉🙊

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Batman Strips out of his Batsuit in Nude Comic Book Scene!

Male full-frontal nudity is so in fashion, even the graphic novels are getting onboard. Batman strips out of his batsuit in his newest DC comic: Damned, that’s sure to get a few comic book nerds excited in a way they probably didn’t realize.

But this one isn’t for the kiddies. Back in March, the brand announced DC Black Label division: a maturer comic for adults, with restrictions and censorship. Well, now we might actually read them. But no, probably not. We might just look at the pictures.

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In Batman: Damned, our hero enters the cave, strips nekkid and wanders around with his bits on showshow! Sounds an awful lot like most of us when we get home from the club at 4am. 😂

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Since the conversation of the comic has begun revolving around Batman’s superpenis and not his superpowers, DC has altered the nudity in digital versions, covering his modesty with more shadows.

–C&Ctails

Further Reading

https://www.ign.com/articles/2018/09/20/dc-alters-batman-art-to-remove-imagery-of-his-penis

https://screenrant.com/batman-penis-naked-nude-comic-damned/

DC black Label Comics Show Batman Full Frontal!

Video:

Did DC Need to Show Batman Nude?

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My New Favorite Writer: “A Case Study in Natural Selection and How It Applies to Love” a Story by Eric J. Guignard (+ Links)

This is first-rate prose. I am enamoured of the style. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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A Case Study in Natural Selection and How It Applies to Love

Eric Guignard, 2018


Yesterday I saw Jamie Goodwin burst into flame.

He was just sitting on one of those cheap aluminum-back chairs we all have, eyes closed in the shade of Hester’s old RV, trying to get some relief from the heat, same as everyone else. I was checking the stock of coolers, seeing if any held even a bit of water left to siphon out, when Jamie let out a tiny gasp like he woke from a bad dream. If it was a bad dream he had, he woke to something worse, ’cause little glints of light popped and fizzed off him like the sparklers we used to wave around on Fourth of July. Smoke or steam or something else rose up, then Jamie’s eyes went cartoon-big and he turned into a fireball.

Jamie’s the fourth person to spontaneously combust this month. Two women burned last Wednesday, and old Tom Puddingpaw blazed the week prior. Before that, we averaged only one or two fireballs a month, but now it’s getting worse. And after Jamie burned, Ms. Crankshaw didn’t even cancel lessons like she normally did, as if coming to terms that folks fireballing was the new natural order of things.

“That’s another lesson in evolution. One day we’re apes, then we’re humans, now we’re fireballs.”

She didn’t really say that, but she might as well have.

At least Loud John and Rudy were there when Jamie burned, and they contained his cinders so it didn’t spread like when Quiet John caught flame. But I still saw the whole thing, and it still scared me, even if others pretend to somehow be getting used to it.

“I watched him die,” I tell my friends. “Jamie didn’t scream. I think he tried, since his mouth opened wide, but nothing came out except flames.”

“Why is this happening for no reason?” Ogre asks, though that question is rhetorical because he doesn’t expect an answer. His voice hitches and he overcompensates for it by yelling, “When’s it going to stop?”

That’s rhetorical too.

We’re not supposed to be outdoors because of the heat, but we’re wearing protection, and sometimes out in the desert is the only place we can talk without everyone else listening in.

“I told you we weren’t safe,” Liz says. “Ms. C.’s wrong or she’s lying to us. Anybody can fireball.”

“No one ever tells us the truth,” Tommy adds. “It’s stupid going to lessons if everyone shields us from what’s really happening. I mean, what’re we learning? Facts or make-believe?”

Me and Tommy and Liz and Ogre are shooting at sand lizards with a pair of slingshots. I oughta clarify we’d shoot at anything daring our range of rocks and marbles, but it was too hot for anything but lizards to come out under the sun.

“The adults don’t want us to know…” A red bandana covers half of Liz’s face, so her voice is muffled. “I think we’re all gonna die.”

Continue reading

Novel Firsts—Why I Choose the Books I Read…

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Novel Firsts

Read my first “Novel Firsts” post, here…

https://thesanguinewoods.com/2018/09/20/what-makes-you-read-a-book-what-catches-your-eye/

“Midwives passed their freshborn babies over open hearths to burn off evil spirits and to make their peace with fire. And if they didn’t take the baby to the flames, the flames would take the baby: it happened every winter. A hungry furnace, crouching, till a nailer-mother, parched like kindling paper, leaves the fire unguarded for a second…Then while her back is turned, the furnace springs and snatches up this overreaching bit of boy while his mother screams and throws her bitter at the flames.”

Ruby’s Spoon, Anna Lawrence Pietroni, 

The Voudon Gnostic Workbook—Serious Occult Stuff!

 

For information on an ebook edition, please contact thesanguinewoods@gmail.com. (Photos by a Sanguine Woods.)