December 2011

The Hunt For Red October

Tom Clancy created one of the most memorable literary characters in “The Hunt For Red October.” Clancy began the long road of Jack Ryan with this book and would take him all the way to the presidency and beyond.

In “The Hunt For Red October,” we are introduced to Ryan, a CIA analyst, who is tasked with finding the defecting Soviet submarine captain Marko Alexandrovich Ramius as he escapes from the Russians in a top secret Typhoon class submarine Red October.

The submarine has a prototype Caterpiller drive that makes it difficult to find using sonar and could potentially sneak up to American soil and launch a nuclear attack. The rest of the book details a game of cat and mouse between the Soviet Union, United States and Ramius.The book was originally published by U.S. Naval Institute Press as their first piece of fiction.

Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs

There have been few characters in history that have been recreated over and over again in movies, books and television than Tarzan. Burrough's works are canon, but everything else, including the many books afterward and its blatant rip offs, can't be counted.

Tarzan is the story of John Clayton, Viscount of Greystoke, who along with his parents were marooned on an island after their ship's crew mutinied. His mother died of natural causes and his father was killed by the leader of the ape tribe that would end up raising the infant. Tarzan grew into a powerful man with athletic abilities far beyond that of normal man and an intellect nearly unrivaled.

Adventure Character: Jack Burton

While this isn't really a book, I think it's important that people realize the importance of one of the coolest characters in adventure history: Jack Burton. He's the main character in“Big Trouble in Little China, a John Carpenter movie from the 80's, and played by Kurt Russell.

Burton is a truck driver who likes to play cards with friends in Chinatown. When he takes a friend to pick his up fiance coming from China, she is kidnapped, and it starts of an adventure with strange creatures, ghost-like beings and lots of martial arts.

League of Extraordinary Gentleman

We all have our all-star list of character that you wished would get together and be involved in an adventure. The comic/ graphic novels of The League of Extraordinary Gentleman that's exactly what has happened.

Mina Murray has been divorced by her husband and left to fend for herself after the battle against Dracula, which has left her an immortal member of the undead. The British government asked her to create a league of extraordinary people to protect the nation from extraordinary threats. Murray recruits the famed adventurer Allan Quartermain, invisible man Hawley Griffin, Captain Nemo and Dr. Jekyl/ Mr. Hyde.

They are tasked with defeating Fu Manchu and recover the rare mineral cavorite, which Fu Manchu plans to use to create and invincible airship and destroy Britain. Needless to day, there is much adventure and many more well known character enter the world during the journey.

24: Not Just On Your Television

One of the greatest adventure series that ever played on television, and most likely in the future as a movie, was 24. It was an original concept the first season as Jack Bauer had 24 hours to defeat the bad guys.

As the seasons continued and the format changed to a more standard adventure series, the world watched entranced as he faced terrorists, torture and his own demons. The series may be over, but that doesn't mean Jack Bauer doesn't live on in literature. A quick trip to amazon.com and you'll find a multitude of books about the series.

It's not just fiction, but there is a ton of it, but also books describing the events of the series and delving deep into the mythos of Jack Bauer. Most series come and go with little fanfare, but 24 is one of the few that has not only survived, but gained enough momentum to earn itself a place in television, and literary, history.

Review: Troll’s Eye View

I have been plowing through fairy tale compilations during the past couple of weeks, and I am enjoying the ride immensely! These collections are all edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling, a pair of extremely talented women that I’ve only begun to learn about, and they all feature retellings of classic fairytales with incredible twists. Some are dark and disturbing; others are romantic and gorgeous. All are incredibly magical and imaginative, perfect dips into another realm for a few minutes or a whole afternoon—whatever you have time for.