In some ways, better than the $200 book!
, March 14, 2011
When I ordered this calender, I did not realize that it was a daily. I
expected 12 months and 12 pictures. I was delighted to see more than 300
I already own the great big Taschen book that these pictures are taken from. Magic 1400s-1950s
That is an amazing book, but so huge! Well, the size is part of
what's great about it, of course, but it is also an obstacle to being
able to casually flip through it and spend some time with the art.
This calendar is the solution. We have reprinted here maybe 300
gorgeous pictures in a useful size. Who cares that its a calendar? This
is just beautiful artwork.
Anyone who owns the larger book needs this calendar.
Anyone thinking about buying that book, or wishing they could afford it needs this book.
Anyone who wants a dark inspiration in their life should consider expediting the shipping!
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
A wonderful story, with an agenda.
, January 28, 2011
If you discovered an extinct tree growing underneath a glacier in
Siberia, would you assume that you had found Eden? Would that be the
only theory you seriously entertained?
Ok, even if YOU would, would you believe that an unbiased American scientific research team would have the same reaction?
Of the number of Christians in the U.S., it is a select group who
take the Bible as literal truth as opposed to metaphorical. Most who do
believe do not believe that there was a literal garden and an Ark etc. I
find it stretched credibility past the breaking point to have a group
of scientists leap to the conclusion that the author wanted the way that
Readers should be warned that this book has a bias. I don't mind
that personally, but many do and would probably appreciate a fair
All of that said, I think the author has an immense talent. The
opening pages and final 15% of the book were very very strong. The
concepts are wonderful. I do think this story would make a really great
movie. The middle 50% of so did, honestly, drag a little bit for me. The
scenes back in the States simply did not find a way to be as
interesting as those in Siberia.
I look forward to seeing Mr. Merritt grow as an artist, but I worry
that he will find an obstacle in his way until he is able to comfortably
put himself in the shoes of people who do not believe what he does.
It's fine to write a story about Eden itself really existing, but to
have everyone blithely leaping to that conclusion upon the flimsiest of
evidence suggests that he may be spending too much time in the company
of people who believe the same things that he does. Until he can
comfortably write about intelligent characters with other viewpoints, he
will have limited cross-over appeal with those who do not believe the
Bible to be literally true.
Warts and all, I WOULD recommend this book, but caution readers to
be ready with a much larger than usual supply of suspension of
disbelief. Personally, I think the concept was really cool!
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful:
Quite short, but magnificent!
, January 24, 2011
At 651 locations in length, I hesitate to use the word "novella" to
describe The Frozen Sky. "Short story" would be more accurate. I did
read it in a single sitting. I would like to see this story continued.
As strong as it is in its current form, this only whets your appetite.
I think one of the great effects of the direct-publishing revolution
is that it allows for the resuscitation of the novella as a viable
art-form.... but this is, as I say, very short.
That said, I really enjoyed it. The imagination on display really
impressed me. He created a well thought out and believable world with
new ideas and drew me in completely.
I often get really frustrated with science fiction because it tends
to simply repeats the same ideas over and over again instead of doing
anything that's actually new. That's not the case here. He drew a vivid
picture of a place I've never visited before. His style was clean and
the tale was well-paced. He knows how to tell a story.
I will be checking out his other work.fantasy
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Stop teasing us, Kipp! :)
, November 26, 2010
The atmosphere is so rich in this short story. The author understands
horror. He understands pacing. He's strong with detail. It's great to
see the author developing so strongly from work to work.
My complaint is that this felt like the beginning of a story that I would really want to read - and then it was over!
Enough short stories. Stop teasing us, and give us a full-length work! ;)
But for those who enjoy atmosphere and darkness - give this one a shot. You won't be disappointed.
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
One brilliant idea. Is that enough?
, October 9, 2010
The concept behind The Baron in the Trees is brilliant. I'm not so sure that the story itself is.
Readers will find the idea haunts them and follows them around.
Could a man really spend his whole life living in the branches of the
trees? And what does that mean? Is it a metaphor for a life of
intellectualism? Does it mean he died on the day he left the Earth? Is
it a rejection of Earthly and mortal matters for the spiritual?
This is left open, and I expect that I will spend years turning the
story over in my head and again and again changing my mind about which
suits my tastes best.
But I think that the book does have a major flaw. Throughout it's
217 pages we follow the life of the Baron with the eyes of his brother.
Most of the events are not exciting, not really. They are not memorable.
I won't turn them over in my head. I don't even expect to remember them
in a year, with the possible exception of the Baron's final poetic
The story could have been 20 pages. And I'm sorry to say that, but
we have an example here of an author having one brilliant,
transcendently brilliant idea, but sadly only the one. I felt that I was
meant to spend the rest of the book basking in that idea, and I suppose
I did... But any story told in 217 pages which would be no weaker if
told in 20 is flawed.
Again, I expect to remember the beginning and the end of this story
many years from now, but the middle is fading even now....Wait!
Wait!.... and I'm afraid it's gone......
23 of 31 people found the following review helpful:
If you are capable of enjoying Sci-Fi, you will love this book!
, September 26, 2010
It took a rare level of writing ability to author this book. It's about
100 pages in that it becomes clear who the protagonist is. In any other
book, this would be a weakness because we would feel like we were
drifting and unable to find a character to grab a hold of. It isn't the
case in Forbidden The Stars.
The first hundred or so pages are so full of gigantic revelations
that it allows Mr. Daniels to use a story-telling style reminiscent of
the 1970 and early 1980 blockbusters; like Close Encounters of the Third
Kind, or 2001: A Space Odyssey. It's becoming more and more unusual for
a story to take the liberty of having a real first act. More and more
we are moving in the direction of beginning the story at the turning
point - essentially the start of the second act. There are lots of
cheats that authors use to get around the ever-increasingly short
attention spans of our audiences. Sometimes we get around to telling the
first act later, in flash-backs. However, Valmore Daniels manages to do
it the old-fashioned way - and in his hands it works!
In fact, there's something wonderfully old-fashioned about the whole
science fiction tale. Alez Manez feels like a character straight out of
Gene Roddenberry's original Star Trek. I could imagine Captain Kirk
butting heads with him. In a different era, William Gaines would have
called on Mr. Daniels to contribute regularly to Weird Science!
The amount of research that obviously went into this is also worth
mentioning. The writer demonstrates a top-notch understanding of the
science behind what he's talking about, and yet at the same time has
obviously read and understood the Popul Vuh.
I really enjoyed this story. I read it in paperback, and as I was
finishing, I went and ordered the paperback version of Daniels' Old
Fashioned Folk Tale. I only hope it's anywhere near as much fun as this
If I had to point out room for growth, I would say that Alex's
character could have used a bit more depth. The story moved along at
such a quick pace that his internal changes happened a little too
quickly and cleanly. We never really felt grief for his loss. If our
Valmore can manage to add that more emotional component to his next
work, then we'll really have something that everyone will have to sit up
and take notice of!
In the meantime, if you're capable of enjoying Sc-Fi at all, you'll love Forbidden The Stars!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
"God is considered, by some, to be a verb."
, August 24, 2010
What bothered me most about the protagonist was how little he valued the
gift of immortality that was offered to him. Yes, if you want to live
forever, you will have to slowly drain other living beings of their
energy! How did he think it would work? But imagine what could be
accomplished by an immortal? The lack of vision on the part of our Nick
was disappointing to say the least. I can only hope that Dr. Blightly
will in future show the boy how foolish his instincts have been.... ;)
D.P. uses a wonderfully lush and hypnotic voice to tell this story.
It is a pleasure to spend time with. Reminiscent of Peter Ackroyd's
fiction First Light
I really enjoy reading his prose. I hope that he stays with this style
in his future work. If he does, I will continue to read his books for
many years to come!
If I do have serious criticism its that I don't think the plot
carried its weight standing next to the atmosphere. It had a difficult
job to do, to break through all of that lusciousness, but I think that
that needed to be the goal.
I eagerly await the sequel.
67 of 68 people found the following review helpful:
I was hoping for more about Neanderthals
, July 29, 2006
I loved the book, finished it in a day and a half. I think his basic
theory about neanderthals having been the source of much of the
knowledge of ancient civilization has a lot of merit.
HOWEVER, so much of the book seems to have little or nothing to do
with any of this. He goes on for a long time about Christianity and the
Merovingians and I can't tell you what any of that has to do with
Neanderthals or Atlantis. It seemed, at times, more like a collection of
recent writings than a concerted work.
He spent a lot of time summarizing other books (Which I have already
read and are not all of relevance to the point) and not enough giving
us anything new.
If he couldn't come up with anything more to say that was new. I
would have at least enjoyed it if he had spent some time giving us more,
even basic, information on Neanderthals; where they have been found,
theories on why they died out (Did they die out?), maybe spend some time
comparing and contrasting them physically with humans, discussing how
we are related to them and what we may know about when we split off.
Perhaps hints in mythology that back up his thesis? The section actually
on them (While extraordinarily interesting) was almost unforgivably
brief compared to the length of the whole work.
I wanted more neanderthals!!!
Beyond that, he spoke a lot about intuitive knowledge and I thought
that this was all very interesting, but had to wonder if it worked
against his main thesis. That is to say, he provided us with another
explanation for the source of ancient knowledge that didn't require
resorting to neanderthals.
I am, however, giving the book 4 stars. The thesis is extremely
interresting and revolutionary. It is an enjoyable read. I just
wish...well...I would have liked him to talk more about neanderthals and
less about Christ and other topics that didn't belong organically in