Carabas June 2016 New Book Recommends!

Carabas - New Book Recommends CB - C - Jun - Six of Crows CB - Jun - The Many Selves of Katherine North CB - Jun - The Long Cosmos CG - DH - Jun - Neil Gaiman's How to Talk to Girls at Parties CB - NF - Jun - I Swear I Was There


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Alternative Stuff to do this Week in London – 23rd-29th May!

Carabas This Weeks Event Recommends...

For our full months event recommendations see our London Events page and Regular Events page also – if we’re missing something (your own event or someone else’s) let us know!

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A Coffee with… Pat Mills at the London Book Fair! Part 1

CA - LBF 16 - PM1 When I spotted 2000 AD creator Pat Mills was visiting the London Book Fair for a panel I dropped him a line to see if he fancied a coffee beforehand. As happened he did so we met up at the decidedly pink London Book and Film Week area and, happily, we were still going after an hour and a half.
Well the imminent Graphic Galaxy panel [article imminent] which we were both attending as panellist and audience brought things to a close but not before I’d scrawled enough notes for a worthy if overlong article – so I figured I’d cut it into three.
Here’s the first…



CA - LBF - PM - ABC Warriors cover CA - LBF - PM - Slaine cover Pat’s been scripting two of his classic strips and characters for 2000 AD – the ABC Warriors and Slaine – the latest of which have just seen, and now are seeing, print within those pages. But what else is he working on? The answer is Requiem: Vampire Knight which he’s created with Olivier Ledroit on art duties who Pat commends as one of the top French artists of today.

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Carabas May 2016 New Book Recommends!

Carabas - New Book Recommends CB - Or - May - The Sudden Appearance of Hope CB - May - Zero K CG - JC - May - The Red Virgin reduced NFJJ16 - HZ - May - How Star Wars Conquered the Universe reduced CB - C - May - The Summoner The Inquisition


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A Q&A with Crashing Heaven author Al Robertson

CBP Jun - Crashing Heaven CB - Go - Oct 16 - Waking Hell Having read the marvellous Crashing Heaven – mass market paperback coming from Gollancz in May and the sequel Waking Hell scheduled for October – we were very keen to quiz the mind behind this “gnarly, wild AI thriller”.
Here’s what we wanted to know and what author Al Robertson had to say…
(NB. If you’d like to read more about Crashing Heaven first check out the link above and / or read our extract here!)


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A Coffee with… Deborah Install at the London Book Fair!

CBJJ16 - Feb - A Robot in the Garden I’d spotted The Robot in the Garden in the Bookseller previews and made sure to include in our February Book Recommends. When I caught on Twitter that its author Deborah Install was attending the London Book Fair today I dropped her a line to see if she had time for a coffee and chat and we arranged to meet.
It turns out we’re both sitting in the London Book & Screen  Week area – just different one’s. Usefully they’re opposite across from one another on the National Hall Gallery so a wave from one of the pod chairs to the especially pink area where I’m sat and we’re good to go.

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Women in Comics: Is the Graphic Novel Industry Failing to Recognise Female Creators? Panel at LBF 2016

CA - LBF - WiC - by @nazeli_kk
Inclusiveness and representation is very much on the radar of the comic industry right now, yet this panel is not simply the next discussion of this topic as relates to women. Rather it’s been convened in response to ‘the Angouleme controversy’. We’re helpful primed on entrance to the LBF by the Bookseller Daily, which includes Tom Tivnan’s interview with Emma Hayley – MD of Self Made hero – who is chairing the panel.
‘A case study in how to balls up a book festival,’ says Tom of January’s Angouleme International Comics Festival (not the LBF!) It’s a perfectly apt description. Of 30 comic creators on the longlist for Angouleme’s Grand Prix lifetime achievement award not one was a woman. A boycott was roundly called for and supported: Male creators withdrew and it was hardly an appealing prospect for the hurriedly added women creators. Nor would it have helped that the festival director’s response was “There are not many women in the history of comics”(!) CA _ LBF - WiC - Angouleme

So Emma chairs the panel which is made up of Myriad Editions MD Corinne Pearlman, Mediatoon International Rights Director Sophie Castille, freelance author Audrey Niffenegger (The Time Traveller’s Wife), and comics creator Hannah Berry (Britten & Brülightly, Adamtine, Livestock). Read the rest of this entry »

Macaque Attack – The Song of the Book by The Boy from Space

11183_JKT CBP - Macaque Attack We’re all about alternative music here, and SFF as well of course. So when Gareth L Powell tweeted that a band called The Boy from Space were releasing a tune based on his cult hit Ack Ack Macaque books we were all over it.
Check out what The Boy from Space’s Guy Thompson had to say on it all… 

Some of my earliest memories involve watching TV shows and films such as The Boy From Space, Planet of the Apes and Marine Boy – Sci Fi has always been a huge part of my life. I always loved music and the first link between the two major influences in my life would be the theme music to these programmes. Music that has haunted me throughout my adult life. Read the rest of this entry »

Street Scene: A Tour of London’s Street Art 1 – Shoreditch, Brick Lane and more by James Mathurin

I love street art. I always used to look forward to the pages near the back of Hip-Hop Connection (HHC) magazine, where they’d show pieces from around the UK. When I started getting more into photography, I started visiting places like Shoreditch, and particularly up and around Brick Lane. Those are areas that take a more relaxed view of graf, so artists are able to take their time, and express themselves more.

Paul Don Smith (1) Paul Don Smith (2) It’s not a coincidence that I was introduced to street art through HHC. Graffiti is inextricably linked to hip-hop. Along with Deejaying, Emceeing, and B-Boying / Breakdancing, it was one of the “4 pillars” of hip-hop when it originated. Its roots were also firmly working class, originally, as spraycans were a cheap and available way to find self-expressions for youth in New York. You could ‘bomb’ a train, and have it go around the city like a mobile gallery, showing off your artistic skills to more people than would ever see it otherwise. Paul Don Smith (6) Paul Don Smith (7)
As London artist Paul “Don” Smith put it in a 2013 interview:
“There’s the wonderful hip hop movement that picked a lot of us up. There was music, dance and art – creativity for people who needed to do something. It goes back to New York. You have loads of kids, some a little upset and they found themselves through this incredible movement. Writing music, poetry, dancing… how much energy is being vented? It’s just saved so many people. I think graffiti is the darker side of all of this. You had to go into places you shouldn’t be. It was all quite rock and roll, drink and drugs coming a bit hand in hand with it.”

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Introducing ZOMBIES HATE KUNG FU – A Chat with Ricky-Marcel at LSCC!

LSCC - Zombies Hate Kung Fu 3 I’d spotted ZOMBIES HATE KUNG FU launching in the LSCC table guide. Speaking personally zombies aren’t really my thing (yes I know, everyone else loves them and I’m wrong). Kung Fu on the other hand… So before the con was out I made sure to head along for a chat with creator and writer Ricky-Marcel Pitcher.

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Carabas January 2016 New Book Recommends!

Carabas - New Book Recommends CB - HZ - Jul - The Three Body Problem CB - NF - This is London CB - C - Spook's The Dark Army CBJJ16 - Go - Jan - SNUFF CG - DH - Jan - Girl Crazy


Welcome to our new look / new content Monthly Recommends for January 2016! We’re here to champion the wildly imaginative and the thought provoking, worthy titles taking in the hits and those hidden gems and the ground between. As of now we’ll be doing so in a more integrated fashion, bringing you our picks of fantastical fiction, engaging non-fiction, kids books for all ages (ie. adults as well as the target audience), and graphic novels combined into these articles.

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Extract / Preview: The Relic Guild by Edward Cox

CB - Jul - The Relic Guild PB

Doubt & Wonder

In the long game, defeat was only part of the strategy.
Alone and beaten, Fabian Moor strode across a narrow bridge of stone. Cold purpose drove each of his steps as his path arced over a chasm so deep that light itself was swallowed into an endless void. He looked up at the luminescent stalactites that hung from the ceiling of a vast cavern like the spires of an inverted cityscape, glowing with a violet radiance. With a surge of intolerance, Moor gritted his teeth as he glimpsed something moving among the shadows there. A silhouette, dark and sleek against the pale light, left the cover of a stalactite and sailed down towards him with the slow beating of huge wings.

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Gig Review: Evi Vine plus The Neverists, Penny for the Workhouse & The Quiet Quiet Band @ The Good Ship, Kilburn – 29/01/2015

CA - Give your Heart to the Hawks

Tonight is the launch event for Evi Vine’s new album Give Your Heart To The Hawks. However, before the main event we have three support bands to entertain us…

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Gig Review: Purson (@ The Borderline 28/10/2014)

Review by Alison Gray

(Pictures by Alison Gray & Mark Wakefield)

Purson, formed in 2011 and rapidly growing in popularity, are a five piece psychedelic rock band fronted by Rosalie Cunningham. 

Purson 2 Named after the great king of hell from demonology they create a mystical retro sound reminiscent of The Doors, Deep Purple, Jefferson Airplane and even shades of Black Sabbath. Tonight they played to a jam packed sold out gig at The Borderline where many audience members are sporting a similar psychedelia dress sense as the band.

Rosie enthuses: “we’ve rammed the place!” Read the rest of this entry »

The Greatest Creations of Fantastical Fiction Part 1

(In which we talk of Gentlemen, Mandalorian combat fashion, Otherworldly maternal figures, far-future deities, and the young lady you get to meet at the end…)

The tinterwebs are full of Top 10’s, 20’s, and more of spaceships, weapons, monsters, and guys good and bad – this isn’t one of those – and it’s not ‘as voted for’ either. Neither is this best film, book, TV series.

This is about those individual things that make you stand up and go: ‘What the…’, ‘No way,’ and ‘Hell yes!’ all at the same time; that leap out from page or screen, that could have made another book or film all the greater were it to have debuted in there instead.

It’s like refined imagination and, for the aspiring creator, bottled inspiration where the inherent genius blasts aside the erstwhile jealousy that you didn’t come up with the idea yourself. Instead you can stare at it in wonder with everyone else (and perhaps try and work out what makes it tick and whether there’s any way of back-engineering the damn thing).

So here it is, in posts of five and in no particular order: the obvious and the famous with the overlooked and tucked away, conveyances spatial and dimensional, offences exotic and inevitable, heroes, villains, and in abundance (perhaps tellingly) antiheroes, and beasties, McGuffins, and all the rest.

Agree or disagree – and as much as I’ve tried to maintain an objective mindset opinion plays a part (totally correct opinion of course!) – but feel free to send thoughts on these and the omissions you perceive as we run through.

Here’s to the sublime: to the mind-blowing, the gob-smacking and the jaw-dropping (and sometimes the pants-wetting) – to The Greatest Creations in Fantastical Fiction.


The Gentlemen

Type: Antagonist * From: Buffy The Vampire Slayer * Creator: Joss Whedon

After Buffy had hit the big time, with particular acclaim quite rightly been paid to the dialogue, Joss Whedon did what the greats do: write an episode empty of speech. What emerged was one of the greatest episodes of any series – Hush – and one of the greatest supernatural antagonists of all time.

The Gentlemen There’s no one thing that makes these ghoulish fae creatures so gorgeously freakish: it’s an ensemble grotesquery. The hairless, bone-taut, paste-white skin is just the beginning. Their teeth, though with metallic glints, are essentially human – it’s that rictus grin that does it. That combined with eyes that are almost obscene are terrifying enough, forming a permanent expression of sickening glee at their intent which is nothing less than butchery; they’re going to cut out your heart.

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An Introduction to Carabas: Not Geek – Just Awesome

The late 80’s (Basically 1988):

The legend that was and that became, Alan Moore, creates Watchmen. The legend that became Neil Gaiman launches The Sandman. With Grant Morrison’s Doom Patrol and Animal Man, and Shade, Swamp Thing and Hellblazer alongside, DC shake the comic-reading world with their ground-breaking mature readers line which became the Vertigo imprint in the early 90’s.

Vertigo - Montage Peter David was redefining what could be achieved in mainstream comics while British post-punk counterculture magazine Deadline launched bringing – amongst others – Hewlett and Martin’s anarchic drug-fueled stream-of-consciousness Tank Girl strip to the game. Tank Girl

Much beloved and sadly missed writer Iain (M) Banks had Consider Phlebas – the first of his mind-blowing Culture series – under his belt along with Read the rest of this entry »