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Memphis Comics and Fantasy Con., Oct 14-16.

The Memphis Comics and Fantasy Convention is back. This year it's on at the University of Memphis, on October 14-16. I went along last year and it was fascinating. I picked up some great reading tips, including some recent fantasy novels and short story collections, and here's a quick list...

Comics Cons are great for book tips and you never know what you’ll hear about. Last year Sean Taylor had a table next to author Bobby Nash. Mr Taylor writes for Gene Simmons’ Dominatrix and House of Horrors comics. He has written many other stories, including Zombies Among Us, which is a first person zombie story, and The Fairest of Them All for Classics Mutilated.
He liked Teaching a Stone to Talk by Annie Dillard, which talked about writing and was an “esoteric how-to book”.
He also recommended Make your Words Work by Gary Provost, and James N. Frey’s How to Write Damn Good Fiction. Another favorite was The Triggering Town by Richard Hugo, which Mr Taylor said was about how words come together and have power.
Elizabeth Donaldson is the author of Setting Suns. She recommended The Rising and City of the Dead by Brian Keene; and Unwelcome Bodies, a book of short stories by Jennifer Pelland.
Allan Gilbreath wrote the adult vampire novels Galen and Dark Chances. He liked The Book of Merlin by T.H. White, and the Thran series of novels by H. David Blalock.
He also liked Rachel Pixie’s story in the Dreams of Steam anthology.
Missa Dixon wrote For the Love of Steam, which also featured in the Dreams of Steam anthology.
She recommended Stephanie Osborn’s Burnout; The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer; Stephen Zimmer, author of novels like The Seventh Throne, for his interesting characters and action; and Nick Valentine’s steampunk novel Thomas Riley.
It was a treat watching Marvel artist Mitch Breitweiser using a brush at one of the tables at the convention. He worked on Captain America. He liked Linchpin and other non-fiction books by Seth Godin.
Elizabeth Breitweiser worked for Marvel comics also, on comics like The Hulk and Captain America. She liked the Fable books by Bill Willingham.
Suzanna Leigh wrote the fascinating memoir Paradise, Suzanna Style. She acted with Elvis Presley and has appeared in some fun horror films. She liked Georges Simenon’s 1964 novel The Blue Room, but wasn’t overly fond of his Maigret books. She also liked Balzac.
Adam Shaw was an illustrator on Bloodstream. He liked Smax, a graphic novel by Alan Moore which he said was “tough and cool”. Also, he recommended The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot, which is a true story involving race, class and bioethics.
Cameron Kunzelman was from Macon, Georgia. He liked the comic Hieronymus Bone; Kosinski’s novel Steps; and A Thousand Plateaus by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari.
Comics creator Ross Hardy’s comics were the result of university literature students and art students getting together. He liked A Confederacy of Dunces.
Cartoonist Charles Ettinger is the creator of Mid-City Knights, and had a keen insight into superhero and other comics. He liked “The Walking Dead” comics, about a group of people trying to survive a zombie apocalypse, which he said was very dramatic and dark and not mainstream stuff. He also liked Farscape, The Hulk, Green Lantern, some Origins, “The Darkest Night” storyline in Green Lantern, and the DC zombiefied comics. He also liked Hellboy.
Andre Miller liked “anything by Robert E. Howard”, and he liked L. Sprague de Camp, the sci-fi and fantasy author.
Ross Landrum was a helpful and knowledgeable author from the Science Fiction Writers Guild of Millington, Tennessee.
He liked Have Spacesuit will Travel by Heinlein; Asimov; and Andre Norton books like Beast Master and Catfantastic.
Robert J. Krog is the author of The Stone Maiden and Other Tales. He liked the works of ancient-historian James Henry Breasted, and The Intellectual Adventures of Ancient Man, by several authors.
The webcomic AtomSplit.com, about a fictional indie rock band, is by Mike Dyson and Doug Davenport. Mike Dyson liked Moebius, old Heavy Metal, Milo Manara and Hugo Pratt. Doug Davenport liked Power versus Force by David Hawkins.

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-copyright Simon Sandall.