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Archive for August, 2011|Monthly archive page

Preternatural Best Sellers in Hardcover

In Aliens, Books, Characters and Creators, Entertainment, Ghosts, Wizards/Witches/Pagans on 21 August, 2011 at 5:00 pm

Looking for something good to read? Being a bestseller doesn’t automatically make a book a great read, but chances are, preternatural fans will find something to enjoy in these 8 books five fiction, three nonfiction). From Dragons, Vampires and even psychopaths, there is a little of something for everyone on this week’s list.

Hardcover Fiction

A Song of Fire and Ice

Returning to the Number 1 spot this week is A Dance with Dragons, the fifth addition to the popular series, “A Song of Fire and Ice” by George R. R. Martin, the hunt for power and the ultimate prize of the iron throne is still on. In the wake of a devastating battle, it is still unclear as to what is in store for the fate of the Seven Kingdoms. Daenerys Targaryen rules over a city of dust and waste as her enemies begin to surround her. Will the last of the House of Targaryen survive with the help of her three dragons, or is doom looming just over the horizon? Only time will tell as the Dance of Power begins to take its toll. (Ranked 1st overall on the New York Times and Publishers Weekly hardcover fiction best seller list.)

Ghost Story by Jim Butcher is the thirteenth installment into the Dresden Files find Harry Dresden in a pickle. A mighty wizard detective, Harry doesn’t let anything, not even a little thing called death, stop him from trying to help his friends when he’s in danger. Now if only he could overcome the annoying lack of body and magic in order to succeed. Published by ROC Hardcover, a smaller section of Penguin Group. (Ranked 6th overall on the New York Times and 5th on the Publishers Weekly hardcover fiction best seller list.)

Debuting on the best sellers list this week is Christie Golden’s Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi: Ascension. With control of the Galactic Alliance at stake, factions form to try and stake their claim. Meanwhile the Jedi’s limits are tested as they must prevent galaxywide devastation and prevent a cunning and purely evil entity from ascending to become a god. Published by LucasBooks. (Ranked 7th on the New York Times and Publishers Weekly hardcover fiction best seller list)

Also debuting on the bestsellers list, is The Magician King by Lev Grossman. In the sequel to the popular The Magicians, the new High Kings and Queens of Fillory find that living the life of a royal isn’t always what it is believed to be. Bored with his new found Quentin embarks on a quest that doesn’t go exactly as planned. How will he manage to get out of the trouble he’s stumbled in to? Published by Viking, a smaller sector of the Penguin Group. (Ranked 8th on the New York Times and 9th on Publishers Weekly hardcover fiction best seller list.)

The final spot on this week’s list belongs to Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Retribution. Living his life, one foot in the grave, William Jessup Brady was surprised to be saved from death by a Greek goddess. Now bond to her as one of her Death-Hunters, he’s given his immortal soul to protect those he once considered prey. Published St. Martin’s Press. (Ranked 10th on the New York Times and 11th on Publishers Weekly hardcover fiction best seller list.)

Hardcover Nonfiction

We were sad, but not entirely surprised to find there was a lack of preternatural-related books in this week’s Hardcover Nonfiction.

Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain by David Eagleman explores the mysteries of the brain beyond (beneath, behind?) the conscious mind. Eagleman, a renowned neuroscientist, reveals the truths, or at least parts of the truth, to many surprising mysteries in what turns out to be a very engaging and oddly easy read. Incognito is published by Pantheon Books, a division of Knopf Doubleday. (Ranked 19th overall on the NYT bestseller list for hardcover nonfiction.)

Falling from the top position on the list is Area 51: An Uncensored History of America’s Top Secret Military Base by Annie Jacobsen. This is a compelling and at times revealing account of the most famous military installation that doesn’t exist. Once considered science fiction, Area 51 is full of myths and conspiracy theories that captivated imaginations for much of the last half of the 2oth century. Based on interviews from those who have lived and worked there, this is the first non fiction book chronicling the history of Area 51 in a fascinating eye-witness narrative demonstrating that fact can be as gripping as fiction and sometimes even more incredible. Published by Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Books Group. (Ranked 27th on the New York Times overall non-fiction bestsellers.)

Ever wonder why Maenads believe so strongly in Dionysus that they will themselves into becoming immortal? Or if there is life after death? Michael Shermer’s The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies—How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths, expresses his theory on the birth and actualization of beliefs. From superstitions, believing in aliens to economic and political beliefs, this book doesn’t discriminate in its analysis of beliefs, regardless of how realistic or bizarre they may be. Published by Times Books. (Ranked 31st on the NewYork Times best seller list)

We form our beliefs for a variety of subjective, personal, emotional, and psychological reasons in the context of environments created by family, friends, colleagues, culture, and society at large; after forming our beliefs we then defend, justify, and rationalize them with a host of intellectual reasons, cogent arguments, and rational explanations. Beliefs come first, explanations for beliefs follow.

That’s it in hardcover fiction and nonfiction for this week. Which ones have you invested in? We’d love to hear your thoughts so leave us a comment below (since we aren’t Sookie and can’t read your mind)!

The Preternatural Post’s book lists are compiled from the best-seller lists published by The New York Times and Publishers Weekly

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Hitting the Streets of Death Valley

In Characters and Creators, Death Valley, Entertainment, Shape Shifters, Television, Vampires, Zombies on 21 August, 2011 at 4:49 pm

Image courtesy of MTV

Where would you go if you were a Vampire, werewolf, or Zombie?

Death Valley, of course!

With the success of Teen Wolf, it is not surprising to find that MTV is premiering another preternatural show, Death Valley. In a mix of Cops meets Shaun of the Dead, Death Valley looks as if it may be an extremely funny Vampire/Zombie/Werewolf parody. Premiering August 29 at 10:30/9:30c, viewers are in for a bumpy ride as they go to the streets with the cops as they fight to end the supernatural invasion.

A year ago, vampires, werewolves and zombies mysteriously descended upon the streets of California’s San Fernando Valley. Death Valley is the dark comedy that follows the cops that capture the monsters, and the camera crew that captures the cops. 

Follow the horrific yet comedic exploits of the newly formed Undead Task Force (UTF), a division of the LAPD created to combat the emergence of monsters in the San Fernando Valley. Death Valley showcases the outrageous and courageous men and women working the toughest beat in the US: Death Valley. 

Balancing dark humor with horror, the show is built upon cold-blooded conflict and character driven comedy, following the cops bent on keeping the streets safe from the presence of the paranormal. Documenting each case of zombie, vampire and werewolf encounter is the daring camera crew that is embedded within the task force, quickly revealing that the monster problem goes much deeper than anyone could have possibly imagined. 

Full of subtext about living in today’s insane world, Death Valley is at its core a fun, non-stop thrill ride featuring chases, hardcore kills, and extraordinary creatures. The zombies are disgusting, menacing and brutal, the vampires are dangerous, smart and powerful and the werewolves are beastly and insane. From “blood-for-sex” prostitution busts to undead traffic jams, every call from dispatch will take you to a place you’ve never been: right to the bleeding heart of Death Valley.

Source: MTV

This weeks most rented and best selling DVDs feature aliens, evil spirits, expanded consciousness & comic book geeks

In Aliens, Comic Books & Graphic Novels, Entertainment, Film, Ghosts on 21 August, 2011 at 12:37 pm

Four preternatural films appeared on Rentrak’s most rented DVD list and two films appeared on the best-selling DVD list this week.

Directed by Greg Mattola for Fox, and written by Nick Frost and Simon Pegg, Paul, was the best-selling DVD, as well as the 2nd most rented DVD in its first week on video. Starring Graeme Willy (Simon Pegg, who voices Reepicheep in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader), Clive Gollings (Nick Frost, better known as Ed in Shaun of the Dead), Agent Zoil (Jason Batemen, also known as Dave Lockwood in The Change-Up) and Paul (Seth Rogen, better known as Britt Reid/The Green Hornet in The Green Hornet and the voice of B.O.B. in Monsters vs. Aliens), the story follows two British comic-book geeks traveling across the U.S. who encounters an alien outside Area 51.

In its first week on video, Mars Needs Moms, ranked as the 5th best-selling DVD and the 10th most rented DVD this week. Directed by Simon Wells (also one of three writers) for Disney and written by Wendy Wells and Berkeley Breathed, a young boy named Milo (Seth Green, the voice behind Chris Griffen on Family Guy) gains a deeper appreciation for his Mom (Joan Cusak, voice of Verushka the Witch on Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil) after Martians come to Earth to take her away.

In its fourth week on video, Limitless, fell from the Number 2 ranking to the Number 3 ranking on the most rented DVD list for this week. Directed by Neil Berger for Fox, and starring Eddie Mora (Bradley Cooper), Carl Van Loon (Robert De Niro) and Lindy (Abbie Cornish, better known as Sweet Pea in Sucker Punch), a writer discovers a top-secret drug, which bestows him with super human abilities.

In its fifth week on video, Insidious, ranked as the 9th most rented DVD this week. Directed by James Wan and starring Josh Lambert (Patrick Wilson, who played Dan Dreiberg/Night Owl in Watchman), Renai Lambert (Rose Byrne, last seen as Moira MacTaggert in X-Men: First Class) and Dalton Lambert (Ty Simpkins), A family looks to prevent evil spirits from trapping their comatose child in a realm called The Further.

All in all, it was another good week for these films. What have you rented and/or bought to watch this weekend?

Inside True Blood’s “Spellbound”

In Characters and Creators, Entertainment, Shape Shifters, Television, The Fae, True Blood, Vampires, Wizards/Witches/Pagans, Zombies on 21 August, 2011 at 10:23 am

Did last week’s episode of True Blood leave you a little foggy?

Fans everywhere had mixed feelings about ‘Spellbound’. Go inside with Alan Ball and Director Daniel Minahan as they discuss the episode. See what their ideas and plans for the episode were and see if you can discover the true meaning behind being ‘Spellbound’.

Things seem to have finally cooled down a bit in Bon Temps. Does it seem the icy breath of death has come to stake claim on the town?

Tune into tonight’s new episode of True Blood, “Let’s Get Out of Here“, at 9/8c to find out!

Going Too Far, When Fantasy Overrides Reality

In General, Television, True Blood, Vampires, vox populi on 20 August, 2011 at 6:10 pm

When you think of Vampires, where do you imagine they live?

Most would say places such as Transylvania, Paris and New Orleans, just to name a few. Never would anyone believe Galveston, TX to be home to such a predator.

This coastal community was shocked to learn that Lyle Monroe Bensley had been arrested for attempted Vampirism?

Actually, the 19 year old man was arrested for home burglary with the intent to commit a felony. Having broken into a local woman’s home, Bensley attempted to suck her blood. The police arrived to find him clothed only in a pair of boxers, hissing and growling in a parking lot. Heavily tattooed and pierced, Bensley claimed to be a 500 year old vampire who needed to feed.

Bensley is currently being held on a $40,000 bond in the Galveston County Jail. He is awaiting a psychological evaluation.

As with all cases that are similar in this nation, a debate over the behavior and its connection to popular culture has arisen. How much blame can honestly be put on the entertainment industry that produces Vampire-based shows that have violence and sex? How about the dozens of books that are published monthly, that feature Vampires within their pages?

In April, a  Wisconsin man took a plead deal for felony child abuse, after biting the neck of a three year old boy he was babysitting. He claimed to have been watching the popular HBO series True Blood with the child. Afterwards, he and the boy “were goofing around, wrestling and nuzzling”. The boy’s mother discovered the discolored marks and reported the incident to the police.

While, Bensley doesn’t claim to have been “inspired” by any form of entertainment, the debate continues to rage on.

Where does the line between fantasy and reality exist and who is ultimately to blame?

Suggested story: When True Blood Fandom Goes Too Far

Are Truebies Screaming “Let’s Get Out of Here”?

In Characters and Creators, Entertainment, Shape Shifters, Television, The Fae, True Blood, Vampires, Wizards/Witches/Pagans on 20 August, 2011 at 1:07 pm

The battle in the cemetery has left things changed forever. Lines have been drawn and crossed. The Vampires and Witches have come to blows and several have been hurt in the process.

Convalescing after her latest near-death trauma, Sookie envisions a world where there’s room for both Bill and Eric. Jesus tries to purge the restless spirit out of Lafayette; Marcus enlists Alcide to help him deal with the Sam situation; Bill and Nan Flanagan clash over their agendas; Hoyt asks Jason to make a delivery to Jessica; despite Tara and Holly’s misgivings, Marnie plots her next move against the vampires, during a “Festival of Tolerance” event at Shreveport.

Source: IMDB

With the way things are heating up in Bon Temps, don’t be surprised if a lot of the residents begin saying, “Let’s get out of here!”

Check out tomorrow’s episode on HBO at 9/8cst or you can tune in at HBOGO.

Tweeting about the show? Remember to tag your tweets with #OutofHere to join in the conversation with truebies everywhere!

Eric and Sookie Music Video Challenge

In Characters and Creators, Television, True Blood, Vampires on 19 August, 2011 at 8:00 pm

Are you tired of suffering from the weekly Monday fangover, followed by five days of True Blood withdrawal?

Well never fear! Eric and Sookie Lovers has a contest that will get your creative juices flowing!

Introducing their ‘Eric and Sookie Music Video Challenge’, this site is allowing fans of the famed couple to fight through their TB withdrawal and design their very own music video.

Here are the rules for this first challenge:

  • Must contain Eric and Sookie scenes from Season 4
  • Must contain at least one kissing scene and one making love scene
  • Must be to the song, “I Wish I Was The Moon” by Neko Case
  • All videos must state (when you upload to You Tube), “Entered into the Eric & Sookie Music Video Challenge at ericandsookielovers.com” or “This video is featured in the Eric & Sookie Music Video Challenge at ericandsookielovers.com”
  • Submit your video by no later than Aug. 27th
  • Email the link and/or file of the video to: contests@ericandsookielovers.com

Prize package:

  • 1 autographed poster signed by Charlaine Harris from Polaris 25!
  • 1 program book signed by Charlaine Harris from Polaris 25!
  • Winning video will be featured in a prominent place on ericandsookielovers.com!
So put on your Viking helmets and your Merlotte’s shirt and get to creating!
For more details visit here.

Top selling preternatural e-books

In Aliens, Books, Characters and Creators, Dragons, Entertainment, Ghosts, Wizards/Witches/Pagans on 19 August, 2011 at 6:00 pm

We never dreamed it could happen. Nothing, Nothing! Could ever lure us away from reading books. Real books, not some book file on a computer screen. Hard bound or paperback, it didn’t matter. Reading was about more than just the words on the page. Or so we thought. Lately, however, we’ve had a change of heart.

You see, we’ve been on the road and our iPod, GalaxyTab, Kindle, Nook, NetBook and even laptops hold so many more books than our carry-on luggage ever could. And we’d be lugging them anyway, even if we were carrying books. So we’ve started reading e-books. And we have to admit, we’re hooked. Here are just a few of the reasons why.

Fiction

A Song of Fire and Ice series

This week’s list of 5 bestselling e-books is entirely tied to the popular HBO original series Game of Thrones. In fact, four of the top five selling fictional paperback books are related to the series and written by George R.R. Martin and published by Bantam Dell. The top 5 bestselling e-novels are:

  1. A Dance of Dragons
  2. A Game of Thrones
  3. A Clash of Kings
  4. A Storm of Swords
  5. Ghost Story

A Game of Thrones, the first in the series and the bestselling paperback fiction book of the week was nominated for a Nebula award and introduces readers to the vividly real world and characters of the Seven Kingdoms. Each subsequent book picks up the thread of the tale and carries it forward through complex plotting and such beautiful prose it’s almost a shame it was ruined by being performed.

 

Trailing behind the ever popular A Song of Fire and Ice is, Ghost Story by Jim Butcher. The thirteenth installment into the Dresden Files find Harry Dresden in a pickle. A mighty wizard detective, Harry doesn’t let anything, not even a little thing called death, stop him from trying to help his friends when he’s in danger. Now if only he could overcome the annoying lack of body and magic in order to succeed. Published by ROC Hardcover, a smaller section of Penguin Group. (Ranked 1st overall on the New York Times and Publishers Weekly hardcover fiction best seller list.)

Nonfiction

At the top of the nonfiction ebook list is Heaven is for Real: A little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back by Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent. This book, told in the voice of a young Nebraska boy who had a near death experience, offers a remarkable glimpse into heaven wrapped in a charmingly simple message: Heaven is for Real. Published by Thomas Nelson. (Ranked Number 2 on the NYT list.)

Area 51: An Uncensored History of America’s Top Secret Military Base by Annie Jacobsen, is a compelling and at times revealing account of the most famous military installation that doesn’t exist. Once considered science fiction,Area 51 is full of myths and conspiracy theories that captivated imaginations for much of the last half of the 2oth century. Based on interviews from those who have lived and worked there, this is the first non fiction book chronicling the history of Area 51 in a fascinating eye-witness narrative demonstrating that fact can be as gripping as fiction and sometimes even more incredible. Published by Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Books Group. (Ranked Number 13 on the NYT list.)

90 Minutes in Heaven: A True Story of Death and Life offers another glimpse into heaven, this time through the eyes of Baptist minister (and author) Don Piper. After years of keeping this remarkable experience to himself, friends and family have finally prevailed upon him to share (with a little help from Cecil Murphey)  the tale with the world. After being declared dead at the scene of an accident, Piper spends 90 Minutes in Heaven, before coming back to life and a long painful recovery. This book, published by Revell Books, a division of the Baker Publishing Group, reveals a story that may just change a life. (Ranked Number 15 overall on the NYT list)

That should give you something to get your e-book collection started. Oh, and did we mention that when you pre-order e-books (like, say the next Sookie Stackhouse novel from Charlaine Harris) they get delivered directly to your device, wherever it is, as soon as they become available? Beats waiting for the UPS guy….

Zombie Lane launched on Google+

In Games, Google+, Zombies on 19 August, 2011 at 4:48 pm

Google+ has opened up a whole new world for zombie haters. Zombie Lane™, new and hilarious look into the zombie phenomenon from Digital Chocolate, a leader in cross-platform social games, is among the first games launched on Google+.

Zombie Lane is currently recruiting brave players in the quest to defend and take back control of their neighborhood from endless waves of zombies determined to eat their brains. Players and neighbors go into survival mode, forced to protect their homes and families from hordes of the rotting but ambulatory dead.

Created specifically by Digital Chocolate to take full advantage of the social features on the Google+ platform, players can customize everything about their characters as well as gift items and share coins between friends or even visit their friends neighborhoods to help in the fight against zombies. Zombie Lane players can purchase weapons from the market or gather materials from around their home to assemble super weapons, like the powerful flamethrower that provides unique firepower. Just be careful! All that takes energy and in early play it is easy to exhaust yourself!

Zombie Lane is from the makers of other social gaming hits including Millionaire City™, Army Attack™ and MMA Pro Fighter. Digital Chocolate will be implementing a steady wave of enhancements and new content to Zombie Lane in coming weeks.

To get started playing Zombie Lane, Google+ members should visit https://google.zombielane.com/?src=zigp. Look for Mena, she’s there. Max Brooks and the guys at the Department of Zombie Defense would be so proud!

Death is Out for Vengeance

In Characters and Creators, Entertainment, Film on 18 August, 2011 at 5:08 pm

photo courtesy: New Line Cinema

Sometimes movie series get a great start. Regardless if it is merely the concept that is interesting enough to captivate audiences or the overall quality of the movie, movie goers love a flick filled with blood, gore and the preternatural. But when is enough, enough?

Over a decade ago, New Line Cinema released Final Destination. This premiere introduction in the inner workings of death intrigued audiences as Alex Browning (Devon Sawa) and several of his classmates escape from their flight after a vision led him to believe it was doomed. Moments after takeoff, the flight exploded in midair, the only survivors were those who had been ushered off the flight, just moments before it left the gate.

But death has a plan and when it’s your time to go, it’s time to go. Over the past twelve years, audiences have gathered to watch as death has taken vengeance on those who have escaped its grasp. Escaping death’s clutches once doesn’t mean you are out of the game, in fact, it just makes things more interesting.

Each subsequent movie proved to be even more disappointing than the one before it. Culminating with The Final Destination, where viewers believed the end of an era had finally been reached. With its poor graphics and attempt at making the movie more realistic by shooting it in 3-D, fans were surprised that New Line Cinema had agreed to a fifth and final movie in this series.

Final Destination 5 has proven to revamp the dying series. With its reintroduction of William Bludworth (Tony Todd), the creepy mortician that originally informed Alex Browning of his fate in the original Final Destination, the newest plot seems strangely interesting. The ending leaves fans of the series saying “Oh my God!” and of course, the montage of all the famous death scenes throughout the years, is worth remaining in your seat for a few more minutes while the credits roll.

Ending the series on a relatively high note, one can only hope that the folks at New Line Cinema do not get it in their heads to make any more sequels. But as always, in Hollywood, overindulgence is popular.

Will we have another date with death? Or is this truly the final destination on this ride?