Tag Archives: Fantasy

Review – Ecko Rising

Danie Ware’s debut novel Ecko Rising is the tale of the cybernetically enhanced assassin Ecko, who joins a resistance group fighting against a world where people are medicated into servitude. While on reconnaissance to track down the pharmacist responsible for the drug, Dr Grey, Ecko barely survives the mission and finds himself in a virtual world. Whether created by his own unstable mind, the resistance group’s psychiatrist Eliza, or his adversary Dr Grey, Ecko has to play the game, save the world and at the same time, save himself.

Danie writes a rich world filled with large archetypal characters such a the healer, the prophet, the warrior, the thief and of course the evil alchemist. All the while making each one worth caring about – apart from the bad guy, you really want the anti-hero Ecko to kick his ass. Both worlds are blissfully unaware of the threat is it under, suffering the same sort of apathy as Ecko’s London; where chemists/alchemists plot to rule the world, with only a small group of people fighting against the evil. There’s quite a lot of violence and a smattering of sex, and yet it never feel gratuitous. It always fits the plot rather than having it for the sake of it. Danie writes in such a way as you can clearly visualise the worlds she is describing. You can feel the the rake of a monster’s claw; the knife or sword blade; the heat of sex and fire; and the pain of loss, either life or limb. There are also quite a few unexpected twists; scenes that are brilliantly set up, only to meet swift and cruel ends.

Ecko himself, to say he’s the most interesting character in the book does him little justice. He’s cynical, a cruel wit, rebellious, selfish and uncaring. The first half of Ecko Rising I found myself not liking him, yet funny; a pain and yet siding with him. As the book, and the program he’s stuck in plays itself out, Ecko begins to see that he can care for those around him, even the fantasy characters of Varchinde. I found him more and more likeable, even as he keeps up bad behaviour to those around him. An anti-hero, Ecko slowly becomes a champion.

What I founds truly brilliant was that the reader plays the role of Ecko, just as the author plays the role of the psychiatrist Eliza. Danie fucks with the reader’s head, never knowing if the world is based in Ecko’s mind or an actual alternate world. The book never plays from Ecko’s point of view alone. We’re introduced to people who may never meet Ecko, yet play large roles within the story. It weaves a number of threads together, only to pick them apart again as Ecko crosses paths with these people. So has Ecko been plugged into virtual world, or has he somehow really ended up a magical fantasy world? Right up to the end, it’s an answer that shifts from one to the other and back again.

An ambitious tale and brilliantly written, Ecko Rising ends by setting up the sequel; one that I am most definitely looking forward to.

Danie Ware is the publicist and event organiser for cult entertainment retailer Forbidden Planet. She has been immersed in the science-fiction and fantasy community for the past decade. An early adopter of blogging, social media and a familiar face at conventions, she appears on panels as an expert on genre marketing and retailing.

Danie Ware will be reading from and signing, Ecko Rising (Titan Books) at the Forbidden Planet London Megastore on Thursday 20th September from 6 – 7pm.

Ecko Rising by Danie Ware, available from 21st September, Titan Books, £7.99. You can pre-order your copy from Forbidden Planet.

MCM Expo Celebrates 10 Years As London’s Comic Con!

2011 will see the tenth anniversary of the London MCM Expo, London’s Comic Con – a decade in which the show has grown from a small collector’s fair to the biggest entertainment event in the UK, showcasing the best in comics, movies, video games, cosplay and anime. This year’s MCM Group events alone attracted over 100,000 visitors, as well as playing host to the prestigious Eagle Comic Awards and Euro Cosplay Championships.

To celebrate a decade of the London MCM Expo, our friends at Universal Pictures are giving away a pair of tickets to the premiere of Paul, the great new sci-fi comedy starring Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Seth Rogan. For a chance to attend the premiere, which takes place in London in early February, simply visit www.londonexpo.com. Meanwhile, UK publisher Penguin will be giving away thousands of 64-page preview books at MCM events featuring extracts from their hottest titles for 2011.

Britain’s answer to the San Diego Comic Con, the twice-yearly London MCM Expo at ExCel London holds a unique place as the only major UK event to champion all aspects of geek culture, giving fans the chance to meet hundreds of comics artists and writers; get sneak peeks of the newest films and sci-fi shows; play and preview video games from the top publishers and discover the worlds of anime, manga and cosplay. The London MCM Expo’s Comic Village alone takes up over 2,000 Sqm, hosting talent from Marvel, DC, Avatar, Image and IDW.

In addition to London’s Comic Con, the MCM Group has more shows than ever in 2011, including the inaugural Manchester MCM Expo and Memorabilia London – a new collectors’ extravaganza that will be co-located at Excel with October’s London MCM Expo. The line-up of great events for 2011 features:

19 FEB 2011 – MIDLANDS MCM EXPO – TELFORD INTERNATIONAL CENTRE

26-27 MAR 2011 – SPRING MEMORABILIA SHOW – NEC BIRMINGHAM

27-29 MAY 2011 – LONDON MCM EXPO – EXCEL LONDON

30 JULY 2011 – MANCHESTER MCM EXPO – MANCHESTER CENTRAL

28-30 OCT 2011 – LONDON MCM EXPO – EXCEL LONDON

29-30 OCT 2011 – MEMORABILIA LONDON – EXCEL LONDON

19-20 NOV 2011 – WINTER MEMORABILIA SHOW – NEC BIRMINGHAM

For further London MCM Expo details, visit: www.mcmexpo.net

New Harry Potter TV spot and posters

New Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I posters and TV spot for your enjoyment.

If that wasn’t exciting enough, don’t forget, you can also join the Harry Potter Facebook page for chances to win premiere tickets and watch a new personalised message to fans from Daniel Radcliffe himself! Visit www.facebook.com/harrypotteruk.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” the seventh and final adventure in the Harry Potter film series, is a much-anticipated motion picture event to be told in two full-length parts. Part 1 begins as Harry, Ron and Hermione set out on their perilous mission to track down and destroy the secret to Voldemort’s immortality and destruction—the Horcruxes. On their own, without the guidance of their professors or the protection of Professor Dumbledore, the three friends must now rely on one another more than ever. But there are Dark Forces in their midst that threaten to tear them apart

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part I will be released worldwide starting 19th November 2010, and Part 2 starting 15th July 2011.

Oh god… William Shatner launches social networking site…

I quite like the idea of a social networking site for geeks, nerds and sci-fi fans, but when William Shatner films a terrible mission video for it – you know it’s going to fail… He hasn’t even rehearsed the script properly as you can tell he’s reading off the auto cue.

MyOuterSpace.com is a Sci Fi Social Network for those with a passion for the arts. Whether you are a fan of Sci Fi, Horror or Fantasy or seeking a career in the Science fiction industry MyOuterSpace.com has much to offer. Register on the planet that host your talent, fill out a profile and connect with others in your field. Submit your resume for a Starship project that needs your talents. Whether you are an actor, writer, animator or gamer MyOuterSpace.com has a home for you. Creative Talent, be sure to register on the planet that hosts your specialty, and you may be selected by a Captain to join his/her Starship Crew. Visitors won’t be able to participate on a Starship Project unless they become a citizen of a United Planet. I will be monitoring all Starship projects, and reviewing each Captain’s Log, where progress will be recorded each step of the way. The Captains will seek out new talent on the various Planets to build a winning team. There are six Starships ready to crew-up and develop a dynamic entertainment production, so register now, participate and keep your eyes to the stars, William Shatner

If you’re geek enough to sign up, you can join William Shatner’s MyOuterspace via http://www.myouterspace.com