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недеља, 30. новембар 2014.

Najbolji naslovi pročitani u 2014.

Ove godine pročitao sam preko 200 naslova raznorazne fantastike, uključujući stripove. Do kraja godine ostalo je još mesec dana, što je sasvim dovoljno vremena da pročitam još neke odlične knjige - ili pak loše, ali pošto znam šta mi je na spisku znam i da nema izgleda da će te neke knjige koje tek treba da pročitam promeniti ukupan utisak o najboljim naslovima ove godine. 

Zato, evo deset najboljih SFF romana koje sam ove godine pročitao, a da sam ih čitao prvi put. Za sada samo spisak, a u narednim danima i prikazi za svaki roman posebno:

The Fell Sword, Miles Cameron

Miles Cameron weaves a tale of magic and depravity in the sequel to The Red Knight.
Loyalty costs money.
Betrayal, on the other hand, is free.

When the Emperor is taken hostage, the Red Knight and his men find their services in high demand -- and themselves surrounded by enemies. The country is in revolt, the capital city is besieged and any victory will be hard won. But the Red Knight has a plan.

The question is, can he negotiate the political, magical, real and romantic battlefields at the same time -- especially when he intends to be victorious on them all? 
The Goblin Emperor, Katherine Addison
The youngest, half-goblin son of the Emperor has lived his entire life in exile, distant from the Imperial Court and the deadly intrigue that suffuses it. But when his father and three sons in line for the throne are killed in an "accident," he has no choice but to take his place as the only surviving rightful heir.Entirely unschooled in the art of court politics, he has no friends, no advisors, and the sure knowledge that whoever assassinated his father and brothers could make an attempt on his life at any moment.Surrounded by sycophants eager to curry favor with the naïve new emperor, and overwhelmed by the burdens of his new life, he can trust nobody. Amid the swirl of plots to depose him, offers of arranged marriages, and the specter of the unknown conspirators who lurk in the shadows, he must quickly adjust to life as the Goblin Emperor. All the while, he is alone, and trying to find even a single friend . . . and hoping for the possibility of romance, yet also vigilant against the unseen enemies that threaten him, lest he lose his throne–or his life. 
Katherine Addison's The Goblin Emperor is an exciting fantasy novel, set against the pageantry and color of a fascinating, unique world, is a memorable debut for a great new talent.

Blood Oranges, Caitlín R. Kiernan

My name’s Quinn.
If you buy into my reputation, I’m the most notorious demon hunter in New England. But rumors of my badassery have been slightly exaggerated. Instead of having kung-fu skills and a closet full of medieval weapons, I’m an ex-junkie with a talent for being in the wrong place at the right time. Or the right place at the wrong time. Or…whatever.
Wanted for crimes against inhumanity I (mostly) didn’t commit, I was nearly a midnight snack for a werewolf until I was “saved” by a vampire calling itself the Bride of Quiet. Already cursed by a werewolf bite, the vamp took a pint out of me too.
So now…now, well, you wouldn’t think it could get worse, but you’d be dead wrong. 

Skin Game, Jim Butcher

Harry Dresden, Chicago's only professional wizard, is about to have a very bad day…

Because as Winter Knight to the Queen of Air and Darkness, Harry never knows what the scheming Mab might want him to do. Usually, it’s something awful.
He doesn’t know the half of it…

Mab has just traded Harry’s skills to pay off one of her debts. And now he must help a group of supernatural villains—led by one of Harry’s most dreaded and despised enemies, Nicodemus Archleone—to break into the highest-security vault in town, so that they can then access the highest-security vault in the Nevernever.

It's a smash and grab job to recover the literal Holy Grail from the vaults of the greatest treasure hoard in the supernatural world—which belongs to the one and only Hades, Lord of the freaking Underworld and generally unpleasant character. Worse, Dresden suspects that there is another game afoot that no one is talking about. And he's dead certain that Nicodemus has no intention of allowing any of his crew to survive the experience. Especially Harry.

Dresden's always been tricky, but he's going to have to up his backstabbing game to survive this mess—assuming his own allies don’t end up killing him before his enemies get the chance…

The Heroes, Joe Abercrombie

They say Black Dow's killed more men than winter, and clawed his way to the throne of the North up a hill of skulls. The King of the Union, ever a jealous neighbor, is not about to stand smiling by while he claws his way any higher. The orders have been given and the armies are toiling through the northern mud. Thousands of men are converging on a forgotten ring of stones, on a worthless hill, in an unimportant valley, and they've brought a lot of sharpened metal with them.


For glory, for victory, for staying alive. 

 Prince of Fools, Mark Lawrence

Hailed as “epic fantasy on a George R. R. Martin scale, but on speed” (Fixed on Fantasy), the Broken Empire trilogy introduced a bold new world of dark fantasy with the story of Jorg Ancrath’s devastating rise to power. Now, Mark Lawrence returns to the Broken Empire with the tale of a less ambitious prince…

The Red Queen is old but the kings of the Broken Empire dread her like no other. For all her reign, she has fought the long war, contested in secret, against the powers that stand behind nations, for higher stakes than land or gold. Her greatest weapon is The Silent Sister—unseen by most and unspoken of by all.

The Red Queen’s grandson, Prince Jalan Kendeth—drinker, gambler, seducer of women—is one who can see The Silent Sister. Tenth in line for the throne and content with his role as a minor royal, he pretends that the hideous crone is not there. But war is coming. Witnesses claim an undead army is on the march, and the Red Queen has called on her family to defend the realm. Jal thinks it’s all a rumor—nothing that will affect him—but he is wrong.

After escaping a death trap set by the Silent Sister, Jal finds his fate magically intertwined with a fierce Norse warrior. As the two undertake a journey across the Empire to undo the spell, encountering grave dangers, willing women, and an upstart prince named Jorg Ancrath along the way, Jalan gradually catches a glimmer of the truth: he and the Norseman are but pieces in a game, part of a series of moves in the long war—and the Red Queen controls the board. 

Generation V, M. L. Brennan

Fortitude Scott’s life is a mess. A degree in film theory has left him with zero marketable skills, his job revolves around pouring coffee, his roommate hasn’t paid rent in four months, and he’s also a vampire. Well, sort of. He’s still mostly human.
But when a new vampire comes into his family’s territory and young girls start going missing, Fort can’t ignore his heritage anymore. His mother and his older, stronger siblings think he’s crazy for wanting to get involved. So it’s up to Fort to take action, with the assistance of Suzume Hollis, a dangerous and sexy shape-shifter. Fort is determined to find a way to outsmart the deadly vamp, even if he isn’t quite sure how.
But without having matured into full vampirehood and with Suzume ready to split if things get too risky, Fort’s rescue mission might just kill him.… 

California Bones, Greg Van Eekhout

When Daniel Blackland was six, he ingested his first bone fragment, a bit of kraken spine plucked out of the sand during a visit with his demanding, brilliant, and powerful magician father, Sebastian.

When Daniel was twelve, he watched Sebastian die at the hands of the Hierarch of Southern California, devoured for the heightened magic layered deep within his bones.

Now, years later, Daniel is a petty thief with a forged identity. Hiding amid the crowds in Los Angeles—the capital of the Kingdom of Southern California—Daniel is trying to go straight. But his crime-boss uncle has a heist he wants Daniel to perform: break into the Hierarch's storehouse of magical artifacts and retrieve Sebastian's sword, an object of untold power.

For this dangerous mission, Daniel will need a team he can rely on, so he brings in his closest friends from his years in the criminal world. There's Moth, who can take a bullet and heal in mere minutes. Jo Alverado, illusionist. The multitalented Cassandra, Daniel’s ex. And, new to them all, the enigmatic, knowledgeable Emma, with her British accent and her own grudge against the powers-that-be. The stakes are high, and the stage is set for a showdown that might just break the magic that protects a long-corrupt regime.

Extravagant and yet moving, Greg van Eekhout's California Bones is an epic adventure set in a city of canals and secrets and casual brutality--different from the world we know, yet familiar and true.

Burn for Me, Ilona Andrews

#1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews launches a brand-new Hidden Legacy series, in which one woman must place her trust in a seductive, dangerous man who sets off an even more dangerous desire . . .
Nevada Baylor is faced with the most challenging case of her detective career—a suicide mission to bring in a suspect in a volatile situation. Nevada isn't sure she has the chops. Her quarry is a Prime, the highest rank of magic user, who can set anyone and anything on fire.
Then she's kidnapped by Connor "Mad" Rogan—a darkly tempting billionaire with equally devastating powers. Torn between wanting to run and wanting to surrender to their overwhelming attraction, Nevada must join forces with Rogan to stay alive.
Rogan's after the same target, so he needs Nevada. But she's getting under his skin, making him care about someone other than himself for a change. And, as Rogan has learned, love can be as perilous as death, especially in the magic world.

City of Stairs, Robert Jackson Benett

An atmospheric and intrigue-filled novel of dead gods, buried histories, and a mysterious, protean city--from one of America's most acclaimed young SF writers.
The city of Bulikov once wielded the powers of the gods to conquer the world, enslaving and brutalizing millions—until its divine protectors were killed. Now Bulikov has become just another colonial outpost of the world's new geopolitical power, but the surreal landscape of the city itself—first shaped, now shattered, by the thousands of miracles its guardians once worked upon it—stands as a constant, haunting reminder of its former supremacy.

Into this broken city steps Shara Thivani. Officially, the unassuming young woman is just another junior diplomat sent by Bulikov's oppressors. Unofficially, she is one of her country's most accomplished spies, dispatched to catch a murderer. But as Shara pursues the killer, she starts to suspect that the beings who ruled this terrible place may not be as dead as they seem—and that Bulikov's cruel reign may not yet be over.

уторак, 04. новембар 2014.

Intervju sa Bobanom Kneževićem

Boban Knežević je jedan od najznačajnijih izdavača fantastike u bivšoj (bivšoj) Jugoslaviji tokom osamdesetih i devedesetih godina prošlog veka. Iza njega je kultna edicija „Znak Sagite“, objavljivana ponekad u okviru istoimene izdavačke kuće, a ponekad ne; almanah fantastike Monolit, čijih deset tomova predstavlja obaveznu stavku na policama svih zaljubljenika u fantastiku, ali i značajni rezultati na polju stripa koje je ostvario kao urednik izdavačke kuće Beli put. Pored svega toga, Boban Knežević je i jedan od najistaknutijih domaćih stvaralaca fantastike. Posetioci ovogodišnjeg oktobarskog Sajma knjiga biće u prilici da kupe njegov novi roman, „Slobodanida“.

NF: Bobane, pre nego što se posvetimo tvom novom romanu, zanima me – kako je neko u vreme SFRJ došao do toga da život posveti fantastici? Šta je uticalo na tebe? 

BK: Pitanje je zapravo zašto volim fantastiku, jer sam život posvetio onome što volim, pa je taj deo valjda nesporan. E, sad, zašto volim fantastiku... kakvo je to pitanje uopšte? Ljubav je obično neracionalna i možemo se samo nadati da će biti uzvraćena. Kada sam bio mali nije bilo interneta, kompjutera, igrica i ostalih zamajalica, pa su knjige bile očekivan ishod. Čitao sam zaista mnogo i svašta, ali fantastika je prevagnula verovatno zbog najvećeg udela mašte.

NF: Ti se u svom proznom stvaralaštvu baviš mahom angažovanim temama i društvenim komentarom, koji je po pravilu kontroverzan. U neku ruku si i jedan od poslednjih srpskih donkihotovskih književnika i moglo bi se reći – romantičara. U današnje vreme kompromisa i traženja lakšeg puta to ne može a da ne bude naporno. Kako ti polazi za rukom da tolike godine istrajavaš u pravljenju svog puta?

BK: Istrajavanje u poslu koji ne donosi profit i nije baš nešto sa čime se treba hvaliti, posebno u današnje vreme, kada je neophodnost zarade ultimativna. U socijalizmu čovek ima komociju da ne radi uvek ono što donosi najveći profit, ali danas je to neodrživo. Ili bar društveno neprihvatljivo. Moje istrajavanje u tom smeru govori da sam se navikao - ali tada je bilo lako a sad nemam kud.

NF: Širem čitalaštvu i generaciji mladih koja je početkom devedesetih otišla u rat postao si poznat po „Crnom cvetu“. Znam bar deset sada četrdesetogodišnjaka koji su sa tom knjigom otišli u vojsku. Smatraš li da te je relativni uspeh „Crnog cveta“ promenio? Da li bi tvoja karijera bila drugačija da si možda sačekao dvadesetak godina, pa ga objavio u ovo vreme? U kojoj meri je tvoje ukupno stvaralaštvo u senci tog romana?

BK: Ne doživljavam Crni cvet kao senku iz koje se ne može izaći. Ja pišem različite stvari; svaka moja knjiga je drugačija od ostalih po svim bitnim aspektima. Ali koji god žanr ili pristup da koristim, pokušavam da odem korak dalje od uobičajenog. Crni cvet je knjiga koju sam napisao u iznudici i pomalo iznerviran. Naime, početkom osamdesetih ostvario sam seriju zapaženih priča u domaćem okruženju, a onda je usledilo nekoliko godina iscrpljujućeg rada u izdavaštvu i pisanje mi je posustalo. Kada sam, krajem osamdesetih pokušao da se vratim, ispostavilo se da me je vreme malo pregazilo i nekoliko novela i priča koje sam uradio nisu dočekane na zadovoljavajući način. Onda sam rešio da posegnem za svojom do tada najbolje osmišljenom idejom koja je tražila i najveći angažman i tako je nastao "Crni cvet" koji me je vratio spisateljsko dostojanstvo. 

NF: Edicija „Znak Sagite“ bila je po mnogo čemu revolucionarna – od formata i dizajna, preko insistiranja na domaćim ilustracijama i tvojoj saradnji sa Bobom (Živkovićem), pa sve do otklona od „tvrde“ naučne fantastike i dubokog zadiranja u žanrovske mešavine. Danas je tvoja uređivačka politika, stiče se utisak, u istoj tački kao pre petnaestak godina. Držiš se pisaca koje si tada objavljivao, ne mareći preterano za savremene trendove u žanru i izdavaštvu. Da li to znači da si odustao od traženja nove publike i eksperimenata kakav je bio Monolit 9? Kako je biti mali žanrovski izdavač u bari daleko manjoj od one u kojoj si nekada objavio svoje prve naslove?

BK: Pre svega, ja sam kao izdavač strane literature manje-više završio svoje. Objavljivao sam stvari koje su nedostajale kada su nedostajale. Osamdesetih su se izdate knjige svake godine mogle pobrojati na prste. Nije bilo interneta, ni kompjutera, ni lako dostupnih informacija. Ljudima zatvorenim u Jugoslaviji moja izdanja pružila su dosta zadovoljstva. Danas ima neporedivo više knjiga i izdavača i traganje za novim i neobjavljenim stvarima prepuštam drugima. Zaista ne vidim da išta mogu da uradim u tom domenu. Možda kroz antologije priča i novela, nove Monolite, ali je tu situacija toliko komplikovana oko autorskih prava (ne dopuštaju da ja pravim izbor, već moram da kopiram njihove izvore i da štampam njihova dela koja se u polovini slučajeva bave nekim njihovim lokalnim socijalnim i političkim stvarima, te su nama potpuno nezanimljiva) da je i bilo šta u tom pravcu malo verovatno. 

NF: U jednom trenutku, koji je trajao bezmalo deset godina, zapostavio si „Znak Sagite“ i svoje stvaralaštvo zbog saradnje sa tada velikim izdavačima, Alnarijem i Belim putom. Iz tog perioda ostalo je nekoliko velikih projekata, a naročito se izdvajaju dva izdanja „Nekronomikona“ i edicija „Fantastična biblioteka“. Donekle se nameće utisak da su to zapravo bili supstituti za Monolit i ediciju „Znak Sagite“. Sada kada ponovo nastupaš nezavisno – da li će tvoja publika konačno ugledati Monolit 11?

BK: Ja sam izdavaštvo fantastike zapostavio otprilike 1997. godine. Sa usponom velikih izdavača koji su grabili sve oko sebe, bilo je sve manje mesta za mene, a zapravo i volje da nešto doprinosim. Drugi su to počeli sasvim dobro da rade i ja sam mogao u penziju. Ili da počnem da radim stvari koje drugi ne rade, kao što je bila serija knjiga "Fantastična biblioteka" - kratke knjige domaćih autora u velikim tiražima, po maloj ceni i lako dostupna svima. Takođe, osmislio sam i biblioteku "Vrhunci fantastike" koja je trebalo, nakon "Nekronomikona" da ima antologiju najboljih SF priča, pa recimo izbor najboljih Bredberijevih priča, Sterdžena, Barkerove "Knjige krvi" sa svim pratećim ilustrativnim materijalima iz izdanja povodom 20 godina prvog izdanja i takve stvari... ali to nije uspelo. Takođe, kopka me Monolit ali samo kao izdanje sa slobodom izbora, kao što je bio nekad. Da biramo i da nikome ne polažemo račune. Ali izdavaštvo postaje sve komplikovanije, zahtevi sve veći, potrebne pare ogromne a logistika vanzemaljska... previše za impulsivnog pojedinca kakav sam ja.

NF: Pre nekoliko godina tvoj roman „Poslednji Srbin“ bio je više nego pristojno primljen među žanrovskim i nežanrovskim čitalaštvom. Kritike su bile veoma pozitivne. Tada je moja zamerka bila to da se pisac previše vidi u likovima. Iz današnje perspektive to mi izgleda drugačije – gotovo kao kaleidoskop viđenja koja nisu istovetna, ali su razlike u tananim detaljima i traže da se čitalac zamisli nad njima. Šta je sa tvojim novim romanom? U kojoj je meri taj roman fantastika? Da li je reč o altnernativnoj istoriji, kako bi se dalo naslutiti po naslovnici? Naslovom si očito želeo da pošalješ poruku čitaocima, ali koliko je taj naslov zapravo poruka ljudima oko tebe i da li je po sredi ista tehnika koju si primenio sa likovima u „Poslednjem Srbinu“?

BK: To što se pisac previše vidi u likovima je besmislena optužba sa stanovišta celokupnog književnog univerzuma i hiljada čitalaca koji ne znaju ništa o piscu. Kako vreme bude prolazilo, to će biti sve manje bitno. Moj novi roman, "Slobodanida", je po pitanju utkanosti pisca možda još izraženiji, ali to je irelevantno jer delo ili stoji za sebe ili ne stoji. Roman je inače čist SF, alternativna stvarnost - ili bliska prošlost pošto se događa u godini 2006. - ali urađen na način kakav nikada nije primenjen kod nas. Teško je reći bilo šta o samoj radnji a da ne bude spojlera. Moje sve knjige su međusobno različite, i po žanru i pristupu i koncepciji. I uvek pokušavam da iznenadim čitaoca, to je majstorski radio Rodžer Zelazni u "Gospodaru svetlosti". Volim da imam završetak knjige kakav ne može da se nasluti pre vremena. "Poslednji Srbin" je uspešno prošao taj test, a mislim da i "Slobodanida" ima jednu uvrnutu narativnu liniju gde se dosta dugo ne vidi ni ko su glavni likovi niti kuda sve to ide. OK, možda "Slobodanida" ima previše labavu postavku, ali meni se upravo dopao takav pristup sa dosta meandriranja gde sama celina naizgled može bez većine tih pridodataka.

NF: Šta budućnost nosi za Bobana Kneževića i „Znak Sagite“? Koliko ćeš narednih godina biti pisac a koliko izdavač? Koliko ćeš u svom uredničkom radu biti okrenut domaćim piscima, a koliko stranim autorima? Šta da od tebe očekujemo za godinu dana, na nekom drugom Sajmu knjiga?

BK: Nepoznavanje budućnosti je ono što čini život ne lagodnim, nego uopšte mogućim. Pisaću dokle to bude imalo smisla, dok budem uživao u tome i dok bude bilo onih koji uživaju u posledicama mog pisanja. Kako vreme prolazi, sve više sam okrenut domaćim piscima, ali mi je žao što više nemam vremena da budem urednik u punom značenju te reči. Više sam tu da pružim logistiku oko bitnih stvari. Osim zarade, naravno, taj segment ljudskog delovanja me obilazi u širokom luku.

NF: Za kraj, gde će te čitaoci naći ove godine i da li će se osim tvog romana na štandu naći i neki novi naslov drugih pisaca, stranih ili domaćih?

BK: Sve što radim a vezano je za knjige može se naći u Čudnoj knjižari koja postoji i kao online prodavnica i kao fizička knjižara na osveštenoj lokaciji, a dosta naslova putuje okolo sa mnom u gepeku automobila. Od domaćih autora trenutno je aktuelan roman Mladena Jakovljevića "Vrata sumraka", epska fantastika i u pripremi je obiman roman Veronike Santo "Granice na vjetru".