Storm by Eric Jerome Dickey, Yardin, Medina, et al
Marvel apparently vastly overproduced this hardcover, so you can score copies for $3 at New England Comics. It's a tale from the childhood of Storm, occasional leader of the X-Men. It's primarily about her beginning to learn her way around her powers, and also making her way through the transition from child to adult . . . which is not made easier by the attentions of the prince of Wakanda, the future Black Panther, who is on his walkabout. (In recent years, the two of them got married.)
While I personally was always a big fan of the Storm-Forge relationship, I've warmed to the Storm-Panther relationship a bit. And, certainly, this book tackles it in a manner that strikes me as realistic for a couple of teenagers in Africa, and as realistic for a couple of teenagers in the Marvel Universe. I can't speak to the accuracy of the depiction of Africa in here, but it's got verisimilitude comin' out its ears. So, highly recommended, especially if you can get it for 85% off cover price.
Beyond the Barrier by Damon Knight
An odd little novel from the 1960s, about a college professor who is persecuted from entities from the future, in the hopes that he will save them from the last of the zugs, which exists beyond a far-future barrier in time. Yeah, it's a little disjointed, but it's got some clever bits. Still, not particularly recommended.
The Jewel in the Skull by Michael Moorcock
A slightly dark fantasy novel, part of Moorcock's larger mutilverse of Eternal Champions. A hero is pressured by the Dark Empire of Granbretan into betraying another hero, via the constant threat of the living jewel embedded in his forehead. The setting is a far-future Europe, centuries after a collapse and rebuilding of civilization into something like a fantasy world. (With the clear implication that a lot of the magic is just misunderstood superscience.) It's a clear example of the Ken Hite principle that one shouldn't create a fantasy world out of whole cloth when one can instead use bits of the real world (though it doesn't use real history). Moorcock is an evocative writer, and I enjoyed this novel, though it's not deep. Mildly recommended.
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