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Trek Literature "...Good words. That's where ideas begin."

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Old February 11 2008, 10:46 PM   #1
Christopher
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OT: My SPIDER-MAN novel reviewed

Blowing my own horn a bit... the review site The Trades recently posted a very flattering review of my Spider-Man novel Drowned in Thunder. The money quotes:

Author Christopher L. Bennett, however, has found that elusive balance, with Spider-Man: Drowned in Thunder, accurately capturing both the flippant and the pensive aspects of everyone's favorite web-headed wall-crawler, as well as pinning down the personalities of Spidey's supporting cast members.
Bennett demonstrates that he has a strong grasp on Spidey canon, delivering a compelling action tale that's also an engrossing character study....
If you're a fan of the classic Spider-Man, Drowned in Thunder is definitely something you want on your bookshelf.
The full review is here:
http://www.the-trades.com/article.php?id=10010
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Old February 11 2008, 10:56 PM   #2
Turtletrekker
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Re: OT: My SPIDER-MAN novel reviewed

Congrats! If Drowned in Thunder is half as good as your X-Men novel, it ought to be a very fun read.
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Old February 11 2008, 11:18 PM   #3
Allyn Gibson
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Re: OT: My SPIDER-MAN novel reviewed

I'm assuming this book is set in pre-"One More Day" continuity? In other words, Peter and MJ are still married?
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Old February 11 2008, 11:50 PM   #4
Baerbel Haddrell
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Re: OT: My SPIDER-MAN novel reviewed

I very much hope so! I bought the book but the Dallas-like magical reset button put me off so much that it spoiled my appetite for reading this book a bit.
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Old February 12 2008, 12:36 AM   #5
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Re: OT: My SPIDER-MAN novel reviewed

Sounds good - I'll pick up a copy tomorrow.
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Old February 12 2008, 01:04 AM   #6
Christopher
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Re: OT: My SPIDER-MAN novel reviewed

Allyn Gibson said:
I'm assuming this book is set in pre-"One More Day" continuity? In other words, Peter and MJ are still married?
Absolutely. In fact, it's set in pretty much the same timeframe as KRAD's and Jim Butcher's Spidey novels preceding it -- after MJ begins her theatrical career but before Spidey gets organic webshooters and joins the Avengers.
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Old February 12 2008, 02:11 AM   #7
LightningStorm
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Re: OT: My SPIDER-MAN novel reviewed

Christopher said:
...Spidey gets organic webshooters...
I don't follow Spider-man (really at all) but I know the basics. Did they do that because of the movies? That just strikes me as... well, odd.
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Old February 12 2008, 02:27 AM   #8
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Re: OT: My SPIDER-MAN novel reviewed

Wow, that's pretty cool Christopher. I actually saw this this morning, but I'm in the middle of three books right now (Michael Chrichton's Sphere, Forged in Fire, and Glass Empires) and I've got about 4 books waiting to be read, so I didn't get it yet. But after hearing this I'll probably pick it up when I get to my next gap in my reading list.
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Old February 12 2008, 02:32 AM   #9
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Re: OT: My SPIDER-MAN novel reviewed

I don't follow Spider-man (really at all) but I know the basics. Did they do that because of the movies? That just strikes me as... well, odd.
Let's not get onto the stingers...
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Old February 12 2008, 05:03 AM   #10
Christopher
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Re: OT: My SPIDER-MAN novel reviewed

LightningStorm said:
Christopher said:
...Spidey gets organic webshooters...
I don't follow Spider-man (really at all) but I know the basics. Did they do that because of the movies? That just strikes me as... well, odd.
Yes, that's why they did it. But it's not at all unusual for comics to adopt elements from mass-media adaptations thereof. After all, a lot more people will watch a TV show or a movie than will ever read a comic book, so if you want to bring in members of that audience, it helps to give them something familiar. Superman comics in the '40s adopted many elements of the radio serials: the Daily Planet, Jimmy Olsen, Perry White, Kryptonite. Batman comics in the '60s changed to bear a closer resemblance to the Adam West sitcom. When The Incredible Hulk was on TV with Bill Bixby wandering the country, the comics had Bruce Banner wander the country in the same way. And so on.

What's odd in this case is how little they did with it. They did a storyline in which Spidey went through a bizarre metamorphosis and emerged with organic webbing and an enhanced spider-sense. Then they totally failed to follow up on that in any way whatsoever; in most subsequent stories, we didn't see him using his mechanical webshooters, but we saw no evidence that he wasn't, and the changed spider-sense (basically the ability to communicate with insects, even though spiders are arachnids) was never explored or mentioned again as far as I'm aware. And less than a year later, they did a story that put him through another bizarre metamorphosis in which he emerged with stingers coming out of his wrists and a differently enhanced spider-sense (which was closer to how spiders' senses actually work, and actually along similar lines to how I depict the spider-sense in the novel). It was as though the first transformation had never happened. And they barely bothered to follow up on the second transformation because they then got caught up in the whole Civil War business and then decided to do this whole massive revamp and wipe all of it out of existence.

But I outlined Drowned in Thunder before most of that ever happened. Actually the initial transformation and his Avengers membership had happened at that point, but I decided to set the novel before that, because I felt a "classic" solo-Spidey story would be better (plus I'm not that familiar with the Avengers, and Marvel wasn't keen on crossovers in the novels anyway), and because I really wanted to write about how the mechanical webshooters worked. Plus I think the whole idea of having spinnerets in the wrists is kind of silly. Why the wrists? And wouldn't extensive webslinging leave Peter desperately lacking in fluids and proteins after a while? I was happy to steer clear of that whole business.
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Old February 12 2008, 06:24 AM   #11
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Re: OT: My SPIDER-MAN novel reviewed

Congrats Chris! I love your Star Trek material but I can't stomach Spiderman. So, sorry I'll not read it even though I am one of your fans. That said I am still happy you have connected with the Spiderman fanbase.

Kevin
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Old February 12 2008, 07:23 AM   #12
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Re: OT: My SPIDER-MAN novel reviewed

Great review. I've been eyeing this one for awhile... and with my abject disgust at the contrived and horrible mess they've made with One More Day... it'll be nice to have another story in the timeframe when he was still a character I had interest in.

Post-One More Day Spidey has very little draw for me. A weak, hokey retcon due to a lack of creativity and a weird editorial fixation. I pa-tooie in Quesada's general, hacky direction.

But I digress... congrats again Christopher. I look forward to it.
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Old February 12 2008, 07:34 AM   #13
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Re: OT: My SPIDER-MAN novel reviewed

phrog said:
Post-One More Day Spidey has very little draw for me. A weak, hokey retcon due to a lack of creativity and a weird editorial fixation. I pa-tooie in Quesada's general, hacky direction.
I agree. There's nothing "new" or appealing at all about this whole Brand New Day thing. In fact, it's more like "this is where I came in".
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Old February 12 2008, 10:32 AM   #14
Baerbel Haddrell
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Re: OT: My SPIDER-MAN novel reviewed

Christopher said:
Allyn Gibson said:
I'm assuming this book is set in pre-"One More Day" continuity? In other words, Peter and MJ are still married?
Absolutely. In fact, it's set in pretty much the same timeframe as KRAD's and Jim Butcher's Spidey novels preceding it -- after MJ begins her theatrical career but before Spidey gets organic webshooters and joins the Avengers.

Great! Thank you, that is good to know.

I have nearly finished "A Burning House" and I am wondering now what to read next, Spider-Man or the new Excelsior novel. Maybe I will toss a coin.
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Old February 12 2008, 09:30 PM   #15
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Re: OT: My SPIDER-MAN novel reviewed

What is the premise of this book?
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