Fabulous Fiction Firsts #612

A Hundred Thousand Worlds * by Bob Proehl is a mother-son cross-country road trip through the world of comic-cons,

New York actress Valerie Torrey, who has a successful run playing Bethany Fraser in a syndicated X-Files-ish TV show called Anomaly is taking her 9 year-old son Alex on a road trip to LA where his father Andrew lives.

Along the way, Val agrees to make appearances at comic book conventions. From Pittsburgh to Cleveland, from Chicago to Las Vegas they are increasingly being drawn into the lives and drama of the other regulars - artists, writers, agents, publishers and a strange world of "cosplay" (costume play), mostly young women who dress up as comic book characters.

For Alex, this world is a magical place where fiction becomes reality, but as they get closer to their destination, he begins to realize that the story his mother is telling him about their journey might have a very different ending than he imagined.

Debut novelist "Proehl has done an excellent job of integrating all of the story lines and creating memorable characters to populate them. Though not without its melancholy moments, the story is deeply satisfying and will delight both comics fans and general readers." (Booklist)

* = starred review

May Books to Film, Already in Theaters

Iron Man 2 is based on Marvel’s Iron Man comic series. In this sequel, billionaire industrialist Tony Stark, now a famous high-tech superhero comes up against the U.S. military’s demands to control the most powerful weapon on earth -- the Iron Man suit, while being hunted by a vengeful Russian criminal with some lethal technology of his own. Meanwhile, he could no longer count on his beautiful new assistant or best friend, Rhodey who are hatching their own strange, mysterious agendas.

Letters to Juliet is adapted from Lise Friedman's Letters to Juliet: celebrating Shakespeare’s greatest heroine, the magical city of Verona, and the power of love - an enchanting love story of encountering new sparks and rekindling old flames. (The scenery isn't bad either).

When Sophie, a young American, travels to Verona, Italy -- the romantic city where Romeo first met Juliet -- she meets a group of volunteers who respond to letters written to Juliet seeking romantic advice. Sophie finds and answers a letter that has been lost for 50 years, and is stunned when its author Claire arrives in Italy with her handsome but overprotective grandson to find the man she left decades before. Fascinated by Claire's quest, Sophie joins them on an adventure through the beautiful hills of Tuscany searching for Claire's long lost Lorenzo.

Over the years, there have been various big screen and television interpretations of the legend of Robin Hood – from the recent TV series; Mel Brooks’ farcical Robin Hood Men in Tights; to Errol Flynn’s 1938 iconic The Adventures of Robin Hood. Now see Russell Crowe as a beefy Robin Hood .

Instead, fantasy and alternative history fan might opt to try Hood : The Legend Begins Anew by Stephen R. Lawhead. In this first of the King Raven Trilogy, Hood tells the story of an alternative Robin Hood. Steeped in Celtic mythology and the political intrigue of medieval Britain, the familiar tale takes on new life, fresh meaning, and an unexpected setting – “ …(a) highly imaginative, earthy adventure that has little to do with Errol Flynn but is just as rousing”.

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