May 27, 2015

Chasing Tale [May 29, 2015]: My Five Favorite Characters

There was this neat little idea blogged about last week, which basically says that your five favorite fictional characters say a lot about you. So I thought about the five fictional characters (from books, movies, TV, games, whatever) that are my absolute faves. It's tough to pick just five, as with the ungodly amount of fiction that has passed across my eyeballs, I could probably rattle off fifty characters I love to death. But here are the five that sprang to mind in the few minutes following reading that article.

1) Captain Jean-Luc Picard from Star Trek: The Next Generation - I could've put Captain Kirk on this list easily, though if anyone from Star Trek: TOS was to wind up on this list, it'd be Bones. Picard is my captain, though. He actually evolved through the run of the show, afforded by a longer run than the original series, but seeing his character arc and Patrick Stewart's expert performance is just a delight to watch.

2) Jack Burton from Big Trouble in Little China - Kurt Russell in the 80s is kind of incredible. Heck, he was the 80s. Maybe Snake Plissken would be on your list, but the braggadocious, dimwitted trucker turned demon hunter is just too iconic for me to ignore.

3) Willow Rosenberg from Buffy the Vampire Slayer - Forget Sabrina. Willow was my favorite witch back in the day. I came to the TV series a couple seasons late, but once I hopped on the bandwagon, I was hooked and in no small part because of Alyson Hannigan's performance as the perpetually awkward bookworm who matured into an asskicking sorceress.

4) Al Swearengen from Deadwood - From the very first episode of this western, I was awestruck by the dialogue, and no character was so colorful, so vociferous, and so captivating as the brothel-running baddie. With a mere sidelong glance by Ian McShane, I was hooked on this character and everything he said and did.

5) Hap Collins from Joe R. Lansdale's Hap & Leonard series - After making this list, I noticed Hap is the lone character from a book. Shameful, but there ya go. At least I picked one of the all-time great crime fiction characters to ever come around. An east Texas good ol' boy with a heart of gold and a streak of bad luck a mile wide, Hap has been through it all in this series, with his best buddy Leonard Pine at his side the whole way. Seriously, read these books.

Speaking of books, some more have arrived on my to-be-read pile. Have a peek and let me know what catches your eye, and what books you've added to your own bookshelves lately.

Dying Embers by Betty Adams - An ARC for this scifi novel showed up out of the blue. It's set for release in August to coincide with WorldCon, so you'll likely learn more about it leading up to that convention, I suspect.

The Acolyte by Nick Cutter - It was only a couple months ago, it feels like, when I reviewed Nick Cutter's The Deep. Wasting no time, he has a new novel out, a religiously-themed dystopian thriller no less, which I'm sure is bound to not be the least bit eyebrow-raising. *raises eyebrows*

Nightmares Ahead by Howard Jackson - This is a short story collection out through Red Rattle Books. It's jam-packed by the looks of it, with thirty or so stories stuffed into its pages, too.

Little Girls by Ronald Malfi - With a brand new out this summer, Ron Malfi is gearing up for a publicity tour to promote this latest haunting tale. Look for him to drop on by Wag The Fox at some point.

Escaping Lucidity by Ty Schwamberger - Another short story collection, this one is due for release in early August and will feature all of Ty's published short fiction, brought together in one book. I haven't read a whole lot of Ty's short stories, leaning more towards his novella length stuff, so this should be interesting.

Cold Moon by Alexandra Sokoloff - The third Huntress thriller comes out in July. Alexandra is a heckuva writer, though I'm more familiar with her horror fiction than the thrillers, so this series will be a bit of a change of pace.

End Times at Ridgemont High by Ian Welke - How about a little apocalyptic fiction to round it out this week? I love the title for this one and if you're interested in learning more about this one, I have an interview with Ian coming up in June, so keep an eye out for that.


  1. You know what ol' Jack Burton says... the check is in the mail, yes sir... that check is in the mail.... good read and characters. I am way interested in the End Times at Ridgemont High.