Sniffen Packets

With a name like Sniffen, it's got to smell good.

Faith Conquers and Sheva's War, by Christopher Moeller

This is a first: a game so good it got me to get the books it’s based on. And they’re graphic novels at that! These are collections of serial comics written and painted by Christopher Moeller. The general feel is somewhere between Traveller and Warhammer 40K: There was a great world here, and the people enjoying it grew lax and dropped it. Now the flame grows red and gutters.

The world presented is deep and attractive. Moeller learned from Herbert, Tolkien, and Asimov, it’s clear: he presents his world with excellent skill and subtlety. He never tells you what a Cotar Fomas is, or the details of the faith of the Wheel, but it’s clear by a chapter into Faith Conquers.

The characters are painted well enough that I think I’d recognize them on the street, and given enough depth that I know which I’d like to—and in which moods. The plots are those of short stories: there’s no space in this medium for the craft Gene Wolfe takes 750 pages to execute. I’d love to see novel-length works by this author, but I don’t think I have the shelf space to contain that with ubiquitous paintings.

Books read this year: 33