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SCIENCE FICTION NEWS/REVIEWS

DABEL BROTHERS INVITE READERS TO EXPLORE ROBERT SILVERBERG'S THE SEVENTH SHRINE

Sci-fi detective story by master writer Robert Silverberg retold in haunting painted style.

Dabel Brothers Production (DB Pro) opted early on not to give Robert Silverberg's short story "The Seventh Shrine" the comic book treatment.

They went with an incredible painted storybook format instead.

"When we started the project, I scripted the story out into comic book form, and it was fine," said Sean J. Jordan, project editor for The Seventh Shrine. "The problem was that the story has a slower, more deliberate pace than most comic books, and the artist was being asked to draw a lot of people talking about a murder rather than showing the murder itself. And since Mr. Silverberg's wonderful writing was getting lost in the process, we racked our brains trying to figure out how we could adapt the story in a new and different way."

"Around the same time, our art director discovered a European artist named Anders Finér whose work had an incredible, ethereal painted style to it. After seeing what he could do with a few of the characters and gaining Mr. Silverberg's enthusiastic approval, we decided to try a storybook format, allowing the strengths of Mr. Silverberg's writing and Anders's painting to meld together into an incredible volume."

The Seventh Shrine is a science fiction story set on the celebrated planet of Majipoor, a larger-than-life world where many alien races co-exist with the aboriginal Piurivars, better known as the "Metamorphs" or "Shapeshifters." When a Metamorph archaeologist is murdered at the ancient ruins of Velalisier, Majipoor's highest authority, the Pontifex Valentine, travels to the site to investigate the murder personally. As he delves into understanding the motivation for the murder, he uncovers strange new secrets about the history of the Shapeshifters and the mystery of the sealed-up Seventh Shrine.

"The great thing about this story is that even though it technically takes place at the end of the Majipoor series, it was written to introduce new readers to the characters," said Les Dabel, New Business Director and Vice President of DB Pro. "It's an entry point into the series so that readers will be able to head right into Lord Valentine's Castle, the first book in the novel series. And, visually speaking, it offers some incredible scenes. The Shapeshifters, in particular, give the story an eerie, alien feel, and you can understand why the other races of Majipoor despise and even fear them at certain points."

"And the art." Dabel started, pausing for a moment. "Wow. It's breathtaking, it's amazing, it's absolutely stunning. Going with the storybook format was a great idea because it offered Anders the chance to paint dramatic scenes instead of sequential action. And, since this is a story heavy in drama and suspense, the images match up perfectly with the text. This is a book I would buy not just to read the story, but also just to stare at the pictures."

The Seventh Shrine is a double-sized, two-part miniseries being developed by DB Pro and released through Devil's Due Publishing. The book is scheduled hit shelves in May, 2004. It is currently available for solicitation through Diamond Comic Distributors, Inc. in the Devil's Due section of Previews. http://www.devilsdue.net

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