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Doodlebug Anklebiter wrote:
The comrades might also like Butler's short story collection, Bloodchild and Other Stories. Butler didn't write much short fiction, but what she has written is excellent! "Bloodchild" gets the most press and awards, but I personally like "The Evening and the Morning and the Night" the best out of the collection (or maybe I have "Bloodchild" anemia). "Speech Sounds" is also great, especially since Butler and I are both from SoCal and I know some of the places she describes in the story; I can't drive by the Music Center without thinking of that story.
I finished The Grace of Kings. It had epic battles and wily opponents in a "silkpunk" pseudo-Asian setting. I liked it, even though there is some speechifying by major characters and lots of shifts in point of view to keep track of. My favorite characters, it turns out, were the gods of the setting. Their meddling in mortal affairs, and the ways their plans go awry, were entertaining and unexpected. I'm not sure I'm going to read the sequel, though. The end of the war seemed to draw things _mostly_ to a close.
Not sure what novel I'm reading next. My book-Jenga pile is as high as ever, but I've been skimming the Year's Best SF 18 anthology I got at the library. Favorite short story so far: "Bricks, Sticks, Straw" by Gwyneth Jones. I'd love to see it turned into a CGI short feature.
Bjørn Røyrvik wrote:
If you are less into pulp...My sister got me the original Judge Dee translations by Robert van Gulik. The Chinese mystery stories tend to have more supernatural elements in them, but no more far fetched than some of the early Western detective fiction (e.g. Poe's "Murders in the Rue Morgue.")
The Thread Necromancer wrote:
Pssh. We already knew that marketing was a ghetto! And the Los Angeles Times had the nerve to interview the actresses in the latest Avengers movie as if it had some sort of feminist message to impart. Total BS. Sure, it's nice to interview movie actresses, but lets not pretend the movie is about something it is just not about. A 50% increase in actresses to 2 isn't progress, and it sure ain't the point of the franchise. LA Times had the nerve to laud this and cite it as a reason more women saw the latest Avengers film. More women? Our audience share in the US increased from 40% to 41%. Whoop. Dee. Doo.
[goes back to re-reading Rat Queens]
I'm reading The Voyage of the Basilisk: A Memoir by Lady Trent, by Marie Brennan. It's the third book in the series. So far it has been a fun read, full of nautical adventure, and I like Tod Lockwood's illustrations, but I don't like the blue ink the publisher chose to use. I think it's supposed to make it look "old-timey" but it just makes it harder for me to read and does Lockwood's illustrations a disservice IMO.
I picked up issue 10 during Free Comic Book Day today. I was planning on waiting for the collected volume but my will power is weak.
I liked how the issue and the plot arc resolved. Especially because
Dee, my favorite character, was the absolute most bad@ss, bravest character ever! When she put that mask on, it was amazing!
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
I went back and re-watched Glory after reading Fire on the Beach: Recovering the Lost Story of Richard Etheridge and the Pea Island Lifesavers by David Wright and David Zoby.
Link: Goodreads page.
I really liked this book, and it taught me about what happened to a lot of black Civil War soldiers during Reconstruction (not a generally happy time, by any stretch). I also think it would make a great movie or miniseries.
Atonement was OK. Now on to Gibson's Neuromancer, courtesy of that damned communist/socialist institution, the Public Library. Digging Neuromancer so far, with its cyberpunk, Blade-Runneresque feel.
I love the opening sentence: "The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel."
True story: I first tried reading Neuromancer as a freshman in high school and just could not get into it. I wasn't mature enough for it yet/not big into sci-fi in HS. But then I read it a few years out of college and really enjoyed it. There are some very memorable moments and very little of it is jarring to read in the 21st century (unlike, say Pohl's Gateway). I recall only a few outdated conceptions about the future of computing from the '80s.
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
I clicked the link (which, more often than not, I really shouldn't). I noticed the sidebar table of contents lists: "Cop Terror Stalks Black America." Dated 1988. Boy, the times they are a changin'!
In Book news: I reread Jeff Smith's Bone: Out from Boneville, the first book in the series, for work! It wasn't quite how I remembered it from the '90s, but that's as it should be.
I finished reading Devil in a Blue Dress, an Easy Rawlins Mystery, by Walter Mosley. I liked its fast pace, and I really appreciated the "down these mean streets" themes that are lamp-shaded by Rawlins' pal by Mouse, but some of the supporting characters were pretty cliché, and despite her speeches I felt like the femme fatale was an underdeveloped character.
I might try another Rawlins mystery to see if Mosley changes it up and reminds me less of "Chinatown." I liked his Socrates Fortlow books, but those weren't the same genre.
Don't forget the awesome title song by Don McLean! Flight of Dragons!
I've got to disagree with you about "The Man Who Knew Too Much." I admire Alfred Hitchcock's 1934 version more; at that point in his career he was really innovating in his approach to directing and editing, and the script is zippier (75 min. vs. 120 min run-time). The sound track was crap, but the pacing was great. Also, I hate the Doris Day/Jimmy Stewart pairing. They have no chemistry. My 2 cp.
I've been reading middle grade fiction for work lately (I currently work in library youth services, but I usually read nonfiction until my current project came up). Here's a brief list:
spoiler for length:
Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis
-- Pre-Civil War African-Canadian boy deal with slavery in the U.S. Good, serious subject matter (slavery) but the protagonist's voice can be a bit grating since Curtis wrote him in a semi-dialect style.
Savvy by Ingrid Law
-- Preteen girl develops supernatural powers; I wanted to like it more than I did. The plot takes its time getting where it's going (but certainly not as much as Don Quixote did!)
Echo: a novel by Pam Munoz Ryan
-- Kids find a magical harmonica that unites them across time and space. The plot twists were obvious but might not be to the age range the book is aimed at. The magical-realism elements were very well integrated.
In my opinion, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly is the best of the Sergio Leon spaghetti western trio. The others lean more heavily on , while intensifying the violence of, standard western tropes -- but TGTB&TU expands outwards and builds this whole fantasy west in an almost archetypal pastoral that is like no other western.
The "Ecstasy of Gold" theme, "The Good's" theme (Dadadadada...Wa-waaa-wa), and the standoff scene are right up there with the Odessa Steps scene in Eisenstein's Battleship Potemkin as a defining moment of cinema.
I also agree that Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is better than the other two films that precede it. The 4th Indiana Jones film...<shudder!>
Currently reading: The Maltese Falcon, by Dashiell Hammett.
Because I saw the movie first, all the characters sound like their counterparts, even on dialogue that wasn't in the film. Joel Cairo looks more dashing in the book, but it is hard to beat Peter Lorre for his good looks, innit?
I got Issue 9. Paizo website munched my long post so I'll put the highlights of my thoughts here:
I finally finished Don Quixote. I liked it, and in some ways Comrade Anklebiter is correct -- Cervantes does dig at the bourgeois in the story. But Don Q & Sancho are besties 4ever, and neither would ever betray the other, at least not in any major way.
Sancho preys on Don Q's madness a bit, and gets some $$$ out of him in the end, but still admires the guy.
Taliesin Hoyle wrote:
Have you read his "Amerika"? I really loved it and, although incomplete (or is it?), it is perhaps my favorite or second favorite of his longer works; "The Castle" is also a masterpiece!
But my first favorite Kafka work is "A Hunger Artist." I've read three different translations and no matter how they change a phrase here or there, I feel the intention of the story comes through very clearly. Perhaps Walter Benjamin is right and a work becomes more itself in translation...Even so, Kafka is the only reason I wish I could read German.
It's hard to believe he's gone. I grew up with TNG, but I loved OS reruns, especially Spock's banter with McCoy and Kirk. It wouldn't have been Star Trek without Spock to balance out Kirk's emotional displays. I remember practicing the Shekinah sign in the mirror so many times until I could get the "Vulcan Salute" just right. I even read Nimoy's book, "I am not Spock," which I bought at a library sale. I wrote a short essay about it and Nimoy's relationship to the Stanislavsky Method for my acting class in college.
Hi all. I finally got around to reading the Braga comic. [my life has been too busy to hunt all over town for one comic] I really liked it, especially Tess Fowler's take on orcs. Very tribal-punk. I hope she gets to do more guest artistry on the series, or at least that her orcs are the style going forward. I think we need another Braga issue, too.
I'm looking forward to what Round 2 with her brother is going to be like!
Also, in the spirit of the thread: I am now reading a dual-language edition of Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra's Don Quijote/Don Quixote. It's been great because I don't need to use a bilingual dictionary for the words I don't know. Also, I discovered that there really is no equivalent to "hallar" in English. There are other words that are more equivalent to English, but not that one. It's a very useful word. Cervantes uses it a lot.
Since the monsters don't get much direct sun exposure, they need darkness-enabled features. I'd like to see something involving spores, or those bioluminescent bacteria, like angler-fish have. Something different than your standard "it has darkvision" response. Not everything should be able to see in the dark. I also like the monsters that have tremor-sense, echolocation, or other work-arounds for the darkness condition. It just feels more organic to me. So I hope we get some monsters with those alternative qualities.
The whole Roc Upchurch arrest is making me feel uneasy about the series going forward. Will Wiebe having a new illustrator change the content? Is it temporary or will Upchurch return to illustrating it at some point down the road? It also makes me super sad that a series that is so positive/entertaining about women kicking @ss has a corollary in real-life violence that is as far as one can get from "entertaining."
I was wondering what other readers on here thought about the issue, or if y'all don't want to touch it with a 10 ft. pole.