I really love maps. They’re great for showing all sorts of really cool data about any number of things. And doing it in a way which makes it easy to read and understand. Like this one here, next to what you’re reading, it’s a map of New York City, showing the homes/working areas of a number of top superheroes.
So oftentimes I will read something I like and want to share it here on the blog. For whatever reason the mind kicks in and says “this is something which should be preserved.” So I file it away and eventually, I write up my thoughts about the link and then I set it to post. Continue reading “On Women and Speculative Fiction”
There’s something nice about using classic characters as protagonists in your own books. Here Jim C. Hines uses Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and, of course, Cinderella, to create a fun caper with the wicked step-sisters as the antagonists. By using the classics, though, he automatically sets up expectations in our minds and so when he confounds those expectations, we’re doubly surprised. Continue reading “Review: The Stepsister Scheme”
There’s a quote by C.S. Lewis which says “A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.” I like this quote. I like this quote a lot. What it says to me is that just because you’re writing for a child doesn’t mean you have to “dumb” the story down or condescend to your readers. Continue reading “Review: Here, There Be Dragons”
There’s something wonderfully unique and strange about the imagination of Tim Powers. This collection of stories is not the best introduction to it, however good they might be. Th final story of the book is a companion piece to Powers’ novels The Stress of Her Regard and Hide Me Among the Graves dealing with the Nephilim, romantic poets and non-traditional vampires. It was originally written as a bonus for a limited edition of Regard and really needs a working knowledge of that book to be fully appreciated. Continue reading “Review: The Bible Repairman and Other Stories”
I first read this book back in ’06 and remembered liking it a great deal. Listening to this full cast recording of the author’s preferred text, I didn’t particularly notice much difference (that being said, I didn’t really remember the Hinzelman scene or the coming to America passages from before so who knows).
This is a book you need to focus on to read and fully appreciate. It’s not easy, mostly because they’re not stories, not in the sense we are conditioned to think of them. No real beginnings, middles or ends, more like Borges’ thoughts as he’s sitting at a typewriter and doing writing exercises.
This book in particular didn’t quite work for me for that reason. On a sentence by sentence level, the language and imagery are beautiful but that’s like looking at the scattered pieces of a mosaic and commenting on their attractiveness. Unless they’re put together to make a picture of some sort, something with coherence and fusion, they remain just lovely pieces.
That all said, it’s fascinating to see his influence and how far reaching it is. Anyone who reads this and Murakami and doesn’t see how the one affected the other is missing a fairly important link in the chain.
Not quite sure what to say about this one. In today’s world of YA urban fantasy action love stories, you’re obviously going to draw some comparison to Harry Potter and Twilight – the heavyweights of that genre. And the film of The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (which is WAY too long for a title) certainly doesn’t disappoint in that regard.
Is there a love triangle (or two)? Check.
Teen Protagonist who doesn’t know about their magical abilities? Check.
Werewolves (as protectorate, close family friend and biker gang)? Check.
Love sick best friend pining for a love which will never be reciprocated (and possibly being a vampire)? Check.
Really beautiful people who would be at home on a CW show? Check.
It’s got everything we’ve come to expect from a film like this… so why doesn’t it work? Continue reading “Review: The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones”
That was a good book. Not a great one, but very very good. It’s a classic Gaiman story; young people, shadowlands, ancient beings, “beating of giant wings”… all the good stuff. I listened to it, read by the author, which at times can be a tricky proposition but Gaiman is a performer and he does a great job with his own words (This is not always the case, mind you) and at just under 6 hours listening time, this isn’t a long piece of fiction. So why isn’t it great? For me, length is actually one of the factors. Continue reading “Review: The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
This is my third A. Lee Martinez book and I must say, I’m liking his stuff. This one is a little more serious than the other two I’ve read,, but all of his works have a certain… humanity… to them – regardless of the fact the characters aren’t always, or even often, human. In this one, at least two of the main characters are, nominally, human so that’s okay. And another is a paper gnome from another dimension (a really great creation, by the by). Continue reading “Review: Monster”
I’m sitting down to write something and I think I forgot how to do that. My mind is whizzing, but sitting down to the keyboard and actually picking a project is a chore. I used to be able to crank out material at a prodigious rate and while I think I know what happened, why that changed, that doesn’t excuse it. I need to get over it and just get the job done.
With that in mind, I’m sitting down today to start work on a fantasy adventure story which is in need of a title. This is a new piece. I had thought about going back and picking up the thread of other pieces I’d started some time ago, but I think a fresh start on something new is what I actually need at the moment. By putting it here, in the open, I’m hoping to shame myself into working on it on a daily basis. I can talk the talk, time to get back to walking the walk.
(and yes, I’ve shamelessly stolen the graphic – Thank you!)