What are your favorite books?

This week’s question about my favorite books is, as you’ve probably guessed, going to be a bit more difficult than merely spitting out some title and moving on. Then again, this is my 16th answer, just over 30% done for the year of this project, and if you haven’t figured out by now that none of these answers are that simple for me, well then, you haven’t been paying attention. Continue reading “What are your favorite books?”

Starlog!

starlog_1Growing up, my passion for film, filmmaking, and science fiction was spurred, pretty much, by one magazine – Starlog. I used to get it all the time, especially if the cover was about a film/TV show I was either desperate to see or one I had seen and was obsessing over.

Today, I discovered the Starlog Archive online. Can’t wait for a break in my daily work so I can dive in and read some of the original thoughts on films long since sequalized, lionized, disregarded, and remade.

A Survey of Some of the Best Science Fiction Ever Published (Thanks to Judy-Lynn Del Rey) | Tor.com

Reading a collection of short fiction from any given author is always a mixed bag. Same goes for an anthology of works by different authors centered around a certain theme or category. You might like some and some, well, they round out the collection.

But when you have a “Best of” collection, especially one curated by another well known writer or editor, well then, that’s a great way to start a good library. And that’s what Tor.com talks about in this article featuring A Survey of Some of the Best Science Fiction Ever Published (Thanks to Judy-Lynn Del Rey). While I’ve read some of these, and own several, a bunch more are going on my wish list.

Vintage Geek Culture — Top Misconceptions People Have about Pulp-Era…

You know I love me some science fiction. This post, over on the tumblr site Vintage Geek Culture, is a great dispelling of the “truths” of the pulp era. Like Chuck Wendig’s post about the “Sacred Cows of Writing Advice” and Dean Wesley Smith’s books on the myths of conventional and indie publishing, it’s great to see critical looks at the way we’ve always believed things to be.

While there is always a core to these “truths,” there’s also an equal number of examples which show there is more to it.

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He kept his Star Wars legacy a secret in Boulder for decades. At 85, the sci-fi pioneer is ready to step out. — The Know from The Denver Post

This is an amazing story! Holy crap the things this guy has done and how much he’s been an invisible part of my life, childhood and overall creative development!

My takeaway though, is this line:

“Colin told me one time that this is the way he went through life, that he liked to create things that people couldn’t un-think,” Dall said. “That’s how he got into a lot of things: he would come up with such original, creative and intelligent ideas that people would look at it and then they couldn’t go back.”

And if you want a piece of signed artwork, check out Colin Cantwell’s own website.

Source: He kept his Star Wars legacy a secret in Boulder for decades. At 85, the sci-fi pioneer is ready to step out. — The Know from The Denver Post

Review: Kindred

Kindred
Kindred by Octavia E. Butler
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Incredibly powerful piece. Seriously. Octavia Butler has crafted an amazing novel which is nominally science fiction but at the same time is a historical drama as well as a slave narrative.

Written in 1976, the story follows an African American woman named Dana who has just celebrated her 27th birthday and has moved into a new house with her white husband Kevin. Then the weird stuff happens.  Continue reading “Review: Kindred”

Review: Station Eleven

Station Eleven
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Survival is not enough.”

These are the words painted on the side of the Symphony’s wagon and tattooed on the arm of one of the two primary protagonists of Emily St. John Mandel’s latest novel. The tattooed girl is Kirsten, an actress in her late 20s who is our primary guide to life in the 20 years after the “Georgia Flu” has wiped out 99% of humanity. Continue reading “Review: Station Eleven”

Spring 2014: Day Two – Dragons and Squids and a Dangerous Rain Storm

Welcome to DisneylandTuesday morning arrived early, but not as early as it would have had I been at home with the crazy dog! I got to sleep in to the absurdly late hour of 8am! We both woke up, showered and were able to catch the 9:30 shuttle to the parks (which was good since otherwise we wouldn’t know where to catch it to bring us home, and in light of later events, that would not have been good). Continue reading “Spring 2014: Day Two – Dragons and Squids and a Dangerous Rain Storm”

Review: The Bible Repairman and Other Stories

The Bible Repairman and Other Stories
The Bible Repairman and Other Stories by Tim Powers
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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”

Review: The Mysterious Island

The Mysterious Island
The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Seems like I’ve been on a Jules Verne kick lately, slowly working my way through the classics. I’d heard about Mysterious Island before, and seen several of the films, but like watching the movie version of Around the World in 80 Days, the book is very much different! Continue reading “Review: The Mysterious Island”

Review: The Handmaid’s Tale

The Handmaid's Tale
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This isn’t so much a story as a cautionary tale of what will happen if America (any country, really) lets religion control its politics. There’s not much in the way of plot and smarter people than I have spent a lot more time than I writing about all the allusions and metaphors. I’m glad I read it, finally, though. I’ll be honest, I hadn’t read it because I have a grudge against Margaret Atwood. It’s a personal thing, they way she denounces science fiction and then explains that what she writes is “speculative fiction” because hers doesn’t have space ships in it. I call BS on that.

It’s also interesting in that I’ve recently been on a Dystopian Literature kick and I’m fascinated by the wholesale stealing of ideas from Brave New World to this and This Perfect Day. In the end, though, I enjoyed this book. I enjoyed Claire Danes interpretation of it as well. With audio books, the narrator can save a bad one or kill a good one, but in this case, I think Ms. Danes did a great job.

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