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richard
Posted on Friday, July 23, 2004 - 06:30 am:   

This is sparked by current threads over on Jeff Vandermeer and Ellen Datlow's respective patches. Here's a game the Gollancz authors have been playing for the last couple of days:

1) Name a book you love despite what anybody says
2) Name a book you hate despite what anybody says
3) Name a book you think is undeservedly obscure
4) Name a book you think is undeservedly acclaimed
5) Name a book you think you ought to read
6) Name a book you think I ought to read

Mine, for the record, were:

1) Agent of the Terran Empire - Poul Anderson
2) London Fields - Martin Fuckhead (er, Amis)
3) The Five Gates of Hell - Rupert Thomson
4) The Secret History - Donna Tart
5) The God of Small Things - Arundhati Roy
6) Vineland - Thomas Pynchon

Anyone else want to play?
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JV
Posted on Friday, July 23, 2004 - 06:57 am:   

Heh. This is a perilous game, ain't it.

JeffV

1) The Seven Who Fled - Frederick Prokosch
2) Tie: Nightland - William Hope Hodgson / The Book of Illusions - Paul Auster
3) The Chess Garden - Brooks Hansen
4) Little, Big - John Crowley
5) Tie: Infinite Jest - David Foster Wallace / Mortal Love - Elizabeth Hand
6) Blood Meridian - Cormac McCarthy
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neilw
Posted on Friday, July 23, 2004 - 07:56 am:   

Hmmm.

1)Mort - Terry Pratchett
2)Trainspotting - Irvine Welsh
3)The Wood Wife - Terry Windling
4)The DaVinci Code - Dan Brown
5)His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
6)River Of Gods - Ian McDonald
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gary gibson
Posted on Friday, July 23, 2004 - 08:53 am:   

Okaay ...

1)Illuminatus! - RA Wilson
2)Lord of the Rings - Tolkien
3)The Krugg Syndrome - Angus McAllister
4)Vineland - Thomas Pynchon
5)Ghostwritten - David Mitchell
6)City of the Iron Fish - Simon Ings
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neilw
Posted on Friday, July 23, 2004 - 08:57 am:   

Gary - The Krugg Syndrome! Absolutely. Wish I'd thought of that.
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John Klima
Posted on Friday, July 23, 2004 - 10:05 am:   

1) HARRY POTTER AND THE PHILOSOPHER'S STONE by J.K. Rowling
2) INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIE by Anne Rice
3) QUANTUM MOON by Denise Vitola (start of a brilliant SF series that died an early death)
4) A NIGHT WITHOUT ARMOR by Jewel
5) NEWTON'S WAKE by Ken MacLeod
6) A PRAYER FOR THE DYING by Stewart O'Nan

I had a lot of different things for #2, and I know there's something I've read recently that I thought was terrible. (I know I started THE DANTE CLUB and decided to not finish it, something I've NEVER done before)

JK
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gary gibson
Posted on Friday, July 23, 2004 - 10:56 am:   

Actually, scratch my No.6 recommendation: for some reason, I was thinking JeffV rather than Richard Morgan when I wrote it down. Instead, I'll change my No.6 to Headlong, by the same author, Simon Ings.
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JV
Posted on Friday, July 23, 2004 - 11:06 am:   

Gary:

I've read City of the Iron Fish. I liked parts of it, didn't like other parts.

JeffV
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BenO
Posted on Friday, July 23, 2004 - 12:01 pm:   

Fun game!

1) The Worm Ouroboros - E. R. Eddison
2) One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
3) Tie: Dr. Rat - William Kotzwinkle / The Secret Service - Wendy Walker
4) Bridge of Birds - Barry Hughart
5) Islandia - Austin Tappan Wright
6) The Exploits of Engelbrecht - Maurice Richardson
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GabrielM
Posted on Saturday, July 24, 2004 - 08:39 am:   

1) THE NIGHT LAND - William Hope Hodgson
2) WHITE APPLES - Jonathan Carroll
3) A TRIP TO THE STARS - Nicholas Christopher
4) AMERICAN GODS - Neil Gaiman
5) MOTHER LONDON - Michael Moorcock
6) MIAMI BLUES - Charles Willeford
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richard
Posted on Tuesday, July 27, 2004 - 04:03 am:   

Thanks guys, this is giving me a looooong summer reading list....

Gary - have read Headlong (and Hotwire) - must confess I didn't rate either as highly as Hothead, which is one of my all time favourite SF novels.

Maybe I'll slip into Jeff's skin and have a crack at City of....
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al duncan
Posted on Tuesday, July 27, 2004 - 05:13 am:   

1) Finnegan's Wake - James Joyce
2) A Disaffection - James Kelman
3) The Borribles - Michael de Larrabeiti
4) Lost Souls - Poppy Z. Brite
5) House Of Leaves - Mark Z. Danielewski
6) Geek Love - Katherine Dunn


I was going to put Lord Of The Rings in slots 2 and 4, but since Gary's already put the boot in there, I thought I'd look further afield.
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fur
Posted on Tuesday, July 27, 2004 - 01:13 pm:   

1) Don Quixote de la Mancha - Cervantes
2) (despise rather than hate) His Dark Materials -Phillip Pullman
3) The Faerie Queene - Edmund Spenser
4) since the The Secret History's gone, Captain Correlli's Mandolin
5) Gridlinked - Neal Asher, and anything by Patrick O'Brien
6) Portrait of Mrs Charbuque - Jeffery Ford

Hi Al - you wouldn't have anything to do with 'Vellum' would you?
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richard
Posted on Tuesday, July 27, 2004 - 03:34 pm:   

Hey! fur! Long time no type!

About the FG - you cannot be serious.....can you?
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fur
Posted on Wednesday, July 28, 2004 - 12:05 am:   

Hello! I know - got a job, which is *murder* on interesting stuff. I don't know how other people manage it!

What's wrong with the FQ? (fraid I was serious, but I could nominate Samuel Richardson's Clarissa instead - for the best anti-hero ever written - which you can object to even more? Or Farmer Giles of Ham?)It's fantastic - all those knights running about arbitrarily destroying things for no good reason, parallel worlds, quests, fragmented time, magic armour, evil spell-casting catholic hermits, shapeshifting crones/whores of babylon, alien races trying to kill off fabulous monsters which prove to be facets of their own personality, serious pain and suffering, gardens where sentient + aggressive forces of art and nature try to kill each other off ... totally cool stuff! Maybe it's not the most readable thing ever written, and I guess it's poetry despite being a whopping great big book, but it's *such* good fun. - Sounds like a fantasy novel to me; what's not to like?

(is it the one book on earth you'd like summarily burned to a cinder and buried in lime, or something?)
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richard
Posted on Wednesday, July 28, 2004 - 02:55 am:   

No, no - just very VERY hard work. (Admittedly it's getting on for two decades since I read it, so I may have to go back and reacquaint myself, but my recollection is of turgid, turgid pace and quite an irritating rhyme structure)

Would never burn and bury in lime any book ever written

(well, maybe anything by that prick Sean Hannity....but otherwise...)
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fur
Posted on Wednesday, July 28, 2004 - 12:35 pm:   

save a tree - spit-roast Hannity instead

ok bits of it are tough, but if you read it like a novel the rhyme scheme isn't so annoying (although keeping it going that long's pretty impressive) and you can skip the symbolically-interesting "fun pagentry" of the parades and get to the good stuff - like the giant revolting book-spewing monster four pages in that nearly eats the hero...
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al duncan
Posted on Thursday, July 29, 2004 - 02:08 am:   

Hi Fur. Um, yeah. That's my baby, I must confess, unholy offspring that it is. The "H" in my incredibly subtle pseudonym of "Hal Duncan" is silent, ye see. Ye've got me all curious now, though: I take it you've had some contact with the novel?

Must say, btw: Never did get round to The Faerie Queene (Had a choice, at uni, between a traditional Mediaeval/Renaissance stream and a stream of foreign literature in translation, and Marquez and Calvino were too tempting for me), but from your description I am *definitely* going to have to give it a go.
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gary gibson
Posted on Thursday, July 29, 2004 - 10:38 am:   

Richard ... I have to ask. What is it you have against Amis and Hanritty that evokes such a powerful reaction? Or, as you describe them, 'Fuckhead' and 'that prick'. One's curiousity is simply burning, *burning*, I say.
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fur
Posted on Thursday, July 29, 2004 - 01:34 pm:   

it might not be quite as good as I made out... (where did I go wrong? I got a choice of mediaeval *or* renaissance, dagnamit - any Calvino recommendations btw?).

I've been lucky enough to have a look at it ('contact'? I'd be in serious trouble if your tome landed on me from a height!), and totally loved it - your written/narrative/fragmentation style is phenomonal.

and, er, yeah - sorry about that. I don't seem to believe in either coincidences or 'h's this week...
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Chris
Posted on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 12:53 am:   

I think, just by looking at the book titles, that I can guess Richard's problem with Hanitty :-)

My experience of the Faerie Queen was ruined because our lecturer at Uni insisted that it was really all about AIDS, even though it didn't exist back then. Spenser was a prophet too, it seems...
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richard
Posted on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 02:40 am:   

Hi Gary,

My problem with Sean Hanitty - well, as Chris says, just check out the book titles. But you may also like to bear in mind that last time I checked, Hanitty was the proud standard-bearer for something called, apparently without ironic intention of any sort, the Union of Democratic Fascists. 'nuff said?

Amis - whole different class, I confess the man knows how to write well, and I don't know enough about his politics to make any comment there - it's really just because he's such a patronising little shit. London Fields, aside from being a very unpleasant excursion into justified mysogyny, is full of irritating repetitive metaphor and coy character names,all highlighting how wonderfully clever he is, plus superior-assed references which he obviously thinks his readers will be too thick to get. Example - an imagined "naughty" child is called Enola Gay for much of the book, and then near the end we are given the benefit of a turgid explanation as to the real identity of Enola - gee, thanks Martin, I would never have got it otherwise. Also....ah, why go on. Maybe I'm just jealous of his sales figures and literati (oops, freudian penis, uh, slip there), literary profile... :-)

I have a similar (tho' less extreme) reaction to Kundera's Unbearable Lightness of Being, which, though far less unpleasant than London Fields, also likes to take the readers on a tour of their own shortcomings when compared to the lofty pinnacle of authorial vision: (paraphrase) "this character wasn't really born, you know - I made her up, because what you're reading ISN'T REAL. You're reading FICTION and I just fooled you into TAKING IT SERIOUSLY"

Wanker.

Ahem....

Sorry - just hate that stuff
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Steph Swainston
Posted on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 11:36 am:   

Hi Richard - do you read novels in Spanish?
I always wanted to know about Arturo Perez-Reverte's 'Capitan Alatriste' series. I think there are three books, but they're not available in translation. Do you know them?
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simon
Posted on Friday, August 06, 2004 - 02:42 am:   

Steph,
Orion have just bought the rights to the Alatriste series. Expect to see them in the UK in a year or so.
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Night Shade Books
Posted on Friday, August 06, 2004 - 03:29 am:   

Bastards. A month or so ago I was trying to get ahold of Perez-Reverte's agent in Spain to see about getting rights here in the US. Probably a pipe dream, as I doubt we could afford A P-R, but it never hurts to ask.
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simon
Posted on Friday, August 06, 2004 - 04:00 am:   

I'm pretty sure we'll have only bought UK&C (not certain on details as it was bought by another division). Can put you in touch with the agent if you weren't able to get hold of them. email me at Orion if you want:
Simon.spanton@orionbooks.co.uk
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Steph
Posted on Friday, August 06, 2004 - 07:26 am:   

Simon - WHAT? Really? You're kidding me?
Hooray! Hooray!! Hooray!!!
Perez-Reverte is my fave.
I can't wait :-D
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simon
Posted on Friday, August 06, 2004 - 07:45 am:   

Steph,
We publish the first one in August. And there may be proofs before then . . .

Just found out that Putnam have bought them for the States. Don't know the score there.
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jeffv
Posted on Friday, August 06, 2004 - 07:58 am:   

Steph(anie):

Would you have a use for a message board here at NS?

I just bought your book, btw, and am looking forward to reading it.

Jeff VanderMeer
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Steph
Posted on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 09:29 am:   

Hi Jeff, good to speak to you.

Yes I would; it'd be very useful, thank you.

Hope you like YOOW. Veniss Underground is on my to-read pile, now that I've just finished the bloody Borrible trilogy I'm really looking forward to it.

Steph
- not Stephanie, please: reminds me of being told off for scrapping with my sisters. Also Stephanie is my non-fic name. Cheers.

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Steph
Posted on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 09:30 am:   

Simon:
>And there may be proofs before then . . .

tempter.
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Night Shade Books
Posted on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 12:00 pm:   

Hi Steph,

Your message board is ready. Enjoy.

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richard
Posted on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 07:23 pm:   

Hi Steph - I do read novels in Spanish, yes, tho' a lot more slowly than in English which tends to mean I don't do it as much as I should. My avowed favourite is a guy called Juan Madrid, mainly because he writes in this fast trashy style that I find I relate to (oops) and more importantly can get through at reasonable speed. They're sort of seedy Madrid noir, somewhere mid-way between Jim Thompson and Charles Bukovski (Simon - what do you reckon, any chance of Orion picking them up?)

I've read a few Arturo PR, I like him too - he's also got a very fluid style (especially when compared to an awful lot of his peers). Most recently read La Reina del Sur (Queen of the South) I'm curious to know what they'll do about that title when it comes out in English - while in Spanish it has this rather sultry Andaluz ring to it, in English it just reminds me of Saturday afternoon football results and waiting for Doctor Who to start.

Haven't read the Alatriste books yet. The first APR I ran across was the Fencing Master - got a real kick out of it, because it's set in Madrid and I'd just moved there at the time, so it was perfect timing;a lot of the settings he described haven't changed much in the intervening century and a half, and the street names are all the same. Beautiful city, then and now. It did lead to me swearing in rather florid nineteenth century slang tho' - which had my Spanish work colleagues rolling around on the floor. 'zounds, sir! you frightful cad! etc. Later on Juan Madrid sorted that out for me.

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JV
Posted on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 05:53 am:   

Great, Steph. And hope you like Veniss.
Best,
Jeff
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nealasher
Posted on Tuesday, June 28, 2005 - 08:34 am:   

Right thread I guess ... I see you too enjoyed Hammerjack, Mr Morgan?
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richard
Posted on Tuesday, June 28, 2005 - 01:01 pm:   

Yeah - especially the psychobitch from Mars; there's a whole novel's worth in her.
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nealasher
Posted on Wednesday, June 29, 2005 - 12:41 am:   

He should do a prequel all about her.

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