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JeffV
Posted on Wednesday, June 11, 2003 - 07:48 am:   

This is a thread to post info on books, music, and movies that you've read that you really like and think others would like. Recommendations, basically.

For example, I'm reading and greatly enjoying the Kelly Link-edited Trampoline anthology right now.
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GabrielM
Posted on Wednesday, June 11, 2003 - 08:32 am:   

I just read and really enjoyed Marjane Satrapi's graphic novel PERSEPOLIS, about growing up in revolutionary Iran. It's out in the US from Pantheon, translated from the original French.
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Liz Williams
Posted on Wednesday, June 11, 2003 - 08:55 am:   

I am enjoying Elizabeth Moon's SPEED OF DARK at the moment.

Also recently got a lot out of Melissa Lai's THE SALTFISH GIRL (sorry, not sure if this is the author's name - it wasn't my copy), and AMERICAN GODS. I am way behind with my reading, as usual.

Also liked Justina Robson's NATURAL HISTORY.
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Des
Posted on Wednesday, June 11, 2003 - 09:26 am:   

This book (recently read) contains all the very best ingredients of traditional weird fiction and a modern European fabulist ethos. All written in a beautiful limpid prose. It is a *very* important book in my estimation:
http://tinyurl.com/e1xm
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Mike S
Posted on Wednesday, June 11, 2003 - 11:28 am:   

Randall Garrett's Lord Darcy stories--brilliant and loads of fun!
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Mike S
Posted on Wednesday, June 11, 2003 - 11:30 am:   

Oh, and based on a recommendation from Gabe M's blog, I picked up a Hot Club of Cowtown CD and love it!
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jonathan briggs
Posted on Wednesday, June 11, 2003 - 12:20 pm:   

Reading and enjoying Lance Olsen's "Girl Imagined By Chance." Thanx for another good recommendation, Jeff!

Love the new Deftones -- creepy, off-key melodies and crushing waves of guitar; the new Placebo -- gothic-tinged with a glammy, wham-bam-thank-you-Bowie sheen; Yeah Yeah Yeahs -- so-so band, but the singer's voice makes my pants feel funny.

Movies: Hmmmm, well, ummm, nope, can't think of anything lately. Oh, wait, "Redball" is pretty good. An Australian cop thriller. Imagine a whole squad of Bad Lieutenants.
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Nicholas Liu
Posted on Wednesday, June 11, 2003 - 01:43 pm:   

Jonathan: I'm reading that too!

GabeM: I first misread that bit of your post as describing the grapphic novel as being "about growing up in a revolutionary fan". Sounded Chapmanesque to me.
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Luke
Posted on Wednesday, June 11, 2003 - 05:07 pm:   

I was stoked to dig up a scrofulous copy of Whittemore's Sinai Tapestry at my local second-hand bookstore.
Loving Hail to the Thief, and have just replaced the bootleg version that's been keeping me going for the past month with an official copy.
Lastly, Spirited Away finally reached theatres where I live, and after seeing this wonderful film on the bigscreen I will certainly be ordering it on DVD with all the "fancy" special features.
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Jay C
Posted on Wednesday, June 11, 2003 - 05:33 pm:   

My guilty pleasure at the moment is re-reading BAREFOOT IN THE HEAD.

Latest music love is Goldfrapp BLACK CHERRY.
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Liz Williams
Posted on Wednesday, June 11, 2003 - 05:39 pm:   

I second the Goldfrapp. Really excellent album. It is alternating with Tori Amos' superb 'Scarlett's Walk' in this household...
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Luís Rodrigues
Posted on Wednesday, June 11, 2003 - 06:46 pm:   

I loved FELT MOUNTAIN, but I haven't gone out to buy the new one yet.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Wednesday, June 11, 2003 - 07:23 pm:   

I got a recommendation for Persiopolis from a friend a few days ago. I should be reading his copy pretty soon.

Something I've been enjoying lately is a CD: Dredg - El Cielo. It's very beautiful stuff, kind of art rock crossed with emo, very dreamy sounding stuff with a bit of metal guitar, and a lot of vocals as instrument. It's got a similar lush and catchy feel to Vast.

For film, if you get the chance, watch Russian Ark. It's all done in a continuous 90 minute take, lots of extras, 3 orchestras, and filmed in the Russian Hermitage museum. It's a gorgeous movie.
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Liz Williams
Posted on Thursday, June 12, 2003 - 02:15 am:   

FELT MOUNTAIN is also very good but a bit more low key. I think they have hit their stride with BLACK CHERRY. It's a more diverse album.

I want to put in a plug for a folk-punk etc band called British Sea Power, who are Brighton-based but getting a lot of national attention at the moment - the plug is simply because they have extended their tour dates in honour of the sighting of a rare sea eagle over the Sussex coast. I think this sort of thing should be encouraged.
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Chris Butler
Posted on Thursday, June 12, 2003 - 05:04 am:   

I'm mad keen on Goldfrapp's BLACK CHERRY too. It has that Kraftwerkian Bushesqueness that is so hard-to-find these days. Perhaps a bit weak in the lyric department, although the 'dirty angel face' line is amusing.

Tori's SCARLET'S WALK was the best CD of 2002 without any question.
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Neil Williamson
Posted on Thursday, June 12, 2003 - 05:33 am:   

I've yet to sample BLACK CHERRY, but I use FELT MOUNTAIN a lot as background music for writing.

British Sea Power have started making waves, (yes, that is an unpardonable pun, I'm sorry) but despite admiring their stance on the sea agle, I haven't been impressed with the tracks I've heard.

Someone I've just come across is a US group called The Donnas (think 21st century Girlsschool) . Nice website (www.thedonnas.com).

Also, I recently went to a Focus gig... but you guys don't want to hear about that.
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KJ Bishop
Posted on Sunday, June 15, 2003 - 04:21 pm:   

A thumbs-up for Jean Genet's OUR LADY OF THE FLOWERS. The book is about characters Genet imagines while in prison - male hookers, transvestites and pimps. It's a pitiless book, in that it doesn't put a curtain of modesty in front of anything, emotional or physical. But it's also incredibly compassionate, and is written throughout in some of the most beautiful and remarkable prose I've ever read. It's like a merging of the grittiest realism with the most opaline surreal fantasy.
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Liz Williams
Posted on Monday, June 16, 2003 - 01:05 am:   

Yes, Genet is often remarkable. I have a copy of THE THIEF'S JOURNAL. ("It is the life of vermin that I am going to describe").

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Brendan
Posted on Monday, June 16, 2003 - 12:57 pm:   

Some of my Favourite Things:

Blind Swordsman films.

Macaulay's History of England.

Pigeon Mantua Style.

The Etchings of Jacques Callot.

The Mandukyopanishad with Guadapada's Karika and Sankara's Commentary.

Roy Orbison.

Brendan
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JeffV
Posted on Monday, June 16, 2003 - 01:39 pm:   

Are you saying "Brendan" is one of your favorite things?

JeffV
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John Klima
Posted on Monday, June 16, 2003 - 01:52 pm:   

Isn't that true for all of us?

JK
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Mastadge
Posted on Monday, June 16, 2003 - 01:59 pm:   

I recently read and immensely enjoyed Matt Stover's SHATTERPOINT. Don't let that it's a Star Wars book fool you: it's a good read.
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JeffV
Posted on Monday, June 16, 2003 - 02:35 pm:   

John--that we all love Brendan?

Oh boy. I never thought Star Wars would be mentioned on this thread. On the other hand, good stuff grows in strange places.

I'm afraid I will need secondary and tertiary confirmation on this title in order to become a believer.

JeffV
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Brendan
Posted on Monday, June 16, 2003 - 10:23 pm:   

Yes Jeff. I put it at the bottom of my list out of pure modesty, but in general (when I am not feeling deeply ashamed and abasing myself) I am an ego-maniac.
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Brendan
Posted on Monday, June 16, 2003 - 10:26 pm:   

And thanks John. I appreciate your feelings.

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ben peek
Posted on Wednesday, June 18, 2003 - 04:20 am:   

i saw the film RUSSIAN ARK the other night. it's excellent, and entirely worth your time. rich, textured, and, i thought, somewhat sad.
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Iain Rowan
Posted on Sunday, June 22, 2003 - 12:45 pm:   

Very.

Currently enjoying listening to the blissful sound of nothing, caused by sleeping children and absence of phone ringing. In a little while though, Mazzy Star.

Recently been enjoying eating chicken marinated in honey,lime juice,lemon grass, red chillies, ginger and garlic, cooked in the oven until it blackens and then eaten with couscous made with the juices from the chicken and the marinade.

Currently enjoying reading, well, re-reading, The Five Gates Of Hell by Rupert Thomson. If I had to pick one current writer as my favourite, it would be Thomson, and The Insult will always be one of my favourite books. Sod's working on a screenplay of Soft at the moment, apparently, rather than writing another novel. Shouldn't be allowed. I want another novel.

Currently not watching the BBC documentary on George Orwell that I taped the other weekend. Small child. Tape left lying around. You can guess the rest, especially if you use the word festooned.
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Mastadge
Posted on Saturday, June 28, 2003 - 06:55 pm:   

28 Days Later. For better or worse, the best movie I've seen this year. Night of the Living Dead meets Straw Dogs. First horror movie I've seen in a very long time that's been the least bit creepy.
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Luís Rodrigues
Posted on Saturday, June 28, 2003 - 07:47 pm:   

I liked 28 Days Later. Not the best movie I've seen this year, but it's a good flick nonetheless.
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Mastadge
Posted on Saturday, June 28, 2003 - 08:36 pm:   

Well, I haven't seen very many movies this year, so it's up against the likes of Bruce Almighty. I'll put it this way: it's the only movie I've seen this year that's been worth the price of admission.
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Minsoo Kang
Posted on Saturday, June 28, 2003 - 11:04 pm:   

The best film I've seen this year is 'The Shape of Things'. Not perfect, some awkward scenes, dialogue and acting here and there, but so nasty, so unconventional, and with such a great twist at the end that I found it an extremely refreshing fare from the regular Hollywood crap. Has anyone else seen it? It was in artsy theaters for only a week, so the friend I went to it with seems to be the only other person who's seen it.
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jonathan briggs
Posted on Sunday, June 29, 2003 - 02:12 pm:   

"Shape of Things." That was Neil LaBute's latest, right? I love his stuff, but I missed that one.

I was utterly blown away by "De-loused at the Comatorium" by Mars Volta, one of the bands that grew out of the At the Drive-In split. Maybe I'm biased coz they're hometown boys from El Paso, but this sounds like such a huge leap forward musically for them. Big Jane's Addiction guitar sound. Spacey Pink Floyd/Radiohead sonic noodling. And absolutely smoking Santana-style grooves. Sorry, I know it's lazy reviewing to compare artists to other artists. But Mars Volta mashes all those influences together in really creative and unique ways. I still have early demos from ATDI stepping-stone bands like Foss, Los Dregtones and Giant Prophet. I used to see various incarnations of the band all the time in hole-in-the-wall clubs packed with underage kids. They've come a long way, from playing friends' attic parties to working with Rick Rubin and Iggy Pop. Good for them.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Wednesday, July 02, 2003 - 11:08 am:   

Book of Amuwapi by Christopher Lord.

This collects a lot of information about Amuwapi, a prehistoric god. Folk tales and scholarly writing are combined with photos and drawings of
archaeological discoveries.

Did I mention it's fictitious? He does a nice job of emulating the feel of Eastern folk tales, and his fiction seems quite believable. If I didn't do searching and find out the only mentions to Amuwapi being this book, I might be convinced of this being an actual ancient religion. It's not a
very deep read, just a fun little book.


Another book I just finished was The Dark Domain by Stefan Grabinski. But I don't think I need to plug that - if you weren't swayed by China Mieville's article on him, and the inclusing on Jeff's best fantasy list, my comments won't sway you.
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JT Lindroos
Posted on Thursday, July 03, 2003 - 04:20 pm:   

THE LOST GET-BACK BOOGIE by James Lee Burke. A wonderful, tough, solid narrative about family, friends, music, stuff. I haven't really read any Burke before, started a later Robicheaux novel and got nowhere, but this is brilliant. Reminds me of Willeford's COCKFIGHTER, though don't ask me to explain that. Same category; not a novel of crime or mystery, but you can still call it hardboiled.

Also, just saw John Sayles' LIMBO, and I'll recommend it to everybody. I can't guarantee that you'll like it, but it'll surprise you and that's IMO halfway there already.
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RajanK
Posted on Thursday, July 03, 2003 - 04:42 pm:   

It's not terribly original or obscure, but I'm really enjoying the new Radiohead album, Hail to the Thief. To me it sounds like an amalgamation of all of their sounds to date, as if they're presenting their final project before embarking on a new course. It's very infective.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Wednesday, July 16, 2003 - 09:08 am:   

Virgin Black - Elegant...and Dying
This band is a hybrid of metal and opera. Generally when bands mix metal and classical, they just add strings or baroque passages to metal. This feels like the opposite approach, taking classical music and adding metal guitars to it.

It's mostly sparse classical, driven by piano, clean guitar, and operatic vocals. I don't normally throw around the term operatic for metal singers, but this guy really shows the opera lessons he's been getting (unlike a lot of metal singers who claim opera lessons, but still sing terribly).

I'm not sure how many people this metal/classical hybrid would appeal to, but it's something I enjoy.

One last note - if you took out the metal guitars, just leaving the classical elements, it comes pretty close to how I imagined Voss Bender's work.

http://www.theend.cd/mp3/VirginBlack_Elegant_AndTheKiss.mp3
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Monday, August 18, 2003 - 09:09 am:   

I'll second the recommendations for Perseopolis and The Mars Volta. Perseopolis is a nice story about growing up, and weaves in a decent amount of Iranian history.

The Mars Volta strikes me as a good example of modern progressive rock. I guess having members of At the Drive In gives them some indie rock credibility (which most prog bands don't have).
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Luke
Posted on Tuesday, August 19, 2003 - 01:28 am:   

Reading the Well of Lost Plots by Jasper Fforde and really enjoying it. I'm a bit late to the Fforde party - are the earlier Thrusday Next books any good?
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Tanya Andrews
Posted on Thursday, August 21, 2003 - 02:57 pm:   

'Dracula The Dark Prince' was a fantastic movie--as was 'The Brotherhood of the Wolf'.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Friday, August 22, 2003 - 06:14 am:   

Dark Prince - yuck. I had 2 big problems with it

1) The end, trying to tie in the historical Dracula with the fictional one. It didn't help the story at all and just seemed out of place in what is otherwise a historical film.

2) Downplaying his atrocities and making him do everything for love of country. I see the same thing in films about Atilla and Genghis Khan. It seems they can't make movies about these people without trying to make them appear more sympathetic. I really hate our attempts to sanitize the past.
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Tanya Andrews
Posted on Friday, August 22, 2003 - 01:12 pm:   

Hi Robert.
I gotta agree with your first point--the last two minutes of that movie should've been cut as it contained the only reference to the Stoker-style Dracula.
Do you really think Vlad was sanitized? He learned his evil ways from the the Turks. Not that I'm calling him a victim or anything, but if you look at him in the context of his times, was he extraordinarily evil? (Er, yeah, I guess he was.) He was at least a patriot, though! :-)
In general, I think movies often do sanitize the baddies, except for maybe the Vikings. Now there's a bunch who get a really bad rap.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Saturday, August 23, 2003 - 08:14 am:   

It's been a few years since I saw it, but I did think they toned him down. I don't remember them having his solution to poverty in the film (inviting the poor to a feast, then burning them alive).

It's certainly not the worst sanitizing job I've seen (that "honor" goes to Genghis Khan, with Omar Sharif).
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, August 23, 2003 - 11:10 am:   

Robert, Actually John Wayne's version of GK may be worse than Omar's -- I think the movie was called The Lady and the Barbarian. Something like that.
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jonathan briggs
Posted on Tuesday, August 26, 2003 - 04:50 pm:   

Anyone else see "Chasing Sleep"? I donno if it ever got a legit theatrical release. I caught it on cable, and it's quite an effective little chiller. It stars Jeff Daniels as an insomniac whose life (and house) starts crumbling away after his wife disappears. He wanders in a daze thru his house, poking holes in the walls, spying on the neighbors, battling clogged drains, flushing stuff that shouldn't go down the toilet (lotsa bathroom horror in this movie), periodically being interrupted by oddball visitors and threatening phone calls. And reality just slowly dissolves around him. It's onea those paranoid flicks that creeps up on you. Gave me a pretty good case of heebie-jeebies, and that's fairly difficult to do. I've been having some sodden, rotten plaster replaced in my apartment, so perhaps the seeping open wounds in my walls made this movie creepier than it really is, but if you see it's playing on Showtime again, it's definitely worth a look.
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Andrew B
Posted on Friday, August 29, 2003 - 09:58 am:   

The John Wayne Genghis Khan flick was called "The Conqueror". One of the few times I managed to laugh throughout the entirety of a film. If it wasn't for the commercials breaking it up, I might have died.


-Andrew J. Breitenbach
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Bill B.
Posted on Monday, December 08, 2003 - 06:39 am:   

I don't know if you're familiar with the Series of Unfortunate Events by "Lemony Snicket" (Daniel Handler), but they are very good children's books chronicling the misfortunes of the Baudelaire children, Klaus, Sunny, and Violet. The tone is universally described as "arch". It's this series that finally hooked my nine-year-old son on reading. For grownups, though, there is a very entertaining auxiliary item to the series: LEMONY SNICKET: THE UNAUTHORIZED AUTOBIOGRAPHY. It is not so much a biography as a dossier, consisting of newspaper clippings, refutations of those stories by Mr. Snicket (maybe), letters, a hilarious ballad, one or more conspiracies, multiple identities, secret codes, etc. In fact, it's all very VanderMeerian, down to the integration of the dustjacket with the "story", which is why I posted this message here. It's remaindered already, and well worth the five bucks I spent for it. Seek and enjoy!
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JV
Posted on Friday, March 19, 2004 - 10:32 am:   

Just a really cool link!!!

http://www.box7box.com/flash/6fin.swf

Click on any figure. Make sure you have your sound on.

Jeff
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JV
Posted on Friday, March 19, 2004 - 10:59 am:   

Hell, this is cool too

http://www.freshsensation.com/samorost.swf
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JV
Posted on Friday, March 19, 2004 - 11:48 am:   

El Grande Marmoto provided both links.

JeffV
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John Klima
Posted on Friday, March 19, 2004 - 01:39 pm:   

THanks man, now I'm getting NO work done.

LOL!

JK
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Brendan
Posted on Monday, March 22, 2004 - 12:31 pm:   

Here is an um interesting and um well done web site. I stumbled on it while doing a little for-fun research on Félicien Champsaur.

http://emilychesley.com/lit_re/covers.htm

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JV
Posted on Friday, May 07, 2004 - 01:35 pm:   

Link o' the day

http://www.albinoblacksheep.com/flash/badgers.php
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Neddal
Posted on Friday, May 07, 2004 - 03:58 pm:   

Jeff, you're a freak. As is my girlfriend 'cause she thought it ruled.

I'm partial to this:
http://www.albinoblacksheep.com/flash/gollum.php

Gollum kinda sounds like Tricky.

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Bowen Mendenhall
Posted on Friday, May 07, 2004 - 07:17 pm:   

Plenty more badgers where those came from (for plenty=2).
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JV
Posted on Wednesday, May 12, 2004 - 10:47 am:   

Not weird.

But here's something else:

http://www.bigredhair.com/robots/index.html

Jeff
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Lord Chowder Head
Posted on Tuesday, June 08, 2004 - 06:50 am:   

This is certainly...very...

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/listmania/list-browse/-/2WE01ST4Z4YY0//103- 5929189-3355008
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John Klima
Posted on Tuesday, June 08, 2004 - 08:01 am:   

Yeah, it's missing:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B00020NVS6/ref=sr_1_8/102-1204599- 5644162?v=glance&n=3580501&s=gourmet%2dfood

and

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B0001HCIAW/ref=sr_1_10/102-1204599 -5644162?v=glance&n=3580501&s=gourmet%2dfood
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jv
Posted on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - 06:37 am:   

Here's something a bit odd...

http://www.quixoticcrap.com/writings/superdudes.htm
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anna
Posted on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - 06:00 pm:   

A great story:
"FANaticism" by Bhaskar Dutt
http://www.indianscifi.com/cgi-bin/story/story_display.cgi?seq_id=00064
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JV
Posted on Friday, June 25, 2004 - 09:53 am:   

Alice!

http://www.feelgoodanyway.com/interactive/Alice.swf

Be sure to move your cursor over objects in each picture.
Jeff
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GabrielM
Posted on Saturday, June 26, 2004 - 08:49 am:   

I have Seibold's pop-up book and it's very nice. Although this online version's pretty amazing as well....
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JV
Posted on Friday, July 09, 2004 - 12:28 pm:   

Part of me wants to get this, part of me is afraid:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1403364761/qid=1089401250/sr=1-1/r ef=sr_1_1/103-5929189-3355008?v=glance&s=books
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JV
Posted on Tuesday, July 13, 2004 - 12:46 pm:   

Writin' ain't funny

http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/printstory.mpl/editorial/outlook/2660471
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John Klima
Posted on Tuesday, July 13, 2004 - 01:11 pm:   

Yikes. That's bullshit.

This is a bomb. (Bullshit On Message Board)

JK
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Jamie
Posted on Tuesday, July 13, 2004 - 03:57 pm:   

Unbe-fucking-lievable.

I'd lay dollars to donuts the 'concerned citizen' who reported him was thinking at least as much about getting back-slapped for saving the day as about the actual safety of the plane.
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, July 14, 2004 - 12:33 pm:   

I mean, what would-be hijacker would write a note saying "I know this is kind of a bomb"? Woody Allen, circa 1972?
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JV
Posted on Thursday, July 22, 2004 - 10:59 am:   

http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99996193

Well, shit, now I have to scrap my new novel entirely, and I'm already two hundred pages into the first draft.

JeffV
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Matthew
Posted on Thursday, July 22, 2004 - 03:46 pm:   

I'd like to recommend the graphic novel Fallen Angel by Peter David.
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N/A
Posted on Friday, July 23, 2004 - 03:07 pm:   

http://www.hello-cthulhu.com/?date=2003-11-30
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JV
Posted on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 02:00 pm:   

Site of the day...

http://www.mailorderhusbands.net/order/
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JV
Posted on Thursday, August 19, 2004 - 06:06 am:   

If only we could all be Mammals of Paradise...

http://www.lordwhimsy.com/
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JV
Posted on Wednesday, August 25, 2004 - 11:53 am:   

Click on the eggs...

http://www.neokaiju.com/main.htm

Jeff
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JV
Posted on Friday, August 27, 2004 - 06:14 am:   

The nasty man. The one who made the lewd suggestions? Tell me what he looked like...

http://flashface.ctapt.de/
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Jeremy Day
Posted on Friday, August 27, 2004 - 10:13 am:   

I'm a big fan of anything by Michael Swanwick.

- Jeremy
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Mastadge
Posted on Sunday, September 05, 2004 - 04:27 am:   

Reprinted from last night's late-night post at my blog:

First of all, go and read Walter Jon Williams' story "The Tang Dynasty Underwater Pyramid". I must admit, I've generally been a little disappointed by WJW lately. His 1997(?) novel The Rift, a disaster novel about an earthquake on the New Madrid fault, kicked my ass when I read it, but so far his new space opera trilogy Dread Empire's Fall, while pretty good, just isn't as awesome as some of his earlier stuff. Just this year he was nominated for a Hugo for his novella "The Green Leopard Plague", though he didn't win, and though it was quite a good novella indeed, it just lacked a certain something. However, "The Tang Dynasty Underwater Pyramid," despite a rather weak ending, has just the right fast-paced zaniness, just enough plausibility to allow some very tongue-in-cheek suspension of disbelief, to make it a very fun read. I mean, how can you resist a story with Bloodthirsty Hopping Vampires, nitrogen narcosis, ninjas and sentences like this one: "Given that I hailed from a family of Aymara street musicians who also formed a private intelligence-gathering agency, at the moment operating in tandem with a water ballet company aboard a passenger ship disguised as a Tang Dynasty palace, I was not about to discount the less unlikely possibility that the old gambler and his nurse were a pair of assassins[. . .]"? Seriously, it's not the greatest story of all time, but it's a very fun read. So go and read it.
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Neal Stanifer
Posted on Friday, September 24, 2004 - 10:33 am:   

Just saw Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow...

What this film is NOT, and what it IS:
1. It is NOT a subtle, nuanced modernization of 30s-era pulp. It IS 30s-era pulp.
2. It is NOT some smirky, smug wink at nostalgia in the fashion of TV-land and the neo-cocktail revival from a few years back. It IS nostalgia played with a straight face and naive good faith.
3. It is NOT an investigation of the political and social problems of patriotic, optimistic fictions of technological supremacy, in the manner of Verhoeven's _Starship Troopers_. It IS a straight-ahead serving of just such optimistic fictions, and damn the torpedoes.
4. It is NOT a reworking of narrow 30s stereotypes. It IS chock-a-block with those stereotypes, played "to type," and delivered without apologies to anyone.

This film works. The special effects succeed beyond expectations because the whole world is one big special effect, so the gizmo is hidden. The conventions of early SF are waved like huge red banners bearing the slogan "Look, Kids! Comics!". The threshold of believability is crossed and re-crossed in ways that say "This is a movie, not a psychology textbook." The visuals are lush and lovingly rendered in a way I haven't seen since _Blade Runner_.

Robots come in all shapes and sizes. Mad scientists can create dinosaurs. Ancient mythical places really do exist. Rayguns go "zheu-zheu-zheu." And one man, in the company of a troublesome but redeemable woman, is all that stands between us and total annihilation.

The critics who panned this flick should have turtle poop thrown in their coffee.
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John Klima
Posted on Friday, September 24, 2004 - 11:01 am:   

I never knew how to write that ray gun noise. Thanks Neal. If I see this movie, I'm going in the big theater because I think it will SUCK on a television.

JK
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Neal Stanifer
Posted on Friday, September 24, 2004 - 12:28 pm:   

John, yes, it's most definitely a big-screen film. It reminds us why there ARE big screens--big silver screens surrounded by art deco bunting and gilded mouldings. We have big screens NOT so we can watch Lost in Translation and see Bill Murray's nose eighty times actual size, but so we can watch movies that start out larger than life and only get bigger. Enjoy.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Tuesday, October 05, 2004 - 11:34 pm:   

Snake n' Bacon's Cartoon Cabaret by Michael Kupperman. This is the most surreal comic collection I've read. Featuring the adventures of undercover cops Snake and Bacon (who are exactly what their names imply, a snake and a piece of bacon), roving sex blimps and some of the most bizarre literary crossovers I've come across. Don't expect anything coherent, just a series of really odd 3-6 panel stories.
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Neddal
Posted on Saturday, October 23, 2004 - 04:03 pm:   

Fun with google -
http://tinyurl.com/3lcew
--
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Luís
Posted on Tuesday, November 23, 2004 - 11:42 pm:   

The Arcade Fire
http://www.arcadefire.com/

These guys may well dethrone Franz Ferdinand from their position as my favourite band of the year. Check them out.
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paulw
Posted on Wednesday, November 24, 2004 - 02:57 am:   

Good to see another Arcade aficionado, Luis! Robert Wexler saw them live a week or so ago, the lucky slob!

I guess I should check out Franz Ferdinand, huh?
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Luís
Posted on Wednesday, November 24, 2004 - 05:34 am:   

Definitely, Paul. There's a special 2-CD edition that came out recently, so get that one if you can:

http://www.sonymusicstore.com/store/catalog/MerchandiseDetails.jsp?merchId=78188 &mname=CD

Best,
Luís
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Luís
Posted on Wednesday, November 24, 2004 - 05:41 am:   

Also on Amazon.com (couldn't find it at first):

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0006B29WA/

Best,
Luís
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JV
Posted on Thursday, December 02, 2004 - 01:27 pm:   

Very cute? Or Not Very Cute?

http://www.fellowearthlings.org/greetings/fellowearthlings_greetings.html

Jeff
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John Klima
Posted on Wednesday, December 08, 2004 - 06:05 am:   

Totally cool Japanese artist Aya Kato. I hope to have a VanderMeer book with some of this art soon.

http://www.geocities.jp/b_ba_a0530/index.html

JK
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Mastadge
Posted on Sunday, February 27, 2005 - 07:02 am:   

I saw Kaha:wi. http://www.santeesmithdance.com/kahawi.html

I know very little about dance, but this was a synthesis between traditional Iroquois and modern dance styles, and it was very sensuous, sensual, earthy and erotic. Very dramatic, very robust, and very appealing. And as ever, I'm absolutely astonished by the amount of control dancers have over their bodies. I definitely recommend seeing the performance if ever you get the chance.
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jmorrison
Posted on Sunday, February 27, 2005 - 04:32 pm:   

if you haven't seen it: rivers and tides

http://www.roxie.com/rivers.html

doc about artist andy goldsworthy

VERY beautiful and VERY inspiring. seriously.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Sunday, June 12, 2005 - 11:25 am:   

The Logogryph, by Thomas Wharton. The subtitle is A Bibliography of Imaginary Books and begins with a Borges quote. It is composed of fragments of other books, and the fragments tell two stories. One is a non-linear coming of age tale, while the other is simply about books and imagination (they do eventually tie together).

The fragments include a piece on Atlantean literature, a story of a character who falls out of his book into the real world, a bit about a book that truly lives in your imagination (and isn't a good guest there), a duel between people who scribble in book margins.

It really is a book about love of books and imagination.
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rosaf
Posted on Thursday, October 27, 2005 - 06:28 pm:   

what makes a Horror movie scary or good. I'm watching Dead & Breakfast. It's pretty bad, but the scene that resembles a Rap/Country music video that pays homage to the Thriller video makes it all worth it.

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