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Theodora Goss
Posted on Sunday, April 17, 2005 - 11:00 pm:   

I've been catching up on some reading, including the last few issues of Realms of Fantasy. Just wanted to highly, highly recommend Christopher Barzak's "The Language of Moths," which is a gorgeous story. It's in the April issue, so should be available now.
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Christopher Barzak
Posted on Saturday, April 23, 2005 - 07:58 pm:   

Oh you are sweet, Dora. Thanks. I'm glad you liked the story.
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Jason D. Wittman
Posted on Saturday, April 23, 2005 - 10:50 pm:   

I just recently finished Ursula K. LeGuin's _The Tombs of Atuan_, and am currently reading China Mieville's _Perdido Street Station_ (I read _The Scar_ about a year ago, and this is similarly weird).

And I also finished _The Runes of the Earth_, by Stephen R. Donaldson.

(Ducks to avoid Dora's withering glance.)
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Theodora Goss
Posted on Tuesday, May 10, 2005 - 10:43 pm:   

Chris,

Ha! Jason knows me better than you do. He's seen my withering glance. He knows I am the antitheses of sweet. (Is that how you spell antitheses? Just at the moment, I am too tired to wither or spell.)

And I liked the story very much indeed. :-)

Jason,

I started Perdido Street Station, and for some reason wasn't able to finish it--I think life got particularly crazy just then. And I would never begrudge anyone their epic fantasy! Since I've been reading detective novels, which are mental comfort food. BUT, I am currently reading Mary Doria Russell's The Sparrow, which is fabulous. I'm about halfway through.
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Jason D. Wittman
Posted on Tuesday, May 10, 2005 - 11:40 pm:   

"I started Perdido Street Station, and for some reason wasn't able to finish it--I think life got particularly crazy just then."

It's possible that Mieville is an acquired taste. A friend of mine has said that she put Mieville down because he was too similar to Mervyn Peake of Gormenghast fame (have you ever read him?). And it has to be said that Mieville is a self-confessed fan of Peake, and tries to emulate him.

(Mieville has also gone on record as saying he hates Tolkien. Bah.)

"He knows I am the antitheses of sweet."

Oh, I don't know about that. Semi-sweet, maybe? :-)
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Christopher Barzak
Posted on Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - 01:55 am:   

Hehe, well you are sweet to me, then, Dora. By the way, very happy to see you've got a bunch of work coming out this coming year and also that collection in the works. Can't wait!
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Em Tersoff
Posted on Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - 04:19 pm:   

Is that how you spell antitheses? Just at the moment, I am too tired to wither or spell.

I think it's antithesis, not antitheses--antitheses would be plural, which I don't think makes sense here.

Yup, dictionary.com agrees. (Yes, I'm a lazy teenager who looks it up online rather than getting an actual dictionary, but only because I'm already online and our real dictionaries are upstairs.) -Em
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Theodora Goss
Posted on Thursday, May 12, 2005 - 10:22 pm:   

It's possible that Mieville is an acquired taste.

I like his writing a lot, and have loved the short stories of his that I've read. But his novels are dark, dark, dark, and I think this was at a time when it was hard to handle dark. Like, with a three-month-old around.

Semi-sweet, maybe? :-)

Bitter-sweet!

By the way, very happy to see you've got a bunch of work coming out this coming year and also that collection in the works.

Thanks, Chris! I'm excited about the collection. And the stories, though I'm worried that they're going to be seen as dark themselves. I wrote a string of dark ones, at one point, and they're the ones coming out, mostly.

I think it's antithesis, not antitheses--antitheses would be plural, which I don't think makes sense here.

Ah, you're right, Em! Unless I contain multitudes (all of whom are really not at all sweet) . . .

Yup, dictionary.com agrees. (Yes, I'm a lazy teenager who looks it up online rather than getting an actual dictionary, but only because I'm already online and our real dictionaries are upstairs.)

I'm shocked, shocked! That one so young and promising should come to this . . . :-)
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Jason D. Wittman
Posted on Thursday, May 12, 2005 - 11:29 pm:   

"I'm shocked, shocked! That one so young and promising should come to this . . . "

I'm sure people said the same thing when writing was invented, and nobody committed Beowulf to memory anymore...
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Em Tersoff
Posted on Friday, May 13, 2005 - 06:54 pm:   

The thing about dictionary.com is that it gives you definitions from a bunch of dictionaries at once and tells you which ones they're from, and when I'm on the computer it's a lot easier than going upstairs and getting one of our dictionaries.

What makes me crazy is that my brother has a computer game of The Hobbit. That's just wrong. When I was, well, younger than he is now, I used to wait for it to get cold so that you can see your breath in the air and then I would jump off biggish rocks and pretend to be a dragon. I didn't need some stupid computer game to help me.

Then again, I still talk to people who aren't here and who may or may not exist in real life. And I get to just blame all of my eccentricities on being a fantasy writer. I'd rather be an eccentric fantasy writer than a freak, though I think a number of people at school probably equate the two anyway. -Em
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Theodora Goss
Posted on Tuesday, May 17, 2005 - 09:26 pm:   

When I was, well, younger than he is now, I used to wait for it to get cold so that you can see your breath in the air and then I would jump off biggish rocks and pretend to be a dragon.

Now that is the sign of a sensible and civilized person. :-) (And just the sort of thing I used to do myself, although I used to swing and ride dragons.)

Then again, I still talk to people who aren't here and who may or may not exist in real life.

Imaginary people are often SO much more interesting.

I finished The Sparrow a few weeks ago. I liked it a lot, although it's harrowing. The one problem I had with it, finally, is that while the moral dilemma at its center is a real one, I think for most people, I don't think it would be, or should be, for a Catholic priest. I won't elaborate, unless anyone wants to talk about the novel, especially since I think it was discussed intensively online when it was first published. But I found it fascinating. Just don't read it if you want something light and cheerful.

Currently reading The Jane Austen Book Club. I wasn't sure I would like it at first, but when I came to the description of an average high school, the book was so dead-on, and so funny, that I started liking it very much. And then I got to the description of the SF convention sharing a hotel with a dog show, and both the SF people and the dog show people were just perfect . . .
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Jason D. Wittman
Posted on Saturday, June 04, 2005 - 03:27 pm:   

Um...I saw this in SCIFI.COM's Science Fiction News of the Week:

"Sylvester Stallone will direct _Poe_, a film he wrote about the life of supernatural writer Edgar Allan Poe, and Robert Downey Jr. is Stallone's choice for the leading role, Variety reported."

(Now everyone pick your jaws up off the floor.)
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Dunmore
Posted on Saturday, June 04, 2005 - 03:34 pm:   

Disturbing.
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Dunmore
Posted on Saturday, June 04, 2005 - 03:38 pm:   

But--I don't know--I kind of like the idea.

Films these days are so predictable, and this one (if more frightening, as an idea, than anything Poe ever wrote) sounds quite unpredictably interesting.

Or am I more drunk than I thought...?
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Theodora Goss
Posted on Monday, June 13, 2005 - 08:45 pm:   

I like it. The Poe story is, well, such a downer, the way it's usually told. We need a new version, one where young Edgar, orphaned and without a penny to his name, triumphs against all odds to become--either a famous man of letters or a World Wrestling Federation champ. His wife, Virginia, overcomes a terminal illness to be by his side as he--I dunno, triumphs. Lots of overcoming and triumphing, that's what the Poe story needs. Although not until the second half of the movie. And lots of talk about what it means to be a man. And one of those, what are they called, things that you shoot with when you're Rambo. Long, metal, lethal. You know, what you use when you're not kickboxing your way to freedom. Which Poe should definitely do, at some point.

So now I'm visualizing each of the Poe stories as a martial arts movie . . .
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Theodora Goss
Posted on Monday, June 13, 2005 - 09:21 pm:   

On the planes to Wiscon, read Changing Planes by Ursula LeGuin. A very good book to read on planes.
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Theodora Goss
Posted on Monday, August 22, 2005 - 11:32 am:   

Dostoevsky: Notes from Underground

Seemed like a light, cheerful summer read.
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Theodora Goss
Posted on Sunday, August 28, 2005 - 09:22 pm:   

Dostoyevsky: The Idiot
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Theodora Goss
Posted on Wednesday, September 14, 2005 - 10:14 pm:   

Has anyone else out there read The Idiot? If so, what did you think of it? I finished it, and am trying to decide what I think of it. Other than that just about every character aside from Prince Myshkin is an idiot.
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Jason D. Wittman
Posted on Wednesday, September 14, 2005 - 11:49 pm:   

"Has anyone else out there read The Idiot?"

Can't say as I have, Dora. It'll have to get in line with the thousands of other books I haven't read.

Right now, I'm about one-third through Henry James' "The Turn of the Screw." (I became interested when I heard that the 1961 Deborah Kerr movie "The Innocents", based on "Screw", was coming out on DVD). It's a quick read, for the most part, and it's keeping me interested, but the prose is so dense in spots that I have to re-read some sentences and think, "Okay..._this_ phrase refers to _this_...and _that_ phrase refers to _this_...okay, now I got it." It seems the Victorians had an aversion to using only one word when one would do.

There's another version of "Screw" called "Presence of Mind," which stars Sadie Frost as The Governess, Harvey Keitel as The Uncle, and Lauren Bacall as Mrs. Grose. And I also remember seeing a CBS TV movie version of the tale, called "The Haunting of Helen Walker," that I believe starred Diana Rigg as Mrs. Grose and Valirie Bertinelli--no, that is not a misprint--as The Governess.

Jason
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Thursday, September 15, 2005 - 04:44 pm:   

I did but years ago. Don't remember much but I remember liking it.

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