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Mike Jasper
Posted on Wednesday, March 05, 2003 - 03:47 am:   

I've had this book for almost 7 years now. Scary. Even have it autographed by the author, one of my Clarion teachers. So why haven't I started reading it until now???

After diving into the first few chapters, I'm asking myself that question again. It's WAKING THE MOON by Elizabeth Hand, and I think it's already given me one wacky nightmare, and I only started reading it two days ago!

I like the way Liz (hey, I can call her Liz!) really gets into the head of her protagonist, and the way she gives a detailed history of Sweeny. I think I've been in too many workshops, and that's made me afraid of writing exposition that lasts more than 2 sentences -- that's one of the things I've learned from reading this novel -- it's okay to SLOW DOWN and develop characters. And another cool thing -- wizards and witches and secret societies ROCK.

I'm also reading a story or 2 every night from Ray Vukcevich's MEET ME IN THE MOON ROOM. Holy crap this guy is great. Short-shorts and story ideas that sound like they came from a double-dog dare! My favorite so far is "By the Time We Get to Uranus," which has the best story title of all time.

So... what're you reading???
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Night Shade Books
Posted on Wednesday, March 05, 2003 - 05:12 am:   

I'm currently reading a couple of things. I'm about halfway through John Barnes' Mother of Storms, which is about, well, a big mother of a storm.

I'm also still working on Fowles' The Magus, which I'm enjoying, but at the rate I'm going I'll have a couple more birthdays before I finish. Maybe the phrase isn't "working through" so much as "slogging through"

Jason
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Wednesday, March 05, 2003 - 06:18 am:   

Jason -- I'm curious about the MAGUS novel -- is it densely-written? slowly-paced? What is it about the book that's making it so slow? Or is it just BIG?

I felt a bit like that, reading PERDIDO STREET STATION, at times. But overall, it was worth the effort. Looking forward to THE SCAR (just not sure I want to give up a couple months to read it, y'know?).
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Night Shade Books
Posted on Wednesday, March 05, 2003 - 07:44 am:   

It's just a bit dense, and it moves kinda slow. It's not a huge book, but it's decent size.

The Scar, on the other hand, I whipped through in a couple of days. Don't know why, but it was a pretty quick read, and well worth it.

Of course, when I was reading The Scar, I actually had time to sit down and read for hours on end. No such luck recently.

Jason
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Andreas Black
Posted on Wednesday, March 05, 2003 - 08:27 am:   

Mike,

The Scar was a lot easier to read than PSS. Give it a go.

Andreas
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Wednesday, March 05, 2003 - 08:30 am:   

SCAR is indeed next on the list, after I finish Liz Hand's novel (though I may go ahead and read her BLACK LIGHT, as it's sort of a thematic sequel to WAKING, if I understand correctly).

I'm luck to read a chapter or two, at the end of the day, Jason -- I know how you feel!

Andreas -- thanks for nudge! Good to know.
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Jason Erik Lundberg
Posted on Wednesday, March 05, 2003 - 10:54 am:   

I'm thirty pages from the end of Eva Moves the Furniture by Margot Livesey, recommended to me by my novel-writing workshop professor. It's about a woman life and the ghostly "companions" that pop up throughout her life. Tis really good.

the other Jason
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Forrest
Posted on Wednesday, March 05, 2003 - 06:28 pm:   

Lessee. I'm in the middle of Shakespeare's KING LEAR, KJ Bishop's THE ETCHED CITY (excellent, thus far - watch out for KJ - great writer), and Prakash Kona's STREETS THAT SMELL OF DYING ROSES, a highly experimental, stream of conscious work about the streets of Hyderabad, India, published by fugue state press (who have published, incidentally, some really cool experimental fiction and poetry). And all this after admitting on another board that I don't really read that much in the way of novels. Of course, this might be it for the year - except that I'll be buying Nick Cave's AND THE ASS SAW THE ANGEL when it's re-released sometime this month.

Forrest
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Thursday, March 06, 2003 - 07:15 am:   

Damn, King Lear -- I'm impressed. I haven't read that one, but I did enjoy what Jane Smiley did with the basic premise in 1,000 ACRES. And I'm very intrigued by THE ETCHED CITY. But as I've noted in my To-Read posting, I've got about two dozen novels waiting.

Maybe I'll check out this ALBUM ZUTIQUE with her story in it. I've already read one story in it by my bud Jay Lake, which was quite cool.
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Jay C
Posted on Thursday, March 06, 2003 - 07:44 am:   

One of my novels that is doing the rounds at the moment is a science-fictional Lear set in a binary star system
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Thursday, March 06, 2003 - 10:34 am:   

Hey, if you're gonna copy, copy off the Master! ;)
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Jay C
Posted on Thursday, March 06, 2003 - 11:09 am:   

I'd rather think of it as allegorical inspiration rather than copying. <g>
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Vera Nazarian
Posted on Friday, March 07, 2003 - 06:28 am:   

Hey, let's not talk about copying while both you and I (and Greg v.e.) are working on stories involving a "king" with a funky attribution.

*grin*

Vera
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Thursday, March 13, 2003 - 11:10 am:   

Haven't made any headway in the Hand novel, mostly due to lack of time (what I've read has been really good, but my attention span has been zero lately).

I did read some stories in THE JOURNAL OF PULSE-POUNDING NARRATIVES, a fun antho full of pulpy stories. Sent them a story for issue #2.
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Maureen McHugh
Posted on Friday, March 14, 2003 - 06:38 pm:   

I'm about to read THE MINOTAUR TAKES A CIGARETTE BREAK. I think the title alone makes it a cool book.
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Mike
Posted on Saturday, March 15, 2003 - 04:30 am:   

Speaking of reading -- Maureen, when will you get a story collection out to us readers? I can see a nice Golden Gyphon hardcover in your future, maybe...
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Maureen McHugh
Posted on Saturday, March 15, 2003 - 04:59 am:   

I don't know, Mike. I'd have to have enough really solid stories. But someday I'd like to do a collection called _Mothers and Other Monsters_ with Small Beer Press.
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Saturday, March 15, 2003 - 10:34 am:   

That would be quite cool! Love the title, and it would fit right in with their catalog of books!

In an ideal world, what would be your perfect Table of Contents? (Or am I the only author who does stuff like that?).

I'll post mine if you post yours (anyone can play!)...

Mike, off to do some serious thinking and head-scratching...
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Saturday, March 15, 2003 - 03:08 pm:   

Geez... Wasted way too much time today, putting this together. I need a life.

A Short Fiction Collection (still working on a title)
Collected and Written by Michael J. Jasper
(with publications duly noted)

“Gunning for the Buddha” -- S1ngularity
“Natural Order” -- Asimov’s
“California King” (with Greg van Eekhout) *
“Coal Ash and Sparrows” -- Asimov’s
“Death in the City” *
“Fences” -- O. Henry Festival Stories 1998
“Wrecked” -- The Raleigh News & Observer
“Visions of Suburban Bliss” -- Gothic.Net
“Black Angels” *
“The Dissolutionist” -- Fangoria’s Frightful Fiction
“Never, Incorporated” -- Flytrap
“Helljack” (with Tim Pratt) *
“Goddamn Redneck Surfer Zombies” -- The Book of More Flesh
“Unplugged” -- ShadowKeep, SpaceWays Weekly
“The Shadow Wolf” (with Derek James) *
“Working the Game” -- Future Orbits
“Remainders” *
“Crossing the Camp” -- Strange Horizons
“Wantaviewer” -- Strange Horizons
“Mud and Salt” -- Writers of the Future 16

100,000 words, 400 pages, 20 stories

* 6 originals, 10 pro-level sales, 4 semi-pro


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Maureen McHugh
Posted on Saturday, March 15, 2003 - 07:00 pm:   

So far, for _Mothers and Other Monsters_ I don't have very much:

"Eight-Legged Story" (coming out in Trampoline)
"Presence" (F&SF)
"Frankenstein's Daughter" (coming out on SciFi.com in April)
"Interview: On Any Given Day" (Starlight 3)
"Laika Comes Back Safe" (Polyphony)
"Digital Angel" (unpublished)

6 stories, maybe 30,000 words. Not a collection yet.
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Mike
Posted on Sunday, March 16, 2003 - 05:37 am:   

What about "Lincoln Train"? And surely there are a couple more there...? What about the short-short from Infinite Matrix?

Hey, thanks for the heads-up on the Trampoline sale. Small Beer Press continues to impress me. (Reading Ray Vukcevich's MOON ROOM right now!).
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Greg van Eekhout
Posted on Sunday, March 16, 2003 - 07:23 am:   

What about "The Cost to be Wise"???

This would be mine:

"Wolves Till the World Goes Down" - Starlight 3
"Show and Tell" - Strange Horizons
"Will You Be an Astronaut?" - F&SF
"Tales from the City of Seams" - unpublished

And looking at this list, I see I have some more work to do and years to go (and reputation to build) before I come out with a collection.

Maybe a teeny little chapbook, though ...
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Sunday, March 16, 2003 - 08:13 am:   

Greg! What about "Norse Code"? And "Runaway With No Tags"? And "People Stuff"??? "Demon, Star, Alien, Cat"? "Clean City"? You're cheating your fans of some very good Greg stuff!

See http://www.sff.net/people/greg/pubs.html for details. ;)

Not to mention our collab...
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Greg van Eekhout
Posted on Sunday, March 16, 2003 - 08:31 am:   

Mike, I haven't gotten "Norse Code" to the point that I'm willing to send it out. "Runaway" and "People Stuff" ... I dunno. I like them, but this might be my only shot at having a collection. I want to love them as if they were my own puppies. "Demon, Star, Alien, Cat", though, would probably go in, now that I think about it.

As for our collab, I haven't even spellchecked the thing yet!

(Thanks for the link! Group hug!)
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Maureen McHugh
Posted on Sunday, March 16, 2003 - 06:56 pm:   

"Lincoln Train" and "The Cost To Be Wise" don't fit the collection, although come to think of it, there are mothers in both of them. And they both die.

Greg, slow and steady accumulation of credits. Gardner Dozois had a stock sort of intro to my short stories that always referred to my rather small body of work.
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LeslieWhat
Posted on Monday, March 17, 2003 - 09:42 am:   

Maureen, could you time share a collection? Or maybe like an Ace Double?

Leslie
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Mike
Posted on Monday, March 17, 2003 - 10:17 am:   

I'm thinking I need to focus less on short stories and do more novels. ;)

But, Maureen why do the mothers always have to die? Surely there's a father or an aunt who needs to go...

I'd be interested in a time-shared McHugh/What collection! Leslie -- I loved your Elvis in Hell story!
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Maureen McHugh
Posted on Monday, March 17, 2003 - 06:56 pm:   

Well, in most of my stories, the mothers don't die, they just kvetch. But I think I've been neglecting on killing periphrial relatives. Except in "The Cost To Be Wise" where everybody dies. (I hate that title, by the way.)

I'd be interested in a time-shared McHugh/What collection but I'll be damned if I know what that is.
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Mike
Posted on Tuesday, March 18, 2003 - 08:34 am:   

It'd be a collection of your work and hers, but you'd only get to read from it 1-2 weeks a year. The rest of the year it would be read by other people. ;)
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LeslieWhat
Posted on Tuesday, March 18, 2003 - 02:09 pm:   

Oooh, Maureen. I wasn't really thinking about that pariticular combo but hot damn. "Motherhood: a Manual". Come to think of it, in most of my motherhood stories, everyone else dies....

Leslie

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Maureen McHugh
Posted on Tuesday, March 18, 2003 - 03:26 pm:   

Leslie, this may require some serious talk.
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Monday, March 24, 2003 - 02:23 am:   

Back to the Currently Reading topic, I've been reading lots of William Gibson lately, the old stuff. Yow. Very cool stylistically, and I quite enjoy how he does some impressive hand-waving when it comes to details about how people access the Net.

Impressive in that he was about 10 years ahead of the curve in that respect.

I'm doing this reading as research for a short screenplay I'm doing, an adaptation of one of my older short stories, "Unplugged," which features a group of former cyberspace cowboys about 2-3 years after their skills have started to deteriorate, in rehab.

Sort of William Gibson meets Raymond Carver. Fun stuff. :-)
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Maureen McHugh
Posted on Monday, March 24, 2003 - 06:08 am:   

William Gibson writes the most astonishing metaphors (or is it similies, the ones using like or as) imaginable. Most of the time if a writer stops to do a poetic bit of comparison, the whole motion of the paragraph stops dead in its tracks.
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Mike
Posted on Monday, March 24, 2003 - 06:39 am:   

Yeah, in "Burning Chrome" he compares a bunch of pigeons to a blanket, and it works.
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Greg van Eekhout
Posted on Monday, March 24, 2003 - 09:36 am:   

I think Gibson studied his Raymond Chandler closely.
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Mike
Posted on Monday, March 24, 2003 - 10:53 am:   

Yeah, and of course, I haven't read much Chandler other than THE BIG SLEEP. Cool book!

I'm just trying to figure out what genres I can slap together for my next novel.

Maybe westerns and... urban fantasy?

Hard SF and... horror?

Steampunk and... fairy tales?

Hmm...
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Greg van Eekhout
Posted on Monday, March 24, 2003 - 11:05 am:   

Throwing seemingly disparate elements together really can be fun. My Strange Horizons story was an attempt at mixing SF and an ABC Afterschool Special, but I don't think I quite nailed it.
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Mike
Posted on Monday, March 24, 2003 - 11:34 am:   

Wait -- I thought your F&SF story was a mix of an afterschool special and SF...

Or maybe it was public TV's Zoom mixed with SF...
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Mike
Posted on Monday, March 24, 2003 - 12:23 pm:   

Maybe I can use that yellow dude from "Time for Timer" -- got a hankerin' for a hunk o' cheese...

He's definitely SFnal.
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Greg van Eekhout
Posted on Monday, March 24, 2003 - 12:28 pm:   

Yeah, how does that go again? "When I wanna chunka, a big ol' stinkin' lunka, I hanker for a hunka cheese ..."

Something like that.
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Mike
Posted on Monday, March 24, 2003 - 01:53 pm:   

I'm gonna go home and make a wagon wheel right now!
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Wednesday, April 02, 2003 - 01:05 pm:   

When you get a chance, bop on over to SCI FICTION and read Maureen McHugh's story, "Frankenstein's Daughter." Once again, Maureen's ending clobbered me in the gut. Lovely writing.
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Greg van Eekhout
Posted on Wednesday, April 02, 2003 - 01:42 pm:   

She's really, really, really good, isn't she?
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Mike
Posted on Wednesday, April 02, 2003 - 01:46 pm:   

Yup.
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Thursday, April 24, 2003 - 01:29 pm:   

Reading the stories in POLYPHONY 2 these days, and quite enjoying them. A couple left me scratching my head a bit, but on second glance they made a bit better sense.

I like David Moles and Alex Irvine's pieces the best so far. Have about 4 more tales to read.

Good stuff, all around. Highly recommended.
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Laura Anne
Posted on Thursday, April 24, 2003 - 06:18 pm:   

Going back a bit, THE MINOTAUR TAKES... is quite good. You have to stop and stare at the page in a few places, but given the premise you pretty much expect that. I only wish it'd been a 2002 publication. *wry grin*

Other stuff I'm reading I'm remaning mum on. At least until the third quarter of the year.

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Jason Erik Lundberg
Posted on Friday, April 25, 2003 - 09:52 am:   

I just finished Jasper Fforde's second novel, Lost in a Good Book, which was better and even loopier than The Eyre Affair. Reading his stuff is just so much fun, and I wonder if I shouldn't be trying to write like that. I can sit down with a book by Fforde or J.K. Rowling and finish it in a weekend.

I've just started Michael Chabon's Pulitzer Prize-winning The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, and I have a bunch of books to take with me to Singapore in a few weeks - some Saramago, some Mirrlees, some Polyphony - though if I get review copies of the two new Small Beer Press books coming out, I'll take those instead.
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Andreas Black
Posted on Friday, April 25, 2003 - 02:58 pm:   

Hmmm... Currently reading 999: New Stories of Horror and Suspense Edited by Al Sarrantonio and The Collected Short Stories of Greg Bear, which I ordered so I can get it signed next week.
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Mike
Posted on Sunday, April 27, 2003 - 03:50 am:   

Along with Polyphony 2 and subs for my antho Intracities, I also started reading Writing the Breakout Novel, Donald Maahs. So far so good, but I haven't gotten into the meat of the book yet. Just got to the rah-rah stuff about the secrets of writing a novel that everyone will want to read (hint -- tell a good story). I think he's onto something here... ;)
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Maureen McHugh
Posted on Monday, April 28, 2003 - 05:25 am:   

Jason, my book group is reading Kavalier and Clay for its May book so I start it tonight. How do you like it?
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Mike
Posted on Monday, April 28, 2003 - 09:21 am:   

Man, I've had a nice hardcover of Kavalier and Clay sitting on my To-Be-Read shelf for over a year now. I am slack.

(I won't mention which Maureen McHugh book it's sitting next to, though it does rhyme w/ Metropolis...)
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Maureen McHugh
Posted on Monday, April 28, 2003 - 11:47 am:   

Mike, you own it. From my publisher's p.o.v., anything else is secondary. <g>
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Jason Erik Lundberg
Posted on Monday, April 28, 2003 - 01:24 pm:   

Maureen, I'm enjoying Kavalier and Clay so far, though it doesn't seem like Chabon got really interested in the story until Part 2, which is somewhere around page 60. The stuff before it is interesting, heartbreaking in its setting of Nazi-occupied Prague, but it feels like it's all back-story, and Chabon had to grind through that to get to the second section. From this part on, the prose is tighter and faster, chapters are shorter, and it feels like he supremely enjoys talking about comic books in the 30s. That's just my first impression, anyway.

I'll most likely take Polyphony 2 with me to Singapore in a few weeks, along with All the Names and Blindness by Jose Saramago, and The Rainy Season by James Blaylock.
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John Klima
Posted on Monday, April 28, 2003 - 01:51 pm:   

I've been working my way through the Small Beer catalog. Read Kelly Link's Stranger Things Happen (amazing), then Ray Vuckevich's Meet Me in the Moon Room (also amazing), than Carol Emshwiller's collection Report to the Men's Club and Other Stories (incredible), and now finishing up Emshwiller's Philip K. Dick-award winning novel, The Mount. Very weird, in a good way. Don't know what I think, but it's making me think if that makes any sense. Also reading the first two offerings of Nemonymous. If you haven't read those yet, get them. They are amazing.

JK

PS-also have a McHugh novel on my to read list...also rhymes with Metropolis (and Conjunctions 39, several issues of Asimov's and F&SF, and The Natures of Balance, and Anno Dracula, and Aztechs, and, oh God, twenty, thirty, forty, or more books? I don't like to think about it...) What should I read next, novel-wise? Should I join the ranks of Kavalier and Clay?
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Claude Lalumičre
Posted on Tuesday, April 29, 2003 - 01:45 pm:   

John K.
Yes! You should... Chabon's The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Klay is superb.
But, then again, from your list of books to read, so are McHugh's Nekropolis and Newman's Anno Dracula. Haven't read Lucius's Aztechs yet, but how could it be anything but great?
Claude
ps-- Ray's collection is a real jewel, I agree.
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Claude Lalumičre
Posted on Tuesday, April 29, 2003 - 04:17 pm:   

As for what I'm reading now:
-Middlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides (about 40% of the way through, and so far it's fabulous)
-Tales of the Crypto-System, by Geoffrey Maloney (only read the first few stories so far, but they've all been great)
-The Silver Gryphon (about halfway through -- kind of lukewarm)
-The Risen Empire, by Scott Westerfeld (barely begun, but so far I'm very disappointed, I find it not at all engaging)
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Greg van Eekhout
Posted on Tuesday, April 29, 2003 - 04:49 pm:   

Currently reading:

- Dead Men Do Tell Tales: A 1933 Archeological Expedition into Abyssinia, Byron Khun de Prorok
- Polyphony 2
- Witch Child, Celia Rees
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Maureen McHugh
Posted on Wednesday, April 30, 2003 - 07:10 am:   

Hey, she said plaintively, Nekropolis is short...

Jason, In Kavalier & Clay, I really liked the Golem stuff a lot.
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Mike
Posted on Wednesday, April 30, 2003 - 07:14 am:   

Ooh, the guilt... Now I've got to add Maureen's novel to my pile! What are you working on these days, by the way, Maureen?

Greg -- what have you liked so far in Polyphony? I liked David's story a lot, as well as Alex Irvine's. I didn't really get Carol Emshwiller's, and thought the last one about the Silver Age SF guy was pretty cool (great last image) but a bit hard to follow. And are the other two books research, perhaps??? For the new novel???

Claude -- I was reading about Middlesex just a week or two ago. Looks interesting. I think I tried reading an excerpt from it in that special GRANTA issue 4-5 years ago, focusing on authors under 40. Weird stuff.

I'm impressed at people reading more than one novel at a time. I must speed up my reading abilitiy...
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Laura Anne
Posted on Wednesday, April 30, 2003 - 07:30 am:   

This morning I took a break from the piles and piles of books waiting on me (WFC-related) and started James Lee Burke's Jolie Blon's Bounce. So far, so wonderful...

(and this from a woman who didn't like some of his earlier books)

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John Klima
Posted on Wednesday, April 30, 2003 - 08:52 am:   

Have decided to read THE NATURE OF BALANCE and THE ETCHED CITY next. I was going to wait until I finished BALANCE to start CITY, but I'm too excited to wait. I'll read BALANCE on the train and CITY at home. Probably will finish BALANCE first since that's two hours a day I can devote to it as opposed to whatever I can sneak in at home while Graham Norton is on in the background.

JK
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Greg van Eekhout
Posted on Wednesday, April 30, 2003 - 02:30 pm:   

Mike, I'm reading the one about the Silver Age SF guy now. I'm still picking my way slowly through the book, but I liked David's story (I'd read it four or five times in manuscript, at least), I thought Beth Bernobich's story was very nicely crafted, and I actually liked the Carol Emshwiller for the most part. ("I love the color blue. It's so sky.")

Not reading the other two books for research. I picked up the Byron de Prorok book because I've developed an interest in long desert trecks. I recently sent such a story to Strange Horizons, but I wrote it before buying the de Prorok. And the Celia Rees book is actually something Lisa picked up, and I thought the girl on the cover had beautiful eyes, so I started reading it.

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Michael Jasper
Posted on Wednesday, April 30, 2003 - 07:05 pm:   

Oh yeah -- I like Beth Bernobich's as well. Nice setting and great ending.
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Maureen McHugh
Posted on Thursday, May 01, 2003 - 05:09 am:   

Mike, I'm working on an interminable novel called Coming of Age in America set in a near future where babyboomers can be rejuvenated. Specifically it's about an affair between a nineteen year old girl and a seventy year old guy who looks twenty.

At the moment, I'd much prefer to read Kavalier and Clay.
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Mike
Posted on Thursday, May 01, 2003 - 06:37 am:   

Ah, reminds me of a story I read in Starlight, Maureen. It was set up like an interview, I believe. ;)

Cool title, by the way. Love the double meaning.
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HeyTrey
Posted on Thursday, May 01, 2003 - 10:32 am:   

Maureen, that's not Baby Goth, is it? It doesn't sound like it, not unless it's significantly changed.
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Maureen McHugh
Posted on Friday, May 02, 2003 - 12:08 am:   

Trey,

BabyGoth is, unfortunately, on the back burner for awhile. But I plan to come back to it.
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Jason Erik Lundberg
Posted on Friday, May 02, 2003 - 06:45 am:   

The Silver Age SF story in Polyphony 2, "Last Man on Earth", was written by Brendan Day, who was in my class at Clarion last summer. It was one of the stories that got him in, and he read it at one of our weekly readings. It's his first publication.

Maureen, I'm somewhere in part three, right before the move to the Empire State Building, and haven't seen much of the golem for a while. He was very prominent in the beginning, and he is being fashioned metaphorically by Joe and Sammy's walks around the city, but not much else yet. Maybe he comes back later in the story.

Another novel with a golem is Lisa Goldstein's The Alchemist's Door, which I reviewed for GMR back in January.
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Maureen McHugh
Posted on Friday, May 02, 2003 - 01:45 pm:   

Jason,

I think he's merely metaphorical after the beginning. But I did think he was fantastic. I'm a bit farther than you in the book.
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Jason Erik Lundberg
Posted on Saturday, May 10, 2003 - 01:42 pm:   

Wow. I just finished Kavalier and Clay and I just...wow. I mean, that's all I can say. Wow. I can see now why it garnered the Pulitzer Prize. Everyone should read this book.

And Maureen, in case you haven't gotten there yet, the golem does return near the end, though not quite in the same form.

After such a huge novel, I'm going need some short stories next, so I'll be starting Shelley Jackson's The Melancholy of Anatomy later today or tomorrow.
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Maureen McHugh
Posted on Sunday, May 11, 2003 - 06:52 am:   

I finished The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay and found it really delightful. Yes, the Golem returns in a couple of ways. I've been recommending it to lots of writers just for the sure bravura and plotted-ness of it.

Of course, I can't plot. So that really impresses me.
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Greg van Eekhout
Posted on Tuesday, May 13, 2003 - 12:42 pm:   

Did anybody think that Sam Clay's exit was rather convenient? I feel he kind of got the short shrift.
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MaureenMcq
Posted on Wednesday, May 14, 2003 - 05:43 am:   

Yes, I felt that Sam Clay's exit was very convenient, and the boy's acceptance of a replacement father way too pat and there were a couple of other moments I found 'plotted'.

I had similar feelings about another Pulitzer winner, Richard Russo's Empire Falls.

But they felt like a way to give the reader a certain arc of satisfaction--they felt, in a sense, like conventions.
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Jon Hansen
Posted on Wednesday, May 14, 2003 - 07:21 am:   

I'd thought that too. Seemed like Chabon had gotten to the point where he'd decided the book had been going on for long enough and now it was time to wrap things up.
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Greg van Eekhout
Posted on Wednesday, May 14, 2003 - 09:36 am:   

I think I'm going to get into spoiler territory here:

Chabon faced a difficult challenge when it came to resolving both the prosaic (though still compelling) story of Sam Clay and the romantic/heroic story of Joe Kavalier and his son. To complete the Kavalier arc and fulfill the classic boyhood secret origin fantasy, Kavalier *needed* to be reunited with his son. Unfortunately, Sam just got in Chabon's way.
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Alan DeNiro
Posted on Wednesday, May 14, 2003 - 09:58 am:   

Has anyone heard of a book called Frequencies by Joshua Ortega? I'm in the middle of reviewing it, so I don't want to give too much up, but I think it's worth checking out.

I'm also reading Exodus of the Long Sun by Gene Wolfe, and The Prophetic Imagination by Walter Brueggemann (Bible scholarship, but has some interesting things to say about literature in general).

Okay, resume Chabon-ing. And hi Maureen. :-)

A.


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Mike
Posted on Wednesday, May 14, 2003 - 10:23 am:   

I'm slack, because I haven't Chaboned. But I've got a copy!

I'm reading THE ETCHED CITY by KJ Bishop, and it's quite cool. She has two of the most interesting main characters I've seen in a while, and the style puts me in mind of what I really liked about King's DARK TOWER books, before they became bloated monstrosities.

Good to see ya 'round here, Alan! I'm finally getting around to revising that alien novel whose opening I sent you a few months back...
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Jason Erik Lundberg
Posted on Wednesday, May 14, 2003 - 01:18 pm:   

I've heard some really great things about The Etched City. I'll probably get it when I return from Singapore and have money again.
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John Klima
Posted on Wednesday, May 14, 2003 - 01:44 pm:   

THE ETCHED CITY is a fantastic first novel. I even reviewed it twice on Amazon.com! (they told me they're taking the second review down)

JK
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Jon Hansen
Posted on Thursday, May 15, 2003 - 10:57 am:   

Were they identical reviews? Or rather, in what way did they figure out you'd reviewed it twice?
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John Klima
Posted on Thursday, May 15, 2003 - 11:03 am:   

I informed them that I sent the review twice (they are slightly different) and asked that they take one down. I think having two reviews from the same person looks bad for the book and author; even though I believe the book merits the good reviews. I don't want potential readers to be turned off by some fan boy who posts a hundred reviews.

JK
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Jason Erik Lundberg
Posted on Thursday, May 15, 2003 - 11:08 am:   

All right, I finished The Melancholy of Anatomy last night by Shelley Jackson last night and really enjoyed it. She does surrealism and magic realism like the best of Borges and Calvino. Very cool stuff, and very funny.

I start Claude Lalumiere & Marty Halpern's sardonic antho Witpunk next, and have already read Leslie What's story and a few of Jeff Ford's short shorts.
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John Klima
Posted on Thursday, May 15, 2003 - 11:17 am:   

To get back in the flow of the thread. I've just finished Tim Lebbon's The Hature of Balance (creepy) and now head on to Hugo-nominated novels. First up: China Mieville's The Scar, then David Brin's The Kiln People. Then I need to get/buy/borrow/steal the other three books: Bones of the Earth by Swanwick, Years of Rice & Salt by Robinson, and Hominids by Rob Sawyer. Of course, since it's Hugo reading, if I don't like the thing, I don't need to finish it. [true, I've never put down a book I've started, but the concept is pleasing when faced with big fat books I wouldn't necessarily read on my own] Of course, I can always just vote for the ones I like and nothing else.

Lots of options.

Jason: you'll have to update us on Witpunk, it looks very good.

JK
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Samantha Ling
Posted on Thursday, May 15, 2003 - 02:29 pm:   

I'll say that Kiln People is very good. I enjoyed it quite a lot. There was a section that talked a bit of mystical religious stuff that I could have skipped, but it was important to the book, so it needed to be there. But I would definitely suggest Kiln People.
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Laura Anne
Posted on Thursday, May 15, 2003 - 04:58 pm:   

JK, I have RICE & SALT, if you want to borrow it. Just let me know.

Me, I'm still plowing through WFC submissions. *blink, blink* *more Visine* *blink, blink*

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Mike
Posted on Friday, May 16, 2003 - 03:31 am:   

Just finished Maass' non-fiction WRITING THE BREAKOUT NOVEL, which I found quite helpful as I gather ideas for novel number five. Some of his stuff about plotting and narrative was familiar, but the stuff about premises and scope was priceless.

Also reading KJ Bishop's THE ETCHED CITY, which I'm dying to read more of, just for its two fascinating main characters -- a physician who seems to have given up all hope in life, and her amoral "friend" who kills without regard and is a real cad. Great stuff.
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John Klima
Posted on Monday, May 19, 2003 - 07:53 am:   

Laura Anne:

Sorry to make this communication on the board (as opposed to e-mail), but I would be more than thrilled to borrow RICE & SALT if you don't mind. E-mail me and we can figure out how to make the switch.

JK
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Maureen McHugh
Posted on Monday, May 19, 2003 - 07:20 pm:   

I'm starting THE SCAR by China Mieville. He's in better control of his prose at the opening of this one than he was of the opening of PERDIDO STREET STATION (which I liked but thought tetered on chaos at the sentence level.)
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Mike
Posted on Tuesday, May 20, 2003 - 02:47 am:   

Hey Maureen -- as soon as I Finish THE ETCHED CITY, I plan on reading THE SCAR. Looking forward to it, but a little scared of the size of that bugger. I'll be reading it the rest of the year, at my current pace...
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Maureen McHugh
Posted on Tuesday, May 20, 2003 - 04:52 pm:   

Mike, so far, I can say that if you liked PERDIDO STREET STATION, you should like THE SCAR. But I'm really not very far into it.
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Greg van Eekhout
Posted on Tuesday, May 20, 2003 - 08:47 pm:   

I'm a slow reader, too, Mike, and I've been putting off THE SCAR for the very same reason.

Currently reading HOLES by Louis Sachar, an odd and enjoyable little book so far.
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Liz Williams
Posted on Wednesday, May 21, 2003 - 01:26 am:   

Really enjoyed THE SCAR and as others have said, if you liked PST, you'll like THE SCAR too.

I am currently re-reading THE SEPARATION (rather frantically!) for review. It copped the Clarke Award on Saturday - well deserved, and I recommend it. But it is an intricate read.

Liz
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Mike
Posted on Wednesday, May 21, 2003 - 08:20 am:   

Maureen - I did indeed enjoy PERDIDO, though it took me quite a while to get through it. Simon was a great character. I've heard SCAR is a bit better-written.

Greg - is HOLES the basis for the new movie w/ Sigourney Weaver?

Hi Liz! I'm not a huge fan of alternate history, but I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on SEPARATION. From what I've read about it, it sounds cool. And its setting and timeframe reminds me that I've got Tim Powers' DECLARE on my shelf, waiting for me as well.
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Greg van Eekhout
Posted on Wednesday, May 21, 2003 - 09:20 am:   

Yeah, Mike, the movie's based on the book. Sigourney Weaver is perfect casting.
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Greg van Eekhout
Posted on Friday, May 23, 2003 - 07:23 pm:   

Just got M. John Harrison's story collection, THINGS THAT NEVER HAPPEN. Heard so much positive stuff about Harrison, figured it was time I check him out.
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Liz Williams
Posted on Saturday, May 24, 2003 - 02:31 am:   

THE SEPARATION is remarkable, actually, even more so on re-reading. It's a very intricate novel that deserves close attention, and it's one of those books that haunts you. It is far more than just an alternate history.

Also been reading Melissa Lai's (I think that's her name) SALT FISH GIRL, which weaves Chinese mythology with life in a near-future Seattle. I thought this was very good.

Richard Calder's LORD SOHO arrived from Amazon - looking forward to making a start on this as I really enjoyed MALIGNOS. People either love or loathe Richard's stuff - I'm in the former camp.

I also have LIGHT on the back burner - finding it hard to pick up again for some reason. But Harrison is immensely worthwhile so I shall persevere.
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Jon Hansen
Posted on Wednesday, May 28, 2003 - 12:06 pm:   

Just dropped some cash on Vol. I of THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN. Pretty cool, and I enjoyed keeping an eye out for various literary characters making cameos. Hope the movie doesn't screw it up too badly.
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Mike
Posted on Wednesday, May 28, 2003 - 04:14 pm:   

I almost bought LEAGUE a couple weeks ago, but wasn't wowed by the art.

After reading the extensive "New Weird" discussion on M. John Harrison's board, I'm quite tempted to read LIGHT, and hoping to find a copy of the VIRICONIUM books someday...
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John Klima
Posted on Thursday, May 29, 2003 - 05:47 am:   

Interesting comment on the artwork in LEAGUE. I'm a big fan of Kevin O'Neil's; discovered him in Marshall Law back in the late 80s/early 90s and was struck by the surreal grittiness of it. I can udnerstand what you mean though, O'Neil's art can be difficult to swallow since it feels very unreal and loose. Unlike someone like Flint Henry or Geoff Darrow who are ultra-realistic and dense.

Just finished KILN PEOPLE by David Brin. This is a book I loved until I got about 50 pages from the end. Then the author introduced a whole new concept that threw me out of the story (you'll notice I use this phrase a lot...I hate it when something happens in the story to put me back in my chair instead of leaving me in the author's world) and I never got back in. The ending resolved itself fairly nicely, but the new wrinkle left me feeling unsure.

Started THE SCAR last night. (yes, I'm reading the Hugo-nominated novels...then the stories, usw.) Will post progress.

JK
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Thursday, May 29, 2003 - 06:44 am:   

I think O'Neil's artwork is a little bit too cartoony for me, John, and too bright for the era he's representing. At least, that's my feeling after a quick glance at the graphic novel in the bookstore. It was nice to see that Quail Ridge Books, one of Raleigh's two indie bookstores, had a rack set up at last featuring comics and graphic novels. Finally.

Geof Darrow's stuff, by the way, is awesome. He must take a month for each panel, all the detail he squeezes into it.

Getting ready to read THE SCAR soon, though I got sidetracked by a copy of de Lint's MEMORY AND DREAM I found on my Palm Pilot, and also started Tim Powers' ON STRANGER TIDES for some good pirate details to borrow for my Blackbeard novel... And still need to finish ETCHED CITY...
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Maureen McHugh
Posted on Thursday, May 29, 2003 - 12:15 pm:   

John Kilma, I finished THE SCAR, which I liked very much and then started on KILN PEOPLE. I'm not planning on voting for the Hugos (not going this year for many tedious reasons) but I'm enjoying reading the nominees. Except in the Novelette category.
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Jon Hansen
Posted on Thursday, May 29, 2003 - 01:48 pm:   

Ah, ON STRANGER TIDES. That's good Powers.

As for LEAGUE, I kind of like the art, although I'm pretty forgiving. The whole concept intrigues me enough that I'm going to go a couple of local comic stores tomorrow and see if I can run the complete VOL. II to ground. Our heroes battle the Martians of H. G. Wells! What's not to like?

Otherwise, I'm contemplating the books piled up on my coffee table, wanting to be read and returned: Gibson's PATTERN RECOGNITION? Sandford's NAKED PREY? Herbert's DREAMER OF DUNE? Kerr's SNARE? Ah, the curse of working at a library where you have ordering power.

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Jason Erik Lundberg
Posted on Thursday, June 05, 2003 - 10:30 am:   

Okay, I started slogging through Jose Saramago's ALL THE NAMES, and have gotten bogged down after 60 pages. The dude evidently hates quotes, because all his dialogue is in one paragraph, separated by commas. And I know he won the Nobel Prize for Literature (for BLINDNESS), but I just can't read his fiction right now. I don't know, maybe I just need to be in the right mindset to read this book, but I'm putting it down for the moment, and reading the stories in POLYPHONY 2.
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Laura Anne
Posted on Friday, June 06, 2003 - 09:26 am:   

Neat book of the month award: John Donahue's SENSEI, from St Martin's Press. It's a suspense novel about a renegade who is killing martial art masters across the US. Great main character -- a martial arts student who is also a small college adjunct professor. Author manages to skewer both the "wannabe suburban martial artists" and the political pettiness of academic life, even while he creates a really solid and involving mystery. And the martial art details are dead-on -- the author has written a number of well-reviewed non-fiction books on the topic as well

I liked this book so much I bought reprint rights. *grin*

Also read TITHE by Holly Black. Great voice, great take on the changeling myth, and a very interesting look at being a teenager that reminded me of Susy Hinton's work -- the same kind of casual, unforgiving look at what life really is like when you're a minor in an impossible situation.
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Mike
Posted on Saturday, June 07, 2003 - 11:54 am:   

Laura Anne -- the SENSEI book sounds quite cool. And I've heard good things about Holly Black. More stuff to keep an eye out for, though I'm pretty much "booked" (ha ha) for reading material through 2005...

Just trying to get back into reading a novel a month again. Sounds easy, but for me it's a damn challenge.

I do want to read BLINDNESS someday -- sounds like a great premise -- everyone in the world loses their sight, right?

Those durn "literary" writers, playing in our spec-fic sandbox!
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Andreas Black
Posted on Saturday, June 07, 2003 - 03:47 pm:   

Jason, I had the same problem with "Requiem for a Dream" by Hubert Selby Jr. The lack of apropriately formatted dialog totally turned me off.

And it's a shame. It was such a good movie, I wanted to read the book.

Mike, keep a sharp eye out while playing in that Spec-fic sandbox. I think Schroedinger's cat has been in it.
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Jason Erik Lundberg
Posted on Thursday, June 12, 2003 - 07:01 am:   

Finished Polyphony 2 a couple of nights ago, and was even more impressed than after the first volume. Those folks at Wheatland Press do a really good job. I liked that Bruce Holland Rogers did another symmetrina, and I particularly liked the stories by Dora Goss, Alex Irvine, Carol Emshwiller, David Moles, Mike Bishop, and fellow 2002 Clarion graduate Brendan Day. I'm anxious to see the lineup for volume 3.

So now I'm reading The Mount by Carol Emshwiller. I'll have to review it next month, and I'm really enjoying it so far. I'm only two chapters in, but I dig her style and description of humans as equines. It's won all sorts of awards so far, and is in its second printing.

I'm currently waiting for Gavin Grant to send me review copies of Trampoline and Kalpa Imperial, as well as Foreigners, and Other Familiar Faces and the newest issues of Lady Churchill's and Say... I'll give him another week before I start bugging him.
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Jason Erik Lundberg
Posted on Tuesday, June 24, 2003 - 01:34 pm:   

Finished The Mount, which was phenomenal, and am now reading Emshwiller's newest collection, Report to the Men's Club, which is also very good so far. On my lunch hour, I'm also reading one or two or three stories at a time out of Nemonymous 3, which so far is proving to be even better than its predecessors.
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John Klima
Posted on Wednesday, June 25, 2003 - 06:22 am:   

Finished THE SCAR and HOMINIDS recently.

I liked HOMINIDS a lot. Basically the story of an alternate Earth where Homo sapiens becomes extinct and the Neanderthal rises to prominence. Then, a Neanderthal quantum physicist accidently transports himself into our world. I was really surprised at how much I got into the book and its characters. The whole time I read it (two and a half trips to work and back for 450 pages) the novel made me think about my world and how humans have impacted it. The Neanderthals can come off as having a better society than ours, but the book was interesting enough for me to get past it.

While I enjoyed THE SCAR, there were parts of it that I felt misled me as a reader. Without being specific, there were sections of the novel devoted to ideas that were not part of the main storyline. I kept waiting for them to be drawn more fully into the main story, but it never happened. It's really a minor complaint as the book was extremely enjoyable throughout.

I just started HOW TO BE A VILLAIN by Neil Zawacki. It's totally fun and a quick read. It takes all the evil villain tropes from various sources and compiles them into a 'self-help' book on how to become a villain. It answers the important questions:

'Should I wear black or red?' and 'Do I go with winged monkeys or ninja warriors?' and 'Just where will I put my evil lair?'

Good stuff. It's only $12.95, and it was on the B&N staff recommendation wall, so I got 20% (+ my 10% reader's club) off on it, so it was only like $9, so I couldn't pass it up.

JK
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Thursday, June 26, 2003 - 06:14 am:   

Man, I've been ignoring my own topics! Thanks for the input on what you've been reading, Jason and John. I'm hoping to get to THE SCAR soon.

I picked up the new version of King's GUNSLINGER yesterday, and read his into and foreward, which were interesting. I'm gonna try and wait 'til this fall to read all five, once the 5th book comes out. I also plan on reading the 4-5 other books on my immediate To-Read pile (ETCHED CITY, SCAR, the first AMBER book) before I can start King's books.

Right now I'm digging Gibson's PATTERN RECOGNITION, and liking it, though it doesn't feel as important as his previous works, at least not yet. Um, brand names? Hard to get worked up about marketing. But i see the point he's trying to make about consumerism and the advertising zeitgeist.
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John Klima
Posted on Thursday, June 26, 2003 - 06:46 am:   

Finished HOW TO BE A VILLAIN, great stuff, especially if you ever enjoyed Lemony Snicket, Power Puff girls, or really, anything with a villain in it.

Go here to see it on Amazon:

http://tinyurl.com/fbpc

Now I'm reading the Rat Bastards and loving it! Once this is done, I think I'm diving into THE DIVINITY STUDENT.

JK
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Jason Erik Lundberg
Posted on Friday, June 27, 2003 - 07:07 am:   

Finished Report to the Men's Club and the latest issue of Say... while waiting for jury duty this week. Am now in the middle of The Kappa Child by Hiromi Goto, and it's quite good. Her prose moves very quickly, but is also achingly beautiful.
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Monday, July 07, 2003 - 03:57 am:   

Finished Gibson's PATTERN RECOGNITION, in what has to be record time for a slow-ass reader like me.

The lack of a specific SFnal setting didn't bother me at all -- I guess I'd heard enough about the book by this time to not be bothered by it. And Cayce's "allergy" was enough of a spec-fic tweak to make it all work for me, regardless of genre.

Initially I was a bit impatient, because I didn't really CARE about corporate logos and marketing meetings. But he got through that quickly enough so he didn't lose me.

For me, the connection to 9/11 was crucial, and made the book pretty intense in its emotion (for me). Having Cayce be in NYC on that day, along with her father, and the description of the falling petal, made the book for me. Kudos to Gibson for tackling this fucked-up day in history with his typical style, from an angle I'd never expected.

The detail in this book is fascinating and overwhelming. Makes me feel quite inadequate as a writer.

And the plot moved along quite nicely. The white-room scene was a bit over the top, after Cayce gets the mickey in her drink, but... No major complaints, overall. A fast, intense read. Makes me want to go back to BURNING CHROME and NEUROMANCER and read all his work again.
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Liz Williams
Posted on Monday, July 07, 2003 - 05:08 am:   

I haven't read the Gibson yet, but will certainly be doing so.

Just finished Steve Erikson's THE SEA COMES IN AT MIDNIGHT, which I enjoyed but which made me work quite hard (usually I don't mind this), and have now started on Jeff Ford's THE PORTRAIT OF MRS CHARBUQUE, which thus far, I like a lot.
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Mike
Posted on Monday, July 07, 2003 - 06:42 am:   

Hey Liz -- Jeff Ford read part of PORTRAIT at a reading here in Raleigh a few weeks ago, and I've been itching to read that one too. Maybe I'll jump in, even if it's a couple books down in the ol' queue -- it was fascinating stuff!

I found I had to work pretty hard with Gibson, which I liked -- it almost always paid off. You have to really pay attention, which is a good thing.
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Jason Erik Lundberg
Posted on Monday, July 07, 2003 - 07:11 am:   

Finished Hiromi Goto's The Kappa Child last week (which was excellent excellent excellent), and have been plowing through the new Small Beer antho Trampoline, edited by Kelly Link. There have been some really great stories in there so far, and the best have been, surprisingly, by new or unknown authors.

I also just got Fugitives and Refugees, a non-fiction tour of Portland, Oregon by Chuck Palahniuk. The book is small and reads extremely fast; I got through over half of it in two hours last night.
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John Klima
Posted on Monday, July 07, 2003 - 10:46 am:   

Am working my way through THE DIVINITY STUDENT which is, like any good Cisco, brilliant and dense, so it's slow-going for a fast reader like me. In other news, I got sucked by the cover of the SPIDERWICK chronciles, volumes I and II are out right now. It bears a markedly similar bearing to Lemony Snicket, and was stacked on the Harry Potter kiosk at a local B&N (along with Pullman, Le Guin, Snicket, et al). They're $9.95 (hardcover, apparently adults like spending a lot of money on books? [to be fair, they are very slim]) and were 20% + 10% reader's advantage discounted. Which made them about $6.95 pre tax. Any time I can buy a new hardcover for udner $7 I'm in! I read the first one in about a half hour this morning. Left the second at home like a dolt.

So far, it's not what I expected. Unlike, say, THE HOBBIT, NARNIA, BLACK CAULDRON, HARRY POTTER, LEMONY SNICKET, ALICE IN WONDERLAND, etc. these are decidedly American children. Don't know why I expected different. Don't know why I was disappointed at that either. Nonetheless, I'm intriguiged to see where this is going. It's geared for 6 to 10 year olds (I implore the gallery for quiet) so one book gives you about 3,000 words...maybe.

Have to catch up on Ford myself, soon.

JK
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Nick Mamatas
Posted on Monday, July 07, 2003 - 01:08 pm:   

Just finished HEREDITY by Jenny Davidson.

It's about a travel writer in London; she's having an affair with a doctor and convinces him to clone Jonathan Wild, an 18th century criminal. It was reviewed by Rain Taxi here.

There's also a lot of fucking in the book.
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Mike
Posted on Tuesday, July 08, 2003 - 06:23 am:   

Nick -- sounds... bizarre. Did you enjoy it?

I'm always amazed at the premises of different novels, and how authors are able to pull them off (tho sometimes a beautiful failure is interesting to see, too).

Jason -- the tour of Portland sounds cool. Having been there twice now, I really dig that city, even with all the rain.
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Mike
Posted on Tuesday, July 08, 2003 - 06:33 am:   

Just started reading the rest of my buddy Jay's novel EMPTIES, which is a quite cool mix of mainstream and surreal elements, and hope to start reading Dozois' YEAR'S BEST SF vol. 20 by this weekend. I'm looking forward to the first story, a novella by Ian MacLeod called "Breathmoss" that I started last year and didn't get a chance to finish.
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Jason Erik Lundberg
Posted on Tuesday, July 08, 2003 - 10:14 am:   

Finished up Fugitives and Refugees last night; it's definitely not a guidebook that the city of Portland would put out themselves, and that's what makes it so interesting. Whether he's talking about the annual Santa Rampage, or a Post-Apocalyptic New Year's party in an abandoned bus teminal, or the many many ways to get sex for money, it's told through his unique perspective. It's a little pricey at $16 in hardcover for ~170 pages, but it's good for the Palhniuk completist; it's as close to autobiography as you're going to get from him.

I'm also only two stories from the end of Nemonymous 3 and four stories for Trampoline. I'm trying to get all the reading in that I can before August, when the folks at NCSU will tell me what to read.
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Nick Mamatas
Posted on Tuesday, July 08, 2003 - 11:12 am:   

HEREDITY was pretty good: not often the novel of ideas is crossed so successfully with the "shopping and fucking" novel.
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Jon Hansen
Posted on Tuesday, July 08, 2003 - 07:55 pm:   

Two read on the plane books: ZOD WALLOP by William Browning Spencer and MY NAME IS LEGION by Roger Zelazny. ZOD WALLOP is...hmm. I believe the book flap uses the quote, "Like Dr. Seuss on acid," which is pretty damned accurate. Reminded me of LAND OF LAUGHS, if that helps you any. Very good, and now I'll have to track down the rest of Spencer's stuff. MY NAME IS LEGION was also pretty good, even tho' it turned out to be three novellas with the same main character (and I'd already read one of them. Oh well). But I think Zelazny's early stuff is excellent, so I enjoyed it quite a bit.
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Rachel Heslin
Posted on Friday, July 11, 2003 - 07:56 pm:   

I strongly recommend Juliet K. McKenna's Einarinn fantasy series as a wonderful example of integrated world-building. Information about history, culture, religion, even the way they keep time is part of a subtle background hum that smoothly enhances the stories without distracting from the characters or emotional impact.

So far, I've read "The Thief's Gamble" and "The Swordsman's Oath" and am going to soon be starting the next two (the fifth and final of the series is due out in US paperback in December.) She says she's just sent off the second MS of another series set in the same world to her publisher, so I'm looking forward to many hours spent in her universe.

I've been loaning them to friends, and so far everyone who's read them has loved them.
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Jason Erik Lundberg
Posted on Monday, July 14, 2003 - 12:17 pm:   

Okay, I finished Nemonymous 3 and Trampoline and now am directly in the middle of Kalpa Imperial by Argentinian author Angelica Gorodischer, translated by Ursula K. Le Guin. It's a review copy, out from Small Beer in August, and is really fantastic so far; one of the chapters was a separate short story in Starlight 2.

I got my reading list for grad school today and yeesh. Seventeen books between two classes. For American Romanticism is Hawthorne, Emerson, Thoreau, Melville, Whitman, and Poe. For Literary Postmodernism (which I'm really going to enjoy) is Barthes, Blanchot, Beckett, Wright, Geyh, Forche, and Rushdie. Whew.
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Laura Anne
Posted on Monday, July 14, 2003 - 02:14 pm:   

Just back from blessed vacation, wherein I read:

THE NIGHT CREW by John Sandford. Ehhhh. Was hoping for more connection with the characters, as I've liked his other books.

THRONES, DOMINATIONS by Jill Patten (I think that's her name) and Dorothy L Sayers. Sorry I waited so long to read this -- Ms. Patton does Ms. Sayers' legacy honor.

DEATH MASKS by Jim Butcher. I love Jim Butcher. I also love his writing. Harry Dresden is far more fun than Harry Potter.

and, of course, HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX. Parts of it were excellent. Overall, nowhere near as enjoyable an experience as the first four books. Nothing really wrong with it, just badly in need to some tightening, and some plot-rethinking, and for god's sake stop that character from being dumb for the sake of the plot!

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Liz Williams
Posted on Tuesday, July 15, 2003 - 02:58 am:   

THRONES, DOMINATIONS is very good. I keep meaning to look up some of the author's other detective fiction - she's done a series in which the detective is a female don at Cambridge.

Coincidentally, at the weekend, I bought her next one, which is also a Lord Peter novel and is based very loosely on Sayers' notes. It's set during the war. I haven't read it yet, though.

Agree on the HP. I enjoyed it, but I felt somewhat cheated at the end.

On the recommendation of Mr Caselberg, I've also just read James Lee Burke's JOLIE BLON'S BOUNCE, which was terrific. A truly evil bad guy - one of the worst I've ever encountered in detective fic - and some of Burke's descriptive passages do that 'shiver-at-the-back-of-the-neck' thing for me which is always a sign of great writing. I'm now intending to read some more.

And have been re-reading Douglas Coupland's MICROSERFS, which is a funny, geeky read with a heart.

And (family visit last week, so lots of time spent reading) one of Susan Howatch's novels about the Church of England, which I really enjoy in a kind of anthropological way, not being a Christian. Lots of theological debate which, for some reason, I find interesting when she presents it.
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Tuesday, July 15, 2003 - 07:47 am:   

Wow -- lots of good recommendations. I need to read some James Lee Burke, even if I'm not a huge mystery fan. Everyone has been singing his praises.

I'm working my way through the YEAR'S BEST SF still, and also reading Mark Siegel's novel in manuscript, THE BIG BURN, which is a set in 1945 or so, featuring Raymond Chandler, reporter Nieson Himmel, Alan Ladd, and lots of cameos by other real people, including hilarious bits with L. Ron Hubbard. Good stuff. And it's a mystery, even. With a dragon. :-)
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Jason Erik Lundberg
Posted on Wednesday, July 16, 2003 - 02:19 pm:   

Was down with a cold today and finished Kalpa Imperial. Gorodischer has the same playfulness of the language as such other Spanish-speaking magic realists as Borges, Marquez, and Saramago. It's translated by Ursula K. Le Guin, and is just incredible. I'll start M. John Harrison's Viriconium next.
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Friday, July 18, 2003 - 10:58 am:   

Ooh, I may have to borrow VIRICONIUM off you, Jason, one of these days. Soon as I finish the latest YEAR'S BEST and THE SCAR, maybe...?

Enjoyed the hell out of my friend Mark's novel THE BIG BURN, and gave him more feedback than he probably wanted on it. L. Ron gets blowed up good at the end of the book -- hope I'm not giving too much away there. Heh heh heh.
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John Klima
Posted on Friday, July 18, 2003 - 11:15 am:   

Just started THE IMPOSSIBLE BIRD last night. I'm a third of the way through it. Glad I have a copy of the THE GIFT on my sheld, as that would be next.

JK
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Jason Erik Lundberg
Posted on Friday, July 18, 2003 - 11:42 am:   

Sure Mike, though it's over 500 pages, so it may take me a little while. It's the Gollancz Fantasy Masterworks omnibus edition which collects all of the Viriconium novels and short stories. I was pretty lucky to find it at a used book sale in Singapore, since it was the only copy there. I'm at the beginning of The Pastel City at the moment, and it seems like a good progression from Kalpa Imperial.
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Mike
Posted on Friday, July 18, 2003 - 11:47 am:   

No worries Jason -- it'll take me a while to get through YB SF and SCAR. I'm slooow.
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Andreas Black
Posted on Thursday, August 07, 2003 - 07:08 am:   

Picked up two ARC's at Trinoc-con. Singularity Sky by Charles Stross and Wyrmhole by Jay Caselberg. I'll read them in that order. I'm already 30 pages or so into the Stross novel.
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Jason Erik Lundberg
Posted on Friday, August 08, 2003 - 05:40 am:   

I took a mini-break from Viriconium last night and read the first chapter of Time Gifts by Zoran Zivkovic. Wow. I'm so impressed by that one single chapter, and glad to see that Prime and Ministry of Whimsy will be publishing a bunch of his books next year.
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John Klima
Posted on Friday, August 08, 2003 - 06:59 am:   

Just finished THE GIFT, THE ERYE AFFAIR, IN SPRINGDALE TOWN and HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX. Enjoyed all for different reasons.

I'm not sure whether I liked THE IMPOSSIBLE or THE GIFT better of Mr. O'Leary's books. They were both great. ERYE AFFAIR wavered between brilliant and just good for me. I don't know if I'll read the next book. I thought the villian wasn't quite there in his descriptions.

If you haven't picked up Mr. Wexler's book, you should do so. It's extremely vivid and complex. It's actually a novella, published by the fine folks at PS Publishing, but it's fantastic.

HARRY POTTER, well, I'm a fan. I think Rowling, despite other flaws in her fiction, really has the kids down. She does a wholly believable job of aging these kids one year at a time and having them grow and expand in the crazy way kids do at that age. (remember being 11? 15?) I felt the end of this last book was a let down because I had been so pumped up from previous action. But, some really cool things happened, and Harry in the book reminded me a lot of myself at 15 (angry angry angry angry!!!) so taht got frustrating as I felt I had to watch all my own stupidity happen to someone else and I kept shouting to the book: you don't have to do it that way! <sigh>

At least being on this board gives me 8,000 books to read while the next POTTER is being written. I'm currently reading A TREASURY OF ROYAL SCANDALS, which gives an overview of all the messed up things going on with the royals of Europe up to early 20th century. Not very in-depth, but my knowledge of much of its contents is specious at best. More importantly, it provides a whole bunch of family trees and timelines for European/Russian nobles, so that's cool.

JK
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Liz Williams
Posted on Sunday, August 10, 2003 - 09:25 am:   

On holiday, read:

George R R Martin's A GAME OF THROWNS, which I got in a goodie bag at a con some time ago. Fat Fantasy isn't really my thing, but I very much enjoyed some of Martin's earlier stuff. Alas, I did not take to this one - a very standard voice, I felt, and only a few passages with the detached and otherworldly quality that I liked about a lot of his previous work. But for a 12 hour bus trip, not bad.

Also read Connie Willis' BELWETHER, which I did like.
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Liz Williams
Posted on Sunday, August 10, 2003 - 09:26 am:   

D'oh! I meant: Thrones.

Jetlag doth strike.
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Mike
Posted on Thursday, August 14, 2003 - 08:44 am:   

Started re-reading CHINA MOUNTAIN ZHANG this week, just to immerse myself into Maureen McHugh's nicely imagined future setting. What I really love about this book is how it shows people actually working and trying to get by, just like in our day, but in a future full of wondrous things that they just take for granted.

Like the kite-racing. Damn, I love the kite-racing!
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Tuesday, September 02, 2003 - 11:04 am:   

Ah man, I've been tearing through Mieville's THE SCAR this past week, and I can't wait to see how it ends. His plotting skills have improved tremendously, and the story seems to unfold organically from his characters and their motivations, which I'm finding quite pleasing.

And damn if the world-building isn't AMAZING.

Shoulda won the damn Hugo.
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Jason Erik Lundberg
Posted on Tuesday, September 02, 2003 - 12:09 pm:   

It is an amazing novel. See why I kept bugging you to read it?

Over the weekend, I finished Palahniuk's Diary, and read all of Jeffrey Thomas's Punktown. I'm currently halfway through the ARC of Caitlin Kiernan's Low Red Moon, and am really going to have to read something more upbeat next, lest I hurl myself off a building. Three fairly horrific books in a row takes its toll, you know?
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John Klima
Posted on Tuesday, September 02, 2003 - 12:17 pm:   

As much as I liked THE SCAR, I liked HOMINIDS that much more.

JK
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Tuesday, September 02, 2003 - 01:40 pm:   

Really, John? I've not read any of Sawyer's stuff, I must say. Isn't HOMINIDS a sequel?

Yep, Jason, you were right. Silly me for waiting. Now I just have to find time to finish the last 100 pages!!!
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John Klima
Posted on Tuesday, September 02, 2003 - 01:55 pm:   

Nope. HOMINIDS is the first book, then HUMANS, then HYBRIDS. I hadn't reaed much of Sawyer's work before this either. I don't want to say much about THE SCAR before you've finished it, but the ending left me lacking. Mieville's world is impeccable and brilliant, in my opinion the storytelling needs some work. Sawyer's book kept me thinking long after I finished it. I'm looking forward to reading the other two books (now that HYBRIDS is out), but I have so many other things to read (like EV submissions and PUNKTOWN) before I can get to them.

JK
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Jason Erik Lundberg
Posted on Saturday, September 06, 2003 - 04:44 pm:   

I didn't really have a problem with the ending of The Scar, but I won't spoil it for Mike by saying any more about it.

Finished Roland Barthes by Roland Barthes this weekend, along with the excellent and heartbreaking Low Red Moon by Caitlin Kiernan. A friend of mine at work loaned me Aura by Carlos Fuentes, and I'll probably plow through that tonight before starting Blanchot's The Writing of the Disaster for my pomo class.
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Sunday, September 07, 2003 - 05:43 pm:   

Okay, so I'm finally done with THE SCAR. After burning through most of it on my week off, I had to FIGHT to find time to read this past week, and polished it off tonight.

I wonder if my break of a week affected my reading of it, but I did feel a bit of a disconnect with the final section, as they travel to The Scar. I liked how he handled the finale, turning us away from the Scar instead of going into it, but that last section felt a bit rushed.

Overall though, damn, that was a kick-ass read! The plotting and characters and world were well-done and memorable, and it's easily the best book I've read in a while. A bit in need of some tightening -- it could've been more effective at 100 pages fewer -- but some nice writing and beautiful descriptions.

So... John... What were YOUR issues? :-)
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John Klima
Posted on Monday, September 08, 2003 - 05:51 am:   

A lot of what you've noted at the end. The whole setup was so fantastic that the last 100 or so pages were very anticlimatic for me. I also felt that the whole plot with Fennec was left unresolved and forgotten by the time the book ended. And I kept wanting more with Uther. The whole end felt unresolved, like the story wasn't wrapped up right/correctly. I was aghast at the end of Perdido; I hated how that book ended. I wanted Lin to be OK, but that wouldn't make sense and would diminish the power of what happened to the city if she came out unscathed.

I realize that life doesn't wrap itself up neatly, but I'm not reading life, I'm reading literature. I want an ending that feels like a resolution from something the size of THE SCAR, and I didn't get it. I think the duality/multiple reality part of the Scar could have been played up more at the end than it was. With the way the book ends, I feel like it just trails off because everyone was tired and now they want to get some rest.

Now, I will buy his next book and read it with eager anticipation. I think in a book or two, Mieville will write something mind-blowing. Bas Lag is amazing. I guess my frustration at the ending of these books is that I want more about this world and the people in it, and now I have to wait.

Does that all make sense?

JK
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Liz W
Posted on Monday, September 08, 2003 - 06:35 am:   

I wanted lots more with Uther. Hope he revisits this aspect of his world.

All I'm reading at the moment is MZB's GHOSTLIGHT, which is a decent light read, actually, and reasonably interesting for anyone who knows about the late 20th century occult scene. Am lining up Wen Spencer's latest, also Harry Turtledove's (hanging out with Roc editors, see).
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Monday, September 08, 2003 - 07:25 am:   

John -- I agree with you completely, except for the disappointment you had with PERDIDO's ending. I didn't like the ending, but it worked for me, as awful as it was.

I thought the whole conclusion to the chase with the critters who took Fennec away was tacked on and could've been integrated better with the whole plot. He just had a TON of different plots going on, and I liked that.

And yeah, man, more with Uther Doul. That guy was fantastic. Get me my perhapsadian!!! I feel a song coming on!
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Liz W
Posted on Monday, September 08, 2003 - 07:31 am:   

Start messing with the probability fabric again, Mike, and you'll be hearing from me...
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John Klima
Posted on Monday, September 08, 2003 - 08:10 am:   

Reading PUNKTOWN from Jeffrey Thomas, then onto TRAMPOLINE. Finished A TREAUSRY OF ROYAL SCANDALS. Lots of fun. Same guy just put out A TREASURY OF AMERICAN SCANDALS, which I also picked up. Then there's a whole bunch of magazines and short fiction anthos I want to get through, but a new Lemony Snicket is due out in a few weeks, so that may throw the whole schedule in the bucket.

RE: Perdido, in the end, I've resolved myself to the ending. I was just so mad at the injustice done to Lin and I wanted her to be OK and know that everything was going to be OK (I can be very much a loyal dog, you've stomped on my foot, but everything's OK, right?) but that just wasn't the case. My heart broke for the two of them, if not what Mieville was going for, at least a reaction he can be proud of. I cared enough about his characters that I wanted them to go off happily ever after into the sunset.

JK
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Tuesday, September 09, 2003 - 06:33 am:   

I just started reading Gaiman's STARDUST last night, thinking it was YA, right up 'til the sex scene! Doh! Great stuff, though. Gaiman's the man. I've yet to come across anything he's written that hasn't resonated with me.

His story (from the Tori Amos tourbook) in the most recent Year's Best Fantasy and Horror was quite nifty as well, and made me want to road-trip 'round the country, in search of Scarlet myself.
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Liz W
Posted on Tuesday, September 09, 2003 - 07:46 am:   

Hmm, there's a tour book? I thought Scarlet's Walk was a fantastic album. A guest of mine has managed to lose the CD, however. Aaargh! Never have guests.
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Tuesday, September 09, 2003 - 08:52 am:   

Liz -- I'm guessing you had to buy it at a concert. I was at her concert a few weeks ago here in Raleigh, and she was good, but too many of the songs ran together and sounded same-y.

I listened to SCARLET'S WALK non-stop while I was drafting my Blackbeard romance novel. Great stuff. "Some Sort of Fairy Tale" is classic Tori Amos.
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Mary M
Posted on Monday, September 22, 2003 - 10:02 am:   

At the moment I'm reading One Hundred Years of Solitude, and there's nothing I can say about how wonderful it is that hasn't been said before, I'm sure, so I won't be boring and rave about it. Before that, finally leapt into HST with Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, which I couldn't put down until it was done, hysterical stuff. Immediately before that, it was Choke by Palahniuk, which wasn't as good as Lullaby but was still damn good, although Palahnuik gets extra bonus points from me for living in Portland.

Next it's The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov, I suppose, C is sort of pushing that I read it, but I tried the first few pages and it didn't grab me. Has anyone else read it? Please tell me it picks up.
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barth
Posted on Tuesday, September 23, 2003 - 12:54 pm:   

mary,

i really dug The Master and Margarita and would recommend you finish it. but then, i read it 15 years ago, when there was still a USSR, so that may have been part of the mind-blowing element, knowing that something like M&M could come out of stalinist russia.

certainly, there are far crazier works of fantastic lit out there.

barth
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adoring fan
Posted on Tuesday, September 23, 2003 - 01:18 pm:   

Electric Velocipede #5--good times, natch.
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John Klima
Posted on Tuesday, September 23, 2003 - 01:54 pm:   

Reading Jeff Ford's THE BEYOND. Started yesterday and I find myself suddenly halfway through it.

JK

PS-it's nice to see my fans!
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Wednesday, September 24, 2003 - 03:06 am:   

Man, some good suggested reads here. Mary, thanks for the reminder that I need to read 100 YEARS of SOLITUDE. I started it a few years back and wasn't ready for the magic-realistic style (this was back in my Raymond-Carver-induced minimal days, I've recovered finally, I think).

On a whim, I broke down yesterday and bought a book -- I've been holding off until I get caught up on my To Be Read pile. Bought Gaiman and company's ENDLESS NIGHTS graphic novel. Great stuff -- the Death tale is wonderful, though the Desire story felt a bit rushed. Haven't read more, yet.

Now I need to track down the other 8 Sandman trade paperbacks I'm missing. That's what I get for giving them to friends....
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barth
Posted on Wednesday, September 24, 2003 - 09:03 am:   

i just finished THE MARTIAN CHILD, by david gerrold. highly recommended story of gay man adopting a son. also, THE MAN WHO FOLDED HIMSELF by the same author.
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Jason Erik Lundberg
Posted on Wednesday, September 24, 2003 - 10:08 am:   

Am having to put fun reading aside for a while and delve into Hawthorne. The Scarlet Letter and The Blithedale Romance need to be both read in two weeks. Give me strength.
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Mary
Posted on Thursday, September 25, 2003 - 12:52 pm:   

I have the last Sandman but I haven't read it yet. When I went to buy them at the store, besides the fact that the entire series together is something like a million dollars, they didn't have number one so I only got the last one, and I can't bring myself to read them out of order. It's been sitting on my shelf untouched for about a year now.

One Hundred Years is fantastic. I read so much horror and fantasy that I barely notice the magic realism, 'Oh yeah, a flying carpet, need to get me one of those.'

I have a tome of Hawthorne packed in a crate in Oregon that I haven't read yet, but I seem to recall reading an excerpt of The Scarlett Letter in high school and enjoying it.

Barth, thanks, I will definitely get back to The Master and Margarita (especially since it's about the last book in my to-be-read pile).
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Jason Erik Lundberg
Posted on Thursday, September 25, 2003 - 01:30 pm:   

I absolutely hated The Scarlet Letter in high school. I also hated Beowulf but got a new appreciation for it in college. We'll see if I have the same reaction again; I like many of Hawthorne's short stories.
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Jason Erik Lundberg
Posted on Tuesday, September 30, 2003 - 10:28 am:   

Read The Scarlet Letter in four days, and did, in fact, enjoy it this time. Now that I knew just what the hell was going on, I could appreciate what Hawthorne was doing, and the ending was way more suspenseful than I remembered.

I was going to move to The Blithedale Romance (also by Hawthorne) next, but have a position paper on Salman Rushdie's Fury on Thursday, so I started that one last night, and it's really good so far.
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Jason Erik Lundberg
Posted on Wednesday, October 01, 2003 - 10:44 am:   

Oh sweet mother of all that is good and pure, I am just flattened by Fury. Rather than repeat myself, here's what I have to say about it.
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Laura
Posted on Thursday, October 02, 2003 - 04:26 am:   

I just finished a harrowing history book called: "War Against the Weak" by Edwin Black. It's a history of the US/UK eugenics movement and about all of the corporate sponsors (Rockefeller, IBM etc) who helped bring it to Germany in the 1920's - 1930s.

I was moved to use ethnic-hatred (along with the self-perception of charitableness) in a couple of bioterror stories I'm working on.

It's a very well done book for those interested in real-world horror (as I read in a couple of other threads).

Laura
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Mary Madewell
Posted on Sunday, October 05, 2003 - 09:21 am:   

Finally finished One Hundred Years this week, damn that's a thick book. Worth it though, an excellent read. I read The Color Purple in an afternoon sitting on Thursday and ended up closing the book in tears, the good kind. For the ladies, that one is highly recommended however it struck me as very much a woman's story so the gents may not like it. Now I'm reading Speaks the Nightbird by McCammon, wonderful work.
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Jason Erik Lundberg
Posted on Monday, October 06, 2003 - 11:03 am:   

I read The Blithedale Romance in two and a half days, and will be starting my seven-page paper on it momentarily. I also read six short stories for another class (four for critique). To cleanse my palate a bit, I read a few more stories in Tim Pratt's new collection Little Gods (which I am reviewing later this month) before bed last night, and a few stories in a back issue of The Third Alternative today while waiting for the bus. Whew. I'm waiting for my brain to collapse.
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John Klima
Posted on Tuesday, October 07, 2003 - 10:34 am:   

Just started QUIN'S SHANGHAI CIRCUS. Weird book. Can't wait to see how it wraps itself together (or doesn't!).

JK
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Jason Erik Lundberg
Posted on Tuesday, October 14, 2003 - 10:29 am:   

To my bewildered surprise, I'm actually ahead on reading this week. I needed to have Benito Cereno by Melville read by Friday and am already done, as well as The Body Artist by DeLillo by today, and did that Sunday morning. I don't have any other reading assigned this week. Something feels amiss about this. So I'm going to read Poppy Z. Brite's The Value of X (which is very good so far) as quickly as I can. I finished Tim Pratt's Little Gods this past weekend, and will be reviewing it soon.
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Mary Madewell
Posted on Thursday, October 16, 2003 - 10:16 am:   

I finished Speaks The Nightbird and it was very good, but I did find all the constant little mysteries annoying. It felt too much like a 1699 New World version of a Sherlock Holmes adventure, without Watson. McCammon is a helluva writer though, and his skill makes it one to read even if you don't like mysteries.

Reading Cryptonomicon at the moment, and will probably be doing so for about a month (it's enormous). What I've read so far has been extraordinary, though, Neal Stephenson is a genius.
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Saturday, October 18, 2003 - 05:32 am:   

Finally getting around to reading TRAMPOLINE. Some good stuff so far -- McHugh, Fowler, Butner. I liked the Butner best, just for the devil suit. McHugh and Fowler were good stories, but more like creative nonfiction, maybe? Still, good stuff.

I'm worried about the Greer Gilman. I tried 20 times to read her "Jack Daw's Pack" before giving up.
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Jason Erik Lundberg
Posted on Monday, October 20, 2003 - 11:04 am:   

I had a problem with the Gilman story as well, and since I was reviewing the anthology in a hurry, I had to just skip it. A novella with that dense kind of language would have taken a substantial amount of my time to get through.

The Value of X was truly excellent. Those of you who have stayed away from Poppy Z. Brite's fiction because of its extreme splattery nature will most likely enjoy the new direction in which she's going. I managed to get a copy of the Subterranean hardcover (which, I believe, is the only version in existence) for only $10 during a "rumple sale" (though I couldn't see anything wrong with the book at all). Unfortunately, it's now sold out, but her new novel Liquor (which follows the same characters) will be out in March.

Between two plane rides and down time in the hotel room this weekend, I managed to read nearly all of Album Zutique #1, which is phenomenal. I liked Jeffrey Ford's and KJ Bishop's stories in particular. Plus, it fits perfectly in the inside pocket of my jean jacket. Fantastic portable fiction.
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Mary Madewell
Posted on Tuesday, October 21, 2003 - 10:30 am:   

Took a break from the Cryptonomicon after an ill-timed trip to Borders, and am now deeply entrenched in Wicked, The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, by Gregory Maguire. Has anyone else read this? I'm curious as to the reactions of other people at the new twist on Oz. It's a wonderful book, but it seems at times almost blasphemous and I find myself having a hard time wrapping my head around some scenes without a cringe. I love the original stories and this is almost like the tv show where they revealed how magicians perform their magic. It's like a glimpse behind the scenes of the Wizard movie, at the dirty reality of Oz they never told you about.

Anyway, it's good.

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Jason Erik Lundberg
Posted on Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 01:03 pm:   

The Angel of History by Carolyn Forche, and Northern Gothic by Nick Mamatas.
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Jason Erik Lundberg
Posted on Friday, October 24, 2003 - 10:46 am:   

Now The Etched City by KJ Bishop. I'm hoping to get a big chunk of it read this weekend, before leaving for DC. I read the first chapter last night, and am so hooked.
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Mary Madewell
Posted on Saturday, October 25, 2003 - 09:47 am:   

Back to YA country with the first volume of Artemis Fowl by Eion Colfer.

Harry Potter he ain't but Artemis has his own charms, such as pale, vampiric skin, an evil smile, and a conscience that dictates his crimes be somewhat humane. I don't know that I agree with the book's politics, but it's a fun read and I had to finish it in one sitting.

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Liz W
Posted on Saturday, October 25, 2003 - 10:25 am:   

I'm reading Wen Spencer's BITTER WATERS, which is a rattling good read. Now that the very complex backstory has settled down, this series is shaping up well.
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Monday, October 27, 2003 - 01:16 am:   

This thread has been getting really long, so I've added a continuation to this thread called Now Currently Reading. See ya there!

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