Things like this make me happy.
Sunday, April 30, 2006
I'm currently busy with finals and the post-graduation job search. When I get through these I will begin my posting blitz. Until then, here are some websites that may keep you busy:
Posted by David U. at 8:22 PM
I am now officially holding a promotional book/movie viewing for Jeff Vandermeer's new novel Shriek due out in August! I'm so excited. As many of you may know, Jeff Vandermeer is my favorite author of all time. He is also a writer that I believe everyone should try at least once. So read his work! And come to the party if you're around Philadelphia in August. We will be watching the movie that was produced to supplement the book. And as a bonus, I will be wearing a giant squid costume for your amusement.
I'll be posting updates here, and sending out mass e-mails in August.
Posted by CC at 12:15 AM
Saturday, April 29, 2006
Because my list of favorite books for kids is going to be really long, I have decided to post it in several segments. So here’s the first part. Tell me what you liked as a child, and I’ll include it on the next post!
1) The Westing Game – Ellen Raskin
Old Sam Westing is dead! Sixteen heirs have been collected for his estate. Is it a coincidence that they all live in Sunset Towers across the lake from the old Westing mansion? And what about the accusations old Westing is making beyond the grave? Did one of his heirs really murder him? Ellen Raskin is the one of the best mystery writer for children out there. What surprises me is that the book is no less delightful to me as an adult. If you were not lucky enough to read this as a child, its not too late! Also makes a great gift for a child…if you can pry their little hands off the remote control/video game controller/cellphone.
2) The Twenty-One Balloons – William Pene du Bois
Professor William Waterman Sherman has finally retired from a life of teaching tiresome schoolboys. Now he wants to spend a year up in a hot air balloon traveling the globe. He starts out in the Atlantic with one balloon, but ends up in the Pacific, thirty days later with twenty-one balloons! People who watch/are obsessed with Lost should read this book. Why you ask? Read it and find out!!
3) The Phantom Tollbooth – Norton Juster
Get into the Phantom Tollbooth and leave your drab and dreary life for the realm of Dictionopolis. At least that’s what Milo does one boring, rainy afternoon. What’s not to love? Going on a quest to save Rhyme and Reason with you best pal, Tock the watchdog is my idea of the perfect afternoon.
4) Harry Potter – J.K. Rawling
Figured that if I didn’t mention this, a couple of you would probably beat me to death with your magic wands while chanting "die blasphemous muggle, die!".
5) The Encyclopedia Brown Series – Donald J. Sobol
Best mystery/puzzle books that I can remember from childhood. Much better way to spend the afternoon than reading one of those choose-your-adventure books. If you have the complete set and would like to sell them, talk to me!
6) Sideways Stories from Wayside School – Louis Sachar
I loved Wayside school!!!! Its weird how as a kid you don’t realize how odd and demented some of these stories were.
7) Bright Shadow – Avi
This book poses incredibly somber issues to children. What would you do if you were made the guardian of three wishes? What if there was a catch? This book had a powerful impact on me as a child. Avi always provides a great read.
Friday, April 28, 2006
I was making a list of top fantasy/sci-fi novels for a discussion board, and decided that I would post a list of my all time favorite fiction here too. I’ll update with lists of fiction and children’s books in the upcoming days.
1) Veniss Underground – Jeff Vandermeer
Retelling of Orpheus' trip to the underworld, except Orpheus is an engineer going into hell to save a woman that has been disassembled for parts, and Hades is a scientist name Quin who’s got monkeys with human faces sitting in display cases that are bioengineered into his chest. Veniss Underground may not seem like everyone’s cup of tea, but its intelligent, and moving, and ultimately it’s about how we relate to one another. Plus its got meerkats!
2) Ender’s Game – Orson Scott Card
Ender’s Game seems to have universal appeal (I haven’t met many people who dislike the book). It has a special place in my heart because it was my first introduction to good science fiction. It’s also standing testament to how an author can write something beautiful, and later churn out crap because he’s sold his soul to the publishers. If you like anything after the Ender Quartet, don’t speak to me because you will be in for a 20 minute rant on why I hate Bean and why none of the “alternate” history makes any sense.
3) Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
If you don’t like it the first time around, give it a second chance. If you don’t like it the second time around, then you’re obviously a stupid and rather humorless dingbat.
4) Cities of Saints and Madmen – Jeff Vandermeer
Cities of Saints and Madmen is a labor of love and perseverance from the author. Besides being an amazing experience to read, it also appeals to the bibliophile in me. The book (hardcover version) is a work of art. If you find House of Leaves appealing to you on an aesthetic and experimental level, you will appreciate this book. Also for a month after reading this, I was really afraid of mushrooms and squid
5) Balzac’s War – Jeff Vandermeer
This isn’t a novel, but it’s my favorite short story of all time, and deserves to be on any of my lists for favorite writing. This takes place in the same universe as Veniss Underground.
6) Waking Beauty – Paul Witcover
Waking Beauty is fantasy at its most decadent. It’s hard for me to believe that any one person could have the mental energy to imagine and commit all that happens in this book to paper.
I really don’t know how to summarize this book, so I lifted a quote from some editor on Amazon.com “This visionary debut spans the uncommon range of Anne Rice's voluptuous darkness, Salman Rushdie's literary provocation and Quentin Tarantino's violent hipness”.
I’m not sure whether I agree or not, but its as good as anything else that can be used to describe this novel. Read it and find out what its all about!
Thursday, April 27, 2006
I was browsing infinity plus today, which is one of the top websites for sampling authors in anything science fiction, fantasy, or horror. The site is chock full of reviews, interviews, not to mention an extensive archive of short stories and excerpts from some of the best people in the genre. It's a great way to find out who you'll like, and who's writing you wouldn't want to touch even if you had smallpox and the book was covered in the vaccine.
While browsing the webpage, I ran across a excerpt for a book called Fuzzy Dice by Paul Di Filippo. I read the excerpt, and then went straight to Amazon.com, shelled out ten dollars and bought the book. This was a big move on my part. I'm usually one of those people who puts books on wishlists and then promptly forgets about them for a couple of years before actually committing to a purchase. But two paragraphs into Fuzzy Dice, I knew I had to have it.
The story is breath-takingly weird, even for me. Fuzzy Dice somehow manages to dish out some pretty heavy science, and at the same time, be the most entertaining thing I've read in ages (I think it has something to do with the metaphors of the universe as an infinite plate of spaghetti among other things). What cinched the deal was the cover, which I found extremely sexy. I'm sure it won't strike most people that way. But there you have it. So now I'm eagerly awaiting it's arrival in the mail. The review will come shortly after I get my hands on the book, but in the meantime I highly suggest you check out infinity plus.
Posted by CC at 10:04 AM