Jul. 27th, 2005 08:21 pm
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One of the slugs who'd left for the summer came by tonight to visit -- he was in the area doing some training thing for his job -- which of course has kicked me off to new heights of "aww, I miss everyone". Most of the gang won't be back till the end of August, but that's not stopping me from (somewhat-less-than-)secretly thinking "c'mon people, get back to slugfest already."

In other news, I read the latest Harry Potter and was unimpressed. On reflection I think it's because this one seemed to be very much a part of a series -- a few tricks picked up from the last book and tons of setup for the next one -- but I haven't read the other books in ages and it'll be ages before I read the next one (obviously, just like everyone else), so looking at it all by itself it just didn't do it for me. *shrugs* It's possible I just read it too fast. But I don't even feel the need to comment or speculate on INSERT HUGE SPOILER HERE. Huh.

On the other hand I did enjoy it more than Neal Stephenson's Quicksilver. I've really liked everything else I've read by him, but I couldn't bring myself to care about most of the book's huge, sprawling cast, and so it took me more than a month I think to slowly progress through the hundreds of pages till the end. I won't be reading the sequels.

This is where I should comment on a book I've really adored lately but none is coming to mind. Oh! I know, I read Cory Doctorow's three novels a week or two ago, and found all of them engaging and interesting both in terms of characters and ideas. Free downloads here -- yup, free, you can read about why there too -- go read, they're fantastic.
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Work goes well; I'm now on one of these "normal" sleep schedules which is rather odd after the whole school year of being decidedly collegey. Have acquired air conditioner because I'm a wimp who can't deal with Massachusetts summers even though this will be what, the nineteenth, twentieth time trying? Everyone who I laughed at when it was cold out and I liked it is now laughing at me, and by "everyone" I mean [ profile] beat_the_beaver. At least summer is only three months long, and winter is at least five, so I win in the long run. Mua ha ha.

Gina and I have been making our way through James Bond movies, with the goal of watching them all this summer. We finished The Spy Who Loved Me tonight, which I rather liked although I was terribly disappointed by their decision of which toothy character to kill off at the end.

Reading the [ profile] damnation_alley community has reminded me that Roger Zelazny is gone ten years today. I have a beat-up/well-loved Zelazny paperback on my desk that'll be superseding the library books for tonight right after I hit "update" on this in a few seconds.
godream: (Default)
Flu = yuck. Alternating between being freezing cold and boiling hot is not fun. Also it appears I'm too out of it to actually comprehend plot -- I've been making my way through Today We Choose Faces, one of the few Roger Zelazny novels I've not read before, and am having much more trouble following than I suspect I should. Ah, well, back to sleep, I guess...


Dec. 27th, 2004 03:19 am
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It seemed like the sort of book that actually does lend itself to reading all at once while curled up and quiet. Perks of Being a Wallflower rambling. )


Sep. 17th, 2004 05:33 pm
godream: (lamp)
[ profile] minttown1 had this challenge about a million years ago (read: in July) and I wrote something that sort of fit, kind of, and then it sat on my hard drive waiting for me to decide whether or not it sucked, and eventually I remembered it was there and decided it sucks a little bit but not too much. So. This is set in Roger Zelazny's Chronicles of Amber universe, and it probably won't make sense if you haven't read at least one of the books. (And if you haven't, you should, now.) Deirdre's POV, although keep in mind I haven't read the books in ages and about all I could remember about her was the scene in... Sign of the Unicorn, maybe?... where Fiona says in regards to an attempted assassination (I think) that it has to be one of the brothers, because "Flora lacks the brains, Deirdre the guts, Llewella the motivation, and I, of course, am innocent of all but malice." Or something like that. From which you can conclude this is not Deirdre the warrior princess. And maybe it isn't really all that much about her anyways. So if the disclaimers haven't scared you off... [568 words, untitled.] )

whee, books

Jun. 5th, 2004 06:23 pm
godream: (help! monarchists!)
A pretty depressing list, actually. I am SO shallow. )

I think even more depressing than the number of un-bolded things on that list is the number of underlines. OK, that and the fact that half of the bolds are courtesy of elementary school. :P
godream: (help! monarchists!)
So we're currently in the middle of the poetry unit of Creative Writing, which is turning out to be much less writing and much more reading. I don't have a problem with this, much, in and of itself. I love poetry, reading it as well as creating it, and some of the stuff the teacher has selected really appeals to me. We talked about Sylvia Plath's "Nick and the Candlestick", which I liked a lot. But why are we doing this -- and only this* -- in a creative writing class? She says because not everyone can write poetry.


Not true, dammit. Not everyone cares to put in the effort to write poetry, not everyone wants to try to channel their thoughts into that vein, not everyone thinks that way out of instinct, but IMHO, especially given the incredible range of possibilities of the form, anyone is capable of it. So what if it's hard? I think writing short stories is hard; it takes effort to come up with a plot and pace it in a halfway-decent manner. I'm sure somewhere out there there's someone who thinks writing journal entries is difficult, that there's a thousand easier ways to express your thoughts. And that doesn't mean it's not worth doing. Yeah, poetry can be hard, but that's part of what makes it rewarding, to write or to read. Get over it.

That said, I now have to go write the many prose assignments, having not yet "gotten over it" and figured them out. :P Not that this has *anything* to do with why I'm feeling a bit down about the class.

* Okay, we did one exercise involving cutting out all the 'unnecessary' words from a piece of prose and calling it an ode. Doesn't count.
godream: (Default)
So I'm typing (almost) all the Fountain pieces, and I think I've done them all. But nooo, I missed one. It's a really long one too, and I'm near the end, and then I realize: this is the one where I liked it mostly except for the last paragraph, where the author proceeds to neatly undermine the last two solid pages of imagery and pretty words, where I wince like clockwork at every period.

I think I deserve a medal for typing that paragraph anyways.

... Now on to layout. Whee.

nota bene -- I'm really not as bitter as I seem about this -- not bitter at all, actually, I just enjoy complaining.
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"Did you know?
The MIT Science Fiction Society Library is the world's largest open-shelf collection of science fiction."

Guys, I think I'm in love.
godream: (help! monarchists!)
So I saw someone a couple days ago talking about how the barcode tattoo on the cover of Jennifer Government did not, in fact, say what it should. I found this immensely amusing. Then I went and read the book anyways -- got it Thursday evening leaving work and finished it Friday night, because it's one of *those* books. The books where you know you're going to be a total zombie in school the next day, but it's okay if you can just finish this one more chapter before your eyelids lose the battle against gravity and sink shut.

I ended up reading a lot of the press on the afore-linked site before actually reading the book, including a couple deleted scenes -- it didn't mess with my enjoyment of the book or the twists of the plot much, if at all, except for the first one which is pretty spoileriffic. Anyways, it definitely piqued my appetite, so I highly recommend that you do the same. Er, the book? Oh yeah. I think the author puts it as "alternate present" -- not high-tech science fiction, but a time like now except for the minor detail that the world is ruled by corporations -- capitalism to the extreme. The plot is quick-moving and intriguing and all that jazz, and the author's cynical, satirical sense of humor is all over the place Reminded me of Paranoia occasionally.

Possibly even better is Max -- excuse me, Maxx -- Barry's other book, Syrup. It's a send-up of the marketing industry, ridiculous and sharp and hilarious, and everyone should read it now. My little sister is reading it at the moment, also finding it funny though she's not quite as cynical as I am. And, er, I'd give it the credit it deserves, but I kinda have homework to do, and I wanted to ramble briefly about one more thing.

I'm still in the middle of Gregory Maguire's Lost, and it's not grabbing me so much. Though it's full of wry insight and interesting turns of phrase, though the plot is at least a bit intriguing, I've been trying to drag it out because I'm writing about it for an English project thingie, and that's really detracting from my enjoyment of it. :/ I think I'll just finish it soon and then try to write all the assignments before every page vanishes totally from my mind... in theory, at least. It's not bad, and I haven't read any of Maguire's other books (which I'm told are excellent), but it's not quite what I expected upon picking it up and it's not quite what I'm used to, and oh the pain of expanding one's horizons. :P
godream: (Default)
Feeling pretty guilty about my last entry, and realizing that instead of whining I really should do something about it. But how does one politely say, "Hey, listen, it's obvious you're in desperate need of a halfway competent proofreader, and if you've no one else then I'll even do it, just for the sake of preventing the pain in the collective eyeballs of the school."

I suppose if I'm aiming for tact I should probably start by chopping off the whole last clause (or whatever it is) hanging off the tail end of that sentence...

In other news, while reshelving today I ran across the lovely book "Are The Kids All Right?" The subtitle on the cover was "The rock generation and its hidden death wish!" The exclamation point is my favorite part. From 1981, it's got all sorts of good stories about how sex and drugs and rock and roll corrupted my parents. Plus, it's from the author of "The Interrupted Journey: Two Lost Hours Aboard A Flying Saucer"! (And since it had to be reshelved, obviously someone else has taken it out lately. Huh.) Read a fair amount during the hour I was waiting to be picked up from work this afternoon. Evidently the reason my ride didn't show was that when my brother said he was leaving the robotics meeting to come get me, someone else said they'd do it. This someone else, who shall remain nameless, tells me they couldn't find the library because of some issues they were having with (quote) "the space-time continuum." Gotta say, that's one I haven't heard before...
godream: (help! monarchists!)
While reshelving today, I caught sight of the childrens' book Nightgown of the Sullen Moon -- I didn't get a chance to read it, since I was working, but I did flip through it. It seemed just as interesting and strange as the title would lead one to suspect. The real reason it caught my eye, though, is that there's a They Might Be Giants song of the same name, which I'd heard was named after a kiddie book. (The song actually comes up more than the book in a casual google search...) So it was pretty neat to see the inspiration for that.

In other news, someone (probably my mother) has got my school e-mail in their address book and whatever that new virus is. "Partial message available". Ha.
godream: (lamp)
I am very proud of myself for evidently being the first to list Nick Sagan as an interest. Yesterday at the library I picked up Idlewild from the new books section and glanced at the back. One of the blurbs called the beginning of the novel a cross between Amber and the Matrix. Is that the Amber I think it is? I wondered, flipped open the book and discovered that yes, it probably was. Then I looked at the back and saw that the aforementioned review was written by Neil Gaiman, and then I knew I had to get it.

So I've been very slightly neglecting exam study in favor of it, and, well, it's interesting. Very minor and very general baby spoilers ahead, barely spoilers at all really, but I figured I'd warn you. )

In spite of the overall tone that I think this entry has, I did enjoy the book. Enjoyable, interesting, and I don't think I've ever read anything like it. If you're a scifi fan, you should definitely pick it up. If only so I have someone to discuss it with. :)
godream: (Default)
I'll make up my own memething: which of the Hugo Award winning novels have you read? (The Hugo Award is, of course, one of scifi's most prestigious honors.) I was gonna put Nebulas here too, but there's enough overlap that I couldn't be bothered.

Not a ton, but better than I did on Rolling Stone's top 500 cds (duh), and so very many that I really mean to read, sometime, when I get a chance... )
godream: (help! monarchists!)
Disclaimer: Like all the best conspiracy theories, this one is blissfully unhindered by fact. I'm too lazy to doublecheck any of this in the book anyways. If it's all wrong, I'm sorry.

So we're told in the play that Duncan is a spectacular king and a great guy. Besides singlehandedly solving his land's problems, he also routinely helps little old ladies across the street and would never dream of kicking puppies.

That's what he WANTS you to think.

Sure, he's a great leader. Everyone loves him, and his kingdom hasn't been torn apart by his various evil neighbors (yet), though obviously they're pretty belligerent, given the war situation at the beginning of the play. His blatantly untrustworthy subordinates (see exhibits A and B, both thanes of Cawdor) have yet to knock him off the throne, though they all want it.

A guy this competent must have some intelligence, be somewhat canny. And it doesn't take too many brain cells banging together to realize that naming whathisface, Malcolm, as heir to the throne is pretty much painting a big fat target on his back. Duncan must have known this. Immediately before naming his son heir, he says something to Macbeth along the lines of "gee whiz, I can't thank you enough!" Macbeth is a hero in war; Malcolm a wimp captured by the enemy right off the bat. And Duncan, successful lord of a warring kingdom, must value valor at least somewhat.

So I'm telling you: by naming Malcolm heir Duncan is all but telling Macbeth to go kill his son! Really! He knows that Malcolm isn't really the top choice for a king and he wants to get his incompetent son out of the way without the scandal of ordering an assassination himself. I'm telling you, Shakespeare was implying it all the way. He was!

All right, do I need to move on to Hamlet or what?


Nov. 24th, 2003 08:40 pm
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Lady Macbeth didn't start sleepwalking until after she'd been an accessory to murder one. The onset of her insanity was after she'd done the crime, so it's no excuse.

So there, group number four in my Shakespeare class! Mua ha ha ha!

... I need sleep. I think I'll go to bed now. (At a whopping eight forty two pm. I really live on the wild side, huh?)


Oct. 20th, 2003 05:22 pm
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"The most famous plot device in recent SF is the Babel fish, the joke about which is that it's such an obvious plot device that it implies the existence of an author."

This article on the care & keeping of plot devices. made my day. Make sure (if nothing else) you read the bit about Stephen Donaldson -- it's part 2, or just search the page for "clench".

Also good: this excerpt.
"The time has come, young man, for you to learn about the Plot." "Darth Vader is a servant of the dark side of the Plot." When Ben Kenobi gets written out, he becomes one with the Plot and can speak inside the hero's head. When a whole planet of good guys gets blown up, Ben senses "a great disturbance in the Plot."


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August 2010



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