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PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2009 2:00 pm 
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Just finished a second run through of "The Terrible Changes" by Joel Lane, and first reads of "Stairway to Hell" by Charlie Williams and "The Dead Room" by Chris Mooney, all of which are for Black Static review, so be sure to catch #13.

About two thirds of the way through "Rage" by Jonathan Kellerman, which was the latest Alex Delaware novel back in 2005 when it was published. It's slick and with all the Kellerman brand marks in place, and fun in a 'spending time with old friends' kind of way. And yet, these books are all starting to feel a bit routine by now - enjoyable, but no sense that the writer is stretching himself, let alone seeking to challenge the reader. Business as usual.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2009 3:09 pm 
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I'm in the middle of Rhys Hughes' Mister Gum. It's utterly filthy, in an very sweet and polite way! He's really demonstrated the paradox of the English language being at its richest when it comes to describing things we don't usually talk about...

I'd recently read also his The Smell of Telescopes and The Postmodern Mariner, and Twisthorn Bellow is next on the reading list. I'm a big fan of Philip Jose Farmer, so I'm expecting a very good time with that book.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 7:39 am 
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The Road by Cormac McCarthy. Good -- definitely better than the McCarthy novels I read back in the mid-90s -- but I'm not entirely convinced it lives up to the massive hype.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 9:38 am 
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Books, movies, etc are always better before any hype. (Or preferable when you haven't even heard of it.) Hype distorts expectation and makes it impossible not to be disappointed.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 11:58 am 
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Just finished Sycorax, by JB. Aspinall - wonderful, especially for the view of the area around Pickering - I know it well, although now I shall think of it as "Satan's own kingdom" :D

Just read All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque.

Now onto One by Conrad Williams - brilliant so far.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 2:13 pm 
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Ali_L wrote:
especially for the view of the area around Pickering - I know it well, although now I shall think of it as "Satan's own kingdom"

I camped near Pickering as a child; I do recall a lot of bats flying over the campsite. Should've recognised the signs! :wink:

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 8:57 am 
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More comics and comics-related stuff:

The New Frontier Volume 1 -- Darwyn Cooke. Reworking the history of DC superheroes to reflect America's post-WWII mentality is an old idea but Cooke's storytelling gradually drew me in. And the fact that he's operating outside regular DC continuity means that he can kill off characters who would normally be untouchable. Pity the book ends just as it's getting good. I'll have to buy Volume 2 now.

Captain America -- Random issues of Mark Waid's second run on the book that I picked up cheap yesterday. Enjoyable lightweight superhero romps lifted by the fact that Waid really has a handle on Captain America's character. Brave, honourable, idealistic, aware of America's flaws and possessing a genuine desire to make the country better rather than just duking it out with supervillains. Of course if supervillains start causing trouble he'll sort them out double quick but he does so without coming across as Rambo in spandex.

Impossible Territories: An Unofficial Companion to The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier -- Jess Nevins. Pointed out about a million literary references that I hadn't picked up on. (Also reread The Black Dossier but skimmed over the extracts from the actual dossier where Alan Moore apes Shakespeare, Wodehouse, Kerouac etc as I always thought these were the weakest parts of the book.)

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 9:23 am 
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I've just finished Neal Asher's new release 'Orbus' which is a Spatterjay novel that follows the progress of an Old Captain (Orbus) in his quest to rehabilitate himself after being involved in a bloodthirsty confrontation with the huge crab-like aliens (Prador). Unfortunately things don't quite work out as he hopes and the book really flies along as we follow him from one mishap to another. Great stuff, a must-read for any Asher fan.
There should be a more comprehensive review from me shortly over on the British Fantasy Society site when Chris Teague uploads it.

I've just started Stephen Hunt's The Court of the Air which is a Steampunk Victoriana-type of novel. So far so good but he does tend to use a lot of neologisms which is a pet hate of mine, however, I'm interested enough in the story to get over it and read on :)

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 9:53 am 
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Finally got around to reading Byatt's Possession and think it's wonderful - definately a book that deserved its hype (and prize). What I'm really really waiting for, though, is Joe Hill's next novel...


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 1:17 pm 
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Finished "Rage" by Kellerman, which was pretty much what I expected, good fun in a pass the time sort of way, and no real surprises. Now reading "The Fifth Victim" by Beverly Barton, which has a genuine psychic and a serial killer who is a satanist, so I reckon it's horror, even if marketed as a thriller.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 1:20 pm 
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Er... yeah, sounds like, Pete. When are publishers just going to put "Horror" back on their books?


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2009 4:55 pm 
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Just finished Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan. SF thriller set in a distant future where people can download their minds into other bodies.

Also Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Once More, with Feeling Script Book.

And I'm a couple of chapters into The Drive-In: The Bus Tour by Joe R Lansdale.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2009 8:29 pm 
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Nekropolis by Tim Waggoner

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2009 8:44 pm 
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Ross, did you finish "Slights"? If so, what was it like?

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2009 9:22 pm 
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^ Still reading it Pete. I'm about 350 pages in. The first person narrative style really reminds me of 'The curious incident of the dog in the nighttime' in that it portrays effectively the lack of social understanding of the main character. It's a bit of a grim book though so I'm mixing it with reading other things as well. I'm impressed enough that i'll be trying her next.

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