Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Monday, December 12, 2005
I had four months of terminal leave pay at lieutenant colonel rates starting in September of 1945, ending in January 1946. I wrote eight hundred thousand words of short stories in those four months, tried to keep thirty of them in the mail at all times, slept about six hours a night and lost twenty pounds.800,000 in four months! Holy crap!
Friday, December 09, 2005
Thursday, December 08, 2005
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
The more I look at Kage Baker's fine new novel, "The Children of the Company," the more disheartened I am by its cover art. Tell me, why is Patrick Stewart's disembodied head hovering above the swarthy, berobed gentleman? (You can tell this is the future, because all the buildings lack square edges.) This illustration gives no hint of the historical sweep of Baker's funny and suspenseful tale.
Compare it with the cover of her "Black Projects, White Knights," from Golden Gryphon.
Which would you be more likely to pick up?
In my capacity as a book reviewer, I see a lot of bad cover art, not always from small publishers who can't afford better. Below are two of my recent favorites, both featuring giant reptiles. I kind of like the evil iguana with the glowing green orb. He's really choking the bejeesus of that poor guy, isn't he? But the snake sitting on the throne? Why would a snake, albeit a presumably royal one, want a throne? And what does he do with the mirror? Check for food stuck in his forked tongue?
I know nothing about the quality of either of these books. They both could be masterpieces, I suppose. But those covers, man, they just don't do them any favors.
Monday, November 28, 2005
Monday, November 21, 2005
And while we're on the subject of superlatives, it's distressing how the best comedy on television can be canceled while "The War at Home," "Yes, Dear," "Joey" and "According to Jim" are still stinking up the airwaves.
Friday, November 18, 2005
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
Thursday, November 10, 2005
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Monday, November 07, 2005
Thursday, November 03, 2005
Thursday, October 27, 2005
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Friday, October 21, 2005
Sometimes it sure seems like I'm living in a Philip K. Dick novel.
If anyone had asked me a week ago whether I had ever read "The Great Gatsby," I would have unhesitatingly answered in the affirmative. Sure, sure -- Nick, Daisy, Tom, Jay, Long Island, American Dream, the optometrist's sign, the garage owner with the gun, boats against the current borne ceaselessly into the past. I know the drill. I definitely had to read Fitzgerald's "Tender Is the Night" in high school, but I remember reading "Gatsby" on my own initiative during college, probably during a summer vacation when I was working horrible hours for the U.S. Postal Service.
So why, as I read "Gatsby" this week, did it seem familar in outline but completely new in most of its particulars? Granted, it has to have 25 years since I last picked it up, but shouldn't I have recognized more from it -- Owl-Eyes, James Gatz's befuddled father, the queasy depiction of the Jewish gangster? Why did the novel seem like a completely fresh reading experience?
Have I been fooling myself all these years and never read more of "Gatsby" than the Mad Magazine parody of the ill-fated movie starring Robert Redford and Mia Farrow? What other books am I deluded about?
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Also, The Royal Court Theatre has announced that it will produce "Rock 'n Roll," a new play by Tom Stoppard, to be directed by Trevor Nunn.
Friday, October 14, 2005
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Olympos,The Big Over Easy, WE3
Magic for Beginners, From the Files of the Time Rangers, Promethea Vol. 5, Old Twentieth
Peeps, The Lightning Thief, The Dance of the Assassins
Eldest, Anansi Boys, Fledgling
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
In the Night Room, The Stupidest Angel, Hawke's Harbor
Going Postal, The Dry Salvages, The Originals and 1602
The Family Trade, Reflex, Old Man's War and Bone
The Mysteries and Market Forces
Phantom Nights, Here, There & Everywhere and Heart of Whitenesse