Thursday, January 20th, 2011 | books, fantasy | No Comments
During some more long rides to Denmark I started listening to “The Hobbit” and got through the first volume of The Lord of the Rings trilogy “The Fellowship of the Ring”.
All read by Rob Ingliss, I find him an excellent reader who renders voices and accents for the characters very nicely. I find his reading gives me the feeling of an epic story – well, I already know the epic scope of the story having read it several times. Very enjoyable, rendering the poetic parts as well as the terror parts of the story very well. Powerful reading.
Tolkiens reinvention of the mythical story is, of course, another part of the attraction for me. In my view he is one of the great story tellers of the 20th century.
On later travels, I look forward to listening to the two final volumes – again. Oh, the joys of having an MP3 player in the car, since I find the radio channels on the way either boring or unnerving.
Tuesday, June 15th, 2010 | awards, books, fantasy, scifi | No Comments
I have mainly known Paul Cornell from his stories in the Doctor Who universe (“Father’s Day” and “Human Nature/Family of Blood”). his is my first Cornell story outside that.
Nice to see that he is nominated in two categories this story is best Novelette and also in the graphic story category – mor about the graphic story later.
This one starts nicely out, the protagonist, a security officer is confronted with a mystery at the wedding of the princess.
The story has a slight surreal feel, but at the end it is quite consistent. So we have got mystery, betrayal and a good wrap-up.
Two more novelettes to go, and for now my choice is between this one and the Eugie Foster one
Sunday, June 13th, 2010 | awards, books, fantasy, scifi | No Comments
The story uses the premise of an office/organisation for eliminating the “supernatural”. even if the “magic” they perform is done with mathematics and logic.
The build-up in this story felt long drawn and the conclusion too short, and not as surprising as I had expected.
OK story for me
Saturday, May 22nd, 2010 | awards, fantasy, scifi | No Comments
Finally I decided to become a “supporting member” of Worldcon2010 (Aussiecon).
This means that I have been downloading the “Hugo Voter Package” with the majority of the material nominated for the Hugo Awards. When unpacked this amounts to a whopping 700MB, including 5-6 each of Novels, Novellettes, Novellas and Short Stories, as well as a fair bit of Fan and pro magazines, fan and pro artworks.
Last year I started out with reading the novels ( the short stories had already been listened to as podcasts ) and I think that was somewhat of a mistake, since I never got to anything shorter than the novels (apart from the short stories) before the time to vote had come.
This year the plan is to go the opposite way, so I started looking at the:
Fan Artist category in the package :
Brad W. Foster,
Steve Stiles and
All were nominated for graphics art in different styles, except David Howell who designed the base for the 2009 Hugo award.
David Howell will be my choice of Fan Artist for the Hugo Awards 2010. I like the design a lot and I think he deserves to be recognized for the work he did.
Will I be disappointed if someone else wins ? Not at all, this just reflects my preference.
Friday, September 18th, 2009 | books, fantasy, film and tv, scifi | No Comments
As a preparation for the voting for the Hugo Awards 2009 I downloaded the package of material from their website, and listened to some the short stories on a variety of podcasts, and watched what I could easily get hold of.
There was not enough time to read the rest of the material.
This is what I got to see or read before voting :
Dramatic presentations, short form :
Doctor Who : ‘Turn Left’
Doctor Who : ‘Silence in the Library’/'Forest of the Dead’
Battlestar Galactica : ‘Revelations’
I would have liked to see more, especially ‘Doctor Horrible’s Sing Along Blog’ . I was not aware that the DVD version from the US was Region Free, so missed out on that one. I will have to get it some time
Dramatic presentations, long form :
‘The Dark Knight’
Charles Stross : Saturns Children
Neil Gaiman : Graveyard Book
Cory Doctorow : Little Brother
John Scalzi : Zoe’s Tale
Short stories (audio podcast format) :
Ted Chiang : ‘Exhalation’
Michael Swanwick : ‘From Babel’s Fall’n Glory We Fled’
Mike Resnick : ‘Article of Faith’
Kij Johnson : ’26 Monkeys, Also the Abyss’
A bit of info on my preferences will follow when I get to the different categories.
I still have some novellettes and novellas on my reader that I will want to read, but at the moment I am busy reading a much older Science Fiction story, EE ‘Doc’ Smith’s ‘Lensman’ Series
More details when I get to watch/read more of the stuff, and a few more thoughts on the stuff I am reading/watching
Sunday, November 23rd, 2008 | books, fantasy, podcast, scifi | No Comments
A weekly podcast all about the written word in SciFi, Fantasy etc.
Most of the weeks this show is hosted by Mike Mennenga and Mike Stackpole. Both have written books, Stackpole just “a few” more, including some New York Times bestsellers.
For now I have read just one of his books (Star Wars: “I, Jedi”) and two short stories. I like them, but more about that later.
General discussions about books and publishing can often, to me at least, be quite interesting. It looks like we are going to see a shift in publishing the written word similar to what we have seen in the music industry. Actually it has already started. Ebooks are becoming common, and ebook readers are seriously coming now. Amazon has the Kindle, Sony has a reader, and the iPod Touch has a set of ebook reader packages available, some are free, some not. On the other hand, paper books are not going to disappear overnight, there is something about having a *real paper* book in your hands.
I do have an iPod Touch, more about that at a later stage
Every week has an interview with an author, publisher etc.
Finally, the library segment, where they talk briefly about books that have been sent to the studio, and an occasional book review.
In the last episode I listened to there was an invitation to submit content about book publishing, more reviews etc, so I expect to listen to a more varied podcast in the future.
This is one podcast I expect to stay in my iTunes subscription, I particular like that Mike and Mike sound like they are really enjoying doing the show, apart from it being informative and entertaining.
Wednesday, November 12th, 2008 | books, fantasy, novel, scifi | No Comments
That is the question.
Since the job requires a lot of reading, mainly technical, I have been reading less than I did when I was growing up. At thet time I was considered a “book worm” – eating stories by the page …. most of it science fiction. The first major fantasy work I read was the classic “Lord of the Rings” (no introduction necessary).
After moving to The Netherlands and having my present job I got to read less, but found more science fiction on video/TV, in the beginning Star Trek TNG, later much more.
I did read the occasional Star Trek and Star Wars book, but not much more, and sometimes had a series of books.
The first series I “discovered” was Raymond E. Feist’s “Riftwar Saga” which I loved. After one or two more sequel series the interest waned, and I have not read the later ones.
About 5 years ago a friend in Denmark introduced me to Anne McCaffrey’s writing. As a birthday present I received “Dragonflight”, “Dragonquest” of the “Dragonriders of Pern” series and the first of the “Acorna” series. Out of those I like the “Pern” series the best, but the other one is not bad at all. This lead to another bout of reading for me, then another hiatus.
In between all this came the “Harry Potter” series and I found that it appeals to the child in me as well as the more grown-up.
About a year ago I was talking to a friend I had not seen for a while. When I mentioned the blog and he heard the keyword “science fiction” he interrupted me and asked “You interested in books ?” well – yes, a few days later he arrived with 5 shopping bags full of books in the scifi and fantasy genre. I ended up with about 70 new titles – a considerable increase of my sf/fantasy book collection, some of which I may never get to read.
It looks like I am going to take a bit more time to do some reading, probably some short stories and an occasional novel. (Remember what I said the other day – time is a limited resource). Actually I have started this, having read a few novels lately. Some of the podcasts I am listening to are scifi/fantasy stories/plays, so I do get some fiction “reading” done. Listening to a podcast while walking to and from work sure beats trying to read a book in the traffic .
Saturday, December 22nd, 2007 | books, fantasy, scifi | No Comments
Count me lucky.I just got a really good early Christmas present.
I talked to a friend of mine on the phone the other day and mentioned my interest in scifi, and he promptly said he probably had something for me. He had collected a pile of books for an English speaking lady in Denmark, but it turned out most of it was SciFi, and she was not really interested. But they both thought that the books should find a home and not simply be dumped. So I received 4 shopping bags full of SciFi/Fantasy books, about 100 books by authors like::
Tad Williams, William Gibson, Bruce Sterling, Asimov, Heinlein, Alfred Bester, Stanislaw Lem, Michael Stackpole (Fortress Draconis), Frederik Pohl, Joe Haldeman, Robert Jordan, Larry Niven, Greg Bear, David Brin, Philip K. Dick, George R.R. Martin, Kim Stanley Robinson (the full Mars Trilogy) and more …
Most of the books I did not have already, so a very neat addition to my collection. Many of the books were even unread.
Another bag had some “normal” classic stories from Alexander Dumas and others.
Wow for an early Christmas gift! Now for finding some new shelf space.
I wonder when I get the time to read all this …
Merry Christmas to all who celebrate, and a Happy New Year 2008.
Monday, December 17th, 2007 | fantasy, film and tv, novel | No Comments
After a pause the posts begin again. Time has been a bit crazy, both at work and at home.
Yesterday I went to see “The Golden Compass” at the movies.
The movie is based on the first novel in Philip Pullman’s “His Dark Materials” trilogy “Northern Lights” – also known as “The Golden Compass”, a fantasy adventure story.
The orphan girl Lyra , played by Dakota Blue Richards , sets out to save a friend kidnapped by the Gobblers, something that happens frequently, the children never returning.
Since I have not (yet) read the novels, I can not compare the movie with that, this may come later. After all a movie is never the same as the book it may have been made from.
I liked the movie , found the story captivating. The spiritual (some may say religious) aspects of the film were well treated and came through with a good balance. just that you know – I distinguish between (organized) religion (dogmatic beliefs in texts) – and spirituality (wisdom coming from within – the soul ?)
From the creepy Christopher Lee – and Nicole Kidman for that matter, to the support characters it is well played, including the very young Dakota Blue Richards. Special effects are made to tell the story, not effects for the sake of effects, making the film a pleasure to watch.
The universe Pullman has created is rather different from ours – yet has so much in common.
Very recommended for young and old alike.
Thursday, August 16th, 2007 | books, fantasy, reviews | No Comments
Stephen King has nice article about the Harry Potter books here where he critisizes the critics reviews of the latest book of being made on a very hasty reading of the book in order to be first to publish a review.
The hasty reviewers , according to King, do not get the full benefit of the book by such a fast reading. I tend to agree.
Further he talks about the appeal of the books to children and adults alike, and stresses the develpoment of the main characters from children into young adults as an advantage of the books , the young audience grew up with the characters. Good point.
Finally he noted the magic of the books that keeps the children interested in reading, clearly showing that the (paper) book is certainly not dead, even in this age of electronic media.
Read the article and decide yourself.
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