Archive for Books

Robert Jordan: R.I.P.

Robert Jordan, the author of The Wheel of Time series of fantasy novels died of a rare blood disease yesterday. Fans around the world are cursing in rage and grief. Rage because he didn’t finish the series, leaving us forever hanging off a cliff, grief because we’ve lost a writer of incredible imagination and talent.

I’ll try to explain why it’s such a big deal that he didn’t finish the series. He started it in 1990 and by 2005 had completed 11 books in the series. The story is huge and encompasses the lives of upwards of a hundred characters. I haven’t done an actual count but there are a crazy number of people to keep track of in these books. By around book 7 fans were starting to get nervous, some angry, at how sprawling the story had become. Every book introduced new characters, leaving less time for the old ones. By book 10 the story’s progression had slowed to a molasses crawl. Everyone was frustrated because it was clear there were way too many loose ends to wrap up in even 1 more 800 page book. I think he was thinking he’d have it all wrapped up by book 14. When you’ve been following a story for 17 years, it’s a big deal. All of his characters died with him. Ugh.

I remember actually thinking during book 10 that Jordan had better not die before he finished this damn thing. I didn’t know he was actually ill. The problem was that even amidst the frustration of too many characters and slow plot progression, his characters were engaging and the story was fascinating. I can’t believe he didn’t finish it. He was working on book 12 so perhaps they’ll edit it into something publishable. It worked for Tolkien and I’m sure Tor Publishing would love to do it.

Robert Jordan is a pen name, by the way. I didn’t know anything about the man behind that name but I’ll mourn the writer.

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Vampire Porn

That title ought to attract some lovely hits. But hey, if you’re into what I like to refer to as vampire porn, then you probably already know about Laurell K. Hamilton. In a previous post I promised a review of her latest Anita Blake novel. If you read her last novel and felt disappointed, you’ll be less disappointed this time around. Edward comes to town and that’s always a recipe for a good time.

When I think of her earlier novels in the series (we’re on book 15 in the series) they seem so innocent. Anita was certainly more innocent in those earlier novels and a lot of readers had trouble making the transition to her not-so-innocent story lines. I believe around book 6 or 7 is when my friend and I started referring to them as “vampire porn.” That’s a lot of foreplay when you think about it. Books 13 and 14 however were too much porn even for me. I’m all for Anita banging lots of vampires but jeez louise, there’s got to be some sort of plot beyond her Catholic guilt and relationship angst. It’s supposed to be a hard broiled supernatural detective/crime series for goodness sake! Throw some unlikely, yet hot, sex in for good measure and it’s all good. Make the entire book about sex and the fact that these vampire and werewolves all have huge cocks and you get…yawn.

Here’s a random thought: let’s have Anita bang something that has a normal sized dick and knows how to use it. That would be interesting. Sorry, I digress.

Her latest novel, The Harlequin, is much more fun than either Micah or Danse Macabre. There are vampire politics and problems coming to terms with The Ardeur, not to mention some freaking resolution with Richard the werewolf, as well as a nice appearance by Edward and the Sick Fuck from a few books back. You know if Edward shows up, Anita is in some serious trouble and there’s likely to be a plot. But, in the end…it’s still vampire porn.

The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson – Coming Soon to a Television Near You

diamond.jpgI got happy news today from Iggi! The SciFi channel is doing a mini-series of The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson! George Clooney, of all people, is one of the producers.

Here’s an excerpt from the SciFi Wire press release:

Diamond Age, based on Neal Stephenson’s best-selling novel The Diamond Age: Or a Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer, is a six-hour miniseries from Clooney and fellow executive producer Grant Heslov of Smokehouse Productions.

“When a prominent member of society concludes that the futuristic civilization in which he lives is stifling creativity, he commissions an interactive book for his daughter that serves as a guide through a surreal alternate world. Stephenson will adapt his novel for the miniseries, the first time the Hugo and Nebula award winner has written for TV.”

There’s no release date yet, but I thought I’d help out with the buzz factor. I hope they do a good job with it!

Buffy the Vampire Slayer – Season 8

buffy1.jpgLately, I’ve been watching my DVDs of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, season 7. For seven years that show was a weekly ritual for me. Rewatching it reminded me of how much I still miss it. Imagine my joy when I heard that Joss Whedon (the creative genius behind the show) is doing Season 8 in comic book form! You can check out a preview of the first several pages of Issue #1 from Dark Horse Comics, due out in March. It looks really freaking cool!
TV Guide has a great interview with Joss regarding the comic books. Here’s an excerpt:

TVGuide.com: How many issues will there be? And how many are you writing?
Whedon:
The season should run between 20 and 30 issues, I’m guessing. It has, like the [TV] seasons did, an overriding story with an ending point. I’ll be writing the beginning, the first four, the last four, and I’ll definitely be doing some others. I have a bunch of other writers — comic-book heavies and former writers from the show — who are going to write the other issues. I’ll be overseeing the whole thing, and they’ve all got my giant mission statement about what the giant arc is about.

TVGuide.com: What is the giant arc about?
Whedon:
I’m not going to tell you that. But I can tell you that it’s about the ramifications of everything that happened in Season 7. At the end of the show, Buffy made every girl who might be a potential vampire slayer into a fully realized slayer with all the remembered history and powers, so she’s made a big change in the way the world works. The comic will be dealing with that when we pick up the story several months later.

Thank you Joss!

Goodness Gracious, Neil Gaiman Rocks!

I’m looking forward to when I can take the time to do a decent blog entry again! Work has been nuts so I’ve been trying to give my bloodshot eyes a break from the computer glare. I’m not sure reading is the best break, but it’s been good. It’s been over a week since my last show. I have no plans for shows this week. I may make it two weeks! I’m not clear as to why that’s a good thing, but it’s probably good for my ears.

eaters.jpg

I read Eaters of the Dead (the short novel upon which The 13th Warrior was based) by Michael Crichton last week. It was an entertaining read and seemed to be well-researched.

This week I’m reading Neil Gaiman’s latest book of short stories, Fragile Things. I’m not a short story fan infragile-things.jpg general, but for him I make the exception. If I had stories to tell, his are the kind they’d be.