June 1st, 2003

bear by san

May reading--

How to be Your Own Literary Agent by Richard Curtis (nonfic)
Useful, especially for the breakdown on what contracts are and what they do. Clear, well-written, and concise.

Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan (sf)
A first novel: I'm 180 pages in and I'm not sure I'll finish this one, although I might look for his next. It's got some lovely writing on a sentence-level, eyekicks and vigorous language and so forth, but there's not a lot of narrative structure to carry the story through and I don't feel as if the writer is tossing enough cookies to the reader. I'm losing interest because while he keeps adding mysteries, he's not resolving or developing the existing ones, so there's no sense of layering or continuity for me, and the narrative feels as if it moves from sex scene to fight scene to torture scene without each developing from the previous.

Tamsin by Peter S. Beagle (modern fantasy)
Wanna be Peter Beagle when I grow up. Sigh.
Okay, more seriously: gorgeous sentence-level writing and emotional depth, especially in the first third of the book. Beautiful characterization of a cast of assorted characters, and a richly developed world built with a light and masterful hand.
The resolution may be a bit thin.

Woebegon Boy by Garrison Keillor (litfic)
Not much narrative to this one--it's mostly a series of vignettes building the character of the narrator: a sort of slice-of-life of a middle-aged man who's doing all right by society's standards and not so well by his own. I admit Keillor's use of observation, fabulous reality, salient details. I thought it kind of ran out of narrative energy at the end.

Science Fiction 101Robert Silverberg (ed & commentary)
Classic SF shorts of the New Wave and a bit earlier. Some very good stuff.

Still reading:
Six Easy Pieces by Richard Feynman (Physics lectures)

Children of Cthulhu (John Pelan & Bejamin Adams, ed.) (Horror shorts)

Prisoner of Conscience by Susan R. Matthews (Sociological SF)


In addition to the reading I do in my slush and on the OWW Orkshop, of course: I'm currently following several novels on the OWW, but I'm slowing my critting down for a while, and my only writing currently is the nonfic project. And my slush just went away for three months, as A&A enters summer hiatus.

So I expect my books read pile to subside somewhat, and to have more to report come end of June.

Yay summer vacation!
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    Tanita Tikaram - songs from several albums
bear by san

In other news--

We're spending the day at the movies.

Little Nemo and the remake of The Italian Job.

An improvisational double feature! It's very nice to be able to do things other than writing and editing. Things like goofing off.

More when I return.
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    fatboy slim - weapon of choice
bear by san

Two movies

No waiting.

So we saw The Italian Job and Little Nemo In Underwaterland (okay, Finding Nemo, whatever) today.

I was pleasantly suprised buy The Italian Job. It's not the world's best movie, but it's a solid heist flick, with some textbook scriptwriting (the way the main characters are introduced and established in the first ten minutes or so is masterful), but someone--probably at the studio level, I'm guessing--didn't have enough faith in the audience to be intelligent and figure things out from being shown them--so instead we get told things we were already shown. Repeatedly.

Finding Nemo?

Well, it was there. It was cute and all, and it had some great moments, and the animation was gorgeous... but mostly it was there.
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    Eighties Night on a local radio station