'literature' Archive

book report: Martin H. Greenberg and John Helfers (eds); Slipstreams

14 September 2007, 9:23 am
subtitle (or excerpt)

Pretty much ever since the genres science fiction, fantasy, and horror have existed as distinct marketing categories, there have been periodic movements seeking to un-define them as such. In the 60’s there was “The New Wave.” In the 80’s some bruited about the awkward, demi-hemispherist phrase “North American magical realism.” And more recently, an unruly […]

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This may take a while.

23 July 2007, 2:37 pm
subtitle (or excerpt)

Then again, maybe not.
I just requested Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows from my library. It doesn’t provide a lot of information on the queue structure, but it did tell me:

1106 holds on first copy returned of 428 copies

My first thought was “holy crud, 1106 holds!?” But my second, presumably smarter, thought is “holy crud, […]

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book report: Leslie What; Olympic Games

12 June 2007, 8:13 pm
subtitle (or excerpt)

It was Leslie What’s contributions to Small Beer Press’s pretty-much-mostly slipstream zine, Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet that made me really take note of her name. Her stories for that magazine fit what I think of as the general mode of slipstream (or interstitial, or new-wave fabulist, or whatever you want to call it) fiction.
My […]

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book report: John MacLachlan Gray; The Fiend In Human

4 April 2007, 8:02 pm
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I think the first time my friend Marty and I had a conversation about books, he said something like “I read classic literature [which gave us substantial common ground] and thrillers about serial killers.” [which didn’t much increase it] and he expressed a distinct lack of fondness for modern “serious” fiction.
We’ve spent plenty of time […]

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book report: Barbara Hambly; Children of the Jedi

10 March 2007, 12:06 pm
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I liked Timothy Zahn’s Star Wars novels a lot, even if they were a somewhat guilty pleasure. Many other people apparently liked them too, because LucasFilm and Bantam Spectra cooked up a chronology spanning some fifteen years after Return of the Jedi and found writers to fill it in with dozens of novels. The back […]

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book report: David Schickler; Kissing in Manhattan

15 January 2007, 8:11 pm
subtitle (or excerpt)

I’ve tried several times, unsuccessfully, to write about the fiction of Jonathan Carroll. It’s even difficult to articulate why it’s so difficult for me to write about Carroll. I’ve studied his technique and themes enough to learn something about them, but those easily-isolated surface attributes don’t explain Carroll’s bewitching power. This book — something less […]

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book report: Peter Dickinson; The Seventh Raven

2 January 2007, 6:07 am
subtitle (or excerpt)

An illustration of the power of context:
Lately I’ve been writing quite a bit about fantasy novels marketed to young adult audiences (probably to the dismay of many readers, but that’s beside the point for now). I was on the Amazon website perusing lists of people’s favorite young adult novels, and in a list with a […]

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book report: David Hewson; A Season for the Dead

17 December 2006, 6:42 pm
subtitle (or excerpt)

I’m a longtime fan of the Daedalus Books remainders house. I’ve learned about some of my favorite authors from their chatty, informative catalogs.
Every once in a while, though, I follow up a recommendation for a real dud. Hewson’s A Season for the Dead drew many comparisons to Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, because […]

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