Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The new Kazuo Ishiguro book, Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall, comes out in a couple weeks...in the UK. Here in the U.S., we have to wait until too long from now for it. Seriously: Want. Bad enough to consider the cross-ocean shipping charges. Which, er, I just checked, and are surprisingly not horrible. As in: under a thousand pounds. Okay then! In any case, here's a profile that makes me want the book even harder. As if such a thing could be reckoned.

(And we know the real cost kicks in when the American copy comes out and I can't resist buying it, too. Hrm.)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Onion A.V. Club is starting an online book discussion group; the first title up for discussion is Katherine Dunn's Geek Love. I'd say this sort of thing has been done before and has failed before but judging by the fact that the debut post has racked up about a kajillion comments makes me wonder if maybe it hasn't and if maybe it won't.

The discussion starts May 11. Maybe I'll check in, if I'm not watching Star Trek for the fourteenth time that day.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009



(And actually I can't seem to find any other references anywhere to this new Stephen Dixon book? And Fantagraphics does comics? What's going on here?)

(And I still need to go get the Gaitskill book which is already out. It's a sad state of affairs when I am too busy to go to a bookstore to buy a book I want to own. Crap.)
I'll go on record as saying that I loved Battlestar Galactica start to finish. But I'll also go on record as saying that things like this basically confirm for me the fact that the follow-up prequel series Caprica is going to be a horrifying trainwreck doomed to last about four episodes. Dear creators, producers, and every other person involved with this scourge: the Law and Order people called, they want their newest spin-off series promo photo back.

(To be fair, the last time I made the Four Episode Prediction was against The Big Bang Theory, so clearly I know ass-all about anything. But still! "Fatcoat, Cheekbones, and Chindivot, Attorneys at Law"!)
There is a certain pleasure we take in thinking about how bad it gets, Sartaj thought, and then in imagining how it will inevitably get worse. And still we survive, the city stumbles on. Maybe one day it'll all just fall apart, and there was a certain gratification in that thought too. Let the maderchod blow.

- from Sacred Games by Vikram Chandra

So I've started reading Sacred Games by Vikram Chandra, because that is what I do now, between bouts of not blogging for weeks at a stretch, between going to work all day and making madness out of clothespins at night; I decide what I really need to go off and do is get myself wrapped up in 900+ page crime novels set in India. Or just, well, long books, really. Between the short ones. When I think I'm going to just read short things for a while. That's usually the moment I decide I need something reliable, trust-worthy, dependable. Oh, gods, it's all I can do to not re-crack open Against the Day right now.

Anyways, Sacred Games, I'm 100 pages or so into it, and it's good. Textural might be the word I'm looking for. Good story, but not so much story that I lose it when I can't pick the book up for a couple lunch hours; so far, at least. There's a police man and the criminal he catches and the criminal's telling his life story from beyond the grave and now there's conspiracy afoot. So. Good detail, good scenery, good to be reminded that shit's crazy wherever you go. Good little bits of melodramatic yet not over-the-top text like the quote above. It's, you know, fun to read. Which I like right now. Fun. Reading. Books. Now and then. When I can.

Just a couple days ago I finished The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell. I sort of like her. A lot. It says something when I can say that a book about Jesuits going off to space might not be for the weak of heart. But there you have it.

Monday, April 06, 2009

There's a new story from Stephen Dixon up at Urbanite. It's called "Mr. Greene" and it appears to be many normal-people sized paragraphs instead of one Stephen Dixon sized paragraph. If I doubted I was going to read it sometime shortly after I finish this post, the opening paragraph would have put those doubts in a pipe and smoked them:

It was a beautiful day, clear and dry, the orchards soaked by the early-morning downpour and smelling of fallen fruit and fresh buds. Life fantastic, I thought, when something hard was shoved into my back and a voice said don’t turn around.

Also, looks like new book-format material is on the way:

Stephen Dixon has published twenty-seven books of fiction, fourteen novels, and thirteen collections of short stories. His next, a three-volume story collection called What Is All This?, is forthcoming from Fantagraphics Books.

Granted I still haven't read Meyer (though I will) nor have I read like 90 percent of what he's published, but, you know, still: exciting!