lapis_lazuli022: (magicbook)
Me: There's very little fantasy in this book at all, except that yetis are real.

[livejournal.com profile] hbergeronx: What's the plural of yeti? Is it yeti? Or yetis?

Me: I think it's "....Run!!!!!"
lapis_lazuli022: (Default)
If I were to suddenly take an interest in pleasure-reading and were to look for book recommendations, what would you recommend to me?

I like science fiction, hard sci fi, cyberpunk, steampunk and fantasy, but I like literary fiction, historical fiction and mystery too. I like magic, but even more, I like a sense of the magical. (A Trip to the Stars. or Holes. Holes is plenty magical, even though there's no actual magic in it.)

I don't like whiny, or 'when bad things happen to stupid people', or rape, or cities being blown up. I don't like 'airport fiction' mindless pageturners or churned-out series with four hundred books in them. I don't mind vampires, but please no sparkly ones.

I like Gibson and Stephenson and Melissa Scott, but not Bruce Sterling. I like Clive Barker but not Stephen King. I like J.K. Rowling and Philip Pullman and David Eddings, but not Mercedes Lackey. I've been told I'd like I(a)in Banks, but I have no idea where to start.

I'm a tough customer, but you know me, and we probably have common interests. Any suggestions?
lapis_lazuli022: (Default)
Courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] engrish and other various places:

Chinese Alphabet Blocks of doom.

:D
lapis_lazuli022: (read)
The Well-Tempered Plot Device by Nick Lowe

linked by [livejournal.com profile] ijon

Really renders sci-fi and fantasy writing down to its plot skeletons, and not kindly. A very interesting and amusing read.

But actually, it's not always necessary for the author to put in an appearance himself, if only he can smuggle the Plot itself into the story disguised as one of the characters. Naturally, it tends not to look like most of the other characters, chiefly on account of its omnipresence and lack of physical body. It'll call itself something like the Visualization of the Cosmic All, or Seldon's Plan, or The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy, or the Law, or the Light, or the Will of the Gods; or, in perhaps its most famous avatar, the Force. Credit for this justly celebrated interpretation of Star Wars belongs to Phil Palmer; I'd only like to point out the way it makes sudden and perfect sense of everything that happens in the film. "The time has come, young man, for you to learn about the Plot." "Darth Vader is a servant of the dark side of the Plot." When Ben Kenobi gets written out, he becomes one with the Plot and can speak inside the hero's head. When a whole planet of good guys gets blown up, Ben senses "a great disturbance in the Plot."
lapis_lazuli022: (read)
I'm reading Doctor Illuminatus. It's one of the books I yoinked from a giveaway box and put on my shelf, and then promptly forgot about.

It's not bad. The exposition is a little heavy-handed, and it's your typical "parents move into an old house and a former child resident involves the kids in wacky hijinx"™ plot, but it's the older brother that makes the book worth reading. He will occasionally, just out of nowhere, come out with some really bizarre shit.

Case in point:

Sister:
"And what was all that about living in a dangerous time and having to be certain of us? When he stared at us, I went all goose pimply."

Brother:
"Look, when a teacher stands in front of the class, glares at you and says, 'Right, who shoved a pencil up the classrom hamster's bottom? Own up or else,' you feel like that, don't you? Even though you didn't do it, and you know you didn't do it, you still feel squirmy. It's the same thing."
lapis_lazuli022: (flower)
    The sky was a ragged blaze of red and pink and orange, and its double trembled on the surface of the pond like color spilled from a paintbox. The sun was dropping fast now, a soft red sliding egg yolk, and already to the east there was a darkening to purple.

    They drifted for a time. The bullfrog spoke again, and from behind them, far back in some reedy, secret place, another bullfrog answered. In the fading light, the trees along the banks were slowly losing their dimensions, flattening into silhouettes clipped from black paper and pasted to the paling sky. The voice of a different frog, hoarser and not so deep, croaked from the nearest bank.

      from Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

The Giver

Feb. 20th, 2004 12:27 pm
lapis_lazuli022: (owl)
This morning, I read The Giver by Lois Lowry.

I know it sells well, but I didn't know anything about the actual story. I didn't even read the back cover. I think I enjoyed it more because of that. Sometimes the plot needs to be a complete surprise.

It's a quick read - I started it this morning at the bus stop, and finished it before nine. I admit I was drawn in more by the world Lowry created than by what she eventually did in that world, but still.. what a powerful little book! I've spent the morning thinking about it, and feeling strangely moved.

I've written before about the difference between children's books that are enjoyable to children and children's books that transcend age level and are just good works of fiction, all-around. This book is certainly one of the latter. It's no surprise that the cover sports a Newbery Award badge.
lapis_lazuli022: (Default)

...but Tanya Grotter.

The font is even similar to the US Harry Potter "lightning bolt" font.

I understand that the similarities couldn't be ignored in this case, but going forward... I'm wondering what this means for the future of teen wizard stories.

Yes, Harry's pretty widespread these days. If Rowling, et al, are going to continue to be litigious, will it be possible to write anything in the genre without being accused of being derivative?
lapis_lazuli022: (Default)
The book cover for Harry 5 has been released.

image within, for those who are interested in such things :)  )

It's kind of a departure from the tone of the previous covers, and likely indicates a shift in the tone of the book, as well.
lapis_lazuli022: (Default)
"How To Spell Nearly Everythign"

[sic]
lapis_lazuli022: (flower)
Have you ever been in the presence of someone who was truly outstanding in a field that was your career or your passion? I just got back from a talk given by such a person.

Arthur Levine, editor, publisher, and the man credited with "discovering" Harry Potter and bringing it to the American audience.

You never know if someone's status is given or earned, or if it's affected their personality and ego, until you really listen to them and watch them interact with others. Before today, all I knew of him was that he's always pleasant and says good morning to me. Today confirmed to me that he's genuine and sincere, grounded in reality, intense, deep, and brilliant, and even a bit shy when talking about himself, without any of the inflation of ego one might expect to come with his station and circumstance.

He has an intuitive insight into the things that make the human condition what it is, and how to resonate with that via the written word. He is fascinated by literature that speaks to the "flawed, complex beings that we are as children", rather than the simplistic and immature creatures that adults tend to imagine children to be.

The Talk )
lapis_lazuli022: (Default)
A title, and a typo.

Title: "The Mouse Butcher" ...er, light meat or dark?

Typo: "The Wino in the Willows" ...*hic*
lapis_lazuli022: (Default)
The plagiarism lawsuit against J.K. Rowling has ended. Author Nancy Stouffer, who claims to have published tales of Larry Potter and Muggles in the mid-80's which she says were the inspiration for Rowling's blockbuster series, has been dealt a double blow: not only has a judge ruled that Rowling's Muggles are sufficiently different from her Muggle creatures as to not infringe upon her intellectual property or cause confusion (she could show no documentation beyond her own testimony that such confusion ever existed!), but she has also been charged with fraud for presenting falsified documents and testimony to the court, and ordered to pay a fine and a portion of Ms. Rowling's legal fees, amounting to a total of $50,000.

But on the bright side... if she's very, very lucky, maybe she'll get detention with Professor Snape. ;)

full story after the cut )

book review

Mar. 6th, 2002 06:24 pm
lapis_lazuli022: (Default)
I just finished reading Enchantress From the Stars by Sylvia Louise Engdahl.

I was reading it for work. One of the editors knows I'm into sci-fi/fantasy stuff and had been recommending it for ages.

Review within )

more books

Feb. 14th, 2002 08:25 pm
lapis_lazuli022: (Default)
I only stopped in The Strand, and I ended up talking to someone in the British History section and never made it to the rest of the shop.... but I did pick up a few books.

These are probably only of interest to Juamei: :)

* Roman Towns in Britain by Guy de la Bedoyere
* Atlas of Prehistoric Britain by John Manley
* Stone Circles of the British Isles by Aubrey Burl

and The English Pub by Michael Jackson (probably not *that* Michael Jackson though, eh?) because it looked interesting. Flipping through I noticed that it had lots of photos of pub signs, and a discussion of several pubs that each claim they're the oldest in England. :)

Add this to the Ackroyd book and the Cohn book, two travel guides, an atlas and an A-Z, and I think we may need to allocate a section of our bookshelves soon.
lapis_lazuli022: (Default)
I suppose I should probably write something about my reactions to the film, since I was so excited about going to see it. :)

spoiler-free comments within )
lapis_lazuli022: (Default)
"Nose Pickers from Outer Space"

Add my job to the list of things that can always cheer me up! :)

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