Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Concerning Books and Authors - Part 1

I am a voracious reader. I am always have at least one book going, sometimes more than one.

For instance, at home I am discovering Neil Gaiman with "Anansi Boys". Only about half way through, but I like him already. I will probably go on a Gaiman binge like I recently did with Peter F. Hamilton.

First Hamilton book I read was "Pandora's Star". Then I read pretty much everything he ever wrote while waiting for the sequel, "Judas Unchained" to be released. I still can't decide if he is really good, or if it's just mind candy. But I enjoy reading most of his stuff and that's all I really care about.

Dan Simmons is an absolute literary God. I will read anything he writes. Although, I think his "Ilium/Olympos" duo started out as possibly the most grandeous epic ever attempted, and ended with a "oh my god what the fuck have I gotten myself into and how do I get out of this with even a scrap of dignity intact." It was the only time he had ever disappointed me. Well, maybe "Hollow Man". But everything else, fantastic.

Orson Scott Card hit his stride with "Ender's Game", "Xenocide", and "Speaker For The Dead". Don't waste your time with anything else.

Chris Moriarty! Incredible debut with "Spin State". I had great hopes for the sequel, "Spin Control". Still haven't made up my mind. I read Spin State several times. So far, I've only read Spin Control once. But Moriarty is high on my watch list.

Time for supper. Thanks for stopping by. Let's do this again soon.


travelingal said...

Haven't read any of your authors. Just finished two of Vince Flynn's books..Consent to Kill and Act of Treason, quite a departure from my normal reading habits of books on antiques and collectibles...specially vintage jewelry.

Flynn is a good writer. Heard he consulted on this year's 24.

Janet said...

I love Neil Gaiman. Make sure you include Good Omens in your Gaiman binge.

emawkc said...

I take it the L. Ron Hubbard books were part of your spiritual journey?

Faith said...

Um, is that a mini Star Ship Enterprise (or whatever it's called) in the last picture? Holy cow...

I've never heard of anyone you mentioned. But I'm an English Lit fan, personally, so that might be my problem. Right now, I'm addicted to all things Elizabeth I. Hence the titles to my blog posts lately. (It's the way the chapters are headed in the book I'm reading right now - "I, Elizabeth.")

Thanks for sharin', man.

Xavier Onassis said...

Travel - Never heard of Vince Flynn, but I will check him out based on your say so. I trust your judgement.

Janet - I will definitely include Good Omens. I understand that there is currently a movie in production of his Stardust book.

Emaw - No. LOL! After I read "Battlefield Earth" and guiltily enjoyed it, it was recommended that I read this posthumous publication. Who knew that a dead guy could be so prolific?!? I think I suffered through 8 of the 10 volumes before I just gave up. But most of them are First Editions. Maybe I can sell them to Tom Cruise on e-bay and retire to Belize.

Faith - Yes, that's the Enterprise. On that same shelf and the one just below it you can also see a Star Trek communicator, a tri-corder and a couple of phasers.


On those rare occasions when I am NOT being a suave, sophisticated, debonair, international ManWhore, I'm a total fucking geek. A dweeb. A nerd.

Don't even make me go showing you my authentic, $300+ King Elendil helm from The Lord Of The Rings.

You don't want want to be around me come the Renaissance Festival.

It's a wonder I ever get laid.

Thank God my GF loves me.

Lets hope she never reads this.

Joshua Xalpharis said...

I have to disagree on one point. Orson Scott Card did hit his stride with the Ender series, but that is not the only example of his literary talents.

The Tales of Alvin Maker were just as well-written, in my opinion. I like Ender better, but I won't begrudge Alvin either. He also has a few others that are decent, but nothing spectacular.

travelingal said...

XO..If you like 24, you'll like his books. If you don't, you won't.

I may check out some of your authors too.

Xavier Onassis said...

travel - I've never watched an episode of '24'. Not even part of one.

When they first announced the concept for the show, that each hour of programming would be an actual hour in the timeline of the story, I was immediately apprehensive.

I was living in Richmond at the time and working in downtown KC. My first thought was, what if Sutherland's character is like me? The very first episode will be an hour of him driving to work, sipping coffee from a travel mug, listening to NPR, smoking like a chimney and flipping off stupid people!

Before I even got around to checking it out, I noticed the far right Bush-Zombies flocking to the show after 9/11. "Hell yeah!! Kill 'em all, let God sort 'em out! Fucking animals!"

Not counting you among them by any means. Please don't think that.

But I doubt that I would care much for the show if it promotes the idea that complex world problems have very simple, black & white and mostly violent solutions.

I can get all of that adolescent fantasy approach I can stomach just by listening to one of Dubya's State of the Union speeches.

I accept a more nuanced view that the reason that so many people in the world hate us is because we have consistently used a heavy handed, arrogant, hypocritical and military approach to achieving our blatantly commercial goals while trying to cloak it all in gaggingly transparent rhetoric about democracy and freedom.

Everyone sees through us, except us. We are the only ones who believe our own bullshit.

The rest of the world knows us for the greedy, power-hungry, oil-consuming, slash and burn, militarily dominant bully that we have proven ourselves to be for the past 60 years.

They see right through our crap.

The ones who pretend to see the world as we do are the ones who are just as greedy as we are and who know which side of the toast has the butter.

It would be refreshing to see an administration and a congress dedicated to actually changing course and living up to the ideals of the founding fathers and the expectations of the American people instead of furthering the hidden agendas of the lobbyists and the radicals.

I don't think we have one now. I'm just sayin'.

I'd like to see a long-term (at least 5 decades) dedicated effort towards changing our foreign policy and the way we pursue our goals.

The way to stop terrorism is to quit pissing in people's faces and then picking their pockets while they are blinded.

Trying to kill them all after we do that really doesn't further our cause.

I'm sorry, I seem to have lost myself in a rant.

Were you recommending an author?


travelingal said...

Actually, I think we have different reading

I understand what you're saying; however, if you think about it, there's always war..there's always been war somewhere in the world. As long as there is money and/or religion, there is war and therefore, there will always be war.

History repeats itself. This current mess is very reminiscent of Viet Nam. And since then, the U.S. has been friends with our current enemies and vice versa. Remember when we were friends with the Shah of Iran...Jimmy Carter took care of that. Reagan took care of Russia and soon after we were friends, until lately it seems. Republicans, democrats, it doesn't matter..

Back to Flynn, he's not for you. lol I think you'd enjoy my jewelry books more.

Nightmare said...

I think I have rad almost all of those authors and If you haven't read "American Gods" from Neil Gaiman yet. Do so NOW!

Aliverderchi said...

Sorry I couldn't resist commenting, Neil Gaiman's Sandman (Vertigo comics) series are great, and so is Stardust and Neverwhere.