…SF addict …

Friday, February 26, 2010

Watch out for flying Crab paste!

Finally, I get to read a Neal Asher book! I've been dying to get hold of one of these books for ages but my library never had any in, or if they did it was one novel and it didnt hang around, and I'd be already in the middle of a book so wouldnt get another book out. Yesterday though it all came together. Nothing reading and a trip to the town library. I'd checked on the library's website the night before and amazingly 3 novels were listed as On Shelf-could it be? Was my library actually going to prove useful?
Indeed  it was! The library had had a facelift with a new expanded SF section (listed as rack one:Science Fiction, rack two, Paranormal Fiction, rack 3 Fantasy etc, even though all the books were just listed alphabetically and by Dewey numbers.) Anyway, there at the start under A, was Aldiss, Asimov and Asher! Big bold hardbacks, 3 in a row (a third one was found on its own further down, the collection 'The Gabble and Other Stories' which I might just have to buy!) Eyeing up the weighty tomes I decided on the slimmest as an introduction to the man's work-reading time is precious and slim for me! And so I came out with Prador Moon, which as it turns out is the first in the Polity series, published in 2006!
I say I was tentative in choosing which one to read but having already read about Mr Asher's books in reviews on the SFF Chronicles forum, (he is a member there) as well as on Fantastic Fiction ,not to mention the author's blog, The Skinner, I felt pretty sure I wasnt gonna be disappointed, and after just one chapter I can happily report I was right! This is fast paced gripping stuff, very 'now', very big and very fun!
BTW, if you're wondering about the crab reference, well the Prador are described as large,crab like aliens, rather nasty in fact!
I believe things get a bit gory later on too-I shall report.....
Well, after 4 days I finished the book which is incredibly fast for me-just shows how un-put downable it is! Excellent story, will definitely be reading more by this author!
And yes, it got a bit gory ;)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

'My' town in print!

Earlier when reading a story in The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction (Solaris, 2007) called 'Third Person' by Tony Ballantyne I did a double take at the mention of my adopted town name:
"Hey!" he said, turning to the young couple at the next table. "Is that a north eastern accent?"
"Yes," said the young man delightedly. "We're from Darlington."
"What a coincidence! My grandparents were from Darlington. I used to go there as a child. Is that shop still there on the High Street? The one that sold all those nice sweets?"…
Well i'm not sure which shop is referred to but there is no High Street as such. There is a High Row however, which is like the open shopping arcade in the town centre with a row of shop, and steps leading to the road cum bus route. The author hails from Bolton which is not too far from here so maybe he visited the area some time!
Who else has fallen upon their town or village name in a story or book?

Monday, February 15, 2010

A change from SF and a Nazi surprise!

I'm nearly halfway thru The Keep The Keep by F. Paul Wilson. Its my first book by him (the author's first novel, writt in 1981) and its rather good sofar!
Basically its about a fort in Romania that is occupied by the German soldiers in 1941 under Captain Woermann, and is used as an outpost to keep an eye on the distribution of fuel; i.e. to make sure they get most of it! Anyway someone, or something is killing off the soldiers one at a time, at night, and so an S.S. officer is called in to investigate. Woermann is unhappy with the Nazi regime and despises the methods used by the S.S. to get information from the villagers, not to mention their treatment of the Jewish community! This creates tension between the two men as well as a nice conflict in the story as a background to the other nasty stuff going on. I'm kind of thinking, what's worse, this beast on the loose or the SS!
Apparently a movie was made of this book but I've never seen it and it seems it never got put onto DVD-the only DVD copies are bootlegs!

Monday, February 1, 2010

2001 on Blu Ray!





I'm really pleased to have this! Not only do I now have the film in Hi Def but also there's all the extras. There's the Making Of with contributions aplenty from Clarke, Kubrick, Trumbull, even Keir Dullea is in there sharing his thoughts on playing Dave!
Theres also features on how filmmakers have been inspired by the film, and Kubrick's vision, as well as an audio interview with Kubrick made in 1966! Superb!

Its about Time!

Next up 'The Masks of Time' by Robert Silverberg! Its been ages since I read any Silverberg, and this is a book from 1968, re-released in 2002 as part of Gollancz's Collector's Series with some neat Jim Burns artwork.
Basically its about a guy named Vornan 19 who appears out of nowehere in Rome on Christmas Day 1998-the book begins in 1999 on the eve of the Millenium and a little back story is explained. The visitor claims to be from a thousand years in the future and his arrival, stark naked, in Rome, near Christmas, causes quite a stir...


I didnt finish this book-just couldnt get into it,too much waffle!