Archive for the books Category

Happy Birthday: Clark Ashton Smith

Posted in books, sci-fi on January 13, 2010 by ph1at1ine

Clark Ashton Smith

Clark Ashton Smith (13 January 1893 – 14 August 1961) was an American poet, sculptor, painter and author of fantasy, horror and science fiction short stories. It is for these stories, and his literary friendship with H. P. Lovecraft from 1922 until Lovecraft’s death in 1937, that he is mostly remembered today. With Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard, also a friend and correspondent, Smith remains one of the most famous contributors to the pulp magazine Weird Tales.


Snow crash – limited edition

Posted in books, sci-fi with tags , , , , , , , , on January 9, 2008 by ph1at1ine

Subterranean PressFifteen years since its initial release, Snow Crash remains one of the most popular and important novels in recent memory. Subterranean Press is proud to announce the Limited Edition, printed on 80# Finch paper, with a premium cloth binding, and a number of illustrations and design elements by Patrick Arrasmith.Given Mr. Stephenson’s popularity, and the importance of this book, we fully expect it to sell out prior to publication.

Snow Crash
By Neal Stephenson
(preorder–to be published this fall)

Illustrated by Patrick Arrasmith

Limited: $150
Lettered: $500

Limited: 500 numbered hardcover copies signed by the author
Lettered: 26 signed copies, handbound, in a custom traycase, with an original piece of art not in the Limited Edition

Wisdom found in sci-fi : Heinlein

Posted in books, sci-fi, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on January 8, 2008 by ph1at1ine

The Morning news – Morning news columnist Becca Bacon Martin wrote about wisdom that can be found in sci-fi and especially in Heinlein’s books. This is what she come up with:

It’s not too late for New Year’s resolutions. (I know because I haven’t delivered my last Christmas gift yet!) Longtime readers of The Morning News should know these words by heart, though, because I reprint them every year. They originally belonged to the father of science fiction, Robert Heinlein.

Heinlein almost certainly didn’t consider excerpts from the notebooks of his most famous character, Lazarus Long, “resolutions.” He denied they were wisdom, for that matter. But his approach to life has colored so many of my attitudes about so many things, and what he wrote in “Time Enough for Love” (1973) is better than anything I could ever think up myself.

So, with hat tipped to the late Mr. Heinlein, who is, I hope, bellied up to a bar somewhere in Boondock, I give you these borrowed words to live by as the holidays of 2007 roll into the doldrums of January 2008:

* Certainly the game is rigged. Don’t let that stop you; if you don’t bet, you can’t win.

* Always listen to experts. They’ll tell you what can’t be done, and why. Then do it.

* Delusions are often functional. A mother’s opinions about her children’s beauty, intelligence, goodness, etc., ad nauseam, keep her from drowning them at birth.

* A generation which ignores history has no past — and no future.

* If you don’t like yourself, you can’t like other people.

* Avoid making irrevocable decisions while tired or hungry. (Circumstances can force your hand. So think ahead!)

* A woman is not property, and husbands who think otherwise are living in a dreamworld.

* A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

* The more you love, the more you can love — and the more intensely you love. Nor is there any limit on how many you can love.

* The shamans are forever yakking about their snake-oil “miracles.” I prefer the real McCoy — a pregnant woman.

* A competent and self-confident person is incapable of jealousy in anything. Jealousy is invariably a symptom of neurotic insecurity.

* You live and learn. Or you don’t live long.

* The phrase “we (I) (you) simply must –” designates something that need not be done. “That goes without saying” is a red warning. “Of course” means you had best check it yourself. These small-change cliches and others like them, when read correctly, are reliable channel markers.

* Do not handicap children by making their lives easy.

* Always tell her she is beautiful, especially if she is not.

* Sovereign ingredient for a happy marriage: Pay cash or do without. Interest charges not only eat up a household budget, awareness of debt eats up domestic felicity.

* Another ingredient for a happy marriage: Budget the luxuries first!

* And still another: See to it that she has her own desk — then keep your hands off it!

* And another: In a family argument, if it turns out you are right — apologize at once!

* Keep your children short on pocket money — but long on hugs.

* A committee is a life form with six or more legs and no brain.

* Sin lies only in hurting other people unnecessarily. All other ‘sins’ are invented nonsense. (Hurting yourself is not sinful — just stupid.)

Amen, brother!

North wind for free

Posted in books, sci-fi with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 7, 2008 by ph1at1ine

MySpace Comic booksBoom! studios latest blockbuster comic book is going to be released online for free download on the same day as it is released in comic book stores. If you like post apocalyptic stories ( like me) then this is for you. Just go end visit MySpace comic books or click here to begin download.

Star Wars and Simpsons

Posted in books, movies & series, sci-fi with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 4, 2008 by ph1at1ine

Star Wars blog – SW blog lists references from the movie Star Wars in The Simpsons.

“Bart the General” (2/4/90) Bart accurately declares the only “good wars” to be the American Revolution, World War II and the Star Wars trilogy.

“Old Money” (3/28/91) Among the Springfield residents in line for Abe Simpsons’ money is someone dressed as Darth Vader.

“I Married Marge” (12/16/91) In a flashback, Homer and Marge are leaving the theater where they just saw The Empire Strikes Back when Homer marvels, “I can’t believe Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker‘s father,” ruining the surprise for everybody in line. Later, Homer declares his love: “Marge, you’re as pretty as Princess Leia and smart as Yoda.”

“Bart’s Friend Falls in Love” (5/7/92) Milhouse appears to have an X-wing fighter poster on his wall.

“Lisa the Beauty Queen” (10/15/92) Lisa goes to a caricature artist who displays a caricature of Darth Vader. In a montage, she sports the corn-rows of Bo Derek, the beehive of Marge Simpson, and the legendary double-bun ‘do of Princess Leia.

“Itchy & Scratchy: The Movie” (11/3/92) A landspeeder-type vehicle cruisers by Homer and Bart.

“Marge vs. the Monorail” (1/14/93) Mayor Quimby attempts to ingratiate himself to Star Trek‘s Leonard Nimoy, who’s in town for the launch of the Springfield Monorail, by telling him, “May the Force be with you.”

Syndication Promo (fall, 1993) In a commercial to promote reruns of The Simpsons, we see actual footage of Luke’s X-wing entering the Death Star trench, with Bart animated into Luke’s uniform and firing the shot that destroys the Death Star.

“Homer Goes to College” (10/14/93) Mr. Burns leaves his office in an escape pod similar to the one used by C-3PO and R2-D2 at the beginning of Star Wars.

“Burns’ Heir” (4/14/94) A THX trailer is so loud it shatters glasses, teeth, and heads to the astonishment and appreciation of a packed house of moviegoers.

THX Theatrical Trailer (6/94) Slightly different version of the THX spoof from “Burns’ Heir.”

“Lisa’s Rival” (9/11/94) Principal Skinner can barely contain his joy upon seeing Ralph Wiggum’s diorama project, “Pre-packaged Star Wars characters still in their display box? Are those the limited edition action figures? Why, it’s Luke, and Obi-Wan, and my favorite, Chewie! They’re all here! …We have a winner!” Also, Ralph drops his Chewbacca figure and whines, “I bent my Wookiee!” Earlier in the episode, Lisa’s rival Allison (guest voice Winona Ryder) easily offers this apropos anagram for “Alec Guiness:” Genuine Class.

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Review – Wastelands; Stories of the life after apocalypse

Posted in books, sci-fi with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 3, 2008 by ph1at1ine

SF Signal – We already wrote about Wastelands so it’s time to give you a review of this anthology with 22 post-apocalyptic stories.

Wastelands: Stories of Life After the Apocalypse offers a great selection of end-of-the-world stories proving that stories in a single setting (or a single subgenre of science fiction) need not be similar. While the prevailing theme, as would be expected, is one of hope, the stories are presented with unique focus and voice. But the mood is as dark as it should be with such serious subject matter. With rare exception (Neal Barrett, Jr.’s comical “Ginny Sweethips’ Flying Circus”) these stories are gloomy indeed. But isn’t that the appeal of post-apocalyptic fiction after all?

John Joseph Adams has culled a great selection of stories here dating back to 1973, with more than half of those written in the last seven years. He also offers a super-handy index of post-apocalyptic stories and books for further reading, just in case you start jonesin’ for more.

Only three stories from the book’s roster of twenty-two failed to impress me. Perhaps the most glaring of those is the Gene Wolfe story, “Mute”, because Wolfe’s reputation is one of greatness and this story left me cold. But there were plenty of other stories to suit my tastes; a huge majority in fact. This is impressive since the variety of styles and stories that populate an anthology means there are bound to be some misses. But three out of twenty-two is a relatively low ratio when comparing it against my anthology consumption of years past. In then end, Wastelands proved to be more entertaining than the average yearly “Best of”.

Standout stories in this cant-miss volume include “The People of Sand and Slag” by Paolo Bacigalupi, “When Sysadmins Ruled the Earth” by Cory Doctorow, “Judgment Passed” by Jerry Oltion, “Inertia” by Nancy Kress, “Speech Sounds” by Octavia E. Butler and “The End of the World as We Know It” by Dale Bailey.
Reviews of the individual stories follow…

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Favorite books of the year 2007

Posted in books, sci-fi with tags , , , , , , on December 30, 2007 by ph1at1ine

Visions of Paradise -I have only a single requirement for books to make my best-of-the-year list. I must have read them in 2007. Publication date does not matter, nor does subject matter or type. These are my favorite books read during the year, not the best books published:1 Look To Windward / Iain Banks
2 The Judgment of Caesar / Steven Saylor
3 The Yiddish Policemen’s Union / Michael Chabon
4 Infinity Beach / Jack McDevitt
5 Michelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling / Ross King
6 Galactic North / Alastair Reynolds
7 Roma Eterna / Robert Silverberg
9 Fourth Planet from the Sun / Gordon Van Gelder, editor
10 Helix / Eric Brown