The Graveyard

The Lair Of Gary James

Posts Tagged ‘stephen king’

Lit List: Spaced

Posted by BigWords on November 1, 2012

Season 1

Episode 1 – Beginnings

As part of the sequence where Daisy goes over Tim’s childhood, she mentions Batman comics.
Numerous comics, including Avengers, Cable, Cry For Dawn, Daredevil, The Darkness, Fantastic Four, Planet Comics, Weird Fantasy and Weird Science can be seen in Fantasy Bazaar comic shop in which Tim works. There may be more I haven’t noticed… In real life, it is the renowned comic shop They Walk Among Us.
An issue of FHM can be seen, opened to a Gillian Anderson photograph. I think it is the #84 (Jan 1997) issue.
As part of the sequence where Tim goes over Daisy’s childhood, she can be seen reading a copy of The Beano.
When Tim opens a cupboard two girls are standing in it, just like in The Shining (based on the Stephen King novel).

Episode 2 – Gatherings

The music from the feature film Misery (based on the novel by Stephen King) plays when Daisy is typing.
Tim reads an issue of Zenith while Daisy is on the ‘phone with her boyfriend, and later is seen reading an issue of Judge Dredd. There is talk on the commentary about it being the US editions, which is rather more amusing than it really should be…

Episode 3 – Art

The (thankfully fictional) magazine Flaps is mentioned by Daisy as one of the titles she submitted work to, and the office is later seen.
A whole slew of magazines are seen when Daisy goes to the newsagent, and she then returns to the apartment with magazines and newspapers.
The Guardian very noticeably falls out the top of the bag of newspapers and magazines Daisy returns with.

Episode 5 – Chaos

Socialist Worker newspaper is seen at the beginning of the episode.
2000 A.D., Judge Dredd Magazine, The Death Of Groo (and the other comics in Fantasy Bazaar).
There’s a flashback sequence which is based on the maze sequence from The Shining.
Tim reads The Independent newspaper report of the break-in at the animal testing facility at the end of the episode.

Episode 6 – Epiphanies

Tim wears a Batman t-shirt (with an image in the style of the animated series) at the beginning of the episode.
Captain Marvel (the Fawcett character, rather than the Marvel character) is referenced during the Scrabble game.
Daisy is reading Eightball issue #13 (Apr 1994) before Tim snatches it from her and begins reading it.

Episode 7 – Ends

Katsuhiro Otomo’s Akira is mentioned at the beginning of the episode.
Mike mentions Andy McNab when he is in his meeting with the Territorial Army.
Daisy looks at her typewriter in yet another reference to The Shining.
During Daisy and Marsha’s talk, Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare is referenced.

Deleted Scenes

Mike is holding Gun Magazine while asleep on the train.

Season 2

Episode 1 – Back

Tim’s opening narration is reminiscent of the one in GoodFellas, based on the book by Nicholas Pileggi.
Mike is holding Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson when he comes out of the bathroom.

Episode 2 – Change

French Fun by Catherine Bruzzone, The Diet Cure by Julia Ross, a Dummies Guide title, and a selection of Mr. Men books are among the titles seen in the bookshop Daisy is working in at the end of the episode. Other books are seen, though the names of the books are obscured by the camera angle.

Episode 3 – Mettle

Some of the scenes parody One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, based on the 1962 Ken Kesey novel.
The sequence set in an underground robot wars club is based on Fight Club. “The first rule of Robot Club…”

Episode 4 – Help

Dark Horse Comics is referenced in a poster at the beginning of the episode.
Tyres calls Daisy “Shakespeare” when he arrives to take Tim’s portfolio.
Daisy reads Hello! when she goes to fetch Mike from Marsha’s .

Episode 5 – Gone

Another Shining visual gag appears in this episode.

Episode 6 – Dissolution

Daisy can be seen writing for Colwyn Bay Gazette in a dream sequence. Unfortunately, the website seen is no longer working.

Episode 7 – Leaves

Sophie tells Tim that she has to leave to work for Marvel.

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#booksthatchangedmyworld

Posted by BigWords on July 4, 2010

There have been several books which I consider fundamental to the way I read – and, for that matter, influence my writing even years after I first read them – and because the #booksthatchangedmyworld hashtag on Twitter forced me to examine the main titles in brief, I thought it would benefit some regular readers of this blog to know more. The idea of spinning a blog post out of the Twitter trend was, of course, already examined, by the wonderful Amy Bai no less, so you should pop on over to read about her influences. Mine are… Okay, I gotta admit straight upfront that the stuff which sticks in my head is less on the serious and important column, and more irreverent than most people would ever consider admitting to. Voice is important to me, as the writers who made me reevaluate books (in general) all have strong natural writing styles. It’s not essential that I can tell a writer by a few paragraphs of their work, but it helps, I believe, build a certain connection with the reader – which is essential if they want me to keep reading. The books which made my (short) list all have that in spades – and I’m going to go through them one by one. Just because I can…

The Devil’s Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce

When I was beginning to work my way through the library book by book, I found – for the most part – what I expected. That all changed when I discovered Ambrose Bierce, and especially The Devil’s Dictionary. There is a streak of malicious humor throughout the entries, rising to a crescendo in a few particularly barbed passages which, from any other author, would be considered petty or vindictive. He manages, with ease and clarity, to reduce the most serious professions to their base elements and throw light on things we think though might not speak of. Some definitions are beautifully crafted short stories, whilst others are merely descriptions twisted to suit the overall tone. And those “mere descriptions” are more than the equal of anything you will find in contemporary satirical publications.

The Devil’s Dictionary was my first exposure to Bierce, though I eventually found his other work. Then, probably seven or eight years ago now, began looking into his life. His life story is as remarkable as anything he laid down on paper, and the matter of his death continues to be of interest to me. There’s much more to his talent than the one book, but for me it remains his defining moment. It stands as an eternal warning not to respect the powers of office merely because they demand respect; it cautions against placing trust in things which are built on shifting sands; it cuts through hypocrisy, and revels in its’ own insights.

Fear and Loathing On The Campaign Trail 72 by Hunter S. Thompson

Some people devoured the contents of the other book first. The one which begins:

We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold.  I remember saying something like “I feel a bit lightheaded; maybe you should drive….” And suddenly there was a terrible roar all around us and the sky was full of what looked like huge bats, all swooping and screeching and diving around the car, which was going about a hundred miles an hour with the top down to Las Vegas.  And a voice was screaming: “Holy Jesus! What are these goddamn animals?”

Some have been introduced to Doc through the film adaptation. I found the great man of Gonzo through The Campaign Trail ’72 when a teacher suggested it might be something I was interested in. I took the book and spent a weekend discovering why people revered the words which rattled forth, machine-gun like, from his typewriter. Reading through something so different to my usual fare was both an enlightening and unusual experience, showing – for example – that one could be part of an inner circle without being part of it. Thompson pierced the bubble of protective and “safe” journalism which I expected, and began me on a trail through other political works, though none of them could possibly live up to my heightened expectations having laid eyes on the way coverage should be done.

Okay, so on to the two which have shaped the way I write as much as the way I read…

Flashman by George MacDonald Fraser

You might surmise that I have a special place in my reading time for the streak of dark humor and detailed research which Fraser made his own, but there is no denying the vibrancy and outrageous skill with which he weaves Flashman into the historical record. Though I had read a few historical adventures before picking up Flashman (I read the Sharpe books earlier f’rinstance), they were mostly along the same lines – heroic, square-jawed adventurer sets out to vanquish the enemy and succeeds in his goals. Flashman was different. He was a cheating, lying, lecherous scoundrel – and one who gleefully recounted his adventures by his own hand. There was no need for a companion (a Watson to Holmes’ adventurer) to soften the impact, because the “hero” of the story was nothing of the sort, and would have been much less interesting if shown through the perception of a secondary character.

This, more than any other book, and any other character, has filtered through to the way I write characters. Not really through the use of 1st person, because I find it too limiting, but in the way I craft the characters who stumble through the twisted and obscure locations I deem necessary to torture them in. They aren’t adverse to running away, or dealing with their foes, or any of the things heroes aren’t meant to do. I’ve never been overly fond of the archetypal heroic lead, and the way Flashman bluffs his way through the adventures he manages to get entangled in exemplifies the reasons why there are often better ways of creating a strong lead character.

The Stand by Stephen King

Have I mentioned that I overwrite everything? Yeah? Well, The Stand should shoulder more than a little of the responsibility when it comes to epic interweaving storylines which build to a crescendo. It was the edited version which first started me thinking about long narratives, but the uncut edition (of which there is a very shiny edition I am saving up for) is the ultimate expression of what I long to one day create. Without, as is my usual habit, sprawling off into dozens of new plots when and where I find them. King, for all his flaws, crafted in The Stand an almost perfect opening gambit, setting up events which would not play out for a few hundred pages. There are massive set pieces, character studies and clever plotting, despite a major shift halfway through the story. It would be unfair to spoil the surprise for those who have yet to discover the book, so I won’t elucidate on the culling-

Damn.

Anyways – This, possibly more than the others, is the book which defined a fair chunk of my reading tastes once I found it. The Stand is like an old friend, a book I can return to time and again, discovering new facets and aspects to.
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It’s okay, you can say it… Yes, my posts are getting awfully behind schedule, but y’know – LIFE. It sucks, but this is the best I can squeeze in between all the important stuff. I’ll make it up to you by posting weird stuff from my collection when I get around to fully cataloging everything. Be patient young Padewan…
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Excerpt from Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream by Hunter S. Thompson (1971)

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Addendum To The Mystery Author Post

Posted by BigWords on August 27, 2009

Now I have a name to go with despicable behavior – Robert Stanek, you have been named and shamed – I’m going to spend a little time ripping the dumbass into little pieces. I’m highly amused that an author in this day and age would think, even for a moment, that trying to pull the wool over the heads of geeks who practically live on the fuckin’ internet would work. It’s short-sighted and almost comical. This is the era of instant communication worldwide, and hiding under assumed identities is not the way you attract readers to a book.

The World Of Robert Stanek, his website, claims he is best known for his Ruin Mist novels. Hmmm… I missed that ruinous mess. I’m guessing that a lot of people wouldn’t have heard of the books either, seeing as how I had to go hunting for information on the guy. David Louis Edelman’s excellent blog – has a great post with photographic evidence that Stanek is less than honorable in his marketing and relentless self-promotion. There is a reason Photoshop is considered an art, and missing legs out of a photograph is a dead giveaway.

Unless, of course, the subject of the picture really doesn’t have legs…

What I was most surprised about, when looking for this guy online, was the fact that there is a forum dedicated to his self-published pap. C’mon, admit it… It’s all your own identities ‘chatting’ to each other, ain’t it? There can’t really be that many (okay, so not that many) people enamoured of the novels. I find it impossible that anyone would be conned into believing his work ranks anywhere near the real masters of the genre.

While I was looking through Edelman’s post, I pondered the list he included of ‘rules’ for ethical self-promotion. This is the condensed version:

  1. Tell no lies.
  2. Make no patently misleading statements.
  3. Avoid glaring sins of omission.
  4. You have no obligation to point out the negative.
  5. Don’t impose an unnecessary burden.
  6. No means no.
  7. Respect the competition.
  8. Keep your promotional activities above board.
  9. When in doubt, abide by general community standards.
  10. Don’t pretend your book is all-important.

That is some very good advice right there, though I will take rules two-through-four head-on in a moment. Everything else is now – as far as I am concerned – the Rules For Authors To Live By. With, p’rhaps a bit of lee-way on #7. I’m not going to say that Dan Brown is a credible author even if everyone else suddenly decides he is, even if I don’t consider myself in any way, shape or form ‘competition’ to him. Just sayin’.

Now, about those troublesome rules 2-4. I’m partial to rubbishing my own work. I’ll say that some of my writing is the most awful shit you’ll ever read, and actually has the ability to make your brain explode in your skull. Some of it is so fucking atrocious it will make your eyes melt, your soul crack and… Well… You get the picture. It’s not to discourage you from reading, it’s simply to prevent expectations from rising too high.

Misleading? No. I’m sure somebody, somewhere, will find my description of the stories to be highly accurate, so I don’t see my self-doubt as misleading. As for sins of omission, I would rather use the bad reviews in full rather than trying to pass them off as ass-licking from strangers. There’s nothing worse than sycophantic praise from another author on a book, but sometimes (in a very few cases) it is warranted. Stevie-boy was right when he said that Clive Barker was the future of horror.

I’m gonna rail against rule 4 bit, because the assumption is that any hypothetical author of a book will want to ignore the negative. This is really surprising, because I would rather have a venomous, hate-filled review claiming I am a shitty hack from a mainstream reviewer than a glowing review from a guy nobody has heard of. That is, of course, just me. Did I derail my own post…? Damn.

Back to topic.

Stanek has, it turns out, written “How To…” books, and I’m sure that my opinion of those types of publications have become ingrained in readers of this blog by now. If you can do it, you do it. If you can’t, then you teach. Not a failsafe way of separating geniuses from morons, but the old adage works 85% of the time just fine.

Best Fantasy Books Blog has an interesting review, and if you pop over there for a look, remember that the review is not endorsed by one of Stanek’s sock-puppets. It’s a refreshingly honest piece of writing, and I’m glad I didn’t have to read one of the books so a real review could appear. I may buy one of the titles if I can find it cheap – in a 20p bucket of second hand books maybe. Then again, I would have to read the fucking thing, wouldn’t I?

In case you missed the link in dlanod’s answer to the previous post Ansible has covered lame attempts at self-publicizing by Stanek.
Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist
News And Interviews From Fantasy Literature
Reddit has a thread about the guy, and there’s no denying Stanek LIED to potential readers on Amazon.

Right, that about covers this debacle. Now I’m waiting on lame legal threats from a Hotmail account… I’m waiting… Still waiting… My e-mail’s listed HERE if you need a clue…

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Five Ponderables

Posted by BigWords on August 23, 2009

#1 Does Every Writer Secretly Want To Be An Actor?

I’ve just watched the episode of Veronica Mars with Joss Whedon as a car rental guy, and I’m wondering just how many writers have the need to spread their time into other areas. Quentin Tarantino’s acting talents aren’t exactly exemplary, though Joss managed to deliver his lines perfectly well. Kevin Smith, another geek-favorite, has managed to carve out a nice sideline in acting jobs, though if you were to base any opinion of his talents on Die Hard 4.0 or Silent Bob appearances then he doesn’t seem so cool.

Is this normal? Gee, I must be a freakish mutant, ’cause I have no intention of wasting a day to deliver a couple of lines. That isn’t lowering the importance of television or film, it’s just a fact that both media take so long to set up scenes that it doesn’t seem worth the hassle. I’ve never had the urge to get involved in front of the camera, but scriptwriting isn’t too bad. The most fun is probably to be had in writing series-bibles or coming up with new formats for old ideas.

Stephen King, who really doesn’t need to do anything but sit on his ass and watch the money accumulate in his bank account, regularly appeared in movies based on his novels. I never thought about this much, but now it seems a strange way to stamp authorial importance in the audience’s minds, exactly the same as the cameos Stan Lee gets in every Marvel feature film. I’m slightly less impresses with Lee, mostly because of the way he claims credit for every good idea to come out of Marvel since he kick-started their Silver Age output.

What is the appeal? Is writing unfulfilling for some people?

#2 Red Faction

Playing Red Faction: Guerrilla reminded me of the original, which was better than Half Life in many, many ways, but there was one aspect of the game I never really understood. In the extras there was a enclosed cave / cavern thing which had a giant greenhouse sitting in the centre of the map, but it was never explained what was meant to occur there. I blasted tunnels in the walls, using infinite ammo cheats to get as far as I could go, but there was a limit to the length of tunnel that could be created.

I tried exposing all of the supporting beams under the greenhouse, to get the building to collapse, but this – again – was impossible. So I gave up trying to work out why the map was there… until the second game was released. I wasn’t partial to Red Faction II because of the shallow gameplay and annoying menu interface. Still no clues as to the reason for the damn thing. Then Guerrilla came along, and I’m still no clearer as the the purpose of that glass building from the original game.

#3 Mystery Disks

America has long been used to double-sided disks, but I’m beginning to get rather fed up with the use of them I have the bad habit of not returning DVDs straight back to their boxes, and I’m finding that the double-sided disks are beginning to gather into a large stack beside the television. The ones which have the tiny little writing near the center are bad enough, but there are some which have no writing whatsoever to identify the film on the disk.

Who decided that it was a good idea to release a product that was impossible to identify unless the consumer wastes five minutes putting it in their machine and checking the content? It isn’t rocket science, and even a schoolkid could tell them that there would be trouble in store if some kind of identification isn’t provided on the actual disk. Am I alone in this? Whenever I think about buying R1 DVDs I always check on various websites to see what the specs are now, just so I am not landed with another mystery disk.

#4 Paper Wastage

There’s so many film guides that it can be hard to choose between them, but I’ve been thinking that the days of giant tomes may be over. With imdb.com and the hit-and-miss Wiki pages devoted to films, what are the purpose of film guides these days? Are there still people buying these books, and – if so – what are they getting from the books that they can’t find online from equally reliable sources?

I’m not counting the hilarious histories (there is an account of Cannon which is a terrifying read for any accountant) or the biographies which scrape away myth and PR bullshit, but the alphabetical listing of films, with their release date, cast, crew and a brief plot.

A million years ago I thought of writing a film guide which would cover all of the films which hadn’t been mentioned in print for five years, which would have been the most obscure text on film ever written, but with the advent of so many sites covering obscure films it no longer seems remotely possible. Every dirty little corner of film history seems to have been picked to death by expert and amateur hands alike. I’m not impressed with most blunt little reviews anyway, which often miss some great moments.

#5 The Odyssey

Remind me – was Telemachus the annoying kid or the silly red robot?

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Even though I tried to ignore them, I have the awful feeling I have created another meme. Ugh. Whatever – if you have five ponderables to get off your chest, then go ahead. Just make sure you give credit where credit’s due.

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Need A Bit Of Assistance With The Story, Huh?

Posted by BigWords on August 8, 2009

There’s as many ways to write a book as there are writers, possibly more. I’m not the kind of person who slavishly devotes time to following How To books, mostly because there is often as much bullshit as there is good advice tucked in the pages of that “best-selling author who want YOU to achieve the same success” and who has outlined their methods in painstaking detail. It always strikes me as fanciful that a person picked off the street at random could be turned into a chart-topping success after reading one of those books.

But that is the belief which How To books exploit, in the hope you will part with your money. Put the cash back in your pocket, and wait a minute before you give your credit card details to the webpage which promises to get you millions of sales. I’ll point you in the direction of a few places which are distilled and undiluted help for the ideas rattling around your brain. They aren’t pretty, and they aren’t particularly long, but they work for me. That’s the important thing, right?

If you have read The Da Vinci Code and thought “How the fuck did that piece of shit get so many readers,” then The Da Vinci Formula: The Da Vinci Code’s Formula For Success is what you need to check out. It was originally published in a writing magazine, but the webpage is easier to find than a back-issue, so I’m directing your attention there.

Please, for the love of Cthulhu, don’t write like Dan Brown, even if you’re just in it for the money… It is more of a brief outline of how it managed to break through popular consciousness than a step-by-step guide to the process of writing such a book. Some parts of the article have been useful in figuring out what I should avoid, rather than copy, but take from it what you will. You could tell that I hated The Dumb Venetian Crud from what I’ve just written, right?

I’ve been a big fan of old pulp magazines for as long as I can remember, possibly due to seeing the Doc Savage movie at an impressionable age, but I digress… The Lester Dent technique for writing pulp stories is a fine tool for short stories and novellas. It is an excellent resource, and one which should be savored for the brevity and intelligence of advice.

An Effective Writing Formula For Unsure Writers is useful, and Lieutenant Colonel Robert H. Emmons, Jr., the author of the piece, has a good grasp of the requirements of a riveting story. The numbered outline idea has plenty of followers, but I can’t honestly say that it has ever worked entirely well for me. Things get moved around too much, and I like twisting the story to fill in the blanks when I come to natural pauses, though it might give your story shape.

There’s a special world of How To devoted to getting kids to write, such as Formula Writing originated by Jan Cosner, and anyone wanting to get back to basics should thing about using this to decide if every word is working properly in their stories. I got irritated with the tone after a few minutes, but more patient writers will probably receive some good advice from the work tools. While I’m on the subject of “back to basics” writing, I’ll explain where fairy tales come into the equation:

Most genre fiction (I’m using ‘genre’ even  though it is a moronic word) has a tendency to structure itself around some very basic and intuitive ideas which can be traced back to fairy tale and myth. Substitute magic cloaks of invisibility for chameleon nets, swords for phasers, princesses for diplomats and castles for starships, and that is basically what SF has been using since the creation of the form.

There is a How To article which spells out the writing of fairy tales better than I can, and it should be viewed through a distorted lens of modern ideas to get the most out of the ideas in fairy tales.

I’ve steered clear of some of the better know books on the subject of writing thus far into my meanderings, so it is only fair that I share with you a couple of the titles sitting on my bookshelf which have helped me manage ideas, just to clear up which books are actually useful and which you should take with a grain of salt. I’m starting with Stephen King’s exploration of the horror genre Danse Macabre,which has lots of ideas about the conventions and twists that horror stories use. His tone is, as always, reassuringly chatty, and he never gets too complex for the material he is using.

It might not be of use if you are planning trash like Twilight, but for horror it is one of the few indispensable books out there. On Writing is also up there with some of the best advice you can find.

Most real How To titles are useless for me, but Christopher Kenworthy’s Writing Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror from (ugh…) How To Books is not completely irrelevant. Some of the advice is completely patronizing and redundant, and he has the troublesome knack of finding the most obvious choices in his examples, as if he is trying to show how not to follow an idea through to its’ most interesting angle.

I may come back to this book at a later point for a more detailed reason why I dislike it, but for now I’ll put this post aside for a while.

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Will The Real Book Please Stand Up?

Posted by BigWords on July 16, 2009

There are many reasons why I purchase duplicates of books I already own, but three stand out:

  1. My brain is frazzled, and I can’t remember if I have the novel or not. I buy the book anyway, just in case it isn’t in my collection already.
  2. The cover doesn’t seem familiar, so I can’t possibly have bought the book. It isn’t as if the publisher would use new cover art, would they?
  3. It is a new and revised edition, which has scenes edited from the earlier edition, or is heavily rewritten by the author. I have to own a copy…

The first and second reasons may be familiar to other people, but the third reason is harder to pin down. I have heard people say that they absolutely, under any circumstance, WILL NOT go out of their way to pick up a revised and expanded edition of a book they love. It is a gray area which most people steer clear of discussing in polite company, and I have been told to stop bringing up the subject on numerous occasions. The most recent incident happened about a month ago, and I find myself thinking about the topic because of a purchase I made today.

Some background, before I start rehashing the argument in public:

I enjoyed the rewritten version of Demon Seed, despite the already-dated pop-cultural references and because of the already-dated pop-cultural references. I’m not going to claim that it was a classic of its’ genre by any means, though my enjoyment was real. The original and new edition both have a place on my bookshelf.

Stephen King’s The Stand, which received a beautiful new leather-bound edition upon publication (replete with those awesome Bernie Wrightson illustrations), is on my bookshelf. I love the book though the original version, in paperback, is still an essential component of my Stephen King collection. I would never think of favouring one over the other, and they are both equally interesting even if the Complete And Uncut Edition does not stray far from the original text plotwise.

There are also a couple of Philip José Farmer paperbacks which I have deliberately sought out the revised copies of, an updated version of Moorcock’s Lives And Times Of Jerry Cornelius (which had stories that were not in the original) as well as many others.

I like the fact that I can see ‘behind the magic’ by reading both versions of a book, comparing the words used and noting the changes. I tend to see the appearance of new editions of olf favorites much as I would the yearly publication of something like Overstreet – I don’t give a fuck if it is essentially the same book… It’s new and I want it.

Which is where I ought to point out the nature of the argument. It was due to my recommendation of the corrected and reinstated text of a Lovecraft novel in .pdf to a friend. There were a few people present, and I found that the general consensus was not in my favor. The mood of the day seemed to be “It doesn’t matter if it was how the author intended the story because the bastardized version is the one everyone knows.”

I didn’t feel like arguing over the matter, because these pissing contests get really old really quickly, though I probably should have fought a little harder to make a clear point. The pointless arguments are always cropping up, so I’ll have a chance to get my own back once the topic of muzak turns up in conversation. Maybe I’ll pick a fight about something dumb this weekend…

Enough background. On to the point.

My copy of Joe Haldeman’s The Forever War is falling apart. I have had it since high school, so the poor paperback has seen better days. It is a mess of creases, coffee stains and small tears covering the pages like cobwebs. I’m always afraid that it is going to disintergrate in my hands, so buying a new copy was the simple solution. Only… my plans never go quite to plan. Even the new shed I’m putting in the garden has hit trouble, so I shouldn’t be surprised that the gods are mocking me.

The new copy of The Forever War is a revised edition. Which means that I can’t get rid of the old paperback until I have a better copy. The two books are sitting beside each other on my desk right now, and the new one (crisp cardboard cover, shiny artwork and reinstated segments) is mocking the old copy. I’m slightly peeved that there wasn’t a note on the cover to say “Wait, before you buy this… You ought to know that the words have been changed.”

I’ll look out for a copy of the original text at the weekend, but I have the feeling I’m gonna come home with more books than I really ought to. Publishers ought to take into account the addictive nature of buying books, and take care of those of us who are too eager to purchase their offerings that the simple act of opening the first few pages to check the content is completely alien. Yup, I’m uncontrollable in my spending habits.

There’s a nice copy of The Bourne Identity in the second-hand bookshop at the end of the high street, and I can’t remember if I have it in my collection or not. I’m going to take a better look at it, and this time I’ll check if it is the original text or a revised edition.

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Zombie Novel Checklist

Posted by BigWords on June 20, 2009

Some people still don’t know that there are such things as zombie novels. I can only wonder how the gooey undead goodness has passed by anyone unnoticed, so I thought that a (incomplete as it is) checklist was in order.

  • After Twilight: Walking The Dead by Travis Adkins. From Permuted Press.
  • Blood Of The Dead: A Zombie Novel by A.P. Fuchs.
  • Book of the Dead edited by John Skipp & Craig Spector.
  • Breathers: A Zombie’s Lament by S.G. Browne.
  • The Breathing Dead by A M Esmonde.
  • Cell by Stephen King (sorta, it starts off as a weird zombie book).
  • City Of The Dead by Brian Keene.
  • Day By Day Armageddon by J.L. Bourne.
  • Dead City by Joe McKinney.
  • Dead Science: A Zombie Anthology.
  • Dead End by Anthony Giangregorio. Another Permuted Press book.
  • Deathbreed: A Zombie Novel by Todd Tjersland.
  • Down The Road: A Zombie Horror Story by Bowie Ibarra.
  • Empire by David Dunwoody. Read a sypnosis here.
  • Eve Of The Dead by Nathan Tucker. See here.
  • The Forest of Hands and Teeth by ???
  • I Am Legend by Richard Matheson.
  • Generation Dead by Daniel Waters.
  • George A. Romero’s Dawn Of The Dead by Chee.
  • Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton.
  • Monster Island by David Wellington.  [Book 1] Online serial, also available in print.
  • Monster Nation by David Wellington. [Book 2]
  • Monster Planet by David Wellington. [Book 3]
  • Oasis, A Zombie Novel by Bryce Beattie.
  • One Rainy Night by Richard Laymon.
  • Plague Of The Dead by Z.A. Recht.
  • Pontypool Changes Everything by Tony Burgess.
  • Pride And Prejudice And Zombies by Jane Austin & Seth Grahame-Smith.
  • Resident Evil – The True Story of Biohazard.
  • Resident Evil – Caliban Cove by S.D. Perry
  • Resident Evil – City Of The Dead by S.D. Perry.
  • Resident Evil – Apocalypse novelization by Keith R.A. DeCandido
  • Resident Evil – Extinction novelization by Keith R.A. DeCandido
  • Resident Evil – Genesis novelization by Keith R.A. DeCandido
  • Resident Evil – The Umbrella Conspiracy by S.D. Perry.
  • Resident Evil – Underworld by S.D. Perry.
  • The Rising by Brian Keene.
  • The Serpent And The Rainbow by Wade Davis.
  • The Stupidest Angel by Christopher Moore.
  • The Undead: Flesh Feast by edited by D.L. Snell & Travis Adkins.
  • White Zombie: Anatomy Of A Horror Film by Gary Don Rhodes (non-fiction).
  • World War Z by Max Brooks.
  • Zombie Haiku-Book by Ryan Mecum.
  • Zombie House by James Kisner (as Martin James).
  • The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks.

And you can read about an evolving zombie novel here. It ain’t done yet, but sounds fun.

There are a bunch of zombie stories here, which play off the themes explored by Max Brooks among others.

I’ll cover the comic-books later… Much later…

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