Sunday, April 06, 2008

Busy Lives

Quite a lot going on at the moment with trips away happening and lots of info for the blog. This entry will be a bit of a round up before I write up things in a little more detail over the coming week.

Last weekend Madame Vin and I went to London, mainly to see Tash in her one woman charity show but also to catch up with friends. We flew from Edinburgh straight into City Airport, which I must say is a great way of doing it as it means less delay on the way into the capital and allows you to miss the disaster that is Heathrow.

Saturday night we took a train to Dulwich (put on the map by Edward Alleyn, a friend of Marlowe’s) to see Hampton and family, now somewhat grown with the arrival of twins last year. Much wine was consumed and hearty food eaten as we caught up, having realised we had not seen each other for some two years…my, how time moves at a rate of knots not conducive to seeing and meeting everyone you should.

Sunday morning we went on an organised stroll around Subterranean London. I’ve mentioned before that I want to start pulling work together on the subterranean world and how it’s been the focus of fantasy works in the last one hundred years. I’ll put several small essays up here in the next weeks on what we saw and a few photos.

Sunday night was given over to Tash and her show ‘Rolling with Laughter’. It was held at the Her Majesty’s Theatre in the Westend, with all money going to the Jennifer Trust. It was a great night, with Tash being introduced by the Hamilton’s (which means they’ve gone up a little in my estimation).

Final point of call was the Dr Who exhibition, which was a cool in a ‘Adam getting back in touch with childhood wonder’ kind of way. It was also a nice run in to the new series which started last night.


Read quite a bit over the last few weeks and whilst in London I was able to nip to the large Forbidden Planet and stock on some wonderful new hardbacks.

The first in a series by Mike Carey featuring freelance exorcist Felix Castor, ‘The Devil You Know,’ is a down to earth horror/thriller. Carey writes for Hellblazer and I was expecting the books to be a bit of a rip off of Constantine but was pleased to be wrong. Felix is his own man and the London that Carey has created is positioned just the other side of normal, which is exactly how I like my fantasy.
His writing style is fluid and descriptive without ever becoming too complex so that it distracts from the tale. There is a good piece of back story and many characters that no doubt will reappear. He reminds me of early John Connelly and I’ll certainly be reading the next two books and purchasing the soon to arrive fourth.

Odd and the Frost Giants is Neil Gaiman’s children novella released for World Book Day. It plays on Norse mythology, introducing their pantheon of gods to young readers without ever belittling the history or storytelling. As always with Gaiman it reads simply, with each word being considered before use that displays simplicity of language that hides the hard work.

Violent Cases is an early work by Gaiman and Dave Mckean. An adult graphic novel that deals with the magic of memory and lives seen through the eyes of childhood. The art work uses simply black and white line drawings intercut with McKean’s unmistakeable use of mix media.

I’ve also just read the 6 issue comic book Wanted by Mark Millar. I know there is a film version of this coming out later this year but from what I’ve read I’ll be surprised if that’s the filming they are making. The comic book is nihilistic to the point of being a mockery of itself. I understand it’s a fuck you to the normal comic book world of bad guy vs cloaked superhero but in the process it turns society into helpless drones with no chance of redemption.

Read this week:

The Devil You Know by Mike Carey

Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman

Violent Cases by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean

Wanted by Mark Millar

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