Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Normal Service is Resumed

Everything was all very exciting there for a moment, what with festival events, short stories being published, readings, seeing Neil Gaiman (three times), late night meals and friends in bars.

But now it's all back to normal.

I've picked up the new novel again, which definitely needs a name change, but ideas are coming in thick and fast. 'DarkFather' is with another publisher and 'The Missing' is still in limbo awaiting art work.

Copies of 'the small print' are still available. Let me know if you want one.

Interesting article in the Arcitects Journal on comic book cities.


China Mieville is one of my favourite authors. He's hard work but very rewarding with complex narrative, ideas and structure weaving through his varied and genre bending works. 'The City and the City', is probably his most demanding works so far. Written as a thriller and set in two fictional East European cities it deals with a murder that needs investigating. These two cities have history and a partition is in place for they exist in the same geographical space.
The book is a deliberation on the duality of perception, how people see the same things differently and Kafkaesque confusion. A brilliant book.

Batman Black and White is collection of short comic book stories by a who's who of writers and artists. Some of the stories work, like the sombre 'Perpetual Mourning' by Ted McKeever and Gaiman's 'A Black and White World' and others don't, like the rather staid story 'The Hunt' by Joe Kubert. The best thing however is the art work. Monochrome with many different interpretations of the Dark Knight.

'Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, is the second book I've read by Cory Doctorow on my iphone as he gives his work away for free under a creative commons license. Some of his work I buy in print if I like them (such as the brilliant Little Brother) other I don't. Down and Out is one I won't buy. It's good, I found the concept and ideas of a world where no one dies and people live in the thrall of getting online support from friends (think Facebook) and strangers very good. It just didn't work for an entire novel.

Likewise Craphound, which is a free online comic based on one of Doctorow's short stories. It's not bad, but it doesn't really go anywhere and the art I found just a little simplistic with jumps in the flow which didn't make sense.

Read this week:
The City and the City by China Mieville
Batman: Black & White by Various
Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom by Cory Doctorow
Craphound by Cory Doctorow

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