Sunday, August 26, 2012

BW 35: Something Wicked This Way Comes


If a book is adapted to film, do you usually watch the movie first, then read the book or visa versa?  Back in the 80's when Disney released Something Wicked This Way Comes I just had to see it.  I remember seeing the previews and being intrigued enough to want to see it.  Needless to say when we saw the movie, I was scared out of my skin.   

At that time it never occurred to me to read the book. It wasn't until a year or so ago, I finally picked up the book and read it, thoroughly enjoyed it.   Nowadays, I'd rather read the book first, then go see the movie. So much more fun that way and gives you plenty to discuss afterwards.  Of course, there are some books that I have loved, but have no desire to see the movie.  A, because it's totally been changed from the original or b, my overactive imagination just can't handle the visual aspect of the story.  

Although I may read scary, creepy, chilling books; watching them is an whole different ball of wax.  Remember covering your eyes at the scary bits, peeking through your fingers. That's me, even now.  My son seems to have the same sensitivity.   Nowadays when he expresses an interest in seeing a movie and I know its based on a book, we read the story first.  He's the inquisitive type, doesn't like surprises and needs to know what's going to happen.  Reading the book first saves me from explaining everything during the movie. 

And my friends wonder why I prefer waiting until movies come out in DVD. *grin*  At least then you can pause the movie, answer the questions, then move on.

Without further ado:


Synopsis: "For those who still dream and remember, for those yet to experience the hypnotic power of its dark poetry, step inside. The show is about to begin.The carnival rolls in sometime after midnight, uhering in Halloween a week early. The shrill siren song of a calliope beckons to all with a seductive promise of dreams and youth regained. In this season of dying, Cooger & Dark's Pandemonium Shadow Show has come to Green Town, Illinois, to destroy every life touched by its strange and sinister mystery. And two boys will discover the secret of its smoke, mazes, and mirrors; two friends who will soon know all too well the heavy cost of wishes. . .and the stuff of nightmare"

Excerpt Chapter 10

"Just after midnight.  

Shuffling footsteps.

Along the empty street came the lightning-rod salesman, his leather valise swung almost empty in his baseball-mitt hand, his face at ease.  He turned a corner and stopped.  

Paper-soft white moths tapped at an empty store window, looking in. 

And in the window, like a great coffin boat of star-colored glass, beached on two sawhorses lay a chunk of Alaska Snow Company ice chopped to a size great enough to flash in a giant's ring. 

And sealed in this ice was the most beautiful woman in the world.
  
The lightning-rod salesman's smile faded.

In the dreaming coldness of ice like someone fallen and slept in snow avalanches a thousand years, forever young, was this woman. 

She was as fair as this morning and fresh as tomorrow's flowers and lovely as any maid when a man shuts his eyes and traps her, in cameo perfection, on the shell of his eyelids.

The lightning-rod salesman remembered to breath.  

Once, long ago, traveling among the marbles of Rome and Florence, he had seen women like this, kept in stone instead of ice.  Once, wandering in the Louvre, he had found women like this, washing in summer color and kept in paint.  Once, as a boy, sneaking the cool grottos behind a motion picture theater screen, on his way to a free seat, he had glanced up and there towering and flooding the haunted dark seen a woman's face as he had never seen it since, of such size and beauty built of milk-bone and moon-flesh as to freeze him there alone behind the stage, shadowed by the motion of her lips, the bird-wing flicker of her eyes, the snow-pale-death shimmering illumination from her cheeks.

So from other years there jumped forth images which flowed and found new substance here within the ice.  

What color was her hair? It was blond to whiteness and might take any color, once set free of cold.  

How tall was she?  

The prism of the ice might well multiply her size or diminish her as you moved this way or that before the empty store, the window, the night-soft rap-tapping ever-fingering gently probing moths.

Not important.

Far above all--the lightning-rod salesman shivered--he knew the most extraordinary thing. 

If by some miracle her eyelids should open with that sapphire and she should look at him, he knew what color her eyes would be.  

He knew what color her eyes would be.

If one were to enter this lonely night shop--

If one were to put forth one's hand, the warmth of that hand would...what?"

Melt the ice.

The lightning-rod salesman stood there for a long moment, his eyes quickened shut.  

He let his breath out.  

It was warm as summer on his teeth.

His hand touched the shop door.  It swung open.  Cold arctic are blew out around him. He stepped in.

The door shut.

The white snowflake moths tapped at the window."


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Sunday, August 19, 2012

BW34: Author Birthdays and Linky Love


We have a few interesting authors sharing the same birthdays this week so leaving you with some linky love. Check them out, perhaps put one of their books on your Want To Read It List or read one of their stories in honor of their birthdays. 

August 19  Gene Roddenberry
August 19   Mary Doria Russell
 
August 20  H.P. Lovecraft 
August 20  Greg Bear 

August 21  Anthony Boucher
August 21  Sabrina Jeffries


August 22  Ray Bradbury 
 
August 23  Nelson De Mille 

August 24  Orson Scott Card
August 24  Jorge Luis Borges  

August 25  Patrick McManus  

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 Link to your most current read. Please link to your specific book review post and not your general blog link. In the Your Name field, type in your name and the name of the book in parenthesis. In the Your URL field leave a link to your specific post. If you have multiple reviews, then type in (multi) after your name and link to your general blog url. If you don't have a blog, tell us about the books you are reading in the comment section of this post.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

BW 33: Hugo Gernsback

 

Happy Birthday Hugo Gernsback!

Who is Hugo Gernsback and why are the Hugo Science Fiction / Fantasy Awards named after him?  

Hugo Gernsbacher, born August 16, 1884 in Luxembourg immigrated to the United States in 1904 to New York.  Hugo was fascinated by electricity and invented a dry battery which he patented upon arriving in the United States.   He established a radio and electrical supply house called Electro Importing Company and developed a small portable radio transmitter called the Telimco Wireless Telegraph.    He went on to patent 80 inventions. 



Long story short, Gernsback  published a magazine for electrical experimenters called Modern Electronics which was later taken over by Popular Science.   To fill up some empty space in the magazine, he decided to write a futuristic story which ran in 12 installments.


That story was later published in 1926 as a novel called "Ralph 124C 41+"  which was set in the 27th century and is still available today.  He started a number of magazines including the first magazine dedicated exclusively to science fiction called  "Amazing Stories." the magazine of scientifiction in 1926.


First Issue April 1926

Hugo coined the term scientifiction which later went on to be known as Science Fiction.  Thanks to the beauty of the internet I found an original pdf of an article of Gernback's called Plausibility in Scientifiction on Mumpsimus (thank you, Matthew)

 

Gernsback unfortunately went bankrupt and lost control of Amazing Stories. He quickly bounced back and went on to publish three more magazines:  Air Wonder Stories, Science Wonder Stories and Science Wonder Quarterly.



Air Wonder and Science Wonder were merged into one magazine Wonder stories in 1930 and sold it in 1936 to Beacon Publications where it continued to be published for 20 more years. 

Gernsback is lauded as the father of science fiction.  The first annual Science Fiction Achievement awards was awarded back in 1953 with retro awards handed out for the years 1946 in 1996, retro award 1951 given in 2001 and 1954 retro award presented in 2006.  The award were unofficially called the "Hugo's" until the name was officially changed and use beginning in 1993.    In 1960 he was given a special Hugo Award as "The Father of Magazine Science Fiction."  The Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame was founded in 1996 and Hugo Gernsback was one of the first inductees along with Jack Campbell (1908-2006), A.E. van Vogt's (1912-2000) and John W. Campbell Jr. (1910-1971)

Hugo Gernsback died in New York on August 19, 1967 at the age 83.    

If you want to know more about Hugo Gernsback, his electronic accomplishments, all about his magazines and his life, you find everything you want to know here and  here.

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 Link to your most current read. Please link to your specific book review post and not your general blog link. In the Your Name field, type in your name and the name of the book in parenthesis. In the Your URL field leave a link to your specific post. If you have multiple reviews, then type in (multi) after your name and link to your general blog url. If you don't have a blog, tell us about the books you are reading in the comment section of this post.


Sunday, August 5, 2012

BW32: Difficult books


Ulysses Sepia by 96dpi

A few Christmases ago, my husband decided he was going to buy me the largest possible book he could find, the one with the most words.  I ended up with War and Peace (1440 pages) and an independently published book called Walls of Phantoms (1320 pages)   I enjoyed the first and for my husband I slogged through the latter.  The links are to my reviews.   So I was quite amused and relieved when did a search today and discovered he could have gotten me Marcel Proust's In Search of Lost Time (7 volumes at 4211 pages), Madison Cooper's Sironia, Texas (2 Volumes at 1731 pages) or Luo Guanzhong's Romance of the Three Kingdom's (4 Volumes at 2342 pages).  I think I got off lightly.  

While perusing the interwebz, I stumbled across The Millions Difficult Books series which they started in 2009 and for 2012 have put together a list of the top ten they consider the most difficult of the difficult.
Check out the link for their reasoning. 

The Faerie Queen

To The Lighthouse

A Tale of a Tub

Phenomenology of Spirit

The Making of Americans

Nightwood

Clarissa

Being and Time


Finnegan's Wake
Women and Men

The only book on this particular list I've read is To The Lighthouse and while stream of consciousness writing is not easy to read, can't say it was the most difficult book I have ever read.  Would have to say Nausea by Jean Paul Sartre which, like it's title, was simply nauseating.

Have you read any of these books?  What is the one book you would consider the most difficult so far to read?

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Link to your most current read. Please link to your specific book review post and not your general blog link. In the Your Name field, type in your name and the name of the book in parenthesis. In the Your URL field leave a link to your specific post. If you have multiple reviews, then type in (multi) after your name and link to your general blog url. If you don't have a blog, tell us about the books you are reading in the comment section of this post.