Friday, December 29, 2006
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Some highlights include:
-specifics about some of his books
-what we can expect in 2007 as I try to pry some specific information out of him
-what he liked in 2006
-what art we can expect in a post 9/11 world
and much more.
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Monday, December 11, 2006
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Saturday, November 18, 2006
Friday, November 17, 2006
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Thursday, November 02, 2006
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Monday, October 16, 2006
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Monday, October 09, 2006
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Monday, August 28, 2006
Friday, August 18, 2006
In the forum section there is an interesting debate taking place as to the reliability of Diego as the narrator. I think thats its an interesting subject that hasnt really been broached anywhere else.
I'm one of the participants and would love to hear what other readers of this fine story think.
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
Allusions, references and parallels abound. Keep an eye out for reviews of the other two books in the trilogy and an extended criticism in the near future.
Because enough can't be said about the movie Snakes on a Plane. Here is Swiercznyski's brilliant analysis of the theme song.
Friday, August 11, 2006
Thursday, August 10, 2006
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
I just finished the first book of the Phineas Poe trilogy, Kiss Me, Judas. I'll be posting a review of it soon over at Fantasy Book Spot. I went to the authors site and hey he has a new book coming out soon. Check out this description
--from the publisher
According to Milton, heaven and hell are but a hand's breadth apart. In GODSPEED, there is no heaven or hell. There is only "the presidio," a lawless noir purgatory populated by fugitive souls, fallen angels, demon children, immortals, and the undead. Moving among them is a complicated hero in Ryder Fell.mercenary thief, repentant womanizer, and sometime savior of lost children--afflicted with the "godspeed," a dizzying array of paranormal talents he can neither control or explain. The worst of these are nightmare visions of black doors All hell breaks loose when an exiled undead soul, in the body of a young girl, borrows the godspeed from Ryder and plunges through the wrong door...Milton had one thing right--the next world is a heartbeat away from this one, an easy jump for the lucky few who know how to secure passage. For the rest of us, the real hell is in the journey.
Sounds original and very interesting. Cant wait to give it a try!
This is my promised response to an earlier blog post by Sara Gran. I love her books I just don’t always agree with her blog posts is all. I linked to it yesterday so please read it first.
Chick-Lit vs. Romance
I don’t agree with the way that you are using the terms Romance Novel and Chick-Lit interchangeably. They are distinct genres; a quick visit to Wikipedia bears that out.
1) “A romance novel is a novel from the genre currently known as romance. The genre has two strict criteria:
* The story must focus on the relationship and romantic love between two people ;
* The end of the story must be positive, leaving the reader believing that the protagonists' love and relationship will endure for the rest of their lives.
If a novel does not fulfill those conditions, fans of the genre are likely to claim that it belongs to a related genre, such as women's fiction or chick lit, or that it is just a mainstream fiction novel.
Some romance novel readers would claim that the genre has additional restrictions, from plot considerations such as the hero and heroine meeting early on in the story, to avoiding possible themes, such as neither hero nor heroine committing adultery in the course of their relationship developing. However, these are not hard-and-fast rules, and some writers deliberately write stories that may put off some readers in order to push the genre's boundaries.”
2) "Chick lit" is a term used to denote a genre of popular fiction written for and marketed to young women, especially single, working women in their twenties. The genre's creation was spurred on, if not exactly created, in the mid-1990s with the appearance of Helen Fielding's Bridget Jones's Diary and similar works; it continued to sell well in the 2000s, with chick-lit titles topping bestseller lists and the creation of imprints devoted entirely to chick-lit.
Chick-lit features hip, stylish female protagonists, usually in their twenties or thirties, in urban settings (usually Manhattan), and follows their love lives and struggles in business (often in the publishing, advertising, public relations or fashion industry). The books usually feature an irreverent tone and frank sexual themes.
They aren’t the same. Chick-Lit is a bit harder to define because it is newer but some examples are Megan McCafferty’s "Sloppy Firsts" and "Second Helpings"; Read Between the Lies; Mrs. Mourning Glo; Candace Bushnell's Sex and the City; The Girls Guide to Fishing and Hunting by Melissa Bank; Helen Fielding's Bridget Jones's Diary; Devil Wears Prada and Animal Husbandry. Whereas we all know what a Romance novel is, after all we have all seen the section at the bookstore regardless of the store.
So, with that said I don’t think that Romance novels will ever attain a level of critical acceptance or re-appraisal. I think as a genre it will always remain in the critical basement. I think that one of the biggest reasons for this is the Romance genres inability to produce what others outside of the genre or even those inside the genre would call a classic. All other genre fiction has laid claims on certain titles and authors who are regarded as classics.
Name me one Romance writer. You can’t. In fact the average persons knee jerk reaction to hearing the phrase Romance Novel is probably Fabio. That right there exists as one of the prime indicators of the superficiality of that genre when the most prominent figure is a male model who poses for pictures that are usually drawn, not even a photograph!
Lowest Common Denominator
Good fiction is good fiction regardless of genre. But just because a book is written by a woman isn’t enough of a reason to champion it. If that becomes your sole reason, or your top reason for recommending a book then you considerably lower your baseline for comparison. The bar becomes lowered as you play to the lowest common denominator. If you recommend a book to me simply based on the fact that a woman wrote it then that becomes the blind date equivalent of “Well, she’s nice…”
To hear your argument put another way just change the word woman to brown hair. So now you’re saying that a book should be read because the person who wrote it has brown hair.
In other words, quality needs to come into the discussion at all times. Quality doesn’t mean that the high walls of academia approve of it and let it romp freely inside their high walls. After all there are different types of quality, no one is going to say Ken Bruen writes like Dante but they both are quality writers.
"To suggest that another woman's ostensibly literary novel is chick lit feels catty, not unlike calling another woman a slut -- doesn't the term basically bring down all of us?" -- Curtis Sittenfeld in the New York Times 
Laughing All the Way to the Bank
Romance novels are most popular in the United States and Canada, where it is the best-selling genre. In North America in 2002, sales of romance novels generated US$1.63 billion and comprised 34.6% of all popular fiction sold - by comparison, general fiction comprised 24.1% and mystery, detective and suspense fiction comprised 23.1%. Over 2000 romance novels were published, and there were 51.1 million romance novel readers.
Romance novels are doing just fine the way that are and the above stated statistics bear that out. They don’t need our critical approval when they are getting our dollars. In fact given the inherent superficiality of the genre the statistics speak bibles full of truth about readers’ habits.
The 70’s Reappraisal
I’m not too sure even where to start with her contention that of the so called 70’ reappraisal of other genres of fiction. It feels mis-informed at best so it may aggravate me I’m not offended by it. She even admits her own un-interest in other genres. So it may warrant a response but I don’t feel it’s necessary at this time.
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
By the way if you havent been reading her books you should be.
I'll be posting a review of her Come Closer soon over at Fantasy BookSpot.
Monday, August 07, 2006
- ▼ December (5)
- The Rising by Brian Keene - review
- The Impossible Bird by Patrick O'Leary - review
- A Drink Before the War by Dennis Lehane - review
- My interview with Patrick O'Leary
- Kiss Her Goodbye by Allan Guthrie - review
- Drive by James Sallis - review
- Lights Out by Jason Starr - review
- Resume With Monsters by William Browning Spencer -...
- To the Power of Three by Laura Lipmann - review
- A Simple Plan by Scott Smith - review
- Chance Fortune & The Outlaws by Shane Berryhill - ...
- The Gun Seller by Hugh Laurie - review
- A review of Bust by Ken Bruen & Jason Starr
- Three Days to Never by Tim Powers - review
- Chasing the Dead review
- Jennifer Government by Max Barry - review
- A Dangerous Man by Charlie Huston
- The Night Gardener by George Pelecanos
- Creepers by David Morrell - review
- The Gift by Patrick O'Leary
- No Dominion by Charlie Huston
- Patrick O'Leary update
- Godspeed - update
- Thoughts from my reading of Children's Hospital
- Tumbling After by Paul Witcover - review
- The Wheelman by Duane Swierczynski - review
- Already Dead review
- Hell's Half Acre reviewed
- Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor - review
- Door Number Three
- The Guards by Ken Bruen - review
- Bubba Ho-Tep
- Shotgun Opera by Victor Gischler - review
- Penny Dreadful review
- Over at Fantasy Book Spot there was recently arevi...
- Genre Fiction Awards
- Kiss Me, Judas by Will Christopher Baer review
- Come Closer by Sara Gran - review
- Kids talk
- Pistol Poets by Victor Gischler - review
- Boyos - review
- Will Christopher Baer's new book Godspeed
- Setting the bar too low
- Sara Gran's recent thoughts on fiction and women
- A Blonde walks into a blog
- Thoughts on genre fiction experimentation
- Note to Self
- Tapestry Novels
- Allan Guthrie
- Animations inspired by the works of Russell Hoban
- Baltimore Crime
- Busted Flush
- Charlie Huston
- Charlie Stella
- Charlie Williams
- Charlie Williams
- Cofessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind
- Crime Dog One
- Crime Fiction Dossier
- Crime Space
- Dan Simmons
- Dana Kaye
- Dave White
- Dave Zeltserman
- Duane Swierzinski
- Ed Pettit
- Edward Whittemore
- Fantastic Fiction
- Fantasy Book Spot
- Gene Wolfe
- George Pelecanos
- Hal Duncan
- Hard Case
- Hard Man
- Jason Starr
- Jeff Vandermeer
- Jeffrey Ford
- Joe Schreiber
- John Connolly
- John Rickards
- Jonathan Carroll
- Ken Bruen
- M John Harrison
- M John Harrison
- Matt Ruff
- My book collection
- Mystery Ink Online
- National Book Critics
- Neil Gaiman
- POD-dy Mouth
- Russel D McLean
- Russell Hoban
- Sandra Ruttan
- Sara Gran
- Scott Espisito
- Shaken & Stirred
- Spinetingler Magazine
- The Happiness Project
- The Inferior 4+1
- Thrilling Detective
- Tim Powers
- Victor Gischler
- Ysabeau S. Wilce