4.25.2007

Media That Keeps Me Sane

Media That Keeps Me Sane

I'm going to post some fragments that I never really fleshed out, for the time being. My thanks to everyone who wrote in with condolences and kindness.

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So, a couple of months ago, another favorite site imploded. Fuck. Once again it takes a blog wedgie to remind me that online = ephemeral. And once again I am grateful for my stockpile of tangible, solid media.

I finished plowing through the pleasure that is The Collected Works of Sherlock Holmes a few months ago. People have often accussed Sherlock of having Asperger's, but I'm not convinced. Asocial brilliance does not necessarily equal diagnosis. His brother Mycroft, however, is clearly a high-functioning autistic savant. Creating a private club so he does not have to interrupt his routine or converse with anyone except on his terms? The British government's using his brain as their foreign relations database? He is a role model for Leelo and his spectrum friends.

Post-Sherlock, one of my current greatest pleasures is Seymour's subscription to Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine. The longer efforts, such as Matthew Hughes's Noosphere adventures, are engrossing, but I also adore the compact cheek of Tim McDaniel's extra-short and filthy "Why the Aliens Did What They Did to That Suburb of Madison, Wisconsin" in the June 2006 volume, and Heather Lindsley's short story "Just Do It" in the July 2006 issue.

The latter story contains the line, "I unholster my parenting gun and shift the round in the chamber from Go to Bed to Wake Up." What parent doesn't occasionally long for such a device? Two other nuggets are Peter S. Beagle's "El Regalo" (though, damn it, he wrote about magic and witchdom in ways I've been contemplating myself), and Donald Mead's "A Thing Forbidden," which conflates transubstantiation and The Donner Party.

Castle Waiting. OMG. So beautiful, so optimistic, so clever. I don't remember the last time I read a book that I hoped would never end.

Princess of Roumania -- reading it felt like being drunk; took a while to get into its rhythms and realize that the author was giving me credit for being able to go with a straight take on intertwined worlds and the magic that unites them. Not a bad approach, as I've been re-reading HP & the Prisoner of Azkaban (my mind wants candy), and its scene in which Black appears -- and does not try to kill Scabbers/Peter Pettigrew for about twenty pages due to the need to explicate -- had me snarling at the pages in frustration.

Inkspell - Also took about 200 pages to get into it so I can't blame Liz Ditz for tossing it. Also I can't help but think that some of its magic was lost during translation, as it always felt slightly flat.

I am thinking that I will read Anything Oni -- Sidekicks, Banana Sunday, Polly & the Pirates, Rumble Girls, Blue Monday, Courtney Crumrin, JetCat (P.S. if you have our JetCat please return it; if you'd like a copy of Banana Sunday let me know as we now have two).

Series of Unfortunate Events is my literary Smallvillle in terms of the amount of wasted talent and opportunities, and not putting the effort that the franchise involves because it's pre-sold. Remember Enterprise? Geez. I stomped on The End when I was done with it. Even Iz was frustrated. Mr. Snicket, this may have been an exercise in cleverness and compound paychecks for you, but you seem to have forgotten that you are writing primarily for children. Even the smartest children I know like closure, and despise ambiguity. They will, however, tolerate an unhappy ending if it makes sense.

Firefly totally ripped off Cowboy BeBop! Pshaw. Even the music. Why had I not heard about this before?

Neotopia -- blech. Really bad names (a pet peeve) and not a single non-derivative idea except perhaps the Chiropterans and even then anyone who knows basic taxonomy would not be impressed. I might let Iz read it in about five years after she's more familiar with basic Fantasy themes. Maybe I'll get her The Tough Guide to Fantasyland.

That's it for today. More about TV and music later, maybe.

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