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Empire [17 Oct 2009|06:41pm]

shaved_ape
[ mood | disappointed ]

This week I have been mostly reading: Empire - A Zombie Novel by David Dunwoody.

This novel contained an absolutely genius concept but I really struggled to sustain my interest in the story itself. Its just so run of the mill it was difficult to care about the characters or what happened to them.
The Genius idea was that Death itself (i.e. The Grim Reaper, complete with scythe!) comes back to tackle the shambling undead menace! Ive never come across a zombie idea with such an original angle. Its a real shame the book failed to live up to that.

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Part Six Of The Trilogy [14 Oct 2009|11:55pm]

shaved_ape
[ mood | excited ]

Some years after the sad demise of author & hero Douglas Adams, some bright spark has had the idea of adding another installment to his legendary Hitch-Hikers Guide To The Galaxy series. Im not entirely sure how I feel about this. Part of me is excited that the amazing story and beloved characters are able to continue their lives - the other part of me is worried that they have just gone and fucked it all up.
Eoin Colfer, author of the Artemis Fowl books has penned this new installment, "And Another Thing." I met him briefly at a book signing event and he seems to be a fairly safe pair of hands for the series - someone who really knows where his towel is, in Hitch-hikers parlance. I have a signed copy and Im really looking forward to tucking in soon. I really hope its good.

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Charlie Higson - The Enemy [21 Sep 2009|01:03am]

shaved_ape
[ mood | geeky ]

Charlie Higson is a fine comedy writer. When I found out he had written a ZOMBIE book I was nothing short of pleased. His book launch at 'The London Tomb Experience' a couple of weeks ago was good fun and I picked up some signed copies then, and Ive mostly been reading it this week.
The bad news is its not strictly a zombie book. It walks a similar 'Virus' path to '28 Days Later' but the virus this time has wiped out all the adults (over 14 years old). Any adults not actually dead are ravening simpleton cannibals. Obviously this is still close enough for my tastes to still pass as a zombie book so the bad news isnt actually that bad at all.
The good news is that it is actually a really fun read. Its aimed at a 'young adult' market but that shouldnt put old farts like myself off. There is still plenty of horror to be had. The fact that not only have all the adults gone but they have become, as the title suggests, 'The Enemy' gives kids something else to sink their teeth into (no pun intended!). Thats a variation on a zombie story I havent really seen explored before.
The other thing I liked about the book is that it is set in London. Any fans of 28 Days Later will be readily able to access the imagery of a post apocalyptic, depopulated London, with added predators. As someone who has lived and worked in London for years some of the geographical detail gave it an additional level of immediate realism as well.
There is a lot to enjoy here for older kids (does being 35 count?) and the additional good news is that this book seems to be the first installment of a series, rather than a one-off, which is nice.

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Book sugggestions [06 Feb 2006|12:04pm]

talisker
[ mood | amused ]

Christopher Moore - The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove

Reading a Christopher Moore novel is a little like eating a potato chip--it's hard to stop at just one. And you don't have to look beyond the titles to understand the allure; who could pass up a book called Practical Demonkeeping or Island of the Sequined Love Nun? Each of Moore's tales skewers a particular literary genre. In Coyote Blue he nailed New Age fascination with Native American religion; in Blood-Sucking Fiends: A Love Story he put a new twist on the classic vampire tale. The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove is a companion piece to his first novel, the hilariously twisted horror story Practical Demonkeeping, and readers of that book will recognize the setting, Pine Cove, California. In addition, Moore includes plenty of his patented weird sex, occasional gross-out death, several off-kilter but nonetheless affecting love stories, and some fabulous secondary characters.

In a nutshell, the plot revolves around a gigantic prehistoric lizard whose slumber deep beneath the ocean surface is interrupted by a radioactive leak from a nearby power plant. At the same time, a woman in Pine Cove hangs herself; the local psychiatrist (who has been prescribing antidepressants to everyone in town with gay abandon) decides the suicide was her fault and yanks everyone's medication; and an elderly black blues singer named Catfish Jefferson arrives to perform at the Head of the Slug saloon. Into this already strange brew mix one schizoid former B-movie starlet, a pot-head town constable, a bereaved local artist, a biologist tracking anomalous behavior in rats, a crooked sheriff, and a pharmacist with a bizarre sexual fixation on sea mammals, and you have a recipe for the kind of madness Moore does so well

Christopher Moore - Bloodsucking Fiends: A Love Story

Here's something different: a vampire novel that's light, funny, and not at all hackneyed. Between scenes of punks bowling frozen turkeys on the graveyard shift in a supermarket, or snapping turtles loose in a loft and gnawing on designer shoes, this novel has comic charm to spare. But it also packs an appealingly downbeat message about the consumer culture. Jody never asked to become a vampire. But when she wakes up under an alley dumpster with a badly burned arm, an aching neck, superhuman strength, and a distinctly Nosferatuan thirst, she realizes the decision has been made for her. Making the transition from the nine-to-five grind to an eternity of nocturnal prowlings is going to take some doing, however, and that's where C. Thomas Flood fits in. A would-be Kerouac from Incontinence, lndiana, Tommy (to his fiends) is biding his time night-clerking and frozen turkey bowling in a San Francisco Safeway. But all that changes when a beautiful, undead redhead walks through the door ... and proceeds to rock Tommy's life -- and afterlife -- in ways he never imagined possible

Vernor Vinge - A fire upon the deep

In this Hugo-winning 1991 SF novel, Vernor Vinge gives us a wild new cosmology, a galaxy-spanning "Net of a Million Lies," some finely imagined aliens, and much nail-biting suspense. Faster-than-light travel remains impossible near Earth, deep in the galaxy's Slow Zone--but physical laws relax in the surrounding Beyond. Outside that again is the Transcend, full of unguessable, godlike "Powers." When human meddling wakes an old Power, the Blight, this spreads like a wildfire mind virus that turns whole civilizations into its unthinking tools. And the half-mythical Countermeasure, if it exists, is lost with two human children on primitive Tines World.

Serious complications follow. One paranoid alien alliance blames humanity for the Blight and launches a genocidal strike. Pham Nuwen, the man who knows about Countermeasure, escapes this ruin in the spacecraft Out of Band--heading for more violence and treachery, with 500 warships soon in hot pursuit. On his destination world, the fascinating Tines are intelligent only in combination: named "individuals" are small packs of the doglike aliens. Primitive doesn't mean stupid, and opposed Tine leaders wheedle the young castaways for information about guns and radios. Low-tech war looms, with elaborately nested betrayals and schemes to seize Out of Band if it ever arrives. The tension becomes extreme... while half the Beyond debates the issues on galactic Usenet.

Vinge's climax is suitably mindboggling. This epic combines the flash and dazzle of old-style space opera with modern, polished thoughtfulness. Pham Nuwen also appears in the nifty prequel set 30,000 years earlier, A Deepness in the Sky. Both novels are highly recommended, as this is some of the most original material I've read in years.

Richard Morgan - Altered carbon

In the 25th century, it's difficult to die a final death. Humans are issued a cortical stack, implanted into their bodies, into which consciousness is "digitized" and from which-unless the stack is hopelessly damaged-their consciousness can be downloaded ("resleeved") with its memory intact, into a new body. While the Vatican is trying to make resleeving (at least of Catholics) illegal, centuries-old aristocrat Laurens Bancroft brings Takeshi Kovacs (an Envoy, a specially trained soldier used to being resleeved and trained to soak up clues from new environments) to Earth, where Kovacs is resleeved into a cop's body to investigate Bancroft's first mysterious, stack-damaging death. To solve the case, Kovacs must destroy his former Envoy enemies; outwit Bancroft's seductive, wily wife; dabble in United Nations politics; trust an AI that projects itself in the form of Jimi Hendrix; and deal with his growing physical and emotional attachment to Kristin Ortega, the police lieutenant who used to love the body he's been given. Kovacs rockets from the seediest hellholes on Earth, through virtual reality torture, into several gory firefights, and on to some exotic sexual escapades. Morgan's 25th-century Earth is convincing, while the questions he poses about how much Self is tied to body chemistry and how the rich believe themselves above the law are especially timely.

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Is anyone still there? [06 Feb 2006|02:14am]

enattendant
There hasn't been a book of the month since July or so.

Is the community dead? Or are we just waiting for a good suggestion?
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[10 Jul 2005|10:15pm]

fuunsaiki
[ mood | bored ]

Have we all read 'Wicked'?

Let's have a new book then. :D

I have some community ideas I'm going to bounce off Clare at some point, but in the meantime, get recommending. If you have one book you want to recommend, that's fine. If you have more than one, put them in order of preference (so if we end up with five people recommending four books each, we can pare the options down to a slightly more manageable amount than twenty without sacrificing the really cool books). Give us titles, authors, brief explanations of why we should read 'em, and a link to Amazon is nice but not essential. Books must be fairly easy to get hold of, under £10, and *good*. :P (As my recommendation won the last poll, I'm exempt from recommending any officially this time, although I still say - unofficially - that 'Sideways' is really good and should be read. XD)

Go! Recommend! ^_^

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"Wicked" wrap up [13 Jun 2005|09:18pm]

ffenics
[ mood | content ]

Apologies for being a slacker and posting this late. I've been up to no good all over the country and also I seem to have developed some kind of addiction to sleeping XD

So, anyway, what did we all think of Wicked? If you have a thumb to the back of the book there's a reader's guide which may be of use :) I thought it was really excellent - I enjoyed the way that Oz was suddenly this fully fleshed out political machine of a country, and elements from the original stories were blended in really cleverly. I did think it was a bit overloaded with symbols and portents though. Like the scene at the philosophy club with the Tiger. It just seemed that was thrown in to unsettle the reader rather than to advance any plot or character development.

Thoughts anyone? :D

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Wicked - book for May! [03 May 2005|10:21pm]

ffenics
[ mood | accomplished ]

:::drumroll:::

Well, the poll is now closed, and we have a book for May!

-------------------
Wicked - Gregory Maguire
When Dorothy triumphed over the Wicked Witch of the West in L. Frank Baum's classic tale, we heard only her side of the story. But what about her arch-nemesis, the mysterious witch? Where did she come from? How did she become so wicked? And what is the true nature of evil? Gregory Maguire creates a fantasy world so rich and vivid that we will never look at Oz the same way again. Wicked is about a land where animals talk and strive to be treated like first-class citizens, Munchkinlanders seek the comfort of middle-class stability and the Tin Man becomes a victim of domestic violence. And then there is the little green-skinned girl named Elphaba, who will grow up to be the infamous Wicked Witch of the West, a smart, prickly and misunderstood creature who challenges all our preconceived notions about the nature of good and evil.
------------------

Most larger bookshops should stock Wicked or you can pick it up directly from Amazon :) We'll do a big discussion on it at the end of the month when everyone who wants to read it has had a chance to finish it, but until then if you want to talk about it as you go along just leave any spoilers under a cut tag :D

Thanks to fuunsaiki for the suggestion & also if you're interested in the musical version of Wicked and how it varies from the novel, i'm sure she'd be happy to point you in the right direction for info XD

Hope you're all happy with the selection & wishing you happy reading! :D

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back! [02 May 2005|09:43pm]

ffenics
[ mood | cheerful ]

Hi all :D

I'm back after sloping off for the weekend :D :D The poll for book of the month is currently tied three ways! If you havent yet voted you have 24 hours to do so or me and the moderators will er, make an executive decision on one of the 3 current tied titles :)

Out of interest randomly, how does everyone think the movie of "Howls Moving Castle" is shaping up? Looking good? Looking like they mutilated the book? I think it looks delightful but I'm not totally sure how it'll work as an anime film... Will the saucepan song be in it, I wonder XD

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[29 Apr 2005|08:47pm]

fuunsaiki
[ mood | chipper ]

ffenics has scooted off for the weekend and I am bored, so I'm posting the poll (with full permission ^_^) that we shall use to choose our official book for May. lspacelounge's first group book! :D So please vote, the sooner the better, and we shall soon see who comes through victorious. ^_^

Choose the official book for May!

The Master and Margarita - Mikhail Bulgakov
1(11.1%)
Wicked - Gregory Maguire
3(33.3%)
Sideways - Rex Pickett
2(22.2%)
253 - Geoff Ryman
0(0.0%)
The American Boy - Andrew Taylor
1(11.1%)
Fingersmith - Sarah Waters
0(0.0%)
Kitchen - Banana Yoshimoto
2(22.2%)
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[27 Apr 2005|12:00am]

fuunsaiki
[ mood | silly ]

I have added more authors to the interests list, in a blatant abuse of powah. They're mostly good. See if you can guess which one I added as an evil joke. >:D

Back to you, Clare. ^_^

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[26 Apr 2005|02:49pm]

chocorific
Just to put it out there, and to say hello, my suggestion for May's book would be The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov as I found it under my bed recently and haven't read it yet.

But I'll be happy whatever's chosen!
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May book of the month [26 Apr 2005|11:50am]

ffenics
Here's the current list of runners for the group book for May. If you have a suggestion then please post it to the community and include the reason why you think it'd be good. I'll then add it to the list of contenders in this post so we can all vote on them at the end of April (which is impending, so get in quickly :D ).

Only rules are...

- Has to be under a tenner RRP.
- Has to be in print and easy to get hold of.
- Has to be something not everyone will have read already.

Current sugestions are....
The Master and Margarita - Mikhail Bulgakov
Wicked - Gregory Maguire
Sideways - Rex Pickett
253 - Geoff Ryman
The American Boy - Andrew Taylor
Fingersmith - Sarah Waters
Kitchen - Banana Yoshimoto

I've included Amazon links just so you can read up on the synopsis of them all :D
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Rah :) [26 Apr 2005|12:23am]

ffenics
w00t, more people have joined! :::does the happy dance:::

Post & suggest your ideas for the group book for may! :D :D :D Or just...say hi... XD

Also please let me know your favourite authors so I can add 'em on to the interests list. I suffered a brain blank earlier and managed only about 5.
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[25 Apr 2005|08:23pm]

fuunsaiki
Hello, fellow book-nerds. ^_^

My suggestions for Book Of May are:

Sideways by Rex Pickett. I bought this book on a whim to fill up a 3 for 2 purchase at Waterstone's, and I took it with me on a weekend of travelling. Unfortunately, I enjoyed it so much that I'd finished it by the end of my first train journey and had to purchase further books, neither of which proved to be as entertaining. It's about two guys, one of whom is about to get married, going wine-drinking and slutting for a week. I reckon it'd be most appropriate for May as the film is finally out to rent on the 2nd. ^_^

Wicked by Gregory Maguire. If only so you can finally understand why Elphaba is the single coolest green girl ever and why L Frank Baum was a bit of a bastard for neglecting to give her any decent characterisation. ^_^

Yay bookses!

PS: may we add Gregory Maguire and Bill Bryson to the interests list?
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Balconius Bookshelves R Us [25 Apr 2005|07:53pm]

ffenics
[ mood | accomplished ]

I realise I am currently posting to myself here so feel like a crazy lady XD....

Welcome to the community, I hope you all enjoy it :D please let me know ANY suggestions as I've cooked this up in about ten minutes!

What we need to do once we have a settled membership is choose a book for May that we will all buy and read and discuss come the end of the month. This should be a fantastic way to try new books we may otherwise miss, and we'll get to all discuss and rate the book in question together. It can be any book from any year (doesnt have to be new) but should be under a tenner to purchase, still be in print, and preferably be something unread by most of the community.

I quite fancy a bit of period mystery and intrigue, so I'm going to tout Andrew Taylor's The American Boy, a historical crime novel which features young Edgar Allen Poe as a key character, or Sarah Waters' Fingersmith, on the basis that I missed the TV Series and ever since then people have been telling me how awful it was and how good the book was. Also I'm intrigued by "Kitchen" by Banana Yoshimoto, having read N.P and "Asleep" recently....

Right, I'm being forced out the door now so must post and run. Will return later!

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