Jumpdrives & Cantrips

October 17, 2008, 2018
Filed under: Misc | Tags: ,

Expect a review of Camp Concentration by Thomas M. Disch in the next couple of days as a belated part of the “Blogger Book Club”–would be here today if not for a family emergency. Hope everyone out there in the blogosphere is doing well.

Grit, as Writ

I’ve been thinking for a while about grit in the SF genre, especially in fantasy. You can’t go more than a few reviews or browse more than a few book covers in a store without the use of “grit” somewhere. What is grit, and what’s the appeal?

LOOK! Boys wanted to sell GRIT! Continue reading

Dragon Song!
April 12, 2008, 2101
Filed under: Misc | Tags: , , , ,

…Because everyone needs to hear a song about a dragon. And let’s be honest: Puff was wearing a little thin.

End Trans?
April 5, 2008, 1345
Filed under: Misc | Tags: ,

Contrary to all appearances, Jumpdrives & Cantrips has not shut down as of April 1 (that would be a rather cruel April Fool for those of you who enjoy the site). Instead, life took a front seat with some additional work and family issues that required resolving.

I also happened to hit one of those bumps that I encounter every once in a while as a reader. Sometimes I just don’t want to read. And so I did other things of muchly fun in the past while that I highly endorse:

  • Playing RockBand. It’s an awesome co-operative game that encourages people to work together to “play” instruments in a band or sing. I’m partial to the drums–it’s enjoyable beating the crud out of things in an artful manner. Even people who have no sense of rhythm can get by playing it, because there are visual cues to get you through when your internal pitch-o-meter is less than helpful.
  • Seeing friends from out of town. Always enjoyable, and our friends have one of the smartest two-year-olds I’ve seen in a long time, despite his having a stroke early in life and various seizure issues. He spent part of the night testing different methods to try and politely trick me into giving abandoning chocolate to him. He didn’t get it, but he was more inventive than any adult probably would have been!
  • Getting stormed upon. I love storms, especially when I am not directly in them, and our somewhat balmy weather in Winnipeg has been punctuated with brief ice storms and hail this week. Yesterday I went to work and it looked as though some giant sea salt machine dusted our front yard, but it was leftover overnight hail!

As much as I love reading, I think if I read books when I didn’t feel like it, it would be a greater travesty. I wouldn’t enjoy them just because I didn’t want to enjoy them at that point in time. And you’d probably get sick of reading loads of more-cranky-than-usual reviews. However, I’m currently working on the review for the third Jani Kilian book, Law of Survival. After this one, I’m going to take a break from the series for a while to catch up on some other books. Grimspace by Ann Aguire is still on the list, and I’ll see where I am after that.

Any requests? Send ’em on in.

Pile o’ Shame

Aidan at A Dribble of Ink came up with the brilliant idea of airing his Pile o’ Shame: books that perpetually get stuck on the to-be-read pile. I’ve actually been actively working to rectify my pile o’ shame over the past few years by purposefully seeking out some of the classics in science fiction and fantasy, but it never seems to be enough. And I wonder too if a good pile o’ shame keeps us readers on our toes, so to speak… Or maybe it just engenders embarrassment *sigh*

Douglas Adams

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the GalaxyThat’s right–I haven’t read a single thing by one of the most popular comic SF writers EVAR. Despite the sheer amount of people who recommend The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy to me, I just haven’t found any motivation to read it. Even though my friends have their own version of the pan-galactic gargleblaster (or some such drink that apparently is in the books), even though my husband wanted to drag me to the movie, and even though several people have GIVEN me their copies at various points in time. Partly, I am a contrary person at heart and the more I’m pushed, the less likely I am to actually do anything. But it doesn’t change the fact that Adams’ book has been hugely influential and is apparently quite good. Not to mention the radio broadcasts, films, etc. etc.

George R. R. Martin

A Game of ThronesLong ago, before these books really got popular, I read A Game of Thrones and told my friends who liked Robert Jordan (I am probably one of the few adamant not-fans of Jordan) to give up the ghost and switch series. Sadly, after nearly three years of waiting for the next book, I lost interest and never returned to read the rest of the series even though I really liked the first book. And to be honest, I’m a little scared to return to the series because I don’t want to go back and think, “Man that was not as good as I remembered it being!”

Robert Heinlein

Stranger in a Strange LandI know. You really don’t need to say anything. It’s unneeded, and I’m not sure how this happened. One of the biggest all time writers in science fiction, and I haven’t read a whit of his works. Not even one. Stranger in a Strange Land has been in the pile for over 3 years, and The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is right beside it, alongside Starship Troopers. One of the freakin’ grandfathers of SF and his books sit around gathering dust on my pile. Oh well…

China Miéville

Un Lun DunEvery single time I read summaries of this guy’s novels, they sound so darned good. But for some reason I just can’t quite get around to reading any of his books. A friend of mine even lent me King Rat, which is currently sitting in the middle of my hallway floor. I suspect, wily New Weird Novel that it is, it’s following me until I give in and curl up to devour it. Never have I known a book to be so forward about this whole process. Truly though, I know how good Miéville is supposed to be, but…

All I can do really is shrug my shoulders and say, “It’s on the pile.”

Thus, The Pile has been partly aired (they always grow) and hopefully I will actually get into gear to read some of these poor ignored books. I find it interesting to see that these authors are all male… Though I’m quite aware I tend to read women more often than men in general for some unknown reason.

In any case, spur me on if you want reviews of these up here!