Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I've Gone To Canada to Visit Librairie Premiere-- My Fourth Favorite Combination Comic Book Shop/Used SF Bookstore in The World!

I'll be back on Monday the 13th.

Until then, entertain yourselves with this...
Blog-Jacking: IO9
Scientists Pick The Greatest Books And Movies Of All Time

Originally posted Oct 1 2008
By Charlie Jane Anders

At last, the most important works of science fiction are being determined scientifically. New Scientist magazine is doing a special science fiction issue on Nov. 15, and the magazine is polling its science-boffin readers as to the greatest books and movies in the genre. The magazine's own staff have already voted, and you might not be surprised by the books they put first. But you may have some issues with their most hated movies and books.

It's hard to quibble with their picks for best movies and books. Being mostly Brits, the New Scientist group put Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy at the top of the novel heap. Iain M. Banks would have won, but his vote was split among a few of his books. (Including Feersum Enjinn. Really?) Frank Herbert's Dune also came close to winning. The best movie, according to the NS crew, was Blade Runner, followed by 2001: A Space Odyssey, Solaris and Serenity.

To read the picks for Worst SF, click here.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Book News, In Brief

The home of The Jewel of Medina's English publisher was firebombed this weekend. While the the US publishers have temporarily closed their offices ("a precautionary measure"), they're still planning to release the book on October 15.

The Guardian UK makes this bold statement: Respect for religion now makes censorship the norm. When publishers are too intimidated to print even novels that may offend, it shows how far we've lost our way on free speech. To read the screed, click here.

John Bemelmans Marciano, grandson to Madeline author Ludwig Bemelmans, has announced his plans to write and draw the first new Madeline book in over fifty years. Yes, this is clearly a case of cashing in, but considering yesterday's announcement from the granddaughter of Anne of Green Gables author, who's gonna complain?

Got A Half Hour To Kill?

Check out The Comics Reporter's super-enjoyable The 50 Things That Every Comics Collection Truly Needs.
(Hell, even if you're not a comics fan yourself, you can use it as a cheat sheet for Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa presents this holiday season!)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Book News, In Brief All Bad

When life (or the current financial crisis) gives you lemons (or a 30% drop in book sales), make lemonade (or an overly sunny PR piece that reads well with the elderly and mentally infirmed, but holds nothing but laughs for those of us sadly in the know).

Over at Penguin Books, bad news abounds. Well, books about bad news, anyway. The orange tinted imprint has just purchased the rights to Andrew Ross Sorkin's Too Big To Fail. This is the third book about the current financial crisis that Penguin has bought in the past week.

To be fair, bad news abounds everywhere. According to the Wall Street Journal, if Borders doesn't find a buyer soon, "the chain must grant Pershing Square Capital 5.15 million warrants to purchase additional shares in the company, a move which will give the hedge fund an even greater stake in the chain." Wait. That might be good news...for some of us.

On a seriously somber note, the family of Anne of Green Gables author, Lucy Maud Montgomery, has come forward with a shocking revelation regarding the esteemed writer's death: It was a suicide, via an intentional drug overdose. Montgomery's granddaughter explains: "I have come to feel very strongly that the stigma surrounding mental illness will be forever upon us as a society until we sweep away the misconception that depression happens to other people, not us – and most certainly not to our heroes and icons...The fictional Anne went on to happiness and a life full of love and fulfilment. My grandmother's reality was not so positive, although she continues to inspire generations of readers with her books, which reveal her understanding of nature – both in matters of the heart and the world...I hope that by writing about my grandmother now there might be less secrecy and more awareness that will ease the unnecessary suffering so many people experience as a result of such depressions."