Mike’s Prattle

Miscellaneous

Books/CDs Received; Poul Anderson “The Sharing of Flesh;” Harlan Ellison “The Beast That Shouted Love at the Heart of the World;” Samuel R. Delany “Time Considered as a Helix of Semi-Precious Stones;” Neil Gaiman – The Sandman Volume 3 The Dream Country; The Sandman Volume 4 Season of Mists; Richard McKenna “The Secret Place;” Lucius Shepard “The Exercise of Faith,” “The Black-Clay Boy”

Posted by Mike on September 11, 2006

  • Neil Gaiman – The Sandman Volume 4: Season of Mists
  • Grant Morrison – The Invisibles Volume 3: Entropy in the U.K.
  • Alan Moore & Kevin O’Neill – The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Volume 1
  • Frank Miller with Klaus Janson & Lynn Varley – Batman: The Dark Knight Returns
  • Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons – Watchmen

CDs (first order in aeons)

  • Between – And the Waters Opened
  • Between – Einsteig (both reissue/remasters)
  • NeBeLNeST – ZePTO
  • Cincinatto – Cincinatto
  • Hero – Hero (both reissue/remasters)
  • Nucleus – Hemispheres

Not sure I can remember the details of half of what I’ve read but I’ll give it a whirl. The first three stories listed are the last three in the big book of Hugo Winners Vols 1 and 2, which has taken me several years to get through. The Anderson story is a neat one on cannibalism, possibly the most readable piece I’ve read by the author, someone I can’t say I’m much of a fan of. But weaving the story of the degenerated human tribe with the death of the protagonist’s loved one gave it an immediacy that kept me wanting to know what happened. I think it’s actually the second time I’ve read the Ellison story, but I was probably as impressed as I was the first time, when I went and promptly forgot about it. I like a lot of classic Ellison stories, but not really this one. The Delany I barely remember, but it reminded me of Morgan’s Altered Carbon a bit, a future world with a bit of the private detective involved.

The Sandman series gets better with every volume, the 3rd probably the most human story so far, while the 4th seems to be almost entirely about the entities that inhabit the universe. It’s hard to know what to say without spoiling anything (well at least for those who aren’t 20 years behind like me), but Gaiman’s interweaving of several mythologies (mythoses? :)) and reworking of others brings a cosmic scope to the project that begins to add serious, sublime depth to everything. Great stuff.

The McKenna award won the Nebula, the second year the award was around, but I can’t remember it at all at the moment without having the book around to jog the memory. The two Shepard stories are both strong, the first a story about a preacher of sorts, the second something of a voodoo story as a woman in the twilight of a life gone wrong tries to get revenge on those that hassle her. Both are probably good examples of how good a writer can be if this is their middle of the line work. But few of any of the shorts here really grabbed me too hard.

Starting to post a little at Outer Music again, when I get the time and inclination, so link on over on your right if you haven’t checked in in a while. It even has a new look!

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