Mike’s Prattle


Archive for December, 2007

Joe R. Lansdale – Cold in July; Jack Vance – Gadget Stories (Magnus Ridolph stories); John Varley – “Picnic on Nearside,” “Retrograde Summer,” “The Black Hole Passes,” “In the Bowl”

Posted by Mike on December 28, 2007

I find just about all of Lansdale’s work, whether major or minor, about as compellingly readable as anything out there, it usually only takes me a fraction as long as any other book of similar page count to read one. Read the rest of this entry »


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Fritz Leiber – “No Great Magic,” “Knight to Move,” “Black Corridor,” You’re All Alone; Tim Powers “Pat Moore,” “Fifty Cents” (with James P. Blaylock), “Through and Through”

Posted by Mike on December 26, 2007

Can barely keep up with these book posts, been getting a lot of reading done lately. Cheers to the California and Nevada Link Plus system. Read the rest of this entry »

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Jack Vance; Charles De Lint – The Dreaming Place, Christopher Evans – Aztec Century, Fritz Leiber – “Try and Change the Past;” “Damnation Morning; “The Oldest Soldier”

Posted by Mike on December 14, 2007

It’s a happy day getting my first look at one of the Jack Vance Integral Edition books, a project I’ve had to admire from afar before the library system made it possible to borrow them. The first volume is basically the first Dying Earth book, now called Mazirian the Magician, which was the first Vance book I read (and like many, fell in love with). So I started with IE2, “The World Thinker and Other Stories” only to realize I’d read all of this as well. At first I’d been concerned that a good majority of the IE versions might be significantly, textually different, but in comparing some versions with others in different collections, I didn’t find any major differences. I’m sure some corrections exist, but at least I won’t feel the need to have to reread anything. Now I’m working on volume 3, Gadget Stories, which contains the Magnus Ridolph stories, which I believe are the only early stories I haven’t had a chance to look at it (so far I’ve read “Hard Luck Diggings” and “Sanatoris Short Cut, both of which Vance wrote in a weekend and isn’t very fond of). And I’m really looking forward to #4 with his three earliest novels, all of which look to be in their best forms in the Integral Edition. To me, even early pulp Vance, obviously inferior to his later work, is entertaining, although it does make you wonder why the Dying Earth stories, his earliest written, are so superior. Read the rest of this entry »

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