Mike’s Prattle

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Archive for June, 2009

Sticky books

Posted by Mike on June 18, 2009

List 15 books you’ve read that will always stick with you — Don’t take too long to think about it. The first 15 you can recall in 15 minutes.
From: (and in no particular order except what comes to mind)

1. Israel Regardie – The Middle Pillar (NF, occult)
2. Daevid Allen – Gong Dreaming 1 (music bio)
3. Edward Whittemore – Quin’s Shanghai Circus (fiction)
4. Aleister Crowley – (hard to pick a specific title, his work in general)
5. Umberto Eco – Foucault’s Pendulum (fiction)
6. Dan Simmons – The Rise of Endymion (science fiction)
7. The Book of Revelations (religious vision)
8. Deke Leonard – Rhinos, Winos and Lunatics (music bio)
9. Robert Anton Wilson – Cosmic Trigger 1 and several others (NF, bio etc)
10. H. P. Lovecraft – The Dunwich Horror and Others (horror collection)
11. Jack Vance – The Demon Princes (science fiction series)
12. The Real Frank Zappa Book (autobio)
13. Dion Fortune – The Mystical Qabalah (NF occult)
14. George R. R. Martin – A Song of Ice and Fire (fantasy series)
15. Tim Powers – Last Call (fantasy)

OK my 15m is up

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Far Cry Predator (Instincts/Evolution), Steven Brust – The Paths of the Dead, Ursula K. Le Guin – City of Illusions, Doom 2 Master Levels, Doom 3 – Resurrection of Evil, Bentley Little – The Revelation, Daevid Allen – Gong Dreaming 1, Quake 2 and 4

Posted by Mike on June 17, 2009

So I haven’t done one of these what am I reading/playing posts for a little while now, so this kind of dumps the backlog of several months. I’ve actually been catching up with music a bit more of late, which I’ll post to Tom’s Unencumbered Music Reviews blog if and when I get a moment (URL in last post) and am still busy with the incense site which seems to continue to grow. I’m still astonished by the generosity of the people who love incense, lately I’ve gotten more than I know what to do with. Reviews after cut. Read the rest of this entry »

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A few things….

Posted by Mike on June 9, 2009

Jack Vance fans like myself are eagerly awaiting the Songs from the Dying Earth collection at Subterranean Press, a collection edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois and featuring dozens of some of the finest spec fic writers out there paying tribute to one of the classic “science fantasy” milieus (somewhere between Clark Ashton Smith’s Zothique stories and Gene Wolfe’s Urth quintet) . They’ve just put on line Lucius Shepard’s “Sylgarmo’s Proclamation” as a teaser and it’s a pitch perfect tribute in every way, with a knowledge of the Vance lexicon that goes as deep as the subtle humor and worldbuilding, yet kind of a different take on a tale of Cugel that has some nice Shepard coloring at work as well. I got incredible deja-vu reading this, like I was rereading a Vance story I’d forgotten. Highly recommended, if the rest of the stories are only half this perfect this should be a real treasure chest. Tributes are rarely about one insanely talented writer paying tribute to another insanely talented writer, but this one is.

Looks like I will be part-time contributing to a new music blog created by my long-time friend and Gnosis co-creator Tom Hayes at:

http://unencumberedmusicreviews.blogspot.com/

Tom and I are both at the “no hassle” stage of music reviewing, basically wanting to write only about things we have passion to write about, which generally means this won’t be a blog that covers a lot of new music or is up to date or comprehensive. It’ll also be intermittent, which works for our up and down schedules, and it means I probably won’t post a lot, but I’m looking forward to getting the bug again. This also means that Outer Music Diary, while still available as archives (thanks to Mike Borella!) will basically be ending its run formally.

And a heavy shout out for CBS’s The Big Bang Theory, which is possibly the best and funniest sitcom since Seinfeld. I’m not a huge fan of this genre but BBT’s look into geek culture with a cast who have insanely good chemistry and a comic genius in the works with Jim Parsons’ Sheldon is well worth looking into for anyone who has had experience with these types of personalities and quirks (progressive rock fans, TV fans, science fiction etc etc).

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