Friday, May 30, 2008


As I continue to re-read some of my favourites, I have been enjoying Neil Gaiman's Sandman series in all its glory. This amazing series was Gaiman's first work and early on it shows, but when he found his feet it really exploded.
Gaiman used a very literary style that required the reader to put in some effort, but the mythology he created around the Endless and their interactions with the world is really enjoyable. Don't be put off by the fact that the series takes a while to get going, the pay off is well worth it.
As his short stories show, Gaiman has many ideas and enjoys telling stories and Sandman is full of ideas. Whether it is the Corinthian, the serial killers convention, the novelist who captures his muse, or unique ideas about the interaction between Heaven and Hell Gaiman isn't afraid to experiment and explore.
So go out and dive in to the glorious depths of Gaiman's imagination it'll be worth it trust me.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Indiana Jones

Went and saw Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull last night and enjoyed it a lot. Checked my brain at the door at went along for the ride. Very Sci-Fi with a good fifties vibe, the film also drew inspiration from books like Chariots of the Gods and put forward the idea that aliens really did visit the earth a long time ago and influence human culture.
Over the top ending with the baddie (Cate Blanchett chewing massive amounts of scenery) getting what she deserves. Follows a fairly worn formula, but Spielberg knows what he is doing. Anyone looking for a fun night out should enjoy this.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Problem with Science Fiction

Richard Morgan is a great Science Fiction and Fantasy author, who is also passionate about the genres within which he writes. This piece from his blog shows that and I encourage people to read it. It can be found at the following address.
For the record I happen to agree with his points about the in-fighting within Science Fiction.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Virtual fun

Rise of the Ogre tells the story of the worlds most successful virtual band Gorillaz. As a fan of their music I enjoyed reading this 'interview' with the band members as they tell how they found each other, and recorded their two albums as well as stories from their tours and what each does when not recording.

This product sends up the excesses of rock and roll, and the self-centred demands of artists as they rise into the stratosphere of fame. Also says a lot about fame as a concept and how four animated band members can conquer the world. So hats of to 2D, Murdoc, Russell and Noodle, as well as Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett for this enjoyable ride.

L to R: Russell (back), Noodle, 2D and Murdoc.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Welcome to the Nightside

Having spent most of this week of sick with the flu you can imagine that I would have spent a large proportion of my time reading. You would not be wrong, so rather than list what I did read I will discuss one of the stand-outs.
Simon R Green has a great series of novels starring John Taylor PI and his adventures in the Nightside. A cross between the X-Files, the Twilight Zone and Raymond Chandler Green's stripped back prose is a joy to read.

Here is the blurb for the second book in the series called Agents of Light and Darkness, which gives a good feel for the series as a whole;

I'm John Taylor. I work in the Nightside—the gaudy, neon noir, secret heart of London, where it's always three in the morning, where gods and monsters make deals and seek pleasures they won't find anywhere else. I have a gift for finding things. And sometimes what I'm hired to locate can be very, very dangerous indeed. Right now, for example, I'm searching for The Unholy Grail, the cup that Judas drank from at the Last Supper. It corrupts all who touch it—but it also gives enormous power. So I'm not the only one hunting. Angels, devils, sinners and saints—they're all out there, tearing apart The Nightside, seeking the dark goblet. And it's only a matter of time uintil they realize that the famous John Taylor, the man with the gift for finding things, can lead them straight to it...

The series is full of amazing characters like Shotgun Suzie, Razor Eddie the Punk God of the Razor, the SAS (Salvation Army Sisterhood, nuns with guns) and many more.

If you like noir fiction with a twist than thses books are a quick read that are lots of fun.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Secret Policeman's Ball

I know this clip is from 2006, but as I was adding Torn by Natalie Imbruglia I remembered this very well done and hilarious clip from the Secret Policeman's Ball. Go to the link below to watch it and enjoy.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The Gap Conflict

My rereading of science fiction novels continues with the Gap Series by Stephen Donaldson. Though I sometimes wonder why every few chapters or so. Donaldson does not present a favourable picture of humanity in this series, with characters engaging in the lowest acts in order to get ahead.
Rape, murder, pillage, violence this is not a positive view of the world. Donaldson seems to like bringing out the worst in his characters, and I find myself putting the book down every few chapters to read something else. But I keep coming back, Donaldson is a good writer and the books do fly along. The series is modeled on Wagner's Ring Cycle and there are many links between the two works.

I will keep reading, I want to finish the series and I do recommend it to others, just don't be surprised if you need a shower afterwards.