Monthly Archives: October 2012

Wordy Wednesday – Behold the Man by Michael Moorcock

It’s a novella, it’s short and to the point, and it was okay.

So Karl, he’s all depressed, right? And his lady-friend is very sharp with him, cruelly attacking his beliefs. So he goes to visit this guy he knows, and the guy has a time machine, so Karl uses it to looking for Jesus Christ.

One of those days, you know?

Well, eventually Karl finds Mary and Joseph. Mary is a whore. Joseph is a selfish jerk, deriding Mary at every chance he can. Their son, Jesus, is a retarded hunchback.

Karl believes in the story of Christ so powerfully that he steps into the role. He gathers disciples, gives sermons, and becomes determined to live this through to the end.

Though, once he’s on the cross, he begs to be let down. But he says it in English, so no one understands him.

The writing was keen, but the premise was just off for me. Karl didn’t seem really focused on meeting Christ, he just seemed to want to hang out in Christ-times. His motivation was unclear – he wanted to meet Christ, but why? I mean, did he just want to talk to him? To try to see if he was actually the son of God? To prevent him from dying on the cross?

I mean, I get the big ideas here. They just aren’t presented in an interesting way.

Overall, I’m fifty-fifty on this one. It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t long. If you’re looking for a quick read that won’t stick in your mind, go for it.

Musical Monday – Cyrk II by Cate le Bon

Ah, the sweet, measured tones of Cate le Bon!

I liked Cyrk, which I talked about in the Half-Year Album review found here. (Might take a second to load, as I put in a lot of videos and a ton of words. Sorry!)

This is something like a B-sides, I think. I didn’t know how to feel about that at first.

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Wordy Wednesday – Little Brother by Cory Doctorow

Picked this up used from a guy I met at a flea market. You, however, can spare yourself the agony of rubbing elbows with the common man and simply download the book for free from Cory Doctorow’s website, which this link, uh, links to.

I bought a ton of books from that guy, in fact, and I haven’t even made a dent in the pile. This is a start. Not a great one, though.

I think I would have loved this book when I was fifteen or sixteen. It’s about a seventeen-year-old, Marcus, who gets taken in by the Department of Homeland Security after a terrorist attack on San Francisco.

He’s tortured, abused, mentally scarred, and then sent home. Then he gets angry and fights back. With hacking.

While I understand, and even agree for the most part, with the core ideas and outlook of the book, it wasn’t excellent.

The writing was good, everything moved along nicely. But the characters felt mostly one-note, and the villains might as well have had mustaches. They were basically wringing their hands in pleasure at torturing children, or cackling on their broomsticks while deliberately spreading misinformation.

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Musical Monday – Theatre is Evil by Amanda Palmer and the Grand Theft Orchestra

I like Amanda Palmer’s music. Who Killed Amanda Palmer? is a solid album from start to finish. The Dresden Dolls had a lot of really excellent songs.

Then came Amanda Palmer Goes Down Under, a collection of songs about Australia and New Zealand. Or something like that. It was moderately terrible.

Still, I was excited to listen to Theatre is Evil.

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Wordy Wednesday – Emphyrio by Jack Vance

Well, I have mixed feelings about this book.

Worst cover ever? Google Image Search for Emphyrio and you’ll see that this book is somehow cursed to have awful covers.

It’s got a bunch of stuff I like – spaceships, heavy ideas, political wrangling, ancient mysteries. But it really drags at times.

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Musical Monday – You’re the Top by Cole Porter

Sorry! Doing a bunch of college stuff today. Here’s a song that mentions cellophane – I’m doing a study on plastics, and every damn book I read has to mention this song.

Enjoy! Or don’t! You’re cellophane!

Looper – Only Kind of About Time Travel

I saw Looper today. It’s as good as I’ve heard.

There are a ton of spoilers below, so if you haven’t seen it, go see it and then come back.

First off – Looper is a time-travel film, and it violates some of the rules it sets up. Normally, I’m a stickler for internal consistency in films and books and games, but I didn’t mind it at all here.

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Wordy Wednesday – This Book is Full of Spiders by David Wong

The book isn’t the only thing that is filled with spiders. Ah, near-spoiler alert!

This will be a short review.

Go buy This Book is Full of Spiders. It is a fantastic novel. Here is the website for it and the first book.

The sequel to John Dies at the End, this book is one of those rare novels that kept me up late, reading long into the early hours of the morning. Not too often, though, because I read it all in two days.

The characters are excellent and you’ll really feel for them. The pacing is perfect, starting off at a quick trot and using a good fast-and-slow rhythm that pulls you along. There are big ideas here, and they are well-fleshed out. The writing is spot-on, exactly what it needs to be for the situation.

Anything I want to say might be a spoiler. It’s a wonderful blend of survival horror, philosophical debate, grey moral questions, and humor both childish and mature.

Okay okay I’ll do just a little review. Dave and his friend John once took a drug called Soy Sauce. Now they can see things other people can’t. That shadow you think you saw move just before you turned your head? Yeah, that was a walking shadow. Probably didn’t have your best interests at heart, either.

Well, Dave and John now find themselves entangled with a spider-thing from another dimension. Don’t be scared. It just wants to crawl into your mouth and live in you.

Unlike in John Dies at the End, things spiral way out of control this time. The small Midwestern town of Undisclosed is quickly the staging point for an alien invasion. Dave is a person of interest – the invasion, after all, started in his house.

Things get dark.

The ending almost made me hate David Wong (the author, who is actually Jason Pargin writing as if he were the David Wong of the book – I explain it dumb. You know what I mean). But This Book is Full of Spiders is our ages’ Cthulhu Mythos. I honestly believe it is that powerful. Pargin has built a shadow-world that exists beside us, even though we are blind to most of it.

And holy shit it is so believable, go buy this and read it right now I want to talk to people about it and no one I know has fucking read it GO GO GOOOOOO!

What the hell is Penny Arcade doing?

If you read Penny Arcade, maybe you know what I’m talking about. If you don’t, do me a favor. Click this link, read the comic, and then click this next link and read that comic. Those were sort of back to back – the first from a Friday, the second on a Monday.

Neither appears to have a joke.

Neither is comprehensible to me.

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Musical Monday – City by Client

This album starts with a piano, wraps some synth around it, and then carries into the first lyrics, which are: “Life is cruel and then you die.”

Excellent.

Client was a recommendation from Last.fm. The suggestions from Last.fm can be all over the place. I picked this one at random.

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