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Christian

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Christian last won the day on September 17

Christian had the most liked content!

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About Christian

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    The Last One
  • Birthday 02/22/1975

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    Brigadoon
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    I work as a short fiction writer
    reading
    Communism
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    World politics
  1. Librarians, Liberals and Lesbians* (Books)

    I'm reading through the anthology The Vintage Book of Amnesia, edited by Jonathan Lethem. It has some major issues, although it collects some good stories. First of all, I do already own a number of short stories included, but that's just my own griping, rather than an objective critique of the book. The far larger problems are: A.)Lethem collects far too many excerpts from novels. It was like he had a distinct lack of short stories to include, so he started to just fill up the pages with excerpts from novels. This may show a sign of some problem with the theme of said anthology. Sometimes you can excerpt a short section of a novel and have it read as a self-contained story, and that's fine, but usually the reader is left feeling cheated when you include so many excerpts from much longer works. B.)Many of the stories he chose for inclusion in the anthology don't even fit the criteria of the stated premise of said anthology. Jorge Luis Borges' story "Funes, His Memory" is included. I've read that story before. It's actually about a person who is able to remember everything. It's "reverse-amnesia". Sure, including some stories which don't really fit the criteria can shake up an anthology, if too many stories are dealing with the same plot, but there really aren't all that many stories which are strictly about the subject of amnesia. Philip K. Dick's "I Hope I Shall Arrive Soon" is also included, another story I've read before. A wonderful story to be sure, but it can hardly be classified as being about amnesia. The main character doesn't really forget anything. Having complained a great deal about this anthology (which I'd say it is deserving), there are some stories that are hard to fine other places, which made me decide to pick up this used copy. Robert Sheckley's short story, "Warm", is included. Once again, the main character doesn't actually forget anything. However, it's a delightful little story which taking Bishop George Berkeley's philosophy to their ultimate end. It's a Sheckley story that can be hard to find, but deserves to be more widely read, I feel. Then again, I'm intrigued by Berkeley's philosophy, myself.
  2. Brian Aldiss is gone....?

    He's actually had a few short stories published posthumously, it appears. I checked the ISFDB. The one you are referring to is "The Drummer and the Skins", and it says it was collected in an anthology titled The Horns of Elfland published in 1997.
  3. Brian Aldiss is gone....?

    Oh, Brunner did die in 1995. I thought he had died in the early-1980s, for some reason. Yeah, his Children of the Thunder novel, which I really liked, was from 1988, so I should have realized.
  4. Just Got into Hellblazer...

    "Ashes and Honey" was actually by Darko Macan, not Ellis. It was a two-part fill-in story between writers. I am a fan of the "Ashes and Honey" arc though, it was very good.
  5. Test & forum update noise

    If someone clicks that they like your post, it shows up on the top of your screen that someone liked your comment. It's how you can discover if you have a secret admirer, for one.
  6. Brian Aldiss is gone....?

    Well, he was no John Brunner in that respect. Brunner is a writer who will probably never gain the recognition he deserves outside of genre circles due to the fact that he was constantly putting out works, of very differing quality. Brunner and Dick died around the same time, but look how much work Brunner had published versus how much there was by Dick.
  7. Brian Aldiss is gone....?

    Yeah, it would be hard to choose a best work by him. He has a number that I could point to as his stand-out fiction. Although, perhaps that works against him, as there's no one or two works by him that everyone points to as the book you must read by Aldiss. If everyone is telling someone, "You have to read this book by so-and-so!", that writer often becomes more well known, just based on that novel. So, people might pick up other works by said author, to see how it compares (even if said book really isn't even the author's actual best book). With Aldiss, different people will point to different works by him, so there's no one "must read" book by him to draw in interested readers. Had he had that one book that large groups of people pointed to, perhaps he'd be better known, sadly. I expect that the literati will eventually discover Aldiss and come to their senses, just like with a Philip K. Dick, and he'll begin to get more recognition. It's just sad that these writers have to be considered "pulp writers" by the literati while they're alive, and only later do we see about how they were "really writing works of Existentialism and not sci-fi!".
  8. Upgrade

    I hate to be that guy, but it's a bit too....white....around here, isn't it? When are the other sections going to come back? The stuff that used to be in the Culture Bunker and Down the Local. EDIT:Oh, nevermind. I see that Down in the Ground is open to new posts. It says "where dead threads go", so I figured that everything there was locked away.
  9. Just Got into Hellblazer...

    The story actually wasn't very good though. It may have made a few good points, but the fact that the story ends with a student telling the gunman to shoot him was probably something that DC rightly worried about following the mass-school shooting. The problem with the story is that it really wasn't a John Constantine story. He was just there as window-dressing. It's not as if the story was a lost classic. I'm sure keeping Ellis around would have been better than Azzarello, as I did enjoy most of what we saw of Ellis, unlike my feelings for Azzarello. Although, maybe Ellis would have gotten bored in the middle of his next story-arc and moved on to other projects, and we'd be here bitching about how Ellis did that again, this time on our favourite comic book creator. Maybe if we go to an alternate reality where the "Shoot" controversy didn't happen, Ellis would have lost interest in Hellblazer half-way through his next story-arc, and Vertigo in a panic to find a new writer (as Azzarello would be busy now) has to stick Chuck Austen on HB. Maybe the fates were in our favour and saved us from something far worse. Also, welcome to new Forum member. It's nice to see that some people are still discovering John Constantine.
  10. Comics Shipping the Week of September 18th 2017

    I don't expect to see that, as Ellis said that he won't be using Planetary in the WildStorm relaunch. Ellis has said that the Planetary story is finished. Planetary did always come across more as a creator owned book from Ellis, rather than something like Authority or WildCATS, so I'm fine with the Planetary cast being left alone. Yes, I realize that Planetary crossed over with the Authority (and the JLA and Batman...).
  11. Brian Aldiss is gone....?

    Ha! That's quite a cheeky little book. Definitely not Aldiss' best work, but a very interesting one. It's well worth reading if you've read the best of his genre fiction.
  12. Marvel's One World Order

    Yeah, that was a really good series. I doubt they'll even mention Secret Empire again. Marvel is moving on to the Marvel Legacy "not-a-relaunch" next. A lot of books already seem to be ignoring the fact that fascists were just running the United States, like in X-Men:Gold, there's a story-arc brewing about how Congress is voting on a bill to deport all mutants from the United States. Well, in Secret Empire, Steve Rogers allowed California to secede from the US, and rounded up all known mutants and sent them to California, naming it "New Tian". At the end of Secret Empire, it shows the US government destroying New Tian, and repatriating the mutants back in to the United States. Well, that all sounds incredibly stupid, on a number of levels. Sure, maybe the United States government wanted California back as part of the United States, but if they wanted to deport all mutants, especially when mutants don't have an actual homeland, why not just keep New Tian? Plus, "OK, it's time to make it up to mutants for what the fascist government did to them! Welcome back to America! Now, let's vote if we're going to deport you, in a fascist-like manner!". There's also the fact that fascist Steve Rogers is apparently still alive and being kept in a secret government prison compound. Spencer may have been going more for metaphor, in that the dark, fascist heart of the United States is always hidden just under the surface, waiting to come back out, and we must never allow that to happen. Sure. It's still a horrible decision. I never want to see fascist Cap showing up as a villain again. I think that's a bad story idea that needs to be locked away with the Secret Empire cross-over, not to be seen again.
  13. Brian Aldiss is gone....?

    Sad, Aldiss deserved so much more recognition. Is Michael Moorcock dealing with ill health? I hadn't heard. One of my very favourite writers. Every Golden Age science fiction writer is gone....Now, it looks like it's going to happen to the New Wave generation.... That's going to be a tough deal for me, who has so much love for the New Wave style of science fiction, far more than the affinity I felt for the Golden Age writers. They'll all be gone. There aren't a lot left from the New Wave. Ellison, Moorcock, Spinrad....
  14. Brian Aldiss is gone....?

    Three weeks ago now. I'm just shocked, because I didn't hear about this anywhere. I just stumbled across it by mistake. It would seem like such an important writer's death would have gotten more attention, but Aldiss' death seemed to pass almost without notice. Science fiction lost one of its greatest writers. http://sfaddict.blogspot.com/2017/08/rip-brian-aldiss.html
  15. Marvel's One World Order

    Well, it seems that against all common sense, Marvel does not plan to wipe away the Secret Empire continuity.... Unless the Marvel Legacy special is going to set up a new Marvel Universe, which at this point, I do not expect. That's going to be kind of....disturbing. I can imagine the discussion amongst the Avengers, "Hey guys. Remember when Captain America was a fascist and Hydra took over American? That was pretty crazy, am I right?". "Yes....Let us never speak of any of that again."
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