October 01, 2006

Halloween Thrills

by Jeremy Lassen

Hello movie fans.  It’s October!  Time to get your Halloween on!  Leading the pack are several new episodes of Showtime's Masters of Horror.  Jenifer, directed by Dario Argento is a fun little bit of twisted Italian horror cinema.  But the real piece de resistance from Masters of Horror is the episode that Showtime refused to air.  It was directed by Takashi Miike, and called Imprint.  Remember when I mentioned him last month?  Well, this episode was a bit too controversial for Showtime, so it never aired, but it is here now on DVD, and it is really pretty intense, and at the same time smart and engaging.

Other films to fill out your October chills include the just-arrived Lady Vengeance, from Korea.  It’s the final movie in the “Vengeance” trilogy from South Korean maestro Park Chan-wook (Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Old Boy).  Another trilogy of hardcore terror from Asia which has just arrived as a three disk set is the “All Night Long” collection.  Japanese grindhouse-esque films reached a peak with this series of films, including the title movie, Atrocity, and The Final Chapter. Rape, revenge, mutilation, etc.

September Bestsellers

1) Forest Mage by Robin Hobb
2) Hunters of Dune by Kevin J. Anderson and Brian Herbert
3) The Machine's Child by Kage Baker
    Demon and the City by Liz Williams
4) Glasshouse by Charles Stross
5) The Ghost Brigades by John Scalzi
6) A Cruel Wind by Glen Cook
7) Dark Mondays by Kage Baker
8) Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman
9) Alabaster by Caitlin Kiernan
10) World War Z by Max Barry
      Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett

1) Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
2) The Dark Tower by Stephen King
3) Thud! by Terry Pratchett
4) The Protector's War by S.M. Stirling
5) Shaman's Crossing by Robin Hobb
6) The Children of the Company by Kage Baker
7) Shadowmarch by Tad Williams
8) The City, Not Long After by Pat Murphy
9) The Keeper by Sarah Langan
    Recursion by Tony Ballantyne
10) Firestorm by Rachel Caine

Trade Paperbacks
1) The Line Between by Peter S. Beagle
2) Snake Agent by Liz Williams
3) Prador Moon by Neal Asher
    The Algebraist by Iain M. Banks
4) Twenty Epics edited by Susan Marie Groppi and David Moles
    Old Man's War by John Scalzi
5) Year's Best Fantasy 6 edited by David Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer

Television Substitues and the Role of Genre Fiction

by Alan Beatts

I don't watch TV.  Haven't for years.  Not that I really have anything against it but my life tends to be busy enough that I can't manage to be near a TV at the same time each week so following series or having a favorite show is pretty much out.  It's pretty funny, really, since my parents used to worry about me watching too much TV when I was a kid (which is a concern that seems to have gone sadly out of fashion, oh well).  Granted, there are things like TiVo and, even using a VCR (which I can program, thank you very much) but it never seemed worth the trouble just to be able follow a series.

There have been some series that I thought were well worth watching.  I came very late to Buffy the Vampire Slayer but I own all the DVDs (I think it was Peter Beagle talking about how much he had wanted to write for that show that might have tipped me over the edge and made me start watching the DVDs -- thanks, Peter).  Right now I'm starting to get sadly hooked on Deadwood though I did dodge the bullet on Battlestar Galactica (there were just too many holes in the plot of the pilot for me).

But the point is, I don't watch TV.  I read instead.  But not because I think it's "better" or "more meaningful" or in any way superior to TV.  I just like it better (and I can do it just about anywhere).