February 02, 2008

Notes From A DVD Geek

by Jeremy Lassen

Hello again. February already. For Valentine's Day, be sure to check out a complete series box set of one of the most iconic anime shows of all times -- "Cowboy Bebop". Bounty hunters Spiek and Jet, and (yes, you knew this was coming, right?) Faye Valentine get their groove on -- on the space ship Bebop. If you haven’t experienced the joy that is "Cowboy Bebop", do so now.

February 01, 2008

January Bestsellers

1) Renegade's Magic by Robn Hobb
2) A Vintage From Atlantis: Collected Fantasies vol. 3 by Clark Ashton Smith
3) Teatro Grottesco by Thomas Ligotti
4) One Beastly Beast by Garth Nix
5) Dragons of Babel by Michael Swanwick
6) Complete Hammers Slammers vol. 3 by David Drake
7) Ice, Iron and Gold by S.M. Stirling
8) The Merchant & The Alchemist's Gate by Ted Chaing
9) The Kragen by Jack Vance
10) Ring of Fire vol. 2 edited by Eric Flint

1) Snake Agent by Liz Williams
2) Scar Night by Alan Campbell
3) Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs
4) Glasshouse by Charles Stross
5) Forest Mage by Robin Hobb
6) Three Days to Never by Tim Powers
7) Idlewild by Nick Sagan
8) Dust by Elizabeth Bear
9) Dog Days by John Levitt
10) Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett

Trade Paperbacks
1)Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse edited by John Joseph Adams tie with The Dragon Never Sleeps by Glen Cook
2) World War Z by Max Brooks
3) You Suck: A Love Story by Christopher Moore
4) The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie
5) River of Gods by Ian McDonald

Those Responsible

by Alan Beatts

I'm not a big one for blaming other people for how my life has turned out. At this point, I'm pretty much sure that where I've ended up is completely a consequence of the choices I've made. And really, I'm OK with that.

But, there are a few people who I feel comfortable blaming for my love of SF, fantasy and horror. When I was young I hated reading (and school in general) with a fiery passion. I wasn't very good at reading and I was way behind the rest of my class. That, added to being a discipline problem and trouble maker, didn't produce much affection on my part for school (and believe me, the schools I went to didn't love me much either). When I was ten or so, I suddenly learned how to read. I don't remember what did it or what I started off reading but I got very good at it and very fast. But, nothing really interested me much. Stevenson was OK (I think I read Kidnapped because I wanted to know about the character I was named after. And by the way, I don't think that namesake worked out quite the way my father planned . . . or perhaps it did) and I liked Sherlock Holmes but nothing really lit a fire in me.
Then that summer my family took a trip to visit a friend of my dad's. My sister and I stayed in the "den" on a sofa-bed. Above that sofa-bed was a whole wall of bookshelves that were completely filled with copies of Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine. I picked one at random and I started reading it because I liked the picture on the cover. It had a serious looking young man in a big, red spacesuit in the foreground, a young boy (I thought) with a teddy bear in the middle-ground, and the background was the surface of the moon. That was a cool cover. The spacesuit didn't look . . . wimpy . . . it looked like armor. It looked . . . important.