The view from below often carries a certain amount of filth. But even this filth can be seen as fertilizer for something to grow. Charles Bukowski’s view of the world came from the bottom. And in that view were the basest aspects of life that drove a person forward. More Notes of a Dirty Old Man stands as a collection of fiction, anecdotes, and semi-autobiographical columns written by Bukowski over much of his life. It certainly is not for the weak-minded or the ordinary.
Sunday, June 10, 2012
One of the most difficult versions of fiction is a series of stories centered on the same characters. On the one hand, readers get to see an evolution of those characters over time, otherwise known as a character study. The downside is that a series can become stale and rote after awhile. Sadly, the latter option is the conclusion I came to after reading the latest Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter book Kiss the Dead. This is not to say that there are not enjoyable bits in the book (which there are) but those bits are few compared to the overall disappointment I felt reading the book.
Monday, June 4, 2012
Speculative fiction works in no small part because of its basis in Socratic questioning. It is a simple exercise: Suppose “________”. Alfred Bester’s The Demolished Man, first published in 1953 has both an interesting pedigree (this is the book that won the very first Hugo Award for best novel) and an interesting Socratic question: Suppose that telepathy exists in the world. This supposition leads to the catalyst question: In such a world, how does one get away with murder?
Sunday, June 3, 2012
For those that have been fans of this genre for any serious length of time, you find that there are really two types of science fiction. The first is sci-fi or space fantasy, which can be best be exemplified by Star Wars. The other is science fiction or talk and tech, which one sees when watching Star Trek. Simon Vector , written by JAK Holding, tries to straddle the line between the two and is mostly successful in doing so.