Tuesday, March 30, 2004

That all said, I'm sure there will be people who will find Voice of the Fire difficult and inaccessible. Myself, I spent the longest on the first, caveman chapter. So consider that a crucible: if you can get through the cave-speak chapter, you'll be able to handle the rest of the book (the next "difficult" chapter is perhaps the one narrated by the poet John Clare, which doesn't use punctuation of any kind).

And I'm also sure that people will finish the book and just not like it. But that's fine. I just want people to read the book, because at the very least, and especially for storytellers, you may not like the story, or the way it's told, but just the way it's told, and how Moore tries for something different, something new, should inspire any storyteller to further look into the elements and tools we have at our disposal. The basic one being language.

Some people won't get through that first chapter, which is too bad. But consider instead how Moore has forced us to embrace the logic and think like a caveman because he has limited the language available to us, thus curtailing communication by a few degrees. And if you start thinking of the possibilities and potential of manipulating language to control storytelling, or simply the transmission of ideas and feelings, then you've already gotten so much more out of Voice of the Fire than we get from hundreds of other, disposable novels.

The day after I wrote the Voice post, I got word from a friend that they'd finally arrived at Fully Booked. He even mentioned that there was a signed copy. So I went the next day, and there were 4 copies left, and all 5 signed copies had gone. Plus, the book that I did go there to get (can't afford Voice right now), Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis, disappeared too. But I did find Ed Brubaker & Colin Wilson's Point Blank, which I'd been dying to read since I read the first volume of Sleeper. And it is very good, just as I expected. The art's a revelation; I don't recall seeing Colin Wilson's art before.

Anyway, if Fully Booked at Power Plant's too far from you, there are also copies at CCHQ in Katipunan, and Comic Quest at Megamall. Some branches of Bibliarch have it, as does Sketchbooks at Greenbelt 3. Or you can always order it online.


Here's a pimple of a dilemma: I'd like to buy this book of Philip K. Dick short stories I saw at Fully Booked. Not too expensive (considering their prices); it's a hardcover for around P500. The problem is, it's wrapped with this godawful Paycheck cover. It's one of those collections made in time to promote the movie. Which isn't necessarily so bad; the collection that coincided with Minority Report was excellent, and the first Dick I'd read, and the reason why I want this collection (Dick books are really hard to find here; I've only seen 'em at Fully Booked and Booktopia). But I've seen Paycheck, and it is SO BAD. I couldn't believe it. It's terrible. I couldn't get my head wrapped around the fact that it was directed by John Woo. The dialogue is terrible. It's cringe-inducing. Horrible villain lines, abominable "clever" one-liners (especially during supposedly suspenseful moments), really bad style in directing (especially transitions; I especially hate the title sequence). It didn't help that I hate Ben Affleck, but in this movie I hated everyone, even the performers I do like (Aaron Eckhart, Uma Thurman). And the plot they spun out of the short story... Egad. You don't even have to gain some distance from the film to begin spotting holes in the construction.



Check out Michel Gondry's music video for The Polyphonic Spree, from his own Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Man, I can't wait-- April 28 seems so far away...

Forgot to point you kids to this.

If you haven't seen them yet, the new McDonald's Happy Meals toys are Astroboy playsets. There are 4 total. The first one I got was the magnetic one; it's the only one that has Urania. I'm getting the X-Ray Astro next.

And did you know that surrealism is a contraction of "super-realism"? I just found out the other day.

Cory Doctorow, who is, I'm told, one of the modern SF writers to watch, allows all 3 of his books to be downloaded for free from his website. If I find the time I'd like to read them.

I've also been thinking of downloading Terence McKenna's lectures. Any thoughts? Suggestions where to begin?

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