Friday, August 12, 2005

Okay! I will answer the clamor (actually just 2 people) for new posts! But! This is not the Neil Gaiman Weekend post. It will be done when it gets done, and will actually go up on my LJ and not here, as I feel it belongs there. Hopefully the wait will have been worth it, because it looks to be the longest post I've ever written (which isn't actually any indicator of it being any good; I'm just saying). And this may actually be the first time I've mentioned that I have an LJ on this blog.

So instead I will write some stuff about books and movies.

August is the bibliophile's favorite month of the year here in Manila, because Powerbooks is on its annual sale, where almost everything is 20% off, and the Bookfair is at the end of the month (check the remember! box on the left for details).

I recently got a chance to check out the Powerbooks sale, and got some stuff I really wanted. I've been cutting back on my spending since around mid-March, so I'm actually quite proud that I've only bought 3 things: Douglas Coupland's Eleanor Rigby, Chuck Palahniuk's Haunted, and Michael Chabon's Wonder Boys (because it was at 30% off!). See, ma? No comics! (Not yet.) I'm a Coupland fan and have read all his novels so Eleanor Rigby was a no-brainer. In fact it was a nice surprise because I didn't even know that he'd written it until I saw it on the shelves a month or so ago. I thought his next book was the sequel to Microserfs (which I anticipate mightily). Ditto for Chuck Palahniuk; even his non-fiction books I have. And Haunted contains Guts, the notorious short story that caused either fainting/vomiting in almost 75% of all stops on his last book tour when he read it out loud. I am eyeing several other books, though, like Bruce Wagner's Force Majeure and Brad Meltzer's The Zero Game, but I'm waiting until the end of the month to make my decision. Ditto on the comics. But if you go, I heartily recommend the following off the top of my head: Paul Auster's The New York Trilogy is, I think, at 30% off. Among the graphic novels, Birth of a Nation by Aaron McGruder, Reginald Hudlin, and Kyle Baker; the Catwoman TPBs of Ed Brubaker, and David B.'s Epileptic, which is in the autobiography section.

If, like me, you are on a budget, allow me to point you in the direction of some cool stuff available for free online, including whole books! It ain't called Mindfuel for nothin'! (actually yes, it is)

Rosemary Mosco's 55 Words are a series of microfictions, each composed of only (can you guess?) 55 words. 365 Tomorrows presents a new ultra-short story every single day, and most, if not all, are science fiction (hence the tomorrows).

Of course, my main introduction to short shorts was Richard Kadrey's Viperwire nanotales on Infinite Matrix. They're all still there, but his new novel Blind Shrike is available for free download, as is his previous novel Metrophage. Then there is Cory Doctorow, who has made all of his novels available online for free download on his website. That's 3 books, one of which is brand spanking new!

Finally we have Joey Comeau, who I first came across through his A Softer World, who is pre-selling copies of his first novel Lockpick Pornography. Basically the whole thing is up online if you would like to read it before ordering it, but the hard copy will have more material (the online chapters are, I imagine, an earlier draft of the finished novel) and come signed, with a bonus zine to boot. I'd actually like to order it myself, as I haven't read any of Mr. Comeau's stuff yet that I haven't liked (and he wrote a story I would actually like to read out loud), but fucking Paypal still aren't allowing us Noypis to sign up for their "service." Who's got Paypal? It's cheap! Only $10. It would make a great gift for poor booklovers whose birthday is in August, wouldn't it? Wait, did I say gift? I meant I would pay you back. Probably.

I almost cried today while reading the new 100 Bullets volume, The Hard Way. It's a series that I love but it's usually smart and dark and violent and wily and just gangbusters, but then out of the blue comes these real emotional moments that just take you by surprise. Anyway, good shit, and still utterly unpredictable. Definitely one of the best comics series being published today. This, a few days after finishing the latest Y The Last Man volume, Ring of Truth, which is also fucking fantastic, with the usual terrific cliffhangers but more character and plot development and filled with terrific moments that make you gasp and stop reading for a few seconds because your heart might burst. So, 2 of the best comics series being published today.

Have you heard of the Singapore Writers' Festival? It's from Aug. 26 - Sep. 4. Colleen Doran is a Guest of Honor, and Ho Che Anderson will be there as well. Also, SF writers Bruce Sterling & Cory Doctorow.



So the trailer of James McTeigue's adaptation of V For Vendetta is out, and it makes me feel slimy. In my lack of shit-giving I did not realize that it also stars Stephen Rea and John Hurt. Oh well. The lines "This is exactly what he wants." "What?" "Chaos." actually made me groan. There you have a pretty good example of changing the message of the original series. So everyone, please read the book before you see the movie. Which reminds me: Gio finally returned my copy after taking 7 years to read it. Who wants to borrow it next? Just be quick about it!

Also! Rich Johnston reviews the V For Vendetta script here. "Are you, like, a crazy person?" indeed!

The trailer for Ingmar Bergman's Saraband is horrible. I mean, art films have a tough enough time of it, but this trailer does nothing for the film. Almost put me to sleep.

Of films I know nothing about, Junebug, Green Street, and The Chumscrubber look interesting.

Richard Linklater's Bad News Bears remake, with Billy Bob Thornton apparently reprising his acting from Bad Santa.

Joss Whedon's Serenity has a new trailer, better than the first one.

Liev Schreiber's directorial debut is the adaptation of Jonathan Safran Foer's Everything Is Illuminated (shot by Matthew Libatique).

Marc Forster's Stay has me curious (Forster's carving out an interesting career for himself; none of his projects are alike).

Tony Scott's Domino gets a better trailer. Marketing this may be tricky since the woman it's based on was recently found dead.

The 40-Year-Old Virgin with Steve Carell has an unrated trailer that you must see.

Sam Mendes's Jarhead looks good.

Gus Van Sant's latest, Last Days (supposedly "sort of" inspired by the last days of Kurt Cobain, the same way Elephant was inspired by Columbine)

Roman Polanski's Oliver Twist gets a full trailer.

Mike Mills's Thumbsucker finally looks like it's going to get released.

Michael Haneke's latest, Cache; alas, the trailer's not translated, but it looks fantastic and fucked up.

Andrew Niccol's Lord Of War, which I pray is better than Simone (it looks promising).

Jim Jarmusch's latest film, Broken Flowers

And a Japanese trailer for Cameron Crowe's Elizabethtown.

!!! Benilda Santos is going to read some of her poetry next Tuesday, Aug. 16, @ Conspiracy. 7 PM. Go if you can!

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