Month: June 2011

Book: Galilee – by Clive Barker

Galilee by Clive Barker My rating: 5 of 5 stars Galilee, for me, is Clive Barker at his storytelling best. It may not be as inventive as Cabal (Nightbreed), Imajica & Everville, or as mind-bending as The Hellbound Heart (Hellraiser), nor as imaginative as Weaveworld, but it’s the best written, the best ‘told’ story of all of his with elegant, seductive, magnetic prose that’s as smooth as butter. His prose in this book can make even the most boring, mundane things seem worthy of your attention. It should be stated right up front Galilee is not a horror novel, at least nowhere in the singular sense (though it has parts that may certainly exist on the periphery of that description). It’s a bit of a wonderful, odd beast. It’s my favorite kind of tome, running the gamut of several flavors from epic saga, historical suspense, myth-making, inter-familial drama, forbidden romance, light metaphysics, a teasing amount of the supernatural (almost maddeningly understated) and, being a Barker story, a touch of the dark fantastic, naturally. It’s truly …

Book: Thirst No. 1 – by Christopher Pike

Thirst No. 1: The Last Vampire, Black Blood, Red Dice by Christopher Pike Even though I have my own YA novel in development, I’m not much for reading what the market has to offer in that category (98% aimed at teenaged girls). However, I found this repackaging of 3 Christopher Pike novels from 1994/95 for $3.99 on clearance at Borders and I must say the opening chapter was one of the best I’ve read in a while. Sets up character, mystery, intrigue, suspense and plot beautifully in about a dozen pages. It’s a very well-rounded opening chapter with a great balance of backstory setup, character development and plot setup. I was hooked immediately. I told my wife who reads YA novels almost exclusively that “THIS is how you start off a novel!” I exclaimed. THIS is how you write in first-person! Put down the book you’re reading now and give this first chapter a shot.” She did and agreed. The lead character, though female (a 5000 yr old vampire masquerading dangerously as a teen girl) …

Interview: Chris Claremont, the Legendary – Part 2 (of 2)

Part two of that great interview with legendary scribe of Marvel Comics’ The Uncanny X-Men fame, Chris Claremont is up over at NYC Graphic. Posted last week, Part One covered from his first job as an intern at Marvel on down to his early days a the revolutionary chronicler of the adventures of the X-Men. The second part picks up in 1982 when he and (also legendary) cartoonist Frank Miller (also a screenwriter and director now) teamed up on the first ever Wolverine mini-series. The great thing about interviews with Claremont is they’re always frank, honest and revelatory. Excerpt: “My approach to the X-Men had always been that you could start the book with issue #100, and if you then later picked it up with #200, you’d see some changes. If you come back with #300, you’ll see a lot of changes from #100. Cyclops will be married, and he and his wife will have a kid; as a function of that, he’s going to go back to Alaska with his parents and start a life. …

New Music: “Staircase” by Radiohead

From an upcoming episode of the concert series “From the Basement” (Radiohead‘s second appearance, actually). Per Pitchfork, the show will be broadcast in its entirety on July 1st when they will play their entire new album The King of Limbs live. I think I like this song better than most of the tracks that are actually on their new album (this one is not). But once again it looks like Ed O’Brien has absolutely nothing to do in yet another song. As a fellow guitarist I feel awful for the guy. It’s been like this for eleven years now, since Kid A.  

Update: A Change o’ Plans; A Regrouping of Sorts

In my last update a couple of weeks back, I revealed that I was working on a short story collection for a fall release…18 or so stories that fit a common thread or an overall thematic mood. It was more or less to put my writing past behind me as pretty much all those stories were written as far back as the late 90s which was my golden age period. I wrote fiction for years before really attempting to share it with an audience outside of writer workshops. So I have quite the vault of stories in varying lengths, genres, styles and all that. Well, inxay the collection, at least how I originally envisioned it, and perhaps not as soon as this fall or the foreseeable future. Because of that aforementioned versatility, I’ve come to the decision to launch a handful of pen names and assign appropriate stories and future projects under them. It just makes sense, really, and it’s so liberating, say, for instance, writing and presenting a very female-centric story under a blatantly female …

Nite-Nite Music: “The Love Thieves” & “Home”

by Depeche Mode, both from their great 1997 album Ultra. First, “The Love Thieves”, one of my top 5 favorite songs by them featuring my favorite (male) singer, David Gahan: And in honor of Father’s Day, the song “Home” dedicated to my family because they are the very definition of the word home. Every night begins and ends with them.   This one’s another top favorite of mine, sung not by David Gahan, but by chief songwriter and occasional singer, Martin L. Gore.  G’night, sleep tight. Don’t let the mosquitoes bite!