Tuesday, August 03, 2004


Cyberpunk lives! Read "Altered Carbon", by Richard K. Morgan. Reminiscent of Neuromancer, but more Raymond Chandler or "Chinatown", plus with ultra-violence ala Tarentino. I got it and its sequel on an impulse buy off of an Amazon recommendation. Still have the sequel going for me.

Reading sci-fi is always the search for the edge. A.E. Van Vogt, Null-A, in the 50's had some edge, as did Asimov's Foundation. Herbert had edge. Philip K. Dick was over the edge. Zelazny wasn't too edgy, but I always enjoyed it, like Simak.

The Ace special editions that came out in 83-85 really pushed the edge. 1st novels by Gibson("Neuromancer"), Lucius Shepard, Kim Stanley Robinson, Michael Swanwick, and Bruce Sterling("Schismatrix"). Greg Bear was good during that time. Then, a breather until Neal Stephenson and "Snow Crash". Dan Simmons started up around then, and Vernor Vinge has written good stuff, but overall, somewhat of a lull lately -- except for Greg Egan. Others who looked promising (Tony Daniels, Robert Reed), have had disappointing 1st novels. We'll give Charles Stross another chance.

The best place to watch the sci-fi edge from is in Gardner Dozois' annual "Year's Best". Just noticed this year's out, woo-ha, I can pick up a copy for vacation next week.

Picked up 3 cds lately:

  1. "Give Up", by The Postal Service. A recommendation by the canny Amazon data miner -- the same singer/songwriter as Death Cab For Cutie, but with techno drum machine background instead of a guitar band. I like the techno backgrounds, but I think the songs are little weaker.
  2. "Franz Ferdinand", eponymous. My youngest and I saw the video to "Take Me Out" and decided to check it out. Catchy tunes, 80s punk sound.
  3. "Dear Catastophe Waitress", by Belle and Sebastian. Sounds pretty much like the other two of theirs I have. Kind of like Thai spring rolls, can't decide if I really like them or not.