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Old May 2 2013, 03:43 AM   #2163
Daddy Todd
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Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

Kind of a strange month, with a big gap in the middle where I didn't read much at all.

04/03/2013 Julio's Day (gn) by Gilbert Hernandez
04/04/2013 Building New Worlds 1946-1959: The Carnell Era, Volume One by John Boston and Damien Broderick
04/05/2013 Special Knowledge (na) by A. Bertram Chandler
04/06/2013 The Deep Reaches of Space by A. Bertram Chandler
04/09/2013 Star Trek Omnibus Vol. 1 (Marvel First Series) (gn) by Miscellaneous
04/12/2013 Declare (audiobook) by Tim Powers
04/13/2013 Star Trek: The Mirror Universe Saga (gn) by Mike W. Barr/Tom Sutton & Ricardo Villagran
04/13/2013 The Star-Pit (audio drama) by Samuel R. Delany
04/13/2013 Richter 10 (audiobook) by Arthur C. Clarke and Mike McQuay (abandoned)
04/17/2013 Gateway (audiobook) by Frederik Pohl
04/17/2013 Star Trek: To Boldly Go (+ DC 7, DC 8, TSfS Adaptation) (gn) by Mike W. Barr/Tom Sutton & Ricardo Villagran
04/27/2013 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Vol. 1: Change is Constant (gn) by Eastman, Waltz & Duncan
04/27/2013 Marble Season (gn) by Gilbert Hernandez
04/27/2013 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Vol. 2: Enemies Old, Enemies New (gn) by Eastman, Waltz & Duncan
04/27/2013 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Vol. 3: Shadows of the Past (gn) by Eastman, Waltz & Duncan
04/27/2013 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Micro-Series Vol. 1 (gn) by Various/Various
04/30/2013 Beyond the Blue Event Horizon (audiobook) by Frederik Pohl
04/30/2013 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Vol. 4: Sins of the Fathers (gn) by Eastman, Waltz & Kuhn
04/30/2013 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Micro-Series Vol. 2 (gn) by Various/Various

Started and (nearly) ended with new graphic novels by Gilbert Hernandez, the much-more-prolific of Los Bros. Hernandez. I marginally like Jaime's stuff better, byt Gilbert delivers a couple of truly amazing gn's this month. Julio's Day yanked tears out of my eyes at the end -- it's the story of a so-deeply-closeted gay man that he doesn't even acknowledge it to himself, and his 100 year life, spanning, essentially, the 20th century. Definitely worth reading. Beto's other gn was Marble Season, which follows the adventures of three comic-obsessed brothers through a few months of life in the early 1960's Any resemblance between the three brothers to Mario, Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez is, of course, entirely coincidental. Liked this one, but if I had to pick one, I'd go with Julio's Day.

Read the second volume of Boston and Broderick's re-read through the "Nova" magazines. This one covers the beginning of the John Carnell-edited New Worlds. Again, I learned a bunch of new names, saw where a bunch of award-winning stories were first published, and realized that if one story in each issue is outstanding, then the magazine is doing AMAZING. There were reams and reams of forgettable "yard-goods" published over the years; stories that nobody much liked at the time, from authors nobody remembered a nanosecond after they stopped writing. Kind of depressing, really. The third volume will cover the remainder of the Carnell-edited New Worlds, and short-lived Nova magazines like Science Fiction Adventures.

Only a little Chandler this month -- both versions of a story originally published in 1946 (Special Knowledge) and later re-written in 1964 (The Deep Reaches of Space) as one of Chandler's first novels. The opening chapters of the novel were entirely new, and by far the best stuff in the book. Otherwise, it mostly reads like a Campbell-era Astounding novella uncomfortably padded into an early-psychedelic-era novel. Which is exactly what it is. Not worth tracking down either version, which are both pretty rare (the novel was never published in the States.)

Audiobooks: Tim Powers's Declare, which isn't nearly as good being read aloud as reading it on an overnight coast-to-coast airline flight (which is how I last read it, some years ago.) If you've never read Declare, please do so immediately. And let me know what you think! I followed that with a radio adaptation of Delany's The Star-Pit, which was well done, but suffers from being so difficult to rewind and re-listen to the difficult bits. And there are ALWAYS difficult bits in any Delany text.

Started listening to Richter 10, by Clarke and McQuay, but (for the first time since I started listening to audiobooks at the gym a couple of years ago) had to abandon it about a third of the way in. The sexism and racism were simply unbearable. Wow, is that one ever a complete turd!

I replaced it with Fred Pohl's Heechee series, starting with Gateway. These are lots better.

I was browsing through the library sale one Saturday morning, and ran across (for 50˘, so I had to buy it, even though I already have it) the DC trade paperback of Star Trek: The Mirror Universe Saga, which comprises issues 9-16 of the original DC Star Trek monthly, published in 1984-85. I remember loving every issue as they were published back in the day, and had a grand time re-reading them. So much so, that I read the equivalent of the first 8 issues of the run (in the To Boldly Go trade and as single issues of 7 & 8). Right in the middle comes the comics adaptation of ST III. which is exceptionally well done, and in some ways better than the movie -- the movie was apparently re-edited shortly before release, to start off with Kirk on the Enterprise; the comic (and the novelization, for that matter) start off with Saavik & David on the Grissom, then cuts to the Enterprise after the discovery of Spock's empty tube, then back to the Grissom, then to the Enterprise returning to Earth. The story makes a lot more sense in this order, IMHO.

Many fans have disparaged the art of Tom Sutton & Ricardo Villagrán in these issues, but I'll have none of that. I think they were the perfect art team to portray that dynamic era of Star Trek, and Mike W. Barr was writing at the absolute top of his game. Later Star Trek comics have had more polished art, and more "in-canon" stories, but none have ever been as much fun to read on a month-to-month basis as these 16 issues (and the movie adaptation.) Truly, 1981-1986 was THE Golden Age of Star Trek.

All in all, it was a grand re-read. These issues were published just before and just after the release of Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, and portray an era of Star Trek history we now "know" never happened, adventures set between TWoK and TSfS, and between TSfS and TVH. I don't care. These stories definitely happened in MY personal continuity.

I finished the month getting caught up with IDW's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot. Which I've been enjoying a lot more than I thought I would. I was never any kind of fan of the cartoons or comix 20 years ago; it was something my friend's kids would watch, like Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers. But I'm digging the new comics. Volume 5 of the trade paperback series was supposedly released today, so I should snag a copy on Saturday when I pick up my comics.

Still reading the latest Darkover novel -- about 60% into it. I'm not really digging the Kierstelli thread, but the Gareth Elhalyn story is great fun, as it strongly echoes one of Marion's earliest novels, the proto-Darkover story The Door Through Space. Nice of Deborah J. Ross to bring Darkover full circle like that.

Continuing to listen to Pohl's Heechee Rendezvous (which I may never have read before) and The Annals of the Heechee (which I KNOW I've never read). There are apparently no audiobooks of the last two books in the sequence, The Gateway Trip and The Boy Who Would Live Forever, so I'll have to do hard-reads of those. I'm also planning on finishing my listen of the (abridged) audiobooks of John Vornholt's Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Genesis Wave series. Halfway through the second of the four books, it's shaping up to be another long slog with minimal rewards. I'll chalk that up to the fact they're so savagely abridged, and not because they're simply dull, dull books. They ARE, on the other hand, dull, dull audiobooks.
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