December 10, 2007

Monday, Monday

A rare, gorgeously clear day brings us to the treehouse, a bit cold, but optimistic. Saints & Spinners wants to know which A.A. Milne character you are. I'm pretty sure personality-wise most people tend to hang between Eeyore or Owl, but my favorite character is the unsung Roo. However, I think most adults will end up being Kanga, won't they? I mean, who would admit to being an unstrung manic like Tigger?!

I'm feeling a bit cranky about the L.A. Times article by staff writer Scott Timberg that derides Robert Heinlen as being a has-been and his work as not being anything classic to stand the test of time. "'When an emerging science-fiction writer's work earns him comparisons to Robert A. Heinlein," Dave Itzkoff begins a 2006 New York Times review, "should he take them as a compliment?'" OUCH. I disagree -- if I, as a YA writer had a YA science fiction novel compared to Heinlen, I would be beyond pleased. I love his books, and reading about tough, wary, narrow-eyed young people who, with steely determination, go out and take on the perils of the universe. Admittedly, I haven't read that much of his adult fiction but Have Spacesuit-- Will Travel is like the best combination of a frontier space western novel, ever. As a writer, I look at his work and see archetypes and the Hero's quest written in all kinds of interesting ways. It's a good exercise to mimic his style, for those who want to write adventures. No matter what anyone says, I can't imagine that his YA novels, anyway, will ever really be unpopular (as long as no one else makes movies out of them -- When I realized Starship Troopers was based on a novel of his? It just proved my point about YA novels and movies. BAD).

Cluck Roosterman is guest blogging at Bottom Shelf Books -- promoting Punk Farm's latest gig, their fundraising raffle. For only five bucks, you can buy in to a raffle to maybe win a painting of your favorite Punk Farm rocker. The money raised is going to the Central Massachusetts Arts Assembly, and to cover a few band expenses (band stuff -- you know, instrument tuning, etc.). Check out the portraiture -- punk rockers don't sit still for their portraits, man. They make MUSIC. More awesomeness for a good cause.

Via Bookshelves of Doom, probably the most inappropriate YA book of all time is being celebrated by Jezebel, and with it the bygone YA literary trope of The Parent That Had to Die. (Remember them?) Ah, the 8O's. One ten year span, one thousand percent awful...



8 comments:

divatobe said...

That quiz is insane--how on earth am I Kanga??

SamRiddleburger said...

Have you read R.H.'s "The Puppetmasters?"
Now, that's sci-fi done right.

Also, I read Book of Job in high school and thought it was pretty cool.

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

I gobbled up Heinlein in high school and college. I really enjoyed the first part of I Will Fear No Evil (until it turned into a rabid pansexual fest). In fact, I have enjoyed a number of his grownup novels, pansexual fests aside.;)

lisachellman.com said...

Thanks for the Heinlein link... I, too, am a fan of at least some of his books, especially The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress (which is one of my favorite books, period) and Starship Troopers (whose memory I vow never to despoil by seeing the movie). Today, Heinlein's sexism and various other -isms definitely come off as dated and/or eccentric, but he's still a very strong writer. What I admire most is that the sociopolitical conflicts of his characters always trump any science fiction-type bells and whistles, e.g. TMIAHM is a book about colonial rebellion first, the Moon second. He also draws strong and interesting characters in a way that Asimov, in my opinion, does not. -isms aside, I, too, would consider it an honor to have my writing compared to Heinlein's.

a. fortis said...

Hmm, I'll have to go back and read more Heinlein. I remember enjoying Stranger in a Strange Land when I was a teenager.

Oh, and guess what? I'm OWL. Apparently I talk too much and spout a lot of incorrect information.

Sheila said...

Amen on Heinlein - what a truly great writer. He wrote so many great books and stories, but for me, it's The Door Into Summer that will always be closest to my heart.

TadMack said...

Ohhhh --The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is the first Heinlen book I think I ever read. I will always love that. And A Door into Summer is just lovely. (Going to find The Puppetmasters, Sam. Thanks for the recommendation.)

You read his work and know it's in part a product of the time -- he was a child of the fifties, his work, a reflection of the sixties. But a lot of the concepts (beyond the pansexual festivities! Whee!) in his work are broader than they appeared... I believe that they hold something relevant for now.

DaviMack said...

Marsupial Matron, fabulous! Kanga: You are warm and loving and are great with children. People know not to misbehave around you, or else they'll end up in time out!