July 05, 2006

Random Giddiness

Total timewaster: A Fuse #8 Production discovered this highly amusing and pointless book quiz. Which character are you most like? Just so you know...

I'm To Kill a Mockingbird!
by Harper Lee

Perceived as a revolutionary and groundbreaking person, you have changed the minds of many people. While questioning the authority around you, you've also taken a significant amount of flack. But you've had the admirable guts to persevere. There's a weird guy in the neighborhood using dubious means to protect you, but you're pretty sure it's worth it in the end. In the end, it remains unclear to you whether finches and mockingbirds get along in real life.

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

Hm. This is actually kind of cool, in a no-that's-only-me-in-my-dreams kind of way.

Last week's big news was that "that Rowling woman" (as many writers call her, crossly) has announced that she's going to kill off yet more characters. Now, normally we all strive to keep this a Harry-free zone, but I have to say this: That bites. No, nothing to do with ye olde elusive kernel of hope. More to do with my original complaint about the entire series -- is not one adult in the whole of England competent? Muggle or no, the whole of Hogwarts Academy is surrounded by idiots. No wonder the children will never grow to adulthood, what's the bloody point!? May as well die fighting "pure evil" (as per Rowling) than grow up to be vaguely menacing or well meaning but bumbling. The whole lot of them crosses my eyes. I read each episode faithfully, because I can rarely start a series without finishing it, but I wager there will never be another Harry novel as good as the first one... the cool-plot-twists-per-page gimmick is fighting mightily against solidly-character-driven-prose and winning, because the characters are just not as clearly defined anymore. As a reader, I feel really manipulated by the plot for some reason. Never mind -- if announcing more deaths keeps Rowling readers riveted, it's a great marketing ploy, and I wish her luck as she wrestles this huge beast to a conclusion... I just hope the books don't keep getting longer!

More YA Brit-Lit news is that the eagerly awaited Pullman movies (well, eagerly awaited by some, you know how I am about movies vs. novels) will begin shooting on schedule. The Guardian reports that after technical difficulties and some casting about for cast members, they've found an unknown to play Lyra, and things are on a roll. Okay, if an adventure novel has to be made into a movie, His Dark Materials is actually a great choice.

In other movie news, Bookmoot reports that one of my fave old Sci-fi novels, Robert Heinlen's The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, is also due to be made into a movie. Heinlen, if you'll recall, is famous for that YA novel which led to the horrible movie Starship Troopers, a fine example of why a novel sometimes should just be... a novel.

And finally, some sad news: Awhile back I reported on some great new old fashioned sci-fi publishing going on. Jim Baen's Universe was going back to the old tried and true way of publishing science fiction -- by giving unknown writers a chance. The L.A. Times reported today that Baen died of a massive stroke this past Wednesday. I understand that the magazine will carry on, as will his goals of reviving science fiction and fantasy as a vibrant and boundary-pushing genre, and opening the Web to ebooks and freebies. A man of grand ideas and fierce loyalties to his readers and writers at Baen Books, Jim Baen's point of view will surely be missed.


David T. Macknet said...

I'm sorry for Baen's family's loss. I'm sure that he'll be missed in the publishing world. Baen Books' Free Library has been a joy to me, because of the old SciFi books they've preserved & are reprinting. It's been somewhat of a crusade on their part, and I salute them for it.

I was a boa constrictor in their little quiz. Hrumph.

tanita✿davis said...

Oh, if you stray from the book quiz, who knows what will happen!? I was a cobra. Not much more flattering...