Literary Matters: A Taste of Heinlein’s Dark Side

This is a dark, dark novel. And it’s almost on the edge of science fiction and into the realm of human psychology or social satire, à la Brave New World or Lord of the Flies or even The Road. The contemporary setting, even after the contemporary characters are thrust into the future, makes everything seem . . . → Read More: Literary Matters: A Taste of Heinlein’s Dark Side

Literary Matters: Judging Books by Their Covers and Heinlein’s Star Beast

Immediately after Starman Jones, Heinlein wrote his seventh juvenile novel (ninth or tenth novel, total, if you keep track of that sort of thing). What a reversal. He’d been getting steadily more adult in his writing, perhaps as much because of his increasing clout and the resulting power reversal between him and his editors as . . . → Read More: Literary Matters: Judging Books by Their Covers and Heinlein’s Star Beast

Literary Matters: Heinlein and Hot Streaks

So, Heinlein’s first four juveniles were a nice warm-up. Rocket Ship Galileo was just fine for a first effort, while Farmer in the Sky is, even now, one of my all-time Heinlein favourites. Not just a favourite from amongst his juveniles, mind you. A favourite, period. What did he do next? A little something called . . . → Read More: Literary Matters: Heinlein and Hot Streaks

Musical Matters: Kickstarter project: tunes from Charles de Lint’s The Little Country

I found this on Charles de Lint’s tumblr site:

I don’t recommend a lot of Kickstarter projects — mostly because I could fill up way too much space with all the worthy ones that are out there and I don’t want to inundate you. But this one from Zahatar is a little different.

The . . . → Read More: Musical Matters: Kickstarter project: tunes from Charles de Lint’s The Little Country

Literary Matters: Heinlein and Huckleberry Finn

After Heinlein wrote The Rolling Stones, he wrote Starman Jones, another rousing adventure tale with nevertheless a bit more edge to it, as bildungsromans must needs have. Romance! Danger! The caprices of fate! No guarantee of a happy ending!

I reviewed the Baen reissue of this title a couple of years ago, as part of . . . → Read More: Literary Matters: Heinlein and Huckleberry Finn

Literary Matters: Revisiting Heinlein

Well, it’s 2014. After several delays, Skynet has become self-aware and unleashed Judgment Day on the human race, any day now, the latest model of hoverboards should be hitting store shelves, and, mark your calendars, next year Marty McFly and Doc Brown should be completing their long (relative to us) journey from the year 1985, to get . . . → Read More: Literary Matters: Revisiting Heinlein

Musical Matters: Susanne Vega’s Tales From the Realm of the Queen of Pentacles

“Luka”, “Tom’s Diner”, “99.9F°”…. Suzanne Vega was one of my big music loves from the late 80s/early 90s. She’s been making beautiful music since then, though this is her first album in seven years. And Tales From the Realm of the Queen of Pentacles is a corker. There’s lovely mysticism threaded through the album, . . . → Read More: Musical Matters: Susanne Vega’s Tales From the Realm of the Queen of Pentacles

Literary Matters: Glen Cook: The Tyranny of the Night / Lord of the Silent Kingdom

I’ve been an admirer of Glen Cook’s writing for many years, ever since I read Shadowline, the first book of the Starfishers series, way back when. I had never run into anyone who had quite that mix of myth and space opera, with the possible exception of Roger Zelazny, and Zelazny was not doing quite . . . → Read More: Literary Matters: Glen Cook: The Tyranny of the Night / Lord of the Silent Kingdom

Literary Matters: Glen Cook: Working God’s Mischief

Arnhand, Castauriga, and Navaya lost their kings. The Grail Empire lost its empress. The Church lost its Patriarch, though he lives on as a fugitive. The Night lost Kharoulke the Windwalker, an emperor amongst the most primal and terrible gods. The Night goes on, in dread. The world goes on, in dread. The ice . . . → Read More: Literary Matters: Glen Cook: Working God’s Mischief

Literary Matters: Thoughts on a new illustrated edition of The Hobbit

J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit has a long and colorful publishing history as one of the most beloved fantasy tales of all time. That history continues with a new edition that seems to be aimed at reclaiming the written version of the story as a way to introduce it to young readers. It’s a handsome hardcover . . . → Read More: Literary Matters: Thoughts on a new illustrated edition of The Hobbit