I took this book out from the library this afternoon. Including dedication, title, and acknowledgements, it was under 200 pages. So I'm done with it already.

I found the beginning to be painfully self-indulgent. It was so bad, I almost gave up. I know all books are self-indulgent but this one felt awkward and embarrassing.

The middle of the book improved significantly. I'd even say it was pretty good. It was the typical magic worlds hidden just below the surface of the mundane that Gaiman normally employs, but if he wasn't good at that he wouldn't make all that money he does. I enjoyed it.

However, I found the ending to be entirely unsatisfying. It fell a bit flat and didn't really provide a good sense of closure.

Overall, I'd say the book was average. I didn't expect much from it, honestly. I haven't enjoyed most of Gaiman's adult books, especially his recent ones. So the beginning and end were what I expected and the middle was a pleasant surprise.

I think the high school version of me would be shocked by my lack of exuberance. 
holytoastr: (neil gaiman)
While reading this book, I kept thinking, "This would make a pretty good cartoon." Then at the end, there was a short author's note about how they had tried to sell this at a kid's show, but no studio wanted to even look at it. Which is a shame, because I probably would have watched a show like this as a kid.

Interworld is the story that probably every single one of us wrote at some point in our childhoods. What if there are alternate dimensions? And what if there is an alternate Me in each one?

In this book, it was a boy named Joey. And his alternate versions of himself are fighting against evil forces that want to control the entire altiverse.

What really blew my mind was that even though there were an infinite number of earths, each version of Joey had a joe-like name. Jo, Josef, J/O, Jay, Jai, etc. There were no versions of earth where his parents said, "Let's name him Mike. Doesn't he look like a Mike?" Blows my mind!

It was an enjoyable book, but would have made a much better cartoon.
I picked this book up years ago bet kept forgetting to read it. Probably the lavender cover. Very easy to overlook pale purple.

Anyway, Legends II is the second volume of a short story collection by popular fantasy authors. I found it a bit hard to read because each story takes place in that author's established fantasy world. While some authors are good at filling new readers in, most of them in this collection charge into their universe with no courtesy for anyone unfamiliar. I think I would have enjoyed it better had I already known the background worlds the stories were set in.

Of the authors I have read:
- The Yazoo Queen was set in Orson Scott Card's god-awful Alvin Maker universe. Just as bad as the main stories. It maddens me that Card can write a story about civil rights, and then donate large sums of money and time to make sure that gay people never ever have the same rights as everyone else.
- McCaffrey's Beyond Between was... acceptable. Not as good as her earlier stuff, but refreshingly pleasant compared to the garbage her son has been producing these days. I did think the whole thing about the fire dragonrider to go between was a bit silly.
- Neil Gaiman's American Gods short story was an extreme disappointment. Beowulf again? I'm so tired of Beowulf. I don't think this short story was anywhere as good as the original book. It felt tired.

Of the authors I have not read:
- I think the best story in the collection was Robin Hobb's Homecoming. Since it was a story told from the point of view of someone new to the area, the descriptions were very strong. I didn't feel lost in this one. Also, the entire story in general was well-paced and interesting. I may seek out the main series at some point.
- The Happiest Dead Boy in the World from the Outlander series was a bit disturbing. I am not comfortable with a computer universe that can impregnate women against their will. Weee, computer rape.... Makes me REALLY not want to read this series.

None of the other stories really stood out to be as especially good or especially bad.

I am glad I don't need to carry around that huge heavy book anymore. I need to read a few lightweight books for a while. Too many heavy ones hurt my back!

At some point I need to find myself a good reading specific icon...
holytoastr: (neil gaiman)
A very short book, so it was easy to read really fast. I enjoyed it but I don't think I'd ever recommend it to anyone that wasn't a hardcore neil gaiman fan.

I don't think Gene Wolfe was really a good pair up for Neil Gaiman. They took turns writing it and sometimes it was like a line was drawn where one author stopped and the other started. Maybe I was spoiled by Good Omens where the authors worked closer together and gave it a more cohesive feel. Not that either author was bad, it was just something that briefly pulled me out of the story universe as I go, "Huh?" at the drastic change in storytelling style.

That said, I wish to never visit the Shambles, no matter how impressive the House of Clocks sounds.
Done with balticon.

Today we finally made it to the movie I wanted to see....15 minutes late. Some guy was moving in this morning and his huge moving van was blocking us. So annoying. I will need to download city of ember to get the first 15 minutes of it.

I enjoyed the movie. It makes me want to read the book. I will add the title to the massive list, I guess. (I dream for a day when I have time to do nothing but read.) I did not enjoy the little boy a few rows ahead of us that could not sit still for one second. He kept talking too. I wish parents would realize that if their kids cannot sit quietly during a movie, they should not be taken out to movies.

After that we did some roleplaying. I think the game was called chivalry and sorcery. It was not very good. Far too bogged down by charts and calculations. It didn't help that some of the other players were constantly arguing with the GM.

One guy got the gm so angry, the gm broke the guy's bow. He totally deserved it.

When that very long boring session was over, we went to panel on time travel. It was not as exciting as I had hoped, but it did give me even more book titles to add to my massive to-read list. *sigh*

I left that panel early to get a good spot on line for the gene wolfe signing. I had my walking tour of the shambles book signed. He co-wrote that one with neil gaiman. (Otherwise I'd have no clue at all who gene wolfe was.) I found his head to be unusually large.

There was one more panel left that I was interested in, but ben was feeling tired and icky (the guy sitting next to ben at roleplaying kept spitting on ben) so we went home early. I think that was probably a good plan. I think I'll go to bed early.
holytoastr: (neil gaiman)
I just found out that neil gaiman is divorced! And has been for a really long time. How did I miss something like that?

As a fangirl, I should be happy (omg neil gaiman is single?) but instead I'm just very very sad for him.

(But this does explain the question I had for a while, "How does his wife feel about him fawning over amanda palmer so much?" Answer, "Doesn't matter because she's not his wife anymore.")

Coraline

Feb. 9th, 2009 09:54 am
holytoastr: (neil gaiman)
Ben and I went to see Coraline yesterday. It was very good!

The theater was packed. Ben cut off a woman to get us the last pair of seats. He's such a good boyfriend.

The movie was really good. Just the right pacing and just scary enough. I liked how the other mother world "popped" more in 3D than the normal world. And I was pleasantly surprised that the new character they added was not annoying.

I especially liked the mouse circus. They were so cute!

I'm hoping someone makes and sells coraline's star sweater. It's totally awesome.

Of course, last night I ended up having all sorts of nightmares about the other mother. :P
holytoastr: (neil gaiman)
Coraline, a movie based on the book by Neil Gaiman, is FINALLY in theaters.

The following people would probably be interested in seeing it:
- Neil Gaiman Fans
' Nightmare before Christmas Fans
- Henry Selick Fans
- Stop-motion Fans
- People with Koumpounophobia (It proves you were right all along)
- People who like fantasy
- People who like horror
- People who like movies
- People who hate bad kids movies
- People with souls trapped in the other-mother universe
- 3D movie fans
- People who like talking cats or performing rats
- People who likes seeing movies based on books (if only to nitpick the differences)
- They Might Be Giants Fans
- People who like scaring children




I will probably go sunday if ben is not too exhausted. I need to find a theater that is showing it in 3D. (Only about 40% are, I read.)
holytoastr: (neil gaiman)
Forgot to mention. Neil Gaiman has a twitter account. We'll never see another book by him ever again.
holytoastr: (neil gaiman)
Over the thanksgiving vacation, I finished reading Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman. It was a series of short stories. I liked it, but many of them I had read before. My favorite story was Instructions. I think my least favorite was the one about the old lady that ate people. It was gross.

My bird is savagely attacking my fingers every time I press the a or s keys.
holytoastr: (neil gaiman)
One of my favorite neil gaiman books is called Coraline. It's about a girl that goes through a magic door and meets her other mother who is absolutely perfect in every way except for her desire to sew buttons into coraline's eyes.

Now it's being made into a movie.

Passwords: (as provided by neil gaiman)

stopmotion : the Biggest Smallest movie ever made.

buttoneyes : Meet the cast.

moustachio : Bo Henry, art director of Coraline, shows off his remarkable moustache tricks.

armpithair : Every hair in the film was placed there by hand.

puppetlove : Director Henry Selick explains what it must be like for the puppets in the film.

sweaterxxs : Micro-knitting. That's right: micro-knitting.
holytoastr: (neil gaiman)
First, Business. Is anyone a fan of Katherine Neville? I got a free copy of her book "The Eight," which I have no intention of reading. I would happily give it to someone who would enjoy it.

Now, Book Festival.

I ended up going by myself. No big deal, since I always go by myself. It was probably best since they moved the festival to the capital end of the mall. I didn't have to feel guilty for making everyone hike all the way down there from the metro stop I told everyone to take.

There were a lot of crowds down by the children's tents because laura and jenna bush co-authored a children's book. The line for them to sign went on forever. (Seriously, I never figured out where the end of it was.)

I ended up getting there later than I wanted, so I had to stand during neil's talk. It was a little hard to see him from where I was, so no pictures. I could hear him fine though. He read a little bit of his new book, then took questions. He was much more tolerating of the "where do you get your ideas?" question than he normally is, which I assume is because he just spent the month in china away from people who ask him where he gets his ideas.

While in china, someone tried to sell him a human elbow.

After questions, I raced over to the signing line and managed to get into the third row! Woo! That's just after the people who had been there since dawn!

I was impressed by the organization the festival had this year. Signs and everything to make it all very clear, and people to direct everyone to the right spots.

Three hours of standing in a drizzle later, I got my book signed. Neil has a broken finger so he had to make it very simple. By the time I was up to his tent, I was almost at the end of the book and had figured out the secret identity of the villain.

The graveyard book is good, though not as scary as I had hoped. Coraline is much scarier. It's about a boy raised by ghosts in a cemetery. It makes the idea of living with dead people seem very agreeable. (Though as a kid, I thought cemeteries were the perfect place to go if I should every run away from home, so perhaps I am biased.)

The book doesn't go on sale until Tuesday, and neil has no plans on signing any more books on this tour. So I get to feel a little special.

Immediately after the book was signed, it started to pour. I was soaked by the time I got to the must closer metro station. I was smart though and put my sweater in a bag rather than wear it in the rain. So I had at least one dry article of clothing to wear on the way home.

The rain made my fever go up a little, so I medicated myself and had very strange confusing dreams about politics and ghosts.

Free Book

Sep. 3rd, 2008 11:09 am
holytoastr: (neil gaiman)
Neil Gaiman's fantastic novel Neverwhere is now available online for FREE for this entire month.

I highly recommend it. It's a modern Alice in Wonderland story.

It's about a guy named Richard who meets an injured girl named Door who is running from some very nasty men who are trying to kill her. Richard ends up following Door to London Below, the secret parts of London that the normal people from London Above never see or notice.
holytoastr: (neil gaiman)
For all of March, Neil Gaiman's novel American Gods will be free.

It is a very good book and I highly recommend it.

(You know it's good because my aunt hates it. "There is only ONE god!!!")

Plus it's free. What do you have to lose?
holytoastr: (neil gaiman)
I would like for a weekend where my dog does not wake me at 9am. She is cruel and smacks me in the face.

I think it is delightful that the national zoo has a wish list for their animals.

Ben and I just got back from seeing beowulf. We opted out of the 3D version which would have been $5 more per ticket. I had a hard time telling if it was a parody or a dark re-telling of the poem. Sometimes I was laughing out loud and other times it was too gruesome to look at the screen.

However, I am extremely disappointed that there were no bees in the film. That is my favorite part of the poem. But the movie has no bees!

I may have to write to neil gaiman about this. No bees! Can you believe it?
Terry Pratchett is going to be at the National Book Festival this year! I am definitely going!

I'm going to bring my copy of Good Omens to sign! Then I'll have both his and Neil's! Yay!

Today

Aug. 10th, 2007 10:37 pm
Today was my grandpa's burial. Of course, I cried during the ceremony. That stupid church music gets me every time. Ben got included as a pallbearer, which was good because he evened out the number of grandchildren. (He made 6 of us, 3 on each side.)

Afterwards we went to eat. There was too much food. I thought I would explode. I couldn't do anything after lunch. Ben drove me back to my parents house so I could sleep it off.

I felt better after a nap, so we went to see Stardust. It is not the book but I still enjoyed it. I was terrified that I'd hate the pirates (because they are merely a blip in the book but a whole segment in the movie) but it turns out the pirates are faaabulous. I also enjoyed the dead princes. I was bit disappointed by the star, who I felt had a stronger personality in the book. In the movie she was mostly just "generic love interest" that can sparkle. However, the actor who plays tristan does a wonderful job. I'm glad they decided not to go with a big name for him.

Now I am home and sleepy, but I cannot sleep. That is because my wisdom tooth has decided to grow a little and is filling me with madness. I have a headache that makes it hard to think. It makes me cranky.
holytoastr: (neil gaiman)
Neil Gaiman's Oracular Instrument of Divination is truly amazing!

Q: Should I be worried about zombies?
A: It's scary, it really is!

Q: How can I prevent a zombie attack?
A: It's this.

There you have it! Neil Gaiman is the only way to avoid a future zombie attack! Take heed!

For further evidence of its zombie divination, read [livejournal.com profile] taraisagoddess's truth-seeking adventure's!
holytoastr: (neil gaiman)
Today! Air and Space Museum! And horses! And space ships! And Pluto! And burgers! And Neil Gaiman!

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