Friday, September 14, 2007

It must be Friday Five

Song: Amy Macdonald, Mr Rock and Roll. I'm a sucker for this kind of voice. It reminds me of Alison Moyet, Nico (who I only know from her work with the Velvet Underground - hmm there's a blog post there I think) and Joull, who is an entertaining French girl on youtube.

Book: Time for filler: Here's updates on previous books I've blogged; do they have sequels and have I read them?

Vesuvius Club, Mark Gatiss. Sequel: The Devil in Amber. Lucifer Box, HMG's most outrageous secret agent has another outrageous adventure.

Temeraire, Naomi Novik. Sequels: Throne of Jade, Black Powder War, Empire of Ivory. I've read Jade and War. All good stuff as Captain Lawrence and Temeraire grow as characters and the Napoleonic Wars unfold in an improved way. Why do I say improved? Everything is better with dragons! But don't take my word for it: Novik won the John W Campbell award for Best New SF Writer of 2006.

Genghis Khan, John Man. Sequel: Kublai Khan. The story of how the Mongols overran China, but were assimilated in order to become a part of Chinese society. Also includes the cult of the Assassins.

The Atrocity Archives, Charles Stross. Sequel: The Jennifer Morgue. Bob Howard, HMG's most geeky secret agent finds himself forced into the role of James Bond. I always have absurdly high expectations for Stross' novels, and this one disappoints slightly; still it pins down Fleming exactly.

Ash: A Secret History, Mary Gentle. Two prequels; the novella The Logistics of Carthage, which is good and interesting, but not on a par with Ash, and Ilario: The Lion's Eye which I've not read.

Altered Carbon, Richard Morgan. Two sequels: Broken Angels, and Woken Furies. Altered Carbon was so imaginative, so explosive, so well-written that we all expected far too much from Morgan's sequels. I'll say this; if he hadn't written Carbon, Angels or Furies would have blown me away. He explores more of the world of Takeshi Kovacs, but somehow doesn't seem to move on as I'd thought/expected/hoped. Still an excellent trilogy.

Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events. Have now read the 4th book, The miserable Mill. Continues to delight (Sunny fights someone with a sword, using only her teeth).

Film: The English Patient. It's about love and death[1], promises and loyalty and betrayal and forgiveness. And it looks gorgeous. Essentially, it's too much to describe in one short paragraph. Also it has Lewis.

Food: Short on inspiration this week. So maybe I'll just note that if you make too much garlic butter for your Big Mushrooms, you can use it in your baked potato. Mmm garlic.

Wild Card: The "blog" of "unnecessary" quotation marks. After reading this, there is "no" need to "ever" look for "new" "content" on "the internet".

[1] Have we seen these themes before?

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