Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Making Things and Reading More

I've been lax in my mission to 'make things'. Problem is that I have been reading a lot more lately. Which is great, don't get me wrong, but it means I have even less free time to make things.

Yesterday I made a skirt. I will post pictures when I convince the man to take some. I based it off of another skirt I have, and it was pretty easy. Definitely a 'first'. You can tell is has some wonky edges and weirdness. But I learn better from screwing things up a bunch of times than waiting until I can achieve perfection immediately.

Been reading some fun stuff. Teen reads mostly. Which are just getting better and better since they broke that genre out.

I just read Jennifer Lynn Barnes new book 'Raised by Wolves'.

It was a great read. I was expecting a pretty run-of-the-mill supernatural love story based on the ARC cover (the final cover is much better). But it was a compelling story. I think there is a dearth of really good werewolf fiction, and Jennifer has definitely added to the genre with this one. My old roleplaying days come out sometimes, and I want a well-defined world with believable powers and interesting characters. I think she has it all. A must read for my friends of Buffy out there, it has a lot of the feel without copying.

I also finally got around to reading The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, courtesy of my friend Heather.

Suzanne Collins has really got this one down. Equally entertaining for teens and adults, I think a lot of parents will be stealing this one from their kids. Here's a good overview of The Hunger Games. I'm incredibly excited about the third one, which is out late August. Mockingjay.

I really can't say enough good things about this series. I love future dystopias. I think they have always had a lot to say about our world, our society, the choices we make as individuals and as a culture. Books and Films alike. Farenheit 451, Logan's Run, Brave New World, The Left Hand of Darkness, Blade Runner, The Sleeper Awakes, The Day of the Triffids...to name just a few. I think that science fiction has always had a good grasp of the important questions, "Where are we going?" "What are we doing?" "How will this effect us in the future?" And I think that Suzanne has updated some of the styles, and brought the dystopia to a wide young audience, which I can do nothing but applaud wildly from the sidelines.

Really, if any of that paragraph above spoke to you, go out and read The Hunger Games (buy local!). You'll be pleasantly surprised, especially if you haven't tried some of the recent great teen writing that is out there.

I did try my hand again at the taller half's science fiction collection. Oh no! Adult books!

I read Chasm City by Alastair Reynolds. Better than I thought it would be when I started it. A bit of a detective gumshoe story set in space. Mostly I liked it because the narrator was fun to ride along with, and a lot of the devices in the story were cool; a main city in the story has morphed into what essentially feels like a jungle, the slums down low, the elite up high, and there are weird half-flying, half-vine-swinging cable car things you travel around in.

My only quibble with this book was the way it was written. There is a style of movie that broke out I guess in the early 2000's late 90's where the narrator is broken somehow. Memento, Fight Club, Butterfly Effect are all examples of weirdness in time and narrator. At the risk of being a bit spoiler-y this book did a bit of that. And honestly, I'm over that plot device. It was cool at the time, and this book is from 2001 so I'm sure it was cutting edge when it came out. But I'm getting used to it and I can see it coming now. So that let me down a bit.

But overlooking that, it was a great read, had some fun ideas that I'm still playing with in my head a month later, and some very memorable concepts. I think a book or a movie or any story of any type really is always worth watching/reading/etc if it brings something new to your own personal imaginative world. And I definitely have a lot to chew on after reading this book. Alastair Reynolds is definitely growing on me. I think he might be my favorite of the new adult sci-fi authors I've picked up.

Oh and of course, since I'm always looking for story anywhere, I have to share that we've been watching Battlestar Galactica. Here's the base stub at wikipedia. We had both heard that the new series rocked, and neither of us watches much tv so we let it lie forever. And something clicked recently so we decided to jump in and go for it. I can't say it's the most brilliant thing I've ever seen, but it is decidedly amazing for modern sci-fi television. Even characters I hate have me constantly thinking and re-evaluating them.

I grew up with Star Trek Next Generation, and I will always love that show. But honestly it was fairly repetitive. The same characters doing sort of basic one-off adventures. It was really rare for there to be any ongoing plot besides Data slowly becoming more human and the love triangle between Dianna Troy and Worf/Riker.

Battlestar takes the plot VERY SERIOUSLY. We are in season three and already characters have completely shifted from when we first met them.

I'm in love. Total love, with Commander Adama. I highly recommend this series.


I got sidetracked.

I have my eye on a few more upcoming books, but I think I need a little break so I can make some more stuff.

Rose out


Diana E.S. said...

Last summer my little bro got me watching BSG... Loved it. It is very well done. I also fell hard for Adama (and his son is my least favorite character throughout the whole series for so many reasons), so I understand. :) Boomer's the best, though--forever and always!

Glad you're feeling better.

The Fab Miss B said...

Lurking back dearie! xo B