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Boys, manga, and guns: an afternoon at the library

Boys, manga, and guns: an afternoon at the library

I mentioned in my previous post, I spent part of the week before last doing appearances at two Toronto public libraries. My first afternoon out, I spoke with a couple of classes of fifth graders about being a writer, and more importantly, being a reader. I talked about all the books that had ever gotten me into trouble. These included To Kill A Mockingbird (which caused me to have a conversation about rape with a fellow second-grader, and I suspect…

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All Hallow’s Read recs

All Hallow’s Read recs

Last year, Neil Gaiman & Co decided that for the Halloween season, people should give out spooky books in addition to (or in lieu of) candy. They called it All Hallow’s Read. However, I was far too absorbed in my own problems last October to notice this development, much less contribute recommendations. I’d likely have chosen these titles, however. I read all of these as a child, and loved them to bits.

Why you should never “review” a genre

Why you should never “review” a genre

I couldn’t sleep, so in between catching up on some anime I hit Twitter. And what did I find there? My pals hashing the hell out of #YASaves, a hashtag directed squarely at none other than the Wall Street Journal, in response to this piece by Meghan Cox Gurdon. Snip: Pathologies that went undescribed in print 40 years ago, that were still only sparingly outlined a generation ago, are now spelled out in stomach-clenching detail. Profanity that would get a…

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"Rebecca" (1940)

"Rebecca" (1940)

Rebecca isn’t Hitchcock’s best film. Not by a long shot. But everything that made him a good director is visible here: the way he frames each shot, his fascination with the transformation of a girl into a woman, his willingness to trust in the strength of the original source material. (I only wish he could have hooked up with Bernard Herrmann before 1955, because a Herrmann score for Manderley would have been both lovely and appropriately eerie. The real score…

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"While you were reading Tolkien, I was watching Evangelion."

"While you were reading Tolkien, I was watching Evangelion."

A while ago, I Tweeted this message in reply to Adam Rakunas: “While you were reading Tolkien, I was watching Evangelion.” The initial conversation was about contemporary science fiction fandom, readership, and our influences as writers. During my teenage years, when I was “supposed” to be reading Tolkien, I was watching Evangelion. Adam pronounced this statement a big fat “WIN,” and then he made a button out of it: While you were reading Tolkien,I was watching Eva by rakdaddy View…

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Summer reading list

Summer reading list

This afternoon after picking up my students’ exams (and spending far too much time wandering gourmet food shops in search of the perfect bar of Earl Grey-infused dark chocolate, and then even more time trying on dresses in shops whose soundscapes were punctuated alternately by concrete drilling, poetry slams, and un-medicated raving), I decided to send them a summer reading list. Ironically, I rarely paid attention to such lists as a student. When I wasn’t reading for a project for the…

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the rules of fitness

the rules of fitness

I’ve been thinking about natural selection a lot, lately (and not just because I picked up Natalie Angier’s The Canon the other day). Turns out Bruce Cohen explains Darwin’s concept of “fitness” pretty well: Survival or mortality selection – Organisms that survive at least to the end of their reproductive phase are fitter than those who don’t, because they’re likely to have more offspring. Mating success or sexual selection – Many species have some form of mate selection process which…

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The news ain't all bad:

The news ain't all bad:

VIZ announces Haikasoru SF imprint. For those of you who don’t know, VIZ is best known for their anime and manga licenses. They hold some of the big-name titles, like Bleach and Death Note. Now they’re investing in bringing over Japanese SF novels to English-language audiences. And the first few books are targeted at younger audiences. No word yet on whether they’re accepting titles from all over the world or just Japan, but any news about fresh investment in the…

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Books, given and received:

Books, given and received:

During the holidays, I promised myself that I would write about the books I gave at the end of 2008. They ranged from manga to cookbooks to hard sf to satire. I had no idea I’d get to brag so much about the books I got, too. (Spook Country needs its own post, because it’s just painfully good. It’s rare that I sit and ponder the simple beauty of a given sentence, but Gibson’s latest makes me sit up straight…

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