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Stamps are probably the worst kind of kipple there is. (Walther F. Lake)

Archive for august, 2012

HORROR

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Richard Laymon: His works include more than sixty short stories and more than thirty novels, a few of which were published under the pseudonym Richard Kelly. However, despite praise from prominent writers from within the genre, including Stephen King and Dean Koontz, Laymon was little known in his homeland—he enjoyed greater success in Europe, though, particularly in the United Kingdom—until his affiliation with Leisure Books in 1999. The author largely viewed much of this as a product of the poorly re-edited and reconstructed first release of The Woods Are Dark, which had over 50 pages removed. The poor editing and unattractive cover art ruined his sales records after the success of The Cellar. The original and intended version of The Woods Are Dark was finally published in July of 2008 by Leisure Books and Cemetery Dance Publications after being reconstructed from the original manuscript by his daughter, Kelly.

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august 31st, 2012 at 8:00 am

CLIVE BARKER’S BOOKS OF BLOOD

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There are six books in total, each simply subtitled Volume 1 through to Volume 6, and were subsequently re-published in two omnibus editions containing three volumes each. Each volume contains four or five stories. The volume 1-3 omnibus was published with a foreword by Barker’s fellow Liverpudlian horror writer Ramsey Campbell.

They were published between 1984 and 1985. With the publication of the first volume, Barker became an overnight sensation and was hailed by Stephen King as “the future of horror”. The book won both the British and World Fantasy Awards.

Although undoubtedly horror stories, like most of Barker’s work they mix fantasy themes in as well. The tales invariably take place in a contemporary setting, usually featuring everyday people who become embroiled in terrifying or mysterious events. Barker has stated in Faces of Fear that an inspiration for The Books of Blood was when he read Dark Forces in the early 1980s and realized that a horror story collection need not have any narrow themes, consistent tone or restrictions. The stories could range from the humorous to the truly horrific.

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august 30th, 2012 at 8:00 am

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90’ERNE

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august 29th, 2012 at 8:00 am

HENNING MORTENSEN

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august 28th, 2012 at 8:00 am

MARK Z. DANIELEWSKI – HOUSE OF LEAVES

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Upon returning from a trip to Seattle, the Navidson family discovers a change in their home. A closet-like space shut behind an undecorated door appears inexplicably where previously there was only a blank wall. A second door appears at the end of the closet, leading to the children’s room. As Navidson investigates this phenomenon, he finds that the internal measurements of the house are somehow larger than external measurements. Initially there is less than an inch of difference, but as time passes the interior of the house is found to be seemingly expanding, while maintaining the same exterior proportions. A third change asserts itself: a dark, cold hallway in their living room wall that, physically, should extend out into their yard, but does not. Navidson films this strange place, looping around the outside of the house to show where the space should be and clearly is not. The filming of this anomaly comes to be referred to as “The Five and a Half Minute Hallway”. This hallway leads to a maze-like complex, starting with a large room (the “Anteroom”), which in turn leads to a truly enormous space (the “Great Hall”), a room primarily distinguished by an enormous spiral staircase which appears, when viewed from the landing, to spiral down without end. There is also a multitude of corridors and rooms leading off from each passage. All of these rooms and hallways are completely unlit and featureless, consisting of smooth ash-gray walls, floors, and ceilings. The only sound disturbing the perfect silence of the hallways is a periodic low growl, the source of which is never fully explained, although an academic source “quoted” in the book hypothesizes that the growl is created by the frequent re-shaping of the house. | House of Leaves | Mark Z. Danielewski | Ergodic Literature |

In ergodic literature, nontrivial effort is required to allow the reader to traverse the text. If ergodic literature is to make sense as a concept, there must also be nonergodic literature, where the effort to traverse the text is trivial, with no extranoematic responsibilities placed on the reader except (for example) eye movement and the periodic or arbitrary turning of pages.

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august 27th, 2012 at 8:00 am

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PHILIP K. DICK HARPER/VOYAGER

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august 26th, 2012 at 8:00 am

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BOKSSÆT

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In the case of music, contemporary box sets are usually made up of four or more discs, covering a broad range of the music of a given artist or genre. Artists and bands with an extremely long and successful career often have anthology or “essential” collections of their music released as box sets. These often include rare and never-before-released tracks. Some box sets collect together previously released singles or albums by a music artist, and often collect the complete discography of an artist such as Pink Floyd’s Oh, by the Way. The box set The Aeroplane Flies High, released in 1996 by The Smashing Pumpkins, is an expanded collection of the singles from their album Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness.

Other music box sets focus on a compilation of different artists from a particular genre such as Big Band jazz, 1960s rock and roll, or opera. They generally feature a large collection of various hits from some of the top artists of a particular genre. The scope of such box sets varies widely, with some genre-specific box sets (such as one featuring rock music) focusing on a specific style (for instance, guitar rock or “Summer of Love” music). Two of the best known companies for making box sets are Legacy Recordings and Rhino Records; both have won multiple Grammy Awards. Prior to Rhino and Legacy, companies such as Time-Life Records and Readers Digest also issued box sets.

In rare cases, box sets contain all original material such as In Search of The, a 13-disc set by Buckethead or the Merzbox, a 50-disc set by Merzbow in which 20 of the discs are of new material while the other 30 discs are catalog material. Some box sets become best sellers, such as Led Zeppelin’s Led Zeppelin (1990), George Strait’s Strait Out of the Box (1995), Nirvana’s With the Lights Out (2004) and The Beatles’ twin The Beatles Stereo Box Set and The Beatles in Mono discography box sets (2009).

In classical music, box sets often contain e.g. all works of a certain composer or all works in a certain genre, like symphonies or chamber music, performed by a certain orchestra, ensemble or conductor.

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august 25th, 2012 at 8:00 am

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WORDSWORTH POETRY LIBRARY

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august 24th, 2012 at 8:00 am

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WORDSWORTH POETRY LIBRARY

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august 23rd, 2012 at 8:00 am

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OMNIBUSSER

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august 22nd, 2012 at 8:00 am

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THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN

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august 21st, 2012 at 8:00 am

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JAMES TIPTREE, JR – HER SMOKE ROSE UP FOREVER

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Tiptree/Sheldon was an eclectic writer who worked in a variety of styles and subgenres, often combining the technological focus and hard-edged style of “hard” science fiction with the sociological and psychological concerns of “soft” SF, and some of the stylistic experimentation of the New Wave movement.

After writing several stories in more conventional modes, she produced her first work to draw widespread acclaim, “The Last Flight of Doctor Ain”, in 1969. One of her shortest stories, “Ain” is a sympathetic portrait of a scientist whose concern for Earth’s ecological suffering leads him to destroy the entire human race.

Many of her stories have a milieu reminiscent of the space opera and pulp tales she read in her youth, but typically with a much darker tone: the cosmic journeys of her characters are often linked to a drastic spiritual alienation, and/or a transcendent experience which brings fulfillment but also death. John Clute, noting Tiptree’s “inconsolable complexities of vision”, concluded that “It is very rarely that a James Tiptree story does not both deal directly with death and end with a death of the spirit, or of all hope, or of the race”. Notable stories of this type include “Painwise”, in which a space explorer has been altered to be immune to pain but finds such an existence intolerable, and “A Momentary Taste of Being”, in which the true purpose of humanity, found on a distant planet, renders individual human life entirely pointless.

Another major theme is the tension between free will and biological determinism, or reason and sexual desire. “Love Is the Plan the Plan Is Death”, one of the rare SF stories in which no humans appear, describes an alien creature’s romantic rationalizations for the brutal instincts that drive its life cycle. “The Screwfly Solution” suggests that humans might similarly rationalize a plague of murderous sexual insanity. Sex in Tiptree’s writing is frankly portrayed, a sometimes playful but more often threatening force.

Before the revelation of Sheldon’s identity, Tiptree was often referred to as an unusually macho male (see, e.g., Robert Silverberg’s commentaries) as well as an unusually feminist science fiction writer (for a male) — particularly for “The Women Men Don’t See”, a story of two women who go looking for aliens to escape from male-dominated society on Earth. However, Sheldon’s view of sexual politics could be ambiguous, as in the ending of “Houston, Houston, Do You Read?,” where a society of female clones must deal with three time-traveling male astronauts.

One of the themes prevalent throughout most of Sheldon’s work is feminism. In “The Women Men Don’t See,” Sheldon gives a feminist story a unique spin by making the narrator, Don Fenton, a male. Fenton judges the Parsons based on their attractiveness and is agitated when they do not “fulfil stereotypical female roles,” as author Anne Cranny-Francis describes it (Feminist Science Fiction, 30). In addition, Fenton’s inability to understand both the plight of woman and Ruth Parson’s feelings of alienation further illustrate the differences of men and women in society. The theme of feminism is emphasized by “the feminist ideology espoused by Ruth Parsons and the contrasting sexism of Fenton”. The title of the short story itself reflects the idea that women are invisible during Sheldon’s time. As Francis states, “‘The Women Men Don’t See’ is an outstanding example…of the subversive use of genre fiction to produce an unconventional discursive position, the feminist subject”.

Sheldon’s two novels, produced toward the end of her career, were not as critically well-received as her best-known stories but continued to explore similar themes. Some of her best-regarded work can be found in the collection Her Smoke Rose Up Forever, available in paperback as of 2004.

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august 20th, 2012 at 8:00 am

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BABELBORDET DEN 19. AUGUST 2012

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august 19th, 2012 at 6:00 pm

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NEAL STEPHENSON – CRYPTONOMICON

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august 19th, 2012 at 8:00 am

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ROGER ZELAZNY – CHRONICLES OF AMBER

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august 18th, 2012 at 8:00 am

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NEAL STEPHENSON: ANATHEM

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august 17th, 2012 at 8:00 am

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NEAL STEPHENSON: BAROK-TRILOGIEN

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august 16th, 2012 at 8:00 am

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ISAAC ASIMOV – THE FOUNDATION TRILOGY

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august 15th, 2012 at 8:00 am

THE COMPLETE FAWLTY TOWERS M.M.

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august 14th, 2012 at 8:00 am

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ROBERTSON DAVIES: DEPTFORD-TRILOGIEN

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august 13th, 2012 at 8:00 am

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TV-SERIER

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august 12th, 2012 at 8:00 am

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THE FORSYTE SAGA

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august 11th, 2012 at 8:00 am

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OMNIBUS

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august 10th, 2012 at 8:00 am

J.G. BALLARD – RESEARCH

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august 9th, 2012 at 8:00 am

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FILM

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august 8th, 2012 at 8:00 am

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FILM

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august 7th, 2012 at 8:00 am

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FILM

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august 6th, 2012 at 8:00 am

BLANDINGER

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august 5th, 2012 at 8:00 am

BLANDINGER

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august 4th, 2012 at 8:00 am

BLANDINGER

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august 3rd, 2012 at 8:00 am

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BLANDINGER

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august 2nd, 2012 at 8:00 am

BLANDINGER

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august 1st, 2012 at 8:00 am