Saturday, July 25, 2015

From the God Garden

Here we are at the end of July of 2015. I know how trite it sounds when someone says something like this, but that just seems beyond belief to me. I recognize that it's just a number, but consider for a moment that the year 2015 was far enough in the future that quite a number of science fiction movies and books are set during this year. And yet, here we are. Incredible.
Steadily working to get the new novel from 1st draft to 2nd. Already know I need to write about three more scenes, so far, and move one major chunk from where it is now to much later in the book. I'm excited for you guys to read it. I hope I'm not jinxing it to say that I think maybe Lethe is the right home for this one, but that's all a ways down the road, of course. 
Because I've been in teaching/writing/editing mode, I haven't been getting out and doing much. That means a lot of TV/Netflix watching and reading. That said, some recommendations and thoughts:
One of this summer's best discoveries for me has been Steve Orlando's DC comic, Midnighter

Hyperviolent, emotionally interesting, defying gay male stereotypes--a fantastic comic that I hope runs for a very long time. If I had been asked to write a comic during the time I was writing Stealing Ganymede, it would have been a lot like this, I think. Orlando is a writer to watch out for.
If you've been reading for a while, you know that I am a disciple of Joe Satriani. Not that I will ever be able to play guitar anywhere near his level, but his work is perfection. He's been on a roll for a while now, producing an album just about ever 2 years like clockwork. His newest, Shockwave Supernova just dropped Friday.
As always, it is mindblowing. Perfect tone control, interesting themes, new and sometimes shocking ways of thinking about the instrument. VERY much worth your time.
By now you have no doubt heard of Alex Garland's stunning film, Ex Machina

Science fiction fan or not, this is an important movie. It asks all the right questions and then lets the audience sit with the implications of their answers. While using androids to talk about matters of soul and purpose and slavery is nothing new, I don't think these questions have been asked in quite this way since Blade Runner (which, if you know me, you know I consider to be one of the best films of all time). The questions seem more pressing, more chilling, now, though, as we move faster and faster toward the singularity. A film not to be missed.
If you've been a reader for a while, you'll also know that one of my favorite actors is Jemaine Clement. His latest film, directed by Taika Waititi, is called What We Do In The Shadows

Imagine a This Is Spinal Tap-style mockumentary made about a group of vampires in New Zealand who all live together as roommates. It is utterly brilliant. There's a sequence with a group of overly eager patrol officers that had me crying I was laughing so hard. Grab a group of friends who have a good sense of humor and make a night of this one.
Finally, while I was reading Gregory Woods' excellent book on the history of gay male literature, I was making notes and filling up my Amazon wish list. I've begun ordering some of the books he recommended bit by bit, and I've started with Alan Hollinghurst's The Swimming-Pool Library
I have to be honest, while the story intrigues me, it took over a hundred pages for the main character to finally get started. While my attention span is not short, I do have to admit that I grew quite impatient with the book and was on the verge of putting it in the DNF pile when just in time the actual story of the biography began. I am still more than a bit impatient with Hollinghurst's prose style, which drags unmercifully in places, but I am still fascinated with the idea of the book, and that has kept me moving forward. I am not done with the book yet, so the review is not up on Goodreads, but I suspect it will include a suggestion that this book could have been over a hundred pages shorter and that such a cut would have produced a positive effect. 
So, as always, I hope your summer is going well. Thank you, too, for your continued support. If you'd like, make sure to stop by Twitter and say hello, tell me what you think of the books, etc.

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