08-25-12 UPDATE:Podcast Update:Time to Read Episode 60: Tim Powers, 'Hide Me Among the Graves'
Click image for audio link.
Here's the sixtyth episode of my new series of podcasts, which I'm calling Time to Read. The podcasts/radio broadcasts will be of books worth your valuable reading time. I'll try to keep the reports under four minutes, for a radio-friendly format. If you want to run them on your show or podcast, let me know. I'll be in LA again next week, so expect the next one next Sunday.
My hope is that in under four minutes I can offer readers a concise review and an opportunity to hear the author read from or speak about the work. I'm hoping to offer a new one every week.
08-22-12: SF in SF Panel from 07-07-12 with Terry Bisson, Richard Kadrey and John Shirley
Click image for audio link.
"..they did Jimmy Olsen that, didn't they?"
The conversation was in progress when I started the tape; you couldn't keep them from talking! John Shirley was telling us about his work on the latest installment of The Crow, a graphic novel set in Japan. I'll have to warn listeners that this recording definitely earns the "Explicit" tag from iTunes — early and often.
As it happened, the comic and graphic novel world was very much the topic of conversation, as Richard Kadrey chimed in with his experiences having the Sandman Slim work adapted into the format. It sounds sort of like something from one of the novels, alas.
"My goal in writing the book was to write it as it felt."
— Brian Castner
Brian Castner is instantly engaging in person. He's very straightforward, easygoing articulate — everything you'd expect having read 'The Long Walk: A Story of War and the Life That Follows.' And while it is tempting to think that an author has said everything he needs to in the book, talking to Castner in person brought forth many relevant revelations.
Now, it might seem obvious that he wrote the book to mirror his experience; but how he went about doing that is not in the book itself, and it is definitely worth hearing about. We talked about his visual aids for putting together the narrative as well as his personal experiences both at home and in the war. While I don't think we covered much that was in the book directly, what we did talk about gives it a new perspective.
What interested me were the implications of what he described both at war and at home. At war, he talked about the incredible difficulty of doing even the simplest thing, and this led me to intuit that there was a level of well-intended bureaucracy at work. Of course the best intentions never guarantee the best results. And at home Castner found solace but not the sort of simple solutions that one hopes for. The book, the man and his experiences are a lesson in mixed messages and results.
05-04-13: Commentary : Reasons Not to Leave the House, Reality Check : The Truth Hurts Edition: 'Down the Up Escalator' by Barbara Garson, 'The Wolf and the Watchman' by Scott C. Johnson,'The Book of Woe' by Gary Greenberg, 'Confessions of a Sociopath' by M. E. Thomas