Sunday, January 29, 2012


Frederick Turner's Genesis is something we just don't see enough of these days: a well-thought-out and well-written epic poem.

Genesis is a tale of the beginnings of life on Mars. It is written in verse, and is about 300 pages long. The poetry, however, is not difficult, and it makes for the perfect form for this particular narrative (which might surprise a lot of readers who think poetry is hard to understand).

The story is complex, the ideas are rich, and the unfolding of the story is managed well. I got my copy secondhand from Amazon, and before I'd even finished reading it, I ordered Turner's other epic poem, The New World, for my Kindle.

If you can get your hands on a copy of Genesis, it's definitely worth the read.

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Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Last Dragonslayer

I am a big Jasper Fforde fan, and have enjoyed all of his books. When I saw, in Dec. 2010, that he'd written a book for kids called The Last Dragonslayer, I immediately picked it up. With a series of events that happened on the personal front, I was left without much reading time, and ended up not getting to read the book until about a year after I'd purchased it. I am very glad I finally found the time to do read it, despite being later than I'd like.

Something about it had a feel that was a bit like another of my favorite authors, Diana Wynne Jones. I was glad to see that Fforde's use of magic The Last Dragonslayer had a flavor that was much like that found in DWJ's books. But the humor was firmly Fforde's (Ffordian?), and the humor is always a big part of what I love about his work.

The Last Dragonslayer is a wonderful quest story, raising questions of fate, magic, and the world in which we live. I highly recommend it for readers of all ages.

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Saturday, January 14, 2012

On Metallic Wings

What a fantastic poetry collection!

I actually picked up my copy of On Metallic Wings in 2010, and put it on my Reading Agenda for 2011. It took me until the year was almost over before I finally got to Angel Favazza's little gem, and what a treasure it was.

On Metallic Wings explores many of my favorite themes, including technology and how it fits into our future. The blurb on the back cover compares it to 1984, and that's a good starting point for thinking about whether or not you might like to read this volume.

I really enjoyed not only the themes and ideas examined in the book, but also the variety of forms Favazza employs. I'll be keeping an eye out for more of her work, and hoping to see much more of it in years to come.

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Friday, January 06, 2012

Ancient Robots

I recently came across this video, which shows a robot designed after the robots made in ancient Greece. While there were no electronics involved, these "robots" were automated objects that were mostly used to impress people with the operator's "magical" abilities.

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