Reading the short stories was as entertaining as if I were watching The Twilight Zone. I really enjoyed reading Rod Serling’s writing and adding to th...moreReading the short stories was as entertaining as if I were watching The Twilight Zone. I really enjoyed reading Rod Serling’s writing and adding to the experience was his audible narration in the back of my mind. I recommend the collection of 6 episodes that were published in 1962, after their airing.
"There is a fifth dimension, beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call the Twilight Zone."
Numerous folks told me it's a "must read". Now that it's one of my favourites, I'm doing the same.
In what is one of Orson Scott Card’s most acclaimed...moreNumerous folks told me it's a "must read". Now that it's one of my favourites, I'm doing the same.
In what is one of Orson Scott Card’s most acclaimed novels, space and technology are used to explore society and possibilities. The idea that at the age of 6 children are trained for war is scary enough, but add in that they are bred for that is more so. Present are leadership and respect, how they can be earned or lost, and the concept of nice versus good. Also brought to question is isolation to bear creativity. Is it humans or qualities and abilities that form humanity?
The character and plot development are superb. One can’t help but like Ender and sympathize for him. Despite a few characters’ beliefs, faults, or actions, the reader can understand what caused them. Card is excellent at digging into things without forgetting his main storyline. He grasps the reader’s attention quickly and holds it fast. He’s deep, but witty and humorous at the same time.
Ender’s Game stormed the science-fiction universe when it was published in 1985, winning the Hugo and Nebula awards and making the top of bestseller lists. After reading it, it's understandable. Highly recommended. (less)
Overall, Worlds Apart is a good anthology, but I liked it more for its raison d’être than the stories it contains.
11 short stories explore the future...moreOverall, Worlds Apart is a good anthology, but I liked it more for its raison d’être than the stories it contains.
11 short stories explore the future, society, gender, and sexuality. How do societal norms become the norm? What if sex changes were easily available? Would that change relations? If so, how? These are just a few of the questions brought up in this anthology.
Samuel Delany’s story was written in the sixties when so many things like sex, much less "deviation", were mentioned aloud. Born in 1915, Alice Bradley Sheldon felt the need for a male pen name and so used James Tiptree Jr. Although their short stories weren’t the best of introductions, I look forward to reading more by them.
Considering that way before the Mists of Avalon, Marion Zimmer Bradley wrote gay and lesbian pulp fiction in the fifties and sixties, I’m really not surprised that one of her shorts was used in the anthology. There’s still a ton out there I haven’t yet read, but MZB is a long time favourite.
I’ve read stories by John Varley and Joanna Russ elsewhere and I can’t quite put my finger on it, but Varley’s rub me the wrong way. I’d be more inclined to read more by Russ though.
It's a good collection, especially considering it was published in 1986. I think nowadays there are better GLBT SF anthologies out there. (less)
Whether one is into fantasy or not, the 430-page collection is a fine edition to anyone's library. It contains the novels "The Last Unicorn", "A Fine...moreWhether one is into fantasy or not, the 430-page collection is a fine edition to anyone's library. It contains the novels "The Last Unicorn", "A Fine and Private Place", and the short stories "Come, Lady Death" and "Lila, the Werewolf". Each is different from the others, showing Beagle's range in storytelling and writing styles.
"A Fine and Private Place" centers around a mausoleum where a recluse who speaks with the dead is offered a chance at happiness. It’s wit, charm, sadness, and beauty make it a fine and memorable piece, and definitely worth revisiting. Impressively, it's Beagle's first novel, written when he was 19.
"The Last Unicorn" follows the Unicorn who teams up with Schmendrick the Magician and a bandit leader’s wife to find out what happened to the other unicorns. It's a fantasy story that children and adults alike can enjoy. As usual the movie adaptation omitted some of the story, including the book’s end.
"Lila the Werewolf" is self-explanatory and was okay. "Come, Lady Death" is a humorous, fantasy-spin about the superficial social politics of the 19th century. It was really amusing.
There are few books I'll re-read with some regularity. This is my third reading, I've seen part one about 30 times (work), and I still manage to chuck...moreThere are few books I'll re-read with some regularity. This is my third reading, I've seen part one about 30 times (work), and I still manage to chuckle at the jokes and find new meaning within the script and characters. Angels in America is a brilliant piece of work. (less)
Equus has been a favourite for several years. I’ve read the play countless times, saw the same production two nights in a row, and watched the film ve...moreEquus has been a favourite for several years. I’ve read the play countless times, saw the same production two nights in a row, and watched the film version with Richard Burton. It’s one of the few plays that never gets stale, there's always something new.
A teenage boy undergoes therapy after committing a crime on the basis that "what the eye does not see, the heart does not grieve over". How and why could he do such a thing? That’s for the psychiatrist and audience to find out. Intense and dark, Equus is about society’s norms and religion. Shaffer takes a look at how beliefs are formed and what makes them valid or not.
Despite its intensity, Equus is morbidly beautiful. Or perhaps, its beauty is in part because of its intensity. It’s well written and is a relatively quick read. Although I’ve read other, lighter plays by Peter Shaffer, this one is still my favorite. I highly recommend it in any format available.
"The Normal is the good smile in a child’s eyes- all right. It is also the dead stare in a million adults. It both sustains and kills- like a God. It is the Ordinary made beautiful; it is also the Average made lethal. The Normal is the indispensable, murderous God of Health."
Without You is a deeply touching and honest memoir about the joys and sorrows of life. Rapp shares the struggles of an actor, his mom’s battle with ca...moreWithout You is a deeply touching and honest memoir about the joys and sorrows of life. Rapp shares the struggles of an actor, his mom’s battle with cancer, and with his mom about his sexuality. It also gives a behind the scenes look at Rent, which while taking off-Broadway by storm, on opening night (and after) the cast and crew were mourning the sudden death of its brilliant creator and their beloved friend and collaborator, Jonathan Larson. Like the song for which it’s named, Without You is extremely personal and heart-wrenchingly beautiful.(less)