While there's no doubt that you will emerge with a new or renewed appreciation of rats, the thrust of the narrative is definitely focused on New YorkWhile there's no doubt that you will emerge with a new or renewed appreciation of rats, the thrust of the narrative is definitely focused on New York City as the center of the universe with occasional side-trips to other parts of America.
This is certainly not the final word on rats, although one picks up many interesting tidbits along the way, the text scurrying to and fro for things of interest.
You meet some interesting characters, but the rat is rarely examined from the viewpoints of other cultures. This won't undermine the text for many reader, but I regard it as a missed opportunity.
Howard has documented some rarely seen aspects of life among several of the Southeast Asian tribes many of us rarely get to see. He's taken some signiHoward has documented some rarely seen aspects of life among several of the Southeast Asian tribes many of us rarely get to see. He's taken some significant care in documenting many of the traditional relics and spiritual artifacts of the shamans of most of these tribes, which is important, because among many of the census takers, such as in Laos, they don't consider animism and folk religions actual religions. He approaches it as a traveler, a journalist and an anthropologist, and this is clear from the thoroughness of his coverage of each tribe, but the text is not mired in academic jargon but more often personal anecdotes that suggest he was taking a very personal journey as well that will linger with him throughout his lifetime. The organization of the book can sometimes feel a little quirky and almost chaotic, but if you've been there, you'll understand why someone might choose this approach....more
Many emerging and even experienced genre writers are looking for a functional book for writing steampunk. Daniels is ambitious but understands the limMany emerging and even experienced genre writers are looking for a functional book for writing steampunk. Daniels is ambitious but understands the limits of what such a book can do.
That said, it's a little disconcerting to find so many typographical errors in a book about writing. Readers are directed to extensive hyperlinks throughout the text, which would be tedious to type in if you don't have an e-book version. Overall, the print version's formatting leaves a great deal to be desired in terms of physical readability.
Regarding the actual text, it's functional with some humor interspersed throughout. It really tries to provide the barebones and brass tacks to get an emerging writer up to speed on the themes, tropes and elements found through much of Steampunk fiction.
Over time, this isn't going to be hailed as a breakthrough or a classic primer for steampunk writers by any stretch of the imagination, but it does provide a place to start while we're waiting. ...more
The Night They Burned the Mountain was written with mid-20th Century sensibilities, but it's also one of the few first-hand American accounts of the eThe Night They Burned the Mountain was written with mid-20th Century sensibilities, but it's also one of the few first-hand American accounts of the experience in Laos that comes from neither the diplomatic or military/CIA perspective before the war began escalating.
For comparisons to other American experiences, I'd probably pair this with the memoirs of Dr. Charles Weldon and James E. Parker, and the biographies of the RAVENS Forward Air Controllers and Ed Buell, although these volumes are increasingly difficult to find. I would also probably look at Penelope Flores' Goodbye, Vientiane, an account of the Filipino experience in Laos and the Filipino Operation: Brotherhood organization. ...more
Shadows Over Innsmouth is one of the leading anthologies to date examining the work that has been produced in response since Lovecraft's 1942 classic,Shadows Over Innsmouth is one of the leading anthologies to date examining the work that has been produced in response since Lovecraft's 1942 classic, "The Shadow Over Innsmouth."
Its most significant competition would be The Innsmouth Cycle, which provides 13 stories, as well as a trio of poems. The Innsmouth Cycle's stories are placed into historical context, with readers being able to read several of the stories that directly influenced "The Shadow Over Innsmouth." Robert M. Price provided excellent introductions explaining why each story had been included and its context within the literary history of this aspect of the mythos.
Shadows Over Innsmouth starts a little more simpler, beginning with the original "The Shadow Over Innsmouth" and moving on from there, not necessarily with a clear rationale for the ordering of specific pieces. Ramsey Campbell, Brian Lumley and Neil Gaiman are among the more familiar authors contributing stories sett in Innsmouth.
Jones does a good job collecting stories that clearly belong in this anthology and the good majority of them show good craftsmanship throughout and bring new dimensions to different aspects of the original story.
While it would be hard to point to many characters who stand out from this collection, the scenarios definitely linger and this is a solid contribution to the mythos. It's not really something I'd hand to someone who wasn't inclined towards the work of H.P. Lovecraft, but if they enjoy Lovecraft, this anthology provides a far more satisfying set of stories than many others organized around the mythos and particularly 'The Shadow Over Innsmouth.'...more
This is definitely a fine read for a Clark Ashton Smith completist. It won't be everyone's cup of tea. It's experimental even by Clark Ashton Smith'sThis is definitely a fine read for a Clark Ashton Smith completist. It won't be everyone's cup of tea. It's experimental even by Clark Ashton Smith's standards, and rough, almost juvenile in places. It's principal value will be in seeing how his style evolves over time. It contains several other Captain Volmar stories in well-bound edition. ...more
Mayoury and Pheuiphanh Ngaosrivathana take extraordinary care and professionalism to preserve the legends and lore of the tutelary spirits of region:Mayoury and Pheuiphanh Ngaosrivathana take extraordinary care and professionalism to preserve the legends and lore of the tutelary spirits of region: the ngu, ngueak and naga.
Extensively researched, they turned to both oral traditions and the 14th century palm-leaf chronicle Urangkhathat. It's definitely not for the casual reader, but rather those with a deep interest in the history of these iconic creatures and how it has shaped the history of Laos for almost 600 years. If you have an interest in Laos and can take your time with it, I think this book will reward you with its insights....more
Before he ushered in the culinary classic Traditional Recipes of Laos, translating the work of Lao renaissance man Phia Sing, former British AmbassadoBefore he ushered in the culinary classic Traditional Recipes of Laos, translating the work of Lao renaissance man Phia Sing, former British Ambassador to Laos Alan Davidson translated the sections of Phia Sing's notebooks relating to Lao cooking and the preparation of classic fish dishes in the community.
Davidson further added a delightful and insightful survey of the amazing range of edible fish, eels and other aquatic creatures who find their way into Lao cuisine. He provides a compelling overview of the fish and their roles within Lao cuisine, and some very interesting notes on their ecology and Lao and Southeast Asian attitudes to particular fish that lesser cookbooks would overlook. His notes and comments on the giant catfish Pa Beuk alone are a wonderful read. Although if you're familiar with these fish, be warned that you'll likely be overcome with waves of nostalgia as many are hard to procure in the US, especially those that taste like the old country.
I would easily consider this an essential text for anyone who does writing about Laos, its environment, its flora and fauna....more
This is the kind of book I always seem to run into when hanging out with Barbara Jane Reyes and Oscar Bermeo. Tan Lin's BlipSoak01 is one of those booThis is the kind of book I always seem to run into when hanging out with Barbara Jane Reyes and Oscar Bermeo. Tan Lin's BlipSoak01 is one of those books of poetry where I can appreciate what Tan Lin is trying to do. But while I experience it, it's difficult for me to say I "enjoy" it in the conventional sense of the word.
To be fair, I often dive into a book of poetry randomly first rather than starting at the beginning. But even were I to start at the beginning, I'd find myself immersed in textual dislocation. There are moments of coherence, then not. Edges of images, something being said. Do I need 324 pages of it? In a way, I'm happy to own one of the 500 copies of this book, but as it sits balefully on my bookshelf glaring at me, yes, I'm left with a sense of 'why?'
In a modern world of so much text that is possible to read, I admit a particular curiosity as to who exactly really reads this fully. Who ARE the other 499 people in the world who have a copy of this book? And what do THEY do with it?...more
A very readable text drawing from Inquisition transcripts and scholarly detective work to tell the story of Menocchio, a simple miller who loved to reA very readable text drawing from Inquisition transcripts and scholarly detective work to tell the story of Menocchio, a simple miller who loved to read and was deeply curious. And in that curiosity, speculated about a radical cosmology that likened the cosmos to the natural processes of cheese and worms. He dared to talk about it at length and to try and share his ideas with the world. For this, in 1599, he was burned at the stake as a heretic. There's a great deal to admire about this story and how much and how little we've changed in the time since....more