Friday, August 31, 2007

The Mist was one of my favorite short stories when I was a teenager. Although I like some of his recent short stories, I don't think anything has surpased Skeleton Crew in terms of sheer creepiness. The Jaunt still kind of freaks me out.

I like end of the world stories, and particularly liked The Mist because it was such a baroque end of the world story. The world is shrouded in mist. No big deal, right? But there are monsters in the mist. An endless variety of monsters. I've often thought about doing a Mist one shot RPG for Halloween one year, but never gone ahead and done it.

So, in a movie season largely devoid of films I am desperate to see, it gives me the Googly Mooglies to find a trailer for a Mist film. I am so there November 21st.

As I mentioned in my Soap Opera post, I had some very good reading luck. In addition to the titles menioned there, I lucked upon Wildside, an old school style SF novel that postulates an odd technical problem and then lovingly describes the interesting problems it engenders while building a slapdash plot around it. There are a lot of reasons it wasn't a good book: deux ex machina ending piled on top of an explanation for the phenomenon that wanted to be shocking but really wasn't, the author didn't take opportunities for narrative tension (all in all, the book needed more Sabertooth Tigers, I think). Despite all of that, I really enjoyed it. It was short, it moved, it had a Swiss Family Robinson feel that made me remember why I enjoyed Science Fiction as a kid, and the main character was engaging in a Mary Sue via The Great Brain kind of way.

Then I read The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag, a novella in a collection of Heinlein stories. I don't think I've ever read Heinleinian fantasy, but that's what it was. Or, more properly, Heinlein's take on Cosmic Horror. It was very Lovecraftian, despite the lack of shambling horrors. Also a flawed but fun work, full of his wonderfully nuanced writing for adults: beautiful descriptions. I was interested that some of his curmudgitations on the nature of people seem timeless. I shouldn't be: nobody bitches about anything new, except for bitching about everything new. But some times I think we feel like Scott Adams invented workplace dissatisfaction. Turns out, not so much.

Last, I ran across some copies of the Chronicals of Wormwood. This is a graphic novel title by Garth Ennis. As usual for Garth Ennis, it emphasizes the graphic. The novel part is engaging. The story is about Wormwood, the Antichrist, who works as a producer for cable television shows.

Then I had some bad luck with sloppy comics writing. I picked up The World Below because it was by Paul Chadwick, and I like Concrete. And it's about monsters and robots in a hidden subterranean kingdom. What could go wrong? Well, despite its fun premised, and some cool ideas (a monster that reproduces by tearing off an opponents head and sticking an egg on the stump that turns into a new head. Also, the monster swaps limbs with fallen creatures), it's slow and full of little sermons, none of which I found particularly new. I can see why it got cancelled, and only his name got it collected.

Then I picked up Side Scrollers, which is Clerks, with three guys instead of two. It is comical vignettes driven by absurd dialog about pop culture and slacker life. It even has a Jay and Silent Bob duo. Just, none of it is as good as Clerks.

C'est La Vie. I picked up a novel, er, work of non-fiction about the end of the world, which is coming up in 2012. Though lacking in anything like rigor or focus, I'm making my way slowly through it and having fun. I love end of the world fiction. I'm having fun by treating this as non-fiction.

But... I'm thinking it's a good excuse to have a party.

I wonder what apocalypse will come after 2012?

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