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General Discussions Topics >> The Books & Stories >> What's everybody reading?
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Message started by Patrick on 10. Nov 2003 at 21:52

Title: What's everybody reading?
Post by Patrick on 10. Nov 2003 at 21:52

Well, this seems to be a tradition on every message board, even non-literary ones.  I'm especially curious to see what Blaylock fans like to read, though.

I'm currently working on the last few chapters of ROBINSON CRUSOE by Daniel Defoe.

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Forum Administrator on 10. Nov 2003 at 22:01

Vanity Fair, by William Thackeray

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Jim_Fortner on 10. Nov 2003 at 22:37

Rereading The Dracula Tapes by Fred Saberhagen.

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Clarkesworld Books on 11. Nov 2003 at 04:06

Currently reading Crawlers by John Shirley and re-reading The Troika by Stepan Chapman.

-Neil

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Jeff M. on 11. Nov 2003 at 14:41

I know this is hopelessly predictable, but I'm actually re-reading The Last Coin. I just finished a really interesting book by Ray Bradbury called From the Dust Returned (I re-read it every halloween to get into the spirit of the holiday. no pun intended).

I'm not sure what I'm going to read next, although I've been considering Stephen King's Dark Tower series.... I've never read anything by Stephen King up until this point, mainly on principle alone; most of his work really doesnt appeal to me.  I've heard some good things about the series though, and I suppose it's inevitable that I'll end up reading something of his eventually...

Jeff


Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Heather on 12. Nov 2003 at 22:42

Currently I'm reading the new Palahniuk book called Diary but I'm also reading a STNG book called Immortal Coil, because I'm a sucker for some Starfleet.

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Clarkesworld Books on 14. Nov 2003 at 05:48

I've now moved onto Bibliomancy by Elizabeth Hand.

 -Neil

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Jim_Fortner on 14. Nov 2003 at 17:03

Now I'm on Owls Hoot in the Daytime by Manly Wade Wellman.  This would replace my tattered old paperback edition, John the Balladeer, except for the David Drake intro!

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by B. Pulley on 17. Nov 2003 at 08:11

Goblin Reservation by Clifford D. Simak.  

I've been reading a lot of Simak in the last few months:  All Flesh is grass (a personal favorite), Mastodonia, They Walked Like Men, Way Station (another favorite), Ring Around The Sun, The Werewolf Principle, Special Deliverance, The Visitors, Highway of Eternity, and All the traps of Earth.  

I'll probably read Cemetery World or City next.  

B.

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Patrick on 18. Nov 2003 at 01:41

I've only had a chance to read two Simak books, City and Time and Again, but that was enough to earn him a spot on my favorite authors list.  He has some quality in common with Blaylock that I can't quite put my finger on.  Maybe it's his ability to discern quiet beauty in the ordinary.

I just started reading The Dain Curse by Dashiell Hammett.  Amazing how contemporary (or at least 50's-ish) it seems for a book actually written in the 20's!

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Andrew on 26. Nov 2003 at 01:28

I just picked up Tristram Shandy again.  Twice I've tried to read it and twice I've been stopped cold by Slawkenbergius' Tale (about the chap with the enormous nose).  Finally got through the Tale and am back in the main narrative -- enjoying it very much.

I read on a movie website that there are rumblings from Hollywood of an attempt at filming Tristram Shandy.  Boggles the mind.

Most looking forward to: Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson (Cryptonomicon is one of my all-time favorite books) and the next Blaylock.


Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Jim_Fortner on 27. Nov 2003 at 04:13

That's funny - I was just telling a friend at work about Tritram Shandy!  I read it a few years ago and loved it, too!  I need to go dig it out of a box somewhere and give it another go.

I was describing Uncle Toby and his hobby horse.  I love the part where he is using an old boot as a cannon as they recreate the battle in the garden.

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by cnabokov on 04. Dec 2003 at 17:40

I've been re-reading Doom, by William Gerhardie. If you recall, it's the book Squires was reading in Leviathan. Great book by a much-underappreciated writer.

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Patrick on 23. Dec 2003 at 17:22

Ooh, cool, thanks for the tip, cnabokov!  That will definitely be going on my list of books to track down.

Currently reading the first few books of Roger Zelazny's Amber series.  Going to try to fit in Dicken's A Christmas Carol on X-mas eve and day.

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Captain Rackham on 06. Feb 2004 at 03:58

I'm reading 'Prophecy' by Elizabeth Haydon. It's a very good book, only got about 5 pages left, then it's on to the next one!
I'm waiting for my copy of 'On Pirates' to arrive, I'm looking forward to reading it. I need to go raid my school library to find their copy of 'The Elfin Ship'. I read it last semester, and I haven't seen it since I turned it in...at least I'm on good terms with the librarians. =) I need to find some more of Blaylock's books, I love them (obviously), but the only ones I've found are 'The Elfin Ship' and 'The Disappearing Dwarf.'

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Sabeena on 16. Mar 2004 at 00:02

Hi,

I Just finished reading The Stone Giant, which I liked, but I did miss  the great poems of Bufo and Gump.    Any suggestions of what Blaylock book to read next?

Sabeena

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Jeff M. on 16. Mar 2004 at 20:48

Heya Sabeena!

It’s tough to suggest anything without knowing what else you’ve read, so I’ll reply under the assumption that the Stone Giant is your first. (At the risk of sounding like a fanatic, you really should read ALL of his books, but that’s not the answer you’re looking for…)

If you enjoyed the traditional fantasy setting of The Stone Giant, you’ll love The Elfin Ship and The Disappearing Dwarf, in that order.  

Two of my personal favorites are roughly considered “steampunk” in setting (see this link http://www.angelfire.com/tv/sarahlegend/stationmaster.html if you want an explanation of the term. Explanation located about halfway down the page) and are titled: Lord Kelvin’s Machine, and Homunculus.

Next, I’d suggest some of his “modern fantasy” novels such as The Last Coin (possibly the best novel he’s written), The Paper Grail, and All the Bells on Earth.

That should keep you immersed in Blaylock for quite a while, and most of the titles (especially if out of print) can be ordered from ABE Booksearch at http://www.abebooks.com/?cm_ven=ov&cm_cat=us&cm_pla=abebooks%20terms&cm_ite=abe.html . I checked today and they currently have 1,123 Blaylock books available.

Enjoy :)

Jeff

Edit: After posting, I noticed you mentioned Bufo and Gump, which the intelligent man would take to mean that you've already read the first two traditional fantasy novels I mentioned... I'm not an intelligent man, however, so just ignore the first two suggestions.

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Jim Fortner on 25. Mar 2004 at 19:47

Death of a Village, M. C. Beaton

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Eldon Cooley on 02. Apr 2004 at 23:33

I am actually about to pull my clothes out of the dryer, don them, collect my personal affects and head to the bookstore in search of a Blaylock to read.  Specifically one of the OC region books...

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Sabeena on 26. Apr 2004 at 03:48

Thanks for your suggestions Jeff,

I am currently reading A wrinkle in time by Madeleine L'Engles, and Tolkiens The Lord of the Rings which believe it or not I never heard of until my husband introduced me to Tolkien almost Five years ago; and the funny thing is I grew up in England.

And for pleasure I'm reading Alfie Kohns Punished by Rewards.

Hey has anyone read The Man in the moon?

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by B. Pulley on 26. Apr 2004 at 09:06


Sabeena wrote:
...has anyone read The Man in the moon?


I've been meaning to read "The Man in the Moon" since its publication, but something else always seems to get in the way.  At present, I find myself still stuck with this Clifford Simak fixation that won't go away, at least not until I’ve hunted down all of his books, most of which are no longer in publication, and have read them all.  ;)

Everything has been rather good thus far.  Although, I must admit I find myself sort of dragging my feet while reading “A Choice of Gods” at present, but I have read worse.  

B.


Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Clarkesworld Books on 01. May 2004 at 00:58


Sabeena wrote:
Hey has anyone read The Man in the moon?


Yep.  It's the Elfin Ship and then it suddenly takes a turn to a completely different story, including a trip to the moon.  I like the Elfin Ship better, but it was nice to have more with these characters in it.

-Neil

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Jim Fortner on 08. May 2004 at 17:21

Man in the Moon -- Neil is right.  It could never have lived up to expectations, but aside from some minor changes here and there it's the same 1st half of Elfin Ship, at which point it veers off to the moon.  I liked it and I'm glad I've got it, just to have some more stuff about the Cheeser, but I liked Elfin Ship better.  I would buy it again.

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Clarkesworld Books on 09. May 2004 at 01:48

Currently reading:  The San Veneficio Canon by Michael Cisco

 -Neil

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Captain Rackham on 10. May 2004 at 02:30

Well, my On Pirates book order was cancelled due to limited supply. :( I'll have to re-order soon.
Right now I'm reading Harry Potter #5 again, after that I'll start on Star Wars: Tales of the New Republic. Hopefully it'll good. It's been awhile since I've read a good star wars book. I need to pick up where I left off in Master and Commander, but it's a hard read, especially with all the latin phrases and such! ;)

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Jim Fortner on 16. May 2004 at 23:06

Currently reading both If Chins Could Kill and Desolation Island.

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Dave Garrett on 17. May 2004 at 04:54

Currently reading: The Collected Jorkens Volume 1 by Lord Dunsany, from Night Shade Books. And also The Marvelous Land of Oz, by L. Frank Baum, the Books of Wonder edition (fascimile of 1st edition).  Dave Garrett

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Clarkesworld Books on 08. Jun 2004 at 01:17

The Night Shade Dunsany collection was really good.  I'm looking forward the rest of his books they'll be publishing.

I've also been lucky enough to find some cheap first editions by Lord Dunsany recently.

 -Neil

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by klause on 10. Jun 2004 at 00:18

I'm currently reading THE AVRAM DAVIDSON TREASURY, a collection of over 30 wonderful tales by a writer who should be better known. The delights of his prose sometimes overshadow his plotting and characterization, but that's just quibbling. While he was far too much of his own writer to be profitably compared to anybody else, I do think other Blaylock fans will find MUCH to enjoy here. Davidson shares Blaylock's (happily) skewed perspective on things----albeit from a harsher, more jaded (or  just saddened, perhaps) aspect.

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Jim Fortner on 11. Jun 2004 at 17:04

Midnight Sun - Kane stories

Jorkens sounds great!  Added to wish list!

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Silver on 12. Jun 2004 at 01:07

I'm currently reading "The Bookman's Promise" by John Dunning.  It's a mystery -- a "bibliomystery", in fact.  It's the third one in this series that Dunning has written.  I think that Dunning is or used to be a rare books dealer in Colorado, so this series is particularly interesting to those of us who are bibliophiles.

I will soon be reading "The Ships of Air", the second novel in a fantasy series by Martha Wells, due to be released on the 29th of this month.  Martha's earlier books were all smashingly good fantasies, though they're not at all light-hearted fantasies like Elfin Ship or anything.  (Martha lives in my old hometown, and I run into her occasionally.) She's really a rising star to watch, I believe.

If you desire some summer reading that's a lighthearted fantasy more in the vein of Blaylock's type of work, I recommend trying Richard A. Lupoff's "Into the Aether".  It came out a long time ago, so you'd have to find it on a used book website, most likely.  It definitly falls into the subgenre of humorous steampunk, I think.  Here's the description:


Quote:
When the 'Chester A. Arthur', the world's first and only coal/steam/paddlewheel-propelled spaceship rose into the skies over Buffalo Falls, Pa. , who would have expected what followed? Will Professor Thintwhistle and his crew be able to return to earth? Will Miss Taphammer ever find them? Will Jefferson Jackson Clay's foul plot succeed? And what of the King of the Cats?

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Jeff M. on 12. Jun 2004 at 01:59

At the risk of hijacking this thread (sorry), I was just wondering, Silver, if you'd ever given any thought to applying your artistic skills to bringing something from Blaylock's worlds to the canvas? I just went through your webpages and saw some of your work- very nice. With your architectural skills, I think you'd do a fine job interpreting things like a Twombly Town scene, or perhaps Dr. Chan's storefront.  In fact, I'd go as far as saying that you'd probably become a local hero around these parts after producing something like that!

I'm sure there'd be some pesky legal issues to deal with through the publisher, and I certainly wouldn't want to see Mr. Blaylock's work interpreted without his blessing, but I, for one, would certainly buy a print ;)

Jeff

Edit: As it's been over 2 months, I'll take your lack of a response as a resounding "no".....

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by David Nixon on 21. Jul 2004 at 18:40

I've recently suggested some Blaylock to a friend I haven't seen since high school. She has yet to get her hands on any, but I anxiously await her thoughts.
Anyway, I read Gene Wolfe's "The Knight" a few weeks ago and think it's one of the best fantasy novels in recent years; can't wait for the second half ("The Wizard") to be released. Also reading Jasper Fforde's "Thursday Next" books (starting with "The Eyre Affair"); they're funny and fast-paced alternate history, with just enough literary references to keep this reformed English major satisfied. Working my way through Patrick O'Brian's books as well (listened to most of them on CD first, read by patrick Tull, which I also recommend); I'm on the fourth one--a personal favorite.
Also picked up Anne McCaffrey's Pern trilogy to re-read for the first time in nearly 20 years. They're good fun, if a little simplistic.
I think I've mentioned "Bridge of Birds" by Barry Hughart and "The Harp and the Blade" by John Myers Myers before (on the archived board), but I'll say it again: read these books!
There's more than my two cents.
30

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Jim_Fortner on 22. Jul 2004 at 15:29

Patton - A Soldier's Life = very good, but the thing I hate about Biography is the cast of 1000's -- it's hard to remember who some folks are from chapter 1 to chapter 20 etc....  So and so died, eh?  Who was that again?  I finally gave up trying to figure it out and just decided to plow on.  The stuff about Black Jack Pershing is also interesting.

Maybe Powers could incorporate Patton into one of his alternate realities like he did Philby?  Plenty of material.  I loved the throw away story about GSP hunting boar with a Renault tank, ripping up a forest much to the dismay of the locals!  

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Clarkesworld Books on 23. Jul 2004 at 07:02

I just received James Morrow's new collection, The Cat's Pajama's and Other Stories.  Looking forward to reading this one.  Morrow always amuses me.

-Neil

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by S. Zipp on 16. Aug 2004 at 18:36

Been readin' China Mieville's "Perdido Street Station" and "The Scar."  Wonderful mixture of magic and steampunk, though shading into horror as books climax.  Think Mervyn Peake in space.  Powerful stuff.

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Mike on 20. Aug 2004 at 09:21

'Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee' by Dee Brown.  It's a history of how the American West was won from a native perspective.  It has a lot of biographical data on several of the famous chiefs we've all heard of, like Cochise, Sitting Bull, and Geronimo, as well as a lot of men who I've never heard of, but who have very interesting lives nonetheless.  I recommend it to anyone, although it is pretty graphic at times.

Mike

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Jim_Fortner on 20. Aug 2004 at 23:25

fyi - check out Black Elk Speaks as well.

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Clarkesworld Books on 21. Aug 2004 at 05:39

I'm almost done with Peter Crowther's SF collection SONGS OF LEAVING.  Good book.

-Neil

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Jim_Fortner on 21. Aug 2004 at 16:33

The Far Side of the World - then I've got a pile of new hardback editions of Wodehouse I picked up to replace some old paperbacks.

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by B. Pulley on 28. Aug 2004 at 10:35

I'm on my last Simak novel, Time and Again, at least until I can get my hands on some more.  Next, I think I am going to re-read the fuzzy books, Little Fuzzy, The Other Human Race, and Fuzzies and Other People by H. Beam Piper.

There is another novel by Piper that I'm thinking about ordering called "The Cosmic Computer." Has anyone read it?

B.

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Clarkesworld Books on 30. Aug 2004 at 02:32

I've read it.  Good, but I'd recommend his Paratime books over it.

-Neil

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Silver on 30. Aug 2004 at 06:08

I'm now re-reading "The Difference Engine", a Steampunk novel by William Gibson, and Bruce Stirling.

What if Charles Babbage had perfected his Analytical Engine, bringing the computer age into being a century earlier?  

It's a pretty cool alternate Victorian England...

I highly recommend it.

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Jim_Fortner on 30. Aug 2004 at 14:27

I had the Difference Engine, but I loaned it out and it never came back - good book, but the ending was abrupt....  Did they ever to a sequel?

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Clarkesworld Books on 31. Aug 2004 at 00:27

No they didn't.

I guess I was in the minority here in think the Difference Engine was awful.  I like Gibson and about half of Sterlings stuff, but this was a mess.

 -Neil

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Jim_Fortner on 31. Aug 2004 at 14:14

Thanks for the info - I wouldn't say it was bad, but it did seem like it was cut in half and then stuff was just hastily tacked on so it would say The End instead of To Be Continued!  I thought it was a very interesting idea, but I used to be into programming.

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Jim_Fortner on 05. Nov 2004 at 20:30

Just finished Pigs Have Wings

Overlook Press is releasing a ton of great old P. G. Wodehouse books in nice hardbacks, acid free paper etc.  I've already picked up 6 of them!

Now I'm reading A Series of Unfortunate Events - The Bad Beginning (book 1) and it's pretty good so far.

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by DMerrill on 13. May 2005 at 20:39

Right now I'm reading Jack London's The Iron Heel. It's about a socialist revolutionary trying to start a revolution against capitalism in 1912. One of the cool parts of it is that it's presented from an historical standpoint- the presenter writing about the document hundreds of years after the events. Probably the inspiration for Norman Spinrad's The Iron Dream. It's fascinating because it forewarns of the advent of corporations being in charge of everything. The novel was written in 1908. Reveals London's socialist tendencies more than his other books. It's an awesome read so far.

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by D A Merrill on 14. May 2005 at 02:09

So, it occurred to me- I noticed a lot of people mentioning books by Blaylock's friend Tim Powers- but not his other writer friend & surfing buddy, Lewis Shiner. This seemed like a good place to do it. Shiner's books, while they don't resemble Blaylock's at all, do share something in common. No one else could write them. Shiner has a wonderful & unique voice. If you want to try him out for the first time, try Glimpses, Deserted Cities of the Heart or Slam! There's a depth to his writing not often seen in fiction.

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Clarkesworld Books on 16. May 2005 at 01:21

Shiner's great.  You left out Frontera and Love in Vain, which are two of my favorites.  It's too bad he hasn't written much recently.

-Neil

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Jim_Fortner on 16. Jun 2005 at 13:39

Finished A Series of Unfortunate Events through book 11.

Finally got a COMPLETE copy (including all 10 stories) of Dr. Dogbody's Leg from abebooks.  I first bought a copy through Amazon from a 3rd party and what I got was an earlier Redbook book with only 3 stories.  Found a 1940 reprint of the 1st edition for $18, which includes all 10 stories plus illustrations.  Pretty nice book.  The prior owner annotated the front that he bought it in June 1940.  I'm tempted to add my own June 2005 annotation....  Maybe it will keep going and in 2070 someone else will add their name!

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Jim_Fortner on 19. Oct 2005 at 14:12

Guess nobody else has been keeping up with this either.

I read a few more Wodehouse books - still haven't ready Dr. Dogbody for some reason!  Just picked up The Digging Leviathan in a hardback edition from England on ebay - $17.50.  The Dustjacket is a little wrinkled, but otherwise in great condition.  Also just got the latest Series of Unfortunate Events books from Amazon - it was a preorder and I don't think it's in the stores yet.  Off the top of my head, it is titles The Penultimate Peril, so I guess there will be 13 books in all.

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by John_Doe_Nutt on 24. Oct 2005 at 18:54

...<Just picked up The Digging Leviathan in a hardback edition from England on ebay> ...

Hey, good find.

I still want the Arkham House "Lord Kelvin's Machine" (I never seem to have the money whenever I run into one - shabby unemployed poor person that I am).

Last few reads: RGK The Art of Roy G. Krenkel (a favorite illustrator); Dow Mossman (fat literary novel - at least partially outstanding); Boxcar Children (5 or 8 of 'em, eat like candy - yum), Ken Wilbur (interesting, but my head hurts now), E.C. Comics (fun), Judy Bolton (better than Nancy, me thinks), Cormac Macarthy (Suttree, a tough long endurance run, but WoW can that guy write! Head nods sleepily in spots, and spins ecstatically in others); and Helen Fuller Orton (Kid's mystery & history author - 1940's) .
Yeah, kinda ecclectic, I guess.

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Captain Rackham on 30. Mar 2006 at 04:08

Looking at my last post on here, I see that I hadn't finished Master and Commander. I picked it up again awhile ago, read to about the same spot and quit. Currently reading 1984 (again) for school; Looking for Lovedu (also for school) - a book about a trip through Africa, pretty interesting so far; and Christian Wisdom of the Jedi Masters. A nice new stack of birthday books, fourteen to be exact, tempts me away from the enormous pile of spring break homework. Not to mention a couple of Blaylock books I've got my eye on...namely cheap used copies of The Elfin Ship and The Last Coin. Oh, and I still haven't finished 13 Phantasms.
So there you have my summer reading list.

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Jeff M. on 30. Mar 2006 at 19:12

I envy you not having read those two. I'll probably bring one or both up to the lake this summer, despite having read them several times already.

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by faere on 13. Apr 2006 at 16:18

i traditionally like reading the first 2 Cheeser books in spring/summer-it goes well with strawberries "smashed" over ice cream. i'm trying to read a book about procrastination, but i get behind with homework & goofing off. then i re-read most of my favs during the summer-Anne McCaffrey, Rowling, Shakespeare. then if i really want to venture out, i ck the stacks of clearance books at the stores & try something new. i got Timeline a couple of years back & still haven't gotten half through it! i'm not sure if it's me or the book on that one. i love to read Watership Down in July. am i the only one out there who reads certain books over and over each year at certain times?? i do read them at other times of the year if i get a chance, but i have a thing (neurosis?) about reading the same books at certain times--and i feel unfulfilled sometimes when i don't follow protocol. recently picked up a Pern book by Todd & Anne McCaffrey-seems pretty in line with her writing-i was worried with the son coming into the deal.

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Mike on 21. Apr 2006 at 13:19

I just found "The Magic Spectacles" and have read about a page and a half.  Already it has sent me into a sort of strange nostalgia of things and events which I’ve never actually experienced, like any good Blaylock book.  I am very happy with the purchase, as it turns out to have been a first edition!  It’s in beautiful condition, hardcover, and includes lovely illustrations by someone with the unlikely name of ‘Ferret’.  It is my first new Blaylock book in a while, and it’s just a great feeling, thought I’d share with y’all.

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by crumblydonut on 28. Apr 2006 at 22:53

Great to see such a wide reading net cast by the Ashbless Society.

Right now, I'm on three books:
The Clerkenwell Tales by Peter Ackroyd...an expansion on Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. Dark and detailed. He's a bit more famous since his London biography came out, but his early Hawksmoor and Chatterton remain favorites.

Lincoln by David Herbert Donald. Getting to know one of the most admired presidents in US History.

The Expectant Father by Arman Brott. Probably self explanatory, eh?

I just finished The Invisibles graphic novel saga by Grant Morrison. The whole 7 vols. Good stuff, but I don't think it was as influential as its fans and creator thinks it is. I really recommend it though.

Chain of Command by Seymor Hersh...telling the world about our current administration's interogation tactics.

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Jeff M. on 15. May 2006 at 21:56

I'm reading Goblin Moon by Teresa Edgerton, and just found The Gnomes Engine on eBay. Both are out of print, so I'm excited to have gotten my hands on them.

I'm about halfway through, and Goblin Moon reminds me quite a bit of Blaylock (mainly in setting/atmosphere).  It takes place in a parallel-earth sort of reality, in a large victorian city. The opening chapter begins with river scavengers finding a mahogany coffin containing the perfectly preserved remains of a man surrounded by several arcane texts. Hobgoblins, vile sorcery, a homunculus, and a tavern called The Antique Squid should all sound somewhat familiar.

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Jim_Fortner on 03. Jun 2006 at 06:00

A friend loaned me some Hellboy paperback novels - I'm on the 2nd one now, although I apparently read the third one first...  The first one is about a lost army.  The second is based on Norse Mythology - pretty good.  Recommended for fans of the movie.  The third is kind of like the Da Vinci Code, but not very well written and about twice as long as it should have been.

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by isabeats on 12. Jun 2006 at 00:41

This is my first posting... I am currently (re)reading "Moderan" by David R. Bunch- one of my very favorite books. I'm also reading HG Wells' "The Food of the Gods". And "Widdershins" by Charles de Lint. Also, I'm reading JS LeFanu's "Uncle Silas" on-line. I just discovered a fantastic site where you can literally read over 2,000 19th and early 20th century ghost and  horror stories on-line and I can't wait to get to it: it's www.horrormasters.com , if anyone is curious. I have a few "reading fetishes"- disasters at sea, early Arctic/Antarctic explorations, Victorian ghost stories, and Nazi history.  isabeats

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by isabeats on 25. Jun 2006 at 17:22

These are very slow moving forums! I am now reading a few books that people here have recommended. One is Jonathan Carroll's "The Land of Laughs", which I'm enjoying (but not immensely) and Jeffrey E. Barlough's "Dark Sleeper"- I'm only 30 pages into it, but I love it so far, and it definately reminds me of Blaylock. I don't know how this book ever slipped through my radar, but I'm going to see what else he wrote. "Dark Sleeper" was published 9 years ago, after all. And I'm reading Blaylock's "The Rainy Season". I'm only on the 3rd page and am very happy to have 353 pages to go!

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by faere on 03. Jul 2006 at 15:52

well--it's all very interesting of course...
Local Anesthesia for the Dental Professional.
i know, sounds like a boring read, and it is.
the practical is more interesting, nerve wracking, exciting, and slightly painful. my advice? don't drink caffeinated products prior to administering it.

oh--if you have a bit of cheese after eating sugared foods, it will help neutralize the acids in the mouth--which helps keep those cavites in check... so many wonderful uses for cheese.

next read this summer? Nitrous Oxide for the Dental Professional---now that's what i'm talking about!
i'll let you know how it goes....

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by faere on 16. Aug 2006 at 23:00

nitrous was more fun, but boring, too, in some ways. interesting historical info on it, amazingly enough.

i'm re-reading Eragon for the 2nd time this month, just for kicks---it's alright, but i see "similarities" from some of my favorite Dragon related books. there's not an immense amount of originality to Eragon. i'm waiting to read the second book-maybe until Christmas break.

is anyone out there this summer? slim pickin's for posts.
next read? Community Dental Health. wooo hoo!  

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Dave_Garrett on 19. Aug 2006 at 02:52

I would have to say that paucity of posting here on the site is mainly due to lack of new books and stories by our Author! But, while we await the young adult books being published, and his completion of the current book James is working on, there are lots and lots of excellent books out there to read. These are books I am reading, just finished reading, are in my To Read Pile:
The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch. This book is the start of a series, and is his first published book. So far it is pretty good, in the fantasy vein of Fafhrd and Gray Mouser, set in a sort of Venician Medieval setting.

Three Days To Never by Tim Powers. The next book I am going to read. Set in same melieu as Earthquake Weather and Expiration Date. Should be excellent, got great reviews.

Melusine and The Virtu, by Sarah Monette. 2 fantasy books, comprising really one story, I found them very good.

The Innkeeper's Song by Peter Beagle. One of my favorite authors, one of the great fantasy writers, this is his pick as his favorite novel (you would think it would be The Last Unicorn, but you would be wrong.) I hated it when I read it in 1993, but now I find that I like it very much! Tastes do change, you see. I was reading it again because Peter is now in high gear  and writing up new stuff--short stories and novels--in a whirlwind. I just wish the same to happen to our James Blaylock!

In The Company of Ogres by A. Lee Martinez. He published his first book last year, Gil's All Fright Diner, a send up of horror stories, movies, etc, that was actually a really good book, lots of fun. This is his second book, and I am hoping the writing will be just as good.

The Machine's Child by Kage Baker--coming out next month, the 7th and next to last novel in the Company series! Great SF books, looking forward to this very much.

Roving Mars, by Steve Squyres. The story of the Mars Rovers Spirit and Opportunity by the scientist who started the program. Great stuff. Found it in new book section of my library the other day.

Happy Reading! Dave Garrett

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Jim_Fortner on 29. Aug 2006 at 01:45

Dave, Are the young adult books being published?  Any idea when they will be out?

Currently reading Kolchak: The Nightstalker Chronicles

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Captain Rackham on 01. Sep 2006 at 21:41

Currently on the 3rd volume of Tad Williams's Otherland series (out of 4). I've found him to be as complex as Powers and almost as interesting. The books are chiefly what I'd call sci-fi, dealing with and taking place for a good part of the story in a virtual reality network, but others have also called it historical fiction and cyberpunk. More like historical literature fiction, if you ask me. Lots of references to classic books and poems, especially in the 2nd one.

Also reading "Eats, Shoots and Leaves", a "Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation" by Lynne Truss. Halfway through (and it's hilarious), but I still can't figure out if the possessive form of "Tad Williams" is "Tad Williams' " or "Tad Williams's".  

On the top of my stack is Christopher Reeve's "Nothing is Impossible"; below that are a bunch of books about jewelry and beads, books about college majors and scholarships, and a book on genealogy.

Not to mention my 3-page list of to-reads and the 24 volume set of classics I recently bought (a steal - $5 total).

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by isabeats on 16. Sep 2006 at 16:04

I discovered a fantastic book that reminds me a lot of James P. Blaylock- it even features a Festival of Freshwater Squid! The book is "City of Saints and Madmen" by Jeff VanderMeer. I highly recommend it.
I'm also reading  "Snow White, Blood Red", ed. Datlow and Windling, "Clara's Grand Tour:Travels With a Rhinocerous in Eighteenth-Century Europe" by Glynis Ridley, and "The Family That Couldn't Sleep" by D.T. Max.
It's about prions, including one that causes a fatal insomnia, and is absolutely fascinating. And lastly, I'm reading Scott Weidensaul's "The Ghost With Trembling Wings: Science, Wishful Thinking, and the Search for Lost Species", including "several species of flightless owls in Cuba that were three feet tall, with long, heronlike legs for running down their prey".

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Silver on 23. Sep 2006 at 17:29

If you like Steampunk, like Homunculus and such, you should try reading "The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters" which recently came out by Gordon Dahlquist.

The story is fascinating, and the characters and setting are done wonderfully.  It does have a number of explicit 5ex scenes, if you're sensitive about that, but I have to say they were integral to the plot.

I love stories with frightening intrigue fenced out over high tea! This one is so bizarre, and part of the fun is trying to figure out what everyone is up to as you progress through the book. At least two mysteries involved. A bit repetitive in spots, what with witnessing the plot through the eyes of three main characters, but well worth it in spite of that.

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Jim_Fortner on 01. Oct 2006 at 03:53

I just picked up The History of North American Steam by Christopher Chant.  Lots of great pictures of early trains.

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Forum Administrator on 03. Oct 2006 at 13:33


Jim_Fortner wrote:
I just picked up The History of North American Steam by Christopher Chant.  Lots of great pictures of early trains.


Ha! When I saw your post I thought the book was by the famous wizard of the same name:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lives_of_Christopher_Chant


Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Jim_Fortner on 05. Oct 2006 at 03:14

Ha!  Nope, never heard of it - is it a good read?  I'm waiting for the final Unfortunate Events book, which I think comes out in a week or two.

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Forum Administrator on 06. Oct 2006 at 19:20


Jim_Fortner wrote:
is it a good read?


Yes, you can't go too far wrong with Diana Wynne Jones - she's written a lot of excellent books over the years. A number of them feature the idea of parallel worlds, some with magic and some without, and with alternate histories:
http://www.leemac.freeserve.co.uk/

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Jim_Fortner on 09. Oct 2006 at 02:39

Thanks for the link - I've read Archer's Goon and I've seen the movie for Howl's Moving Castle.  Think I'll have to see if I can find some of these other books, they sound great.

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by jhagman on 11. Dec 2006 at 02:03

I like to read anything by Kem Nunn, also Daniel Duane   and Craig Childs. Sean Stewart's "Mockingbird" and "Galveston" are excellent books. Kim Stanley Robinson's Escape From Katmandu was alot of fun to read. I highly recommend Frederic Durbin's "Dragonfly". I've recently finished Tim Power's "Three Days To Never". I can't say it is his best fiction, Power's usually develops his villains beautifully, in this book they kind of just walk around.

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by klause on 15. Dec 2006 at 22:33

I'm reading Thomas Pynchon's latest, AGAINST THE DAY. While one would not usually think of placing Pynchon and Blaylock on the same bookshelf, this Pynchon is actually quite Blaylockesque---whimsical, ruminative, gentle. I think J.B. could spin a really fine Chums of Chance yarn, for example!
Note that I am in the sorry state of loving two authors who seem to have slowed their output down to glacial speed. Ah, well--The Wait is invariably well worth it! Sort of like finding something as wonderful as the Grand Canyon left behind when the ice finally recedes.
Happy Holidays everybody!

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by faere on 11. Feb 2007 at 03:43

site seems kinda slow recently.... actually i forgot my password for a minute or 2!
still fairly boring texts. ethics & jurisprudence-woohoo. i don't suggest it for any light reading--or even just reading.
haven't even been to a movie lately with all the studying!!!! one day, maybe this summer, i'll write down all the books, well, ok, maybe not all of them--but several of the books on this list-to catch up on my fantasy fetish!!!

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Jim_Fortner on 14. Feb 2007 at 18:24

Shadows Over Baker Street - very good book!

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Silver on 19. Feb 2007 at 22:35

I read The Ladies of Grace Adieu by Susanna Clarke, back at Xmas. I heartily recommend it! She's the author of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, which is also fantastic.

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by J.D. on 26. Aug 2007 at 14:41

I'd recommend "Little, Big", a fantasy novel that Blaylock fans should enjoy.  

At the book's centre is Edgewood, a house with 4 floors, 7 chimneys, 52 doors, and 365 stairs.  

There is a Noisy Bridge Rod & Gun Club, a perpetual motion machine called the Cosmo-Opticon, a drug called Pellucidar, a stolen child and a sleeping emperor, and a salt & pepper set called Mr. Salty and Mr. Peppy.  

There are also talking animals and characters with names like Mrs. Underhill, George Mouse, Violet Bramble, and Grandfather Trout.  

The book occupies territory that is midway between Blaylock's Balumnia books and the early California novels where cosmic forces clash.  Probably it is most like Land of Dreams.

Sizewise, the book is big, not little.  The writing is excellent, and Crowley has the same gentle affection for his characters that Blaylock has.  

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by klause on 29. Sep 2007 at 20:48

Greetings, Fellow Blaylockians!
I am reading everything I can get my mitts on by Charles Portis. Not fantasy or scifi....but not recognizably 'real,' either. Very, very funny in a deadpan, shaggy-dog kinda way. He wrote TRUE GRIT (which is MUCH better than the movie) and a semi-classic titled DOG OF THE SOUTH. What DOES he have in common with Master Blaylock? Well, you either 'get' him or you don't, that's what. Here's hoping there are some of you out there who will ride his wavelength to hilarity....and some surprising depth of emotion as well!

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by isabeats on 14. Nov 2007 at 22:28

"Way Station"- Clifford D Simak (4th time reading it)

"A First Rate Tragedy: Robert Falcon Scott and the Race to the South Pole"- Diana Preston

"Old Goriot"- Balzac

"Sir Gregor MacGregor and the Land That Never Was: the Extraordinary Story of the Most Audacious Fraud in History"- David Sinclair

"Tales of Pirx the Pilot"- Stanislaus Lem

And when I'm not reading I'm over at StumbleUpon!

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by jhagman on 23. Feb 2008 at 01:55

I have recently finished an interesting book "Medieval In LA" by Jim Paul, this is a literary work for those of you who like to mix it up with their reading. It is a sort of fiction/non-fiction, (I know- just roll with it, you won't be disappointed) also Blaylock, Ashbless, Power's "Pilot Light". The parts about Derrida were especially amusing!

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by J.D. on 07. Jun 2009 at 07:50

Perhaps not as good as Blaylock but full of oddball characters are Masters of Atlantis by Charles Portis and Yellowknife by Steve Zipp.  One is rather rambling, the other post-moderny.  Still, some nice comic moments...

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by jhagman on 17. Sep 2009 at 00:21

"An Omelet And A Glass Of Wine" by Elizabeth David. Essays about food, travel, etc. Exquisite and Blaylockian (good writing about food). "The Graveyard Book" bt Neil Gaiman,almost as good as Durbin's "Dragonfly".

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Dooly on 08. Jan 2010 at 16:22

Unless I missed it, I don't see my second favourite book ( after the Cheeser series ) mentioned here. The Face in the Frost by John Bellairs has a very similar tone of whimsy and gentle humor, although it does have some genuinely disturbing and frightening moments.

It was written way back in 1969 by an author who predominately wrote for young adults. Probably pretty hard to find, but in these days of the internets I'm sure it can be ordered online.



Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Mike on 19. Jan 2010 at 16:43

Trolls by D'Aulaires.  It's a childrens book about, you guessed it, trolls.  It's fantastic, with great illustrations.  It reminds me of a G. Smithers book, I recommend it to anyone who likes the Elfin Ship/Jonathan Bing books.

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Forum Administrator on 10. Feb 2010 at 13:44

Mystery readers amongst Blaylock fans might like Margery Allingham's The Beckoning Lady. Very different from the Balumnia books, of course, but it has certain bizarre elements that might appeal on the same level, such as a weird bladder-powered musical instrument called the Glübalübalüm, and a troupe of clowns who turn up at a party pretending to be fishmongers.

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Hypodoche on 05. Apr 2010 at 14:11

Iain Pears "An Instance Of The Fingerpost" is very, very good just read it 3rd time.  Rest of his stuff isn't worth it really.

currently
Haruki Murikami's "Kafka On The Shore" is even better 2nd time.
James Patrick Kelly "Wildlife"
Neal Gaiman "Anansi Boys"
John Irving "A Son Of The Circus" (best book ever? no?)
Tim Powers "3 Days To Never"

Need to get Ebb Tide haven't read it yet.

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by NightRelic on 27. Nov 2010 at 06:54

Since I started a Philip K. Dick book discussion group, I just reread VALIS. I'm currently reading Night Moves by Tim Powers. The Magic Spectacles came before VALIS.

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by J.D. on 09. Dec 2010 at 13:43

Readers in need of a dose of squid might check out the latest from China Mieville, Kraken, which features a squid-worshipping cult, and the theft of a giant squid from a museum in London.  It's pretty wild stuff (e.g. two rival end-of-the-world scenarios happening at the same time), and sometimes pretty goofy (a police witch is on the case).  Squid pro quo, anyone?  

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Swancrash on 29. May 2011 at 21:39

Just finished Jim Lynch's The Highest Tide.  Similiarities to Blaylock?  Well, a giant squid does make an appearance, and you can see the whole thing occasionally tilting Blaylock-ward in terms of a certain whimsy, but it doesn't quite get there, and stays relatively firmly rooted in the actual Puget Sound.  I could hear echoes, though.  Found it entertaining enough that I'll be seeking out his second novel.
Now on to Jeter's Infernal Devices...

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Mike on 02. Jun 2011 at 19:29

Working my way through the Harry Potter series.  Just finished the Prisoner of Azkaban.  Note, there is a giant squid in the lake at Hogwarts... clearly a Blaylock reference :)

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Mike on 02. Jun 2011 at 19:32

Also, I just received several books of stories by August Derleth, one of H.P. Lovecraft's protégés.  Both Lovecraft and Derleth make many references to Cthulhu, a squid-like being from another dimension.  Whether Lovecraft came up with the idea himself, or whether time-traveling aliens told him about Blaylock's writings, awaits to be determined.

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Swancrash on 26. Nov 2011 at 12:22

Not really intending to get my name on each of the three discussion topic categories as most recent one to post....  But there you go!  Currently reading a biography of Charles Dickens, which leads me to also sample Sketches by Boz as I go.  Is there not something occasionally Dickensian about Blaylock's characterizations & descriptions of locations at times?  

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Swancrash on 28. Nov 2011 at 05:48

OK, 'occasionally,' and 'at times.'  How many times did I feel I needed to qualify that statement?  I, unlike Mr. Blaylock and Mr. Dickens, am no professional writer.  

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Forum Administrator on 29. Nov 2011 at 12:13

In this interview (http://www.boomtron.com/2008/08/on-the-spot-at-bscreview-interview-james-p-blaylock/), Blaylock mentions that, when he first started writing what is now called 'Steampunk', he "was reading wholesale quantities of Dickens, Stevenson, Conan Doyle, and P.G. Wodehouse, and I had grown up on Wells and Verne, and so I fell naturally into what became a Steampunk mode, with, I think, a humorous edge" - so Dickens was no doubt one of his influences.

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Swancrash on 21. Oct 2012 at 00:24

I just finished Hope Mirrlees' Lud-in-the-Mist, ca 1926.  I could swear I got the recommendation for this book from someone on this website, especially as the story wound on and the main character adopted the persona of a cheesemonger.
At first I found it entertaining, then decided I didn't really like any of the characters.  That's an area where Blaylock excels: I always want to hang out and eat doughnuts with his characters...or have a pint of bitter, depending on which one of his books I'm reading.  
Anyway, eventually the main character, by dint of his cheesemongering spying role, won me over.  

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Silver on 26. Oct 2012 at 17:08

Lud-in-the-Mist would be something I might've recommended.

The book is one which Blaylock has read and which inspired him some, particularly being reminiscent of his Elfin Ship / Cheeser series.

You're right - Blaylock's characters are pretty fun, overall.

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Swancrash on 13. Dec 2012 at 05:20

Stalled out on Winston Churchill's history of World War I & Richard Adams' Shardik.  I was reading both at once, but there's no lightness in the Churchill, obviously, nor in the Adams.  They gradually wore me down.  Looking for something a little more upbeat...and offbeat, I'm now sitting down to ice cream and chocolate sauce with Uncle Hedge and the kids: Here's to Zeuglodon!!  Enjoying it thoroughly thus far.

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Swancrash on 20. Apr 2013 at 11:08

Thanks to the Aylesford Skull Tour...
Mr. Blaylock mentioned Nesbit's Bastable children stories responding to a question of what he was reading at the moment, and I found The Story of the Treasure Seekers, eBook edition.  Wow, does this evoke Blaylock at times, or rather, Blaylock evokes Nesbit at times.  There's a spirit in the stories, of whimsy (not Lord Peter) and willingness to embrace adventure, and a lack of cynicism that, I think, would appeal to a Blaylock fan.  It certainly does to me.  I have a few other books he's mentioned in his interviews, and hope to get onto those, as well.  

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Forum Administrator on 26. Apr 2013 at 09:16

Here's a nice quote from the Treasure Seekers that is also a good guide for writers:

You will not catch me saying 'thus the sad days passed slowly by' - or 'the years rolled on their weary course' - or 'time went on' - because it is silly; of course time goes on - whether you say so or not. So I shall just tell you the nice, interesting parts - and in between you will understand that we had our meals and got up and went to bed, and dull things like that. It would be sickening to write all that down, though of course it happens. I said so to Albert-next-door's uncle, who writes books, and he said 'Quite right, that's what we call selection, a necessity of true art.' And he is very clever indeed. So you see.

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Swancrash on 30. May 2013 at 04:49

Nice quote!
Reading both Blaylock's Aylesford Skull and Tim Powers' The Bible Repairman and Other Stories now.  Good stuff, good stuff.  An embarrassment of riches, I say.  

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Mike on 30. Jun 2013 at 03:07

Just got the Aylesford Skull, love the book so far ... I wanted to get it right away, but I had to knock a few important things off the to-do list before I could get around to it.  I recently completed the Doyle's "The Lost World," and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised.  There was much more humor and cleverness than I expected.  I'm guessing the Aylesford Skull's Arthur Doyle is a nod to the author, no?

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Forum Administrator on 26. Jul 2013 at 14:15

Yes, the Doyle in The Aylesford Skull is the author of Sherlock Holmes, etc.

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Swancrash on 24. Aug 2013 at 23:14

Currently reading Terry Pratchett's Soul Music.  Sometimes I love his stuff, whimsical and packed full of references that it is.  Also, I enjoy the consistency of both his world and his vision.  

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Forum Administrator on 28. Aug 2013 at 10:07

His next book, coming out this fall, sounds like it will be somewhat steampunkish (given that it involves Moist von Lipwig introducing steam trains to the Discworld, and is called "Raising Steam").

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Swancrash on 07. Nov 2013 at 05:55

In one of Mr. Blaylock’s Aylesford Skull tour interviews, he mentioned Edith Nesbit and the Bastable children.  I sometimes read what he recommends (Lud-in-the-Mist, for one), so I found a copy of The Story of the Treasure Seekers and read it.  I really enjoyed it, despite or perhaps because of my age, and could see how it might echo in some of his work.
I’ve been re-reading the Narnia books, and yesterday I started on The Magician’s Nephew.  In the second paragraph, Lewis writes, “In those days Mr. Sherlock Holmes was still living in Baker Street and the Bastables were looking for treasure in the Lewisham Road.”  When I first read the Narnia books as a child of 9 or 10, I knew who Holmes was, but had no idea of Bastables.  Now, thanks to Mr. Blaylock, I know.  I can’t quite express how satisfying it was to read that sentence and think, finally, I knew to whom Mr. Lewis referred.

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Mike on 14. Jan 2014 at 05:23

Just finished "The End of Eternity" by Isaac Azimov.  A fine book, but it's making me want to re-read Lord Kelvin's Machine.

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Swancrash on 21. Jan 2014 at 02:10

Ooo, End of Eternity.  That's a great book.  I just finished Asimov's Foundation, for the third time, but first time in probably 20 years.  It was interesting, but dated somewhat by the absolute dearth of female characters, except for one stereotypically "shrewish" wife.  My, how the world has changed.  I much prefer to have Kathleen Perkinses in my stories.
Reading Tony Hillerman's Listening Woman now.  Nothing Steampunk about that!  

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Swancrash on 02. Apr 2014 at 02:47

Christopher Priest: The Prestige.  [A little Spoiler action follows: beware]
Although it mines a bit of the territory Blaylock and Jeter fans would find familiar, I found that it didn't allow in any of the light that Blaylock always lets shine into his Victorian world eventually.  It was pretty well built, I think, but I found it, in the end, unsatisfying.  Yes to electrical teleportation, yes to family feuds that span decades, but I suspect my profound disinterest in the stage performance of magic/illusions probably set me up to not fully enjoy this book.

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Forum Administrator on 02. Apr 2014 at 14:19

Re: Edith Nesbit (mentioned a while back), in addition to her many fine children's books she also wrote a number of ghost & supernatural stories which are excellent as well, ranging from the horrific to the humorous. It's interesting to note, too, that one of her characters -- Oswald Bastable -- inspired a character in some of Michael Moorcock's steampunk books (The Warlord of the Air, The Land Leviathan, The Steel Tsar).

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Swancrash on 25. Apr 2014 at 23:15

Happily re-reading The Paper Grail.  I found an instance of Blaylock referencing himself, or not, as the case may be.  But anyway, here it is: when I was reading Zeuglodon, there was a meal involving cold spaghetti sandwiches.  So, as I'm cruising through the Paper Grail, here's Mr. Jimmers saying, "I've developed a taste for canned-spaghetti sandwiches on a superior-quality white bread" (p. 128 of my edition).  I laughed out loud!  I love these kinds of inter-book connections, purposeful or not.

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Swancrash on 10. Oct 2014 at 02:08

Eddison's The Worm Ouroboros.  Now there's a different cup of tea!
But in a Blaylockian frame, I just read a conversation regarding "...the sea-frog, the sea-fox, the sea-dog, the sea-horse, the sea-lion, the sea-bear...", as well as sea-mice "mashed and brayed in a mortar with the flesh of that beast named 'bos marinus', seasoned with salt and garlic".  A little whimsy pokes through Eddison's work every now and then.  
Not so whimsical if one is a sea-mouse, I suppose.

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Swancrash on 10. Dec 2014 at 22:46

Jane Austen: Mansfield Park.  Not an ounce of whimsey.  Having just read the review of the Elfin Ship via the link in another discussion topic, I think it might be time to read that again.  I have a decided paucity of whimsey.  
On the other hand, I could read a Dorothy L. Sayers book, but that character's middle name being Death...well, that takes some of the whimsey out of Wimsey.
Ach.  Is that word play or pun?  Either way, on to the Elfin Ship!

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Swancrash on 12. Feb 2015 at 02:12

OK, so not The Elfin Ship.  I live in South Korea, but my books reside in the U.S. (very heavy, very expensive to ship).  So for Christmas, I asked my sister, as gift to me, to snag a few books and mail them here.  My wonderful sister (not that the other sister is somehow less wonderful) sent me several Blaylocks (All the Bells on Earth, Knights of the Cornerstone), but no Elfin Ship.  She did also, however, send me a tattered paperback copy of the Stone Giant.  So that's what I'll read next, right after I finish Captain Thomas Frothingham's 1920 A True Account of the Battle of Jutland.  A little light reading before The Stone Giant.
Oh, before Jutland, I re-read Tim Powers' The Anubis Gates.  Excellent stuff.

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Forum Administrator on 17. Feb 2015 at 17:04

St Ives fans might like to give PG Wodehouse's Ring for Jeeves (also published under the title The Return of Jeeves) a look. It contains the original "Tubby Frobisher" who inspired Blaylock's character. The Wodehouse character is someone frequently mentioned who never appears in person - he lives out in the East, in Malaya or somewhere in the Empire.

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Swancrash on 11. Mar 2015 at 08:47

Just finished The Stone Giant.  Haven't read the other Balumnian books in decades, so I was pretty fresh to this world.  I hadn't enjoyed it so much when I read it in the past, but I really liked it this time.  I can see how Blaylock moved from this to The Paper Grail. I sometimes felt that this Escargot was much closer to Blaylock's other, later, Californian heroes, and that he [Blaylock] wanted to burst out of the story's world, perhaps like Escargot felt the occasional tug to return to Twombly Town.  Escargot did move between worlds...he just didn't quite get to Northern California.
Loved that Blaylock threw in an Ashbless reference, too: while pondering how to greet an Elf galleon captain, Escargot tried to think of "something to impress Captain Appleby with.  A quotation would be nice - something profound.  A snatch of verse from Ashbless, perhaps."

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Mike on 09. May 2015 at 00:30

Ashbless goes all the way back to the Elfin Ship.  The Beddlington Ape, if I remember correctly, would blurt out lines from an Ashbless poem.

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Swancrash on 02. Jul 2015 at 21:01

Speaking of references, albeit non-Blaylockian, I was reading a short story by Connie Willis the other day (The Winds of Marble Arch) and at the end of the story she referenced Paddington, the bear, not the station. She didn't use the name, but she mentioned a second-hand market at Portobello Road which had "everything under the sun", taking me straight to Mr. Brown's shop. I could be wrong. There could be such shops in reality...probably are. But I choose to believe it was a conscious cross-literary reference, which I find quite charming.

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Swancrash on 19. Aug 2015 at 21:48

I just finished The Ebb-Tide, by Robert Louis Stevenson, not James Blaylock (I know Blaylock avoided the hyphen). I know Blaylock has cited Stevenson as an inspiration, and when I saw the title of this story, I had to read it. Although not Blaylockian in tone, Mr. Stevenson had quite the deft touch with characterization and turn of phrase. I have yet to read anything by him that was less than entertaining. Certain terms and attitudes, however, would be potentially upsetting to many modern readers; like Twain, Stevenson did not varnish his times via euphemism or editing.
Now I feel like I should read Blaylock's The Ebb Tide again to hunt for associations. I think I'll do that. Delightful homework.

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Swancrash on 15. Oct 2015 at 04:28

I'm in the middle of a mystery called Ten Second Staircase by Christopher Fowler, and I came across this sentence as we are following one of the septuagenarian lead detectives: "Arthur Bryant's office was starting to look like a collision between a greenhouse, a secondhand bookshop, and a cryptozoological museum." Brilliant. And the reference to cryptozoology alone merited a mention in a Blaylock forum, I thought.

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Swancrash on 17. Nov 2015 at 22:48


2B2E2723244A0 wrote:
St Ives fans might like to give PG Wodehouse's Ring for Jeeves (also published under the title The Return of Jeeves) a look. It contains the original "Tubby Frobisher" who inspired Blaylock's character. The Wodehouse character is someone frequently mentioned who never appears in person - he lives out in the East, in Malaya or somewhere in the Empire.


Reading Right Ho, Jeeves, and I've encountered a character named Tuppy Glossop, who bears a first name similar to our noble Tubby Frobisher, but thus far no personality equal to Tubby's. I'm guessing the character referenced above is a different one. This one is also not in Malaya, but rather in Worcestershire. He does appear to share Tubby's appetite, however.

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Forum Administrator on 19. Nov 2015 at 11:04

As I recall, Tubby Frobisher appears only in the one Wodehouse novel (though I've only read about 70 of Wodehouse's 90+ books...). I hope Jim won't mind my quoting him here, but fans will be interested in this glimpse of the character's origins:

"I was indeed heavily influenced by Wodehouse, and I brazenly stole the name Tubby Frobisher. He first appeared back in the early? 80s in "The Idol's Eye." I remember being at Roy Squires's house (You might remember him from The Digging Leviathan) and having a conversation about the large number of Frobishers in pulp stories. That conversation tipped the scale. At the time I had no notion of writing a series of St. Ives stories, but that's what happened. Frobisher and his uncle came into their own years later." -JPB

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Swancrash on 05. Feb 2016 at 00:59

Just started re-re-reading the Digging Leviathan. I'm pretty excited. Look! There's William Ashbless himself! And Basil Peach, and Giles. My literary life is going to be awfully interesting for a while.

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Swancrash on 13. Apr 2016 at 22:32

I finished Digging Leviathan a while ago, which led to a new topic on this website. And now, laggard though I am, I've finally got my fingers on a copy of Beneath London...well, my electronic fingers, virtual fingers, since it's the e-book version. I much prefer a nice heavy paper book in my hands, but when one lives 5,000 miles away from the nearest English bookstore that might carry such a book, sometimes the e-book is just the best solution. Same words, anyway. Now to get stuck in.

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Mike on 18. Apr 2016 at 04:01

Re-Reading all of Lovecraft's works.  I purchased "H.P. Lovecraft: The Complete Fiction" from Barnes & Noble.  

Also slowly making my way though "The Lives of Tao," by Wesly Chu.

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Swancrash on 30. Jun 2016 at 21:45

Lovecraft: interesting stuff. Even from the 21st century vantage point, creepiness pervades the atmosphere when reading him. I was reading a short story recently that got creepier and creepier and then the writer used a word that sounded very Lovecraftian: Yog-Sothoth. And, Internet Be Praised, I easily discovered that yes it was, and that the author, Michael Collings, was a Lovecraft devotee of some kind.

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Swancrash on 18. Dec 2016 at 23:41

Just finished a sequence that started with Jane Eyre, followed by The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde (odd mystery), then a Star Trek short story + old Larry Niven short story for palate cleansers, and now I've just started a re-read of All The Bells on Earth. I haven't read this one since it first came out in...1995?

Title: Re: What's everybody reading?
Post by Swancrash on 26. Jul 2017 at 10:11

I just finished re-reading Kurt Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle. Good stuff. Now I've got a Dick Francis mystery (Forfeit) and C.J. Cherryh's Visitor up next because I'm going to be on a plane for a loooong time, from Korea to the US west coast, and those are my two 'airplane authors'. For some reason, I can enjoy their works on an airplane, but nothing else. Still waiting on River's Edge. Maybe I'll re-read Zeuglodon when I get back. I liked that one a lot.

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