Sunday, January 14, 2007

Coffee, Tea, or...Lovecraft?

Reading The Fox's blog entry regarding his love of books in general, fantasy in particular, did, amongst several things, remind me how much I love horror. Specifically, the mind-numbing terror stuff that robs me of my ability to sleep. Yes, I admit, I dig some of the slasher stuff too, where people are butchered just for the sake of butchery, but I generally prefer stuff that makes me shiver. So, in deference to my esteemed (and quite well-read) colleague, I submit my own version of his questionaire, though I disclaim any similarities to his entry other than format; remember, this is the guy that has an approximate IQ of 312, yet maintains Bogart is superior to Sinatra. Thanks for making me thing, Fox.

Fox's List (adapted for horror by Bunny.)

1. Science fiction, fantasy, or horror?
Horror, please. I don't get much out of the other two genres. Horror in all its forms (slasher, psychological, et cetera) gives me the creeps, and I dig that.
2. Hardback, trade paperback, or mass-market paperback?
No hardback for me. I can always tuck a paperback or two into my jacket pockets. Not so with HC.
3. Heinlein or Asimov?
I leave this question as-is because I have a funny story about Asimov. In art college, I had painting, and I completely hated it. This was simply because I suck at it, knew it, and chose to focus on my strengths instead of bettering a weakness in this context. I had accepted the reality of a six-week project representing 50% of my grade. It was to be a portrait. Can you guess who I painted? Yep! Asimov. I was working part-time at a bookstore at the time, and Asimov had just died, so he was emphasized in the marketing displays. I chose to paint a portrait of an older Asimov, and the background was outer space. Well, my judgement of my abilities was spot on, and my painting, when hung up with everyone else's for critique, garnered such encouraging (yet surprisingly accurate) reviews as, "I didn't know balloons could float that high," and "despite what physics you may choose to employ, eggs cannot remain staticly positioned in the heavens, even if they do look like Burl Ives (that is who that is, right?)" Other than that, I pick Asimov, for the sole reason that he wrote "Realm of X", where X was a scientific subject. I've never had a more clear and understandable explanation of calculus, neither before nor after.
4. Amazon or brick-and-mortar?
Brick and fucking mortar. As the son of a small business owner, I vehemently object to big-box anything, even if it's on-line. Now, I agree with Fox that the way-out-of-the-ordinary book that you have given true dilligence in finding locally and can't may merit using Amazon, or Amazon UK (for example, my wife's Harry Potter editions she can only get from the UK or Canada.) Otherwise, they can piss off.
5. Barnes & Noble or Borders?
Borders – better store layout, greater likelyhood of finding the aforementioned wierd tomes.
6. Hitchhiker or Discworld?
Don't know either of 'em, but Fox's link to The Luggage may make me check this one out...
7. Bookmark or dog-ear?Bookmark.
Both, whatever is possible when I need to stop. I usually use the receipt of the purchase as the bookmark; it's interesting to see my collection grow over the years.
8. Magazine: Asimov's Science Fiction or Fantasy & Science Fiction?
Neither. Haven't read either.
9. Alphabetize by author, by title, or random?
I organize by a) author, b) genre, and c) book size. Thus, all of one author' s books are together, but not necessarily in any further sort pattern than that.
10. Keep, throw away, or sell?
I keep most of 'em, and donate the rest (what few escape my clutches. I hope to someday have a home library where all the walls are bookcases teeming with words.)
11. Year's Best Science Fiction series (edited by Gardner Dozois) or Years Best SF series?Neither. Never heard of either of them.
12. Keep dustjacket or toss it?
I'd keep it if I bought hardcovers. But, I'm a paperback freak myself.
13. Read with dustjacket or remove it?
See #12.
14. Short story or novel?
I enjoy both, but prefer novels because I really get to know the characters. If it's a short story or novella that I'm reading, I need the characters to be intensely present, or I find myself having little emotional investment in their outcomes, which is a problem in horror fiction.
15. Harry Potter or Lemony Snicket?
Harry Potter for me. I love that bad things happen in the stories; children's tales where people are bewitched and killed and injured! Love it! The Brits must have better-adjusted kids than us. When it comes to PC and 'protecting' the fragile little minds of kids today, I find it sickening. Let your children see what a dead squirrel on the side of the road looks like, explain truthfully what happend (not, "he's in squirrel heaven where he eats nut sundaes every day!"), and move on. Let your child digest it, and do the same.
16. Stop reading when tired or at chapter breaks?
When I’m tired, and at the top of a page. I can't keep reading just to get to a chapter for the sake of doing so. I'll not pay any attention to the material.
17. "It was a dark and stormy night" or "Once upon a time"?
Dark and stormy night. Especially if in that night there is a malevolent creature with fangs, a raspy growl, and no sense of mercy.
18. Buy or borrow?
Buy, almost always. Remember! The bookcase!
19. Buying choice: book reviews, recommendation, or browse?
I am a fan of reading other writer's suggestions. I am currently reading books recommended by Stephen King, and they encompass many genres and styles. I find it helpful to digest his works after learning more about what he feels is impressionable. But, I do admit going into bookstores, and purchasing a book solely on the title or cover. It's fun to discover something completely random.
20. Lovecraft or King?
It's been said Lovecraft wrote fewer than 5,000 words of dialogue in his career, and that King writes that per book. I give the vote to King with the proviso that Lovecraft was superior in create an environment you just couldn't wait to get the hell out of. King wins because, once he had you and the characters there, what you thought the worst that could happen, did.
21. Slasher or psycho-thriller?
Psycho-thriller, quest que cest?
22. Collection (short stories by the same author) or anthology (short stories by different authors)?
In this, I actually agree with Fox in the fantasy world; I love Bradbury.
23. Hugo or Nebula?
Don't know em!
24. Golden Age horror or New Wave horror?
Give me slightly older-school. The new stuff is just for shock-value.
25. Tidy ending or cliffhanger?
If by tidy, you mean many dead and some come-uppance? Then tidy it is!
26. Morning, afternoon, or nighttime reading?
I get to read a little in the morning, and I spend my lunchtime at work buried in a novel, but I love reading in bed at night until I'm sleepy. I tend to read multiple books at once. At the moment, I'm working on three different books. As Fox said, there is plenty of time, you just have to find it.
27. Standalone or series?
Can't really choose. I generally like stand-alones, but a good series is well worth the read.
28. Urban fantasy or high fantasy?
I can't say I really know the difference. So, uh, I guess...high.
29. New or used?
For me, used. Spending time perusing the shelves of disheveled books is time well-spent. Especially when you locate that book you've been looking for forever.
30. Favorite book of which nobody else has heard?
Lives of the Monster Dogs - Kirsten Bakis
31. Top X favorite genre books read last year? (Where X is 5 or less)
Dirty White Boys, Steven Harris; Footprints of God, Greg Iles
32. Top X favorite genre books of all time? (Where X is 5 or less)
Hannibal, Thomas Harris; The Exorcist, William Blatty; The Hellbound Heart, Clive Barker; Needful Things, Stephen King
33. X favorite genre series? (Where X is 5 or less)
Hellraiser, Clive Barker; The Hannibal Lecter series (The Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal, Red Dragon, Manhunter);
34. Top X favorite genre short stories? (Where X is 5 or less)
Any Poe you please. Also, I dig some Kafka when my life makes too much sense. And Bradbury.

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