I have been remise in posting of late and deeply regret it. The holiday season is upon us and I’ve got a lot on my plate. I am trying to finalize my short story for a Weird Western anthology and continue writing my novel plus a few other projects. Enough about me…
Selected Poems and Tales by Edgar Allen Poe: This is a large Barnes and Noble edition with illustrations by Mark Summers and an introduction by Neil Gaiman. It probably comes as no surprise to you that I am a fan of Poe’s work. While I enjoy his stories I am fonder still of his verse. I believe that Annabel Lee was my introduction to Poe and the first story I read was The Cask of Amontillado. I was hooked after that. There is a reason that numerous movies and works have been inspired by the works of Poe. His writings worm their fiendish way inside of you and tether themselves with terror and dread. The Conqueror Worm indeed.
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien: This edition is illustrated by Alan Lee. I doubt there isn’t a fantasist in the land that doesn’t have this book on their shelf. Bilbo Baggins and his dwarven companions take to an adventure that none will soon forget. The world that Tolkien creates is detailed, vast and wonderous. How could I not want to return back again and again. I eagerly await the coming second part of the recent Hobbit movie and you should too.
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien: This is a massive paperback collection of all three volumes. I really need to attain a more sturdy edition and have my eye on one at Barnes and Noble, but for now, this is what I have. There is so much to say about the Lord of the Rings that I find myself at a loss to encapsulate it. Some would call this the father of the Fantasy genre and certainly it is one of the seeds if nothing else. The characters and action grab hold of your imagination and the world Tolkien has created swallows you whole. The quest to destroy the One Ring, searched for by the Dark Lord Sauron, and heal the land from the evil threatening to overtake it entirely. A quest led by a small hobbit named Frodo and his trusty friend Sam but that also involves, dwarves, elves, wizards and mighty creatures of magic. The recent movies made from these volumes are masterpieces and I recommend you watch them right away if you have not.
The Hunchback of Notre-Dame by Victor Hugo: One of my most favorite books. The prose is often beautiful and always a joy to read. If you are used to reading modern novels only, it will take some getting used to reading with a bit more effort, but it is well worth it. I am still waiting for a film version that captures the novel’s heart and tempestuous nature. I modeled the main character in my current novel a bit after Quasimodo, so yeah, I’m a fan.
Neuromancer by William Gibson (20th Anniversary Edition): This book came out in 1984, fourteen years before the movie The Matrix. Mind blown. Gibson is often credited with birthing the cyberpunk genre. Gibson’s virtual reality has become our own. Any fan of science fiction will revel in the prose and stylings found in this book.
“Know how a ROM personality matrix works?”
“Sure, bro, it’s a firmware construct.”
“So I jack it into the bank I’m using, I can give it a sequential, real time memory?”
“Guess so,” said the construct.
“Okay, Dix. You are a ROM construct. Got me?”
“If you say so,” said the construct. “Who are you?”