Posts Tagged ‘Discworld

10
Feb
12

What I’m Reading in 2012

Annually, I keep a running tally of all the books, graphic novels, and short stories I read. This list includes re-reads, as well as audiobooks I listen to over the course of the year, but I don’t include individual short stories if I read all of them as part of a collection. In related news, I really overthink the hell out of this stuff. And should the book be something I review online, I’ll provide a link so you can see my thoughts.

If you’re interested in this sort of thing, here’s what I’ve read thus far in 2012:

1. A Tale of Sand (2011), Jim Henson & Jerry Juhl, B+*
2. Who’s Who: The Resurrection of the Doctor, Martin Beland and the Staff of The Guardian (2011), B-
3. Age of Bronze Vol. 3: Betrayal (2008), Part One, Eric Shanower, A-*
4. Locke and Key Vol. 4: Keys to the Kingdom (2011), Joe Hill, A
5. Hogfather (1996), Terry Pratchett, B+
6. Scream Deconstructed (2011), Scott Kessinger, A-
7. In the Peanut Gallery With Mystery Science Theater 3000 (2011), Rob Weiner (Ed.), B
8. Eats, Shoots and Leaves (2003), Lynne Truss, A
9. My Seinfeld Year (2012), Fred Stoller, B
10. Employee of the Month and Other Big Deals (2011), Mary Jo Pehl, B-
11. A Princess of Mars (1917) Edgar Rice Burroughs, A
12. Countdown: A Newsflesh Novella (2011), Mira Grant, A-
13. Sloppy Seconds (2012), Tucker Max, B
14. Killing Mr. Griffin (1978), Lois Duncan, B
15. The Crucible (1952), Arthur Miller, A•
16. Hilarity Ensues (2012), Tucker Max, B+
17. All-Star Superman (2008), Grant Morrison & Frank Quitely, A+*
18. Ruby of Ragnoor (2012), Brad Guitar, B+*
19. What If? Classic Vol. 3 (2005), Gary Friedrich, Don Glut, Marv Wolfman, Steven Grant, Peter Gillis & Tom DeFalco, B*
20. Atomic Robo Vol. 1: Atomic Robo and the Fightin’ Scientists of Tesladyne (2008), Brian Clevinger, A-*
21. Atomic Robo Vol. 2: Atomic Robo and the Dogs of War (2009), Brian Clevinger, A-*
22. Atomic Robo Vol. 3: Atomic Robo and the Shadow From Beyond Time (2009′ Brian Clevinger, A*
23. The Gods of Mars (1918), Edgar Rice Burroughs, B+
24. Sum: 40 Tales From the Afterlives (2009), David Eagleman, A-
25. The Nightly News (2007), Jonathan Hickman, A*
26. John Carter: A Princess of Mars (2011), Roger Langridge & Felipe Andrade, B-*
27. Warlord of Mars (1919), Edgar Rice Burroughs, A-
28. The Princess Bride: 30th Anniversary Edition (2003), William Goldman, A
29. Raise Your Glass,: Stuck in the Twilight Saga (2012), Keith Helinski, B
30. Clue: The Musical (1993), Peter DePietro, B•
31. How I Sold 1 Million eBooks in 5 Months (2011), John Locke, C
32. Forrest Gump (1986), Winston Groom, B
33. The Reporter (2012), Scott Sigler & Mur Lafferty, B+
34. Tales From Development Hell (2012), David Hughes, B+
35. Lamb (2002), Christopher Moore, A
36. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (1997), J.K. Rowling, A-
37. Buy the RV, We Start Tomorrow: The AV Club’s Guide to Breaking Bad (2010), Donna Murray & Neal Goldman, B
38. Coffee: It’s What’s For Dinner (2011), Dave Kellet, A*
39. Sacre Bleu (2012), Christopher Moore, B
40. Pax Romana (2007), Jonathan Hickman, B-*
41. Paradox (2012), Christos Gage, B- *
42. Avengers Forever (1999), Kurt Busiek, A*
43. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (1998), J.K. Rowling, B+
44. Transhuman (2008), Jonathan Hickman, A-*
45. The Wind Through the Keyhole (2012), Stephen King, B+
46. Atomic Robo Vol. 4: Atomic Robo and Other Strangeness (2010), Scott Wegener, A*
47. Atomic Robo Vol. 5: Atomic Robo and the Flying Fists of Science (2011), Scott Wegener, A-*
48. Misery Loves Sherman (2012), Chris Eliopoulos, B*
49. The Atlantis Chronicles (1990), Peter David, A*
50. Aquaman: Time and Tide (1996), Peter David, B+*
51. Pantheon (1999), Bill Willingham, A-*
52. Atomic Robo Vol. 6: Atomic Robo and the Ghost of Station X (2012), Scott Wegener, A+*
53. Marvels: Eye of the Camera (2010), Kurt Busiek & Roger Stern, A-*
54. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (1999), J.K. Rowling, A-
55. “They’re Made Out of Meat” (1991), Terry Bisson, B
56. Why Does Batman Carry Shark Repellent? (2012), Brian Cronin, B+
57. The Comic Book History of Comics (2012), Fred Van Lente & Ryan Dunlavey, A-*
58. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2010), Seth Graham-Smith, B+
59. Fables Vol. 1: Legends in Exile (2002), Bill Willingham, A-*
60. JLA Vol. 1: New World Order (1997), Grant Morrision, A-*
61. Star Trek: The Next Generation-Ghosts (2010), Zander Cannon, B*
62. Spider-Man: Maximum Carnage (1993), David Michelinie, J.M. DeMatties, Tom DeFalco, B+*
63. The Hollywood Walk of Shame (1993), Bruce Nash & Allan Zullo, C+
64. The All-Pro (2011), Scott Sigler, B+^
65. Our Valued Customers (2012), Tim Chamberlain, B*
66. Batman: Earth One (2012), Geoff Johns, A*
67. The Infinity Gauntlet (1993), Jim Starlin, A+*
68. F in Exams (2011), Richard Benson, A-
69. F For Effort (2012), Richard Benson, B
70. Blackout (2012), Mira Grant, B+
71. The Monolith (2012), Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray, A*
72. Locke and Key Vol. 5: Clockworks (2012), Joe Hill, A*
73. Classic G.I. Joe Vol. 1 (2009), Larry Hama, B-*
74. What If? Classic Vol. 4 (2007), Bill Mantlo, Don Glut, Peter Gillis, Steve Skeates, Tony Isabella, Mike W. Barr, Steven Grant, Mark Gruenwald & Ralph Macchio, B*
75. Firestarter (1981), Stephen King, B+
76. “Don’t Tell Jack” (2001), Neil Gaiman, A-
77. Rising Stars Compendium (2004), J. Michael Straczynski, A*
78. Fahrenheit 451 (1951), Ray Bradbury, A+
79. Morning Glories Vol. 1: For a Better Future (2011), Nick Spencer, A
80. Fool Moon (2001), Jim Butcher, B
81. The Maze Runner (2009), James Dashner, B+
82. The Scorch Trials (2010), James Dashner, B
83. The Death Cure (2011), James Dashner, B
84. Action Philosophers (2009), Fred Van Lente, B+*
85. Fraggle Rock Vol. 1 (2010), B*
86. License to Pawn: Deals, Steals, and My Life at the Gold and Silver (2011), Rick Harrison, B-
87. The MVP (2012), Scott Sigler, A-
88. Showgirls, Teen Wolves and Astronomy Zombies (2009), Michael Adams, B+
89. Upside Down: A Vampire Tale (2012) Jess Smart Smiley, B*
90. Trick ‘r Treat (2009), Marc Andreyko, B*
91. Madman 20th Anniversary Monster (2012), Mike Allred, B*
92. Texts From Dog (2012), October Jones, B
93. The Complete Omaha the Cat Dancer Vol. 1 (2005), Kate Worley & Reed Waller, B*
94. Superman: Earth One Vol. 2 (2012), J. Michael Straczynski & Shane Davis, A*
95. Tremors of the Buried Moon (2011), J.C. Rogers, B*
96. The Legend of Oz: The Wicked West Vol. 1 (2012), Tom Hutchinson, B+*
97. Charlie Brown’s Christmas Stocking (2012), Charles M. Schulz, A-*
98. Archie Classics Series Vol. 1: Christmas Classics (2011), B
99. Marvel Zombies (2006), Robert Kirkman, B+*
100. Marvel Zombies 2 (2008), Robert Kirkman, A*
101. Marvel Zombies 3 (2009), Fred Van Lente, B-*
102. Marvel Zombies 4 (2009), Fred Van Lente, C*
103. Marvel Zombies Return (2009), B+*
*-Denotes graphic novel or comic strip collection
•-Denotes stage play
^-Denotes audiobook
“”-Denotes short story

–Updated August 5, 2012

14
Aug
10

Thinking About… The Curtain

Once I finish up editing Opening Night of the Dead, I’m going to need a new writing project to work on. Sadly, “Summer Love” still hasn’t completely come together in my head, so I can’t quite get back to that one. I’ve got something else that’s sloooowly germinating, but not something that’ll be ready to go to paper any time soon. But there’s something that I’ve been pondering for a while. It gets back to something I wrote a few weeks ago about why I think Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide series petered out, while Terry Pratchett’s Discworld has remained viable for decades. Pratchett, unlike Adams, made the world itself his star, and has draped lots of different characters into the situations of that world. I’ve got an idea that plays off that, a world that I think could be really interesting and open itself up to lots of different groups of characters and lots of different kinds of stories.

At the moment, I’ve got several scenarios, characters, and short story ideas that would tie into this world, although no longer-form works (except for the ones that are already a part of the world that I’ve written). What I’m thinking of doing is composing stories in the extreme short form, maybe a scene at a time. The scenes would each fall into several categories of different serials, which I would bring into contact with one another whenever the story demanded it, introduce new ones when I wanted, and phase out others if they stopped interesting me. It’s actually very similar, in format, to David Morgan-Mar’s Irregular Webcomic.

I’d want to do it regularly, but not in the volume of some of my other things. Two or three “scenes” a week seems reasonable to me. And it’s something that could easily spin off into longer-form stories (novels or other media, should the opportunity arise) if the longer stories occurred to me. It’s something I think would be fun.

And yes, The Curtain is my working title for the overall project. That doesn’t mean anything to you yet. But if I do this right, it will.

Just something I’m thinking about.

19
Jul
10

So I was thinking…

I’m reading a book right now. Well, not right this second, right this second I’m writing a blog post. But I’m in the midst of reading a book. Specifically, And Another Thing… by Eoin Colfer. The book is the sixth book in Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy trilogy, a series that ended after Mostly Harmless, probably in no small part due to the fact that Adams passed away. At the time he died, he was reportedly considering ideas for a new Hitchhiker’s book, as he found Mostly Harmless to be an unsatisfying way to end the series. Most of the readers of the series, at least most of the ones that I’ve spoken to, would agree with that assessment.

I’m not here to review the book — I haven’t finished it yet, and as the paperback just came out I intend to review it for Comixtreme.com as soon as I’ve finished. But I got to wondering why it is that Hitchhiker’s books started to fizzle out after a while, while similar series — and here I am specifically thinking of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels — have lasted for dozens of volumes while still going strong. And I think I’ve figured it out.

The five — now six — Hitchhiker’s books all follow the same group of characters. Oh sure, there are lots of side-stories, minor characters, and one-off appearances by aliens of all types, but the main focus of all the books remains firmly on Arthur Dent, Ford Prefect, Trillian, and Zaphod Beeblebrox. (Even Marvin the Paranoid Android rarely has much to do plot-wise.) The problem, I think, is that Adams ran out of things that could be done with these characters without just putting them through one torture after another. Pratchett, on the other hand, has a half-dozen different sets of characters that he follows, and at least as many one-off characters, all of which can act as stars. If you wanted to, you could only read the books about Granny Weatherwax, or only read the books about Rincewind, or only read the books in which Death and his family are the stars. (Death is probably the only character that appears in all of the books, but he usually only makes a cameo when somebody… well… dies. There are, though, books that focus on him, his daughter, his granddaughter… there’s a whole Death Dynasty. Both universes are highly versatile, with room for virtually any kind of story, but the writers approached them very differently. In Adams’ books, the characters were the stars. In Pratchett’s, the real star is the Discworld itself.

This led me to thinking about my own writing, specifically the current story I’m focusing on (as a writer, that is — as a recording artist, I’m all about Other People’s Heroes). Opening Night of the Dead is, in its simplest form, a zombie story. But the universe in which it takes place is in no way zombie-specific. There are a lot of different things I could do there.

A lot.

Gets a man thinking, is all.

15
Jul
09

Everything But Imaginary #314: A Universal Truth

One of the things that makes comics a unique artform is the concept of a superhero “universe.” It’s hard to imagine a world with just one superhero now. Why don’t we see this sort of crossover in other media? And why do we love it in our comics?

Everything But Imaginary #314: A Universal Truth
Inside this Column:

All Star Comics #3

02
Apr
09

What I’m Reading: 2009 Edition

In the past, I’ve always compiled a year-end list of the books I’ve read during the past year. However, I’ve noticed that my good pal Walt Kneeland, on his awesome Comic Reviews By Walt blog, keeps a running list on his website throughout the year. It’s something that never occurred to me before, but I like it. So therefore, I’m going to keep this post updated frequently, whenever I’ve got something to add to the list. I’ve also added the links to the right-hand column of the page, right beneath my Twitter Feed, so you’ll be able to access it easily if that sort of thing floats your boat. I’ll do the same with my movie lists. And y’know what? If it’s a book I’ve reviewed, I’ll even link to the review. I’m all about service, friends.

So without further ado, here’s what I’ve read so far in 2009:

  1. Speaker For the Dead; Orson Scott Card, 1987-A
  2. Look at My Striped Shirt; Phat Phree, 2006-B-
  3. You’ll All Be Sorry; Gail Simone, 2008-B+
  4. Tales of Beedle the Bard; J.K. Rowling, 2008-B
  5. Street Gang: The Complete History of Sesame Street; Michael Davis, 2008-A
  6. Tales From Outer Suburbia; Shaun Tan, 2008-B+*
  7. Kingdom Come; Mark Waid &; Alex Ross, 1996-A+*
  8. Infected; Scott Sigler, 2008-B+
  9. Archer & Armstrong: First Impressions; Jim Shooter, Barry Windsor-Smith, 2008-A-*
  10. Sheldon: Nerds on Parade; Dave Kellett, 2008-A-*
  11. Mini-Marvels: Secret Invasion; Chris Giarrusso, 2009-A*
  12. Tiny Titans: Welcome to the Treehouse; Art Baltazar, Franco, 2008-A-*
  13. Fool; Christopher Moore, 2009-B-
  14. A Slobbering Love Affair; Bernard Goldberg, 2009-B-
  15. It’s Not Easy Being Green; Jim Henson, 2005-B
  16. Love and Capes Vol. 1: Do You Want to Know a Secret?; Thom Zahler, 2008-A+*
  17. Starman Omnibus Vol. 2; James Robinson & Tony Harris, 2009-A*
  18. Before You Leap; Jim Lewis, (as Kermit the Frog), 2004-B
  19. The Graveyard Book; Neil Gaiman, 2008-A
  20. Transmetropolitan Vol. 1: Back on the Street; Warren Ellis &; Darick Robertson, 1998-B*
  21. Tales of the Green Lantern Corps; Len Wein and others, 2009-A*
  22. JLA/Avengers; Kurt Busiek & George Perez, 2003-B+*
  23. Enemies and Allies; Kevin J. Anderson, 2009-B+
  24. Breathers: A Zombie’s Lament; S.G. Browne, 2009-B
  25. Shade’s Children; Garth Nix, 1997-B+
  26. Superman: Panic in the Sky; Dan Jurgens, Jerry Ordway, Louise Simonson & Roger Stern, 1993-A*
  27. JLA: Salvation Run; Matthew Sturges & Bill Willingham, 2008-B*
  28. Contagious; Scott Sigler, 2008-A-
  29. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy; Douglas Adams, 1979-A
  30. The Complete Peanuts: 1969 to 1970; Charles M. Schulz, 2008-A*
  31. The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet; William Shakespeare (probably), 1597(ish)-B+
  32. 3 Geeks: Going to the Con; Rich Koslowski, 1997-B+*
  33. 3 Geeks: An Eclectic Potpourri of Reading Pleasure; Rich Koslowski, 1999-B*
  34. The Restaurant at the End of the Universe; Douglas Adams, 1980-B+
  35. Nice Girls Don’t Have Fangs; Molly Harper, 2009-B+
  36. The Complete Peanuts: 1971 to 1972; Charles M. Schulz, 2009-A*
  37. Star Trek: Countdown; Mike Johnson & Tim Jones, 2009-B+*
  38. Life, the Universe, and Everything; Douglas Adams, 1982-B
  39. So Long and Thanks For All the Fish; Douglas Adams, 1984-B
  40. “Young Zaphod Plays it Safe”; Douglas Adams, 1986-C
  41. Sheldon: Pure Ducky Goodness; Dave Kellett, 2006, B+*
  42. Dust and Shadow; Lyndsay Faye, 2009-B+
  43. The Lightning Thief; Rick Riordan, 2005-A-
  44. Nina Kimberly the Merciless; Christiana Ellis, 2009-B+
  45. The Sea of Monsters; Rick Riordan, 2006, B+
  46. The Big Book of Barry Ween, Boy Genius; Judd Winnick, 2009, B+*
  47. The Titan’s Curse; Rick Riordan, 2007, A-
  48. The Battle of the Labyrinth; Rick Riordan, 2008, A-
  49. Sheldon: The Good, the Bad, and the Pugly; Dave Kellett, 2007, B+*
  50. The Last Olympian; Rick Riordan, 2009, A+
  51. Personal Effects: Dark Art; J.C. Hutchins & Jordan Weisman, 2009, A-
  52. Was Superman a Spy?; Brian Cronin, 2009, A-
  53. “All You Zombies”; Robert A. Heinlein, 1958, A
  54. The Strain; Guillermo Del Toro & Chuck Hogan, 2009, B+
  55. Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Demigod Files; Rick Riordan, 2009, B
  56. G.I. Joe; Chuck Dixon, 2009, A-*
  57. The Dark Half; Stephen King, 1989, B
  58. The Long Walk; Stephen King (as Richard Bachman), 1979, B-
  59. Superman: Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? (Deluxe Edition); Alan Moore, 2009, A*
  60. Franklin Richards: Not-So-Secret Invasion; Marc Sumerak & Chris Eliopoulos, 2009, B+*
  61. Batman: Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader? (Deluxe Edition); Neil Gaiman, 2009, A*
  62. Starman Omnibus Volume 3; James Robinson, 2009, A*
  63. ABC Warriors: The Meknificent Seven; Pat Mills, 1978, B*
  64. Judge Dredd: Dredd Vs. Death; John Wagner & Alan Grant, 2005, B*
  65. Preacher: Gone to Texas; Garth Ennis, 1996, B*
  66. Preacher: Until the End of the World; Garth Ennis, 1997, A*
  67. Preacher: Proud Americans; Garth Ennis, 1998, B+*
  68. Earthcore; Scott Sigler, 2005, B+@
  69. Personal Effects: Sword of Blood; J.C. Hutchins, 2009, B@
  70. Dark Entries; Ian Rankin, 2009, B*
  71. G-Man: Learning to Fly; Chris Giarrusso, 2009, A*
  72. Drood; Dan Simmons, 2009, A-
  73. FlashForward; Rober J. Sawyer, 1999, B+
  74. Danse Macabre; Stephen King, 1980, B+
  75. Peter and Max: A Fables Novel; Bill Willingham, 2009, A
  76. Kabumpo in Oz; Ruth Plumly Thompson, 1922, B-
  77. UR; Stephen King, 2009, B+
  78. It’s Hard Out Here For a Shrimp; Pepe the King Prawn, 2008, B
  79. Kronos; Jeremy Robinson, 2008, B+@
  80. “The Red-Headed League;” Arthur Conan Doyle, 1891, A
  81. 7th Son: Descent; J.C. Hutchins, 2009, B+
  82. Cakewrecks; Jen Yates, 2009, B+
  83. The Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded Attacks; Max Brooks, 2009, B*
  84. Batman: The Long Halloween; Jeph Loeb, 1997, A*
  85. The Monstrumologist; Rick Yancy, 2009, B
  86. Half-Minute Horrors; Susan Rich (ed.), 2009, B
  87. Nice Girls Don’t Date Dead Men; Molly Harper, 2009, B
  88. Animal Farm; George Orwell, 1945, A
  89. The Colour of Magic; Terry Pratchett, 1983, B
  90. Living Dangerously With Saturated Fats; Dave Kellett, 2009, A
  91. Just After Sunset; Stephen King, 2008, B+
  92. Abducted to Oz; 2003, Bob Evans & Chris Dulabone, F
  93. The Dude Abides; 2009, Cathleen Falsami, B+
  94. Nocturnal; 2007, Scott Sigler, A-@
  95. Title Fight; 2009, Scott Sigler & Matt Wallace, B+@
  96. Lost; 2001, Gregory Maguire, D
  97. The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus; 1902, L. Frank Baum, A
  98. “A Kidnapped Santa Claus;” 1904, L. Frank Baum, A
  99. A Kidnapped Santa Claus; 2009, Alex Robinson (based on the story by L. Frank Baum), A*
  100. The Gift of the Magi; 2009, Joel Priddy (based on the story by O. Henry), B+*
  101. The Fir-Tree; 2009, Lilli Carré (based on the story by Hans Christian Andersen), B-*
  102. Haunted Christmas; 2009, Mary Beth Crain, B
  103. “Scrooge & Cratchit;” 2002, Matt McHugh, B+
  104. More Holmes For the Holidays; 1999, Martin H. Greenberg (ed.), B
  105. North Pole Lost and Other Holiday Stories; 2007, William H. Cooke, D
  106. The True Gift; 2009, Patricia MacLachlan, B
  107. The Night Before the Christmas Before I Was Married; 2009, Adam Maxwell, B-
  108. Purgatory; 2009, Tim Dodge, B@
  109. Archie New Look Series Vol. 3: Moose and Midge in Break-Up Blues; 2009, Melanie J. Morgan, B*
  110. Mini-Marvels Ultimate Collection; 2009, Chris Giarrusso and others, A*

*-Graphic novel or comic strip collection
“”-Short Story
@-Audiobook

Last updated on December 31, 2009




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