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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 10:01 am 
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Read Michael McBride's novella "Blindspot" last night, and still working my way through "Chilling Tales".

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 10:29 am 
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Finished "Chilling Tales" last night, and also read "Rough Music" by Simon Kurt Unsworth, the latest Spectral Press chapbook.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 11:09 am 
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Almost at the end of Simon Bestwick's 'The Faceless' and about to start Zoran Zivkovic's The Bridge.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 11:11 am 
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Finished Empire State last night, which I found a bit of a slog. Started Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway and The Great Game by Lavie Tidhar.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 9:41 am 
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I didn't mind Empire State - really enjoyed the premise even if it got a bit laboured at times. Enjoyed The Great Game too.

I finished Graham Joyce's "The Storm Watcher" which I thought was excellent. Picked up a crime novel, "Hammett", by Joe Gores which is intriguing so far.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 8:18 pm 
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I'm concurrently reading Stephen King's 11.22.63 and House of Fear edited by Jonathan Oliver, both of which I'm loving.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 10:28 pm 
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Just finished "Roadside Picnic" by the Strugatsky brothers... absolutely brilliant in exactly the way that M John Harrison's "Nova Swing" absolutely wasn't... :-)


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 1:04 am 
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Alexander Stark wrote:
"Roadside Picnic" by the Strugatsky brothers... absolutely brilliant


Now might be a good time to watch Russian SF film Stalker.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:19 am 
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Tony wrote:
Alexander Stark wrote:
"Roadside Picnic" by the Strugatsky brothers... absolutely brilliant


Now might be a good time to watch Russian SF film Stalker.


Haven't read the book although it is on my 'to buy' list. As for Stalker, it's a fascinating movie although a little slow. I remember falling asleep for several minutes only to awake and find the characters hadn't even moved. :)

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:17 am 
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Andrew Hook wrote:
Tony wrote:
Alexander Stark wrote:
"Roadside Picnic" by the Strugatsky brothers... absolutely brilliant


Now might be a good time to watch Russian SF film Stalker.


Haven't read the book although it is on my 'to buy' list. As for Stalker, it's a fascinating movie although a little slow.


I read the Stugatskys' novel in Gollancz's yellow-jacket edition (late 1970s, I think). Remember it as a fascinating book, my first Russian SF, and I was first to borrow it from local library, so it felt like a big discovery for me...

Yes, the film's very slow, but I always liked the eerie atmosphere, despite Tarkovsky dropping much of the familiar 'sci-fi' content.
Gary Couzens reviewed it - Stalker, but I'd be inclined to give it only 7/10, not 5 stars.

Not read Nova Swing, but I really liked MJH's previous Light.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 1:34 pm 
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Yes, I saw Stalker on TV years ago (or The Zone as they inexplicably re-branded it one year). The book is very different, and ironically enough, anything but slow. Wonderfully weird and original ideas, grippingly conveyed. Tarkovsky employed the Stugatskys to do the screenwriting for the film (it's like only one scene of the book, drawn out for atmosphere), but removed most of the overt sci-fi aspects, which eerily enough: made the whole thing even more like a premonition of Chernobyl (which occured 7 years later). Tarkovsky and others involved in the film later died due to poisoning (industrial, not nuclear) that they contracted in the area of Estonia where they filmed it. Even creepier.
To be fair to MJH, probably a lot of books have been influenced by Roadside Picnic by now, but the debt in Nova Swing is particularly blatant I would say.
The thing I remember most about the film was a poem ("Never enough"?) that one of the actors recites. Existential angst in buckets, univeral metaphor. Bring a sleeping bag though.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 1:29 pm 
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Those, like me, who enjoyed Nova Swing, might like to know that Empty Space, the third and final in the Kefahuchi tract series, is due out around June.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 6:58 pm 
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All you peeps up above talking about "Stalker" might be interested in the just released "Zona" by Geoff Dyer, which details a very personal and oblique response to the film (at least, that's the inference to be got from the publisher's blurb).

Some stuff about "Zona"/Geoff Dyer here:-

http://www.canongate.tv/authors/geoffdyer?channel=true

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 12:18 pm 
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Just finished a critical appreciation of the film "Witchfinder General" by Ian Cooper and started one of "Let the Right One In" by Anne Billson. Also dipping into and out of Christopher Fowler's collection "Red Gloves" and "Dead Red Heart: Australian Vampire Stories" edited by Russell B. Farr.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:08 pm 
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Finished the Billson, which was fascinating, and yesterday read William Meikle's novella "Sherlock Holmes: Revenant".

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