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PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2009 1:58 pm 
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reading a book called Necropolis about how the people of London have treated their dead over the centuries.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2009 3:26 pm 
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Well, I was toying with the idea of making a start on "Nemonymous: Cern Zoo", but now I'm thinking of nipping out and finding some Joe Abercrombie

ack!

I'm in Cern Zoo, so hoisted by my own petard a touch there hmm....

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2009 4:03 pm 
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Just read The Question: Welcome to Oz by Dennis O'Neil. The Question was the inspiration for Rorschach from Watchmen -- a masked vigilante with a black and white view of the world based on Ayn Rand's objectivism. (The Question's creator, Steve Ditko, was a big fan of Rand's.) When O'Neil revived the character in the '80s he decided the original approach was too simplistic so he filtered the book through his own Buddhist beliefs. Not to mention adding influences from The Shadow, The Spirit and Ed McBain.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2009 4:59 pm 
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Stu, I vaguely remember The Question, though didn't know anything about the character's origins, or that Rorschach was based on him, though that seems a bit obvious now you've said it.

Bob, put your petard away. I'm starting on "Cern Zoo" tomorrow night, and this time you'll get more than a haiku (but of course, this time I probably won't like your story as much, or at all :cry: ).

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2009 6:42 pm 
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Bob, put your petard away.


Too late, it's already lit! Run for your lives I say, run!

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2009 6:54 am 
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Pete, there's actually a bit in the previous collection where The Question reads Watchmen and wonders what it would be like to be Rorschach.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2009 5:01 pm 
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Stu wrote:
Pete, there's actually a bit in the previous collection where The Question reads Watchmen and wonders what it would be like to be Rorschach.


I was analyzing his character the other day. Brilliant, feral. More than just a sociopath; something far worse. But, at the same time, still retains his morals and a mentality for what is right and wrong.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2009 6:17 pm 
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Moore intended Rorschach to show how a vengeance obsessed vigilante would be in real life: scruffy, smelly, emotionally dysfunctional and not in any way someone to idolise. But Rorschach ended up being kind of cool anyway. Not sure how much of that was readers automatically responding favourably to anti-heroes and how much was Moore enjoying writing Rorschach and consequently giving him lots of the best lines and action scenes. Probably a bit of both.

And when O'Neil wrote The Question he obviously has misgivings about Rorschach and his inflexible morality. Although The Question starts off idolising Rorschach when he tries employing some of ol' Splotchface's methods they backfire on him and he ends the issue stating that "Rorschach sucks." This ties in with O'Neil's general approach to The Question which is that the character's original Objectivism wouldn't be sustainable and that degrees of moral ambiguity would have to prevail. In O'Neil's hands The Question's driving force is not moral certainty but an overriding sense of curiosity.

Btw, after seeing the film version of Watchmen I did wonder if Rorschach was quite so willing to stick to his "Never compromise" attitude. The actor's line-reading made it possible to intepret Rorschach's final scene as a way of going along with what the other characters plan while pretending that he is in total opposition. It also means that he doesn't have to face the consequences of his actions. Or perhaps he is allowing himself to be punished for his complicity.

I never got this interpretation from reading the comic but just looking at that one scene in isolation it could be read that way. Still, I haven't reread the comic in its entirety since seeing the film and I suspect doing so would probably lead me back to my original intepretation that Rorschach was indeed refusing to compromise.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 1:59 pm 
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Reading some MR James as I'd only read a couple of his stories.

Also, Meditations on Violence by Rory Miller. US corrections officer offers his thoughts on violence and criminals based on his training, psychology degree and real life experiences.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 2:36 pm 
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Been reading novellas, "Vardoger" by Steve Volk and "Isis" by Douglas Clegg, and a Paul Finch collection has just arrived in the post, so it seems entirely possible that we are having a novella feature in Black Static #13 :D

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 7:36 am 
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The Little Black Book of Violence by Lawrence A Kane and Kris Wilder. Similar to the Miller book so far but offering a slightly different perspective.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 1:35 pm 
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Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 9:48 pm 
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Just finished a book called Twisted Metal by Tony Ballantyne which was recommended by Neal Asher on his blog. An interesting book and it's all about robots (one of my favourite subjects) written entirely from the stand-point of robots about robots on a planet where only robots exist. The story starts with the rape of a female robot as she is mating with her male partner and 'twisting metal', making the mind for her child. This is the beginning of the question whether or not there is free-will in robotic society or if everything is predestined and following a path which will lead the protagonists to 'The Book Of The Robots' which is believed to contain the secrets of robotic evolution. Weird but enjoyable.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 2:59 pm 
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Currently about 3/4 of the way through Lee Child's Echo Burning -- No. 5 in his Jack Reacher series about an ex-military policeman turned drifter. Started off slow but is now really gripping me.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 8:46 pm 
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Just finished, "And God Created Zombies" by Andrew Hook, and just started "Groaning Shadows" by Paul Finch. Yep, definitely a novella feature in BS#13, time, health and Andy willing :D

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