Tag Archives: opinion

Day 30 – What Book Are You Reading Right Now?

It’s finally over! Day 30 is here!!!

I’m currently dragging myself through Blameless by Gail Carriger. I was considering using Soulless for Day 11 before I remember that it was exactly as bad as I’d expected a bright pink steampunk book to be, and therefore couldn’t be classed as a disappointment. However the title character of Alexia Tarabotti was just compelling enough to make me buy Changeless (Soulless was given away free at a convention, I would NOT have paid money for it) in the hope that the series might improve as occasionally happens. And it did! Right up until the ending as which point the whole thing collapsed into exactly the kind of drama that stops me reading “romantic” fiction. It was exactly like being punched in the stomach.

Unfortunately Blameless continues in the same vein and its taken me almost two months to get 150 pages into the book and every page has been a battle. And yet, like eating stale popcorn – you don’t like it, it tastes bad and you know it won’t end well – I can’t stop reading it. Alexia Tarabotti remains just this side of likable, and a few of the supporting cast are admittedly awesome (Professor Lyall the dignified werewolf, and Lord Akeldama, a vampire so fruity he’d make Oscar Wilde look like a member of the EDL). I’ve just discovered, with a sinking heart that two more books are planned. I guess I’ll end up reading those too, whether I really want to or not.

Even Better 30 Day Song Challenge – Day 30 – Foist One Last Rarity On Us

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Day 27 – If A Book Contains ______, You Will Always Read It!

Ok so I’m not proud of this one, but I’ve been a raging phan girl for well over a decade, long before Gerard Bulter destroyed the ALW version of The Phantom with that awful, awful movie version. But it says a lot about exactly how bad my addiction is that I still bought the soundtrack AND the DVD, even though I hated the movie.

I bought the shockingly horrible Phantom of Manhattan by Frederick Forsyth the day it was released, read it in about two hours and then threw it across the room. The book claims to be a sequel to the plot of the ALW musical, not to the original book, but then has a central plot device (Christine’s son being Erik’s rather than Raoul’s) that isn’t possible within the plot of the original show without making poor Erik a rapist. The book destroys well loves characters and ruins even those characters hated by the majority of the phandom. Raoul might be unpopular amongst Erik loving phans everywhere but turning him into a vicious alcoholic makes no sense. The epic failure of tPoM amongst phans and critics alike should have made ALW look else where for inspiration for his new musical, but by all accounts Paint Never Dries sorry I mean Love Never Dies makes just as little sense as TPoM. I used to love ALW’s work, but this total disregard for the phans who kept PotO on Broadway and the West End all these years, and a complete contempt for the characters themselves is completely heartbreaking.

In comparison Susan Kay’s Phantom treats Leroux’s characters with the sense of love and respect they deserve. I think this is one major issue with everything ALW has done with PotO, there is always a sense that Leroux is just some incompetent buffoon and the characters are ALW’s personal domain, but as time has progressed its become more and more clear that ALW doesn’t understand the characters at all. Susan Kay gives Erik a real history, detailed, rich and tragic, she doesn’t half his age and turn his past into a cartoon. It’s not the greatest book ever written, and there have been plenty of amazing phan phictions written since (tip: avoid anything that starts with “my Erik is based on Gerard Butler” its usually a sign of bad things to come :p ) but if you really want to get to grips with the real Erik, I’d recommend starting there. I don’t know if this book has been rereleased recently, my copy (which is missing) cost me £40 back in the mid ’90s. Edited to add: new copies seem to be going for between £13 and £25 on bookdepository.

Even Better 30 Day Song Challenge – Day 27 – Track To Trip Out To

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Currently Reading, Or 5 Books You Need To Devour

I read. A lot. Constantly in fact. I’m more than a little picky in my tastes. I don’t generally read women’s fiction or chick lit, and I rarely read straight contemporary fiction. I’m the kind of person who walks straight through the fiction section to that lovely little corner of the book store labeled “Sci-Fi and Fantasy”, from that haven of printed glory I’ll read more or less anything- space opera, steampunk, alternate history, sword&sorcery, time travel, dragons, werewolves, zombies, seamonsters… I’ll even venture into the vampire section, though I draw the line at (and through) Stephanie Meyers and I swear I only read Charlaine Harris as the equivalent of reading the funny pages. That isn’t to say that I don’t read the classics, I fact my favorite book of all time is Jane Eyre, but usually I’ve have to hear a lot of good things about a non-scifi book before I’ll spend my hard earned cash on it. Even then I might not finish it, Catch 22 has been serving as a door stop for a few years now. So beware, my tastes may not be yours, but I think the following will appeal to a lot of different people on a variety of levels.

Onwards to the Librarium…


Filed under Books, Essay, Horror, Media, Review, Steampunk

There’s A Big Wide World Out There, Lets Live In It

For a while now I’ve thought that my public blog has been low on content, and whilst I feel its important to tell you when I publish something new, I should give you other, more interesting, reasons to read it. As such I’m going to try to write things more often. Please note, these are just my own thoughts and you’re always free to disagree with me. Inspired by this post by DJ Mouse of Clockwork Cabaret I’ve found myself thinking about the future of Steampunk lately.

There tends to be a habit in a lot of subcultures for people to want to draw a line in the sand and say “everything on this side is ours, everything over there isn’t and we don’t want any of it coming over here”. People become attached to their own tastes and they want their subculture to reflect that. This is especially the case when people are new to a subculture, or they’ve been in it for a long time. Either they want to fit in or they want to protect what they’ve built from upstarts and poseurs. But wait, there’s more after the jump

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