I died for your sins, so accordingly, here are some inane musings to contemplate...

Friday, October 24, 2008


Just a list to remind me to stop watching TV, stop going to the pub, and get on that couch and read Boy, READ! In no particular order as I decide on a whim when I finish each book which one to read next. (Number) indicates an omnibus edition or series.

Here are the ones actually on my shelf:
  1. Kevin J Anderson - The Ashes of Worlds (just started this morning)
  2. Terry Pratchett - Nation
  3. Lynne Truss - Eats, Shoots & Leaves
  4. John Lindqvist - Let The Right One In
  5. Mervyn Peake - The Gormenghast Trilogy (3)
  6. Hugh Cook - Chronicles of an Age of Darkness (9 - gotta find #10)
  7. Glen Cook - First Chronicles of the Black Company (2 - already read book 1)
  8. John Scalzi - The Ghost Brigades & The Last Colony (2)
  9. Jeff Lindsay - Dexter In The Dark
  10. Ian Cameron Esslemont - Return of the Crimson Guard
  11. Robin Hobb - Shaman's Crossing (need to buy the 2 sequels first)
  12. Stephen King - The Mist (and other short stories)
  13. China Mieville - Perdido Street Station
  14. Fritz Leiber - Ill Met in Lankhmar
  15. Brandon Sanderson - Mistborn (need to buy the 2 sequels first)
  16. Rudyard Kipling - The Complete Jungle Book
  17. Herman Melville - Moby Dick
  18. Gene Wolfe - Severian of the Guild (4)
  19. Daniel Abraham - The Long Price (2)
  20. Greg Keyes - Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone (4)
  21. Michael Moorcock - Various (if I ever get 'round to them)
  22. David Gunn - Death's Head
  23. Martin/Dozois/Abraham - Hunter's Run
So yeah, I guess that proves I'm sort of a compulsive book buyer who really should actually read more. Some of those I've had forever (Moorcock, Leiber, Hobb) and the list just kinda proves that I need to join a library and try and save my pennies... Nah, bugger that!

I've also got a list of books I still want to buy that is actually longer than that above... Woo hoo! :)

Thursday, October 23, 2008


So some books that I ordered last week from Book Depository and ABE Books arrived today - woo hoo!

First up is the final installment in Kevin J Anderson's Saga of Seven Suns - The Ashes of Worlds. I've quite enjoyed this series so far, probably because it is Sci-Fi Lite and more Space Opera than anything else, hard sci-fi makes my brain hurt a little. I didn't enjoy the previous novel so much but I have been told that it ends quite satisfactorily and I'm certainly not going to not read the seventh book after reading the first six!

Next up are the two sequels to John Scalzi's Old Man's War which I really enjoyed quite a bit - again sci-fi lite with a real feeling of deja-vu in that I swear these books were inspired by Heinlein's Starship Troopers (which is a much better book than the moofies would have you believe) and are a very enjoyable and easy read.

And after those we have Terry Pratchett's Nation, his first non-Discworld novel in quite a few years. It's quite sad that Terry has a form of Alzheimers that may mean his regular yearly and even six monthly novel production may slow down dramatically but I've heard this novelis really quite something, so looking forward to it quite a bit.

Next up is Lynne Truss' Eats, Shoots & Leaves, a book about punctuation use and rules in written English and how it can affect what a sentence means. I'm a bit of a spelling and punctuation Nazi (thanks Dad) so to make sure I'm always correct I thought Id give this a go. Been meaning to read it for years to be honest.

Second to last is John Ajvide Lindqvist's Let The Right One In (Låt den rätte komma in) is a Swedish vampire horror novel(translated to English of course). I recently saw the film of this at the Melbourne International Film Festival and when I found out it was based on a book I knew I just had to get it. I'm not a massive fan of vampire movies, books or anything really, but I loved this film and suspect I'll enjoy the book.

Last up is Hugh Cook's fourth book in the classic Chronicles of an Age of Darkness series, The Walrus and the Warwolf - I really enjoyed this series when I read it in my early teens and recently bought all of the books bar this one and the last one. So I'm yet to get the last one (which I think has only been self-published and was never released) and plan on giving these a rip through maybe sometime in the new year.

Now the big question is - what do I read first? I should finish Killswitch tonight... Maybe Ashes of Worlds, or possibly The Ghost Brigades... Decisions, decisions...

I'll maybe do another post with all the other books on my "to read" shelf - it's getting quite packed, I'll need to concentrate and read more!

Thursday, October 16, 2008


So basically what my hobbies are revealing (or at least confirming) is that I am a total bum and an absolute couch potato - in fact most of the joy in my life comes from sitting or lying on a couch. One said joy is being mesmerised, disgusted and moved by "my stories" (as Nanna Mac calls them) on the television.

I guess I'll just list a few of my favourite shows throughout the years and maybe a couple of anecdotes that will in the end mean absolutely nothing to anyone but me, but then isn't that the point of 90% of blogs?

Favourite Show Ever - The West Wing - easily the greatest television show ever created by Man. I was hooked from the beginning despite Channel 9 in Australia showing it at God awful hours which changed from week to week - I think the earliest it ever started was at 10:30pm the latest not at all! I purchased a bunch of the DVDs but was also gifted with a complete box set of all 7 seasons by my little Bro' for my 30th which I immediately used to re-watch the entire series from start to finish for about a month or two earlier this year. With such intelligent and funny writing I still pick up extra bits and pieces every time I re-watch it. Amazingly well acted with such a feeling of hope that maybe all politics doesn't need to be dirty - of course they never actually achieved anything in the show, but that doesn't matter does it? Favourite episode would have to be the final of season 2 with the death of a much loved character and President Josiah Bartlett deciding on whether to run for a second term - the end scene is just so powerful and is a stunning achievement in television.

Honourable Mentions: E.R., NCIS, Ugly Betty, Battlestar Galactica (new), Metal Mickey, Astro Boy, Robotech, Family Ties, Coupling, House.

Most Memorable Moment - E.R. - Death of Dr. Greene - well actually the episode where we first learn that he died and not the next episode where we see him carking it. It was the scene where Noah Whyle's character is reading out a letter from Greene's wife Elizabeth in that central area in the E.R. and we get to see all the regular character's reactions. Great TV and I don't mind saying I cried like a baby. I haven't watched the last 3 or 4 seasons of E.R., I dunno its maybe lost its charm for me, but everything before that I saw religiously.

Honourable Mentions: Battlestar Galactica - Adama being shot - both times!, The West Wing - learning of Leo's death and Josh's reaction to it (another tear jerker that gets me every time), Family Ties - when Alex is high on speed, Coupling - whole Melty Man episode, Buffy - Hush episode.

You know what? I'll leave it at that for the moment. I could name dozens of shows that I like and watch, but maybe I'll just do mini-posts about them in the future, if I could even be bothered. I had high hopes for this post when I started it but now I'm bored and wanna go watch some more West Wing, ciao!

Friday, October 03, 2008


I'm a reader. There I said it. Not a particularly good or well-read one, but a reader I am nonetheless.

I read more than some and less than others. I would say I'm a slow and inconsistent reader as it can take me 3 weeks to read a 350 page novel or a weekend to read a 900 page novel. I guess it just depends on how interested I am in the novel and also the social pressures that being a beer drinker puts on me during that particular time.

And like some, I like to buy my books and keep hold of them. Until recently the majority of books went into piles in the bottom of my cupboard due to the fact of not having many bookshelves, however this has recently been (mostly) rectified with a move of house and thanks to a meme found over at Speculative Horizons I thought I might post up a few pictures of my wonderful collection of fantasy and sci-fi novels.

So to the left we have a pic of the whole shebang - not a huge collection but I love it all the same. I was worried about the heater/air-con unit above the bookcases having a detrimental effect on the books but it doesn't seem to have had any effects during the heat blasting through winter.

I order the books pretty randomly although they are sorted into series' by author and of course publishing or possibly reading order within that.

There are a few missing (and I'll note where) due to borrowing by friends or my bro'. Also there are more on an old bookshelf in my room that aren't really my favourites but I have kept a hold of just for the hell of it. Still to decide if I'll keep them or send them off to the charity shop.

Those extra shelves you can see at the bottom left of screen were not needed and the price of them alone will buy me a whole new bookshelf to replace the old one in my room. So, onto the books!

(no linking, you can Google or Wikipedia stuff on your own if you are so inclined)

The top shelf has my two favourite series': George RR Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire and Steven Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen. The first Malazan book is on loan to a mate who won't appreciate it.

Next shelf we have the lovely Robin Hobb novels all of which I've liked, then the Joe Abercrombie series The First Law - brilliant series that I have had several friends read and thank me for recommending. Then Anderson's Saga of Seven Suns, must grab the last book although I think he's lost his way in the previous two novels of the series, but am happy to finish it.

Next is the Terry Pratchett shelf which is by no means complete - something I really must rectify as I absolutely adore all of his work.
Must ask Jack what he thought of Good Omens and make him return it to me...

Next shelf is a bit of a mixed bag (again with a few missing). Really liked the Bakker series, and at the top left are two books in Hugh Cook's Chronicles of an Age of Darkness - I read that series as a teenager and recently re-bought them all recently (bar the final book) and plan on re-reading them soon - at the moment this shelf is far more packed since taking this photo - I just can't stop buying books!

Next up we have what could be termed the "kids" shelf. John Marsden's Tomorrow series was just brilliant although I think he was flogging a dead horse with the Ellie Chronicles. I was totally against Harry Potter when he first became popular but then got sucked in and have read the series twice now - they're enjoyable and I am less of a reading snob these days - if that can be said of any person that reads almost exclusively in the fantasy genre.

Next to those are Guy Gavriel Kay's Fionovar Tapestry which I really didn't enjoy that much at all.

Bottom shelf of bookcase number 1 has some favourite Tad Williams with his Memory, Sorrow and Thorn trilogy plus the Death Gate Cycle by Weis and Hickman. I've yet to read some of those Moorcock books on the far right that I picked up on the cheap about 12 years ago, I liked the thin ones in the middle.

I wasn't a fan of Williams' Otherland series but maybe I need to give it another go someday...

On to bookcase number 2 and the top shelf has Jordan's Wheel of Time all in Tor hardcover (except New Spring) plus Wurts and Feist's fantastic Empire Trilogy - my favourite of Feist's.

Next shelf is completely Feist where I need to grab a few of the first novels in hardcover to complete the collection.

Shelf 3 is mostly my "to read" shelf. I've read the fantastic Richard Morgan novels (love Takeshi Kovacs trilogy) and most of those on the right were enjoyable, especially Mary Gentle's Grunts!

The next two shelves feature some of my favourite classics of the genre - the required Tolkien (enjoyed but don't love), Eddings (he was a gun in the 80s and 90s and the Belgariad began my affair with fantasy), Gary Gygax (I re-read these Gord the Rogue novels every few years), McCaffrey's Pern series (truly a classic though have not read the newer ones in the last few years), and a mixed bag of Terry Brooks (who I can take or leave although the Elfstones of Shannara is still one of my most favourite books ever).

And last but not least the Sara Douglass shelf. There are a few books missing here as my brother has nicked them, but I really liked her Axis and Wayfarer Redemption trilogies. I think her best work is The Crucible quartet (not least because I am thanked along with others in The Wounded Hawk for helping out on her web site message board). I was not a fan of the Troy Game and have yet to try Darkglass Mountain - too many others to read before that!

So there you have it, about 90% of my collection. I used to own many, many more but during the mid-90s I had a bit of a clean out and traded in a bunch, I've also obviously read many more than what features here although those tended to be early days when I still bothered going to libraries. I like owning the books I read - good or bad - and ever since I found The Book Depository I've been buying more and more.

What I really need to do though is have a consistent reading habit. At the moment I mostly read on the tram to and from work and in front of the TV, all of which means I can get very distracted. What I need is a good reading chair with a side table for my beer and crisps that doesn't have a view of anything to distract me. Perhaps the next place I move to can have a spare room dedicated to this and other leisurely pursuits? We shall see...

Might do a post soon on my to read list - the novels that I plan to add to the collection and those I already bought.