the bulk of my boxes during my last move were full of books, to the
dismay of the friends and family members who agreed to help me move.
If only all novels, past, present, and future, could be ported to digital
format and downloaded to my handy PDA, I wouldn't have such a hard time
finding moving buddies. I would, of course, keep my collection of art
books, graphic novels, and role playing books in their original paper
form, but everything else would definitely go into my handheld.
that happy day arrives, however, here are some of my favorite reads
in plain old paper.
"When taken step by step and part by part, anatomy for the artist
is not as inscrutable as one might suppose. In fact, like everything
else, 'it's simple when you know how.' Then knowing how becomes the
problem." -- Drawing the Head and Figure (Jack Hamm)
Let's face it, not everyone is born instantly gifted with the ability
to draw or paint everything they see. Most of us need a bit of help
(as well as a LOT of practice). There is no substitute for an honest-to-goodness
studio class, but for those of us with uncooperative schedules (I was
too swamped with AP classes in high school to take more than the basic
Art 2-D), self-instruction is the only way to go.
only we could have talked to you, the hive-queen said in Ender's words.
But since it could not be, we ask only this: that you remember us, not
as enemies, but as tragic sisters, changed into a foul shape by Fate
or God or Evolution." -- Ender's Game (Orson Scott Card)
Science fiction authors ask the important question, "What if...?"
"Love is the Aphrodite clipjoint, step in and get taken." --
Cassandra, from Clipjoint (Wilhelmina Baird)
There are, of course, many different sub-genres which fall beneath
the heading of "Science Fiction," but one of the most recent, and, incidentally,
one of my favorites, is Cyberpunk.
The cyberpunk world is not that of the classic Star Wars type space
epic; rather, it is the chaotic, backstreet, Lowtown, underworld of
Bladerunner. The protagonists are often morally nebulous, capable of
great violence or questionable actions, yet inevitably, they are forced
by fate to take up the electronic sword of a cybernetic St. George in
order to slay the megacorp dragons that seem to abound in the works
of this genre.
Bioengineered mutants, cyborg assassins, Orbital Yakuza, hackers galore,
and of course--Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll...
'"I see," said the giant, "that you have performed every task. You
have traveled far and seen much, and learned the secrets of earth, sea,
and sky. Yet there is one secret remaining which you do not know."'
Child of Saturn (Teresa Edgerton)
Who can resist the lure of high fantasy?
The High Kings, the Magikal Beasts, the Grande Wizards, the Slumbering
Wyrms--Part and parcel of the fantasy genre. This is the realm of magical
duels and legendary quests; the way the world would be if Disney had
anything to say about it.
"I don't date corpses. A girl's got to have some standards."
--Anita Blake, from Circus of the Damned (Laurel K. Hamilton)
Werewolves and vampires and witches, Oh My! And they're in YOUR town.
At least, that seems to be the case in most urban fantasies, where
the ordinary world is inhabited by some rather extraordinary beings.
Like race car-driving elves. Or vampire slayers (Yeah, like Buffy) who
moonlight as zombie animators. Or good witches with vampire boyfriends
and a yen to fix supernatural disasters.
"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession
of a good fortune must be in want of a wife." -- Pride and Prejudice
(Jane Austen) Anyone in want of witty repartee, social intrigue, and
an overall lightness of heart need look no further than the Regency
aisle of their local book store.
In the typical Regency, lords and ladies traipse through the pages,
trading witty barbs, stolen kisses, and ultimately (since these ARE
technically romances) wedding vows. These are writings inspired by the
era of Jane Austen, when the Prince Regent sat upon England's throne,
Napoleon was still (off and on) a threat, and the peerage flocked to
London every spring for the Marriage Mart.
Regencies tell a fanciful, frothy version of what was, in reality,
a rather practical business--that of finding a mate (invariably from
one's own class, or slightly higher, if possible, with a secure fortune,
a title, and several estates, to boot)--but who cares, as long as we
are smiling at the finale?