September 01, 2006

Notes from a DVD Geek

by Jeremy Lassen

It’s a new month and we’ve got plenty of great new DVD’s coming in.  The first one I wanted to bring to your attention is the totally over-the-top Bio-zombie thriller called Sars Wars.  It’s a Thai production, and is funny as hell and way too enjoyable for its own good.

On the Anime side of the house, we’ve just got in Cowboy BeBop #1.  This is the beginning of one of the landmarks of modern serial Anime and should not be missed.

From Korea, we have Forbidden Warrior, which is a costume/period/fantasy piece that delivers the goods.  Epic battles between good and evil, crazy wire stunts and a solid story.

From Japan, we have Godzilla, Final Wars, which is a must-see for any monster movie fan, as it is the latest Japanese installment (from 2004) of the series that started it all.  Also not to be missed is the new US disk: Godzilla - Gojira Deluxe Collector's Edition, which features the original Japanese version of the first Godzilla movie, side by side with the bastardized, re-cut US version of the 1956 classic.  This one is a really nice package and it features a ton of extras.

August Bestsellers

1) Dzur by Steven Brust
2) Hunters of Dune by Kevin J. Anderson and Brian Herbert
3) Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
4) Three Days to Never by Tim Powers
5) Blood Knight by Greg Keyes
6) James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon by Julie Phillips
7) Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town by Cory Doctorow
8) Bonehunters by Steven Erikson (UK Import)
9) The Line Between by Peter S. Beagle  (Limited Ed., Tachyon Publications)
10) 20th Century Ghosts by Joe Hill (PS Publishing)

1) Princess of Roumania by Paul Park
2) Idolon by Mark Budz
3) Lady of Mazes by Karl Schroeder
4) Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan
5) Spin by Robert Charles Wilson
6) Johnathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
7) The City, Not Long After by Pat Murphy
8) Olympos by Dan Simmons
9) Memories of Ice by Steven Erikson
10) Pretties by Scott Westerfeld

Trade Paperbacks
1) The Line Between by Peter S. Beagle (Tachyon Publications)
    Snake Agent by Liz Williams (Nightshade Books)
2) The Privilege of the Sword by Ellen Kushner
3) Nightwatch by Sergei Lukyanenko
4) Prador Moon by Neal Asher
5) Confessions of a Virgin Sacrifice by Adrianne Ambrose

Recent Reading

by Alan Beatts

I've been reading quite a bit lately.  Not quite sure how that worked out since I've also been very busy with World Con and all and yet . . . it happened.  Not that I'm complaining.  Since I opened Borderlands I've probably had less time to read than any other time in my life.  That's what happens when you make a hobby into a business.

One of the standout novels I read was NIGHTWATCH by Sergei Lukyanenko.  This is the novel that was the basis for the film.  The translation from Russian is excellent, so good in fact that it almost reads like it was originally written in English.  When I started it (partly on the advice of my daughter) I was pretty doubtful but within the first chapter or two I was hooked.  As usual, I'm not going to waste time with a synopsis but I will say that it is probably the best novel of its type that I've _ever_ read.  I should probably explain what its "type" is -- a story of secret warfare between the supernatural forces of light and darkness set in modern times.  Think of Green's Nightside novels, Leiber's Conjure Wife, Butcher's Dresden Files, Lackey's Diana Trigarde or about half of Tim Powers' work.

Overheard at The World Science Fiction Convention

This is a feature that appears periodically, as we attend conventions and overhear things.  The tradition of keeping track of anonymous overheard bits and bobs started for us at the 2002 ConJose in San Jose, where trying (or trying not to) fill in the blanks on overheard conversations made us laugh so much that we made it a tradition.  This issue we share some highlights from this year's World Science Fiction Convention in Anaheim:

"Just remember how much I love you and disregard how bitchy I'm going to be for the next few days."

"We are two men very pleased with our meat."

"When there are five Australians at the table, it is inevitable that one will try to set the dessert afire."

"You're not going to catch me molesting the bronze giraffe!"

"I'm sorry, have we met?"
"Um, yeah. I helped you move."

"I've become the Harlan Ellison of porn."

"Something that eats steel has no place in my body."

"I finally realized what the chunks in my beer were -- stucco!"

(Discussing fear of Disneyland) "I refuse to be cowed by a mouse!"

"After the wasabi vodka last night, I've taken up breath mints for the weekend."

"I'm really pleased with my Borderlands t-shirt, 'cause now I can take a snake on the plane!"