Sunday, July 23, 2006

Knight Clerks

I saw Clerks II on Friday and absolutely loved it. After Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, I was expecting a bit of a letdown. I shouldn't have worried. I thought it was perhaps his second best movie. Kevin Smith hit every note correctly on this one. Dante and Randall didn't seem to skip any beats and worked just as well together. I also thought Smith did a great job of making the film accesible to people who might not have seen Clerks. Of course, there was plenty in there for folks like Mrs. Blog o' Stuff and I who have seen all of his films.

Of course, some people will disagree with me on the film, but Kevin knows his movies aren't for everyone. I happened to hear the O&A show when he and Siegel had it out and thought it was pretty funny.

In book news, I just posted my review of Greg Keyes' The Blood Knight. As I said in an earlier post, I loved this book. Every page. I just didn't want it to end.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Random Rob Fact

I can do backflips.

Over the weekend, Mrs. Blog o' Stuff and I had some family over my house to barbeque and hang out poolside. I decided to try and do a backflip off my diving board. I can pull off front flips very easily. However, considering my size and less than graceful self, I didn't think I would be able to do it. When I pulled it off, I surprised myself more than anybody else.

That is all.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

I posted my review of Naomi Novik's Throne of Jade over the weekend, and for the most part I enjoyed the book. Novik continues to entertain me with this series after two books. My review of the third book should go up soon, as will my review of Greg Keyes' The Blood Knight. Wow. Keyes is continuing to impress me with this wonderful series, I just hope less time elapses between the 3rd and 4th book than the 2nd and 3rd. Still, if I was able to wait five years for one series, I suppose I can be patient for this one, too.

I spent the majority of Sunday outside enjoying the glorious heat. I worked on the yard for about half the day and barbequed and stayed in my pool the other half of the day. Speaking of the heat, anyone in the NJ/NY area can attest to the ridiculous taglines the local news channels tease us with during the evening - "How to stay alive in the the most oppressive heatwave of the season, tonight at 11!"

Back to the pirate story and watching the rest of Eureka.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Confession of an FSF Biblioholic

One of my major problems as a reader is how many interesting books are on the shelves right now. Very often, the sentiment arises in FSF that the quality of the genre is not what it once was. I suppose I’m a lucky reader then, much of what I’ve read in the past few years has really pushed the right buttons. From the Epic Fantasies of Greg Keyes, to the near future SF of new authors like Marc Giller to the genre-bending thrill of Chris Roberson’s Paragaea to the Epic scale of Peter F. Hamilton’s space opera to the pulpy goodness of E.E. Knight’s Vampire Earth to the pure imagination of Jeffrey Ford’s fantasies to the heroic fantasy of Matt Stover to… I could go on, really. Most of the books I’ve read in the past few years have been very good, or at the leas enjoyable on some level. Of course, there are going to be clunkers, but those books help you appreciate the good books even more.

This does present a problem though. For as many books as I’ve read and enjoyed, there are as many, maybe more that I want to read. Just from this past year or so alone, I wanted to get to Abraham’s A Shadow in Summer, Hartwell’s Space Opera Renaissance, Keck’s In the Eye of Heaven, Robert Charles Wilson’s Spin, Sean Williams/Shane Dix’s Geodesica duology, John C. Wright’s Orphans of Chaos, Cory Doctrow’s Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves to Town, etc.

Add to that all the classics I want to revisit (or read for the first time, embarrassingly), like Dune, Starship Troopers, A Canticle for Leibowitz, Something Wicked This Way Comes, Ringworld, Stand on Zanzibar, 1984, Clark Ashton Smith, The Land of Laughs, Snow Crash, The Dying Earth, etc.

This doesn’t even include all the short fiction I want to read in the anthologies and magazines. I can barely trim down my own to read pile before wanting to add to it.

That was the long of it. The short of it is – there is just too much out there I want to read.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Ahoy Matey!

Between this and this, my inner swashbuckler is itching at the barnacle to be unleashed. Apropos of the location of tonight's All-Star game, I've begun chronicling the journey of Vette the Pirate.

Speaking of the All-Star game, this coverge is awful. Twice when they announcers broke away from covering the game to go to either a mic'd up manager or a reporter on the 'sidelines,' exciting things happened in the game. Focus was taken away from the game on the field when great things happened - Vlad Guerrero's homer and Alfonso Soriano getting thrown out at home. I've said it before and I'll say it again, Fox is one of THE worst things to happen to baseball in the past 10 or fifteen years.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Bring out yer dead!

Mrs. Blog o' Stuff and I just returned from Spamalot, which was a helluva lot of fun. It was funny, entertaining and well-acted. I just wish we would have had a chance to see the original cast like Hank Azaria and Tim Curry. We've always both enjoyed Monty Python and have been wanting to see it for a while.

I posted my review of Martin Sketchley's The Destiny Mask earlier in the week. I thought it was good, but not as good as the first book in the trilogy.

One year ago (8th) we closed on our house and moved in on the 9th. It has been a very interesting and crazy year, to say the least.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Vampires, Knights, and Spaceships

I posted my review of Scott Westerfeld's Peeps today. I liked this one very much, one of my favorite reads so far this year. I know I just said that with Paragaea, but it holds true for Peeps, too. This was one of the more clever spins on the Vampire legend/myth/cliche I have read in quite some time. There are too many Vampire novels out there to read all of them; this is one I would suggest NOT missing. I read the sequel, The Last Days, too. I'll post that review once the book's publication date draws closer.

As my sidebar indicates, I've got two books on the docket right now, John Scalzi's The Ghost Brigades and Greg Keyes' The Blood Knight. I think, outside of George R.R. Martin, Keyes is writing the best Epic Fantasy saga on the shelves right now. I've been looking forward to this one since I finished The Charnel Prince almost two years ago.

As for John's book, I really enjoyed Old Man's War when it was the discussion book back in May at SFFWorld's Science Fiction forum.

Thank God and Mother Nature the weather finally broke today. After the soggiest week I can remember, we actually had a full day of sun here in Central New Jersey. Mrs. Blog o' Stuff and I were finally able to get some outdoor projects around the house closer to completion.

The next county over really did get hit bad with floods and water damage. Towns were flooded for a majority of the week and Main Street in New Hope, PA (a relatively popular day trip for Jersyians) was completely underwater with some businesses ruined.